New York Yankees Recap: Gary Sanchez powers Yankees to second win over the Blue Jays

Tonight the New York Yankees faced the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo for game two of a three-game set after clawing their way to a win last night 6-5. Tonight the Yankees were hoping to take the series from the Jays after being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies. Entering the game, the Yankees were 34-32, and the Blue Jays were 33-32. It was a cool night in Buffalo, 68, but it felt much colder with the breeze. The Yankees won the game 3-2 Gary Sanchez’s pitch hit two run homer and a nail-biting ninth inning.

In the first inning against Ross Stripling, DJ LeMahieu reached first base on a mishandled ball. Aaron Judge singled for two on and no outs. Gleyber Torres walked for the bases loaded in the first inning with no outs. Giancarlo Stanton got a sac fly to right, scoring LeMahieu. Gio Urshela flew out to right moving Judge to third base. Miguel Andujar flew out to right, and Stripling got out of the inning, giving up just one run when the bases were loaded with just one out. At the bottom, Marcus Semien hit the second pitch from Gerrit Cole for a homer to left to tie the game. Bo Bichette singled off Cole. Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit into a double play for two outs in the first. Teoscar Hernandez ground up the middle for a single as Cole struggles to put away the Jays hitters. Randal Grichuk struck out to end the inning. New York Yankees 1 Toronto Blue Jays 1.

Rougie Odor led off the second inning and struck out swinging. Kyle Higashioka struck out. Brett Gardner struck out for the strike of the side for Stripling. At the bottom, Joe Panik ground out to third. Lourdes Gurriel ground out to first. Cavan Biggio worked a walk on a questionable call. Reese McGuire hit to shallow center caught by Gardner. Game tied at 1.

To start the third inning, DJ LeMahieu popped back to the catcher for the first out. Judge ground out to short. Torres grounded out to second for nine in a row for Stripling. Marcus Semien led off the bottom of the inning by flying out to Judge in right. Bichette flew out. Guerrero ground out for a 1-2-3 inning for Gerrit Cole. Game tied at 1.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the fourth inning by striking out for 10 in a row for Stripling. Urshela made it 11 in a row for Stripling. Andujar lined out to first for the final out of the half. Hernandez led off the bottom, and he ground out to Torres. Crichuk flew ut to Gardner at center. During the inning, David Cone mentioned that Coles’s spin rate was down 200 revolutions from his average. Panik flew out to end the inning. Game tied at 1.

Odor ground out to the right side to start the fifth inning. Higashioka flew out to center. Gardner walked after being put down 14 straight times by Stripling. LeMahieu lined out on a diving catch to center. At the bottom of the inning. Gurriel hit sharply to Odor. Biggio hit a home run off Cole to left field. McGuire flew one out to Gardner. Semien ground out. Blue Jays 2 Yankees 1.

Aaron Judge led off the sixth inning, and he struck out. Torres popped out. Stanton reached on an errant throw. Urshela struck out to end the half. Bichette ground out. Guerrero struck out for Cole’s second strikeout of the game. Hernandez reached on a bobbled ball by Torres. Crichuk went down on strikes. Another short inning for both pitchers. Jays 2 Yankees 1.

Miguel Andujar led off the seventh inning by singling down the right-field line. Odor went down looking on a high fastball. Higashioka was pinch-hit by Gary Sanchez. Sanchez hit a pinch-hit two-run 446′ homer off of Stripling. Gardner went down on strikes. LeMahieu faced the new pitcher Rafael Dolis, and he walked on four pitches. Dolis was supposedly injured and replaced by Trent Thorton. The rule is that when a new pitcher comes in, he must face three hitters unless he is injured. Dolis did not appear to be injured. Aaron Judge went down swinging, but the Yankees went ahead in the game. The bottom was led off by Panik ground out to Odor. Gurriel flew out to Andujar. Biggio stuck out looking for a quick inning for Cole. New York Yankees 3 Blue Jays 2.

Gleyber Torres led off the top of the eighth inning; he struck out. Stanton singled to center field. Urshela flew out to right field. Andujar ground out to first. At the bottom of the eighth, McGuire, with Cole still on the mound, grounded out. Semien ground out to LeMahieu, Bichette ground out to Urshela to end the eighth. Yankees 3 Jays 2.

Rougie Odor led off the ninth against Patrick Murphy. Odor struck out for the third time on the night. Sanchez ground out. Gardner flew out to far left to end the Yankees scoring. New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman was on the mound for the bottom of the ninth. Guerrero Jr. singled to right. Hernandez doubled, moving Guerrero to third base. Grichuk, with two on and no outs, struck out on a 101 mph fastball. Espinal pinch-hitting hit back to Chapman, and he threw to Sanchez, who made a good throw to third, catching Guerrero off the base for the second out. Gurriel, with two on and two outs, flew out to Gardner in center to end the game with the Yankees taking the series.

The final score was the New York Yankees 3 and the Blue Jays 2. The winning pitcher was Gerrit Cole; the loser was Ross Stripling with the 15th save for Aroldis Chapman and an exciting, nail-biting ninth inning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

deGrom Leaves Early With Shoulder Soreness in Mets 6-3 Win Over Cubs

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets got their third straight victory over the Chicago Cubs, but it came with another Jacob deGrom injury scare. deGrom left his start after just three innings with shoulder soreness, but the bullpen stepped up to finish off the rest of the game and secure the win. Ironically, the Mets gave deGrom plenty of run support in the 6-3 victory.

deGrom pitched three perfect innings with eight strikeouts, including his final pitch at 100 mph. Unfortunately, shoulder soreness became the fourth ailment of his season. It is the second consecutive start where deGrom left with an arm issue and sparked the question of whether he needs time off. The Mets cannot keep having him throw shortened starts or continue to pitch without being at 100%. They will need deGrom healthy if they want any shot at winning a World Series.

Hot Offense

The Mets only had five hits but made sure they all counted. Kevin Pillar led the way with a solo home run and an RBI double, and Dominic Smith also homered for the second time in the series. Before he left the game, deGrom also added another RBI single to drive his average up to .423. They also got away with another lackluster night with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-9.

The Mets bullpen cruised through the game, allowing just one run until the ninth inning. Drew Smith allowed a two-run homer in the ninth, which led to Edwin Diaz coming in to complete a one-out save. The Cubs’ offense relied on the home run as it accounted for all three runs, and it has gotten them all their runs in the series. They also struck out at least ten times for the second straight game.

The Mets aim for a sweep of the Cubs as two sinker specialists take the mound for the final game of the series. Kyle Hendricks faces Marcus Stroman for a final 7:10 p.m. start from Citi Field.

Knicks: How much would it cost to bring Derrick Rose back?

New York Knicks, NYK

Will Derrick Rose return?

That’s a question contingent on what the New York Knicks front office will do this summer.

But as far as Rose is concerned, he explicitly said he wants another run with the Knicks.

“That’s not up to me. That’s up to the front office. They’ve got big plans,” Rose said after the Knicks ended their season in a first-round loss to Atlanta. “Who knows if I may be back. I don’t know. I’ll let my agent and them talk about it. It’s really not up to me at all, I just leave it like that. But I would love to come back. Who wouldn’t want to play for the Knicks and be in New York? I would love it, but at the same time I know it’s out of my hands and they may have bigger plans.”

Perhaps Rose was alluding to the Knicks having an enormous cap space that can fit two superstars — whether they can get that done this summer is another question.

Since the Knicks were eliminated in the first round, they have been linked to All-NBA point guards Chris Paul and Damian Lillard.

Lillard is still in a wait-and-see mode on what Portland GM Neil Olshey’s moves this summer after another first-round exit and firing their long-time coach Terry Stotts. On the other hand, Paul is in the midst of a magical playoff run with the Phoenix Suns.

There’s no clear indication that Lillard and Paul wanted out.

Unless the Knicks could acquire either superstar, there’s an increased likelihood that Rose would return.

Rose is among the top point guards who will hit unrestricted free agency along with Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley. In addition, Spencer Dinwiddie is expected to join this list as he plans to opt out of his $12.3 million player option.

A decade removed from his MVP season, Rose bloomed as a solid sixth man this season. He finished third in the Sixth Man of the Year voting.

Rose had been a trade deadline steal for the Knicks. The team went 24-11 since the Rose trade that helped them clinched the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The 32-year old point guard averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 41 percent of his 3s during the regular season with the Knicks.

In the playoffs, Rose was New York’s best player. He averaged 19.4 points and 5.0 assists while maintaining his three-point clip in a much larger role as a starter beginning the second half of Game 2.

Rose proved that he could still be a major contributor to a playoff team.

Two summers ago, the Pistons used their midlevel exception to sign Rose to a two-year, $15.5 million. According to ProfitX*, Rose’s play this season is valued at $15.1 million, nearly doubling the $7.68 million he earned.

It is expected that Rose will at least get offers from other teams starting with their full midlevel exception worth $9.75 million next season.

In terms of point guard need, the Los Angeles Lakers would be the biggest threat. They will be left with the full midlevel exception if their free agents, including Dennis Schroder, walk away this summer.

Only seven teams — Chicago, Miami, Dallas, San Antonio, Charlotte, Toronto, and Oklahoma City — aside from New York will have more than a full midlevel exception.

The Bulls might be interested in a reunion if they fail to land Lonzo Ball, who is also a Knicks target. The Heat could use Rose if they don’t pick up Goran Dragic’s option. The Raptors, too, if Kyle Lowry decides to sign elsewhere.

But the Knicks have a clear advantage.

With Rose’s Early Bird Rights, New York can resign him for up to 175 percent of his previous salary or up to $13.44 million.

A two-year deal in the range of $20-26 million will not break the bank for the Knicks, leaving them with still plenty to spare to upgrade the team’s overall talent.

*Note: ProFitX is a dynamic financial and performance index powered by Artificial Intelligence with front-office optics displaying 17 visual and time-series models for 480-plus NBA athletes. The Athledex models historical, dynamic, and future performance data to monitor and project insights on contracts, performance, injuries, team fit, development, and potential.

 

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Yankees Analysis: What happened to the April 1st Yankees?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

It’s April 1st, the first day of the New York Yankees‘ 162 game 2021 baseball season. The headlines that day pushed forward the suggestion that the Yankees were the team to beat this season. They also touted that the Yankees were destined to win the East, going on to the postseason, and had the best chance of winning the World Series. Today, you would look long and hard to find anyone who didn’t think that was a pipe dream and far from the team fans see playing in most games this season. Many think the Yankees will be lucky not to land next to the Baltimore Orioles at the bottom of the LA East.  What the hell happened?

Much of it is a mystery to fans, players, coaches, and management alike. How could a lineup projected to be one of the most powerful in baseball completely flop and be near the bottom in run production? The answer is simple; they aren’t hitting—the reason why is far more complex. To a degree, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the only hitters on the team that is performing as they are supposed to. The rest of the lineup dead or near dead. Even last year’s batting champion DJ LeMahieu is hitting more than a hundred points less in batting average than the 2020 season. His underperformance at the top of the order is crippling the Yankees’ offense more than anyone else’s struggles relative to expectations.

As frustration builds among fans, the finger-pointing has started. Even some predominant sportswriters are starting to say trade this player, fire this coach, and even replace manager Aaron Boone, and while they are doing that, get rid of general manager Brian Cashman. Still, some are saying Hal Steinbrenner should sell the team. Those comments, for the most part, are irresponsible. The New York Yankees are the most winning team in sports and will continue to make no mistake. There have been many bad years before, and there will be others; maybe this is one of them. But the Yankees had seen bad starts before and went on to a World Series win.

On the pitching side of the situation, management took some big risks with possible high rewards. At the end of the season, they let Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ walk. They brought in two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, and they traded for Jameson Taillon, both pitchers that hadn’t pitched in almost two years. Those additions added to a rotation led by ace Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and a returning Domingo German produced a highly respectable rotation, if not stellar. The question remaining was could the staff return to the form they once had. As it turned out, Taillon, for the most part, is a dud. On the other hand, Kluber had started to get better with each outing, even a no-hitter to his name. But as we sit today, Kluber will be out for as much as two months, and the returning Luis Severino was injured in rehab and now won’t be back with the team until around September 1st.

The big problem to be solved is that if they continue to play as they have, they will not be able to test their skills against the rest of baseball because they won’t emerge from the AL East. The New York Yankees can’t constantly win over their major rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays. They are 0-3 against the Sox, 4-6 against the Blue Jays, and are 5-8 against the Tampa Bay Rays. If they can’t win against these teams, they have no way of winning or even getting a Wild Card berth in the AL East.

With the undying support and praise from management, this team has to generate the energy and inspiration to win more consistently. Before tonight the Yankees have lost 13 of their last 18 games. With the team failing so badly, both Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman are speaking up.

“We’ve got to find a way to get better,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “We’re gonna find out what kind of character we’re made of. We’re clearly in the midst of incredibly tough times. We’ve faced it this season and we’re gonna find out if we’re the team we think we are.”

“Losing invites the scrutiny on us all,” Brian Cashman said. “I’d best answer that as we’re in this together. We made this bed, and we’re going to sleep in it, and we’re going to make sure that we find a way to fix this together.”

“It is frustrating to watch. I get it,” Cashman said. “And it’s frustrating to watch because we’re better than this. It’s not because Aaron Boone doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s not because any of the coaching staff aren’t doing the job to the best of their abilities. We are dealing with it; I promise you that.”

GM Cashman has said that he intends to bolster the roster before the July 30 trade deadline, saying that he has been “knocking on the doors” of the other 29 clubs to find trade matches.  The areas he will look to improve include center field that is now being filled in by bench pieces, Brett Gardner, a fine defenseman but lacks at the plate, and Tyler Wade, an infielder by trade. The other area he will look to augment is the starting pitching with Kubler gone for two months and Severino, who won’t return until September at best.

This team has got to put their heads together and develop a group plan to improve hitting and baserunning. They also have to find a way, with the help of hitting coach Thames to lift the ball and stop hitting into so many double plays. It’s going to be up to the players and management alike to turn this team around. With 65 games already played, they need to get after it; time is of the essence. The New York Yankees have the ability and have the talent to get this done. The race is not lost but soon will be if they can’t improve.

 

Mets Game Preview: (6/16/21) vs. Chicago Cubs (38-29)

The New York Mets look to make it three straight wins over the Chicago Cubs as they send their ace to the mound. In their season series, the home team has taken all five games. The first pitch from Citi Field is set for another 7:10 p.m. ET, and it will be another beautiful night in Flushing.

Pitching and defense have been the name of the game for the Mets in their first two victories. They held the Cubs to just two runs in both games and put their defense on display during the ninth inning on Tuesday. Kevin Pillar, Luis Guillorme, and James McCann combined to gun down the tying run at home plate. It helped drag Seth Lugo through a strenuous ninth inning where he picked up his first save of the season. Lugo threw 37 pitches in the two-inning effort, which should keep him out of commission for the next two games.

The Cubs’ offense has been all or nothing during the first couple of games. All four runs have come on three home runs, and at one point, 17 straight Cubs were retired last night. Their offense took another hit when Kris Bryant had to leave the game early after getting hit on the hand with a pitch. His X-Rays came back negative, but they will take it day by day as hand injuries are very delicate ones to handle.

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom and his 0.56 ERA take the mound to continue his historic start to the season. The Mets ace leads all of baseball with his 0.56 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, and .121 batting average against. He left his last start early with an elbow issue, but deGrom was confident about making his next start. He pitched six innings in his previous start against the San Diego Padres, allowing one hit and striking out ten. deGrom has not thrown over 90 pitches in any start since April.

Robert Stock makes his Cubs debut and his first start in the big leagues. Stock started in Triple-A, where he had a 4.12 ERA in nine games (two starts). The Cubs are high on his potential as Stock can reach triple digits with his fastball, uses his slider for righties and the changeup to get left-handers out.

Matchups To Lookout For

Jacob deGrom vs. Kris Bryant: 6-for-17 (.353), Double, 2 Home Runs, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Anthony Rizzo: 10-for-23 (.435), Double, Home Run, 2 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Jason Heyward: 9-for-27 (.333), Double, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

After UFC 263, should Leon Edwards take another fight or wait for his title shot?

Leon Edwards

On the main card of UFC 263, we saw a welterweight showdown between Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) and Nate Diaz (20-13). The fight between these two was the first five-round non-title fight that wasn’t a main event.

For the first 24 minutes of the fight at UFC 263, Leon Edwards showed why he’s so special. Edwards was able to use his leg kicks, elbows, and sweeps to completely dominate Nate Diaz. Diaz landed shots here and there, but it was all Leon Edwards.

However, with one minute left, the fight completely changed. Diaz fired a perfect 1-2 down the middle that completely rocked Leon Edwards. Edwards was on wobbly legs and needed the fence to stay up. Diaz tried to finish the fight and Edwards barely survived.

Edwards still looked a little dazed after the final bell at UFC 263. However, all of the work he had done over the first 24 minutes paid off. Leon Edwards won 49-46 on all three scorecards to pick up the biggest win of his career.

What does Leon Edwards do after UFC 263?

With this victory, Leon Edwards is now 9-0, 1 NC in his last ten fights. The last man to defeat him inside the octagon is the current UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman (19-1). Leon Edwards has done enough to earn himself a title shot against Usman.

However, he’s not going to be next for the champion. Dana White has made it very clear that Colby Covington (16-2) is getting the next shot at Kamaru Usman. At the moment, the promotion is targeting late summer/early fall for that rematch.

With that, it’s very likely that Leon Edwards wouldn’t get his UFC title shot until the beginning of 2022. So, should Edwards wait or should he take another fight? I personally lean towards him taking another fight and there’s one fight that he should take.

I think the promotion should book him against Jorge Masvidal (35-15). There’s heat between the two men after their backstage incident in 2019 and Masvidal just fought for the title. Leon Edwards didn’t really get over in his win at UFC 263. He could use a highlight reel performance against another star to help build up his stock before a title shot.

That said, Edwards has been very vocal about wanting the title shot next. He might need some convincing to take a fight with Masvidal, but ultimately, I think it would be the best thing for him.

Making sense of the Chicago Bears plan at quarterback

bears, matt nagy

Questions about what the Chicago Bears quarterback position will continue to revolve around who the starter will be. Between Justin Fields and Andy Dalton, who should start and when have been key points that head coach Matt Nagy has answered throughout the duration of rookie minicamp, OTA’s, and mandatory minicamp.

Nagy has also stressed that Chicago has a plan for Fields development, doubling down on Dalton being the starter. Chicago’s plan is simple: Ride it out with Dalton as long as possible, giving Fields a chance to watch from the sideline on Sunday before handing the keys to the franchise off to the 11th overall pick.

“As we all know, promises can get pretty crazy,” Nagy said via the Bears official YouTube channel. “But what we told Andy is that he’s our starter and he knows that. That’s what Justin knows, that’s what Nick knows. We tell these guys knowing that there’s gotta be a start. This plan that we keep talking about and it takes a little bit of time. When you’re in Andy’s role, when you’re in Justin’s role, when you’re in Nick’s role, they know their roles and now it’s their job to be able to be the best quarterback they can be.”

There does need to be a starting point for any plan in the NFL. Chicago’s plan is unique because many believe that Fields has the athletic and mental makeup to be a day one starter in the NFL.

“We all get excited about Justin Fields. We’d all be lying if we said something different but that said, we’re excited about Andy Dalton too,” Nagy said. “And we know that if we stick to this plan we have, that everything’s going to be just fine. Because let’s face it. When you go through OTA’s, when you go through training camp, you go through preseason, the only goal we have is to put the best quarterback out there.”

“Andy Dalton is our starter, Justin’s our number two, and Nick’s our number three, and we’re going to play that out and make sure they’re competing.”

Fields opening week one as the Bears starter seems to be a last resort for the Bears in mid-June but unless something drastically changes during training camp, Nagy and the Bears are hoping that Dalton is good enough to keep the Bears afloat until it’s time for Fields.

Mets ‘hit the jackpot’ with Taijuan Walker

New York Mets, Taijuan Walker

As the offseason got deeper and teams started preparing for spring training, not only pitcher Taijuan Walker remained unemployed: he didn’t even have contract offers. Teams refused to spend and focused on internal solutions, except the New York Mets.

The Mets swung and missed on Trevor Bauer, so they pivoted to Walker as the best starter available in free agency. The righty had a good 2020, with a 2.70 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings, so the lack of interest was somewhat surprising.

The two-year, $20 million offer from the Mets was the only one Walker received, and it has been the steal of the offseason so far. He fanned 12 hitters on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, and is 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA.

The Mets are incredibly happy with Walker, but the feeling is mutual.

“The Mets being my only offer, I feel like it was destiny for me to be here, honestly,” Walker told MLB.com. “Everything has worked out well for everyone. I’m actually really happy to be here. So I’m glad the Mets were my only offer.”

He is having his best season with the Mets

Walker is striking out more hitters than ever, at 9.53 per nine innings (a career high). He is elevating his fastball for more swings and misses, and it’s working wonders.

“We’ve got a really good rotation,” Walker said. “ … I’m just going out there and doing my job, really.”

Mets’ manager Luis Rojas was short, but concise when asked about what he thinks about Walker and his contributions to the team.

“We hit the jackpot with this guy,” Rojas said. “He’s been outstanding for us.”

“He knows how his stuff works and he’s able to pitch and work through games with whatever he has that day,” Alonso said. “His pitchability’s absolutely plus, and he’s got great stuff. So with that combination, it’s no surprise that he’s carving guys up this year. He’s having a hell of a year.”

After falling short at UFC 263, what’s next for Marvin Vettori?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 263, Marvin Vettori (17-5-1) got his shot at the middleweight title. Vettori took on the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (21-1) in a rematch from their first fight back in 2018.

In 2018, Adesanya was able to win a split decision. That split decision result actually gave Marvin Vettori a ton of confidence heading into UFC 263. That result and seeing how Jan Blachowicz beat Adesanya earlier this year had Vettori believing his victory was inevitable.

However, it wasn’t meant to be on Saturday night. Adesanya just seemed a step ahead of Vettori all night. Vettori had his legs chewed up by brutal kicks from Adesanya and Vettori really wasn’t able to get Adesanya to the ground.

There were a couple of times where Vettori landed takedowns, but nothing much resulted from them. In the end, all three judges at UFC 263 gave every round to the defending champion and Adesanya retained his title.

What’s next after UFC 263?

Since 2017, Marvin Vettori has gone 6-2-1 in his nine UFC fights. The lone man to defeat him twice is Israel Adesanya. That puts Vettori in a really tough spot in the division because even if he goes on a winning streak, a third fight is a really tough sell.

That said, what should be next for The Italian Dream? Well, after UFC 263, Vettori said that he wanted to fight Paulo Costa (13-1). Costa hasn’t fought since last year when he was dominated by Adesanya at UFC 253.

Paulo Costa has also said online that he would like to fight Marvin Vettori next. Given where both men stand in the UFC’s middleweight division, a fight between the two makes sense. They’re both near the top of the weight class and they are both coming off of title losses.

Costa has been going back-and-forth with the UFC over his pay and pulled out of his fight with Jared Cannonier to protest. At the end of the day, Costa really doesn’t have any leverage and I think he’ll ultimately be booked for a fight soon. My guess is that fight is going to be against Marvin Vettori.

Yankees News, 6/16: Cashman guarantees reinforcements, Luke Voit injury update

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees might’ve walked away with a victory on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but they are still struggling to find their form as they sit just two games above .500.

The team is currently eight games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and six behind the Boston Red Sox. They stole back third place from Toronto by just half a game and are looking to string together a few wins to put themselves back in the conversation. The Yankees need to finish the season strong if they want to earn a Wild Card appearance, giving them a shot at the postseason.

However, with the trade deadline creeping up, the Yankees must use this victory over Toronto as momentum, thanks to six runs, including three homers in the game, courtesy of Gary Sanchez, Chris Gittens, and Brett Gardner.

General manager Brian Cashman made it apparent that the team would be active at the deadline, using the word “buying” to indicate their aggressiveness.

The question is, who will the Yankees target to improve their roster, and what position is in the most trouble? They could use a bit of support in the pitching department and a lefty bat with some utility flexibility. Someone like Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks stands out as a contact hitting lefty, or switch hitter would be ideal after the loss of Aaron Hicks.

Luke Voit update:

Somerset manager Julio Mosquera commented on Voit’s performance Tuesday:

“He looks healthy to me,” Mosquera said. “I don’t worry too much about those (major league) guys coming over here and taking at-bats because the main thing is for them is to see some pitching and get some swings and make sure they feel good.

Voit is quickly working his way back from injury, featuring with Somerset this week. He will likely be available to join the Yankees at first base in the coming days, having only played 12 games this year, enjoying 50 plate appearances. They desperately need a bit more support in the offensive category, and considering Voit lead the MLB with 22 homers during an abbreviated 2020 season; we know what type of production he can offer.
Health remains a priority for the Yankees. They can’t afford to lose any more players, whether it be in the batting order or pitching. That is a primary reason Cashman stated the team would-be buyers have a deadline, and with minimal funds to spend, it will be interesting to see who they target.