NEW YORK – In the midst of Tuesday night’s Electric Subway series finale, Yankees quarterback Aaron Judge said he can’t help but imagine the October rematch with the Mets.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone let the idea briefly come to his mind as well.
“For a regular-season game, it just felt a bit more lively and a little bigger,” Boone said of the sparkling atmosphere at Yankee Stadium, where Yankee won 4-2.
Clark Schmidt admitted that he almost immersed himself in the sights and sounds of it all.
He thanked right-hander Wandy Peralta, who came with loaded bases and ‘save (my ass)’, by retiring Francisco Lindor on a volley to finish it off.
“This is as close as possible to the atmosphere of a supplement,” Judge said after the Yanks’ first win in a series since late July.
If the first-place teams are to meet again in 2022, in the final Subway series, well, the Yankees should arrange a few things to offer the Bronx side.
Be healthy, part 1
Late on Tuesday night, quarterback Estefan Floreal returned to Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
That opens a place on the list for Giancarlo Stanton, who is likely to be revitalized on Thursday in Auckland after spending a month on the list of sufferers of left Achilles tendinitis.
Even if Stanton doesn’t come out shooting in the first half, All-Star form, his presence lengthens a lineup that has recently been struggling so hard for a run, while providing some extra protection for the judge.
However, the Yankees can only hope to bring Matt Carpenter (his broken left foot) back into the squad before the regular season ends.
Boone admitted Tuesday that there are no assurances about Carpenter’s return in 2022, or whether missing eight weeks could cost him in the rhythm and feel department.
Arriving in mid-May, the veteran hitter Carpenter made Yank’s lineup even more dangerous, hitting 0.305 with 15 players, 37 RBI and 1.139 OPS in just 47 games.
Get healthy, part 2
Starter Luis Severino (London Strain) is scheduled to return in mid-September and sooner Clay Holmes (Low Back Strain) is eligible to return from IL on August 29.
Scott Evros (shoulder strain), Miguel Castro (shoulder strain) and Zach Britton (surgical rehab for Tommy John’s surgery) may also return in September.
Also in September, fleet center player Harrison Bader (plantar fasciitis) is set to make his Yankee debut, with the expectation that he will impact the post-season roster.
Sort the bulls
General Manager Brian Cashman recently admitted Holmes is the “new closer,” but Boone noted that he might still be a bit closer to a committee position than before.
This is to facilitate Holmes’ return from IL and see if he relives the signature sinking that made him the first All-Star, with a large globe and walking stroke ratios.
Holmes struggled with his driving for over a month, and Aroldis Chapman remains highly inconsistent.
Chapman was overlooked in savings opportunities, which recently went to Wandy Peralta and Jonathan Loaisiga, who the Yanks really need to get back to the top level.
“On a certain night, we’ll have to” use Chapman, which isn’t exactly a sonorous endorsement of Boone, who can’t stand a lot of high-impact experiences here.
Not with better choices like Schmidt (taking the role of the injured Michael King) and Ron Marinaccio, whose change could be devastating.
“When everyone is healthy (it comes down to) who gets on the track and when?” said Cashman, who brought Evros and veteran Lou Trevino into the trade deadline. “This is something the staff, and for the sake of the players themselves, should be aware of.”
Who is No. 2 in October?
Who will ride the gun in a playoff series with Gerrit Cole as the No. 1 and 2 starter?
Unable to land Luis Castillo, Cashman acquired Frankie Montas on the MLB trade deadline to be a key part of the post-season rotation—while letting go of Jordan Montgomery.
With a 7.32 ERA in four Yankees games, Montas is still trying to find his leadership after an early July bout with a sore shoulder.
Tuesday’s start against the Mets (5.2 IP, 2 ER) was a step in the right direction, especially after a long first half (27 throws).
Severino can fill this role, but he will have limited time to reach the top level (3-5 times) after two months in IL.
All that said, Nestor Cortes has done nothing to disprove the idea that he can handle this task, or that he is not best suited to it.