It wasn’t the Red Sox, the Astros or the Indians providing the pain either.
It was the pain in the right wrist of Aaron Judge, the Yankees most valuable offensive piece that had you fearing the worst.
When Aaron Judge leaves Thursday’s game for x-rays and MRI’s, the thoughts of a deep playoff run or a chase down of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East was about to be put on hold.
Thankfully, the Yankees dodged a bullet.
Judge will only miss three weeks with a chip fracture in his wrist. It’s not good to lose a player of his magnitude for three weeks, but it’s not a season killer.
However, the Red Sox never seem to lose.
The Yankees heading into Tuesday’s action are 30 games over .500 and have the second-best record in baseball. Pretty good right?
However, this Yankees team is six games behind the Boston Red Sox in the division as of Monday night.
The Yankees wisely realized that it was an absolute must to improve this team approaching the July 31st trade deadline.
They made moves with an eye on one thing in mind: matching up and finding a way to be best positioned to beat the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees needed to add pitching. I’ve taken calls on the radio on this topic since the end of March, and many of the names that were mentioned were top-flight, all world-type pitchers.
But at this point in time, the Mets are unwilling to trade Jacob deGrom and the San Francisco Giants are unwilling to trade Madison Bumgarner.
However, the inability to add a top-flight ace does not mean the Yankees failed to accomplish their goals at the deadline.
The Yankees added one of the best relievers in the sport in Zach Britton to a bullpen that was already the best in baseball.
In adding Britton, the Yankees shorten the game for their starters, but perhaps more importantly they also keep him away from Boston, Houston and other contending teams.
In addition to Britton, the Yankees brought in two starting pitchers that have been around the block and have plenty of pennant race experience.
J.A. Happ is the ideal fit to bring over from the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s a veteran lefty, has experience in the division, and has terrific numbers historically against the Red Sox.
The Yankees have to hope that his successful debut Sunday against the Royals is a sign of things to come.
Finally, the Yankees realized you cannot have enough pitching down the stretch, so they also added Lance Lynn from the Minnesota Twins.
Yes, Lynn has had a disappointing year thus far, but he has a ton of playoff experience with the Cardinals and has pitched much better as of late.
It should come as no surprise that Britton, Happ and Lynn all have pitched well historically speaking against the Red Sox.
Now let’s see if those historically good numbers will continue to be the case in the ten head-to-head matchups still left between the two teams.
Because come Thursday, it’s game on.
You can listen to me on Thursday with Jody McDonald from 10 to 2 p.m. & Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM.