The Yankees eked past the Indians in Game 3 of the ALDS by a 1-0 margin to stay alive, thanks to a solo home run from Greg Bird in the seventh inning.
They nearly fell behind in the top of the sixth when Francisco Lindor appeared to have hit a two-run home run to right-center field. Aaron Judge ranged back and leaped ever so slightly to catch the ball in front of a handful of fans. One of those fans was notorious ball hawk Zack Hample — we’ve written about him here on a few occasions — who for once had a ball taken away from him. So Judge stole a home run ball from two different people.
At the plate, Judge went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts in Game 3. In the postseason so far, he has two hits (including a home run) in 19 plate appearances with five walks and eight strikeouts.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.