The Yankees chased Aaron Judge into the outfield early Sunday night time, swarming him in a bouncy, gleeful embrace. Now they may observe Judge to the playoffs.
Judge is the Yankees’ cornerstone, the slugger who has led them for half a decade as they’ve tried to return to the World Series. This season was extra making an attempt than most, with alternating prolonged stretches of charming and confounding play. But Judge assured it could proceed by topping a tense day at Yankee Stadium with a game-winning single in the underside of the ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0.
“It’s been a crazy, wild, tough year,” Manager Aaron Boone stated. “Fitting that it would come down to the last day to get in. But I love our group, I love our guys, I love our compete. It hasn’t always been pretty, but we’re ready to take our shot. We know we can beat anyone when we’re at our best.”
The Yankees’ first check would be the rival Boston Red Sox, who earned a 7-5, comeback street victory over the Washington Nationals with 4 hits and two homers from Rafael Devers. The Yankees and Boston completed the common season with an identical information (92-70), however the Red Sox will host the American League wild-card recreation on Tuesday at Fenway Park as a result of they took the season collection from the Yankees, 10-9.
The Yankees will begin their ace, Gerrit Cole, with the Red Sox lined as much as begin the previous Yankee Nathan Eovaldi.
“You can feel that Yankees-Red Sox is a little different,” stated starter Jameson Taillon, a first-year Yankee who collected the primary 10 outs on Sunday. “I’ve never experienced anything like it. Red Sox-Yankees, even in the regular season, back in June, felt different, so I’m sure it will be a crazy game. No one I’d rather have on the mound than Gerrit Cole.”
Judge, a three-time All-Star, arrange the date along with his first profession game-ending hit. He linked on a tough shot up the center that deflected off the glove of Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge. Second baseman Brandon Lowe picked the ball up and fired an off-balance throw to the plate, however the pinch-runner Tyler Wade slid head-first, forward of the throw, to the touch off the celebration.
“It took us a while to get going,” Judge stated. “But we got a spot in the playoffs. All you’ve got to do is just get in.”
It was the primary Yankees recreation in greater than three years to be scoreless into the ninth inning, and the Yankees managed just one hit by the primary eight. They are lacking a star infielder after placing D.J. LeMahieu on the injured record earlier than the sport with a sports activities hernia, however Rougned Odor — the third baseman batting .201 at recreation time — got here by to start out the successful rally.
Odor led off with a single off the left-hander Josh Fleming, and Wade ran for him. After an out, Anthony Rizzo lashed a single to proper, advancing to second on a throw house with Wade holding at third. Then Kittredge, a right-hander, got here in to face Judge, who delivered the Yankees to their 57th postseason look and fifth in a row.
“We know our ultimate goal is not just to get in,” Judge stated, after partying with teammates in the clubhouse. “It was a good celebration, but now it’s time to get to work. All that other stuff, the 162, that was spring training. Now it’s time to get to the regular season and get it rolling.”
The Yankees used a six-man pitching relay to subdue the Rays, and one out stood above the remainder. With two out in the sixth inning, shortstop Gio Urshela charged towards the third base dugout for a sinking foul pop from Austin Meadows. Urshela snagged the ball and hurtled headfirst throughout the steps of the Rays’ dugout, by a gap in the railing.
“He looked like a missile flying in there,” Boone stated. “It scared me to death.”
Urshela, who was enjoying in a shift, limped away on his personal and stayed in the sport till the ninth inning. He stated he initially thought he may need been significantly injured, however was relieved to haven’t hit his head. He felt soreness in his legs and elbow however stated he might play on Tuesday.
“I felt a lot of pain in that moment; I didn’t even know what was happening,” Urshela stated. “But thank God I feel really good. It could be worse.”
Urshela’s effort was a spotlight of an impressed all-around efficiency by the Yankees, who had misplaced the primary two video games of this collection, risking the necessity for a play-in recreation simply to get to the wild card.
The Yankees not often take so lengthy to safe a visit to the postseason. This was solely the fifth time that they had entered the ultimate day of the common season with an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot — and a type of common seasons, 1978, ended with a conflict at Fenway made well-known by Bucky Dent’s shock three-run homer over the Green Monster.
That recreation — a playoff, however technically a part of the common season — propelled the Yankees to the American League Championship Series. At stake Tuesday will likely be a visit to Tampa Bay for the division collection, and the Yankees and the Red Sox made certain that it could take just one recreation.
The day started with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners additionally alive for a wild-card spot, organising the potential for a three- or four-way tie for 2 spots. But the Yankees and the Red Sox each led Toronto and Seattle by a recreation, and once they received, the Blue Jays and the Mariners had been eradicated.
(For the report: Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles, 12-4, however the Mariners misplaced to the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, as Shohei Ohtani linked for his forty sixth homer and a hundredth run batted in.)
In the National League, the five-team playoff subject was determined earlier than the weekend, however the Los Angeles Dodgers had a expensive few days. They couldn’t wrest the West division title away from the San Francisco Giants, and misplaced two main contributors to harm.
Clayton Kershaw, the very best left-handed starter of his era, left Friday’s recreation with a recurrence of ache in his elbow and forearm; he stated he was probably finished for the season. Max Muncy, the Dodgers’ chief in homers and runs batted in, left Sunday’s recreation after a play at first base in which a runner collided along with his outstretched wrist as he reached for the ball. Manager Dave Roberts instructed reporters later that Muncy was unlikely to play in the wild-card recreation towards the St. Louis Cardinals or a doable division collection.
The Dodgers’ streak of successful eight division titles in a row ended regardless of their blistering end to the season. They went 44-13 after buying Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in a commerce with Washington on July 31, and completed with 106 victories to tie a franchise report.
But the Giants by no means slumped, and the Dodgers will host St. Louis in the N.L. wild-card recreation on Wednesday.