The 2010s was their first decade and not using a pennant because the 1910s. By giving Cole a document 9 yr $324-million contract this winter, the Yankees felt they secured the lacking piece to place them excessive.
Two of the Yankees’ previous three playoff exits have been within the A.L.C.S. and by the hands of the Houston Astros, who admitted to cheating during their 2017 World Series winning season and were punished. Regardless of a 27-26 document by Sunday, the Astros are poised to succeed in the playoffs once more.
To succeed in the postseason themselves this yr, the Yankees overcame 15 completely different gamers spending time on the injured checklist, comparable to standouts Aaron Choose, Giancarlo Stanton, D.J. LeMahieu, James Paxton and Tommy Kahnle. Throughout a daily 162-game marketing campaign final yr, the Yankees set a serious league document by sending 30 completely different gamers to the I.L.
Whereas the Yankees prevailed over their many illnesses in 2019 due to their depth and unheralded stars, it was extra of a wrestle this yr. They endured slumps and inconsistencies all through the roster, from catcher Gary Sanchez to outfielder Brett Gardner.
Their lineup, highly effective and wholesome as soon as once more, has been carried many of the season by first baseman Luke Voit (who led the majors with 21 dwelling runs by Sunday) and LeMahieu (who led the majors with a .361 common by Sunday), with assist from outfielder Clint Frazier and third baseman Gio Urshela.
Led by Zack Britton and Chad Inexperienced, the Yankees’ pitching energy of latest years, their bullpen, has remained stout. However their improved beginning rotation — anchored by Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and Cole — could profit them in October since there are not off days in the course of the first three rounds.
Earlier than Sunday’s sport, Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino mentioned the crew had not mentioned how they might have a good time clinching a playoff berth. (Throughout regular years, groups often accomplish that with Champagne and beer celebrations within the clubhouse.)
“I don’t even know if we will,” he mentioned. “I think we’ll acknowledge it, but for us, we’ve been thinking about this as, ‘Just get your foot in the door and go from there.’”