- Two Two-Run Homers: In two starts against the Yankees this year, James Paxton allowed four home runs in ten innings. A fifth homer was robbed. The Yankees got to the man they call Big Maple for two two-run homers in five innings Friday night. Luke Voit stroked a two-out single in the second, then Gleyber Torres parked one in the bullpen for a 2-0 lead. That was Gleyber’s 100th career hit. Brett Gardner slashed a leadoff single to left to start the third, then Andrew McCutchen jumped on a hanging breaking ball for a towering two-run homer and a 4-0 lead. McCutchen’s first dinger as a Yankee. I hope that made all the luggage trouble worth it.
- Masterful Masahiro: What an outing for Masahiro Tanaka. Eight innings, three hits, ten strikeouts, no runs. He retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced, and, in his only jam of the night, he struck out Robinson Cano with runners on the corners to end the sixth inning. That was satisfying. The final line: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K on 102 pitches. In his last 14 starts now, Tanaka has a 2.73 ERA (3.41 FIP) in 85.2 innings. As awesome as J.A. Happ has been since the trade, right now, I’d hand the ball to Tanaka with the season on the line in a winner take all Wild Card Game. The Yankees have some good options for that game even with Luis Severino struggling.
- Didi Returns: Welcome back, Sir Didi Gregorius. He was activated off the disabled list earlier in the day and entered the game in sixth inning as a defensive replacement for Miguel Andujar (Adeiny Hechavarria slid over to third). Gregorius grounded out to second in his only at-bat. He is essentially playing rehab games now and he wasn’t going to play all nine innings, so the Yankees waited until the tough lefty (Paxton) was out to put Didi in.
- Leftovers: Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Gary Sanchez (the 2-3-4 hitters) went a combined 0-for-12 with six strikeouts. Ouch … two hits for Voit (singles) and one apiece for McCutchen (homer), Torres (homer), Hechavarria (single), and Gardner (single). McCutchen drew the only walk … David Robertson was the only reliever used and he pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth. He started warming up in the eighth in case Tanaka ran into trouble, and once he warmed up, you might as well use him.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Here’s our Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees and Mariners will continue this series Saturday night. That’s a 9:10pm ET start. Lance Lynn and Felix Hernandez are the scheduled starters. Bold prediction: Runs will be scored.