Category Archives: Postseason

Game 56. A stinker. Yanks lose, 14-1.

This was a stinker in many ways. The Yanks only got four hits and only scored one run, that on a passed ball. They made four errors, two by Gary Sanchez. They gave up 14 runs in losing to Toronto, 14-1, Wednesday night.

They have to clean up their act before the playoffs start next week. Even Luke Voit compared them to the Bad News Bears last night.

In one of the innings, they loaded the bases with no one out and didn’t score.

It got so bad that backup C Erik Kratz had to pitch…. again. His second pitching appearance in less than a week.

And the defense could be the Yanks’ Achilles heel come playoff time. Despite excellent defensive players like D.J. LeMahieu and Gio Urshela, the Yanks’ fielding percentage ranks as one of the worst, if not THE worst in the AL this year, and is the Yanks’ worst since 1988 (from a NJ.com article). Besides Sanchez, Gleyber Torres also is at fault, as Torres is a better 2B than SS, but LeMahieu is at 2B. Besides Sanchez’ two errors, another error last night was made by Torres.

You really have to wonder at this point if the Yanks are better off just going with Higashioka the rest of the way. His defense is unquestionably better than Sanchez’, and his bat, normally far worse, is much better at the present time, especially after Sanchez went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts last night to drop his batting average to a ghastly .143.

With a Rays win and the Yanks’ loss, the Rays clinched the AL East title. Minnesota has jumped over the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead, so at present the Yanks are the #5 seed, two games behind the White Sox with four games to go. Should it stay like this, the Yanks play the White Sox, all three games in Chicago, in the best-of-3 first round.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up two runs right away in the first inning. One was unearned because of a Sanchez error.

The Yanks’ only run came in the top of the second. Luke Voit walked, then with one out, Aaron Hicks walked. Gio Urshela singled to load the bases. Voit scored on a PB. With a chance to tack on, Sanchez struck out and Clint Frazier flied out.

The Blue Jays got an unearned run, courtesy of Torres’ error, in the third, then scored two more in the fourth, helped along by an error by Luke Voit.

Toronto got eight in the sixth to break the game wide open, four runs coming off of Tyler Lyons, who was making his first appearance of the season. Sanchez made his second error (catcher interference) in this inning.

LeMahieu 2 hits, .360. 2 of the Yankees’ four hits.
Both Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton were 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts.

Tanaka (L, 3-3, 3.56) 4 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 8 H, 3 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Cessa 1 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.74
Lyons 1 2/3 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 HBP, 21.60 Season debut
Kratz 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 9.00. Gave up 1 HR. Backup C.

Game 55. Yanks rout Jays, 12-1.

Yes, it appears that Kyle Higashioka has become Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher, and based on the results last night and in his past few outings, should remain so come the postseason.

Helped by a healthy attack, Cole beat the Blue Jays 12-1 last night. The Yankees (32-23) remain as the #5 seed, 1 1/2 games behind the Twins with 5 games to go.

This was the last regular season start for the Yankees’ ace, who went 7-3, 2.84 in the regular season.

The Yanks scored twice in the first inning. Wirth one out, Aaron Judge walked and Aaron Hicks tripled him home. HIcks then scored on a WP.

With two out in the top of the fourth, Gleyber Torres doubled and was driven home by Gio Urshela’s single. 3-0.

Cole made one mistake that cost him all night. Cavan Biggio hit a solo HR off him in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Yanks’ lead to 3-1.

The Yanks came right back with four runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, Higashioka singled. LeMahieu was HBP. Judge singled in a run and everyone moved up on the throw. Hicks singled in two, stole second, then scored on a single by Torres. 7-1.

The Yanks got three in the top of the eighth. With two out, Urshela doubled, and Clint Frazier walked. Brett Gardner singled in a run. Kyle Higashioka’s drive hit the very top of the wall, just missing a HR. Instead, a 2-run double. 10-1 Yanks.

The Yanks closed out the scoring with two in the top of the ninth. Judge singled. Mike Tauchman walked. After an out, Torres singled in Judge, Tauchman moving to third. Urshela singled to make it 12-1, which was the final score.

Judge 3 hits, RBI
Hicks 2 hits, 3 RBI
Torres 3 hits, 2 RBI
Urshela 4 hits, 2 RBI
Higashioka 2 hits, 2 RBI

Cole (W, 7-3, 2.84) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 W, 0 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.00
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 5.71

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 53. Yanks’ winning streak ends with 10-2 loss.

Maybe pitching in the place (Fenway Park) where his idol, Pedro Martinez, made his mark was too much for young, 21 year old Deivi Garcia. Maybe he just didn’t have it. But Michael Chavis hit two homers off him, and after twelve straight wins over Boston, eight of them this year, the Yanks (31-22) finally lost to Boston, 10-2.

Chavis hit a two-run HR in the second, and added a three-run HR in the third and Boston was up 6-0.

The Yankees’ bats didn’t provide much help. They didn’t get their first hit until the sixth inning, and got only three for the game.

In the sixth, Tyler Wade doubled for the Yanks’ first hit, and went to third on a PB. After a walk to D.J. LeMahieu, Wade scored when Luke Voit GIDP.

Jonathan Holder gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh, one on a solo HR by Bobby Dalbec, and Boston went up 9-1.

Yankees’ backup C Erik Kratz gave up a HR to J.D. Martinez in the 8th and the Yanks were down 10-1.

Luke Voit hit his MLB leading 21st HR in the top of the ninth for the final of 10-2.

Even with the loss, the Yanks clinched a posteason berth when Seattle lost.

But the loss did knock the Yanks into the #5 seed for now. They are 31-22, while the Twins are 33-22. The way it looks now, the Twins, a familiar Yankees’ postseason opponent, and so-far, Yankees’ punching bag in the postseason, will be their opponent again.

The Yanks are moving back Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka in the rotation to set them up for starting Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs.

Voit solo HR (21)

Garcia (L, 2-2, 4.88) 3 IP, 6 R, 8 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.21
Holder 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K. 5.03 Gave up 1 HR.
Kratz 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 9.00 Gave up 1 HR. (BACKUP C)

Got to say, I’m not sure how much I trust Holder or Ottavino right now.

German’s status

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Domingo German’s 81 game suspension for domestic violence included eighteen games last year and last year’s postseason, leaving 63 games this year.

Now that the season is reduced to 60 games (and let’s hope they can get through THAT—no guarantee there), how is German affected?

He’ll be out the regular season but WOULD be available for the postseason since he missed last year’s postseason after going 18-4, 4.03.

Who knows what would have happened in the ALCS had German been available to start. Instead in that last game, Game 6 of the ALCS, Chad Green was used as the “opener” and gave up a HR in the first inning. Happ and CC were used out of the bullpen.  The retiring CC had hurt his shoulder before that Game 6 and that ended his career. Severino, who only had a couple of starts in the regular season, was starting in the postseason, and was lined up for Game 7. Later it came out he was having some problems—problems that didn’t go away and continued into spring training of this year where it was discovered that he needed TJ surgery.

So what would have happened if German was available? Who knows.

But I would be shocked if German did pitch in any postseason this year. I mean, who pitches someone in the postseason when they didn’t throw one pitch in competition all year long?

Strange year, strange rules.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So it looks as if a “summer warmup” period will start July 1, with a 60 game season starting July 23 and 24.

There will be a few rules changes. I’ll list some here along with links for you to check them all out.

The Yankees will play 10 games against each team in their division (40) and 4 games against each team in the NL East.

There will be a universal DH.

Extra innings will have that minor league rule of a player starting the inning being on second base as if he reached on an error (he would be an unearned run, would not count against pitcher’s ERA). This runner would be the batter who made the last out of the previous inning or a pinch runner.

Trade deadline Aug. 31. To be eligible for postseason, player must be on roster Sept. 15.

Same playoff format.

To ease into the season, a 30 man roster first two weeks, 28 for two weeks, then 26. Teams will submit lists of 60 players eligible to play in 2020 — the 40-man roster plus a “taxi squad” of 20 players.

Now we wait for a revised schedule has been released.

For more:

https://www.mlb.com/news/faq-for-2020-baseball-season

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-announces-20www.som20-regular-season

 

 

Pitchers & Catchers report today.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Pitchers and catchers report today to spring training for the Yankees. Their first workout is tomorrow.

Position players report Monday with the first full-squad workout on Tuesday. The first spring training game is Saturday, Feb. 22.


I am not happy about the proposed changes forthcoming to baseball’s postseason. What a joke.


The Red Sox named an interim manager, Ron Roenicke. MLB is still investigating them and hopefully any punishment to them regarding the cheating scandal will be coming soon. We’ll see how soon Boston names a permanent manager, and if it happens to be Roenicke.

 

KC wins Super Bowl LIV, 31-20.

The San Francisco 49ers had a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the comeback kids, the Kansas City Chiefs, outscored the 49ers 21-0 in the fourth quarter to win Super Bowl LIV (54 for those of you who hate the roman numerals), 31-20.

The Chiefs overcame 10 point deficits in each of their postseason victories.

It is the second Super Bowl win for the Chiefs, who were playing in their first Super Bowl in 50 years. They lost Super Bowl I 35-10 to Green Bay, and won Super Bowl IV 23-7 over Minnesota.

KC QB Patrick Mahomes was named the Super Bowl MVP. He was OK, 26 for 42, 286 yards, 2 TDs but also 2 picks. I think Damien Williams (17 carries, 104 yards) or Tyreek Hill (9 catches, 105 yards) may have been a better choice, though.

For Andy Reid, a Super Bowl title after 21 years of being a NFL head coach (14 years with the Eagles, 7 with the Chiefs).

Washington stuns Houston to win WS

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In a World Series in which EVERY GAME WAS WON BY THE ROAD TEAM, Washington, the biggest WS underdog since 2007, stunned Houston by winning Game 7 6-2.

It is only the second time Washington, D.C. has the World Series Champ, and it’s the first time since 1924. That team then became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.

This team started its existence as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and this is the first title in franchise history. This, the year after Bryce Harper, the face of the franchise the past few years, left to go to the Phillies in free agency.

Stephen Strasburg was named WS MVP.

Washington stunningly won the WS after starting the season 19-31. They didn’t even win their division. Down in the wild card game, they caught a break in the eighth inning against Milwaukee when Milwaukee’s RF overran the ball in trying to gun down a runner at the plate (the tying run) and as a result, the winning run came around to score.

Then in the NLDS, they took down the 106=win Dodgers. Down in the eighth inning of Game 5, they hit two HR off of Clayton Kershaw to tie the game and got a grand slam by Howie Kendrick in extra innings to win the game and series. They then swept the Cardinals in the NLCS.

In the World Series, they dispatched the 107-win Astros in unconventional fashion, winning all four games in Houston while losing all three games at home. Who’d have thought?

The Astros got off to a 2-0 lead. Yuri Gurriel hit a solo HR in the second off Max Scherzer, and Carlos Correa an RBI single in the fifth. Scherzer, who couldn’t start Game 5 because of a sore neck and who received a shot for the pain, started Game 7 and was not sharp, but kept his team in the game, giving up just two runs in five innings despite being in and out of trouble the whole time.

In the seventh, Washington took the lead with three runs. Anthony Rendon homered to cut the lead to 2-1. Juan Soto walked. Houston manager A.J. Hinch then pulled starter Zack Grienke, a move I wondered about at the time. Grienke had only given up the one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Reliever Will Harris replaced Greinke and gave up a two-run HR to Kendrick that hit the foul pole. 3-2 Nats, and they never looked back. Harris took the loss.

Patrick Corbin (who I wanted the Yanks to get last offseason when Corbin was a free agent) wound up with the win with three scoreless innings of relief.

Per MLB.com, Kendrick is the first player with multiple go-ahead home runs in the seventh inning or later in winner-take-all games in a single postseason. He also is just the second player to hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning or later while their team was trailing in a World Series winner-take-all game. The other was Hal Smith in 1960—the Bill Mazeroski game.

A walk to Adam Eaton, SB and RBI single by Juan Soto made it 4-2 Washington in the eighth.

The Nats tacked two more on in the ninth on a bases-loaded, 2 RBI single by Eaton. Washington got eight of their nine hits in the last three innings as Houston’s bullpen imploded.

 

 

 

WS Game 6. Take it to the limit. Washington forces a Game 7 with a 7-2 win.

header_1.jpg

Never, in the history of the four major sports, has a road team won the first six games of a series (of course, football doesn’t have a best of 7).

Until now. Washington beat Houston 7-2 Tuesday night to force a seventh and deciding game tonight (Wednesday). The road team has won every game in the WS so far.

Anthony Rendon had three hits, inc. a 2-run HR, and drove in 5 runs. The HR came after a controversial call that went against the Nats and got manager Dave Martinez ejected—the first manager ejected from a WS game since Bobby Cox of Atlanta in Game 6 of the 1996 WS.

For Justin Verlander, another WS loss. The future HOF pitcher is now 0-6 in the World Series. ROY, CYA, MVP, 3 no-hitters, but no WS victory.

Stephen Strasburg went 8 1/3 IP for the win.

Besides Rendon, Adam Eaton and Juan Soto homered for Washington. Alex Bregman hit one for Houston.

Max Scherzer, who missed his Game 5 start because of a neck injury, apparently feels better after getting a cortisone shot and is expected to start Game 7 for Washington. He’ll be opposed by Houston’s Zack Greinke.