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Mailbag: Judge extension, Vasquez’s Rule 5 Eligibility, DeJong

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Good morning, everyone. Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. Surely, it was better than the one my preferred football team had. I guess the Mike White era is over, but I digress. In baseball news: the Tigers have made the first free agency salvo, signing left-handed starter Eduardo Rodríguez to a five-year deal. It sure looks like they’re going for it, and why not? The Central division is not all that great.

There’s nothing doing (yet) on the free agent front for the Yankees, but expect a flurry of transactions this week. The Rule 5 protection deadline is Friday, and the Yankees currently have a full 40-man roster, so something’s gotta give. Whether that’s trading Rule 5 eligible prospects or waiving current 40-man players remains to be seen. We’ll keep you up to date on everything that goes down.

In the meantime, it’s mailbag day. As usual: send your questions to viewsfrom314 at gmail dot com. We’ll pick our favorites each week. Note that your questions may be edited for clarity.

Game 157: Judge and Stanton. Name a better duo, I’ll wait

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The Yankees’ magic number is down to three. Tonight’s 7-2 win over Toronto and Boston’s 4-2 loss to Baltimore (!!) has put the Bombers in prime position to snag one of the two Wild Card spots with five games to play. They’re now up two on Boston for the top spot and have a three game cushion (pending the Mariners game tonight) overall.

Tonight’s game got off to an inauspicious start, but thankfully, ended comfortably in the Yanks’ favor. Toronto grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first and Jameson Taillon reinjured his ankle and left after three innings, but it didn’t matter. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton drove in five of the team’s seven runs scored, with Stanton’s three-run homer in the seventh representing the knockout blow.

More on this game in the takeaways after the jump:

Game 156: Sweep, sweep victory

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The Yankees really, really tried to give this one away, but a late-inning rally headlined by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton led the Bombers to a 6-3 win and a dramatic sweep of the Boston Red Sox.  This weekend was everything it needed to be, and the Yankees are now a full game up on the top wild card spot going into another big series against the Toronto Blue Jays.  To the takeaways:

Game 155: Stanton’s monster grand slam tops Red Sox

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What a freaking game. It took just one swing — Giancarlo Stanton’s mammoth grand slam in the eighth — to wipe out all of the frustrations from earlier in this one. From getting shut down by Nick Pivetta to another failed contact play to another double play, the offense was awfully quiet after yesterday’s outburst. Stanton changed that in a heartbeat and the Yankees won a thriller, 5-3. There’s still one more to play in Boston tomorrow, and here are the Wild Card standings at this very moment:

As such, tomorrow will be the biggest game of the season (yet again). Finish the sweep and go to Toronto atop the Wild Card standings (Boston holds the tiebreaker). Is that too much to ask?

While Stanton is the hero tonight, the pitching staff did another brilliant job. Nestor Cortes did his thing and the bullpen, highlighted by Luis Severino’s second appearance of the year, kept the game within reach. More on Stanton, Severino, and others in the takeaways after the jump.

Game 144: The Yankees say not today

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As that GOT reference indicates, the Yankees stopped their free-fall today with a W against the Twins. Who at this point, just can’t do anything to beat the Yankees no matter how bad they are playing. It was tight, sure. It was really stressful as well. But a huge W due to what’s in play.

To the takeaways!

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