The Yankees clinched the AL East last night, and the focus now is on getting every kink ironed out before the postseason, and getting Aaron Judge off 60 home runs. They have a good chance at both tonight in the rubber match at Rogers Centre, after splitting the first two games of this series with the Blue Jays.
Starting with those kinks to be ironed: Gerrit Cole starts tonight, fresh off allowing four runs on two bombs to the Red Sox on Friday night, getting ejected for the first time in his MLB career. We say it every start — if he can avoid being taken deep, he will probably win this game all on his own. Don’t give up big, devastating, multi-run home runs, Gerrit, and you will likely not be mad enough to get tossed from a game.
If he even has himself a fair start, Cole could make some Yankee history tonight, as he enters play just four strikeouts back of Ron Guidry’s franchise record 248. Of his 31 starts this season, only four have seen him sit down fewer than five batters himself, so even if we don’t get the 14-K, 8-inning outing we sometimes witness, there’s a very good chance Gator is in second place by the end of the night.
Speaking of history, what a fun thing it would be for Judge to get over the 60 hump on the same night as Cole’s record-setting start. Mitch White, chucking for the Blue Jays, brings his 5.12 ERA to bear against Judge, once again in his now-customary leadoff position (albeit at DH), although with the rest of the post-clinch lineup looking the way it does, the Yankees’ best player may find himself staring at a second straight four-walk game.
How to watch
Location: Rogers Centre – Toronto, ON
First pitch: 7:07 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, Sportsnet
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280 / SN 590
Online stream: MLB.tv