CC Sabathia let up just three hits through eight innings for the New York Yankees to claim their 15th post-season berth in 16 years, outplaying the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 last night at Rogers Centre. Sabathia’s 21 wins ranks him among the elite pitchers in franchise history, tying Andy Pettitte’s 1996 and 2003 campaigns for the most by a Yankee since Ron Guidry went 22-6 in 1985. Derek Jeter has come alive these past few weeks, producing multiple hits in six of their last 14 contests.
Yankees managers Joe Girardi was proud of the organization after a hard fought regular season, but emphasized for the club to remain focused on the ultimate goal ahead. “I congratulated them and just told them this is the first step,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. If the guys want to celebrate I’m all for it…We’ve been going at it since February 15, grinding and grinding and guys have been playing hard, a tough schedule in a tough division. Let them let loose a little bit. It’s nice.”
The Tampa Bay Rays clinched their playoff spot after a 5-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. David Price collected his 19th win of the year, posting a 9-2 record at home this regular season. Rays manager Joe Maddon shared a similar outlook in regards to their upcoming post-season run. “I never had any doubt that this was a playoff team,” he stated at the on-field celebration. “I want it to be a World Series champ.” The Rays are currently a half game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East standings with five games remaining on the regular season schedule.