Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant (great news for the playoff run) and the Yankee offense exploded for 9 runs to salt away a 9-1 victory, 100th win of the season, and the American League East title for the first time since 2012. And it was no big deal.
They celebrated after the game. But this season was always expected to be a 100-win season. The main work lies ahead — the playoffs and a World Series title. Anything less — even a pennant — will be a disappointment for this team.
And they lost Domingo German. He was placed on leave by MLB prior to the game due to a domestic violence incident. He has been placed on leave for 7 days and it might be extended to the playoffs, depending on what the MLB investigation finds. Domestic violence is a complicated issue and we don’t have many details on the incident (he reportedly slapped his girlfriend in public and it was seen by a person who works for MLB) or the backstory of what led to the incident so we won’t comment on it. Editor’s Note: as of Sept 21, 2019 — the story that he slapped his girlfriend with someone from MLB watching is now being debunked. It is now said to have been an incident in his home.
Oddly enough German essentially stepped into the shoes of the injured Luis Severino this season and now he is gone but Severino is back.
In this game, DJ LeMahieu hit a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning off Angels starter Andrew Heaney, and just like that it was 3-0 Yanks with Tanaka mowing down the Angels lineup. It was the old ballgame — although we didn’t know it at the time. Angels rightfielder Kole Calhoun hit a solo homer in the 4th to make it 3-1, but Brett Gardner answered with his 26th homer of the year in the bottom of the 4th to make it 4-1. Tanaka went 7 strong innings — 4 hits, 1 run — striking out 6. The Yankees need this Tanaka for the playoffs.
Let's get it started. pic.twitter.com/J1NZbpDjKh
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 19, 2019
Brett Gardner doubled in Didi Gregorius and Gio Urshela in the 6th; Cameron Maybin hit a solo homer in the 8th, and Clint Frazier followed with a solo homer in the 8th to up the score to 9-1.
Cory Gearrin — who out of nowhere has become a reliable reliever for the Yanks — eating innings — pitched a shutout 8th and Aroldis Chapman was on the mound for the clinching final out.
Your 2019 AL East Champs: pic.twitter.com/4J4dfTX8dS
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 20, 2019
DJ LeMahieu ended up going 1 for 4 and is batting .329 to Tim Anderson‘s .335. The White Sox didn’t play.
Houston didn’t play so the Yanks moved to .5 games behind them for best record in baseball. Houston owns the tie breaker so Yanks must finish with a better record meaning they are essentially 1.5 games behind Houston. There are 8 games left.
Aaron Judge got the night off. Giancarlo Stanton was put in his #2 slot in lineup and walked his first time up but went 0-3.
The Yankees didn’t get carried away on the field with their celebration but did celebrate in the clubhouse afterwards. Tommy Kahnle stole the show with this move:
@M_Marakovits mentioned it during Gardner’s interview last night but here is a pretty good look at Kahnle’s tarp slide. 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/McLAFf4zWT
— Mike Medvin (@MikeMedvin) September 20, 2019
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