As down a season as this has been for the Yankees, they found themselves two games above .500 entering last night’s matchup with the Angels — which ended too late for this edition. Unfortunately, they were still seven games behind the Athletics and Rays for the two Wild Card playoff spots.
The postseason isn’t out of the question yet, but they’ll need to make a move soon if they hope to become the first Yankee team to reach the playoffs after being at least seven games out of a playoff spot on Aug. 11. Perhaps manager Joe Girardi could refer to the following four seasons in which the Bronx Bombers made up the most ground after Aug. 11.
These Yanks, led by Joe DiMaggio, were also two games over .500 at this point. They went 35-15 down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough to overcome being nine games out of first to begin with. The Yankees ultimately fell two games short of the Tigers.
Ten years later, the Yankees moved from 3.5 back of the Tigers to three games ahead by the end of the season thanks to a 34-15 finish. Behind DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and 1950 AL MVP Phil Rizzutto, the Yanks went on to sweep the Phillies for their 13th World Series crown.
During the 15 years before this season, the time since the franchise’s last title, they were rarely in the thick of the pennant race by August. But Reggie Jackson and crew clawed back from four games out on Aug. 11 to win the AL East by 2.5 games after a 38-13 finish. Oh yeah, they ended their championship drought in October with a win over the Dodgers.
Even as reigning champs, the Yankees found themselves 6.5 games behind the Red Sox on Aug. 11. Their 35-14 finish earned a division championship by one game. For the second year in a row, the Bombers beat the Dodgers for the World Series championship.