Category Archives: In-Season Moves

Game 162. Yanks squeak out 1-0 win, gain 2nd wild card seed. Play Boston Tuesday Night.

The Yankees squeaked out a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay in the last game of the regular season, and in so doing, became the second wild card team. They will play Boston Tuesday night in Boston in the sudden-death wild-card game.

A possible three or four-way tie for the wild card slots didn’t develop. Boston and the Yankees each won to finish with 92 wins, each tied for second in the AL East. Boston got the first wild-card spot based on beating the Yanks 10 out of 19 times this season. Toronto won its game but finished with 91 wins. Seattle lost and finished at 90.

The winner of Tuesday’s wild card game plays Tampa Bay in one ALDS. The other ALDS is the Chicago White Sox vs. the Houston Astros.

In the NL, the Dodgers have to play a one-game sudden-death wild card game despite winning 106 games. They’ll host St. Louis with the winner facing the 107-win Giants in one NLDS. The other NLDS has Atlanta vs. Milwaukee.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees only had one hit in the game. (They sure didn’t make it easy on us or themselves). Rougned Odor led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, and Tyler Wade PR for him. Gleyber Torres flied out, Wade moving to second. Anthony Rizzo singled Wade to third and moved to second on the throw. Aaron Judge’s infield single won the game and put the Yanks in the playoffs.

It’ll be Gerrit Cole for the Yanks vs. Nathan Eovaldi (an ex-Yankee) for Boston.

Gio Urshela made a fabulous catch of a foul popup before running into Tampa Bay’s dugout on Sunday. Luckily he wasn’t seriously hurt.

Before the game, D.J. LeMahieu had to be put on the IL. If the Yanks make it to the ALCS, he’s available but it doesn’t look good. Luis Gil was brought up.

Judge GW RBI.

Taillon 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 4.30
Peralta 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1 WP. 3.35 (SF/NYY)
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.60 (Pit/NYY)
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.12
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.17
Chapman (W, 6-4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.36

Game 161. The “Lowe”-down. It’s a mess. Yanks 12-2 loss causes Sunday scramble.

How to be nice. I turned the game off in the middle of it, it was embarrassing. Later I read that Gleyber Torres had to have a talking-to by Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner for lack of hustle—which is unacceptable, but even more so in the last weekend of a pennant race scramble.

Jordan Montgomery had nothing, while Tampa Bay’s Brandon Lowe hit 3 home runs and drove in 7 runs. Tampa Bay got 19 hits to the Yankees’ 4, and crushed the Yankees, 12-2. The Yanks struck out 13x.

Boston’s win put Boston in the driver’s seat to host the wild card game. A 4-way tie for the two wild card spots is still possible. A 3-way tie is also possible. A Game 163, and even a Game 164 is still possible.

Wild Card Standings.

Boston 91-70 —- Top wild card seed for now.
YANKEES 91-70 2nd wild card seed for now.
Seattle and Toronto. 90-71 -1

If all teams win, or all teams lose Sunday, the Yanks head to Fenway for the wild card game.

If the Yanks win, they are in. Simple as that. If they win and Boston loses to Washington, the Yankees host whomever in the wild card game. If Boston wins, they host whomever in the wild card game.

If the Yanks lose on Sunday, then they are still in as long as Seattle (vs. Angels) and Toronto (vs. Baltimore) both lose. The Yanks must win and Boston lose for the Yanks to host the wild card game.

And not to go any further, there are still the possibilities of a three or four-way tie, as mentioned above. There will be a lot of scoreboard watching since all games start at approximately the same time.

Jameson Taillon will start for the Yanks today. With that ankle, I’m not sure that is a good idea. You don’t know how it will respond or how long he can go. I think I would rather start Luis Severino (who has been great since returning off the IL), see how long he can go (he isn’t stretched out) then go to the bullpen.

Obviously the Yanks are saving Gerrit Cole (who hasn’t been that good lately) for Game 163 or the wild card game.

The Yanks, before yesterday’s game, brought up Andrew Velazquez and sent down Albert Abreu. D.J. LeMahieu has a sports hernia which requires surgery after the season. He will try to play through it. He couldn’t go Friday or Saturday.

Montgomery gave up a 3-run HR in the first inning to Lowe. Anthony Rizzo homered (22) in the bottom of the first to cut the Rays’ lead to 3-1.

Tampa Bay got four runs in the third, knocking Montgomery out, and the game was basically over at that point. Lowe hit another 3-run HR. Mike Zunino followed with a solo shot. 7-1.

With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Joey Gallo singled and Gio Urshela tripled and it was 7-2.

A single, a couple of SB (with a 7-2 lead, kind of rubbing it in) and another single made it 8-2 Rays in the sixth. Anyone notice runners are stealing more bases off the Yanks in the past week?

In the seventh, Lowe led off the inning with his third HR of the game. 9-2. Then a single, another single, and a 3-run HR by Austin Meadows. 12-2. Ugh.

As for the Yanks, forget the scoreboard watching. Just go out and win today and then see if you stay home or pack for Boston. Lose and things have to get sorted out. Just win, baby.

Depending on how things work out, this could be 38 year old Brett Gardner’s last home game. We hope not.

Yankees’ broadcaster Ken Singleton made it official. Today will be his last game. He is retiring.

Rizzo solo HR (22; Cubs/NYY)

Montgomery (L, 6-7) 2 2/3 IP, 7 R, 6 H, 3 W, 3 K. gave up 3 HR. 3.83. Bad time for a bad game.
Luetge 3 IP, 1 R, 4 , 0 W, 4 K. 2.74
King 1/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.55
Rodriguez 3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.66 (Tex/NYY).





Game 159. Yanks inch closer to WC berth with 6-2 win over Toronto. Smash 5 HR.

The Yankees are thisclose to a playoff berth after beating Toronto 6-2 Thursday night. That, coupled with Boston losing to lowly Baltimore again, gave the Yanks a little cushion in the wild card standings.

WILD CARD STANDINGS

YANKEES 91-68 — Top wild card as of now, game would be at home.
Boston AND Seattle 89-70 -2 (if tied, Game 163 in Boston)
Toronto 88-71 -3; 1 game behind Boston and Seattle.

Hey, as Blondie sang, Dreaming is Free. We can dream the Yankees get the top seed, and that there is a tie for the other wild card game and that that game wears out whoever the Yanks have to play. Nothing wrong with dreaming, right?

The AL has their division winners. The wild cards are unknown. The winner of the wild card game takes on Tampa Bay in an ALDS. The other ALDS is Chicago vs. Houston. The NL has the Cardinals taking on either the Giants or the Dodgers in the wild card game, winner faces Giants or Dodgers. Atlanta faces Milwaukee in the other NLDS.

I ain’t going into wild card tie scenarios, especially if the AL comes down to three or four-way ties.

Just win, Yanks.

The Yanks hit five home runs in their 6-2 win. Aaron Judge got the Yanks on the board right away in the first inning with a 455 ft. HR, his 38th of the season. 1-0 Yanks, and Judge wasn’t finished.

Thorn-in-the-Yankees-side Bo Bichette started a Blue Jays rally and scored in the second inning to tie the game. Judge made a diving catch for the third out to save another run. Toronto went up 2-1 in the fifth, when Vlad Guerrero’s RBI double just missed being a 2-run HR.

In the top of the sixth, the Yanks dropped the hammer. With one out, Anthony Rizzo and Judge homered back-to-back to put the Yanks up 3-2. For Rizzo, HR #21 (Cubs/NYY) and #250 of his career. For Judge, #39, this one a 441 ft. HR. Giancarlo Stanton then walked, and Gleyber Torres joined the HR party with #9, a 425-ft. blast, to give the Yanks a 5-2 cushion.

Brett Gardner made it 6-2 in the top of the ninth with his 10th HR of the season.

Before the game, Luke Voit to the IL, Albert Abreu brought up. X-Rays on Joey Gallo were negative and he entered the game late as a defensive replacement.

D.J. LeMahieu had to leave the game with a hip injury.

Rizzo solo HR (21; Cubs/NYY) #250 of his career
Judge 2 solo HR; 2 RBI (39) and a fine diving catch to save a run
Torres 2-run HR (9)
Gardner solo HR (10)


Kluber 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.83
King (W, 2-4) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.14
Severino (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00
Green (H, 18) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.16
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.42

King and Severino could really be weapons out of the bullpen.



Game 158. Jays edge Yanks, 6-5. 4 games left and 4 team WC scramble.

Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole didn’t have it last night as the Yankees’ 7-game winning streak was snapped by Toronto, 6-5.

A few starts ago, Cole had to leave the game early with tightness in his hamstring. The Yanks have not said anything since, but Cole hasn’t been the same since. I wonder if there is a correlation, and if it is still bothering him. Cole could be forced to start Sunday on three days rest if the Yankees need to win Sunday to make the postseason.

It is a 4-team scramble for the two wild card spots. Oakland has been eliminated.

Wild Card Standings:

YANKEES 90-68 — top wild card for now, four games to go
Boston 89-69 -1 2nd wild card for now
Seattle 89-70 – 1 1/2 just 1/2 game behind Boston
Toronto 88-70 -2 1 game behind Boston

By the way, Houston still hasn’t clinched the AL West. Their magic # is 1 over Seattle. And how would you like to be San Francisco or the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West? 104 wins for SF, 102 for LAD so far. One will have to host a one-game, sudden-death wild card game despite winning more than 100 games!

If the Yanks do make the postseason, here is hoping no one on the Yanks does what P Devin Williams of Milwaukee did in celebrating. He punched a wall and broke his throwing hand. No postseason for him, and a big loss for the Brew Crew.

Bo Bichette has killed the Yanks this year, hitting seven HR. Last night he hit two in Toronto’s win.

Cole gave up a 2-run HR in the first inning to Marcus Semien. Semien’s 44th HR of the season set a new record for second basemen in a season.

Cole gave up a run in the second. Bichette hit his first HR of the game in the third. After three, it was 4-0, Toronto.

With two out in the top of the fifth, the Yanks got two runs when Gleyber Torres doubled, Gio Urshela singled in Torres, and Brett Gardner doubled in Urshela. Torres was the first Yankee to reach base.

Cole gave up another run in the fifth, and on one double, wasn’t helped by his defense, especially Joey Gallo. 5-2, Toronto.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the sixth to cut it to 5-3. D.J. LeMahieu led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a SF by Aaron Judge.

The Yankees tied it at five in the top of the seventh, but not without injury cost. Gallo led off the inning by getting HBP and had to leave the game later. Torres singled. After an out, Luke Voit PH and struck out but on a WP, both runners advanced, and Voit got injured. Kyle Higashioka singled to tie the game.

Gallo had to go for x-rays, and had to be PH for in the ninth inning. No word yet. Voit may be day-to-day.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bichette hit his second HR of the game, this one off reliever and losing pitcher Clay Holmes, and it was the game-winning blow. 6-5 Toronto.

Before the game, Jonathan Loaisiga activated of the IL, and Andrew Heaney optioned down.

Torres 3 hits
Higashioka 2 RBI


Cole 6 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.23
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.22
Holmes (L, 8-4) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.71 (Pit/NYY stats).

Game 156. Yanks sweep Bosox behind Stanton’s big weekend. Take over top WC spot.

Giancarlo Stanton hit another HR as he just destroyed Boston this weekend, and the Yankees were able to complete a sweep of Boston with a 6-3 win Sunday night.

The win (the Yanks’ sixth straight) moved the Yankees into the top spot in the wild card race.

Wild Card Standings:

YANKEES 89-67 — top wild card spot for now
Boston 88-68 -1 behind Yanks; 2nd wild card for now.
Toronto 87-65 -2 behind Yanks, 1 behind Boston
Seattle 86-70 -3 behind Yanks, 2 behind Boston
Oakland 85-71 -4 behind Yanks, 3 behind Boston

It was a crazy game.

Boston broke through on Yankees’ starter Jordan Montgomery in the bottom of the fourth with a single, SB, single and SF to go up 1-0.

The Yanks got two in the top of the fifth. Gleyber Torres led off the inning with a walk, then Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner each singled to load the bases with no one out. Gio Urshela hit into a DP, Torres scoring to tie the game. D.J. LeMahieu then singled in Sanchez. 2-1 Yankees.

Then, in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth, things got crazy.

First to the bottom of the seventh, where Boston scored two runs to take a 3-2 lead. Jose Iglesias led off with a single for Boston, and Alex Verdugo reached on a bunt single. A WP by Yankees’ reliever Joely Rodriguez moved the runners up. A SF tied the game. Chad Green came in for Rodriguez and got a strikeout. Kyle Schwarber PH. He was given new life when LeMahieu dropped a popup. Schwarber then flied to Joey Gallo, who dropped the ball. Gallo got Schwarber out at second, but not before Verdugo scored to give Boston the lead. Devastating.

But the Yanks came back with four in the top of the eighth, and they got some breaks in doing so. Gio Urshela led off the inning with a walk. Tyler Wade PR for Urshela and was caught stealing (the first of two times Wade would be caught last night). LeMahieu walked. Anthony Rizzo ripped a double. In came ex-Yankee Adam Ottavino to pitch for Boston. Aaron Judge popped one up that Boston 1B Bobby Dalbec couldn’t quite reach. New life. Then it appeared a foul tip had Judge struck out. But Boston catcher Christian Vazquez dropped the ball. Replays showed it appeared he dropped the ball on the transition to throwing it back to the pitcher, meaning Judge should have been out, but that wasn’t the ruling. Another break for Judge and the Yankees, and this time Judge made the most of it, doubling in both LeMahieu and Rizzo to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead.

In his slide into second, Judge dislocated a finger, and he popped it back into place.

Giancarlo Stanton then killed Boston with another HR to give the Yanks insurance and a 6-3 lead. The HR was Stanton’s 34th of the season and capped a 3 HR, 10 RBI weekend for Stanton in Fenway.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI
Judge 2 RBI
Stanton 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2-run HR (34)

Montgomery 5 IP, 1 R, 7 H, 0 W, 4 K. 3.49
Holmes (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.82 (Pit/NYY) Was absolutely filthy.
Rodriguez (BS, 2) 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 WP. 4.78 (Tex/NYY)
Green (W, 10-7) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.24
Chapman (S, 30) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.48

The Yanks are off Monday. The rotation in Toronto for the big three-game series there Tues-Thursday will be Taillon (activate of IL, no move yet), Cole and Kluber.

Minor league action. Tampa goes down 0-2 in their playoff series. Taillon rehabs.

AAA: The regular season is over, but AAA has some kind of 10-game Final stretch thing going on. It started last night for SWB. Strange.

Anyway, SWB’s game was suspended with SWB up 4-2. Promoted to SWB for this stretch were P Hayden Wesneski (#15 prospect), SS Oswald Peraza (#3 prospect) and INF Oswaldo Cabrera (#16 prospect).

Rehabbing Noah Syndergaard started for Syracuse, the Mets’ affiliate. Another rehabbing Met, Robert Gsellman, replaced Syndergaard.

For SWB, rehabbing Jameson Taillon started. 3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. Wesneski replaced him and had pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings when the game was suspended.

LF Miguel Andujar on rehab 0 for 2.
SS Peraza 0 for 2
2B Cabrera 2 for 2
RF Ryan LaMarre 2-run HR

AA Somerset and High A Hudson Valley seasons are over.

Low A: Tampa lost 6-1 and trail their championship best-of-five series two games to none. 2B Cooper Bowman (#30 prospect) 2 hits. 3B Benjamin Cowles HR. LF Kyle Battle 2 hits.


Game 153. Catchers spur Yanks’ comeback in 7-3 win. Take back WC slot.

Catchers Kyle Higashioka (who started the game) and Gary Sanchez (who finished it) led a Yankees’ comeback from a 3-0 deficit as the Yankees completed a three game sweep of Texas with a 7-3 win Wednesday night.

The win, combined with Toronto’s loss to Tampa Bay, put the Yanks back as the second wild card by 1/2 game. There are 9 games left for the Yankees, and it won’t be easy. 3 at Boston, 3 at Toronto and 3 at home against Tampa Bay (who will win the division).

Wild Card Standings.
Boston 88-65 top wild card for now
YANKEES 86-67 -2 from Boston; second wild card for now
Toronto 85-67 – 2 1/2 from Boston; 1/2 game behind the Yankees
Seattle 83-69 -4 1/2 from Boston, -2 1/2 from Yankees
Oakland 82-70 -5 1/2 from Boston, – 3 1/2 from Yankees

Before the game, the Yanks activated Domingo German off the IL and send down Estevan Florial.

Texas pecked away at Yankees’ starter Corey Kluber, scoring single runs in the second, fourth, and fifth. Their run in the fourth scored on a bloop two-out popup that fell into no-man’s land.

One concern the Yanks have is the defense. By switching Gleyber Torres back to second, D.J. LeMahieu and Gio Urshela aren’t at their natural, best positions, while Torres is. D.J. is best at second but is at third, Urshela best at third, but now at SS (and he’s made a few nice plays there). Also, Luke Voit started last night’s game at first base because Texas started a lefty pitcher. Anthony Rizzo, who came in for defense late in the game, is the better defender.

The Yanks started their comeback in the bottom of the fifth. Torres led off with a walk, and Urshela singled him to second. Higashioka doubled in both runners. Earlier in the game, Higashioka was robbed of a two-run double. Texas CF D.J. Peters couldn’t get to this one, however. After an out, LeMahieu flied to right, but Higashioka was gunned down at the plate trying to score. After five innings, 3-2 Texas.

The Yanks got a gift run to tie the game in the sixth. With one out, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo all walked. After another out, a wild pitch allowed the Yanks to tie the game.

The Yanks broke through with four runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game away. With two out, Gallo hit a pop-fly double that found no-man’s land. Torres doubled in Gallo with what proved to be the game-winning run. Urshela singled, and on the play, a throwing error enabled Torres to score. 5-3, Yanks. Sanchez capped everything off with a 2-run HR (23) and the Yanks were up 7-3, which ended up the final score.

Torres GW hit, RBI
Urshela 2 hits
Higashioka 2 hits, 2 RBI
Sanchez 2-run HR (23)

Kluber 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 4 K. 3.82
Peralta 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.69 (SF/NYY)
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.92 (Pit/NYY)
Green (W, 9-7) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.35
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.44

Great job by bullpen. 4 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings.

Game 151. Yanks hang on for 4-3 win, tighten WC race.

The Yanks got 4 2/3 scoreless IP out of their bullpen, and hung on for a 4-3 win over Texas Monday night that combined with Tampa Bay’s 6-4 win over Toronto, moved the Yanks to 1/2 game behind Toronto in the wild card race.

Wild Card Standings
Boston 86-65 — top wild card seed as of now
Toronto 84-66 – 1 1/2 2nd wild card seed as of now
YANKEES 84-67 -2 behind Boston, -1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 82-68 -3 1/2 behind Boston, -2 from Toronto, – 1 1/2 behind Yankees
Seattle 81-69 – 4 1/2 behind Boston, -3 from Toronto, -2 1/2 behind Yankees.

The Yanks got on the board in the bottom of the second on a solo HR by Gary Sanchez (22).

They got three in the third to make it 4-0. With one out, D.J. LeMahieu walked, and Anthony Rizzo singled D.J. to second. A single by Aaron Judge made it 2-0, and both runners moved up on the throw. Giancarlo Stanton hit a SF, and after a walk to Joey Gallo, Gleyber Torres singled for the Yankees’ final run.

Nestor Cortes was “Nasty Nestor” for four innings, and got out of a second and third, no out jam in the first inning with three straight strikeouts. But while the Yanks couldn’t tack on more runs, Cortes got knocked out in the fifth, when Texas scored three runs to cut it to 4-3.

After that it was nail-biting and scoreboard-watching time.

Judge 2 hits, RBI
Torres 2 hits, RBI
Sanchez solo HR (22)

Cortes 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 7 K. 1 WP. gave up 1 HR. 2.79.
Green (W, 8-7) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP. 3.39
Holmes (H, 10) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.98 (Pit/NYY)
Rodriguez (H, 14) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.60 (Tex/NYY)
Chapman (S, 28) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.51

I wonder how much money you could have gotten in the spring if you would have bet someone that Nestor Cortes would make at least 12 starts for the Yankees this year, and after 12 starts, would have a lower ERA than Gerrit Cole?

The Yanks activated Luis Severino before the game, and released Sal Romano.

Game 150. Yanks slide further back in WC race with 11-1 loss.

Gerrit Cole has been the Yankees’ best player this year in terms of WAR (wins against replacement), with Aaron Judge #2.

Cole, the Yankees’ ace pitcher, didn’t have it yesterday as the Yankees got hammered by Cleveland, 11-1. In leaving the mound, Cole undeservedly got booed by Yankees fans frustrated by the loss and by the fact the Yankees’ postseason hopes may be slipping away.

There are some guys that may deserve the boos, but Cole isn’t one of them. For without him, where would they be? But the frustration, after two losses of 11-3 and 11-1 this weekend, was understandable, if misdirected.

If the Yanks don’t right themselves, they may find themselves being behind yet another team in the wild card standings.

Wild card Standings
Boston 86-65 — top Wild Card seed as of now
Toronto 84-65 -1 from Boston, 2nd wild card seed as of now
YANKEES 83-67 – 2 1/2 from Boston, -1 1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 82-67 -3 from Boston, -2 from Toronto and only 1/2 game behind the Yankees.
Seattle 80-69 -5 from Boston, -4 from Toronto and 2 1/2 behind the Yankees.

Cole didn’t have it from the get-go, giving up 2 runs in the first. I don’t know if that hamstring issue was bothering him.

He gave up 3 more in the third, and it was 5-0 Cleveland.

The Yanks got their only run in the bottom of the third on a HR by Gio Urshela (13).

Cole gave up a HR in the fifth, 6-1. Another HR in the sixth, 7-1.

Cleveland got an unearned run in the seventh courtesy of an error by D.J. LeMahieu. 8-1.

The bleeding continued as the Indians, with help from a passed ball by Kyle Higashioka, got two runs in the eighth off of Clarke Schmidt. Yet another passed ball by Higashioka led to the final Cleveland run in the ninth. 11-1.

2 errors, 2 passed balls, 2 unearned runs. The Yanks need to tighten the defense.

After his outing on Friday, Luis Gil was sent down and Estevan Florial was brought up. After his outing Sunday, Clarke Schmidt was sent down. Expect Domingo German up.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Rizzo 2 hits
Urshela 2 hits, Solo HR (13)

Cole (L, 15-8) 5 2/3 IP, 7 R, 10 H, 1 W, 7 K. Gave up 2 HR, 1 HBP. 3.03
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.74
Schmidt 2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K. 5.68

Cole’s chances for the CYA took a hit with this outing.

Remaining games: 3 at home vs. Texas, 3 @ Boston, 3 @ Toronto, close with 3 at home vs. Tampa Bay. Personally, I think the Yanks have to go at least 9-3 to make the playoffs. We’ll see.





Game 149. In/out, up/down; Yanks’ 11-3 loss knocks them out of playoff picture again for now.

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t want your starting pitcher, in the middle of a pennant race and with 14 games to go, to be a rookie making just his sixth major league start. Nor would you want his reliever to be another rookie, nor the reliever after him to be someone who may be the one pitcher on your staff struggling the most (see the stat below).

But as we know, it isn’t an ideal world, and injuries to the Yankees’ pitching staff forced that scenario yesterday as the Yankees got clobbered by Cleveland, 11-3. The loss was painful because both Boston and Toronto won.

Wild Card Standings.

Boston 85-65 top seed as of now.
Toronto 83-65 2nd seed as of now. -1 from Boston
NYY 83-66 -1 1/2 from Boston, – 1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 81-67 -3 from Boston, -2 from Toronto (- 1 1/2 from Yankees)
Seattle 79-69 -5 from Boston, – 4 from Toronto.

So as you can see, the loss not only has (temporarily we hope) knocked the Yanks out of a wild card spot but don’t look back, Oakland is gaining on you.

Just win, baby.

Starter Luis Gil pitched ok for four innings, giving up a HR in the second. Entering the fifth, the Yanks were losing 1-0. Ok, still in the ballgame.

In the meantime, Yankees’ LF Joey Gallo had to leave the game with a neck problem.

An elephant in the room has to be addressed. In each of the Yankees’ last three losses, crucial defensive mistakes by catcher Gary Sanchez have helped the Yankees lose those games. With Gerrit Cole starting for the Yankees today, expect Kyle Higashioka to catch. But the Yankees should consider catching Higashioka full-time from here out, because of Sanchez’ defense over the past week.

With one out in the fifth, losing 1-0, Sanchez dropped a foul popup that should have been out #2, with no one on base. Instead, it opened the floodgates for Cleveland to put up a seven-run inning and the game was basically over. This after the phantom tag in the Mets game and the WP that Sanchez couldn’t catch in the Orioles’ loss. If the Yanks want to make the playoffs, those plays can’t happen.

Still in all, when Gil left the game, there was two on and one out. Hopefully Albert Abreu could get a DP ball and get out of the jam. Nope. Instead, the dam broke. Double, HBP, double, single. Four runs in. A second out (should have been the third if Sanchez catches the pop up). Then the killer, a 3-run HR that made it 8-0.

The struggling Andrew Heaney came in for the sixth. D.J. LeMahieu made an uncharacteristic error, and Heaney, prone to giving up homers (see below), gave up a 2-run shot that made it 10-0.

Giancarlo Stanton homered (30) in the bottom of the seventh to put the Yanks on the board, but Heaney gave up a HR in the top of the eighth to make it 11-1.

Luke Voit hit a 2-run HR (11) in the bottom of the eighth and the final was 11-3 Cleveland.

LeMahieu 2 hits.
Voit 2-run HR (11)
Stanton solo HR (30)
Sanchez 2 hits but the crucial error.

Gil has great stuff, but needs control. 6 K in 4 1/3 good, but 4 walks and a HBP aren’t.

In just 35 2/3 IP as a Yankee, Heaney has given up 13 HR. Ouch.

Gil (L, 1-1) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. gave up 1 HR. 3.07 First MLB loss.
Abreu 2/3 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 4.75
Heaney 3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. 5.76 (LAA/NYY)
Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.64 (Tex/NYY)

Gil was sent down after the game. We will see what move comes next (German? Severino?)