Time of death: The 8th inning of Game 132 – approximately 9:55 pm EST on August 27, 2008.
Yes, that’s when the Yankees 2008 season, in terms of any possibility of being a championship contender, ended. When Dustin Pedroia (pictured, right) hit a grand slam for the Sox in the 8th inning of this game it not only locked up this contest for Boston…it killed any hope for the Yankees to remain in the chase for the American League Wildcard.
With this loss, New York now sits seven games back of Boston, in the loss column, in the A.L. Wildcard standings – with only thirty games left remaining on the Yankees schedule.
Do the math on that puppy, if you must. If the Red Sox play just .500 ball for the rest of this season, the Yankees would have to win 23 of 30 games – a winning percentage of .767 – to pass them.
Forget the fact that Boston has many home games left on their ticket as well as some games against teams with less-than-great records…and that it’s very remote that they would ever play just .500 ball from here out. Just focus on the Yankees, for this moment.
The Yankees have one more game against the Red Sox in this series – facing Jon Lester who is murder on left-handed batters. Then, New York has to play Toronto for three games. In these games, the Yankees will have to face A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay.
After those four games, the Yankees go on the road: Playing one against the Tigers, three against the Rays, three against the Mariners, and three against the Angels.
After that insane road-trip, New York returns to Yankee Stadium to play three games against the Rays and then four against the White Sox.
In total, between tomorrow and September 18th, the Yankees will play 21 games. (And will have nine left after that.) To have any hope, whatsoever, the Yankees will need to win at least 16 of these 21 games.
So, basically, for the Yankees to get back into this thing, this is what needs to happen:
They have to play Boston again, the Jays for three – including Burnett and Halladay, then play the road-trip from hell for 10 games, and then play the best team in the A.L. East for three and the best team in the A.L. Central for four…and only lose five (or less!) of those 21 games. Further, on top of that, they need the Boston Red Sox to play no better than .500 ball between now and September 18th.
Yeah, like that’s really going to happen.
Sorry, it’s over for this Yankees team – as far as having any chance to play some games in October. It’s wait till next year time…turn out the lights, the party’s over.