Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 155. Yanks lose, A’s lose, but do Yanks lose Didi for the year?

 

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Oakland lost to Minnesota, meaning the Yanks’ magic # to secure the wild card game at home is reduced to 5 (Yanks hold the tiebreaker).

Meaning that today COULD have been the Yanks’ last game at Yankee Stadium for 2018 if they lose the wild card advantage to Oakland, travel to Oakland and lose the WC card game out there.

The Yanks, (95-60), blew at game to Baltimore (of all teams), 6-3, to ensure that the magic # was not reduced further.

The Yanks also found out, that in scoring the winning run of yesterday’s game, a run that ensured a playoff berth, that Didi Gregorius, in scoring the run, tore cartillage in his wrist that may end his season.

I have had no problems with Boone’s managing for most of this season. This month of September is different. Reliance on guys like Cole and Kahnle. If you couldn’t rely on them May-August, why the hell rely on them now?

The Yanks got three in the first, and then basically s**t the bed with the offense from there out, doing nothing after the first inning. Three walks (Baltimore starter Alex Cobb, because of injury, was pulled in the middle of facing the first batter), then a SF by Torres. Andujar singled in a run. With two out, Sanchez singled in a run. 3-0 Yanks and they didn’t do a damned thing after that.

J.A. Happ gave up a run in the second on a HR.

But after 5, his pitch count was up so he was replaced.

Excuse me, Boone. You still need to win this game because Oakland is breathing down your throat. You replace Happ with A.J. Cole? Cole isn’t that good. It is only a two run lead. Then you replace him with Kahnle, who also has stunk this year.

Cole gives up a double and back-to-back homers. Lead and game lost. Now Boone brings in Kahnle, who gives up a double, groundout that moved the runner up, and a SF. 4 runs. Ballgame over as Baltimore takes a 5-3 lead (they would get another run off Cessa and win 6-3).

No offense after the first inning. Going to Cole and Kahnle when you need to win and hold off the A’s.

The Yanks got only 4 hits in the game.

I’ve defended Boone and have thought he has done a decent job, but the last three weeks? Ugh.

Thankfully, the Yanks magic # to secure the home field for the wild card game was reduced to 5 because Minnesota beat Oakland today.

On top of all that, the Yanks received really bad news, as mentioned earlier. In scoring the winning run yesterday that secured a playoff berth for the Yankees, Didi Gregorius tore cartillage in his wrist. He had a cortisone shot but could be lost for the year. Oy Vey.

Also, Boone has apparently committed to Sanchez to start the wild card game. We all hope that Sanchez could do what he is capable of doing—-a 2 HR, 5 RBI game. But Sanchez is hitting .182 now. The fear is that in that game, he goes 0 for 4, strikes out twice, hits into a DP, and even worse, commits a PB that ends the Yankees’ season.

Boone’s faith in some guys is going a bit too far. (Cole, Sanchez, Kahnle, Bird, Gardner). You have to realize that at some point, this is a lost year for some guys and cut the cord for the year on them (and in some cases, cut the cord forever).

Andujar 2 hits, RBI.

Happ 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.57 (Tor/NYY) Set up for WC start 10/3.
Cole (BS, 1; L, 4-2, 6.32 Wash/NYY) 0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  6.86
Cessa 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K.   4.79.

On Friday, Cole came in and in 1/3 of an inning, gave up 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. and a HR.

Now today, he couldn’t get anyone out. 0 R, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.

So this weekend against the Orioles, 1/3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 3 HR.

Really, Boone?

With expanded rosters, I’d rather have seen Loaisiga, Adams or Sheffield there. Even Tarpley.

But not Cole or Kahnle.

 

 

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Game 153. Yanks hold off O’s, stay 1 1/2 up on A’s for top wild card spot.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (94-59) got off to a 6-0 lead, and hung on to beat the Bad News Bears (um, the 44-109 Baltimore Orioles) Friday night, 10-8.

With the win, the Yanks remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Oakland for that top wild card spot and to have the one-game sudden-death wild card game played in the Bronx.

Magic Numbers: 7 over the A’s for the top wild card spot (because the Yanks own the tiebreaker). 2 over Tampa Bay for the bottom wild card spot.

Didi Gregorius hit his 27th HR to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the first inning.

They got four more in the fourth. Neil Walker doubled with one out, and Gleyber Torres singled him in. Torres stole second, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on an Austin Romine groundout. 4-0. Brett Gardner walked and Aaron Hicks homered (25) to make it 6-0. The Yanks now have 249 HR on the season, and are on pace to tie the all-time record of 264, set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

Hicks became the fifth Yankee this year to hit the 25 HR mark. Gleyber Torres needs two more to become the sixth.

Then, it seems, manager Aaron Boone got a little too cute in utilizing his bullpen and that could have cost the Yankees the game.

With two out, CC Sabathia gave up two runs in the fifth. 6-2.

In the seventh, Boone brought in Jonathan Loaisiga to replace CC. He immediately gave up a HR, 6-3. Single. Strikeout but a stolen base and an E2 on Romine put the runner on third. Zach Britton came in and gave up a single, 6-4, before getting out of the inning.

The Yanks came back with three in the bottom of the inning. Hicks singled, Judge walked and McCutchen singled in a run. Judge was out on a fielder’s choice, caught in a rundown which put runners on second and third with one out. Luke Voit then singled in two runs. 9-4.

Here is where Boone got a bit too cute and almost blew the game. Instead of leaving Britton in, Boone brought in Stephen Tarpley, who got a strikeout. Fine.

But instead of leaving Tarpley in after he faced one batter and struck him out, Boone now brings in A.J. Cole, who gives up a walk and a HR. 9-6.

Cole gets a pop up for the second out, then a bunt single. In comes David Robertson, who promptly gives up a 2-run HR before getting the last out of the inning. 9-8.

The Yanks got an insurance run in the eighth when with two out, Hicks singled and Aaron Judge doubled him home.

Dellin Betances closed it out in the ninth.

But that eighth inning was too close for comfort. Why remove Britton after just 2/3 and why remove Tarpley after just one batter?

The Yanks have to sweep Baltimore. With the A’s breathing down the Yanks’ throats and the Yanks having seven games at Tampa Bay and Boston to close the season, in order to ensure that the wild card game is played in the Bronx, sweeping the Orioles is almost an imperative.

Hicks 2 hits, scored 4 runs, 2 RBI, walked 2x. HR
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI, HR
Voit 2 RBI

Sabathia (W, 8-7, 3.77) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 5 K.  Career win #245.
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.82
Britton (H, 9) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  3.35 (Balt/NYY)
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  5.40
Cole 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.74 (Wash/NYY)
Robertson (H, 20) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.   2.93
Betances (S, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.69

Game 149. Yanks’ Malaise continues with 3-2 loss. Need to wake up soon.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks scored 2 in the first, but the offense went to sleep thereafter, and Dellin Betances blew a 2-1 lead in the eighth as the 91-58 Yanks lost to Toronto, 3-2, Sunday afternoon.

The Yanks need to look in the mirror and start kicking themselves in the ass. Fortunately, the Oakland A’s lost, so the lead for the top wild card spot remains at 1 1/2.

Forget the division. Boston’s magic # to clinch the AL East is down to 2 and barring a Yankee sweep of Boston Tue-Wed-Thu of this week, the Red Sox (who already clinched a playoff berth) will be celebrating clinching the AL East at Yankee Stadium.

Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the first with a HR, # 19 on the year, #4 as a Yankee.

Stanton walked and Hicks later singled, Didi hit a SF. 2-0.

Toronto got a run in the third, and then the two in the eighth off Betances.

The Yanks got burned when they took out Andujar for Hechevarria for defensive reasons, then, when Andujar’s spot in the lineup came up in the 9th, they had to PH Walker then for Hechevarria.

Sometimes, it’s best to just leave Andujar in. But I could see the reasoning for removing him.

Boone is really on the hot seat right now.

The biggest problem lately is that the Yanks (since 8/26) have gone 5-8 against teams they should be pounding. 1-2 vs. the White Sox. 2-2 vs. Detroit. 1-2 vs. Minnesota. 1-2 vs. Toronto.

5-8 vs. teams under .500. Some of those teams are a lot below .500. If they went 8-5 (and it was Jack Curry on YES who brought this up) they wouldn’t have too many worries. They’d be 4 1/2 up on Oakland for that top wild card spot instead of 1 1/2.

The Yanks need to look in the mirror and kick themselves in the ass.

If this continues, they will be one and done. They’ll lose that wild card game.

Their play lately isn’t inspiring confidence.

These last 13 games will not be easy. Yes, 4 are against Baltimore. 6 are against Boston and 3 vs. Tampa Bay.

You wonder, if they go 6-7 in these last 13 games and wind up 97-65, where that wild card game will then be played at.

They still could piss away a lot. They need to stop worrying about hitting HR and concentrate on making contact.

They strike out too much. Yes, they hit HR. But they don’t bunt runners over, they do not steal. You don’t see hit and runs. Very one-dimensional. Hit HR, strike out too much, don’t bunt, don’t steal.

The Yanks’ magic # for getting the top wild card seed is 11 (since they currently own the tiebreaker). Their # for getting into the playoffs remains at 6.

McCutchen solo HR.
Stanton 2 hits.

Lynn 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K.  4.90 (Min/NYY)
Robertson (H, 18) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.89
Betances (BS, 3; L, 4-6, 2.77) 1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.50 (Balt/NYY)

 

Game 148. Yanks’ comeback falls short, lose to Toronto, 8-7.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia had nothing, neither did Tommy Kahnle and a furious Yankees comeback came up short in an 8-7 loss to Toronto Saturday.

With the loss, the Yanks fell to 91-57. Tampa Bay beat Oakland, so the Yanks stay 1 1/2 games ahead of the A’s for the top wild card spot. They are 10 1/2 back of Boston with just 14 games left. Boston’s magic # for clinching the AL East is 4.

The Yanks’ magic # for that top wild card spot is 13, and possibly 12 since they currently hold a tiebreaker. Their magic # just to make the wild card game is 6.

CC gave up 5 runs and 3 HR in getting knocked out in the third inning.

Down 5-0, Didi Gregorius homered (25) for the Yanks in the sixth to make it 5-1. The Yanks loaded the bases with two out, but Andrew McCutchen struck out. McCutchen struck out four times in the game.

There are some decisions Aaron Boone is making that I don’t understand. Once again he batted .191 hitting Gary Sanchez fifth. In a normal year, yes. In a .191-hitting year, I don’t know why he is hitting ahead of say, Gleyber Torres (.280) or Miguel Andujar (.299). The rookies are doing better and should be hitting above Sanchez in the lineup.

Analytics be damned.

Another thing I can’t see is his bringing in certain relievers at certain times of the game. For the third time this month, Tommy Kahnle let a manageable deficit become an unmanageable one, and any comeback the Yanks had in them was wasted because the deficit to overcome got too large. On Sept. 2,  Kahnle came into a game and immediately gave up a HR to the first batter he faced.  Early last week, he came into a game in Minnesota, and the first batter he faced, Joe Mauer, hit a grand slam.

On Saturday he didn’t last an inning, giving up 3 runs in ballooning the Toronto lead from 5-1 to 8-1. This proved costly.

Why Boone is relying on guys in September who haven’t proven anything all year long is beyond me. Kahnle’s ERA is 7.11. Neither he nor Sanchez have performed to their capabilities all year long. Neither have others—Greg Bird for instance.

Those three runs Kahnle gave up helped to cost the Yanks the game, because the Yanks scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh. Stanton homered (34) to start things up. Didi hit his second HR of the game (26) to make it 8-3.

That second HR by Didi broke his own record for HR in a season by a Yankees’ SS, which he set just last year.

Then Miguel Andujar, who didn’t start the game, hit a grand slam later in the inning to make it 8-7. It was Andujar’s 24th HR of the season.

But the Yanks couldn’t close the gap completely and lost 8-7.

The HR are great, but it’s coming with a price. The Yanks struck out 16 times in the game.

In the second inning, the Yanks had loaded the bases with no one out, but three straight strikeouts by Walker, Voit and Gardner meant no runs scored. That helped cost them the game, too.

Sabathia (L, 7-7, 3.80) 2 1/3 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 3 HR.
Green 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K.  2.45
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.08
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.  7.11
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  6.75
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.    2.52
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.60 (Balt/NYY)

Billy O’Dell, a lefty pitcher who pitched against the Yanks in the 1962 WS for the SF Giants, died Sept. 12, age 85. O’Dell started and lost Game 1 of that WS, but got a save in Game 4. He also pitched in Game 7. O’Dell had won 19 games that year for the Giants. O’Dell pitched for the Orioles (1954, 1956-1959), Giants (1960-1964) Braves (1965-1966) and Pirates (1966-1967). He was a 2x All-Star (Orioles 1958 and 1959) who was 105-100 in his MLB career with an ERA of 3.29, ERA+ 109. His 162 g. average was 48 games, 20 of which would be starts, 11-10, 3.29.

 

Game 146. Yanks don’t get a hit until 8th in 3-1 loss. WC lead down to 1 game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Some people are blaming Aaron Boone. It isn’t Aaron Boone. Boone isn’t the reason Giancarlo Stanton’s batting average has dropped 20-25 points in the past few weeks, and he isn’t the reason Sanchez and Bird are hitting under .200.

The players have to look in the mirror.

Maybe hitting coach Marcus Thames shares some blame but it is the players who need to get it done.

The good news tonight is that Luis Severino started to resemble again the Severino we saw at the beginning of the year.

The bad news is that the Yanks (90-56) didn’t get a hit until the eighth inning, and that any chance the Yanks might pull the game out late was flushed away by David Robertson.

The last time the Yanks were no-hit was in 2003, but it took six pitchers by Houston to do it after starter Roy Oswalt left with an injury. The last time a single pitcher no-hit the Yanks was almost sixty years ago to the day, 9-20-1958, by Hoyt Wilhelm of Baltimore.

Entering the bottom of the sixth, there was one hit in the whole game, and that was by the Twins.

Severino gave up a run in the sixth.

Robertson gave up two in the seventh.

Meanwhile, the Yanks were getting no-hit. With one out in the eighth, Voit walked, Bird doubled and the no-hitter and shutout were both gone.

But that was it. Andujar got a hit in the ninth, but two hits all game. Very tired bats.

Sad to say, but Stanton looks tired and lost right now. Down to .264.

The failures of Sanchez (.186) and Bird (.196) aren’t on Boone right now. The only thing Boone can do is drop them in the lineup or not play them at all. He cannot hit for them.

They have to look at themselves in the mirror and get pissed off at what they are seeing.

The Yanks’ lead for the top WC spot is down to just one game because Oakland beat the Bad News Bears (AKA the 41-104 Baltimore Orioles) tonight. If the Yanks have to rely on a 41-104 team to help them out…. well, you get the picture. Get things done yourself.

Severino (L, 17-8, 3.46) 5 2/ 3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Robertson 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.98. Poor job keeping the Yanks in the game.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.71 (Balt/NYY).

Chance Adams up from SWB.

 

Game 145. Yanks lose, 10-5. WC lead down to 2 over Oakland.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With an off day Thursday, and also next Monday, manager Aaron Boone wanted to give some starting pitchers more rest and also look to set up the rotation for the playoffs. Ok, I can see that. I get that.

The problem was that the guy who made the spot start, enabling him to do that was Sonny Gray. Once again, instead of attacking hitters, Gray was tentative and was once again the disappointment he has been all season.

And Jonathan Loaisiga picked a bad time to have his first MLB clunker.

The Yanks’ (90-55) 10-5 loss to the Twins Tuesday night means that the footsteps are getting louder. Oakland beat the Bad News Bears (um, the 41-103 Baltimore Orioles) and are now just 2 games back of the Yanks for the top wild card spot.  The Yanks have to start winning games and go on a winning streak. They can’t continue to play .500 ball as they are doing this September and hope teams like the Orioles help them out by beating Oakland.

The Yanks scored first, when in the second inning, Didi Gregorius tripled and scored on a SF by Gary Sanchez.

Gray, as he has done often this season, started strong but soon fell apart. He had a 1-2-3 first inning, got the first two batters in the second, but had to then work out of a bases-loaded jam in the second to get out of that inning unscathed.

He wasn’t so fortunate in the third, giving up three runs, two on a single by ex-Yankee prospect Jake Cave.

The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, attempting to get back in the game, but Sanchez GIDP.

Jonathan Loaisiga replaced Gray, and in his sixth MLB game, delivered his first clunker, giving up a run in the fourth to make it 4-1, Twins. He came in with a 2.70 ERA, left with a 5.06.

Minnesota got six in the fifth to put the game away. A couple of walks hurt Loaisiga as a couple of runs scored. The Yanks then brought in Tommy Kahnle, who promptly gave up a grand slam to Joe Mauer.

I was at a game on Sept. 2 when Kahnle came in and gave up a HR to the first batter he faced. Now he did it again.

Didi hit a grand slam in the sixth, 10-5, but that was it. It was Didi’s 23rd HR of the season.

The Yanks only got 5 hits in the game, and GIDP 3x.

Andujar 2 hits
Didi triple, grand slam, 4 RBI.
McCutchen and Stanton each walked twice.

Gray (L, 10-9, 4.99) 3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K.  5.06
Kahnle 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K.  5.89. Gave up a grand slam.
Tarpley 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.  7.36

 

 

Game 143. Yanks go 2 for 15 w/RISP, lose, 3-2, see WC lead shrink to 2 1/2 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (89-54) are hearing footsteps.

By losing to Seattle, 3-2 today, the Yanks lead over Oakland for the top wild card spot shrunk to 2 1/2 games.

Time to get nervous, Yankees fans.

What killed the Yanks today was that they were 2 for 15 w/RISP.

This team doesn’t bunt, as I mentioned at our recent Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club Meeting. 10 sacrifices all year. I mentioned that in the old days, Phil Rizzuto would have had that many at the All-Star break.  (Rizzuto led the majors 1949-1952).

In 1930, Babe Ruth (BABE RUTH!) had 21 sacrifice bunts. Lou Gehrig had at least 10 each season from 1925-1930, including 21 for the great 1927 squad. Joe DiMaggio had 6 in 1939.

As recently as 2004, Derek Jeter had 16. That is 6 more than the WHOLE YANKEES TEAM has this season.

The game has changed, and not for the better. Instead of a well-rounded team, you have teams that rely strictly on the HR, don’t hit-and-run, can’t steal bases and don’t bunt runners over. Sound familiar?

MeanwAnhile, Seattle won the game because they DID bunt a runner over.

The Yanks scored in the top of the first when Stanton and Andujar had back-to-back doubles.

But after getting the first two guys out in the bottom of the first, CC gave up four straight singles. Two runs. Seattle up 2-1.

Now, for a rookie manager, I think Boone has done a good job. How can you argue with 89-54? But….

I realize he was hired to project more calm as opposed to Girardi’s tenseness. But still, there are times when you have to light a fire under the team and bitch them out if necessary.

Girardi’s strength was bullpen management. Some of Boone’s bullpen decisions I question.

But I think the most questions I have regarding Boone is his lineups. Nothing consistent, and the biggest problem I have is this:

Why does he continue to bat Gary Sanchez 4th (as he did today) or 5th in the lineup? Sanchez is now hitting .181 on the season. What other manager bats a guy hitting .180 something 4th or 5th in the lineup? When will Boone ride the hot hand and have Voit cleanup, Torres 5th and have Sanchez and Walker 6th or 7th, instead of Sanchez 4th and Walker 5th?

Here are the numbers and today’s lineup. Batting averages as of the game’s finish.

4th. Sanchez .181 (PR for by Wade later, Romine finishing the game).
5th. Walker .221
6th. Voit .306
7th. Torres .280

Now, based on that, who should be batting 4 and 5, and who should be hitting 6 and 7?

Really?

Three singles and a bases-loaded walk to McCutchen tied the game in the fourth. But they had the bases loaded, no out and only scored that one run. No bunt by Hechevarria or Gardner with the bases loaded, and Stanton grounded out.

Voit doubled to lead off the sixth. He was left stranded. Torres nor Hechevarria with a bunt.

In the bottom of the eighth, a walk, steal, sac bunt and fielder’s choice brought in the winning run for Seattle.

Littleball, which the Yanks need to employ.

You can’t just rely on the HR. They didn’t get any today, and lost 3-2 as a result.

Andujar 2 hits, RBI
Voit 2 hits (once again, why him 6th, and .181 Sanchez 4th?)

Sabathia 5 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 W, 4 K.  3.54
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  2.54
Betances (L, 4-5, 2.56) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.