The Yankees chased Aaron Decide into the outfield early Sunday evening, swarming him in a bouncy, gleeful embrace. Now they may observe Decide to the playoffs.
Decide is the Yankees’ cornerstone, the slugger who has led them for half a decade as they’ve tried to return to the World Sequence. This season was extra attempting than most, with alternating prolonged stretches of charming and confounding play. However Decide assured it could proceed by topping a tense day at Yankee Stadium with a game-winning single within the backside of the ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0.
“It’s been a loopy, wild, powerful yr,” Supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned. “Becoming that it could come all the way down to the final day to get in. However I really like our group, I really like our guys, I really like our compete. It hasn’t all the time been fairly, however we’re able to take our shot. We all know we will beat anybody once we’re at our greatest.”
The Yankees’ first check would be the rival Boston Purple Sox, who earned a 7-5, comeback street victory over the Washington Nationals with 4 hits and two homers from Rafael Devers. The Yankees and Boston completed the common season with an identical data (92-70), however the Purple Sox will host the American League wild-card recreation on Tuesday at Fenway Park as a result of they took the season sequence from the Yankees, 10-9.
The Yankees will begin their ace, Gerrit Cole, with the Purple Sox lined as much as begin the previous Yankee Nathan Eovaldi.
“You possibly can really feel that Yankees-Purple Sox is just a little totally different,” mentioned starter Jameson Taillon, a first-year Yankee who collected the primary 10 outs on Sunday. “I’ve by no means skilled something prefer it. Purple Sox-Yankees, even within the common season, again in June, felt totally different, so I’m positive it is going to be a loopy recreation. Nobody I’d moderately have on the mound than Gerrit Cole.”
Decide, a three-time All-Star, arrange the date together with his first profession game-ending hit. He related on a tough shot up the center that deflected off the glove of Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge. Second baseman Brandon Lowe picked the ball up and fired an off-balance throw to the plate, however the pinch-runner Tyler Wade slid head-first, forward of the throw, to the touch off the celebration.
“It took us some time to get going,” Decide mentioned. “However we obtained a spot within the playoffs. All you’ve obtained to do is simply get in.”
It was the primary Yankees recreation in additional than three years to be scoreless into the ninth inning, and the Yankees managed just one hit by means of the primary eight. They’re lacking a star infielder after placing D.J. LeMahieu on the injured record earlier than the sport with a sports activities hernia, however Rougned Odor — the third baseman batting .201 at recreation time — got here by means of to begin the successful rally.
Odor led off with a single off the left-hander Josh Fleming, and Wade ran for him. After an out, Anthony Rizzo lashed a single to proper, advancing to second on a throw house with Wade holding at third. Then Kittredge, a right-hander, got here in to face Decide, who delivered the Yankees to their 57th postseason look and fifth in a row.
“We all know our final purpose isn’t just to get in,” Decide mentioned, after partying with teammates within the clubhouse. “It was celebration, however now it’s time to get to work. All that different stuff, the 162, that was spring coaching. Now it’s time to get to the common season and get it rolling.”
The Yankees used a six-man pitching relay to subdue the Rays, and one out stood above the remainder. With two out within the sixth inning, shortstop Gio Urshela charged towards the third base dugout for a sinking foul pop from Austin Meadows. Urshela snagged the ball and hurtled headfirst throughout the steps of the Rays’ dugout, by means of a gap within the railing.
“He seemed like a missile flying in there,” Boone mentioned. “It scared me to dying.”
Urshela, who was taking part in in a shift, limped away on his personal and stayed within the recreation till the ninth inning. He mentioned he initially thought he may need been severely injured, however was relieved to haven’t hit his head. He felt soreness in his legs and elbow however mentioned he may play on Tuesday.
“I felt numerous ache in that second; I didn’t even know what was occurring,” Urshela mentioned. “However thank God I really feel actually good. It could possibly be worse.”
Urshela’s effort was a spotlight of an impressed all-around efficiency by the Yankees, who had misplaced the primary two video games of this sequence, risking the necessity for a play-in recreation simply to get to the wild card.
The Yankees hardly ever take so lengthy to safe a visit to the postseason. This was solely the fifth time they’d entered the ultimate day of the common season with an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot — and a type of common seasons, 1978, ended with a conflict at Fenway made well-known by Bucky Dent’s shock three-run homer over the Inexperienced Monster.
That recreation — a playoff, however technically a part of the common season — propelled the Yankees to the American League Championship Sequence. At stake Tuesday might be a visit to Tampa Bay for the division sequence, and the Yankees and the Purple Sox made positive that it could take just one recreation.
The day started with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners additionally alive for a wild-card spot, establishing the potential for a three- or four-way tie for 2 spots. However the Yankees and the Purple Sox each led Toronto and Seattle by a recreation, and after they received, the Blue Jays and the Mariners have been eradicated.
(For the file: Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles, 12-4, however the Mariners misplaced to the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, as Shohei Ohtani related for his forty sixth homer and a hundredth run batted in.)
Within the Nationwide League, the five-team playoff area was determined earlier than the weekend, however the Los Angeles Dodgers had a pricey few days. They might not wrest the West division title away from the San Francisco Giants, and misplaced two main contributors to damage.
Clayton Kershaw, the most effective left-handed starter of his technology, left Friday’s recreation with a recurrence of ache in his elbow and forearm; he mentioned he was possible finished for the season. Max Muncy, the Dodgers’ chief in homers and runs batted in, left Sunday’s recreation after a play at first base wherein a runner collided together with his outstretched wrist as he reached for the ball. Supervisor Dave Roberts instructed reporters later that Muncy was unlikely to play within the wild-card recreation in opposition to the St. Louis Cardinals or a doable division sequence.
The Dodgers’ streak of successful eight division titles in a row ended regardless of their blistering end to the season. They went 44-13 after buying Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in a commerce with Washington on July 31, and completed with 106 victories to tie a franchise file.
However the Giants by no means slumped, and the Dodgers will host St. Louis within the N.L. wild-card recreation on Wednesday.