Congratulations to the Yankees, who clinched a spot in the American League Wild Card game with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox tonight at Yankee Stadium. It was a cold and rainy night in the Bronx, so not many people were there to witness it in person, but the Yankees are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
CC Sabathia held Boston’s offense in check by allowing one run over five innings of work. The lone run scored on an RBI single from Mookie Betts in the fifth inning. Adam Warren followed with three scoreless innings before Dellin Betances tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to lock down the victory. Appropriately enough, this was the 10,000th win in franchise history.
The Yankees plated two runs against Rich Hill in the second inning, including a solo home run from Carlos Beltran and an RBI single by Brendan Ryan. Rookies Greg Bird and Rob Refsynder added some insurance with solo homers in the seventh and eighth innings.
While the Yankees have secured a Wild Card spot, they could clinch homefield with another win tomorrow or a loss by the Astros. The Wild Card game will take place next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s still unclear who their opponent will be.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.