The Yankees got their final homestand of the season off to a roaring start. They routed the Toronto Blue Jays 11-0 in game 1 of a 3 game series. It was their largest shutout win since they beat the Mets 15-0 in June of 2009. The win was their 13th in 17 games vs the Jays who fell to 65-82, guaranteeing back to back losing seasons.
There were so many positives in the game. Masahiro Tanaka was extremely sharp, striking out 8, over 6 shutout innings. Tanaka’s signature pitch, his splitter, was outstanding, with “drop-off-the-table” late movement. McCutchen, Voit & Gregorius all had big nights at the plate, and the 40,000+ crowd was treated to a surprise defensive replacement in the 8h inning … Aaron Judge!
A perfect start to the 9 game homestand, but inexplicably the Yanks could not sustain the momentum and dropped the next 2 games to Toronto, losing the series, and missing out on another opportunity to extend their lead over the A’s for the 1st WC.
In the middle game they were trailing 8-1 in the 7th inning when Didi & Stanton homered and Miguel Andujar brought the Bombers to within 1 run with his 2nd Grand Slam of the season, digging out from the hole that CC Sabathia put them in as he allowed 5 runs in only 2 2/3 innings. Unfortunately the final score was 8-7 as Ken Giles got the 4 out save.
To add to the frustration the Yanks lost another 1 run heartbreaker in the rubber game as Dellin Betances blew a one run lead in the 8th inning as the Yanks lost 3-2 and dropped a series they absolutely expected to win .. with the Boston Red Sox coming to town next.
Boston has an 11 1/2 game lead over the Yankees and can clinch the division with one win. If the Yanks don’t want the Sox popping champagne corks in their house .. they will have to sweep the series. More importantly NY is clinging to a 1 1/2 game lead over the A’s for the 1st WC and with only 13 games left in the season, every win is crucial with the right to host the WC game at stake. The Yanks had a 5 game lead in the loss column as recently Sept. 5th but have lost 6 of their last 10, and the schedule gets much harder, as 10 of their final 13 games are against the Red Sox (6) and Rays (4).
Aaron Boone has down-played the teams mediocre performance for weeks. Boone was quoted after losing the series at home to the Blue Jays – ” We have to play better. Clearly we’re not playing our best. But the history of this game is littered with stories of teams that went into the playoffs in different sets of scenarios … limping, playing great. The bottom line is you have to be playing right when it counts.”
HERE IS A WAKE-UP CALL FOR AARON BOONE .. NOW IS “WHEN IT COUNTS.” YOU LOST BACK TO BACK SERIES TO THE TWINKIES & JAYS. TWO TEAMS THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE SWEPT OR AT THE VERY LEAST WON THE SERIES. THE YANKS HAVE OWNED BOTH TEAMS AND BOTH TEAMS ARE PLAYING OUT THE STRING. THE TWINS ARE 69-81 , 14 1/2 OUT OF 1ST PLACE. THE BLUE JAYS ARE 68-82 , 35 GAMES OUT OF 1ST PLACE & 23 1/2 GAMES BEHIND THE YANKS IN THE AL EAST.
“THE BOTTOM LINE IS” … AARON HAS CONDONED SLOPPY INCONSISTENT PLAY FOR TOO LONG. TIME FOR BOONE TO WAKE-UP AND REALIZE, NOW IS “WHEN IT COUNTS” AND HE NEEDS TO CONVEY THAT MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR TO THE ENTIRE TEAM…. NOW !!