Thursday, October 29, 2020

Yankees’ Regular Season Ends With a Loss and Two Individual Titles

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The Yankees ended their pandemic-shortened season with a 5-Zero loss to the Miami Marlins within the Bronx, however the end result wasn’t nearly as significant as three different issues that have been resolved on Sunday.Most necessary, the Yankees discovered the place they have been flying on Sunday night time for the primary spherical of the playoffs: Cleveland.The different two points concerned private accolades for Yankees stalwarts that carried the staff by way of its many seesaws this yr: Infielder D.J. LeMahieu gained the American League batting title with a major-league-leading .364 common, changing into the primary particular person to assert undisputed batting titles in each leagues. And first baseman Luke Voit gained the home run title, ending with a major-league-best 22.“The goal is to keep it going in the playoffs,” Voit stated.To that time, Voit and the Yankees (33-27) realized on Sunday night that they’d be dealing with the fourth-seeded Indians (35-25) within the best-of-three playoff spherical added for this distinctive season.Game 1 on Tuesday can be a matchup of two of the very best pitchers in baseball: The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (2.84 earned run common) and Cleveland’s Shane Bieber, the presumptive A.L. Cy Young Award winner who led the majors in wins (eight), E.R.A. (1.63) and strikeouts (122).By dropping six of their remaining eight regular-season video games, the Yankees misplaced their likelihood to host the primary spherical at Yankee Stadium, the place they have been 22-9 this season. The Yankees did keep away from dropping to the A.L.’s eighth seed, which might have pitted them towards the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays, when the Toronto Blue Jays misplaced their regular-season finale to the Baltimore Orioles.Instead, the Blue Jays will get that honor, whereas the Yankees secured the fifth seed.Because this yr’s regular-season schedule featured solely regional play, the Yankees and the Indians, an A.L. Central staff, didn’t play one another as they often would have. The final time the 2 groups confronted off in October was in a 2017 A.L. division collection, when the Yankees prevailed, 5-2, in a winner-take-all Game 5.So a lot has modified with each groups since then: Yankees Manager Aaron Boone was an ESPN broadcaster; Gio Urshela, now a Yankees standout, was on Cleveland’s roster as a light-hitting, defensive-minded third baseman; Cole was a Pittsburgh Pirate and LeMahieu was with the Colorado Rockies.“I’m honestly not really concerned who we’re playing or where we’re going,” LeMahieu stated after Sunday’s sport. “I have a lot of confidence in us. If we’re playing the way we should be, it shouldn’t matter who we’re playing.”The Yankees, although, haven’t performed the way in which they need to of late. This season, they regarded like a juggernaut in some stretches however like a automotive with a number of flat tires in others. In the ultimate week, they regarded extra just like the latter, with sound protection and trademark energy largely absent.“We have the best team in the league still,” the usually soft-spoken LeMahieu, 32, stated. “We’re definitely the most talented. I don’t know why it was so up and down. I’ll chalk it up to 2020, and I know in the playoffs we’re going to be extremely focused and ready to go.”The Yankees will want LeMahieu to be simply that towards the Indians, who completed the season with the very best E.R.A. (3.29) within the A.L. Last yr, he hit .325 in the course of the Yankees’ playoff run, which ended two wins away from the World Series.During his two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu has been maybe their most irreplaceable participant due to his protection, versatility and hitting. On Sunday, he turned the primary Yankee to win a batting title since Bernie Williams in 1998. LeMahieu gained the National League batting title with the Rockies by hitting .348 in 2016.There is a few debate over whether or not LeMahieu is the primary or second to assert batting titles in every league. The Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball, credit Ed Delahanty because the 1899 National League batting champion for his .410 common with the Philadelphia Phillies and the American League winner in 1902 for his .376 mark with the Washington Senators. But some researchers contemplate Nap Lajoie because the 1902 winner with a .378 common due to a distinct commonplace on the time concerning at-bats wanted to qualify for the award.ImageLuke Voit was hitless on Sunday, however he nonetheless went home with the American League home run title because of his 22 homers.Credit…Kathy Willens/Associated PressVoit, 29, who produced on the plate regardless of a nagging foot harm all season, is the eighth Yankee to steer the most important leagues in home runs, and first since Alex Rodriguez did so in 2007 with 54. Among the others: Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth — all Hall of Famers.“Our neighbor growing up had a huge, life-size poster of Babe Ruth that we had in our basement that he gave to us,” stated Voit, who grew up exterior St. Louis and was acquired by the Yankees from the Cardinals in 2018. “So I’ve always admired the Babe. I love ‘The Sandlot,’ the great Bambino, so it’s just awesome company. That guy hit, like, 700 home runs, so that means I’ve got to start hitting 150 a year to catch up to him.”Even although it was solely over 60 video games, LeMahieu and Voit have been clearly happy with their accomplishments. LeMahieu stated he wished he had gotten to do it over 162 video games, and with followers within the stands.Boone stated the Yankees wouldn’t even be boarding a aircraft on Sunday night to play within the postseason with out the performances of LeMahieu and Voit this season.“We’ve had a week where we haven’t played our best baseball and we’re struggling a little bit, but I know what we’re capable of,” Boone stated. He added later: “We’ve got an amazing opportunity. We hold the bat, we hold the ball and we hold the pen, so we can write the story.”

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