The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Twins Monday night, with a 5–1 win in Minnesota to end their American League divisional series. These games were not close. The Yankees scored 23 runs in the series, to the Twins’ seven. Every other divisional series is still active, with both National League series going the distance. Truly we live in the hell dimension.
The Yankees got another dominant showing from their bullpen in the decisive game, after starter Luis Severino needed 83 pitches to get through four innings of scoreless baseball. That continued a trend in the series—no Yankees starter pitched more than five innings against the Twins, but they got 13.1 total innings of three-run baseball out of a whopping eight different relievers. While the Nationals are out here seeing how far they can stretch the only two pitchers they fully trust on the entire roster, the Yankees are eager to get to their bullpen against the most prolific slugging lineup of the 2019 regular season. The advantages of bullpen depth! You wonder when Mike Rizzo will get the memo.
The bullpen dominance was briefly threatened, when Zack Britton gave up an eighth-inning solo jack to Eddie Rosario, which closed the score to 3–1 and woke up a stunned and dejected Minnesota crowd. Britton was removed from the game after just one more pitch when he jammed his ankle covering first on a Mitch Garver groundout. Aaron Boone called on Aroldis Chapman to work a five-out save, and for as electric as Chapman’s stuff is, that’s not especially comfortable territory:
It didn’t much matter. Chapman threw just seven pitches to get two outs to end the eighth, and then saw his lead padded out in the top of the ninth by a Cameron Maybin solo shot and then an RBI single from Didi Gregorius. You want to see the dinger. Fine. Here’s your filthy dinger, you disgusting philistine:
The Twins put two men on against Chapman in the bottom of the inning, and the crowd dared to believe, but Gregorius made a diving stop on a 106-mph liner up the middle off the bat of Jorge Polanco, and then poor Nelson Cruz froze up and watched a 99-mph fastball scream in over the plate for the final out of the game. Here’s that diving catch, while we’re soaking up deadly poison:
The Yankees will now have some extra time to rest up while the series between the Rays and Astros wraps up over the next few days. May they all catch food poisoning and crap themselves inside out.