With a tremendous 11-6 win over the Red Sox on Friday, the Yankees clinched home field advantage for next week’s AL Wild Card game against the Athletics. They’re now just one win away from becoming the second AL East team to hit 100 wins in 2018; if they sweep (or split the remainder of the weekend’s games), it’ll mark the 20th season in franchise history during which they’ve registered at least 100 wins.
Left-hander J.A. Happ led the charge during Friday’s series opener, setting down six frames of four-run, seven-strikeout ball to earn his 17th win of the year. After receiving only a handful of runs during his last two starts with the team, he was backed by an 11-run cushion, starting with Gary Sanchez‘s solo blast off of Brian Johnson in the third inning.
Giancarlo Stanton wrapped the third inning with a dramatic RBI single, but the Yankees did most of their damage in the fourth after Gleyber Torres drove in two runs on a replay-challenged double, followed by Andrew McCutchen‘s RBI single and Aaron Hicks‘ three-run 398-footer off of William Cuevas. Following another two homers from Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, the latter of whom had yet to produce a single home run since mid-July, the Yankees brought their home run total to 264 on the season — not only a franchise best, but enough to tie the 1997 Mariners for the most in MLB history, too.
With two games left to play before the regular season wraps up on Sunday, the club still has some time to leave their mark in the history books. They’ll continue their push for home run no. 265 and win no. 100 on Saturday as right-hander Lance Lynn faces off against Boston righty Nathan Eovaldi.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.