Game 141: NYY vs. TEX — #SevySharp, his 1-hitter, & a 9th inning rally

Now, that’s how you reverse whatever happened yesterday. Of course, it certainly helps that the Yankees have a starter like Luis Severino who threw a 1-hitter this afternoon in the middle game this weekend in Texas. Severino threw 100 pitches in his 7 innings, giving up a lone hit, a lone run, and walking 3, all while striking out 10 Texas batters. That lone run and hit actually were part of the same play in the 5th. With 2 outs and a runner on 1st (after a walk), a double scored that runner to get the Rangers on the board.

Actually, both starters were able to hold off both teams for most of the game. After the Rangers got on the board first with that RBI double in the 5th, the Yankees had some catching up to do. They got their opportunity in the 8th inning. After Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch, the Rangers turned to their bullpen. Pinch-hitter Holliday singled, moved Frazier to 3rd, and then was pinch-run by Wade. Then with 1 out, Chase Headley hit a nice sacrifice fly to score Frazier and tie up the game.

So, with a solid chance, the Yankees called on David Robertson, who just sailed through the bottom of the 8th in just 8 pitches. And almost in response, the Yankee offense made yet another move in the 9th inning. With 1 out and Judge on 1st, Ellsbury singled to put runners on the corners. A new reliever promptly plunked Frazier to load up the bases, so the Yankees called in pinch-hitter Tyler Austin for a chance. He delivered with a nice single to score Judge, the go-ahead run. After another out, Chase Headley worked a walk to walk in Ellsbury for the insurance run the Yankees wouldn’t really need.

Aroldis Chapman fell back into the closing role as he commanded and dominated the bottom of the 9th in just 13 pitches (2 strikeouts) for his 17th save opportunity of the season. Yankee pitchers today racked up 13 strikeouts, keeping the Rangers to that lone hit and lone run given up by Severino.

Final score: 3-1 Yankees

Okay, so here’s the postseason standings with just 21 games left of the regular season for the Yankees. {Note: at time of publishing, not all games have completed for this day and thus some stats will alter by a half or whole game by the end of the day.} The Yankees are now 4 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, with the Orioles trailing behind the Yankees another 5.5 games (or 9.5 games behind the Red Sox). The Rays are just behind them another game, and the Blue Jays are scraping the bottom at 16 games behind the Red Sox.

Now, in the AL divisions, the Indians are 11.5 games ahead of their next division rivals thanks mostly to their 17-game winning streak (my family likes promoting that stat and their newest hashtag #windians around lately). The Astros are also in a similar situation in the AL West, currently sitting at 14.5 games ahead of their next rival.

And similarly, the NL is having nearly the same issue. The Nationals and Dodgers are dominating their divisions, sitting at 19 and 10 games ahead, respectively. Meanwhile, the Cubs are just 4 games ahead of the Brewers and Cardinals, making this a division still very much in flux.

Meanwhile, the Wild Card is much less secure. In the NL, the Diamondbacks are doing really well this year, but being in the same division as the dominant Dodgers forces the Arizona team into the first Wild Card spot, 6 games ahead of their geographic rival — the Rockies. (This also makes the NL West one of the strongest divisions in the league right now, by the way.) But the NL Central 2nd place teams (the Brewers and Cardinals) are just 3 games behind them. So if the Cubs slip, they could still be looking at the postseason, but from the Wild Card spot instead.

And over here in the AL, things are much less certain. Yes, the Yankees currently lead the Wild Card race, but they are only 2 games ahead of the surging Twins. And then it’s super tight with the next few teams just half-games a part from each other — Angels (behind 2 games from the Twins), Rangers (3), Orioles (3.5), Mariners (4), and Rays and Royals (4.5).

In other words, the postseason is still basically a giant crap shoot. Which makes September baseball all that more interesting because now every little detail counts for everything!

Go Yankees!

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