It got better, but then it got worse.
The Yankees had an opportunity to sweep both of their series’ at home this week against the Red Sox and O’s, but lost the final game of both. While the Red Sox ended up clinching the AL East, the Yankees clinched a playoff spot for themselves after a walk-off double from the bat of Aaron Hicks.
All was well, that is until Boone announced Sunday that Didi Gregorious could miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury he suffered on that playoff-clinching slide home. That news leads us right into this week’s stats roundup:
Life (possibly) without Didi
As much as it hurts to even think about, there’s no choice but to imagine what the Yankees are going to be if they don’t have Didi going forward.
Didi’s slide from last night. You can see the right hand get hung up. 😒 pic.twitter.com/ANjIPpmid2
When Didi is in the starting lineup this season, the Yankees are 80-48 (.625 winning percentage). Without him in the starting lineup, they are 15-12 (.555 winning percentage). Not a huge sample size, but big enough.
Didi is a do-it-all type of player who has been a heavy contributor for the Yankees this season. While he doesn’t lead the team in any major statistical categories at the plate, he ranks top five on the team in runs (4th), hits (3rd), doubles (3rd), triples (T-1), home runs (2nd), RBI (2nd), and total bases (3rd).
Even more notably, Didi ranks third on the team in OWAR with a 4.2 rating. Only four players on the team have a rating above a three.
It’s clear that losing Didi would be a huge loss to the team as they approach the most important part of the season.
J.A. Happ has only been in a Yankee uniform for about two months, but boy has he made his presence felt.
Since being traded to the Yanks on July 26th, Happ is 6-0 with a 2.34 ERA and averaging 5.6 strikeouts per game. Happ has allowed more than two earned runs in a game just twice in his 10 starts with the team, and has held opponents to five hits or less seven times.
Happ’s been obviously great, but his September has been spectacular. In four starts, Happ has a 0.78 ERA and has yet to give up more than one earned run in a game. Oh yeah, and opponents are batting .210 against him. Keep in mind that those four starts were against the A’s, Twins, Red Sox, and Orioles.
If the Yankees run into those Red Sox in the postseason, Happ could play a huge role. He has a 0.54 ERA against the Red Sox this season (including his time with the Blue Jays).
The numbers don’t lie – Happ has been excellent so far with the Yankees.
My name is Luke Voit and I hit dingers
There’s no other way to say it – Luke Voit is a freaking animal.
Voit continued his hot home run hitting streak this week, with four dingers in five games on 20 plate appearances.
Since Voit’s first HR as a Yankee on August 24th, he leads all of MLB in home runs with eleven. On a 162 game scale, that would be 69 home runs. The dude is feeling it.
Hi, I’m Luke Voit and I hit dingers. pic.twitter.com/25zWfSUPYO
It’s the final week of the regular season, and the Yanks will take on two divisional opponents again – the Rays and the Red Sox. They’ll look to cling on to the 1.5 game lead that they hold over the A’s for the top Wild Card spot.
The Yankees actually have a losing record to both teams this season, as they’re 7-8 against the Rays and 7-9 against the Red Sox.
It’s not exactly certain how the Yankees will line up pitching-wise this week with the Wild Card game a week from Wednesday. All we know is that tonight Jonathan Holder will start as the “Opener” – which indicates that Boone could be pushing Luis Severino back to load him up for the Wild Card.
Thursday’s starter would have six days rest for the Wild Card, while the Friday starter would have five. Those are two days to pay close attention to as it is very likely that the Wild Card starter will pitch for the final time before that game on one of those days.
YES Network Research Team Tweet of the Week
Obviously Sweeny doesn’t work at YES, but this stats tweet was too good to go unnoticed.
Miguel Andujar has hit 12 of his 25 home runs behind in the count. I find that quite impressive.
I find that quite impressive as well.
It’s the final week of the regular season, and by next Monday we’ll all be mentally and physically preparing for the do-or-die Wild Card game.