After his latest setback wiped out another planned minor-league rehab assignment Brett Gardner is getting a pair of opinions on his injured elbow from Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Tim Kremchek.
Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees “refused to fully divulge what doctors have learned” and “declined to share details about the condition of his elbow” until after hearing from both doctors.
In the meantime manager Joe Girardi ruled out a torn ligament and Tommy John surgery, which would have ended Gardner’s season.
For his part Gardner insisted to reporters that he’ll play again this year, saying: “It really doesn’t matter what [Dr. Andrews] said. I think I’m going to play.” Of course, that’s not really how elbow injuries and doctors work, and the fact that missing the remainder of the season is now even in the discussion seems like a pretty discouraging sign.
Gardner has already missed two months with an injury initially described as an elbow strain.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.