Gardner, Paxton Power Yanks — Sept 14, 2019: NY 13 Toronto 3

Brett Gardner > Mike Trout. Gardner is the best player in baseball right now. That was what was surfacing on Yankee Twitter as Gardner was having another spectacular day at the ballpark, lifting the Yankees energy — which had been low at the end of this long road trip, according to YES radio man Rickie Ricardo — with 2 homers and a 3 for 5, 5 RBI day.

Meanwhile James Paxton — not as scintillating as in his last few starts — still was plenty good enough to shut down the Blue Jays with 5 innings, 1 run and get the win to go 14-6 3.88. Paxton has now gone 9-0 2.50 ERA 61 K 20 BB 32 Hits 54 IP in his last 9 starts, according to Katie Sharp. He is the first Yankee to win 9 straight starts in a single season since Ron Guidry won 11 straight in 1979.

Yanks Jumped on Top Early & Often

The Yanks jumped on top early and often against Toronto starter Jacob Waguespack whose name sounds like he comes from an Indian tribe in the Canadian north but actually is a German name respelled under French influence and is predominant in Louisiana, which is where Waguespack is from. Gardner doubled in a run in the 2nd, Luke Voit doubled in a run in the 3rd, and Gardner hit his first of 2 homers in the 4th to chase Waguespack and make it 3-0 NY.

In came Brock Stewart in relief and out of the park went the baseball — Gardner hit a 3-run bomb in the 5th to make it 6-1 NY — an almost identical home run to his first one.

Gleyber Torres hit a 2-run bomb in the 6th (his 36th homerun of the year) to make it 8-1 and Luke Voit hit one “back-to-back and belly-to-belly” to make it 9-1 and ballgame.

The Yanks poured 4 more runs on the fire in the 9th highlighted by a Mike Ford bomb to take a 13-1 lead. Aaron Boone brought in Ryan Dull to pitch the 9th — he got in trouble and allowed 2 runs but with 1st and 2nd, 1 out he struck out the last two batters he faced including Vladimir Guerrero end the game.

In between, Cory Gearrin and Jonathan Loaisiga combined to pitch 3 innings of shutout ball.

Gardner also played his usual excellent defense.

Batting Race

One of the biggest events of the day was DJ LeMahieu going 4 for his first 5 at bats to raise his average from .325 to .330 — overall 4 for 6 to finish the day at .329. Chisox shortstop Tim Anderson went 1 for 4 in their game, to drop his average a point to .333. We have a batting race.

Not only that but if LeMahieu gets hot down the stretch of these last 12 games — he can put his name back into the MVP talk. Especially if he captures the batting title.

Gio Urshela got 6 plate appearances for the 2nd straight game (going 2 for 6 — now batting .326) — the previous game because it went 12 innings; this game because the Yanks scored 13 runs. Urshela now has 441 plate appearances to qualify and needs 502. He needs 61 plate appearances and the Yanks have 12 games left — meaning he must average 5.08 plate appearances per game. Nearly impossible as he bats 6th in the lineup.

Lucky Luciano

The Blue Jays pitched Elvis Luciano in this game — he pitched a shutout inning allowing 2 hits. The interesting story behind Luciano is that he is the youngest player in the Major Leagues and the first player to play who was born in the 21st century — his birthday is February 15, 2000. Even more interesting — the Blue Jays grabbed him from Kansas City in the Rule 5 draft — and the stipulation of that draft is that the player must spend the year on the Major League roster. So Toronto put him on the roster and pitched him in 19 relief appearances early in the season — and he got hit to the tune of an ERA over 5. Instead of sending him to the minors, they put him on the Injured List where he has been since June. He has never pitched above rookie ball in the minors. Next year Toronto can put him in the minors for proper development.


Aaron Judge went 1 for 4 with a walk and is batting .272.

With the win the Yanks (98-52) remain 1 game ahead of Houston for the best record in baseball and 2 games ahead of the Dodgers.

The Boxscore


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