Do the New York Yankees get a first-round bye in the MLB playoffs with their clinching the AL East title?
The New York Yankees managed to clinch the AL East with a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, but the job is not done yet
Some things are inevitable and we should relax and simply wait for them to happen. We know that summer will come, for example, and yet we still feel relieved when it finally does. It was undeniable that needing only one win to clinch the AL East, the New York Yankees would get it done, there being no way that they could go on an eight-game losing streak at this stage of the season. But when it finally happens, Yankee fans still could not help but to let out a collective sigh of relief.
Heading into Toronto to face the Blue Jays, nobody thought that it would be an easy job. The Jays are after all in second place and still fighting for a spot in the playoffs. They would sell their lives dearly. On Monday, the Yankees got a taste of that competitiveness, when Vlad hit a walk off single in the 10th. But, like the tide, sooner or later the Yankees must take a game in the series.
And with that 5-2 win over the Jays on Tuesday, the Yankees have clinched the AL East, assuring them of a first-round bye in the playoffs. Part one of their objectives is complete.
Manager Aaron Boone recognized the level of difficulty involved in getting to where they are, saying, “We can say we’re the best team in the best division this year, and it wasn’t easy. Everyone in that room knows that. We took everyone’s punches; we had some low moments. But tonight is to be celebrated. It’s not easy going through the American League East and to survive.”
Much of the public focus has been on the more personal objective of Aaron Judge and his pursuit of Roger Maris’ single season American League home run record. Those who hoped that they might get a two-fer on Tuesday night were left wanting at the end, as Judge saw four walks in the game, leaving him, for the moment at least, stuck at 60 home runs.
Like the chances of the Yankees winning the division, it is virtually certain that Judge must hit at least one more blast before the season is out. Assuming opposing teams will pitch to him, of course.
With the victory in Toronto, the Yankees clinched the 58th playoff appearance in the team’s 119-year history. Recent years have seen the pinstripes dominate October, with this being their sixth consecutive trip to the playoffs and the 24th in the last 28 years.
Both Boone and Judge are adamant that it isn’t ultimately about clinching the east or even reaching Maris’ record, but that ultimately the goal is to bring the World Series crown back to the Big Apple. “This is step one, and we want to win a championship. That’s our goal,” says Boone.
With stiff competition in the American League in the form of the Houston Astros, not to mention the proverbial “immovable objects” over in the National League in the Braves and Dodgers, the Bronx Bombers will have their work cut out for them, home field and records not withstanding.
The job is not yet done. But my, oh my, what a playoff run we have laid out in front of us.