Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Game 97. Yanks lose in 12, Chapman deal “close.”

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I was up on a bus trip to the game yesterday, and in watching the game in the sweltering heat, saw the Yanks lose to the Giants in twelve innings, 2-1.

It was the Giants’ first win after the All-Star break, snapping a six-game skid.

The Yanks were 0 for 10 w/RISP and wasted a good pitching effort by Ivan Nova and the Holy Trinity of Smoke.

That threesome appears to be over for now. Rumors are that the Yanks are close to trading Aroldis Chapman to get something back for him. Chapman is a free agent at the end of the year and has liked his time in NY. By trading him, the Yanks can get some key prospects, and also NOT lose a draft pick if they are able to re-sign him in the offseason.

In the fourth inning, Didi Gregorius singled and went to third on a single by Mark Teixeira. When the RF, Mac Williamson, bobbled the ball, Didi kept running and scored what turned out to be the only run of the game.

As the game went on, it became apparent to me that—–how can I put this nicely but make a tongue-in-cheek point —-the Yanks couldn’t score if they were the only rooster in a henhouse.

Seeing Aaron Hicks name in the lineup just makes me groan. Just saying.

And A-Rod is useless if he isn’t starting. Who is he going to pinch-hit for? He isn’t going to pinch-hit for Hicks, because then DH Beltran would have to take the field, and you lose the DH. Here is where roster inflexibility hurts the Yankees. A-Rod isn’t going to pinch-run for anyone. He isn’t going to pinch-hit for Headley or Teix and all of a sudden take the field. The Yanks have their hands tied.

That inflexibility limits Girardi’s ability to make moves, and helps cause losses like yesterday’s.

Williamson got redemption for his error, tying the game with a HR in the fifth, and getting the GW single in the 12th.

Great defensive plays by Brett Gardner and Didi saved Nova a couple of runs early.

One play of the game made me a little mad. In the bottom of the 10th, the Yanks loaded the bases with one out. They could have won the game there. There are many different ways, not just with a hit. Brian McCann swung at the first pitch and flied softly to left—not deep enough to score the run. Starlin Castro then fouled out to right. A walk wins the game there. Why swing at the first pitch, McCann? Why not take at least one strike? Sigh.

The Yanks fall to 49-48.

Nova 7 IP, 1 R, 6 Hits, 2 walks, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.65.
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 1.45
Chapman 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 2.01
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.57
Swarzak (L, 1-1, 4.34) 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Bleier 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.75

As one friend stated yesterday, and no disrespect meant to Swarzak, seeing Swarzak was probably a relief to the Giants after they burned through the Holy Trinity of Smoke.

Game 87. McCann-Do! Yanks win in 11.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brian McCann got the game-winning double in the 11th, and Aroldis Chapman had to go 2 1/3 for the win, but the Yanks got a 7-6, 11-inning win over Cleveland on Saturday.

The win puts the Yanks at 43-44, with one game before the All-Star break.

Cleveland got a run in the first off of CC, who struggled.

The Yanks went up 3-1 in the third on an RBI single by Beltran and a 2-Run HR by Didi (11), who later in the game, saved a run and the game on a great defensive play. Has Didi been great lately, or what? He actually batted fifth today! Who would have seen that coming?

Cleveland came back with 3 in the bottom of the third to make it 4-3, and scored another in the fifth to go up 5-3.

Brett Gardner hit a base-loaded triple in the sixth to put the Yanks up 6-5 but Betances gave up a run in the seventh to even the score.

An interference call in the eighth caused an Indian baserunner to be out, and saved the game for the Yanks when that baserunner ran into Headley, who was trying to make a play.

In the 11th, with two out, Beltran, singled, was PR for  by Torreyes, and Torreyes scored on McCann’s double.

Memo to Girardi and the front office: Please find a replacement for Hicks.

 

Sabathia 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 3.77
Betances  (BS, 3) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 K. 2.66
Miller 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 1.37
Chapman (W, 3-0, 2.49) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 4 K.

 

Game 85. Yanks escape with 5-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If you go by the numbers (and you’ll see them below), Andrew Miller should be closing for the Yanks, and not Aroldis Chapman. By acting “politically correct”, the Yanks almost blew a game last night. A review that was overturned turned out to be the last out of the game, and may have saved the game in a 5-4 Yankees win at Cleveland.

The win puts the Yanks at 42-43.

Ivan Nova gave up two homers in the third, and the Yanks were down 2-0. They tied the game in the fifth on a HR by the hot Didi Gregorius (10) and on an RBI single by Brett Gardner.

With the help of another review, the Yanks scored three runs in the sixth. Chase Headley singled in a run. Starlin Castro was originally called out at the plate, but the review gave the Yanks the run.

Rob Refsnyder got a SF to put the Yanks up 4-2. Speaking of not being “politically correct”, when will the Yanks start to play Refsnyder over Hicks? Yes, Hicks can play CF which Refsnyder can’t, but if Ellsbury needs a day, you can slide Gardner over to CF. Refsnyder can fill the corners. Refsnyder 74 AB, .297-0-10, OPS+ 106. Hicks 180 at bats, over twice as many. .200-3-17, OPS+ 52. The Yanks need Refsnyder’s bat in the lineup. You can put Hicks in for defense in the late innings if necessary. Even Sterling and Waldman are starting to mention on the radio that Refsnyder should be playing more often over Hicks.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI single after Refsnyder’s SF made it 5-2.

Cleveland got two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and Girardi went politically correct and went “formula.” Betances, Miller, then Chapman.

But Chapman gave us all a scare in that bottom of the ninth. He walked the lead off hitter, never a good omen. After a strikeout, he gave up a single. Then came a line out for out #2. The next hitter hit a grounder that ricocheted off Teixeira to Castro, who threw to Chapman, and the original call was safe, which would have loaded the bases. The Yanks challenged the call, won the challenge and got the out, which ended the game. Whew.

Nova (w, 6-5, 5.18) 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 walks, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Betances (H, 21) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.53
Miller (H, 14) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 1.43
Chapman (S, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.74.

As you can see, Chapman has the highest ERA of the Holy Trinity of Smoke.

Between deciding who closes among the three, and also Hicks vs. Refsnyder, maybe Girardi should consider throwing away his book, looking at the numbers, and making some changes.

Just my opinion.

But then, if the Yanks are sellers, and trade Chapman for prospects, maybe the relief thing will work itself out on its own.

Game 50. Yanks fall, 4-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brian McCann’s 2-Run HR (7) in the 9th proved too little, too late, as the Yanks fell to Toronto 4-2 on Monday night to fall to 24-26 on the season.

Unfortunately for the Yanks, a pitcher can’t be so-so as Ivan Nova was tonight. The lineup and the offensive struggles won’t allow that. The Yanks had a .234 team batting average entering the game, and were last or next to last in the league in many offensive categories. They haven’t been living up to their nickname of Bronx Bombers.

I saw an interesting piece from a few days ago about the Yanks struggles in the corners. It was on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and I found it on Facebook. A interesting piece. Check it out.

But the offensive woes place greater pressure on the pitchers to be perfect. The Yanks got just five hits tonight, two in the final inning. This after they got just one hit yesterday (even though they won—the first time they got only one hit in a game and won it since 1914).

Either the Yanks have to hit better, get different players who hit better than what they have now (and considering some player’s contracts, that isn’t happening), change their offensive philosophy (you can’t wait for HR from people who aren’t hitting, you have to steal, bunt, hit and run, take advantage of your more limited opportunities) or, if you can’t change players, then the coaches are the fall guys.

Just making a point. A team batting average in the .230s won’t get it done.

Nova (L, 3-3, 3.98) 6 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 1 walk, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Goody 1 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 3.21
Bleier 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 0.00    MLB DEBUT

Game 48. Rays batter Pineda, beat Yanks 9-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Michael Pineda continued to exasperate Yankee fans, coaches, the front office and the owner yesterday. Recently the NY Post reported that Hal Steinbrenner called out several underperforming players and that Pineda was one of them. They also reported on Girardi and the coaches’ frustration with him.

Pineda has been more like a pinata this year, getting hit hard, especially early in games. Those first inning struggles continued when he gave up three in the first and then he gave up two more in the second. The Yanks were down 5-0 after two and could not come back, losing 9-5 Saturday afternoon.

The Yanks have been getting decent performances from Tanaka, Eovaldi, Nova and CC but Severino and Pineda have been killing them. The Yanks are 23-25. Severino and Pineda are a combined 2-12, the rest of the team 21-13. You can see the difference. You can do the math.

What the Yanks do with Severino, who starts a rehab game on Sunday, when he gets healthy will be interesting. Put him (0-6, 7.46) back in the rotation, or let him get straightened out in the minors?

Pineda does have options and can be sent down. He is 2-6, 6.92. The Yanks can’t just keep sending pitchers out there with ERAs of 7, especially since we’ve reached Memorial Day.

But what and who is the alternative? Either someone like a Cessa, Green, etc. would have to be given a shot (Green had one start recently, 6 R, 4 ER in 4 IP), Severino or Pineda must step up, or the Yanks have to make a deal. 2-12 vs. the rest at 21-13. The two have been dragging the team down. Something needs to be done, and if/when it is, I’ll report it.

Carlos Beltran hit a HR in the fourth to cut it to 5-1. Beltran’s 12th HR of the year was #404 lifetime, placing him three behind Duke Snider on the all-time list. It was his 2500th hit.

Tampa Bay got a run in the fourth and three in the fifth on a HR by Hank Conger off of Luis Cessa. Conger came into the game with no extrabase hits. He had two doubles and a HR yesterday. He drove in 3 runs for the Rays. Evan Longoria had a HR and 4 RBI.

Down 9-1, the Yanks tried to fight back but the deficit was too large. They got two in the seventh on a Romine single and a bases-loaded walk to Torreyes, and two in the eighth on singles by Gregorius and Romine.

A-Rod (.176) was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts.

Chase Headley was 3 for 3, and  Austin Romine 3 for 4 with 2 RBI.

Pineda (L, 2-6, 6.92) 3 2/3 IP, 6 R, 9 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Gave up HR.
Goody 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.55
Cessa 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 3 K, 2.57. Gave up a HR.

Cessa can’t be used for a while, b/c he went four, but you wonder if he may be placed in the rotation for a while with Pineda/Severino removed?

Something has to be done, and something tells me it’ll be done soon.

Game 40. Nova, Beltran lead Yanks, 4-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

When Luis Severino had to go on the DL, Ivan Nova came out of the bullpen to take his place in the rotation. The way Nova pitched last night, he intends to stay there.

Nova has had his inconsistencies throughout his career, but his ERA dropped to 3.26 after last night’s gem. By contrast, Severino and Pineda’s combined ERA is over twice that.

What happens when Severino is healthy as far as he and Pineda are concerned? We’ll have to see. But it is apparent that Nova needs to stay in that rotation.

The Yanks scored first in their 4-1 win last night when in the third inning, with two out, Brett Gardner walked and Carlos Beltran doubled him home.

Nova gave up a HR in the fourth to tie the game, but the Yanks went up 2-1 in the sixth on an RBI double by Aaron Hicks.

Beltran’s ninth HR of the year, a 2-run shot, gave the Yanks a cushion in the ninth. It was HR #401 of Beltran’s career.

The Yanks once again turned to their Big 3 to close it out. No-Runs D(ellin Betances) M(iller) C(hapman).

The Yanks have hit the quarter pole at 18-22.

Earlier, owner Hal Steinbrenner backed manager Joe Girardi and the coaches, but called out a couple of underperforming players, although not in the blunt way his father used to do it.

Nova (w, 3-1, 3.26) 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances (H, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.33
Miller (H, 4)  1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K, 1.02
Chapman (Save, 5) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K, 1.50

 

Game 36. Beltran’s 400th highlights Yankees win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Carlos Beltran hit his 400th career HR, and an awakening Chase Headley’s PH go-ahead double highlighted the Yankees’ 7-5 win Sunday afternoon.

Beltran trails only Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504) & Chipper Jones (468) for HR by a switch-hitter. Mark Teixeira is right behind Beltran at 397, but Teix has 0 HR and 3 RBI since April 13.

It’s nice to see Headley finally wake up. Now we need to get Teix going.

The Yanks got on the board right away in the first on singles by Ellsbury (back in the lineup after being out hurt) and Gardner and a SF by Beltran.

The White Sox tied it in the second and went up 2-1 on a HR by Adam Eaton in the third.

The Yanks went up 3-2 in the bottom of the third when with two out and the bases loaded, Starlin Castro got an infield hit for one run and a walk to Dustin Ackley brought in the second run. The White Sox pitcher should hang his head, walking Ackley, who is struggling at .125 (5 for 40).

But Tanaka, who struggled, gave two back right away in the top of the fourth.

Beltran’s two-run HR in the sixth, his 8th of the year and #400, put the Yanks up 5-4 in the sixth, but Betances coughed up the lead in the top of the seventh. He did redeem himself by getting out of a nasty jam to end the inning with the score tied.

Headley’s PH RBI double in the 7th put the Yanks up 6-5 and Brian McCann’s HR in the 8th (5) gave the Yanks an insurance run.

For the second straight game, Girardi used Betances, Miller and Chapman. Who will be available on Monday?

Tanaka 5 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 3 walks, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.51
Yates 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 1.88
Betances 1 IP, 1 R,  3 H, 0 walks, 2 K. (BS, 1; w, 1-2, 2.60)
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. (H 2), 0.57
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 2.25 (S, 3)

It’s funny. Tanaka has 8 starts, just 1 decision, at 1-0.

Nice to see Jose Bautista take a punch to the face by Roughned Odor in the Toronto-Texas game today. Serves him right for those bat flips, and anyone who thinks the bat flips look cool, I disagree with wholeheartedly. Rivera, Jeter, DiMaggio, Mays, Aaron, Gehrig, Musial…..and many others didn’t show up their opponents like that. They  had class, which Bautista, and apparently his supporters of bat flips, do not.