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Yankees Notch MLB-Best 24th Comeback Win

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The existential downside to leading the league in come-from-behind wins is that, well, you’re behind a little too much for comfort. Thus is the case for the Yankees, who are on a four-game winning streak after sweeping the A’s on Wednesday. New York trailed 3-0 after the A’s finished batting in the top of the first, but almost immediately got back into it when Aaron Judge launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame. Giancarlo Stanton would later sock a three-run third-inning homer to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead which they would hold through to the end of the game.

The Yankees just make these comebacks look easy. But it’s a bit of fool’s gold. We’ve seen glimpses of what happens when the machine fails to operate at speed, notably with the Astros splitting a four-game road series last weekend. The Astros, we’ll note, would have won three out of the four games had it not been for a game-tying three-run homer by Aaron Hicks in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game. The Yankees have seemingly little to worry about for the rest of the regular season barring health and the usual ebbs and flows of a long, hard-fought campaign.

The A’s, as if it need be said, will not be on the menu for the Yankees come October.

Hitters with an EDGE

Bryan Reynolds – 3-for-5, 3 HR, 6 RBI

Reynolds opened up his huge show with a two-run homer in the third inning, then went from there, adding a solo homer in the sixth inning and a three-run homer in the seventh. Reynolds had a chance to tie the MLB record with four homers in a game, but struck out swinging to open the top of the ninth inning. He had gone five straight contests without a long ball before going ballistic on Wednesday.

Giancarlo Stanton (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) and Aaron Judge (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB) – Stanton and Judge provided the whole of the Yankees’ run-scoring attack on Wednesday. New York improved to 28-1 all-time when both stars homer.

Amed Rosario – 4-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB, SB

Rosario did a little bit of everything in Cleveland’s 7-6 win over the Twins. This was his second effort of three or more hits in his last two games.

Alex Verdugo – 2-for-5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI

Verdugo finished with two of the biggest hits in Wednesday’s 10-inning win over the Blue Jays, socking a two-run homer in the sixth inning and a two-run double in the 10th. That makes for five two-hit efforts from Verdugo in his last six games. He is now up to a 10-game hitting streak.

Pitchers with an EDGE

Sandy Alcantara – 9 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 K, 2 BB

No strikeout pyrotechnics for the Marlins ace on Wednesday, but this was his 10th straight start lasting seven innings or longer. He ended up a winner against the Cardinals thanks to Avisail Garcia, whose two-run homer off Ryan Helsley with two outs in the top of the ninth inning put the Marlins up 4-3.

Shohei Ohtani – 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 11 K, 1 BB

Ohtani has now racked up a silly 24/2 K/BB ratio over his last two starts covering 13 2/3 innings. For all of his offensive prowess, Ohtani’s development into a true ace might be the most impressive part of his entire game. He has started pitching at a different level this season.

Kyle Wright – 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 K, 3 BB

A little wobbly on the control for Wright, but a fine overall effort. This performance was no-doubt a welcome relief after he had been clobbered for nine runs on 21 hits over his last two starts (11 1/3 innings). Wright owns a 3.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 96/30 K/BB ratio in 99 innings this season.

Justin Verlander – 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB

Verlander has now gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts. A Brandon Nimmo double and an Ender Inciarte single were all that kept him from an afternoon of no-hit ball. Verlander owns a beautiful 2.03 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 90/17 K/BB ratio in 15 starts (97 1/3 innings) this season. If the campaign ended today, that 2.03 ERA would stand as the best of Verlander’s illustrious career. Simply remarkable coming off of reconstructive elbow surgery.

Taijuan Walker – 7 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 K, 2 BB

Walker was game for a pitcher’s duel with the above-noted Justin Verlander and essentially matched the veteran ace pitch for pitch. The game was not decided in Houston’s favor until Jason Castro hammered a two-run homer in the ninth inning to snap a scoreless tie. Walker has now allowed fewer than two runs in three of his last four starts.

Mike Clevinger – 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB

Clevinger has now yielded fewer than two runs in four of his last five outings and has yet to give up more than three runs in a start this season. Wednesday’s six innings turned in against the Diamondbacks were a season-best for Clevinger.

EDGE Priority Pickup

A.J. Minter, RP, Atlanta Braves – Available in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues

Minter remains available in over half of Yahoo leagues, but that number is going to dwindle fast following Kenley Jansen’s trip to the IL with an irregular heartbeat. This isn’t just a “cross your fingers for saves” add, either. Minter has been fantastic this season, pitching to a 1.6i4 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 44/5 K/BB ratio in 33 innings. The only real threat to Minter’s ninth-inning reign is Will Smith, who picked up the save on Wednesday. Smith is likewise readily available on many waiver wires, with just 47 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues. But Minter is the guy who deserves waiver priority.

Closing Time

Raisel Iglesias – SV (15), 1 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 1 BB

Iglesias wasn’t going to be needed in this game for a closing appearance until the White Sox scored a run in the top of the eighth to draw to within 4-1 on the scoreboard. Iglesias would go on to work around a walk in a scoreless ninth inning.

Ryan Helsley – BS (3), 1 IP, 2 H, HR, 2 ER, 3 K, 1 BB

Helsley came within one out of picking up his seventh save of the season, but he coughed up a two-run Avisail Garcia home run to blow the save and take the end loss. The flame-throwing reliever had not allowed a run in any of his last nine appearances before Garcia ended the good times on Wednesday.

Will Smith – SV (3), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

The Braves are still tinkering with their late-inning bullpen setup following Kenley Jansen’s trip to the IL with an irregular heartbeat. It was A.J. Minter who received the call – and earned the save – on Tuesday, but in Wednesday’s contest, Smith earned a shot of his own and did very, very well with it. Both Minter and Smith figure to continue to see save chances in the days ahead, but Minter is who we would target first for fantasy purposes.

Gregory Soto – SV (15), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Soto shut down the Giants to secure a 3-2 win for the Tigers sans issue on Wednesday. He looks to be back on track since surrendering three runs to the Rangers, having now recorded four consecutive scoreless appearances.

Scott Barlow – SV (10), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Barlow had been struggling to find himself a little bit over his last three appearances prior to putting in a perfect frame for the save on Wednesday. He improved to 10-of-12 in save chances this season as the Royals came away with a 2-1 win over the Rangers.

Nick Martinez – SV (2), 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB

Ah yes, the ol’ three out save. Martinez came in after Mike Clevinger gave the Padres six scoreless frames, then proceeded to finish out the remainder of the contest. While Martinez finished with the save by circumstance, here, Taylor Rogers remains San Diego’s primary relief option for the ninth inning.

Ryan Pressly – SV (16), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Pressly came on for the save after Jason Castro bopped a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Astros a late 2-0 lead. No muss, no fuss. Since allowing four runs to the Yankees back on June 23, Pressly has done well to put in two consecutive scoreless appearances.

Josh Hader – SV (24), IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB

Not exactly the cleanest of appearances for Hader, though he did scoop the save without allowing a run in Wednesday’s end 5-3 win over the Rays. Hader improved to 24-of-25 in save chances this season. He is about as automatic as they come, having now logged a save in six consecutive appearances.

Clay Holmes – SV (15), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB

An unflashy – but effective – performance for Holmes as he closed out New York’s 5-3 win over the A’s on Wednesday. The Yankee bullpen is about to get very, very crowded with Friday’s expected return of Aroldis Chapman from the injured list. Fantasy managers who currently roster Holmes should hold steady for the time being, as it would not be a major surprise if Chapman was worked relatively slowly back into high-leverage work. The Yankees have the luxury of a massive lead in the AL East and can afford to play things a little more cautiously with injuries if they so desire.

Yerry De Los Santos – SV (1), 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

De Los Santos polished off Pittsburgh’s 8-7 win over the Nationals with a scoreless ninth inning. While he did a nice job in this spot, David Bednar remains the Pirates reliever to own for fantasy purposes.

Thursday’s Matchup of the Day

Ian Anderson (ATL) at Aaron Nola (PHI)

Looking at a typically light Thursday schedule, we’ll be sitting back with the popcorn to watch Nola do his thing in this AL East tilt. Nola ranks fifth in the majors with his 109 strikeouts and is coming off a seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance on the road against the Padres. On the Braves side of the equation, Anderson will be trying to get his act together after yielding four or more runs in three of his last five starts.

AL Quick Hits: Nick Pivetta gave up two runs over six innings vs. Toronto. … Jose Abreu picked up four singles. … Chris Flexen posted a quality start for the Mariners. … Garrett Whitlock (hip) is expected to join the bullpen, rather than the rotation, when healthy. … David Fletcher (hip) took live batting practice. … Javier Baez tripled and scored two runs. … Jeremy Peńa is being evaluated for a concussion. … Yordan Álvarez is also being evaluated for a concussion. … Zack Greinke tossed six innings of one-run ball. … Dane Dunning held the Royals to two runs over six innings. … Kyle Isbel homered for a second consecutive game. … Cole Irvin was hit up for five runs over seven innings by the Yankees.

NL Quick Hits: Welcome to the bigs Mark Appel, who tossed a scoreless inning against the Braves after taking the long way around to the majors. … Will Smith cracked his 12th homer of the season. … Freddie Freeman whacked his ninth homer. … Kris Bryant scored two runs; he’s still looking for his first homer with the Rockies. … Willson Contreras went 3-for-4 with a homer and two doubles. … Germán Márquez was forced out against the Dodgers due to a cut on his thumb. … Joey Votto doubled twice as he tries to rev up a quiet season. … Avisail Garcia hit a go-ahead two-run homer against the Cardinals. … Tyler Stephenson (thumb) took live batting practice on Wednesday. … Max Scherzer (oblique) made a second minor league rehab start and is expected to rejoin the Mets on Sunday. … back discomfort forced a late scratch for Jorge Soler. … the Dodgers are hopeful that Mookie Betts (ribs) will be able to return before the All-Star Break. … Bryce Harper underwent successful surgery on his right thumb. … Frank Schwindel (back) is very slowly continuing his rehab. … Jurickson Profar walked three times. … Jazz Chisholm (back) is heading to the injured list.