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Phillies acquire Jason Vargas from Mets

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The Phillies announced the acquisition of pitcher Jason Vargas and some cash from the Mets. The Mets will receive minor league catcher Austin Bossart in return for Vargas, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Vargas, 36, put up a solid 4.01 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 39 walks across 94 1/3 innings for the Mets this season. The lefty is owed the remainder of his $8 million salary and has an $8 million club option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout.

Vargas was famously part of an altercation last month, which also involved manager Mickey Callaway, with beat reporter Tim Healey of Newsday. It will be interesting to learn how much weight, if any at all, the Phillies placed on that when considering acquiring Vargas.

The Phillies’ rotation has been a bit of a mess this season. Everyone has failed to live up to expectations, including ace Aaron Nola. It is not clear yet which pitcher Vargas will replace in the rotation. Zach Eflin, who has struggled immensely as of late, would seem to be the top candidate to get shuffled out, at least temporarily. Vince Velasquez could be jettisoned back to the bullpen again as well.

Bossart, 26, hit .195/.303/.335 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 236 plate appearances with Double-A Reading this season.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.