Yankees: Monday recap vs. Boston and Tuesday preview vs. Tigers
By Matthew Orso
Let’s flashback to Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS. The Yankees lost to the Boston, 4-3 and were eliminated from the postseason at the hallowed house of Ruth. Monday wasn’t revenge by any stretch, but for the Bronx Bombers, it was a start.
The Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 5-0, on Monday. In the process, they eliminated Boston from AL East contention. With the Rays off, New York increased its lead to nine games over Tampa Bay for the division title. The Yanks’ magic number to clinch the AL East is now also at nine. That means any combination of Yankees’ wins and Rays’ losses equaling nine games will give New York its first division crown since 2012.
James Paxton had another brilliant outing, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits and struck out seven for the victory. Paxton has now won each of his last eight starts, posting a 2.57 ERA during that span. He also hasn’t allowed a run in his last 14.2 innings.
For context, only two Yankees starters in the last 50 years—since the start of 1969—have had longer consecutive win streaks. Ron Guidry had 11 straight starts with a victory in 1979 and 10 straight in 1978. 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Mussina, had a nine start streak from 2002-03.
Baring an unlikely postseason series, Monday marked the last meeting between these division rivals this season. The Yankees won 14 of 19 meetings against the Red Sox in this year.
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Gio Urshela collected two hits, which included his 19th home run of the season. It was Urshela’s first start back from the injured list. He had last started on August 28 due to a groin injury. Austin Romine went 2-for-2 with a couple of walks. One of those two hits—a solo home run in the fifth inning—gave New York a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
In addition, the Yankees extended their franchise record for home runs in a single season to 270—the second-most by any team in MLB history. Only this year’s Twins—who’ve hit 275 long balls—have more.
However, there’s no rest for the weary as the Bombers travel to Detroit to begin a three-game series against the Tigers on Tuesday. Detroit is expected to start journeyman, Edwin Jackson.
The right-handed hurler just celebrated his 36th birthday on Monday. He’ll look to turn things around, having posted a 9.16 ERA in 14 games—11 starts—this season. Jackson has by far the worst ERA in the majors in 2019. By comparison, White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey has the second-worst at 7.69 (with a minimum of 50 innings thrown).
Jackson is 2-8, with a 5.22 ERA in 22 career games against the Bronx Bombers. He took the loss in his only start against New York this season while pitching for the Blue Jays. On June 6, Jackson allowed two earned runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. The Yankees won the contest, 6-2.
Here are some statistics to be aware of for Tuesday.
Gleyber Torres collected two hits to begin the week and now has three straight multi-hit games. The 22-year old is batting .500—collecting seven hits in 14 at-bats—with five RBI in his last three games.
The Yankees lost two of three against the Tigers back in early April at Yankee Stadium. Things haven’t gone well for Detroit since then. They are an MLB-worst 42-100 this season. Meanwhile, the Yankees are tied with the Astros for the best record in the majors at 95-50.
Remember how I mentioned the Yankees had 270 home runs this season? Well, guess what? The Tigers have hit 268 home runs—since the start of the 2018 season.