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.

New York Yankees Previews: Yankees, tonight at Fenway Park look for their 10th win in a row

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

The New York Yankees will try to win their tenth win in a row facing the Boston Red Sox tonight, at Boston’s Fenway Park. Winning ten games in a row is historically difficult.  The Yankees won nine in row last year. They won ten in a row in 2012, under Billy Martin,  11 in a row in 1985. The Yankee record for the most wins in a row is 19 straight games, in 1947, under manger Buck Harris, when I was one year old.

The Yankees won the last game of a Blue Jays series at Buffalo. They then went on to sweep a four game series away from the Baltimore Orioles, followed by a sweep of the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Last night at Fenway Park the Yankees acheieved their ninth win, and tonight will look to have that historic 10 game winning streak.

Tonight’s game at Fenway Park in Boston, will be televised on the YES Network and NESN in New England. The game will be played under clear skies, with no chance of showers.  The temperature will drop during the game to just 50 degrees, with a light chilling north breeze. The chill last night, might have been a factor in Chapman’s dropped velocity.

To accomplish a tenth win, the New York Yankees will send forth Yankee pitcher J.A. Happ. Happ, after having a slow start in the season, has pitched very well for the Yankees, he has pitched brilliantly in his last two starts.  In a September 8 start, he stuck out 10 Blue Jays, but lost the game due to a Yankee error. In his September 13th start, he allowed just one run into the seventh inning, while striking out five. Happ won the his last seven games in a row at the end of the 2018 season.  The Yankees hope he will show that type of dominance in tonight’s game.

The Red Sox, basically having no pitching this year. They have used all kinds of pitchers to start games. The result is that they are last in the East. Tonight will be no exception, as the Red Sox will start a reliever that has been forced into a starting role. Chris Mazza is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.57.  Mazza has kicked around in the minors for years, playing for the Minnesota Twins, the Miami Marlins, and the New York Mets. Now the 30-year-old righty, is starting games for the Red Sox. The Yankees have faced Mazza before, as a releiver in a game on August 16, when he gave up four runs in three ininnings, in the Yankee loss. Mazza is coming off of two loses, one with the Rays and the last one to the Miami Marlins.

As a side note, Mazza is believed to be a first cousin, twice removed, to New York Yankee great Joe DiMaggio. When Mazza was six years old he met DiMaggio at a family reunion.

“Honestly, I don’t really remember it,” he said. “And I definitely didn’t understand who he was at the time. Our family is so big in the Bay Area,” he said. “I’ve got cousins everywhere. I went to high school with cousins who I didn’t even know were my cousins. There were so many of us, it’s hard to be close with everyone, especially ones that live on the other coast (like Joe DiMaggio did).”

After tonight, the New York Yankees will have one more game against the Red Sox, a matinee game on Sunday, before going back to Buffalo for four games against the Blue Jays, before finishing up the regular season at home, against the Miami Marlins.  The Yankees starter for the last game of the Boston series will be Yankee’s pitching sensation, Deivi Garcia.

The New York Yankees Starting Rotation: 2021 and Beyond

The New York Yankees are looking into Cleveland Indians pitcher, Trevor Bauer.

For the last decade, there have always been questions surrounding the New York Yankees starting rotation. That has been the one flaw in the team that has hindered them from getting over the hump and capturing a 28th World Series championship.

The Yankees made a big step in the right direction signing Gerrit Cole last offseason. Cole has been very good so far this year pitching to a 5-3 record with a 3.20 ERA and striking out 12.1 batters per nine innings. Masahiro Tanaka has been good, but the rest of the rotation has been hit or miss.

Jordan Montgomery hasn’t been sensational so far. The Yankees have had solid outings from J.A. Happ, but the bombers are hoping he’s not part of their 2021 plans given his optional salary. The Yankees have had one pleasant surprise this year, and that’s been Deivi Garcia.

I started thinking about the Yankees beyond this odd COVID season. What is the Yankees rotation going to look like beyond this year, and what are the Yankees going to do this offseason to address the starting pitching? Let’s take a dive into the options.

The Yankees Internal Options

Realistically there is only one guarantee for the Yankees rotation to start the season and that’s Gerrit Cole. Luis Severino will of course be a part of the rotation, but we really don’t know when he will return from his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

I would think that the Yankees would be willing to give Domingo German a spot in the rotation. Last year’s 18 game winner was suspended for the shortened season due to a Domestic Violence case. If those three are in, that leaves questions around the other two spots.

Deivi Garcia sure looks like he deserves a full-time spot in the rotation. The 21 year old has looked sensational through three starts for the Yankees pitching to a 3.06 ERA. However, given the small sample size, his spot isn’t guaranteed.

Jordan Montgomery could get one of the final two spots, but his inconsistent performances could give the Yankees pause. Clarke Schmidt is another option, but he was never given an actual look in the starting rotation, so I’m not convinced they’d go with him.

As things stand, the Yankees could go into the 2021 season without doing a thing and they could field a starting five if Severino is ready to start the year which might be unlikely. If Severino isn’t ready, the Yankees could give Schmidt a chance or look at the starting pitching market.

Options in the Market

The Yankees do have a few starting pitchers that will be hitting the free agent market. The Yankees will do what they can to make sure J.A. Happ’s option doesn’t vest while James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka are both set to become free agents after the year.

If the Yankees were to sign someone in the market, the likely signing would be retaining Masahiro Tanaka. While resigning Tanaka would certainly not be the sexy option for fans, this will probably be the most likely avenue GM Brian Cashman goes down.

If I were running things, I would take a shot at Trevor Bauer. Bauer is having a career year for the Reds. How nice would it be to pair him and Gerrit Cole? Yes there’s personal friction, but money and championships talk.

The Yankees could also look at retaining Paxton, but given the injury concerns, this likely won’t be an option unless they get him dirt cheap. The Yankees could also explore the trade market, but with Cashman’s history, this is also unlikely because of his unwillingness to deal top prospects.

There are plenty of avenues the team can go down to finish off the rotation next year. I would caution fans to not dream of a Bauer scenario. Instead, prepare yourselves for more of a underwhelming offseason like retaining Masahiro Tanaka.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees make it five in a row with 3-1 win over the Orioles

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees won their fifth straight game yesterday and swept the Orioles series. J.A. Happ had another good outing, pitching a game that he allowed just one run, his fourth game out of five giving up two or fewer runs. It was a day that Gleyber Torres had a productive day off from the lineup. He came in, to pinch-hit and drove in two runs, winning the game for the Yankees.

At the top of the second inning, J.A. Happ would give up a home run to Renado Nunez just past the glove of Clint Frazier, it would be the only run Happ would allow in the game. At the bottom of the frame the Yankees Tyler Wade would answer, sending a long ball almost into the exact same spot as the Nunez homer, off of Orioles starter John Means, and the game was tied at one.

At the bottom of the fourth inning, the Yankees would load the bases with just one out, and blow a big opportunity to blow the game open, as Kyle Higashioka and Thairo Estrada both popped out, leaving the bases loaded with Yankees. At the bottom of the fifth inning, Happ got out of a men on the corners jam with a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. In the sixth, Adam Ottavino who hasn’t pitched well of late, came in to replace Happ and allowed a hit and a walk, before being replaced by Jonathan Holder who got the final out of the inning.

At the top of the eighth inning Zack Britton, the Yankees setup man came in and with the score still tied at one, pitched a clean inning. Helping Britton was DJ LeMahieu, he made his second spectacular defensive play of the game.  At the bottom of the frame, manager Aaron Boone sent in Gleyber Torres, who had the day off, to pinch-hit for Brett Gardner. Torres with two on base, hit a long single bouncing off the right-field wall, driving in Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier for the Yankees 3-1 win. At the ninth Yankee closer, Aroldis Chapman shut down the Orioles to seal the deal.

The winning pitcher was Zack Britton, the loser was Dillion Tate, and Aroldis Chapman got the save, his second in a row. Unfortunately for J.A. Happ, it was his second game in a row that he pitched well dominating the opponent, but failing to get the win.

The New York Yankees have now won five games in a row, reversing their slide earlier in the month, that put them back to only third in the East. But then the Yankees started to play good baseball, pitching well and hitting well, with a mixture of long balls and small ball play. A good example of it is when Torres singled in two Yankee runners in last night’s game. The win put the Yankees just a half-game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for second place in the East.

The New York Yankees will have the day off today, before meeting the Blue Jays for a three-game set at the Stadium, that will decide who is in second place.  After that the will have a weekend set with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, before moving on to another meet up with the Jays.  The Yankees will then end the season back at home, up against Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins.

In a separate story, that became news during the game, I explain how Clint Frazier has finally earned his spot in the Yankee lineup.