For the first time in seven years, your New York Yankees are American League Eastern Division champions. The Yankees took two of three games from the Los Angeles Angels to secure a postseason berth, their 19th division crown since 1969 and 55th playoff appearance in franchise history. The pinstripes also hit the century mark with 100 victories for the second consecutive season and the first time since 2002-04. In their past 22 home series, the Bronx Bombers are 19-0-2. No wild card game nonsense this year, if you’re a kid in second grade, the seven-year drought is over!
Luis Severino returned and naturally, Dellin Betances went back on the IL after the game with a partially torn ACL which he injured in Toronto. On the field, it was a good night as the Yankees built a snowman on the Angels with an 8-0 victory.
SEVY SZN SMOOTH
Severino was smooth in his first outing of 2019. The flame-throwing righty tossed 67 pitches in four frames of scoreless ball. He worked out of some battles in the first frame, including a 12-pitch walk to leadoff hitter Brian Goodwin, by inducing Albert Pujols into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double-play.
Severino fanned four, walked two and allowed two hits. His fastball had good movement and topped out around 98 mph and his slider hovered around the low to mid-’80s. It was a nice boost without incident as the Yankees build up their ace toward the playoffs.
CLUTCH WITH RISP
The Yankees lineup started packing the snow against Noe Ramirez in the second stanza.
Gio Urshela plated Gleyber Torres with a single to left.
Doubling the lead was Cameron Maybin with a two-bagger to left to send home Luke Voit.
Perhaps making some auditions for the role now vacated by Betances, the Yankee relief corps shut down the Halos. Jonathan Loaisiga looked nasty with some plus velocity, fanning three in two scoreless frames. Stephen Tarpley recorded four K’s in 1.1 scoreless frames. Cory Gearrin recorded a double-play ball. Chance Adams even managed a scoreless frame with a pair of K’s.
The Yankee Stadium crowd gave CC Sabathia a nice sendoff. Giancarlo Stanton was back in the fold, well, at least for six innings. Yet, the Yankees could only scratch out six hits and forgot how to play defense, especially in the sixth inning.
WELCOME BACK G
Stanton batted fifth, went 1-for-3 and nearly threw out a runner at the plate in the third if catcher Kyle Higashioka could’ve held on. During the second inning, Stanton smacked a thunderous double to left-center off Dillon Peters. Not too shabby for not having any minor-league rehab games.
You could tell the big man was really digging down deep for his final regular-season start at Yankee Stadium. Sabathia struck out the side in the second and the first batter he faced in the third. He appeared to be rolling with one out in the third until a David Fletcher single to right and a walk to Andrelton Simmons. Fletcher squeaked in on an Albert Pujols RBI-single to left. Following a free pass to Kole Calhoun, Kevan Smith plated Simmons with a single to center.
After Goodwin popped out, Sabathia left to thunderous applause and Domingo German would retire Taylor Ward on a force out to second.
During the sixth, the Yankees had could only be described as brain farts.
Michael Hermosillo started off the inning with a double to left. Matt Thaiss reached single that deflected off Voit’s glove and was fielded by LeMahieu to save a run for the time being. The ensuing batter Fletcher would reach on a ball ruled a single, which Voit fielded and bluffed home to hold Hermosillo but no one was covering first base when he turned back around. After Simmons flew out to center, some freaky “Angels In The Outfield” stuff happened.
Ottavino fielded a ball hit by Pujols, attempted to throw it home to record the force out but proceeded to airmail the ball for an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score and ultimately decide the game.
The Yankees shook off the early news of German being placed on administrative leave following an alleged domestic abuse incident. There were a number of tone setters as the Bronx Bombers smashed past the Angels on the way to 100 wins and an AL East title, 9-1. In the process, manager Aaron Boone became the first manager in MLB history to win 100 games in each of his first two seasons managing.
Following a scoreless frame from Cory Gearrin, Aroldis Chapman did his thing collecting a pair of K’s, including the final out against Pujols during a scoreless ninth to lock down the 19th division crown in franchise history.