Yankees’ rookies given one-sie pajamas for team flight

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
A baseball ritual lightened the mood in the New York Yankees’ clubhouse after a tough defeat.

Rookies were given Yankees’ one-sie pajamas to wear for the flight to Toronto after a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay Thursday night, part of a “Baby Bombers” theme.

Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Luis Cessa, Tyler Austin and Richard Bleier were among those modeling the attire for a group photo with manager Joe Girardi. Infielder Ronald Torreyes sported a baby bonnet.

A number of coaches and teammates were all smiles and laughing when taking cellphone photos just before the team left Tropicana Field for the airport.

Teams through the majors have similar activities during the final month of the season.


New York Yankees second baseman Ronald Torreyes wears a baby’s hat as he leaves the locker room after a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Yankees’ rookies wore baby clothes as part of hazing before flying to Toronto.


New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, center, poses for a photo with Yankees’ rookies wearing baby clothes after a during a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

MLB rumors: Yankees, Rich Hill a good fit? Report says …

By Brendan Kuty

According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Yankees would be wise to go after lefty starter Rich Hill in free agency.

The rest of Olney’s post is behind the website’s subscriber-only paywall, so we’re not going to break it down here. But here are a few thoughts on the idea:

BACKGROUND: Hill, 36, will be a free agent in the offseason. The Yankees know him. Hill was pretty good as a lefty specialist for the Yankees at the end of 2014. But that might as well have been forever ago. Since then, Hill has reinvented himself as a starting pitcher — thanks, Long Island Ducks — and a pretty good one, at that.

RECENT HISTORY: In four starts with Boston last year, Hill shined, going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA. Those four starts — four! — earned him a $6-million, one-year deal with Oakland. In 2016, Hill been equally good, going 12-5 with a 2.05 ERA. He gets tons of strikeouts (10.7 K/9). He could do better limiting walks (2.7 BB/9) but he’s not walking the park. Hill has looked like a very good starting pitcher.

Why top prospect was sent to instructs

WHY THE YANKEES SHOULD WANT HIM: Because they need pitching. They need starting pitching. Right now, here’s what the 2017 rotation would look like, in-house: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia … then who? Luis Severino has to prove himself. So, too, must Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell and Adam Warren. The Yankees don’t have a clear fourth or fifth starter. That’s not good. Really, Pineda might be better as a No. 3 or 4, and Sabathia might be an OK No. 5. So they don’t have an obvious No. 2 or 3. That’s even worse. If healthy — Hill continues to battle blister problems — maybe Hill could slide into that role.

WHY THE YANKEES SHOULDN’T WANT HIM: At age 36, Hill will want to get paid. P-A-I-D. It will be his last chance at a big-money contract — and we’re talking big-money-for-potentially-good-but-older-starting-pitcher standards. He probably won’t leave much money on the table. So the Yankees might have to overpay to get Hill. Is that so bad? Maybe. Then again, they might rather do that than trade some of the prospect depth they have acquired this season. The Yankees can spend money. Losing young talent? They haven’t had this much of it in years. Does that mean it’s a surplus or does it mean the Yankees need to keep all of it to complete the rebuild?

Joe Girardi manages by the book and it’s tanking Yankees’ season

By Kevin Kernan

BOSTON — Bad, bad Binder.

For those who thought Joe Girardi could not have had a worse performance as manager this series, he saved his worst night for the series finale.

Goodbye Yankees.

The Red Sox finished off their four-game sweep, their Yankees’ massacre, with a thunderous 5-4 win at Fenway Park on Sunday night with Hanley Ramirez once again doing the damage.

Ramirez blasted a two-out, three-run home run off CC Sabathia in the fifth to get the Red Sox within one after the Yankees opened up a 4-0 lead. Then with the game tied at 4-4, Ramirez crushed another long home run over the Green Monster in the seventh off reliever Tyler Clippard to lift the Red Sox to victory and the four-game sweep.

In all, Ramirez blasted four home runs and drove in nine runs in the series.

This is the same Ramirez who crushed a three-run, walk-off home run in the first game of the series, but none of that mattered to Girardi.

Girardi let Sabathia pitch to Ramirez. He also let Sabathia start the sixth inning. And Girardi elected to pitch to Ramirez again in the seventh — and Clippard surrendered the go-ahead home run.

Bad Binder decisions.

In the fifth, Girardi said he was not going to walk Ramirez to bring the tying run to the plate in Chris Young. Sure, why face Young with two outs when you can face Ramirez, who is hitting .421 with runners in scoring position since Aug. 11?

The Yankees fell a full eight games back of the first-place Red Sox and dropped four back in the wild-card chase, having to jump four teams. The Fat Lady is singing.

Ramirez’s second home was his 28th home run of the season and gave him his 21st career multiple home-run game.

Granted Ramirez was 0-for-10 lifetime against Sabathia coming into the game, but he lined a single in the first. Ramirez is on fire and this is not the same Sabathia that Ramirez has faced his entire career. This is a new, soft-tossing Sabathia and therein is the rub for Girardi.

The manager is so reliant on numbers. He rarely manages by feel. He rarely reads the situation as it is happening in the present but goes by what happened in the past.

But that’s the way the numbers game works and Girardi, although admitting Ramirez has had an “incredible September,’’ did not want to walk him.

The big fifth was set up by a throwing error by Sabathia, yet another example of the Yankees’ sloppiness as they lost their fifth straight game.

Girardi was defiant in his decision-making saying, walking Ramirez in that fifth inning, “Doesn’t make any sense to me.’’

Or the Binder.

Girardi also could have brought in a right-hander to face Ramirez, but evidently that didn’t make any sense either. He stayed with the tiring Sabathia, whose 3-1 pitch was hammered by Hanley.

“What if [Young] hit a home run?’’ Girardi said. “I trust CC.’’

In the sixth, Girardi let Sabathia remain in the game and he gave up the tying run on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s single. Right-hander Blake Parker came on and got three outs, two on strikeouts, one being pinch-hitter David Ortiz. But it was too late, the damage was done.

Most of Girardi’s key decisions this series backfired.

The Yankees could have won all four games, but this was the kind of series that ends seasons.

The Yankees’ season is kaput. The Red Sox are the better team and they have showed it time and time again. The Red Sox have won 11 of 16 games against the Yankees this season and this was their first four-game sweep of the Yankees in 26 years.

The Yankees’ season is done and these decisions will haunt Girardi over the winter.

The Binder has more much information to compute.

Yankees listed as ‘likely suitor’ for Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes

cespedes

New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits an RBI single against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning at Citi Field

By Joe Giglio

NEW YORK — It’s never too early to look ahead to the hot stove.

As the Mets attempt to secure a wild card berth and Yankees try to stay alive in the American League, it’s easy to live in the moment around the local baseball teams.

But whenever baseball does end in New York this fall, a huge decision will impact how the summer of 2017 looks: Yoenis Cespedes’ ability to opt out of his contract with the Mets and re-enter free agency. While Cespedes has downplayed the ideaof actually doing it, few believe that the 30-year-old would leave a possible $100 million deal on the table.

If Cespedes does use his contractual right, the Mets will surely hope to negotiate and retain the biggest star in Queens. But according to former Mets GM—and current MLB analyst—Jim Duquette, the second-most likely suitor for Cespedes’ services plays its games across town.

Here’s what Duquette wrote for MLB.com when listing Cespedes as the No. 1 bat in the potential upcoming market:

Cespedes suffered from a top-heavy free-agent class last offseason and settled on a three-year deal with the Mets that allows him to opt out of his contract at the end of this season. And while he has hinted that he won’t opt out because he likes New York, that seems unlikely, as he would be the top position player on the market. Despite battling a quad injury for most of the second half, Cespedes has carried the Mets’ offense again with his second successive 30-homer season and a career high in slugging.

Likely suitors: Mets, Yankees, Indians

Considering Duquette’s standing in the game and relationships throughout front offices, that could be an informed take and inside look at what the Yankees may be looking for this winter. Or it could simply be a guess based on all the money that’s in the process of exiting the books in the Bronx.

A Cespedes opt-out would be must-see free-agent television, but a flirtation with the Yankees would take it to an entirely bigger level.

Heading into play on September 17, Cespedes owns a .288/.357/.544 slash line this season.

Yankees, Billy Butler agree to deal: What it means

billy-butler

The Yankees have reportedly agreed to a deal with DH Billy Butler

By Brendan Kuty

The Yankees and Billy Butler have agreed to a major-league deal, according toFanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Here’s what it means:

NEED HELP VS. LEFTIES: On Wednesday, the Yankees started backup catcherAustin Romine at designated hitter against Dodgers lefty ace Clayton Kershaw. Romine has shown he’s a fine hitter. But he’s not what the Yankees envision out of the DH spot against lefties. The Yankees are also without Aaron Hicks (hamstring) until at least the Rays and Aaron Judge (oblique) for the rest of 2016 — two bats that would help combat southpaws from the right side (Hicks switch hits).

NEW DH: With the Yankees expecting to see seven left-handed starters on their upcoming 11-game trip, Butler will be expected to jump right in. Butler has a career .299 batting average and .872 OPS against lefties. He hit just .262 with a .685 OPS against them n 103 at-bats this years, though, before the A’s released him.

EASY DECISION: Adding Butler makes sense. With rosters expanded to 40 players, the Yankees can shift one of their many injured (Chad Green comes to mind) to the 60-day disabled list and open a spot for Butler. He’s also only owed the prorated major league minimum as Oakland still owes him the $10 million left of his deal.

SHORT TERM: Hard to see Butler sticking with the Yankees beyond this season. They like to rotate the DH spot around. Butler has played just 22 games at first base this year.

SEPTEMBER ONLY: Since the Yankees signed Butler after the Aug. 31 waiver deadline, he can’t be added to their postseason roster. His job is just to help get them there, presumably starting Thursday in Boston.

RECENTLY PRODUCTIVE: Sure, the A’s cut Butler. But he’s just a season removed from hitting 15 homers in 151 games. He was an All-Star in 2012 with the Royals.

The latest Baby Bomber was once their brightest hope

By Post Sports Desk

mason-williams

Forgotten Yankees prospect Mason Williams was called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, joining the ranks of Baby Bombers trying to keep their unlikely playoff bid afloat.

The roster move bodes poorly for Aaron Judge’s return this season. The rookie slugger strained an oblique muscle on a swing in Tuesday night’s win over the Dodgers, and was headed for an MRI exam Wednesday.

“I have to talk to [general manager] Brian [Cashman] and see if we have to make a move here,” Joe Girardi said after the game. “There are outfielders [in the system] that are a possibility that we’re going to have to talk about.”

That outfielder proved to be Williams, a one-time top-100 MLB prospect (peaking as Baseball America’s No. 32 going into the 2013 season) whose development repeatedly has been sidetracked by injuries. Once considered to be the Yankees’ center fielder of the future — part of a would-be outfield with since-released Slade Heathcott and resurgent Tyler Austin — Williams is now 25 years old and coming off an abbreviated campaign at Triple-A.

Williams posted a line of .296/.313/.376 in 31 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with no homers and one stolen base (in two tries).

The lefty swinger posted a .890 OPS in 22 plate appearances in the big leagues during a cup of coffee last June, before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury.

The Yankees (77-67) are four games back in the AL East, and two games behind the Orioles and Blue Jays for wild-card position.

Could Yankees hire this ex-Red Sox executive?

ben-cherrington

Former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington could join a new team this winter

By Joe Giglio

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

If former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joins the Yankees front office in the offseason, that famous line will feel pertinent.

Cherington, fired by the Red Sox when Dave Dombrowski came in to oversee the organization in 2015, had ups and downs during his tenure in Boston. But as time passes, some of the perceived mistakes (Rick Porcello’s $82.5 million contract, signing Hanley Ramirez to a long-term deal) that led to a regime change in Boston don’t look quite as bad.

As the Red Sox attempt to close in on a playoff berth, Cherington undoubtedly deserves some of the credit for the team that enters play on September 12 at 80-62 and atop the AL East. When Cherington attempts to find his next front office role, that will be a boon on his list of credentials. And according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Yankees could be the team that brings the former Red Sox GM aboard—especially considering that the union almost happened last year:

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on the verge of offering Cherington a job not long after he left the Red Sox. Could that be a possibility again?

Cherington wasn’t the perfect executive and did make mistakes (Rusney Castillo, Pablo Sandoval), but clearly had patience with young talent like Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr.

As the Yankees head into a period where patience with the ups and downs of young players will be crucial to long-term team building, Cherington could provide an important voice in the decision-making process.

This Yankee executive could be key to Aroldis Chapman reunion

randy-levine

Yankees team president Randy Levine.

By Joe Giglio

For many Yankees fans, team president Randy Levine isn’t the most popular figure.

Sure, Levine’s presence during big-ticket free agent press conferences is usually accompanied by extra interest in the team, but Levine, well, isn’t typically a figure that gets credit for baseball decisions.

As it turns out, one of the better moves (from a baseball, not public relations standpoint) last winter was the trade to bring the maligned Aroldis Chapman in from the Reds.

Not only was Chapman great for the Yankees, but his presence on the roster enabled the team to land one of baseball’s best prospects back in a trade deadline deal.

When free agency arrives in November, both decisions—trade for and trading away—surrounding Chapman could come full circle. According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, Levine wanted Chapman originally while general manager Brian Cashman pushed to move on this summer:

How hard the Yankees pursue Aroldis Chapman this winter may depend on which top executive gets the call. Team president Randy Levine pushed the trade for Chapman. And we all know by now Cashman was the one who first wanted to deal Chapman. Both trades – the one to acquire Chapman, and the one to deal him to the Cubs – seem worthwhile.

Keep an eye on the initial rumors that emerge when the offseason arrives. If the Yankees seem determined to bring Chapman back on what would likely be a record-breaking deal for a relief pitcher, there’s a decent chance Levine is behind the idea. If the Yankees are interested, but not willing to go to over-the-top lengths to add Chapman back, perhaps Cashman is flexing his team-building muscle.

Since joining the Cubs, Chapman has posted a 1.45 ERA and struck out 32 batters in 18.2 innings.

Have the Yankees finally figured out what to do with Luis Severino?

luis-severino

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after striking out Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (not pictured) in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium.

By Ryan Hatch

NEW YORK — However this 2016 season ends for the Yankees — on October 2 or, by the grace of God, after a deep postseason run — one of the most fascinating stories from it will be the saga of a young right-hander who was supposed to break out as a star, but didn’t.

Call it the Curious Case of Luis Severino.

Severino, 22 years old and the top pitching prospect in the organization, began spring training as the rotation’s No. 2 starter after a scintillating 2.89 ERA in 11 late-season games in 2015 as a rookie. He was great in nearly every Grapefruit League appearance, solidifying such plans. But then the regular season began, and so did his troubles, earning a 7.46 ERA in seven awful starts. He hit the disabled list with a triceps injury that served as a mental break as well.

The three months that followed were weird. He came back to the big leagues on July 27, pitched three times in relief, and didn’t allow a run in 8.1 innings. Great.

But then on August 9 and 14 he started, lasting just 4.1 and 3.2 innings, respectively, and was sent packing back to Triple-A after allowing 12 earned runs, told he needed to fine-tune his change-up. When this happened, he was upset, and told NJ Advance Media he didn’t understand the “purpose” of the demotion, comments that surely didn’t make his coaches or general manager happy.

When rosters expanded on September 1, Severino was brought back to the big leagues, and the plan for him once again was to pitch in relief, a guy who could pitch several innings in the middle of games.

He’s now done that three times, and just like it did in late July and early August, it’s gone great. This is his new role, one he’s going to have to grin and bear, at least for the next three weeks.

Severino’s latest appearance came Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays in a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium, the young righty dazzling for three innings to shut down one of the most potent offenses in baseball. He struck out three and allowed just one hit.

With that outing Severino’s now thrown six innings of relief since Sept. 2, no earned runs against.

“His mentality is a little bit different,” said Brian McCann of Severino throwing in relief. “I feel like he attacks a little bit more, and obviously with the velocity sitting there at 98, 9 (mph).”

Make no mistake, Severino still seems himself as a starter and said so on a handful of occasions after the game, but also conceded that these next few weeks in the bullpen might be just what he needs to figure out what will make him most effective as a pitcher in the big leagues.

“Of course,” Severino said of relief pitching. “I’m throwing a lot from the stretch, so when I’m starting and get into a tough situation, I’m going to be more comfortable.”

The Yankees, if you haven’t heard, are just 2.5 games back of a playoff spot, and after all his shuttling back and forth from starter to reliever, New York to Scranton, Severino has a chance to be one of the main arms manager Joe Girardi relies on in the next 25 games.

“He’s been great,” Girardi said.

Severino is most valuable to this team as a starter, but that’s 2017-talk. Right now he’s a bullpen arm, a piece of the puzzle as the Yankees try to plan for the future and slip into the playoffs after a 9-17 start that caused them to sell off their three best players five weeks ago.

“I had a tough year,” he said. “But right now, I’m forgetting about that.”

ake no mistake, Severino still seems himself as a starter and said so on a handful of occasions after the game, but also conceded that these next few weeks in the bullpen might be just what he needs to figure out what will make him most effective as a pitcher in the big leagues.

“Of course,” Severino said of relief pitching. “I’m throwing a lot from the stretch, so when I’m starting and get into a tough situation, I’m going to be more comfortable.”

The Yankees, if you haven’t heard, are just 2.5 games back of a playoff spot, and after all his shuttling back and forth from starter to reliever, New York to Scranton, Severino has a chance to be one of the main arms manager Joe Girardi relies on in the next 25 games.

“He’s been great,” Girardi said.

Severino is most valuable to this team as a starter, but that’s 2017-talk. Right now he’s a bullpen arm, a piece of the puzzle as the Yankees try to plan for the future and slip into the playoffs after a 9-17 start that caused them to sell off their three best players five weeks ago.

“I had a tough year,” he said. “But right now, I’m forgetting about that.”

ake no mistake, Severino still seems himself as a starter and said so on a handful of occasions after the game, but also conceded that these next few weeks in the bullpen might be just what he needs to figure out what will make him most effective as a pitcher in the big leagues.

“Of course,” Severino said of relief pitching. “I’m throwing a lot from the stretch, so when I’m starting and get into a tough situation, I’m going to be more comfortable.”

The Yankees, if you haven’t heard, are just 2.5 games back of a playoff spot, and after all his shuttling back and forth from starter to reliever, New York to Scranton, Severino has a chance to be one of the main arms manager Joe Girardi relies on in the next 25 games.

“He’s been great,” Girardi said.

Severino is most valuable to this team as a starter, but that’s 2017-talk. Right now he’s a bullpen arm, a piece of the puzzle as the Yankees try to plan for the future and slip into the playoffs after a 9-17 start that caused them to sell off their three best players five weeks ago.

“I had a tough year,” he said. “But right now, I’m forgetting about that.”

Postgame notes: ‘There weren’t too many comfortable at-bats’

By Chad Jennings

brian-mitchell

New York Yankees starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell watches a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in New York. The Yankees won 2-0.

On the next-to-last day of March, Bryan Mitchell hobbled into visiting clubhouse at the Braves’ spring training complex and tried to stay positive. Something had happened to his toe. He didn’t know what it was and didn’t know how severe it might be. He just kept hoping it was going to feel a lot better in the morning.

But, of course, it didn’t.

Mitchell went through surgery, four months of rehab, and six minor league starts to finally have the moment he earned in spring training. And he did not disappoint. The Yankees finally finished off a series sweep against the Blue Jays — team that had owned them all year — and it was in no small part because Mitchell delivered five scoreless innings in his first big league appearance in almost a year.

“After the whole season, what I went through, tonight’s very rewarding,” Mitchell said. “I’m very happy with it. … I believe I belong here regardless. It’s been my goal all year to get back here, and to come back right now, this exciting time, arguably the most important series of the year, I’m just glad we got a win.”

Or, to put it another way.

“He pitched his butt off to make this team in spring training,” Austin Romine said. “He made complete and utter changes in his confidence, momentum. He made the team, and he blows out the last pitch; the last play. It was devastating for him, I’m sure it was. But he kept his mind right and got back, and now he’s got this building block today of a good start and we want to keep it going.”

Mitchell will keep it going. Joe Girardi said the plan is to give Mitchell another start in five days. He wasn’t supposed to be called up this early, but Chad Green got hurt, the Yankees needed Luis Severino in the bullpen, and so Mitchell was thrust into duty. The Yankees were crossing their fingers that he was ready, and he most certainly was.

His first out of the game was a strikeout of MVP Josh Donaldson, who swung through a 94 mph cutter.

“It’s 93-94 mph, and it’s like a slider almost,” Romine said. “People forget his curveball and movement on his fastball, and you have three pitches like that, and then a changeup that moves just as much. They’re going to have fits trying to get some hits over there. It’s going to look bad. His curveball was really working. We pitched in to make them uncomfortable. There weren’t too many comfortable at-bats that whole night. I think Tulowitzki was the only one who gave us trouble, and it wasn’t much.”

Severino’s relief appearance was just as impressive, and Tyler Clippard continued his resurgence with his first Yankees save, and Starlin Castro’s 20th home run stood as the game-winner, but the guys in that Yankees clubhouse knew Mitchell’s story. Many of them were in camp this spring, saw the way he pitched, and felt the gut-punch of that late-March diagnosis.

“Spending all those days down in Florida rehabbing, throwing with his leg up on a chair for weeks upon weeks to try to keep his arm in shape, looking forward to this day,” Joe Girardi said. “And for him to come out and do it this time of year, in a game that’s this important, it really had to mean a lot to him.”

Mitchell just kept nodding, understated as ever, talking about the cutter that he’d been perfecting in the minors, and the double play that got him out of trouble in the second inning, and the satisfaction of his first big league win coming in such a big game for the Yankees.

“I was actually about 15 seconds late going out to the mound (for the first inning),” Mitchell said. “I didn’t even realize the team was out there. That was pretty funny, but I was just trying to execute one pitch at a time and not worry about anything else.”

Not much to worry about now. Mitchell’s finally arrived, and with a job perhaps more important than he was expecting so many months ago.

Severino dominant again

In six Major League relief appearances, Luis Severino has faced 51 batters and allowed two hits. Tonight he stepped into the sixth inning with a runner at second base and the trying run at the plate, and he retired Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista in order.

“It’s just electric,” Austin Romine said. “There’s no fear behind any pitch he throws, it doesn’t matter who’s hitting. He blew a couple of really good hitters away with heaters. It was something special. His slider was good — real good — good tilt and depth. We mixed it up.”

Joe Girardi said he debated thought about having Severino start the sixth inning clean, but Mitchell had looked so good in the fifth, and Girardi decided to stick with his starter a little bit longer. After the leadoff hit, he decided it was time to use Severino to face Toronto’s big guys. And after Severino pitched so well for three innings, there was some temptation to leave him in the game for the ninth.

“I think you have to evaluate that he threw 38 (pitches) on Sunday, 50 tonight, and I think you get in a danger zone,” Girardi said. “Believe me, I thought about it, but you got to protect him.”

Castro’s 20th homer stands as game-winner

For now, Carlos Beltran still leads the Yankees with 22 home runs, but a close second is Starlin Castro, who hit his 20th tonight. Castro never hit more than 14 homers during his six years with the Cubs. He’s the fourth second baseman in Yankees history to reach 20 homers in a season joining Robinson Cano, Joe Gordon and Alfonso Soriano.

“If I did it this year, I can do it more,” Castro said. “Just continue to work, continue to get better every year. Better at-bats, look for better pitches.”

Of those 20 home runs, 14 have come at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s a really good place to hit,” Castro said. “There’s nothing better than home. I feel really good at the plate; I’m just looking for a pitch that I can drive and it’s happening in a good way.”

Clippard completes first Yankees save

Three-game series sweep, with a different Yankees pitcher getting the save each night. First it was Dellin Betances, then Blake Parker, and tonight it was Tyler Clippard, who got his first save with the Yankees. He’s the eighth Yankees pitcher to get a save this season. Go back to the Chasen Shreve game in Kansas City, and four Yankees have a save in the team’s past six games.

This is the first time three different Yankees earned a save in the same series since the team went 3-1 in a four-game series against the Angels in 1997. In that series, it wasMariano Rivera (obviously), Ramiro Mendoza and Jeff Nelson.

Odds and ends

  • This was Bryan Mitchell‘s fourth Major League start and his first big league win. He’s the third Yankees rookie to have a scoreless start this year, joining Chad Green and Luis Cessa.
  • Tonight’s double was the 30th of the year for Didi Gregorius. He’s the sixth shortstop in Yankees history to hit 30 doubles in a year. Derek Jeter did it nine times.
  • Fourth game this year in which Jacoby Ellsbury had more than one extra-base hit. He had two doubles.
  • Four-game hitting streak for Tyler Austin, who went 4-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and a single in this series. He was lifted for defense late in the game. He’s not hurt.
  • The Yankees are 11-1 this season when both Brett Gardner and Ellsbury have multiple hits in the same game. Gardner and Ellsbury were each 2-for-4 today.
  • Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won its opening playoff game, 2-0. Jordan Montgomerypitched seven shutout innings, Dietrich Enns closed with two innings out of the bullpen, and Mason Williams had a two-run homer.

Final word

We’ll give the final word to Mark Teixeira:

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say we were looking at the standings a little bit. The last few weeks of the season, you can look a little bit more. We’re talking about May looking at the standings, that’s a little bit too early. But, listen, we have three or four weeks left and we have a chance. That’s all you can ask for at this time of the season.”