Category Archives: Awards

Game 36. Yanks edge Rays 1-0 behind Cole and Chapman.

Gerrit Cole and Aroldis Chapman combined on a four-hit shutout as the Yanks (20-16) defeated Tampa Bay 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Cole was dominant in going to 5-1 on the season with an ERA of just 1.37. He struck out 12. Chapman still has not given up an earned run this season while having nine saves.

Cole has struck out 78 batters this season while walking only three.

Since starting out 6-11, the Yanks have now won 14 of their last 19 games. This win was their fourth in a row and they are 8-2 this month.

It has been the pitching doing it, as the bats are still cold.

The Yanks got the only run of the game in the seventh inning. Aaron Judge led off the inning with a single, then Gio Urshela doubled. After a non-productive out, Aaron Hicks hit a sac fly.

Of the Yanks’ six hits, five were by Judge and Urshela.

Judge 3 hits
Urshela 2 hits

Cole (W, 5-1) 8 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 W, 12 K. 1.37
Chapman (S, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00

Clint Frazier was ejected for arguing a called third strike.

During the game, Cole became the second fastest pitcher to 1500 K.

With the win, the Yanks are in second place, one game behind Boston (22-16). They are even in the loss column. Boston has played (and won) two more games.

Game 33. Yanks edge Nats in 11, 4-3.

When two starters who have 5 CYA’s between them go against each other, you don’t expect many runs scored, and such was the case Saturday when Max Scherzer of Washington and Corey Kluber of the Yankees faced off.

The game started after a rain delay of almost 2 1/2 hours, and in the end, Gleyber Torres tied the game in the ninth for the Yankees and won it in the eleventh. Yanks (17-16) 4, Nationals 3.

The Nats got on the board first, when Kluber walked Juan Soto with the bases loaded in the top of the third inning.

Kyle Higashioka tied the game up in the bottom of the same frame with a solo HR (5).

Washington got a run off of Kluber in the top of the sixth to go up 2-1.

Meanwhile, Scherzer was dealing. He went 7 1/3, giving up just 2 hits and striking out 14.

In the bottom of the ninth, D.J. LeMahieu led off the inning with a walk. He moved to second on a groundout by Giancarlo Stanton and to third on a bloop single by the slumping Aaron Judge. Torres then singled to tie the game.

Washington got a run in the top of the tenth (I hate that extra innings start with a man on second rule) but the Yanks tied it in the bottom of the tenth when Mike Ford, who was 1 for his last 23, singled in “ghost” runner Clint Frazier.

Justin Wilson, who has been struggling this season, kept the Nats off the board in the top of the eleventh. In the bottom half, LeMahieu was the “ghost” runner starting at second. Both Stanton and Judge walked to load the bases. Torres nubbed a little dribbler towards third. Not pretty, but it got the job done and won the game.

Torres 2 hits, 2 RBI
Higashioka solo HR (5)

The Yankees won despite striking out 17X.

Kluber 5 2/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 6 K. 3.06
Green 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.33
Luetge 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.26
Chapman 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00
Wilson (W, 1-0) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.23

BBWAA elects no one to Hall.

The Baseball Writers elected no one to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.

There will still be a ceremony, because COVID cancelled out 2020’s ceremony, those elected in 2020 will be inducted in 2021.

75% of the vote is required for induction. The top 3 finishers are controversial, in various ways. They were Curt Schilling at 71.1%, Barry Bonds at 61.8% and Roger Clemens at 61.6%.

Next year will be the last year on the ballot for all three of them.

There were some, like Scott Rolen, who made big jumps but still fell fall short.

But for Schilling, Bonds and Clemens, the gains were miniscule.

Ex-Yankees Gary Sheffield (40.6%), Andruw Jones (33.9%), Andy Pettitte (13.7%) and Bobby Abreu (8.7%) remain on the ballot.

You need 5% or more to remain on the ballot.

Ex-Yankees Latroy Hawkins (2 votes, 0.5%), A.J. Burnett (no votes) and Nick Swisher (no votes) fall off of the ballot.

Legendary Hall-of-Famer “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron dies at the age of 86.

Curt Simmons was once quoted as saying, “Trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster.”

“Hammerin’ ” Henry Aaron, one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball, died yesterday at the age of 86.

At the time of his death, Aaron was the all-time leader in RBI and total bases. He was second in HR (755) and third in hits (3771).

Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves, 1954-1965, Atlanta Braves 1966-1974, and Milwaukee Brewers, 1975-1976.

He was a 25x All-Star (from 1958-1962 there were TWO all-star games a year), won the 1957 NL MVP Award, was on one WS Champ (1957 Braves), another NL Champ (1958 Braves) and an NL West Champ (1969 Braves). He won 3 Gold Gloves and 2 batting titles.

Aaron led the league in runs scored 3x, in hits 2x, in doubles 4x, in HR 4x, in RBI 4x, in SA 4x, OPS 3x, OPS+ 3x, total bases 8x, and SF once.

In his 1957 MVP season, he hit .322-44-132, leading MLB in HR and RBI. OPS+ 166. It’s amazing he only won the one MVP award, and Aaron felt he was robbed of a couple. But his contemporaries in the NL were Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Roberto Clemente, not to mention Sandy Koufax.

Aaron was often overlooked as the great star he was, not only by the aforementioned Mays in his own league, but by Mickey Mantle in the other league.

Aaron did rack up 13 top-10 finishes in the MVP voting, and even finished third at the age of 37 in 1971. He finished top-5 eight times.

Aaron hit 44 HR at the age of 35, 47 at the age of 37, and 40 at the age of 39. On April 8, 1974, Aaron passed Babe Ruth for the all-time HR lead when he hit #715 off of Al Downing of the Dodgers. His record stood until Barry Bonds passed him in 2007. Unlike Bonds, Aaron’s mark wasn’t stained by steroid rumors.

Aaron’s mark was stained by prejudice. As he approached Ruth’s record, Aaron was subject to much hate mail and death threats, simply because he was a black man.

He started his career in the Negro Leagues, and even in 1953, played in the minors, age 19, for Jacksonville, a heavily segregated city. He had to overcome racial hatred.

Aaron hit 20 or more HR every season from 1955-1974.

11x he topped 100 RBI in a season.

In the postseason, Aaron went

1957 WS 11 for 28, 3 HR, 7 RBI. .393. WS MVP was teammate Lew Burdette who won 3 games.
1958 WS 9 for 27, 0 HR, 2 RBI. .333 Braves blew a 3 games to one lead against the Yankees.
1969 NLCS 5 for 14, 3 HR, 7 RBI. .357 Braves swept by the Mets.

One thing to know about that 1969 NLCS. Aaron played with a bad hand, and still hit a HR in each one of those three games.

He wasn’t only a hitter. He did win three Gold Gloves. He played primarily RF in his career (and is rated on baseball reference.com as the 2nd greatest RF ever, behind only Babe Ruth) but also played many games in LF, CF and 1B. He even played 43 games at 2B.

He hit .305 for his career. Only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb had more MLB hits than Aaron (Ichiro would count if you count Japan and MLB). He even stole 240 bases. In 1963 he had 44 HR and 31 SB.

His 162 game average was .305-37-113, 12 SB, OPS+ 155. (100 is normal, so he was 55% better than average hitter of his time).

He was so good, that a year like 1964 (.328-24-95, with 22 SB, OPS+ 153) looks like an off year when you look at his stats.

Aaron would have turned 87 on February 5, just two weeks away.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot, 1982. He got 406 out of 415 votes. 97.8%. I would love to know the nine voters who kept him off their ballots. They should be, or should have been, ashamed of themselves.

When Reggie Jackson joined the Yankees, he chose #44 because he wanted to keep a #44 circling the bases, in honor of Aaron, who retired after the 1976 season.

Aaron was class. A great in every way.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, this year’s voting results will be announced in three days. It is looking like the BBWAA will not vote ANYONE in.

According to one tracker, (and you need 75% to make it in), with almost 41% of the vote known, Curt Schilling has 75.3%, which would barely get him in. But when the anonymous votes are counted, players usually drop. Last year, even Derek Jeter. The tracking had Jeter unanimous throughout, but when the final tally came in, one idiot left Jeter off his or her ballot. If Schilling drops, he does not make it.

Others are Barry Bonds, 72.8%
Roger Clemens 72.2%. When the anonymous votes come in, they usually drop 5-10%
Scott Rolen 65.4%
Todd Helton 53.1%
Billy Wagner 47.5%
Gary Sheffield 46.3%
Andruw Jones 41.4%
Omar Vizquel 38.9%
Manny Ramirez 33.3%
Jeff Kent 29.6%
Sammy Sosa 21.6%
Andy Pettitte 17.3% keeping him on the ballot for next year
Bobby Abreu 13%
Mark Buehrle 8%

Dropping off the ballot because they did not get 5% would be

Torii Hunter 4.9%
Tim Hudson 4.3%
Aramis Ramirez 0.6%

and so far, with no votes at all: Shane Victorino, A.J. Burnett, Barry Zito, Nick Swisher, Dan Haren, Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins.

LeMahieu (1st team), Cole (2nd team) named to 2020 All-MLB team

The All-MLB team for 2020 was announced yesterday, and D.J. LeMahieu was named the first team 2B after a season in which he hit .364-10-27 in playing in 50 of the 60 games. He led the majors in batting average, becoming the first player in the modern era to win batting titles in both leagues. He also led the AL in OBP, OPS and OPS+, and finished 3rd in MVP voting. He also won the Silver Slugger Award.

Gerrit Cole was named as a starting pitcher for the second team. Cole went 7-3, 2.84 and finished 4th in CYA voting. He started 12 games in the shortened season, and led MLB in CG (2) and the AL shutouts (1).

LeMahieu 3rd in MVP vote, Voit 9th

Jose Abreu of the White Sox was named the AL MVP tonight.

The Yankees’ D.J. LeMahieu finished third (he was fourth in 2019), and teammate Luke Voit finished ninth.

The NL MVP is Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman.

Awards given out. MVP tonight.

It’s awards season for MLB, and the final awards for MVP go out tonight. AL MVP is the only one in which a Yankee may win, since D.J. LeMahieu has been announced as one of the top three finalists.

If LeMahieu does win, he will be the first Yankee to win the MVP since A-Rod* in 2007.

Other award winners:

NL Rookie of the Year: Devin Williams, Milwaukee relief pitcher
AL Rookie of the Year: Kyle Lewis, Seattle CF

NL Manager of the Year: Yankees Legend Don Mattingly, Miami.
AL Manager of the Year: Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash

NL Cy Young Award: Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati (currently a free agent)
AL Cy Young Award: Shane Bieber, Cleveland.

The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole finished 4th for the AL CYA.

LeMahieu wins Silver Slugger; Voit loses out to Abreu

D.J. LeMahieu won the Silver Slugger Award for AL 2B after a season when he led the majors in batting average (.364), and led the AL in OBP, OPS and adjusted OPS (177, 100 is average). LeMahieu had also won the award in 2019.

Luke Voit, despite a great season when he led the majors in HR (22 in the shortened 60 game season), (.277-22-52, Adjusted OPS 156) lost out at 1B to Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Abreu hit .317-19-60. Abreu led the majors in RBI and total bases (and Grounding into DPs) and the AL in games played (all 60), hits, slugging average. His adjusted OPS was 166.

No Gold Gloves for Finalists Urshela, Frazier

Although finalists for the Gold Glove award, neither 3B Gio Urshela or OF Clint Frazier were winners of the award.

Award winners were announced yesterday. With the election going on, easy to miss.

Unlike the election (so far), we know who won as far as the Gold Gloves go.

LeMahieu a finalist for MVP

MLB listed the finalists (top 3) for its major awards next week, and D.J. LeMahieu, who finished 4th for the AL MVP last year, is in the top 3.

We’ll find out next week if he wins it.