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Aaron Judge

Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) strikes out off a pitch by Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) during the seventh inning in game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) strikes out off a pitch by Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) during the seventh inning in game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Your mission, Yankees, should you choose to accept it, is now to win three straight games or at best be doomed to facing Gerrit Cole in Game 7, which is pretty much a death sentence these days. 

Ok, choose isn't exactly the right word, since the Astros are going to have plenty to say about the Yankees getting on any type of roll in this ALCS, and obviously Justin Verlander would be no picnic in Game 6 as well. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sanchez's receiving
 
In the seventh, Gary Sanchez struggled to receive two consecutive pitches, costing the Yankees a run -- though it was questionable whether he should have been able to handle the second one.
 
The first, a sinker from Zack Britton with a runner on third, hit umpire Kerwin Danley, preventing the runner from scoring. The second, another sinker was ruled a wild pitch, but it was one that Sanchez might have stopped. This time, the run scored.
 
"Sanchez needs a good catching coach," tweeted former Yankees pitcher David Wells. "Wow."
 
Another former pitcher texted to disagree.
 
"I don't [think he should have caught it]," the pitcher said. "It was a nasty sinker in the dirt."
 
Perhaps Sanchez could have at least moved more quickly in an attempt to stop a tough pitch.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Zack Britton, Andy Martino
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Astros take 2-1 lead in ALCS 00:01:39
Gregorius, Judge, Gardner, Hicks, Cole and Hinch on Cole shutting down Yankees offense

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell to the Astros 4-1 at Yankee Stadium, and now trail 2-1 in the ALCS. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) The Yankees' task just got a whole lot tougher, and not just because of the math. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, John Harper
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

After the Yankees split Saturday and Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, New York returns home Tuesday to the Bronx at 4:04 p.m. from Yankee Stadium for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros.

Yankees notes

Sunday's Game 2 of the ALCS alone made the series live up to the hype. After the Yankees dominated Saturday's 7-0 win to grab Game 1, the Astros got New York back in Game 2 with an 11th-inning leadoff home run by SS Carlos Correa against LHP J.A. Happ. Correa starred for the Astros at the plate and in the field, highlighted by his sixth-inning throw home when he caught 1B DJ LeMahieu rounding third base by three steps.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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General view of the exterior of Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)
General view of the exterior of Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)

Here are the key 2019 MLB offseason dates, and how they impact the Yankees...


Day after World Series ends: Free agency begins

Before factoring in raises for arbitration, the Yankees already have a shade over $164 million committed to their payroll for 2020. But there is still room to spend, and there will be plenty of big names out there. 

Among the biggest names expected to hit the free agent market: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Marcell Ozuna, and Will Smith

The Yankees' notable free agents include Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Brett Gardner.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, Danny Abriano
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Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees couldn't come away with another road victory against the Astros on Sunday night, falling 3-2 in extras to tie the series up. Unlike their seven-run splurge in Game 1, Justin Verlander calmed the Yanks' bats down a bit with his stellar arsenal on the mound, allowing only the two-run homer to Aaron Judge that accounted for the team's only runs in the contest. 

Now the ALCS heads to the Bronx for the first time, which should work in the Yankees' favor right? Not necessarily with Gerrit Cole on the mound. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Scott Thompson
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Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees have up to 12 arbitration-eligible players this offseason, with James Paxton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez the biggest names in that group. 

Once a player is offered arbitration, the team and that player's agent have until a set date -- usually at some point in February -- to come to terms on a new contract. If that doesn't happen, both sides submit salary proposals and the player's salary is determined at a hearing by independent arbitrators. 

According to MLB Trade Rumors, here's what the Yankees' arbitration-eligible players are projected to make in 2020...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON -- Dellin Betances tore his Achilles in September. Domingo German is on the restricted list because of a domestic violence allegation. On this night, the Yankees missed both of those pitchers (and, of course, the baseball impact of German's situation is insignificant compared to what his alleged victim experienced).

Jonathan Loaisiaga appeared overwhelmed and unable to find the strike zone. Betances would have inspired much more confidence in that spot, or at least lengthened the bullpen by having another high-leverage guy and not ever needing Loaisiga. The left-handed and homer-prone J.A. Happ in the game as the bulk guy in extra innings, was a far less favorable matchup against the Astros' righty-heavy lineup than the righty German would have been.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell 3-2 to the Astros on Saturday in Game 2 of the ALCS, evening the series at 1-1.

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1.) For all the talk about the bullpen edge the Yankees have in this series, Game 2 proved that too much of a good thing can have its consequences.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

With the Yankees down one run in the top of the fourth inning, Aaron Judge made Astros starter Justin Verlander pay.

After a leadoff walk from Verlander against DJ LeMahieu to start the frame, the righty made a mistake with Judge on an 0-1 count.

Verlander hung a slider above the belt over the plate and Judge sent the pitch into orbit, crushing a two-run home run to right-center field and putting the Yankees ahead of the Astros for a 2-1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu
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Martino on Stanton 00:01:05
SNY's Andy Martino breaks down the changes in Giancarlo Stanton's approach at the plate in Gm 1 of the ALCS after his struggles in 2018

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The right call to remove Tanaka

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 68 pitches through six innings, allowing just one hit and dominating the Houston offense. Because of that, the knee-jerk response when Adam Ottavino trotted out of the bullpen to begin the seventh might have been outrage.

But one simple fact made it the right call: Opponents have a .387 wOBA (weighted on-base average) against Tanaka the third time through the lineup this year, which was where the Astros found themselves after six.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Carlos Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Torres, Tanaka dominate Astros 00:02:28
Gregorius, Judge, Gardner, Tanaka and Torres on taking a 1-0 lead in the ALCS

When Aaron Boone's Yankees lineup for Game 1 of the ALCS was announced earlier on Saturday, it was nearly identical to what the team rolled out in the ALDS against the Twins, with one notable exception.

Boone moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the order, hitting between Aaron Judge and Edwin Encarnacion

The impact of that move was felt immediately against the Astros, as Torres went 3-for-5 at the plate, driving in five runs in the Yankees' dominant 7-0 Game 1 win.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Astos 7-0 on Saturday in Game 1 of the ALCS, taking a 1-0 series lead. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) So who said the Astros have the advantage in the starting pitching in this ALCS, anyway?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

Aaron Judge is typically known more for his bat, but he made a great play in the field to help preserve the Yankees' ALCS Game 1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Masahiro Tanaka
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Judge looking forward to ALCS 00:02:17
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge pinpoints added postseason experience being key to the Yankees success in this ALCS

With the stage set for a rematch of the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees took the field at Minute Maid Park on Friday for their team workout ahead of this year's Championship Series.

And while there were no fans in the seats on Friday, the Yankees know that the Astros home-field advantage has been very real over the past few seasons, but it's nothing the team doesn't think they can' handle.

"I think our guys relish in this," said Aaron Boone. "Clearly the Astros have shown that they have a really good home-field advantage here, not only this year but even going back a few years and a lot of us are aware of how loud this place can be, but a lot of our guys will relish in that, embrace that, and hopefully find a way to have success through it all. But I don't worry about that affecting our guys and our performance."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole
Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole

The Yankees are all set to go in the ALCS. They just need an opponent. 

The Rays pulled out an upset of Justin Verlander in Game 4 in their home Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, forcing a divisive Game 5 on Thursday night at 7:07 p.m. This one, though, will be in Houston with Gerrit Cole facing off against Tyler Glasnow -- a much tougher challenge for the Rays to pull off the ultimate upset. 

Either way, who would the Yankees want to face in the Championship Series? 

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Boone says Yanks are "hungry" 00:01:15
As the Yankees prepare for the ALCS, manager Aaron Boone notes how the Bombers have improved, as he says they are more "hungry" than ever.

The Yankees hit the field at Yankee Stadium on Thursday to get a workout in before heading into the ALCS. But they don't know exactly who they're going to be facing in that series just yet. 

The Astros and Rays will play their ALDS Game 5 tonight in Houston to determine who moves on and who goes home. And based off who does come away with the victory in that game could go into how manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees create their new 25-man roster for the ALCS. 

"It could factor in a little bit, definitely," Boone told the media on Thursday. "There could be a decision based on the opponent for a spot or two."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Scott Thompson
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May 23, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton (53) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)
May 23, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton (53) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)

The Yankees have been decimated by injuries this year, with more than a dozen key players going down. Check back here for the latest updates on the walking wounded.  


October 9, 1:00 PM:

Zack Britton jammed his right ankle on first base during Game 3 against the Twins while making a bang-bang play to record an out. And though he was limping off the mound and into the dugout, it doesn't look like he'll be missing any postseason time. 

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Britton will be on the Yankees' ALCS roster when Aaron Boone puts it together before Saturday's start to the new series. That's great news to hear considering Britton is the Yanks' best lefty reliever, minus closer Aroldis Chapman, out in the pen. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Thairo Estrada
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees could be getting even more help for the ALCS.

Center fielder Aaron Hicks told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he is "definitely ready to go out there and play."

Hicks hasn't suited up for the Yankees since Aug. 3 due to a right elbow flexor strain. He also suffered a setback during his recovery, making it unclear if he would play again in 2019.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Aaron Boone has always had an elite human touch, but he famously struggled with pitching moves in his playoff managing debut last year against Boston. It's worth noting then, that he remained calm and followed the game plans in this series.

He took a few risks, and made a few moves that could have left his bullpen short, but it's impossible to accuse him of anything close to managing tight or choking. Quite the contrary, he assigned his pitchers to the lanes determined by pregame planning, and didn't make a single move because of passion or panic.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Carlos Torres, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after an out during the fourth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after an out during the fourth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Yankees overmatched the Twins in every way possible, even adding spectacular defense to their championship resume, but by far the most significant development in this ALDS sweep of the Twins was the official return of Luis Severino.

With four shutout innings in the 5-1 win that featured some gutsy escapes from jams, Severino offered reason to believe he can at least be a third potentially dominant starter the Yankees need in this post-season, and perhaps at most the ace he has been at times in his young career.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Cameron Maybin, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, John Harper
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Judge gives Torres the belt 00:00:54
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge gives second baseman Gleyber Torres the team wrestling belt for his ALDS performance.

When the Yankees retreated to the locker room at Target Field after Monday's 5-1 win over the Twins in Minnesota, sweeping the ALDS through three games, Aaron Judge made an announcement.

With champagne flying, Judge congratulated his Yankees teammates as he awarded a championship belt to Gleyber Torres.

The honor was well-deserved for Torres, whose 3-for-4 night from the six spot in the lineup fueled the Yankees' offensive breakthrough.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres
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Yankees advance to ALCS 00:01:50
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge had high praise for second baseman Gleyber Torres during the Yankees locker room celebration.

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Five Takeaways from the Yankees' 5-1 win to sweep the Twins.

1) From start to finish the ALDS was a mismatch as the Yankees swept the Twins, and, as expected, the bullpens proved to be the most obvious difference between the teams. Or to put it another way: Aaron Boone's ballyhooed 'pen is living up to the hype so far.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Severino, Zack Britton, John Harper
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When to lift your starter?

Analytics-driven game planning calls for managers to remove starting pitchers before they start to struggle. This is a major change from the traditional approach, when you waited for the guy to labor before taking him out.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Yankees dominate Twins 00:02:52
Andy Martino and John Harper break down the Yankees dominance of the Twins in the ALDS

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The baseball post-season is supposed to be unpredictable--a crapshoot, as many call it, most famously the sport's movie star GM, Billy Beane. Yet this Yankees-Twins series feels more like a 1-16 matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

And the Twins don't look like the University of Maryland - Baltimore County, taking down Virginia, circa 2017.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)
Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius
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Didi slams Twins 00:02:12
Didi Gregorius unloaded a grand slam to cap off a seven-run 3rd inning as the Yankees routed the Twins to grab a 2-0 series lead

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Twins 8-2 on Saturday, which gives them a 2-0 lead in the ALDS. >> Box Score

Five Takeaways from Saturday's Game

1) This Yankees' offense looks unstoppable. It led the American League in runs scored, set a new team record with 305 home runs, and now it has put up 18 runs over the first two games of the postseason. Perhaps most significantly, so far the Bronx Bombers haven't had to rely primarily on the long ball, hitting three home runs, including Didi Gregorius' grand slam Saturday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (103-58) look to jump out to a commanding series lead when they host the Twins (101-61) in Game 2 of the ALDS Saturday at 5:07 p.m.

Yankees notes

With Friday's win, the Yankees are now 14-2 all-time in playoff games against the Twins, with wins in 11 straight contests. They've won all five of the series between the two teams, as well... DJ LeMahieu picked up right where he left off in the regular season in Friday's win, going 3-for- with four RBI... Game 1 was as advertised in the power department, as the two teams who both shattered the record for home runs in a season combined for five of them on Friday... In what turned into a battle of the bullpens, Yankee relievers allowed just one run on two hits in 4.1 innings while the Twins surrendered seven runs in the four innings after Jose Berrios left the game.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees and manager Aaron Boone showed the faith they have in James Paxton by handing him the ball for the start in Game 1 of the ALDS Friday. While he wasn't the dominant force he was over the final two months of the regular season, he left the game in the fifth inning with the score tied at 3, before the Yankees broke the game open against the Twins bullpen.

Paxton, who was making his first career postseason appearance, acknowledged this wasn't just another start for him.

"I was just trying to lock in on what I was trying to do and execute pitches," Paxton said. "The adrenaline was so high I couldn't feel my body most of the night. I was just trying to grind it out. The guys did a great job behind me to put some runs on the board and the bullpen was great."

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Max Kepler (26) hits a three RBI double during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Max Kepler (26) hits a three RBI double during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The legend of DJ LeMahieu added another chapter of Friday night.

The Yankees defeated the Twins 10-4 in the Bronx, and in a Bombers' lineup that is packed with stars- from Aaron Judge, to Gary Sanchez, to Giancarlo Stanton, among others- it was LeMaheiu who shined the brightest.

Providing a spark out of the leadoff spot, just as he did all throughout the regular season, LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts after hitting a two RBI double during the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts after hitting a two RBI double during the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It was supposed to be different this time. The Twins, fresh off setting a Major League record with 307 home runs, one more than the Yankees hit this season, were going to prove all that postseason history between these teams was meaningless.

And then they went out and played Game 1 like nervous tourists waiting to get mugged in the big, bad city. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, John Harper
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) makes a diving catch during the third inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner )
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) makes a diving catch during the third inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Bullpen decisions

Aaron Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild spent the past several days communicating to their relievers how they would be deployed, and that planning was evident in the explanations for moves that at first seemed surprising.

"He told me exactly how I was going to be used," Zack Britton said of his manager.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Torres clutch in 10-4 win 00:01:51
James Paxton controlled his emotions in his first playoff start while Aaron Judge complimented Yankees fans and Gleyber Torres delivered.

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Twins 10-4 on Friday night in Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five Takeaways from Friday's Game

1) In what may well be an indication of the way this Yankees-Twins series will go, Game 1 came down largely to a battle of the bullpens, and, as expected, it was no contest. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, John Harper
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (103-58) start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins (101-61) on Friday at 7:07 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees begin the hunt for their 28th World Series title when they take on the Twins in the ALDS. Lefty James Paxton will start in his first career playoff game, and was even called "the best left-handed pitcher in the game" by teammate Aaron Judge. He'll face a powerful Twins offense that had the MLB's best road record at 55-26. They even edged out the Yankees in total team home runs for the regular season, hitting 307 homers compared to 306 HRs by the Yanks. Gary Sanchez (groin) and Edwin Encarnacion (oblique) both had been dealing with injuries in September, but will be in the starting lineup on Friday night. As will slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who batted .286 with two home runs over 28 at-bats in September, after being out since June. It's the first time the Yankees will be starting a lineup with these nine players.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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May 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced on Thursday that James Paxton will start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins on Friday. 

When Aaron Judge heard the news, he had no shortage of praise for the one of the team's prized offseason acquisitions.

"He's the best left-handed pitcher in the game, in my opinion," Judge said. "Just the stuff that he has and then his bulldog mentality on the mound. That's the one thing I thought he was missing at the beginning part of the year."

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Job one for the Yankees on Sunday was to get out of the regular-season finale with no injuries, but with the way this IL-fest of a year has gone, forget that.

The Yankees lost to the Rangers, 6-1, in the last game ever at Globe Life Park, but the pinstriped headline was Gio Urshela leaving in the fourth inning with what the team is calling a mild left ankle sprain.

The Yankees told reporters in Texas that doctors examined Urshela at the ballpark and there were no further tests planned. The Yankees don't play again until Friday when they open the AL Division Series against the Twins at Yankee Stadium, so Urshela has time to heal.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Once again, Pete Alonso brought the Citi Field faithful to its feet Saturday, sending his 53rd home run of the season over the wall in center field to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Alonso had tied Aaron Judge's rookie home run record with a homer off of Dallas Keuchel on Friday, and wasted no time Saturday leapfrogging the Yankee outfielder in the history books.

The back pages of the New York papers focused on Alonso Saturday morning after he tied the record, and that did not change Sunday morning as he rounds out an incredible rookie campaign.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso
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On Friday night, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge offered some praise to Pete Alonso on tying his record. In fact, Judge said that if the two were to go out to dinner to celebrate their rookie accomplishments, that he would pick up the bill himself.

"That would be cool," Judge said. "I'll get this one, he can get the next one."

After Alonso broke the record on Saturday, he was asked if he'd thought about taking Judge up on that offer.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso
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Sep 28, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports (Shane Roper)
Sep 28, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports (Shane Roper)

The Yankees fell to the Rangers 9-4 on Saturday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Saturday's game...

1) Luis Severino got the start for the Yankees on Saturday, but the team used him sparingly. The right-hander went just three innings, allowing two earned runs. He struck out four, but he also walked four while throwing 72 pitches. It wasn't the best start for Severino as he prepares for October baseball.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino
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Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

With Twins-Yankees in the playoffs, there's always a temptation to chuckle and say, "The Yanks own Minnesota. The Twins have no shot."

Insert wisecrack here suggesting Minny will be in a fragile mental state for this latest AL Division Series between the teams, permanently scarred and scared by the past. After all, the Yanks have eliminated the Twins from the playoffs five times since 2003 and beaten them in 10 consecutive postseason games.

There! A fresh-baked hot take on Round 1. Bring on the Astros!

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

No one knows what Pete Alonso is feeling right now more than Aaron Judge, and there might not be a bigger fan of the Mets 1B than the Yankees RF for the 2019 campaign's final two games.

After the rising Mets star tied the face of the Yankees' single-season rookie home run record set in 2017 with Friday's first-inning solo shot during the Mets' 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves to reach 52 on the year, Judge was asked about Alonso's feat.

Not only is Judge happy for Alonso, but he hopes he breaks the record entirely at some point over the weekend -- the Mets play two more game against the Braves, Saturday and Sunday, in the team's three-game series to close the regular season.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

No one knows what Pete Alonso is feeling right now more than Aaron Judge, and there might not be a bigger fan of the Mets 1B than the Yankees RF for the 2019 campaign's final two games.

After the rising Mets star tied the face of the Yankees' single-season rookie home run record set in 2017 with Friday's first-inning solo shot during the Mets' 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves to reach 52 on the year, Judge was asked about Alonso's feat.

Not only is Judge happy for Alonso, but he hopes he breaks the record entirely at some point over the weekend -- the Mets play two more game against the Braves, Saturday and Sunday, in the team's three-game series to close the regular season.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

As the Mets climbed out of an early two-run hole for Friday's 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field, 1B Pete Alonso gave New York a boost and made some history in the process.

Alonso's first-inning solo shot off Braves LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 3.75 ERA) put the Mets on the board before the offense came alive in the third and fourth innings with three more runs to mount the comeback.

But the long ball meant more to Alonso, who went 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored as the Mets (84-76) beat the Braves (97-63).

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge smiles during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge smiles during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge has the most popular MLB jersey for the third year in a row, as his threads topped the list of 20 that was released on Friday by the league.

The full list:

Aaron Judge, Yankees
Bryce Harper, Phillies
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
Javier Baez, Cubs
Christian Yelich, Brewers
Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves
Mookie Betts, Red Sox
Jose Altuve, Astros
Mike Trout, Angels
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Alex Bregman, Astros
Pete Alonso, Mets
Freddie Freeman, Braves
Kris Bryant, Cubs
Francisco Lindor, Indians
Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
Jacob deGrom, Mets
George Springer, Astros

Tags: Aaron Judge, Danny Abriano
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Mets (83-75, 5.5 GB for second Wild Card) wrap up their four-game series with the Marlins (55-103) at Citi Field on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

The Mets were eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday night after the Milwaukee Brewers clinched the second Wild Card. The team still went on to beat the Marlins 10-3 as Jacob deGrom was dominant in his final start of the season. The potential Cy Young Award winner threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and one walk. He ends the season with 23-straight scoreless innings pitched and 255 total strikeouts. Pete Alonso hit his 51st home run of the season, as the first baseman is one homer shy of tying the rookie home run record held by the Yankees' Aaron Judge. Prior to Thursday's game against the Marlins, the team activated Dom Smith from the 60-Day IL and announced Jeff McNeil will need surgery for his fractured wrist that he suffered in Wednesday's game.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler
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Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Noah K. Murray)
Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (83-75) wrap up their four-game series against the Marlins at Citi Field on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY. 

Here's what happened Wednesday, in case you missed it....


Jacob deGrom almost certainly cemented his second-straight Cy Young award and Pete Alonso inched closer to the rookie home run record in the Mets' 10-3 win over the Marlins, but the Mets were still eliminated from playoff contention >> Read more

Tags: Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Boone thinks Rays can be scary 00:00:46
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone explains why he thinks the Rays can be a scary team this postseason.

The Yankees fell to the Rays 4-0 on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Wednesday's game...

1) Jonathan Loaisiga took the assignment of being the Yankees' opener on Wednesday, but his start didn't go as planned. The right-hander allowed a solo home run to Joey Wendle on his third pitch of the game, putting the Bombers in a quick hole. He then allowed three more singles in the inning, with the final one being an RBI hit from Brandon Lowe. Loaisiga went just one inning, allowing two runs on four hits.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, J.A. Happ, Luis Cessa
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Yankees fell to the Rays, 2-1, in 12 innings on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Tuesday's game...

1) Jordan Montgomery started as the Yankees' opener, and he pitched well. Over his two innings of work, the lefty allowed three hits, but he didn't give up any runs, while striking out three Rays. The way the Yankees deploy their pitching over their final handful of games will be very interesting to watch as the playoffs approach. On Wednesday, the Bombers had planned to use Chad Green as an opener before turning the ball over to J.A. Happ, but Green pitched out of the bullpen on Tuesday in extras. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Jordan Montgomery
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Yankees fell to the Rays, 2-1, in 12 innings on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Tuesday's game...

1) Jordan Montgomery started as the Yankees' opener, and he pitched well. Over his two innings of work, the lefty allowed three hits, but he didn't give up any runs, while striking out three Rays. The way the Yankees deploy their pitching over their final handful of games will be very interesting to watch as the playoffs approach. On Wednesday, the Bombers had planned to use Chad Green as an opener before turning the ball over to J.A. Happ, but Green pitched out of the bullpen on Tuesday in extras. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Jordan Montgomery
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Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Cameron Maybin (38) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Cameron Maybin (38) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

In the fourth inning of Tuesday's game against the Rays, Cameron Maybin launched a solo shot to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, setting another Major League record in the process.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit
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