Whether you are a believer or not, the New York Yankees are still in the thick of the American League Wild Card race. Having won seven of their last ten contests, the Yankees have put themselves right back in the playoff mix. Many people left them for dead, including me, but the recent acquisitions of infielders Chase Headley and Martin Prado along with pitcher Brandon McCarthy have proven vital to the Yankees recent success. Say what you will about Brian Cashman and the lack of a farm system that he has assembled, but he has kept the Yankees in the race by any means necessary. It seems that way in most years with the Yankees. They are trying to win, and that is all you can ask for as a fan.
The Yankees are not going to catch Oakland or the Angels of Anaheim for the first wild card or Baltimore for the division, but the Detroit Tigers are reeling and the Seattle Mariners are playing way over their head. If the Yankees can keep up their recent success, there is no reason why they can't sneak into the second wild card spot. Tonight's game in my opinion is a huge indicator as to whether this Yankee team means business. The Yankees are facing Pitcher Kyle Lobstein of the Tigers, an inexperienced pitcher who has one career major league start to his name. Many Yankee fans know that the bombers have a habit of making rookie pitchers look like the second coming of Sandy Koufax, so it will be interesting to see how the Yankee's bats perform tonight. If the Yankees can get out of Motown with a series win in today's rubber game, it will be a giant step towards the playoffs.
Why would this be such a big step? Solely for the reason that their next set of games is against a struggling team in the Blue Jays, and a streak of three or four more in a row will situate the Yankees right at the cusp of the second wild card and stage their September run. The Yankees were in this position last year, and so they have a lot to prove.
However, this Yankee team has more talent than last season and has the added desire to win title number 28 for Derek Jeter. This combination may be just enough for the Yankees to sneak in the playoffs, and once they're in, anything can happen.