One day, it’s all about preparation for game day and what needs to be done to advance in the playoffs.
All that build up, all that excitement and, just like that, it’s done.
The Yankees 2018 season featured a lot of fanfare and provided plenty of memorable and exciting moments.
However, after making it to Game 7 of the ALCS a season ago, a bow out in Game 4 of the American League Division Series shakes out to be a bitter disappointment.
The Yankees were a flawed 100-win team, and those flaws were on full display throughout the regular season.
And many of those same problems came back to bite the Yankees in their playoff series against the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees were a team all season that struggled offensively when they were unable to hit a home run.
It shouldn’t surprise you that in the two games they lost to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium the team failed to go deep even once.
The Yankees had chances in Game 1 and Game 4 to deliver the big hit with runners in scoring position, but failed to do so.
The poster child for the Yankees offensive struggles will without a doubt be Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton was the Yankees hired gun in the offseason. He had the big contract, was the reigning NL MVP, but failed to come through in key situations throughout the series.
Stanton will become familiar with the same treatment that Alex Rodriguez received prior to carrying the Yankees to the 2009 title.
Stanton will learn that in Yankee land, regular season excellence means very little as a hired gun unless you deliver when it matters most.
However, this series wasn’t lost just because of Giancarlo Stanton.
The Yankees starting rotation outside of Masahiro Tanaka was noncompetitive in the series.
The trio of J.A. Happ, Luis Severino and CC Sabathia all failed to get past the fourth inning in any of their respective starts.
That’s not exactly a winning formula for October.
The inability of the starting rotation put rookie manager Aaron Boone in a tough predicament deciding when to turn the reigns over to his star-studded bullpen.
Boone failed miserably in both Games 3 and 4, sticking with his starter on both nights entirely too long.
A lack of clutch hitting, poor starting pitching and bad bullpen management was on full display throughout this ALDS.
The good news for Yankee fans is that with the team under the $189 million luxury tax threshold, you can expect the team to re-tool and re-load in a big way.
The young core is there, the future is bright, but now the organization must put this team in a position to put them over the top.
There will be serious questions.
How will they upgrade their starting rotation? What will the Yankees do with Didi Gregorious’ extended absence with Tommy John surgery? How will the team balance a lineup that was very right handed?
These are questions that will come far more into focus as the fall turns to winter.
In 2018, the Yankees were a very good team, but only great teams win the World Series.
Let the offseason work begin.
You can listen to me Friday, Sunday & Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. and Tuesday from 10 to 2 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM. You can also watch me on Loudmouths on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on SNY. JJ’S WEEK 7 UNLOCKS
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