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Despite fire sale, Yankees continue push towards playoffs

The week began when the Yankees welcomed the Toronto Blue Jays for a three game set. It started off “green” as ever, as starting pitcher Chad Green in just his fifth major league start had a game and then some. The 25-year-old in only six innings allowed two hits and a staggering eleven strikeouts. The power packed Blue Jays lineup featuring reigning MVP Josh Donaldson, and slugger Edwin Encarnacion, looked absolutely clueless against Green’s 96 mph fastball, resulting into a well deserved victory for the right-hander. The lone run to come across this game was an RBI double from Aaron Judge, his third extra base hit in three games played. The Yankees won this one by a score of 1-0.

It’s not over till it’s over was the main theme taken from this game. Early on it seemed the Yankees had this game on lockdown. With the help of two home runs by young catcher Gary Sanchez and some more production from Didi Gregorius, the Yankees found themselves up 6-0 going into the sixth inning. Michael Pineda, who started the game, was taken out after five innings of work. Then, the tides turned. What started off as a throwing error from third baseman Chase Headley, the Blue Jays put up four runs in the sixth, knotting the game at 6-4. After a scoreless 7th, a two-run dinger from Edwin Encarnacion tied the game up. Soon after, former Yankee Russell Martin went yard himself giving now the Blue Jays the lead. The Yankees sent in Chasen Shreve to try to stop the bleeding, but the wound got worse. He allowed four more insurance runs to come in, and what felt like an easy win ended up being a very tough loss. It was a heck of a comeback by the Jays, as they scored eight runs in the eighth inning alone. This led way to a 12-6 defeat for the Yankees.

For the rubber match of this series, the Yankees had to go through J.A. Happ who is currently tied with Rick Porcello as this year’s wins leader. Happ has done good work against the Yankees this year, and this time around the Yankees did get to him a bit, scoring four runs on three homers. Unfortunately though, the starter the Yankees threw out, C.C. Sabathia wasn’t so sharp either. In fact he was worse, despite striking out 12, in 6 innings C.C. allowed seven runs on nine hits. It was too much for the Yankees to overcome, the Blue Jays bullpen is very solid this year and the Yankees just couldn’t get those seven runs back. The game finished with the Blue Jays on top 7-4.

After that rather disappointing series, the Yankees headed across the country to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Masahiro Tanaka was on the bump up against Angels’ Jered Weaver. Things went really well for the Yankees, as Tanaka was dealing. Lasting for 7 ⅔ strong innings allowing no runs and striking out five, Tanaka’s performance was the exact opposite of Weaver’s. Weaver got rocked getting through just 4 innings and allowing four home runs to his total. Three of these home runs came in the fifth off of back-to-back-to-back homeruns from Ronny Torreyes, Didi Gregorius, and Brian McCann. The Yankees had everything going for them both pitching and offensively, acquiring 15 hits to the Angles 6. The Yankees had total control of this one and they went out of there with a 7-0 victory.

Since Nathan Eovaldi will miss the end of the year as well as next year with an elbow injury, the Yankees took measure putting Luis Cessa into the rotation. Cessa, acquired along with Chad Green in the Justin Wilson trade, has not started yet in his brief major league career and this was his first time doing so. In six innings, the Mexican-born right-hander allowed no runs on three hits and struck out five. It was pretty solid outing for Cessa. He even got the run support he needed with Gary Sanchez’s fourth home run of the week, as well as a two run single from now full time DH Brian McCann. The real highlight, however, came when Brett the Jet Gardner threw his entire body into the left field stands robbing C.J. Cron of a 2-run home run. The Yankees were victors, winning 5-1.

Looking to go for the perfect 7-0 against the Angels this season, it was Chad Green’s turn against Jhoulys Chacin. Fresh off of his no run eleven strikeout outing, Green sadly wasn’t as good. His slider didn’t move when needed, and these Angles hitters had a better time hitting his fastball than the Blue Jays did. He really should’ve allowed more runs, but with an Albert Pujols home run being robbed at the wall by Jacoby Ellsbury, Green finished the day with only one run given up on five hits. The offense didn’t get much going either besides Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks having two hits each. The Angels took the early lead and never truly looked back and that’s why they won the game by a score of 2-0.

Batter of the Week: Gary Sanchez

GM – 6

AVG – .524

R – 4

AB – 21

H – 11

BB – 4

HR – 4

RBI – 6

Pitcher of the Week: Chad Green

GM – 2

W- 1

IP – 12.0

H – 7

K – 16

BB – 1

ER – 1

The Yankees continue their Wild Card hunt with an important series against the Seattle Mariners. Like the Yankees, the Mariners are also fighting for a spot and are only 1 game back of doing so. They will also play the Baltimore Orioles who currently have one of the two spots in grasp at the moment.

Matchups at Seattle

Game #1:

Michael Pineda (6-10) vs. Cody Martin (1-2)

Game #2:

C.C. Sabathia (7-10) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (14-8)

Game #3:

Masahiro Tanaka (10-4) vs. Wade LeBlanc (3-0)

Matchups vs. Baltimore

Game #1:

Yovani Gallardo (4-5) vs. Luis Cessa (3-0)

Game #2:

Dylan Bundy (6-4) vs. Chad Green (2-3)

Game #3:

Kevin Gausman (4-10) vs. Michael Pineda (6-10)

The weekly New York Yankee report submitted by David Bieber for FingerLakes1.com

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