Blue Jays 9, Yankees 5: Judge homers twice in final road game


Source: FanGraphs

If the Yankees play another road game this season, it’ll be in the ALDS. The closed out their road regular season schedule with a 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. The Yankees looked very much like a team still hungover from celebrating Saturday’s postseason clincher. Let’s recap this one with bullet points, shall we?

  • Bad Jaime, Bad Bryan: Starter Jaime Garcia and reliever Bryan Mitchell combined to retire eight of 21 batters faced. Mitchell retired just one of the seven batters he faced. Those two were charged with all nine runs (four for Garcia in 2.1 innings and four for Mitchell in 0.1 innings) and the game was out of reach early. The other four relievers combined for the following line: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. At least some pitchers were good Sunday.
  • All Rise x2: Aaron Judge is now one home run away from tying Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record. He swatted homers No. 47 and 48 on Sunday, the first a solo shot and the second a two-run shot. Both snuck over the wall. They weren’t typical Judge bombs. That’s now eleven homers in the last 19 games for Judge. He’s hit 48 home runs, been robbed of two others (Melky Cabrera and Jackie Bradley Jr.), and had one incorrectly called a triple. His batting line: .281/.416/.610 (166 wRC+). Too late to get back in the AL MVP race, or is it all Jose Altuve at this point?
  • Leftovers: Dellin Betances hit a batter and struck out a batter in his scoreless inning. He was very clearly working on his fastball. He threw 15 pitches and ten were heaters. He usually throws more breaking balls than fastballs … Judge drove in three of the team’s five runs. Didi Gregorius (single) and Greg Bird (double) drove in the others … two hits for Judge and Starlin Castro and one each for Chase Headley, Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury, Bird, and Austin Romine.

Here are the box score, video highlights, postseason odds, and updated standings. Here’s our Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees were supposed to have an off-day Monday, but they’ll instead play a makeup game against the Royals at Yankee Stadium. That’s the makeup game of their May 25th rainout. CC Sabathia and someone named Jake Junis are the scheduled starters. That’s a 1pm ET game.

Postseason Bound! Yankees clinch at least a wildcard spot with 5-1 win over Blue Jays

The Yankees are officially going back to the postseason. Saturday afternoon’s 5-1 win over the Blue Jays means the Yankees will be, at worst, the second wildcard team. The magic number to clinch homefield advantage in the Wild Card Game is just two. October baseball, I’ve missed you so.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Don’t Hit It At Them, Hit It Over Them
In the first few innings Saturday, the only way the Yankees were not going to hit into a bad luck double play was by hitting the ball over the fence. Three times in the first five innings the Yankees had into a stupid double play. Three times! To recap:

  • In the second, with Chase Headley trying to steal second, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a hard-hit grounder up the middle and right at shortstop Ryan Goins, who was running to second to cover on the steal. He stepped on the bag and threw to first in the blink of an eye.
  • With runners on first and second in the fourth, Didi Gregorius hit a line drive at second baseman Darwin Barney, who doubled Aaron Judge off second base. The ball was hit too hard and Barney’s throw was too quick for Judge to get back in time.
  • In the fifth, Todd Frazier broke for second in a 3-2 count, and Brett Gardner hit a line drive right at Goins. He made the catch and casually threw to first to double up Frazier. Todd was basically at second base when the catch was made. So dumb.

Those double plays were the only reason Joe Biagini escaped with three runs allowed in five innings. The Yankees threatened in nearly every inning, yet it took them not hitting a ball into the field of play to score three runs. Headley drew a walk to start the fifth and stole second, then Starlin Castro worked a one-out walk to put two men on base. That’s when Greg Bird hit the go-ahead three-run home run.

That made all those stupid bad luck double plays worth it. Well, no, they were still annoying as hell, but at least the Yankees scored some runs along the way. That was Bird’s third homer in his last seven games. His last six hits: home run, home run, double, single, double, home run. Would be nice to really get Bird going before the postseason.

Six Strong For Sonny
For the eighth time in his ten starts as a Yankee, Sonny Gray did not allow more than two earned runs Saturday afternoon. And for the seventh time in those ten starts, he completed six full innings, even though there seems to be this idea floating around that he’s been a five-and-fly pitcher. Gray did have to wiggle out of some jams Saturday, including out two runners on base in three of his six innings, though the only damage was a Teoscar Hernandez solo home run in the third.

Gray’s final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K on 96 pitches. I thought maybe he would start the seventh and do the batter-to-batter thing against the bottom of the lineup, but nope. Joe Girardi went to the bullpen with a chance to lock down a postseason spot. Two of Gray’s three walks went to two of the final five batters he faced. He walked Josh Donaldson to start the sixth and Kendrys Morales with one out to put the tying run on base, but a great Gardner running catch and a ground ball later, the inning was over. Solid. Unspectacular. Sonny.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Leftovers
Seven hits for the offense, the biggest of which was Bird’s dinger (duh). Frazier drove in an insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth, and Castro brought in another insurance run with an infield single in the ninth. Doubles for Judge and Gary Sanchez, homers for Bird and Frazier, and singles for Headley, Ellsbury, and Castro. Sanchez, Castro, Sanchez, and Headley (two) had the walks.

Nine up, nine down, four strikeouts for the bullpen. Chad Green had the seventh, David Robertson the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman the ninth. The Rogers Centre crowd gave Jose Bautista a huge standing ovation in the eighth inning as he plays what is likely his final home series as a Blue Jay. Robertson struck him out. Love it. Also, the final out to clinch a playoff spot? Rob Refsnyder. Perfect. Just perfect.

aaron-judge-didi-gregorius

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has the box score and updated standings, MLB.com has the video highlights, and FanGraphs has the postseason odds. Here’s our Bullpen Workload page and here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The final road game of the regular season. Possibly the final road game of the season overall! I hope not. That would be lame. The Yankees and Blue Jays will wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1pm ET start. Jaime Garcia and Marcus Stroman are the scheduled starting pitchers.

Blue Jays hammer Tanaka, Yankees drop series opener 8-1


Source: FanGraphs

There will be no postseason clincher Friday night. The Yankees were blown out 8-1 by the Blue Jays in the first game of their final road series of the regular season. The magic number remains two — it could still drop tonight depending what the Rangers and Angels do — and the Yankees are still 14-5 in their last 19 games. Let’s recap this loss with bullet points, because it was ugly and because it’s Friday night, and then let’s never talk of this game again:

  • MasaHRo: Not a good outing for Masahiro Tanaka. Not at all. He gave up three home runs, all on hanging offspeed pitches and two in two-strike counts. The big blow: a grand slam by Ryan Goins. Ryan Goins! That’s like giving up a grand slam to Brendan Ryan. The Yankees were already down 4-1 at the time, so all the grand slam did was make it a laugher. Teoscar Hernandez (long solo homer) and Russell Martin (wall-scraping two-run shot) also took Tanaka deep. His final line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. Yuck.
  • One & Done: The Yankees got off to a such a great start Friday night. Five pitches into the game they were up 1-0 on Aaron Judge‘s 46th (*47th) home run of the season. It was a bomb too. The Yankees did not score again. Judge walked to start the fourth inning, but never moved from first. He doubled to start the seventh inning, but never moved from second. Judge went 2-for-2 with a homer, a double, and two walks. The rest of the Yankees went 1-for-27 (.037) with two walks. Gary Sanchez, to be fair, hit two rockets right at defenders.
  • Leftovers: Tommy Kahnle, who was warmed up and ready to go when Tanaka served up the grand slam to Goins, struck out the only batter he faced. One batter too late, eh? … seven up, six down for mop-up men Jonathan Holder and Gio Gallegos … the one non-Judge hit was a third inning double by Todd Frazier, who then fell for the hidden ball trick at second base. Here’s the video. That kinda night.

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Here’s out Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees and Blue Jays continue this three-game series Saturday afternoon. That’s a 4pm ET start. Sonny Gray and Joe Be-A-Genie are the scheduled starters. Will it be a postseason clincher? I hope. Would be cool.

Yankees 11, Twins 3: Score all the runs


Source: FanGraphs

Won the game and swept the series. After falling behind 3-0, the Yankee bats scored 11 unanswered points to take this one Wednesday afternoon. Luis Severino wasn’t his usual self so, of course, the bullpen and the lineup picked him up. Wouldn’t it be neat if New York played Minnesota all the time? Anyways, it was a matinee game so let’s do it bullet-point style.

  • 46 pitches: Remember when this was the start that Sevy was supposed to skip? I kind of figured that he wouldn’t really go a long distance today because 1) he’s a young starter who’s upped the innings pitched from last year, and 2) the Yankees probably want to save some bullets for October. Turned out that he didn’t go past three innings today, for better or worse. He really labored in the top of the third. With one out, Kennys Vargas hit a soft infield single to shortstop and Jason Castro followed it up with a line drive single to put runners on corners. Brian Dozier worked a full-count walk to make the bases loaded and up came Joe Mauer, who is not really someone you want to face in situations like this. Mauer really, really worked Severino to a 13-pitch at bat until finally getting an RBI single to the right field. Jorge Polanco followed it up with another single through the right side for a 2-RBI single. 3-0 Twins. He retired the next two hitters but, by then, Sevy had thrown a 46-pitch inning. It’s one thing to have thrown 71 pitches but it’s another when you threw more than half of it without taking a break in the dugout in between. The Yankees decided to go to bullpen starting the fourth.
  • Tying it up: But fear not, here comes the Young Yankee Hitting Machine. In the bottom of the third, Greg Bird got on base with a double and Aaron Judge followed it up by hitting an opposite two-run shot. It was one of those homers that made the small Yankee Stadium tiny. Dude hits home runs like he’s playing pinball. Gary Sanchez, not to be outdone, hit a solo homer into Monument Park to tie the game at 3-3. That was quick. But hold on, the fun was far, far from done.
  • Let the runs pile in: After Chasen Shreve threw a clean fourth, the Yankee bats really brought it in the bottom of the frame. After Matt Holliday fouled out, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a triple into the left center because he’s friggin’ Jacoby Ellsbury. Todd Frazier followed it up with a walk and Bird brought Ellsbury in with his second double of the day (and knocked Bartolo Colon out of the game, who may or may not have thrown his last pitch at the Yankee Stadium. We’ll see). Brett Gardner’s RBI single against the new pitcher Tyler Duffey brought in Frazier and made it 5-3 Yankees. Judge struck out but Sanchez singled to right to tack on another run and Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer into the second deck to make it a 9-3 rout. The Yankee rally continued on in the fifth. The former Yankees 2008 50th round pick (no, really) Nik Turley took the mound for the Twins and, well, it didn’t go well for him:

bandicam-2017-09-21-06-18-27-317

  • Extend the netting: There was a huge scare in the fourth inning when a Frazier liner hit a young girl in the mouth, briefly interrupting the game. While Joe Girardi said after the game that the young girl is “doing OK”, it was a very, very scary moment where you did not know whether the carelessness of the team and the league cost a precious life. Every player on the field looked very shaken while the medics were looking after her and I bet that they would choose in a heartbeat to install a netting across the infield to protect the fans. Not to get too voiced here but there’s a proverb “fixing the barn door after your cow escaped” in Korea and I really hope this will not apply to this situation. After a foul ball from Judge struck a fan in the stands few months ago, the team said they are “seriously exploring” he idea of extending the netting but haven’t taken an action. That’s ridiculous. There’s one thing to “obstruct” fans’ view but it becomes a much graver thing when the non-athletes have to go out of the way from a 105 mph liners.
  • Leftovers: Guess who came a home run shy of the cycle? Ellsbury. He had a 3-for-4 day with a walk. In his last at-bat in the bottom of the eighth, Ellsbury was clearly swinging for the fence but had to settle for a flyout in the center. Bum! Judge stayed on-brand by having a 1-for-3 day with a home run, a walk and a strikeout. Sanchez and Bird each had a 3-for-4 day and that’s just music to my ears. Clint Frazier also had a triple in his pinch-hit AB for Gardner, making it his 17th extra-base hit of his 30 total. On the bullpen side, Shreve had an almost-perfect 3 IP outing, allowing only a walk while striking out three. Ben Heller tossed a scoreless inning and Domingo German finished the game up with a 2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K outing. Neat all around.

Here are today’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA chart from Fangraphs. The Yankees have a break tomorrow and will head up north to face the Blue Jays for the final road trip of the regular season. Masahiro Tanaka is penciled in to start against Marco Estrada for the Friday series opener.

Yankees 5, Twins 2: Sabathia tosses six solid, bats score runs here and there

Good game. Would watch again. Old man CC Sabathia held his own and the bullpen did their thing. The bats did not take advantage of a lot of the RISP advantages, but they scored enough runs to get the game win and the series win. Because the Red Sox won yet another extra innings game at Baltimore, the AL East deficit remains at 3. Oh well. Anyways, let’s recap this thing.

(Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
(Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

The only two runs allowed

The Twins got the bases loaded awful quick in the first inning – in four pitches, to be precise. Brian Dozier singled on the first pitch to get it going and Joe Mauer *and* Jorge Polanco both bunted for a single. Not gonna lie, that’s a hell of a strategy. Whether it angers Sabathia or not, I don’t know why more teams don’t do it. However, Eduardo Escobar quickly grounded into an easy 6-4-3 double play to do CC a favor. Sure, they scored a run but it also raised the out count from zero to two. Also it was very early on in the game and you could count on the Yankee bats to make up for it (they did).

Flash forward to the top of the third, with the game tied at 1-1, Sabathia allowed a leadoff homer to Max Kepler. He tried to sneak a slider into the zone but it hung like it was placed on a tee. Kepler, who came into the game with a .375 OPS (!) against lefties this season, did not miss any of it. In the tale of unlikely outcome, that was also the first home run that Sabathia allowed to lefties all year. Stuff like this happens. From there though, CC went on a roll, retiring the next ten hitters in a row until Dozier singled in the top of the sixth. Sabathia ended up pitching six full innings while allowing two runs while striking out five – while needing only 77 pitches (51 strikes). I’ll take this outing from him any day. After tonight’s win, Sabathia improved to a 12-5 record with 3.81 ERA.

(Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
(Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Runs despite RISPFails

Jose Berrios is a pretty damn good young pitcher. He faced the Yankees once prior to today and got a win on a 1-ER, 6.1 IP outing. However tonight, the Yankee bats made him work. In only 3.1 IP of work, the young righty threw 90 pitches and walked four. That’s a heck of a thing to do against a starter who carried a 2.78 BB/9 IP into the game. Because of the early departure, the Twins had to tap deep into their bullpen for rest of the game and ended up using seven relievers. Gotta love expanded rosters.

The Yankees, even when they did not score, kept stacking up baserunners and increasing pitch counts. In the bottom of the first, they had an Aaron Judge single and Didi Gregorius walk to put two runners on but failed to score. The next inning, however, they did. Starlin Castro drew a walk to lead it off. While both Jacoby Ellsbury popped out and Todd Frazier flied out to alleviate the situation for Berrios, Greg Bird worked a walk and Brett Gardner came to rescue by hitting an RBI double to the left center. Judge followed it up with a big fly ball that he just missed and was caught by the CF Byron Buxton. Could have been a more exciting inning but he just got under the ball. Oh well.

Two innings later, with the Twins leading 2-1, the Yankees made another rally to get ahead. Ellsbury’s double and Bird’s walk made it two runners on with one out. Gardner, who came up clutch the previous time up, did it once again by squaring an RBI single to tie the game and knock Berrios out of the game. Paul Molitor put in Alan Busenitz to face Judge. The righty uncorked a wild pitch that advanced both runners to the scoring position and Judge hit another big fly ball that did not quite reach to the seats – but good enough for a go-ahead sac fly. 3-2 Yankees.

The Yankees added on another in the bottom of the fifth. Facing the former Mets great Dillon Gee, the Yankees loaded the bases with a Chase Headley HBP, a Castro single and a Frazier walk. With Bird coming up with bases loaded and two outs, Molitor put in the lefty Buddy Boshers (what a great name) to face him. Bird hit a grounder to the 1B Mauer… who could not handle it. Mauer is usually sure-handed at first base and he just happened to have made an error in that crucial spot. A one-run game became a two-run one and that’s a big deal when you’re facing the Yankee bullpen. New York added one more in the bottom of the sixth. Judge and Gary Sanchez hit back-to-back singles against Ryan Pressly. Gregorius lined out to second sharply and Headley struck out to make it two outs pretty quick. However, Castro hit a single right past the second baseman Dozier to give the Yankees a 5-2 lead. The score would stay that way for good.

Lost in all that scoring is that they did leave a whopping 14 runners left stranded this game. It would have been much more annoying had the Yankee pitcher allowed a couple more runs, but you know what, once they took that 3-2 lead, they did not look back.

Leftovers

Told you that the bullpen did their job, right? After Sabathia’s 6 innings Chad Green, David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman took care of an inning each to close it out tidily. Green did not have his best outing – allowing a walk and a hit while striking out no one – but, as they say, he got the job done. That was only the fifth time this season that Green pitched without a strikeout. Au contraire, D-Rob was lights out, striking out the side in a perfect frame. Chapman, coming off of a five-out save from last night, got the fastball up to 103 mph and struck out one en route to his 20th save of the season. Chapman has been very good in September, allowing 0 runs while striking out 13 in 8 innings. Need him to keep that going while Dellin figures it out.

Judge had a rare strikeout-less game. He went 2-for-4 with a sac fly. It was something a bit different especially considering that the two hits were singles. Speaking of hits, both Gardner and Castro had three hits each and three RBI’s combined.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA

Here are tonight’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA from Fangraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will look to sweep the Twins tomorrow in an afternoon game at the Bronx. Luis Severino will be on the mound against the 2011 Yankee great Bartolo Colon.

Yankees 2, Twins 1: The Jaime & Aroldis Show

Who said the Yankees can’t win close games? The Yankees picked up a not at all stressful (nope, not at all) 2-1 win in the series opener against the Twins on Monday night. This is a pretty important series given the postseason races, I hear. The Yankees are 12-4 in their last 16 games and have opened up a five-game lead over Minnesota for the top wildcard spot. They’re 6.5 games up on the Angels for a wildcard spot in general. The magic number to clinch a postseason spot is seven and the magic number to clinch homefield advantage in the Wild Card Game is eight.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Jaime’s Revenge Tour
Thanks to a perfect storm of pissed-off-edness, Jaime Garcia threw what is far and away his best start as a Yankee on Monday night. He was mad at the Twins for trading him after one start and mad at Joe Girardi for the quick hook last time out. The result was a season high nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings, including five strikeouts among the first six batters he faced. Angry Jaime is a heck of a pitcher.

I thought Garcia had the best slider and the best changeup he’s had in any of his seven starts as a Yankee, and he had them both in the same start. He threw 20 sliders and got seven swings and misses. He threw 15 changeups and got five swings and misses. That’ll work. Garcia allowed his run on back-to-back singles — Aaron Judge bobbled the ball on the second single, allowing the runner to go to third — and a ground ball to third base. It was unearned thanks to Judge’s error.

The final line for Jaime: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Imagine if the Yankees had traded Garcia to the Twins and he pitched like that against them in the postseason race. The internet wouldn’t survive the hot takes. I was a bit surprised Girardi sent Garcia back out for the sixth considering the lineup was about to turn over, but he got two quick outs before handsome Joe Mauer ended his night with a handsome single to right.

In his last three starts now Garcia has allowed four runs (two earned) in 15.1 innings, which is pretty darn good. He has a 3.89 ERA (4.24 FIP) in seven starts and 41.2 innings as a Yankee, and considering he is no higher than fifth on the rotation depth chart (probably sixth), that is pretty rad. The Yankees needed another starter with Jordan Montgomery hitting a wall and Luis Severino‘s innings piling up. Jaime’s stepped in and done a solid job overall.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Sometimes Two Runs Is Enough
This felt very much like a “they’re going to regret leaving those runners on base” game. The Yankees stranded a runner at third base in the second, third, and fifth innings. They left a runner on second base in the fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. So that’s a runner stranded in scoring position in every inning but the first. Oy vey. The Yankees went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Fortunately, home runs are cool, and sacrifice flies are slightly less cool but still useful. Judge opened the scoring with a first inning solo home run to right field, giving him seven homers in his last 14 games now. He has 44 (45*) homers on the season and is a) the first Yankee with 44 homers since Alex Rodriguez hit 54 during his sicko 2007 season, and b) closing in Mark McGwire’s rookie record of 49 homers. Judge has 13 games to hit five homers to tie Big Mac.

The Twins tied the game in the fifth inning, and one inning later, the Yankees took the lead for good. It wasn’t pretty and the Yankees should’ve scored a boatload more runs that inning, but at least they got one. Chase Headley and Starlin Castro started the rally with back-to-back one-out singles, then advanced on Ervin Santana’s wild pitch. That prompted the Twins to intentionally walk Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases. What a time to be alive.

Todd Frazier, who was 5-for-17 (.294) with three homers and more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five) in his last six games going into Monday night, drove in the game-tying run with your garden variety sac fly to left field. Really nothing special about it, other than the fact it drove in the winning run. Greg Bird grounded out to end the inning, so no insurance run(s) was scored, but Frazier got one run home and ultimately that’s all the Yankees needed.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Bad Dellin, Good Aroldis
Great night for every reliever not named Dellin Betances. David Robertson inherited a runner on first with two outs from Garcia and retired the next four batters on 15 pitches, including two on strikeouts. I thought Girardi was going to send Robertson back out for the eighth given his pitch count and the fact we’ve seen Joe use Robertson for extended outings (against the Mets, most notably), but nope. In came Dellin for the eighth inning.

The Twins did the Yankees an enormous favor. Betances starting that eighth inning by plunking Robbie Grossman, then the Twins gave him a free out on a bunt. First of all, playing for one run when you’re down one run on the road is kinda stupid. Second, given Dellin’s ongoing control problems this year, why wouldn’t you wait to see if he’ll walk the park before gifting him an out? Whatever. Thanks Twins. The bunt was the only out Betances recorded.

A walk, a wild pitch, and another walk later, the Twins had loaded the bases with one out. Told you they should’ve given Dellin a chance to walk them into a rally. Betances threw only six of his 17 pitches for strikes. At that point Girardi had no choice but to go to Aroldis Chapman, and Dellin was booed off the mound. Not that first time that’s happened this season. Hopefully it’s the last.

Anyway, Chapman inherited a mess and he escaped in four pitches. He completely overpowered Mauer (overpaured?) for the second out of the inning. That was huge. Even left-on-left, Mauer is not an easy out. He doesn’t strike out much, so you’re kinda hoping he hits it at someone or grounds into a double play. Instead, three pitches and three strikes (two swinging) for the strikeout. A Byron Buxton pop-up followed and that was that. Exhale.

But wait! There were still three outs to get. Chapman got those with zero stress. Two fly balls — well, one line drive and one pop up, but whatever — and a strikeout to end the game. He blew a 103.7 mph fastball by Eduardo Escobar to end the game, then stared him down. Pretty badass. The bullpen: 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB. The bullpen without Betances: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Could Dellin and Chapman please be good at the same time at some point this season? Could be cool.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Leftovers
Two steals for Brett Gardner and two steals for Ellsbury. First time the Yankees have had multiple players with multiple steals in a game since Ellsbury and Brian Roberts (?!?) did it back in June 2014. Gardner went 3-for-4 to pace the offense. Judge, Headley, Castro, Ellsbury, and Frazier each had one hit. All singles except Judge’s dinger. The Yankees sent 35 men to the plate and 30 put the ball in play (one walk and four strikeouts).

Gary Sanchez took a brutal foul tip right to the left wrist/forearm in the seventh inning and was in obvious pain. He stayed in the game after being looked at by the trainer. Losing Gary for even a few innings would’ve been bad. I have no idea why anyone voluntarily catches. Seems terrible.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has the box score and updated standings, MLB.com has the video highlights, and FanGraphs has the postseason odds. We have a Bullpen Workload page. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Weather permitting, the Yankees and Twins will get together for the second game of this three-game series Tuesday night. There is rain in the forecast through the afternoon and evening thanks to Hurricane Jose, though it looks like there will be a big enough window to play the game. We’ll see. CC Sabathia and Jose Berrios are the scheduled starting pitchers.

Orioles 6, Yankees 4: Gray struggles and the late rallies fall short


Source: FanGraphs

On paper, this was a much-favored matchup for the Yankees. However, you gotta play the game and see how it turns out and, boy, it didn’t really quite go the Yankees’ way. Sonny Gray was hurt by a barrage of two-out hits and the Yankee bats went silent against Ubaldo Jimenez as they dropped the series and season finale versus Baltimore. Oh well. On the other side, the Red Sox lost so the AL East deficit stays at three games. It’s the weekend so let’s do this bullet-point style.

  • The back-and-forth: Gray surrendered the first run to the O’s in the top of the second. Chris Davis hit a double that should have been caught by Clint Frazier. However, Frazier thought it was going over the left field fence and attempted to make a leaping grab by the wall. Instead, the ball was falling behind him and bounced off his glove as Davis reached second. A Seth Smith grounder advanced Davis to third and Gray later allowed an RBI single to rookie Austin Hays. 1-0 O’s. However, the Yankees got one right back in the bottom of the frame. Didi Gregorius led off with No. 24 for the season. That ties the all-time single-season franchise shortstop home run record with 1999 Derek Jeter. How about that?
  • More troubles: The Orioles weren’t going to go down quietly. After Gray struck out Time Beckham, Manny Machado singled to right to get on base. Gray struck out Jonathan Schoop but allowed an RBI double to Trey Mancini to give the lead right back. Things got worse in the fourth. Smith walked to lead off the inning but Gray retired Mark Trumbo and Hays to get two outs. However, Caleb Joseph singled to extend the inning and Beckham hit a 85-mph slider right down the pipe into the left field bleachers for a 3-run homer. Wasn’t a cheapie either – he crushed that for a 456-footer. Ouch. Not what you want. 5-1 Orioles.  Gray’s outing today lasted for only four innings. Sometimes you get a stinker like that from someone as reliable as Gray. It was the fewest innings and most amount of runs that Gray has allowed as a member of the Yankees.
  • Rallies, and falling short: Sixth inning, down 6-1, the Yankee bats were facing one of the O’s relief aces Mychal Givens. With one out, Gary Sanchez walked and a hitter later, Starlin Castro reached on an infield single to make it two outs and two runners on. Matt Holliday got a hold of one into the left field for a two-run double, cutting the deficit to three runs. Two innings later, against Brad Brach, Aaron Judge doubled to left to lead off the eighth. Sanchez struck out swinging but Didi reached on a Beckham error to make it one out with runners on corners. Castro hit a sac fly to right to make it 6-4 Orioles. After Brach walked Holliday to load the bases, Showalter brought in Britton to get a four-out save, and that’s exactly how it went. He struck out Sanchez with runners on corners to end the game after Judge was intentionally walked, putting the tying run on base.
  • Leftovers: The bullpen went combined: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 7 K today. The sole run came from Bryan Mitchell‘s 3 IP outing as well. Not bad. They did what they could do to keep the Yankees in the game. The offense? Not so much. Against one of the worst starting pitchers of the MLB, they struck out 10 times in five innings while getting only three hits. Tommy Kahnle pitched in the top of the ninth and it was, by far, the most crisp he has seen in awhile. 11 pitches, 7 strikes and 2 strikeouts. So there’s something encouraging in this loss.

Here are today’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA chart from Fangraphs. The Yankees will host the Twins starting tomorrow for a three-game series at Bronx.