Today’s Yankee Birthday: Bob Lemon, manager of the miracle 1978 Yankees, was born on this day in 1920. Read about this Hall of Famer’s great career here: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/c865a70f
Game Summary: The Yankee Power Company started early, with solo homers by Aaron Hicks (26) and Luke Voit (!) (12). Then it was lights out for the next eight innings, as rookie starter David Hess settled in and Baltimore relief pitchers held the Yanks scoreless for five innings.
The O’s got on the board in the third, with significant thanks going to Gary Sanchez. The Yankee catcher committed his fifteenth passed ball after two singles to lead off the inning. With runners on second and third, he then fielded a dribbler in front of the plate and threw it away, scoring a run. Baltimore tied the game on an RBI single in the fifth by rookie DJ Stewart.
The game stayed tied through nine and into extra innings, as both bullpens kept putting up zeroes on the scoreboard. In the tenth, Baltimore knocked at the door as Jonathan Holder loaded the bases, allowing two hits and a walk. Chris Davis then ripped what looked to be a sure run scoring single, but Yankee first baseman Voit, playing in to get the out at the plate, made a nice catch to keep the game tied.
In the bottom of the eleventh, Didi Gregorius led off with a single, then after a Giancarlo Stanton strikeout, Hicks ripped a double to the left field corner, scoring Didi and the Yankees win! The victory along with the Tampa Bay loss to Toronto just over an hour prior sends the Yanks to the postseason!
What went right: Boone’s “high leverage” relief pitchers looked really good. Aroldis Chapman hurled a scoreless seventh inning, Dellin Betances struck out the side in the eighth, Zach Britton hurled a scoreless ninth…Voit continues to hit, ripping seven homers and slugging .683 in September…Yankees flashed some defense with a “strike-him-out throw-him-out” DP in the first, and Aaron Judge cut down Steve Wilkerson at the plate in the fifth…Nice outing by Lynn.
What went wrong: Sanchez’s defense in the third inning…Sanchez and Stanton continued their September struggles at the plate, both batting well under .200.
Quote: “There’s going to be eighteen other teams going home, so I think it’s really important that we appreciate it. Never take it for granted.” – Aaron Boone
Takeaways: The magic number for a Yankee Stadium Wild Card game is seven…The Yankees lead the majors with 251 home runs. They have eight games left to reach the current record of 264, recorded by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.
Final Thought: While it certainly would have been nice to win the division, getting into the postseason at all never gets old. Let’s enjoy this for a little while!
Next: The Yanks chase the sweep. JA Happ (6-0, 2.39 as a Yankee) goes against Alex Cob