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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:

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Sunday Thoughts

Wow. Still flying pretty damn high after that thrilling win last night. Listening to the NESN call is even better than listening to the YES call. What a homer from Giancarlo Stanton! Even a friend who’s not a regular baseball watcher texted me after it to appreciate the dinger. The Yankees are now in good position; now it’s time to sweep and move on to Toronto. Before we see them attempt to do so, here are some assorted thoughts.

The Joys of Sev

It’s only been four innings, but after a layoff of more than 700 days, how fantastic is it to see Luis Severino out there again? First, it’s just great that he’s healthy enough to throw…and throw hard. Seeing him in the upper-90’s inspires a lot of confidence in his health and reaffirms a lot of confidence in his talent. Whatever comes the rest of the year, I hope he can ride into 2022 and regain his Cy Young contender form back in the rotation. For now, though…

The Playoff Bullpen?

While the bullpen has been the weak link for the 2021 Yankees at times, I think we can see it rounding into shape. Clay Holmes, Severino, and Mike King can handle the RHP duties, with the latter two able to go multiple innings, which is valuable in the playoffs when starters have shorter leashes. Wandy Peralta and Lucas Luetge can handle situational lefties, and Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman can handle the back end. That should be good enough and doesn’t even include any rotation castoffs. Severino, given trust to handle a high leverage spot in just his second game last night, seems in good position to pitch late innings, too, which can alleviate Green a bit, something he sorely needs.

The Playoff Rotation

Both these thoughts might be getting ahead of themselves, but let’s be optimistic and assume the Yankees make the ALDS. Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery are obvious locks, though when Cole pitches won’t be game one. The next spot probably has to go to….Nestor Cortes, no? Jameson Taillon has pitched admirably this year for many reasons, but I think he’s at his limit. Corey Kluber is a great vet, but with how much time he’s missed, I’m not sure he’s able to be relied upon. So I think I’d go with Cole, Montgomery, Cortes, and, assuming the need for a fourth, Taillon.

The Playoff Lineup

While we’ve spent a lot of time clamoring for a different lineup, a supposedly optimal lineup, the Yankees just haven’t done it and it’s clear they’re not really going to. With that in mind, let’s imagine a playoff lineup based on what the Yankees have done so far.

  1. Gardner, CF
  2. Judge, RF
  3. Rizzo, 1B
  4. Stanton, DH
  5. Gallo, LF
  6. Torres, 2B
  7. LeMahieu, 3B
  8. Sanchez, C
  9. Urshela, SS

That works, no? Maybe you swap LeMahieu and Gardner if you don’t want four RHB in a row at the bottom, but…I’d be happy with that lineup, given how Gardner has played in the second half. If the Yankees aren’t going to play Luke Voit, this is the way to go.

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.

Mailbag: Playoff bullpen, Taillon’s workload, 40-man crunch

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Happy Friday and Labor Day weekend, everyone. It’s looking like an absolutely gorgeous next few days in New York now that the remnants of Ida have passed through here. I hope any of you affected by the storm are safe and sound now that it’s passed by. Things got pretty hairy here for a bit, that’s for sure.

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve opened the mailbag, but it returns today. There are a few questions to address after the jump, but first, a reminder to send your questions to viewsfrom314 [at] gmail [dot] com or tweet us @ViewsFrom314Ft. We’ll include our favorites in future editions.

DoTF: Cloudy outlook for Frazier

News & Notes

  • Clint Frazier was placed on the 60-day IL after pulling himself from his rehab yesterday (Pete Caldera)
  • Luis Severino went for an MRI today after being pulled from his rehab start over the weekend, but we’ll have to wait until at least tomorrow to hear the outcome. They wanted to wait for him to meet with the team doctors. Delayed results after an MRI don’t usually portend good things…(Lindsay Adler)
  • In happier news, noted philosopher Socrates Brito was named the Chevrolet Player of the Week for the RailRiders after hitting .363 last week.
  • Beck Way was named the Southeast League Pitcher of the Week. Here’s some video:

It’s a Monday so the AAA, AA, and A teams were all off.

Florida Complex League

The FCL Yanks lost 10-6 to the Phillies today. They went down 4-2 in the first and never came back. The defense let them down with 2 errors that led to 5 unearned runs. They are 20-10 on the season.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Yorlin Calderon: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR – has 21 K in 13.2 IP….the rest of the numbers aren’t great.
  • In Relief: RHP Edward Paredes: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K – has a 1.59 ERA on the year.
  • In Relief: RHP Kenlly Montas: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
  • Offensive Star: 1B Anthony Garcia: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI – his 8th homer in just 20 games…he’s hitting .316 with a comical 1.206 OPS
  • Multi-hit Watch: C Antonio Gomez: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • Prospect Watch: SS Alexander Vargas: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI – hitting .308 with a .856 OPS

Dominican Summer League

Both DSL affiliates had their games cancelled due to rain.

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