Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 76. Yanks lose to Houston, 3-1.

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Before the game, the Yanks brought back Esmiel Rogers and sent Gregorio Petit down to AAA.

The move was to get a fresh arm. The Yanks had Shreve, Wilson and Betances unavailable due to recent workload.

The bullpen wasn’t needed. The good Michael Pineda showed up and pitched eight strong innings, but he got no help from his offense or defense as the Yanks lost 3-1 Sunday in Houston.

The Yanks managed only two hits in the game, the only run coming in the third on a walk, WP and Brett Gardner single.

Garrett Jones and Brett Gardner messed up a fly ball in the fourth. It was Gardner’s ball, as the CF should take everything he can get. Jones got too close to Gardner, the ball fell in for a double, then was kicked around and the batter came all the way around to score. Ugly.

Pineda gave up runs in the seventh and eighth. Meanwhile the only other Yankees hit was by A-Rod, #3010 of his career, tying Wade Boggs on the all-time list.

Pineda 8 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 walks and 8 K. (L, 8-5, 4.08).

With the loss, the Yanks stayed 1/2 game out of first, but dropped to 3rd place in the division.

Baltimore 41-34  —
Tampa Bay 42-35  —-
YANKEES 41-35  -1/2
Toronto 41-36   – 1
Boston 34-43  -8

It doesn’t get much tighter than that. The Yanks have a 1/2 game lead for the last wild card slot.

Long way to go. Who will get separation?

Kind of feel sorry for Ryne Sandberg, who resigned as Phils’ manager a few days ago. As my grandpa used to sometimes say, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.

Update: Ellsbury could start rehab games tonight (Monday) and rejoin the Yanks this weekend. Miller continues to throw, but no rehab games yet.

Game 59. Yanks lose game, streak, closer, make moves with more to come.

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It’s one thing to lose a seven-game winning streak. All things must pass. But the Yanks also lost their closer for a couple of weeks.

Andrew Miller is going on the DL for a few weeks, and Dellin Betances will have to take over as the closer.

Nathan Eovaldi pitched well today, but going into the bottom of the seventh, was trailing 2-0.

The Yanks got four in the bottom of the seventh. Brendan Ryan, just activated (Ramon Flores was sent down) tripled in one run, Gardner doubled to tie it up, A-Rod’s double (RBI 1998) put the Yanks up 3-2 and McCann’s single made it 4-2.

Betances and Miller time, right? But no.

Girardi was concerned about Betances’ workload, and Miller was unavailable because he was about to go on the DL. Girardi also didn’t want to use Shreve because of his recent workload.

It turned out to be a case of lose the battle to win the war. He brought in rookie Jacob Lindgren, but Lindgren gave up a 2-run HR to tie the game.

After Lindgren, he brought in Capuano, figuring that with the game going extras (the Yanks lost 5-4 in 11), that Capuano could provide some length. But Capuano gave up a run in the eleventh and the Yanks fell to 33-26. The lead in the AL East was cut to 1 1/2.

After the game, Pirela was sent down. Ryan basically replaced Flores. Now could Flores come back? Yes, because of Miller’s injury. But expect the Yanks to call up a reliever, be it Brandon Pinder or Jose Ramirez, or maybe Diego Moreno, to help in the bullpen.

A-Rod’s RBI double, besides being RBI 1998, was hit 2992 for him.

Eovaldi 7 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 1 walk, 4 K. 4.13
Lindgren 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.26
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 3.86
Capuano (L, 0-4, 5.63) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

In the 38th round, the Yanks drafted a kid from my area, 2B Mike Garzillo, who went to Nazareth HS and Lehigh U.

Update: The Yanks will bring RHP Chris Martin back off of rehab.

Game 57. Yanks sweep Angels, win 6th straight, 6-2.

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The Yanks maintained their 1 1/2 game lead in the AL East with a 6-2 win over the Angels on Sunday, their 6th win in a row. The win puts the Yanks at 32-25 on the season.

Although the big blow was a 3-run HR (5) by Brett Gardner, for me the keys of the game came from three guys who were struggling.

1) CC. He came into the game with a 2-7 record. It didn’t look good early on. After getting an out, he gave up back-to-back HRs to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. For Pujols, career HR #535 passed Jimmy Foxx on the all-time HR list and put him just 1 HR behind Mickey Mantle. When David Freese doubled after Pujols’ HR, you thought that here we go again.

But CC settled in and gave 6 IP, with just those 2 runs before he and manager Girardi were ejected in the sixth for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire.

2) Chris Young. Young’s HR (7) to tie the game came after a 2 for 31 slump. Later that inning, Gardner’s HR gave the Yanks the lead.

3) Jose Pirela. The kid has struggled, especially defensively, lately, but today hit his first MLB HR. How long he’ll be with the Yanks is in question because Brendan Ryan may be ready to come off the DL and replace Pirela as the infield utility man. But still nice to see the kid get his first MLB HR.

The Angels got two in the first on those b-2-b HR, but nothing afterward. CC was helped in the game on a timing play. Beltran threw out Trout at second trying to tag up. The out was recorded before Aybar scored on what should have been a SF. It took a run off the board for the Angels.

Down 2-0, the Yanks got a run in the third on a Pirela double, flyout to move the runner up and a groundout by Gregorius.

In the fifth, Young’s HR tied it up and Gardner’s put them ahead 5-2. Pirela’s HR in the seventh accounted for the final margin.

The Yanks are off Monday. Tuesday’s game appears to be a classic pitching matchup. Washington comes into the Stadium, and it’s Scherzer vs. Tanaka. I don’t know if it is on TV (I don’t get YES) but I hope it is.

CC (W, 3-7, 5.25) 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 7 K.
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 4.05
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.29
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.04

 

 

 

Game 55. Yanks escape with 8-7 win.

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It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The Yankees drove their fans crazy in the ninth inning last night before escaping with an 8-7 win over the Angels. They maintained their 1/2 game lead in the AL East in the process. They are 30-25 on the season.

They entered the top of the ninth with what seemed to be a comfortable 8-1 lead. When the inning ended, it was 8-7, and the Angels had the tying run on third and the go ahead run on first. Dellin Betances, who Joe Girardi would have wanted to have the night off, had to be rushed in to finish the game. In the process, he struggled and finally gave up his first earned run of the year (you knew it would happen sometime).

Stephen Drew got the Yanks on the board in the second inning with the first of his two homers on the night, a 2-run shot. 2-0.

Mark Teixeira hit a two-run shot, #17 (#380 career) in the third. We just passed the 1/3 point of the season, and Teix has 17 HR. Forget his batting average and look at how valuable he has been to the Yanks so far this season. The V in MVP stands for valuable. MVP doesn’t necessary mean Player of the Year or Best Player in the League. It’s Most VALUABLE Player, and if the season ended today, Teix would have to be in the consideration. If he did win with a .240 batting average, it would be the lowest by a non-pitcher ever. Marty Marion of the Cardinals hit just .267 in 1944 (a WWII year, and today as I write this is D-Day) to have the lowest batting average by a non-pitcher MVP. The AL record? Roger Maris hit .269 in 1961 when he hit 61 HR. Forget the .240 Teix has. Look at what his 17 HR means to the team.

In the fifth, Gardner tripled and A-Rod singled him in to make it 5-0. A-Rod had four hits on the night to move him to 2991 for his career, just nine short of 3000. The RBI was #1997, passing Barry Bonds on the all-time list. 3 short of 2000. Unofficially, only three men have hit 2000 RBI. Aaron, Ruth and Anson, and MLB and the Elias Sports Bureau only recognize Aaron (the RBI became an official stat in 1920, eliminating some 222 Ruth RBI (they credit him with 1992) and Anson played 1871-1897).

Up 5-0, Eovaldi had to be replaced in the sixth. You wish he could have given more length than 5 1/3, but he did get the win. The Angels did get one run in the sixth but the Yanks got two back in the bottom of the inning on a McCann double, move up on a groundout, Gregorius SF and Drew’s second HR of the game (7). 7-1 Yanks.

Chris Young singled in a run in the seventh to make it 8-1.

Then came the top of the ninth. Hmm. I saw the game the night Bernie Williams’ #51 was retired, and in that game, Jose Pirela made some defensive mistakes. In the top of the ninth, with Headley having moved 3B to 1B, Drew moved to 3B from 2B and Pirela inserted at 2B (most likely to give Teix a rest with the big lead), a popup fell between Headley and Pirela. Maybe in retrospect, Pirela should have just steered clear of Headley who had it all lined up to catch. Brendan Ryan has played a couple of rehab games now. I wonder if this could be a trigger to send Pirela down and call Ryan back up. After that botched popup, if the Boss were alive and in his prime, Pirela may be on his way down.

Anyway, Esmiel Rogers started the ninth and couldn’t pitch around that mishap. (It was ruled a hit because no one touched the ball. Really, someone should have been given an error on the easy pop up). Rogers faced five batters, gave up four hits and a walk and all five batters scored.

Betances came in and gave up a run. Next thing you know it’s 8-7, fans like me are pulling their hair out (no wonder I have a big bald spot), and Betances has to escape with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first. I am sure, as Bob Costas stated on MLB, that manager Girardi and pitching coach Rothschild weren’t happy that Betances had to be used. After yesterday’s off-day, they wanted two consecutive days off for both Betances and Miller. Now Betances is most likely unavailable tonight after having thrown 33 pitches last night.

Eovaldi (W, 5-1, 4.16) 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 4 walks and 4 K.
Shreve 1 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 2.22
Lindgren 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 3.38
Rogers 0 IP (5 batters) 5 R, 4 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 6.39
Betances (2nd save) 1 Ip, 1 R (first ER of season), 1 H, 2 walks and 2 K. 0.30.

Meanwhile, in order to save Michael Pineda’s arm, the Yanks are skipping his next start and giving him some extra rest. Instead of starting Sunday, he’ll make his next start on Friday.

 

Game 44. Yanks fall to .500.

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Sorry for the late post. I was at last night’s game and got home around 2 a.m.

As a result, there will be NO minor league report from Sunday’s games.

On a night when Bernie Williams’ #51 was retired, and Derek Jeter made his first trip back to Yankee Stadium since his retirement, the Yanks continued their funk, losing their tenth game in their last eleven (sixth in a row) to fall to 22-22, even .500. They remain in 2nd place in what is so far a weak AL East, 1 1/2 games back.

The ingredients for a loss were as follows: mental and physical lapses in the field (2B Jose Pirela), a starting pitcher who couldn’t give you five innings (Capuano), an offense that for the fourth time in eleven games gave you two runs in the first inning and nothing thereafter, and a bullpen that let a close game slip away.

Jose Pirela made a mental mistake on the first play of the game, and the batter almost reached because Pirela was too lackadaisical in fielding a ground ball. The play was only called an out upon review. Pirela then booted the next ball. When Prince Fielder doubled to score the run, it appeared as if there was a play at the plate, but Pirela’s throw home on the relay wasn’t good. Pirela was only charged with one error, but had made three bad plays, and Texas had an unearned run.

The Yanks got two in the first when Gardner (who has been slumping badly…down to .279, .196 since May 9)  reached on an error, then Headley singled. Gardner however, was thrown out at third on Headley’s single. Maybe it was a case of over-aggressiveness, of someone trying to make things happen while his team is in the midst of a losing streak, but there you have it. A-Rod singled, and after a ground out that moved up the runners, McCann singled in two runs to make it 2-1 Yankees.

But in the second, on a 2-2 pitch with two out and a runner on, Capuano gave up a 2-run HR that hit the top of the wall and bounced over. One strike away from getting out of the inning and …. …. I suspect Capuano, who in two starts has given a total of 7 1/3 innings, will be the one pulled when Tanaka or Nova become ready. The Yanks need a starter who’ll give more innings than Capuano has provided so far.

It remained that way, 3-2, for a while, but the Yanks’ offense (minus Beltran, who has the flu, the slumping Young (.240, 2 for his last 28, played CF and Garrett Jones was in RF)) couldn’t do anything and the Yanks’ bullpen gave up two in the seventh to seal their doom.

It is a good thing Girardi has some job security. I’m blaming none of this on him, it’s the players, but it may be a good thing if he (or Hal Steinbrenner, who was there for the Bernie ceremony) ripped into the players after the game. Hal, especially, should pull a page from his dad’s playbook. Losing ten out of eleven is not acceptable. A lesser manager than Girardi may be on the hot seat. But these players need to be held accountable, especially with some of the bad mental errors they are currently making out there.

It doesn’t get any easier. The defending AL champion Royals are in now, and the Yanks are heading west soon.

They have gone from 21-12 to 22-22. That should be a wake up call to tell them to pull their heads out of their you-know-where’s.

The good news is that in a weak division so far, losing ten out of eleven—even this early—hasn’t buried them. There is time to right the ship, and it needs to be done now.

Capuano (L, 0-2, 7.36) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 walks, 4 K.
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.00
Wilson 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.79.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Carpenter 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.19.
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.93.

I was kind of hoping, but didn’t get, the MLB debut of Jacob Lindgren, who was brought up yesterday. Brandon Pinder was sent down after having thrown 48 pitches on Saturday.

Game 41. Slump continues as Yanks lose, 3-2.

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Sometimes over a course of a season, you question a manager’s moves. I have to do that here with the Yanks’ 3-2 loss to the Nats last night.

In the top of the seventh, in a 2-2 game,  Joe Girardi let Adam Warren hit for himself. Warren then coughed up the lead and the game in the bottom of the inning. Granted, Warren was pitching well (from LOHUD: Warren had retired 13 of the past 15 batters before that seventh inning when an error and two walks loaded the bases) except for the two solo HR he gave up. But I might have PH there. Joe decided to save his pinch-hitters for later. I can see that, but it didn’t work out. Besides, there were two out anyway and no one on when he let Warren bat for himself.

I’m just saying that I might have PH there, knowing that Warren was not used to going that deep into games. But horses for courses…

The only other time in his career Warren started a game and pitched into the seventh inning was in his previous start. He isn’t used to it. Granted, it’s nice to get him to do so, but I’d rather see him do it for the first or second time in a game where he has a cushion, not in a 2-2 game. I was wondering why Girardi didn’t PH for him at the time and was really wondering why after Warren coughed up the lead and game in the bottom of the inning.

As a result, the Yanks lost their seventh game in their last eight. Amazingly, they are still tied for first with a 22-19 record as they hit the quarter pole of the season. It looks like 90 wins may be enough to win this division, maybe less.

For the third time (I think) in this slump, the Yanks scored two runs in the first inning and nothing thereafter. Gardner singled, Beltran doubled him home, was moved to third on a groundout and McCann hit a SF. After that, nothing.

The home plate umpire made a few questionable calls. Washington’s Bryce Harper and manager Matt Williams were ejected. The last pitch of the game, a called strike three to A-Rod, looked awful as well.

After the Yanks scored two in the top of the first, Warren gave up solo dingers in the bottom of the first and in the fourth. The winning run was unearned due to an error by Headley, whose defense this year has been disappointing so far. Nine errors in 1/4 of the season.

Warren 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 h, 4 walks and 4 K. (L , 2-3, 4.26)
Wilson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.97.
Rogers 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 3.12.

The Yanks are off today. They come back home after a brutal road trip (2-7) to face the Rangers this weekend. I’ll be up at the Sunday night game. Before that game, the Yanks will honor Bernie Williams and retire his #51.

No game today or Thursday…in between, no DH.

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The Yanks are off today (Monday) and are also off on Thursday. In between, they have two games in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals, which means no DH.

Which means that Joe Girardi will have to decide if Alex Rodriguez plays the field.

Making the decision more complicated is whether Mark Teixeira will be ready to go in those games (see the update below). Teix was removed from Sunday’s loss against KC with a bone contusion on his toe after being HBP.

Which means that if he can’t go Tuesday or Wednesday, the Yanks lose the DH and their top HR hitter.

Which means if A-Rod doesn’t play the field, the Yanks lose their top TWO HR hitters.

Going into Sunday’s game (in which they were shutout), the Yanks were hitting .247 as a team. The offense has struggled lately as the Yanks have lost five of their last six. You want to stop that bad momentum. Losing the DH won’t help stop it.

If Alex doesn’t play 1B or 3B (with Headley sliding over to 1B), and Teix can’t play 1B, then it’s up to Garrett Jones to play 1B. Jones has disappointed so far in 37 AB (.162-0-1). Teix and Alex have 21 of the Yanks’ 46 HR.

The Yanks, going into Sunday, were 9th in the league in batting average, but 2nd in HR. Losing both Teix and Alex for the two-game series against the Nationals would be a huge blow. The Yanks were third in the AL in walks. The top two guys on the team in drawing walks? You got it—-Teix and Alex.

If Alex doesn’t take the field against the Nats,  and Teix can’t go, you could be looking at:

Ellsbury CF
Gardner LF
Beltran 1B
McCann C
Headley 3B
Jones 1B
Drew 2B
Gregorious SS
The Pitcher

Hmmm. Going into Sunday, Beltran was at .233, McCann .237, Headley .228, Jones .162, Drew .183 and Gregorious .210.

Now throw in the pitcher.

If Teix can’t play, Girardi’s decision may have to be to play A-Rod in the field.

There may be no other choice against a Nationals team that boasts Scherzer, Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez among its starters. Granted that Strasburg has struggled (2-4, 6.06) and Doug Fister is on the DL, but…

If Alex DOES sit, it would be a good time for the bottom of the lineup—Drew and Didi Gregorious, to snap out of it.

Heck, it would be a good thing in any case. The two combined are at about .200. Now they are hitting before a pitcher, and you can’t expect much there. Which means if they continue as they are, you are basically giving away three innings in each of these games.

Hopefully the offense picks it up.

Update: Girardi states that Teix is day-to-day and will probably play against the Nationals. That is good news. For if he wasn’t ok, you can see above what the ramifications would have been. Still, losing Alex as DH will hurt.