Game 136. Ellsbury & Austin lead Yanks to 5-3 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jacoby Ellsbury homered, had three hits and drove in three runs, and Tyler Austin had two hits (both doubles) and 2 RBI as the Yanks beat Toronto 5-3 on Labor Day afternoon.

The win puts the Yanks at 71-65, 5 1/2 out of first in the AL East, still in 4th place, and keeps them 3 1/2 out of the second wild card spot. They still need to jump teams and probably have to go 18-8 against a tough schedule to make the playoffs.

But they aren’t going down without a fight.

Masahiro Tanaka, the Yanks’ best player this year (according to WAR on baseballreference.com) didn’t have his best stuff, giving up 10 base runners in 6 1/3 IP, but he gave up just two runs in improving to 12-4.

Because of some no-decisions early in the season due to the Yanks’ lack of hitting, Tanaka doesn’t have as many decisions as you’d think. He probably should be something like 17-6 or so. If he were that, he’d probably get CYA consideration. Maybe he still will. He has had an excellent season.

Tanaka gave up a run in the first, but the Yanks got two in the bottom of the inning on Ellsbury’s 2-run HR (7).

In the third, Austin doubled and scored on Ellsbury’s single to make it 3-1.

Austin doubled in two in the fourth to make it 5-1. Toronto made it close with two in the seventh.

Aaron Judge is still striking out too often, as he was 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts today and has some 35 strikeouts in 65 at bats. He didn’t take his offensive frustrations out to the field however, as he saved two runs defensively. His diving catch saved one run, and he robbed another of a home run. At 6’7 1/2″, he hardly had to jump to bring back a potential home run ball from clearing the 8′ high fence.

Tanaka (w, 12-4, 3.11) 6 1/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 3 walks,  4 K.
Holder 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 0 K. 6.75
Heller 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 6.00. Faced one batter, gave up a hit for 2 runs, one charged to Tanaka, the other to Holder.
Layne (H, 8) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.32 (Bos/NYY)
Clippard (H, 20) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.25 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (S, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.05

We are still awaiting word on Wednesday’s starter, now that Green is out.

BTW, have you noticed how little Teixeira and McCann are being used during these important games?

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