Category Archives: Ex-Players

Game 64. A sloppy win, 7-6 in 10. Also, news on Lucchesi, Big Papi.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (40-24) tried their best to blow this game. Their best relievers failed, and it was up to a rookie, who arrived at 4 AM after a seven-hour or so drive via cab or Uber (don’t know which; UPDATE: Yanks arranged a SUV for the 6 1/2 hour, 375 mile drive), to save the day.

But in the end, they won 7-6 in 10 innings over Cleveland and maintained their first place tie with Tampa Bay.

Before the game, the Yanks had to place Domingo German on the IL (hip) and recall Stephen Tarpley. Tarpley is the one who had to make the trip in the wee small hours of the morning.

Now we know that German didn’t “hit a wall” per se, but that something was physically wrong the past few starts.

Forced to use an opener again (Tanaka’s start pushed back a day due to his wife giving birth), the Yanks got 5 runs in the second inning. With two out, Clint Frazier singled and Brett Gardner homered (9). Gio Urshela walked and Cameron Maybin singled. D.J. LeMahieu singled in a run, 3-0. Then a WP and a walk to Aaron Hicks loaded the bases. Luke Voit doubled in two runs, 5-0. Gary Sanchez walked to reload the bases but Gleyber Torres flied out.

Chad Green, the opener, and Nestor Cortes, Jr.Greg combined to shut out the Indians for five innings, but in the bottom of the sixth, Tommy Kahnle gave up 4 runs on 2 HR and it was 5-4.

In the seventh, Adam Ottavino gave up a HR that tied the game at 5.

In the top of the ninth, with one out, Luke Voit singled and Gary Sanchez doubled. Gleyber Torres was inentionally walked to possibly set up a DP but Clint Frazier hit a SF to put the Yanks up 6-5.

But in the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman gave up a single, made and error on a pickoff attempt, and then walked the next batter. He rebounded to get two outs and then had two strikes on the next batter. One strike away, and then a ground ball to SS. Didi Gregorius, who didn’t start the game but who was in for defensive purposes, booted it for a two-base error and the tying run scored. Chapman then got out of the inning.

With one out in the tenth, Maybin doubled, and one out later, Hicks doubled to put the Yanks up 7-6.

Tarpley, who made that long trip hours earlier, struck out the side in the bottom of the tenth to earn his first MLB save.

Tarpley, you’ll recall, had a great spring training before getting roughed up earlier in the season, causing him to be sent down to SWB.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI (.321)
Hicks GW RBI double
Voit 2 hits, 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, RBI
Gardner 2-run HR (9)
Maybin 2 hits

Green 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.  8.27
Cortes, Jr.  3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.86
Kahnle 1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.84   Gave up 2 HR.
Ottavino (BS, 3) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  1.53  Gave up 1 HR
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.86
Chapman (W, 1-1, 1.40; BS, 2) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Tarpley (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  First MLB save.

The Yanks now play the Mets for two games in Yankee Stadium.

In other baseball news…

Frank Lucchesi died at the age of 92. Lucchesi managed the Phillies (1970-1972), Rangers (1975-1977, taking over for Billy Martin) and Cubs (1987). He was the last manager for the Phillies while they played at old Connie Mack Stadium. He also was the manager that Lenny Randle assaulted in 1977 when Randle took umbrage at how Luchessi was managing him. Luchessi’s managerial record was 316-399, a .442 winning pct., which averages to a 72-90 season.

Ex-Red Sox star David Ortiz (Big Papi) is in stable condition after being shot in the Dominican Republic. From MLB.com:

Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot and wounded at an amusement center in his hometown of Santo Domingo on Sunday but was in stable condition and expected to be OK, his agent Fernando Cuza told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

Ortiz’s father, Leo Ortiz, also addressed reporters and said doctors anticipate a full recovery.

confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region…..

(FROM ESPN) The team had to remove part of Ortiz’s intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder. Ortiz suffered liver damage. He was shot at a club in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Authorities say Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range.

 

 

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Game 62. Yanks’ lead cut to 1/2 game after 5-2 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Domingo German still leads the majors in wins (9), but he has hit a lull recently. Last night, German couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead and the Yanks (39-23) lost to Cleveland, 5-2. German’s ERA in his last three starts has risen from 2.60 to 3.86, and seven of the 12 HR he has given up this year have been in the last three starts.

With the loss, the Yanks’ lead over Tampa Bay decreased to just 1/2 a game.

Didi Gregorius returned of the IL to the Yanks and had two hits. In the second inning, Gary Sanchez singled, and Didi singled Sanchez to third, Didi getting thrown out trying for two. After a walk to Kendrys Morales, Clint Frazier doubled home Sanchez. One problem with Morales—he can’t run a lick, and couldn’t score himself.

Aaron Hicks 4th HR of the season made it 2-0 Yanks in the third.

German was great for three innings, then hit a wall, as it seems he is starting to do at this point in the season, at least in the past three starts. He gave up a run in the fourth that made it 2-1, a HR in the fifth that tied the game, and a 2-run HR in the sixth that put Cleveland up 4-2. The Indians scored a run off David Hale in the eighth for the final tally of 5-2.

Zach Plesac, nephew of former MLB pitcher and current MLB network anayst Dan Plesac, got his first major league win.

The Yanks got just six hits in the game.

Hicks solo HR (4)
Didi 2 hits.
Frazier 2 hits, RBI

German (L, 9-2, 3.86) 6 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR
Hale 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  3.00

At least there should be a full bullpen contingent (barring Hale) ready for today’s game.

Game 60. Bullpen implodes in 11-7 Yanks’ loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A couple of notes before the game recap.

How is Angel Hernandez still a MLB umpire? Some calls he missed on Tuesday night were atrocious, and he’s consistently rated or graded as one of, if not the worst ump in MLB. One pitch Tuesday night that he called a ball was so clearly a strike (Tanaka grimaced and Sanchez turned around) and then the next pitch was a gopher ball.

The Yanks took a flyer and used one of their late draft picks to take Jack Leiter, RHP, son of Al Leiter (and nephew of Mark Sr. and cousin of Mark Jr.). Leiter has 1st round stuff, but has committed to Vanderbilt which is why he dropped and the Yanks took a flyer on him late in the draft in case he changes his mind.

The Yanks also drafted Nick Paciorek, whose uncle, Tom Paciorek, was a MLB player in the 1980s, and who was an All-Star with Seattle in 1981.

MLB.com shows a lot of players who were drafted that have “bloodlines.” Roy Halladay’s son, who is going to Penn State, was one of them, drafted by Toronto.

While we wait for Dallas Keuchel, another top free agent signed. Former Boston closer Craig Kimbrel is going to the Cubs. Out of the AL, and not only for the rest of this year, but for 2020 and 2021 as well.  3 yr., $43MM.

As for the game:

James Paxton was off, and later in the game the bullpen imploded as the Yanks (38-22) lost their third straight game, 11-7, to Toronto Wednesday night.

With the loss, the Yanks’ streak of winning nine straight series is over, and their lead over the Rays was shaved to 1 1/2 games, and the lead over Boston to 6 1/2.

Paxton gave up a 2-run HR to Randall Grichuk (his first of two in the game) in the first inning and a run in the second and the Yanks were down 3-0 after two innings.

Gary Sanchez hit his league-leading 19th HR of the season in the top of the fourth to cut it to 3-1.

The Yanks went up 4-3 in the top of the fifth when Clint Frazier walked, and after a forceout, Gio Urshela singled. Cameron Maybin then singled to make it 3-2. D.J. LeMahieu singled to tie it at 3. Luke Voit walked to load the bases, and Sanchez singled to put the Yanks up 4-3.

Paxton gave up a run in the bottom of the fifth and was knocked out of the game. 4-4.

In the top of the sixth, LeMahieu hit a 3-run HR (7) and the Yanks were up 7-4.

Then the bullpen (and defense) imploded. Two errors helped Toronto get two runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 7-6.

Still, the Yanks were up going into the bottom of the eighth. But in that inning, Zack Britton gave up a 3-run HR to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and then Luis Cessa came in and gave up back-to-back HRs (one by Grichuk, the other by one-time briefly a Yankee Brandon Drury) to make it 11-7 Toronto.

Cessa had a good spring training and a good start to the season, but his last two outings have taken his ERA from around 3.16 to 5.33.

Toronto has the sons of both Hall-of-Famers Vladimir Guerrero and Craig Biggio on the team.

LeMahieu 3 hits, (.315) 4 RBI, 3-run HR (7)
Sanchez 2 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR (19) (DYK: 43 hits, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 19 HR)
Maybin 2 hits, RBI

Paxton 4 2/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.11
Ottavino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.   1.27
Kahnle (H, 12) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.   1.48
Holder (H, 4) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  4.15
Britton (L, 2-1, 2.96; BS, 2)  1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up HR.
Cessa 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR.  5.33

 

 

 

 

 

Game 59. Blue Jays best Yanks, 4-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One bad inning by Masahiro Tanaka and the lack of clutch hitting (1 for 12 w/RISP, 11 LOB) by the Yanks (38-21) led to a 4-3 defeat to the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night. It was the first time in over a month that the Yanks lost back-to-back games.

Clint Frazier’s 2-run HR (11) in the fourth gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead.

But in the fifth, Tanaka, who had a one-hit shutout through four innings, gave up a HR to lead off the inning, then after a walk and an out, another HR which made it 3-2 Toronto. After another out, a double, and single made it 4-2 Blue Jays before Tanaka got out of the inning.

Tanaka can’t pitch up in the zone. He doesn’t have that velocity. He has to keep the ball down. Pitches got up all inning long.

In the eighth, Aaron Hicks hit his second HR of the year to cut it to 4-3. The Yanks kept threatening, but as you saw with the 1 for 12 w/RISP, couldn’t break through.

Voit 2 hits
Hicks 2 hits, solo HR (2)
Frazier 2-run HR (11)
Tanaka (L, 3-5, 3.42) 6 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.25
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  9.17

The Yanks released infielder Cliff Pennington from his minor league deal. The former major league infielder, signed in early April, was hitting .196 for SWB.

Barry Latman, a spot starter/long reliever for the White Sox, Indians, Angels and Astros from 1957-1967, died recently at the age of 83. Latman was a pitcher on the 1959 AL Champ White Sox (8-5, 3.75, ERA+ 101) and an All-Star for the 1961 Indians (13-5, 4.02, ERA+ 97). He was 59-68 in his career. His 162 game average was 8-10, 3.91, ERA+ 94.

The Yanks are considered the favorites for signing free agent Dallas Keuchel, but won’t budge from a 1-year, pro-rated contract at the qualifying offer. Meaning at $17.9MM, if Keuchel signs for the second half of the year, he’d get around $9MM. Keuchel apparently would like more years and $$. He, and his agent Bora$$, may have bitten off more than they could chew. One other reason he is still a free agent is that now teams don’t lose the compensatory draft pick anymore since the draft is over.

Game 53. Yanks piece it together, win 5-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (35-18) had to employ the “opener” again, but pieced it together for a 5-2 win over the Padres Memorial Day afternoon.

Chad Green opened and struck out the side in the first.

David Hale replaced him and went the next four innings, giving up 2 runs in the second inning, to pick up his first major league win since 2015.

Then it was Ottavino, Kahnle, Britton and Chapman to close it out.

After Hale gave up the two runs in the top of the second, the Yanks came right back with three runs of their own.

With one out, Clint Frazier hit his 10th HR of the season, Gio Urshela walked, and one out later, Brett Gardner’s 8th HR of the year, a 2-run HR, made it 3-2 Yankees.

It stayed that way until the eighth, when with one out, Gary Sanchez hit his 16th HR of the year to make it 4-2. Gleyber Torres then doubled, and Cameron Maybin singled. An error by the RF on Maybin’s single allowed both runners to take an extra base. 5-2 Yankees, the final score.

Although Green did great (3 up, 3 down, all K) , I do wonder how much more of the “opener” I can take. Paxton will come back Wednesday, CC possibly next Sunday.

The opener and bullpen usage today explains the moves of the day before.

Sanchez solo HR (16)
Frazier 2 hits, solo HR (10)
Gardner 2-run HR  (8)

Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.   11.30
Hale (W, 1-0, 3.38) 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Ottavino (H, 12) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.42
Kahnle (H, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.64
Britton (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.22
Chapman (S, 15) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  1.66

Bill Buckner, unfortunately mostly known for that one play that ended Game 6 of the 1986 WS, passed away at the age of 69. He played for the Dodgers 1969-1976, Cubs 1977-1984, Red Sox 1984-1987, Angels 1987-1988, Royals 1988-1989 and back with the Red Sox 1990.

He played for the Dodgers in the 1974 WS as well as for the Red Sox in the 1986 WS.

A 1x All-Star (1981), he got MVP consideration 5x, and finished 10th in the MVP voting in 1981 and 1982. He led the league in doubles 2x and won the NL batting title in 1980. He drove in 100 or more runs in a season 3x.

He played LF, RF and 1B, and had 2715 hits in his career, and a .289 batting average. His 162 g. average was .289-11-78, OPS+ 100. He played in 4 decades (1969-1990).

Minor League Report. Andujar homers on Rehab stint. Also, a special moment remembered.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

 

Before I get into the minor league report, I would like to comment on the picture you see above. Gene Stephens, a backup/platoon OF who played in the majors for Boston (1952-1953, 1955-1960), Baltimore (1960-1961) the KC A’s (1961-1962) and Chicago White Sox (1963-1964) was a .240 hitter, 37 MLB HR, OPS+ 83. His 162 game average was .240-6-35. 12 years in the majors, nothing really significant about his career, except…

THIS photo.

This photo was taken on August 12, 1964. Mel Stottlemyre made his MLB debut against the White Sox, winning the game, and Stephens is the centerfielder for the White Sox that day looking up at a HR hit by Mickey Mantle that went over the 461 ft. sign and ALSO the fence and screen which combined were about 23 ft. high. It was said to be a 502 ft. shot.

Stephens just passed away a few days ago on April 27, age 86. I thought you’d like to know the story and see the photo.

AAA: SWB (12-12) won 7-3. SS/2B Gosuke Katoh (.366) 3 hits. 2 doubles, HR. C Ryan Lavarnway 2 RBI. 3B Mandy Alvarez 3 hits, 2 RBI. David Hale the W. 3-0, 2.38.

AA: Trenton (15-9) lost 7-4, getting just 3 hits. SS Kyle Holder 2-run HR. Solo HR 1b Chris Gittens. Solo HR LF Ben Ruta.

High A: Tampa (12-15) won 6-5. 3B Miguel Andujar, on rehab, 2 for 2 with a 2-run HR. 1B Dermis Garcia solo HR.

Low A: Charleston (14-13) won 4-0 on a two-hitter, 12 K. CF Josh Stowers 2 hits. C Josh Breaux 2 hits, RBI. DH Cannan Smith 2 hits, RBI. 3B Neil Gomez 2 hits, RBI.

Daniel Bies 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 9 K. (W, 2-1, 4.07)
Dalton Higgins 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.    1.93

Game 25. Yanks’ win streak snapped with 11-5 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Going into the bottom of the fifth, it appeared the Yankees’ win streak would hit seven because the Yanks led 4-0.

The pitching then fell apart and the Yanks’ (14-11) win streak was snapped at six with an 11-5 loss to the Angels.

The Yanks struck first in the third inning when Tyler Wade singled, stole second and third, and scored on a single by D.J. LeMahieu.

Gio Urshela made it 2-0 Yanks in the fourth with his first HR of the season.

The Yanks loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth when Luke Voit and Brett Gardner singled, and Gary Sanchez walked. After Mike Tauchman struck out, a wild pitch plated one run and Gleyber Torres singled in another. 4-0 Yanks.

But in the bottom of the fifth, single, HR, groundout, single, HR off of Masahiro Tanaka and the game was tied.

The Angels then scored two in the sixth and five in the seventh to put the game out of reach. Rough night not only for Tanaka, but also for the rookies, Tarpley and Harvey.

Brett Gardner drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth for the Yanks’ final run.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI
Voit 3 hits

The Yanks stole five bases, but made 2 errors and Gary Sanchez was charged with 2 passed balls.

It appears as if Sanchez needed more rehab time, but with the Yanks’ injury issues, that he was forced to come back too soon.

Tanaka (L, 2-2, 3.60) 5 2/3 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR
Holder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.   5.40
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 2 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.  10.80. Great spring training, rough reg. season so far.
Harvey 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K.  6.35. First time roughed up while in majors.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.93

Earlier yesterday the Yanks acquired Cameron Maybin from Cleveland for cash considerations. This after putting Clint Frazier on the DL. (I still call it DL). Maybin, 32, a righty-hitting OF, has played with the Tigers, Marlins, Padres, Braves, Tigers again, Angels, Astros, Marlins again, and Mariners in his journeyman career that started in the bigs in 2007. A .254 hitter, his 162 g. average is .254-9-49 with 27 SB, OPS+ 91. Slightly below average hitter, good speed. But Yanks desperate for a healthy body in the OF.

On a basketball note, I was saddened to see the news last night that my first basketball idol, Hondo, the great #17 of the Boston Celtics, John Havlicek, passed away yesterday at the age of 79.