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The Yankees (80-54) got one heck of a scare, and perhaps a break, in the bottom of the ninth, but they held on to defeat Tampa Bay, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon.
Of course, they were led by Aaron Judge, who factored into both runs the Yanks scored.
Judge hit the second pitch of the game for his 53rd HR of the season. The 450 ft. blast set a new season high for him, passing the 52 he had in his ROY season of 2017. It also was his 115th RBI of the year, also passing his 2017 total of 114.
Judge had three of the Yankees’ six hits in the game.
In the top of the seventh, Judge doubled, and on a ball hit to short, went to third. Usually, you do NOT do that. But Judge beat the throw to third. It’s a risky play, but with the Yanks’ offense in a funk, he decided that he needed to be aggressive. It probably won the game for the Yankees. Judge then scored on a SF by Oswaldo Cabrera. The way the inning played out, if Judge did not go to third on that play, he would not have been driven in. It turned out to be the deciding run.
Meanwhile, four Yankees’ pitchers combined to shut Tampa Bay out into the ninth. Then Clay Holmes came in and things got hairy. He gave up a leadoff double. A liner to right moved the runner to third. A single made it 2-1. A liner to CF (nice range by defensive replacement Estevan Florial) for out #2. Then a double, but the potential tying run was held up at third. Then Holmes went to 3-2 on Yandy Diaz. Holmes got a called strike three call on a pitch Diaz and the Rays thought was low. Watching on TV, I thought the Yanks caught a break, for I thought it was ball four myself. Makes up for all those low strikes called on Judge.
So, the Yanks lead over Tampa Bay is five, and it’s six over Toronto. The Yanks’ magic number to clinch the AL East is 25. 28 games to go.
But some other Yankees’ related news:
Andrew Benintendi needs surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He had problems with it before and it was removed, but either not all of it was removed or some bone grew back. The hook detached from this bone. This was the injury from the other night. At least it was caught early, due to advances in medical technology. In 1965, this was misdiagnosed for Roger Maris, and even though Maris eventually had surgery, he was never the same again and lost power in that hand.
The great Albert Pujols, retiring after this season, hit his 695th career HR yesterday, placing him 1 behind Alex Rodriguez for fourth place on the all-time HR list. Barry Bonds had 762* (asterisk intended), Henry Aaron had 755, Babe Ruth 714 and Rodriguez 696*. We will see if Pujols catches Alex and if he can even get #700 before he retires.
Judge 3 hits, Solo HR (53)
Montas (W, 5-11) 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 7 K. 1 WP. 3.79 (combined A’s/NYY stats)
Trivino (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.76 (Combined A’s/NYY stat)
Marinaccio (H, 5) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1.80
Loaisiga (H, 9) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 4.79
Holmes (S, 18) 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.42
The Yanks (53-48) got crushed by Tampa Bay 14-0, and only got four hits in the game. Gerrit Cole almost gave up a HR on his first pitch of the game (just foul) but the first four batters he faced were single, walk, single for a run, 3-run HR. Four batters in, down 4-0. Cole settled down until the sixth, when Tampa Bay got 10 runs off of him and reliever Albert Abreu. Abreu faced six batters, got no one out, gave up 4 hits (3 homers) and 2 walks. Ugh. Got to worry a bit about Cole. ERA once under 2.00 is now over 3.00. Still good, but he's been slumping lately. Cole (L, 10-6) 5 1/3 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 10 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.11. Abreu 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 3 HR. 5.65 Romano 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.70 (Combined Cincy/NYY; 2nd Yankee game) Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.81 (Combined Pitt/NYY; Yankees debut) The deal for Joey Gallo went through. The Yanks get Gallo (29 y.o) from Texas for 4 minor leaguers. This year .223-25-55, leads MLB with 74 walks. OPS+ 138. The good: 2x All Star. Gold Glove. 40 or more HR in 2017 and 2018. Much needed lefty bat. Bad news: Strikes out a lot. 207 times in 2018. Low batting average. 162 g. average: .211-41-90; OPS+ 116. With Judge, Stanton, and Gallo, the Yanks have three guys who have had seasons of 40 or more HR, but also 200 strikeouts. Throw in Rougned Odor, who has topped 30 HR 3x, but struck out 178 times in 2019. You have the potential for a lot of homers, but oy, those strikeouts! Gallo will most likely play LF. He can play all three OF positions, 1B and 3B. He is under contract through 2022. This may mean that once healthy, Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar could both be trade bait. Gallo wore #13 in Texas. The last Yankee to wear #13 was A-Rod. It hasn't been retired. Does Gallo get #13? The Yanks also get LHP Joely Rodriguez in the deal. 1-3, 5.93 (ERA+ 76) this season. 2-5, 5.05 (ERA+ 88) for his career in 81 games. The Yanks give up: RHP Glenn Otto RHP, 25. 7-3, 3.33 between AA/AAA this season. Minor league career: 14-7, 3.07 2B/SS Ezequiel Duran, 22. .290-12-48, 12 SB at High A Hudson Valley this season. LF/2B Trevor Hauver, 22. .288-9-49 for Low A Tampa this year. INF Josh Smith 24 in a week. .324-9-24, 17 SB between low and High A this season. You got to give to get. The Yanks did give up 4 promising players. But also these four were in the Yanks top 30 prospects, none were in the top 13. Otto #28, Duran #15, Smith #14 and Hauver #23.
It’s awards season for MLB, and the final awards for MVP go out tonight. AL MVP is the only one in which a Yankee may win, since D.J. LeMahieu has been announced as one of the top three finalists.
If LeMahieu does win, he will be the first Yankee to win the MVP since A-Rod* in 2007.
Other award winners:
NL Rookie of the Year: Devin Williams, Milwaukee relief pitcher
AL Rookie of the Year: Kyle Lewis, Seattle CF
NL Manager of the Year: Yankees Legend Don Mattingly, Miami.
AL Manager of the Year: Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash
NL Cy Young Award: Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati (currently a free agent)
AL Cy Young Award: Shane Bieber, Cleveland.
The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole finished 4th for the AL CYA.
S.T. Game 14. Cessa makes statement in Yanks’ 6-1 win. Tanaka named Opening Day Starter. A-Rod engaged to J-Lo.
On a day when Masahiro Tanaka was named the Opening Day Starter, Luis Cessa made a statement about who should fill in while Luis Severino and CC Sabathia are on the shelf.
Cessa pitched four great innings (granted, against Baltimore) in the Yanks’ 6-1 win over the Orioles last night. The win puts the Yanks’ spring training record at 7-6-1.
Paxton and Happ will follow Tanaka, in that order.
Getting back to the game.
C Gary Sanchez drove in 2 runs.
Tyler Wade, who’ll probably stick as a utility man, had a double. Clint Frazier, probably AAA bound to get regular at bats (especially since most of 2018 was lost due to the concussion issues) went 0 for 4.
Greg Bird, fighting it out with Luke Voit for the 1B job only one will win, went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Billy Burns had a double, RBI and 2 SB. Angel Aguilar went 1 for 1 with an RBI, as the lineup was very prospect-heavy.
Cessa 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K.
Tarpley (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Don’t count him out for a spot.
Abreu 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 1 K.
Diehl 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Harvey 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up HR.
In other news, Yankee-related, ex-Yankee Alex Rodriguez and singer/dancer Jennifer Lopez announced their engagement.
Ok, let’s put some pieces of a puzzle together. Even though the Yanks say that Manny Machado has some explaining to do about his actions and statements in this year’s postseason, the Yanks are still meeting with him tomorrow. Obviously, with Didi out half the season, the Yanks could go with Machado at SS until Didi returns.
What they then do with Miguel Andujar is anybody’s guess. (Trade for a top-notch pitcher? A top-notch 1B if Voit/Bird don’t cut it? Move Andujar to another position? 1B? LF? But of LF, what of Clint Frazier? You get the drift).
But here is the rub. A-Rod, Machado’s idol, is a special advisor to the Yankees. Machado has made it clear he’d love to play in NY (in the case above, regarding Machado’s offseason, some columnists have suggested that maybe Machado needs to sell himself to the Yankees and not the other way around). #13, A-Rod’s number, hasn’t been retired, and wouldn’t Machado like to follow A-Rod by wearing the number Machado wore in Baltimore? (#8, which Machado wore for the Dodgers, is retired by the Yankees for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey).
Now today, the day before the Yanks meet with Machado, the Yanks announce that they have hired Carlos Beltran as an advisor to GM Brian Cashman. It just so happens that Beltran’s former agent happens to be Machado’s current agent. Now Machado’s brother-in-law, Alonso, was just traded from Cleveland to the White Sox, and blood may be thicker than water, but with A-Rod and Beltran both now special advisors in the Yanks’ front office, maybe that water is getting mighty thick.
Me? Here is my guess: that Machado does wind up a Yankee (with Harper going to the Phillies). Which could give a lineup of Gardner, Judge, Machado, Stanton, Hicks, Sanchez, Andujar, Voit/Bird and Torres come opening day.
Should Clint Frazier make the team (I doubt it, unless the Yanks can dump Ellsbury—keeping Ellsbury means AAA for Frazier—no room) maybe against lefties Hicks leads off, everyone below Hicks moves up a notch and Frazier bats ninth.
But an interesting move in Beltran (who by the way, interviewed for the Yanks’ managerial job last year….possible managerial material?) being hired by the Yanks the day before the Machado meeting.
Just trying to read the tea leaves here.
Hal Steinbrenner will probably not be at the meeting with Machado. After all, his mom just passed away.
But I keep thinking of Machado as another A-Rod. All that talent, but all that baggage that may be coming with it.
Adrian Beltre announced his retirement from baseball today, and will most likely be a first ballot HOF in 2024.
Beltre, listed on baseball-reference.com as the 4th greatest 3B ever (behind Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews and Wade Boggs, and ahead of George Brett, Chipper Jones, Ron Santo and Brooks Robinson) finishes his career with 3166 hits (16th on the all-time list) and 477 HR (30th). He was a 4x All-Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, and 2x Platinum Glove winner. Six times he finished in the top 10 for MVP voting, including a runnerup finish in 2004 and a 3rd place finish in 2012. He played for the Dodgers 1998-2004, Seattle 2005-2009, Boston 2010, and Texas 2011-2018. My guess is he goes into the HOF as a Ranger. His 162 game average was .286-26-94, OPS+ 116. In 28 postseason games, he hit .261-5-11.
A passing. Ken Howell, who pitched in the majors from 1984-1990, passed away November 9 at the age of 57. He pitched for the Dodgers 1984-1988 and the Phillies 1989-1990. His best season was in 1989 for the Phils, when he went 12-12, 3.44, ERA+ 103. He went 38-48, 3.95, ERA+ 92 in his MLB career, 162 game average 9-11, 3.95, ERA+ 92. He got into one postseason game with the Dodgers in 1985 against the Cardinals in the NLCS.
I’ve seen some news about the Yankees and Manny Machado that make me laugh and want to shake my head.
First off, Reggie Jackson is raising some concerns about the statements Machado made that he isn’t “Johnny Hustle”. Now I do agree that Reggie has the right to question Machado’s remarks, and mentioned that a lack of hustle wouldn’t play in NY. But lest we forget June 18, 1977, when REGGIE’S lack of hustle after a bloop single made Billy Martin pull him from a game in Fenway and which almost caused a brawl between Billy and Reggie in the dugout? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Also, A-Rod apparently is calling Machado a “fine young man.” So a guy who was suspended from baseball for an entire year due to steroid usage is being a character witness for Machado? (Shaking my head).
In a game that ended around 3:30 AM Eastern Time, the Dodgers won the longest WS game in history, 3-2 in 18 innings, on a Max Muncy walkoff HR off of Nathan Eovaldi to avoid an 0-3 deficit in games. Boston leads two games to one.
With the game going so long, teams will have to decide who starts Game 4 (see below), and players could be exhausted. Eovaldi threw 97 pitches of relief in Game 3.
Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers in the third to put them up 1-0.
In the sixth, Manny Machado hit what he thought was a HR, showboated, and wound up with a long single instead of a double. So far this postseason, there is a lot NOT to like about a team potentially signing him as a free agent. So much talent, too many headaches. If the Yanks sign him, could they be getting another A-Rod, another person with so much talent and so many headaches?
Funny how Manny adores A-Rod, A-Rod is pushing for Machado and A-Rod despite his TV connections, is still a Yankees’ advisor. You wonder if A-Rod will bring Machado, and all his talent, but also all his problems, to the Bronx.
A-Rod redux. And just like A-Rod, a guy who wants to play one position, but is forced into another (although, with Didi’s injury, Machado may get to play the position he desires, at least temporarily, but then what? Where does Andujar go if Machado does wind up a Yankee?)
Dodgers’ starter Walker Buehler was brilliant.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Jackie Bradley tied it with a HR off of Kenley Jansen.
Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers pulled a rock, getting picked off of first in the bottom of the ninth. In the top of the tenth, he made up for it by throwing out a runner at the plate for an inning-ending DP.
Boston scored in the top of the 13th, but left the bases loaded. LA came back to tie it up with two out in the bottom of the 13th on an error, setting the stage for Muncy’s walkoff HR in the bottom of the 18th. Muncy had just missed winning it with a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 15th, as his long drive was just foul.
Wood the winner, Eovaldi the loser. As the NY Post’s Joel Sherman reports, the Dodgers didn’t use Rich Hill, and have him to start Game 4, but Boston used Price in relief, used up Eovaldi, and didn’t even use Drew Pomeranz who now may be forced to start Game 4. Who starts?
The Hank Aaron awards for league’s best hitters went to Christian Yelich of the Brewers and Boston’s J.D. Martinez.
And if you want a good chuckle, agent Scott Bora$$ says that Jacoby Ellsbury will be ready to go for the Yanks in 2019 spring training. What else did you expect Bora$$ to say? The guy is great at fleecing owners.