Any hopes of the Yankees making a miracle run to the post-season are over. For just the 2nd time since 1995, the Yankees have been eliminated from post-season contention after losing to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 at Yankee Stadium.
It’s fitting that on the day the the Yankees get eliminated, it’s Phil Hughes who takes the loss, his 14th of the season. What a way for Hughes’s Yankees career to likely end.
Hughes was once a prime Yankees prospect with comparisons as high as Roger Clemens. Six years later at age 26, those comparisons are long over, along with Hughes’s Yankees career.
The story of this Yankees season was simply the fact that the team couldn’t overcome not having key players for extended periods of time. Mark Teixiera contributed next to nothing, Curtis Granderson was never able to get into a rhythm after breaking his forearm, and then his hand at 2 different times, Kevin Youkilis lasted a month before his back gave out, Derek Jeter never got close to 100 percent healthy, and by the time Alex Rodriguez came back and Alfonso Soriano arrived, the pitching fell apart.
Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant in the first half of the season, and his month of July was one of the greatest months ever by a pitcher. But the 2nd half was a complete disaster. In August and September, Kuroda sported a 1-7 record with an ERA greater than 5 in both months.
CC Sabathia easily had the worst season of his career, and everyone knows how bad Phil Hughes was. Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova were superb in the 2nd half, but that was not enough to get the Yankees in the playoffs.
As the Yankees play 5 more days of meaningless baseball, and Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte play their last games in pinstripes, the future of the Yankees is as uncertain as it’s been in over 20 years.
Next year’s starting rotation only has 2 definite’s in CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, god knows who’s going to take over as the new closer, and Alex Rodriguez has a good chance of being suspended for all of next season.
Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are free-agents, and Joe Girardi may leave the Bronx to join his hometown Cubs.
The Yankees appear to be entering a place that fans of the team haven’t known in a while, and that’s a team that isn’t a lock to make the playoffs year in and year out.