Game 162 madness. The Yankees got the job done today, as Judge comes up clutch. On to the Wild Card.
Game 162 CHAOS. One hundred and sixty two games, and it call came down to the final one. Nine games ago, the Yankees were dealt a difficult card, having to face the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays, to close out the season, and decide their destiny. They swept the Sox, took two from the Blue Jays, and then tumbled and loss two in a row against the Rays. With one left, the magic number was one. Win and you're in, and the Yankees take down the Rays in the bottom of the ninth. 1-0. Postseason 2021, the Yankees are in and ready to roll.
What a long, strange trip. The journey has be a wild one filled with ups and downs, and it has been a major love-hate relationship from the eyes of a fan. Final game of the regular season, a "wild", wild-card race, the AL Champions playing spoiler, it was up to the Yankees to maneuver their destiny, and their path.
The game was fought, tooth and nail, after playing atrociously yesterday, losing to the same Rays 12-2. Today was a total 180. Taillon gave the team three solid innings at the start. The bullpen was absolute nails, striking out seven and allowing zero runs. Wandy Peralta - Dawg. Clay Holmes - Dawg. Chad Green and Jonathon Loaisiga - Dawgs. And of course, Aroldis Chapman, back to his elite form, closing out the game... DAWG. Their passion was present. The bullpen and dugout were fired up. Gio Urshela left it out on the line, tumbling into the Rays dugout to make an incredible catch. This game was theirs to lose.
Bottom of the ninth. Rougie smacks a single, Tyler Wade comes in. Rizzo rips one to right. Aaron Judge, having an MVP caliber season, delivers his 98th RBI and the biggest hit of the season, sending Wade home and propelling the Yankees into the postseason. Hang it in the Louvre, it was picture perfect. Pop the champagne and get ready for October baseball. Fifth straight trip to the playoffs in the past five years, but it only matters if you make it and win the World Series. Their journey won't be easy, but they can overcome anything, as this season has shown.
Wild Card Outlook
The Yankees are in the dance, and as are the Red Sox. The Nationals had the opportunity to create chaos, but Rafael Devers closes that narrative with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.
The chance for game 163 (or even 164) is officially out of the question, but the rivalry will meet this week for the Wild Card.
The Blue Jays tremendous season comes to a close, despite blowing out the Orioles 12-2. They will be an Achilles heel to the Yankees for years, but their post season opportunities dwindled after the Yankees series.
The Mariners are losing to the Angels, but I tip my hat to the team. Trading the All-Star closer to the Astros, even though on a wild card hunt was brutal but they kept the momentum going all the way until the end. Unfortunately no post-season for the Mariners, but their season wasn't a total wash. They sold out the stadium the last week of the season, and new hype and fan rejuvenation. They are going to be one to watch in the coming seasons.
Tuesday. Fenway Park. Boston, Massachusetts. Gerrit Cole vs. Chris Sale. Oh boy.