The New York Yankees still have the best record in baseball even after losing Thursday’s doubleheader against the Houston Astros.
However, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Astros themselves are getting closer.
The Yankees have dominated every team they have faced in 2022, except for the Astros.
The teams won’t see each other anymore in the regular season, and the Astros took the series 5-2, and in convincing fashion, too: New York barely had a lead in the seven matchups.
Internally, the Yanks (especially fans) are worried that their team will falter in the playoffs if they face the Astros.
It happened in 2017, and again in 2019.
New York looked bad against Houston all year long, but manager Aaron Boone isn’t worried.
“Boone: ‘The narrative’s not going to change until you beat them in the playoffs. We beat them 4 out of 6 last year…where did that get us? It’s not going to matter (until) October. If we happen to come back here in October, we’re going to show up. We’re going to expect to win,'” Newsday’s Erik Boland tweeted, quoting the skipper.
Boone: "The narrative's not going to change until you beat them in the playoffs. We beat them 4 out of 6 last year…where did that get us? It's not going to matter (until) October. If we happen to come back here in October, we're going to show up. We're going to expect to win."
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) July 22, 2022
The Playoffs Are All That Matters
In fact, the playoffs are the matchup that matters the most.
There is still a lot of baseball to play, but everything is pointing in the direction of the two squads making the postseason.
Once there, another round of thrilling matchups seems inevitable.
It’s true that while the Yankees had to use a pitcher making his season debut in last night’s second game (Domingo German allowed five runs in the nightcap), the previous six matchups were more of the same: Astros pitchers dominating the Yanks’ lineup.
New York hasn’t been able to produce much against Houston this year.
The hitting coaches and the batters themselves will need to come up with a plan to attack the Astros’ bevy of solid pitchers should they face off in the playoffs.