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New York Yankees running out of gas?

The New York Yankees were cruising. It seemed as though the Yankees would find a way to make the playoffs in 2015, despite many believing they would finish below .500 before the season began. Frankly, this writer would be included among them, New York native and all.

Yet, some of the older veterans who were considered over the hill decided to have one more terrific campaign. First baseman Mark Teixeira and third baseman Alex Rodriguez are both providing plenty of power, showing that the Bronx Bombers are back in name and deed.

More importantly, the Yankees got major contributions from unlikely men in the starting rotation. With C.C. Sabathia looking all but cooked throughout the year, manager Joe Girardi has been able to rely on unproven arms such as Adam Warren and Nathan Eovaldi. However, things have begun to come unglued with the Toronto Blue Jays coming down the stretch like a bat out of hell.

Toronto made major moves at the trading deadline, acquiring both shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and ace David Price. Price was able to out-duel the Yankees on Saturday afternoon, moving the Blue Jays to within 2.5 games of New York. Toronto has now won sevens straight games and is 9-1 over its last 10, while the Yankees are a poor 4-6 in that span and looking like a team running out of gas.

New York is also going to be within star pitcher Michael Pineda for at least the next couple of weeks. Down the stretch, the Yankees could be forced to continually rely on Masahiro Tanaka, Warren and Eovaldi to get the job done on the mound. While Tanaka has more than proven his abilities, the other two are not without their question marks. If the Yankees fall behind the Blue Jays while Pineda is on the mend, it could prove extremely tough trying to catch them.

The other question is a simple one. Can the Yankees continue to play well through the end of the season despite advanced age? New York is leaning heavily on a group of players well into their 30’s and in the case of Rodriguez, 40’s. If the Yankees are going to break down, this would be the typical time for it to happen.

Only a few weeks ago, it appeared the Yankees would have nothing but relaxation down the stretch, opening up a large lead on the rest of the mediocre American League East. Now, the race is on thanks to the team north of the border decided to go great guns, hoping to make the playoffs for the first time since Joe Carter hit the famous walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.

The Yankees are still the lead dog, but they have a competitor nipping at their heels.

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