Everything is coming into focus for the Yankees as the regular season comes to a close. A day after securing home-field advantage in the Wild Card game, the Bombers lived up to their name and claimed the regular season home run record, breaking the Mariners’ record of 264 set back in 1997.
Gleyber Torres was the man who got it done today. The Yankees had just taken a lead 2-1 in the fourth inning off of a Greg Bird double, and Torres took Eduardo Rodriguez’s 1-1 offering into the bullpens in right field. The home run was Gleyber’s 24th of the season, and him hitting it in the nine hole was significant for another reason. That gave the Yankees 20 home runs from every spot in the lineup, the first time that has ever been done in MLB history.
Miguel Andujar also made history in the fifth inning. Andujar scorched a double past Andrew Benintendi and into the corner in left field, scoring two runs. The ball’s odd bounce could possibly have given Miggy a triple, but by staying at second he broke a tie with Joe DiMaggio for the team’s rookie doubles record. Andujar added another double in the ninth inning to give him 46 for the season.
The rout was seemingly on from there. Giancarlo Stanton added to the offensive parade with a solo shot in the seventh inning to the Monster, putting the Yankees up 8-2. The blast gave Stanton his 100th RBI of the season on his 38th home run, and while those numbers don’t compare with the insane year he had last season Stanton has undoubtedly been the biggest bat in the Yankee lineup throughout the year.
Domingo German got the start in a late decision over Lance Lynn, though Lynn would enter the game in the third inning. German as an opener isn’t really something the Yankees could rely on going forward, but getting Lynn the extra reps coming out of the pen where he’ll likely be available in the postseason makes sense. Lynn performed well today, striking out five batters and allowing one run in three innings of work.
Lynn turned the ball over to Sonny Gray, who got a solid two innings of work done. Tommy Kahnle made things interesting in the eighth inning, as he loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Blake Swihart grounded a ball to second base allowing a run to score, but Kahnle escaped with just the one run allowed.
Jonathan Holder was tasked with the ninth inning, but he also got into trouble. Tzu-Wei Lin jumped on the first pitch for a ground-rule double, and Brock Holt launched a two-run shot into the bullpens to make a blowout suddenly an 8-5 game. Holder allowed another baserunner before striking out Brandon Phillips, and Aroldis Chapman came in to close out the game. Chapman was effective but off slightly with his control, striking out two and walking one to end the game and clinch the series victory.
The victory also secured the first 100-win season for New York since 2009. It’s the first time ever that the Yankees and Red Sox will both have 100+ wins in the same season, and it’s the first time a 100-win ball club will play in the Wild Card game since the second wild card was introduced in 2012. All that is left before Wednesday’s big meeting between the Yankees and Athletics is the chance to win the season series against the Sox, which currently stands at 9-9.