Yankees chasing history tonight vs. Red Sox
It could be a night for the Yankees to celebrate, though they probably won’t be hanging around to spray any bubbly in the event that they score their first postseason berth since 2012. Why? It’s complicated, but here’s the deal — the Yankees must win while the Twins, Rangers and Angels all lose. If so, the Yanks would clinch a Wild Card berth.
(A previous rundown published here and on MLB.com did not include the Twins as part of the formula. Whoops.)
“A lot of things have to happen, and there’s a chance some of us will be in bed by the time those West Coast games are over,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We have to take care of business first. We have to win.”
So while they wait that out, the Yankees can still reach a milestone. Their next victory will be No. 10,000 in franchise history, which dates to the beginning of their life as the Highlanders of 1903 (their years as the Baltimore Orioles do not count).
The Yanks’ all-time regular season record is 9,999-7,564 (.569). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yanks will have the highest win percentage of any team at the time of their 10,000th win. The Giants held the previous mark, at .540.
Playoff picture: The Yankees (86-69) trail the Blue Jays (90-65) by four games in the American League East. New York leads the Astros (82-74) by 4 1/2 games for the first Wild Card spot.
Odds are: Baseball Prospectus has the Yankees with a 100 percent chance of making the postseason, and a 2.1 percent chance of winning the division. FULL STANDINGS
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 28, 2015
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 28, 2015
— Masahiro Tanaka will return to the mound on Wednesday for one final regular season start, taking on the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in a start that should line him up to pitch the potential American League Wild Card game on additional rest.
“I’m not looking at this as a tune-up,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “You know, as I’ve done for each and every one of my starts, I’m going to go out there and give the best I have.”
— Chris Young is on the bench against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. Girardi said it was a “tough decision,” but he went with Brett Gardner because he has been swinging the bat better of late. Gardner will probably sit one day in this series, as will Jacoby Ellsbury, as the Red Sox are pitching left-handers Wade Miley and Rich Hill on Wednesday and Thursday.
— The Yankees are waiting on the results of concussion tests on Stephen Drew, which they believe could explain his recent bouts of dizziness.
— Nathan Eovaldi had his third day of playing catch; his previous sessions were at distances of 60 and 90 feet. Girardi said that he would not be ready to be on the roster for the Wild Card game, but could appear as a reliever in a subsequent round.
MLB Network’s three to watch
Alex Rodriguez is 4-9 AB (.444) with a home run in his career against Eduardo Rodriguez, while Jacoby Ellsbury is also 4-9 AB with two home runs vs. Rodriguez.
David Ortiz is batting .400 (10-25 AB) with two home runs lifetime against Nova.
Right-handed batters are hitting only .224 against Ivan Nova this season but lefties are batting .301 with an .853 OPS.
The Bombers are hitting only .221 with two home runs and a .565 OPS against lefties over their last 18 games (and might be looking at lefty Dallas Keuchel in the Wild Card game next week).
On this date
2008: Mike Mussina records his 20th win on the final day of the season at Fenway Park, becoming the oldest pitcher in history to win 20 games for the first time.