Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 125. Yanks blank Houston, 3-0.

Brandon McCarthy pitched a CG shutout at the Astros Thursday afternoon and the Yanks beat Houston 3-0.

McCarthy upped his record to 8-12, 4.01. He is 5-2, 1.90 as a Yankee.

9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 8 K.

The Yanks are in a virtual tie for 2nd in the AL East, 9 back of Baltimore. They are 4 out of the last wild card spot.

The Yanks got all their runs in the second. Teixeira singled, Prado doubled, and Headley doubled in two. After a groundout advanced Headley to third, Headley scored on a SF by Ichiro.

Derek Jeter upped his career hit total to 3438.

I’ll be heading away for the weekend and will have to briefly recap Friday-Sat-Sun games together on Monday.

Just a reminder that Joe Torre’s #6 gets retired on Saturday.

Game 123. Houston beats Yanks, 7-4.

At this stage of the season, and given their situation, the Yanks can’t afford to give games away.

Unfortunately, I feel that is exactly what they did last night in losing to Houston, 7-4. I really have to question some plays and decisions made in this game.

Brian McCann gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with his 14th HR of the season in the fourth inning.

Chris Capuano pitched well for four innings, but gave up a run in the fifth. It was apparent to me that he was losing it. But with the Yanks up 2-1, Capuano started the sixth. He didn’t finish it, giving up three runs. I don’t feel he should have started the inning at all.

Secondly, Girardi brought in Adam Warren to relieve Capuano. Warren hadn’t pitched in a while and in his last nine outings, Warren had a 9.82 ERA. He gave up a huge hit which let a run score (and a second run scored when Ichiro made an error on the play). I wouldn’t have used the slumping Warren in such a spot.

Capuano 5 1/3, 4 R, 8 H, 2 walks and 8 K. Overall ERA 4.35.
Warren 2/3 IP, 0 r, 1 h, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.49.

Martin Prado tied the game at 4 with a 2-run double in the bottom of the sixth.

And as far as decision-making, here is where I really was shaking my head. I hate roles. If a pitcher is doing fine, and his pitch count is OK, leave him the hell in. Ride the hot hand.

Shawn Kelley pitched the 7th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.46.

So instead of him going an extra inning (stretch out your relievers?) Girardi brought in Betances for the 8th.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.46.

So does Girardi leave Betances in for a second inning? No. He brings Robertson into a tie game to start the ninth.

I don’t like bringing in closers into tie games. I also don’t like burning Kelley and Betances for only one inning each when each did well.

Mixing and matching and using too many pitchers means that sooner or later, you will find the pitcher who doesn’t have it that night. Too many cooks ruin the broth. Too many pitchers blows you a ball game.

Which is what Robertson did, giving up a 3-run HR in the top of the ninth to blow the game, 7-4. Not only that, he grooved a 3-0 pitch. Chris Carter got the green light and launched it. Just b/c you want the strike on 3-0, you still can’t groove the pitch.

Robertson (L, 1-4, 3.06) 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 walks, 0 K.

Rich Hill finished up. 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 4.50.

In the eighth, Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole second on a Teix strikeout and went to third on an error. Houston brought the infield in. Carlos Beltran couldn’t hit a fly ball for a go-ahead SF. He grounded it to short. Ellsbury should have held, but ran on contact. He was thrown out at the plate easily.

To me, some bad decisions were made in this game, and it cost the Yanks.

Earlier in the day, a hit given to Jeter was changed (correctly) to an error. It knocks Derek down to 3435 hits for his career.

Forget the division, even though they are in second place, the Yanks are 8 behind the Orioles. At 63-60, they are four back of Seattle and Detroit for the final wild card spot. That is the concern.

Four out of a playoff spot with 39 games left. You can’t afford to give any games away. You have to play, and manage, smart.

Like I wrote, too many pitchers, too many mix and matches, is like too many cooks. It spoils the broth.

Game 114. It’s easy being “Greene”. Yanks win squeaker, 1-0.

To Kermit the Frog: It IS easy being green(e).

Shane Greene, that is, who outpitched Rick Porcello Thursday afternoon, 1-0.

Greene went 8+, 0 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 5 K in improving to 3-1, 2.89.

The only run of the game came in the fourth. With two out, Beltran and Headley singled and Stephen Drew blooped an opposite-field ground-rule double down the LF line.

Things got a bit hairy in the ninth. Surprisingly, Girardi let Greene start the inning instead of going right to Betances or Robertson. Greene gave up a leadoff hit to Ian Kinsler, then exited in favor of Robertson, who walked the first batter he faced, Victor Martinez.

That brought up PH Miguel Cabrera, the defending 2-time AL MVP. Robertson got Cabrera to bounce into a DP, Kinsler taking third.

Robertson then picked up his 31st save (ERA 2.62) by getting Don Kelly on a weak pop-up to short.

Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K.

We’ll see what happens later today. The win puts the Yanks at 60-54.

Derek Jeter had the day off. He remains at 3429 hits, one behind Honus Wagner for 6th all-time.

Game 110. Drew, Gardner lead Yanks past Boston, 8-7.

Brett Gardner’s HR broke a 7-7 tie, and Stephen Drew drove in four runs as the Yanks bounced back from 3-0 and 7-4 deficits to beat Boston 8-7 on Sunday night.

Gardner had 3 hits and 3 RBI in the game.

The Yanks improve to 57-53 with the win, and are in third place in the AL East, five behind Baltimore. They are 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the final wild card spot.

David Phelps started and struggled badly. He lasted just two innings, giving up 5 R, 6 H, 2 walks and 0 K. His ERA went to 4.24.

After the game, manager Joe Girardi stated that Phelps has been dealing with elbow inflammation for 3-4 weeks, had an MRI a few weeks ago. May miss his next turn in rotation. He’ll be reevaluated this week in NY.

The Yanks, down 3-0, tied the game in the top of the second. Stephen Drew had an RBI forceout, and Brett Gardner doubled in two runs.

Boston got two in the bottom of the second on a Pedroia HR to go up 5-3. The Yanks bounced back with a run in the fourth on a double by Drew. Ortiz’ 2-run HR in the bottom of the fourth put Boston up 7-4, but then the Yanks’ bullpen shut the door.

The Yanks tied the game in the fifth on an RBI double by Headley and a 2-run single by Drew.

Gardner’s HR (15) in the sixth broke the tie and was the final run of the ballgame.

Derek Jeter got one hit, #3426, to creep within four hits of tying Honus Wagner for sixth on the all-time hits list. Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury is in a tough slump, while a hot Carlos Beltran has raised his average to .250.

After Phelps was pulled,

Whitley 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K. ERA to 5.06.

Newcomer Esmil Rogers got the win and was a star of the game. (1-0, 6.08). 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 3 K.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.49.

Robertson picked up his 29th save. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 H, 2.74.

The Minors, 7-4-14.

AAA: Rob Refsnyder hit a 3-run walkoff HR with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th to give SWB a 7-6 win. Refsnyder had two hits in the game and is now hitting .333 for SWB in 25 games after hitting .342 in 60 games at AA (Overall, .340-10-42 in 85 games AA/AAA). Pat Venditte threw two scoreless innings of relief, as did Danny Burawa. All of Burawa’s six outs came via the K. DH Kyle Roller had two doubles and an RBI, and 3B Scott Sizemore had three hits, two doubles and 2 rbi.

AA: Trenton’s game was ppd.

High A: DH Greg Bird hit a solo HR in the top of the 12th to give Tampa a 1-0 win. Miguel Sulbaran 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K. Hitting coach Kevin Long’s son, Jaron, pitched two scoreless innings.

Low A: Charleston lost 6-1.

Game 82. Yanks offensive woes continue in 2-1 loss.

Derek Jeter got 2 hits tonight to go to 3396 for his career. One hit, a double, tied Lou Gehrig for first place on the Yankees’ all-time doubles list at 534.

Unfortunately, the rest of the team got two hits combined and Hiroki Kuroda lost a heartbreaker, 2-1. The Yanks were 1 for 9 with RISP, and struck out 11x.

You hate to keep writing about this and reading about this. It’s the same thing every night. These Yanks don’t hit. You wonder how long hitting coach Kevin Long will keep his job. Let’s face it. The Boss would have fired Long by now. Some reporters hate hearing “if the Boss was alive, etc.,” but it’s true. Unfortunately, I don’t make the ballgame or the reports. The players do. I only report on what they are doing. How I wish the reports were better.

The loss drops the Yanks to 41-41, .500. Worse yet, Toronto and Baltimore both won. The Yanks are now 3 1/2 out.

Let’s face it. I think we all would rather see a .500 team with kids on it with potential to develop rather than a .500 team with a lot of players 35+ who are doing nothing but aging. Something needs to be done, and soon.

The 4th of July is coming soon. Let’s hope the Yanks have some offensive fireworks in them.

Kuroda, (L, 5-6, 4.08) gave up a run in the fourth and a HR to Loney in the sixth that proved decisive. 8 IP, 2 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 7 K.

It’s difficult for pitchers to pitch thinking they have to be perfect because they are getting no support. This is the second time in less than a week that a Yankees’ pitcher pitched great (Tanaka) only to lose 2-1.

The Yanks only run came when Jeter doubled, Ellsbury singled and Jeter scored when Ellsbury got a SB and there was a throwing error on the play.

David Huff pitched the 9th for the Yanks. 1 IP, 0 r, 0 h, 0 walks, 2 K. 4.99.

Game 74. O’s blank Yanks 8-0, beat Tanaka.

It was nice to see some people from both my Lehigh Valley Yankees Fan Club (with whom I went up to the Stadium for Old-Timer’s day via a bus trip) and also some members of Pinstripe Mania yesterday once I got to the Stadium.

It was also nice to see some great Old-Timer’s Day festivities and see Goose Gossage get a plaque for Monument Park.

It wasn’t nice to see what happened in the actual game, for the Yanks got blanked, 8-0, and Tanaka got the loss.

Tanaka didn’t pitch badly. In 15 starts this season, every single start has been a quality start.

He gave up two hits to lead off the game, but got out of it with a flyball and two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the first, Gardner tripled. At least we thought it was a triple to lead off the bottom of the first. Instead, upon review, it was determined that in sliding into third, Gardner came off the bag and was then out when he was tagged. Right there and then it probably wasn’t going to be the Yankees day, for he had beaten the throw.

Tanaka gave up a HR in the second, but settled in. After six innings, it was just 1-0 Orioles.

But the Yanks offense was doing nothing.

In the seventh, Tanaka gave up two runs. He went 7 innings, 3 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 6 K. Even with the loss, that puts him at 11-2, and his ERA is 2.11.

But the Yanks got four hits all game, two by Ichiro. No support.

Yangervis Solarte is 0 for 27 since June 8th. Hopefully he snaps out of it soon. Maybe he has to be sent down soon. Before you balk at that, remember that in 1951, the great Mickey Mantle, in his rookie season, had to be sent down for a while to get straightened out. But hopefully Solarte does get straightened out soon.

The game really got out of hand in the eighth, when Adam Warren came in and had nothing. Two Yankees errors didn’t help, even though the O’s Steve Pearce probably got away with baserunner interference.

Warren 1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.88.

David Huff pitched the 9th and gave up a HR. 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 5.76.

With the loss, the Yanks drop to 39-35 and into a tie for 2nd in the AL East with Baltimore. They are 1 1/2 back of Toronto and now go to Toronto for a three-game set. The Yanks and O’s are tied for the final WC spot, one pct. point above Seattle.

It appears the Yanks will be needing a starting pitcher and a bat soon. The trade deadline is five weeks away. Stay tuned.

Just to clarify one thing from the Old-Timer’s Day festivities: John Sterling, in announcing Joe Torre, stated that Torre was the second manager to win three consecutive World Series. He was wrong. Joe McCarthy was the first (1936-1939), Casey Stengel the second (1949-1953) and Joe Torre was the third (1998-2000). As a Yankees broadcaster, Sterling should have known that (not to be a curmudgeon about it, but…). I don’t know why everyone forgets about “Marse Joe” ‘s accomplishment.

Now the A’s won three straight WS from 1972-1974, but with two different managers. Dick Williams was there in ’72 & ’73, but it was Alvin Dark who skippered them in 1974.

Jesse Barfield homered off of David Cone in the Old-Timer’s game.

Four-time SB winning coach Noll dies at 82.

I happen to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and today is a bit of a sad day.

Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died yesterday, June 13, at the age of 82.

Noll coached the Steelers from 1969-1991, going 209-156-1 (of which 16-8 were in the postseason). He coached the Steelers to four SB victories in six years, winning Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Before his coaching career (assistant and head coach) began, Noll played for the Cleveland Browns from 1953-1959. Those Browns’ teams won NFL titles in 1954 and 1955, and lost the NFL title game in 1953 and 1957.

Game 62. Yanks shoot themselves in foot in 2-1 loss.

I’d rather lose 9-0 then lose this way.

The Yanks went 1 for 17 with RISP in losing to KC 2-1. They fall to .500 (31-31) with the loss and are 2-6 this month.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 3 K as he fell to 4-4, 4.12.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38.

It had to be painful for Kuroda, who pitched well, but who watched his offense shoot themselves in the foot time and time again. 1st and 2nd, two out in the first, nothing. In the second, the Yanks loaded the bases and couldn’t score as Johnson struck out, Gardner grounded into a 3-2 force and Jeter struck out. They wasted a leadoff double by Ellsbury in the third.

In the fourth, a one-out double by Roberts. Nothing. They finally got their run in the sixth when Solarte doubled, went to third on a PB and scored on an Ichiro groundout.

A one-out triple by Gardner in the 7th. Surely they would tie the game. But, remember, Girardi NEVER ******* squeezes. He doesn’t bunt guys over or in. It’s what I don’t like about Girardi (who I do regard as a good manager). With Jeter up there, he should have bunted. Jeter isn’t Jeter anymore. He’s only 2/3 of the Jeter we remember, if that. Heck, (and I hate to say this), Jeter shouldn’t be hitting 2nd anymore. He should be hitting 8th. He’s hitting .254, OPS+ 72. Just seven of his 54 hits are for extra bases. Jeter grounds out, runner can’t score. Ellsbury strikes out. In the 9th, Ichiro singled and went to 2nd on a WP. Tying run on second, no out, nothing.

So it went.

I hate to say this, but Jeter was a major culprit today in the Yanks losing. Derek isn’t Derek anymore. Not even close. Look at what I wrote above. Bases loaded, two out, he whiffed. Man on third, one out, a weak grounder that can’t get the run in. He and Gardner each left five on, Johnson four, McCann three.

It was like Chinese water torture. They would get guys on and leave them there.

A painful loss.

If the Yanks continue like this, I’d consider some major changes. Once Cervelli comes off the DL, I’d look to trade him. Go with the kid, Murphy. I’d also look to dump Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson and Roberts, as well as good-field/no-hit Brendan Ryan. Go with a youth movement. You are using a soon-to-be 40 year-old SS in Jeter, a 36 yr. old 2b in Roberts, Beltran is 36 (and on a 3-yr. deal), Soriano 38 and Ichiro 40. The age is showing.

Obviously, Jeter is going nowhere.

Some things I’d consider if I were in the Yanks’ front office:

Replace Roberts (.239-2-13, OPS+86) with Rob Refsnyder, 23, 2B, currently hitting .340 or so at AA. RHB

Replace Johnson (.216-4-14, OPS+ 85) with Zelous Wheeler, 27, mostly 2B/SS/3B as another utility man (He’s played a little OF as well). Hitting .298 at AAA, RHB.

Replace Ryan (.238 career hitter, .217 2010-2013) with Pirela, who has played 2B/SS/LF (gives you an OF in an emergency, 24) currently around .333 at AAA.

Replace Ichiro with Almonte, a switch-hitter and 25 this week and see what you have in him. You won’t know unless you play him. Bringing him up and not playing him, or playing him once every seven games or so, does nothing. In 105 AAA games, Almonte is .293-14-66 with 8 SB. Over a full season, he would be .293-21-99 with 12 SB. You don’t know how that would translate to the majors, but I’d rather lose with a 25 year old, seeing what he has and what he could offer, than a 38 year old Soriano and/or a 40 year old Ichiro. Yes, I know Ichiro is hitting .320, but he’s not your future, and only four of Ichiro’s 33 hits are for extra bases. Maybe you get some power, as well as some consistency, if Almonte plays every day instead of once in a blue moon when you bring him up.

Replace Soriano (.229-6-20, OPS+ 78) with Kyle Roller, a legit 1B (instead of Johnson) who is a lefty power hitter. 26, and between AA/AAA, .343-14-38 this year. Maybe he could be like Kevin Maas when Maas first came up in 1990 and you catch lightning in a bottle with him as he takes advantage of the porch as a DH and 1B sub for Teixeira.

Couldn’t hurt. I’d rather be .500 with youth who could develop than washed-up has-beens, no matter how much I love what they did in their prime.

Maybe it sounds harsh, but this game was the 10th in a row in which the Yanks scored four runs or less. You can’t just keep going on this way.

Some changes may need to be made. I just made a few suggestions.

The Minors 6-6-14.

AAA: SWB won 12-6. Bruce Billings 1 r in 6 IP. LF Jose Pirela 3 for 3, HR, 3 RBI (.340). RF Adonis Garcia 4 for 5, 3 doubles, HR, 3 rbi. (.312). 1B Kyle Roller 4 for 5, double, HR, 2 rbi. (.315). 3B Zelous Wheeler 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI (.305).

AA: Trenton lost 11-2. 2B Robert Refsnyder 3 hits, rbi, .335. On Twitter, it is written that Thunder hitting coach and former big-leaguer, Marcus Thames, raved about the work ethic and film study of Refsnyder.

High A: 4-1 win for Tampa. Rafael De Paula 5 IP, 1 R, 8 K. Nick Goody and Cesar Vargas each with 2 IP, 4 K. 16 K total for Tampa’s pitchers last night. 1B Greg Bird 2 h, double, rbi.

Low A: Charleston lost 10-4. LF Mike O’Neill 3 hits, rbi. 1B Jackson Valera 3 h, 2 doubles, rbi.