Category Archives: Mike’s Musings

ALCS Game 6. Astros win, force deciding Game 7, 7-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Once again, the Yankees could not solve Justin Verlander, and as a result, the American League pennant will be decided in a do-or-die Game 7.

Houston beat the Yankees, 7-1.

It was a good pitching duel for four innings, as Luis Severino matched Verlander.

But in the fifth, Severino cracked, walking three, giving up three runs, and getting knocked out of the game. It seemed like he may have gotten squeezed a bit that inning. Walk, out, walk, and then a ground-rule double by ex-Yankee Brian McCann made it 1-0. Walk to load the bases, then after an out, a single by Altuve to make it 3-0 and knock out Severino. Green got the last out of the inning.

The Yanks got two on in the sixth, and Gary Sanchez had a 3-0 count on him. I don’t mind the green light there, but it has to be a fastball in a certain spot. You can’t just swing at anything. Sanchez got a breaking ball and put a bad swing on it and it was a weak groundout for the final out. You can’t do that.

In the seventh, the Yanks got two on, and Todd Frazier just missed tying the game when his long drive, which would have been a double, was caught at the wall. Maybe four feet higher…

The Yanks got on the board in the eighth when Judge homered, but any chance for a comeback evaporated when Houston got four in the bottom of the eighth. David Robertson came in and Altuve (him again) homered. Correa doubled, Bregman singled, and Gurriel doubled in two, and went to third on an error by Didi. A SF made it 7-1.

So Game 7 tonight, CC vs. Morton. It’ll be an interesting night, what with the Yankees’ game going on at the same time as PSU-Michigan college football and also ND-USC college football.

Severino (Loss) 4 2/3 IP,  3 R, 3 H, 4 W, 3 K.
Green 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Robertson 0 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

Have to say this for a friend…. come on, Yanks, win it for Momma B!

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 2-0. Yankees’ prospect OF Estevan Florial was 1 for 4 and P Andrew Schwaab pitched a scoreless inning of relief, giving up one hit, no walks, or strikeouts.

Ex-Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire was hired to manage the Tigers. Meanwhile, the Nationals canned Dusty Baker.

Advertisements

Dodgers win NL pennant, first time since 1988.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If the Yankees win Game 6 or 7 in Houston and make it to the WS, they now know who they will face.

The Dodgers.

Thanks to a 3-HR, 7 RBI night by Enrique Hernandez, including a grand slam, the Dodgers won the NL Pennant for the first time since 1988. Since they had the best record in baseball this season, winning 104 games, they will have home field advantage in the World Series.

The Dodgers won 11-1 in Game 5 to close out the NLCS four games to one.

The co-mvps of the NLCS were Chris Taylor and Justin Taylor of the Dodgers. Hernandez’ great night couldn’t give him that.

The Tigers named a new manager, former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 13-7. As for Yankees’ prospects, a GREAT NIGHT.

3B Kyle Holder: 4 for 6, triple, HR, scored 2, drove in 3 runs.
1B Billy McKinney 1 for 4, rbi.
SS Thairo Estrada 2 for 5,
RF Estevan Florial 3 for 5, HR shy of the cycle. 2 RBI.
 

 

ALCS Game 5. Yanks solve Keuchel, are one win away from 41st AL pennant.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Dallas Keuchel owned the Yankees.

Until Wednesday, that is.

The Yanks solved him, and won Game 5 of the ALCS, 5-0. With the win, the Yanks have won every postseason game at home so far, and as a result, have gone up 3 games to 2 in the ALCS.

If they can win either Game 6 or 7 in Houston, they will be headed to the World Series for the 41st time.

Game 6 will be Friday night in Houston, Severino vs. Verlander, and right now, Houston is not hitting….     9 runs in 5 games vs. the Yankees, with 2 unearned.

If Masahiro Tanaka is wanting to opt out of his contract, he is making a statement with his postseason performances. After a very up-and-down regular season, he has been incredible this postseason. A 1-0 win, 2-1 loss, and a 5-0 win.

In the second inning, Houston got a leadoff double, moved the runner to third with one out, but with the Yankees’ infield in (because they wouldn’t know how they could or would get to Keuchel, their nemesis), ex-Yankee Carlos Beltran grounded out and Tanaka got out of it, yielding no runs.

In the bottom of the second, with two out, Castro doubled and Bird singled. 1-0 Yankees.

The big thing and difference in the Yankees this postseason as opposed to the regular season is that we are seeing what Greg Bird can do when he is healthy, and it is coming at the right time. A big difference between him now, and him at the beginning of the year when he wasn’t himself, and Chris Carter.

In the third, Headley singled, Gardner forced him, and Judge doubled Gardner home. 2-0.

To the fifth, and Houston had men on 1st and 2nd, one out, and Tanaka got out of it.

In the bottom of the fifth, with one out, Headley (who had 3 hits) singled, and after Gardner grounded out, Judge walked. Sanchez singled to make it 3-0, and Didi singled to make it 4-0.

In the bottom of the seventh, Sanchez homered to make it 5-0, the final score.

The Yankees’ bullpen is all set up. Tanaka for 7, Kahnle for 2 today. Off day tomorrow. A rested bullpen for Games 6 and possibly 7 in Houston.

Sanchez 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI.
Gregorius 2 hits, RBI.
Headley 3 hits.

Tanaka (WIN) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 8 K.
Kahnle 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

In the NLCS, the Cubs avoided a sweep by the Dodgers by winning Game 4, 3-2.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 9-5. Yankees’ prospect 2B Kyle Holder went 2 for 4. Prospect Cody Carroll pitched a scoreless inning of relief, giving up a hit and a walk but striking out the side.

 

ALCS Game 4. Yanks comeback from down 4-0 evens series, win 6-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Down 4-0 in the seventh.

Only got one hit in the game.

Facing 3-1 down in the series with Keuchel, their nemesis, going tomorrow.

And the Yankees came back to even the ALCS with a 6-4 win at two games apiece.

In the bottom of the fourth, a strange play. With Judge on first and one out, he was running on the pitch when Sanchez lined out. He was past second base and made it back to first. He was originally out but the challenge ruled him safe. However Judge didn’t touch second on the way back, knew it, and tried to get to second while the Astros were going to appeal. He was thrown out.

It went as a caught stealing, but had the Astros appealed, they would have won the appeal because if you round the bag, you have to touch it again on the way back.

It was a scoreless game, with only one hit for either side, when the Astros scored three in the top of the sixth. A walk, a catcher’s interference call on Romine, catching today with Sanchez DHing, and then after Sonny Gray was removed for David Robertson, a walk. Bases loaded, no one out. A strikeout, but then a bases-clearing double by Yuri Gurriel of Houston made it 3-0. Gurriel was thown out trying to take an extra base, and Robertson then got a ground out to get out of the inning.

In the seventh, Chad Green replaced Robertson. After a strikeout, he gave up a double. Ex-Yankee Brian McCann hit one to Castro, and he flubbed it for his second error of the game and the Yanks’ third total (the catcher’s interference on Romine being the other one). 4-0 Houston. Green got a dp to get out of the inning.

So…. bottom of the seventh, down 4-0. Staring at a 3 games to 1 deficit with Keuchel going tomorrow, and the Yanks came back.

Judge got it started with a HR, and after that, Didi tripled and scored on a SF by Sanchez.

To the eighth, and Todd Frazier leads it off with a single. Then, some luck. PH Headley (for Romine, Sanchez went in to catch, DH lost) singled Frazier to third, but Headley fell trying for a double. The Astros had him dead to rights. But in trying to get Headley out at first, Headley took off for second and beat the throw. It was challenged by Houston, but upheld. Second and third, no one out, down 4-2.

Gardner grounded out to second, scoring one run and moving Headley to third. Ellsbury pinch-ran.

Judge doubled in the tying run, and Didi was walked.

Sanchez then hit a GW 2-run double. Bird walked to load the bases but a force at the plate and ground out kept it at 6-4.

Chapman came in for the ninth and closed the game out. 6-4 Yankees.

The Yanks won despite making 3 errors. They held the Astros to just 3 hits.

Judge 2 hits, HR, double, 2 RBI. Scored 2 runs.
Didi 2 hits, scored twice.
Sanchez 3 RBI.
Bird walked 3x
Frazier 2 hits.
Big PH single by Headley.

Gray 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 4 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Green (WIN) 2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Chapman (SAVE) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

In the NLDS, the Dodgers got a walk-off 3-run HR from Justin Turner on Sunday to go up 2 games to none. In Game 3 Tuesday night, they won 6-1 to go up 3 games to none, and could sweep the defending champion Cubs tonight.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 10-1.

Yankees prospects:

SS Thairo Estrada 1 for 5, 2 RBI, scored one run.
LF Billy McKinney 1 for 5, double, RBI, scored 2 runs.
Starting pitcher Albert Abreu 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 W, 8 K.   

ALCS Game 3. Yanks win 8-1 behind CC, Todd, Judge.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees cut Houston’s lead in the ALCS to two games to one by taking Game 3, 8-1, on Monday night.

CC Sabathia pitched six shutout innings for the win.

The Yanks got three runs in the second inning on a 3-run HR by Todd Frazier after singles by Castro and Hicks.

In the fourth, they broke the game open with five runs. Greg Bird doubled, and after two out, Frazier walked. Headley singled in one run, and Brett Gardner was HBP to load the bases for Judge. A WP made it 5-0, then Judge hit a 3-run HR to make it 8-0.

Houston got a run in the ninth, because once again Dellin Betances was ineffective. This was the one downside of the evening. Could Betances be trade bait this offseason? Right now, he is so messed up.

CC, who has resurrected his career by reinventing himself, was outstanding, and he got two great catches by Judge, one crashing into the wall and another coming in to make a diving catch.

Sabathia (WIN) 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 4 W, 5 K.
Warren 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Betances 0 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. Walked both batters he faced.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.

Sonny Gray starts for the Yanks in Game 4. Both Games 4 and 5 have 5 PM start times  (Eastern time). Since I work to just about 8 (and sometimes overtime), I’ll miss all or most of both games.

The Yanks have to treat Game 4 as a must-win, too, because Keuchel is set for Game 5, and so far, he owns the Yanks.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 9-8 by giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Yankees’ prospects:

Estevan Florial CF 1 for 5, double, scored a run, struck out 3x
Billy McKinney 1B 1 for 3, triple, 2 RBI, scored a run, walked.
Thairo Estrada SS, 2 for 3, double, scored a run, made an error.

Justus Sheffield started.  4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Andrew Schwaab blew the save and took the loss.
Schwaab 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.

 

 

Little things mean a lot.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In the first two games against Houston, we’ve seen perfect execution by the Astros, doing the little things right, especially in plays that got Greg Bird and Brett Gardner thrown out at the plate and at third, respectively.

Not to pick on Gary Sanchez, but maybe Joe Girardi needs to put a bug in his ear about a few things. Not only didn’t he corral Didi’s throw that would have have Altuve out in Game 2, instead of scoring the tying run, but… (from the NY Post)…

In Game 1, in the fifth, that big play at the plate — Greg Bird thrown out — included conspicuous evidence that as Bird slid, on-deck batter Gary Sanchez stood off to the side, just watching. He was in no position to gesture if Bird should slide, let alone to which side of the plate.

And while that went ignored — or at least unspoken — more silence when Sanchez led off the sixth, striking out swinging. The ball kicked away. But instead of running toward first, forcing a throw, Sanchez walked to the dugout.

For these, Girardi and the coaching staff have to put a bug in his ear.

Little things do mean a lot.

Game 3 tonight at 8. The Yankees have to start doing those little things.

ALCS Game 2. Yanks clipped by Astros in 9th 2-1. In 0-2 Hole.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Carlos Correa drove in Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth to win Game 2 of the ALCS, 2-1 for Houston over the Yankees.

Houston now leads the series two games to none.

Correa and Altuve each had two hits, accounting for four of Houston’s five.

Correa’s HR in the fourth gave the Astros a 1-0 lead. It was ruled no fan interference on the play as a youngster almost pulled a “Jeffrey Maier.”

The Yanks tied it in the fifth on back-to-back two-out doubles by Aaron Hicks and Todd Frazier. Frazier’s ground-rule double was odd in that it stuck in the fence.

In the ninth, Altuve singled and Correa doubled him home. The throw beat Altuve, but catcher Gary Sanchez could not catch it cleanly and Altuve scored.

The Yanks only had five hits in the game, as Justin Verlander got a CG win with 13 K.

Severino 4 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K,
Robertson 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Chapman (Loss) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.

Joe Espada is having a bad couple of games as the Yankees’ third base coach. Bird thrown out at the plate in Game 1, and in Game 2, Brett Gardner was thrown out at third trying for a triple.

One thing about Aaron Judge batting second: He does draw lots of walks, so his OBP is good (although right now he is slumping badly with many strikeouts), but with Judge up, Gardner doesn’t run because he doesn’t want to get thrown out at second with Judge up. A double-edged sword. You got the homers and walks with Judge #2, but at the expense of a Gardner SB?

Game 3 is in the Bronx on Monday night.

In the NLCS, the Dodgers took Game 1 from the Cubs, 5-2.

In the Arizona Fall League,  Scottsdale lost 11-1. Yankee SS prospect Kyle Holder was 1 for 4. DH Thairo Estrada was 2 for 4 with the RBI. Cody Carroll pitched a scoreless inning, walking one batter.