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Series Recap: Yankees plead the fifth (seed) into October

BRONX, N.Y. — The New York Yankees went through the motions in dropping two of three at home to the Miami Marlins. They did enough to secure the No. 5 seed but otherwise, it was pretty flat. On the plus side, Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu became the first pair of teammates to earn the home run crown and batting title since 1959, when Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves did so. Also, good for Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter on getting the Marlins into the postseason.

From here the Yankees, like everyone else, reset to 0-0. More than matchups, it depends on which Yankee team shows up. Are they a sleeping giant or in for a giant sleep?

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The Yankees were especially sloppy, making four errors in their 4-3 loss in extra innings. It was certainly not a game to place in the time capsule.


J.A. Happ got off to an inauspicious start. After issuing a pair of two-out free passes, the southpaw surrendered a three-run homer to ex-Yankee first baseman Garrett Cooper, who porched one in the first frame. Happ was at least able to gut out five frames beyond that point.


Home plate umpire John Tumpane was bad. Both sides were chirping at his ankle-high strikes. After Aaron Judge was rung up in the bottom of the first on a low strike three call, manager Aaron Boone got himself run from the game.

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The pinstripes chipped away against Sandy Alcantara during the third inning. With two outs DJ LeMahieu coaxed a walk. Aaron Judge followed with a double to left. The ensuing batter Aaron Hicks scorched a two-run double to right to cut the deficit to 3-2.

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New York would tie the contest in the eighth inning but not without some consternation. Gary Sanchez singled to left and was pinch-run for by Mike Tauchman. Tauchman swiped second base but had to go back because Tumpane interfered with the throw of the Marlins catcher Chad Wallach. After Clint Frazier and LeMahieu struck out, thankfully reliever Yimi Garcia’s errant pickoff attempt enabled Tauchman to advance to second.

A soft dunk single to right by Judge served as the equalizer plating Tauchman.


The tenth inning was not a Tom Emanski special. With Chad Green on, a Jon Berti bunt moved Monte Harrison to third. Starling Marte reached on a fielder’s choice after hitting a ball to Gleyber Torres on the infield grass. Torres chased Harrison, threw to Kyle Higashioka and Higashioka hit Harrison in the back with the ball as he scampered back safely to third and Marte moved to second. A Jesus Aguilar sacrifice fly to right made it 4-3.

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It was quite the botch but wait there’s more.

During the bottom of the tenth, with Tyler Wade on second and Torres having drawn a walk against Brandon Kintzler, Higashioka popped out to Aguilar on a botched bunt attempt. That was somewhat made up for with a successful double steal. Yet, after Frazier walked, LeMahieu banged into a game-ending double play.


After sleepwalking through much of the early going, the Yankees busted out big time and looked like the Bronx Bombers once again in their 11-4 victory.


The Marlins pretty much replicated their performance from the night before with one sizeable rally but in a different inning. Facing Deivi Garcia in the third inning, an RBI-double to left by Miguel Rojas, Berti lifted an RBI-single to center and a Matt Joyce RBI-single to left posted Miami to a 3-0 advantage.

Otherwise, Garcia settled in and tossed 6.2 frames, fanning seven, walking one, scattering seven hits, and allowing four runs. It was a nice bounce-back outing from his meatball performance in Boston.


The New York offense finally woke up and was sparked by Wade of all people. Following a one-out walk by Sanchez, Wade smacked a two-run tater off the facing of the upper deck in the fifth frame against Ryne Stanek.

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After Judge coaxed a two-out walk, Marlins skipper Don Mattingly called on James Hoyt. Yet, that’s when Hoyt was taken to the cinemas by ex-Marlin Giancarlo Stanton, who crushed a game-tying RBI-double to center.

Hicks untied it in the sixth inning against ex-Yankee Stephen Tarpley, drilling an oppo taco two-run tater to right.

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Later in the frame, LeMahieu drove a two-run double to left. It was part of a four-hit afternoon for LeMahieu, who also capped off the Yankee scoring with an RBI-single to center in the seventh.

Plus, adding to his MLB home run lead was Voit, smacking a three-run round-tripper to right-center off Nick Vincent.


There was not much to write home about in this 5-0 loss. LeMahieu collected two more hits and is your batting champ at .364. Voit didn’t homer but he’s your home run champ with 22. Clarke Schmidt made his first start in pinstripes.


Schmidt was squeezed on some calls but also looked like he was crossed up and or missing his location during his first outing in the Bronx.

Miami again put up their pattened three spot. During the second stanza, a one-out walk by Joyce got the Marlins started. Berti singled to right. What was scored a wild pitch off the top of Sanchez’s mitt, moved the runners up a bag. Jazz Chisholm rocked a two-run double to center. Later in the frame, a Corey Dickerson RBI-single to center made it 3-0.

Overall, Schmidt lasted four frames, yielded three runs on four hits, two walks, and fanned four.


The Yankee offense was basically on auto-pilot, scrapping out six hits, going 0-for-6 with RISP.

Half of those hits were collected by Brett Gardner in what was perhaps his final game in pinstripes at Yankee Stadium.


At 33-27, the Yankees are the No. 5 seed in the American League postseason and will face the No. 4 seed Cleveland Indians in the best of three Wild Card series beginning Tuesday.

Pitching probables: Gerrit Cole vs. Shane Bieber, Masahiro Tanaka vs. Carlos Carrasco, J.A. Happ vs. Zach Plesac.