The thought had to cross your mind if you were one of the 38,106 who attended the Yankees’ 3-0 victory over the Tigers on a gorgeous 78-degree Saturday at Yankee Stadium:
This is perfect.
We don’t mean the Yankees nearly throwing a perfect game — although they have come close three days in a row — but the idea that the best part of the Yankees’ season is yet to come.
Can we skip ahead to where the Yankees play the Houston Astros in the ALCS?
If you really want to dream big, and if you stayed up late the previous two nights and watched the Mets take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles, can the other team in town skip ahead to a Mets-Dodgers NLCS?
And, if you really want to get greedy, can we have another Subway Series, and not the regular-season version?
Go ahead and sneak a peek at the standings. At this writing, the four best teams in baseball are the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros and Mets.
The Yankees and Astros and their fan bases really don’t like each other. Aaron Judge wants retribution from the 2017 sign-stealing scandal. Jose Altuve gets viciously booed every time he shows up in the Bronx.
A Dodgers-Mets matchup would pit the franchises with the two highest payrolls in baseball (the Yankees are third) against each other. The Mets are running away with the NL East without the injured Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
Yes, the Mets lost the first two games in Los Angeles. After Friday’s defeat, Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt said of the Dodgers, “They have the best hitters in the world. It’s that simple.”
Let’s see the best hitters in the world against deGrom and Scherzer in October.
And then, if the stars align, let’s see another go-round of New York, New York in the World Series.
Too early to dream about that? Not it you were at Citi Field this past week watching the Mets sweep the Nationals or at Yankee Stadium this past week marveling at how Yankees starting pitchers are keeping the line moving with great outing after great outing.
For the Mets, the mantra for the rest of the season should be Get Healthy, especially their two aces.
For the Yankees, it should be Stay Healthy, starting with Judge, Giancarlo Stanton (who returned from the injured list on Saturday) and their powerful rotation.
That rotation has been flirting with perfection for three straight days.
First, it was Jameson Taillon, who threw seven perfect innings against the Angels on Thursday night.
Then it was Gerrit Cole, who was perfect for 6 2/3 against the Tigers on Friday night.
Finally, it was Luis Severino, who was perfect for one inning on Saturday.
Oh, but it could have been so much more.
Severino gave up a leadoff single by Miguel Cabrera in the second, a 109.6-mph line drive that behaved like a slider and went off the glove of shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who acknowledged that he was trying to save face — his own face — as he dealt with the screamer.
Smart man, that IKF.
That was the only hit the Tigers had against Severino (seven innings), Michael King and Clay Holmes.
It wouldn’t have been a perfect game because Severino walked a batter in the third inning (who was subsequently thrown out stealing). A no-hitter would have been nice. But those are pretty rare.
You know what’s not rare? The Yankees winning on the strength of dominant starting pitching and MVP-caliber, $300 million contract play from Judge, who led off the bottom of the first with his 21st home run, or only nine fewer than the Tigers have this season.
“So he’s added leadoff homer to his resume now,” manager Aaron Boone said of his unorthodox leadoff hitter, who smacked the first pitch from rookie righthander Beau Brieske into the right-centerfield stands.
Anthony Rizzo also homered in the sixth and Josh Donaldson added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
But it wasn’t a day for the hitters. It was a day for the Yankees' pitchers. Again.
“It’s like a rewind of the day before,” Severino said.
So hopefully you’ll forgive us for a little mental fast-forward on a perfect day in June. A fast-forward to what an October to remember it could be around here.