Category Archives: The Owner

Game 119. Yanks lose 4th straight, 5-3.

This was a killer. The Yanks’ offense didn’t do much, but they still had a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the 8th down in Baltimore. Dellin Betances was on the mound, and he’s been great all year.

But it was Betances’ third inning of work, a move that may have deeper complications, such as lost confidence in Warren or Whitley, both of whom have been struggling mightily lately, overwork of some members of the bullpen (especially because, with the lack of offense, there have been so many close games) or desperation.

Betances gave up a game-tying HR, then Shawn Kelley blew the game by giving up a 3-run HR in the same inning as the Yanks lost 5-3.

Forget the division. The loss puts the Yanks 8 behind Baltimore with 43 games to go. Only a drastic change and torrid hot streak by the Yanks and collapse by Baltimore will enable the Yanks to catch the Orioles. It looks like Baltimore will be the AL East champs. Getting tougher for the Yankees is trying to gain that second wild-card spot. At 61-58, the Yanks are 3 1/2 behind co-leaders Detroit and Seattle for that final playoff spot. Toronto is just ahead of the Yanks, 3 back. So the Yanks need to get hot and do some leap-frogging.

Francisco Cervelli gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with his 2nd HR of the season in the third inning.

Michael Pineda, making his first appearance in almost four months after the pine-tar incident and injury, pitched very well, giving up just one run in the fifth inning. 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. In his five starts this year, his ERA is 1.82, but his record remains at 2-2, a sign of the Yanks’ lack of support. It also shows Pineda’s talent if he is ever healthy and his head is screwed on straight (no pine-tar stupidity).L

In the bottom of the 8th, Jonathan Schoop proved to be a Yankee-killer again. His 11th HR of the season tied the game. It’s his 4th against the Yankees this year, one against Betances, and two against Tanaka. Go figure.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the 9th on an RBI groundout and got the tying run to the plate, but to no avail.

Betances 2 1/3, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 1.52.

Later in that same inning Shawn Kelley gave up a three-run HR to Adam Jones. That was the game.

Kelley (L, 2-4, 4.74) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K.

To make room for Pineda, the Yanks let Chris LeRoux go. You could see that coming when LeRoux was brought up a couple of days ago and Bryan Mitchell was sent down.

Brian McCann should be back on Saturday. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Sunday.

The Yanks are off today (Thursday).

Earlier in the day, Hal Steinbrenner commented on the disappointing offense (after all, he shelled out big bucks to bring in Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran) and refused to comment on GM Brian Cashman, who is a free agent after the season. Personally, I don’t blame Cashman. He brought in players with track records. Although Ellsbury has done OK (and truthfully, he shouldn’t be batting third, but…) McCann and Beltran have been disappointing and others who are gone didn’t play to former potential (Soriano, Roberts). Hal also said he expects A-Rod to rejoin the Yanks in 2015. That is something I’m not looking forward to. Alex’ talents have gone down in the last few years, he will be 40 in July 2015 and after a year off, who knows what he’ll have left. Not to mention the circus and baggage there will be…

Game 55. D-Rob fails in 9th, Yanks lose 7-2.

It looked like Chase Whitley would get his first MLB win. The Yanks had a 2-1 lead entering the ninth, but one day after throwing 27 pitches in getting a save, David Robertson had nothing and the Yanks lost to the Twins, 7-2. Two recent ex-Yanks, Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez, helped beat them, Hughes getting the win and Nunez picking up a big two-run double.

Whitley in four starts this year hasn’t given length, 14 IP in four starts, but his ERA is 2.37. He still has no decisions.

The Yanks got two runs on three hits in the fourth, as Gardner tripled, Jeter singled him home (3367), Ellsbury singled, McCann walked and Jeter later scored on an Ichiro SF.

But those three hits were the only hits the Yanks got all game. With no Beltran for a while (and a while longer), no Teixeira, Soriano slumping (and he was benched for Ichiro today), there isn’t any power in the lineup other than McCann.

Once again, can you say Kendrys Morales? The 5th can’t come soon enough. (If the Yanks sign Morales before the 5th, they lose a draft pick. After the 5th, he is fair game). In the NY Post today, Kevin Kernan wrote what I’ve been writing about. The Yanks need to sign Morales, especially with the uncertainty regarding Beltran and Teixeira.

Betances was awesome. 2 IP, six up, six down and 5 K. 1.38. 56K in 32 2/3 IP now.

Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.71.

…and here is why I hate roles on a team. Robertson comes in… why? Because he is the “closer,” that is why. But Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, and Robertson threw 27 pitches yesterday. Granted Warren threw 20 pitches in the 8th, but why not leave Warren in and save Robertson, who threw a lot of pitches yesterday? Maybe Warren shortens the bridge by getting an out or two, or closes it completely with a two-inning save. I remember the days when Lyle and Gossage would get saves of over one inning.  They may have gone 2 2/3. You don’t see that anymore. Managers complicate matters for themselves by creating roles and making closers one-inning guys. Keep it simple. If the guy is hot, ride him. No need to bring in a closer just because he is the “closer.” I believe that if you start mixing and matching and bringing in too many pitchers, eventually you’ll find the guy who has nothing, just like in the saying “too many cooks spoil the soup.” D-Rob had nothing. First batter, a game-tying HR, and it got worse, because the Twins scored six in the top of the 9th to win it.

Robertson (L, 0-2) 2/3 IP, 5 R, 2 H, 3 walks, 2 K. ERA balloons to 4.50. (One friend of mine suggested making Betances the closer. Nice sentiment, and I could see it. But that won’t happen. Not yet, anyway.)

Daley one batter, and he gave up a hit. That batter later scored. 0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 H. 3.86.

Thornton got the last out, but gave up a big hit first. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 h, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.50.

Use the KISS method, Joe. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Guy’s hot? Leave him in.

That’s my theory, anyway.

The Yanks fall to 29-26, 3 1/2 back of Toronto now.

Start getting that contract for Morales ready, Hal and Cash….

Game 51. Defense, lack of O hurt Yanks, 6-0.

First off, let’s get one thing straight. David Phelps didn’t pitch that bad of a game tonight. He gave up four runs in the third inning, but really, should have given up just one.

I have lamented over the past week the fact that the Yanks, despite spending some $450-500 million or so in contracts for Beltran, McCann, Kuroda, Tanaka and Ellsbury, refuse to spend a couple of million on a LEGITIMATE backup 1B.

It is why I wrote earlier this week, that should Beltran have to be shelved for a while, that the Yanks should go after Kendrys Morales.

They are going with Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan as backup 1b for Teix. The other day, Johnson was charged with one error when he could have been charged with three.

He made one error tonight which was costly. On the very next play, Roberts made an error which was costly as well. If both players do their jobs, instead of giving up four runs, Phelps only would have given up one in the third.

Not that it would have made much difference, anyway. For the Yanks were shut out 6-0 and fell to 27-24.

Still, when Teix isn’t in the lineup, and you are playing in an NL park where the pitcher has to hit, you can’t give away three runs.

Phelps went 6, gave up 5 R, 3 R, 2 walks and 5 K. He falls to 1-2, 3.38, but in truth, should have given up just two runs. Ellsbury saved him from giving up a triple in the first with a great catch, but Johnson and Roberts burned him.

As I mentioned earlier this week, the Yanks need a LEGIT backup 1B. They can’t go with Johnson or Ryan as backup 1b to Teix. Before this season, Johnson had just five games of experience at 1B. Brendan Ryan had none.

For a team that spent half a billion dollars on four players, skimping on a backup 1b is unacceptable. We have seen this week some bad backup play at 1b. Spend the $ to get Morales or bring up a true 1b (Kyle Roller?).

Like I mentioned, Phelps deserved better. His D gave away 3 runs. His offense got nothing.

Alfredo Aceves went 2, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 3 K. I’m not sold on Aceves. ERA 5.19.

The Yanks got just five hits. Solarte is in a slump and down to .285.

The loss puts the Yanks 3 back of Toronto.

If Beltran is shelved, should Yanks pursue Morales?

Sometime today or tomorrow, the Yanks should find out if Carlos Beltran can play through a bone spur in his elbow or if he needs surgery that would sideline him until early to mid-August.

Beltran started well, but then that tumble he took chasing a foul ball against Tampa Bay seemed to set things on a downward course. He is at .234-5-15, OPS+ 96 and has missed 15 games or so. Beltran is a switch-hitter and 37.

Should Beltran be shelved, I hope the Yanks go after 31-year-old switch-hitter, 1b/DH Kendrys Morales. Morales would provide the switch-hitter missing in Beltran’s DL stint, and the power Beltran was supposed to provide.

Morales, 31, was a free agent after last year but was unsigned. The Yanks may have to hurry to sign him, because Texas could be looking at him after the Rangers lost Prince Fielder for the season.

Morales hit .277-23-80 for Seattle last season. OPS+ 123. For his career, his 162 g. average is .280-27-90, OPS+ 120. Solid.

If Beltran is shelved, the Yanks could go with Soriano and Ichiro in RF and DH Morales. Morales would also offer the Yanks a legitimate backup 1B for the days in which Teixeira needs a rest. We saw Kelly Johnson have problems at first base the other night when he was playing there. Johnson gave Teix a rest for that night, but Johnson doesn’t have too much experience at 1B and although charged with one error, could have been charged with three.

Of course, I don’t control Hal’s pocketbook. But if Beltran does need surgery, I would hope that the Yanks sign Morales to keep the lineup a strong one.

Yanks ppd.

The Yanks and Cubs will play a day/night dH tomorrow (2 separate admissions) after they were rained out today in the Bronx. Game 1 at 1 p.m. with Tanaka on the mound for the Yanks, and Game 2 at 7 w/Pineda.

Don’t expect Cervelli for 2 months at least. 60-day DL. Murphy up. P Shane Greene down and 3B Scott Sizemore up.

Some trivia: The Yanks and Cubs have played just 7 games in the Bronx that count. The Yanks have won them all. 2 games in the 1932 WS, 2 in 1938 and a 3-game sweep by the Yanks in 2005 interleague action.

Derek Jeter has just one grand slam in his career. It came against the Cubs, at Yankee Stadium, in 2005.

Hal says no infield moves forthcoming. No Drew or Morales. I’m a bit concerned about that b/c there is no true 1b behind Teix.

What to do when, if, healthy?

We await word on some banged-up players and moves while the Yanks have off today.

But here is one thought. Once Mark Teixeira comes off the DL (he expects it to be Easter Sunday, next Sunday), what then?

Here is one thought: keep Solarte in the lineup and bench Roberts. You can put Johnson at 2B and keep Solarte at 3B (preferred) or vice-versa.

Roberts, who hasn’t played more than 77 games in a season since 2009, has back troubles right now. I don’t know if he is DL-bound or not, but his injury history since 2009 isn’t good. Besides, he is just 4 for 31 right now, all singles. He is 2 for 2 in SB.

Who knows how long Solarte will stay hot or when he cools off, how much and how long he will fizzle. Solarte is 15 for 42 (.357) and leads the AL with 6 doubles. Solarte is also 10 years younger than Roberts.

Meanwhile, you wonder about the fragility of the infield. Could Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales be signed mid-season if they are still available?

Is Jeter primed for a comeback season?

David Phelps says that Derek Jeter looks “amazing” in workouts so far.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/fellow-yankee-captain-amazing-workouts-article-1.1603307

We’ll see if it translates to spring training and the regular season, because Yankees fans do have a right to be concerned. Jeter broke an ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS and was limited to 17 games and a .190 average last year. He turns 40 in June and well, you don’t see too many 40 year old shortstops.

In another story, when the Yanks were discussing catching needs, Gene Michael stated to get McCann, because he reminded Gene of Michael’s ex-teammate, Thurman Munson. High praise, indeed. When told that, Hal Steinbrenner’s response was “Go get him,” which the Yanks did at 5 years, $85MM.

You may recall that McCann blocked the plate last year when an opposing player went deep and then cursed at players while rounding the bases. You have to like that fire, intensity and commitment to playing the game right.

We’ve had too much snow and ice in the Northeast (where I live) lately. Bring on spring.

Happy b/day to Hank Aaron, who turned 80 yesterday. As for today, it was on this date that Babe Ruth was born in 1895.