BOSTON – And just like that, the Yankees have clinched the American League East
OK, that's overstating the situation. But a critical, 9-6 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday night at Fenway Park did more than avert a four-game sweep and cease the start-rotation meltdown that threatened – or that's how it felt – to upend everything this club has been overcome
Thanks to Domingo German, with some timely hits and a generous Red Sox defense, the 2019 Yankees have achieved a season first: Mathematically, they now control their own destiny
With an 8 ¹ / ₂-game divisional lead over the Rays, whom they play twice more, and a nine-game advantage over Bosox, who they face another eight times, the Yankees could lose all their remaining heads-to-head games with their top two challengers and still
They will have no one but themselves to blame if they can not complete their first task towards a parade
So yes, for multiple reasons, this certainly goes down as a big victory. There's a reason why players blasted music in their clubhouse, whooping and hollering, after Aroldis Chapman recorded the 27th out. "The first three games did not go our way," said Didi Gregorius, understating what went down, "So we needed a win."
German, at 26 the youngest active member of the Yankees' starting rotation, allowed three runs over five innings, easily the best showing by his unit since JA Happ gave up two runs to the Rockies over five innings on July 1
" I felt it was my responsibility to go out there's a stop to [what has been] and a rough patch for our starters, "the right-hander said through an interpreter
Against the Red Sox ace Chris Sale, a pair of Yankees' two-run homers – by Austin Romine in the third and Gregorius in the fourth – gave the visitors the sort of cushion they had not received the chance to develop before. A trio of Red Sox errors and a few more timely hits by the Yankees, including a RBI double from the remarkable Gio Urshela, proved to be enough as the Red Sox never surrendered against the German or the Yankees' prime releievers
As Romine said , when asked the feeling in the dugout after Gergorius' shot to right field gave the Yankees a 4-0 edge, "Just keep going."
And that's what the Yankees will try to do. The middling Diamondbacks will visit Yankee Stadium for a quick, two-game visit Tuesday and Wednesday, off days sandwiching the miniseries, and by the time the Diamondbacks pack their belongings late Wednesday afternoon, which just happens to be the trade deadline, d sure think the Yankees will have another pitcher or two courtesy of Brian Cashman. And after the Red Sox's four-game trip to The Bronx next weekend comes a 10-game oasis featuring the division's cellar-dwellers: three at the Orioles, four at the Blue Jays and three more at home with the O's
All Yankees start getting consistently acceptable starts. Yet on the day that started with CC Sabathia going on the injured list thanks to his achy right knee acting again – and no prognosis on his return – and the interesting trade target Marcus Stroman going from the Blue Jays to the Mets, of all places, they will gladly accept this baby step. "
" It is obvious that this is a happy room to finish off what in many ways was a difficult week, "said Aaron Boone. Referencing Minneapolis, where the Yankees battled to a 2-1 series victory despite terrible pitching, and Boston as "two hard places," the manager saw the silver lining of "at least go back with three wins in the pocket."
The third win meant the most. "It's good that we ended up on a good note so we can come back on the same good note and just keep going," Gregorius said.
If they keep going like that, then they should be ready to come in October. 19659020]