Tag:

Masahiro Tanaka

Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees look to extend their series lead in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros on Sunday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the series after beating the Astros 7-0 in Game 1 of the ALCS. Gleyber Torres was the star of the night, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBI thanks to a double and home run. Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, but injured his quad and will not start Game 2. Starter Masahiro Tanaka allowed just one hit over six innings, striking out four batters and walking just one in the win. Gio Urshela put the nail in the coffin with his solo home run in the ninth inning, he finished the game 2-for-4 from the plate.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Martino on Stanton 00:01:05
SNY's Andy Martino breaks down the changes in Giancarlo Stanton's approach at the plate in Gm 1 of the ALCS after his struggles in 2018

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The right call to remove Tanaka

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 68 pitches through six innings, allowing just one hit and dominating the Houston offense. Because of that, the knee-jerk response when Adam Ottavino trotted out of the bullpen to begin the seventh might have been outrage.

But one simple fact made it the right call: Opponents have a .387 wOBA (weighted on-base average) against Tanaka the third time through the lineup this year, which was where the Astros found themselves after six.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Carlos Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Astos 7-0 on Saturday in Game 1 of the ALCS, taking a 1-0 series lead. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) So who said the Astros have the advantage in the starting pitching in this ALCS, anyway?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Boone talks Game 1 win 00:01:57
Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Torres and Tanaka leading the Yankees emphatic 7-0 win in Gm 1 of the ALCS

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant for the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, putting his team in position to take a 1-0 lead in the series with a win on the road.

The right-hander threw six near perfect innings for New York, allowing just one hit and one walk with four strikeout on 68 pitches.

"Going into the game with a plan," Tanaka said through a translator, on why he was so effective Saturday night. "...really focusing on each pitch, executing your pitches, that's kind of what it all comes down to."

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Gleyber Torres put the Yankees on the board first in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. 

In a tight-knit game that has both Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Greinke dealing early, Torres hit an RBI double with one out in the top of the fourth inning to bring DJ LeMahieu in for the first run of the game.


 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

Aaron Judge is typically known more for his bat, but he made a great play in the field to help preserve the Yankees' ALCS Game 1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Yankees look to get things started on the right foot in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros on Saturday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

Aaron Hicks and CC Sabathia are back on the ALCS roster for the Yankees, while Luke Voit and Tyler Wade were left off. ... Hicks is not in the starting lineup, while Sabathia will pitch out of the bullpen during the series. ... The Astros took four of seven games from the Yankees in the 2019 regular season, including a three-game sweep in Houston. ... The Yankees have moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the lineup after having Brett Gardner in that spot for all three games of the ALDS. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When Yankees manager Aaron Boone met with the media in Houston on Friday on the eve of the ALCS, the first order of business was announcing the the Yankees' pitching rotation.

According to Boone, the Yankees will go with Masahiro Tanaka in Game 1, James Paxton in Game 2, and Luis Severino in Game 3, and then go from there. 

"Again, I felt like it was a good decision, a tough one to be made, similar to the Division Series where I was going back and forth a lot," said Boone. "Just felt like Masa here in Game 1, that's the way I wanted to go in the end."

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks to New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) at second base during a pitching change during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks to New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) at second base during a pitching change during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For months, it seemed destined to be this way, Astros versus Yankees, a trip to the World Series the prize. There were some tense moments for Houston - well, at least until the first inning of that deciding game against the Rays - but here we are:  

Astro-geddon. Cole-pocalypse. A series of Judge-ian proportions. A Bunch of "Savages" versus Baseball's Best Team.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole
Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole

The Yankees are all set to go in the ALCS. They just need an opponent. 

The Rays pulled out an upset of Justin Verlander in Game 4 in their home Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, forcing a divisive Game 5 on Thursday night at 7:07 p.m. This one, though, will be in Houston with Gerrit Cole facing off against Tyler Glasnow -- a much tougher challenge for the Rays to pull off the ultimate upset. 

Either way, who would the Yankees want to face in the Championship Series? 

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees are probably healthier than they've been all season and they're coming off a sweep of the Twins in the AL Division Series. But Aaron Boone and the rest of the Yankee brass still face questions heading into the next round.

The big one, of course, is Astros or Rays? We'll find out Thursday night when Tampa Bay and Houston meet in a deciding Game 5.

Once that's decided, they can work in more detail on the others. Here are three roster questions facing the Yankees as they prep for the best-of-seven AL Championship Series, which begins Saturday night in either Houston or the Bronx, depending on who wins in Houston Thursday:

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone has to think about his 25-man roster yet again heading into the ALCS. The one he and his staff put together for the ALDS against the Twins worked as planned, sweeping Minnesota to get an early break before their next postseason challenge. 

The Yankees don't know their opponent just yet, with the Astros and Rays to play Game 5 on Thursday night. But one of the big decisions for Boone will be whether or not he goes with the same rotation configuration as he did in the last series. 

After long thought, it was James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino in that order. During a conference call with the media on Wednesday, Boone was asked if he's sticking with that rotation, and he revealed he will be looking at all options yet again. 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

Before the Yankees entered the postseason, SS Didi Gregorius was mired in a slump. His September numbers were .190/.247/.380 with three homers and 16 RBI over 20 games. 

That's not what you want to see heading into October, but when asked about Gregorius before the series against the Twins began, manager Aaron Boone wasn't sweating his shortstop's performance at all. 

In fact, he expected Gregorius to step up and be a crucial factor for his club. 

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Yankees (103-59) look to sweep the ALDS with another win as the visit the Twins (101-61) for Game 3 Monday night at 8:40 p.m.

Yankees notes

With Saturday's win, the Yankees are now 15-2 all-time in playoff games against the Twins, with wins in 12 straight contests. They've won all five of the series between the two teams, as well... In Saturday's 8-2 win, Didi Gregorius highlighted a Yankees playoff record tying seven run third inning with a Grand Slam. RHP Masahiro Tanaka picked up the win after pitching 5.0 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and striking out seven. Through two games, the Yankees have outscored the Twins 18-6, and Yankees pitchers have allowed just six hits and one walk, while striking out 13. The Twins as a team are batting .197 through two games.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When to lift your starter?

Analytics-driven game planning calls for managers to remove starting pitchers before they start to struggle. This is a major change from the traditional approach, when you waited for the guy to labor before taking him out.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Yankees dominate Twins 00:02:52
Andy Martino and John Harper break down the Yankees dominance of the Twins in the ALDS

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The baseball post-season is supposed to be unpredictable--a crapshoot, as many call it, most famously the sport's movie star GM, Billy Beane. Yet this Yankees-Twins series feels more like a 1-16 matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

And the Twins don't look like the University of Maryland - Baltimore County, taking down Virginia, circa 2017.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Didi slams Twins 00:02:12
Didi Gregorius unloaded a grand slam to cap off a seven-run 3rd inning as the Yankees routed the Twins to grab a 2-0 series lead

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Twins 8-2 on Saturday, which gives them a 2-0 lead in the ALDS. >> Box Score

Five Takeaways from Saturday's Game

1) This Yankees' offense looks unstoppable. It led the American League in runs scored, set a new team record with 305 home runs, and now it has put up 18 runs over the first two games of the postseason. Perhaps most significantly, so far the Bronx Bombers haven't had to rely primarily on the long ball, hitting three home runs, including Didi Gregorius' grand slam Saturday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

With his number being called for the Yankees to take the mound against the Twins in Game 2 of the ALDS, Masahiro Tanaka put out another solid postseason performance into the books.

Tanaka left Saturday's game after 5.0 innings pitched, in which he allowed just one earned run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking one. Aaron Boone may have gone to Tommy Kahnle a bit early based on how Tanaka was throwing and his shorter pitch count of 83, but Kahnle went to work as well in the sixth, throwing a 1-2-3 inning the included two strikeouts.

The Yankees were up 8-1 when Tanaka exited and managed to hold on for the win to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle
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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (103-58) look to jump out to a commanding series lead when they host the Twins (101-61) in Game 2 of the ALDS Saturday at 5:07 p.m.

Yankees notes

With Friday's win, the Yankees are now 14-2 all-time in playoff games against the Twins, with wins in 11 straight contests. They've won all five of the series between the two teams, as well... DJ LeMahieu picked up right where he left off in the regular season in Friday's win, going 3-for- with four RBI... Game 1 was as advertised in the power department, as the two teams who both shattered the record for home runs in a season combined for five of them on Friday... In what turned into a battle of the bullpens, Yankee relievers allowed just one run on two hits in 4.1 innings while the Twins surrendered seven runs in the four innings after Jose Berrios left the game.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (103-58) start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins (101-61) on Friday at 7:07 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees begin the hunt for their 28th World Series title when they take on the Twins in the ALDS. Lefty James Paxton will start in his first career playoff game, and was even called "the best left-handed pitcher in the game" by teammate Aaron Judge. He'll face a powerful Twins offense that had the MLB's best road record at 55-26. They even edged out the Yankees in total team home runs for the regular season, hitting 307 homers compared to 306 HRs by the Yanks. Gary Sanchez (groin) and Edwin Encarnacion (oblique) both had been dealing with injuries in September, but will be in the starting lineup on Friday night. As will slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who batted .286 with two home runs over 28 at-bats in September, after being out since June. It's the first time the Yankees will be starting a lineup with these nine players.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and second baseman Gleyber Torres celebrate after second baseman DJ LeMahieu hit an RBI single against the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and second baseman Gleyber Torres celebrate after second baseman DJ LeMahieu hit an RBI single against the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees announced their 25-man roster for the ALDS against the Twins on Friday. They'll carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade
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May 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced on Thursday that James Paxton will start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins on Friday. 

When Aaron Judge heard the news, he had no shortage of praise for the one of the team's prized offseason acquisitions.

"He's the best left-handed pitcher in the game, in my opinion," Judge said. "Just the stuff that he has and then his bulldog mentality on the mound. That's the one thing I thought he was missing at the beginning part of the year."

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Boone makes ALDS roster moves 00:02:01
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone announces pitcher CC Sabathia will not be on the ALDS roster and that James Paxton will start Game 1.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced his starting rotation for the ALDS series against the Twins, but also made sure to note that CC Sabathia won't be on the roster. 

It will be James Paxton getting the ball in Game 1, followed by Masahiro Tanaka in Game 2 and Luis Severino getting the first road start of the series in Game 3. 

"Difficult decision," Boone told reporters about what went into the rotation configuration. "Frankly, I went back and forth on it daily, sometimes a few times over the course of a day. Really what it came down to -- the reason that was -- is because I feel like all those guys are in a good place. I throw J.A. Happ in that mix, too, I feel like is throwing the ball as well as he has at any point in the season. Felt like it was a good decision and then just trying to hopefully maximize those guys as best we can. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) in the dugout before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) in the dugout before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the Yankees get set to open up the postseason against the Twins Friday, undoubtedly one of their biggest strengths lies in the power arms they have waiting to come into the game out of the bullpen. 

But according to John Smoltz, those weapons are going to put a lot of pressure on the man tasked with the decision on when to utilize them, Yankee manager Aaron Boone

Smoltz appeared on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio on Wednesday and said the pressure Boone faces in October could be immense because "what's looming in the 'pen and the temptation to get there is going to be great."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Aaron Judge called James Paxton "the best left-handed pitcher in the game, in my opinion, just based on the stuff he has and just his bulldog mentality on the mound." So perhaps it figures that the Yankees are trotting out their prized winter acquisition to start Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Twins. 

Paxton against Minnesota's José Berríos is the only matchup we know for certain right now. You are so cagey, Rocco Baldelli! The Twins skipper would go no further on his pitching plans during Thursday's official ALDS workout day at Yankee Stadium. 

So in this look at the early pitching in the series, we are taking our best guesses for Games 2 and 3 for the Twins. Their pitching is in a weird place right now because Michael Pineda was suspended and Martin Perez has struggled, so it's understandable. We're pegging Jake Odorizzi for Game 2 and cool story Randy Dobnak for Game 3, subject to change for very good reasons, outlined below. 

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Aaron Boone/Luis Severino/Chad Green/Luke Voit/Mike Ford/Clint Frazier
Aaron Boone/Luis Severino/Chad Green/Luke Voit/Mike Ford/Clint Frazier

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Only two days remain before the Yankees begin their quest for a 28th World Series title. A few hours before they take on the Twins at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, though, they have some tough decisions to make regarding their ALDS roster.

For a team that has won 103 games in the regular season, putting together a powerhouse roster should seem like a piece of cake. But for manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman, they want it to be perfect, and that includes making some tough decisions on certain players on the roster.

So, as the Yankees gear up for October baseball, here's what they must decide with their roster by Friday….

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, Dellin Betances, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Job one for the Yankees on Sunday was to get out of the regular-season finale with no injuries, but with the way this IL-fest of a year has gone, forget that.

The Yankees lost to the Rangers, 6-1, in the last game ever at Globe Life Park, but the pinstriped headline was Gio Urshela leaving in the fourth inning with what the team is calling a mild left ankle sprain.

The Yankees told reporters in Texas that doctors examined Urshela at the ballpark and there were no further tests planned. The Yankees don't play again until Friday when they open the AL Division Series against the Twins at Yankee Stadium, so Urshela has time to heal.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Sep 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees (103-58, 7.0 GA in AL East) wrap up the regular season with a matchup against the Rangers (77-84, 29.0 GB in AL West), in Arlington on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.

Yankees notes

With 305 home runs, the Yankees enter the final day of the regular season one ahead of the Twins for the Major League lead.... Luis Severino was shaky on Saturday for the first time since returning from the injured list, walking four over three innings pitched, allowing two runs. It remains to be seen how he'll be used in October... Both have demolished the previous all-time record for homers in a season. Didi Gregorius was a bright spot in Saturday's content, contributing a three-run double late in the loss.

Tags: Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

With Twins-Yankees in the playoffs, there's always a temptation to chuckle and say, "The Yanks own Minnesota. The Twins have no shot."

Insert wisecrack here suggesting Minny will be in a fragile mental state for this latest AL Division Series between the teams, permanently scarred and scared by the past. After all, the Yanks have eliminated the Twins from the playoffs five times since 2003 and beaten them in 10 consecutive postseason games.

There! A fresh-baked hot take on Round 1. Bring on the Astros!

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Sabathia a good bullpen piece 00:00:46
SNY Insider Andy Martino explains why New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia could be a force out of the bullpen after Tampa Bay outing.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

St. Petersburg, Fla. -- From the front office down to manager Aaron Boone, the Yankees have been loath in recent weeks to discuss specifics of their playoff pitching plans.

But with internal discussions intensifying and the regular season drawing to a close, the team is finally beginning to tip its thought process. There's no way to audition pitchers for new roles without showing the public, and the Yanks need to peek at CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ during this two-game series at Tropicana Field.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Apr 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jordan Montgomery will start for the Yankees on Tuesday night against the Rays in Tampa, becoming the latest pitcher to take on that role for them this season.

Chad Green (14 times), Nestor Cortes Jr. (once), and Jonathan Holder (once) have also served as openers this season for the Yanks.

Montgomery recently returned from Tommy John surgery and has made one appearance so far this season, allowing three runs in 2.0 innings against the Blue Jays on Sept. 15. 

Tags: Chad Green, Domingo German, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) reacts after a strikeout to end the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) reacts after a strikeout to end the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman sought rotation help in advance of the July 31 trade deadline, and explained after the deadline passed without the Yanks swinging a trade that exorbitant prices were to blame.

When it comes to Marcus Stroman -- one of the pitchers Cashman had interest in acquiring -- the GM recently explained to Wallace Matthews of Yahoo why the team wasn't that high on him -- especially with the Blue Jays reportedly asking for Clint Frazier in return. 

"We were interested in Stroman but we didn't think he would be a difference-maker," Cashman said. "We felt he would be in our bullpen in the postseason."

Tags: Clint Frazier, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) reacts after a strikeout to end the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) reacts after a strikeout to end the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman sought rotation help in advance of the July 31 trade deadline, and explained after the deadline passed without the Yanks swinging a trade that exorbitant prices were to blame.

When it comes to Marcus Stroman -- one of the pitchers Cashman had interest in acquiring -- the GM recently explained to Wallace Matthews of Yahoo why the team wasn't that high on him -- especially with the Blue Jays reportedly asking for Clint Frazier in return. 

"We were interested in Stroman but we didn't think he would be a difference-maker," Cashman said. "We felt he would be in our bullpen in the postseason."

Tags: Anthony Kay, Clint Frazier, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Luis Severino
Luis Severino

Luis Severino's performance in Sunday's 8-3 win over the Blue Jays shot jolt of energy not just into the fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium or the fans watching at home, it has nearly broken up the perceived playoff lineup for the Yankees as a whole.

The righty came into the day starting just his second game of the year, having missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder and lat injuries. But after already performing well in his first start the week before, he took things to another level on Sunday.

Severino upped his pitching total to 80 after being restricted to 67 in his first start, and did some damage with the time he had on the mound. For the second straight game, he shutout the opponent, allowing just three hits and striking out nine batters.

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Luis Severino made his second start of the season for the Yankees after coming back from a long stint on the injured list and remained extremely hot at the perfect time as New York gets ready for a potentially deep run in the postseason.

Similar to his season debut last week, Severino had a scoreless outing, this time pitching five innings, allowing three hits and striking out nine batters. The righty upped his pitching total to 80 after throwing 67 in his first outing.

His statline through two games now sits at nine innings pitched with a 0.00 ERA, five hits, 13 strikeouts and zero runs. Severino also picked up his first win of the season, leading the Yanks to an 8-3 win.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 1, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 1, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees (100-54, 9.5 GA in AL East) start a three-game series with the Blue Jays (62-91, 37.5 GB in AL East) at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Yankees clinched the AL East after their 9-1 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. The victory gave them back-to-back 100-win seasons and made manager Aaron Boone the first in MLB history to do such in his first two seasons. It's also the team's first divison title since 2012. Masahiro Tanaka had a strong outing, as he allowed just one earned run and four hits over 7.0 innings of work. The Yanks hit four home runs in the win, courtesy of DJ LeMahieu, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, and Clint Frazier.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aaron Boone Treated
Aaron Boone Treated

The Yankees have officially clinched the AL East title on Thursday night, doing so for the first time since 2012. Now the only thing left to play for is home field advantage throughout the postseason, which the Astros and Bombers are currently locked in to with 100 wins apiece.

As the Yankees ride out the rest of the season, the next phase of their journey to the World Series will be putting together the 25-man postseason roster. 

One big advantage GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone possess this year is roster depth, something that has gotten them through all the injuries that have plagued the team throughout the season. Players like Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, Cameron Maybin, Mike Tauchman, and others have stepped up when called upon, and that should continue in October. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Scott Thompson
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Sep 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees clinched the AL East for the 19th time in their 9-1 win over the Angels on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Thursday's game...

1) Masahiro Tanaka had his best start in over a month, allowing just one earned run and four hits over 7.0 innings. The righty struck out six and walked none, however, he did allow a home run for the fourth straight game. It was the first time that Tanaka had allowed less than two earned runs in a game since he threw a scoreless seven innings against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 27.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Masahiro Tanaka
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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (99-54, 9.0 GA in AL East) can once again try to clinch the AL East with a win over the Angels (69-83, 30.5 GB in AL West) at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Yankees' magic number for the AL East title remained at one after last night's 3-2 loss to the Angels... They can claim the title with a win or a Rays' loss to the Dogers Thursday night. ... Giancarlo Stanton made his return to the lineup Wednesday night after being reinstated from the 60-day IL. ...went 1-for-3 with one strikeout in the loss ... CC Sabathia pitched for his final time at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night, leaving the mound after throwing for 2.2 innings. ... A win tonight would give the Yankees' their 21st 100-win season in franchise history and their first back-to-back 100 win seasons since doing so three years in a row from 2002-2004. ... The MLB also placed Domingo German on administrative leave under the joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Voilence Policy.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka
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Luis Severino (Adam Hunger)
Luis Severino (Adam Hunger)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

First things first: you can't help but feel for Dellin Betances, one of the good guys in baseball, who tore his Achilles tendon in a freakish manner Sunday on the very day he finally pitched in a game for the first time this season.

That's as cruel as it is painful, all the more so considering that he is a couple months away from becoming a free agent.

Yet the cold truth is that if the Yankees can have only one of the two star pitchers for whom they've waited all season, they would much prefer it to be Luis Severino.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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If you're an observer, Yankees-Astros is the playoff series you want and you want it to last as long as possible. Sign us up for a rematch of the 2017 ALCS and let those two behemoths swing away for seven games. The record books can sort it all out.

However, if you're mainly interested in Yankee fortunes, well, it might be best if the Astros encounter an upset in the ALDS. Not that the Yankees can't beat them, but facing that lineup, backed by the mega-rotation of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke is not exactly apple picking on a cool October afternoon.

With that in mind, here are some potential pinstriped playoff scenarios to mull over during the final few weeks of the season. It's not too early to start thinking about these things. The Astros and Yankees are already battling in a preliminary that could have real impact on next month -- who finishes with the AL's best record and gets home-field advantage.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Domingo German, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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The Yankees fell to the Blue Jays 6-5 in 12 innings on Friday night in Toronto. >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Friday's game...

1) With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning, Tyler Lyons allowed a solo home run to Bo Bichette, giving the Blue Jays a walk-off 6-5 win. For Bichette, the blast was his 11th of his impressive rookie season. 

2) Masahiro Tanaka breezed through the first inning, striking out two, but the Blue Jays took the first lead of the night in the second, as Randal Grichuk blasted his 26th home run of the season to put the Yankees in an early 1-0 hole. Tanaka then allowed two more runs in the fourth inning and another run was charged to him in the fifth. His night came to an end after five. His line was not very inspiring, as he allowed four earned on eight hits through five.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aug 27, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Aug 27, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Yankees (97-51, 10.0 GA in AL East) start a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays (57-90, 39.5 GB in AL East) at 7:07 p.m. at the Rogers Centre.

Yankees notes

The Yankees won both ends of their doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. They won the first game 10-4, thanks to two two-run homers from Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion. In the second game of the day, the Yanks won 6-4 after CC Sabathia and Domingo German both struck out five batters. Encarnacion left the first game with a strained left oblique, while J.A. Happ left with bicep tendinitis. Then in the second game, Gary Sanchez left with left groin tightness, and RHP Tommy Kahnle injured his finger in a dugout incident.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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The Yankees (96-51, 9.0 GA in AL East) take on the Detroit Tigers (43-101, 45.5 GB in AL Central) at Comerica Park for the second game of a Thursday doubleheader.

Yankees notes

Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion both homered for the Yankees in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader, a 10-4 Yankees win. ... Encarnacion was pulled from the first game due to a left oblique strain, with the team announcing that he would head back to New York for more tests. ... DJ LeMahieu went 0-for-6 with strikeouts in Game 1. ... The Yankees moved ahead of the Twins for the most home runs hit as a team this season (278).

Tags: CC Sabathia, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 9, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) walks off the mound at the end of the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 9, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) walks off the mound at the end of the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

When James Paxton handed the ball off to manager Aaron Boone after yet another solid start on Monday, he may have walked off the Fenway Park diamond as the Yankees' Game 1 ALDS starter. 

Of course, Boone and the Yankees still have time to think about that, but with the way Paxton has been pitching -- and how the Yankees hit when he's on the mound -- it seems like the right choice to make. 

Paxton pitched to the tune of no runs allowed on four hits and three walks while striking out seven over 6.2 innings of work. His previous outing was even better with just one hit allowed with 12 strikeouts over seven innings against the Rangers in the Bronx. 

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

The Yankees homered three times en route to an 8-5 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday night at Fenway Park. >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Sunday's game

1) In what has already been a historic season in terms of home run production, the 2019 Yankees put themselves in the franchise record book once again. Aaron Judge's home run in the fifth inning gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead, but was also the team's 268th homer of the season, surpassing the franchise record they set last season. They still have 18 games in the season left to increase that mark.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Masahiro Tanaka
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New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka pitches to Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka pitches to Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees (93-50, 8.0 GA in AL East) play the the third game of their four-game wraparound series against the Red Sox (76-66, 16.5 GB in AL East, 7.0 GB for second Wild Card) Sunday at 8:05 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Yankees notes

Edwin Encarnacion hit his second homer since returning from the IL on Saturday and also added a double, going 2-for-5 with three RBI... Gary Sanchez already has a career high in home runs and after two RBI on Saturday, needs 14 more to eclipse his career-best of 90... At .328, DJ LeMahieu is second in the American League in batting average, trailing Tim Anderson of the White Sox... Gio Urshela has been activated from the injured list, though he is not in Sunday's starting lineup. 

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 5-1 on Saturday at Fenway Park. >> Box Score

Four takeaways from Saturday's game

1) Saturday's start was exactly what J.A. Happ needed. While his 2019 season has been very up and down, Happ was dominant on Saturday. In 6.1 innings, Happ allowed only two hits while striking out seven and walking just one. After his six shutout-inning performance against Oakland his last time out, Happ is now up to 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings. Happ was at one point an afterthought for the Yankees' postseason rotation, but now he may be pitching himself back into a playoff spot. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Do the Yankees have enough pitching to win a World Series title this October? 

That's the burning question we'll soon find out as the regular season comes to a close at the end of September. But, if you're asking former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani if he thinks that's the case, he definitely believes they have what it takes. 

"They wouldn't have the best record in baseball if they didn't have enough pitching," Giuliani said to TMZ Sports.

Tags: Domingo German, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After a rain delay of nearly three hours, the Yankees slumped through their series-opening game against the Texas Rangers as they fell 7-0 at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Sunday's game

1) Rangers LHP Mike Minor (12-8, 3.13 ERA) dominated the Yankees, scattering five hits over 7.1 shutout innings and recording five strikeouts to one walk. While the Rangers led 6-0 vs. the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth inning, he allowed a leadoff single to CF Mike Tauchman on a line drive to center field before LF Clint Frazier grounded into a fielder's choice. His second single of the frame surrendered against 2B Tyler Wade triggered manager Chris Woodward to make a move and the bullpen did the rest as RHP Shawn Kelley shut the door over the final 1.2 innings, stranding two baserunners in the eighth. Minor fired 111 pitches. Combined, the Rangers held the Yankees to their first shutout since June 30, 2018, when they dropped an 11-0 defeat against the Boston Red Sox.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade
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