As of June 27 and 73 games into the season, the New York Yankees have the best record in Major League Baseball (53-20), with the second-best record a full six games back. Moreover, the American League East second-place Boston Red Sox are a whopping 12 games behind the Yankees. This is not just a winning Yankees team, but a historically winning Yankees team. To put this into perspective, the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who still hold the record for most wins in a season (116), had a record of 54-19 at the 73 game mark.
Is this pace sustainable? Only time will tell. Momentum can switch in a day. Speaking of momentum, the lunacy of the four-game series against the Astros cannot be understated. The series ended in a 2-2 tie, but the Yankees only held the lead for two total innings in the entire series. Those innings both being the bottom of the ninth walk-off hit innings. That series highlighted a few of the Yankees biggest strengths: late game offense and sudden momentum shifts in their favor. Baseball is a game about timing, and the Yankees certainly are timing things well.
The most striking momentum stopper must be the combined no-hitter thrown against the Yankees by the Astros on Saturday afternoon. Yes, the sting of the hitless affair was made worse by the opponent, whom Yankees fans might feel never got their karma returned after been caught cheating in 2017. To the Yankees’ credit, the team was able to flip the script the next day and pull out an explosive come back via a walk-off win. This was vitally important to the Yankees as it changed the narrative of an embarrassing weekend to an impressive triumph in the wake of the largest set back of the year.
While the Yankees impressive record draws comparisons to the 1998 Yankees, it is also important to note the parallels with the World Series-winning 2009 club, which also built its reputation off come backs and walk-offs. The Yankees biggest challenger for the American League Championship is loud and clear. The Houston Astros are still here, and there will be a meeting in October.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images