The New York Yankees in October – Part One – The Batters (2021)

Pretty much every baseball season ends in October – although there have been exceptions: one of which comes to mind all too easily and painfully. This year’s was scheduled to possibly run into November…

The Yankees’ season ended way too early in October. They had a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays to round out the regular schedule and that qualified them for the one game wildcard playoff where they would face the Boston Red Sox.

And that’s where it all came to a premature end. To be frank, whilst it would have been nice to beat a great rival, the Yankees didn’t deserve much more. They had a season where they bounced between simply horrible and very good. Were the best bad team? Or the worst good team? Either way they didn’t deserve to be taking home any pennants this year. We have two tables for you – the stats for the last regular games and then the stats for that one post-season game. Let’s take a look at who did what:

Beginning with a player-by-player summary of games 160, 161 and 162.

Aaron Judge rf311030001012.273.333.273.606
Gio Urshela if311030101001.273.273.455.728
Joey Gallo lf/rf310220001014.
Anthony Rizzo 1b310120011012.200.333.500.833
Brett Gardner cf311020001002.
Giancarlo Stanton dh/lf311121001005.
Gleyber Torres if311121000014.
Rougned Odor if27010000002.
Kyle Higashioka c13000000000.
Andrew Velazquez ss23000000002.
Tyler Wade if/of20100000000.
Gary Sanchez c37000000014.
The New York Yankees – Regular season statistics for October – in order of batting average.

Within these last three games, the Yankees lost a close one, lost a game by 10 runs and won the final game of the season by the only run of the game in a walk-off. Anthony Rizzo hit the only Yankee home run of the series and Gio Urshela hit a great triple. Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres added doubles into the mix but once again there were way too many players who didn’t make the grade. Kyle Higashioka and Gary Sanchez shared the catchers’ role once more but between them they didn’t manage a hit here and only Sanchez made it to base – by a walk.

DJ LeMahieu wasn’t available because of injury. Rougned Odor played 2 of the three games at third base but continued to struggle. This meant that Andrew Velazquez was brought into the mix but he too went hitless. Tyler Wade came in but only as a pinch runner. With the exception of Sanchez, the seven players who played in all three games got more than one hit but the squad lacks depth and it is clear why the Tampa outfit have had them over-matched all season. Rizzo was the pick of the sluggers and Aaron Judge was the leader amongst those who were getting on base by singles with Gio Urshela key at showing power, speed and the ability to get on base.

Here’s the record of the players who played in the Wildcard game against Boston:

Giancarlo Stanton dh14130011001.750.7501.5002.250
Gio Urshela 3b, ss13010000001.333.333.333.667
Aaron Judge rf14110000000.
Anthony Rizzo 1b14110011002.250.2501.0001.250
Joey Gallo lf14000000001.
Brett Gardner cf13000000003.
Kyle Higashioka c12000000002.
Rougned Odor 3b12000000001.
Gary Sanchez c11000000000.
Gleyber Torres 2b14000000000.
Andrew Velazquez ss11000000000.
The New York Yankees – Statistics for the Wildcard game – in order of batting average.

After the failure of the catchers in the last series, the Yankees sought to widen out their options by adding Rob Brantly who they promoted from Scranton. From the same source, they added Greg Allen who proved such a livespark during his time in the Majors earlier in the season, when the Yankees were coping with Covid issues.

Ironically, having given themselves these options neither of them were used. Higashioka and Sanchez split the time at catcher with Higashioka opening the game in that role – which is what would be expected given that Gerrit Cole was starting with Sanchez taking over behind the plate when the bullpen took over from Cole.

Rizzo once again added the power and Stanton who had struggled in the Tampa Bay series was the best source of the combination of singles and power. Urshela started at third base and moved to shortstop when Velazquez was lifted to make room for Odor. Odor and Velazquez came up hitless as did most of the line-up. The Yankees went behind in the first inning and were 4-1 down by the 6th and were never really in the game. The team combined for 11 strikeouts and no-one made it base through a walk. This was not a good day.

New York Yankees – Best batters in October – 1 to 5 (L to R): Gio Urshela, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Gallo, Joey Rizzo

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