First the good news. The Yanks swept a DH from the Tigers on Thursday. The magic # for just getting into the playoffs, and also for winning the division outright, is down to 5.
Houston lost, so the Yanks lead Houston by two games for best record in the AL. The Yanks also lead the Dodgers by two games in the race for best record in the majors, which the Yanks currently own.
The lead in the AL East is 10 over Tampa Bay with 14 games to go.
More good news. Jordan Montgomery comes off the IL and will start Sunday. Luis Severino comes off the IL and starts Tuesday.
More news. Stephen Tarpley off the IL. He was activated before yesterday’s games. Also Ben Heller was brought up.
With 4 HR in the DH, the Yanks have more HR than the Twins (280 to 279) but the Twins have played two less games, in the race for who winds up with the new record for most HR in a season.
Now the bad news. We hope it isn’t worse. Tests will prove how bad. The injury bug has hit again, and at the worst possible time, with the end of the regular season just over two weeks away. J.A. Happ has been pitching with tendonitis in his left (pitching arm) biceps. Edwin Encarnacion had to leave Game 1 early with an oblique strain. Gary Sanchez had to leave Game 2 with tightness in his left groin. Losing Happ may be mitigated by the arrivals of Montgomery and Severino, but the lineup would take a huge hit if they lose the parrot and the Kraken.
As for Sanchez, what was he doing trying to steal? And in a game played in less than optimum conditions? And with the Yanks up 3-0? He’s a catcher. He’s slow. He NEVER tries to steal. SMH. That could really come back to bite them if he has to miss time—including PLAYOFF time.
Game 1: Yanks win 10-4. Luke Voit hit a 2-run HR (20) in the top of the first to put the Yanks up 2-0.
In the third, Encarnacion hit a 2-run HR (34) to put them up 4-0. He left later in this game with the oblique problem.
Detroit got a 2-run HR in the fifth off of MayHapp, who pitched well despite the biceps tendonitis. After giving up the HR, Happ gave up a single and then was pulled after 99 pitches, one out short of qualifying for the win. Understandable. The Yanks didn’t want to take any more chances.
In the seventh, Aaron Judge walked, and one out later, Luke Voit doubled. Didi Gregorius was intentionally walked to load the bases as the Tigers were hoping for an inning-ending DP. Instead a WP moved all runners up and put the Yanks up 5-2. After Gio Urshela struck out, Cameron Maybin doubled to put the Yanks up 7-2.
The Tigers scored in the bottom of the seventh to cut it to 7-3.
The Yanks put the game away with three in the top of the eighth. Austin Romine singled and one out later, Aaron Judge singled. With two out, Voit singled in one run and Didi Gregorius tripled in two and it was 10-3 Yanks.
Heller, who is just coming back from missing 2018 and most of this season recovering from TJ surgery, gave up a HR in the bottom of the eighth. 10-4, the final score.
Judge 3 walks, scored 4 runs.
Encarnacion 2-run HR (34)
Voit 3 hits, 3 RBI. 2-run HR (20). Scored 3 runs.
Gregorius 2 RBI
Maybin 2 RBI
Romine 3 hits.
Happ 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.07
Green (W, 4-4, 4.57) 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Heller 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 9.00
Gearrin 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.32
Lyons 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.04
Game 2: Yanks win 6-4. CC, despite giving up 2 runs, looked good. German was great in relief getting his MLB=leading 18th win.
Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR in the first inning (22) to give the Yanks a quick 2-0 lead.
In the second, Mike Ford singled and scored on a double by D.J. LeMahieu. 3-0.
CC lost it a bit in the fourth, when he gave up two runs, but German was in shutdown mode. 3-2 Yanks after four.
The Yanks got one run back in the top of the fifth when Tyler Wade doubled to lead off the inning and scored two outs later on a single by Didi. Didi went to third (two-base error) on the play but was left stranded. 4-2.
Gio Urshela hit a 2-run PH HR (20) in the top of the ninth to put the Yanks up 6-2, and they needed those runs because Detroit scored two in the bottom of the ninth to close it to 6-4 before the Yanks closed out the game.
LeMahieu 3 hits, RBI. .325
Judge 2-run HR (22)
Gardner the Golden Sombrero. 0 for 4, 4 strikeouts.
Urshela 2-run PH HR (20) .328
Wade 2 hits
Sabathia 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. 4.95
German (W, 18-4, 4.09) 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Kahnle (H, 26) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.36
Chapman (S, 37) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.32
It doesn’t look as if CC will pass Bob Gibson on the all-time win list (both with 251) because CC isn’t going the five for the win, but CC did pass John Smoltz on the strikeout list last night. The next one up is too far ahead to reach before CC retires at the end of the season.