Perhaps the stakes and the atmosphere of October baseball will snap the Yankees to attention. Or remedial fielding drills could do the trick.
Then again, maybe Brian McCann’s bat will erase any shortcomings. It did Tuesday night, when McCann ripped a run-scoring double to put the Yankees ahead and then blasted a three-run homer deep into the right-field bleachers to ensure a 13-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees got a sharp performance from Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira bumped his American League-leading R.B.I. total to 76 with a pair of run-scoring singles and Dellin Betances delivered a crucial strikeout — all of which took place before the Yankees bludgeoned the Red Sox’ bullpen during a nine-run seventh inning.
McCann’s big hits put a sheen on an evening that had been marked by a glaring lack of focus on defense.

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The final score notwithstanding, it was not as comfortable an evening as it might have been for the Yankees, who maintained their five-and-a-half-game lead in the A.L. East, but who will not have the good fortune of playing the Red Sox in October.
Instead of seeing their last-place rivals, who they have beaten in seven of their last eight meetings, the Yankees are likely to see teams like Kansas City, Houston and the Los Angeles Angels in the playoffs. Those teams are younger, more dynamic and more able to test their fielders than the Red Sox were.
They might have done more with the gifts that the Yankees bestowed. Chris Young allowed a fly ball to drop untouched and was caught flat-footed on a single to him.
Tanaka and third baseman Chase Headley collided while fielding a bunt, and McCann struggled to corral bouncing baseballs behind the plate, his knee once buckling when he shifted his weight awkwardly.
The dropped ball, on which Young camped under Mike Napoli’s routine fly until he looked toward center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury at the last moment, was reminiscent of two plays earlier this season.
In early June, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran looked at each other as a fly ball dropped between them against the Orioles. Several weeks later, a similar play unfolded in Houston as Garrett Jones camped under a ball only to give way at the last moment when Gardner called it but the ball fell in once …Read More