In a recent interview, Hal Steinbrenner mentioned that Aaron Boone would be back as Yankees’ manager in 2021, but he refused to commit on Domingo German’s return.
I apologize for not getting my Yankees’ grades and recommendations for the offseason out yet. I am dealing with my mom’s (passed away in July) estate and we thought we had a buyer for her house but that fell through last night. So I am dealing with a lot right now. I’ll get my thoughts up when I get time, but between mandatory OT at work and the estate, my time is very limited right now. Bear with me.
I have not been able to watch too much baseball since the Yanks were eliminated. Mostly due to the reasons I listed. The Rays are up 3 games to none on Houston (and Jose Altuve seems to have caught Steve Sax disease) while Atlanta has won both of the first two games from the Dodgers.
The Yankees season is over after a 2-1 loss in Game 5. The Rays advance to the ALCS to face the Astros.
I’ll have a review of the season, players, and an analysis of things that I think need to be done in another upcoming article. Some things about this game may give a bit of a preview.
There were only six hits total in this game. Three by each side. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they hit one HR while Tampa Bay hit two.
I have to really question future commitments to Aroldis Chapman. You have to now wonder about him in big moments. He almost blew the 2016 WS for the Cubs, giving up a shocking game-tying HR in Game 7 of that WS before the Cubs came back to win.
Now he has blown the 2019 ALCS and the 2020 ALDS by giving up game-winning HRs that ended the Yankees’ season both times.
Not only that, but his attitude seems to be a problem as well. That macho posturing is getting tiresome, and karma may have just bit him in the ass last night.
Chapman is no Rivera, in a lot of ways.
Chapman is appealing a suspension (won’t take place until 2021) from throwing up and in and seemingly at Mike Brosseau of the Rays in an early September game this year. So who hits the game-winning HR off of Chapman? Brosseau. It had to be sweet revenge for Brosseau.
Chapman’s contract is huge. It would be hard getting rid of it, and I wonder if the Yankees even want to or should. But two straight years of Chapman giving up season-ending dingers, plus his seeming immaturity, make you wonder.
Gerrit Cole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, then settled down.
The Yankees’ only run of the game came when Aaron Judge sliced a HR to RF in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Austin Meadows hit a game-tying HR that Judge, the Yankees, and their fans will be shaking their heads about for years to come. For whatever reason, RF at the neutral site, Petco Park in San Diego, has a ledge extending over the RF wall. If not for that ledge (which Judge hit his head on while attempting to catch the ball), the 6’7″ Judge had a good shot to catch the ball and rob Meadows of a HR. We will never know. Judge thought he had a bead on it.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brett Gardner, in LF, DID rob Randy Arozareana of a HR. No ledge in LF
Cole was a bulldog, giving up only that one hit, but it was a HR.
Neither team mustered much offense.
Then the bottom of the eighth, when karma bit Chapman in the ass and for the second year in a row, he gave up a HR (albeit, not a walk-off as in 2019) that ended the Yankees’ season.
If you would have told me that Yankees’ pitchers would give up just 3 hits, and get 13 strikeouts, I’d have taken it.
What we didn’t know was that Yankees’ hitters would get only 3 hits and strike out 11x themselves.
The last out was cruel. A 109 MPH liner off the bat of Gio Urshela that was grabbed by 3B Joey Wendle. A liner that tore Wendle’s glove. Urshela (like Willie McCovey ending the 1962 WS) hit it on the screws. No luck.
Judge solo HR
Cole 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 9 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. Britton 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. Chapman (LOSS) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Now that the Yanks lost this ALDS, that awful decision of Game 2, Garcia/Happ looks even worse. I still hate it and always will.
Speaking of immaturity (Chapman above), you also can wonder what if German were available. Last year AND this year.
The Yankees stayed alive and evened up the best-of-five series at two games apiece by beating Tampa Bay 5-1 Thursday night.
Gerrit Cole will start the deciding game 5 tonight. He has never pitched on three days rest before.
The rest of the division series are over. The winner of the Yankees/Rays game tonight faces Houston in the ALCS. The NLCS features the Braves against the Dodgers.
Houston, of course, beat the Yanks in the ALCS in 2017 and 2019.
The Yanks scored twice in the second inning. Luke Voit led off the inning with a 450 ft. home run, then walks to Brett Gardner, Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela loaded the bases. After Kyle Higashioka struck out, D.J. LeMahieu hit a SF.
Tampa Bay got their only run in the top of the third.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Gardner singled and Torres followed with a two-run HR.
The Yanks added their final run in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Torres singled. After another out, he stole second and scored on a single by Higashioka.
The Yankees’ bullpen came through with five no -hit innings after a decent, if short, start by Jordan Montgomery.
The Yankees’ slugger homered for the fifth straight postseason game, and set a record in doing so, but Yankees’ pitching failed again in an 8-4 loss to Tampa Bay.
With the loss, the Yanks are down two games to one in the best-of-five series. One more loss, either tonight or tomorrow night, and the Yankees’ season is over.
Masahiro Tanaka gave up a run in the second, but the Yanks tied it on a bases-loaded SF by Aaron Judge in the bottom of the third.
But Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR in the top of the fourth. 4-1, Rays.
Randy Arozarena, who is turning into Mr. October this month, homered off Tanaka in the top of the fifth to make it 5-1.
An Aaron Hicks RBI double in the bottom of the fifth cut the lead to 5-2.
The Yankees’ bullpen was supposed to be a strength but has been a disappointment. Chad Green gave up a 2-run HR in the top of the sixth, Luis Cessa let another run in, and it was 8-2. For all intensive purposes, the game was over.
Stanton hit his 2-run HR in the bottom of the eighth.
Stanton 2 hits, 2-run HR.
Tanaka (LOSS) 4 IP, 5 R, 8H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. Green 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 k. Gave up 1 HR. Cessa 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. King 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
A sad thing when some of the worst umpires in MLB still get postseason assignments (Bucknor, Hernandez). See Game 2.
Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yanks in Game 4. He’ll be on a short leash because of the do-or-die nature of the game.
We’ve seen the rookie Nelson twice. Chapman not at all. That’s really what you need to know. And that isn’t good.
I agreed with the decision to start Deivi Garcia in game 2 of this ALDS. Less pressure on the rookie (the youngest Yankee to start a postseason game), and especially less pressure after the Game 1 win.
But I was shocked when I saw that Aaron Boone only planned to use Garcia as the opener, pitching just one inning, before bringing in J.A. Happ. I didn’t like that move, and that move backfired when Happ reverted to the Happ of earlier this year and of 2019 in a 7-5 loss to Tampa Bay that evened the series at one game apiece.
Who knows if Garcia, who gave up one run (a HR) in the first inning would have settled down? Happ, a starter his whole career, isn’t used to coming out of the bullpen. I didn’t like the move, still don’t, and the results speak for themselves.
Yankees’ pitching gave up four HR last night in the loss. After getting a couple of flyouts, Garcia gave up a HR, hit a batter, then got a groundout. I don’t know what Boone’s plans are for Garcia for the rest of the series, but who knows if the kid would have settled down after that and had given you four, five or six good innings after that?
In the top of the second, a red-hot (homers in four straight postseason games) Giancarlo Stanton homered to tie the game at one.
But in came Happ, who gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second, then another two-run HR in the bottom of the third and after three innings, the Yanks were in a 5-1 hole they couldn’t get out of.
We won’t know what Garcia would have done because in going the “opener” route, Garcia was never given the chance. While he was pitching and getting the first two outs, Happ was already warming up. Sometimes you just outthink yourself, and maybe Boone did that here. How are you going to inspire confidence in the kid when you do that? Boone talks about the kid’s maturity and confidence but then does that?
This is just my opinion, and I haven’t read the NY Post, MLB, ESPN or anything but I’d be interested in reading some reactions to Boone’s move on those sites. Also see what the fans think.
As or me, I didn’t like it.
So, after Boone brings in Happ, who made the deficit 5-1, Stanton tried to get the Yankees back into the game with a three-run bomb of a HR in the top of the fourth that cut the Rays’ lead to 5-4.
But the Yanks showed little offense other than Stanton. They struck out 18x, a postseason record for a 9-inning game.
One problem the Yanks have had all year is that their bullpen is letting inherited runners score, and not shutting down the inning then and there. After Adam Ottavino walked the leadoff man in in the bottom of the fifth (who then stole second), and got a groundout, Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run-scoring single before getting a DP (great play by D.J. LeMahieu) to end the inning.
Loaisiga gave up a HR in the sixth and it was 7-4.
The Yanks got a couple of walks to lead off the top of the ninth, but then two strikeouts. D.J. LeMahieu kept hope alive with an RBI single, but Aaron Judge grounded out to end the game.
Let’s hope Tanaka brings his A game tonight. At least we know he won’t be used as an “opener.”
Sanchez was 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts, PB. Maybe just stick with Higashioka?
Stanton 2 HR, 4 RBI
Garcia 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. Happ (LOSS) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. Made an error. Ottavino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Giancarlo Stanton’s ninth inning grand slam broke open a close game and the Yanks took Game 1 of the best-of-five ALDS from the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-3.
The Yanks got on the board right away in the top of the first when D.J. LeMahieu singled, went to second on a WP, to third on a groundout, and scored on a SF by Aaron Hicks.
Tampa Bay came right back in the bottom of the first on a HR by Randy Arozarena off of Yankees’ starter Gerrit Cole.
The Yanks went up 2-1 in the third on a HR by Clint Frazier.
For whatever reason, one-time Yankee Ji-Man Choi seems to own Cole. He hit a 2-run HR in the borrom of the fourth to put the Rays ahead 3-2.
The Yanks came right back in the top of the fifth. Kyle Higashioka led off the inning with a HR to tie the game, and one out later, Aaron Judge homered to put the Yanks up 4-3.
Cole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the botttom of the fifth.
It stayed 4-3 until the top of the ninth. Higashioka singled to lead off the inning, then LeMahieu walked. After an out, Hicks singled in Higashioka. Tyler Wade, who had replaced Luke Voit for defensive purposes, walked. Stanton then hit his grand slam to break the game open. The Yanks reloaded the bases but didn’t score again.
As I had hoped, Deivi Garcia will start Game 2 tonight. Less pressure on the rookie, especially after the Yanks won Game 1.
LeMahieu 2 hits Judge solo HR Hicks 3 hits, 2 RBI Stanton grand slam, 4 RBI Urshela 2 hits Frazier solo HR Higashioka solo HR, 2 hits
Cole (Winner) 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR Green (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. Britton (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. Cessa 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Bob GIbson, #45, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who was so athletic he even spent a year with the Harlem Globetrotters, has passed away at the age of 84.
Gibson spent his whole career with the Cardinals, (1959-1975), and his number was retired. A scowling, menacing presence on the mound, Gibson won 251 games in his career. He was the NL MVP in 1968, a year where he posted an astounding ERA of just 1.12. He won the CYA in 1968 and 1970. He was a 9x All-Star who fielded his position well (9 Gold Gloves) despite a delivery that left him falling toward the first base line. He was twice the WS MVP (a feat otherwise accomplished only by Sandy Koufax and Reggie Jackson). He even hit .206 with 24 HR in his career, and added two more WS HR. And in WS play, went 7-2 in his 9 starts, losing only his first and last start.
He was a 20-game winner 5x. He led the league in wins in 1970 with 23. It’s amazing that in 1968, when he went 22-9, 1.12, that he even lost nine games. That year he led the majors with 13 shutouts. He led the NL in shutouts 4x. He pitched a no-hitter in 1971. He led the majors in complete games in 1969 with 28. From 1961-1974, he averaged 258 IP per year, topping 300 IP in 1968 and 1969. He led the league in strikeouts once, ERA+ twice.
Besides winning the CYA in 1968 and 1970, he finished 5th in 1971 and 9th in 1972 for the award. Besides winning the 1968 MVP, he also finished 4th in 1970.
His 162 game average was 17-12, 2.91, ERA+ 127.
His World Series record game of 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1968 WS is legendary.
In those 3 WS he pitched in, in his nine starts, he pitched 81 innings. That 7-2 World series record had an ERA of just 1.89. Three CG victories, Games 1, 4 and 7 in 1967. Earlier in 1964, he lost Game 2, but won Games 5 and 7, pitching a CG game victory on two days rest in Game 7. In 1968, he won Games 1 and 4, both complete games, but lost Game 7, another complete game.
He was an excellent hitter for a pitcher, driving in 20 runs in 1963, hitting 5 homers and driving in 19 runs in 1965, hitting .303 in 1970, and hitting 5 HR in 1972.
As mentioned above, he even homered twice in World Series play.
He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, getting in with 84% (needed 75%) in 1981.
A fierce competitor, great athlete, and one of the best performers in WS history.
Baseball reference lists him as the 14th greatest starting pitcher in MLB history, which is some feat considering he went up against Koufax, Seaver, Drysdale, Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Jenkins during his playing days, and pitched with and against Steve Carlton.
Update: Gibson was so tough that when his leg was broken by a line drive off the bat of Roberto Clemente on July 15, 1967, he stayed in the game, walking the next hitter, Willie Stargell, getting Bill Mazeroski to fly to CF, then walking Donn Clendenon. With the walk to Clendenon, he collapsed in pain and finally left the ballgame.
His 1968 season (The Year of the Pitcher, a year in which Denny McLain won 31 games and the Yankees as a team hit .214) was so dominating that MLB changed the rules, lowering the mound from 15 inches to 10 and shortening the strike zone. MLB was afraid of too many “boring” 1-0, 2-1 games. Gibson, of course, resented the change.
Gibson, who died from pancreatic cancer, also battled asthma in his career. I remember his commercial for a bronchial mist.
Gerrit Cole, to no surprise, will start Game 1 of the ALDS for the Yankees against Tampa Bay, with Kyle Higashioka catching him. That sets him up to come back on three days rest for a do-or-die Game 5 if necessary. The rest of the rotation set up for Games 2-3-4 hasn’t been made yet. As I stated in yesterday’s post, I would go with the rookie, Deivi Garcia, in Game 2. Less pressure there than in Games 3 and 4.
The ALDS is set. On one side, we have the Yanks and Rays in San Diego. Oakland vs. Houston play in L.A.
The NLDS isn’t set yet, partly because of the Marlins/ Cubs game being rained out. The Dodgers swept the Brewers and are awaiting the winner of the St. Louis /San Diego Series which is even at 1 apiece. The Marlins lead the Cubs one game to nothing, Winner gets Atlanta, who swept Cincinnati, and who didn’t even give up a run to the Reds. Both NLDS in Texas. (Arlington and Houston).
Rain delayed the start of Game 2 of the Yankees-Indians game, and that seemed to affect Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up four runs in the bottom of the first, an inning started later than scheduled, and then delayed in the middle of it.
Tanaka settled down a little, and eventually the Yankees prevailed in a back and forth, 10-9 win over Cleveland. With the win, the Yankees swept the Indians in the best-of-three series and now head to neutral site San Diego for a best-of-five ALDS showdown against the Tampa Bay Rays, against whom they were just 2-8 this season. The Rays have surpassed Boston this year as the Yanks’ arch nemesis. There is a lot of bad blood between the teams.
After the Yanks fell into that early 4-0 hole, Giancarlo Stanton got the Yanks on the board in the second with a solo HR.
The Yanks took the lead on a Gio Urshela grand slam in the fourth. Aaron Hicks tripled on a misplayed liner to lead off the inning, then Luke Voit and Stanton both walked before Urshela’s 432 ft. grand slam.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the fifth on a walk to Hicks, Luke Voit’s double which sent Hicks to third, then a SF by Stanton. 6-4, Yankees.
But the Indians came back to tie it in the bottom of the fifth.
In the top of the sixth, Brett Gardner led off with a walk, then Gary Sanchez hit a wind-blown, 2-run HR to put the Yanks up 8-6.
For Sanchez, a bit of a redemptive night after a season (albeit a shortened one) where he only hit .147.
But Cleveland came back to tie it in the bottom of the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Indians went ahead 9-8, and could have had more except for a fabulous DP started by Gio Urshela.
The Yanks then scored twice in the top of the ninth to win the game and send the Indians packing. Stanton walked, and Mike Tauchman PR for him. Urshela, and then Gleyber Torres both singled to load the bases with no one out. After Brett Gardner struck out, Sanchez tied up the game with a SF. D.J. LeMahieu hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to put the Yanks up 10-9, and they hung on for the win.
LeMahieu GW RBI Stanton, HR, 2 RBI Urshela 2 hits, 4 RBI, Grand Slam, great defensive play Sanchez 3 RBI, 2-run HR.
The Yanks drew 12 walks in the game, in addition to getting 8 hits (3 of which were HR).
The Yankees and Rays can now set up their rotations, since Game 1 of the ALDS won’t start until Monday, October 5. Time to be determined. On TBS. There will be no off days. It will be in the “bubble” of a neutral site in San Diego. With the Rays being the 1 seed (AL EAST champ) and the Yanks being the #5 seed, the Rays will be the home team for Games 1, 2 and 5 (5 if necessary) and the Yanks the home team for Games 3 and 4 (4 if necessary).
I would expect Cole in Game 1 and to also go on three days rest if there is a Game 5. As for the rotation for Games 2-3-4, we will see. If I were Boone, I might go with Garcia in Game 2 to place less pressure on the kid and save the veterans Tanaka and Happ for the more pressure-packed Games 3 and 4.