Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 154. 0-ffensive. Yanks blanked for third straight game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You can’t win if you don’t score. For the third consecutive game, the Yanks were shut out as they lost to Toronto 3-0.

Lately, Joe Girardi’s bullpen moves have been questioned, leading Girardi to become very testy lately in his dealings with the media. Even when he appears to make the right move, as yesterday, it doesn’t work out.

CC Sabathia pitched his heart out, pitching seven shutout innings,  but was pulled for Tyler Clippard in the eighth. Clippard gave up a two-out, three-run HR to Jose Bautista to lose the game.

The Yanks managed only three hits all game. With injuries to Headley, Teixeira, Castro …. and the youngsters now on the team, the lineup lately has looked like a spring training lineup.

I worked all day yesterday, but did hear one thing on the radio on the way home. At one point in the game, Gardner was on first base. Gardner has 16 SB this season. This from a guy who led the league a few years ago. A guy who stole 49 and 47 not long ago. In other words, Gardner isn’t running enough. He should have at least twice as many steals as he has now (that goes for Ellsbury too, who has just 18). Sterling and Waldman mentioned that he doesn’t run enough, then wondered how, when he finally decides to try and steal, he tried to do so on an 0-2 pitch with two out—-the easiest pitch for the other team to pitch out on. Sure enough, Toronto pitched out and Gardner was out. Sigh.

The loss drops the Yanks to 79-75. They are 4 1/2 games out of the final wild card spot with just 8 games to go. Their tragic # is 4.

They need to go 3-5 in the last 8 games to avoid a non-winning season, which would be their first since 1992. Even at that, they have to go 5-3 even to match their worst season since 1992 (which was 2014 at 84-78). Those 8 games are against the three teams ahead of them, Toronto, Boston and Baltimore. Not only that, Tanaka, who will miss his next start, may miss the other one as well.

Sabathia 7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 walks, 2 K. 4.02
Clippard (L, 3-5, 3.60 AZ/NYY) 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 walks, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.

 

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.

 

Game 149. Losing streak continues. Yanks swept in Boston.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks are off today. If ever a team needed a day off, it is them right now.

Deja vu all over again.

Once again, the Yanks had a lead in Fenway. Once again, they blew it. Once again, a reliever doing well gets pulled because the manager goes by the book, and the new reliever loses the game. Once again Hanley Ramirez killed the Yanks.

The Yanks’ 5-4 loss to Boston Sunday night was their fourth in a row to Boston, as Boston swept the weekend series. It was the Yanks’ fifth loss in a row overall and dropped them to 77-72.

What really hurts is that these losses were winnable games where the Yanks had leads and blew them, made bad pitching decisions, or as in the loss to the Dodgers that started the losing streak, made errors that gave the game away.

With 13 games to go, the fourth place Yanks are 8 games out of the division lead, and 4 games out of a wild card. They need to jump 4 teams to make the wild card, and although they aren’t mathematically eliminated, you can stick a fork in them.

The Yanks brought up Donovan Solano to replace Starlin Castro, who may be done for the season with a hamstring injury. Jacoby Ellsbury will miss a few games with a bruised knee. Solano got his first MLB hit in the game.

SWB plays El Paso in a one-game playoff Tuesday night. International League champ vs. Pacific Coast League champ. I don’t know who SWB has anymore. Most of their guys are now up with the Yanks. SWB still has Parmalee, Cave, Frazier, Higashioka, Payton…. some guys are up from AA just to fill out the roster.

As for the game, the Yanks got a run in the first on an RBI single by Didi.This came after a double by Gardner, two strikeouts and a walk to Butler.

Gary Sanchez hit his 16th HR of the year to make it 2-0 in the third. What a beast.

The Yanks went up 4-0 in the fourth. Solano singled, Mason Williams doubled. Refsnyder walked to load the bases. Gardner drove in one run with a force out. Torreyes drove in another run with a forceout.

Then the roof caved in. Again. Once again the Yanks built a lead, and didn’t score the rest of the game. Once again they blew the lead and the game.

CC gave up a 3-run HR to Hanley Ramirez in the fifth. 4-3.

Three straight singles in the sixth tied the game for Boston and CC was gone. Once again, a Yankees starter couldn’t go deep in the game.

Blake Parker came in, finished the sixth, gave up no more runs, and struck out two.

And once again, Girardi pulls a reliever who just pitched well, goes to his binder, brings in another reliever (Clippard in this case) and that reliever blows the game. Clippard gave up a HR to Ramirez (his 2nd of the game). 5-4 Boston, and it would stay that way.

As I said, I like Girardi as a manager, think he is a good one, but I have two quibbles with him. 1) He never bunts or is aggressive. You don’t see Billyball. The Yanks don’t bunt, squeeze, steal often enough, or hit and run. 2) He goes by the book (or binder) too much. Go with your eyes and gut, Joe. You see a pitcher doing well, leave him in there for more than one batter or one inning.

You hate writing about these kinds of losses or harping on something, but if this is how it is every game, what can you do? Things need to change.

These last few games have been like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Same s***, different day.

Frustrating.

Boy do they (and we fans) need this day off.

If the old man, the Boss,  were still alive, hoo boy.  Would the s*** hit the fan after a four-game sweep in Fenway in late September to kill off your postseason hopes. Especially with some questionable moves.

Sabathia 5+ IP, 4 R, 8 H, 3 walks, 5 K. 4.19  Gave up 1 HR
Parker 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.93 (Sea/NYY)
Clippard (L, 3-4, 3.12; Az/NYY) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Layne 1 IP,0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.27 (Bos/NYY)

What do you know. Layne can actually pitch to more than one batter.

I’d like to see what Mason Williams can do from here on out. He had two hits last night.

Gut feeling: Gardner and/or McCann get shopped this offseason for a starting pitcher.

Game 148. Lost Weekend.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It’s been a lost weekend for the Yankees, who lost their fourth in a row—the last three to Boston— on Saturday afternoon. The score was 6-5.

With 14 games left, the Yanks are 7 out for the division and 4 out of a playoff spot. They’d need to jump 4 teams to make the playoffs. The numbers and time left are not on their side.

Once again, the Yanks got off to a lead, and couldn’t hold it. Once again a starter couldn’t go deep into the game and the middle relief couldn’t shut down Boston.

Once again, Joe Girardi pulled Tommy Layne after Layne faced one batter and did his job, only to have the pitcher following Layne give up runs.

I like Girardi. But his penchant for the binder is killing him (and us fans) this week.The NY Post has (rightfully so, in my opinion) been questioning his moves, particularly as regards Layne, who has been pitching well, but who Girardi keeps pulling out after just one batter.

Show some confidence in him, Joe. If he is doing well, leave him in there.

Also, add the squeeze bunt to your repertoire.

Lastly, injuries struck again. This time it is Castro and Ellsbury. The Yanks are literally limping to the finish line.

The Yanks got off to a 3-0 lead in the third on an RBI triple by Gardner and a 2-run HR by Sanchez (15).

Boston got two back in the bottom of the inning.

Austin Romine doubled in two in the fourth to make it 5-2. The Yanks couldn’t score after that.

Xander Bogaerts homered in the fifth to cut the Yanks’ lead to 5-4.

The Red Sox won the game in the seventh by scoring two runs. Mookie Betts singled to tie it and the winning run scored on a WP by Adam Warren. Boston almost scored an insurance run on the same play when a disgusted Romine pulled a rock, forgot about the runner on second (the runner that was on third scored) and had to scramble back to the plate to tag him out just in time.

Sheesh.

Mitchell 4 2/3 IP, 4 R, 3 earned, 5 H, 1 walk, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.75.
Severino 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 walks, 1 K. 6.00
Layne (H, 11) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.35. (Bos/NYY)
  Layne faced one batter, got him out. Threw just two pitches.  LEAVE HIM IN, JOE!
Warren (BS, 3; L, 6-4, 4.85; Cubs/NYY)   1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

 

Game 142. Yanks streak ends, lose ground in 4-2 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

All things must pass, and the Yankees’ 7-game winning streak came to an end Sunday with a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

With the loss, the Yanks lost ground. With 20 games left, they are 4 games out of the division lead, and tied with Detroit, 2 games out of a wild card spot. They are 76-66. The Dodgers now made a rare visit to Yankee Stadium for three games.

Luis Cessa gave up 5 hits, but 3 were HRs as he took his first loss of the season. He gave up a 2-run HR to Corey Dickerson in the first inning.

The Yanks’ Chase Headley cut the deficit to 2-1 with a HR in the fifth, his 14th of the season.

Cessa gave up a HR to Logan Forsythe in the sixth. Manager Girardi had the bullpen up, but they must not have been ready, because a few batters later, Brad Miller hit one out to make it 4-1 Rays.

Brett Gardner, who had 3 hits on the day, had an RBI single in the seventh. Once again, the final was 4-2 Rays.

Cessa (L, 4-1, 4.34) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 walks, 5 K. Gave up 3 HR.
Severino 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 6.18
Layne 0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.49 (Bos/NYY). Faced 2 batters, gave up 2 hits.
Parker 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.51 (Sea/NYY)

Game 140. Teix slams Rays, 7-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Remember Arte Johnson on Laugh-In? (Yes, I’m dating myself). He had a character that would say “VERRRRRRRRRRRRY INTERESTING!”. For that is what the AL East and the wild card spots are right now, and the Yankees, surprisingly after the trade deadline selloffs, are in the thick of it.

Gary Sanchez homered, and Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam, as the Yanks beat the Rays 7-5 on Friday night in a game that featured three rain delays. With the win, the Yanks’ sixth in a row, the Yanks are now 75-65.

So here is a look at how the AL East stands right now. Tampa Bay of course, is WAY back.

Boston
Toronto -2
Baltimore -3
YANKEES -4

As for the wild card, here you go:

Toronto (as of now, has Wild Card #1)  +1
Detroit and Baltimore are tied for Wild Card #2, one game back of Toronto —-
Yankees -1 (need to jump two teams, Detroit and Baltimore)
Houston -2 1/2
Seattle – 3 1/2
KC -4.

Very interesting, indeed. The Yanks have won 12 of their last 16 games. Ever since A-Rod and Teix announced their retirements, they have taken off.

The Yanks scored immediately in the bottom of the first when Ellsbury singled and Refsnyder doubled him home. After Sanchez struck out, Castro singled but Refsnyder was thrown out at the plate.

The Yanks got two in the third to go up 3-0. Sanchez homered (12), and after Castro struck out, Teixeira doubled. Didi moved Teix up with a groundout, and that was huge because Teix was then able to score on a WP.

Michael Pineda gave up back-to-back HR to Logan Morrison and Stephen Souza (Souza is killing us this series) in the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2.

But in the bottom of the fourth, with two out, Refsnyder and Sanchez singled, Castro walked, and Teix hit a grand slam to make it 7-2. Teix’s HR was #12 of the season and #406 of his career, putting him one behind Duke Snider on the all-time list.

The Yanks then held on, giving up two in the sixth and one in the ninth, to win 7-5.

One thing that worries me a bit: Betances has been struggling lately.

One thing about Sanchez. It’s not just the HR. It’s the defense as well. He picked a runner off of second in the game with that cannon of an arm he has.

Nice patience: The Yanks drew 11 walks in the game.

Once again, Girardi was Captain Hook, pulling a starter before the starter could go the necessary five for the win. At this point in the season, with extra pitchers available because of the extended rosters, and needing to play catch up in the standings, he is playing matchup more than usual. It’s all about getting the win, no matter who gets it.

Pineda 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 7 K. Gave up 2 HR. 5.07.
Shreve 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 5.23
Warren (w, 5-3, 4.88, Cubs/NYY) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Layne (H, 9) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.49 (Bos/NYY)
Clippard (H, 21) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.13 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (S, 10) 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.41.

One final note: Sometimes I get asked to be friends on Facebook. If I refuse or ignore it, please don’t be offended. I do make a distinction between friends and acquaintances. For example, I am opinionated, as you sometimes see in this blog. I don’t only write about the Yankees, but on other things as well, and in this election season, my viewpoints may or may not be to your liking. My friends know me. They see me. They’ve known me for a long time. They understand me. So if you only know me through this blog, don’t be offended if I don’t take you up on a friend request. As I mentioned, the distinction between friend and acquaintance. I hope you understand.

Game 139. Yanks win 5-4 on Austin’s walkoff HR.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Tyler Austin homered in the bottom of the 9th to give the Yanks a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night. The win puts the Yanks nine over .500 at 74-65 with 23 games to go. They are still in 4th place in the AL East, but are now just 4 out of first place. As far as a playoff spot goes, they are two games out of a playoff spot and need to jump two teams to get in. This is getting interesting.

CC Sabathia struggled, giving up a solo HR in each of the first three innings of the game. Manager Joe Girardi had a quick hook, pulling CC after just four innings after he struggled with the first two batters in the fifth.

After CC gave up a HR to Kevin Kiermayer in the top of the first, the Yanks came back with two in the bottom half of the inning. Didi Gregorius singled in one run after Gardner and Ellsbury singled, and another scored on an error on a pickoff attempt.

CC gave up a HR to Stephen Souza in the second, but the Yanks regained the lead 3-2 in the bottom half of the inning on a HR by Brian McCann (18).

CC gave up another HR to Kiermayer in the third that tied the game. But in the fourth, McCann matched Kiermayer by hitting his second HR of the game, and 19th of the season to put the Yanks back up, 4-3.

Not to be outdone, Souza hit HIS second HR of the game in the top of the sixth to tie it and set up Austin’s dramatics.

Austin’s 3rd HR of the season then won it for the Yanks in the bottom of the 9th.

Sabathia 4+ IP, 3 R, 7 H, 0 walks, 4 K. Gave up 3 HR. 4.27.
Holder 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.40.
Shreve 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.75.
Parker 1 2/3, IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 2.70 (Sea/NYY)
Yates 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.50
Layne (w, 2-1, 3.52) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. (Bos/NYY ERA)

I should add, it’s great seeing a player succeed in the majors after I’ve been writing about them all year when they were down in the minors.