Category Archives: The Owner

Game 50. Yanks fall, 4-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brian McCann’s 2-Run HR (7) in the 9th proved too little, too late, as the Yanks fell to Toronto 4-2 on Monday night to fall to 24-26 on the season.

Unfortunately for the Yanks, a pitcher can’t be so-so as Ivan Nova was tonight. The lineup and the offensive struggles won’t allow that. The Yanks had a .234 team batting average entering the game, and were last or next to last in the league in many offensive categories. They haven’t been living up to their nickname of Bronx Bombers.

I saw an interesting piece from a few days ago about the Yanks struggles in the corners. It was on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and I found it on Facebook. A interesting piece. Check it out.

But the offensive woes place greater pressure on the pitchers to be perfect. The Yanks got just five hits tonight, two in the final inning. This after they got just one hit yesterday (even though they won—the first time they got only one hit in a game and won it since 1914).

Either the Yanks have to hit better, get different players who hit better than what they have now (and considering some player’s contracts, that isn’t happening), change their offensive philosophy (you can’t wait for HR from people who aren’t hitting, you have to steal, bunt, hit and run, take advantage of your more limited opportunities) or, if you can’t change players, then the coaches are the fall guys.

Just making a point. A team batting average in the .230s won’t get it done.

Nova (L, 3-3, 3.98) 6 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 1 walk, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Goody 1 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 3.21
Bleier 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 0.00    MLB DEBUT

Game 48. Rays batter Pineda, beat Yanks 9-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Michael Pineda continued to exasperate Yankee fans, coaches, the front office and the owner yesterday. Recently the NY Post reported that Hal Steinbrenner called out several underperforming players and that Pineda was one of them. They also reported on Girardi and the coaches’ frustration with him.

Pineda has been more like a pinata this year, getting hit hard, especially early in games. Those first inning struggles continued when he gave up three in the first and then he gave up two more in the second. The Yanks were down 5-0 after two and could not come back, losing 9-5 Saturday afternoon.

The Yanks have been getting decent performances from Tanaka, Eovaldi, Nova and CC but Severino and Pineda have been killing them. The Yanks are 23-25. Severino and Pineda are a combined 2-12, the rest of the team 21-13. You can see the difference. You can do the math.

What the Yanks do with Severino, who starts a rehab game on Sunday, when he gets healthy will be interesting. Put him (0-6, 7.46) back in the rotation, or let him get straightened out in the minors?

Pineda does have options and can be sent down. He is 2-6, 6.92. The Yanks can’t just keep sending pitchers out there with ERAs of 7, especially since we’ve reached Memorial Day.

But what and who is the alternative? Either someone like a Cessa, Green, etc. would have to be given a shot (Green had one start recently, 6 R, 4 ER in 4 IP), Severino or Pineda must step up, or the Yanks have to make a deal. 2-12 vs. the rest at 21-13. The two have been dragging the team down. Something needs to be done, and if/when it is, I’ll report it.

Carlos Beltran hit a HR in the fourth to cut it to 5-1. Beltran’s 12th HR of the year was #404 lifetime, placing him three behind Duke Snider on the all-time list. It was his 2500th hit.

Tampa Bay got a run in the fourth and three in the fifth on a HR by Hank Conger off of Luis Cessa. Conger came into the game with no extrabase hits. He had two doubles and a HR yesterday. He drove in 3 runs for the Rays. Evan Longoria had a HR and 4 RBI.

Down 9-1, the Yanks tried to fight back but the deficit was too large. They got two in the seventh on a Romine single and a bases-loaded walk to Torreyes, and two in the eighth on singles by Gregorius and Romine.

A-Rod (.176) was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts.

Chase Headley was 3 for 3, and  Austin Romine 3 for 4 with 2 RBI.

Pineda (L, 2-6, 6.92) 3 2/3 IP, 6 R, 9 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Gave up HR.
Goody 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.55
Cessa 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 3 K, 2.57. Gave up a HR.

Cessa can’t be used for a while, b/c he went four, but you wonder if he may be placed in the rotation for a while with Pineda/Severino removed?

Something has to be done, and something tells me it’ll be done soon.

Game 40. Nova, Beltran lead Yanks, 4-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

When Luis Severino had to go on the DL, Ivan Nova came out of the bullpen to take his place in the rotation. The way Nova pitched last night, he intends to stay there.

Nova has had his inconsistencies throughout his career, but his ERA dropped to 3.26 after last night’s gem. By contrast, Severino and Pineda’s combined ERA is over twice that.

What happens when Severino is healthy as far as he and Pineda are concerned? We’ll have to see. But it is apparent that Nova needs to stay in that rotation.

The Yanks scored first in their 4-1 win last night when in the third inning, with two out, Brett Gardner walked and Carlos Beltran doubled him home.

Nova gave up a HR in the fourth to tie the game, but the Yanks went up 2-1 in the sixth on an RBI double by Aaron Hicks.

Beltran’s ninth HR of the year, a 2-run shot, gave the Yanks a cushion in the ninth. It was HR #401 of Beltran’s career.

The Yanks once again turned to their Big 3 to close it out. No-Runs D(ellin Betances) M(iller) C(hapman).

The Yanks have hit the quarter pole at 18-22.

Earlier, owner Hal Steinbrenner backed manager Joe Girardi and the coaches, but called out a couple of underperforming players, although not in the blunt way his father used to do it.

Nova (w, 3-1, 3.26) 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances (H, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.33
Miller (H, 4)  1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K, 1.02
Chapman (Save, 5) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K, 1.50

 

Game 24. O’s 4, Yanks 1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I think it’s safe to say that the bottom has dropped out, but how low can the Yanks go? And what will Hal Steinbrenner do about it? We know the old man is probably rolling over in his grave.

With their 14th loss in their last 18 games, the Yanks have fallen to 8-16. This isn’t a slump for this year, either. Going back to last year, the Yanks are 35-45 in their last 80 games.

Mark Trumbo hit 2 HR off of Luis Severino, and Severino made two errors on missed catches last night as the Yanks lost at Baltimore 4-1.

Didi Gregorius singled in a run in the top of the second, but Severino gave it right back on a solo HR by Trumbo.

One thing I failed to mention at the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club Meeting last night was this: how often have you noticed that when the Yanks DO score, the pitcher gives it right back? No shurdown innings. When you score and your pitcher gives it right back, that deflates an offense. It takes the air right out of the balloon. Not only are the Yanks having trouble scoring, but when they do, the pitchers are giving it right back.

One of the two Severino errors led to an Orioles run in the fourth, and Trumbo hit a 2-run HR off of Severino in the fifth.

The struggling Chase Headley is down to .147 and still doesn’t have an extra base hit.

Severino (L, 0-4, 6.31) 6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 walks, 4 K. Gave up the 2 HR to Trumbo.
Yates 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.12
Barbato 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K, 5.25

 

2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Game 151. Yanks blanked, 4-0.

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Ivan Nova did a decent job filling in for Masahiro Tanaka, who was supposed to start this game but who has a strained hamstring, but the Yankees’ bullpen and offense didn’t do much as the Yanks were blanked by Toronto, 4-0, on Wednesday night.

The loss drops the Yanks 3 1/2 behind Toronto in the AL East with 11 games to go. The Yanks, at 83-68, maintain a four game lead over Houston for WC #1, and a five game lead over the Twins for WC #2. The magic # to make it into the play-in Wild Card game remains at 7.

One problem with the Yanks this year has been that their starters don’t go deep into games. The Yanks for years have waited out other teams’ pitchers and feasted on the middle relievers. That is just what Toronto did to the Yanks last night.

Nova tossed five shutout innings but had to be pulled in the sixth when his pitch count reached 110. Toronto got a run in the sixth, but then a 3-run HR by ex-Yankee Russell Martin in the seventh was the crushing blow. Meanwhile the offense put up nothing.

As for the relievers who gave up the run, it says a lot. In what may be the biggest game of the year, it was James Pazos, Caleb Cotham and Andrew Bailey who came in after Nova. No offense to the three of them, but none of them went north with the club in April.   It was Pazos’ ninth MLB game. It was Cotham’s ninth MLB game as well. For Bailey, it was his only his sixth game since 2013.

Bailey was one strike away from getting out of the inning when he gave up Martin’s HR. The pitch before? Just missed. Ouch.

So three things have hurt them. 1) Starters not going deep enough into games. 2) The fact that with Eovaldi’s injury, Warren has had to go back into the rotation. That would have been a perfect spot for him. 3) No one has stepped up to fill those innings between when a pitcher leaves and the foursome of Shreve, Wilson, Betances and Miller can arrive. Capuano can’t be trusted there, and Girardi couldn’t use Shreve, Wilson, Betances or Miller that early in the game. Also, Shreve, Wilson, Betances and Miller are showing some signs of wearing down, and that goes back to the starters not giving enough length.

And all indications are that Hal will NOT be going after (and breaking the bank for) David Price this offseason.

Those extra three outs a starter can give you are huge. The Yanks need to get those.

Nova (L, 6-9, 4.87) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 walks and 6 K.
Pazos 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Cotham 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 5.40
Bailey 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K.   7.50
Mitchell 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 5.81.

Game 111. Lead down to 1/2 a game as Yanks lose in 16, 5-4.

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Due to the length of last night’s Yankees game, there will be no minor league report today.

The Yanks’ lead is basically gone. They lost their fourth straight game, and fifth in their last six games, 5-4 in 16 innings, in Cleveland last night.

Most of those losses have been excruciating. Three of the five losses were by one run, and another was 2-0.

They are now 61-50 and have just a 1/2 game lead in the AL East over the surging Toronto Blue Jays.

Even Baltimore (4 1/2 back) and Tampa Bay (5 out) are lurking.

Ironically, all fifteen home games won yesterday.

Luis Severino, the 21-year-old rookie, started slowly, giving up runs in the first and second innings to put the Yanks behind 2-0, but he went six innings and those were the only runs he gave up. Once again he pitched well and got no run support.

Stephen Drew hit a HR in the sixth (14) to cut the lead to 2-1, then Carlos Beltran homered (10) in the eighth to tie things up. It was Beltran’s 383rd career HR,  tying Larry Walker on the all-time list.

The Yanks scored two in the top of the tenth on a PH bases-loaded, two-out single by Chase Headley to go up 4-2. Game over, especially with Miller coming in, right?

Nope. Miller blew it. Cleveland scored two in the bottom of tenth to tie it up, then scored in the bottom of the sixteenth off of Brandon Pinder (the Yanks’ eighth pitcher of the night) to win it 5-4.

The Yanks struck out 16 times in the game and got just eight hits in those 16 innings—three by Didi Gregorius, who is now at .265.

The top four in the Yanks’ lineup, Ellsbury, Gardner, A-Rod and Teixeira, went 1 for 25 with nine strikeouts.

Ellsbury is in a bad slump, down to .260. McCann is down to .243.

Ouch.

This was excruciating, especially when you thought you had it going into the bottom of the tenth.

Severino 6 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 2.45
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.01
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.23
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38
Miller 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.08
Warren 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.34
Mitchell 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 walks and 5 K. 3.72
Pinder (L, 0-2, 3.12) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

In discussions with people about the Yanks making a move. After seeing Severino for two games, would you have traded him for a two-month rental? Too many are focused on the now and would deal someone for a two-month rental. Sorry, but it would have taken Severino to get someone really good. Do you want to trade someone who looks like they could be an ace for the next twelve years for a two-month rental? Put it this way. The Yanks came close in 1993. In 1993 would you have traded Jeter, Mo, Bernie, Pettitte or Posada for someone who you would hope put you over the top in 1993? To beat out the World Champ Blue Jays that year? We know what happened over the next 20 years because the Yanks held on to those players. Imagine if they did not. Imagine if Jeter went for a two-month rental and became DEREK JETER for another team. That is what I am against. Be patient. You need it with the young players. I would not give up a Severino, Judge, etc. for a quick fix. Some would. Not me.

Some say George would have done this or that. George also gave away some fine young players, and the team wasn’t good from 1989-1992 as a result. The Boss had his faults, you know, and patience was not one of his virtues. George is dead, and Hal isn’t his dad. I don’t know why people have a hard time coming to grips with that. It is a new regime, Hal does things a little differently. If it means being patient with young players (who are under team control and won’t cost as much) and not giving out bad contracts to fading players, I am all for that. I am all for building another core 4 (or more) and not trading them away, even if it means sacrificing this year to ensure success for the next fifteen.