New York Yankees News/Rumors: Far off the radar, intriguing pitcher deals the Yankees could consider

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

In a year that the New York Yankees will aim to improve their starting rotation, they find themselves cash short and wondering what a 2021 season will look like. As the Yankee brass sits at their desks, they have no feel for if there will be fans in the stands or will lose even more money next year. They also are not oblivious to the fact that the coronavirus has left many out of work and unsure of their future, a future where they may not afford tickets and baseball merchandise.

This entire situation is also not good for free-agents that may not get what they would have expected due to the virus and clubs looking to save money. Strangely, the clubs and players’ answer may be to accept less money and be more inclined to offer and accept short one or two-year contracts than they normally would.

There is a log jam of available pitchers out there; there are a few that any team would want to sign but may be too expensive this offseason. But looking carefully, there may be some off-the-radar intriguing picks that would be, for the most part, economical. The first on the list might be the most surprising of all to New York Yankees fans.

J. A. Happ:

Yes, he was a Yankee last year, and yes, the Yankees did not give him a qualifying offer after missing his vesting option. Yankee fans know that when he is hot, he is unhittable. In 2018 J.A. Happ joined the team before the trade deadline and did nothing but win; he went 7-0 in eleven starts. In 2019 he was 12-8; that’s not bad either. In this shortened 2020 season, he had the second-lowest ERA  next to Gerrit Cole with all the controversy.

Both Masahiro Tanaka pitched to the same winning percentage, but Happ’s ERA was lower. The big difference is the Yankees are contemplating taking Tanaka back, but not Happ. Happ had one horrible game that began his season and spoiled a low ERA that could have been lower. In August, he pitched to an ERA of 2.81; in September, he pitched 29.1 innings for an ERA of just 3.07. Included in those games was an eight-inning shutout of the Red Sox.

But with the seemingly bad relations between him and the Yankees, it’s doubtful the Yankees will consider the 38-year old for even one year.

Matt Shoemaker:

Shoemaker might not seem like a pitcher that the New York Yankees would be interested in, but looking closer, he has some upsides. His ERA is not something that would draw attention to him. He also hasn’t pitched a lot in the last three years. This would make him more likely to accept a one year deal on the cheap. Of lower-tier free agents, he has above-average stuff. Interestingly his fastball velocity was up nearly 3 mph compared to last season. Smyly, Ray, and Gausman’s fastball were up less, but all of them were already signed.

Taijuan Walker

Walker is often talked about as a mid prize free agent. He pitched exceptionally well for the Toronto Blue Jays last year. You often hear that a pitcher pitched better than his stats show, but with Walker, it’s the opposite; he didn’t pitch as well as his 2.70 ERA. Nonetheless, he is a good pitcher that might be a fit for the Yankees. His four-seam fastball is his best pitch, whether you look at process or results. It’s the only pitch he has that gets above-league-average whiffs. While with the Jays, he constantly changed up his pitches, which led to success, which could bode well for whatever team lands him.

Tyler Chatwood:

Chatwood is also another pitcher that might look kindly on a short term contract. Chatwood has not been the best pitcher in his career but performed an amazing makeover in his last years with the Chicago Cubs. His record with the Cubs is 11-11 with an uninspiring ERA. Chatwood threw harder last year than he ever has in his career. The 30-year-olds 94.9 mph average four-seam fastball velocity is the best of the four pitchers in this article.

Chatwood is a fastball pitcher, but he has more recently thrown more curveballs and with a high spin rate. He also threw a cutter more often than in the past, making him a truly three-pitch starter. By throwing harder and using more pitches, the Yankees may see that as an upside.

As I evaluate these four pitchers, it appears to me that J.A. Happ may be the best option for the New York Yankees if the two can repair their relationship.

 

 

Can the New York Yankees right their 2018 wrong?

New York Yankees, Charlie Morton

After the 2018 season ended, the New York Yankees knew that they needed to do something to address their starting rotation. They kicked off the offseason by trading for Seattle’s ace, James Paxton.

While that was a good start, the Yankees knew that they needed to do more to address their rotation. Back in the previous trade deadline, the Yankees had made a deal to acquire Blue Jays starting pitcher, J.A. Happ.

Happ was sensational when he came over to the Yankees. After getting traded to New York, Happ went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA. However, Happ stumbled in the playoffs which was one of the reasons the Yankees were bounced in the first round.

Happ was a free agent after the 2018 season ended. The Yankees had Paxton, but they were examining the free agent market looking to secure one more starting pitcher. There were two pitchers they kicked the tires on.

They seemed to be interested in resigning Happ or potentially bringing in Charlie Morton. Morton had been a standout for the Houston Astros after seeing a career resurgance. In fact, Morton pitched the deciding game 7 against the Yankees in the 2017 ALCS.

Despite Morton’s dominance over them and his incredible 2018 season, the Yankees decided to move in a different direction. They decided to resign the familiar face in J.A. Happ. A decision that would come back to truly bite the bombers.

Yankees Giant Mistake

Charlie Morton signed with Tampa Bay while the Yankees resigned Happ. Both pitchers were signed to two year deals. However, it was clear from the very beginning that signing Happ was a mistake by Brian Cashman.

Happ was not just bad, but god awful in 2019. Happ was 12-8 with an ERA approaching five. He was so bad that he was kicked out of the starting rotation and barely appeared in the Yankees 2019 playoff run.

Meanwhile, Charlie Morton was sensational for the Rays. Morton was 16-6 with an ERA of 3.05 and he finished third in the Cy Young voting. Not only that, but Morton appeared in two starts in the postseason where he went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA for the Rays.

Now, Happ had a better 2020 than Morton did. Morton battled injuries, however, when the postseason came around, it was a different story. He was dominant again in the playoffs going 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA.

Morton could have made a difference

Meanwhile Happ was lit up by the Tampa Bay Rays in his lone start in the ALDS. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that if the Yankees signed Morton over Happ in 2018, they would’ve defeated the Astros to make it to the WS in 2019.

They also would’ve defeated the Rays this year in the playoffs. That decision was horrific by the front office, but they have the chance at Morton again. Morton is proven in the postseason, and despite his age, I think he’s a guy they should seriously target this offseason.

There are already reports around the Yankees interest. They need a starter outside of Gerrit Cole to come up big when it matters. There aren’t many big game pitchers like Charlie Morton available. I think they should do what they can to bring him in on a reasonable deal.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Yankees taking a second look at J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton, Lance Lynn, and Trevor May

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

For the New York Yankees, General Manager Brian Cashman is really busy this offseason. After another losing postseason for the Yankees and a World Series drought dating back to 2009, the Yankees are scratching their heads on how to fix a team that just can’t seem to get it done. Some say it’s the pitching, and others say it’s the hitting.

For those who say it’s the hitting, there is good evidence that in the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees hit 3.1 runs per game against the cheating Houston Astros. In 2018 against the Red Sox, they hit 3.5 runs per game, and during the ALCS this year against the Rays, the Yankees once again hit only 3.5 runs per game. When the Yankees had their long winning streak this season, they were scoring 5.6 runs per game. However, any team can have hitting droughts, and the Yankee’s misfortune has been timing.

No, it’s not the hitting that has caused the Yankees problems; it is indeed their lack of quality pitching. If you hold your opponent down, you generally can win games. That ability, even when you can’t score many runs, can be the equalizer. To fix that, the Yankees went out and got the best pitcher on the market Gerrit Cole to lead off the rotation. Back in January, the Yankees thought they had their pitching ills solved.

Fast forward to the spring, and everything went south. Co-ace Luis Severino required Tommy John surgery, and when the season was shortened, the Yankees found out they would lose Domingo German, the 2019 winningness Yankee pitcher, not for two months, but for the whole season. Add to that, James Paxton had back surgery, and he would not regain his velocity. So, even with the acquisition of Gerrit Cole, the Yankees were again in a bad place to start the season with only questionable pitching after Cole.

Brian Cashman has some big decisions to make this offseason to get the Yankees back on the winning track. Most observers believe that the Yankees will move for a discounted Masahiro Tanaka and bring him back from free agency. There is even some scuttlebutt out there that says the Yankees may do the same with J.A. Happ. They declined Happ’s option to make $17 million this year. Considering Happ’s performance in 2020, he isn’t worth near that figure. But deep down, the Yankees know he is a fit for New York, and when he has been on, he is lights out. In 2018 he finished the season with seven straight wins. In 2019 he went 12-8, and this season he was second only to Cole in ERA at 3.47.

Assuming the New York Yankees don’t go all-in on Tanaka and or Happ, they do have options with free agents and the trade market. With the Yankees losing more money than any team in baseball last year and wanting to stay below the $210 luxury tax threshold, don’t look for the Yankees to make a big splash by signing a Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, or a Francisco Lindor. Cashman will try to do his magic, and get some mid-priced help instead, and maybe find another DJ LeMahieu or Gio Urshela.

The Yankees will be taking a long hard look at Charlie Morton of the Rays on target. The Veteran pitcher is 36 years old now; he is as solid as a pitcher as there is out there. He would be mid-priced, and what is particularly attractive to the Yankees in that he is a successful postseason pitcher. They could also take another look at Lance Lynn in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Lynn has pitched in the Bronx before. He would be a solid mid-rotation type pitcher for the Yankees.

A dark horse, the New York Yankees, could explore is Gerrit Richards. Richards is a righty from the San Diego Padres and reestablished himself this year after an injury-plagued 2019 season. He went 2-2 in 10 starts with an ERA of 4.03. He also has frequently pitched in relief. Speaking of relief the Yankees may make a play for Trevor May. May has been a successful reliever for the Minnesota Twins for the last four years. With the Yankees likely wanting to deal away Adam Ottavio, May would be an excellent replacement.

What makes Morton, Lynn, Richards, and May attractive to the Yankees are that they have quality but at the same time are low to mid-budget replacements. The Yankees will be sure to be penny-pinching but will try to get the most for their dollar that they can. The is one thing for sure, is that this will be a really interesting offseason with an active hot stove.

 

Yankees’ Aaron Boone dives into Deivi Garcia decision that cost team game 2 of ALDS

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees took a page of the Tampa Bay Rays’ book in Game 2 of their matchup in the American League Division Series. The Bombers ended up losing the series 3-2, and one of the defeats was in that fateful second contest.

In that game, after announcing Deivi Garcia as the starter, the young righty ended up pitching only one frame, only to give up his place to the “bulk” reliever J.A. Happ. The Yankees’ lefty allowed four runs in 2.2 innings, with five hits and three walks. He struck out just two, and struggled with traffic on the bases throughout his outing.

At the press conference after the game, Happ refered all questions about the strategy to the New York Yankees’ manager, Aaron Boone. He said that while the plan was for Garcia to have a short outing, he pulled him out after the first frame because he didn’t like how he fared against Tampa’s batters.

It was clear that Happ didn’t agree with the strategy and he let everybody know that he prefered to take the ball from the start of the game, as is the traditional way.

The Yankees’ reasoning

Bryan Hoch, who covers the Yankees for MLB.com, recently decided to ask Boone once again about the approach used in Game 2. That contest ended in a close 7-5 defeat and, if not for Happ’s struggles, who knows if the Bombers could have had more of a shot.

“Asked Aaron Boone for more details on the Garcia/Happ decision. He said the organization talked about it after the Cleveland win. The idea was to give Happ a platoon advantage against a lefty heavy lineup. Boone pointed to Happ’s .577 OPS vs. lefties,” Hoch wrote in his Twitter account.

The idea itself was not bad. Indeed, if Tampa sees that the Yankees will send a righty to the hill, the logical thing is to put several lefties in the lineup. That would turn into a platoon advantage once the Bombers turn to their lefty “bulk” guy early in the game.

However, Happ’s execution (and attitude) just wasn’t there.

New York Yankees Postseason Recap: Yankees strike out 18 times in loss to the Rays, Series tied up at 1

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees entered Petco Park in San Diego last evening with their outlook looking encouraging.  They just came off a big win in the ALDS last night, their whole lineup was alive and hitting, and their high paid star Giancarlo Stanton was as hot as he has been for the Yankees. Their new $324 million man on the mound Gerrit Cole had performed like the ace he is. So, what went wrong last night; everything.

Last night was a night with more questions than hits.  The New York Yankees only got five hits while striking out 18 times. Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow was good, but the Yankees missed opportunity after opportunity. No team in the history of baseball in the modern era has ever struck out 18 times in a nine-inning game.  That just can’t happen in the postseason when in a short series.

Question number two is what was manager Aaron Boone thinking. Why have total faith in a highly praised pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, and then pull him after giving up just one run? Boone is notorious for leaving pitchers in too long, even after giving up five runs. Another question is, why bring in a starting pitcher to relieve him and blow two starters in one game when you short starters anyway? Maybe the bigger question is why didn’t Boone start their tried and true successful postseason starter Masahiro Tanaka in a Game 2, and put the ALDS further out of reach of the Rays?

Another question is why would MLB send out C.B. Bucknor to call balls and strikes in a crucial postseason game.  Angel Hernandez and C.B. Bucknor are two of the worst ball and strike callers of all the MLB umpires? Both of these men are so bad they can affect the outcome of the game. I am not making excuses for the Yankees striking out, but several of those called strikes weren’t even close. At one point in the game, Brett Gardner nearly jumped out of the dugout at Bucknor. He was just as bad against both teams, but it more affected the Yankees.

The game started out with the 21-year-old Deivi Garcia on the mound, the youngest Yankee to ever start a postseason game.  Garcia had earned the right; he pitched well in his six starts.  With two outs in the first, Garcia gave up a homer to Randy Arozarena. At the bottom of the second inning, Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the plate and took Glasnow for a long ball into the right-field porch tying up the game at one apiece.

Then in a very puzzling move, Garcia didn’t’ come out to pitch the second inning. Boone sent out J.A. Happ, his third starter.  Starters have a routine they go through; they are not used to being called in to relieve other starters.  From the go, it was apparent that Happ didn’t have it; He gave up two runs in the second and two runs in the third inning, before pulling him two outs later. At the top of the fourth the Yankees with two on base, Giancarlo Stanton hit his second home run, a three-run blast the put the Yankee back in the game. Rays 5, Yankees 4.

From then on, the Yankees fought to gain the lead, but it just didn’t happen as the Yankees burned out their bullpen using six pitchers on the night, in a failed attempt to win a game 2. The Yankees lost 7-5. I don’t know if it was Aaron Boone, Kevin Cashman, or the analytics department, but the huge Gamble in strategy just plain failed.  If the New York Yankees lose the ALDS to the Ray, critics will look back on the gamble and point to it as the loss factor. Tyler Glasnow struck out 10 and took the win. Happ suffered the loss. Pete Fairbanks got the save for the Rays.

The only really good takeaway from the game was Giancarlo Stanton, who seems to be trying to carry the team on his back.  Yesterday I wrote an article on if Stanton could carry the team to a 28th World Championship. Last night it looked as, so that was the case.  Stanton had two homers in the game, one for 458′. Stanton has had at least a homer in each of his four postseason games.

Tonight at Petco Park, Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound at 7:10 pm EDT for the Yankees.  He will face the seasoned veteran Charlie Morton for the Rays. Tanaka will start the game tied in the ALDS with a blown-out bullpen to back him up.  The Yankees will need Tanaka to go deep into the game if they are going to have any chance of winning tonight’s game. The Yankees must win this game; they can’t afford another ugly night they endured last night.

 

 

 

New York Yankees Previews: Yankees face Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins tonight

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

The New York Yankees, already securing a playoff berth, are coming off a forgettable series with the Toronto Blue Jays when the lost 3 of 4 games at Sahlen Stadium in Buffalo. Tonight they are back home at Yankee Stadium and will face the Miami Marlins in the last series of the regular season. J.A. Happ will take the mound for the Yankees, and Sandy Alcantara will pitch for the Marlins.

The New York Yankees are 32-25 and are 6-4 in their last ten games.  The National League Miami Marlins are 29-28, having lost six of their ten starts. While the Yankees have secured a berth in the playoffs, these are still important games to win. As it stands today, the Yankees will play the wild card round with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. If they win all three of the games against the Marlins, they could switch the series to their home in the Bronx and regain the home-field advantage.  Manager Aaron Boone said last night if we are playing well, it doesn’t matter where we play.

These games are even more important for the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are still trying to clinch a playoff spot.  The Marlins are coming off a win against the Atlanta Braves, putting them one game above .500. If the Marlin’s don’t win at least two of the games against the Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies could potentially jump ahead of them in the NL East, eliminating the Marlins from the postseason. The Phillies are just one game behind the Marlins.

The game tonight at Yankee Stadium will be played under mostly cloudy skies with very little chance of a passing shower.  The game-time (7:05 pm) temperature will be just over 70 degrees.  The matchup will be televised on the YES Network and Fox Sports Florida.

When the game starts, J.A. Happ will take the mound in the Bronx for the Yankees.  Happ coming down the stretch has been the best pitcher for the Yankees, having an ERA of 1.93 in his last six starts. After getting off to a slow start, Happ has been nothing short of dominating.  If Happ is hot tonight, he will be near unhittable. He is presently 2-2 with a 3.25 ERA on the season.  In his last outing, he had a four-hitter while pitching eight scoreless innings, striking out 9 Red Sox with 113 pitches.

The Miami Marlins will start Sandy Alcantara, who is 3-2 with an ERA of 3.12. He has had his best games in September, nearly matching Happ’s ERA in September. Alcantara has a September ERA of 2.25. Tonight’s game will be a close pitching matchup.  One interesting thing about Alcantara is that he pitches better in his road games than at home at Marlin’s Park. His road record is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA. While very few Marlins hitters have faced Happ, no Yankee has ever faced Alcantara.

Tomorrow at the Stadium, the Yankee pitching sensation Deivi Garcia will take the mound facing the Marlins’ Trevor Rogers at 1:05 pm.  The Sunday game will be at 3:05 pm and will most likely be a bullpen game for the Yankees.

New York Yankees: Kyle Higashioka or Gary Sanchez in the postseason?

New York Yankees, Kyle Higashioka

Last night, the New York Yankees duo of Gerrit Cole and Kyle Higashioka continued to do their thing. It’s been noticed that Cole has pitched significantly better when Higashioka is behind the plate as opposed to Gary Sanchez.

So far this year, the Yankees ace had pitched eight games to Gary Sanchez with an ERA approaching four at 3.91. With Higashioka, Cole’s ERA is below one. Cole went 7 strong innings last night again only allowing one run from the Blue Jays in a victory.

I started thinking and looking back over the year. It’s not just Gerrit Cole who has pitched well to Higashioka. When Higashioka is behind the plate, the Yankees starters have pitched to a combine ERA of 2.61 in 14 starts. There is definitely something there with Higashioka.

Aaron Boone was asked about it yesterday and didn’t seem happy about the prospect of the Yankees backup catcher starting with Cole in game one of the playoffs. However, it’s not just about Higashioka catching Cole better, he’s just been better in every area than Gary Sanchez.

The Yankees Dilemma

The Yankees find themselves in an interesting position. Obviously, Higashioka is going to start game one of the playoffs to catch Gerrit Cole. But what about games two and three? Boone said that those would be Sanchez’s games, but are we going to ignore how much better Higgy has been?

Higashioka is hitting .273 this year with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs. He had another big night at the plate last night hitting a two run double that was inches from a home run. Gary Sanchez has been atrocious this year hitting .147.

Yes, Sanchez is supposed to be the Yankees star catcher, but in the postseason, your best team needs to be on the field. The reality is that Kyle Higashioka is better than Gary Sanchez right now. This is not about potential, this about play on the field.

Also, it’s not just about Cole and Higashioka’s relationship. J.A. Happ has pitched a lot better to Higashioka as well. Higashioka was behind the plate for Happ’s eight inning shutout performance against the Red Sox.

I understand where Boone is coming from, but Gary Sanchez hasn’t earned a starting spot this postseason. His offense has been terrible, he’s not been good behind the plate, and Higashioka has been better. He deserves that spot a lot more than Gary Sanchez.

The New York Yankees played the J.A. Happ situation perfectly

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

One of the most pleasant surprises for the New York Yankees this year has been J.A. Happ. The expectations were not high for Happ given how bad he was during the 2019 season. Last year the Yankees‘ weakness was starting pitching.

Despite that being an obvious weakness, Happ didn’t start in the postseason because of how bad he was in 2019. 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA, a WHIP of 1.295, and giving up more than 30 home runs doesn’t earn you a spot in the postseason rotation.

Going into the shortened 2020 season, the Yankees were going to do everything they could to prevent Happ from vesting his option. No way did the Yankees want to be on the hook for $17 million in 2021 after what they had seen from Happ.

However, Happ has surprised everyone this season with his pitching. So far this year he’s pitched to a 3.25 ERA and a 2-2 record. However, if you take out his first two starts, Happ has pitched to an ERA of 1.93 which is absolutely incredible.

The Yankees got the best of both

The Yankees re-signed Happ after he looked great for them in the 2018 season. The market was fierce so the Yankees had to give Happ a 2 year deal at $17 million per year with a vesting third year option. The Yankees were hoping for the best of Happ, but only for two years.

Well, with the shortened season, it looks like they are going to get their wish. Happ is pitching the best the Yankees could have hoped for, and his option doesn’t appear likely to vest. Happ needed ten starts or 61.1 innings pitched. Happ is at eight starts and 44.1 innings pitched right now.

With the amount of games left, Happ will only get one more regular season start with the Yankees. Thus, his option is not going to vest and he will be a free agent after this year. The third Yankees starting pitcher that will hit the market this offseason (James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka).

The Yankees have played this perfectly. Happ is pitching at his best, and the bombers know that they won’t be on the hook for $17 million. Happ’s pitching is good enough to get him another 1-2 year deal with someone, but it won’t be for $17 million, and it won’t be with the Yankees.

New York Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone praises J.A. Happ after his latest gem

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

With last night’s victory against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, the New York Yankees have now won ten games in a row, which is huge for a team that had dropped 15 out of 20 prior to the current streak. Now, the Bombers’ will officially clinch the postseason with a win today or a Seattle loss.

The most valuable player of last night’s contest was none other than J.A. Happ. The lefty held the Red Sox scoreless for eight innings, with no walks and nine strikeouts. It was an impressive performance for Happ, who is now 2-2 with a 3.25 ERA.

“We felt like it was going to turn,” Happ said to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “We just needed to keep grinding it out. A 60-game season is a little different, but you hope it balances out. We’re starting to see some guys getting their groove, some guys getting healthy, and becoming the team we feel like we are.”

“It’s always fun beating those guys,” New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We obviously respect who they are and all the great games we’ve had to play against them. We’ll enjoy it while it lasts. This is obviously a very unique year, and that rivalry can kick up at any time.”

The Yankees are certainly pleased with Happ

For Happ, the key was the effectiveness of his fastball-changeup combo. “I had some life on the fastball, and the changeup has come around for me,” he said. “Lately, it’s been a big pitch. We played good defense, good positioning and were able to get some early outs, which helped me go deeper in the ballgame.”

The Yankees’ skipper is obviously thrilled with what he saw from his veteran starter. “He’s obviously going to be on the team [in the postseason] and playing a big role,” Boone said. “This season, he showed me a level of mental toughness and professionalism that has been really admirable. He’s been one of the anchors in the rotation.”

After a rough two-start stretch to begin the season, Happ has demonstrated that there is still plenty of gas left in his left arm.

New York Yankees Recap: J.A. Happ shuts out the Red Sox for the Yankees 10th straight win

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees had a historic win last night at Boston’s Fenway Park when Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ pitched the Yankees best game of the year going into the eighth inning, shutting out the Boston Red Sox with 113 pitches.  It was the Yankees 31st win of the season and their tenth in a row.  It was also the Yankee 12th straight win over the Red Sox, including last year, the first time it was done since 1936.  It was also the tenth in a row for the first time since 2012.

J. A. Happ stepped to the mound in the bottom of the first ahead by two runs, and he never looked back. Happ was dominant in the game, allowing no runs in eight innings pitched. It was the first time a Yankee pitcher pitched eight innings in a game. At the top of the first, Clint Frazier drove a ball to the left-field for the Yankee 2-0 lead. Clint Frazier, other than Happ, was the star of the game. Clint Frazier went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

If the New York Yankees ended the season today, the AL would look like this: the Rays playing the Blue Jays, the Yankees playing the Twins, the Athletics playing the Astros, and the White Sox, playing the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees magic number is now 1, to clinch a playoff spot.

The New York Yankees offense started in the top of the with Red Sox starter Mazza loading the bases on his 17th pitch of the inning. Gio Urshela had a sac fly, driving in DJ LeMahieu. Clint Frazier singled, driving in Aaron Judge, and the Yankees had a two-run lead.

At the top of the fourth inning, Kyle Higashioka drove in Clint Frazier from second, then Tyler Wade hit on right to short, but in the Red Sox’s second mistake of the game, the throw was thrown beyond the first baseman, scoring Mike Tauchman, and it was 4-0 Yankees, knocking out Sox starter Chris Mazza.  The fifth inning was worse for reliever Dylan Covey.  Covey allowed Luke Voit to single to left, Brett Gardner motored all the way from first base to score. Frazier then homered to right-center, driving in Voit, and it was 7-0.

The New York Yankees picked up another run in the top of the ninth. At the bottom of the frame, Nick Nelson came in for Happ and closed it out for the final score of Yankees 8, and the Red Sox were shut out of the party. Happ took the win, going eight innings with 113 pitches while striking out 9 Red Sox players. Chris Mazza took the loss for the Sox.

In the game, Clint Frazier went 3 for 4 with a homer driving in 3 runs. Gio Urshela had a good night also, driving in 2 runs. Luke Voit, Kyle Higashioka, and Tyler wade got in in the fun, driving in a run apiece. Today Deivi Garcia will take the mound for the Yankees in a 1:07 pm matinee at Fenway. He will face the Red Sox’s Tanner Houck, as the Yankees go for their 11th straight win.