Game 50: Dreaming of First Place?

Also my reaction when it’s Tanaka Time.

Entering today, the Yankees trailed the Rays by three games for the division lead. Both teams have 11 games remaining, which makes it pretty tough for the Yankees to leapfrog Tampa Bay. The Rays hold the division tiebreaker, so a tie will do the Yankees no good. They have to win it outright. Tall task, but there’s an outside chance that the division could be within one game on the loss column by the end of the day. The Rays have a doubleheader against the Orioles, so two losses and a Yankees win brings things pretty tight. One can dream still, right?

Of course, if the season ended today, the Yankees would play the Twins in the first round. Given the two sides’ playoff history, I can understand why that might seem more optimal. Should the Yankees overtake Tampa Bay, it could be any of Houston, Toronto, or Cleveland. Frankly, those are worse teams than the Twins and are preferable on paper.

In any case, no reason to get too much further ahead of ourselves. Let’s see where things land after today’s action and then we can really imagine the possibilities. Here are tonight’s lineups:

Toronto Blue Jays (26-22)

  1. Cavan Biggio, 3B
  2. Bo Bichette, SS
  3. Randal Grichuk, CF
  4. Teoscar Hernández, RF
  5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., DH
  6. Travis Shaw, 1B
  7. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF
  8. Joe Panik, 2B
  9. Danny Jansen, C

RHP Chase Anderson

New York Yankees (28-21)

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Luke Voit, 1B
  3. Aaron Hicks, CF
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  5. Gleyber Torres, SS
  6. Gio Urshela, 3B
  7. Clint Frazier, RF
  8. Gary Sánchez, C
  9. Brett Gardner, LF

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

News & Notes

  • Gleyber Torres is back in the lineup! That’s a relief, for now. Giancarlo Stanton returns as well, as expected. He and Aaron Judge, who is off tonight, are going to be worked in gradually as the season rounds out.
  • Kyle Higashioka “absolutely [is] a legitimate option” to be Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher, according to Aaron Boone.
  • Miguel Andújar’s agent is not pleased about how the Yankees have handled his client this season.
  • The Yankees are refinancing the PILOT bonds used to pay for Yankee Stadium. With interest rates low, t’s going to save the team and city money, per Forbes. Reminder: the stadium is technically owned by the city, and yet, the Yankees do not pay rent or property taxes. Instead, they only make Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) to New York, which in turn pays off the bondholders. These are low-interest and tax-free bonds, which results in plenty of savings for the Yankees on interest and a substantial loss in tax revenue for the government. Sweet deal for the Yankees, I guess.
  • Meanwhile, as the Yankees save even more on an already subsidized stadium, local business around Yankee Stadium are struggling due to COVID-19’s impact on fan attendance. Some held a protest to plea for financial assistance from the Yankees today. It’d be awfully nice for the Yankees to share the assistance they get which these small businesses are in far more need of.

Rant over. Tonight’s game starts at 7:05 p.m. EDT on YES, WFAN, and WADO. Enjoy the ballgame.


Game 49: Yanks Smash Jays 13-2, Win 7th Consecutive Game


Game 50: Home run derby


  1. MG309

    I’ve been a Yankees fan since the mid 50s and 5 dingers in one inning is a first for me, wow…

  2. CentralScrutinizer

    Since they scored 33 runs the past two nights the lineup construction was obviously a non-problem but that can’t last forever. With that said, I don;t understand why Aaron Hicks has become a fixture in the third spot. I would move him down to somewhere in the last three spots and move everyone else up one spot. Let the guy prove he can do something besides draw walks before he’s given a top 3 spot. I really don’t understand why the Yankees have so much confidence in this guy as a hitter.

  3. I think keeping Estrada over Andujar is BS. In the unlikely event Torres AND Wade go down, Urshela or DJLM can play short. Keep Andujar’s bat in the lineup; he can play LF when Judge or Hicks is out, he can play 3B when Urshela or DJLM is out, he can DH when Stanton or Sanchez is out. Play teh kidz!

    • MikeD

      Estrada was sent to the alternate site when Judge was activated. No room for him.

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