Today was a pretty good day, wasn’t it? Playoff baseball is the best but there’s nothing better than playoff baseball when the Yankees storm out to a commanding 2-0 lead in their series. Our Bombers are 1 win away from returning to the ALCS for the 2nd time in the last 3 years, and it looks–like it has all year–like they’re poised for a rematch against the imposing Astros. Even thinking about that possibility is giving me heartburn, but there is still work to be done. Finish this series tomorrow night, please. I’m not interested in giving Minnesota even a sliver of hope.
Before we jump into the news and notes, I leave you with this:
I have watched that video approximately 500 times in the last 24 hours. It has not yet gotten old. It won’t for a very long time. And let me tell you: I was there at the Stadium for this one and the place was jumping. Remember when we used to hear how the new Stadium wasn’t loud? It’s almost like mid-80s teams with little upside just don’t get the fans going like a powerhouse team fighting for a pennant. Who knew?
Not much in the way of Yankee news today, as you’d expect. Luis Severino spoke to the press in advance of his ALDS Game 3 start tomorrow and he told reporters that “he’s feeling his best” right now. Not sure what else he’s going to say there, but it’s so damn nice to hear the Yankees’ ace loose and laughing right now. The Yankees have a 2-0 ALDS lead and will turn to Severino tomorrow. There were a lot of times this season where that felt like an actual impossibility. I for one was skeptical we’d see him in 2019. Now he has a chance to close out a playoff series. Folks…you love to see it. Here is his full interview, courtesy of the YES Network:
Encarnación–probably the Yankees’ hottest hitter right now–spoke to the press immediately following Severino. He says he was “really happy” that he was traded to the Yankees. Edwin, let me tell you: same. Hard same. Here is the clip:
And here is another clip of Edwin talking about the Yankee lineup:
That’s about it in terms of Yankee news today, though there is still this capital-a Absurd statistic about the Yanks batting with the bases loaded in 2019, courtesy of Jason Collette:
Look at our Yankees out there on an island. I love it. I love it I love it I love it.
Dellin Betances, Inspiration
It’s no secret that Dellin Betances is one of the Yankees’ most beloved clubhouse figures–he is one of the longest-tenured guys on the team somehow–so this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but he served as inspiration before Game 1 of the ALDS. He was called out as a part of the team prior to the game and made his way out onto the sidelines while on crutches, and the New York Post reports that this fired his teammates up.
“That fired me up. I loved it. He has been with us the whole year. He hasn’t felt sorry for himself,” Adam Ottavino told George King.
Zack Britton, too, was inspired, telling King that “it shows the type of guy he is. He has been through a lot this year, obviously a free agent year, so he has been through a lot. So, for him to have a positive mindset and be a good teammate says everything about him.”
I love Dellin and wish nothing but the best for him, so it is great to hear how he is continuing to play a role on the 2019 team even while sidelined. Not to mention, he also called Didi’s grand slam on the bench, according to Aaron Judge. Love it.
Andrew McCutchen, Lasting Influence
Notice how the Yankees are pimping their walks this ALDS? It’s something I picked up on immediately–Stanton did it on Friday and several other Yanks throughout the series–and I have to say: I love it. It immediately reminded me of McCutchen last year, and it turns out there’s a reason why. According to Aaron Judge and Aaron Boone, they “loved” the way McCutchen treated his walks and believed it was a sign that the team was controlling the zone. They’re actually citing him as one of the reasons why they’re doing it this year.
‘Cutch has been one of my favorite non-Yankee players ever so I was pumped to see him join the team last year and it’s really cool to see how he left a mark even in his limited time with the team. Yet another reminder that as crazy as we fans can go about these games, at the end of the day, there are people wearing the uniforms.
Jasson Goes Deep
Jasson Dominguez, the phenom 16-year-old the Yankees signed this July, hit his first home run as a professional a few days ago. To be fair, it was an unofficial home run–it’s instructional league–but it is still cool to see. Baseball America’s Ben Badler was on hand to see it, so you can read up on Jasson here as well as watch the video. There’s going to be a lot more coverage of Jasson in the coming years, folks. The Yankees’ next super hyped prospect is here.
Potential ALCS Rematch
The Yankees and Astros appear to be on a collision course for a 2017 ALCS rematch, don’t they? I know anything can happen–just ask the 2017 Cleveland team–but hopefully, the Yankees take care of business tomorrow. Again, anything can happen and Morton is good, but I thought the Rays-Astros series was over before it began. That would set up a deadly rematch, and I am having cardiac issues just thinking about it.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times profiles the Astros here in a piece ostensibly about the ALCS rematch but really just talks about how good the Astros are. I get it. The Astros are better than last time. But you know what? So are the damn Yankees. They’re better than last time too. It will probably kill me and I think the Astros are a better team, but if the Yankees are going to win this thing–and they still have to get through Minnesota, who I am not taking for granted right now even with the lead–I want them to vanquish the Astros.
Oh, boy did the Cardinals just lose a heartbreaker to Atlanta. Up 1-0 the whole game, a 2011 performance from Wainwright…and they blew it int he 9th to fall 3-1 today and 2-1 overall in the series. Atlanta is a win away from the NLCS. Check out the box score here.
My favorite non-NYY series just started over on TBS, and that’s the Dodgers and Nationals. That one is knotted up at 1, and I really, really wanna see it go 5 full games. Check it out and enjoy the stress-free October baseball. Our hearts will be pounding again tomorrow night at 8:40, so enjoy it while you can.