The New York Yankees are riding high off a 10-9 roller-coaster win over the Cleveland Indians to advance to the ALDS against the Rays at Petco Park, but celebration was short-lived.
Giancarlo Stanton, speaking with reporters on a Zoom call on Thursday, reminded everyone that the Yankees are nowhere near their ultimate goal.
"You can't get too excited; you can't get too happy for wins," Stanton said, via ESPN. "Be appreciative, know what it took, give credit where credit is due, but know that the ultimate goal is not... we're not even close to there. Our mindset is we haven't done anything yet. Same as going into last night, though we won the night before, we haven't done anything today, so erase that and let's get it done."
The Yankees will certainly have their hands full with the Rays, who went 8-2 against the Bombers in the regular season en route to winning the AL East. The two rivals also carry some bad blood from the regular season over into the best-of-five series.
“Who would’ve thought we’d be facing Tampa Bay in San Diego when this year started?” Stanton said, via SNY. “It’s good. We know what they got, we know it’s gonna be a fight, and we’ve got to play our best. … We ready, we ready. It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be a good fight, to take this East Coast battle to the West Coast.”
The Yankees offense has seemed to come alive just in time for the playoffs, scoring 12 and 10 runs in their wins over Cleveland in the wild-card series. Stanton himself blasted two home runs, including one in the second inning of Wednesday night's victory.
But the bats will face an even greater challenge in Tampa’s stellar pitching, which consists of Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton and a whole other “stable of guys who throw 98,” as manager Kevin Cash once put it.
“They’re power arms,” Stanton said. “It’s gonna be power vs. power. We got to stay in our strike zone, have good at-bats and wear ’em down. You got to wear these guys down from top to bottom of our lineup and force them to make a mistake.”
In fact, the Rays have embraced the “stable” comment Cash made – which was after a game where the benches cleared due to Aroldis Chapman throwing near the head of Mike Brosseau – wearing T-shirts and hats with “The Stable” written on them.
“We understand it’s there, but at the same time they won the division so they got that,” Stanton said. “Now’s the opportunity to just let them have the division. The full bragging rights chance is here. Shirts and hats, it doesn’t mean anything. We’re going to be here in San Diego and play it out there.”