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2021 Wild Card Game Thread

In just a few hours, the Yankees and Red Sox will kick off the American League Wild Card Game at Fenway Park in Boston. The winner heads to Tampa to take on the Rays in the ALDS, which starts on Thursday.

As you’re waiting for the game to begin, take some time to catch up with our content over the last two days. Bobby offered his thoughts on Monday and I penned the preview earlier today. Then, use this post’s comments section to discuss tonight’s game. We’ll also tweet through the action on Twitter.

Lineups along with a few pregame notes after the jump.

Game 60: No offense or urgency lead to sweep

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Make it four straight losses. The Red Sox beat the Yankees in 10 innings tonight, 6-5, and completed the weekend sweep at Yankee Stadium. Just another awful, no good, and miserable performance from the Yankees tonight. The umpiring didn’t help, but it also doesn’t excuse the rest of what happened. Here are the takeaways from tonight’s game:

Game 46: Hoping for a Re-Cole-very

After a stellar start from Jordan Montgomery last night, along with a triple play, and some heroics by Gleyber Torres, the Yankees are back out there this afternoon for their second game of three against the White Sox. Gerrit Cole takes the mound coming off his worst start of the year in Texas, looking to bounce back. Here’s the lineup, featuring Leadoff Luke, with DJ LeMahieu getting a day off:

  1. Luke Voit, DH
  2. Brett Gardner, CF
  3. Aaron Judge, RF
  4. Gio Urshela, 3B
  5. Gleyber Torres, SS
  6. Rougned Odor, 2B
  7. Miguel Andújar, LF
  8. Mike Ford, 1B
  9. Kyle Higashioka, C

Against Cole, the White Sox will have Dylan Cease on the mound and the following lineup:

  1. Tim Anderson, SS
  2. Adam Eaton, RF
  3. Yoán Moncada, 3B
  4. José Abreu, 1B
  5. Yermín Mercedes, DH
  6. Yasmani Grandal, C
  7. Andrew Vaughn, LF
  8. Leury García, CF
  9. Nick Madrigal, 2B

Check back here for any updates and news.

One update so far:

Go, Yanks!

Game 40: Finish the sweep

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The Yankees have swept one series this year (Detroit from April 30th to May 2nd), but have had plenty of chances to do so in other series:

  • April 5 – 7: Won first two vs. Baltimore at home, only to drop finale in extra innings
  • April 22 – 25: Took first three in Cleveland, but lost the fourth after taking an early lead
  • May 4 – 6: Beat Houston in first two games, but bullpen collapsed in last game
  • May 11 – 13: Blown out by Rays in finale after winning two low-scoring games at the Trop

It’s always good to win series, but it’s even better to sweep. Today, it’s time to get greedy, especially against the lowly Orioles. Baltimore is even doing the Yankees a favor today. John Means, the staff ace who has a 1.21 ERA, was pushed back a few days to give him a rest. Here are the lineups:

New York Yankees (22-17)

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Luke Voit, 1B
  3. Aaron Judge, DH
  4. Gio Urshela, 3B
  5. Gary Sánchez, C
  6. Clint Frazier, RF
  7. Miguel Andújar, LF
  8. Ryan LaMarre, CF
  9. Tyler Wade SS

LHP Jordan Montgomery

Baltimore Orioles (16-23)

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Austin Hays, LF
  3. Trey Mancini, DH
  4. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
  5. Pedro Severino, C
  6. Maikel Franco, 3B
  7. Freddy Galvis, SS
  8. Pat Valaika, 2B
  9. Ryan McKenna, RF

RHP Adam Plutko

News & Notes

  • Aaron Boone hopes Giancarlo Stanton will return for the upcoming series in Texas (Marly Rivera). If he can’t go tomorrow, the team might as well retroactively place him on the injured list. He’ll have already missed three days from this weekend. He’d only need to spend a week on the shelf.
  • Rougned Odor could be activated for the series against the Rangers (Bryan Hoch). I suppose he could replace Stanton, if need be. Otherwise, expect Tyler Wade to go.
  • Another staff member tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the team total to nine cases. (Hoch)
  • Ryan LaMarre, who replaces the IL’d Aaron Hicks on the roster, is in the lineup and wearing #39. Boone envisions him in a platoon with Brett Gardner (Jack Curry).

This afternoon’s game starts in just a few minutes. Catch it on YES and WFAN. Have a great Sunday.

Game 38: Aaron Hicks has torn tendon sheath in wrist, Giancarlo Stanton scratched

Update, 6:10pm: More good news.

Well that’s just great. I’m sure we’ll find out more in the postgame. As a result, Luke Voit is now batting second instead of fourth. Gary Sánchez will clean up and DH.

Original post: Ugh. Yesterday, the Yankees sat center fielder Aaron Hicks due to wrist soreness and sent him for imaging. Today, we get the word that he has a torn tendon sheath in his wrist. That’s the same injury Mark Teixeira suffered in 2013, limiting him to just 15 games before surgery in July ended his season.

Now, the Teixeira comparison is a bit dramatic, but surgery is a possibility. For the time being, he’s taking medication in hope that it will resolve itself in the next few days. This injury likely explains a good deal of Hicks’s struggles at the plate this season.

For the time being, expect Brett Gardner everyday in center field. That said, someone else is going to have to play there on occasion. We saw Aaron Judge out there in recent years, though that’s certainly not an ideal place to put him in order to keep him healthy. Ultimately, this could force the Yankees hand to promote Estevan Florial, whether he’s ready or not. Florial was just bumped up to Triple-A today, by the way. As Bobby noted in our Slack, this seems partially procedural to get him into the Tier 1 status for a quick promotion, if needed.

So, Hicks is out of the lineup today, but not on the injured list yet. That leaves the lineups as follows for tonight’s series opener:

New York Yankees (20-17)

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  3. Aaron Judge, RF
  4. Luke Voit, 1B
  5. Clint Frazier, LF
  6. Brett Gardner, CF
  7. Miguel Andújar, 3B
  8. Kyle Higashioka, C
  9. Tyler Wade, SS

RHP Corey Kluber

Baltimore Orioles (16-21)

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Austin Hays, LF
  3. Trey Mancini, 1B
  4. Freddy Galvis, SS
  5. Ryan Mountcastle, DH
  6. DJ Stewart, RF
  7. Maikel Franco, 3B
  8. Pedro Severino, C
  9. Pat Valaika, 2B

RHP Dean Kremer

News & Notes

  • Apparently, Gleyber Torres might not have to sit out 10 days after all. Should he clear protocols, he can return sooner. (Bryan Hoch)
  • The team had another day of negative tests, which puts them closer to being past this COVID-19 outbreak. (Erik Boland)
  • Gio Urshela sits again tonight, but his knee is doing better per Aaron Boone. He could be an option tonight. (Lindsey Adler)
  • So, how about Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield? Boone isn’t committed, but it’s under consideration. (Jack Curry)
  • Zack Britton will throw to hitters tomorrow for the first time since bone chip surgery. Additionally, Luis Severino is essentially at the start of spring training stage. He threw 96-97 MPH yesterday and mixed in sliders and changeups. (Pete Caldera)

Got all that? What a whirlwind. Still have a game to play, of course. It starts at 7:05pm eastern. You can watch on WPIX, Amazon Prime, or MLB Network (out-of-market only). WFAN and WADO has the radio call. Have a good night everyone.

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