CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia done for regular season, Phil Hughes a maybe

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that CC Sabathia, who pitched effectively but failed to get his 20th victory Wednesday against the Rays, won’t get another start before the postseason.

With the first game of the ALDS falling nine days after Sabathia’s start Wednesday, there was no good way to have him pitch again during the regular season.  The current plan is for him to throw a simulated game Sunday, allowing him to work next Friday on something close to a normal schedule.

Girardi said today that Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova would start the three games against Boston this weekend.

As for Phil Hughes, he could get a start against the Rays next week.  He said Thursday that his back is improved after Wednesday’s epidural.  He’ll throw a bullpen this weekend and could start Tuesday or Wednesday.  His performance then will likely dictate whether he’s included on the ALDS roster.

Barring a change of heart from the Yankees, Sabathia will end the season 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 237 1/3 innings.  It’s the third time in his career that he’s won exactly 19 games.  His lone 20-win season came last year.  It’s his second-highest strikeout total behind his 2008 mark of 251 K’s for the Indians and Brewers.

Video: Aledmys Diaz hits a grand slam in remembrance of Jose Fernandez

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Aledmys Diaz #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.

In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.

Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”

Here’s the video.

AL East still mathematically undecided as Red Sox lose, Blue Jays win

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27:  David Price #24 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 27, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.

The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.

Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.

Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.