Yanks Lose Season Finale, Time For Wild Card Game • Latino Sports

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Yanks Lose Season Finale, Time For Wild Card Game

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Bronx, NY – The Yankees will take their 91-71 finish after their season finale loss to the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. And of course before they host the AL Wild Card game Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium there is no denying this season was a success and one that went beyond expectations.

Manager Joe Girardi sat Aaron Judge in this finale that went to the Blue Jays 2-1. Judge, the rookie went beyond expectations and led the American League in home runs with 52, a Yankees rookie record.  There were a cast of the regulars who also got a day of rest and that is obvious because Tuesday night the best will be on the field in the win or go home game.

It is time now for October baseball in the Bronx and for the second time in three years the Yankees are faced with that one-game elimination. Two years ago at Yankee Stadium it was going to be a task facing the Houston Astros and their ace, Dallas Keuchel.

Then the AL ERA leader shutout the Yankees 3-0 and that is the disadvantage of not winning your division, more reason why Yankees manager Joe Girardi went with CC Sabathia the day before to assure that his ace, Luis Severino would be rested and start that game Tuesday night in the Bronx.

Ervin  Santana, with a good two-seamer and changeup presents a far easier challenge for the Yankees and that makes their chances this time a bit better to advance and take on the Indians in the best of five Al division series that would begin in Cleveland Thursday evening.

Santana had one start against the Yankees this year, and it was recent back on September 18th in the Bronx.  He tossed 5.2 innings, allowed two runs on seven hits. One run, of course the home run ball to Aaron Judge.

And if the Yankees have that opportunity against Santana, it is his tendency to throw the home run ball. Santana has given up 31 long balls this season and that is among the top ten in the American League.

Tuesday evening it will be the same type of game, but a different starter on the other side with  Santana. For these New York Yankees, not the Al East division winner, but they came close before Boston won their second straight division title on the next to last day of the season.

“We will sit down and talk about what the roster will be,” said Girardi.  The manager mentioned possibly taking 9 or 10 pitchers, one that could be in the mix is rookie Jordan Montgomery who tossed 5.1 innings Sunday and took the no-decision. He remained undefeated in his final five starts and lost only one of his nine starts since August.

Girardi added about this final start from Montgomery, “The improvement of his slider, but most of all the curveball and fastball.”

The lefthander could also provide help out of the bullpen, even as quick as Tuesday night in the event that Severino has trouble with a Twins lineup that provides some power, speed, and they can hit to all fields.

Matt Holliday said “Looking forward to Tuesday.”  In the season finale he hit and scored the Yankees only run, a seventh inning blast down the left field line. That snapped a 52 at bat homerless streak for Holliday who has been used mostly in the DH role.

That is another decision that Girardi will have to determine with the roster as he is expected to have Holliday among the position  players.  That will all be determined by Tuesday morning after the Yankees have a workout at home Monday afternoon.

Oh, that home run by Holliday was the Yankees 241st of the season, the fourth highest total in franchise history.  And Judge was not in the lineup, so that gives an indication about an offense that can go deep into October.

But it always comes down to pitching. Girardi and the Yankees are a confident bunch with Severino on the mound Tuesday night and proud to be playing October Baseball again.

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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