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.
Statistics would tell you it has been a “down” year for Betts whose .266 batting average is his lowest since 2017. But those are the type of expectations burdened by superstars of his caliber. Betts ended his All-Star season with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and an .854 OPS. His Dodgers will take on the Cardinals in a Wild Card play-in game and should they win, they would meet their divisional rivals over in The Bay.
Betts batted .269 with an .898 OPS, two home runs, two doubles and five runs scored in last year’s World Series It was the second time Betts was able to earn some bling as he won with the Red Sox in 2018.
Even when Betts isn’t hitting at the top of his game, the game saving catches he provides defensively will be a major factor in October. The Cardinals are no joke, and neither are the 107-win Giants, so the Dodgers will need their stars to be stars and show up when needed most.
Jack Flaherty was on his way to joining the Black Ace club of 20 game winners before injuries put a stop to his 2021 season. It’s taken him some time to get back to form, but now the Cardinals plan on using him as a convertible piece in their bullpen.
Last Wednesday Flaherty made his first relief appearance since 2017.
Teams typically shorten their rotations in the postseason so it’s not surprising the Cardinals choose Flaherty for the role since he missed so much time with injury. The MLBbro hurler worked a clean inning on the last day of the season, striking out two Cubs batters. He had a 3.22 ERA to go along with 85 strikeouts on the season.
It is expected that the Cardinals would use Flaherty first out of the bullpen in the Wild Card game behind probable starter Adam Wainwright.
Lo Cain finds himself back in the playoffs for the first time since his magical World Series run with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Cain won an ALCS MVP award after posting a .533 batting average, the highest batting average for a postseason series in Royals history.
Wade is one of many unsung heroes this season for a Giants team that shocked the baseball world by having the best record in the Majors this season. I cannot wait to see this MLBbro represent in the Bay Area, especially late in games when he seems to show up most.
ALL RISE !!!! Every game counts in a tight American League Wild Card race and Aaron Judge came through again for the Yankees, slugging two homers in a crucial 6-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays to remain in control as we come down the wire.