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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/30/21

Giancarlo Stanton is a man on a mission; Joey Gallo nearing ignominious record; Luis Severino providing huge boost to bullpen; Looking back on the wildest Game 162; How the Field of Dreams Game came together

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

New York Post | Mike Vaccaro: In case you were living under a rock, Giancarlo Stanton has been one of the hottest hitters on the planet since the start of August, but especially over the last week. He homered in four straight games entering last night’s contest, each time giving the Yankees a decisive cushion to help win the game.

While it’s too late for Stanton to make up enough ground in the AL MVP race — already a long shot year-to-year based on the position he plays — one could make the case that there are few players on contending clubs more valuable to their team than Stanton has been during the stretch run. The Yankees would not be in their current position if not for his contributions.

FanGraphs | Kevin Goldstein: Joey Gallo has polarized opinions throughout his career, and especially now that he has joined the Yankees. The prototypical three-true-outcome hitter, that classification has become even more extreme since joining the Yankees, as he has either struck out, walked, or hit a home run in over 60 percent of his plate appearances with New York.

In fact, Gallo’s elevated strikeout rate since the deadline deal puts him within reach of the single-season strikeout record of 223 set by Mark Reynolds in 2009. He sat at 208 entering play yesterday, meaning he’d need a roughly 75-percent strikeout rate to match the high water mark. He also is a near-lock to become the third player since Babe Ruth to lead his league in both strikeouts and walks.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: When Jonathan Loáisiga went to the IL with a shoulder injury, the bullpen looked to be in dire straits. Now, however, it appears that the relief corps is the strongest it has been all season, and much of that is thanks to the addition of former ace Luis Severino. After missing most of the past few seasons, Severino has slotted right into the bullpen and looks to be a weapon in high-leverage situations. The fastball velocity has steadily ticked up, while both the command and movement on the slider and changeup look as good as ever. Severino has logged three scoreless relief appearances, striking out seven in five innings of work. | Sam Blum: Yesterday marked the 10-year anniversary of one of the wildest final days of the regular season in MLB history. The Rays and Red Sox were tied for the lone Wild Card spot as they played Game 162. The Rays memorably came back from a 7-0 deficit against the Yankees while the Red Sox were downed on the infamous Robert Andino walk-off. What better was to relive that wacky day than an oral history provided by the players involved?

Yankees Magazine (via | Alfred Santasiere III: This one’s a bit of a longer read, but definitely worth the time if you have it. The Field of Dreams Game between the Yankees and White Sox was one of the highlights of the season. In this feature, they take us behind the scenes to see the journey it took to make that game a reality. From the initial purchase of the plot of land to the roadblocks in transforming it into a baseball field to getting it ready for the big game, it’s amazing to consider that everything that had to go right for this vision to truly be realized.

Lastly, Joey Gallo had to leave last night’s game in the seventh after getting plunked on the forearm. It hurt enough that he couldn’t bat in the ninth, forcing Gary Sánchez to pinch-hit earlier and the final out coming off the bat of Tyler Wade rather than a better hitter. More concerning is the news that he’ll need X-rays. The only solace in terms of injury news was that Luke Voit’s limp after a strikeout shouldn’t affect him too much.