Aaron Boone, with a wry smile on his face, took another view of his fifth ejection of the season.
“It’s 150 times that I haven’t been [ejected],” Boone said Saturday after the Yankees' 7-2 victory over the Blue Jays.
Boone wasn’t around to see most of it, having been thrown out of the game between the first and second innings by third base umpire Joe West.
Boone, along with much of his dugout, took umbrage with two strike calls by plate umpire Jeremie Rehak on Giancarlo Stanton that ended the bottom of the first. Boone jogged out to third to further his discussion with West, who riled the Yankees the night before when he called a 3-and-1 pitch a strike on Brett Gardner, but he was far less animated than he had been in some of his previous ejections that became internet events.
“I’d like to think I’m always in control of my emotions,” said Boone, who added that he didn’t think his ejection involved any carryover from Friday night. “There’s times that I’m going to fight and I think it’s necessary. As hard we are on our guys about controlling the strike zone and how much we demand of them in that regard, it’s something that I’m passionate about and I’m going to fight. I don’t want our guys leaving the strike zone. There’s pitches that go by all the time that you might disagree with. That’s part of the game and that happens. But there are times I feel it necessary to stand up.”
Sanchez, Encarnacion latest
Boone reiterated Saturday what he’s said a couple of times this week — that he anticipates Edwin Encarnacion (left oblique) returning to the Yankees’ lineup at some point this week during the five-game, two-city trip that ends the regular season.
The Yankees will face the Rays on Tuesday and Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Florida, and finish the season next weekend in Arlington, Texas.
“I feel pretty good that it will certainly be the games in Arlington. It could even be Tampa,” Boone said. “We’ll see how these next few days go. He’s doing pretty well so we’ll see whether it’s mid-week or the weekend, [but] feel like he’s on track for that.”
Gary Sanchez (left groin strain) hit indoors in the cage Saturday morning and also did some agility work on the field. He is less likely to be ready this week, but the expectation remains that he will be set to go for the ALDS, which starts Oct. 4.
“I don’t think he’s on as fast a track as Edwin,'' Boone said, "but I’m feeling more confident certainly by the playoffs and hopefully at some point maybe in that final series he could get in.”
Tyler Wade, among the fastest players in the organization, is in line to make the postseason roster, and his legs are a big reason why.
He made it to second with a double when Teoscar Hernandez lost his fly ball in the sun in the fifth, then got to third on a delayed steal when catcher Luke Maile lobbed a floater back to the mound after a pitch. Wade also scored from second in the sixth on Kyle Higashioka’s two-run single to right, touching the plate with his hand to beat the tag. Few Yankees would have been able to score on the hit.
Wade has 10 hits in his last 25 at-bats.
Jonathan Loaisiga, making a strong push for a playoff spot in the bullpen, flashed what one opposing scout characterized as “absolute filth” over two innings. He allowed a run but struck out five, mixing an effective changeup and curveball with a fastball that peaked at 100 mph.
“You see him throw the ball like today and you know he’s capable of that,” Boone said. “It’s a special arm.”
CC set for bullpen
As of now, CC Sabathia isn’t expected to get a postseason start, but he could have a postseason role out of the bullpen. The Yankees plan to have him pitch in that role at least twice this week, with the first coming Tuesday against the Rays.