Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 154. Yanks hit 4 HR, clinch AL East title with 9-1 win. Shocking News about German is not good.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Masahiro Tanaka was spot on, and the Yankees hit 4 HR to beat the Angels 9-1 to clinch the AL East title Thursday night.

It’s their 100th win of the season, and manager Aaron Boone is the first manager ever to win 100 in each of his first two managerial seasons.

D.J. LeMahieu got things going with a 3-run HR (25) in the second inning.

Tanaka only mistake was in giving up a gopher ball in the top of the fourth that cut the lead to 3-1.

Brett Gardner hit a solo HR in the bottom of the fourth (26) to make it 4-1 Yankees.

In the bottom of the sixth, Didi Gregorius singled and stole second. Gio Urshela walked. A groundout moved both runners up and Gardner then doubled in two runs to make it 6-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, with two out, Cameron Maybin homered (9) to make it 7-1, and after Gardner walked, Clint Frazier hit a 2-run HR (12) to make it 9-1, which turned out to be the final score.

The Yanks are 1/2 game behind Houston for best record in baseball (Astros have tiebreaker) and lead the NL best Dodgers by 1 1/2 games.

LeMahieu 3-run HR (25) .329
Gregorius 2 hits
Maybin solo HR (9)
Gardner 2 hits, solo HR (26), 3 RBI
Frazier 2-run HR (12)

Tanaka (W 11-8, 4.47) 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Gearrin 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  4.10
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.28

Tanaka was moved to tonight with Happ going tomorrow. Just a note: This moves sets up Tanaka to start Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on regular rest.

Domingo German was put on administrative leave due to a domestic violence incident which is being investigated by the Commissioner’s office. Michael King was added to take his place on the roster.

 

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Game 153. No celebration yet. Magic Number still 1 as Yanks lose, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees (99-54) lost to the Angels 3-2 Wednesday night in what most likely will be CC Sabathia’s last start at Yankee Stadium (unless he starts a postseason game).

With the loss, and the victories by both Tampa Bay and Cleveland, the Yankees’ magic # to get into the playoffs and also to clinch the AL East title both remain at 1. The Yanks have a 9 game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East with 9 games to go.

Houston won, so the Yanks are a game behind the Astros for best record in the AL, and worse yet, the Astros own the tiebreaker. The Yanks have a  1 game lead over the Dodgers if that WS matchup occurs, and the Yanks own the tiebreaker.

Before the game, Giancarlo Stanton was activated. He doubled his first time up.

CC pitched well for the first two innings, striking out the side in the second, but as has been the case lately, once he got past that, he faltered, giving up two runs in the third inning.

Aaron Judge tied the game in the bottom of the third with a two-run HR, his 24th of the season.

In the sixth, Adam Ottavino gave up the game-deciding run, making a costly error in the process.

Outside of Judge’s HR, the Yanks’ bats were pretty quiet.

Judge 2-run HR (24)
Gardner 2 hits

Sabathia 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 4 K.  4.99
German 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K.  4.03
Ottavino (L, 6-5, 1.84) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.26
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.  4.43
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.97
Cessa 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.66

The Twins lead the Yanks 289-288 for the new team HR record. The Twins have played one less game.

Notable Passings: Alex Grammas. 93. Infielder for St. Louis (1954-1956), Cincinnati (1956-1958), St. Louis again (1959-1962) and the Cubs (1962-1963). 162 game average .247-2-29, OPS+ 68. Long time coach.  Managed the Pirates for the last five games of the 1969 season (4-1) and managed the Brewers in 1976 and 1977, winning just 66 and 67 games in those two seasons.

Also Jim Greengrass, 91, OF for the Reds (1952-1955) and Phillies (1955-1956). He hit .285-20-100 in 1953, finishing 6th in ROY voting and then hit .280-27-95 the following season. Hit .269 in 504 games. 69 career HR. His 162 game average .269-22-91, OPS+ 103.  His career was shortened because of problems with phlebitis.

 

Game 151. Yanks fall, 6-4, in game marked by returns of Montgomery and Betances.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (98-53) lost to Toronto on Sunday, 6-4, in a game that marked the returns of Jordan Montgomery and Dellin Betances off the IL. Mixed results.

Tampa Bay lost, so the Yanks magic # for clinching the division is three. The magic # to just make it into the playoffs is 2.

They only hit 1 HR today, so they trail the Twins 287-286 in the race for the new HR record. The Twins have played two less games, so the Yanks have to get going there.

Houston won, and holds the tiebreaker. Both teams currently have the same record. The Dodgers are a game behind them.

As much as we would like the Yanks to get the best record in baseball (at least the AL) and maintain home field advantage, there are some things that Aaron Boone has to find out before the postseason begins, and finding out those things could cost the Yanks now but benefit them in the postseason.

One of them is outfield and Tyler Wade. With Tauchman and Hicks out, he needs to see how Wade is in the outfield. With Hicks out, Gardner will be in CF, and Judge in RF. Boone needs to find out if Stanton could play LF (when Stanton comes back) or if he has to DH. He needs to know who will play LF—Stanton, Frazier, Maybin or even Wade.

The question of if Stanton can play LF affects the 1B/DH spot. If Stanton has to DH, that affects Voit, Ford and/or Encarnacion, depending on who plays 1B. The best Yankees’ defensive infield has LeMahieu at 1B,  Torres at 2B, Didi at SS and Urshela at 3B. If Stanton has to DH and not play LF, that takes Voit, Ford & Encarnacion out of the mix.

As for the pitchers, he has to find out if Severino, Betances, and maybe even Montgomery have anything to offer for the postseason. He also has to rest his main bullpen guys (Kahnle, Ottavino, Green, Britton and Chapman) to make sure they are good to go, and not overworked, come October.

Boone has to find out those answers NOW, and in finding out those answers, he may have to sacrifice home field advantage to do so.

Aaron Judge homered in the top of the first today (23) to put the Yanks up 1-0.

Jordan Montgomery, in his first game back from TJ surgery, was shaky, giving up two runs in the bottom of the second. Toronto up, 2-1.

The Yanks got two in the top of the third. With one out, Tyler Wade singled and scored on a D.J. LeMahieu double that tied the game. Judge walked, then Didi Gregorius singled to put the Yanks up 3-2.

In the bottom of the third, Montgomery gave up a HR to Yankee-killer Randal Grichuk.

Nestor Cortes gave up a 3-run HR to Grichuk in the fifth. Cortes appears to me to be a tweener pitcher. Better than AAA but not MLB caliber. I don’t expect him on the postseason roster.

The Yanks got a run in the seventh when Austin Romine doubled and later scored on a two-base error.

Dellin Betances, making his first appearance of the season, faced two batters and struck both of them out.

Judge solo HR (23)

Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.50
Montgomery 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.  13.50  Season Debut after TJ surgery.
Betances 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00    Season debut after shoulder trouble.
Cortes (L, 5-1, 5.54)  1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 W, 3 K.  Gave up 1 HR.
Heller 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.    3.00
Lyons 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   6.52

Note none of the “big four” of Ottavino, Kahnle, Britton or Chapman pitched since they were down in the game.

The Yankees are off Monday and Luis Severino makes his season debut on Tuesday.

Ryan Dull was DFA’d.

Game 144. Yanks beat Boston 10-5 behind HRs by Gleyber and Judge. Tauchman also HRs, but gets hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the game, the Yanks activated Gio Urshela off the IL and brought up Thairo Estrada (who was on rehab), Kyle Higashioka and Breyvic Valera.

The Yanks then beat Boston 10-5 behind Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Mike Tauchman, but Tauchman got hurt during the game.

With the win, the 94-50 Yankees maintain an 8 1/2 game lead over Tampa Bay with 18 games to go. The magic # to reach the playoffs is 8 and the magic # to clinch the division is 10.

They remain tied with Houston for the best record in baseball but Houston has the tiebreaker. Both teams are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Dodgers.

In the second inning, Torres gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with his 35th HR of the season after Edwin Encarnacion singled in front of him.

In the third, Tauchman singled, and D.J. LeMahieu reached on an infield single. Judge singled in a run, sending LeMahieu to third. After Didi Gregorius popped out, Gary Sanchez’ RBI groundout made it 4-0.

Staked to a four-run lead, Masahiro Tanaka couldn’t go five innings for the win. He gave up a two-run HR to Jackie Bradley in the bottom of the third that cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-2.

In the top of the fourth, Torres singled and scored two outs later on a 2-run HR by Tauchman (13) who had to leave the game later with a calf injury. He’ll be getting an MRI. Ugh. 6-2, Yanks.

With two out in the fourth, Tanaka gave up a single and two doubles and that cut the lead to 6-4. Tanaka didn’t come out for the fifth, so couldn’t get the win.

Chad Green was superb in his three innings of scoreless relief and did pick up the W. His ERA of 4.60 doesn’t look good because of those horrendous first three weeks of the season where his ERA was 16.43 and he had to be sent to the minors. Since returning, the ERA is 2.89.

In the fifth, Judge led off the inning with a HR (21) to make it 7-4, then Didi reached on an error. After a walk, Encarnacion singled Didi to third, and Didi scored on an RBI forceout by Torres. 8-4.

Judge’s HR was the Yanks’ 268th of the season, topping the mark set last year when they set a MLB record. They are eight behind the Twins (who set a new record) this season. Could they (or the Twins) hit 300?

Mookie Betts homered in the bottom of the eighth to make it 8-5.

The Yanks scored two in the ninth when Didi walked, and Rafael Devers made two errors on the same play (one fielding, one throwing) to put runners on second and third. Devers had three errors in the game and was saved from a couple others. Encarnacion singled in one run, then Torres doubled in another to make it 10-5, the final score.

Judge 2 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR (21)
Encarnacion 3 hits, RBI
Torres 3 hits, 4 RBI, 2-run HR (35)
Tauchman 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (13). Injured, left game.

Tanaka 4 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.  4.53
Green (W, 3-4, 4.60) 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Ottavino 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.   1.76
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.63

In the minors, Trenton (AA) will face Bowie for the Eastern League Championship. The best-of-five series begins in Trenton on Tuesday.

OF/1B Chris Duncan, ex-Cardinal and brother of one-time Yankee Shelley Duncan and son of former MLB catcher and pitching coach Dave Duncan, died of brain cancer
September 6 at the age of 38. He hit 22 HR as a part-time player for the 2006 WS Champion Cardinals and 21 the following year. In 389 MLB games, he hit .257 with 55 HR and an OPS+ of 109. He played for the Cardinals 2005-2009.

Tom Phoebus, RHP, died Sept. 5, age 77. Born in Baltimore, he pitched for his hometown Orioles 1966-1970, and was a part of two WS Champs (1966, 1970) and one AL Pennant winner (1969). He won 14, 15 and 14 games from 1967-1969. His only postseason appearance was in one game during the 1970 WS, where he got the win in Game 2. He pitched for the Padres (1971-1972) and Cubs (1972). His career MLB record was 56-52, 3.33, ERA+ 100.

A DYK: Aaron Boone now has 194 wins (and counting) in his first two seasons as Yankees’ manager. The record? Ralph Houk with 205 (1961 and 1962).

Lastly, a tip of the cap to Brian Cashman’s longevity with the Yankees. Not even a year after winning the World Series, the Red Sox fire Dave Dombrowski.

 

Montgomery, Severino. Ready in October? If so, how so?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As October nears and a playoff berth is just about certain, it bears watching to see how Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino progress. Will either one be MLB ready in October? If so, how might they be used?

Let’s just say each one is MLB ready but neither one is stretched out yet to where they usually are. Both can help, but neither would be stretched out to give six or more innings. They may only give three.

Would the Yanks use an “opener” style in postseason game? They have used Chad Green as an opener 12x this year, and Jonathan Holder (who I don’t expect to be on the postseason roster) once.

Now, Green could be used as an opener, with say, Severino or Montgomery coming in for three or four innings after Green.

OR, since Severino and Montgomery are more used to starting, does Boone use THEM as an “opener”, only instead of going just the one inning that Green usually does, does he give them, say three innings (what they may only be stretched out to) then go to the bullpen?

Or, could he piggyback them? Start Seve, he goes three, then Montgomery for three, then the bullpen?

It will be interesting to see how Seve and “Gumby” progress, and how they may be used come October.

Tampa Bay won today, so the Yanks’ magic # remains at 17. The Yanks are off.

Game 128. Happ disappointing again, Yanks fall, 6-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

J.A. Happ continued to disappoint and frustrate Yankees’ fans last night as the Yanks (83-45) lost their third in a row, this one by a score of 6-4 to Oakland. The loss cut the Yanks’ lead over Tampa Bay to 9 games. The magic # remains at 26 to clinch the AL East (not counting tiebreakers).

At this rate, there is no way Happ could be on the postseason roster. How bad is it? His ERA is worse than Sonny Gray’s was last year. The Yanks signed Happ for two years with a vesting option for 2021. $17MM a year. Now they have to wonder if they have another Sonny Gray dilemma on their hands.

Gray is now 9-6, 2.92 for the Reds this year after 11-9, 4.90 for the Yanks last year. As Brian Cashman stated, he’d be best out of NY.

Happ was 7-0, 2.69 for the Yanks last year after the Yanks got him from Toronto, so NY didn’t affect him last year. He then lost game 1 of the ALDS to Boston. But this year? 10-8,  5.58.

Is it NY? Or is it that Larry Rothschild just can’t get through to certain pitchers? What? You wonder what the problem is.

You have to wonder about certain guys who are All-Stars elsewhere but who come to NY and don’t succeed but fail miserably.

The problem is, despite the Yanks’ record, the other starters haven’t been dominating. No starter has an ERA under 4.00, and you wonder if Luis Severino makes it back, how effective he can be after missing all season, and how deep he could take you in a game.

It makes you wonder about October. Taking Happ out of the equation, you then have German, Tanaka, Paxton and CC. No sure things, especially CC, who, like Happ, also has an ERA over 5.

I’m concerned and Yankees’ fans should be too, about this starting rotation come October.

The Yanks struck first when the got a run in the top of the second when Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a double and scored one out later on a single by Mike Tauchman.

Happ was plagued by the gopher ball again, giving up a two-run HR in the bottom of the second, then another two-run HR in the bottom of the third. 4-1 A’s.

He left with the bases loaded and no one out in the fifth. Chad Green came in, and got out of it with just one run scoring. 5-1 Oakland.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Gio Urshela singled, Didi walked, and Gleyber Torres singled to load the bases. Tauchman hit a SF to make it 5-2.

Green gave up a HR in the bottom of the sixth, 6-2 A’s.

Mike Ford homered (5) in the top of the seventh to make it 6-3. Later that inning, with two out, Gary Sanchez singled, Urshela singled, and Didi doubled in a run to make it 6-4. They had second and third, two out, but Torres grounded out to end the inning.

The Yanks had first and third, one out in the eighth but D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge both struck out.

Urshela 2 hits (.340, now hitting higher than LeMahieu .334)
Gregorius 2 hits, RBI
Tauchman 2 hits, 2 RBI .300
Ford 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (5)

Happ (L, 10-8, 5.58) 4 IP, 5 R, 4 H, 2 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 2 HR.
Green 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  5.44   Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.   1.64.

I don’t know what the Yanks will do about Happ. But it’s exasperating.

 

Game 125. Yanks hit 4 HR (2 by Gleyber), beat Indians 6-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees (83-42) edged out Cleveland, 6-5 on Saturday afternoon, hitting four HR in the process.

Manager Aaron Boone, as well as Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia were ejected for arguing balls and strikes. For Gardner, it was for banging his bat against the dugout roof in protest. He’s finding out umps don’t like that, even if he doesn’t actually SAY anything.

James Paxton once again had the first inning blues, giving up two runs. He came into the game with a first inning ERA of 10.71 and that will go up. Maybe the Yanks should use an opener when he pitches so he starts in inning number two?

The Yanks got a run back in the second when with two out, Cameron Maybin walked and scored on a single by Mike Tauchman in which the OF made an error. Maybin scored on the error, but Tauchman was thrown out trying for second.

The Yanks tied it in the third when Austin Romine singled and was forced out by Thairo Estrada. With two out, Estrada stole second and then scored on a single by D.J. LeMahieu.

The Yanks got back-to-back HR by Didi Gregorius (11) and Gleyber Torres (28) in the fourth to go up 4-2.

Paxton gave up two runs in the top of the fifth. Tie game.

Bottom of the fifth: LeMahieu homers (20). Yanks up 5-4.

Torres hit his second HR of the game (29) in the sixth, and the Yanks went up 6-4.

Cleveland got a run off of Zack Britton in the eighth, 6-5.

Aroldis Chapman worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

We’ll have to see what Tampa Bay does, but going into that game, the Yanks’ lead over them is 11 games and the magic # drops to 28.

LeMahieu 2 hits, 2 RBI, .338, solo HR (20)
Gregorius solo HR (11)
Torres 2 solo HR (29)

Paxton (W, 9-6, 4.53) 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 3 W, 4 K
Ottavino (H, 26) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.67
Kahnle (H, 23) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.82
Britton (H, 27) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.26
Chapman (S, 34) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.36