Author: Ana Apostoleris Page 2 of 8

Cleveland Series Preview: September 17-19

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Down to their final 15 games, the Yankees have to win, regardless of who they’re playing.  After a mortifying loss to the Orioles last night, the team sits a half-game out of the last wildcard spot.  This upcoming series with Cleveland is the second-to-last of the Yankees’ “soft” series before they finish their season with back-to-back-to-back series against their divisional and playoff rivals, so they need to make the most of it.

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Game 147: Embarrassing

With 15 games to play and the scramble for the AL Wild Card spots becoming no less intense, every game is a must-win for the Yankees – especially games like today’s, against a team like the Orioles, with a pitcher like Jordan Montgomery on the mound. Alas, despite an excellent outing from Montgomery and holding a lead with 8 ⅔ innings in the books, the Yankees found a way to blow it in Baltimore and dropped this game 3-2 in 10. To the takeaways –

Game 135: #%&*!@*

With their hopes for the division all but buried, the Yankees lost a frustratingly winnable game to the frustratingly beatable Baltimore Orioles this afternoon, 4-3. Joey Gallo’s late-inning heroics were not enough to overcome six innings of an offensive blackout and shaky pitching, and the Yankees are now looking at a 7-game deficit in the AL East if the Rays hold their lead against Minnesota today. To the takeaways –

Game 129: All things must pass

It was good while it lasted.

The Yankees 13-game win streak was snapped this afternoon with a 3-2 loss against the Oakland Athletics, their first since the Field of Dreams game on August 12.  The offense was completely shut down by Frankie Montas, a ninth-inning rally fell short, and the Yankees will now have to start a new streak tomorrow in the series finale.  To the takeaways:

Oakland A’s Series Preview: August 26-29

The Yankees are absolutely riding high as they hit their West Coast trip this week, heading out to Oakland on an 11-game winning streak, their longest since 1985.  They are 3 games ahead of Boston for the first wildcard spot, and are chasing Tampa for first place in the East, just four games back.  The Oakland A’s are also in the hunt, a mere 1.5 games behind Boston, so this upcoming three-game set is important to both teams trying to cement their status as postseason contenders.

Their Story So Far

The Athletics are coming into this series on a 4-game losing streak and are 2-8 in their last 10, but overall this season have been formidable.  They bounced back from a 1-7 start at the beginning of April with a 13 game win streak, and have capably rivaled the Astros for much of the season.  Their recent slump has them 4.5 games behind Houston in the West, but even the red-hot Yankees shouldn’t underestimate Bob Melvin’s squad.

The A’s have been unspectacular but above-average on both sides of the ball, with a 109 staff-wide ERA+ and a 103 OPS+.  Their lineup has been bolstered by Matt Olson, who’s having a fantastic year with 32 home runs and a 161 OPS+, and Starling Marte, who has slashed .353/.391/.490 since being traded from the Marlins last month.  The rest of their offensive, while not putting up eye-popping numbers, has been overall solid.

The starting rotation of Cole Irvin, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, and James Kaprelian are all pitching to sub-4 ERAs, and prior to his injury Chris Bassitt had a 3.22 ERA and 12 wins, tied for the league lead.  Closer Lou Trivino has 21 saves, despite blowing his last two opportunities, and Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman, and the eternal Sergio Romo have capably held down middle relief.

The A’s are not really a powerhouse by any means this year, but despite their recent slump are fundamentally solid.  They have the third-fewest errors in the majors, and allow the third fewest runs per game in the AL.  The Yankees’ recent success has put them in a good position with regards to the playoffs, but the A’s are right there with them in the standings and should not be an easy matchup.

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