The Yanks beat the Rays tonight, 6-1, and in so doing ensured that the wild card play-in game will be played in Yankee Stadium.
They did pick up a game on Boston, and are still alive for the division crown, but are 3 back with five games to go. The Yanks won the season series against the Red Sox, so a tie goes to the Yankees.
With their 88th win, the Yanks have won more games than any Yankees team since 2012. You have to go back to 2012, when the Yanks last won the AL East, to find a team with more wins.
That 2012 team won the ALDS over Baltimore, thanks to Raul Ibanez’ heroics, but were swept in the ALCS by the Tigers. That ALCS is best remembered for Derek Jeter breaking his ankle in Game 1.
As for tonight, Jordan Montgomery pitched six strong innings to get the win, 6-1 over the Rays. He got help in the first inning from Aaron Hicks, who just came off of the DL. Hicks robbed Wilson Ramos of a grand slam HR. Instead it was a SF, and after that, Montgomery settled in.
Hicks drew 3 walks tonight and stole a base.
In the second, the Yanks struck for four runs. Starlin Castro hit his 15th HR leading off the inning. Singles by Todd and Clint Frazier, and then another by Ronald Torreyes, loaded the bases. Back to Back walks to Hicks and Judge forced in two runs. After a DP, Judge stole second, and a WP brought Hicks home.
In the eighth, with one out, Torreyes walked (a rarity). A WP moved him to second and after another out, Judge walked. Sanchez singled in one run, Holliday another. 6-1.
Hicks 3 walks and robbed a guy of a grand slam (wound up a SF)
Castro 3 for 3, HR.
Torreyes 2 hits.
Montgomery (W, 9-7, 3.96) 6 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 W, 5 K.
Kahnle (H, 15) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.44
Robertson (H, 7) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.90
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.91
Ok, a question for you. Who would you want as the #4 starter in the postseason rotation after Severino, Gray and CC?
Tanaka? or Montgomery?
I say Montgomery. But I don’t think the Yanks will have the guts to do the right thing, and go with the rookie who has pitched better than Tanaka all season long.
I think they’ll go with the experience and with Tanaka.
But I hope I am wrong, and that do indeed they go with the guy whose ERA is one full run lower, and that’s Montgomery.