Category Archives: Media

Game 105. Yanks lose 8-6. Trade Montgomery. Sports world mourns Vin Scully.

Before getting into Yankees’ news, some sad news in the sports world. Another legend has passed away. Just a few days ago, basketball legend Bill Russell died at the age of 88. Russell was a 5x NBA MVP, won 2 NCAA Titles, an Olympic Gold Medal, and in his 13 years in the NBA, won 11 titles, 8 in a row. The last two titles Russell won came as a player-coach. He was the first black coach or manager of a major sports team.

Now the sports world has lost one of the greatest sportscasters of all time, Vin Scully, at the age of 94. Scully attended the church my sister and her family attend in California, and when I went to church while visiting, besides spending some time with our Lord, I also hoped to see or meet Mr. Scully. Didn’t happen though.

May both Russell and Scully rest in peace.

Before the Yankees game last night, a final trade happened, and it was a stunner. I don’t like the trade right now. Time will tell. The Yanks traded Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for CF Harrison Bader.

Montgomery was 3-3. 3.69 for the Yanks this year (ERA+ 104) and 22-20, 3.94 in his career (ERA+ 108). Bader is a top-notch defensive CF, who is currently on the IL and in a walking boot with plantar fasciitis. He is expected back in a few weeks. Should he not be able to play this season, the Yanks get a minor league prospect as well from an approved list. Besides Bader, the Yanks get a player to be named later or cash.

Bader, 28, is from Bronxville, NY, a righty batter. He finished 6th in ROY voting in 2018 and won a Gold Glove last year. This year he was hitting .256-5-21 with 15 SB (OPS+ 93). For his career, his 162-game average is .246-16-52, 17 SB, OPS+ 99.

What this means for Aaron Hicks down the road, who knows. As for now, I didn’t and still don’t get the deal. Bader is on the IL. Where he fits into a crowded outfield (Judge, Benintendi, Hicks, Stanton, Carpenter, even Gonzalez and for now Locastro, who would be sent down when Bader is healthy) who knows.

But the Montgomery trade comes after the Yanks traded away prospects Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, JP Sears and Luis Medina, and came while Luis Severino is on the 60-day IL. For now, the Yanks’ rotation is Cole, Montas, Cortes, Taillon and German. I know with Severino’s injury and lack of work because of injury the last three years that the Yanks want to be careful with Severino, and that Severino could be back in mid-September, but how good would Sevy be come playoff time?

Time determines whether trades are good or bad.

As for last night’s game, the Yanks (70-35) lost 8-6 to Seattle. Taillon wasn’t good.

Eugenio Suarez hit a 2-run HR off Taillon in the first inning. Cal Raleigh made it 3-0 Seattle with a HR in the second.

Those were the only hits Taillon gave up. His wildness hurt him. In the third, Seattle scored on a walk, an error and a SF. 4-0.

The Yanks got back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Anthony Rizzo led off with a walk, and one out later, Josh Donaldson doubled home Rizzo. One out after that, Jose Trevino hit a 2-run HR (10) and it was now 4-3.

Taillon was pulled after a couple of walks in the top of the fifth. Lucas Luetge came in but surrendered a double that made the score 6-3 Seattle.

The Yanks tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Rizzo led off the inning with a HR (27), then Matt Carpenter singled. Donaldson then homered (10) to tie it up.

However, Luetge immediately gave the lead back to Seattle, giving up a HR to PH Sam Haggerty to lead off the top of the seventh.

Seattle scored an insurance run, with help of a WP, in the top of the ninth inning. The Yanks loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but didn’t score. Final score, 8-6 Seattle.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Rizzo solo HR (27) 4th consecutive game with HR
Donaldson 2 hits, 3 RBI. 2-run HR (10)
Trevino 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (10)
Kiner-Falefa 2 hits.

Taillon 4 2/3 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 H, 4 W, 6 K. Both hits given up were HR. 3.96
Luetge (L, 3-4) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. gave up 1 HR. 2.82
Effross 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.62 (Combined ERA Cubs/NYY) Yankees debut
Abreu 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP 2.30 (3-team ERA)
Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.34 (Combined ERA A’s/NYY) Yankees debut

Minor League Report. Gil Injured, and Prospect Sanford released in shame.

OF minor league prospect Jake Sanford was released by the New York Yankees yesterday. Here is the NY Post report. (edited)

Following in the footsteps of the infamous Ruben Rivera, another Yankees prospect has been released for allegedly stealing from his teammates. 

The Yankees cut 2019 third-round pick Jake Sanford last Thursday for allegedly stealing from his minor league teammates and scamming people for money online, The Post confirmed. 

According to a source, the 24-year-old outfielder was released last week after a team investigation found Sanford had stolen from teammates, including equipment that he would then try to sell online, as first reported by NJ Advance Media

Additionally, a source said Sanford, who played college baseball at Western Kentucky, also accepted money from prospective buyers for the equipment then failed to deliver the products. 

Sanford spent last year at A ball, both Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley. He hit .285-16-61 combined in 101 games.

Yankees’ #10 prospect, Luis Gil, injured his elbow in his start last night for AAA SWB. He called for the trainer and said “I’m done”. Gil has started 7 MLB games for the Yankees, including one this year. We’ll see how bad it is and if he needs TJ surgery.

AAA: SWB (13-24) lost 5-2.
CF Estevan Florial 2 hits, solo HR (4). ( #30 prospect .266)
3B Miguel Andujar 2 hits (.310)
DH Greg Bird 2 hits (.169)

Gil 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 7.89 #10 prospect. INJURED. SEE ABOVE.
M. Gomez (L, 1-2) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.91
Lane 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.29
Marinaccio 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.70

AA: Somerset (23-11) won 7-6.
SS Anthony Volpe 2 hits (#1 prospect, but off to slow start, hitting just .183)
RF Elijah Dunham 2 hits, 2 RBI (#27 prospect, .226)
DH Josh Breaux 2-run HR (6) (#26 prospect, .195)
CF Brandon Lockridge 2 RBI (#18 prospect .236)
1B Chad Bell 2 hits
3B Max Burt 2 hits, solo HR (3)

The purpose of the batting averages above is to emphasize the point I have made that a lot of the Yankees’ top prospects, and even ex-major league players now in the minors, are not hitting so far this year. And it’s not just the ones listed here.

Spence 5 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR 5.46
Coleman 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00
Ramirez (W, 2-0) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.00
Espinal (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.25

High A: Hudson Valley (15-19) lost 5-4.
1B Spencer Henson 2 hits
DH Eric Wagaman 2 hits.
LF Aaron Palensky 2-run HR (2)

Warren (L, 1-3) 3 2/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.41
Myatt 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K. 1 WP 1.20
C. Gomez 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. 0.00

Low A: Tampa (14-20) lost 9-3.
SS Alexander Vargas 2 hits, 2 RBI
CF Jasson Dominguez 2 hits, RBI. (#3 prospect, .240)
DH Anthony Garcia 2 hits.

Castro (L, 0-2) 4 1/3 IP, 7 R, 7 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP 4.09
Anderson 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 W, 2 K. 2.50
Messinger 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.26
Watson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.60

One final note. I haven’t seen any Yankees games on WPIX Channel 11, New York, this year, nor do I see any games scheduled for them. If so, it’s sad a long tradition has ended. Channel 11 and Yankees games go back to before I was even born, and that was a little over 60 years ago. I grew up on Yankees’ games on WPIX Channel 11.

The All-Time Top 100?

Let the debates begin.

ESPN polled dozens of editors and writers and put together a list of the 100 greatest baseball players of all time. I won’t list them all but here are the top 20, and I will list where other Yankees ended up.

20. Rogers Hornsby
19. Frank Robinson
18. Mike Schmidt
17. Roger Clemens
16. Joe DiMaggio (I’m a bit surprised he wasn’t higher, but three years lost to WWII probably hurt)
15. Mike Trout (are you surprised he is this high already?)
14. Greg Maddux
13. Ken Griffey, Jr.
12. Honus Wagner
11. Pedro Martinez
10. Stan Musial
9. Walter Johnson
8. Barry Bonds
7. Mickey Mantle (appropriate he’s #7, right? and guess what. Sandy Koufax came in at #32!)
6. Lou Gehrig
5. Ted Williams
4. Ty Cobb
3. Hank Aaron
2. Willie Mays
1. Babe Ruth (no doubt his pitching skills, added to his hitting skills, put him here)

Other players who played for the Yankees

99. Phil Niekro (Went 16-8 in 1984, 16-12 in 1985 for Yankees)
90. Pudge Rodriguez (the catcher was there briefly in 2008, and did not do well)
60. Whitey Ford
56. Dave Winfield (1981-1989)
55. Reggie Jackson (1977-1981 with Yankees)
46. Ichiro Suzuki (with Yankees 2012-2014)
45. Wade Boggs (1993-1997)
39. Yogi Berra
31. Mariano Rivera
28. Derek Jeter
26. Alex Rodriguez
24. Randy Johnson (17-8 in 2005, 17-11 in 2006 with Yankees)
23. Rickey Henderson (Yankees 1985-1989)

Yankees add Beltran to YES broadcasting team.

The YES network will have a very different look this year (that is, if there IS a season).

For one thing, Ken Singleton has retired. Buck Showalter is now the Mets manager.

David Cone will be doing games not only for YES, but also Sunday nights on ESPN.

Michael Kay will be doing games with A-Rod, kind of like that Manning brothers style that Eli and Peyton do for football.

To help fill in the gap, Carlos Beltran will be doing 36 games.

For Beltran, its redemption for his part in the Astros cheating scandal. That part may hurt him as he comes on the HOF ballot next year. Beltran, according to baseball-reference. com and an elaborate grading scale, is ranked as the 9th greatest CF of all-time. He played for the Royals, Astros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, Rangers and finished up back with the Astros (and the scandal). He hit .279 in his career with over 2700 hits, 435 HR and 312 SB. An OPS+ of 119 (100 is average; 119 means 19% above average).

He was supposed to become the Mets manager, but his involvement in the cheating scandal had him fired before he even managed a game.

I’m all for redemption and giving someone a second chance, as long as the person is contrite. It matches my faith (not to get religious, here, but the comparison is apt). That goes for me in my own life. I make mistakes and ask the Lord to forgive me.

So for Beltran, a chance to redeem himself (much like A-Rod as A-Rod in trying to do with his broadcasts). I get the hunch that Beltran will be more successful, simply because A-Rod is more flamboyant than Beltran, and, it seems, more likely to mess up again (hope he doesn’t).

You have to wonder if this step back into baseball may lead Beltran into the manager’s office. Will some team forgive Beltran and give him the managing job that Beltran was going to have with the Mets?

Aaron Boone just did get an extension. But with Beltran now working for YES, if the Yanks were going to make a move, could Beltran now be on their short list of possible replacements?

Internet rumors and hoaxes

I usually don’t talk about rumors or hoaxes. I don’t like to discuss signings or trades unless it is a done deal. But I have to discuss a hoax that is out there right now.

Apparently some jokester put something up that Justin Verlander signed a one-year $10MM deal with the Yankees. Not true. Now, the Yankees may be looking at Verlander, but let’s take a look at a few things.

Verlander will probably turn down a $18.4MM qualifying offer from Houston. If he turns that down, why?
A) He wants more money. B) He wants more than one year C) He wants both.

I’ve seen a couple estimates of where Verlander would go and for how much. Yes, the Yankees are in the mix. So are the Giants, Braves, Astros, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Mariners, Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Padres. You get the idea. And the estimated figure is $20 million a year. Not $10. And the team signing him would have to give up a compensatory draft pick.

The Yankees gave Corey Kluber a $11 MM deal to see what he had left last year. He gave the Yanks a no-hitter, but just 1/2 a season of action. 16 starts. No offense to Kluber, but Verlander is a better pitcher.

Verlander made $33MM in 2020 and 2021. He pitched in only one game in 2020 before needing TJ surgery that required him to miss the rest of 2020 and all of 2021. Even though he is going to be 39 in February, how much do you think Verlander would get if healthy? In his last full season of 2019, he won the CYA (beating out teammate and runner-up Gerrit Cole) by going 21-6, 2.58 with 300 strikeouts. He led the majors in wins, games started and innings pitched. If healthy, Verlander, even at his age, could probably command $35-40 MM/year.

Even if he has missed basically two seasons due to Covid and TJ surgery, Verlander will be getting far more than a 1 yr., $10MM deal.

Don’t believe the rumors. Wait until you see ESPN or reporting on it or a scroll coming across the bottom of the screen.

And until THAT happens, I won’t be saying anything about it here.

Ex-Red Sox 2B and later broadcaster Remy dies at age 68.

Less than a month ago, former Red Sox 2B and long-time broadcaster Jerry Remy, who was battling lung cancer for a decade, threw out the first ball at Fenway Park before the wild card game between the Red Sox and Yankees.

Remy lost his battle with cancer, passing away about a week before he would have turned 69.

Remy played for the Angels (1975-1977) and Red Sox (1978-1984). He was an All-Star in 1978. He stole 30 or more bases each year from 1975-1978.

In the bottom of the ninth of the “Bucky Dent” game, game 163 of the 1978 season that decided the AL East, Remy was the one who hit the single that Lou Piniella briefly lost in the sun but then recovered to keep Rick Burleson from advancing to third.

Injuries limited him after 1978. His 162 game average was .275-1-46, 29 SB, OPS+ 82. He hit just 7 MLB HR, none after 1978.

After his career was over, he broadcast Red Sox games for many years.

What now? A look at the front office.

As the Yankees’ (disappointing) season is over, I look at the postseason. What needs to be done to be better? In many ways, I feel this team needs to be blown up. A lot of pieces don’t fit together. First a quick look at things, then Part 1. The front office, manager and coaches.

First, the numbers. The team, for most of the season, was too right-handed. This for a team in Yankee Stadium. Cashman tried to remedy that with the trades for Rizzo and Gallo, and did pick up Odor. Um, getting guys from Texas (Odor and Gallo) isn’t too good of an idea. How good is Texas anyway? While Rizzo helped, the other two didn’t help much.

In a 15-team league, the Yanks were 13th in hits. Last in doubles. Next to last in triples. Yes, they were third in HR, and 1st in walks, but that’s all they did. Walk or hit homers. Brett Gardner laid down 5 of the 10 sac bunts. They don’t bunt, teams seem not to anymore. They were 10th in SB. They ran the bases poorly (and something I’ll get to in a moment). The batting average of .237 was 13th in a 15-team league. The OPS+ was 100—average. They were 11th in total bases. 12th in sac flies. That last one shows a lot. Not getting runners in that are on third with less than two out. The SB? Not creating runs. They don’t hit and run. Too many low-average, high-strikeouts sluggers. Not enough contact hitters.

They only got to the postseason (barely, by one game, and a 1-0 win on the last day of the season) on their pitching. The ERA of 3.74 was third in the league. ERA+ 115. 15% above league average. And that was mostly on the bullpen. Starters don’t go deep in games anymore. The starters weren’t bad, but only Cole, of the starters, won more than 10 games.

Players were out of position, hurting the defense. Odor paying 3B. Torres proved he isn’t a SS. LeMahieu’s best position is 2B, but then what to do with Torres? Move him to 2B, then LeMahieu went to 3B and Gio to SS–not their best natural positions. The infield must be sorted out. And I didn’t mention the defense or lack of it at catcher.

We’ll get to the positions in another post.

Hal Steinbrenner. Is he involved? How much so. I know not in the open like his father was, but behind the scenes he better be steaming. How committed is he to changing this team around? He couldn’t be pleased at how this team underperformed. One postseason game, and not even at home. How committed to the salary cap as opposed to improving the team? Yes, you have to budget, but is the budget or the quality of the team the higher priority? Or the YES network?

Cashman. I don’t feel he’s going anywhere. He’s like Tom Hagen in the Godfather—the Corleone’s adopted son (saw that somewhere, nice analogy). Only he’s Cashman and they are the Steinbrenners. But the way the pieces of this team didn’t fit, like trying to match puzzle pieces from a couple of DIFFERENT jigsaw puzzles, wasn’t good. That falls on Cashman. And some deals? Andrew Heaney? Yikes. Some were steals (Holmes) but others … ugh. But I don’t think he is going anywhere.

Boone. If he goes, he goes, I’m kind of neutral there. But I do ask. When the Yanks play Tampa Bay or Boston, do you get the feeling Boone is being outmanaged by Cash or Cora? If that answer is yes, then there is a problem. Say what you will about Billy Martin, but you never felt as if Billy was outmanaged by Earl Weaver or Whitey Herzog. You felt you were even, at least. Do you feel the same way about Boone? I don’t know why he just didn’t put Gardner in the leadoff spot for the wild card game (not that it would have helped, Gardner was 0 for 3 with 3 K) but Gardner led off a lot in his career. Batting Gardy 6th? Since when is Gardy a power hitter? Gallo 4th? Ugh. A .160 cleanup hitter. I know with some injuries, esp. to guys like Voit and LeMahieu, that Boone was limited. Also, in Fenway. Green Monster. Play Stanton in LF, Gallo in RF, Judge in CF and DH Sanchez? Yeah, Sanchez may not have done much. But the lineup that went against Boston begged for a low-scoring game. Higashioka and Velazquez in the lineup, Gardy hitting sixth. That low-scoring game is something Cole didn’t give them. If the Yanks made a change, I’d like John Flaherty. Follows and knows the team by broadcasting on YES. Former catcher. Can handle the pitching staff, not to mention the catchers. No, I don’t think Buck Showalter, Willie Randolph, Don Mattingly would be available. Maybe Espada. I’d like Flaherty, which leads me to this…

Some guys are in the broadcast booth (nice, cushy job) when they should be in uniform as coaches. Based on what the hitting was this year, the hitting coaches, Marcus Thames and P.J. Pillitere, should go. I’d love to see Paul O’Neill as hitting coach rather than broadcaster, David Cone as pitching coach (more in a moment) than broadcaster, and Flaherty as manager than as broadcaster. What’s the priority here, Hal? Ratings by having these guys broadcast or wins by having these guys coach and manage? Besides O’Neill, I’d love Matsui as hitting coach. At least those guys didn’t try to pull the ball all the time.

I think Blake was fine as pitching coach. I do not mind him staying. 3rd in league in ERA. if not him, then I would have liked Cone. Sometimes old school works. Stop it with the all the analytics already. Use analytics as an aid, not a crutch.

The bullpen was fine. Harkey. Ok there. Lots of times the best part of the team. Getting back to Cashman, I do wonder why he let Luis Cessa go (Cessa 53 games NYY/Cincy, 2.51 ERA).

Now 3B coach? Nevin got what, 23 guys thrown out at home this year? Friendship be damned, Nevin has to go. The baserunning all year was poor.

Summary: I think Cashman and Boone are staying. I am neutral on Boone, but if he goes, I have my choice as manager: Flaherty. (Update: In the past there were talks about Raul Ibanez? And if Cora can come back from “purgatory”, could the same be said for Carlos Beltran?)
But the coaching staff has to be reconfigured. Especially hitting and 3B coach.

Cashman and Hal have to be busy this offseason blowing up the team.

Next: Catcher and infield. Hint: That has to be reconfigured.

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and what you would like done.

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 146. Gardy saves Yanks in 4-3 win.

Yes, now is the time for scoreboard watching. The Yankees, already knowing that Toronto and Boston had earlier won, edged Baltimore 4-3 thanks to Brett Gardner’s 2-run single in the top of the ninth. The win ensured the Yanks of another winning season. They haven’t had a losing season since 1992.

The wild-card standings. Only 2 get to make the playoffs. A virtual 3-way tie. Just 16 games left.
Yankees and Toronto tied at 82-64 .562
Boston 83-65, in a virtual tie, but at .561, .001 back.

Oakland 78-67 – 3.5
Seattle 78-68 -4

The Yanks have today in Baltimore (funky 5 PM start), then come home for 3 against Cleveland and 3 against Texas. They have to make do against these below .500 teams, because after Cleveland it’s 3 in Boston, 3 in Toronto, and the 3 at home vs. Tampa Bay. It could come down to the last day. 90 wins probably won’t be enough.

The Yanks almost scored in the top of the second, when Gary Sanchez was robbed of a two-run HR by Orioles’ CF Cedric Mullens. Sanchez would be robbed of another hit later in the game.

They did score in the top of the third, when Gardner led off the inning with a single and Gio Urshela followed with a 2-run HR (12).

Yankees’ starter Nestor Cortes was “Nasty Nestor”, shutting out Baltimore until giving up a solo HR in the sixth. He struck out 11.

The Yanks took that 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth, but the Orioles got a leadoff single, then a groundout where the runner moved up. Gleyber Torres at second couldn’t start a DP (he’s been shaky defensively—on the radio Sterling and Waldman lamented that the DP wasn’t made) and it came back to hurt. A WP moved the runner to third, then a strikeout. With two out, and on an 0-2 pitch, Chad Green gave up a 2-run HR and the Orioles were up 3-2. Green, unfortunately, hasn’t been too reliable lately. It was the 14th HR Green has given up this season, and it was reported that it was the 8th HR allowed in the 7th inning or later by Green that either tied the game or gave the other team the lead. That’s the most in MLB. He had just given up the GW HR to Lindor and the Mets on Sunday night.

The Yanks miss the injured Loaisiga. (Not to mention Britton if he were healthy, O’Day, and they shouldn’t have traded Cessa).

It was a gut-punch that could have really dealt the Yanks a huge blow in this playoff race. They were now down to the ninth inning, and already knew they had to comeback to keep pace with Toronto and Boston, both who had already won.

Luke Voit led off the top of the ninth by drawing a walk. Tyler Wade PR for him. Gleyber Torres singled Wade to second. After a flyout, a double steal which proved huge. It enabled the Yanks to stay out of a game-ending DP and also forced Baltimore to bring the infield in. Gardner blooped a single over the drawn-in infield to score both runners and give the Yanks a 4-3 lead. The Yanks put another runner on, but couldn’t push another run across.

Aroldis Chapman closed out the game quite easily in the bottom of the ninth.

The Yanks kept pace, thanks to Gardner.

Torres 2 hits
Gardner 3 hits, 2 RBI, GW hit
Urshela 2-run HR (12)

Cortes 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 11 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.60 (What a revelation and savior he has been)
Green (BS, 6) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.46
Peralta (W, 5-3) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.86 (Combined SF/NYY)
Chapman (S, 27) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.58

Game 129. Yanks’ win streak snapped at 13 with 3-2 loss.

As the album title and song say, All Things Must Pass.

The Yankees’ came into Saturday’s game with a 13-game winning streak, and Oakland with a 6-game losing streak. Both streaks were due to end sometime and both did as the A’s won, 3-2.

With the loss, the Yanks drop to 5 games behind Tampa Bay for the divisional lead. The Yanks still have a 2 game lead for the top wild card spot, with Oakland 3 1/2 behind Boston for the other wild card spot.

Nestor Cortes wasn’t bad, but was a hard-luck loser as the Yanks didn’t score for him. The Yanks wouldn’t score until the ninth inning.

Cortes gave up two runs in the bottom of the second. With two out, he gave up a double, upheld upon review. After a walk, a single drove in one run, then Cortes balked home another run. The balk was iffy, and the Yanks argued it. On TV, both Michael Kay and Kenny Singleton questioned it. It helped decide the ballgame.

The umps did make some really egregious calls in this game. Just horrible ones.

Cortes gave up a solo HR to Matt Chapman in the fourth, 3-0. As mentioned, he wasn’t terrible. With a little run support, maybe he’d actually get a win, but not on this day.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the ninth inning. With one out, Anthony Rizzo singled and Aaron Judge homered (29) to make it 3-2. So the Yanks had a chance, but Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo made the final outs of the game.

Judge 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (29)

Cortes, Jr. (L, 2-2) 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 costly balk. 2.77
Abreu 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 4.08
Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.03