Wow, 162 games in the books! Thanks for following along this season folks. It wasn’t a pretty way to close out the regular season, as the New York Yankees dropped two of three to the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The final series was more or less for keeping guys fresh and awake enough to not be completely bored. Following an epic 103-59 campaign, it’s all about the postseason now.
When it’s Friday Night Lights in Texas, of course you get a football score. The 14-7 victory was both parts a butt-kicking and a pain in the butt.
Posting the Yankees to a 1-0 edge in the first frame was Giancarlo Stanton. Big G smoked a solo smash to left-center off Joe Palumbo. The home run gave the Bronx Bombers an even 300 as a squad, a total that they would add to.
It was the worst “butt-related” injury since Carl Pavano slipped on first base during spring training years ago. During the first inning, James Paxton would surrender a two-run homer to Danny Santana and exit the contest after only one inning. Paxton left with a left glute strain but it appears he’ll be ready for the postseason.
Increasing the advantage was Mike Ford with a two-run tater to right. Honest question, would you take Ford on the playoff roster right now ahead of Luke Voit?
During the seventh, DJ LeMahieu cracked and surpassed the century mark with 102-RBI. A three-run double to left off Taylor Guerrieri, would up the New York advantage to 11-2. LeMahieu became the sixth Yankee middle-infielder since 1999 to reach 100-RBI in a season, joining Derek Jeter (1999), Alfonso Soriano (2002), and Robinson Cano (2010-13).
KING IN THE RING
During the seventh inning, Rochester, NY native Michael King made his MLB debut. King’s ledger included two frames, two hits, one unearned run in the eighth and one strikeout. Welcome to the bigs, kid.
Ford would cap off the Yankee scoring with a two-run double to left.
There wasn’t much to write home about in this one. The Yankees held a short-lived 1-0 lead on a Gardner sac fly in the first frame, but aside from a three-run double by Gregorius in the ninth to make it look closer than it was, pretty much a throwaway game. The 9-4 defeat did have some notable moments though.
YOU CAN OBSERVE A LOT JUST BY WATCHING
During the first frame, Luis Severino looked almost uncomfortable and unsure of himself on the hill, topping 30 pitches and yielding a two-run double to Odor. Of course, Severino also got squeezed on a few obvious low strikes right down the pipe. Yet, from that point, Severino looked locked in. Severino struck out the side in the second stanza. In total, Severino would fan four in four frames, walking four, and allowing only one hit and two runs. It was a solid bounce-back response by the righty.
In addition to Severino, Ben Heller continued to look sharp out of the pen with a strikeout in a scoreless eighth inning.
Not looking so hot at the dish again was Voit, who, in addition to slumping, was also plunked.
Again, not a whole lot going on in this 6-1 loss. The worst part was Urshela going down with an ankle injury, and Edwin Encarnacion wasn’t quite right enough for the Yankees to give him a whirl. The former Ballpark at Arlington had its swan song, a park which yielded a lot of mostly good memories (1996, 1998, 1999) for the Yankees and their hitters in postseason play, especially compared to that nightmare-fuel stadium known as Arlington Stadium.
As was the case in the game prior, New York hopped out to a 1-0 edge in the first inning. Judge crushed an offering to left-center off ex-Yankee Lance Lynn. Judge clocked home run No. 27 on the campaign, which is impressive considering the amount of time he missed. Judge has 15 homers in his past 33 contests. The Yankees finished with 306 home runs as a team, one short of the Minnesota Twins on the year.
Otherwise, the Yankees were only able to scrape together three hits on the afternoon.
I’m not sure why they went the opener route, but it didn’t matter much. Most of the regular relievers got their work in. Chad Green opened and allowed an unearned run. Masahiro Tanaka was basically going through the motions with three innings, five hits allowed, two K’s, and two runs given up (one earned).
Tommy Kahnle got wrapped for two runs. Adam Ottavino allowed one run. Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman looked more than ready and each turned in a scoreless frame.
At 103-59, the Yankees finish off the regular season and return home to Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, Oct. 4.