Tag Archives: Robertson

Trade deadline. No major move done by the Yanks. Thoughts.

header_1.jpg

The Yanks did not make a major move at the trade deadline.

They only made a minor one, trading rookie RHP Joe Harvey (1-0, 4.50 in nine games this year for the Yanks) to Colorado for LHP Alfredo Garcia. Per the NY Post: Garcia, 20, has pitched for Single-A Asheville and Boise this season. With the two teams, he’s combined for a 3-10 record and 6.00 ERA in 22 starts.

They apparently were looking at LHP Robbie Ray of Arizona but Arizona wanted OF Clint Frazier, RHP Clarke Schmidt (the Yanks’ #1 draft pick in 2017, who is now pitching at High A Tampa) and two other prospects. The Yanks thought that price was too steep.

Arizona did trade Zack Greinke to Houston (they made other moves as well). Now Houston is really scary with Justin Verlander, Greinke, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley.

Greinke never would have come to the Yankees. He has a no-trade to the Yanks, and with his problems with depression and anxiety early in his career (2005/2006) NY wouldn’t be right for him at all.

That is the situation at the trade deadline. Some teams are asking too much of you, like the teams that wanted Gleyber Torres for a pitcher that other teams say is an ace but you know they are middle to back end of the rotation caliber. And Torres shouldn’t be going anywhere. He is not even 23 yet, a 2x All-Star, and someone with 20+ HR in both of his seasons in the majors. Torres for Matthew Boyd of Detroit (6-8, 3.94 now, career 28-43, 4.82)? Please. Spare me.

Some players, like Greinke and Madison Bumgarner, have no-trade clauses. Whether Bumgarner would have waived his to go to the Yankees, who knows. But we also don’t know what SF would have wanted for him.

Some teams, like the Mets, won’t deal with the Yankees. I can see that with the Red Sox not dealing with the Yankees, but the Mets are in a different league. But the Mets have the fear of looking bad in a deal with the Yanks, and don’t want the Yanks to “take over the city” or is it “Citi”? LOL. But the Yankeephobia the Mets’ front office has hurts them if they are making trades with other teams and getting less return from them than in what the Yankees would give them for say, Wheeler or Syndegaard—and neither Wheeler or Syndegaard went anywhere.

So the Yankees don’t get a starter that could have helped them. No Minor, Bumgarner, Wheeler, Ray, Stroman, Boyd, Bauer, Roark, Leake, etc. Most, as I stated, don’t fall into the “ace” category.

They didn’t get relief help either. Shane Greene and Mark Melancon (both former Yankees, by the way) both went from their respective teams (Tigers and Giants) to the Braves.

By the way, ex-Yankee (twice) David Robertson, who went to the Phillies last offseason as a free agent, and who has barely pitched this year, is headed for elbow surgery that could include TJ surgery. If TJ (Tommy John) surgery, then he misses ALL of 2020.

So the Yankees have to hope some, or all of the following, get healthy enough to contribute soon: Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga and Dellin Betances. Loaisiga had a rehab stint (2 innings for AA Trenton last night). The others haven’t pitched yet in a game for any rehab assignment yet.

Either that or some pitchers need to pick up the slack and pitch better than they have so far this season (Happ/Paxton, even Tanaka).

I don’t know if I would call the Yanks’ efforts at the trade deadline here a failure. If you DO want to point any blame for not improving the rotation, I don’t think it is now, but things that happened BEFORE getting to this point.

For example, the free agent market. I didn’t mind bringing back Happ at the time (and that may be a mistake, given what he’s done this year and that he has a couple years left on the contract). But Happ wasn’t my first option. He was a fallback option. I think that the Yanks felt as I did. Getting Patrick Corbin being the top priority, with Happ as a fallback. But Corbin wanted more than the four years that the Yanks were offering, and got six from Washington where he is 9-5, 3.23. The Yanks sure could use that now.

Then there was Gio Gonzalez. The Yanks signed him at the end of spring training to a minor league deal, one that Gonzalez opted out of a few weeks later when it was obvious, at that time, that there was no place in the rotation for him. He is 2-1, 3.48 for Milwaukee right now.

Lastly, Dallas Keuchel. The Yanks wouldn’t go an extra mile to land him, lost him to the Braves, and Keuchel is 3-4, 3.86 right now.

Any of those three would not have cost players, just money. Now the question is why the Yankees were not more proactive towards those three? And that may not be the fault of Cashman, but of Hal Steinbrenner, who, let’s face it, is more frugal than his dad. Hal may have set a certain price that he wouldn’t allow Cashman to exceed, and if a deal then wasn’t made, the blame falls on Hal then, not Cashman.

If there is something to gripe about, I feel as if it isn’t because of what wasn’t done today at the trade deadline, but what wasn’t done BEFORE—namely, Corbin, Gonzalez and/or Keuchel. For those three have/had better potential and results than almost all of what was out there today.

One more thing. I wasn’t too keen this offseason about bringing back CC. He hasn’t been bad this year, but you are getting what you expected you’d get from a guy who just turned 39. Two trips to the injured list. Not much length in his starts. He has not recorded a “W” in more than a month. Yes, having him retire as a Yankee is nice. It’s his final season. But sentiment doesn’t win titles. You think with your head, not your heart.

Being a clubhouse presence and a great teammate is great. But you also have to do it between the lines, and of course, CC isn’t what he used to be.

So we hope now for help from within. Severino, Montgomery, Loaisiga, Betances. Maybe Deivi Garcia, but I doubt it. I’d be surprised. At 20, he probably needs a full season of AAA, so maybe 2021 for him (or late 2020?)

And after this season is over, don’t mess up on the free agent market. For example, Gerrit Cole of Houston, who the Yanks once drafted (he didn’t sign) and later coveted (traded by Pittsburgh to Houston because the Yanks wouldn’t give the Pirates Miguel Andujar) is a free agent after this season. He is 12-5. 2.94 for Houston now. He was 15-5, 2.88 for them last season. He struck out 276 last year and leads the majors with 212 strikeouts right now. Houston is one of your top competitors right now for AL supremacy. You can improve yourself and hurt Houston after this season in one move. Are you listening, Hal? Cash?

 

 

Yanks lose D-Rob to Phils

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Well, now we see if the Yanks can keep Zach Britton or if they go after Adam Ottavino.

Yesterday David Robertson left the Yanks again via the free agent route. While last time he went to the White Sox, this time he goes to join the Phillies on a 2 yr. $23MM deal with an option for a third year.

Robertson was 8-3, 3.23 for the Yanks last year with five saves. ERA+ 136. In his time with the Yanks he is 38-22, 2.75 and when he was with the White Sox 15-10, 3.28. His total career record is 53-32, 2.88 with 137 saves. 162 g. average 6-3, 2.88, 14 saves, ERA+ 147.

Still no word on getting Manny Machado or in trading away Sonny Gray.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Apologies to the late Tom Petty for the headline. And yes, I know I haven’t written anything in ten days or so.

But nothing has been going on, what with the holidays and all.

And I don’t want to deal or write about rumors. Where someone is going, how much $, how many years —- I want to deal with the facts and then give my opinion.

Just writing about rumors and something that may not happen is fruitless.

Some free agents did sign recently—-no, not Machado (we are still waiting on that) or Harper.

From Twitter, a great example of how Yankees’ fans are feeling right now:

But Japan’s LHP Yusei Kikuchi signed with Seattle on a 4-yr. deal. DH/OF Nelson Cruz to the Twins on a 1-yr. $14.3 MM deal.

There is a HOF tracker that has 1/3 of the votes counted. You need 75% of the writer’s vote to get in. Not 74.8 (they don’t round up) but 75% or more. So far …

Rivera 100%, Halladay 94.9, Edgar Martinez 91.2, Mussina 83.2 and Clemens a nail-biter at 75.2.

Barry Bonds 74.5, Schilling 73, Larry Walker 65.7.

Andy Pettitte is only at 8%.

And oh yeah, Sonny Gray is still a Yankee. Not dealt yet.

Nothing on Ottavino, Robertson or Britton either.

More when things DO develop.

Game 4 ALDS. Yanks are eliminated, 4-3. Furious comeback comes up short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

They’ll talk about that 16-1 beating all winter. They will talk about Boone leaving Severino in for the fourth, about Lynn coming in instead of Green, I don’t know if any of it would have mattered, considering the score.

We’ll remember the two one-run losses even more. Win those, and the Yanks would still be playing, despite that beatdown.

The Yanks lost Game 4 of the ALDS to Boston Tuesday night, 4-3, and therefore lost the series 3 games to 1. The Red Sox advance to face Houston in the ALCS.

You now wonder which players will be back. CC, Gardner (0 for 8 in the ALDS), Robertson, Britton, Happ, Lynn, Walker, Hechevarria and McCutchen (2 for 15 in the ALDS) are all free agents or have options that may not be picked up.

A couple of key hits here or there, liners that found Boston gloves or that went foul while their balls blooped in. Shots that fell short of the fence while theirs barely cleared the wall, that we’ll remember.

Aaron Boone did shake up the lineup, hoping to get more lefty oomph in there. Gardner started in LF, Hicks in CF, Walker at 3B. McCutchen and Andujar sat.

CC got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but gave up 3 runs in the third. One of the hits a bleeder by Yankee-killer Steve Pearce. One RBI double appeared to be misplayed by Gardner, but to be fair, it was hit so hard it probably handcuffed him.

Boone’s bullpen management may be questioned a bit. It’s one thing that hopefully improves next year.

Zach Britton gave up a HR in the fourth to Christian Vazquez. 4-0 Boston. The HR just cleared the short porch.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the fifth when Sanchez doubled, Torres got an infield hit and Gardner a SF.

In the bottom of the ninth, Judge led off with a walk, Didi singled and after Stanton (4 for 18, 6 strikeouts in the ALDS) struck out, Voit walked. Walker was HBP to make it 4-2. Sanchez just missed a game-winning grand slam, getting under it and hitting it to the warning track for a SF, 4-3. But Torres barely missed beating out a dribbler and the game, series, and season were over.

Up until that ninth inning, the Yanks had only scored 2 runs in their previous 19 innings. That won’t get it done.

Just like in 2017, in those games in Houston that year, the Yanks couldn’t come up with the big hit when you needed it.

The homers are nice. That HR record is nice. But hitting with RISP, being able to get the bat on the ball, avoiding strikeouts, going the other way, situational hitting, those are things that need to be improved upon for the Yanks to advance to the next levels. Homers alone won’t do it. Also, baserunning. The Red Sox were 5 for 5 in stealing bases in the series, the Yanks didn’t even attempt one.

Starters who go deep would help too. The longest any Yankee starter pitched in this postseason was the five innings Tanaka went in getting the Game 2 win.

Hopefully for the youngsters, Torres and Andujar (1 for 9 in the series), this postseason was a learning experience. Same for veterans like Stanton, making his first postseason appearance. Learn from it.

The bullpen did a great job keeping the Yanks in the game and giving them a chance.

Gregorius 2 hits (out of the Yanks’ 5)

Sabathia (L) 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Britton 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3  K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

More post-mortem analysis to come in the coming weeks.

Game 1 ALDS. Un-Happ-y result as Yanks lose, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

J.A. Happ didn’t have it, giving up a 3-run HR to J.D. Martinez in the first inning and getting knocked out in the third. The Yanks clawed back in it, but couldn’t come all the way back and lost Game 1 of the Division Series to Boston 5-4.

Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yanks tonight vs. David Price. The Yanks have had success against Price so hopefully the Yanks will exit Boston with a split.

The hope was that Chris Sale, who has a history of owning the Yankees, would be stale Sale since he hasn’t pitched much since the All-Star break, having been on the DL twice and whose velocity has been down recently. Instead, Sale mixed his pitches well, and was hitting 95 instead of the recent 90. Sale struck out the side (with one walk in there) in the first inning.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the first, Happ gave up that 3-run HR that just cleared the green monster.

In the third, Betts doubled off the monster, Benintendi bunted for a hit, and Happ was replaced by Chad Green. The Yankees nemesis, Steve Pearce, singled in a run. 4-0 Boston. Two flyouts advanced and scored Benintendi. 5-0 Boston.

The Yanks’ bullpen shut down Boston after that as the Yanks tried to make a late charge to steal the win away from the Red Sox.

But the rookies who have helped so much this year, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, along with veteran Giancarlo Stanton, who is in his first playoff series, couldn’t come up with the big hits when needed.

In the fourth, Aaron Hicks singled but had to be pulled from the game due to a tight hamstring. We’ll have to see about his availability for the rest of the series. A huge blow. Gardner can provide the D, but not the power that Hicks can provide.

With two on and two out in the fourth, Andujar struck out. The Yanks struck out 13x in the game.

The Yanks finally broke through in the sixth. Judge singled, and after a forceout, Stanton singled, which knocked Sale out of the game. Voit singled in a run to make it 5-1. Didi grounded into a forceout, runner scoring. 5-2. Didi moved up on a WP. Andujar and Sanchez both walked to load the bases, but Torres struck out.

Maybe the young Torres (21) got too anxious. He swung at the first pitch out of the zone, took three balls, but that 3-1 pitch he took for strike two looked like a pitch he should have swung at and crushed. Then he fished on a breaking pitch which would have been ball four and struck out.

The Yanks probably lost the game for good in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with no one out and only got one run out of it. McCutchen and Judge started it off with singles, and after a pitching change, both moved up on a WP. Gardner walked to load the bases.

But Stanton, who went 1 for 5 with 4 strikeouts, struck out. That may have been THE at bat of the ball game.

A-Rod got criticized often for not coming up big in key moments of the postseason (at least until 2009, and even in retirement he still gets criticized, despite 2009, for it today). Yankee fans are hoping Stanton isn’t another “A-Rod” in this regard.

But last night didn’t help.

The fact that Stanton couldn’t get his bat on the ball, even for a SF there, played a major factor in costing the Yanks the game.

Voit grounded into a force out, barely beating out the DP attempt, to make it 5-3. Didi grounded out to end the inning.

But the Yanks needed more there. They couldn’t load the bases with no one out and come away with just one run. That inning was the difference and cost the Yanks the game.

In the ninth, Judge homered to lead off the inning, but Kimbrel bounced back with three straight strikeouts (including Stanton, who NEVER TOOK THE BAT OFF HIS SHOULDER) to end the game. Voit striking out to end it.

Big one for the Yanks tonight. Get out of Boston with the split. Hopefully Tanaka is on.

And hopefully, the Yanks’ situational hitting improves. Don’t worry about the green monster. Use the whole field.

Make contact.

Judge 3 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 1 for 5, struck out 4 times
Voit 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Happ (L) 2+ IP, 5 R, 4 H, 1 W, 2 K.  Gave up 3-run HR
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Lynn 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

 

In other series, Milwaukee shut out Colorado 4-0 and is up 2 games to 0.
The Dodgers blanked the Braves, 3-0, and are up 2 games to 0.
Houston beat Cleveland behind 4 HR, 7-2, and are up 1-0.

By the way, did you see who the Brewers’ catcher is? Erik Kratz, who started the year being the backup to Kyle Higashioka at SWB. Kratz, who is 38, played in four games for the Yanks in 2017,  going 2 for 2 with a double and 2 RBI. He started this year at SWB. On May 25 of this year, the Yanks traded him to Milwaukee for a player to be named later (it turned out to be Wendell Rijo). In 67 games for the Brewers, Kratz hit .236-6-23, OPS+ 69. Six walks, 40 strikeouts.

 

 

 

Yanks advance to ALDS with 7-2 win over A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees advance to the ALDS against Boston after beating the Oakland A’s 7-2 in the one-game, sudden death, wild card game Wednesday night.

They jumped off to an early 2-0 lead when Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Aaron Judge crushed a 2-run HR that was estimated at 427 feet.

Luis Severino pitched four no-hit innings before being removed after giving up back-to-back singles to begin the fifth.

Severino did have some trouble with walks and some shaky fielding (Miguel Andujar throws) and had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

After Severino gave up the hits in the fifth, Dellin Betances came in to work out of the jam, and Betances pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.  Adeiny Hechevarria replaced Andujar at third for defense early—in the sixth.

A bit early for Betances, and maybe for Hechevarria, but in a sudden death game you manage differently, and Aaron Boone did a great job managing last night.

The A’s meanwhile, were doing a bullpen game. They had an opener, who gave up 2 runs (the Judge HR), another guy for 3 innings, another for 1, etc.

The Yanks broke it open in the bottom of the sixth. Judge and Aaron Hicks doubled off of Fernando Rodney (who can stick his arrow in his quiver) to make it 3-0, and Rodney then threw a WP. The A’s then brought in their closer, Blake Treinen, who was 9-2, 0.78, with 38 saves this season, in an effort to keep the game where it was.

Treinen walked Giancarlo Stanton, Stanton maybe getting the benefit of a call, and then Stanton stole second. Luke Voit worked Treinen over, fouling off a few pitches before getting one he liked. Voit drove it the other way for a 2-run triple, just narrowly missing a HR. 5-0 Yanks. Didi Gregorius hit a SF (Didi had made a nice defensive play earlier, saving Voit an error), the burly Voit somehow getting in there despite the throw beating him to the plate. 6-0.

Hechevarria made a fabulous catch at third off a line drive to start the seventh.

In the eighth, Zach Britton was very shaky, giving up a 2-run HR to Khris Davis. Davis had led the majors with 48 this year. 6-2 Yanks.

Brett Gardner had come in for defense for McCutchen in LF in the eighth, and Neil Walker would do so for Luke Voit at 1B in the ninth.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the bottom of the eighth for the Yanks with a HR that was crushed, 443 feet and just fair. It seemed to almost go over the foul pole.

7-2 Yanks, the final score.

On the Boston where the best-of-five ALDS begins Friday night. I expect J.A. Happ to get the call to start Game 1 for the Yanks.

Judge HR, double, 2 RBI
Hicks double, RBI
Stanton solo HR
Voit 2-run Triple

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

Severino 4+ IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 W, 7 K.
Betances (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  He’s been shaky lately.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Game 162. Yanks fall, 10-2, finish 100-62. Wild Card game next.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost the season finale, 10-2, to finish the season at 100-62, 2nd in the AL East, 8 behind Boston. They now prepare for the sudden death wild card game at the Stadium on Wednesday night vs. the 97 win A’s.

Not a good day for a tweener, Cessa, or two rookies in Loaisiga and Sheffield.

Luke Voit got two of the Yanks’ four hits, and his 2-run HR (15, 14 as a Yankee) accounted for both of the Yankees’ runs. So the record is 267 HR in a season by one team, the 2018 Yankees.

The Yanks made 3 errors in this game.

Miguel Andujar got his 47th double of the season tying Fred Lynn’s record for most by an AL rookie.

Gary Sanchez finished at .186, the lowest batting average in Yankees’ history for someone with, say, 300 plate appearances.  1970 Jerry Kenney was the previous low.

Cessa (L, 1-4, 5.24) 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Robertson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.23
Loaisiga 2 IP, 3 R, 0 ER,  4 H, 0 W, 2 K. gave up 1 HR.   5.11
Sheffield 1 1P, 3 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  10.13
Tarpley 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 4 K.  3.00
Cole 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  6.14 (Wash/NYY)
Adams  1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  7.04

 

Game 158. Yanks’ comeback falls short. Lead over A’s 1 1/2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (97-61) opened and closed the game strong offensively, but didn’t do anything in between as a furious ninth inning comeback came up just short in a 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay Wednesday night.

The A’s won, so the Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to clinch home field for the wild card game next Wednesday remains at 2. The Yanks lead the A’s by 1 1/2 games.

Neil Walker hit his 11th HR of the season, a 3-run shot, to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.

But Masahiro Tanaka had nothing, giving 3 right back to the Rays in the bottom of the first.

In the third, Tanaka gave up a HR, 4-3 Rays. If this was an audition for starting the wild card game, Tanaka didn’t help himself.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the fifth with one out, but Giancarlo Stanton GIDP.

In the bottom of the eighth, David Robertson came in and had nothing, giving up 4 runs, and yes, Gary Sanchez committed another passed ball. 8-3 Rays.

The Yanks scored four in the top of the ninth. Sanchez walked and with one out, Brett Gardner singled. Andrew McCutchen singled to load the bases. Aaron Judge singled in a run. Luke Voit singled in two runs. Giancarlo Stanton singled in a run. But Tyler Wade flied out and Miguel Andujar popped up to end the game.

Injury report: Didi Gregorius has been cleared to play. He didn’t Wednesday, but the cortisone shot in the wrist is helping. Aaron Hicks didn’t play because of the turf and a tight hamstring. Gleyber Torres didn’t start (tight hip/groin) but did come into the game later.

McCutchen 2 hits
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Voit 3 hits, 2 RBI
Walker 3-run HR

Tanaka (L, 12-6, 3.75) 4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.88
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.53
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.49
Robertson 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.   3.26
Sheffield 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  0.00

Sheffield made a costly error on a pickoff attempt that enabled the final run to score.

Game 156. Yanks win “bullpen” game, 4-1. Use 8 pitchers who 2-hit Rays.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In order to give some starters more rest, and to set up a playoff rotation, manager Aaron Boone went to a “bullpen” game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, using 8 pitchers who two-hit the Rays in a 4-1 Yankees’ victory. They walked six but struck out 13.

The win improved the Yanks’ record to 96-60 and kept them 1 1/2 games ahead of the A’s for the top wild card spot. The Yanks’ magic # for getting that wild card game against Oakland at home is 4.

One reason Boone did this is that it appears more and more likely that the games in Boston this upcoming weekend will mean a lot to the Yankees as far as holding off Oakland to secure home field advantage for the wild card game. It could come down to the final game.

Boone will have a lot of decisions to make, and one that has been made is controversial. He has said that Gary Sanchez will be the catcher in the wild card game, despite Sanchez committing two more passed balls yesterday and hitting .180. He might be hoping for lightning in a bottle, since a normal Sanchez could give you a 2-HR, 5 RBI game. But the Sanchez of this season has many thinking that Boone should start Austin Romine instead.

Didi Gregorius felt better but it remains to be seen whether that torn cartillage in his wrist will allow Didi to play anymore this season. Meanwhile a tight hamstring forced Aaron Hicks out of last night’s game. His replacement, Brett Gardner, got an RBI and made a game-saving catch.

The Yanks scored first when Andrew McCutchen homered in the third inning. It was his 20th of the season, and fifth as a Yankee.

Tampa Bay, who was eliminated from the playoffs with the loss, scored in the fourth to tie the game. They were helped by one of the two passed balls Sanchez had on the night.

In the fifth, Aaron Judge walked, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored on Gardner’s single. 2-1 Yanks. Giancarlo Stanton doubled Gardner home, 3-1, but was thrown out at third on the play.

The Yanks got the final run of the game in the seventh when McCutchen and Judge hit back-to-back doubles.

There has been a considerable number of likes on the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club Facebook page recently, and a lot are from people outside of the Lehigh Valley. I don’t know how you heard of us, but welcome. Check out the website, http://lvyankeefanclub.org/ for information about our 2019 bus trips.

McCutchen 2 hits, HR.

Now for the pitching, this is going to look like a spring training game.

Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.  2.92
Tarpley 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  4.50
Gray (W, 11-9, 4.98) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Green (H, 13) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.   2.57
Robertson (H, 21) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.  2.88
Chapman (H, 1 ) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.   2.54
Betances (H, 20) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  2.60
Britton (S, 7) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  3.18 (Balt/NYY)

Game 153. Yanks hold off O’s, stay 1 1/2 up on A’s for top wild card spot.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (94-59) got off to a 6-0 lead, and hung on to beat the Bad News Bears (um, the 44-109 Baltimore Orioles) Friday night, 10-8.

With the win, the Yanks remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Oakland for that top wild card spot and to have the one-game sudden-death wild card game played in the Bronx.

Magic Numbers: 7 over the A’s for the top wild card spot (because the Yanks own the tiebreaker). 2 over Tampa Bay for the bottom wild card spot.

Didi Gregorius hit his 27th HR to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the first inning.

They got four more in the fourth. Neil Walker doubled with one out, and Gleyber Torres singled him in. Torres stole second, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on an Austin Romine groundout. 4-0. Brett Gardner walked and Aaron Hicks homered (25) to make it 6-0. The Yanks now have 249 HR on the season, and are on pace to tie the all-time record of 264, set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

Hicks became the fifth Yankee this year to hit the 25 HR mark. Gleyber Torres needs two more to become the sixth.

Then, it seems, manager Aaron Boone got a little too cute in utilizing his bullpen and that could have cost the Yankees the game.

With two out, CC Sabathia gave up two runs in the fifth. 6-2.

In the seventh, Boone brought in Jonathan Loaisiga to replace CC. He immediately gave up a HR, 6-3. Single. Strikeout but a stolen base and an E2 on Romine put the runner on third. Zach Britton came in and gave up a single, 6-4, before getting out of the inning.

The Yanks came back with three in the bottom of the inning. Hicks singled, Judge walked and McCutchen singled in a run. Judge was out on a fielder’s choice, caught in a rundown which put runners on second and third with one out. Luke Voit then singled in two runs. 9-4.

Here is where Boone got a bit too cute and almost blew the game. Instead of leaving Britton in, Boone brought in Stephen Tarpley, who got a strikeout. Fine.

But instead of leaving Tarpley in after he faced one batter and struck him out, Boone now brings in A.J. Cole, who gives up a walk and a HR. 9-6.

Cole gets a pop up for the second out, then a bunt single. In comes David Robertson, who promptly gives up a 2-run HR before getting the last out of the inning. 9-8.

The Yanks got an insurance run in the eighth when with two out, Hicks singled and Aaron Judge doubled him home.

Dellin Betances closed it out in the ninth.

But that eighth inning was too close for comfort. Why remove Britton after just 2/3 and why remove Tarpley after just one batter?

The Yanks have to sweep Baltimore. With the A’s breathing down the Yanks’ throats and the Yanks having seven games at Tampa Bay and Boston to close the season, in order to ensure that the wild card game is played in the Bronx, sweeping the Orioles is almost an imperative.

Hicks 2 hits, scored 4 runs, 2 RBI, walked 2x. HR
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI, HR
Voit 2 RBI

Sabathia (W, 8-7, 3.77) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 5 K.  Career win #245.
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.82
Britton (H, 9) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  3.35 (Balt/NYY)
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  5.40
Cole 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.74 (Wash/NYY)
Robertson (H, 20) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.   2.93
Betances (S, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.69