Category Archives: Awards

Game 162. Thanks to Arizona, Yanks get WC game at home.


The Yankees ended the season by losing six of their last seven games, ending at 87-75, but will host the wild-card play-in game because Arizona beat Houston 5-3 in the last game of the season.

Ugh. No one likes to “back into” anything.

Michael Pineda was knocked out in the fourth inning today. More discouraging to Yankees’ fans was who replaced him. First Chris Capuano, who was DFA’d FOUR times by the Yanks this year, then Bryan Mitchell, who hasn’t been the same since he was hit in the face by a liner. As someone wrote, the two guys (out of 20 on the expanded roster) with the highest ERAs of anyone with over 8 IP.

The offense disappointed again today, going 1 for 12 with RISP in the 9-4 loss. This isn’t the way you want to enter the playoffs.

Pineda gave up two in the first, but the Yanks did get a run back in the second on an RBI groundout by Ackley, one guy who is hot lately.

But the O’s got 3 in the fourth and the way the Yanks have been playing lately, that was enough. At that point, Yankees’ fans were hoping for Arizona to beat Houston.

Two in the fifth by the Orioles made it 7-1 and ensured that the Yanks would get swept in Baltimore.

The Yanks got one back in the sixth on a Gregorius triple and two in the seventh on a Bird single and Ackley RBI groundout. It made it 7-4 but a two-run HR by Chris Davis (MLB HR leader with 47) made the score 9-4, the final.

The Yanks need to send a BIG gift to Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, whose two-run HR won the game for Arizona and gave the home field advantage for the wild card game to the Yankees.

The Yanks finished 87-75, three games better than last year and two games better than in 2013. Mark Teixeira was (according to WAR) their best player this year by an eyelash over Dellin Betances. The problem, of course, is that Teix missed the last 40 games of the year, and will miss all of the postseason, with a broken leg.

Attendance this year was the lowest since 1998.

So the Yanks will face Houston Tuesday night at home, and although I will be rooting hard for the Yanks (winner goes to KC), it isn’t promising. Still, anything could happen in one game.


it’ll be Tanaka (12-7,  3.51) vs. Keuchel (20-8, 2.48). Keuchel beat the Yanks twice this year, pitching a CG six-hit shutout with 12 K on June 25, and pitching seven innings of 3-hit shutout ball on August 25 with 9 K. 16 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 21 K. Ugh. The Yanks can only hope he is off (3 days rest) on Tuesday night.

Tanaka faced Houston once this year, and it wasn’t good. 6 R in 5 IP on June 27.

The Yanks are a lefty-leaning lineup that has been hurting without the switch-hitting Teixeira’s bat from the right side.

Against the lefty Keuchel, you wonder what Girardi will do with the lineup, especially since lefty hitters Ellsbury (ended the year at .257, terrible for a table-setting leadoff hitter making $22MM and who is just .224-6-27 with just 7 SB since coming off the DL July 8). That is certainly NOT setting the table as the leadoff hitter.

McCann is 8 for 58 since Sept. 12. (.138).

Gardner, like Ellsbury, finished under .260. That is NOT setting the table. You wanted both to hit .280-.290 with about 35-40 SB apiece. Instead both finished under .260 with 41 SB—–COMBINED.

Since September 12, Gardner is 12 for 72….  .167.  I don’t mean to discourage, but those are three lefty bats all struggling, and you are facing a lefty pitcher in Keuchel on Tuesday night.

Since Sept 12, Headley is 12 for 71… slightly better than the .167 of Gardner, and Headley is a switch-hitter.  Another struggling.

Does Girardi have the guts to go with Refsnyder at 2B,  Murphy at C and Young in CF or LF, especially since McCann, Ellsbury and Ellsbury have been struggling so badly? Does he play Ackley in LF for the struggling Gardner?

Does he take it one step further and play Ryan at 3B?

With Ellsbury, McCann, Gardner all struggling, could he go with an innovative lineup vs. Keuchel such as…

Young CF
Refsnyder 2B
A-Rod DH
Beltran RF
Bird 1B
Murphy C
Ackley LF
Gregorius SS
Ryan 3B

Tanaka P

and bring off the bench if needed against a righty pitcher Ellsbury, McCann, Headley and Gardner?

I doubt it. But those four have been killing the Yanks recently. If in the lineup, they have to wake up.

As for today…

Pineda (L, 12-10, 4.37) 3 2/3 IP, 4 R,  6 H, 0 walks and 5 K.
Capuano 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 7.97
Mitchell 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 6.37
Pazos 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walks and 2 K. 0.00 (don’t see how they don’t take him for the postseason roster).
Bailey 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walks and 0 K. 8.31
Pinder 1 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.93 (Should merit consideration).
Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.10
Miller 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.04
Cotham 1/3 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K 6.52 

You hope Tanaka can give you 7 strong (preferably scoreless) and then go to Wilson, Betances and Miller. The bullpen has been shaky lately, showing signs of wear. But Tanaka has to have a good game and go deep.

The Yanks have to play littleball, which they haven’t played (or been good at) this year. They can’t expect to bomb Keuchel out. They have to scratch for runs, steal, hit and run, bunt runners over and not go, say 0 for 10 with RISP. They must take advantage of all their opportunities.

And Joe Girardi must go for broke. I’m interested in what lineup he puts out there Tuesday night; if he benches some guys.

I remember Billy Martin benching Reggie Jackson for Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS for Paul Blair because Reggie could not hit Splittorff.

Maybe Girardi channels Martin and benches some guys.

We will see.

One game. Let’s go Yankees.

Game 159. Yanks clinch playoff spot with 4-1 win. Win is #10000 in franchise history.


The Yanks won the 10000th game in franchise history, and the win put the Yanks into the 2015 postseason. They had missed the postseason the previous two seasons.

The 4-1 win over Boston put them into the postseason. One Yankees win or one Houston loss will ensure that Tuesday night’s wild card play-in game will be played in the Bronx.

CC Sabathia, Adam Warren and Dellin Betances combined for the win, and the Yanks used three homers for the offense. Two of the homers were by rookies.

The Yanks got two in the second on a HR by Carlos Beltran (19, #392 career) and after a couple of walks, a single by Brendan Ryan.

Boston got a run in the fifth, but the Yanks got some late insurance when Greg Bird hit a HR (11) in the seventh and Rob Refsnyder hit one (2) in the eighth.

Sabathia (W, 6-10, 4.73) 5 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 3 walks and 3 K.
Warren 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 3.29
Betances (9th save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.41.

Now for a little rest, see what the weather does this weekend, and get ready for Tuesday.

Game 156. 10000th win in Yankees history will have to wait another day. Yanks lose, 5-1


The Yankees are stuck at 9999 wins in their history after losing to Boston 5-1 on Monday night.

Yes, the next win will make them the first AL team to 10000.

A-Rod got the Yanks on the board in the first with a SF, but the Yanks didn’t score after that.

Ivan Nova was strong for five innings, but gave up a two-run HR in the sixth, and another in the seventh.

Caleb Cotham gave up a solo HR in the ninth.

The loss all but eliminates the Yanks from winning the division. At 86-70, the Yanks are five behind Toronto with six games to play.

They remain 3 1/2 up on Houston for the top wild card spot, and four up on the Angels to just get into that wild card game.

The magic # to make the playoffs remains at 3.

Masahiro Tanaka will start on Wednesday. This lines him up to start the wild card game on five days rest.

But the Yanks don’t know who they will face. Houston? Angels? Minnesota?

Nova (L 6-10, 4.89) 7 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 walks and 7 K.
Bailey 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.87
Capuano 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 7.81
Cotham 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 6.00
Pazos 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 0.00
Rumbelow 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.02

Update: I’m not sure how they do the math, but the Yanks could clinch a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Twins AND Angels tonight. Must be how they would do the tiebreakers and a 163rd game…. Also, Dave Miley will not be returning as SWB’s mgr. next year.

Game 147. Yanks blank Mets 5-0.


Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann homered while seven pitchers combined to shutout the Mets 5-0 on Saturday.

Beltran’s 3-run homer in the first (16) set the tone. The HR was #389 in Beltran’s career, tying him with Johnny Bench on the all-time list.

McCann’s 26th HR of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth, provided the Yanks additional insurance.

Michael Pineda went 5 1/3, then Girardi mixed and matched the rest of the way.

The win puts the Yanks at 81-66 for the season, and guarantees a non-losing season. The last time the Yanks finished under .500 was in 1992.

Since the Blue Jays lost, the Yanks are 3 1/2 behind Toronto with 15 to play. They are four up on Houston for WC #1 and 5 1/2 up on the Angels for WC #2.

The Yanks magic # to get into the wild card game is 10—over the Angels.

Pineda (W, 11-8, 4.10) 5 1/3 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 4 K.
Wilson 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 4 K. 3.09
Cotham 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 7.11
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.41
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Martin 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 5.89
Miller 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 1.79

Game 144. Yanks lose, 6-3.


If this offends people, I’m sorry but I need to vent.

The Yanks missed out on a golden opportunity tonight, and I have to question a couple of Joe Girardi moves.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Girardi. I think he is a good manager. But hear me out.

Number 1. I have been advocating for DAYS to bench Ellsbury and play Heathcott in CF instead. Now Heathcott won the game last night with a HR. Ellsbury was 1 for his last 29.

Ever hear of playing the hot hand?

Nope. Joe stuck with Ellsbury, who went 0 for 4, dropping him to .251 (he was .324 when he went on the DL) and 1 for his last 33. Heathcott sat. Joe, don’t you think a minor leaguer can at least go better than 1 for his last 33? 

This…. from the SAME Girardi that credited A-Rod’s resurgence (and A-Rod now has a bone bruise in his knee) on the fact that A-Rod couldn’t play in Atlanta due to the fact that the NL has no DH and that those days off gave A-Rod the rest he needed to rejuvenate himself.

Hey, Joe (sounds like a Jimi Hendrix song here)…. don’t you think the same can help Ellsbury? Really. If a few days off rejuvenated Alex, don’t you think the same can get Ellsbury going?

How about sitting Ellsbury Wednesday night. Thursday is an off day. That is TWO days off. Play the hot hand, Heathcott, instead. If you have some balls, sit Ellsbury Friday as well. Give him three days off. See how he responds.

For God’s sake, it couldn’t hurt.

For goodness sakes, I know Heathcott is a rookie, but even he could probably do better than 1 for 33.

One other thing, Joe. Am I the only one who has noticed that Bryan Mitchell isn’t the same since he took that liner off of his nose? His ERA is over 6.00 now. You trusted him in a game where it was 4-3 Rays and you let the game get away by putting him in there. You have an off day on Thursday. Bringing in Mitchell there was a bad move.

Since getting hit by that liner, Mitchell has given up 8 R in 4 1/3 IP.

This loss really hurt because the Twins lost and the lowly Braves beat Toronto. The Yanks stay 3 back of the Blue Jays where they could be 2 back. The magic # to get into the wild card game was reduced to 15.

The Yanks went up 1-0 in the first on an A-Rod HR. #32 meant that A-Rod would be the Yanks HR leader this year since it passed Teix and Teix is done for the year. Career HR #686 was hit #3061, passing Craig Biggio on the all-time list.

Warren, making his first start in a while, gave up single runs in the first and second, but considering the rust, did Ok. 2 runs in 4 IP.

Bird hit a 2-run HR in the fourth (6) to put the Yanks up 3-2. A-Rod was on board so his two runs scored left him two shy of 2000 runs scored for his career.

Nick Rumbelow gave up a two-run HR in the sixth and Mitchell the two in the eighth to lose it for the Yanks.

Warren 4 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 3.33
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 0.00
Rumbelow (L 1-1, 3.95) 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K.
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.40
Pinder 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 2.39
Mitchell 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 6.04
Martin 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 6.00

Game 143. Cum On Feel the Noize! Slade wins it for Yanks in 9th, 4-1


CC Sabathia had pitched perhaps his best game since 2012 (maybe he should have worn the brace all year instead of being stubborn and wearing a sleeve instead?), but the Yanks were one out away from losing 1-0 on a two-hit shutout.  Ouch. Heck the Yanks did not get their first hit until the eighth inning. 

In the ninth, PH Dustin Ackley singled to start the inning (just the Yanks’ second hit of the game) but was erased when the slumping Jacoby Ellsbury GIDP. One out away from a heartbreaking loss, Gardner walked on four pitches,

and A-Rod doubled to tie the game. Hit #3060 tied Craig Biggio on the all-time hit list at #21.

Now if you remember, for the last couple of days I have advocated giving the slumping Ellsbury (1 for his last what, 29 now? Down to .254) a day off and to play Slade Heathcott. Well, Ellsbury started the game…




Heathcott got into the game. After Beltran got the first Yankee hit of the game in the eighth, he was PR for by Rico Noel. The Yanks didn’t score, but Heathcott went out to RF, replacing Noel.

So after A-Rod’s double tied the game in the ninth, and Brian McCann was intentionally walked, guess who came up to bat?

Slade Heathcott, who promptly hit a 3-run HR (2) to win the game.

Ummm…. sometimes I DO know what I am talking about. Vindication is sweet.

Caleb Cotham got his first MLB win. Usually sure-handed defensive whiz Brendan Ryan made two errors (Chase Headley made another one).

But the Yanks won to go to 79-64, and they cut the Jays’ margin to 3 games. They also reduced their magic # to just get into that wild card game.

Every win now is huge.

Maybe tomorrow night Girardi takes my FULL advice and gives Ellsbury a day off and starts Heathcott. We’ll see. It couldn’t hurt, could it? After all, the other guy IS 1 for his last 29 or so. Why not?

Nice to see some of the old CC tonight, too.

Sabathia 6 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 walks and 6 K. 4.93 (nice to see it get under 5.00)
Wilson 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K 3.23
Cotham (W, 1-0) 1/3 IP, 0 r, 0 h, 0 walks and 1 K. 7.50
Miller (33rd save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 h, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.83.

Game 142. Tanaka’s gem helps Yanks avoid sweep, 5-0.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpgThe Yankees, now 3 1/2 out with 20 games to go, still have a slim chance of winning the division, but it looks more likely that they will be playing in the one-game playoff for the wild card.

It’s apparent who should start that game.

After losing the first three games of the four-game series to Toronto, and seeing their pitchers give up 30 runs in those three games, Masahiro Tanaka threw seven shutout innings Sunday as the Yanks blanked Toronto 5-0. The Yanks are now nine wins away from 10000 in their history.

The Yanks scored two runs in the second on a couple of walks, a single, and SFs by Ackley and Gregorius.

Ackley’s 2-run HR in the fourth (7) made it 4-0.

A double by A-Rod in the eighth accounted for the final tally. It was RBI 2050 of his career. He is just four runs scored of 2000, and is just one hit (3059) behind Craig Biggio on the all-time hit list.

The Yanks are now 78-64 and begin a nine-game road trip to Tampa Bay (3), then after a day off, back to NY to face the Mets for three, then up to Toronto. They are three up on Texas for the first wild card spot and four up on Minnesota for the second. The magic number to get into the play-in game is 17.

I do hope Girardi sits Ellsbury and plays Heathcott in CF soon. (Tonight?) Ellsbury could use a day. He’s something like 1 for his last 25 and is down to .257. He’s hitting just .214 since coming off the DL. Maybe a day off can get him going again. The Yanks need him to set the table.

Tanaka (W, 12-6, 3.40) 7 IP, 0 R,  4 H, 0 walks and 7 k.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.46.
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Cotham 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 7.94.