Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 40. Yanks lose 3rd straight, 9-5. Concerns after Tanaka bombed again.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If I were the Yankees, I’d make Masahiro Tanaka take an MRI. For if he isn’t hurt, he’s certainly lost right now.

But maybe we need to know if he is hurt.

Tanaka can opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but the way he’s pitching now, no one would take him.

Tanaka didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, and gave up 3 HR. In his last two starts, he has pitched less than six innings combined, and has given up 14 runs and seven HR.

That is just not him. Neither is that unsightly 6.56 ERA.

You wonder if he’s ok. You wonder if that partially torn UCL is a fully torn one now, and if Tanaka isn’t saying anything but hiding something.

You don’t have to wonder if he is lost out there right now. He is.

He gave up a HR right away, on his third pitch of the game.

The Yanks came back in the top of the second and tied it at one on Aaron Judge’s 15th HR of the year, but Tanaka gave up a run in the bottom of the second. 2-1 Rays.

Evan Longoria homered off Tanaka in the third. 3-1 Rays.

The Yanks tied it in the fourth on a two-run double by Chase Headley, but Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR to Corey Dickerson in the bottom half of the inning. 6-3 Rays and Tanaka was out of there.

Gary Sanchez hit his fourth HR of the year to make it 6-4 in the top of the fifth, but Tommy Layne, who has been struggling badly himself, gave up three runs in the bottom half of that inning.

Headley got an RBI groundout in the sixth for the final run of the game. 9-5 Rays.

Both manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild were ejected by the HP umpire. Hearing about the ejections and what the HP umpire, Scott Barry, did or didn’t do, Barry deserves a reprimand. Hey buddy, people don’t come to see YOU. For example, Rothschild was ejected just for saying “you missed a few”. Touchy, touchy, snowflake. Then, when Girardi was ejected just for demanding an explanation of Rothschild’s ejection, Girardi spread dirt over the plate, ala Billy Martin, that Barry left there. He didn’t dust off the plate for the pitcher afterward, and it stayed there for several pitches until Sanchez cleaned it off. Totally unprofessional.

Sanchez 2 hits, solo HR. Now at .303. The Kraken has awoken.
Matt Holliday was 0 for 3, 3 strikeouts. Played 1B.
Aaron Judge 2 hits, double, solo HR, was HBP which forced the ejection of the Rays’ starter, Andariese, who hit two batters. No, Judge didn’t charge the mound. What a sight THAT would have been! Judge DH’d.
Headley  3 RBI

Tanaka (L, 5-3, 6.56) 3+ IP, 6 R, 9 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 3 HR.
Layne 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 8.18. 1 HBP.
Gallegos 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.06
Shreve 1 1 /3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 0.00
Holder 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 w, 1 K. 1.93

The Yanks need to either get Tanaka straightened out or find out if he is hurt.

As for Layne, I wouldn’t be surprised if a move is made regarding him, like maybe replacing him with Tyler Webb, who is now at SWB.

But something needs to be done about both of them. Both have to get their mojo back.

The loss drops the Yanks to 24-16. It’s their third in a row, and they’ve lost seven of the last 10. It dropped them out of first place, into second, 1/2 game behind the Orioles.

Game 39. Rays edge Yanks, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi was attending his daughter’s graduation. Bench coach Rob Thomson filled in as manager, and Thomson made a couple of moves that have Yankees’ fans scratching their heads after a 5-4 Yankees loss to Tampa Bay that dropped their record to 24-15.

Luis Severino gutted out five innings, giving up just one run and leaving with a 2-1 lead. The Yanks got a run in the first when with one out, Ellsbury singled, Holliday doubled and Castro got an RBI groundout. Judge singled Holliday to third and stole second, but the Yanks couldn’t add on; Didi struck out. It would cost them later.

The Rays tied the game in the bottom of the first. In the third, Gardner got a bunt single and went to second on an error by Evan Longoria. It’s about the only thing Longoria did wrong all night. He had four hits against the Yankees, including the GW RBI. Ellsbury doubled Gardner home.

Jonathan Holder pitched a scoreless sixth and after that, the Yankees’ bullpen, which has been so great this year so far, let the game get away.

Thomson brought in Warren to pitch the seventh. I hate when managers go “by the book” or “by the formula.” If a pitcher is doing well, leave him in. Change for changes sake, I hate. Seventh inning guy, eighth inning guy, etc. Phooey. Too many cooks (or pitchers) spoil the soup (or game). Holder gave up a double in the sixth, but no runs and had two strikeouts. Why not leave him in? If a guy is doing well, and is smoking, use your own eyes and gut and go with the hot hand. Leave him in.

That over managing, seventh-inning guy, eighth-inning guy, etc., is a change to the game I grew up with that I do not like. A change for the worse. I’m old school, remembering the days when a Gossage or Lyle would come in in the seventh and really close a game out, going 2 1/3 scoreless or so. People older than me may remember Joe Page…

I miss those days.

The move to Warren, who has been great and probably was due for a clunker, backfired. Warren gave up 3 runs in the seventh. Rays 4-2. The key blow was a double that 3B Ronald Torreyes couldn’t come up with, shortly after it appeared Warren Shreve was squeezed on a pitch by the home plate umpire.

In the top of the eighth, Matt Holliday hit a two-run HR (8) to tie it, 4-4.

But Tyler Clippard gave up a run and the game in the bottom of the eighth.

In the bottom of the ninth, with two out, Thomson let Austin Romine hit for himself instead of pinch-hitting Gary Sanchez for him. This is a move, or non-move if you will, that has Yankees’ fans scratching their heads. Even the Yankees’ broadcasters on WPIX, Ken Singleton and John Flaherty, were a bit surprised by the non-move. Sanchez has a far greater chance of tying the game up with a HR than Romine did or does, and you are just PH-ing catcher for catcher. Why Sanchez wasn’t up there, who knows. Romine tapped back to the pitcher, game over. Not only that, Romine (0 for 4) has been slumping lately (0 hits in at least his last 16 at bats) and is down to .247.

So that’s that.

Ellsbury 2 for 4, RBI; Holliday 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI. Castro 2 hits, RBI (.352).

Chris Carter was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. Tyler Austin’s start of his rehab was rained out.

Severino 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 3 W, 7 K. 3.64
Holder (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.04
Warren (BS, 2) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.31
Shreve 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00
Clippard (L, 0-2, 1.53) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K.


Game 29. Yanks win 18-inning marathon 5-4, sweep Cubs.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

For those of you (and that would be most of you) who were NOT up at 2 A.M. watching the end of this one….

Luis Severino, maturing in front of our eyes, went seven strong innings, making only one mistake, but saw his good effort wasted by an Aroldis Chapman bad performance that put the game into extra innings.

The game went on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and…

the Yanks wound up winning it in 18 innings, 5-4, to sweep the defending World Champion Cubs and go to 20-9 on the season.

The Yanks struck first. Ellsbury singled but was picked off first by the catcher. Cubs starter Jon Lester is infamous for not wanting to field his position or throw to first on pickoffs and Ellsbury took a big lead. But that doesn’t mean the catcher can’t try to pick you off. When the catcher threw down, Ellsbury should just have taken off to second. Who knows, maybe the first baseman makes a bad throw. Instead, he was a dead duck.

But Hicks walked, Holliday singled, and they executed a double steal. Good. Have to be aggressive on the basepaths against Lester. Castro’s RBI groundout plated a run.

Severino retired the first eight guys he faced, but gave up a HR with two out and two strikes in the third.

So it stood until the seventh. Good pitcher’s duel.

In the seventh, Castro reached on a two-base error and Judge tripled him in.

Now I have to criticize Girardi a bit. As people who consistently read me know, the only criticism I have of Girardi is that he NEVER squeezes. Ever. With Judge on third and no one out, Didi popped up on the first pitch, Headley grounded to third, and Romine lined to third. They didn’t get Judge in. Luckily it didn’t bit them.

But think of this. Judge, 6’7″, 282 pounds, at third. No one out. You squeeze. If you are the other team’s catcher, how would you feel having Judge barreling down the line at you and you have to tag him out? Know what I’m saying here?

In the eighth, Gardner PH for Severino and singled. Ellsbury followed with a two-run HR (4) to put the Yanks up 4-1. Well, that made up for before.

Chapman struggled in the ninth and was awful.  I HATE bringing in a closer just because “he’s your closer”. Use your damned eyes. If the setup guy is doing well, LEAVE HIM IN THERE. Chapman blew the lead and forced the game into extra innings.

Honestly, it isn’t difficult. Too often managers over-manage and take the easy way out.

I really feel managers lose games more than win them.

One thing about playing in an NL park without the DH—- Aaron Judge was double-switched out of the ball game. Think about that for a minute. I hate NL rules. Sorry.

Finally, in the 18th, Hicks bunt singled and went to second on a throwing error. Torreyes bunted him to third, and Hicks scored when Castro grounded out, beating the play at the plate. The Yanks put more runners on, but Shreve made the last out. The Yanks were out of position players.

In the bottom of the 18th, the Cubs put runners on but the last out of the game was made by the pitcher, since the Cubs ran out of position players and in fact, a couple times in the game, had to PH one better hitting pitcher for a weaker-hitting one, and this was one of those cases.

There were 48 strikeouts in the game, a major league record.

Severino 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 9 K. Gave up 1 HR, 3.40
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.84
Chapman (BS, ) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 W, 2 K. 3.00. 1 HBP w/the bases loaded that tied the game.
Clippard 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.35
Warren 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. 0.51
Holder 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.08.
Shreve (w, 1-0, 0.00) 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 W, 5 K.

With the bullpens being used so much, I won’t be surprised if a move is made today.

Let’s hope Tanaka throws a complete game victory against the Reds tonight.

Game 26. All Rise! Judge HRs again in Yanks’ 8-6 win. Ex-Twins mgr. Mele dies.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks’ overcome a bad start by CC Sabathia and beat Toronto 8-6 on Wednesday night to go to 17-9 on the season. They got HRs by Matt Holliday and Aaron Judge in the victory. They are off today and head to Chicago for a weekend series against the Cubs. They should be getting Gary Sanchez back Friday as well.

CC gave up 4 runs in the first inning, but the Yanks got three back on Holliday’s HR, his fifth of the season and #300 of his career.

But CC gave up two more in the top of the second.

Judge got two back in the third with his 13th HR of the season.

The Yanks had the bases loaded in the fifth, and at this point, probably every Yankees’ fan was rooting for Kyle Higashioka to finally get his first MLB hit, but he struck out. Higashioka will be sent down for Sanchez, and unfortunately will be taking an 0 for 18 back with him.

Joe Girardi didn’t like the umps’ strike zone and was ejected.

Shortly after the ejection, with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Judge singled, Headley doubled him to third, and Carter singled to tie the game. PH Didi Gregorius singled to make it 7-6 Yanks, and later on Aaron Hicks walked with the bases loaded to give the Yanks an insurance run.

Gardner 2 Hits and drew 2 walks. Holliday 3-run HR.
Judge 3 hits, inc. HR. 2 RBI. Carter 2 hits, RBI. Hicks walked 3x.

Sabathia 4+ IP, 6 R, 7 H, 4 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.45
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 H, 1 K. 0.63
Clippard 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 w, 2 k. 1.54
Betances (w, 3-1, 0.93) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Chapman (S, 6) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.87

The Yanks’ bullpen cleaned up for CC, going 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 6 K. And check their ERA’s.

Sam Mele died a few days ago at the age of 95. He was an OF/1B for the Red Sox 1947-1949, Senators 1949-1952, White Sox 1952-1953, Orioles 1954, Red Sox again 1954-1955, Reds 1955 and Indians 1956. He led the AL in doubles in 1951. His 162 game average was .267-12-84 OPS+ 97.

He managed the Twins from 1961-1967, winning the 1965 AL pennant. They lost that series in 7 to the Dodgers. He had a .546 winning percentage. His teams also finished second in 1962 and 1966.

Game 23. Yanks lose strange game, 7-4, in 11.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

This was a strange one. Adam Warren wasn’t available. The Yanks ran through their bullpen. The game went extra innings, so Joe Girardi tried to buy innings by pitching Aroldis Chapman while using Bryan Mitchell at first base, then bringing Mitchell back to the mound. It didn’t work. By doing that, Girardi also lost the DH.

Eventually, the Yanks lost in 11, 7-4, to drop them to 15-8 and into a first place tie with the victorious Orioles as April comes to an end.

The Yanks scored first, as Matt Holliday crushed a HR (4) in the first inning.

Baltimore tied it in the third, but the Yanks went up 2-1 on an RBI single by Headley in the same inning.

I like this Montgomery kid. He needs a nickname, maybe the General after the British general, Bernard Montgomery (or, the Viscount). Anyway, he went into the sixth, where he walked the first two batters. The Orioles would get three runs that inning.

The Yanks got a 2-run single from Didi in the bottom of the ninth to tie it, but here is where I have to go back earlier in the game with a criticism of Girardi.

He never bunts. Never squeezes in a run. Ever.

In the third, the Yanks had runners on second and third with no one out. Higashioka, who was 0 for 11 in his major league career at that point, was at bat.

Now I ‘d like as much as anyone else for Higashioka to finally get his first MLB hit. But 0 for 11 is 0 for 11. He is now 0 for 14. I would like for him to get that first MLB hit before Sanchez comes back and Higashioka goes back to SWB.

He struck out without ANY sign of a squeeze bunt being put on. I put the play on, take it off if necessary. Girardi doesn’t have the play in his playbook. He never calls one.

I like the way Girardi manages the bullpen. I like him as a manager. But when it comes to asking a player to bunt or squeeze, I have major issues with him there.

So a guy 0 for 11 (and who still, after the game is over, doesn’t have his first MLB hit) isn’t called upon to squeeze a run home is allowed to swing away and strikes out. Gardner and Hicks each struck out after Higashioka.

2nd and 3rd. No out. No one scores. You lose in extra innings. Think that didn’t help decide the game?

I wish Joe would be more aggressive in bunting runners in or over, like a Billy Martin would have been. That is my only criticism of Girardi.

In making some lineup changes (and with Adam Warren unavailable), Girardi had to get creative at the end of the game. After Didi tied the game, he brought in Chapman for the 10th, but if the game went longer, he didn’t have a long man. So he put Mitchell at 1B for the inning, in order to bring Mitchell back to go multiple innings if necessary, but in so doing, lost the DH.

It would have worked if the Yanks had scored in the bottom of the 10th. They had the bases loaded with one out but Castro hit into a forceout at the plate and Judge stuck out.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, in going back to the mound after an inning at 1B (where he got an error on one popup but caught another) lost it and gave up three runs.

Joe, squeeze sometimes. Esp. someone 0 for 11 in his MLB career. Hear me, Joe?

Not bunting or moving runners up cost the Yanks today. They left 16 men on base.

Montgomery 5+ IP, 3 R, 3 H, 4 W, 7 K. 4.15
Holder (BS,1) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.38
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.86
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1.13
Mitchell (L, 1-1, 6.35) 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W,  1K
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W 2 K 0.96

Remember Mitchell’s innings were non-consecutive.


Game 19. Youth is served. Judge & Severino lead Yanks to 3-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Luis Severino pitched seven shutout innings, and Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR (7) to lead the Yanks to a 3-1 win over Boston up in Fenway tonight. The win improves the Yanks’ record to 12-7.

Judge’s 2-run HR came in the second inning, after Castro reached on an error, and later in the game he made a nice play going into the stands to catch a foul ball.

Meanwhile, Severino is pitching like we thought he would last year after going 5-3, 2.89 in 11 starts at the end of 2015. Instead, he had the dreaded “sophomore jinx.”

In the sixth, Judge walked, went to second on a WP and scored on a single off the Green Monster by Greg Bird. Boy, does Bird need that.

Severino went 7 scoreless innings, and Betances dominated the 8th.

Then Girardi pissed me off.

I absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE (have I said it enough?) when a manager takes out a setup guy who just kicked butt just so they can bring in a closer just because he is the closer.

For after Betances dominated the eighth, Chapman almost blew the game in the ninth.

If a guy is doing well, why are you making a change just for the sake of making a change?

Leave the guy doing well in the game for crying out loud? Is that such a difficult concept?

More managers blow games by doing this, and SHOULD BE FIRED FOR DOING SO, than win games.

Severino (W, 2-1, 3.00) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 walks, 6 K.
Betances (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.29
Chapman (S, 5) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. 1.23.

Next time Joe, save Chapman for another day. If Betances is kicking ass, leave him the hell in there.

Oh yeah, nice to see the Yanks play Boston w/out that big guy on Boston beating us up.

Game 18. Nova gets revenge, Montgomery shows grit in Yanks’ 2-1 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I have a lot to say about this game, which the Yankees lost 2-1 to drop them to 11-7.

First off, in only 3 major league starts, I am impressed with Jordan Montgomery, who has a 3.78 ERA after 3 starts. That is good for the rookie. Keep it up. I see a lot of Andy Pettitte-like qualities in him.

In the first inning, he had the bases loaded and no one out and minimized the damage. Just one run.

He went 6 IP, 2 R without his best stuff. Impressive.

But the Yanks only run came on a HR by Jacoby Ellsbury (2) in the seventh as ex-Yankee Ivan Nova got the win and a bit of revenge.

My biggest gripe comes with poor baseball by the Yankees in the ninth inning.

With one out, Judge singled and Holliday walked. Torreyes hit what should have been a game-ending DP ball but the Pirates made an error that loaded the bases with one out.

Down 2-1. One out. A walk ties the game. Take a strike.

Instead, Aaron Hicks didn’t even take a strike or make the pitcher throw strikes. He swung at all three pitches and struck out.

Pete Kozma was forced to bat b/c the Yanks used up all their bench players. Kozma, who most likely will be released in a week when Didi Gregorius comes off the DL, is a good field, no hit player. He swung on a 2-0 pitch and grounded out to end the game. What is Kozma doing swinging at 2-0 instead of taking a strike and hoping for two more balls to force in the winning run?

I place some blame on Girardi. He should have given Kozma a take sign on 2-0. No way do you swing. Take a strike, maybe he will walk in the tying run.

Sometimes games are simply lost, and sometimes you lose because you aren’t playing heads-up baseball. Today, I feel the Yanks lost because they were not playing heads up baseball.

Would the pitcher have walked in a run? We’ll never know. But the Yanks didn’t give themselves a chance to find out.

As mentioned, I am impressed with Montgomery despite the loss.

But the Yanks need Bird to start hitting. He is at .104.

Also, Brett Gardner has to get it going. He is at .182. I know he was shopped around in the offseason, and I still feel he is trade bait if Frazier/Fowler or another OF gets it going in the minors.

But not only is Gardner at .182, but after 18 games, he has ZERO RBI. I know he is the leadoff hitter, but still, ZERO RBI.

Lastly, Kyle Higashioka needs to get his first MLB hit soon. He’s called good ballgames but hopefully he does not start pressing trying to get that first hit.

Hopefully he and Bird pick it up. This week in Boston would be a nice time to do so.

Montgomery (L, 1-1, 3.78) 6 IP, 2 R,  7 H, 2 walks, 5 K.
Mitchell 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 1.04.