Game 154: LAA vs. NYY: 100th win for the AL East Championship

Yankee Stadium fans were in for a treat tonight as they witnessed an outstanding game. Facing the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Yankees earned their well-deserved 100th win that clinched the 2019 AL East Division Championship, their first division title since 2012. Despite being plagued this year by a record-breaking number of players on the IL that had many doubting a shot at a title, the Yankees continued to show their depth of talent and solid ability to play as a team, no matter who was in the lineup or on the mound. The Yankees came ready to play as a team and it showed.

Masahiro Tanaka took a solid command of the mound to start the game against the Los Angeles Angels. It was “Tanaka Time” for a full 7 innings that gave the starter his 11th win of the season. Facing 24 batters, Tanaka threw 86 pitches and gave up just one run, a solo home run to right field in the 4th. Gearrin replaced Tanaka in the 8th for an easy 3 outs. And in the 9th, Aroldis Chapman took over the mound to close the inning for the Yankees 100th season win to clinch the AL East, their first since 2012.

After a scoreless 1st, the Yankees started off the 2nd inning with a walk from lead-off batter Maybin, who was then caught on fielder’s choice by Gardner. Romine then singled, and DJ LeMahieu came to the plate and sent a 3-run homer, his 25th this year, over the right-center field fence, scoring both Gardner and Romine.  In the 4th, Brett Gardner homered to right field for another run.

Gregorius led-off the 6th with a single and then stole 2nd. Following a walk by Urshela, Maybin hit into a ground out that moved Urshela and Gregorius into scoring position. Gardner then hit a solid double that scored both Urshela and Gregorius. And in the 8th, with the Yankees solidly ahead, Cameron Maybin hit a solo home run. After a walk by Gardner, Clint Frazier then sent a 2-run home run ball over the left field fence. All ending up in a solid 100th win tonight for the Yankees.

Final score: 9-1 Yankees, Yankees win the series 2-1

News updates: Yankee pitcher Domingo German is on restricted leave due to an investigation by MLB into alleged domestic abuse incident. No formal charges have been filed, but until the investigation is completed, the Yankees selected the contract of right-hander Michael King from AA Trenton to take German’s place on the roster.

A big congratulations to all the Yankees on their 100th season win and their new title as AL East Division Champions, such a well-deserved honor.

Go Yankees!

Game 142: NYY vs. BOS –Yankees sink in Fenway opening

It was a disappointing outing for New York as they faced Boston for the first game tonight for a 4 game wraparound series this weekend. The Yankees, 15.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East, struggled both on the mound and at bat.

Domingo German started the game with a solid 1st inning, facing 3 batters for 3 strikeouts. Allowing a walk in both the 2nd and 3rd inning, he managed to get out of the innings without a run. But German began to struggle in the 4th inning, allowing a single followed by a home run to right field to put the scoreless Yankees behind by 2 runs.

In the 5th, German faced just 2 batters for a strikeout and a walk before he was replaced by Nestor Cortes, Jr. to finish the inning. With one man already on base, Cortes gave up a walk and a double that ultimately allowed 2 more runs for Boston to widen their lead. After an intentional walk, a force out and a strikeout ended the inning.

Lyons took the command of the ball in the 6th, allowing a walk but a great 6-4-3 double play and a solid strikeout ended the inning. Gearrin came in for a 12-pitch 7th, and Adams added another strikeout to their total and kept the Sox from adding any further runs.

The Yankees struggled throughout tonight’s duel with their rival to get the hits needed to even get in scoring position. The first three innings were 3-up, 3-down. The first chance they got was in the 4th, after a Boston pitching change. Gregorius doubled on a grounder to left field, followed by a walk from Sanchez, but a strike out swinging ended their chance to score.

In the 5th, Brett Gardner sent a long ball to right field for a home run, and the Yankees were finally on the board with a lone run. The only other moment was in the 7th, but despite Sanchez working a walk and a single by Gardner, New York was unable add any more runs. At the top of the 9th, three quick outs for the Yankees ended the game in favor of the Red Sox.

Final score: 6-1 Red Sox

Injury updates: On their rehab assignments, Luis Severino, Dellin Bettances, and Thairo Estrada all had impressive moments during tonight’s game. They played with the AA Trenton Thunder tonight and helped that club sweep their series and get into their postseason with a great victory.

Yankee Universe news: The AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team is working their way through the minor league post season, taking their division and set to play in the Governor’s Cup semi-finals on the way to their league’s championship. The RailRiders are hoping to take home another championship, something they last did in 2016.

Go Yankees!

Game 137: OAK vs. NYY — Bronx Bombers for the win

The Bronx Bombers gave the hometown New York crowd quite a show today. Despite facing a strong pitching team in this often frustrating extra inning match-up, New York never gave up and earned this well-deserved win.

Domingo German started the game and pitched a solid 5 innings, throwing 90 pitches for 5 strikeouts, allowing two runs. Loaisiga replaced German at the top of the 6th and managed to get out of the inning with no further runs allowed.

A pitching change at the top of the 7th brought Adam Ottavino to the helm, but he struggled with a couple wild pitches, beaning one batter. After 2 outs, he was replaced by Kahnle who faced one batter for the third out to close the inning. The 8th inning brought up Zack Britton who faced only two batters for two outs before leaving the game with a sudden injury to his leg. (More below.)

Green replaced Britton, who walked three batters and loaded the bases before securing the third out. In the top of the 9th, with the game tied up, Chapman faced 5 batters for two walks and finished with a solid swinging strike as the game headed into extra innings. Cory Gearrin came in to close out the game for 2 strong innings, facing 6 batters for 6 quick outs.

The Yankees faced some strong arms today from only 4 pitchers that tallied up 15 total strikeouts and only gave up 6 hits to the home team. And yet, even with several scoreless innings, the Bronx Bombers showed why their nickname suits them. All 4 runs today were homers sent to the outfield stands amid the cheering hometown crowd.

After a scoreless 1st, Gary Sanchez sent a home run to left field in the 2nd to put the Yankees on the board first, and then did it again with a lead-off solo home run over the fence to right center to tie the game at that point. Aaron Judge homered in the bottom of the 8th to again even up the game’s score and send it into eventual extra innings.

So, as the game went into the 11th inning, DJ LeMaheiu smashed a walk-off homer to right center to take the game for the Yankees. That’s four batters. Four homers. For the win.

Final score: 4-3 Yankees

Injury update: As mentioned above, Zack Britton left the game in the 5th with a severe right calf cramp. Since the pain seemed to ease up, there are no scheduled tests but the Yankees will just wait and see how quickly Britton recovers from appears to be a kind of “charley horse” injury.

CC Sabathia, who left Friday’s game with intense pain and inflammation in his right knee, has been placed on the 10-day IL. Sabathia is confident he will return to the mound soon for his last season before retiring at the end of the season. To fill his spot on the roster, the Yankees recalled Jonathan Loaisiga, who came in to pitch in today’s game.

Go Yankees!

Game 132: NYY vs. LAD — Rubber match redemption

After Saturday’s game, and that still unexplained game-changing call for time by the umpire, the Bronx Bombers roared back today as a team and claimed this game for New York. And despite so many still on the injury list, the Yankees showed up in force.

Domingo German started the game and pitched a full 6 innings, allowing only 1 run. Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle shared the 7th inning for 3 strikeouts. Zack Britton commanded the 8th and protected the Yankees lead. At the top of the 9th, Aroldis Chapman took command of the mound and finished the inning strong, striking out a Dodger favorite with his 100 mph four-seam fastball.

Yankee bats were awake and active today. At the top of the first, DJ LeMahieu homered deep to center field to get the Yankees on the board first. Didi Gregorius was drilled hard by a pitch to his right shoulder, but he took his base determined to stay in the game and moved to 2nd on a wild pitch.

The game was tied at the top of the 3rd, so Aaron Judge homered to center to regain the Yankees’ lead. Didi Gregorius’ shoulder was a concern and replaced by Mike Ford in the line up when Gregorius was later pulled from the game in the 4th. So, the bottom of that inning saw a shuffle in the Yankee infield — LeMahieu manning 1st, Ford on 2nd, and Torres as shortstop.

Mike Ford homered to right center field in the 6th to widen the Yankees lead. The 8th inning had DJ LeMahieu reach base on a grounder to center, followed by Mike Ford’s double that scored LeMahieu. In the 9th, Gardner singled and later scored on Gio Urshela’s pop out to give the Yankees their final score.

Final score: 5-1 Yankees, Yankees win the series 2-1

Next up: The Yankees head up the Coast to visit the Mariners for a 3-game mid-week series. After a travel day back to the East Coast on Thursday, the Yankees will host the Athletics and Rangers before hitting the road again, starting in Boston.

Injury update: Didi Gregorius had his shoulder x-rayed after being hit by pitch in tonight’s game. Results show maybe a bone bruise, but nothing to be overly concerned about. His shoulder is expected to be painful for a few days, and the treatment prescribed is mainly icing and rest. He’s, of course, anxious to return to the field as soon as possible.

Further news came out today that Luke Voit is expected to return within a week. Many other players on the Injured List are expected (hopefully) to return in September including Betances, Encarnacion, Estrada, Stanton, Hicks, and even possibly Bird.

Roster moves: Jordan Montgomery was sent to Tampa Tarpons for rehab assignment. This will be his first game since Tommy John surgery last June. Nagging post-surgery shoulder inflammation kept him out of action until now. The Yankees are hoping he will be game-ready and available as a reliever for September.

And finally, Yankees still waiting on an explanation for the umpire’s call for time out while sending Torres back to third during Saturday’s game. The unusual timing of the umpire’s call while play was still happening was a potential game changer. Just add it to the growing list of odd calls by umpires across the league this year.

Go Yankees!

Game 127: NYY vs. OAK — Not so bright side of the bay

The Yankees kicked off their West Cost trip with a 3-game series in Oakland. But while in the “Bright Side of the Bay“, they fell a bit short of the positive experience the nickname might imply for its visitors. Though I’m sure the green and yellow-donning fans were thrilled.

Domingo German got the start, throwing 99 pitches into the 6th inning. He gave up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 6 runs (5 earned) and struck out 7 Athletics’ batters along the way. In the 1st, he gave up a 1-out walk that scored on a 2-out 2-run home run. The next batter smacked a solo home run to add another run to the home team early.

With 2 outs in the 2nd, German gave up a single. A double then scored that runner, but the batter was thrown out trying to take 3rd in a great defensive play. After tamping down, German had some issues in the 6th at the end of his outing, giving up a single and double to put runners in scoring position. After an out, a single and fielding error allowed both runners to score to solidify the A’s eventual win.

That also ended German’s night. So, in came Jonathan Loaisiga for the rest of the game. He helped shut down the Athletics from further additions to their score. For the final bit of the game, he allowed a chance for the Yankees to catch up.

They didn’t.

Actually, the Yankees got on the board first. With 2 outs in the 1st, Gary Sanchez hit his 99th career home run, a big solo shot up the middle. And Aaron Judge led-off the 8th with a monster home run, lauching 467 feet. And that was it. They certainly had plenty of chances and base-runners in the game, but in a bit of a return of previous trends, they didn’t capitalize on many of those chances.

Final score: 6-2 Athletics

There’s a running article on the Yankees website that keeps fans updated on when every player on the current Injured List is scheduled to return to the team. The hardest part is seeing those who aren’t going to be back until next season. Here’s the good news: a huge chunk of players could potentially be back with the September call-ups. Players on that list include pitchers Betances, Heller, Holder, and Severino and position players like Encarnacion, Estrada, Hicks, and Stanton.

But the most solidly scheduled return is Luke Voit. Voit is recovering from a sports hernia. He will do his rehab this next week before rejoining the Yankees when they return to the Bronx next weekend (about August 30).

Go Yankees!

Game 121: BAL vs. NYY — 15 straight wins against the O’s

The Yankees continued their dominance over the Orioles in tonight’s game, their third of this 4-game mid-week series. Domingo German got the start and had a pretty great outing tonight. He threw 93 pitches in 7 innings, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, and struck out 7 Baltimore batters to earn the win. His allowed runs were a pair of solo home runs, a lead-off one in the 4th and a 1-out one in the 5th.

Adonis Rosa came on in relief of German for the final 2 innings of the game. He made his MLB debut and got to throw his first MLB strikeout tonight. He continued a pretty good outing, his only allowed hit was a 1-out solo home run in the 9th.

The Yankees’ bats were on a roll once again against the Orioles’ pitching staff, starting early with DJ LeMahieu’s solo home run to lead-off the 1st inning. In the 2nd, Torres led-off with a walk, and Gregorius’ double put them in scoring position to do so on Cameron Maybin’s single.

With 1 out in the 4th, Romine singled and Tauchman walked. After another out, Aaron Judge’s double scored both runners. The Orioles decided that was enough for their starter, but Gio Urshela’s singled home Judge and Gary Sanchez’s double scored Urshela. Maybin worked a 1-out walk, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, advanced to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on Mike Tauchman’s double. Though Tauchman ended up getting thrown out trying to get to 3rd.

Final score: 8-3 Yankees

Roster moves: The Yankees made some big moves fine-tuning their roster. They activated pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga from the 60-day injured list, the reliever ready to contribute after a long-stint on the IL recovering from right shoulder strain back in May. To make room, they designated Joe Mantiply for assignment and then optioned him back to AAA Scranton.

Speaking of Scranton, the Yankees also optioned Brady Lail and Breyvic Valera back there, and they released pitcher Daniel Camarena. They also selected the contract of Adonis Rosa to pitch into tonight’s game and then optioned him back to Scranton after the game.

And yes, the Yankees have won all 15 of their last 15 games against the Orioles. After dropping the first 2, they certainly picked things up and ran with it. They’ve got one more game tomorrow to see if their winning streak can continue and make it to 16.

Go Yankees!

Game 115: NYY vs. TOR — A Canadian crush

The Yankees began their long weekend in Toronto coming off their sweep in Baltimore. And their dominance of the AL East continues. Domingo German got the start for the Yankees, throwing 90 pitches through 5 innings. He gave up 8 hits, a walk, and 4 runs (3 earned) and struck of just 3 batters.

After sailing through most of the game, it was his 5th inning that was the biggest problem for the young starter. He gave up a lead-off solo home run. After a ground-rule double, he gave up another home run, a 2-run shot to the left field seats. Then a fielding error allowed the next batter to get all the way to 2nd and then score on an RBI single. And then he got an out that inning and worked his way out of a threat.

Chad Green came on for the 6th. After a strikeout, he gave up a single that scored on a double, a rare allowed run for the strong reliever. Luis Cessa then came in for a strong 3 innings to close out the game, only allowing a 1-out solo home run in the 8th to give the Blue Jays just one more run.

Meanwhile, the Yankees got a little used to pouncing on their opponents, carrying that momentum with them into Canada for tonight’s game.

DJ LeMahieu led-off the game with a double, moved to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored as part of Gio Urshela’s big 2-run home run to start the Yankees’ big night. In the 3rd, Breyvic Valera was given 1st after being hit by a pitch and moved to 2nd on LeMahieu’s single. They both moved into scoring position on a grounder. A wild pitch then allowed Valera to score a run. And Urshela hit another 2-run home run to score LeMahieu.

And they just continued on. Gregrious singled, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, and scored on Cameron Maybin’s bloop single. Clearly not having a good night, the Blue Jays went to their bullpen. But Mike Tauchman promptly smacked a 2-run home run to score Maybin. With 1 out in the 6th and Ford on 1st from a fielder’s choice, Valera’s double moved them to scoring position so that they both scored on DJ LeMahieu’s long single.

Finally, in the 9th, Urshela led-off with a single, and Maybin hit a 1-out double. Mike Tauchman’s single scored both runners and allowed Tauchman to make it to 2nd on the throw. A thorough dominance once again, and it’s just helping the Yankees solidify their postseason plans.

Final score: 12-6 Yankees

Today, MLB announced a special regular season game between the Yankees and the White Sox will be played next season at Iowa’s famed “Field of Dreams“, on the site where the movie of the same name was filmed and became an iconic baseball movie. It should be a great experience for both pinstriped teams and fans of both baseball and the 1989 film come next August.

Go Yankees!