Game 144: Sonny at Citi

(Corey Perrine/Getty)
(Corey Perrine/Getty)

The Yankees are on a bit of a roll right now. They’ve won three straight series and seven of their last nine games — the two losses were very winnable too — so tonight is a chance for a fourth straight series win, and eight wins in ten games. A four-game lead over the Twins for the top wildcard spot and a five-game lead over the Angels for a wildcard spot in general is looking pretty good with 19 games to play.

Tonight the Yankees are going to need Sonny Gray to soak up some innings, because the bullpen is really short. Chad Green, David Robertson, and Dellin Betances all figure to be unavailable given their recent workloads. A big night for the offense — the Yankees have scored 65 runs in their last nine games — would be nice too. How about a blowout win and a bunch of mop-up inning for the September call-ups? Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. 1B Chase Headley
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. SS Ronald Torreyes
  9. LF Clint Frazier
    RHP Sonny Gray

It is quite cloudy at Citi Field tonight, but there’s no rain in the forecast, and that’s all I care about. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and YES will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Greg Bird (back) had a precautionary MRI today. He feels better, though Joe Girardi is going to try to stay away from him tonight. Bird could play tomorrow.

Game 143: A Road Series in New York

(Bruce Bennett/Getty)
(Bruce Bennett/Getty)

The Yankees are back home in New York but are still technically on a road trip. They’ll play the next three games against the Rays as the visiting team at Citi Field. Hurricane Irma forced MLB to move the series to a neutral site, and Citi Field was the best option. The crowd figures to be small and decidedly pro-Yankees. On one hand, it’s good the Yankees are back in New York. On the other, no one wanted this to be the reason. Hope everyone down in Florida is safe.

Thanks to a strong trip through Baltimore and Texas, the Yankees have created some breathing room in the wildcard race. They’re 3.5 games up on the Twins for the second wildcard spot and 4.5 games up on the Angels for a wildcard spot in general. They’re also only 3.5 games back of the Red Sox, though I’ve sorta given up on the division. If it happens, great. I’m focused on the wildcard for the time being. The Yankees have won three straight series. How about making it four? Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. DH Matt Holliday
  7. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  8. 3B Todd Frazier
  9. 1B Tyler Austin
    LHP CC Sabathia

It is cool and cloudy in New York this evening, and the tiny little bit of rain in the forecast isn’t supposed to arrive for another few hours. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 7:10pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Aaron Hicks (oblique) has not yet started swinging a bat, but he hopes to return before the end of the regular season. His ten days on the disabled list end Wednesday, though that doesn’t really matter if he hasn’t even started swinging a bat … Greg Bird was a late scratch from the lineup with lower back tightness.

Roster Move: The Yankees activated Clint Frazier off the 10-day DL, the team announced. They now have 33 players on the active roster. Frazier went 2-for-17 (.118) with ten strikeouts in four rehab games with Double-A Trenton following the oblique injury. I’m a bit surprised the Yankees activated him, but they were also carrying only three true outfielders on the roster, so I guess I shouldn’t be.

Minor League Update: There will be no DotF tonight, folks. There are no games. Tomorrow Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Trenton begin their league’s championship series, and Short Season Staten Island will resume their first round postseason series. They have off-days today and the season is over for the other affiliates.

Game 142: Win The Series

(Richard Rodriguez/Getty)
(Richard Rodriguez/Getty)

The Yankees sure do seem to have a knack for coming through with big wins after crushing losses, don’t they? They came back with a nice win yesterday after blowing a four-run lead Friday. They blew out the Orioles the day after that crushing walk-off loss. Shut down by Doug Fister? Win the next day. Aroldis Chapman gives up an extra inning homer to the Mariners? Sonny Gray dominates the next day. All season long they’ve been doing it.

The Yankees did that again yesterday, meaning today’s game with the Rangers is the rubber game. Win the game, win the series. I’ve been saying this for years, but just keep winning series. The Yankees have seven series remaining this season, including this one, and winning all seven would all but assure them of a postseason spot. Go out and win the series, then head back to New York for basically the rest of the season. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. RF Aaron Judge
  7. 1B Greg Bird
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. C Austin Romine
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

Another great weather day in Arlington. Sunny but not crazy Texas hot. Today’s series finale will begin at 3:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: Garrett Cooper (hamstring) was activated off the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. Kinda surprised they didn’t bring him to the big leagues now that rosters have expanded, but how many right-handed hitting corner bats does one team need?

Game 141: Sevy Saturday

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Yet another tough loss last night. The Yankees have let a five-run lead and a four-run lead turn into losses within their last three games. Games like those are why the Yankees are unlikely to win the AL East — FanGraphs puts their division odds at 6.4% at the moment, for what it’s worth — and are instead fighting for a wildcard spot.

Fortunately, the Yankees have Luis Severino on the mound this afternoon, and he’s been their best starter all season. The Yankees could really use a dominant Sevy outing today. I’m pretty sure none of us want to see three innings worth of middle relievers again this afternoon. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Chase Headley
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. RF Aaron Judge
  7. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  8. 3B Todd Frazier
  9. 1B Greg Bird
    RHP Luis Severino

Lovely weather in Arlington today. Nice and sunny but not insanely hot either. Great day for a ballgame. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and FOX has the broadcast. Regular old FOX. Not FOX Sports 1. Enjoy the game.

Game 140: Gain More Ground

(Rob Carr/Getty)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

So things are going pretty well for the Yankees right now. The just won a series in Baltimore for the first time since September 2013, and they’ve won five of their last seven games. They’ve won seven of their last 12 games, and three of those five losses came against the molten hot Indians, who are 15-0 with a +81 run differential in their last 15 games. In hindsight, getting worked up about getting swept by the Tribe was silly. They’re unstoppable right now.

Anyway, the Yankees are in Texas this weekend for three games against one of the teams within earshot of a wildcard spot. The Yankees are in the first wildcard spot, 2.5 games up on the Twins, and the Rangers are 2.5 behind Minnesota. Surely Texas is looking to make up a lot of ground this weekend. The Yankees? They want to gain ground on the Red Sox. The division title is within reach. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. DH Matt Holliday
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 1B Chase Headley
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. 3B Todd Frazier
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Great weather in Arlington today and all weekend. Clear skies and not insanely hot. The Yankees get three games in the mid-80s this weekend. They managed to avoid that Texas heat. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 8pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network out-of-market. Enjoy the game.

Appeals Update: Sanchez’s suspension is over, obviously. He’s in the lineup. Austin Romine‘s two-game suspension has been reduced to one game, and he will serve it tonight. Same deal as Sanchez. He can work out with the team and all that, but he can’t be in the ballpark during the game.

Game 139: Rain Delayed

(Rob Carr/Getty)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

Thankfully, the weather is not an issue this afternoon in Baltimore. The Yankees and Orioles waited out a long rain delay two days ago and were rained out last night, forcing them to give up today’s off-day to play this makeup game. There’s only one off-day left this season now. One off-day and 24 games. Pretty wild, eh?

Tuesday’s loss was one of the worst of the season, and while the Manny Machado walk-off homer was the big blow, that game was lost in the middle innings, when a 6-1 lead became a 6-5 lead and the Yankees never tacked on runs against a suspect pitching staff. Whatever. What’s done is done. Win the makeup game and actually win a series in Camden Yards for once. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 1B Chase Headley
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. DH Matt Holliday
  7. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  8. 3B Todd Frazier
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Sonny Gray

It is nice and sunny in Baltimore and on the cool side too. Pretty much a perfect September afternoon for baseball. Today’s game is scheduled to begin at 1:35pm ET and both YES and MLB Network will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: The Yankees placed Adam Warren on the 10-day DL retroactive to Saturday with lower back spasms, the team announced. That explains why he hasn’t pitched in typical Adam Warren spots the last few days. He’s going to be shut down completely for two weeks, and if this thing lingers, there’s a chance he’ll miss the rest of the regular season. That’s not good … CC Sabathia received a lubrication injection in his right knee yesterday. He’s been getting those for a while now. They’re part of his regular maintenance.

Schedule Update: MLB is still evaluating options for next week’s series in Tampa, reports Marc Topkin. Joe Girardi said the two teams will not trade home series this month, essentially leaving two options: play the series at a neutral site, or postpone Monday’s game and play a doubleheader either Tuesday or Wednesday if the area doesn’t get hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Baltimore and Chicago’s south side have been mentioned as neutral site possibilities. MLB’s decision isn’t expected until Friday.

Game 138: A Long Awaited Series Win In Camden Yards?

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
Didi: .474 SLG. Trumbo: .414 SLG. (Patrick Smith/Getty)

The Yankees have gained three games on the dirty cheatin’ Red Sox the last three days thanks to three wins and three Red Sox losses. They’re now only 2.5 games back in the AL East, and although the two teams don’t have any head-to-head games remaining, the Yankees are still a good weekend away from being in first place. It could happen.

Anyway, forget about the Red Sox for now. The Yankees have to focus on the task at hand and that is beating the Orioles, one of the teams trying to catch them in the standings. The Twins are three games back, the Angels are 3.5 games back, and the O’s are 4.5 games back. Also, the Yankees haven’t won a series at Camden Yard since September 2013. It would be cool to clinch a series win tonight. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. DH Matt Holliday
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. C Austin Romine
    LHP CC Sabathia

Now, the bad news: the weather in Baltimore is pretty bad. There’s rain in the forecast throughout the night and even a thunderstorm warning in the area. It looks like maybe it’ll hold off long enough to get the game in. I suppose we’ll find out. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET, and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network out-of-market. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: Tyler Austin was called up from Triple-A Scranton today, the Yankees announced. His ten days since being sent down were up. The Yankees now have 32 players on the active roster.

Hurricane Irma Update: Next week’s series in Tampa “might be in jeopardy,” said Joe Girardi. The Yankees will be there next Monday through Wednesday. Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida later this week. The Yankees and Rays have two series remaining, one at each ballpark, so I suppose they could trade home series if necessary.

Weather Update (6:30pm ET): The game will start in the delay, the Orioles announced. No word on a start time yet.

Weather Update (8:37pm ET): The game will begin at approximately 9:15pm ET, the Orioles say.