NEW YORK — The Yankees’ playoff hopes died on Thursday night, and they couldn’t do a thing about it.
With Baltimore’s 4-0 win in Toronto, there are now just four teams left in contention for a wild card spot–the Blue Jays, Orioles, Tigers and Mariners. No Yankees.
So, Thursday marked one of four meaningless games they’ll play until their season concludes on Sunday. It went rather swimmingly, with CC Sabathia working 7 1/3 dominant innings, giving up just a run on four hits with eight strikeouts. The offense pieced together eight hits, six of which came off the bat of Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury. It culminated in a 5-1 victory.
The biggest thing the Yankees accomplished on Thursday would probably be holding David Ortiz hitless for a third straight game. He was lifted from his final game at Yankee Stadium after walking in the fourth, and finished the series 0 for 10 with four strikeouts. The Yankees gave him a nice painting before the game, and he was given a rousing ovation by a crowd of about 70% Red Sox fans.
It was also a nice send-off for Sabathia, who had a pretty great season, all things considered.
The Play: Ellsbury’s RBI double (+.166 WPA)
Yankees: CC Sabathia (7 1/3 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 K)
Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts (1 for 4, HR)
– Gary Sanchez did not homer in this game, but he did rip two ridiculous shots to left that were just foul.
– Ronald Torreyes came in for Starlin Castro the half-inning after the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. I suspect we won’t see much of Castro going forward, who could barely run in this game.
– Brian McCann cited CC Sabathia’s low exit velocity when discussing how good he’s been this season. Entering the game, it was 85.4 mph on average, good for second in the league (minimum 200 batted balls).
The Highlight: Didi Gregorius makes a new friend
The Yankees welcome the Orioles to the Bronx for a three-game set to finish the season. With a sweep, there’s a shot they could knock Baltimore out of playoff contention. It’ll be Michael Pineda against Yovani Gallardo at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Photo: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports