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Game 162: Resilience

October 4, 2012

Cano (4-for-4) powered the Yanks with 2 bombs (Getty Images)

The story of the 2012 New York Yankees could have been the injuries as Michael Pineda, Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner, Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, and Ivan Nova all spent a significant stint on the disabled list.  As the Bombers watched their 10 game AL East lead evaporate in the waning days of summer, that excuse was there for the taking.  With the upstarts from Baltimore knocking on the door, it would have been easy to say, “We didn’t have Mo.”  But they did the hard thing.

They rose to the occasion.

Amid the criticism, the talks of “collapse,” and the slumps, they came through.  Despite never having more than a 1.5 game division lead over the season’s final 31 days, they did not relinquish. Comebacks.  Hitting streaks.  Unexpected contributors.  Gritty pitching.  A little bit of magic.  It was just enough to give the Yanks their 18th division crown.

After Tuesday’s miraculous win, last night felt like a coronation.  As Evan Longoria cemented his claim as the greatest game 162 performer of all-time, tagging Orioles pitching for 3 solo home runs, the Yankees coolly went about dismantling the beleaguered Red Sox, 14-2.  It felt cathartic.  It felt like an exhale.  After a month of daily looking over our shoulders, it felt earned.  As the playoffs begin this week we’ll see if this momentum can carry them to a 28th World Title.  Who knows?  The O’s may have created a monster.

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