Category Archives: Ex-Players

Cubs slam Dodgers in Game 1 of NLCS; Cleveland goes up 2-0 in ALCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Andrew Miller may be the most dominating player in the postseason right now. In 7 2/3 innings of relief, he has struck out 17. He pitched two more scoreless innings of relief yesterday, giving up no hits and no runs and striking out five in Cleveland’s 2-1 win over Toronto.

The win puts Cleveland up 2 games to none. They now head to Toronto for the next three games in the best-of-seven ALCS. Today is an off day.

Once again, Francisco Lindor came up with the game winning hit for the Indians.

In the NLCS, Miguel Montero hit a PH grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and lead the Cubs to a 8-4 win in Game One of the NLCS. I don’t know what Joe Blanton was thinking. He gave up the meatball on an 0-2 pitch. Then, the next hitter, Dexter Fowler, hit another HR and it was game over.

This after Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded, no one out and the Cubs having a 3-1 lead. He got two strikeouts but Adrian Gonzalez tied the game with a single before Chapman got the final out.

Ex-NY Jet Dennis Byrd over came a severe injury on the football field to learn how to walk again when it looked like he would be paralyzed for life. How sad is it to learn that after overcoming that, that Byrd died in a car accident yesterday.

I am watching the ND-Stanford game yesterday, and ND gives up a safety. I have to ask, why with your team backed up against its own end zone, is the QB in a shotgun? The center snaps the ball over the QB’s head and into or through the back of the end zone for a safety. Too often I see shotgun and no back formations. When backed up against your own end zone, do it the old-fashioned way—-have your QB right under the center with his hands under the center’s ass for the snap. It’s not that complicated, coaches.

Arizona Fall League: Only Gleyber Torres of the Yankees’ prospects played. He was 0 for 4 and struck out twice. There are no games today, Sunday.

Red Sox eliminated, Ortiz’ career over. Giants stay alive, Washington up 2-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze


David Ortiz’ career came to an end as Boston was swept by Cleveland, 3 games to none. The Indians got a 2-run HR by one-time Red Sox player Coco Crisp in beating Boston, 4-3. Andrew Miller pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the sixth and seventh.

The ALCS will feature Toronto, who hasn’t been in the WS since beating the Phillies in 1993, and Cleveland, who last were in the WS in 1997 (and who last won it in 1948).

The Cavs and Indians in the same year?

Um….there still is no hope for the Browns (0-5).

The Giants got a run in the bottom of the 13th to beat the Cubs and avoid getting swept. The Cubs are still up 2 games to 1. Aroldis Chapman got a blown save, getting his only man out on a strikeout, but giving up a run, walking one, giving up 2 hits, in the eighth.

Washington went up 2 games to 1 on the Dodgers with an 8-3 win. Jayson Werth had 3 hits, 2 RBI, including a HR. Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen gave up 4 runs in 1/3 of an inning.

Between Chapman and Jansen, a rough day for elite closers.

Yankees’ player Donovan Solano elected free agency instead of an option to SWB.

Game 162. Yanks’ season, Teix’s career, end with 5-2 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost their season finale, 5-2, to Baltimore and finished the season 84-78.

It matches the 2014 season as their worst since 1992.

With the loss, Mark Teixeira’s career comes to an end. He went 0 for 3 in his final game and retires with 409 HR.

The Yanks finished 9 games out of first place, in fourth place in the AL East, and missed getting a wild card spot by 5 games.

They gave up more runs than they scored. Their Pythagorean record was 79-83, so they won 5 more games than they probably should have.

The adjusted OPS was 91, which means the offense was 9% below league average.

The adjusted ERA was 105, which means 5% above league average.

Masahiro Tanaka was their best player.

As for the game, Luis Cessa gave up a run in the third on a SF. Matt Wieters hit a 2-run HR off Cessa in the fourth.

Brian McCann hit his 20th HR in the bottom of the fourth to cut it to 3-1.

Wieters hit his second 2-run HR of the game in the sixth, this one off of Tommy Layne, to put the Orioles up 5-1.

Singles by Sanchez, McCann and Gregorius in the eighth scored Sanchez with the Yanks’ final run of the year.

Cessa (L, 4-4, 4.35) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 walks, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Layne 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.63 (Bos/NYY) Gave up 1 HR.
Parker 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 4.67 (Sea/NYY)
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.68 (Cubs/NYY)
Bleier 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 1.96

Now for an interesting offseason. What moves do the Yankees make?

The postseason is set.
AL: Texas #1 seed, Cleveland #2, Boston #3. Toronto hosts Baltimore in the WC game.

NL: Cubs #1 seed, Washington #2, Dodgers #3. Mets host SF in the wild card game.

In this decade, The Giants have won the WS in 2010, 2012 and 2014. They snuck into this year’s playoffs with 87 wins, the same as the Mets and 1 game better than St. Louis. Giants’ fans hope the even-year thing continues.

Two broadcasting legends called their final games Sunday. Vin Scully and Dick Enberg.

Game 156. Yanks rally with 5 in 9th to win “brawl” game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees scored 5 times in the top of the ninth and won 7-5 over Toronto in a game that saw a brushback battle, and Luis Severino, Joe Girardi, Rob Thompson and Larry Rothschild all ejected.

The Yanks go to 80-76 and close the season with six games at home. They are all but officially eliminated, being 5 out of a playoff spot with six games to go. The most wins the Yanks can have is 86. Toronto already has that and Baltimore has 85. Not only that, there are three teams between the Yanks and Baltimore.

In the first, Gardner got on on a bunt single (where was that all year) and went to third on a 2-base throwing error on the play. He scored on an RBI groundout by Sanchez.

In the bottom of the first, with one out, Severino hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch. A single and two walks later, the game was tied at 1. Severino got out of the inning giving up just that one run.

In the top of the second, Headley was HBP and the benches cleared. Girardi was tossed. In the bottom of the second, Toronto’s Josh Smoak was drilled, benches emptied and more ejections were made.

Toronto got two in the third to go up 3-1.

The Yanks got one back in the eighth. Gardner, who doubled,  scored on an RBI single by Ellsbury.

In the ninth, Teixeira homered with one out (14) to tie the game. #408 of his career passed Duke Snider on the all-time list. Gregorius singled, and Hicks homered (8) to put the Yanks up 5-3. Solano doubled, Gardner walked, and Ellsbury singled in a run to make it 6-3. Sanchez got a SF to make it 7-3.

Betances came in and needed help. He once again looked completely out of gas and couldn’t field his position. Layne came in to save it.

Gardner had 3 hits and scored 3 runs. Ellsbury had 2 hits and 2 RBI. 2 RBI for Sanchez. Big 2-run HR for Hicks.

Severino 1+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 2 HBP. Ejected. 5.75
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walks, 0 K. 7.11
Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K, 7.71
Yates 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 3 K. 5.36
Bleier 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.33
Warren (w, 7-4, 4.64 Cubs/NYY) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Betances 0 IP,  2 R, 1 earned, 0 H, 2 walks, 0 K.  Made an error. 3.13. Faced 3 batters, all reached. 2 walks and an error.
Layne (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.14.

James Kaprielian, who was dominant in spring training and in three games for High-A Tampa this year before being shut down with a flexor strain, is now OK and will be making up time in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. Good news.

Game 155. Yanks lose again, a MLB tragedy, and a golfing legend passes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before I get to the Yankees’ game, I need to mention a few other things.

First, a tragedy. Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez was one of a few people killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. He was just 24. There were rumors that 4 teams, including the Yankees, were looking to trade for him in the off season. Fernandez was 16-8, 2.86 this season with 253 K. He was 38-17 in his short career with an ERA of 2.58. He already was one of the best starting pitchers in the game. He was the 2013 NL ROY, and already a 2x All Star. Who knows what more he could have done over the next 13 years or so.

Secondly, golfing legend Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87. My mom knew his wife. I think she went to school with Palmer’s future wife when both were about 14, 15 or so. It’s sad when a true humble gentleman like Palmer goes. Too many athletes today are narcissistic, self-centered brats. RIP to both Fernandez and Arnie.

As for the Yanks, they battled back to tie and take the lead in the top of the ninth, only to blow it in the bottom of the ninth, 4-3. The loss drops them to 79-76 with 7 games left.

No need to post an elimination number from the playoffs. It’s just a matter of time. They are 3-11 in their last 14 games.

Jose Bautista homered in the 4th to put Toronto up 1-0. Didi Gregorius tied it in the 7th with a HR (19).

In the bottom of the eighth, Toronto scored off Betances to go up 2-1.

That inning showed once again, one of two faults that Betances, as good as he is, has. One, he doesn’t hold runners on well. A big (6’8″) man with a deliberate motion and long stride to the plate, it’s easy to steal off of him. He also does not field his position well, especially with throws to the bases. This includes pickoffs.

The Yanks battled back and took the lead in the top of the ninth. Teix singled and was PR for. PH Butler singled and was PR for.  Headley grounded out, moving both runners up. Mason Williams singled in a run. Ronald Torreyes hit a SF.

Betances (who I wrote recently as being out of gas) walked the lead off hitter to lead off the bottom of the 9th. Clippard came in, and it’s been a bad week for him.   He gave up a single. 1st and 3rd, none out. A bunt single, and an error, tied the game and put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Clippard got a strikeout, then loaded the bases with an intentional walk to set up a DP. No DP. Edwin Encaracion singled to win the game.

Pineda 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 walks, 7 K. 4.78 Gave UP 1 HR.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 4.79 (Cubs/NYY)
Betances 1 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 3.00
Clippard (BS, 3; L, 3-6, 3.73) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 1K.


As for my football team today (not to mention my alma mater yesterday), ouch. Between the Yanks, those two football teams, and some personal things, what a lousy week.


Game 151. Baby Bombers lead Yanks to 11-5 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez hit 2 more HRs, becoming the fastest to 19 (it took him just 45 MLB games to hit his first 19 HR) and drove in five runs as the Yankees beat Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, 11-5.

He had help. Donovan Solano had 3 hits, drove in 2 runs and hit a HR.

Mason Williams had 2 hits and an RBI.

Brian McCann had 4 hits.

The Yanks won despite giving up five HRs to Tampa Bay, all solo shots. Unbelievably, four of the HRs came in one inning, and three were in a row. All HRs given up by Masahiro Tanaka. Outside of that inning, Tanaka was masterful, but ouch, what an ugly inning that was.

The Yanks got three right away in the first inning. Gardner singled, Ellsbury (back in the lineup after a few days off due to a bruised knee) walked, and Sanchez singled in a run. McCann singled to make it 2-0, and after a couple of outs, Ronald Torreyes singled to make it 3-0.

The Yanks got four in the second to go up 7-0. Solano and Gardner singled and both moved up on a groundout by Ellsbury. Sanchez then hit his first HR of the game (18) to make it 6-0. McCann singled, Teixeira doubled him to third, and McCann scored on a SF by Didi Gregorius.

Laugher, right? Wrong. In the bottom of the third, Tanaka gave up FOUR solo homers. Three of them were in a row with two out. Unbelievable.

I was once at a game where a Yankees pitcher gave up 4 homers in an inning. It was in Chicago vs. the White Sox in 2005. The Yanks’ pitcher? Randy Johnson.

Anyway, all of a sudden, it was 7-4. Take away that one inning, and Tanaka pitched five innings of shutout, 3-hit ball. But that one inning, hoo-boy.

Despite that meltdown inning, Tanaka still leads the AL in ERA at 3.07.

Sanchez’ second HR of the game (19) made it 8-4 in the sixth.

Adam Warren gave up a HR in the 8th to make it 8-5.

The Yanks got 3 insurance runs in the 9th. Gregorius singled, and moved up on a groundout. Williams (I like this kid, and think maybe Gardner could be trade bait for a starting pitcher in the offseason. With Eovaldi to be out until 2018, they will need one, unless a minor leaguer like Enns or Adams is ready) singled in a run, then Solano hit a 2-run HR to make it 11-5.

The win puts the Yanks at 79-72. 11 games to go. They are 2 1/2 out of the last wild card slot but need to jump over 4 teams to get it.

A sad note: former Yankees player Yangeris Solarte, now with the Padres, lost his wife recently to cancer. She was just 31.

Tanaka (w, 14-4, 3.07) 6 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 walks, 5 K. Gave up 4 HR.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 4.90 (Cubs/NYY)
Layne (H, 12) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.21 (Bos/NYY) One batter …. again.
Clippard (H, 24) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.20 (Az/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.40.

Game 150. Sanchez does it again! Yanks win 5-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Forgive me for a moment as I play devil’s advocate.

If you are the manager of another team, and the score is tied, and the other team has runners on 2nd and 3rd with two out…

and the HOTTEST hitter in baseball is up at the plate…

do you pitch to him? Or walk him to load the bases for the next hitter, hoping for a force at any base?

And if you are the owner of a manager who decides to pitch to him anyway, only to see that batter hit a 3-run homer that wins the game, do you fire that manager?

For that is exactly what happened in the Yankees’ 5-3 win over Tampa Bay Tuesday night.

Of the 16 outs Michael Pineda recorded for the Yanks tonight, 11 were by strikeout. He gave up a two-run triple in the third to put the Yanks in a 2-0 hole.

Mark Teixeira hit a HR in the fourth to cut it to 2-1. Teix’s 13th HR of the year was #407 of his career, tying him with Duke Snider on the all-time HR list.

In the seventh, Ronald Torreyes and Mason Williams each singled. 1st and 3rd, one out. As I mentioned before, I think the Yanks should look at dealing Gardner for a decent starting pitcher and look into giving the LF job to Williams in 2017. He might platoon with Frazier (Williams vs. RHP,  Frazier or Hicks vs. Lefties).

Gardner singled to tie the game, Williams going to third. Gardner stole 2nd while Hicks (just off the DL) stuck out.

So 2 out. Men on 2nd and 3rd, tie game. Sanchez up and 1st base open. Would you pitch to the hottest hitter in baseball or walk him?

Fortunately for us Yankees fans, Tampa Bay manager pitched to Sanchez. He should be fired for his decision. Sanchez hit a 3-run HR (17) to the delight of us Yankees fans.

Was he kidding? Pitching to Sanchez right now?

Thank you very much, Kevin Cash.

In the 8th, a triple and WP let the Rays score a run.

Pineda 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk, 11 K. 4.89
Layne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.24 (Bos/NYY).
Once again, Girardi uses Layne for just 1 batter. AAAARGH! At least THIS time, it didn’t burn him.

Severino (w, 3-8, 5.88) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Clippard (H, 23)  1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 3.22 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (S, 12) 1 P, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.79.

Anthony Swarzak was called back to the Yanks, the other day.

The win puts the Yanks at 78-72 with 12 games left.