Back on July 5, the New York Yankees were 42-41: one more loss, and they would be a .500 team.
Things were bad in the Bronx back then, and not only that, but they were also 10.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox, the division leaders at the time.
After a good July and an even better August, however, the situation is completely different.
The 74-52 Yankees have won 11 consecutive games and are now 2.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East standings.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 25, 2021
A Legit Playoff Team
New York now has sole possession of the first Wild Card spot, ahead of the Red Sox, who currently hold the second one.
The Yankees have a 4.5-game advantage over the Oakland A’s for a playoff spot.
A fantastic month of August has injected new life to a team that was playing mediocre ball in May and June.
The Yankees have gone an incredible 19-4 in August and now look like playoff contenders.
The most impressive part is that, during the revival that actually started in July, the Yankees have had to deal with a third COVID-19 outbreak and additional injuries to Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, a setback for Luis Severino, and potential season-ending surgery for Zack Britton.
The team has shown it knows how to deal with adversity and has actually developed new contributors out of nowhere.
The Team’s Player Development And Coaching Staffs Worked Wonders
The depth issues and injury problems actually created opportunities for the Yankees to quietly develop role players and key contributors that, once the team gets healthier, will be there as depth pieces.
And the Yankees will get even healthier at one point.
Despite suffering a shoulder scare, the Yankees still have hopes to have Severino back in 2021, and Urshela and Corey Kluber are already playing rehab games.
Torres is performing baseball activities, and Clarke Schmidt, who missed months with an elbow ailment, is getting ready in Triple-A in case he is needed.
As far as the offense goes, the additions of left-handed sluggers Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo provided a spark, but the big guys previously on the roster, namely Luke Voit, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge, have been doing the heavy lifting lately.
The team appears to be firing on all cylinders, and that has been the case for the entire month of August.
The Yankees now look like a top-three team in the AL, and are back to being the Evil Empire that the league fears.
Next on their list of objectives is chasing the Tampa Bay Rays for the first place in the AL East.
They are four games out as of Wednesday afternoon.
Before tonight's game, #Yankees have increased their lead in the wild card standing against Oakland (4), Seattle (5) and Blue Jays (7).
That's what a 10-0 stretch does. Breathing room, cementing a spot, while eyeing the division – 4 games behind Tampa. #SquadUp
— #TeamJamaica (@GiftedPrude) August 24, 2021
With more than a month to play, anything is possible.