Joe Girardi had the core of his lineup playing yesterday, but it didn’t matter. The Yankees go into Game 1 of the ALDS Wednesday as the wild card against the Twins, thanks to their 8-4 season-ending loss to the Red Sox yesterday.
Robinson Cano, an MVP candidate, got his 200th hit of the year — and 109th RBI — with his single to right in the eighth.
The Yanks made it interesting with rallies in the eighth and ninth, but in the end there were bigger things to look forward to, such as CC Sabathia’s playoff start at Minnesota (94-68) on Wednesday night.
Girardi, the Yankees’ manager, was true to his word that the Yanks would play their final games with the division title in mind. But John Lackey (14-11) struck out 10 and walked two in 72⁄3 innings. He gave up three runs, but the Yankees were never in the lead.
They trailed 8-2 before Cano’s hit and Derek Jeter’s ninth-inning single produced the Yankees’ final two runs.
Now, the question is whether the pitching staff will hold up in a short postseason series.
The Yanks hope a healthy Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and his back problems and 18-game winner Phil Hughes are up to the task.