Tag Archives: Holmes

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 147. Brutal 3-2 loss pushes Yanks back in WC card race.

If the Yankees miss out on the playoffs by a game, there are several gut-wrenching losses this year that will stick in our minds.

The one on Thursday (yesterday) will be one of several. Just one strike away from winning the game, a wild pitch enabled Baltimore to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, and the Orioles went on to beat the Yanks 3-2 in 10 innings.

The wild card standings with 15 games to go for the Yankees:

Toronto 82-64 —
Boston 83-65 —-
NYY 82-65 – 1/2
Oakland 79-67 – 3 1/2
Seattle 78-68 -4

As of now that loss dropped the Yanks out of the playoffs. You can’t lose games like that to the cellar-dwellers. And the way they lost was just brutal.

The Yanks only scored two runs as the bats were silent. Both runs scored in the second inning. Joey Gallo hit a HR (35) with one out. Gary Sanchez and Tyler Wade followed with walks, and a double by Gio Urshela drove in Sanchez. The Yanks never added any more runs and it wound up costing them.

Jordan Montgomery was great, striking out 12 in 5 2/3 innings. Combined with Nestor Cortes’ 11 K’s the night before, it was the first time in Yankees’ history they got 11 or more K’s from their starters in back-to-back games.

Montgomery’s only blemish was a solo HR he gave up in the sixth.

The Yanks entered the bottom of the ninth with a 2-1 lead and Clay Holmes trying to close it out. Closer Aroldis Chapman had appeared in each of the three previous games. Holmes got a strikeout, then gave up a single. A WP moved the runner to second and a groundout moved the runner to third. On a 2-2 pitch, one strike away from a win, Holmes threw another WP that allowed the tying run to score. He then got the strikeout.

To extra innings, with that ghost runner I hate (a bastardization of baseball). The Yanks couldn’t move the runner in the top of the tenth. Baltimore got a bunt single to put runners on first and third. The runner on first moved up on defensive indifference. An intentional walk to load the bases. A strikeout, then a single to win the game for Baltimore.

One strike away. Just brutal.

The Yankees threw four wild pitches in the game.

Gleyber Torres’ problems at SS have had a domino effect that could hurt the Yanks. Moving him back to 2B moved LeMahieu, a 2B, to 3B, and the 3B Urshela to SS. Not your best defensive alignment, and something the Yanks have to think about now and in the offseason. Also, Sanchez’ defense behind the dish is something that has been problematic for years. Could he have blocked that WP? Could Higashioka have blocked it?

Stanton 2 hits.
Gallo Solo HR (35, Tex/NYY)

Montgomery 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 W, 12 K. 2 WP, Gave up 1 HR. 3.63
Abreu 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.08
Rodriguez (H, 13) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.75 (Tex/NYY)
Holmes (BS, 2) 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2 WP. 4.09 (Pit/NYY)
Peralta (L, 5-4) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.83 (SF/NYY)

UPDATE: (From the NY Post): Right-hander Brooks Kriske was claimed by the Orioles after being designated for assignment by the Yankees.

Game 144. Yanks comeback to edge Twins in 10, 6-5. Back in tie for 2nd WC spot.

The Yanks came back from a 5-0 deficit to edge the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 10 innings in a Monday afternoon makeup game.

With the win, the Yanks moved back into a virtual tie for the 2nd wild card spot. Here is how things stand.

Toronto 81-63 — 1st wild card
Yankees 80-64 -1 .556 virtual tie for 2nd wild card
Boston 81-65 -1 .555 virtual tie for 2nd wild card
Seattle 78-66 -3 from Toronto, -2 from NYY/BOS
Oakland 77-66 -3 1/2 from Toronto, -2 1/2 from NYY/BOS

The Yanks made some changes before the game. With recent errors defensively from Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres at 3B and SS respectively, Torres moved back to 2B, D.J. LeMahieu took over at 3B, and Tyler Wade was at SS. Also, Kyle Higashioka caught more because it was a day game after a night game, but even there, Higashioka is better defensively than Gary Sanchez. We will see who catches Gerrit Cole tonight, a job usually handled by Higashioka.

But just because he did not start yesterday’s game, doesn’t mean Sanchez couldn’t finish it. And finish it he did.

Yankees’ starter Luis Gil put the Yankees in an early hole, giving up two 2-run HRs in the first inning. The Yanks were down 4-0 before they even came to bat. Gil settled down after that, lasting six innings. After that first inning, he only gave up one more run—on a HR in the third inning.

Meanwhile, after five innings, the only hit the Yanks had was on a fifth inning bunt single by Joey Gallo.

The Yanks got a run in the sixth when Wade walked, stole second, went to third on a flyout, and scored on a SF by LeMahieu, who was robbed of a double on the play by a great catch.

Gallo made it 5-2 in the seventh with a HR (33).

In the bottom of the eighth, PH Anthony Rizzo led off with a walk. Sanchez PH for Higashioka and flied out. After LeMahieu flied out, Brett Gardner walked on a full-count pitch. It was a controversial call that got Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli ejected. After a pitching change, Aaron Judge homered (33) to tie the game.

No one scored in the ninth, although Aroldis Chapman made things hairy once again.

The game went into extra innings, with that ghost runner I hate. Clay Holmes kept the Twins off the board in the top of the tenth.

Gleyber Torres was the ghost runner for the Yankees in the bottom of the tenth. Gio Urshela, who took over at SS, struck out trying to bunt Torres over, but Sanchez laced one to the wall for the game-winning hit.

Judge 3-run HR (33)
Gallo 2 hits, solo HR (33)
Sanchez game-winning single in bottom of the tenth.

Gil 6 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 1 W, 8 K. Gave up 3 HR. 2.88
Heaney 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 5.76 (LAA/NYY)
Abreu 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.19
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.70
Holmes (W, 8-3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.07 (Combined Pit/NYY) .

Clarke Schmidt was sent back to SWB. Sal Romano decided to become a free agent rather than go to SWB.

Game 142. Yanks snap losing streak, edge Mets 8-7. Tied with Toronto for final playoff spot.

The Yankees got a much needed win last night on the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, edging the Mets 8-7 to snap a 7-game losing streak.

Since Toronto swept a doubleheader from the awful Orioles, the Yanks and Toronto are in a dead-heat tie for the final wild card spot with 20 games to go. So you can see how much the win was needed.

Boston 81-63 holds top wild card spot for now.
Yanks and Toronto tied at 79-63, one game behind Boston
Seattle and Oakland tied at 77-65, three games back of Boston and two behind the Yanks and Toronto.

Of course, the win didn’t come easy, even though it briefly appeared as if it would.

The Yanks got five runs in the top of the second, on three home runs. Gleyber Torres led off the inning with a single, and one out later, Kyle Higashioka homered (10) to put the Yanks up 2-0. After another out, D.J. LeMahieu singled. Brett Gardner hit a 2-run HR (8) and Aaron Judge followed him (31) as Gardner and Judge went back-to-back. 5-0 Yankees.

But the Yanks bats then went silent for a long time, and their pitchers couldn’t hold the lead. Corey Kluber gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the second inning, and a solo HR to Javier Baez in the bottom of the third, and it was 5-4 Yankees.

James McCann hit a 2-run HR in the sixth off of Chad Green, and the Mets were up 6-5. They added another run in the seventh off of Clay Holmes and going into the eighth, had a 7-5 lead.

Gardner led off the top of the eighth with a single, and Judge followed with his second HR of the game (32) to tie the score at 7. Giancarlo Stanton then singled and was PR for by Andrew Velazquez. One out later, Gleyber Torres singled Velazquez to second. Luke Voit PH for Holmes, and grounded into a force out. In trying to get Voit for the inning-ending DP, 2B Baez made a throwing error that enabled Velazquez to score what turned out to be the winning run. 8-7 Yankees.

Gardner 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2-run HR (8)
Judge 2 hits, 2 HR (32), 3 RBI
Stanton 2 hits
Torres 2 hits
Higashioka 2-run HR (10)

Kluber 4 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.02
Luetge 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.84
Green (BS, 5) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.21
Holmes (W, 7-3) 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.14 (Pit/NYY)
Abreu (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.24
Chapman (S, 26) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.78

Tonight’s game is the ESPN Sunday night game. Given the Yanks’ injury situation on the pitching staff, and how much each reliever has been used recently (the Yanks used six pitchers last night), don’t be surprised if #5 prospect Clarke Schmidt comes up from AAA to make the start. As of now, no starter has been named.

Jonathan Davis, recently DFA’d, cleared waivers and was outrighted to SWB.

Game 139. Yanks lose 5th straight, 6-3. Slide out of top wild-card spot with 2nd WC slot in jeopardy.

Yes, we Yankees fans should worry. The Yanks lost their fifth straight game Wednesday night, and ninth in their last eleven games, 6-3 to Toronto. Toronto has won seven in a row. They are surging. With the loss, the Yanks dropped out of the top wild card slot and are in danger of missing the playoffs altogether.

The division is over. Tampa Bay has a 9 game lead over Boston (9 1/2 over the 78-61 Yanks) with only 23 games to go.

But here is where it gets scary.

Bos 80-62 === 1st wc slot (would host WC game)
NYY 78-61 1/2 game behind Boston. Has 2nd and last WC spot for now.
Tor 76-62 2 games behind Boston and just 1 1/2 behind the Yankees.
Sea 76-64 3 behind Boston, just 2 1/2 behind the Yankees.
Oak 75-64 3 1/2 behind Boston and just 3 behind the Yankees.

The Yanks seem out of gas and running on fumes. Hopefully they have something left in the tank but they haven’t looked good recently and yes, we should worry.

Starter Luis Gil’s scoreless streak to start his career ended in the fourth inning at 19 innings. Gil only gave up 1 hit, but walked 7. With one out in the top of the fourth, three straight walks loaded the bases. Lucas Luetge came in to relieve Gil and a run scored on a WP. An out later, a single made it 3-0 (batter made last out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double).

The Yanks did tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Joey Gallo led off with a single, and one out later, Rougned Odor walked. With two out, Brett Gardner homered (7) to tie the game at 3.

These appear to be the last games of Gardner’s career. Nothing has been said, but at age 38, it appears this may be it.

A mistake by SS Andrew Velazquez led to Toronto getting a run in the seventh. A slow dribbler for a single that Velazquez tried to make a play on. He barehanded the ball and should have eaten it when the ball started to crawl up his wrist. Instead he threw to first—-not with a good grip—and the throwing error enabled the hitter to reach second. Two outs later, a single drove in the runner. 4-3 Toronto, and that turned out to be the winning run.

A triple and SF made it 5-3 Toronto in the eighth inning, and Vlad Guerrero, Jr. hit a HR (41) in the ninth to make it 6-3, which was the final score.

Could Guerrero, Jr., just 22 now, turn out even better than his Hall-of-Fame father?

Gardner 3-run HR (7)
Stanton 2 hits.

Gil 3 1/3 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 7 W, 6 K. 1 WP 1.42. Just 1 H, 6 K. But wild with the 7 walks.
Luetge 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 1 WP 2.74
Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.65 (Tex/NYY)
Holmes (L, 6-3) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.21 (Pit/NYY)
Green 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W 2 K. 3.13
Chapman 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 1 WP. Gave up 1 HR. 3.86. More concerns here.
Peralta 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.98 (SF/NYY)

Yesterday was the induction day at the Hall of Fame for Derek Jeter.

Game 138. Cole leaves early with hamstring issue as Yankees lose 4th straight, 5-1.

Gerrit Cole left Tuesday’s game early with hamstring tightness and may miss his next start. It’s the last thing the reeling Yankees needed as they lost their fourth game in a row, 5-1, to the surging Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yanks are now 2-8 since the 13-game winning streak.

Even if Cole was healthy and pitched like he usually does, like an ace, the offense was still comatose, scoring just the one run.

The Yanks fell 9 1/2 back of Tampa Bay for the divisional lead. With just 24 games to go, it’s a given the Rays win the division.

But the Yanks are struggling to hold on to a wild card spot. They still have the top seed, but things are close.

NYY 78-60 — (top wild card spot)
Bos 79-62 – 1/2 (second wild card spot)
Tor 75-62 – 2 1/2 from Yanks, 2 behind Bos
Sea 75-64 -3 1/2 from Yanks, 3 behind Bos
Oak 74-64 -4 from Yanks, 3 1/2 behind Bos

Cole gave up a HR to Alejandro Kirk in the second inning, and the Blue Jays were up 1-0.

The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the third inning when Andrew Velazquez singled, stole second, went to third on a flyout, and scored on a single by Anthony Rizzo.

Cole gave up two runs in the top of the fourth. Toronto was helped by a balk and a passed ball. Cole then had to leave the game.

Albert Abreu gave up a HR to Marcus Semien (38) in the top of the fifth. 4-1.

Kirk got his second HR of the game off of Clay Holmes in the eighth.

Rizzo 2 hits, RBI
Gardner 2 hits
Velazquez 2 hits

Cole (L, 14-7) 3 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 2 K. 1 balk. Gave up 1 HR. 2.78
Abreu 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.50
Rodriguez 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.76 (Tex/NYY)
Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.13 (Pit/NYY)
Heaney 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.76

Luis Gil will try to right the ship. He starts tonight. Brooks Kriske was sent down to make room for Gil.

Game 135. Yanks’ comeback falls short, lose 4-3.

For whatever reason, the Yankees just don’t score when Jordan Montgomery pitches this year. Luck of the draw, maybe. Next year it could be another starter that gets no run support.

The Yanks didn’t get a hit until the seventh inning. They only got three in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles Saturday afternoon.

The loss drops the Yanks (78-57) 7 1/2 behind Tampa Bay with 27 games to go. The division title seems impossible to get. The Yanks need to hold onto the top wild card spot. They are now just 1/2 game above Boston to have that one-game, sudden death wild card game at home instead of in Fenway. Oakland and Seattle are 4 games behind Boston, and Toronto is 5 back.

With two out and two on (second and third) in the top of the fourth, Montgomery walked one-time Yankees’ prospect Jorge Mateo, but threw a WP in doing so, allowing a run to score. 1-0 Orioles. This would be a big difference in the game. So would another WP later on.

Baltimore got two runs in the top of the seventh off of Wandy Peralta, and had the bases loaded with one out, looking for more, but Lucas Luetge stopped it right there.

In the bottom of the seventh, Anthony Rizzo led off the inning by reaching on an error, then Brett Gardner walked. PH Gary Sanchez flied out, moving Rizzo to third. PH Gleyber Torres singled in Rizzo to cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. It was the first hit of the game for the Yanks. But then PH Luke Voit GIDP to end the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, D.J. LeMahieu singled, and Joey Gallo—15 for 115 as a Yankee to that point—homered to tie the game. If ever someone needed that, Gallo did. Hopefully it can be the spark that gets him going. 16 for 116 is just .138. You could see the frustration and pressure building up in him.

But Aroldis Chapman is a question mark. Come playoff time, the way he’s pitched lately, can you really count on him closing out a game? Remember in each of the last two seasons, the Yankees’ season ended because Chapman gave up game-winning home runs. Yesterday, he couldn’t keep the score at three, and wound up losing the game. A WP on a strikeout enabled the go-ahead run to reach base. Then came a single and a walk to load the bases with no one out. Chapman got a strikeout, but a SF scored what turned out to be the winning run. A strikeout ended the inning, but the O’s now had a 4-3 lead, one they maintained.

The Yanks keep running Chapman out there in the ninth, hoping to get him right. But Jonathan Loaisiga, by far, has been the Yankees’ most dominant reliever this year, especially since mid-June, when Chapman started going downhill. Do you make a change to Loaisiga now? Especially since you are on pins and needles when Chapman comes in right now, not knowing if he will do the job (and when he does do the job, it isn’t without a lot of angst).

We have been spoiled by Mariano Rivera, but the shaky closer situation right now is a problem. History lesson: In 2009, the last year the Yanks won the World Series, EVERY playoff closer blew a game except one—the great Mariano. That is one reason the Yanks won that year, and how important a shut-down closer is come playoff time.

Here is hoping (and praying?) both Gallo and Chapman right themselves and get hot.

Gallo 2-run HR (31, combined Tex/NYY)

Montgomery 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 2 W, 5 K. 1 WP 3.47 (with that ERA should be better than 5-5). No run support.
Holmes 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K. 4.04 (Pit/NYY) (was dominating yesterday)
Peralta 1/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.08 (SF/NYY)
Luetge 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.86
Chapman (L, 5-4) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 WP 3.72

The Yanks have to beat Baltimore, a team that is only 42-92 this season. Six of Baltimore’s 42 wins are against the Yankees, the most they have against any team. Tampa Bay went 18-1 vs. Baltimore this season. The Yanks are just 9-6 against Baltimore. That is one explanation of why the Yanks trail Tampa Bay by 7 1/2. Those games against Baltimore ALONE are a seven game difference.

Game 134. Stanton walks off O’s in 11th, 4-3.

Giancarlo Stanton’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th gave the Yankees a 4-3 win over Baltimore Friday night.

Before the game, the Yankees reactivated Gleyber Torres off the IL and sent down Estevan Florial.

Stanton started the scoring for the game with a solo HR (26) in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Yanks made it 2-0 in the fifth. With one out, Rougned Odor walked. He went to third on a single by Gary Sanchez (who was hitting ninth!) and scored on a SF by D.J. LeMahieu.

Nestor Cortes once again was “Nasty Nestor”, shutting out Baltimore until giving up a solo HR to Trey Mancini with two out in the top of the sixth.

The Orioles tied the game in the seventh when one-time Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo hit a HR off of Jonathan Loaisiga. 2-2.

The game went into extra innings with that extra-innings ghost runner rule which I hate, and hopefully is gone next year.

In the top of the tenth, with one out, Baltimore got a single to go up 3-2. After a walk, a line into DP ended the inning.

The Yanks started the bottom of the tenth with Tyler Wade pinch running as the ghost runner on second. With one out, LeMahieu singled in Wade to tie the game. LeMahieu got to third on a WP, but was stranded there by Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge. Gallo is really struggling, just 15 for 112 (.134) since the Yankees got him, with 54 strikeouts.

The Orioles got a leadoff single in the top of the eleventh, but the ghost runner had to hold at third. Clay Holmes then got out of the inning without allowing a run. Great job that won the game for the Yankees.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Judge, having made the last out the inning before, was the ghost runner, and Stanton immediately singled him home to win the game.

With the win, the Yanks (78-56) remain 6 1/2 back of Tampa Bay, in second place in the AL East, with 28 games to go.

They remain 1 1/2 up on Boston for the top wild card spot. Boston is the front-runner for the other wild card spot, with Oakland 3 games behind Boston, Seattle 4 back and Toronto 5 back of Boston.

LeMahieu 2 RBI
Stanton 2 hits, 2 RBI. Solo HR (26) and GW RBI single.

Cortes 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.67
Loiasiga (BS, 4) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.25
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.13
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 3.60
Peralta 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.66 (SF/NYY ERA)
Holmes (W, 6-2) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K, 4.14 (combined Pit/NYY record)

Game 131. Yanks lose 3rd straight, edged by Angels, 8-7

The Yanks got edged by the Angels last night, 8-7, and it was their third straight loss.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has won 8 in a row, and the Yankees are now 7 back with 31 to go. You never give up, but it looks increasingly likely that the Yanks will have to concentrate on getting the home field for the wild card game. They are two up on Boston for the top wild card spot. Oakland is 2 behind Boston for the second wild card spot, Seattle and Toronto both 4 1/2 behind Boston.

The Yanks struck first last night, getting two runs in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back doubles by D.J. LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo plated one run. Aaron Judge singled Rizzo to third, and Rizzo scored when Giancarlo Stanton GIDP.

I was a bit concerned about Corey Kluber coming off the IL to start this game for the Yankees. In his rehab starts, I don’t believe he pitched over 3 2/3 innings, and while he may have felt fine, the results didn’t look good. I know he is working on things, seeing if physically fine, and the results don’t matter as much, but there were a few things I didn’t like. Kluber surprised me with three great innings last night then ….

he ran out of gas in the fourth. After a strikeout, three straight singles plated a run. An out that moved the runners up to second and third. A walk to load the bases. Then, a grand slam. Angels up 5-2. The grand slam came on the first pitch after a mound visit. That doesn’t make the pitching coach look good.

The Yanks tied the game with three runs in the top of the fifth. The top four hitters in the lineup did all the damage for the Yanks last night. The inning started at the bottom, when Brett Gardner drew a one-out walk. He went to second on a balk, and after an out, LeMahieu singled to make it 5-3. Rizzo singled and both runners took an extra base on an error on the play. Men on second and third. A Judge single made it 5-4, Rizzo holding up at third. Stanton’s single tied the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Angels’ amazing Shohei Ohtani homered to put the Angels up 6-5. The homer, off ex-teammate Andrew Heaney, was Ohtani’s 42nd of the season, leading the majors. He is also 8-1 with an ERA of 3.00 as a pitcher. What a talent.

The Angels got another run off of Heaney in the bottom of the sixth to go up 7-5.

In the top of the seventh, Rizzo led off with a walk, and one out later, Stanton hit a 2-run HR (25) to tie the game.

The Angels scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Wandy Peralta started the inning and gave up a single. Clay Holmes relieved Peralta, and got two groundouts, each moving the runner up. A single brought in what turned out to be the winning run, batter (ex-Met Juan Lagares) out trying to stretch it into a double.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI
Rizzo 2 hits, RBI
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Stanton 2 hits, 3 RBI, 2-run HR (25)

Kluber 4 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. Gave up grand slam. 3.61
Heaney 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.53 (Combined LAA/NYY ERA)
Peralta (L, 4-3) 1+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.76
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.22 (Combined Pit/NYY)

Game 127. Yanks extend winning streak to 12, 7-6. Opening space in WC race.

What looked like a laugher turned into a squeaker, but the Yankees won their 12th game in a row, 7-6, over Oakland last night. The Yankees are 20-4 in August and have won 34 of their last 45 games.

With the win, the Yanks are 4 games back of Tampa Bay in the AL East, in second place. As far as the wild card picture goes, the Yankees are opening some breathing space. They are 3 up on Boston for the top wild card spot. Oakland is then 2 1/2 back of Boston, Seattle 3 back of Boston and Toronto 5 1/2 back of Boston.

The 12-game winning streak is the first 12-game winning streak for the Yankees since the M&M days of 1961—a few months before I was born.

The Yanks started off the game by having each of its first four batters strike out. After the fourth one, a called strike three to Joey Gallo leading off the top of the second inning, manager Aaron Boone let his displeasure with the call and the strike zone be known and he was ejected.

The next hitter, Giancarlo Stanton, hit a HR (23) to put the Yanks up 1-0. After another strikeout, Brett Gardner homered (6) and the Yanks were up 2-0.

The Yanks tacked on four more in the top of the third. Andrew Velazquez doubled, moved to third on a groundout, and Anthony Rizzo doubled him home. After a walk to Aaron Judge, Gallo hit a 3-run HR (30, combined Tex/NYY) and the Yanks were up 6-0. A laugher, we thought. Wrong.

Yankees’ starter James Taillon gave up back-to-back HR to the first two Oakland batters in the bottom of the third and it was 6-2.

Taillon gave up three runs and was knocked out in the bottom of the fourth when Oakland scored three runs to cut the score to 6-5.

Albert Abreu gave up a HR in the bottom of the fifth and the game was tied.

The Yanks had the bases loaded, one out, in the top of the eighth but couldn’t score.

In the top of the ninth, with two out, Rizzo walked. Tyler Wade PR for him, stole second, and moved to third on a throwing error on the play. Judge singled him in for what turned out to be the game winning run.

Aroldis Chapman closed it out in the bottom of the ninth for his 300th career save.

Judge 2 hits, RBI (game winning RBI)
Gallo 3-run HR (30; combined Tex/NYY)
Stanton solo HR (23)
Gardner solo HR (6)

Taillon 3 2/3 IP, 5 R, 4 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. 4.18
Abreu 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K Gave up 1 HR. 4.33
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.30 (Combined Pit/NYY)
Loaisiga (W, 9-4) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.23
Chapman (S, 24) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.77 300TH CAREER SAVE

Before the game, Brody Koerner sent to SWB, Gio Urshela back from rehab.