Category Archives: Awards

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

WS Game 4. SF evens it up.

Hunter Pence had 3 hits and 3 RBI, and the Giants’ bullpen tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief after starter Ryan Vogelsong was knocked out in the third. Down 4-1 after 2 1/2, San Francisco came back to win 11-4 and even the World Series at two games apiece with Game 5 Sunday night.

Pablo Sandoval, seeking to become only the fourth player to win two WS MVPs in his career (Koufax, Gibson, Reggie Jackson; Sandoval won it in 2012), chipped in with two hits and two rbi.

I find it funny that there was talk over the Internet yesterday about the Giants possibly watering down the basepaths in order to slow down Kansas City’s running game. Heck, they did it in 1962 to try to slow down Maury Wills. It isn’t new… especially in San Francisco.

WS Game 3: KC goes up 2 games to 1 with a 3-2 win.

Alcides Escobar had two hits and scored two runs, and KC’s bullpen tossed four innings of no-hit ball as the Royals beat the Giants in Game 3 of the WS Friday night 3-2 to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the World Series.

Game 4 Saturday night.

Surprising news today as Joe Maddon opted out of his contract as manager of the Rays. He won’t be out of work long.

Kevin Long signs on as hitting coach for the Mets, not too long after the Yanks let him go.

Jimmy Rollins and Paul Konerko share the Roberto Clemente Award for giving back to the community.

Baseball resumes/Yogi/The SS search

The ALCS gets started tonight with Game 1 between Baltimore & KC. The NLCS starts tomorrow between SF and StL.

Meanwhile, sad and disturbing news. Late Tues. night or early Wed. morning, professional thieves broke into Yogi Berra’s Museum. Items stolen include his WS rings and MVP trophies. I hope the scumbags are caught soon. Their punishment should be that every Yankees fan gets a bat and one good swing at these thieves, hitting their bodies wherever.

Yogi, of course, is devastated. The 89-year-old legend lost his wife earlier this year, and now this.

Cross J.J. Hardy off your wish list for Yankees’ SS. He won’t be going into free agency. Instead he signed a 3-yr. extension with the Orioles.

Game 162. Yanks win season/Jeter’s finale, 9-5.

The Yankees got off to a 9-0 lead and held on to win the season finale—also the last game of Derek Jeter’s career—9-5 on Sunday.

With the win, the Yankees ended the season at 84-78 and all alone in second place in the AL East (Toronto lost to Baltimore in their season finale and finished 83-79). The Yankees finished 12 back of Baltimore in the division, and 4 out of the final wild card spot.

In 2013, the Yanks finished tied for 3rd, but with 85 wins. So this year they finished better in the division, but with one less win. It was their worst record since 1992.

With the offseason moves (and lots of spending) on Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, Tanaka, as well as the returns of Jeter and Teixeira, it was a disappointing season after a hopeful offseason.

Derek Jeter got an RBI infield single on a Baltimore chop in his last at bat to retire with 3465 hits (sixth all-time) and a .310 lifetime batting average. It was his 50th RBI of the season. He had lined to SS in the first. He was pinch-run for after his hit and finished his final game 1 for 2. His final season: .256-4-50 with 10 SB in 12 attempts. OPS+ 75.

The Yanks got four in the third on a two-run triple by Ichiro, Jeter’s single, and a SF by Teixeira.

They got five in the seventh on a two-run double by Jose Pirela, single by John Ryan Murphy, double by Austin Romine and single by Chase Headley.

Meanwhile, Michael Pineda was cruising. After he was pulled, the bullpen made things a bit sloppy by giving up five to Boston in the bottom of the seventh.

Pineda had an ERA of 1.89 this year. Too bad he only started 13 games and the Yanks didn’t give him much run support.

Pineda (W, 5-5, 1.89) 6 1/3, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 10 K.

Rogers 1/3 IP, 4 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 1 K. Overall ERA 5.72.

Warren 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.97.

Phelps 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.38.

The postseason now begins for 10 teams. In the AL Oakland (who barely held on to make the postseason) will be at KC for the wild-card playoff game, winner gets the Angels. The other ALDS has Detroit vs. Baltimore.

In the NL, SF will be at Pittsburgh in the wild-card game with the winner getting Washington. The other NLDS will be the Cardinals vs. the Dodgers.

 

Game 155. Gardner gets 15000th team HR in 5-2 win.

Brett Gardner hit the 15,000th HR in Yankees history, Brian McCann added two more, and Masahiro Tanaka got a win in his return from the DL (Chaz Roe was DFA’d) as the Yanks beat Toronto 5-2 on Sunday.

Mickey Mantle got HR #5000, Claudell Washington #10000 and now Brett Gardner #15000 in Yankees history.

For the fourth straight game, Derek Jeter got two hits. He came into the home stand on a bad slump, but in the last home stand of his career, has put together some nice games. He had two hits today, including an RBI double, raised his average to .255, and now has 3459 hits for his career. It was his fourth straight two-hit game, all on his final home stand.

Tanaka, limited in his # of pitches due to just coming off the DL, went 5 1/3 and looked, well, like TANAKA. 1 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 4 K. He improved to 13-4, 2.47. If only for those 10 weeks he missed.

He gave up his only run in the top of the first,  but McCann’s first HR of the game tied it in the bottom half of the inning.

Gardner’s 17th HR of the season (and who thought he’d hit THAT many this year?) made it 2-1 in the fifth, and the HR was the 15,000th in Yankees history. They are the first team to hit 15,000 HR in their history.

The Yankees got 3 in the 7th on doubles by Gardner and Jeter and McCann’s 2nd HR of the game. McCann’s 22nd HR gave him the team lead. With Ellsbury out, McCann’s 3 RBI gave him 71 for the season, and the team lead there as well.

Dellin Betances gave up a run in the 8th.

After Tanaka left,

Warren 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 3.07

Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.42.

David Robertson picked up his 38th save. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 2.79.

The win put the Yanks 2 up on the Jays for 2nd place in the AL East at 80-75. Two more victories means a winning season. They haven’t had a non-winning season since 1992. They may still win less games than last year, when they won 85.

They are 4 1/2 out of the last wild card spot with just 7 games to go and must jump three teams. An almost impossible task to accomplish.

Game 154. Banged-up Bronx Bombers beaten, 6-3.

At this stage, you wonder who’ll be left for Game 162 besides Derek Jeter.

Mark Teixeira was removed in the middle of the game due to a sore wrist, Carlos Beltran wasn’t available due to his elbow issues (which will require surgery after the season) and Jacoby Ellsbury wasn’t available due to a strained hammy which may finish him for the season. Of course, Martin Prado is out for the year after his emergency appendectomy.

Chris Capuano pitched well for five innings on Saturday, but the wheels fell off in the sixth and the Yanks lost 6-3.

The loss dropped the Yanks to 79-75 with eight games to go. They have a one-game lead over Toronto for second place in the AL East. As for that last playoff spot, they are 4 1/2 out with 8 to go.

Toronto scored first on a first-inning double by Eduardo Encarnacion. The Yanks tied it in the third on a Jeter single (hit #3456), WP and RBI single by McCann.

The Yanks went up 2-1 an inning later on an RBI single by Cervelli.

Toronto, however, got three in the sixth, one in the seventh and another in the ninth.

A Derek Jeter RBI double in the ninth (hit #3457) made it 6-3. Jeter’s RBI put him #100 on the all-time list. The run scored by Jeter in the third put him temporarily into the top 10 all-time in runs scored (he passed A-Rod, who will most likely return the favor next year).

Today,  Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka returns and tests out that elbow. He has been out the last ten weeks.

Besides Jeter most likely playing his last home game on Thursday, two other players may be in their final week. The next start for Hiroki Kuroda could be his last. It could be Wednesday, or…. if the Yanks stay in rotation after Tanaka today, and go Pineda, McCarthy, Greene, Kuroda’s last game of his career could be Thursday—in Jeter’s final home game.

Not only that, Ichiro most likely won’t be back with the Yanks next year. It would remain to be seen who might pick up the soon-to-be 41-year-old.

The pitching line:
Capuano (L, 2-4, overall ERA 4.67) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 4 walks and 2 K.
Whitley 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 5.23
Rogers 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Overall ERA 5.11.
Huff 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. Overall ERA 3.47
Phelps 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 k. 4.39.