About The Game: The Yankees beat the Orioles 6-5 to close out a 4 game sweep. Sadly, the Yankees will not see the Orioles again this year. Only five Yankee position players who began the season as starters played in the game (Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres). Sadly, that’s par for the course.
Who’s Hot? Gary Sanchez went 3 for 3 with a walk and a homerun (his 26th). He had 3 RBIs for the day. Sanchez has had an underwhelming season so far given the expectations, so let’s hope that he’s returning to form as the playoffs loom. Oh right, J.A. Happ started and managed not to lose the game only giving up two runs in 5 innings. On the plus side, he didn’t give up any home runs. On the minus side, it was the Orioles after all.
Who’s Not? Luis Cessa got tagged for 3 runs in 1.2 innings. He made the game a lot closer than it should have been.
Why it Matters? As of the writing of this post, the Yankees are 2.5 games up for the top seed in the AL over the Astros. Given the Astros vastly superior starting pitching staff, home field advantage would be quite nice if the Yankees face them in the playoffs.
Other Thoughts/Pet Peeves: Boone had to use Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton, and Aroldis Chapman to close out the game, which kind of stinks given that the Yankees are starting a four-game set against the Cleveland Indians, who actually don’t stink. Oh, and the opening game of that series will be another bullpen game with Boone having to find relievers to fill up 9 innings.
Report from the Medical Staff:
Luke Voit is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment next week.
Giancarlo Stanton is still a week or two away from having a plan to get back to the team. Let’s hope he gets ready before the minor league season ends.
Aaron Hicks is two weeks away from throwing a ball.
Edwin Encarnacion is close to being reevaluated.
Luis Severino and Dellin Betances are supposedly feeling good after bullpen sessions and may face live batters soon.
Frankly, the lineup is fine and Mike Tauchman continues to defy expectations. Brett Gardner and Cameron Maybin have been playing well as well. While Tauchman and Maybin are clearly playing over their heads, I have no idea if Hicks and Stanton would outperform them given their play (or lack thereof) so far this year. I’d love to get Voit back, of course. Encarnacion would be gravy and I’m a big Mike Ford fan (he’s been horribly unlucky on batted balls in play). In any case, the Yankees can call up Frazier to play DH after the minor league season ends.
The biggest additions would be Severino, who the Yankees desperately need, and Betances.
Final Takeaway: On the one hand, it’s always fun to see the Yankees beat up on a weak team. But, I’m almost at the point that I feel badly for the Orioles. They are now 39-82.
Tonight’s Game: The Yankees face the Cleveland Indians and Adam Plutko (4-3 4.68 ERA). As noted, this will be a bullpen game. Let’s hope the Yankees can rack up some runs early against the pretty awful Plutko so that the B team relievers can soak up most of the innings and avoid burning out the top guys for the rest of the series.