BOSTON — What a distinction a 12 months makes.
The Yankees head to Boston for a four-game set starting Friday in charge of the AL East and with one of the best file within the majors — just about the place the Crimson Sox have been final season.
And the Crimson Sox try to make a late surge to get into the playoffs because the second wild card.
Brett Gardner doesn’t know precisely what to make of the reversal.
“We’ve performed higher,’’ Gardner stated. “How do you clarify it? I can’t clarify it. I take a look at their group. I do know they’ve handled some issues, like Chris Sale being shut down. However with all the blokes we’ve been with out, it’s one thing I can’t clarify. No person might have predicted our accidents and for us to be within the place we’re in. However by some means, right here we’re.”
The place they’re is with a 9.5-game lead over Tampa Bay within the division — in addition to a whopping 16.5-game benefit over Boston, which stays on the surface trying in on the AL playoff image.
Partially due to their dominance all year long, the Yankees say they’re not all that centered on the place their most important rivals are within the standings.
“What are they, 15 video games out?” Aaron Decide stated. “That’s not what we’re occupied with. We’ve been set on profitable the division since spring coaching, so that is what we anticipated.’’
However even Decide acknowledged the trail to get up to now shouldn’t be what he or anybody else deliberate on, with dozens of gamers on the IL and a seemingly countless provide of replacements who’ve performed as effectively if not higher than among the regulars who bought damage.
“This isn’t the way in which we thought we’d navigate to get right here, however we’re arrange effectively,’’ Decide stated.
Their sizable lead within the division ought to afford them the chance to configure their pitching nevertheless they need main as much as the ALDS.
“That’s a part of the explanation why Boston had a lot success final 12 months,” Decide stated. “It’s not like they relaxed, however they may gear up for the playoffs. I discuss to our damage guys on a regular basis about not speeding again. I inform them, ‘It’s not like September is the final month. We’ve nonetheless bought two months left of baseball. Take your time and be sure to’re proper for the postseason.’ That’s why profitable the division is large.”
And that’s why they haven’t any intention of slowing down so long as there’s a division title, in addition to home-field benefit within the playoffs, to play for.
It’s additionally why Gardner expects the standard depth at Fenway Park this weekend, regardless of the gulf between the groups.
“All of the video games are gonna matter,’’ Gardner stated. “I can guarantee you, each groups wish to win as dangerous as all the time.”
The Yankees discover themselves just about the place the Crimson Sox have been in 2018, once they received an MLB-best 108 video games en path to a title. However there eyes are nonetheless on October, the place they wish to advance past the place they’ve been the final two seasons.
“I like the place we’re, and I don’t suppose we’re going to decelerate,’’ Gardner stated. “We’ve carried out it for five-plus months. And probably getting guys again like [Luis] Severino and Dellin [Betances], [Giancarlo Stanton] and [Aaron] Hicks solely strengthen our probabilities. We will nonetheless be higher than we’ve been.”