Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 95. Yanks fall, 5-2. Hit break 4 1/2 back.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost to Cleveland today (Sunday), 5-2, and because Boston won, the 62-33 Yanks hit the All-Star break 4 1/2 games behind Boston.

They next play on Friday at home against the Mets. The rotation after the break will be German, Gray, Tanaka vs the Mets, then Severino (Rays), then CC as Boone gives Severino and CC a little extra recovery time.

Clint Frazier was sent back down to SWB after the game.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the first inning but didn’t score.

In the third, Gardner singled and went to second on a WP. One out later, Didi singled but Gardner had to be held at third. After yet another out, Hicks singled in Gardner.

Neil Walker homered (3) in the fourth to put the Yanks up 2-0, but the offense couldn’t score after that.

Tanaka gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the fourth that tied the game. In fifteen starts this year, there have been only two in which Tanaka didn’t give up a HR.

In the eighth, Chad Green gave up 3 runs, including one on a HR, and the Yanks were sunk.

Stanton 2 hits
Walker solo HR.

Tanaka 6 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.  4.54
Green (L, 5-2, 2.74) 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.

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Game 94. Yanks edge Indians, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Cardinals have fired their manager and have named an interim manager for now. Do not be surprised if Joe Girardi soon becomes their permanent manager.

The Yanks edged Cleveland Saturday night 5-4 to go to 62-32 on the season and remain 3 1/2 back of Boston. The Red Sox, down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, tied it up in the ninth and got a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the tenth. Ugh.

Is this what 1954 felt like, when the Yanks won 103 and finished 8 back of Cleveland (who were swept in the WS by the NY Giants)?

Hopefully we catch up soon.

Didi Gregorius hit a 3-run HR in the first (17) to put the Yanks up 3-0.

CC gave up a HR (29) to Jose Ramirez in the bottom of the first. 3-1 Yanks.

Cleveland got a run in the bottom of the third to cut it to 3-2, but Greg Bird homered (8) in the top of the sixth to make it 4-2.

Shortly before Bird’s HR, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone was ejected when he tried to say that Stanton fouled a ball off rather than having it hit him while he was swinging and striking out.

Lately, say in the last two weeks or so, the Yanks have been bad in leaving the starting pitcher in a batter or inning too long. It happened the last time CC pitched, it happened when Tanaka came off the DL, it happened the other night with German and it happened again tonight, once again with CC.

In the bottom of the sixth, a strikeout,  single and walk. CC then got a ground out that moved the runners up. Here I would have pulled him. Two out, men on second and third, a righty hitter up. I would have pulled him for Robertson, Holder or Green here. Instead, an infield single and BOTH runners score to tie the game. Nice stop by Andujar on the play, but bad throw home (too high) by Bird to try to nail the runner.

Just me, but I don’t think CC should have been left in to face the righty batter there.

In the top of the seventh, Romine doubled, and the OF made an error, moving Romine to third….but it didn’t stop there. In trying to nail Romine at third, the cutoff man, the second baseman, threw the ball into the Indians’ dugout, enabling Romine to score what turned out to be the winning run. Double and 2 errors on the play.

The Yanks got lucky in the ninth, when the lead off hitter hit a popup that wasn’t caught. Andujar and Romine collided on the foul popup and it dropped. It was Romine’s ball, Andujar (who got the error) should have been called off by the pitcher, Chapman. He got the hitter, so no harm, no foul, but a messy, sloppy play that should not have happened.

Didi 2 hits, 3-run HR.
Bird solo HR.

Sabathia 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.51
Robertson (W, 7-3, 3.09) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Betances (H, 15) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.61
Chapman (S, 26) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  1.35

Chapman will show at the All Star Game but won’t pitch in order to save that knee.

Game 93. Yanks fall, 6-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So far this year, I think Aaron Boone has done a fine job, but this past week leads to some second guessings.

You don’t want to burn out your bullpen too early in the year, but in the past week, we’ve seen CC, Tanaka, and tonight German, be left in perhaps one inning too long.

That isn’t all on Boone, but it does accentuate the need for the Yanks to get another starter. It is becoming more and more apparent how much losing Jordan Montgomery (35 MLB starts, 11-7, 3.84, ERA+ 117—-17% ABOVE league average) hurt. 

The Yanks won’t be able to catch Boston with 2/5 of the rotation being Sonny Gray (6-7, 5.46, ERA+ 78) and Domingo German (2-5, 5.49, ERA+ around 77). 100 ERA+ means league average. Gray and German are over 20 percent worse than league average. The two combined are 8-12, ERA about 5.47. That won’t get it done.

They need to find another starter.

German, for whatever reason, struggles in the first inning. He gave up 1 run in the first and 3 more runs in the second.

The Yanks got 3 in the fifth on a double by Bird, walk to Andujar and double by Walker that plated one run. A second run scored on a WP. Later in the inning, Gardner’s SF plated a third run.

But right after the Yanks got back into the game by cutting it from 4-0 to 4-3 in the top of the fifth, German gave two runs right back.

The Yanks got a run in the eighth, but Boone made a bad decision this inning that could have cost the Yanks the game and opened himself up to a lot of second-guessing. Wade doubled, went to third on a PB and scored on a groundout. 6-4 Indians. Judge was HBP. But with Judge on first and one out, Hicks struck out and Judge was caught stealing. A strike him out, throw him out DP—with Stanton on deck.

Even if Judge makes it, Cleveland probably walks Stanton intentionally to set up a force at any base and pitches to Bird instead.

Now I am aggressive as anyone, but there, I keep Judge at first, don’t send him, and that way I keep Stanton as the tying run, in case he hits a HR… which he later did.

Of course, he did it with a different pitcher on the mound, and in a different situation. But Stanton homered (23) to lead off the ninth to make it 6-5. But that’s where it ended.

Boston FINALLY lost, so the Yanks (61-32) stay 3 1/2 back.

Gardner 2 rbi.
Stanton HR #23
Bird 2 hits
Wade 2 hits.

Wade has had a 2-hit and 3-hit game in the past week. Maybe the Yanks (until Torres returns) should play him more than Walker?

Walker seems to be this year’s version of Chris Carter. A guy the Yanks are holding on to far too long, far after it is apparent he isn’t doing anything for you, but a guy the Yanks don’t want to admit they made a mistake on.

So at 61-32, the Yanks are 45-18 with Torres, 16-14 without. Now Torres, although probably the favorite for Rookie of the Year so far (Ohtani and Andujar would be in the mix), won’t win the MVP, he should draw some MVP consideration based on those numbers.

German (L, 2-5, 5.49) 4 + IP, 6 R, 5 H, 4 W, 6 K.
Holder 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  1.85
Shreve 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K.  4.54.

German looks like he has good stuff. He can’t channel it or be consistent with it. He’s had chances. He hasn’t taken advantage of them. You wonder how many more chances he will have. He could have taken the bull by the horns. He hasn’t.

David Hale signed with a Korea team.

Aroldis Chapman will rest his aching knee and not pitch in the All Star Game.

 

Game 85. Gray dooms Yanks, 6-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Publicly, Aaron Boone and the Yankees say that Sonny Gray will make his next start, the stuff is there, they believe in him, blah, blah, blah, …

Privately, you have to wonder, because after a while, you have to be getting tired of it.

Gray spit the bit again, and again got knocked out early after putting the Yanks in a huge early hole… just like last Saturday against Boston.

Once again, for a batter or two, he looked good, then the roof fell in again.

In the first inning, he got the first two batters, then loaded the bases before getting out of it.

In the second, not so fortunate, as he gave up five runs, three via a HR, and was taken out after just two innings.

With the 6-2 loss, the 56-29 Yankees fell two games back of Boston. They are even in the loss column, the Yanks have played four less games, meaning that the Yanks would have to win all four to force a tie.

David Hale did an excellent job in relief trying to keep the Yanks in the game, but the Yanks couldn’t claw back.

The Yanks got a run in the third on an Aaron Hicks HR (16), and Hicks walked with the bases loaded in the fifth to cut it to 5-2 but that was it.

Toronto got a run in the eighth for the final of 6-2.

Most of the questions in the postgame show were all about Gray’s disheartening (again) performance, and some of the questions seemed more of the psychological, and not physical type.

Like I wrote in the last start, it seems like Gray is a deer in the headlights right now.

A few months ago, a scout said that he didn’t think Gray could be straightened out. I hope he’s wrong, but if he’s right, the Yanks have to move Gray. Of course, they’d be selling low right now.

But this can’t continue. Not if they want to catch Boston.

The Yanks only got five hits. Both Judge and Stanton struck out three times each.

Bird and Walker, both under the Mendoza line, continued their struggles.

Gardner 2 hits.
Hicks HR, 2 RBI

Gray (L, 5-7, 5.85) 2 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. Threw 2 WP.
Hale 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 1 K.  4.61 (Nyy/min)
Shreve 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 H, 0 K.   4.80

Baseball passing: Mike Kilkenny, a lefty starter/reliever, mostly for the Tigers from 1969-1971, died at the age of 73.

Game 82. Lack of execution drops Yanks into second with 5-3 loss in 11.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry, but I have to rip the Yanks tonight for losing 5-3 to Atlanta tonight in 11 innings.

Here is one reason why. 0 for 12 with RISP.

Here is another. Why, in the bottom of the ninth, with Gleyber Torres on first, no one out, ISN’T BRETT GARDNER BUNTING????? Speedy runner who can bunt, and he ISN”T BUNTING? Instead, GIDP, then Judge strikes out. Gardner’s AB– called strike, ball, GIDP. DIdn’t even attempt to bunt. What the hell?

I haven’t ripped Boone too much this year, and I think he’s done a fine job. But on that? WTF?

Sorry, Boonie, you blew it.

In the bottom of the tenth, the Yanks loaded the bases with one out. Bird and Romine both struck out.

No bunting. 0 for 12 with RISP. They deserved to lose and did. And the loss drops the 54-28 Yanks one game behind Boston.

Sometimes you can’t rely on the HR. You have to execute the fundamentals, something the Yanks did not do tonight.

In the first, Judge hit HR #23, 1-0 Yanks.

But Loaisiga gave up a HR in the third to tie the game.

The Yanks went up 2-1 in the third when Torres doubled and advanced and scored on two WP.

Loaisiga went down to AAA after the game and Cole was brought back up.

Loaisiga gave up 3 straight doubles, and 2 runs, in the fourth, 3-2 Braves.

With one out in the fifth, Torres singled, Gardner and Judge walked, and Didi tied the game with a SF, but the Yanks could not add on.

Two on, no out in the bottom of the seventh, nada.

Two on, two out in the bottom of the eighth, Neil Walker PH for Higashioka. Strikeout.

See the bottom of the ninth and tenth above. Once again, why wasn’t Gardner bunting????

Top of the eleventh, Robertson gives up a two-run HR that ticked off of Judge’s glove. Ballgame.

5-3 Braves and the Yanks fall one game behind Boston.

Bunt sometimes, Boone. Bunt.

Yes, they would have walked Judge after the bunt. But the question then comes up… Do you bleeping trust Didi or not? And after Didi, Stanton?

Come on, Boonie.

Judge HR #23.
Hicks 2 hits.
Torres 3 hits, RBI.

Loaisiga 4 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.00
Holder 2 iP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.   1.89
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.   2.01
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.   1.47
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.   2.70
Robertson (L, 5-3, 3.52) 1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.

Midseason Report Card Time.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Tonight is Game 81. Meaning that after today’s game, 1/2 the season will be over, so it’s time for the “Mid-Term” Grades.

 

 

Average OPS+ is 100, ERA+ 100. Team OPS+ 110 (A-), ERA+ 124 (A).

C. Gary Sanchez C-. OPS+ 94. Before he got hurt, was on course for 30 HR, 90 RBI but batting average just .190. He’s better than that. Defense doesn’t seem to have improved from last year. Disappointing. Now there aren’t that many 30 HR/90 RBI catchers out there, but he can be so much better.

 

C. Austin Romine A. Slumping, 4 for his last 37 but needed to step up his offense and is at .274-4-20, OPS+ 119 so he’s done that. Trying to straighten out Sonny Gray has got to be tough on him, too.
1B. Neil Walker. F. .185. Just 8 of his 30 hits for extra bases.   OPS+ 43. Should be gone. Has stayed (and like Chris Carter last year, too long) because he plays 1B and Bird not ready. On borrowed time, esp. if Drury is up to stay and proves he can play 1B. 1B a problem since Bird has been hurt or under producing.

1B. Tyler Austin. C.  Only .223 but had 8 HR, 23 RBI. OPS+ 99. But 8 walks, 53 strikeouts. But still the best of what we’ve seen so far.

1B. Greg Bird. D. OPS+ 106, but .204. 5 HR (2 Friday night), just 8 RBI in 93 AB. Hopefully he picks it up.

2B. Gleyber Torres. A. OPS+ 136. Favorite for Rookie of the Year. 14 HR. 39 RBI. .288, some rookie mistakes, great range. Yanks 43-18 since they brought him up. Should get MVP consideration.

SS. Didi Gregorius. B. Great April, lousy May. On course to break his own Yankees record for HR in a season by a SS (25). Just .255 but 15 HR, 43 RBI and an OPS+ of 113.

3B. Miguel Andujar. A. .280-12-38. Extra base machine. Defense better than expected. OPS+ 118. If not for Torres & Ohtani, would be considered ROY himself.

INF. Ronald Torreyes. A. .323 batting average, OPS+ 106. But Yanks had to send him down due to other needs. If he was taller, had more power and could play 1B, probably would have stayed and Walker would be gone.
INF. Tyler Wade. F. 3 for 35 before being sent down. 12 for 93 in his MLB career so far.

OF. Brett Gardner C. 5 HR, hasn’t shown last year’s power. .255 is meh for a leadoff hitter. Still superb D in LF, doesn’t run much anymore. OPS+ 97. Average. Could Yanks be looking to deal him soon to make room for Clint Frazier (if Frazier doesn’t have to go in a deal for a starting pitcher)?

 

OF. Aaron Hicks. B. Only .249 but good defense, OPS+ 114.

 

OF. Aaron Judge A. Back to back 50 HR seasons tough, but on pace for 44 HR, 112 RBI. Yes, strikes out a lot, but still hitting over .270, great D, great arm. A 153 OPS+ is MVP material.

 

OF/DH. Giancarlo Stanton B. Heating up. A bit disappointing, but still on pace for 38 HR and 90 RBI. OPS+ 125.
Clint Frazier and all other hitters, like Drury, X. Incomplete. Not enough at bats to judge.

 

Pitchers:

 

Severino. A. 12-2, 2.10 as I write this before he faces Boston Sunday night. Should be in consideration to start the All-Star Game as well as in Cy Young Award conversation. The ace. ERA+ 202.

 

Sabathia A. 5-3, 3.02. ERA+ 140. Stopper. At age 38, giving more than you expected. Reinvented himself after having a few lousy years both on and off (alcoholism) the field.

 

Tanaka C. 7-2, but a 4.58 ERA. Still prone to the gopher ball. ERA+ 92.

 

Gray D. 5-6, 5.44. Was very tempted to give him an F. A big problem. Can’t beat Boston, lousy at home. Would anyone take him? Yanks would be selling low.

 

Montgomery B. Was pitching well (2-0, 3.62, ERA+ 118) before getting hurt and needing TJ surgery. Back in 2020.

 

Loaisiga. A. 2-0, 1.93, ERA+ 224 in just 3 starts. Only has pitched 45 innings above Low A ball. Hasn’t pitched much recently due to injury so probably on innings limit. Shows great poise, calm, collectiveness, more so than, say Gray. Very impressed with him. Hard to judge after only 3 outings, but I’ll give him an A, esp. given his circumstances and lack of experience.

 

German. C. 2-4, 5.32, ERA+ 80. Can’t seem to shake that one bad inning. Love his stuff, hate his inconsistency. Needs more seasoning.

 

Chapman A. A 1.29 ERA, 23 saves, ERA+ 331. Scares you sometimes, not efficient, but has been effective.

 

Green A. 2.11 ERA.  4-1. Note the bullpen ERAs and grades.  ERA+ 201.

 

Robertson B. 5-2, 3.47. 3.47 isn’t bad, but high when compared to the rest of THIS bullpen. ERA +123.

 

Betances B+. 1-2, 2.83. Started slow, coming on lately. ERA+ 150.

 

Shreve D. Weakest link to bullpen, making you wonder if trade for Brad Hand is imminent or if a guy like Caleb Frare could be coming up from the minors.  2-2, 4.97,  ERA+ 86. Ugh.

 

Holder A. Pleasant surprise. 1-1, 2.01. Boone showing greater trust in him. ERA+ 212.

 

Warren A.  Not as many high leverage spots, was hurt, but 0-1, 1.35, ERA+ 318.

 

Kahnle F.  1-0, ERA 7.00 and down at SWB. ERA+ 63.

 

Cole A. Surprising grade because he stunk with the Nats. But came up huge in one big game for Yanks and has pitched well for them. Rehab not going well right now (DL b/c of pinched nerve in neck). But 0.69 ERA in 7 games as Yankee, so an A.

 

Cessa C. I am not a big fan of Cessa, who was hurt for most of this year. My concerns over him were proven in his loss to the Phillies. 0-1, 5.00, ERA+ 88. A “meh” pitcher.

 

Hale and Gallegos. X. Incomplete. Not really a lot to go by.

 

Then there’s Ellsbury, who “hasn’t shown up for class yet”   !!!!

 

Boone: A. I haven’t had too many issues with him this year. Maybe sticks with some guys too long, but showing good patience (too much?) with guys like Walker and Gray, but for all the concerns about his lack of coaching/managerial experience, he hasn’t screwed anything up.

 

Cashman B+. Of course, the real grade for him is coming over the next couple of weeks. Who can he get at the trade deadline? A starting pitcher? A lefty reliever better than Shreve? Catching depth better than Higashioka and Castillo? Yes, we can knock him for the Gray deal, and yes, he didn’t get a starter last offseason, but you have to also give him credit for NOT going after and overpaying some free agent pitchers and paying them the $$$ they are currently NOT earning (Darvish, Cobb, Lynn, Garcia, Cashner…). Arrieta has been OK, but the best of last year’s bunch seems to be Milos Mikolas, who signed with St. Louis.

 

Game 71. Stanton’s walkoff HR completes Yanks’ comeback. 7-5. RIP Billy Connors. Estrada probably done for year.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The dangerous, explosive aspect of the Yankees’ attack showed itself tonight as the Yanks rebounded from a 5-0 deficit to stun Seattle 7-5 on Wednesday night, courtesy of a walk off 2-run HR by Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom of the ninth.

The Yankees’ win (49-22) combined with a Boston loss (49-26) puts the Yanks 2 up (4 in the loss column) over the Red Sox.

Jonathan Loaisiga pitched in and out of trouble, but when he departed after 3 2/3 he had given up just one run, courtesy of an error, but with two on and two out in the fourth, Chasen Shreve, called in to get out of the inning with just one run given up, gave up a single to make it 3-0, two runs charged to “Johnny Lasagna.”

Shreve then gave up 2 more runs the next inning. Hey, if the Yanks want to upgrade by getting a better lefty reliever in Brad Hand from SD, I am all for it.

The Yanks did get two back in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Andujar doubled. After Frazier struck out, Hicks walked and Judge singled in a run. The other run scored on an error which let Judge go to second and let Hicks score. 5-2.

In the seventh, Clint Frazier doubled, and went to third on a single by Judge. A SF by Didi made it 5-3.

To the eighth. Torres walks and Sanchez ties the game with HR #14.

To the bottom of the ninth. With two out, Didi singled and Stanton ended the game with a walk-off HR, HR #18, which ties him with Judge for the team lead.

Judge 3 hits, RBI
Stanton 2 hits, 2 RBI, walkoff HR.
Sanchez 2 hits, 2 RBI, Game-tying HR.

Loaisiga 3 2/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K.  3.12
Shreve 2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.91
Holder 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.00. A real godsend this year.
Chapman (W, 3-0, 1.10) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

Billy Connors, a long-time member of the Yankees pitching staff and front office, died at the age of 76.

From the NY Post:

Connors had three stints as Yankees pitching coach (1989-90, 1994-95 and 2000), but he made his most significant impact with the organization as vice president, player personnel, from 1996-2012.

Connors pitched with the Cubs and Mets from 1966-68. After his playing days, he became a minor league pitching instructor for the Mets and also worked for the Royals, Cubs, Mariners and Phillies.

Connors went 0-2, 7.53 in his MLB career, 26 games, 1 start. ERA+ 46. He was 1 for 2 as a hitter.

 

Meanwhile, the Post also reports that

Thairo Estrada, the highly regarded Yankees prospect who returned from a gunshot wound this year, will likely miss the rest of the season after suffering a back injury.