Category Archives: Ex-Players

Hector Lopez, part of 2 Yankees WS champs and 5 pennant winners, passes away at age 93.

Hector Lopez, a platoon INF/OF who was part of 2 World Series Champions and 5 pennant winners for the Yankees in the early 1960s, passed away at the age of 93.

Lopez was the second Panamanian born player to play in the majors and the first black manager in AAA.

A versatile player, Lopez was in LF for 471 games, at 3B for 459, at 2B for 184 and in RF for 178 in his career. He also had a few games in CF, SS, and 1B.

He played with the Kansas City Athletics from 1955-1959, and then with the Yankees from 1959-1966, being a part of the Yankees’ teams that won back-to-back WS titles in 1961 and 1962 and five straight AL pennants from 1960-1964.

Lopez’ best years with the Yanks were in 1959 after being traded from KC and in 1960. The righty hitter hit 16 of his career high 22 HR with the Yanks in 1959, and hit .284 in 1960.

In his time with the Yankees from 1960-1964, Lopez averaged 117 games a season as a platoon player, .261-8-40, OPS+ 97.

In WS play he was 8 for 28, .286, with 1 HR and 7 RBI. He was 3 for 7 in the 1960 WS, and 3 for 9 with a triple, HR, and 7 RBI in the 1961 WS. After a poor 1961 season, Lopez had a fabulous fifth and final game of the 1961 WS, hitting his WS HR and driving in 5 runs. He also caught the last out of that WS.

Lopez’ 162 game average was .269-15-66, OPS+ 103.

Game 155. Fit to be tied! Judge gets #61, Cole ties Guidry K mark in Yanks’ 8-3 win.

Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris for the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record by hitting his 61st HR last night in the Yankees’ (96-59) 8-3 win at Toronto.

The blow broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning. Fitting that it was the game-winning hit.

So, 61 years after Maris, who wore #9, hit 61, Judge, also a RF, who wears #99, matches him. And Maris sometimes played CF, especially after Mantle went down late in the 1961 season. We’ve seen Judge play a lot of CF himself this season.

The Yankees are off today and return to NY for a weekend series against Baltimore. If Judge doesn’t hit #62 Friday night, maybe he does it Saturday, October 1. If so, he would break Maris’ mark exactly 61 years after Roger hit his 61st.

Judge wasn’t the only one to tie a single season Yankees’ record last night. Gerrit Cole struck out four batters to give him 248 on the season, tying the mark set by Ron Guidry in 1978.

Judge’s HR was his only at bat in a 1 for 4 night. He still leads, barely, in the batting title race as he possibly could win a Triple Crown. He is hitting .3134 to the Twins’ Luis Arraez .3133. Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .309. Should Judge win the Triple Crown, he would be only the second player since 1967 to do so. He would be the third Yankee. Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956 are the Yankees to have done so. By the way, no NL hitter has won the Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick of St. Louis in 1937.

Having won the AL East the night before, manager Aaron Boone made Anthony Rizzo the de facto manager for the evening. Most of the lineup was made up of the bench players, and rookie Oswald Peraza hit cleanup.

The Yanks scored three times in the top of the first inning. Judge walked, and so did Oswaldo Cabrera. Josh Donaldson singled in Judge, and Peraza then got a single for his first MLB RBI to make it 2-0. After a force-out, Marwin Gonzalez hit a SF to make it 3-0.

Cole retired the first 15 batters he faced before giving up a HR to Danny Jansen leading off the bottom of the sixth. As we have seen this year, anything that seems to throw Cole off a bit seems to mess him up big time, as far as limiting the damage. A single and walk immediately followed. After a lineout, a single brought in one run. A balk by Cole moved the runners up to second and third. A SF tied the game before Cole got out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Aaron Hicks singled before Judge hit his AL record-tying HR (and we know about the steroid controversy surrounding the NL and MLB mark, a fact alluded to by Roger Maris, Jr. in a postgame interview). But two outs after Judge’s line drive blast (394 ft with an exit velo of 117+ MPH, the hardest HR Judge has hit all season), the Yanks tacked on another run. Peraza singled, went to second on a WP and scored on a single by Harrison Bader, who moved to second on an error. 6-3 Yankees.

The Yanks got a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Cabrera doubled, and Donaldson was HBP. A groundout by Peraza moved the runners up. Bader then hit a ball back to the mound, but in trying to get the runner out at home, Toronto pitcher Adam Cimber threw the ball back to the backstop and both runners scored. 8-3.

Judge 2-run HR (61). Ties AL record and Yankees’ record for most HR in a season.
Peraza 2 hits, RBI. First MLB RBI
Locastro 2 hits
Hicks 3 for 3 with a walk.

Cole (W, 13-7) 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1 Balk. Gave up 1 HR. 3.51
Cole’s 248 K ties Guidry single season NYY record.

Britton (H, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 13.50 After TJ surgery, control is the last thing to return.
Effross (H, 16) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63 (Cubs/NYY)
Schmidt (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.29
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.24

D.J. LeMahieu is expected off the IL on Friday, and we will see about the corresponding move.

Game 152. Rain gives Yanks rain-shortened 6 inning win, 2-0, robs Judge of an AB. Magic # 2

Before last night, the Yankees had no complete games out of their starters this season.

They do now, thanks to the rain. Nestor Cortes pitched six innings of one-hit shutout baseball, and since the rain ended the game after six innings, he’s credited with a complete game victory.

The 2-0 win means the Yankees (94-58) magic number for clinching the AL East title is 2. Since the Yankees now head to Toronto for a three-game series, all the Yanks have to do is to win one of the three games and the AL East crown is theirs.

The rain ending the game early also meant that Aaron Judge was robbed of at least one at bat. He was scheduled to lead off the bottom of the seventh for the Yanks. Judge doubled in the first inning, walked in the third, and flied out in the fifth. His 1 for 2, combined with Xander Bogaerts 0 for 2, put Judge back on top for the AL batting lead and the Triple Crown, and barely. Judge is currently hitting .3143, and Bogaerts .3137.

The Yanks scored in the fourth when Oswaldo Cabrera led off with a double and stole third. A single by Jose Trevino plated Cabrera.

In the sixth, Harrison Bader singled and was forced out by Aaron Hicks. With two out, Hicks came around to score when one-time Yankee Rob Refsnyder had trouble catching a ball between the pouring rain and the lights and was charged with an error.

Although it would have been great to have Judge hit #61 and #62 at home, the perfect scenario now would be for him to hit both in the same game at Toronto tonight. Therefore, there could be a ton of celebrating, for Judge would have broken the AL and Yankees’ single season HR record in the same game in which they clinch the division. Also, perfect would be for that little boy who is a huge Judge fan and who was gifted a HR ball by a Toronto fan in a scene that went viral this summer to be there to witness it.

Rookie SS Oswald Peraza had 2 hits.

Cortes (W, 11-4) 6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 5 K. 2.56

Miguel Andujar, DFA’d by the Yankees, was picked up by the Pirates.

Yankees’ legend Don Mattingly will not be back as Marlins’ manager next year. No offense to any of the Yankees’ coaches, but here is hoping Donnie comes back home, perhaps as the Yankees’ hitting coach (no offense to the coaches doing that now). It would be great to see #23 wearing his retired Yankees uniform, not have the pressure of managing, and teaching what he (.307 career batting average) did so well.

Game 150. Yanks Magic #4 after 5-4 win. Judge still stuck on 60.

The Yankees (92-58) magic number for clinching the AL East and a bye into the ALDS is now 4 after a 5-4 win over Boston coupled with a Toronto loss to Tampa Bay. The Yankees have an 8 1/2 game lead with 12 games to go. It doesn’t seem too long ago we were worried about that lead getting under 3.

Aaron Judge was 1 for 4 with a single, so we are still awaiting HR #61. He still leads in batting average, .315 to .314 for Xander Bogaerts and .312 for Luis Arraez so as of now he still leads in all Triple Crown categories.

Gerrit Cole got 8 strikeouts to up his season total to 244. He is 4 behind the Yankees’ single season record of 248, set by Ron Guidry in 1978. He should have two starts left and should break that record in one of those starts. Cole, however, still had gopher ball problems last night, which we will get to shortly.

Tommy Pham homered off of Cole in the top of the first to give Boston a quick 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Aaron Hicks homered (8) to tie the game. Yankee fans (and baseball fans?) joked it was the wrong Aaron who homered.

The Yanks scored three times in the fifth to go up 4-1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) led off with a single, and Marwin Gonzalez walked. Hicks singled IKF home, Gonzalez going to second. Two outs later, Gleyber Torres doubled in both runners. Torres went to third on the play on an error but was stranded.

One thing Yankees fans have noticed about Gerrit Cole this year. Besides the high number of gopher balls he has given up, it seems like Cole can’t pitch through a little adversity. If the pregame ceremony goes a little long, it affects him. If there is a rain delay or an error behind him, he immediately gives up a big hit afterward. If an umps ball/strike call goes against him, you know a big hit is coming against him. Last night, in the top of the sixth, a 1-2 pitch with two on was called a ball. Awful call by the ump. The next pitch was immediately hit for a game-tying 3-run HR. I have to question the pitch selection since all the pitches in the at bat were fastballs, and Alex Verdugo finally timed one that was also placed in the wrong spot. But once Cole didn’t get the call, he folded. It just seems like every time something doesn’t go his way, he isn’t pitching through it. Just an observation.

Cole did strike out the next hitter to end the inning and knew with his pitch count that he was done for the night, so he let that ump have it with a curse word as he left the mound. He was ejected, as was manager Aaron Boone, who came out to protect his player.

Now, yes, Cole had a right to be pissed off, but he needs to pitch through that. Also, yes, umpires are human, and we all make mistakes, but MLB has to hold umpires more accountable for bad calls. There are too many awful calls that umpires get away with (think Angel Hernandez, although he didn’t make that bad call last night). Whatever happened to responsibility and accountability?

So, the game was now tied at 4.

In the bottom of the eighth, newly acquired (well, not so new, since we had to wait for him to get off the IL after the trade) Harrison Bader was a sparkplug again. With two out, Bader pinch hit for Oswaldo Cabrera and walked. He stole second and went to third on an error, then scored when Jose Trevino singled. This held up as the deciding run in the 5-4 Yankees win.

Torres 2 RBI
HIcks 2 hits, 2 RBI Solo HR (8)

Cole 6 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR 3.49 4 K behind Guidry’s record of 248 in 1978.
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20
Loaisiga (W, 2-3) 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.43

Non-Yankee related but what a feat. Albert Pujols, retiring after the season, hit 2 HR for St. Louis against the Dodgers in LA last night. The second was HR #700 of his career, joining Barry Bonds*, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players to hit 700 HR in their careers. Pujols joins Aaron as the only player with 3000 or more hits AND 700 or more HR in their career. Congrats!

One other note. Tampa Bay, Toronto and Seattle are neck and neck and neck for the 4-5-6 seedings in the AL playoff race. Just so you know, Tampa Bay wins all tiebreakers. Seattle has the tiebreaker over Toronto. Toronto loses all tiebreakers. Based on head-to-head record.







Game 148. Pinstripes Pummel Pirates, 14-2. 5 RBI each for Cabrera, Gleyber.

History was made at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night, but not the history fans came to see.

Aaron Judge didn’t hit HR #61 but did hit two doubles in the game. He still leads the AL in batting average, .3171 to .3166 over Xander Bogaerts as he tries to become only the second Triple Crown winner since 1967.

If Judge is to get HR #61 tonight, it would be against the same team Roger Maris got #61 against—the Red Sox. One thing though—Judge is 0 for 14 against Red Sox starter Michael Wacha.

With the win, 14-2 over Pittsburgh, the 90-58 Yankees’ magic # is 8 to clinch the division, and 1 to ensure a playoff spot. Since the Yankees own the tiebreaker over Baltimore, any Yankees’ win or Orioles loss and the Yankees get at least the #6 seed.

Oswaldo Cabrera and Gleyber Torres each had 5 RBI in the game, and each did it in record-setting fashion.

Luis Severino came off of the IL and was great, giving up just one run in five innings. With Frankie Montas going on the IL and who will probably NOT be ready for the playoffs (and Montas wasn’t pitching well anyway), Severino could be the starter for Game #3 after Cole and Cortes and in front of Taillon.

Miguel Andujar was sent down in order to bring Severino off of the IL.

In the bottom of the first, Cabrera hit a grand slam (3) to put the Yankees up 4-0. From MLB.com, here are a few history-making notes about his grand slam.

It marked the first time in AL/NL history that a team had won a game on a grand slam (Giancarlo Stanton’s ultimate slam on Tuesday night), then scored its first four runs in the next game with another slam.

It was also only the third instance of a team hitting a grand slam in the final inning of one game and then another slam in the first inning of its next contest. The others involved the Red Sox in 1955 and the Dodgers in 2017, according to Stats Perform.

The Yankees — who rode consecutive-inning slams by Judge and Aaron Hicks to a rout of these same Pirates on July 6 — also became the first club in history to hit slams in back-to-back innings twice in one season. The feat is so rare that no other team has hit a pair of consecutive-inning grand slams against the same opponent at any point in its history — not to mention the same season.


Pittsburgh got a run in the fourth off of Severino to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-1.

The Yanks scored two in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Judge doubled. If he would have gotten under the ball just a little bit, maybe #61. Instead, the ball went 305 feet down the 318 ft. LF line and one-hopped the fence for a ground-rule double. After another out, Judge moved up on a WP and scored on a single by Torres. Josh Donaldson then doubled in Torres to make it 6-1.

The Pirates got a run in the top of the sixth off Lucas Luetge. 6-2.

Then the Yanks scored 8 in the eighth to blow the game open. Torres led off with a HR (22). Donaldson and Stanton each walked. Cabrera doubled in Donaldson, Stanton to third. Harrison Bader doubled in both runners to make it 10-2. So far in his first two games as a Yankee, Bader has been a sparkplug. 5 RBI for him in the two games. After an out, Jose Trevino doubled in Bader. Judge walked, and after a WP and another out, Torres hit his second HR (23) of the inning to make it 14-2.

Torres became the fifth Yankee to HR twice in the same inning. Judge can’t do everything by himself, so to see Torres get hot is a great sign. Now for Rizzo and Stanton to do the same.

Once again, from MLB.com:

The 25-year-old joined the company of Alex Rodriguez (who did it twice, most recently on Oct. 4, 2009), Cliff Johnson (1977), Joe Pepitone (’62), and Joe DiMaggio (’36). Coincidentally, Torres’ own skipper (Aaron Boone) also accomplished the feat during his playing days, smashing a pair of long balls for the Reds in the first inning on Aug. 9, 2002.

Judge 2 hits. Leads in all triple Crown categories. Barely in average. .3171 to .3166 over Bogaerts.
Torres 3 hits, 5 RBI. Solo and 3-run HR (23), Both HR in the same inning.
Cabrera 2 hits, 5 RBI. Grand Slam (3)
Bader 2 RBI.

Severino (W, 6-3) 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 6 K. 3.36
Luetge 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 HBP 2.82
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.25
Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.10







Game 147. What a night! 60! Fabulous Comeback! Triple Crown?

With all apologies to the Dells, Oh, What a Night!

Before the game, the Yankees placed Frankie Montas on the 15-day IL, retroactive to 9/17. Since he’d come off it right at the end of the season, I think it is safe to say that he would NOT start a postseason game.

Harrison Bader came off the IL and made his Yankees debut with 3 RBI. We will get to the game recap soon.

Ryan Weber chose free agency after being DFA’d. We’ll see what happens there.

Now to the game. Aaron Judge hit his 60th HR, tying the # Babe Ruth hit in 1927 (and in 147 games too!). He is now one behind Roger Maris’ Yankees and AL record of 61 (we know about the MLB and NL Steroid-aided records*).

Judge’s HR also put him at .316, and he now leads the AL in batting average as well as HR and RBI (and a whole lot of other categories). As of now, he’d win the Triple Crown, a feat done only once since 1967. Two Yankees have won the Triple Crown—Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956.

Not only that, the Yankees, down 8-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, scored five runs to win the game 9-8 over Pittsburgh, capped off by an “ultimate slam” — a walk off grand slam with your team down by 3—by Giancarlo Stanton.

Nestor Cortes was “Nasty Nestor” again, but the Yankees’ bullpen was horrendous. Judge and Stanton’s HR, as well as Bader’s great Yankees debut, saved them.

With the win, the Yankees (89-58) kept their 5 1/2 game lead over Toronto. The magic # for clinching the division is 10. The magic # for a playoff berth is now 2 (since the Yankees own the tiebreaker over Baltimore).

The Pirates scored first, on a SF in the top of the fourth inning. Oswaldo Cabrera, making his first start in LF, caught the ball at the top of the wall. It just missed being a grand slam.

In the bottom of the fifth, Cabrera reached on a 3-base error, and was driven in on a single by Bader. Bader moved up on a groundout and scored on a single by Jose Trevino. 2-1 Yanks.

Ron Marinaccio put a couple runners on in the top of the sixth, and both scored when Lou Trivino replaced Marinaccio only to give up a 2-run double. 3-2, Pirates.

The Yanks came back in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead. Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a single. After Stanton struck out, Cabrera walked. A wild pitch moved the runners up, then Bader singled them both in. Nice Yankees’ debut for Bader, who the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery for, but who the Yanks had to wait on, due to Bader being on the IL with plantar fasciitis.

Trivino gave up a HR to Brian Reynolds in the top of the seventh that tied the game.

In the top of the eighth, the bullpen imploded further. With one out, a walk, error by Anthony Rizzo, and single off of Jonathan Loaisiga made it 5-4. Clay Holmes, who has been awful since July 9, came in and gave up a 3-run HR to made it 8-4. I don’t know what is wrong with Holmes, but the Yankees need to straighten him out. At this time, it seemed like the only reason to keep watching or listening was to see what Judge would do in his last at bat.

And in the bottom of the ninth, Judge didn’t disappoint, hitting #60 to make it 8-5 Yankees. The historic homer seemed to spark the team, who didn’t want the homer to go to waste in a loss. Rizzo followed with a double. Gleyber Torres walked. Donaldson singled to load the bases. Then Stanton, struggling mightily since June 1, hit HR #27, a walk off grand slam to win the game.

It was the fourth time in Yankees’ history that the Yankees were down by three runs and a batter hit a walk off grand slam (ultimate slam) to win the game. Babe Ruth did it in 1925, then a long wait for the second one, Jason Giambi in 2002. Donaldson did it last month, and now Stanton last night.

Judge Solo HR (60) .316-60-128 leads AL in all three categories. Can he win the Triple Crown?
Torres 2 hits
Donaldson 2 hits
Stanton 4 RBI walk off grand slam (27)
Bader 2 hits, 3 RBI
Trevino 2 hits, RBI

Cortes 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 4 K. 2.67
Marinaccio (H, 6) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.31
Trivino (BS, 3) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.84 (A’s/NYY)
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.64
Holmes 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.67
Chapman (W, 3-3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.41







Wills, 1962 NL MVP, passes away at the age of 89.

Maury Wills, who won the 1962 NL MVP Award after a season in which he set a then-record of 104 SB, has passed away at the age of 89. He would have turned 90 on October 2.

Wills, a SS who sometimes played 3B, played for the Dodgers (1959-1966), Pirates (1967-1968), Expos (1969) and back with the Dodgers (1969-1972). He played for 3 WS Champs (1959, 1963 and 1965) and another NL pennant winner (1966). He was a 7x All-Star (in 5 years. There were 2 All-Star Games in 1961 and 1962) who won 2 Gold Glove Awards. He got MVP consideration 8x, and besides winning it in 1962, finished 9th in 1961, 3rd in 1965 (behind Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax) and 6th at the age of 38 in 1971.

In 1962, he hit .299-6-48 and set a then MLB record of 104 SB while leading the NL with 10 triples. In 1965, he hit .286-0-33, and led the majors with 94 SB. He led the NL is SB each season from 1960-1965.

His 162 game average was .281-2-38, 49 SB, OPS+ 88. He had 2134 hits in his career, and 586 SB despite his first MLB game not coming until he was 26 years old.

In 21 WS games, he hit .244-0-4 with 6 SB.

Later he briefly managed the Seattle Mariners. As the second of two managers in 1980, he went 20-38 as Seattle finished 7th and last in the AL West. He was fired after starting the 1981 season 6-18. Seattle finished that first half of the strike season sixth. Total 26-56 in 82 games as a manager.

His son, Bump Wills, spent six years in the majors as a 2B.





Game 146. Judge at 59 HR after Yanks win slugfest, 12-8. Triple Crown within reach.

Aaron Judge is at 59.

No right-handed batter in American League history has hit more in a season. Judge trails only lefty swinging hitters Babe Ruth (60 in 1927) and Roger Maris (61 in 1961) for most HR in a season by an American League player.

We know all about the 154 vs. 162 game season controversy, as well as the steroid-aided MLB and NL records.

Not only is Judge at 59 HR, but with a 4-hit performance yesterday that included 2 HR, he is now hitting .316, which is only one point short of the AL leader, meaning a Triple Crown is within reach. Only one man, Miguel Cabrera in 2012, has won the Triple Crown since 1967. Two Yankees have won it, Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956.

With their 12-8 slugfest win Sunday, the Yankees (88-58) have a 5 1/2 game lead with 16 games to go. Their magic # for clinching the division is 11. Their magic # for a playoff spot is 5 (since they own the tiebreaker over Baltimore).

Gerrit Cole stuck out 8 batters to give him 236 for the season, 12 behind Ron Guidry’s Yankees record of 248 set in 1978, but Cole, despite getting the win, was victimized once again by the gopher ball.

Kolten Wong hit a 3-run HR off of Cole in the bottom of the first. Brewers 3-0.

Oswaldo Cabrera got a run back for the Yankees in the top of the second with his second HR of the season. 3-1.

In the bottom of the second, Tyrone Taylor homered off Cole and it was 4-1, Brewers. Things didn’t look good.

Judge and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back HRs in the top of the third to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 4-3. For Judge, #58. It was #31 for Rizzo, who just returned off of the IL. (Estevan Florial was sent down).

The Yanks got 4 runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-4 lead. Judge led off with a walk. Rizzo singled Judge to second. A flyout by Gleyber Torres moved both runners up. Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. An error on a fielder’s choice by Giancarlo Stanton tied the game. Bases still loaded. An infield single by Cabrera put the Yanks up 5-4. After a lineout with no advance, Kyle Higashioka singled in two runs to make it 7-4.

In the top of the seventh, the Yanks scored three times to increase their lead to 10-4. Cabrera doubled to lead off the inning, and two groundouts moved him around. 8-4. Aaron Hicks then hit his seventh HR. 9-4. Judge made it back-to-back HR by creaming #59, a 443-ft. blast. 10-4.

The extra runs proved necessary. Rowdy Tellez hit a 2-run HR for the Brewers in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Yanks’ lead to 10-6. They then stranded two.

Judge got a 2-run double in the top of the ninth to make it 12-6. Michael Kay mentioned something in the lines of that Judge was the only guy in baseball that can hit a 2-run double and you are disappointed.

Those two runs were necessary, too. Each of Milwaukee’s first three hitters in the bottom of the ninth singled off of Wandy Peralta. Clay Holmes then relieved Peralta and gave up a ground rule double that made the score 12-8. Holmes then got an out before a walk reloaded the bases, bring the tying run to the plate. A strikeout and groundout ended the game.

Judge 4 hits, 4 RBI. 2 solo HR (59) .316-59-127. One point short of batting average lead.
Rizzo 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (31). First game off the IL.
Cabrera 3 hits, 2 RBI. Solo HR (2)
Higashioka 3 RBI.
Hicks 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (7).

Cole (W, 12-7) 5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 3 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.41 236 K, 12 behind Guidry’s 248 in 1978.
Schmidt (H, 2) 2 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.82
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.35
Peralta 0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.72
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.55

The Yanks are off today.


Ex-Met C Stearns, a 4x All-Star, dies at age 71.

John Stearns, who bridged the gap between Jerry Grote and Gary Carter as Mets’ catcher, passed away at the age of 71.

Stearns was a 4x all-star, who had decent speed for a catcher. He played in one game for the Phillies in 1974 before spending the rest of his career with the Mets (1975-1984).

He only played in 100 or more games in a season three times, from 1977-1979 before injuries prematurely ended his career. After he turned 31, he only played in 12 more MLB games.

He stole 25 bases in 1978, 15 in 1979, 12 (in only 80 games) in 1981 and 17 (in only 98 games) in 1982.

His 162-game average was .260-9-62 with 18 SB. His OPS+ was 102.

He was an All-Star in 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1982.



Game 144. Disappointing 7-6 loss for Yanks.

It was a disappointing game in many ways as the Yankees (87-67) blew a 5-0 lead and lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Friday night.

Before the game, Aroldis Chapman came off the IL, and Ryan Weber was DFA’d. The Yanks will have many more moves next week as several others come off the IL.

With the loss the Yanks’ magic # to clinch the AL East remains at 13. Since Baltimore lost, the Yankees’ magic # to secure a playoff berth is 7 (since the Yankees own the tiebreaker against the Orioles).

It looked great early on for the Yankees. They scored three runs in the top of the first. Aaron Judge led off the game with a single, and one out later, Gleyber Torres doubled, Judge going to third. A SF by Josh Donaldson plated Judge. Oswaldo Cabrera walked, then Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in one run and Marwin Gonzalez singled in another. 3-0. They had runners on second and third after a WP but couldn’t add on further.

Later in the game, Gonzalez had to leave due to illness, and Cabrera had to move to first, which he never played before. Also, catcher Jose Trevino had to leave after taking a foul ball off his knee. He was replaced by Kyle Higashioka.

The Yanks added two runs in the top of the second, when Aaron Hicks led off with a single, then Judge singled. A walk to Giancarlo Stanton loaded the bases. Torres flied out, no advance, but a run scored when Donaldson hit into a force at second. An error on the play allowed Judge to score as well. 5-0.

But Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, who struggled in the first inning, gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the second. 5-3. The trade for Montas has been a disappointment. He is 1-3, 6.35 as a Yankee in 8 starts (5-12, 4.05 overall). With Sonny Gray before, and now Montas, the joke going around is that the Yankees should stop trading for Oakland pitchers. Anyway, I cringe every time I hear talk about whether Montas is the Game 2 or 3 playoff starter for the Yankees. From what I’ve seen, HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE PLAYOFF ROSTER! I’d prefer Cole, Cortes, Severino (off the IL next week), Taillon and even German over Montas right now. That is 5 guys when you probably only need 4 and maybe, depending on the playoff schedule and off days, 3. Yes, that is right. In my pecking order, once Severino comes back, Montas is #6 … and depending on how you like Clarke Schmidt, maybe even #7.

To the top of the third, and Aaron Hicks made the same mistake he made a few days ago. He has to realize who bats behind him. With two outs, he doubled. NORMALLY, you would be happy with the double. You go to second base. NOT IN THIS CASE. Hicks should have just stopped at first. For by going to second, he took the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball, Judge. Judge, of course, was intentionally walked. Stanton made out. Hicks has to learn to stop at first on such occurrences, or Stanton (hitting .215) needs to step it up. Aaron Boone and the coaches also should realize this and talk to Hicks about it.

Willie Mays would sometimes stop at first in those situations so as to NOT take the bat out of the hands of Willie McCovey. Mays had baseball smarts. Hicks? Not so.

Maybe move Torres to 2 behind Judge? After all, he’s hot lately. Stanton isn’t.

To the fourth, and the Yanks stranded two more runners. Meanwhile, the Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth off of Montas and Lucas Luetge. Given a 5-0 lead, Montas couldn’t get out of the fourth inning and Boone had to use most of his bullpen for the rest of the game. Unacceptable.

The Yanks stranded two more runners in the sixth.

In the bottom of the eighth, Milwaukee took the lead. On one play, Gleyber Torres couldn’t come up with a ball hit up the middle. A tough break there. But on another, IKF made an error with two out allowing a run to score. The internet has been on his defense lately. Could Oswald Peraza have made that play? Who knows. But IKF has to make that. Instead, 6-5, Brew Crew.

Donaldson tied the game in the top of the ninth with his 14th HR of the season, a ball that hit the foul pole. Cabrera followed with a double but was left stranded. The home plate umpire made an absolutely horrendous called third strike call on Miguel Andujar with Cabrera on third and one out. MLB needs to do more than to give umps a slap on the wrist on these egregious errors. They need to suspend or fire umps. We have seen so many bad calls and nothing happens to the umps. Boone was tossed arguing the call. Yeah, the manager and/or player pays for the umps f-up.

Clay Holmes came on for the bottom of the ninth and blew the game. This has to be very concerning for the Yankees. You need a reliable closer going into the postseason. In 2009, EVERY closer blew a postseason game except for one. Mariano Rivera. The Yankees won the World Series, their last one to date. Since July 9, Holmes ERA is 6.86. He has lost 4 games and has 3 blown saves. He has walked 13 in 19 2/3 innings. He has to right the ship and quickly or the Yanks will have to find another closer for the postseason.

The loss is one thing. But the 2 for 11 w/RISP, 11 left on base, and the struggles of Montas and Holmes are another. That is what made this loss so disappointing. Oh yeah, one more thing at the bottom.

Judge 2 hits.
Torres 2 hits
Donaldson 3 RBI. Solo HR (14)
Cabrera 2 for 2, 3 walks.
Hicks 2 hits.

Montas 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.05 (Oak/NYY ERA)
Luetge 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.75
Weissert 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.56 SEE BELOW
German 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.12
Peralta 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.40 SEE BELOW
Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.69 SEE BELOW
Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.43
Holmes (L, 6-4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.59.

One more thing here. (I told you above, didn’t I?) Check the pitching line above. Weissert faced one batter. Stuck him out. Peralta faced one batter. Struck him out. Trivino faced three batters, struck them all out.

WHY DIDN’T THEY STAY IN THE GAME LONGER, BOONE? Don’t mess with success!