Category Archives: Media

Game 54. Yanks lose, 11-5, hurting odds for postseason home games.

The Yanks don’t seem to like Buffalo too much. Buffalo is the COVID-19 induced “home” of the Toronto Blue Jays this year, and in the games played there this year, the Yanks haven’t fared too well.

Last night the Yankees (31-23) lost 11-5, dropping them 1 1/2 games behind the Twins for that #4 playoff seed. There are only six games left. The Twins at 33-22 have five games left. If things stay like this, the Yanks will not have a home playoff game. All three games in the first round would be in Minnesota and if the Yanks advance, they then head to the “bubble” in California for the ALDS and ALCS. The WS will be at another neutral bubble in Texas. The Yanks are 21-7 at Yankee Stadium this year, 10-16 on the road.

The lack of a minor league season has really hurt Michael King. Hopefully he can learn from his MLB experience this year but it is becoming apparent he needed more minor league time to develop–minor league time not available during this COVID dominated year. Sending someone to the alternate site isn’t the same as sending them down for AAA games.

King, 25, had 15 games at AA (6-3, 3.14) and 10 games at AAA (7-1, 2.30) so 25 games equals basically a full season of AA or higher experience. Nice records but the majors are different. He’s 1-2, 7.76 in the majors this season. More minor league experience would have helped, but it just isn’t there this year.

The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the top of the second. With one out, Gleyber Torres walked. Aaron Hicks walked, and Gio Urshela singled in Torres.

King gave up five runs in the bottom of the third, the last two coming in when Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a double allowing two inherited runners to score.

Loaisiga, good this year until last night, then gave up four runs in the bottom of the fourth. 9-1.

Nick Nelson, a pitcher in the same boat as King, gave up a HR in the bottom of the sixth. 10-1 Toronto.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the seventh. Torres led off with a walk, moved to third on a double by Hicks and scored on a groundout by Urshela. 10-2.

Chad Green gave up a HR in the bottom of the seventh. 11-2.

The Yanks got three in the top of the ninth. With one out, Urshela singled. With two out, both Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade walked. With the bases loaded, Mike Tauchman doubled all three runners home.

I haven’t cared too much for C Gary Sanchez’ pitch selection at times this year (in addition to Sanchez’ low batting average), and in reading a recent article, it seems manager Aaron Boone was questioning Sanchez the other day about it too. It will be interesting to see if Kyle Higashioka catches Gerrit Cole again tonight. Has Higgy become Cole’s personal catcher? Will we see that in the postseason? Tonight will be Cole’s last start before the postseason, Game 1 of the first round vs. (it appears to be) the Twins.

LeMahieu 2 hits (.365)
Tauchman 3 RBI
Urshela 2 hits, 2 RBI

King (L, 1-2, 7.76) 2 2/3 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K.
Loaisiga 1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 0 K. 3.86
Nelson 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 5.09 Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.80 Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.06

Game 42. Yanks fall to .500 with 2-1 loss.

Let’s face it. It’s been hard and depressing to watch, read or write about.

From 16-6 to 21-21. Five losses in a row. Seven in the last eight games. 15 losses in the last 20 games. All in a 60 game season.

The Yanks haven’t had a losing season since 1992. There are only 18 games left. What are the odds of that streak ending?

The Yankees are clinging to the eighth and final playoff seed by 1/2 a game over…. Baltimore. Unfathomable. Even if they hold on, guess who the Yanks would play in the first round? Tampa Bay, against whom they went 2-8 this season.

And if not for the expanded CCP playoffs of this year, fuhgeddaboutit.

GM Brian Cashman had a pregame meeting with the team, but the Yanks still went out and lost to Toronto, 2-1.

J.A. Happ did his job, making just one mistake in giving up a 2-run HR. I question pitch selection again here. Gameday suggests five straight fastballs with the fifth one being the HR. Mix it up a little? The same with the game before where Chad Green threw nine or ten straight fastballs. It makes me scratch my head.

The YES network, on the postgame show, is criticizing players for mental mistakes. Maybe some of it is pressing, like swinging at the first pitch after the pitcher has thrown X many balls in a row.

That two-run HR given up by Happ came in the second inning and was all the Blue Jays needed. The Yanks only got five hits in the game, two by Miguel Andujar.

With two out in the first inning, the Yanks loaded the bases on three straight walks but Mike Tauchman flied out.

They had first and second, one out in the second and didn’t score. Second and third with two out, same inning.

Two on, two out in the fourth, couldn’t score. The chances were there.

The only run came in the fifth. Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks singled, Clint Frazier walked. Bases loaded, no out. No advance on a flyout by Gleyber Torres. Mike Tauchman hit a SF. But only one run out of it.

The Yanks were 0 for 7 w/RISP and left 10 on.

Andujar 2 hits

Happ (L, 1-2; 4.31) 6 1/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 W, 10 K. Gave up 1 HR.
King 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.14
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.77

Happ is pitching much better after a terrible start to the season. But is it too late?


Gene Budig, the last AL president before the NL and AL offices were consolidated under the Commissioner in the late 1990’s, has passed away, age 81. 

Game 41. 10-run inning dooms Yanks, 12-7.

Lately, it seems like every move Aaron Boone is making is backfiring on him.

Especially when it comes to the bullpen.

Right now, Brian Cashman is with the team, and after last night’s 12-7 loss, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll after this season.

Watching part of the YES postgame show, it seemed like ex-Yankee and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty had a couple of criticisms, and was more critical than normal.

In the line of fire would be pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and even manager Boone himself.

Blake had no coaching experience before getting the pitching coach job this year and was a bit of a surprise choice to replace the fired Larry Rothschild (now with SD).

You may argue that maybe going with David Cone, who interviewed for the job, may have been a better choice.

I wonder if the Yankees need to take a good, hard look at how their pitching philosophy has or hasn’t worked lately. One reason they have been coming up short has been their rotation. Just getting Cole may be like putting a band-aid on what seems to be a bigger problem.

When you lose 14 of 19, and have free-falled your way into clinging to the 8th and last playoff spot (and that spot is only there because of the virus of 2020), you can expect fans not to be happy on Twitter. And, it appears, there isn’t much happiness on the YES postgame show or in the front office. I would guess Hal isn’t too happy either.

Injuries are one thing, but bad play is another.

If ever there is a time for a good ripping into a team to wake them up, now is the time.

The Yanks (21-20) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, only to see Chad Green and Adam Ottavino give up 10 runs in what turned out to be a 12-7 loss.

Flaherty, on the postgame show, wondered why Boone stayed with Ottavino (who didn’t record an out, all six batters scoring) so long. He also criticized Boone’s body language during the inning. Just an observation, but Flaherty’s words sounded like someone angling for Boone’s job. They were quite critical, and you may add, harsh.

But this was really bad. It’s one thing to lose 14 of 19 in a 162 game season, but in a 60 game season? We’re talking 1/3 of the season here.

The Yanks got back-to-back HR from Luke Voit (14) and Aaron Hicks (4) in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead.

But as has been their wont lately, the Yankees’ pitchers, Jordan Montgomery in this instance, gave runs right back, and Montgomery joined the cast of Yankees’ starters not giving any length, thus putting more pressure on a failing bullpen.

Montgomery gave up a run in the first, another in the second, and the game was tied.

The Yanks got a run in the fourth when Miguel Andujar hit his first HR of the season. 3-2 Yanks.

In the fifth, with one out, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit both singled, and with two out, Clint Frazier’s double scored two runs. 5-2, Yanks.

A bases-loaded walk to Hicks in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.

Then the roof fell in, as Green and Ottavino gave up ten runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final indignity came when Ottavino gave up a grand slam. The bottom of the sixth lasted 43 minutes and took up 67 pitches.

I have wondered about pitch selection a lot lately. In checking out the game on MLB’s gameday, I had to shake my head when, during a 9 or 10 pitch at bat (which resulted in Luke Voit making an error), Green threw nothing but fastballs. Really? Eventually the batter will time the fastball, especially after seeing nine or ten in a row.

There is a difference between pitching and throwing. Yes, there was criticism of that in Twitterworld, and I think, on the YES postgame show as well (I’m not too sure about YES, but YES was a bit critical last evening, and rightfully so).

The Yankees’ defense, suspect lately, made two more errors. Nothing is going right.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by Andujar.

But this game signified “just when you think things can’t get worse…”

Something’s gonna happen. It has to. This can’t continue.

Because the Yanks are close to missing out on the playoffs entirely.

Voit 2 hits, solo HR (14)
Hicks solo HR (4), 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, 2 RBI
Andujar solo HR (1), 2 RBI

Montgomery 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.72
Holder 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.25
Green 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.26
Ottavino (L, 2-3; BS, 3; 7.82) 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up grand slam.

Cessa 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.81
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 7.71

Game 6. A most welcome return. Monty leads Yanks past Boston, 5-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jordan Montgomery, who has the nickname “Gumby”, could have stood on the mound last night and used the old Eddie Murphy line, “I’m Gumby, dammit!”.

As if anyone forgot.

Montgomery, who I nickname “the General” after the famous WWII British general Bernard Montgomery, had a very good rookie season in 2017, going 9-7, 3.88, ERA+ 116, when he finished 6th in ROY voting.

Then came 2018. He was doing well, 2-0, 3.62 in six starts when he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed the rest of 2018, some 80% of the season or so.

He missed all of 2019, except for one start and one relief appearance at the end of the year. Just four innings, three runs, no decisions.

He was doing great in spring training this year and then the virus hit. So his first start of 2020 wasn’t until last night, July 31.

He went 5 2/3 innings, gave up just one run, and got his first MLB win since April 21, 2018. That’s a long time to wait.Two years, three months, ten days.

It also reminded you that he’s good. Welcome back, Monty.

The Yanks (5-1) hit three homers to support him in the 5-1 win over Boston.

Montgomery gave up a HR in the third inning to Michael Chavis, and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, caused by his own making by hitting a batter and later committing an error on what should have been a DP comebacker.

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Yanks took the lead when D.J. LeMahieu singled and Aaron Judge followed with a two-run HR (3). It was the third straight game in which Judge homered.

Gio Urshela made it 3-1 in the fourth with a solo HR.

Finally, Brett Gardner got his first hit of the season, a 2-run HR in the eighth to give the Yanks a 5-1 cushion, which wound up to be the final score.

LeMahieu 3 hits. The “Machine” is hitting .455. Picking up where he left off in 2019.
Judge 2-run HR. (3) Homers in three straight games.
Torres 2 hits. Guess we didn’t need to worry about that bruised elbow.
Urshela 2 hits, Solo HR.
Gardner 2-run HR. Finally, his first hit of the season. Now to get the Kraken going.

Montgomery (W, 1-0, 1.59) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR, made an error.
Green (H, 1) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K.  0.00   Looked great
Ottavino (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.   0.00
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.   0.00

Doubleheaders will be seven inning games this year to try to get the games over with because of the virus and health reasons. The “man starts on second” rule for extra innings applies to these games in the eighth inning. Hopefully both rules, shortened games for DHs and also the”man starts on second base” rule are for this season only because of the virus situation.

Also, good and bad news on the injury/virus front. Aroldis Chapman is over the virus and will be back soon. But the Yanks have lost Tommy Kahnle for the rest of the season. UCL, and faces Tommy John surgery.

Suzyn Waldman, Yankee radio announcer, kept a promise to Gerrit Cole and sang the national anthem before the Yanks’ home opener last night. A few years ago, knowing Cole grew up a Yankees’ fan, that the Yanks had originally drafted him (he went to UCLA instead) and was about to hit the free market soon, Waldman told him that “he’d make a great Yankee.” Cole replied, “If I sign (with the Yankees), you have to sing the national anthem at the home opener then.” Cole remembered that Waldman had done the national anthem at games before and once starred on Broadway. Last night, Waldman kept her promise. Nice touch.

The Yanks are wearing HGS patches on their uniforms to honor Hank Steinbrenner, who passed away a few months ago.

 

 

 

Shortened Doubleheaders in 2020

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From the NY Post:

In the wake of several games being postponed because of the Miami Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak, the league and MLB Players Association plan to play seven-inning doubleheaders to make up time, The Post’s Ken Davidoff confirmed Thursday. ESPN first reported the change.

The agreement was reached quickly with their being little time to waste in a season shortened from 162 games to 60, providing extra cover for any future games pushed back due to COVID-19 issues, weather, or other delaying factors.

MLB’s controversial extra innings rule for the season — placing a runner on second base to begin the extra frame — will carry over into the compressed doubleheader, according to ESPN.

An exhibition game tonight; News on Estrada, Warren, German

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We actually get to see a game, rather than an intrasquad game, when the Yanks head over to Queens to take on the Mets tonight. YES Network, 7:10 PM EDT.

Thairo Estrada is making a bid to join the team as a utility man, and it could come at the cost of Tyler Wade. Estrada has hit 3 HR in intrasquad action since the Yanks have resumed business.

Per MLBTR:

The Yankees have released righty Adam Warren, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link). He had been with the team on a minor-league pact.

Warren, who has been working back from Tommy John surgery, was not a participant in Summer Camp. His contract is a two-year arrangement, befitting his rehab status.

It seems that coronavirus-related roster management matters forced the decision. GM Brian Cashman explained that Warren is progressing well, as Jack Curry of YES reports on Twitter. Indeed, the expectation is that the Yanks will work out a new deal with him in the coming offseason.

Has Domingo German, ineligible for this year because of a domestic abuse incident, retired?

From Newsday:

German posted a photo of himself in a Yankees uniform exclaiming in what appears to be a photo of him pitching in a game. The post included Spanish words that translated to: “Everyone makes history on both sides, I think I did mine at Yankee Stadium, if decide not to come back I will proud of my effort during an 11-year career. God bless everyone who has supported me”

He also put online an Instagram story with words that translated to: “I’ve left baseball. Thanks everyone.”

I’ll believe it when I see or hear more, but hope he has or gets his life together.

 

C Austin Wells is Yanks’ first round draft pick.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

The Yanks drafted Austin Wells, a lefty hitting catcher from the University of Arizona, in the first round.

From the NY Post:

It is the second time in three years where they have taken a catcher in the first round. Two years ago it was Anthony Seigler. Also two years ago, they took Josh Breaux in the second round.

Also, this is not the first time they drafted Wells. Two years ago, the Yankees took Wells in the 35th round of the draft only to see him go to college instead.

As for Seigler and Breaux, their professional careers have been hampered by injuries. Seigler has been limited to 54 games and suffered a fractured patella last year. Breaux missed three months last season at Charleston (Short-Season A) due to an elbow injury.

S.T. Game 18. Yanks fall 3-1 to Phils, make more cuts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks made a few more cuts today. From MLB.com:

Right-hander Brooks Kriske was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Right-hander Albert Abreu and outfielder Estevan Florial were optioned to Double-A Trenton. Right-handers Luis Gil and Luis Medina have been optioned to Class A Advanced Tampa. In addition, right-handers Domingo Acevedo and Alexander Vizcaíno were reassigned to Minor League camp.

I think you may see Kriske sometime this year in the Bronx.

Gary Sanchez is expected to catch Friday after being shut down for a few days with a sore back.

As for the game Monday, the Yanks (10-6-2) lost to the Phils, 3-1. J.A. Happ was solid, giving up one run in four innings on a HR. But Mike King gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the eighth that lost the game.

So far, it’s an encouraging spring from Happ. If he gets back to 2018 or 2016 form, he helps make up for this year’s loss of Severino.

Happ 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 5 K.  1.38  Gave up a solo HR.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  0.00
King (L, 0-1) 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.86  Gave up 2-run HR.
Holder 1/3 IP 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  0.00

Just a hunch. I think Loaisiga gets the #5 starter spot (barring injury) and Garcia, Schmidt and King go to AAA. I have no clue as to what the Yankees do with Tropeano. Once Paxton is back, Loaisiga goes to the bullpen. The Yanks probably won’t push Loaisiga, but hope he gives four or five. Now what happens when German is ready is up in the air. For when Paxton does return, you have Cole, Tanaka, Happ, Montgomery and Paxton. Three lefties in the rotation, especially at Yankee Stadium, is a good thing so there is no guarantee that German gets his starting role back.

Of course, much could change with injuries and/or ineffectiveness.

Judge out indefinitely with broken rib.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From ESPN:

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has a broken rib and it’s not clear whether he will need surgery, leaving doubt when he’ll be back in the lineup.

Manager Aaron Boone said he thought the star right fielder hurt himself making a diving catch in September of last season.

Judge will rest two weeks while recovering from the stress fracture to his first right rib. He hasn’t played in any spring training games while dealing with soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder.

Judge underwent about a dozen tests, including an MRI plus CT and bone scans, to determine the source of his pain.

“It shows signs of healing so we’re going to give it the next couple and re-test to show how much healing is going on with that rib,” Boone said.

Surgery to remove the bone is a possibility, depending on the healing process.

 

Severino shut down with forearm soreness.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The signing of Gerrit Cole doesn’t look like icing on the cake now. Now it appears to have been a necessity.

From MLB.com:

Yankees right-hander Luis Severino is dealing with forearm soreness and has a loose body in his right pitching elbow, manager Aaron Boone told reporters Thursday.

Per Boone, Severino has felt soreness throughout the offseason — particularly when throwing his changeup — dating back to his final start against the Astros in Game 3 of last year’s American League Championship Series. The 26-year-old is likely to visit with Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician, on Friday to determine the next steps.

Boone was unable to declare whether Severino will be ready for the start of the season.

Injuries involving Severino’s rotator cuff and lat muscle sidelined him for much of the 2019 season. He returned for three starts in September before making two more starts in the postseason. Fellow Yankees starter James Paxton is already sidelined until May at the earliest after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst in his back, meaning New York may need to look to younger pitchers like Jordan Montgomery or Jonathan Loaisiga to fill in its back-of-the-rotation slots.

Boone also told reporters that slugger Aaron Judge is expected to begin his hitting program on Friday. Judge is working his way back from shoulder soreness that kept him out of the cage for the first few days of camp.

One thing that MLB.com forgot to mention is the suspension incurred by Domingo German which will keep HIM out of the rotation until early June.

All of a sudden, Mike King, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia become more important, as do Luis Cessa and also the Chad Green opener option.

Also, another report has Severino not meeting with Dr. Ahmad tomorrow, but as having been prescribed anti-inflammatories. We’ll find out more later.

My concern is that forearm soreness usually signifies another problem that leads to TJ surgery. Hopefully it isn’t that. That would cost Severino all of 2020 and half of 2021.

The Yanks need Severino as the #2 behind Cole. They need the 2017 and 2018 Severino.

Fingers crossed.