The New York Yankees have made the playoffs 13 consecutive seasons since the run began in 1995. Is this the year that the streak ends? Right now, the Yankees are really struggling. They have injuries, they have age and 80 percent of the pitching rotation is a major question mark.
The staff has one reliable in Chien Ming Wang, but after that, there is Andy Pettitte, who at 35 is given the benefit of the doubt, but with Pettitte, the truth is that he hasn’t won a big playoff game since 2003 and people need to look at the 2008 Pettitte, not the 1998 Pettitte and realize that eight years is a long time. Phil Hughes, who was struggling, is now out until July with a stress fracture in his rib; Ian Kennedy has an 8.37 ERA, and even though the brass is preaching patience, young Kennedy desparately needs to go to Scranton and get a confidence boost because New York is not the place to learn on the job.
The Atlanta Braves made the playoffs, winning their division 14 straight seasons, before finally missing in 2006 and 2007. All things have to eventually end, so the Yankees playoff streak will cease at some time.
It’s still early, but this Yankee team is not the Yankee team of yesteryear. Derek Jeter is still very good, but has shown no power at all this season and Jeter, despite his excellence, has never been one to carry a team on his back, and with A-Rod out, the Yankees need somebody to do so.
It may be now or never.