The Yankees’ season is over. Boston topped the Yankees 6-1 in the Wild Card Game at Fenway Park, postponing the Bombers’ World Series hopes to 2022. It wasn’t much of a contest tonight, either. The Red Sox jumped Gerrit Cole early and the Yankees’ offense had no answers. Boston will now head to Tampa to play the Rays in the ALDS.
There’s plenty of blame to spread on 2021 Yankees, but tonight’s loss epitomized so much of what went wrong for this year’s club. The offense sputtered. The manager made questionable decisions. Fundamentals were lacking. So it goes.
We’re going to transition to our offseason coverage in the coming weeks, but there’s still some time to reflect upon the 2021 club. The playoffs have just begun, so the front office won’t be making roster moves anytime soon. With that, let’s get to the takeaways from tonight’s game:
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.
Another year, another Wild Card game. OK, so last year was a little bit different, but tonight’s Yankees-Red Sox matchup marks the fourth time the Yankees have appeared in this round in the last five years. All of these win-or-go-home games have been a bit much on our collective hearts, wouldn’t you say? Hopefully, all of you were able to rest up and relax on yesterday’s day off. There won’t be much R&R going forward, especially if the Yankees move on, as you know.
As exhausted as the rest of MLB-fandom seems with the Yankees and Red Sox rivalary, it seems only fitting that these two clubs play once more in 2021. The Yankees chased down Boston for much of the summer, finally surpassed them late in the year, only to finish even at 92-70 each. Of course, Boston held the tiebreaker thanks to a 10-9 season series advantage, which results in tonight’s game at Fenway Park.
There was no thought of a Wild Card matchup between these two clubs back in June or July. It seemed like Boston was going to run away with the division, or at least, only have to fend off Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Yankees sputtered. And to make matters worse, the Red Sox went 7-0 against the Yanks to start the season.
Then, the Yankees turned the narrative upside down in the second half. There were some big swings, namely extended winning and losing streaks, but it summed to just enough to clinch on the last day of the season. A huge, huge help was going 9-3 against the Red Sox to finish the season, including an epic sweep in Boston a week-and-a-half ago.
Tonight’s game gets underway in a little less than eleven hours from now. We’ll have updates between now and then either here or on Twitter. For now, our preview of the Wild Card game comes after the jump:
Ah, well. Nevertheless. The Yankees got a phenomenal pitching performance tonight and it wasn’t enough. At one point the Rays had no hits in their last 30 plate appearances against the Yanks. The staff held the Rays to 2 runs in an elimination game but they got beat by Tampa. I have been loathe to admit this all season, but it’s pretty clear now that the Yankees were the inferior team.
The Yanks fell 2-1 to the Rays in Game 5 of the ALDS tonight, and it was a fitting end for a season that felt utterly joyless at times. Even still, I am very sad to see it end. I wanted to watch more Yankee baseball. We got preciously little of it this year. Alas, it was not to be.
Let’s get right to the takeaways, if you want to bear with me still.
The Yankees aren’t done yet. They beat the Rays 5-1 to force a deciding Game 5 tomorrow night in San Diego. The Bombers finally got a well pitched game from someone other than Gerrit Cole and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Let’s get to the takeaways:
Gleyber Day arrives just when the Yankees needed it. The shortstop’s 2-run homer in the sixth inning gave the Yankees some breathing room, putting the Bombers up 4-1. Up until that point, I had a lingering concern that an earlier wasted opportunity — scoring just one run after loading the bases with no one out in the second inning — would later haunt the Yankees. Thankfully it didn’t, and Gleyber’s bomb eased those concerns:
What a shot. How many dingers would the Yankees send over the Western Metal Supply Co. building if this was actually the team’s home ballpark?
Keep in mind that Gleyber fouled a ball off his shin in his previous at bat against Yarbrough. It took a while for him to get back in the box after it, too. I guess it’s safe to say he’s OK now!
By the way, Torres reached base two other times this one. Once via single, once via walk. He stole a base in the ninth and scored a run too. He had a really nice series against Cleveland last week, but had been relatively quiet until tonight against the Rays. Nice to see a big game from him tonight. Would be even better to see him carry it into tomorrow.