The Yanks (95-59) clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs with a 3-2, 11-inning, win over the Bad News Bears (oops, 44-110 Baltimore Orioles) yesterday, but whether the Yanks will be playing that one-game, sudden-death wild card game in the Bronx is very much still up in the air.
Oakland scored in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a Minnesota error and a passed ball (hmm, Twins imitating Sanchez) that let in the winning run, and won 3-2. The A’s remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to ensure that the wild card game will be played in the Bronx is 6. Any combination of Yanks’ wins and A’s losses adding up to 6 and the game will be in the Bronx. The Yanks own the tiebreaker.
The Yanks got two runs in the second on homers by Aaron Hicks (26) and Luke Voit (12, 11 as a Yankee). They now have 251 HR on the season, on pace to tie the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the all-time single season record by a team (264).
Gary Sanchez continued his defensive woes, committing a PB and a throwing error in the third inning that allowed the Orioles to score a run. Besides a PB and an error, Sanchez also went 0 for 4, striking out twice, and his batting average dropped to .182. He was dropped to eighth in the lineup, and you really wonder if it’s just best right now to have Romine in there instead.
The Yanks could really have been in trouble except that Steve Wilkerson was twice thrown out at home.
Baltimore tied it in the fifth, and would have had more except for one of those times Wilkerson was thrown out at home (by Judge) and the fact they left the bases loaded.
After the Voit HR, the Yanks didn’t do too much offensively, and it became a battle of the bullpens.
Jonathan Holder got out of a huge jam in the top of the 10th. The Orioles left the bases loaded.
Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, Didi Gregorius singled, and Aaron Hicks double drove in Didi with the winning run.
Hicks 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Lynn 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K. 4.80 (Min/NYY)
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.60
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.59 Encouraging outing since just off DL
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.64
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.26 (Balt/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.97
Kahnle (W, 2-0, 6.75) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
MLBTR states that CC wants to return in 2019, even if not to the Yanks. Tough call. Questionable knee, doesn’t go too deep into games. 39 next July. Yanks may want to cut the cord, so to speak.
Also, MLBTR reporting that Yanks have interest in bringing back McCutchen (a free agent) if the price is right, but that probably means buying out Brett Gardner’s option at $2MM instead of bringing him back at $12.5MM. Also, you have Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury (both of whom missed most or all of this year due to injuries) to think about…
Then again, Bryce Harper is a free agent….