Category Archives: Media

Game 85. Gray dooms Yanks, 6-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Publicly, Aaron Boone and the Yankees say that Sonny Gray will make his next start, the stuff is there, they believe in him, blah, blah, blah, …

Privately, you have to wonder, because after a while, you have to be getting tired of it.

Gray spit the bit again, and again got knocked out early after putting the Yanks in a huge early hole… just like last Saturday against Boston.

Once again, for a batter or two, he looked good, then the roof fell in again.

In the first inning, he got the first two batters, then loaded the bases before getting out of it.

In the second, not so fortunate, as he gave up five runs, three via a HR, and was taken out after just two innings.

With the 6-2 loss, the 56-29 Yankees fell two games back of Boston. They are even in the loss column, the Yanks have played four less games, meaning that the Yanks would have to win all four to force a tie.

David Hale did an excellent job in relief trying to keep the Yanks in the game, but the Yanks couldn’t claw back.

The Yanks got a run in the third on an Aaron Hicks HR (16), and Hicks walked with the bases loaded in the fifth to cut it to 5-2 but that was it.

Toronto got a run in the eighth for the final of 6-2.

Most of the questions in the postgame show were all about Gray’s disheartening (again) performance, and some of the questions seemed more of the psychological, and not physical type.

Like I wrote in the last start, it seems like Gray is a deer in the headlights right now.

A few months ago, a scout said that he didn’t think Gray could be straightened out. I hope he’s wrong, but if he’s right, the Yanks have to move Gray. Of course, they’d be selling low right now.

But this can’t continue. Not if they want to catch Boston.

The Yanks only got five hits. Both Judge and Stanton struck out three times each.

Bird and Walker, both under the Mendoza line, continued their struggles.

Gardner 2 hits.
Hicks HR, 2 RBI

Gray (L, 5-7, 5.85) 2 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. Threw 2 WP.
Hale 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 1 K.  4.61 (Nyy/min)
Shreve 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 H, 0 K.   4.80

Baseball passing: Mike Kilkenny, a lefty starter/reliever, mostly for the Tigers from 1969-1971, died at the age of 73.

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Game 80. Ugly loss. Boston 11, Yanks 0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks ran up against their nemesis, Chris Sale, last night and lost to Boston 11-0. Sale has the lowest ERA against the Yanks of any pitcher in the past 100 years.

The loss drops the 53-27 Yanks one game behind 56-28 Boston. Tonight is game 81, meaning the last game of the first half of the season.

Since the Yanks only got two hits in the game, one against Sale and one against a reliever, it probably would not have mattered if the Yanks threw Ford, Gomez, Ruffing, Guidry, or Pettitte on the mound against Sale. It probably wouldn’t have mattered because Sale was that dominant.

But it wasn’t any of those Yankees legends on the mound. It was Sonny Gray. And Gray’s struggles against Boston (and not just as a Yankee) continued.

I give Gray a lot of credit for standing up to the interviewers after the game and in answering all their questions honestly instead of cowering in the trainer’s room. But in watching that interview on the post game YES show, I also had the feeling I was listening to a lost soul who had that deer in the headlights look.

Gray is 1-6, 6.98 in his career vs. Boston. When you feel more confident in maybe starting Jonathan Loaisiga, in what would have been his fourth MLB start, against Boston than Gray, well ….  at least Boston hasn’t seen Loaisiga and maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. And remember, “Johnny Lasagna” had only as 45 IP above Low A before pitching in the majors.

But in watching body language, doesn’t it seem like Loaisiga is more calm and collected and that Gray is scared to throw a pitch?

Gray got the first two hitters out, then gave up a single, walk, single, and with two strikes, a grand slam. The Yanks didn’t even come up to bat yet, and were down 4-0 to Sale. Game effectively over at that point. Then Gray gave up two more runs in the second and was knocked out in the third.

Gray is 5-6, 5.44. Here is a damning stat. Of all pitchers with a dozen or more starts as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium, Gray has the worst ERA, 7.10. That’s worse than Pavano, Jeff Johnson, Tim Leary, Scott Sanderson…. worse than anyone, even Ed Whitson. In 14 starts at Yankee Stadium, including as a member of the Oakland A’s facing the Yankees, Gray is 4-6, 6.78.

He’s getting booed, and as long as he is pitching like this, the boos will get more merciless.

We have a problem.

One reporter from Newsday suggested Cashman “work his magic” and trade Gray. Of course, the Yanks have to get a starter first, then trade Gray, and right now, you are trading low on Gray.

I hope he can get straightened out. But it could be that Gray is better suited for a small market team like Oakland and that he can’t handle NY. We’ve seen it before. One scout a few weeks ago suggested that that wasn’t going to be the case, and said the Yanks have and will continue to have a problem with Gray.

One thing we do know. This isn’t good with Gray. It has to improve or Gray and the Yankees would be better suited if he pitches elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Austin Romine, with a tight hamstring, was removed early from last night’s game for precautionary reasons. Hopefully it’s just a day-to-day thing and Romine doesn’t have to go on the DL. But Gary Sanchez already is on the DL and won’t be back for a month. Losing Romine would be a crippling blow. The lack of Yankees’ catching depth was proven in this year’s MLB draft when they took catchers in BOTH the first and second rounds.

The Yanks sent Giovanny Gallegos down to AAA and haven’t made a move yet, pending Romine’s leg. Kyle Higashioka is Romine’s backup right now, and Higashioka is 0 for 21 now in his MLB career. If Romine has to go down, Wilkin Castillo would be coming up from SWB. Castillo, 34, last played in the majors in 2009, and has just 22 games of MLB experience. A switch-hitter, he was an OF/IF back then before being converted to a catcher. He started this year in independent league baseball. He only hit .218 last year for SWB, .244 now.

One guy the Yanks did have was 38 year old Erik Kratz, but they traded him to Milwaukee a few weeks ago when they re-signed Castillo. In 14 games for the Brewers, Kratz has hit 3 HR. Go figure. In his brief Yankees’ career, Kratz was 2 for 2 last year.

Not much to say about last night’s game. As mentioned, Gray put the Yanks into an early 6-0 hole, they couldn’t do anything against Sale, and Boston dominated.

With the ace, Severino, on the mound tonight, let’s hope Seve is as dominant tonight against Boston as Sale was against the Yanks last night.

The offense has been sluggish lately as well, with a couple of shutouts. Let’s hope they awaken.

Gleyber Torres hit cleanup last night, the youngest Yankee to do so since Mickey Mantle in 1953.

Brandon Drury was called up and played 1b last night.

Gray (5-6, 5.44) 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up Grand Slam.
Warren 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.  1.35
Gallegos 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.  3.86    Gave up 1 HR. Sent down to AAA
Holder 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.  2.01
Shreve 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.97

 

Game 57. Andujar & Hicks blast Jays, Yanks beat ESPN but lose Monty.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before we get to the game, good news and bad news.

Good news: the Yanks’ 7/8 game against Toronto has been moved back to 1:07 PM. ESPN had moved it to 8:07 for their Sunday night game and the Yanks complained, because it meant a Sunday night game in Toronto, a plane ride (which includes going through customs) and a doubleheader the next day in Baltimore. 3 games in 24 hours. So they won their appeal and Boston manager Alex Cora is whining. If it was Boston, don’t you think Cora would have appealed as Boone did? Boone, who of course worked for ESPN the last few years on their Sunday night team, threatened a boycott of ESPN availability to the team if the Sunday night game stuck. Good for him. Justice served. Instead, ESPN has the Dodgers/Angels subway series that night, and Cora can shut his yap.

Bad news: Jordan Montgomery needs TJ surgery. Out the rest of this year and probably all of 2019, making it all the more necessary for the Yanks to make a deal for a starter at the trade deadline.

To the game. Both the Yanks and Toronto hit two homers. The difference is that both of Toronto’s HR were solo blasts, and the Yanks’ HR were a grand slam and a three-run HR. 7-2 Yanks. 39-18, still 1/2 game back of Boston.

It was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when CC gave up a HR on just Toronto’s second hit of the game.

In the seventh, Sanchez (who maybe should be moved down in the lineup with his batting average near .200?) singled, Didi was HBP and Hicks walked. Andujar then hit a grand slam to put the Yanks up 4-1.

CC gave up another solo HR in the bottom of the seventh, 4-2.

In the top of the eighth, Stanton singled, and after two out, Didi walked. Hicks hit a 3-run HR to make it 7-2.

Stanton 2 hits.
Hicks 3-run HR (6)
Andujar grand slam. HR #7

Sabathia (W, 3-1, 3.59) 7 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 6 K. 2 of the 3 hits were solo HR.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  4.23
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.58
 

 

Game 11. Yanks embarrassed, 14-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the game, a couple of moves. The Yanks brought up OF Shane Robinson and DFA’d Jace Peterson.

They also made a minor league move, trading with the Mets and getting L.J. Mazzilli, Lee’s kid, for OF Kendall Coleman. A righty bat, Mazzilli, 27, has mostly played 2B, and spent most of last year in AA. In 110 games between AA/AAA last year, he hit .254-5-40. He was suspended a few years back for 50 games for a drug violation. Coleman, 22, a lefty hitting OF, has barely made it up to low A Charleston, and has struggled to a .207 average in his minor league career.

The pitching duel was between the CYA runnerup last year, Chris Sale, and Luis Severino, who finished third.

Seve didn’t have it (a friend told me that Rick Sutcliffe on ESPN suggested that Severino was tipping his pitches) and the bullpen was horrible, giving up nine in the sixth, in a 14-1 Yankees’ loss that dropped them under .500 to 5-6 on the season.

Meanwhile, after an Opening Day loss, Boston has won nine in a row and are 4 1/2 up on the Yanks.

An Aaron Judge HR (3) was the only highlight of the night. He had 3 hits. Didi had 2.

After two strikeouts, Giancarlo Stanton had a single and double, hopefully signs he is snapping out of it. One article I read yesterday suggested that Stanton is like Teixeira in that both would always get off to slow starts, then heat up.

But you have to wonder when Gary Sanchez will be dropped in the lineup or when he’ll wake up. Batting fourth or fifth all year, Sanchez is now 2 for 36.

Tyler Wade is only at .136. If Gleyber Torres heats up, you have to wonder if there could be a switch there. Miguel Andujar is struggling at .125. An Andujar error led to six unearned runs. The kid’s aren’t alright.

Too many grand slams given up. I can remember Robertson gave one up in Toronto, Holder in the extra inning loss at home to Baltimore, and now Shreve last night.

Severino (L, 2-1, 3.50) 5 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 W, 6 K.
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 H, 3 W, 0 K. 7.11
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. 0.00. Gave up grand slam.
Cessa 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00

Not much more to say about this game. It was a stinker.

 

 

 

 

Game 1. What a debut for Stanton in Yanks’ 6-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

For the first time since 2011, the Yanks won on Opening Day, and what a Yankees’ debut for Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton became the first Yankee to homer twice on Opening Day since Joe Pepitone in 1963.

He became the first Yankee to homer twice in his first game as a Yankee since Roger Maris on Opening Day of 1960.

What the Yanks did in their final exhibition game against the Braves on Monday night carried over to today. Get an early HR to take an early lead. Get another HR to add onto it. Get great starting pitching and a lights out performance from the bullpen.

I’ll take that recipe all year long.

In the first, Gardner reached on an error, and after Judge struck out, Stanton, in his first official AB as a Yankee, hit a 2-run HR.

In the fifth, with two out, Judge walked, and back-to-back doubles by Stanton and Sanchez gave each an RBI and made it 4-0.

Brett Gardner, who was robbed of a couple of hits earlier on well-hit balls, hit a HR in the seventh to make it 5-0 Yankees.

Luis Severino went 5 2/3 and Chad Green 1 1/3 of one-hit ball. So the Yanks had a shutout and a one-hitter going into the bottom of the eighth but Dellin Betances gave up a HR.

In the top of the ninth, Stanton hit his second HR of the game to make it 6-1.

I have to admit, John Sterling’s HR calls for Stanton were horrible. Just say “give that man a Stanton ovation” …..works better than what he used.

The Blue Jays have to be worried about 3B Josh Donaldson’s shoulder. The 2015 MVP made poor throws to first on each play he had today. Very poor throws.

Gardner solo HR, robbed of two hits
Judge 2 hits, single and double, walked, struck out twice
Stanton double, 2 HR, scored 3 runs, drove in 4
Sanchez RBI double
Hicks 2 hits.

The Yanks’ pitchers threw a 2-hitter with 12K.

Severino (win) 5 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 W, 7 K
Green 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up HR.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Just a reminder that there will be posts on the minor leagues once the minor leaguers start next week, so you can keep up on Torres, Sheffield, McKinney, Adams, Florial and others…

So Aaron Boone wins his MLB debut as a manager…. of course the team made it easy for him….

 

Singleton to retire as Yankees’ broadcaster.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From his Twitter account:

LOOKOUT! 👀 This will be my final season of calling baseball games. I’ve been playing or talking baseball ever since I was 4 years old. It’s time for this enjoyable ride to end. Thanks fans for allowing me into your homes & businesses. It’s been my pleasure.

Girardi gets new job; QB goes to Yanks & Pecota has projections.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi will be an in-house commentator for the MLB network.

The Yanks made a deal with Texas to get Russell Wilson for cash considerations. Yes, that Russell Wilson, the QB for the Seattle Seahawks. This is probably for publicity and Wilson may get a ST at bat like Billy Crystal did some years back. Wilson, 29, was drafted by the Rockies and did spend two years in A ball. Most likely he is there to work out, keep in shape, provide some leadership advice (albeit from a different sport) and maybe get in a ST game or two for publicity sake and nothing more.

Pecota came out with their projections for 2018. They have the Yanks winning the AL East with 96 wins. Boston and Tampa Bay both make the postseason as wild cards. The Yanks’ 96 wins are 3rd in the AL behind Houston and Cleveland. We’ll see. As far as individual players are concerned, they may be selling some guys a bit short. They have (not listing all, and some batting averages seem a bit low):

Sanchez .269-34-97
Bird .246-28-86
Torres .233-12-47
Andujar .254-12-41
Judge .247-37-94
Stanton .259-41-16
Gardner .251-13-59
Hicks .236-12-49
Didi .262-19-75
Torreyes .265-7-39

As mentioned, some averages seem low by a lot of points. Watch out for Bird. I think the 28/86 seems good, but if he stays healthy, I think a lot of people are overlooking him.

Hopefully Judge and Stanton hit way more HR than projected. Maybe 10 more each.

As for pitchers:

Tanaka 14-8, 4.09
Severino 15-6, 3.22
Gray 13-8, 3.98
Montgomery 10-8, 4.62
CC 11-9, 4.85
Chapman 3-2, 40 saves, 2.09
Betances 4-3, 2.07 5 saves
Robertson 3-2 2.75 5 saves
Green 3-2, 3.05
Kahnle 3-2, 3.00
Warren 2-2, 4.32
Shreve 1-1, 4.20
Gallegos 1-1, 3.91
Heller 1-1, 3.89
Holder 1-1, 4.27
German 2-2, 4.19
Cessa 4-3,4.68
Acevedo 2-2, 5.39
Sheffield 2-2, 5.29
Adams 2-2, 4.69

We will see who meets expectations & who doesn’t.

Pitchers and catchers report next Tuesday, first workout next Wednesday. Can’t wait!