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It only matters what happens in October, and once that rolls around, the New York Yankees will need to be feared.
So says Aaron Judge, who defied the idea that the Yankees might have some concerns when the idea is this season’s big picture.
“I know when it comes playoff time,” he told reporters, “a lot of teams are not going to want to play the New York Yankees.”
Judge did all he could to back up his point by blasting two home runs in Saturday’s riveting 8-7 win over the Mets, a game that also featured a moving ceremony on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
That snapped a seven-game losing streak, but the Yankees (79-63) still entered Sunday tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for third place in the AL East. It also ended a slide in which the Yankees had lost 11 of 13 following a 13-game winning streak.
Saturday’s game came before a packed house of 43,144 and had the feel of something that was more meaningful than just another regular-season game.
“I know it’s Sept. 11,” Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said. “But it definitely had the feel of a playoff game.”
So if the Yankees can get things corrected and win on a night that feels like the playoffs, maybe they can do it when the actual playoffs get here. At least, that seems to be Judge’s take.
For now, we’ll just have to go with that we see. And as Bob Klapish of NJ.com wrote, “it’s impossible to know who the real Yankees are. They’re shape shifters with a profile that’s changed so many times this summer it’s impossible to identify them.”
Regardless of what Judge says, that’s all we really know about the Yankees so far. We don’t really know if they’ll even still be playing in October. But if they can manage to get there, well then, yeah, they could be scary.