The theme of the 2019 Yankees has been “next man up” from start to finish.
On Thursday, despite losing their Ace Domingo German to a recent domestic violence dispute, the Pinstripes gathered together and captured their first A.L East title since 2012.
AL MVP candidate D.J. LeMahieu gave the Yankees a 3-run lead after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning.
It turned out to be all the run support that Masahiro Tanaka needed as he cruised through seven innings of one-run ball on 86 pitches.
The Yankees continued their unfathomable power surge in their 9-1 victory over the Angels by hitting 4 home runs (LeMahieu, Gardner, Maybin, Frazier) and passed the Minnesota Twins with 290 on the season.
After closer Aroldis Chapman recorded the final out, the Yankees showed very little emotion on the field as they assembled in their handshake line, but shortly after went straight into party mode and popped bottles of champagne as they celebrate their 19th title since divisional play was established in 1969.
“This is just the beginning,” said Judge, limited to 96 games due to injuries. “We’re going to celebrate tonight and have fun with it. A long season, lots of ups and downs, enjoy it tonight but we got a lot more baseball to play.”
The Yankees Captured win No.100 with 8 games remaining, but still have meaningful baseball to play after being one game back in the loss column of the Houston Astros. (100-53)
The Yankees know that they don’t have much time to celebrate, but considering how many injuries the team has sustained, it is remarkable that they stayed focused despite playing with a patchwork lineup.
Yankees Skipper Makes History
Aaron Boone earned his first division title as a manager. Thursday’s 9-1 victory over the Angels was his 200th managerial win after winning exactly 100 as a rookie manager last season. Boone becomes the first manager in MLB history to have at least 100 wins in each of his first two seasons.
“It feels good,” said Boone. “It really does. One of the things we talked about in spring training was winning the division and that’s a reality now.”
The Yankees will finish off the season with a 3-game series against Toronto, a 2-game with the Rays, and another 3-game against the Texas Rangers.
The Bronx Bombers will have to manage without having German and Betances (Achilles) for the post- season. But for now, let the “Savages” enjoy this one.