While the Yankees still trail the division-leading Red Sox by eight games, it is worth posing this question: Can this Yankees team join these four other teams who erased what also seemed to be insurmountable division leads?
Don’t look now but the New York Yankees have a four-game win streak. Even more surprising is that the Red Sox have lost three straight during this span.
2002 – The Oakland Athletics once trailed the Anaheim Angels by 10 games. After rattling off 20 straight wins from August 13 to September 4, they had officially taken over the division lead and held on down the stretch to win the AL West.
2006 – The Minnesota Twins were once 12.5 games back of the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers. On September 28, they had tied the Tigers for first place, after never leading the division all season. On October 1, the Minnesota Twins were AL Central champions.
2007 – The Philadelphia Phillies trailed the New York Mets by SEVEN games with just 17 left to play. The Phillies won their division on the final day of the season.
2012 – The Oakland Athletics trailed the division-leading Texas Rangers by 13 games on June 30th. They even trailed the Rangers by FIVE games with just NINE to play in late September. They won their division.
There you have it, it can be done. But why would this Yankees team be able to accomplish this? Three reasons:
- The Yankees gained 7.5 games on the division-leading Red Sox in just 18 days earlier this season. It can be done again, right?
- The Yankees will play six head to head games against Boston in the final 13 games of the season.
- The Red Sox still have eight games remaining against the Astros and Indians, while the Yankees have ZERO.
Yankees are now 9 games back with 38 to play.
The Red Sox have 15 of their final 36 games against the Yankees, Indians, and Astros.
Can it happen?
Sure, none of this matters if the Bronx Bombers can’t take care of business against the Marlins, Orioles, Jays, Tigers and White Sox (while salvaging a six-game west-coast trip vs Seattle and Oakland), but what we are saying is that there is a chance.