At 12:17 a.m. Eastern Time, Giancarlo Stanton popped out to Francisco Lindor to end a laborious Subway Series for the New York Yankees.
Instead of making a late-night trip to Baltimore, the skidding Yankees will face a quicker turnaround than originally scheduled when they host the Minnesota Twins in a makeup game that starts nearly 14 hours after their final out against the New York Mets.
The Yankees are losing their off day because heavy rain from Hurricane Henri pelted the New York area on Aug. 22 when the teams were originally slated to finish a four-game series.
Things are going significantly different for the Yankees since the last time they faced the Twins. New York outscored Minnesota 24-8 in three games last month and those wins were part of a 13-game winning streak that lasted through Aug. 27.
Since the streak ended, the Yankees are 3-12 and their grip on a wild-card spot is no longer secure. New York (79-64) held a three-game lead on the first spot following the end of their run but fell out of the first spot last week during its four-game sweep to the Toronto Blue Jays and head into Monday one game out of a wild-card spot.
In a series with the Mets that lasted for a combined 11 hours, 27 minutes, the Yankees dropped two of three. They halted a seven-game losing streak with Saturday’s 8-7 win but took a 7-6 loss on Sunday when Chad Green allowed Lindor’s third homer of the game.
Lindor’s third homer occurred after Giancarlo Stanton hit a game-tying homer and exchanged some words with the Mets shortstop while rounding the bases. That resulted in the benches emptying and players milling around on the field when Stanton finished his trot.
“I thought we competed really, really, really well. It was kind of a back-and-forth game a little bit and a great player finished off a great night and that ultimately was the difference but I don’t think it makes it any worse,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “These games are huge. So it stings when you lose them and it’s pretty joyful when you win.”
Perhaps of bigger concern is the condition of Aaron Judge. Judge, who homered twice Saturday, exited Sunday in the third inning due to dizziness and the Yankees are hopeful he can play Monday.
Minnesota (63-80) is interrupting a six-game homestand for the game and is 9-10 since its 7-1 loss in New York on Aug. 21. The Twins followed up a four-game losing streak by dropping two of three to the Kansas City Royals in a series where they were 5-for-24 with runners in scoring position and struck out 29 times.
On Sunday, Minnesota took a 5-3 loss to Kansas City when it went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Brett Rooker hit a two-run tying double in the sixth inning, but Miguel Sano went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and hit into an inning-ending double play in the eighth with two on in a one-run game.
“We could have pitched better, but we really didn’t put the runs on the board to really make it more of a discussion,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We battled all the way, and at the end, still had a chance to come back and make something of it.”
Luis Gil (1-0, 1.42 ERA) will make his fifth career start and the Yankees are hoping he displays improved command this time around.
In Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, Gil allowed seven walks in 3 1/3 innings. He also allowed the first runs of his career after pitching 15 2/3 scoreless innings over his first three starts.
John Gant (5-9, 3.78) will oppose the Yankees for the second time when he makes his fifth start with the Twins. Gant is 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA in 11 appearances since being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for J.A. Happ. He allowed four runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 7-5 loss in New York on Aug. 19.
Gant last pitched on Tuesday at Cleveland when he allowed three hits in five innings of a 3-0 win. Gant also threw 96 pitches, his most with the Twins.
–Field Level Media