Injuries have caught up to the offense, but there are signs things may soon improve

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Even including last night’s win, the Yankees are now 11-11 in August and have seen their six-game AL East lead disappear. They’re now tied with the Blue Jays. The combination of Toronto getting insanely hot and the Yankees playing decidedly mediocre ball have turned a comfortable division lead into a legitimate race. Races are fun! That’s why we watch. It also would have been nice to see that big lead last more than three weeks, but alas.

The Yankees have faded a bit this month — August is not their worst month of the season, they went 13-16 in May but rebounded to go 15-12 in June and 17-7 in July — for many reasons, some of which were not entirely unpredictable. First and foremost, they’ve been bit by the injury bug. They lost Michael Pineda (forearm) and CC Sabathia (knee) to injuries after both guys came into the season as health risks. Seeing them land on the DL wasn’t a total shock.

Other injuries have been somewhat fluky. Mark Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin and has been out a week, hurting the Yankees on both sides of the ball. (I love Greg Bird as much as anyone, but the Yankees miss Teixeira. It’s obvious.) Brian McCann pulled a little something in his left knee chasing after a ball in the dirt a few weeks ago, and while he’s stayed in the lineup, he’s clearly not 100%. He’s wearing a brace and has altered his batting stance to take pressure off the knee:

McCann downplayed the batting stance change but come on. It looks like he’s about to fall over trying to take his weight off that left knee. McCann hurt his knee on August 4th and has gone 12-for-57 (.211) with a 22.6% strikeout rate since. He has hit four home runs during that time, so his power is still there, but he had an 18.8% strikeout rate before the injury. His timing seems to be off slightly following the knee injury, maybe due to that weird stance.

Then there’s Alex Rodriguez, who as far as we know isn’t hurt. Either way, he is not producing like he did earlier in the year. That’s not really a surprise, I suppose. As great as Alex is, it was probably unrealistic to think he’d hit like an MVP candidate all season as a 40-year-old with two surgically repaired hips who didn’t play at all last year and barely played the year before. A-Rod‘s gone 11-for-84 (.131) with two homers this month, though it worth noting the two homers both came within the last week.

Joe Girardi gave Rodriguez both Saturday and Sunday off, saying he wanted to “refresh” him. The Yankees have an off-day Thursday, so that’s another day to rest, and they’ll be in Atlanta for an interleague series this weekend. The team has committed to A-Rod at DH this year and there’s no reason to think he’ll play third (or first) base against the Braves. Assuming he starts tonight and tomorrow, Alex will still get six days off in a nine-day span. Hopefully that gets him going.

The Yankees built that big lead in the AL East thanks in large part to Teixeira, A-Rod, and McCann. Those guys were forces in the middle of the lineup for much of the season and are a huge reason why the team still ranks second in baseball with an average of 4.73 runs per game. That’s even after scoring 61 runs in their last 19 games, or 3.21 per game. They were that good for most of the season. Now? Not so much. McCann and Teixeira are banged up and A-Rod’s in a cold spell, perhaps due to fatigue.

The good news is things may be starting to change for the better. McCann had a great game last night, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Also, Teixeira was on deck ready to pinch-hit last night when Beltran hit his walk-off sac fly, which is an indication he is moving closer to returning to the starting lineup. A-Rod? Eh, aside from his two big homers last week — big as in long distance, they were bombs — I’m not sure if there are any positive signs there. Two outta three ain’t bad, I guess.

Let’s not beat around the bush: without Teixeira, McCann, and A-Rod producing at an above average clip, the Yankees have close to no chance to beat out the Blue Jays for the division title. The Yankees need to fire on all cylinders to keep pace with Toronto, and those three key middle of the order bats are hitting a combined .189/.270/.388 in 218 plate appearances this month. Yikes. Carlos Beltran can’t do it all himself. Those three need to start helping out again.

The pitching has been solid this month but the offense has been a big letdown of late. These nagging injuries Teixeira and McCann are dealing with are part of baseball, and hey, when you have a 40-year-old player playing everyday, you run of risk of him hitting a wall down the stretch. Unfortunately all of this is happening at once. Hopefully McCann’s big night, Teixeira being on deck, and A-Rod hitting two homers last week are signs these guys are close to getting back to where they need to be. The sooner they get going, the better the Yankees’ chances of winning the AL East.

Eovaldi brilliant as Yanks walk-off with 1-0 win over Astros

That was the best worst game ever. Or maybe the worst best game ever? Not sure. A win? Yes. Exciting? Also yes. Frustrating at times? Definitely. When it was all said and done, the Yankees walked off with a 1-0 win over the Astros in their series opener Monday night.

Game One Starter. (Presswire)
Game One Starter. (Presswire)

DomiNATE
Oh baby. You can teach a guy to pitch but you can’t teach him to throw hard, and on Monday night Nathan Eovaldi showed off both his pitchability and his unmatched arm strength. Eight shutout innings, seven strikeouts, a season-high 19 swing and misses — by far too, his previous high was 13 done twice — and just four singles allowed. Dominant. This was ACEovaldi, at least for one start.

Eovaldi struck out three batters in the first, all on three pitches, and he fanned five of the first nine batters he faced. In the fifth, when he ran some long counts and issued two of this three walks, he escaped with a pop-up and two ground balls. When he allowed a single and a walk to the first two batters in the sixth, Nate escaped with a free out (a bunt), a fielder’s choice (Greg Bird made a great play to look the runner at third back and get the runner at second), and a fly out.

Heck, Eovaldi had to overcome his own defense a few times. Stephen Drew flubbed a potential double play ball in the fifth — he settled for one out at first, after the play was reviewed — and Chase Headley made a throwing error in the eighth. Both times Eovaldi escaped. He faced a career-high tying 32 batters and seven (7) hit the ball out of the infield. Oh, and Nate averaged 98 mph with his four-seamer and topped out at 102 according to PitchFX. Starters are not supposed to throw that hard.

Is Eovaldi going to pitch this well every time out? No, probably not. But man, look at how far this guy has come since April. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild didn’t just teach Eovaldi a splitter, he taught him a splitter he trusts and will throw to both righties and lefties. He has that second pitch hitters have to respect, and, as a result, his high-octane heater is playing up. Eovaldi got eight swings and misses on 45 four-seamers this game. There were times he didn’t get eight swings and misses in an entire start earlier in his career. Great game and great development. This is something else.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Walked Off … Eventually
The game-winning ninth inning rally was sorta dopey and anti-climatic, but a win is a win is a win. The Yankees didn’t even had a hit in the inning. Oliver Perez walked Brett Gardner on five pitches leading off the inning, advanced him to second with a wild pitch, intentionally walked Alex Rodriguez, then unintentionally walked Brian McCann on five pitches to load the bases with no outs. Perez threw 15 pitches. Three were strikes.

Once the bases were full, Astros manager A.J. Hinch went to ex-Yankee Chad Qualls, hoping Carlos Beltran would hit a ground ball right at someone. Instead, Beltran lifted Qualls’ first and only pitch of the night into deep center field for the walk-off sac fly. Walk-off sac flies are weird. Yeah they get the job done but they’re sorta no fun. As soon as you see the outfielder retreat far enough back, you know the game is over. Carlos Gomez would have had no shot to throw Gardner out at the plate had he tried. Whatever. I’ll take it.

The Yankees did have some opportunities to score against Scott Feldman earlier in the game — Feldman allowed six hits in eight shutout innings [/facepalm] — but Never Got The Big Hit, as the kids say. McCann’s leadoff single in the second was wasted by a strikeout and two fly balls. Back-to-back leadoff singles by Didi Gregorius and Drew in the third were wasted by a fielder’s choice, a strikeout, and a fly ball. McCann was erased by a double play following his leadoff single in the fourth.

Then, in the seventh, the Yankees were in business thanks to McCann’s third leadoff single of the night. Beltran followed with a double to right — he smashed the ball off the wall, one of those “he hit it so hard he held himself to a single” hits — to put runners at the corners with no outs. Greg Bird struck out, rather feebly too, then Chase Headley lifted a fly ball to shallow center. It wasn’t deep at all, and McCann isn’t running well these days, so Gomez threw him out at the plate despite making a poor throw that hopped about ten times. Blah. That was deflating.

In the end, the Yankees got just one run and it was all they needed thanks to Eovaldi. The offense continues to sputter though — they had six hits (all singles) and three walks (one intentional) in the game, which isn’t enough to win most of the time — and it’s something that needs to get fixed soon. The top three hitters in the lineup going 0-for-10 with three walks isn’t good enough and three hits by non-McCanns isn’t good enough either. The Yankees are averaging 3.21 runs per game in their last 19 games. Yikes.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Leftovers
For a very brief moment, exactly one plate appearance, Drew was hitting .200. Exactly .200 too, no rounding in either direction. He beat out an infield single in his first at-bat to get to .200, then grounded out next time out to ruin the fun. Drew went 1-for-3 on the night and is hitting .19878. He’s yet to finish a game with a .200+ batting average this season.

Andrew Miller replaced Eovaldi and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Evan Gattis but pinch-runner Jake Marisnick was erased on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. After CC Sabathia‘s injury shortened start Sunday, Eovaldi gave the bullpen a nice breather Monday.

Mark Teixeira made an appearance! Well, sorta. He was on deck to pinch-hit for Bird when Beltran hit the walk-off sac fly. Teixeira has not played since fouling a ball of his leg a week ago. That he was available to pinch-hit is a good sign. Progress.

And finally, Beltran played in his 1,000th AL game Monday night. He is the sixth player to play 1,000 games in each league, joining Frank Robinson, Vlad Guerrero, Dave Winfield, Bob Boone, and Fred McGriff. Pretty cool.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights for the game. Here are the updated standings and postseason odds for the season. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages, because they exist. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees and Astros continue this three-game set with the middle game Tuesday night. Ivan Nova and Dallas Keuchel is the scheduled pitching matchup. Keuchel’s a tough assignment for a struggling offense. Head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game or Wednesday’s series finale at Yankee Stadium.

DotF: Sanchez homers again; Amburgey stays crazy hot

OF Trey Amburgey and RHP Domingo Acevedo were named the Short Season NY-Penn League Offensive Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. Also, LHP Chaz Hebert was named the High-A Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. Congrats to all of those games.

The minor league regular season ends two weeks from today for most affiliates, so here’s a standings update.

Triple-A Scranton (5-1 loss to Pawtucket) they’re 73-56 and 6.5 games up in the North Division … their magic number is nine

  • LF Ben Gamel & 2B Rob Refsnyder: both 0-4 — Gamel struck out twice
  • 3B Jose Pirela: 1-3
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — ties his career high with 18 homers
  • CF Aaron Judge: 0-3, 1 K
  • 1B Austin Romine: 2-3
  • LHP Eric Wooten: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 6/1 GB/FB — 50 of 77 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Chris Martin: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 26 of 41 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 14 of 20 pitches were strikes (70%) … 79/21 K/BB in 58.1 innings

[Read more…]

Game 124: Home Field Disadvantage

They need the rally pigeon back. (Al Bello/Getty)
They need the rally pigeon back. (Al Bello/Getty)

That weekend series against the Indians was pretty rough. One win in four tries and two of the losses were one-run losses. Blah. The Yankees have been much better at home (36-24, +52 run differential) than on the road (32-31, +15 run differential) overall this year, but not this month. They’ve won one six of 13 home games this month. That ain’t gonna cut it. The Yankees need to clean up at home the rest of the way.

The Astros, who are in the Bronx for a three-game series this week, are another team with a drastic home/road split. They’re 45-21 with a +71 run differential at home but only 24-35 with a +11 run differential on the road. This series is in Yankee Stadium and the Yankees are great at home while the Astros stink on the road. What could go wrong? Here is Houston’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

Pretty nice night for a ballgame in the Bronx. It’s a little cloudy out and there is a tiny little chance of rain, but nothing serious. I’m not worried about it. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin just after 7pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and MLB Network nationally. Try to enjoy.

Injury Update: Mark Teixeira (leg) said he thinks he could pinch-hit today, but running is still an issue. He took batting practice right-handed today and the Yankees will face the lefty Dallas Keuchel tomorrow, which probably isn’t a coincidence … Dustin Ackley (back) also took batting practice today. He could begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week.

Roster Update: In case you missed it earlier, CC Sabathia was placed on the 15-day DL and Chris Capuano was brought back.

Yankees place CC Sabathia on 15-day DL, bring back Chris Capuano

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

As expected, the Yankees have placed CC Sabathia on the 15-day DL, the team announced. They’re officially calling it “right knee inflammation.” Chris Capuano was brought back to fill the roster spot and give the team a long man. It’s his fourth stint with the Yankees this year.

“Is it possible that he doesn’t pitch the rest of the year? It’s a possibility,” said Joe Girardi to reporters this afternoon when asked about Sabathia’s status for the rest of the season.

Sabathia, 35, left yesterday’s game with right knee pain and went for an MRI. That’s the same knee he has had surgically repaired three times over the years, including a season-ending clean out procedure last year. He’s had the knee drained at least twice this year and recently received a cortisone shot as well. Sabathia indicated the cortisone shot didn’t help a much while speaking to reporters yesterday.

Capuano, 37, has been on and off the roster for a few weeks now. He has a 6.55 ERA (60 ERA+) and a 4.94 FIP in 33 total innings with New York this year, and was designated for assignment over the weekend. The Yankees used a bunch of relievers after Sabathia left yesterday’s game, so Capuano is there in case they need distance tonight. Hopefully that’s not the case.

Michael Pineda is scheduled to come off the DL on Wednesday, so there’s a pretty good chance Capuano will be designated for assignment yet again in two days. It’s either that or send down Nick Rumbelow or Branden Pinder. That seems unlikely because the ten-day rule means neither would be able to return when rosters expand on September 1st. We’ll see.

8/24 to 8/26 Series Preview: Houston Astros

Houston Astros

Despite losing three of four to the Indians this weekend, the Yankees are still 4-3 in the first seven games of this ten-game homestand. The Astros are in the Bronx for a three-game series starting tonight. They split a four-game series with the Yankees in Houston back in late-June. That feels like an eternity ago.

What Have The Astros Done Lately?

The ‘Stros are red hot right now. They just swept three games from the Dodgers — Mike Fiers threw a no-hitter in the first game, then they beat Zack Greinke in the second game and Clayton Kershaw in the third game — and have won six of their last eight games overall. Houston is 69-56 with a +81 run differential this season, giving them a four-game lead in the AL West.

Offense & Defense

The Astros have an average-ish offense overall, scoring 4.26 runs per game with a team 100 wRC+. They do it with power (MLB leading 169 homers) more than on-base ability (22nd in MLB with a .306 OBP). Houston is currently without OF George Springer (131 wRC+), who has been out for a few weeks with a broken wrist and is not due to return for another week or two. IF Jed Lowrie (115 wRC+) left yesterday’s game with a thumb injury and is day-to-day for the time being.

Correa. (Presswire)
Correa. (Presswire)

Manager A.J. Hinch, who I have to think is the favorite for AL Manager of the Year at this point, builds his lineup around rookie SS Carlos Correa (138 wRC+), who might already be the best shortstop in baseball. If he’s not the best, he’s certainly on the short list of candidates. 2B Jose Altuve (114 wRC+) is having a nice year and the trio of OF Colby Rasmus (106 wRC+), IF Marwin Gonzalez (100 wRC+), and IF Luis Valbuena (98 wRC+) have been average or thereabouts. Valbuena has 22 homers and a .206 AVG. He’s the rich man’s Stephen Drew.

OF Carlos Gomez (87 wRC+) hasn’t done a whole lot since coming over at the trade deadline (25 wRC+ for the Astros) but I don’t think that will last much longer. He’s too talented. OF Jake Marisnick (69 wRC+) is Houston’s only other healthy outfielder at the moment. 1B Chris Carter (88 wRC+) is having a down year and C Jason Castro (79 wRC+) and C Hank Conger (116 wRC+) have split catching duties. (Castro’s the starter.) DH Evan Gattis (90 wRC+) is, well, the DH. Correa and Altuve are the two guys you really need to worry about right now.

The Astros are a much better defensive club now than they were at the start of the year. Correa and Altuve are very good on the middle infield and Gomez is unreal in center. He’s the best center field defender in baseball in my opinion. Both Marisnick and Rasmus are very good in the outfield — they’re center fielders playing the corners — and both Castro and Conger are good behind the plate. Gattis, Carter and Valbuena … not gonna win any games with the glove.

Pitching Matchups

Monday (7pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. HOU) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (vs. NYY)
A knee injury has limited the 32-year-old Feldman to 16 starts and 97.2 innings this year, during which he’s pitched to a 4.05 ERA (4.31 FIP). He doesn’t walk anyone (5.4%) and his ground ball rate is very good (49.5%), but Feldman is homer prone (1.11 HR/9) and gosh, he misses no bats (13.0%). Righties (.355 wOBA) have hit Feldman harder than lefties (.287 wOBA) this year, though he historically has a very small platoon split. Feldman is a three-pitch pitcher, using upper-80s cutters, low-90s sinkers, and mid-70s curveballs as his main weapons. He will occasionally spin a low-90s four-seamer when he needs to throw a strike, and every so often he’ll break out a mid-80s change. The cutter, sinker, and curve are his go-to pitches through. They throws them 90% of the time combined. The Yankees did not face Feldman during the series in Houston earlier this season. I’m pretty sure he was still on the DL at the time.

Tuesday (7pm ET): RHP Ivan Nova (vs. HOU) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (vs. NYY)
Keuchel, 27, started the All-Star Game this year and has established himself as one of the top starters in all of baseball. He’s an ace. Keuchel has a 2.37 ERA (2.73 FIP) in 25 starts and 178.2 innings this year, and he does it by being the most extreme ground ball starter in the game (63.1%). He had a 63.5% grounder rate last year, which was the highest by a qualified starter in four years. Keuchel has added more strikeouts this year (22.3%) and he doesn’t walk anyone (5.9%), and he predictably keeps the ball in the yard (0.45 HR/9) thanks to all those grounders. He crushes left-handed batters (.158 wOBA) and is merely excellent against righties (.271 wOBA). Keuchel has three dominant ground ball pitches in his upper-80s sinker, upper-70s slider, and upper-70s changeup. All three have grounder rates far above the league average for those individual pitches. Keuchel will also throw a few upper-80s four-seamers and mid-80s cutters to keep hitters honest. The Yankees saw Keuchel a few weeks ago and he manhandled them: 12 strikeouts in a complete game shutout.

Keuchel is a great pitcher with a terrible beard. (Presswire)
Keuchel is a great pitcher with a terrible beard. (Presswire)

Wednesday (1pm ET): RHP Michael Pineda (vs. HOU) vs. RHP Collin McHugh (vs. NYY)
This has been a tale of two seasons for McHugh, who had a 5.04 ERA (4.44 FIP) in his first 14 starts and 85.2 innings, and has a 2.84 ERA (2.93 FIP) in his last 12 starts and 79.1 innings. That works out to a 3.96 ERA (3.66 FIP) in 25 starts and 159 innings overall. McHugh has average strikeout (19.0%) and grounder (45.8%) rates but better than average walk (6.1%) and homer (0.85 HR/9) numbers. He has a reverse split (.349 vs. .270 wOBA in favor of righties) that is the opposite of what he did last year. McHugh has a four-seam fastball right around 90 mph and he uses it only 35% of the time or so. He leans heavily on his mid-80s slider and low-70s curveball, throwing them almost 60% of the time combined. Crazy. He’ll also throw a handful of low-80s changeups per start. The Yankees scored one run in eight innings against McHugh a few weeks ago. That was the second start of this 12-start stretch of dominance.

Bullpen Status
One of the biggest reasons the Astros are atop the AL West this year is their much improved bullpen — the relief corps has a 2.63 ERA (3.20 FIP) this year, up from a 4.80 ERA (4.11 FIP) last year and a 4.92 ERA (5.09 FIP) the year before. Closer RHP Luke Gregerson (2.88 ERA/3.22 FIP) has pitched each of the last two days, but otherwise Hinch’s bullpen is in good shape.

RHP Pat Neshek (3.18/3.39) and LHP Tony Sipp (2.17/3.25) are Gregerson’s primary setup men, and RHP Will Harris (1.47/3.28) sees a lot of fireman work. Ex-Yankee RHP Chad Qualls (3.79/3.64), LHP Oliver Perez (2.78/2.78), and RHP Vincent Velasquez (3.61/3.03) round out the bullpen. The Yankees will likely add a reliever today following yesterday’s bullpen marathon. Check out the status of the team’s relievers at our Bullpen Workload page, then check out Crawfish Boxes and Astros County for the latest and greatest on the ‘Stros.

Yankeemetrics: The last-place curse (Aug. 20-23)

Rare celebration against the Indians (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Rare celebration against the Indians (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Cy Tomlin
This might have been the most boring game of the season, until Joe Girardi got himself ejected in the ninth inning and the Yankees’ rally fell just short, sending them to a 3-2 loss to the Indians in the series opener.

Josh Tomlin held the Yankees to just two hits and one run in seven innings, becoming the first Indians pitcher to give up no more than two hits in at least seven innings pitched at Yankee Stadium since Bartolo Colon on Sept. 18, 2000. Of course, Tomlin entered this game with a 11.57 ERA at the new Yankee Stadium, the fifth-highest by any pitcher with at least two starts at the ballpark.

Cy Carrasco
The Yankees lost their second in a row to the last-place Indians on Thursday, which gave them a 1-4 record vs the Tribe this season and guaranteed they’d lose the season series. Combined with their 3-4 record against them last year, this is the first time that they Yankees have lost the season series to the Indians in back-to-back seasons since 1968-69.

Carlos Carrasco became the latest Indians pitcher to silence the Yankee bats, striking out 11 guys in 6 2/3 innings. He’s the only Indians starter in the last 100 years with that many strikeouts in fewer than seven innings pitched against the Yankees. The last pitcher on any team to do that to the Yankees was the Rays’ Matt Moore on Sept. 22, 2011.

Carrasco has now allowed one run in 18 2/3 innings pitched over three starts in the Bronx against the Yankees in his career. That’s the fewest runs allowed by any visiting pitcher in his first three major-league starts at Yankee Stadium (old or new).

Welcome to the club
It’s amazing what a little run support will do … Luis Severino finally earned his first career win, throwing six innings of three-hit, one-run ball on Saturday afternoon as the Yankees beat the Indians, 6-2.

The Yankees had scored a total of two runs when he was on the mound in his first three starts combined. And then Brett Gardner matched that total with one swing of the bat, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning.

Brian McCann extended the lead with a solo shot, giving him 75 RBI this season, the seventh time in his career he’s reached that number. The only other catchers in MLB history with at least seven 75-RBI seasons within their first 11 major-league seasons are Bill Dickey, Johnny Bench, Ted Simmons, Yogi Berra and Mike Piazza.

This is the second time in four games Severino has pitched at least five innings and allowed no more than three hits. Here’s the list of Yankee pitchers besides Severino with two starts like that within their first four career games in the last 100 years: Dave Righetti and Johnny Broaca.

Babe Lindor
This habit of losing to cellar-dwellars might really come back to haunt the Yankees. They dropped another game to the Indians on Sunday and are now 14-15 vs last-place teams this season; the Blue Jays are 16-11 against last-place teams and the Orioles are 23-7.

Dellin Betances took the loss when he allowed a tie-breaking homer to Francisco Lindor — the first homer that Betances had ever given up to a player batting left-handed. He had faced 302 lefties in his career before Lindor’s eighth-inning blast.

Lindor finished the season with a .433 batting average (13 for 30) in seven games against the Yankees. Over the last 100 years, the only players in their age-21 season or younger to have a higher batting average (min. 25 at-bats) against the Yankees are Claudell Washington (.452 in 1976) and Alex Rodriguez (.434 in 1996).

Brett Gardner reached a milestone in this game, becoming the sixth Yankee with 200 career stolen bases. He’s also just the second player in franchise history to get 200 steals within his first eight seasons, joining Hal Chase, who racked up 243 steals in his first eight seasons from 1905-12.