The New York Yankees were flying high over the first part of the season. Their newfound commitment to a strong defensive ballclub, breakout seasons on the pitching staff, and the resurrection of Matt Carpenter made the Yankees a team to be feared. It seemed as though they were going to ride high into the postseason, the Evil Empire having returned to full force.
Then July happened. The Yankees were 13-13 during the month, good enough to maintain their stranglehold on the AL East, but there were some cracks in the armor. Their pitching staff was starting to revert back to form while the lineup became the Aaron Judge Show. Injuries made their presence felt once again and the bullpen began to be a bit of a concern. But that is what the trade deadline is for.
New York Yankees not living up to early expectations
In theory, the moves made at the deadline were exactly what the Yankees needed to do. Andrew Benintendi was an upgrade over Joey Gallo, who was subsequently traded. Frankie Montas and a pair of relievers were brought in to solidify the pitching staff. However, the decision to trade Jordan Montgomery, and further weaken their rotation depth, could haunt them down the stretch.
Those moves also have not exactly helped in the standings. The Yankees are now just 2-6 in August entering Wednesday’s slate of action. Their most recent loss, a 1-0 defeat in 13 innings to the Mariners, has left them in a tie with the Astros for the best record in the American League.
It is not yet time for the Yankees to panic. They still have a 10.5 game lead in the AL East. The odds of the Blue Jays catching up, or Rays or Orioles for that matter, are slim. It is still likely that they will have a first round bye heading into the postseason.
But that air of invincibility is no longer there. The Yankees are no longer viewed as a juggernaut waiting to crush the opposition in the playoffs. A return to the World Series for the first time since 2009 is no longer inevitable. That could change, but for now, the Yankees have lost that fear factor.
The New York Yankees are in danger of losing the top seed in the AL postseason. Their air of invincibility is fading away.