Bronx, NY: Perhaps the Oakland Athletics have the Yankees number this year having won all four meetings prior to Saturday afternoon. And it looked like it would be five in a row Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
But the Yankees, a team that lives and thrives on the home run ball, got the production they needed and it came with four home runs. The most important was the walk-off 11th inning blast off the bat of DJ LeMahieu to right center.
That was the important run as the Yankees got a 4-3 win. So finally the Yankees got a win against a team they could eventually meet in the postseason. And if they do meet in October, the A’s have to figure a way to not lose games like this.
From their history the past few years the Yankees have been successful winning the October meetings and last year won the Al Wild Card game in the Bronx.
But the A’s. fighting for a AL Wildcard spot with Tampa Bay and Cleveland are in the mix, have been trying to figure a way to overtake the Yankees when it really counts.
Their bullpen tried Saturday afternoon. It worked until LeMahieu hit that first pitch fastball leading off the 11th inning.
“Finally got one against those guys,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Regardless, this game Saturday had everything that could resemble a game in October. The Yankees with six hits, four that went for home runs, will live with the production. They closed the month of August with 74 home runs in 30 games, a Major League record for homers in a calendar month.
Gary Sanchez hit two solo shots in the second and fifth innings and recorded his 13th career multi- home run game.
Sanchez said through an interpreter,” It’s lots of fun. We have a powerful lineup and any given moment any of our guys can hit a homer. That’s no secret.”
It was his third multi-home run game of the season.
And this was possibly one of those crazy games you can see in October with plenty of walks and strikeouts. The A’s left 15 on base which also is attributed to seven Yankees relievers out of the pen. Despite Yankees pitching walking 10, including three from Domingo German the AL leader in wins with 17, Yankees pitchers struck out 11.
Three straight innings from the 6th to the 8th, the A’s failed to score with the bases loaded. Yankees lefthander Zack Britton left the mound in the 7th inning with right calf tightness and is not at the point of being the latest injury casualty that has been a part of their season.
So, yes this was one of those games. And the Yankees continued their drive, a close win, but one that kept pace with the Dodgers for the best record in baseball and chance to secure home field in all rounds of the postseason.
Two home runs from Gary Sanchez, the Aaron Judge game tying home run to the second deck in right, number 19 on the second pitch in the 8th were the typical Yankees way of scoring runs.
And so it goes. One more game Sunday afternoon with these two potential AL postseason opponents and who is to say that anything will be different?
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