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Thursday, August 29, 2013
First Pitch: The numbers don't lie

By Wallace Matthews

Realistically, last night's 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays may have killed whatever hope the Yankees might have had to play at least one baseball game this October, but mathematically, they still have a chance, of course.

There are 29 games left, 16 of them at home, and 12 of them against indisputably bad teams.

But by Joe Girardi's own reckoning, it's going to take 93 wins for the Yankees to guarantee them a spot. That means they must go 23-6 over the final stretch to meet the manager's goal.

I'm a little more lenient. I think maybe 91 could get it done, which still means playing .724 ball the rest of the way, or 21-8. (Truthfully, I'm starting to think even my preseason prediction of 88-74 was a bit too optimistic).

Anyway, assuming the Yankees can win, say, 11 of those 16 home games, that still leaves them needing to win about 10 of the 13 away games, seven of which are at Baltimore and Boston. (They still have to return to Toronto for three more, and suddenly the Rogers Centre has become a house of horrors for them).

Is there anyone out there who still thinks it can be done?

I've already made my call -- again, 88-74 -- and although I'm not even sure they can do that, I'm stuck with it.

But you are under no such restrictions.

As we head into this crucial 10-game homestand, the Yankees are 70-63.

QUESTION: What do you think their final record will be?

Let us know in the comments section, or via my Twitter feed, @ESPNNYYankees.

UP NOW: The Rapid Reaction on last night's soul-crushing defeat, as well as my column on the team without an ace, and a blog on why Eduardo Nunez' day went from funny to unspeakably sad in the space of three hours.

ON DECK: The Yankees have the day off, and Andrew Marchand will have you covered with everything you need to know, including the results of Nunie's MRI, so check in on him. I'll be off for a couple of days, so enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and we'll talk next week. And as always, thanks for reading.