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American League

Yankees Use Long Ball To Power Past Twins In AL Wild Card Game

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After falling behind early, the New York Yankees rallied and beat the Minnesota Twins 8-4 on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium in the American League Wild Card Game.

For the first time since 2012, the Yankees are heading to the American League Division Series. They will take on the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Thursday in Cleveland.

Things did not look good for the Yankees early in the game. Their starting pitcher Luis Severino did not even make it out of the first inning. Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run, giving the Twins a 1-0 lead. A few batters later, Eddie Rosario took Severino deep for a two-run homer. Later in the inning, Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to pull the plug on Severino and turn to his bullpen.

Everything started to turn around for the Yankees after that disastrous start. Twins starter Ervin Santana walked Brett Gardner to start off the bottom of the first inning, and Aaron Judge followed with a single. After Gary Sanchez fouled out to the catcher, Didi Gregorius came to the plate and blasted a three-run home run to right field.

With the game tied, Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green got the Twins to go quietly in the second inning. Gardner came up with two outs and no one on base in the bottom half of the inning. He hit a ball to deep right field that landed in the second deck. That home run gave the Yankees their first lead of the game.

All of the momentum was with the Yankees after that. The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third inning. They tied the game after Byron Buxton hit into a fielder’s choice. However, they failed to score any more runs as Yankees reliever David Robertson came in and struck out Jason Castro to end the inning.

The Yankees responded quickly and took the lead again on an RBI-single by Greg Bird. The big blow came in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Aaron Judge had his first memorable postseason moment. With Gardner on first base , Judge hit the second pitch he saw from Twins reliever Jose Berrios over the left field fence. At this point, the Yankees led 7-4. They ended up adding another insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Twins offense could not get anything going for the rest of the game. Robertson pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in relief for the Yankees, and ended up getting the win. Tommy Kahnle came in after Robertson and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. Girardi then put the ball in the hands of his closer Aroldis Chapman for the ninth inning. Chapman struck out the side, sealing the 8-4 victory for the Yankees.

Even though it did not end the way they wanted it to, the Twins still had a great season. They went from losing over 100 games in 2016 to being one of the two AL Wild Card teams in 2017. It is not often that you see that kind of turnaround.

The Yankees will now move on and play the Indians, a team that finished the regular season with the best record in the AL. The way the Indians have played lately, it will certainly be a difficult series for the Yankees to win.

 

American League

2019 Trade Deadline Highlights

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In a shocking, last-minute deal, Zack Greinke has a new home (CBS Sports).

This year’s Trade Deadline in the MLB wasn’t as boisterous as previous seasons and might rank as one of the less-exciting ones in history. There was still a good number of high-profile moves, however, and a few big names went on to new homes. Here’s a look at the more notable acquisitions of July 31, 2019 and how they will impact the teams that got the big returns.

Blue Jays trade RHP Marcus Stroman to Mets in exchange for RHP Anthony Kay, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson

The move that unofficially kicked off trading season was a bit of a head scratcher. It had long been rumored that Toronto was shopping ace Marcus Stroman, but the team he ended up with isn’t exactly a contender. The Mets are currently four games under .500 and may not be vying for the postseason in 2019. The move is likely another part of the Mets rebuilding process, and since Noah Syndergaard stayed put, New York may have a formidable rotation next season.

Indians acquire LHP Scott Moss, OF Yasiel Puig from Reds and OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and IF Victor Nova from Padres, Padres acquire OF Taylor Trammell from Reds, Indians acquire Reds acquire RHP Trevor Bauer from Indians

The literal biggest trade of the day was a this three-team blockbuster. Trevor Bauer firing the ball over the center field wall on Sunday after he was pulled in the fifth inning ended up being the last pitch he threw in an Indians uniform. A day later the Tribe rid itself of his petulance and pulled off a massive trade with intrastate rival Cincinnati as well as San Diego that saw Bauer go to the Reds and Reds top prospect Taylor Tramell go to the Friars. Cleveland received a host of players from both teams, most namely Yasiel Puig, who is ironically also known as a prima donna.

Though Bauer is undeniably talented when he keeps his act together and bolsters the Reds attempts to trend upward, San Diego may have won the trade with Tramell, MLB’s no. 30 overall prospect.

Rays acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar from Brewers in exchange for RHP Jacob Faria

Milwaukee was certainly brewing before the Deadline and made a commendable effort to improve its pitching. GM David Stearns’ most notable move was a straight swap with the Rays that brought back righty Jacob Faria in exchange for power hitting 1B Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having a down year but has proven many times that he can be deadly. He gives the Rays the big bat they’ve been seeking in their hunt for a Wild Card berth.

It’s a good move for both sides because it clears Milwaukee’s infield logjam and gives the team another quality starter. Faria never quite broke out in Tampa Bay but a change of scenery always has potential to pay dividends. After having already gotten Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh on Monday, the Brewers made another move and got Drew Pomeranz from San Fransisco later on Wednesday. Though none of the returns are big name guys, Milwaukee is serious about making another run after coming so close last year.

Cubs acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos from Tigers in exchange for RHP Alex Lange and RHP Paul Richan.

The Cubs made their chances of taking the NL Central back even better with this move. Nicholas Castellanos has been one of the MLB’s more underrated players in recent years, largely because he was on the Tigers after the team’s glory days of the early 2010s ended. Adding him to a lineup that already includes Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez gives the Cubbies even more firepower, especially given Castellanos success vs. lefty pitchers. It’s also a great move for him personally as he gets to join a contending team at last. The Cubs are vying to appear in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, and their chances look pretty good.

Astros acquire RHP Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP JB Bukauskas, IF Josh Rojas and IF Seth Beer

If Houston was scary good before this trade, they’re terrifyingly good now. The Astros just added Zack Greinke to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in a last-minute deal that wasn’t announced until after the deadline officially passed. Arizona received a package of four minor leaguers in return as the team is now officially in the rebuilding process.

Like Verlander, Greinke is in the second half of his thirties but has not declined at all and owned a 10-4 record with a 2.90 on a sub-par Diamondbacks team at the time of his departure. The six-time All-Star’s presence gives Houston the best rotation in baseball by far and should get the knees of any upcoming opponent knocking. The MLB said it best on Instagram today, “Facing Houston? You have a problem.”

Notable non-moves:

  • After being heavily rumored as top targets, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner are still members of their longtime teams.
  • The Boston Red Sox, whose bullpen has blown 18 saves, made no moves to improve its relief core, to the amazement of the team’s fanbase.
  • The New York Yankees were thought to be Syndergaard’s top suitor, but the team did not acquire any starting pitching to aid Aaron Boone’s struggling rotation.

What was the biggest move of the deadline this year? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @HomeRunDaily.

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American League

Athletics Acquire Tanner Roark

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Tanner Roark

The Oakland Athletics have acquired right hander Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder Jamerson Hannah will be heading to Cincinnati, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the Reds will pick up $2.1 million of Roark’s remaining salary.

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American League

Astros Acquire Martin Maldonado

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Martin Maldonado

The Houston Astros have acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder/second baseman Tony Kemp will be heading to the Cubs, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.

Maldonado has posted a .217/.285/.349 slash line this season.

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