Category Archives: Mike’s Musings

Game 91. Yanks finally beat Boston, 3-1, in game shortened to 6 innings.

It took eight games, but thanks to a game shortened because of rain (and played in slop), the Yanks finally beat Boston this year. The game started late, was delayed, and was finally called after six innings with the Yanks (47-44, 4th in AL East, 8 back) winning 3-1.

In the process, the Yanks lost another player to the IL. OF Tim Locastro, just acquired, tore his ACL in the first inning making a play. He is done for the season.

Gerrit Cole worked out of a man on third, one out situation in the first inning by getting a couple of strikeouts. He gave up a run in the second on a couple of singles that sandwiched a groundout that moved the runner up.

The Yanks didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning. Greg Allen doubled with two outs for their first hit, and D.J. LeMahieu followed with an RBI single to tie the game.

Cole got a fortuitous call on a check swing to get a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the top of the sixth. Two Red Sox were ejected arguing the call.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Red Sox left the field temporarily when some idiot threw a ball at LF Alex Verdugo and hit him in the neck. Verdugo was understandably incensed. They also left so that the ground crew could work on the field, which was becoming a swamp.

When play resumed, after one out, Gary Sanchez (16) and Gleyber Torres (4) hit back-to-back homers to give the Yanks a 3-1 lead. The Yanks put a couple more runners on, but couldn’t score further. The game was then delayed again, and eventually called.

Sanchez solo HR (16)
Torres solo HR (4)

Cole (W, 10-4) 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 11 K. 2.63

Game 89. Brutal. Yanks blow it in 9th, give up 6 runs, lose 8-7.

This was brutal. Up 7-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees (46-43, Tied for 3rd, 8 back) gave up 6 runs to Houston in the bottom of the 9th, the last three on a walkoff HR by Jose Altuve, and lost 8-7.

With the all-star break now, the Yanks will have that depressing memory to chew on for a while.

The Yanks didn’t have Jonathan Loaisiga (Covid) available. Zack Britton and Darren O’Day are both on the IL. But it speaks volumes that they didn’t even let Aroldis Chapman start the ninth inning with a five-run lead. No trust in him.

And this is the FOURTH really bad loss in a month and a day. THIRD in two weeks. Some bad memories as we revisit.

June 10. Up 5-3 in Minnesota. The game that started Chapman’s skid. He gave up two 2-run HRs, didn’t get an out, in the bottom of the ninth. Yanks give up 4 runs. Yanks lose 7-5.

June 30. Up 8-4, Yanks give up 7 in top of the ninth to Angels and lose 11-8.

July 4. 1st game of DH, 7-inning game. Up 5-4 going into the top of the seventh, give up 6, lose to Mets 10-5.

Now July 11. Up 7-2 in Houston, give up six in the bottom of the ninth. Lose 8-7.

I heard a little bit of WFAN after the game. In those few minutes, they were ripping into Hal Steinbrenner to show some emotion. To show he cares. To get ticked off about these losses. To show that he, like us, is a LITTLE bit like a fan, and that isn’t only a business that he only cares about on the business end but is impassive on the wins and losses end. Or if he doesn’t care, then sell the team to someone who does. They were really on him.

The Yanks scored in the top of the third when Gary Sanchez walked with one out. On a strikeout, Sanchez moved up on a WP. Luke Voit walked, and Sanchez scored on a error on a ball hit by Gleyber Torres.

Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon gave up a HR in the bottom of the third that allowed Houston to tie the game.

Tim Locastro hit his first Yankees’ HR (second of the year for him) to put the Yanks up 2-1.

The Yankees went up 3-1 in the fifth. Giancarlo Stanton singled, Voit walked, and Torres singled in Stanton.

Jameson, who pitched well, gave up another HR in the sixth, and it was 3-2.

In the seventh, the Yanks made it 4-2 when with two out, Torres walked, stole second, and scored on a single by Gio Urshela.

Sanchez hit a 3-run HR (15) in the eighth to make it 7-2.

Then the roof fell in in the bottom of the ninth. As mentioned, Chapman not trusted with a five-run lead (Yikes!). Domingo German comes out for his third inning of relief. Single. Double.

In comes Chad Green. Double to make it 7-4. Another double makes it 7-5. Bloop single. Runners on first and third. Line out. Then the 3-run HR by Altuve to win it for Houston. Yikes.

The Yankees could have crushed the Astros in this game. They walked 14 times to go with their 8 hits. But they were 3 for 16 w/RISP.

Sanchez 3-run HR (15)
Stanton 2 hits.
Urshela 2 hits, RBI
Locastro solo HR (2)


Taillon 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 W, 4 K. 1 HBP. 2 of 3 hits given up HR. 4.90 (nice job, has lowered ERA by a run, was almost 6)
German (H, 2) 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K
Green (L, 3-5) 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up walkoff HR. 2.89



Minor League Report/Judge an All-Star/Subway Series

Before we get into the minor league report, some Yankees news. The Subway Series starts tonight, weather permitting (rain in the forecast could cause another rainout). The Yankees caught a break in that they miss the Mets’ Jacob DeGrom. Even though he gave up 3 runs last night, DeGrom’s ERA is still an astonishing 0.95.

Starters for the All-Star Game have been announced and the Yankees will have one starter in Aaron Judge. We’ll have to see about pitchers and reserves as far as any other Yankees being selected.

Even thought the Yankees (41-39, 4th in AL East) were rained out last night, they lost ground. They are now 9 back of Boston, who won last night.

Now the minor league report. Once again, rain wreaked havoc.

AAA: SWB Split a doubleheader.

Game 1; Completion of suspended game. SWB (34-14) lost 6-2. Nick Nelson started and gave up 2 R in 2 IP before the game was suspended. When the game resumed, Deivi Garcia took the mound. Nelson took the loss, and he is 1-1, 2.73 at AAA after going a horrendous 0-2, 9.75 ERA with the Yankees. Garcia’s troublesome season continues. He pitched 4 innings, and although he struck out 7, he gave up 3 runs. Garcia in two starts with the Yankees was 0-2, 6.48, but his AAA ERA is an atrocious 8.55. 2B Hoy Jun Park 2 hits, solo HR. (How I wish the Yanks would replace Odor with Park, who is at .350 and more versatile). DH Ryan LaMarre 2 hits.

Game 2: SWB won 1-0 in a rain-shortened 5 inning game. Both teams only had 2 hits each in this game.

AA: Somerset (32-17) was supposed to have a doubleheader. They won the first game, 4-3. The second was rained out. Ken Waldichuk 5 IP, 3 R, but only 1 was earned. 3 hits, 8 K. ERA at AA 3.60, overall (High A/AA) this season, 10 starts, 3-0, 1.18. In 20 minor league starts, 3-2, 2.16.

High A: Hudson Valley rained out.

Low A: Tampa (33-15) was supposed to play a doubleheader. They won the first game 8-1 in a 7-inning game. SS Anthony Volpe should be promoted soon. 2 hits, 4 RBI, a grand slam (.316-10-45). 2B Trevor Hauver 3 for 3, RBI. DH Carlos Narvaez 2 for 2, RBI. Three Tampa pitchers combined on a one-hitter.

The second game was suspended before Tampa came to bat in the bottom of the first. Jupiter had not scored in the top of the first.



Mid-Season Report Cards. It isn’t pretty.

Today’s Yankees’ rainout allows me to do the midseason report cards. At present the Yankees are 41-39, very disappointing. Game 81 is the halfway point, (and tomorrow–Friday’s—game is in jeopardy of being rained out as well) so here goes. As you may guess, this won’t be pretty. After all, the Yanks are 12th (out of 15 in AL) in runs scored, next to last in doubles and triples, last in SB, 9th in batting average (.236), OPS+ average at 99 (100 is average). They are 4th in ERA (ERA+ 114). Grades much better for pitchers than hitters.

One thing surprising (or not). Some grades have really changed over the past few weeks. Aroldis Chapman, for instance.

Another thing. Grades are also made based not only on what they have done, but on what you expected from them. You expect more from say, Aaron Judge than from Tyler Wade. So grades are also made on whether they are performing up to expectations (or salary, if you prefer).

Gary Sanchez B. A month ago, this grade would have been lower. Yes, he still exasperates you. The talent vs. what you actually get. Yes, he won’t hit .270 (.238 right now). But his 14 HR are tied for second on the team. His defense is still below par. Some bad baserunning. But wait. His OPS+ (on base pct. plus slugging average) is 130. 30% above league average. It’s third on the team. This from a guy who lost his job a month ago. Yeah, the average isn’t great. But it’s better than the .147 of last year or the .186 of a couple years ago. And if he hits 30 HR … not many catchers do that. Recent hot streak raised grade from a D.

Kyle Higashioka. B. Yes, a .198 batting average. A little leniency to backup catchers who play once a week. The OPS+ is 95, just 5% below league average. Most backup catchers have OPS+ in the 60s or 70s. 10 of his 18 hits are for extra bases, and there is a reason he catches Cole all the time. Average notwithstanding, he hasn’t been too bad.

Ok. Now to First base. Ugh.

Jay Bruce. F. 4 for 34. .118. OPS+ 30. 70% below league average. So bad he retired.

Mike Ford F. 8 for 60. .133. OPS+ 57. So bad he was traded—to Tampa Bay, a division rival!

Chris Gittens F. Given a chance. Went just 2 for 21. OPS+ 21. Remember 100 is league average.

Luke Voit. D. .195, OPS+ just 67. The fact he was hurt saves him from an F here. Led majors in HR (22) in 2020. Injuries and the IL have limited him to three so far this season. His loss, and the pathetic play of his replacements, have really hurt the Yanks. Needs to get back to normal in second half.

D.J. LeMahieu C. Hasn’t been bad, but just average. Therefore a C. From .327 and .364 the past two seasons to .271. Power, RBI, clutch hitting all down from the last two years (when he was the best player on the team). OPS+ 101. Average. The defense also seems to have slipped a bit.

Gleyber Torres F. 24 HR in 2018 as a rookie. 38 in 2019. SIX TOTAL SINCE. Out of position at SS. Only 24 but what has happened? OPS+ 122, 127, 102 and now 79. From hitting in the .270s the first two seasons to the .240s the past two. His HUGE dropoff has been a killer.

Rougned Odor C Minus. .211. OPS+ 91. He is what he is. Can hit a HR (has 8) but low average, too many strikeouts. Had 3 30-HR years in Texas, but hit .204 one year, .205 another. Had years there of 162 and 178 strikeouts. Giving Yanks same. I wasn’t sold on getting him. Unfortunately one of the few lefty bats they have.

Tyler Wade. C. We already know he can’t hit much, if at all. So expectations were low to start out with. OPS+ 54. Versatile and has played OF more than in the past, nice range there, and not bad out there. One of the few guys on the team that can run (Yanks last in AL in SB).

Gio Urshela. B. Great defense again. Banged up. But .272, 10 HR, OPS+108. Been solid.

Clint Frazier F. LF job given to him. His to lose. He lost it to Andujar, a novice OF. .186. OPS+ just 77. Only 5 HR, 15 RBI.

Brett Gardner. F. I wasn’t in favor of bringing him back. Turns 38 in August. Looks old and done. .204. Just 11 RBI. OPS+ 79. And playing almost every day since Hicks is out for the season. If he wasn’t the Yanks best (only?) CF option, I’d advocate he just retire NOW.

Aaron Hicks. F. I thought batting him (.233 career average) third was a huge mistake. I thought giving him the multi-year deal they did was a mistake too. He thought he’d hit 30 HR this year? Injured, out for season. Before the injury, .194, mostly righty, nothing from hitting lefty. OPS+ 74.

Miguel Andujar. D. Learning the OF. But has his beginner moments. Uncomfortable around the wall. Throwing to the wrong base. A man without a position? Not good at third, not much at first, now in left. An indictment of Frazier that Clint lost his job to Andujar. .257 ok, but just 12 RBI, and doesn’t walk. OPS+ just 86. He, Frazier and Torres, three youngsters, have really killed the Yanks with their regression. And their regression hasn’t been slight but considerable.

Aaron Judge. A. Leads team in BA, HR and RBI. Also in OPS+ 148, and anything over 140 is MVP consideration material. Best hitter and non-pitcher on the team. Gets screwed by umps who won’t adjust the strike zone to adjust to the fact Judge is 6’7″. As a result low pitches below his knees are called strikes as if Judge were 5’10”. Defense still great, and forced to play CF at times.

Giancarlo Stanton B. I would give him an A except he can’t play the field. His inability to (or the Yankees refusal to) play him in the OF occasionally means Judge or Sanchez can’t have a day at DH. This inflexibility hurts the Yanks, and also when the Yanks play in NL parks (no DH; see the Phillies series where the Yanks lost both games, Stanton couldn’t play). 136 OPS+ is solid. Needs to stay healthy. Also needs to be able to play the OF once in a blue moon!

No grades for the lack of much playing time for Mike Tauchman (traded after 3 for 14), Ryan LaMarre (0 for 7 in 3 games) or Estevan Florial (just one game). The exceptions were made for Voit’s 1B fill-ins.

Pitching.

Gerrit Cole A. Been struggling a bit lately, but 8 wins, ERA 2.66, ERA+ 161, which if continued all merit CYA consideration. Yanks wasting his starts by giving him no run support.

Jordan Montgomery B. ERA+ 106. ERA 4.06.
Lot of no-decisions, just 3-2, but Yanks 11-4 in his starts (Cole, b/c of lack of run support, is 8-8).

Corey Kluber B+. Was 4-3, 3.04 ERA+142 with a no-hitter when the shoulder acted up. Any ERA+ over 140 CYA worthy. Big loss.

Domingo German. C. Inconsistent. Two lousy outings, sent down, came back, very good for two months, now lousy again. 4.50 ERA, ERA+ 95. Fields his position very poorly.

Jameson Taillon F. Rarely gives innings. 3-4, 5.43. ERA+ just 79.

Michael King C. Better as reliever (2.29 ERA) than starter (5.47). He, and some others, can’t get out of the first inning unscathed. 0-4, 4.06, ERA+ 106.

Deivi Garcia F. 2 starts. 0-2, 6.48 in MLB. But 8.80 at AAA. Only 21 but what a regression.

Aroldis Chapman C. Wow. A few weeks ago, this would have been an A. On June 9, Chapman had an ERA of 0.39. Since then, it’s ballooned to 3.77, and it would be higher except that he has been saved by a triple play. Should take a little off his pitches and concentrate on just getting the ball over. Overthrows. Of course, HRs he gave up ended both of the Yankees’ last two seasons.

Jonathan Loaisiga A. His “coming-out” year. Been fabulous as a set-up man. 7 wins second on team (and all in relief!). ERA 2.32. ERA+ 186. Even though a setup man, deserves an All-Star slot.

Lucas Luetge. B+. Would have been an A until the recent meltdown against the Angels. Has come out of nowhere to post an ERA of 3.15, ERA+ 137.

Chad Green. A. 2.48 ERA, 174 ERA+. With Loisiga, pretty solid.

Luis Cessa B. 3.31 ERA, ERA+ 131. Been solid, but mostly used in garbage time. Like King, better in relief than as a starter, but I am a little surprised King went into rotation (King had no MLB experience there, whereas Cessa did. King’s experience as a starter was all in the minors.)

Darren O’Day. A. Has done well, but on IL, hasn’t pitched much.

Justin Wilson F. A 5.65 ERA for a short reliever is horrible. Went on IL.

Zack Britton no grade. Has missed almost the whole season so far with injury. Just five games.

Brooks Kriske F. As with Britton, just five games, but you can’t ignore a horrible 12.60 ERA.

Nestor Cortes, Jr. A. Can give innings. Compare his 1.02 to Wilson’s 5.65.

Wandy Peralta. F. Why Aaron Boone trusted the guy (Peralta is now on the IL) so much baffles me. 5.28 ERA. About same as Wilson, so same grade. Yanks traded Tauchman to SF for him. Tauchman hasn’t done much for SF, so… even.

Albert Abreu A. Too bad on the rollercoaster. Up/down, UP/Down. 2.13 ERA. Done well when brought up.

Nick Nelson F. 9.75 ERA. And the Yanks protected him and Kriske instead of Garret Whitlock, who went to Boston via the Rule 5 draft and who has a 1.42 ERA for Boston. Hoo boy.

Aaron Boone. D. I don’t mind Boone, think he’s an OK manager. But I am tired of him not calling out his underperforming team and making excuses for them. Time to get mad and pissed at them! Of course what happens in private, we don’t know. But Aaron, can you show some anger, equal to as much as we fans are pissed off right now? And stop looking at the big picture, so to speak by giving guys days off so much? You are saving guys for playoffs, that, the way the team is playing, you won’t qualify for!

Brian Cashman F. I’ve defended Cashman often. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day. But this year? No. A lineup devoid of lefty hitters. Yankee Stadium is made for lefty hitters, and those few lefties on the team haven’t done anything. The lineup has too many righty bats. Too many guys who can’t run (last in SB), don’t make contact, don’t hit and run, can’t bunt, don’t hit behind the runner, don’t run the bases well—meaning taking the extra base (and too many thrown out on the basepaths), one-dimensional, HR or nada. Some guys are playing out of position. The LeMahieu contract for a number of years, ok. Cole’s? OK. You are stuck with Stanton’s. But 7 years to Hicks? (rolling eyes). Not giving Hoy Jun Park (hitting over .350 at AAA right now) a chance but sticking with Odor? The same with Trey Amburgey vs. Frazier/Andujar? The team is constructed poorly. That falls on Cashman. Boone can only work with what he has been given. Hence an F for Cashman, a D for Boone. Preseason predictions for this team were for possibly 100 wins. They are 41-39. And the schedule the next month is difficult. They easily could be 49-55 or something like that at the end of July. Yes, that means going 8-16 in the next 24 games. Look at the schedule. Mets (do they face DeGrom? Luckily, no), Houston, Boston, Tampa Bay. I think those four teams encompass 17 of the next 24 games. The Yanks have not had a losing season since 1992. They better step it up, or else…. Forget the playoffs. They could finish under .500.







Game 80. Yanks score 7 in 1st, but give up 7 in 9th, lose 11-8. Brutal.

There were two rain delays totaling about an hour and 40 minutes. By the time the second rain delay was over, the game resumed around 11:30 PM and ended after 1 AM.

I’m glad I didn’t see the ending. My blood pressure would have caused another PE or a heart attack.

After last night, stick a fork in the Yankees. They are done. Sure, comebacks (think 1978) happen. But do any of you think it will happen with this team? They are now 41-39, 4th in the AL East, and 8 1/2 back.

And last night’s loss? Just excruciating. The Yanks scored 7 runs in the first inning, just one the rest of the game, took an 8-4 lead into the ninth, and gave up 7 runs in the top of the ninth to blow it and lose 11-8. Pathetic.

Before the game, controversy. The Yanks get swept in Boston last weekend. Their GM says “They suck.” The manager says that “the season is on the line.” But in a game with Ohtani on the mound, both Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela are out of the lineup. Where is the urgency? This “looking at the big picture stuff” as far as resting players right now is BS. What big picture? The playoffs (Cue Jim Mora here) that you won’t qualify for the way you are playing right now? What are you saving them for? Manager Boone says they are banged up. A lot of us remember a crippled, banged up Mickey Mantle playing through hellish injuries. Same with a banged up Thurman Munson. What crap. You should have heard the Michael Kay show on the YES network yesterday. Boy were they criticizing the Yanks over this.

Before the game, Justin Wilson up off of rehab, Albert Abreu sent down.


A slumping Domingo German gave up a 2-run HR in the top of the first inning to Phil Gosselin, and the Yanks were down 2-0 right away. I don’t know what it is with Yankees’ starters that they can’t make it out of the first inning unscathed. The homer came with two out and two strikes on Gosselin. Of course it did.

Shockingly, Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani had nothing as his control was off. The Yankees knocked him and his bat (the Angels forgoed the DH what with Ohtani and his 28 HR starting) out of the game after just 2/3 of an inning.

D.J. LeMahieu walked. Luke Voit walked. A passed ball. Gary Sanchez walked to load the bases. Giancarlo Stanton singled in a run, Gleyber Torres singled in another. After Rougned Odor struck out, Miguel Andujar made it 3-2 with an RBI groundout. Clint Frazier was HBP to reload the bases. Brett Gardner walked to force in a run, force Ohtani from the game, and make it 4-2. LeMahieu doubled to clear the bases. 7-2. Yankees’ fans were feeling good, not knowing what was to come later. What was to come later was just one more run, and a shocking defeat.

German gave up a run in the second. He was pulled after the first rain delay. Jared Walsh (we will hear from him later) homered in the fifth off of Luis Cessa to make it 7-4.

Brett Gardner homered in the eighth (3) to make it 8-4 Yankees. Game in the bag, right? Wrong.

In his first 23 games this season, Aroldis Chapman gave up just 1 earned run for an ERA of 0.39. That is through June 9. Starting on June 10 (when he gave up two 2-run HRs in the bottom of the ninth to blow a game), Chapman has given up 12 runs, 11 earned, in just 5 2/3 innings. It would be worse than that except for a triple play that saved his bacon. That ERA has gone from 0.39 to 3.77.

He walked the bases loaded, then gave up a game-tying grand slam to Walsh. Lucas Luetge came in and gave up three runs to complete the implosion. Ugh.

There aren’t any words. Well, yes, there are, but none you would use around children.

LeMahieu 3 RBI
Stanton 2 hits, RBI
Gardner 2 for 2, 2 walks, scored 2x, 2 RBI. Solo HR (3)

German 3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 3 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 4.50
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.65
Cessa 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. gave up 1 HR. 3.31
O’Day (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.70
Loaisiga (H, 10) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.32
Chapman 1/3 IP, 4 R, 1 H, 3 W, 0 K. Gave up Game-tying grand slam. 3.77
Luetge (L, 2-1) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.15






Game 78. Yanks lose 4th in a row, 5-3.

The YES network had a lot of statistics yesterday. For example, the Yankees have scored 3 or less runs in 41 of their 78 games this year. That is more than half. Last night, they scored 3.

About 2/3 of the homers they hit are solo HR. The homers aren’t coming with men on base. Last night the Yanks hit two homers. Yup. Both solo shots.

Yankees’ starter Michael King entered last night with a 14.40 ERA in the first inning. In his previous five starts, he had given up 8 first-inning runs. Make that now a 15.00 ERA and 10 runs in six starts. He put the Yanks into a 2-0 hole right away. The second batter, the incredible Shohei Ohtani, hit a HR off of him, #26 of the season for Ohtani. Ohtani is the scheduled starting PITCHER on Thursday against the Yankees, as he continues to do things not seen since Babe Ruth over 100 years ago. King doesn’t see anything wrong with his pre-game routine. The YES analysts see it differently. The YES analysts (which include some ex-major league players) say the jury is out whether King could be a starter in his MLB career. So far, my answer would be no. The first inning blues for one thing. For another, he doesn’t give you any length as a starter. He doesn’t go more than five innings (last night 4 1/3). Until King can fix those two issues, he can’t be an effective starter. Of course, King is only starting now because Corey Kluber is on the IL.

The Yanks lost their fourth straight game last night, 5-3 to Ohtani and the Angels. The loss drops the Yanks perilously close to .500, at 40-38. They are in 4th place in their 5-team division, the AL East, and are now 7 1/2 games out of first place. The season is slipping away. They better wake up. Call Sr. Mary Elephant to scream at them. Or, as Peggy Lee would sing, “Is That All There Is”? Very disappointing.

A couple of more stats YES gave out before more of a game recap. Going into last night’s game, the Yanks were 29th out of 30 teams with a .216 batting average with runners in scoring position. The Yanks went 0 for 4 w/RISP last night.

And lastly, two more things the YES analysts discussed. Both are instances of bad decision-making. Adam Ottavino had a good 2019 year with the Yankees (1.90 ERA) but a bad postseason that year. That bad postseason carried over to a bad 2020 (5.89 ERA). The Yankees traded him and a minor leaguer to, of all places, Boston for unknown compensation. It looks like just cash. Basically a salary dump. Didn’t even get a player for him. He’s rebounded to a 2.81 ERA for Boston this year. More damning is that Ottavino’s slider, when on, is devastating to righty batters. What do the Yankees have? A lineup full of righty batters. So the Yankees gave away to their arch-rival, a guy who, when on, has just what it takes to shut the Yankees down—which is exactly what Ottavino did to his former team this past weekend.

Another guy that shut the Yankees down this past weekend was Garrett Whitlock. If a player is in the minors for three years and not placed on the 40-man roster, he is subjected to the Rule 5 draft. Another team can claim him for $50,000. That player must stay with that team or be first offered back to the original team for $25,000. Well, the Yankees did not protect Whitlock. Whitlock was snapped up by—-you guessed it—-Boston, and helped beat the Yankees this past weekend. Whitlock, a rookie, is 3-1, 1.42 for Boston so far this season. Who did the Yankees protect instead of Whitlock? Well, Nick Nelson for one (0-2, 9.75 for the Yanks in 8 games this year) and Brooks Kriske (0-0, 12.60 in five games for the Yanks so far this year). Oops.

I know. As Yankees’ fans, those points that YES brought up are depressing. But give YES credit for going deep into things and in explaining some reasons for the Yankees underachieving so far this season.

Ok, to last night’s game. I already mentioned that King gave up 2 runs in the first inning, the first on a HR by Ohtani. So the Yanks are down 2-0 before they even came to bat.

The Yanks did get one run back in the bottom of the first. D.J. LeMahieu singled, Aaron Judge doubled D.J. to third, and Gary Sanchez scored D.J. with a SF. 2-1. But the Yanks couldn’t bring Judge in as well.

The Yanks did tie the game up in the second when Gio Urshela homered (10).

LeMahieu made an error in the fifth, which led to the Angels getting an unearned run to take the lead, 3-2.

Lucas Luetge gave up a HR to ex-Met Juan Lagares in the sixth and the Angels went up 4-2.

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 14th HR of the season in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Angels’ lead to 4-3, but the Yanks would score no more. Meanwhile the Halos got an insurance run in the eighth off of Chad Green. 5-3, the final score.

Stanton solo HR (14)
Urshela 2 hits, solo HR (10)

The Yanks only got six hits in the game. Now, many Yanks are struggling, but one in particular? What’s happened to Gleyber Torres? 2018, .271, 24 HR, All-Star, 3rd in ROY voting. 2019, .278, 38 HR, All-Star, 17th in MVP voting.
Since then, 2020 and 2021 combined, 110 games: .240-6-39. Which all coincides with his move to SS. You wonder.

King (L, 0-4) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.06
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.52
Green 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.48
Cortes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.13

Darren O’Day and Justin Wilson can both come off the IL today. Brooks Kriske is sure to be sent back. It’ll be interesting to see if Abreu or Cortes goes back. Both have done well.

P.S. Back to work next week as I complete my recovery from two major (and one life-saving) surgeries. So future reports won’t be as in depth.




Game 76. Yanks fall to Boston again, 4-2.

You know the saying. Make contact, don’t strike out, and you might get lucky. You don’t know what may happen.

That sure worked for Boston as the Red Sox got five infield hits in beating the Yankees 4-2 Saturday night.

Usually when you are a lefty pitching at Fenway, and give up 3 runs in 6 innings, you did pretty well. But for Jordan Montgomery, it only made him a hard-luck loser last night as the Yankees had trouble getting to ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi. More on that in a bit.

The loss dropped the Yankees to 40-36, 6 back. They are 4 1/2 out of what would be the final playoff spot if the season ended today. They are in third place in the AL East, but only 1/2 game ahead of 4th place Toronto. They really need a win today, and at least have ace Gerrit Cole starting the game today.

A lot of the Yankees’ problems deal with how the roster is constructed. Yankees’ teams have traditionally been built on lefty bats (including switch-hitters) and lefty pitching. Here is a look at just a few Yankees’ title teams of the past. Lefty hitters listed, switch-hitters have an asterisk.

1927: Ruth, Gehrig, Combs, Koenig*
1939: Dickey, Rolfe, Keller, Selkirk, Henrich
1961: Mantle*, Maris, Berra, Kubek, Blanchard
1977: Nettles, Chambliss, Rivers, Jackson, White*
1998: Williams*, O’Neill, Martinez, Raines*, Strawberry, Posada*, Ledee, Davis*
2009: (the last title) Swisher*, Cabrera*, Teixeira*, Posada*, Cano, Damon, Matsui, Gardner … even Pena* and Hinske.

Wow. Look at all the switch-hitters in 2009.

Now look at this year. I’ll also have to point out the production, or lack of. Remember 100 is average OPS+. For example, an 80 means 20% below league average.

Odor .209-8-18, OPS+ 93; Gardner .198-2-8, 71; Hicks* .194-4-14, 76 (only 32 games, out for season); Ford .133-3-5, 58 (traded to Tampa Bay); Bruce .118-1-3, 32 (retired after 10 games), Wade .217-0-2, 54. Tauchman was 3 for 14, traded to SF, and young Estevan Florial was 1 for 3 in one game.

There’s very little lefty bats in the lineup, and they have been unproductive. Against a tough righty pitcher like Eovaldi, the Yanks only had one lefty hitting starter in the lineup last night. That was Gardner, hitting ninth.

You can see the problem. Look at the lefties and switch-hitters (and you know how productive they were) of some of the title teams and compare that to this year’s team.

People can talk about the short porch at Yankee Stadium all they want. The Yanks aren’t taking advantage of it.

One last thing before a quick game recap: The Yankees are hitting into a ton of DPs this year, and are at the top in that category. Remember that a righty hitter has to take two or three more steps to get to first base than a lefty one. Those steps are the difference between a force out and a DP.

As for the game, Boston got two runs off of Montgomery in the second inning. Two infield hits, and a SF that went 152 ft. 1B Luke Voit had to go up the line in foul territory for the catch, and was in no position to make a good throw home. So Montgomery and the Yanks had no luck there.

Boston got another run in the third to make it 3-0, helped by two more infield hits. Once again, no luck. Boston added another run in the seventh to make it 4-0.

D.J. LeMahieu got the Yanks on the board in the top of the eighth with a solo HR (7) with two out. The Yanks then loaded the bases on three straight walks, but Voit grounded out to end the inning.

In the top of the ninth, LeMahieu singled in a run to make it 4-2, but with two men on, Aaron Judge struck out to end the game.

LeMahieu 4 hits, Solo HR, 2 RBI
Judge 2 hits


Montgomery (L, 3-2) 6 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 2 W, 5 K. 1 WP 4.06.
Abreu 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.53

Half of Boston’s 10 hits were infield hits.

Before the game, Zack Britton (hamstring) and Wandy Peralta (back) were placed on the injured list. Albert Abreu and Brooks Kriske were brought up.



Minor League Report. What’s wrong with Deivi Garcia?

In spring training, Deivi Garcia, still just 22, was competing for a rotation spot for the Yankees. Now, it appears as if he needs a demotion from AAA back to AA.

Last year, Garcia started six games for the Yanks, going 3-2, 4.98. Not great, but decent for a 21 year old. Of course, he started as an “opener” in that playoff game. Bad decision that didn’t work out, especially when Garcia gave up a HR in the first inning then J.A. Happ was ineffective afterwards.

Garcia has started two games for the Yankees this year, going 0-2, 6.48. But it is his performance back at AAA SWB that is most alarming. In nine starts there, he is 1-3 with an 8.80 ERA. Read that again. What’s happened?

In just two innings last night, Garcia gave up 5 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks and only struck out one. He gave up a HR.

AAA SWB (30-13) lost to Lehigh Valley, 6-3. CF Estevan Florial 2-run HR.

AA: Somerset (30-15) won 7-4. Starter Janson Junk, 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K. Impressed Luke Voit while Voit was on his rehab stint. (3-1, 1.07). Maybe Junk comes up to AAA and Garcia goes down to AA. We’ll see. SS Diego Castillo 3 hits, RBI on a solo HR. DH Oswald Peraza 2 hits. 2B/3B Oswaldo Cabrera 2 RBI. C Donny Sands 2 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR.

High A: Hudson Valley (29-16) won 11-9. LF Isaiah Pasteur 2-run HR. 2B Ezequiel Duran 3 hits, RBI. C Anthony Seigler 2 hits, 4 RBI. 1B Kyle MacDonald 2 hits, RBI.

Low A: Tampa ppd.

Game 75. Yanks lose to Boston, 5-3.

For those of you who may have watched the game on the MLB network (I watched on YES), some words from David Cone last night. He was talking mostly about Domingo German, last night’s starter, but it also applies to Michael King and tonight’s starter, Jordan Montgomery, as well.

They have to change up their pre-game routine. They are too often putting the Yankees into an early first-inning hole.

Last night, German gave up three first-inning runs. The Yanks did come back to tie it up in the second, but that was all the offense did in a 5-3 loss up in Boston last night.

In the first inning alone, German has an ERA of 7.71 this year. Montgomery’s is 6.43. King’s is 14.40. You can’t have your team keep coming from behind so often.

With the loss, the Yankees are 40-35, 3rd in AL East, 5 games back (and if the season ended today, 4 1/2 out of the last wild card spot). They are 5-8 against Tampa Bay, and 0-4 against Boston. So 5-12 against the teams above them in their division. Doing simple math, if they were 9-8 or 8-9 against those teams, the Yanks would be much more in the thick of things. Only a game or two out.

So German gave up the three runs in the first inning. The Yanks tied it in the second when Giancarlo Stanton walked, Luke Voit singled. After an out, Gio Urshela reached on an error (more on Gio later) to load the bases. After Miguel Andujar struck out, Clint Frazier walked to force in a run, and D.J. LeMahieu singled in two more. Aaron Judge grounded out to end the inning.

The Yanks got two on with one out in the top of third, but Gleyber Torres, 2 for his last 39, GIDP.

German helped lose his own game in the fourth. A walk to lead off the inning, then a WP. After an out, German couldn’t field a comebacker and everyone was safe. A SF, which should have been the third out, instead put Boston up 4-3.

In the top of the fourth, a huge mistake by Yankees’ 3B coach Phil Nevin. I am all in favor of replacing Nevin, NOW, as third base coach. How many Yankees have we seen, and are going to see, get thrown out at the plate this season? Gio Urshela led off the inning with a double. Miguel Andujar singled, but Urshela was thrown out at the plate. Let’s remember something here. Gio has been dealing with leg injuries. He was HBP on the shin a few days ago and had missed the two games prior to this one! No excuse (and all commentators on the YES postgame show said as much) for sending Gio there. Instead of first and third, no out, the Yanks had man on first, one out. Frazier then flied out, a ball that would have been a game-tying SF. But no.

In the bottom of the eighth, Zack Britton had to leave the game as it appeared he tweaked his hamstring. We’ll see if he goes back on the IL (most likely) and who replaces him on the roster. Boston went on to score an insurance run in the inning to go up 5-3.

The Yanks got singles in the top of the ninth by Urshela and Andujar, so down two runs, they had first and second, no out. But Frazier struck out, then LeMahieu GIDP to end the game.

LeMahieu 2 RBI
Voit 2 hits
Urshela 2 hits
Andujar 3 hits


German (L, 4-5) 4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 WP. 4.32. Made a crucial error.
Luetge 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 2.37
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K. 2.43 a WP led to a 4K inning, 3rd time in Yankees history.
Britton 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.15
Cessa 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.03

Before the game, Boston retired #15 for 2B Dustin Pedroia.

Game 74. Yanks crush KC, 8-1.

A lot of times this year, Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon has left us, well, wanting to take a good strong drink of Jameson. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). He wasn’t very good.

Things were different yesterday. Taillon turned in perhaps his best performance as a Yankee in an 8-1 win over KC.

With the win, the Yanks are 40-34, 3rd in the AL East, and 4 games behind Tampa Bay, 3 1/2 behind Boston. The Yanks are in Boston for a 3-game set this weekend and can make up some ground. Not only that, they could get some revenge. Boston swept the Yanks in a 3-game series at the Stadium three weeks ago.

The Yankees hit three homers yesterday, the first coming by Aaron Judge in the bottom of the first. Judge’s 16th HR of the season gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

After Judge homered, both Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton singled. A flyout by Luke Voit moved Sanchez to third, and Rougned Odor got an infield hit to make it 2-0, Yankees.

After Taillon escaped a man-on-third, one out situation in the top of the second without giving up a run, the Yanks scored in the bottom half when with one out, Tyler Wade walked, then stole second. D.J. LeMahieu walked, and Judge, who had been in a slump, singled in Wade to make it 3-0.

Luke Voit continued to be hot right off the injured list, hitting his second HR in three games since coming off that list (in addition to two other balls that were almost homers). Voit’s 3rd HR of the season made it 4-0 after three innings.

Taillon gave up KC’s only run in the fifth. He pitched into the seventh.

In the bottom of the sixth, the red-hot Gary Sanchez struck again. Sanchez followed a single by LeMahieu and double by Judge with a 3-run HR, his 13th of the season, to make it 7-1.

The final run of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning. Judge walked, and two wild pitches moved him to third. He scored on a single by Stanton.

Judge 3 for 3, 2 walks. 2 RBI. Solo HR (16)
Sanchez 2 hits, 3 RBI. 3-run HR (13)
Stanton 3 hits, RBI
Odor 3 hits, RBI
Voit solo HR (3)


Tailon (W, 2-4) 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. 5.18
Cortes 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 5 K. 1.20


Minor league notes:

AAA: SWB (30-12) beat Lehigh Valley, 10-2. Darren O’Day, one scoreless IP on rehab. Adam Warren one scoreless IP (3.43 as he tries to comeback from injuries). Nick Nelson 5 IP, 2 R (2.28 here, after struggling with Yanks). CF Estevan Florial 2 hits, 2 RBI. 1B Chris Gittens 4 hits, RBI. DH Trey Amburgey 2 RBI. RF Socrates Brito 2 hits, 3 RBI. 3B Derek Dietrich 2 RBI.

AA: Somerset (29-15) won 5-4 in 10 innings. 1B Dermis Garcia solo HR. LF Matt Pita 2 hits, RBI.

High A: Husdon Valley (28-16) won 6-1. C Josh Breaux 2 homers, 3 RBI. 2B Eduardo Torrealba 2 hits. Starter Josh Maciejewski 5 IP, 1 R, 7 K. Reliever Barret Loseke 3 scoreless IP, 6 K.

Low A: Tampa (30-14) won 10-2. They were supposed to play a DH. They got one game in, the other was ppd. Edgar Barclay 5 IP, 1 unearned run, 7 K. SS Anthony Volpe 2 RBI. 3B Andres Chaparro 2 hits, 2 RBI. C Carlos Narvaez 2 hits. 1B Eric Wagaman 2 for 2, 4 RBI, 2-run HR.