ALCS Game 3: Yanks Fall 4-1 to Astros

ALCS Game 3: Yanks Fall 4-1 to Astros

If I told you that Luis Cessa threw two innings, but didn’t tell you the final score of Game 3 of the ALCS, you would probably assume that the Yankees lost by a large margin. While the Yankees lost 4-1 to fall behind in the series 2-1, it was an exciting game, and the Yankees had Gerrit Cole more than once. Sadly, the Yankee offense was not able to capitalize despite the fact that Severino kept the Yankees in the ballgame despite pitching without his A-level command again.

The Astros are a great team, but games like Tuesday (and Game 2, for that matter) are the type that could make the Yankees lose some sleep. This was a winnable game, and what’s worse is that I’m not sure that anything could have been done differently.

(Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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The Playoff Roster

The Playoff Roster

I’ve danced around talking about the playoff roster for a little over a month now, but the time has finally come to discuss the likely playoff roster. At first pass, I think as many as 22 of the 25 roster spots are locked up. In order to predict the most likely roster composition, we’ll need to look at the most likely ratio of position players to pitchers; evaluate possible injury complications; identify the players locked into spots; and then identify the bubble spots and likely candidates to fill those spots. Let’s get at it:

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara - USA TODAY Sports)

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It's Urshela's World, and We're Just Living in it: Yankees 12, Jays 6

It's Urshela's World, and We're Just Living in it: Yankees 12, Jays 6

In game one of the Yankees’ series with the Jays, the Yanks had their de facto ace on the hill, Domingo German, to face off against the young sluggers of the Jays. While the Jays young guns put up a good show offensively, they were no match for the power surge with which Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman continue to assault opposing teams as they led the Yankees to a 12-6 win over the Jays.

(Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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Rays 2, Yankees 1: Rays Outlast the Yanks in Extras

Rays 2, Yankees 1: Rays Outlast the Yanks in Extras

Fans at Yankee Stadium may have been able to experience Game of Thrones Day today, but the real treat was the rematch between Ian Snell and Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka got the better of Snell on May 12th, and he did the same today. Unlike the a week ago, the Yankees’ offense and bullpen was not able to give Tanaka enough support, and the Yankees lost 2-1 in 11 innings. As a result, the Yankees lost their lead in the AL East, falling 1/2 game behind the Rays.

(Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP)

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Kikuchi Had Yanks 'Pining' for Hits & 'Tarred' the Hitters, as M's Win 10-1

Kikuchi Had Yanks 'Pining' for Hits & 'Tarred' the Hitters, as M's Win 10-1

The news will be spread throughout the night on every sports radio station, every televised sporting recap show, and be published into the morning on every major sports publication. And, it isn’t hard to see why.

In fact, its because it was too obvious, that this news will make the late-night publication rounds.

Pictures and Videos of Michael Pineda will be shared around the internet, thoughts about Kenny Rogers in the 2006 playoffs and memories of George Brett back in 1983 will follow suit. (Isn’t it funny that the Yankees are always wrapped up in pine tar related incidents?)

If you haven’t heard by now, Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi is suspected (and it seems to be pretty blatantly clear) of using pine tar from the brim of his hat during tonight game, where he went into the 6th with a no-hitter.

We’ll get to this, and more, in this 10-1 Yankees loss game recap:

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Yankees 6, Giants 4: Sanchez Leads the Yanks Over the Giants

Yankees 6, Giants 4: Sanchez Leads the Yanks Over the Giants

The Yanks won again on a sunny afternoon in San Francisco, 6-4, taking the first two games of a three game set vs. the Giants, moving the Yanks to 16-11 overall. Do not let the close score fool you: the Yankees were in complete control of this game, even as the wheels nearly came off at the end. In reality, the story of the game can be told in two innings.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ben Margot

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Now is the Time for Tandem Starters

The practice of utilizing an “opener” has become popular throughout baseball as teams search for ways to cover for their lack of starting pitching depth. Prior to Severino’s shoulder injury this past week, the Yankees were not one of the teams that planned to use an opener regularly. However, the Yankees are now faced with opening the season without 2/5 of their starting rotation. While much of the mainstream media has focused on the idea of an opener, I think there is a better path forward. I have long been intrigued by the idea of using the Yankees’ plethora of young arms as tandem starters. To summarize, I think there are multiple pitchers on the Yankees’ 40-man roster that would thrive in 2-4 inning stints due to some combination of inexperience, durability concerns, high-octane stuff, developing command, or the lack of a dependable third pitch. The Yankees could use this strategy to their benefit early in the season.

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The Yankees Do Not Need Another Big Bullpen Arm

The Yankees Do Not Need Another Big Bullpen Arm

Besides the looming $300 million elephants in the room, much of the current chatter around the Yankees is regarding the big bullpen arms available on the Free Agent market. It is no secret that the Yankees are interested to varying extents in David Robertson, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Andrew Miller. Each of these pitchers will cost a minimum of $10 million per year against the luxury tax calculation. Based on current estimates, the Yankees are approximately $7 million (when taking likely arbitration figures into account) shy of the luxury tax threshold. The Yankees will likely clear additional space when they find a taker for Sonny Gray;s projected $9.1 million salary, but it will still leave the Yankees with very little breathing room under the luxury tax threshold to adequately fill the hole left by Didi’s absence. It remains unclear whether the Yankees are willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold for any player that is not Harper or Machado, and if the Yankees lose out on either player, I am not sure that the Yankees will be willing to sign any of the aforementioned big bullpen arms. Much as I disagree with a path forward in which the Yankees do not exceed the luxury tax threshold this year, it is a real possibility. That being said, the Yankees can still form a formidable bullpen even without signing one of big free agent bullpen arms.

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