Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 13. Yanks edge Boston 3-2, but are banged up.

Ivan Nova is either very good or very bad. A lot like A.J. Burnett was. Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde and you don’t know which one will show up.

Tonight was the good Nova. 7 1/3, 2 R, 8 H, 0 walks and 4 K. He goes to 2-1, 5.94. Matt Thornton got one out, David Phelps one, and Shawn Kelley got the last three outs for the save, his third.

The Yanks blew a chance in the first. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out, Sori hit what appeared to be a SF. But Ellsbury took off for 3rd & was gunned down before Beltran could cross the plate. Timing play. Out. No runs.

Nova then gave up a run in the 2nd, and would have given up another if Gardner didn’t gun out the runner at the plate. Gardner should have two Gold Gloves already. It’s a shame he doesn’t have one yet.

Beltran hit a 2-run HR in the third to give the Yanks the lead. #361 of Beltran’s career (#3 for the year) tied him with Joe D. on the all-time list. Beltran is 5th on the all-time list for switch-hitters. I knew 3 above him—-Mantle, Murray and Chipper Jones. I could not remember #4. Thanks to my friend Josh “The Yankee Truth” Imboden for letting me know Lance Berkman retired with 361 HR.

The Yanks got a break in the fourth, and it helped them win the game.  McCann and Solarte walked, then a force out. 1st & 3rd, one out. Cervelli hit into what was originally called a DP. Girardi challenged, and the call was overturned. Cervelli was safe. 3-1. Farrell (Boston mgr.) ejected. But in straining to touch the bag, Cervelli was hurt. Romine or Murphy up soon?

Later, Solarte got hurt doing the same thing—straining for the bag, but he stayed in the game. Good thing. Roberts has back issues. Jeter didn’t play because of a strained quad. The team is fragile. There could be a couple of call ups soon, and I really don’t like the minor league situation. The best call up if they need an infielder would be Scott Sizemore for 3b. After that, …. it depends on who all is hurt.

Meanwhile Carlos Beltran had to go to 1B tonight. Ichiro to RF. This would actually prove to be a lucky break later when Ortiz hit one that Ichiro caught. Should have been a double. Beltran would not have got it. Ichiro did. Later in the same inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases but Phelps got a K to get out of it. Without Ichiro’s catch, no zero on the scoreboard.

Now to check on the injuries.

At 7-6, the Yanks are tied for first w/Toronto and Tampa in what looks to be a very tight division. Long way to go.

Yanks off Monday. Cubs in Tuesday.

 

Game 9. Yanks lose 5-4. When the hell will Girardi call for a squeeze?

I like Girardi as a manager. There is one fault he has. Torre had the same fault.

When the hell will he ever call for a squeeze play? I am livid with Girardi about this.

Bottom of the 8th. Tie game. One of the fastest runners in the game on third with one out in Gardner. One of the fastest runners in the game at the plate in Ellsbury. Hell, not only can Ellsbury get the go-ahead run in with a well-executed squeeze bunt, he may even beat it out. 

I can’t remember the last time the Yankees squeezed a run home. 15 years ago? 20? The point is, you have to get the run in any way you can. Bottom of 8th. Tie game. Fast guy on base, fast guy at the plate. No attempt at a squeeze play. No small ball. Ellsbury pops up. Beltran is intentionally walked, and McCann, who has done nothing so far this year, flies out.

You can’t sit and wait for 3-run home runs all the time. You have to make things happen. Billy Martin would call for a squeeze. He must be spinning in his grave right now. No one plays BillyBall anymore.

Masahiro Tanaka had a strong outing. He did give up a 3-run Hr in the second to put the Yanks down 3-0. But he went 7, 3 R,  7 H, 1 walk and 10 K. He set a Yankees record for most K in his first two starts (18), beating out El Duque (16) and Al Leiter (15).

The Yanks got HR from Beltran (1) and Kelly Johnson (2) in the second to cut it to 3-2. A double by Beltran (3 hits tonight) and a couple of get him over and get him in outs tied the game in the fourth.

Matt Thornton got an out in the eighth, and Adam Warren two outs. Shawn Kelley gave up the two in the ninth to lose the game.

Maybe Kelley would have spit the bit anyway. But wouldn’t it have been better to give him a little bit of a cushion? And to do that, use ALL your weapons, which sometimes may be the squeeze play.

Game 3. Scrubs lead Yanks to 4-2 win. Torch passed.

Joe Girardi put out a different lineup vs. a lefty pitcher tonight. He sat Ellsbury, McCann and Kelly Johnson. He played Soriano in LF (didn’t help. Sori is now 0 for 11). He DH’d Beltran and put Ichiro in RF, Cervelli C and Solarte at 3B.

Ichiro and Solarte helped the Yanks to a 4-2 win tonight over Houston.

Ivan Nova struggled but got the win. He gave up a run in the first, but it easily could have been more. He went 5 2/3, 2 R, 6 H, 5 walks and 1 K. Not pretty, but a win.

Adam Warren was an unsung hero tonight. Great job. Four batters, four outs. 1 1/3, 2 K.

Shawn Kelley a scoreless 8th. 2 K.

Then…. the torch officially got passed. No more Mo for the 9th. Robertson pitched a scoreless 9th & got the save.

The Yanks are still looking for their first HR of the season.

Derek Jeter got hit #3318 tonight. He is now one behind Paul Molitor on the all-time list.

Five of the Yanks’ seven hits tonight came from bench players. The 40-year-old Ichiro got two hits and scored three runs.

Yangervis Solarte, who stole Nunez’ job away from him, got his first three MLB hits in his second MLB game.

It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Nunez, who was DFA’d by the Yanks when they decided to keep Solarte over Nunez.

Meanwhile, Opening Day at the Stadium on Monday will see a tribute to the “core four.” Pettitte and Rivera will be throwing out the first pitch(es) to Posada & Jeter.

Game 2. Where’s the beef? Yanks lose 3-1.

Two games against the Astros, who have been the worst team in baseball the last few years. Two games and the Yanks have scored three runs. Not only that, the offense wasn’t that good in spring training.

Last year’s offense stunk. That is why the Yanks went out and got Beltran, Ellsbury and McCann and were hoping for the return of Jeter and Teixeira to close to their former status. It’s early, just two games into the regular season, but results so far, and with spring training, have been disappointing.

Frankly, if this continues, I want hitting coach Kevin Long fired. Not just for this year, but for previous years. For this team hasn’t done well situational hitting for a long time. It’s one thing to hit HR. It’s another to consistently drive in guys from third with less than two out, and the Yanks haven’t been good at that the last few years.

When a guy is on third with less than two out, how about not swinging for the goddamn fence and instead, choke up on the bat two inches and make sure you make contact to drive the run in instead of striking out? Give me a sac fly or an RBI groundout. Pennants are won by getting in runs when you have a guy on third with less than two out. Screw going for the fences. Give me contact and get that run in. Situational hitting. Let me say this—the best team I ever saw was the 1998 114-48 Yankees. Who led the team in HR that year? Tino with 28. 28. Not 38. Not 48. 28. Situational hitting. I am tired of seeing players swing for the fences with a guy on third and less than two out. Concentrate on getting the run in.

In another game I watched tonight, one batter came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. Tie game. Walk wins the game. The previous batter walked on four pitches. So what does dummy do? He swings at the first pitch instead of taking a strike. Really? Excuse me, can we get some BRAINS back into baseball?

Kuroda started for the Yankees tonight and gave up a meatball to the first batter. HR. Down 1-0 already.

Kuroda didn’t do badly. 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 5 K. One was a HR and another a triple. Two runs, but enough given up for a lineup doing nothing. That should have been good enough to beat Houston.

Phelps went 1 1/3 and gave up a HR himself.  Thornton and Kelley each gave up an out.

McCann was 2 for 4, Roberts 3 for 4. Other than that, nothing.

Teix was 0 for 4 with 3 K. Soriano 0 for 4 with 2 K. Sori has been awful so far in the first two games.

Yangervis Solarte made his MLB debut tonight.

The Yanks were 0 for 10 with RISP tonight.

 

 

Game #1. Opening day and CC don’t agree…again…. Yanks lose 6-2.

For as often as Joe Girardi trusts his binder, you think he would trust certain numbers and NOT start CC Sabathia on Opening Day. For if Joe looked at the numbers, and forgot this “ace” b.s., or loyalty or whatever, he would see this…

that CC stinks on Opening Day.

CC lost to Houston today, 6-2. He has started 11 Openers in his career, has just one win and a 6.12 ERA. If that isn’t a pattern (which Girardi loves to follow), what is? CC gave up 4 runs in the first inning and two in the second to doom the Yanks. Down 6-0 after 2.

CC went 6, settled down after the first two, but the damage was done. 6 IP, 6 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 6 K. Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless 7th, 2 K, and Vidal Nuno pitched a scoreless 8th, striking out the side.

The Yanks offense did little tonight as well, scoring both their runs in the 8th. Derek Jeter got hit #3317, putting him two behind Paul Molitor on the all-time hits list.

S.T. Game 30. CC’s last tuneup a good one. Yanks win 4-2.

CC Sabathia threw four shutout innings in his final tuneup before he starts Tuesday on Opening Day vs. Houston. The Yanks beat the Pirates, 4-2.

As I predicted yesterday, Preston Claiborne did not make the team. He’s being sent down to AAA.

After CC’s four innings, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno each pitched a scoreless inning. David Phelps gave up 2 R in 2/3 of an inning, and Cesar Cabral pitched 1 1/3 scoreless. It looks as if Nuno and Cabral are the two left for a “second lefty out of the bullpen” job.

Ichiro, who one scout yesterday described as awful this spring training, woke up with 3 hits, scored two runs and drove in another. Eduardo Nunez had three hits and an RBI. Zoilo Almonte was 3 for 3 with an RBI.

Nunez, Anna, and Solarte all started. Two of the three will make the team, what with Brendan Ryan being put on the DL. Manager Girardi wanted to get a good look at all three today. While Nunez got three hits, both Anna and Solarte went 0 for 4.

Mark Teixeira is down to .091 this spring.

 

 

 

S.T. game 29. Yanks lose to Toronto, 10-6.

 

For most of 2013, Preston Claiborne was a revelation. From his MLB debut on May 5th, right through Sept. 3, his ERA was 2.74. 38 games, 0-1, 2.74. Solid.

But in his last six appearances, from Sept. 3rd on, he was 0-1, 18.69. That is as ugly as ugly can be.

Today he got no one out and gave up six runs as the Yanks lost to Toronto 10-6. His S.T. ERA is 14.29. It’s safe to say he won’t be making the team.

You wonder if he is healthy. What a dropoff.

For the second day in a row, Joe Girardi pitched a bunch of scrubs as he lines up his rotation to start the season. Scott LeRoux started and gave up 2 R in 3 IP.

Matt Daley got an out, and Fred Lewis, who had an outside shot at the 2nd lefty in the bullpen role, probably blew it by giving up 2 in 2/3 of an inning.

Then Claiborne could not get any one out and gave up six runs.

Jim Miller, Dellin Betances,  Danny Burawa and Yoshinori Tateyama each pitched a scoreless inning. It would be shocking if Betances, who has had a great spring, does not make it.

Carlos Beltran had two hits and 2 rbi.  Kelly Johnson drove in 2 runs.

With Brendan Ryan hurt, Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte each have a shot at making the team. Solarte was 1 for 1 today, raising his spring average to .459— but he is NOT on the 40 man roster. Anna was 1 for 2 with an RBI and has hit .297 this spring. He IS on the 40-man. Zelous Wheeler doesn’t play SS like the other two can. He has hit .324 this spring.

One scout states that the 40-year-old Ichiro has looked terrible this spring. The Yanks would like to dump him and would pick up part of his salary. If they do dump Ichiro,  Adonis Garcia has hit .419 this spring, and Zoilo Almonte .361.

 

Yanks rotation set, and the value of patience

Although the #5 starter hasn’t been officially named yet (it appears to be Pineda), Joe Girardi announced his rotation for the first four games. It’ll be CC, Kuroda and Nova to begin the season in Houston. Tanaka goes in game 4 at Toronto in his first MLB start.

From Jack Curry of YES:

As noted, w/ Tanaka starting April 4, he’s in line to go April 9, 15, 20, 26, May 2, meaning extra rest 3 times in 1st month.

Meanwhile, I got into a discussion with someone on another blog. I can’t believe someone has this little patience. The person called J.R. (John Ryan) Murphy a third-string catcher who can’t hit. I reminded the person that Murphy has a total of 26 MLB at bats and hasn’t turned 23 yet. Their response was that Trout is a superstar.

Really?

I reminded this person that by their criteria, that

1) they would have given up on Mickey Mantle. After all, the 19 year old Mantle was sent down in the summer of 1951.

2) they would have given up on Sandy Koufax. After all, in spring training of 1961, Sandy was a 25 year old lefty who (1955-1960) had a career record of 36-40.

3) they would have traded Mariano Rivera. For on 11/29/1995, Mo’s 26th b/day, Rivera had an MLB line of 10 starts, 9 relief appearances. 5-3, 5.51.

4) I did not mention this one.  In spring training of 1977, a 26 1/2 year old Ron Guidry had this MLB line:   1 start, 16 relief appearances. 0-1, 4.55.   ‘

I don’t know if J.R. Murphy WILL amount to anything. But this person wants to give up on him after 26 at bats in the majors and before he turns 23?

Really?

Thank God this person isn’t Brian Cashman.

 

Sojo on AAA coaching staff.

No surprise, A-Rod is going to federal court with his appeal of the suspension ruling. One, I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Two, even if he pulls off a miracle and wins, when will that be? August?

I have a friend who during spring training is a security guard outside the Yankees clubhouse. So if MLB and/or the Yanks bar A-Rod from spring training, and A-Rod wants to enter the clubhouse, does this mean my friend has to tell him to buzz off?

Luis Sojo is now a coach with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, about an hour’s drive from me.

Another minor league deal. Switch-hitter Yangervis Solarte, who in AAA for Texas hit .276-12-75 in 2013 and .288-11-54 in 2012. Solarte, 27 next July, hasn’t played in the majors yet. Mostly 2b/3b and some SS/LF/RF.

Youkilis to Japan

Kevin Youkilis didn’t help the Yanks much last year, playing in only 28 games. Maybe he can help them more as a foreign diplomat.

Youkilis signed a one-year deal with Rakuten, to play in Japan. That is the same team that ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka plays on.

If Tanaka isn’t posted, maybe Youkilis can talk up the Yankees to Tanaka….

then again, there isn’t that much (just 28 games) to talk about.

The Yanks did announce some non-player moves, the most notable being Gary Tuck as bullpen coach, replacing Mike Harkey who left to become the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach, and that Trey Hillman returns to the Yanks organization. Hillman left when he became KC’s manager.