The combination of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton did their thing, but it wasn’t enough to power the New York Yankees to a win in the American League Wildcard Game.
The 37-foot high Green Monster proved to be Stanton’s worst enemy last night as just 15 feet came between him and a three-homer game that would have entirely flipped the script in the one-game, play-in against Boston, a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
In his first at bat, everyone tuned in, including Stanton himself who broke into a home run trot thinking he had gotten one to the seats. Instead, it was just a loud two-out single and Stanton would end up not scoring in the first inning.
Judge had previously homered in three winner-take-all postseason games during his career which is tied for the most all-time, but he failed to hit one Monday, going just 1-for-4.
Judge ends his All-Star season with 39 home runs, a .287 batting average, .916 OPS and leading the league in average Exit Velocity.
He’s closing in on contract time as he’s entering arbitration this off-season and then becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2023. He and Stanton were the Yankees’ entire offense and they need to cash him out now while adding other pieces around them.
Stanton had his best season since he won the 2017 National League MVP and gave a curtain call with a home run in the ninth inning to close out his 3-for-4 night.
He ends the season with 35 bombs, a .273 average and 97 RBI.
Fueled by a monster weekend at Fenway by Stanton that included three bombs and 10 RBI, New York surged to the top of the wild card race with just two series left to play.
But as we sit here seven days later, the Yankees are on the brink of guaranteeing a chaotic final day of the MLB season.
After dropping two straight games to the Tampa Bay Rays, The Yankees are now tied with the Boston Red Sox with just one more to go. A loss on the final day of the season could set off a chaotic chain of events.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was brutally honest about his team’s performance after their loss Saturday, and everything that Sunday means for this ball club. “We got embarrassed,” said Boone. “We’ve got to get over it quickly. [Sunday] we’ve got to take it and punch our ticket.”
Still In Control
Despite their recent losses, the Bros in the Bronx still control their own destiny. Winning Sunday guarantees them at least a place in the play-in game, and the team with the best head-to-head record amongst the three will host the winner of the potential game 163.
Car Jams & Road Blocks
The remaining teams vying for that final wild card spot would be:
Toronto Blue Jays
The MLBBros across the Border, Toronto, Blue Jays sluggers Marcus Semien and scorching hot George Springer.
The Blue Jays currently sit at 90-71 with one game remaining, and Springer has had alot to do with their final playoff push.
While Semien has struggled of late, Springer has hit .467 in his last 7 games, racking up 14 hits, three home runs and eight RBI along the way.
With only one game against the Cedric Mullins and the last-place Orioles, Toronto looks poised to do their part to make Sunday even more interesting.
“I honestly don’t know how it all works out or how it would work out,” Springer said Friday. “I just know what we need to do as a team. We can only control what our team can control.”
The final team in this Wild Card scenario has an added incentive to making the postseason.
The Seattle Mariners, led by West Coast MLBbro J.P Crawford, currently hold a distinction that no team wants; the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.
The Mariners haven’t reached the postseason since 2002, and until their 12-game win streak in September, the streak looked likely to continue.
Now, with two games remaining as of Saturday, the Mariners must stay hot against the Los Angeles Angels and win their final games.
The Mariners playoff odds sat at just 10 percent heading into Saturday night’s game, but don’t tell that to Crawford.
JP Crawford Comes Of Age
The Mariners leadoff man and Gold Glove shortstop has been a major catalyst for his squad, hitting .414 and compiling 12 hits compared to just 4 strikeouts over his last 7 games.
“J.P., after getting off to a slow start, has been phenomenal getting on base,” Mariners Manager Scott Sevias said when discussing his shortstop. “He’s shifted the field and how he hits in his approach to hitting, and he’s really matured.”
Unfortunately for J.P. and the Mariners, they will need more than Crawford’s maturity and silly smooth fielding to make the playoffs.
Aaron Judge hit his 37th homer and Giancarlo Stanton hit a huge three-run homer (35th) giving him 96 RBI on the season to lead the Bronx Bombers to a 7-3 win over Toronto in the first game of a pivotal three-game series that could determine one of the AL Wild Card spots. The Yankees have won seven in a row and their magic number is down to three.
Giancarlo Stanton is making a late MVP run and singlehandedly keeping the Yankees atop the Wild Card standings. He follows up a huge night on Friday with a Grand Slam to lift the Yankees to a 5-3 win over the Red Sox on Saturday night.