Category Archives: Regular Season

Game 151. Yanks hang on for 4-3 win, tighten WC race.

The Yanks got 4 2/3 scoreless IP out of their bullpen, and hung on for a 4-3 win over Texas Monday night that combined with Tampa Bay’s 6-4 win over Toronto, moved the Yanks to 1/2 game behind Toronto in the wild card race.

Wild Card Standings
Boston 86-65 — top wild card seed as of now
Toronto 84-66 – 1 1/2 2nd wild card seed as of now
YANKEES 84-67 -2 behind Boston, -1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 82-68 -3 1/2 behind Boston, -2 from Toronto, – 1 1/2 behind Yankees
Seattle 81-69 – 4 1/2 behind Boston, -3 from Toronto, -2 1/2 behind Yankees.

The Yanks got on the board in the bottom of the second on a solo HR by Gary Sanchez (22).

They got three in the third to make it 4-0. With one out, D.J. LeMahieu walked, and Anthony Rizzo singled D.J. to second. A single by Aaron Judge made it 2-0, and both runners moved up on the throw. Giancarlo Stanton hit a SF, and after a walk to Joey Gallo, Gleyber Torres singled for the Yankees’ final run.

Nestor Cortes was “Nasty Nestor” for four innings, and got out of a second and third, no out jam in the first inning with three straight strikeouts. But while the Yanks couldn’t tack on more runs, Cortes got knocked out in the fifth, when Texas scored three runs to cut it to 4-3.

After that it was nail-biting and scoreboard-watching time.

Judge 2 hits, RBI
Torres 2 hits, RBI
Sanchez solo HR (22)

Cortes 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 7 K. 1 WP. gave up 1 HR. 2.79.
Green (W, 8-7) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP. 3.39
Holmes (H, 10) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.98 (Pit/NYY)
Rodriguez (H, 14) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.60 (Tex/NYY)
Chapman (S, 28) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.51

I wonder how much money you could have gotten in the spring if you would have bet someone that Nestor Cortes would make at least 12 starts for the Yankees this year, and after 12 starts, would have a lower ERA than Gerrit Cole?

The Yanks activated Luis Severino before the game, and released Sal Romano.

Minor League Action, 9-19-21.

AAA: SWB (68-49) beat Lehigh Valley, 5-1. Starting P JP Sears 6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 7 K, 1 WP.
I thought at this point in the season, he’d be shut down, but LF Miguel Andujar started another rehab stint and was 1 for 2, single, RBI and a walk.
CF Greg Allen 3 hits. DH Trey Amburgey 2 hits. RF Socrates Brito 3 hits, 2 RBI.

AA: Somerset (72-47) lost 5-4. #8 prospect Luis Medina No-decision. 6 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 4 W, 4 K. 1 WP. 1 Balk.
SS Oswald Peraza (#3 prospect) 3 hits. 3B Oswaldo Cabrera (#16 prospect) 2-run HR.
DH Dermis Garcia 3 hits, solo HR.

High A: Hudson Valley (71-49) lost 6-5. DH Austin Wells (#6 prospect) 2 hits. C Carlos Narvaez 2 hits, RBI.
LF Jake Sanford (#23 prospect) 2 hits, RBI. 3B James Nelson 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Low A: Tampa (73-43) lost 5-4. LF Kyle Battle 2 RBI. 1B Pedro Diaz 2 hits.

Game 150. Yanks slide further back in WC race with 11-1 loss.

Gerrit Cole has been the Yankees’ best player this year in terms of WAR (wins against replacement), with Aaron Judge #2.

Cole, the Yankees’ ace pitcher, didn’t have it yesterday as the Yankees got hammered by Cleveland, 11-1. In leaving the mound, Cole undeservedly got booed by Yankees fans frustrated by the loss and by the fact the Yankees’ postseason hopes may be slipping away.

There are some guys that may deserve the boos, but Cole isn’t one of them. For without him, where would they be? But the frustration, after two losses of 11-3 and 11-1 this weekend, was understandable, if misdirected.

If the Yanks don’t right themselves, they may find themselves being behind yet another team in the wild card standings.

Wild card Standings
Boston 86-65 — top Wild Card seed as of now
Toronto 84-65 -1 from Boston, 2nd wild card seed as of now
YANKEES 83-67 – 2 1/2 from Boston, -1 1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 82-67 -3 from Boston, -2 from Toronto and only 1/2 game behind the Yankees.
Seattle 80-69 -5 from Boston, -4 from Toronto and 2 1/2 behind the Yankees.

Cole didn’t have it from the get-go, giving up 2 runs in the first. I don’t know if that hamstring issue was bothering him.

He gave up 3 more in the third, and it was 5-0 Cleveland.

The Yanks got their only run in the bottom of the third on a HR by Gio Urshela (13).

Cole gave up a HR in the fifth, 6-1. Another HR in the sixth, 7-1.

Cleveland got an unearned run in the seventh courtesy of an error by D.J. LeMahieu. 8-1.

The bleeding continued as the Indians, with help from a passed ball by Kyle Higashioka, got two runs in the eighth off of Clarke Schmidt. Yet another passed ball by Higashioka led to the final Cleveland run in the ninth. 11-1.

2 errors, 2 passed balls, 2 unearned runs. The Yanks need to tighten the defense.

After his outing on Friday, Luis Gil was sent down and Estevan Florial was brought up. After his outing Sunday, Clarke Schmidt was sent down. Expect Domingo German up.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Rizzo 2 hits
Urshela 2 hits, Solo HR (13)

Cole (L, 15-8) 5 2/3 IP, 7 R, 10 H, 1 W, 7 K. Gave up 2 HR, 1 HBP. 3.03
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.74
Schmidt 2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K. 5.68

Cole’s chances for the CYA took a hit with this outing.

Remaining games: 3 at home vs. Texas, 3 @ Boston, 3 @ Toronto, close with 3 at home vs. Tampa Bay. Personally, I think the Yanks have to go at least 9-3 to make the playoffs. We’ll see.

Minor League action 9-18-21; Couple of Doubleheaders. Low A Tampa gets no-hit.

Both AAA SWB and Tampa had completions of suspended games as well as their regular games yesterday.

AAA: SWB (67-49)

Completion of suspended game from 9-15: Won 6-2. 1B Chris Gittens grand slam. DH Trey Amburgey 2 hits, RBI.
2B Kyle Holder 3 hits.

Regular game: Won 4-1. C Donny Sands (#28 prospect) 3 for 3. PH Amburgey 3 RBI.
Domingo German on rehab: Win in relief. 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 3 K. Could be headed back to Yanks soon.

AA: Somerset (72-46) lost 5-3. CF Brandon Lockridge (#19 prospect) 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2-run HR. RF Isiah Gilliam 2 hits.
Starter and losing P Ken Waldichuk (#9 prospect) 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. 1 WP.

High A: Hudson Valley (71-48) won 5-4. CF Everson Pereira (#13 prospect) 2 hits, 4 RBI, 2-run HR, error.
DH Elijah Dunham (#24 prospect) 2 hits, RBI. 3B James Nelson 2 hits, but made 2 errors.

Low A Tampa (73-42)

Completion of suspended game from 9-16: Won 6-5. 2B Cooper Bowman (#30 prospect) 3 hits, RBI. 3B Roberto Chirinos 2 hits.

Regularly scheduled game: Lost 3-0, and got no-hit. (7 inning game).


SWB 2nd in division, 3 games back
Somerset 1st by 2 1/2 games See below for Hudson Valley. First place in division still does not mean playoffs.
Hudson Valley 1st by 12 1/2. See below.

Hudson Valley still is OUT of the playoffs. The format for the 2021 Postseason will consist of two teams per league in a single best-of-5 series. The two playoff participants will be decided for each league (regardless of division) based on the best regular season winning percentage. (So if a 2nd place team in the other division has a higher winning pct., you are out).

Somerset, as of now, would make the playoffs by just 1/2 a game.

Tampa 1st by 3 1/2 games. Have clinched a playoff spot.

Game 149. In/out, up/down; Yanks’ 11-3 loss knocks them out of playoff picture again for now.

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t want your starting pitcher, in the middle of a pennant race and with 14 games to go, to be a rookie making just his sixth major league start. Nor would you want his reliever to be another rookie, nor the reliever after him to be someone who may be the one pitcher on your staff struggling the most (see the stat below).

But as we know, it isn’t an ideal world, and injuries to the Yankees’ pitching staff forced that scenario yesterday as the Yankees got clobbered by Cleveland, 11-3. The loss was painful because both Boston and Toronto won.

Wild Card Standings.

Boston 85-65 top seed as of now.
Toronto 83-65 2nd seed as of now. -1 from Boston
NYY 83-66 -1 1/2 from Boston, – 1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 81-67 -3 from Boston, -2 from Toronto (- 1 1/2 from Yankees)
Seattle 79-69 -5 from Boston, – 4 from Toronto.

So as you can see, the loss not only has (temporarily we hope) knocked the Yanks out of a wild card spot but don’t look back, Oakland is gaining on you.

Just win, baby.

Starter Luis Gil pitched ok for four innings, giving up a HR in the second. Entering the fifth, the Yanks were losing 1-0. Ok, still in the ballgame.

In the meantime, Yankees’ LF Joey Gallo had to leave the game with a neck problem.

An elephant in the room has to be addressed. In each of the Yankees’ last three losses, crucial defensive mistakes by catcher Gary Sanchez have helped the Yankees lose those games. With Gerrit Cole starting for the Yankees today, expect Kyle Higashioka to catch. But the Yankees should consider catching Higashioka full-time from here out, because of Sanchez’ defense over the past week.

With one out in the fifth, losing 1-0, Sanchez dropped a foul popup that should have been out #2, with no one on base. Instead, it opened the floodgates for Cleveland to put up a seven-run inning and the game was basically over. This after the phantom tag in the Mets game and the WP that Sanchez couldn’t catch in the Orioles’ loss. If the Yanks want to make the playoffs, those plays can’t happen.

Still in all, when Gil left the game, there was two on and one out. Hopefully Albert Abreu could get a DP ball and get out of the jam. Nope. Instead, the dam broke. Double, HBP, double, single. Four runs in. A second out (should have been the third if Sanchez catches the pop up). Then the killer, a 3-run HR that made it 8-0.

The struggling Andrew Heaney came in for the sixth. D.J. LeMahieu made an uncharacteristic error, and Heaney, prone to giving up homers (see below), gave up a 2-run shot that made it 10-0.

Giancarlo Stanton homered (30) in the bottom of the seventh to put the Yanks on the board, but Heaney gave up a HR in the top of the eighth to make it 11-1.

Luke Voit hit a 2-run HR (11) in the bottom of the eighth and the final was 11-3 Cleveland.

LeMahieu 2 hits.
Voit 2-run HR (11)
Stanton solo HR (30)
Sanchez 2 hits but the crucial error.

Gil has great stuff, but needs control. 6 K in 4 1/3 good, but 4 walks and a HBP aren’t.

In just 35 2/3 IP as a Yankee, Heaney has given up 13 HR. Ouch.

Gil (L, 1-1) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. gave up 1 HR. 3.07 First MLB loss.
Abreu 2/3 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 4.75
Heaney 3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. 5.76 (LAA/NYY)
Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.64 (Tex/NYY)

Gil was sent down after the game. We will see what move comes next (German? Severino?)

Minor League Action, 9-17-21.

AAA: SWB (65-49) lost to Lehigh Valley, 10-8. LF Greg Allen 2 hits, RBI. 1B Rob Brantly 2 hits, 2 RBI. 3B Armando Alvarez 2 hits, 2 RBI. C Max McDowell 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2-run HR.

AA: Somerset (72-45) won 2-0. Starting P Hayden Wesneski (#15 prospect) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 8 K, 1 HBP.
LF Michael Beltre 2 hits.

High A: Hudson Valley (70-48) won 3-2. Starting P Josh Maciejewski 6 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 W, 7 K. 1 WP.
#1 Prospect SS Anthony Volpe solo HR. #23 Prospect LF Jake Sanford 2 hits, solo HR.

Volpe’s stats (Low and High A combined): .295-27-86, 32 SB. He is 20 yrs. old, Yanks first round pick in 2019.

Low A: Tampa’s game cancelled.

Game 148. Yanks shutout Cleveland 8-0, hit 5 HR. Jump back into a WC spot.

Boston 84-65 1st WC Slot.
NYY 83-65 – 1/2, 2nd WC Slot
Tor 82-65 – 1 from Bos, – 1/2 from NYY
Oak 80-67 -3 from Bos, – 2 1/2 from NYY
Sea 79-68 – 4 from Bos, – 3 1/2 from NYY


Scenario: Three-team tie for two Wild Card spots. If the Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox were all tied, with no other non-division winners in the AL ahead of them, the three teams would choose/receive A, B and C designations. Club A would host Club B. The winner of that game would be one Wild Card club, while the loser would then play Club C on the road to determine the other. The winners of the two games would face each other in the Wild Card Game. The three designations are decided by head-to-head records. The Red Sox went 10-9 against the Blue Jays and, as of this writing, are 10-6 against the Yankees, so they would have the first pick of designation. The Blue Jays are also 10-6 against the Yanks, as of this writing, so they would pick second. The Yankees would get whichever designation is left over. The first selection comes down to a choice of playing up to two games (Club A) or taking your chances as the home team in a single elimination game (Club C).

Ok, figured I’d give an update on the standings and the 3-way scenario first. The Yanks beat the Cleveland (Indians now, next year the [ugh] Guardians) 8-0 last night, hitting 5 HR. Corey Kluber, Michael King and Lucas Luetge combined for the shutout.

Lots of scoreboard watching this time of year. One way to avoid it, of course, is to take care of business earlier, so as to have a nice lead right now where it isn’t necessary, as Tampa Bay has done.

But it is what it is. As for now, the Yanks just have to keep winning.

Joey Gallo got the scoring started with a HR (36) in the bottom of the second to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. He was not finished.

Aaron Judge hit one out in the bottom of the fourth to make it 2-0. HR #35 for Judge.

It stayed that way for a while. The Yanks broke open a tight ballgame by scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Gallo led off the inning with a single because 1B Bobby Bradley slipped. Gleyber Torres walked, and Gio Urshela singled in a run. After a pitching change, Brett Gardner hit a 3-run HR (9) to make it 6-0.

In the bottom of the eighth, Giancarlo Stanton and the red-hot Gallo hit back-to-back HR to make it 8-0. For Stanton, #29, and for Gallo #37 (combined Tex/NYY).

Judge 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (35)
Stanton solo HR (29)
Gallo 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2 solo HR (37, Tex/NYY)
Urshela 2 hits, RBI
Gardner 3-run HR (9)

Kluber (W, 5-3) 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K. 1 HBP. 3.68
King (H, 2) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.36
Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.79

Before the game, Clarke Schmidt was brought back up and Sal Romano was placed on the IL.

Luis Severino and Domingo German are close to returning. Both would be bullpen options to close out the season.

Minor League Action from 9/16/21. Big night for Bastidas at AA.

AAA: SWB (65-48) lost 9-5 to Lehigh Valley. #11 prospect Deivi Garcia struggled again in what has been an awful year for him. 4 2/3 IP, 4 R, 10 H, 3 W, 1 K. 6.83. He gave up 1 HR.
1B Chris Gittens 4 RBI, 3-run HR. SS Andrew Velazquez 2 hits.

AA: Somerset (71-45) won 10-4. CF Brandon Lockridge (#19 prospect) 2 hits. 3B Oswaldo Cabrera (#16 prospect) solo HR. 1B Dermis Garcia 2 hits, solo HR. C Mickey Gasper 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2B Jesus Bastidas 3 hits, 6 RBI. 2 HR, both 3-run HR.

High A: Hudson Valley (69-48) lost 5-2. CF Everson Pereira (#13 prospect) 2-run HR.
Starting P Clay Aguilar 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 5 K.

Low A: Tampa was supposed to have a doubleheader.

Game 1: Suspended in top of first, no score.

Game 2: Cancelled.

Game 147. Brutal 3-2 loss pushes Yanks back in WC card race.

If the Yankees miss out on the playoffs by a game, there are several gut-wrenching losses this year that will stick in our minds.

The one on Thursday (yesterday) will be one of several. Just one strike away from winning the game, a wild pitch enabled Baltimore to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, and the Orioles went on to beat the Yanks 3-2 in 10 innings.

The wild card standings with 15 games to go for the Yankees:

Toronto 82-64 —
Boston 83-65 —-
NYY 82-65 – 1/2
Oakland 79-67 – 3 1/2
Seattle 78-68 -4

As of now that loss dropped the Yanks out of the playoffs. You can’t lose games like that to the cellar-dwellers. And the way they lost was just brutal.

The Yanks only scored two runs as the bats were silent. Both runs scored in the second inning. Joey Gallo hit a HR (35) with one out. Gary Sanchez and Tyler Wade followed with walks, and a double by Gio Urshela drove in Sanchez. The Yanks never added any more runs and it wound up costing them.

Jordan Montgomery was great, striking out 12 in 5 2/3 innings. Combined with Nestor Cortes’ 11 K’s the night before, it was the first time in Yankees’ history they got 11 or more K’s from their starters in back-to-back games.

Montgomery’s only blemish was a solo HR he gave up in the sixth.

The Yanks entered the bottom of the ninth with a 2-1 lead and Clay Holmes trying to close it out. Closer Aroldis Chapman had appeared in each of the three previous games. Holmes got a strikeout, then gave up a single. A WP moved the runner to second and a groundout moved the runner to third. On a 2-2 pitch, one strike away from a win, Holmes threw another WP that allowed the tying run to score. He then got the strikeout.

To extra innings, with that ghost runner I hate (a bastardization of baseball). The Yanks couldn’t move the runner in the top of the tenth. Baltimore got a bunt single to put runners on first and third. The runner on first moved up on defensive indifference. An intentional walk to load the bases. A strikeout, then a single to win the game for Baltimore.

One strike away. Just brutal.

The Yankees threw four wild pitches in the game.

Gleyber Torres’ problems at SS have had a domino effect that could hurt the Yanks. Moving him back to 2B moved LeMahieu, a 2B, to 3B, and the 3B Urshela to SS. Not your best defensive alignment, and something the Yanks have to think about now and in the offseason. Also, Sanchez’ defense behind the dish is something that has been problematic for years. Could he have blocked that WP? Could Higashioka have blocked it?

Stanton 2 hits.
Gallo Solo HR (35, Tex/NYY)

Montgomery 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 W, 12 K. 2 WP, Gave up 1 HR. 3.63
Abreu 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.08
Rodriguez (H, 13) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.75 (Tex/NYY)
Holmes (BS, 2) 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2 WP. 4.09 (Pit/NYY)
Peralta (L, 5-4) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.83 (SF/NYY)

UPDATE: (From the NY Post): Right-hander Brooks Kriske was claimed by the Orioles after being designated for assignment by the Yankees.

Minor League action from 9-15-21

AAA: SWB’s game against Lehigh Valley was suspended in the bottom of the second because of rain. LV was up 1-0.

AA: Somerset (70-45) won 6-5. CF Brandon Lockridge (#19 prospect) 2 RBI. SS Oswald Peraza (#3 prospect) solo HR.
LF Isiah Gilliam 2 RBI.

High A: Hudson Valley (69-47) won 6-5. SS Anthony Volpe (#1 prospect) solo HR. Starter Beck Way (#22 prospect) struggled a bit. 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 W, 8 K.

Low A: Tampa (72-41) was supposed to have a doubleheader.

Game 1: Lost 5-2. CF Jasson Dominguez (#2 prospect) 3 hits. 1B Anthony Garcia solo HR.

Game 2: PPD.