Tag Archives: Benintendi

News and Notes.

To no one’s surprise, Aaron Judge was named as one of the three finalists for the AL MVP award. He is considered the favorite to win the award. I still get ticked by people pushing for Alvarez (it’s a regular season award, people!) or Ohtani (the Angels finished 33 games back. So, you are telling me that without him they are 45 back? Whoopdie damn do.).

The Contemporary Baseball Committee will be looking at 8 ex-players for the HOF. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. Five of the eight would be controversial selections because of steroids and/or personality issues, despite in some cases 3000+ hits, 500+ HR, 300+ wins. I won’t get into that. We know about all that. That leaves McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy. I believe McGriff, who is tied on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig with 493 HR (and no steroids) should have already been put in. I’d love Mattingly, but Mattingly’s 1994-1989 pre-back injury (HOF quality) and 1990-1995 post-back injury numbers (merely above average) are drastically different. If Donnie could have only stayed healthy and put up numbers 1990-1995 that matched his 1984-1989 numbers, then he would be a more serious candidate. Murphy I am on the fence on. A back-to-back MVP (1982 and 1983) that like Maris (1960 and 1961) isn’t in the HOF. Maybe a few more HR (he had 398) or a higher average (.265) would have given him a better shot. Once he turned 32, he wasn’t the same player. A few more seasons at his peak would have given him a better chance.

The Yanks have not only players as free agents, but coaches too. Pitching coach Matt Blake is a free agent. (GM Brian Cashman is coming back but as of now is working pro bono. His contract expired October 31 and no new deal has been done yet). Assistant pitching coach Hensley Meulens is gone to be hitting coach for Colorado.

As expected, the Yanks picked up the team option for Luis Severino at $15MM for 2023. Anthony Rizzo opted out of his contract and is a free agent. Here are the Yankees’ free agents and my thoughts.

Andrew Benintendi. Yanks will make an offer to try to keep him.

Zack Britton. Interesting call. With Chapman departing, Yanks could use a lefty reliever, but Britton will be 35 next year and missed almost all of 2022 after a poor 2021 and TJ surgery. Pass. Use $ for Judge.

Matt Carpenter. A tough call. Turns 37 around Thanksgiving. If Stanton is DH most of the time, where does that leave Carpenter? I think it depends on if Judge stays or goes. If Judge stays, pass. If Judge goes, then the Yanks may look to sign Carpenter and Stanton and Carpenter could switch between RF and DH.

Miguel Castro. Pass. The Yanks could probably replace him with Weissert at a lower cost (save $ for Judge). They already have Trivino, Marinaccio, King, Holmes, as RH relievers, as well as Schmidt and German if Schmidt and German aren’t starters. And Stephen Ridings should be over his injury issues that cost him 2022.

Aroldis Chapman. Pass. Goodbye and Good Riddance for missing that mandatory workout before the ALDS.

Marwin Gonzalez. Pass. Only hit .185 in 2022. Since 2019, has only hit .198. Oswaldo Cabrera can fill his utility role for less money. 34 next year. Like Britton, pass, go with youth and less $$. Save $ for Judge.

Chad Green. Pass. Will miss most if not all of 2023 because of TJ surgery. Instead of paying him will need to throw that $ at Judge.

Aaron Judge. Obviously the #1 Yankees target and priority.

Anthony Rizzo. The Yanks will look to retain him.

Jameson Taillon. Questionable. Even if the Yanks get Judge back, is there enough money left to go after a Carlos Rodon (my choice)? Would they give a low in years but high in $$ deal to Verlander, DeGrom or Kershaw? Could go either way here.

Of course, getting rid of the salaries of Donaldson and Hicks would help. As of now, the Yanks think both have something left (excuse me while I get sick), but of course they aren’t going to say anything that diminishes whatever trade value they have.









Notes from Boone/Cashman press conference




Since I’ve been out on disability for a while, I was able to watch the Boone/Cashman press conference yesterday. Here are a few takes from it.

Since everything revolves around Aaron Judge, they would like a deal sooner rather than later. Nothing would be as bad as being scorned and then having no backups to fall back on. Cashman denied any friction with Judge from this spring’s negotiations.

Neither thinks a drastic retool is necessary. They think the Yankees would have been far more competitive in the ALCS vs. Houston if LeMahieu, Benintendi and Carpenter were healthy. I can agree there. Judging by their comments about Benintendi’s and Carpenter’s injuries, it appears that they will be reaching out to both of them to see if they can get both back.

One thing that concerned me was their defense of Josh Donaldson. Now if anyone were on the trading block, neither Boone nor Cashman would be tipping their hand on that. But to state that Donaldson, 37 next month, underachieved offensively but still has something in the tank goes against everything we saw this year. He looked cooked. But with Donaldson’s contract being horrible, I guess they have to hope. They did think Donaldson deserved to be among the three Gold Glove finalists at 3B, though.

SS appears to be a competition next spring training. IKF could still be there but will be pushed by Peraza and possibly Volpe. Oswaldo Cabrera figures in here too. Peraza was described as impressive in his short 18 game stint at the end of the season. Other terms used for him was that he needed to improve and develop last year (done) hence not an earlier callup. Jack Curry, on the YES network, mentioned that IKF was a polarizing figure to the Yankees fanbase much as Sanchez was. Boone and Cashman were defending IKF at the presser, stating that IKF (as a bridge) did everything that was expected from him.

They would like Anthony Rizzo back. Rizzo will opt out of his $16MM deal, but the question is will he accept a qualifying offer of $19.65MM or go for more? Or accept more years at less than the qualifying offer? (2 yr/$18MM per). But the Yanks hope to work something out with him.

To no surprise, the Yanks WILL pick up Severino’s $15MM team option. One more rotation piece could be in play. It could be retaining Taillon (a free agent) or going elsewhere. After the front three of Cole, Cortes and Severino, there still is Schmidt, Montas and German even if Taillon goes, but you know what they say…. you NEVER have enough pitching.

The feeling is that Stanton was playing through something at the end of the year. I feel the same way. His batting average after June 1 was Gallo-like.

Cashman’s contract actually expired October 1. He wants to return, and Hal wants him back, so it is like Cashman is working pro bono as of now. But you figure something will be worked out soon there.

I wrote down notes haphazardly while the conferences were going on, but there is a quick synopsis for you.

UPDATE: One thing I didn’t like: From the NY Post: In other bits of info from Cashman’s press conference, he said he wouldn’t discuss trading players but noted that outfielder Aaron Hicks would be back and that the team felt he still had something to offer. Really? Ugh. But then, if he is on the market, they don’t want to say anything hurting Hicks’ trade value (which is probably low enough already).

Other things I came across:

A sad state of affairs. Graig Nettles states that the Yanks stopped inviting him to Old-Timer’s games and events some five years ago and he doesn’t know why. It’s a shame. Nettles should have a plaque in Monument Park (#9 is already retired for Roger Maris and I don’t think Nettles deserves that honor, but a plaque? Definitely). Apparently, someone in the front office has it in for Nettles, but who?

One tweet on Twitter accuses the Yanks of being more of a corporation than anything else, including a baseball organization. Looking at how they have the YES network, are involved with an Italian soccer team, have the Pinstripe Bowl, were in negotiations to play regular season games in France (and remember they played in England recently, also Japan) I have to wonder if that person is correct, and if so, that could be a scary thing. After all, I remember the CBS years, where the Yanks were not the priority of a corporation, but just part of it. You would like it to be 100% baseball. Does this explain the fan base’s exasperation with the owner and the front office? Or some of the postseason failures of recent times? After all, Hal is more corporate than the old man was as far as divesting his interests (or so it appears). And the last time the Yanks won, or even went to the WS, the old man was still alive (although much diminished in capacity). Hal’s track record does seem more corporate and bottom line than baseball oriented, and is that a problem and a cause of the postseason disappointments?

Finally, another Japanese player few have heard of to keep an eye on. Yesterday I mentioned RHP Koudai Senga.

Now, Masataka Yoshida. If the Yanks are not able to bring back Benintendi, Yoshida has many of the same skill sets as Benintendi. He is a lefty hitter. He turns 30 next July. He hit .336 with 21 HR and 89 RBI in Japan this season. His power would probably drop in the USA but then again, Benintendi only had five HR this season. Like Benintendi, a contact hitter. Benintendi had 52 walks and 77 strikeouts while hitting .304. Yoshida had 82 walks and only 42 strikeouts. Yoshida has hit .326 in Japan and has 427 walks to 307 strikeouts. He has had four seasons of 20 or more HR (which would be what here? 12-15?). If you take Yoshida’s career stats in Japan and divide by five, his average season in Japan comes out to something like .326-27-95 over 156 games. Taking into account the tougher MLB competition, could he hit .280-15-70 here? Be Benintendi-like for a cheaper price? Be a backup consideration if the Yanks can’t sign Benintendi? Just throwing his name out here because until recently, I hadn’t heard of Yoshida (or Senga) either. But most of us haven’t heard of these Japanese stars who could be MLB-bound. So just passing his name out there and informing you (and me).

Trevino, LeMahieu Gold Glove winners.

Jose Trevino and D.J. LeMahieu were named winners of the Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence yesterday. For catcher Trevino, it is his first. For LeMahieu, his fourth, but first in a newly created category for utility men.

Nominated for the award but losing out were Yankee P Jameson Taillon, 1B Anthony Rizzo and LF Andrew Benintendi. Why OF Aaron Judge, an excellent defender as well as slugger, wasn’t nominated, escapes me.

Trevino was also up for, but lost out on, the Roberto Clemente Award for community service. That was won by Justin Turner of the Dodgers.

A couple of guys with Yankees’ ties were interviewed for, but didn’t get, managerial positions. One was current Yankees’ bench coach Carlos Mendoza, another was former Yankees coach Joe Espada, and another was former Yankees 2B Miguel Cairo. Cairo took over as interim manager for the White Sox when 76-year-old Tony LaRussa’s health failed him and forced him to retire again. Instead, the White Sox went with Pedro Grifol and the Royals have chosen Matt Quataro. These follow Texas’ choice to bring Bruce Bochy out of retirement.

The Astros got hammered by the Phillies in Game 3 of the WS last night 7-0. The Phils hit five HR, and before one of them, Bryce Harper, who had homered, was giving advice to Alec Bohm, who then homered. Could Harper have seen something that Astro starter Lance McCullers, Jr. was tipping pitches? McCullers denies doing so of course, but you have to wonder.

The Phils took a two-games-to one lead in the Series, and the decisions of both managers regarding their rotations now are a factor. With the rainout, Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson (a former Yankees coach) switched off of Game 3 scheduled starter Noah Syndergaard to Ranger Suarez, keeping Aaron Nola on his regular rest for Game 4. Suarez rewarded the Phils with shutout pitching. Meanwhile, Astros’ manager Dusty Baker kept his rotation the same, starting McCullers, who got rocked, and instead of bringing back Justin Verlander for Game 4, appears to be sticking with Cristian Javier. Javier better come through, because if the Phils win Game 4 to go up three games to one, Philadelphia will REALLY be rocking for Game 5. Of course, Verlander has been surprisingly bad in WS play, going 0-6, 6.07. But you think sooner or later he’d pitch a good one, right? But the choice of whether to switch after the rainout (Thomson did) or not (Baker) could play a huge part as far as the Series is concerned.





ALCS Game 2. One bad pitch, couple of feet cost Yanks in 3-2 loss.

One bad pitch and a couple of feet cost the Yanks in a 3-2 loss to Houston last night. The Yanks are now down 0-2 in the best-of-7 ALCS.

There are certain things you can blame a manager for, and certain things you can’t. In some games, Aaron Boone’s bullpen management has been questionable, as have his lineups.

You can’t blame him for anything last night, though. Last night was just some bad luck. He also can’t swing the bat for some guys who aren’t putting the ball in play. 17 strikeouts in Game 1, 13 more in Game 2. Even some much needed and correct lineup changes didn’t work. The Yankees have played 16 postseason games against Houston, starting in 2015. They have scored 47 runs. Do the math. That is a little less than 3 runs per game. It seems like the Yanks keep losing to Houston 2-0, 4-0, 3-2, 4-2, 4-1, etc.

Harrison Bader, with his 4 postseason HR was moved to leadoff. He got a hit, drew a walk. Jose Trevino, 1 for 15, was benched for Kyle Higashioka. But Higashioka went 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. What can you do when NEITHER catcher hits?

Rookie Oswald Peraza started at SS. Peraza played a great defensive game, making a couple great plays, just missing out on a few more, and teaming up with Gleyber Torres for a remarkable DP. It already looks like Peraza will be next year’s starting SS. He looks that smooth. As long as he hits. At the plate last night, Peraza was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, however. With Peraza, it will be interesting to see what the Yanks do with Anthony Volpe. With Josh Donaldson turning 37 and showing signs of age, does someone like Volpe or Oswaldo Cabrera move to 3B? Of course, you have D.J. for 3B but I’m thinking long-term.

Boone can’t do anything about the injuries. It is very apparent that the losses of D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi have hurt the Yanks considerably. Both are contact hitters. Neither strikeout much. 30 strikeouts in two games. Ugh. Put the ball in play. You never know. It might fall in (See Cleveland last series) or someone could make an error—-which is how the Yanks scored their two runs last night.

Who would have thought in a postseason game that the Yanks would be forced to start two rookies?

Anyway, two things about roster construction for the playoffs. Here is where the Yanks could be held at fault a little. Once again, nothing you can do about injuries. Besides D.J. and Benintendi, the losses of bullpen stalwarts King, Green, Marinaccio and Effross hurt as well (we won’t discuss malcontent Chapman). But you have to go with and put HEALTHY people on the roster. It’s apparent Matt Carpenter isn’t ready. Cheers to him for trying. But he had no minor league rehab games to help him work his way back. He is 0 for 7 in the postseason and all 7 at bats are strikeouts. It is apparent he should not be on the team. But if not him, who? D.J. is hurt (and there was thought about having him on the roster. I think the results would be the same as with Carpenter. The rust and injury would limit him the same way and hurt the team the same way Carpenter is hurting them now). Benintendi is hurt. Hicks, who didn’t contribute much anyway, is hurt. You could have kept Gonzalez on the team for this round, but he wasn’t doing much even though healthy.

Secondly, and here is where the Yanks are at fault a little, although bullpen injuries have played a part as far as this year goes. Don’t force guys into situations they are not comfortable with. Bullpen guys are bullpen guys. Starters are starters. Putting a starter in the bullpen for the playoffs usually backfires. There are exceptions, but too often I see it backfire. Montas HR in Game 1. Schmidt, not a closer but a spot starter/middle relief guy, closing. J.A. Happ coming out of the bullpen to blow games in 2019 and 2020 (remember the Deivi Garcia as opener game?). Jack McDowell coming out of the bullpen in 1995. Heck, Jeff Weaver in 2003. Learn from history. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Taking your #5 starter (granted, McDowell was higher than #5) and throwing him into the bullpen for the postseason usually backfires.

To the game. How many times this season have we seen the Yankees’ pitchers give up runs when they are ONE STRIKE away from getting out of an inning? Two out, two strikes and Boom. Gives up runs. In the bottom of the third, that is what happened to Luis Severino. I am a little concerned about Severino in the postseason, because in 11 postseason games, Sevy is 1-4, 5.15. Great stuff, but his postseason numbers aren’t too good. He was good last night except for that one pitch, which was with two outs and two strikes and hit for a 3-run HR.

The Yanks came back with two runs in the top of the fourth, helped by an error. Aaron Judge singled, and a double error (fielding and throwing) on a ball hit back to Astro’s pitcher Framber Valdez put runners on second and third with no one out. Anthony Rizzo moved the runners up, scoring Judge with a groundout. An infield single by Torres scored Stanton.

In the top of the eighth, the Yanks came oh-so-close. Harrison Bader walked with one out. Judge hit a ball deep to right field that was caught at the top of the fence. Three feet or so higher and it would have been a two-run HR that would have given the Yanks a 4-3 lead and possibly a victory. Yankee Stadium is the only park in which it WOULD have been a HR. Houston rarely plays with the roof open. It was open and there was a significant wind that may have held the ball up. The Yanks got unlucky.

Only 4 hits. 13 strikeouts. Put the ball in play.

Severino (LOSS) 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Peralta 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Gold Glove nominations came out yesterday, with three nominations for each position plus one for utility players. Five Yankees got nominations: Taillon, Trevino, Rizzo, Benintendi (KC/NYY) and LeMahieu. Lemahieu’s was for the utility category. Two that should have gotten nominations but didn’t were Donaldson and Judge.

ALDS Game 5. Yanks advance to ALCS with 5-1 win.

For the fifth time since they last went to the World Series in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and now 2022), the Yankees are in the ALCS. For the third time in six years, their opponent will be the Houston Astros (the Yanks lost to Texas in 2010 and lost to Detroit in 2012. 2012 was when Jeter broke his ankle).

Of course, Yankees fans are hoping for a different outcome this time around. There won’t be any rest after beating Cleveland 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday. Game 1 of the ALCS is in Houston tonight. Not only that, but the only off-day in the ALCS is between Game 2 and 3. There isn’t one between Game 5 and 6 (if it gets that far). We’ll get into that in a bit.

The Yankees are 28-2 in games in which both Aaron Judge and Gaincarlo Stanton homer. That includes yesterday’s game.

The Yanks jumped out right away to a 3-0 lead, putting the pressure on the Guardians right away and getting the crowd right into the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and after Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Stanton then hit a 3-run HR.

Judge homered in the second to make it 4-0. Say what you will, since Judge was 4 for 20 in the series with 2 HR and a ton of strikeouts, but he has homered in four separate do-or-die postseason games.

Nasty Nestor Cortes was fabulous on 3 days’ rest. He went five innings, giving up only one run, and Cleveland should not have received that. I don’t know what it was in this series with Cleveland hitting balls into short LF that the LF, 3B or SS couldn’t catch. With one out and a man on first in the top of the third, Steven Kwan (yes, him again) hit a ball to short LF that Oswaldo Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks all converged on, with Cabrera calling for it. Cabrera collided with Hicks and the ball fell in for a single. Hicks had to be removed from the game with an injury that ends his season. We will have to see who replaces him on the postseason roster. Candidates are Oswald Peraza (since the Yanks benched SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Games 4 and 5), D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi.

Another candidate for the ALCS roster is Ron Marinaccio, who declared his sore shin ok to go.

Anyway, a walk loaded the bases after Kwan’s single, and a SF cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-1 before Cortes got out of the inning.

The Yanks scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Torres walked and stole second. Judge struck out, but Rizzo singled to make it 5-1.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 3-run HR.

Cortes (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Pitched in all five ALDS games.

The LCS will have a pitching problem for the Yanks. Down 2 games to 1 in the ALDS, the Yanks had to use their two best pitchers, Cole and Cortes, in Games 4 and 5 in order to advance, so Cole and Cortes won’t be available until Games 3 and 4. Jameson Taillon starts Game 1 tonight. He and Luis Severino are going to have to step up big-time. Here is how I see the rotation for the ALCS shaking out.

Game 1, Oct. 19 (tonight) Taillon (hasn’t pitched much recently)
Game 2 Oct 20 Severino
OCT 21 OFF DAY
Game 3 Oct 22 Cole (five days rest)
Game 4 Oct 23 Cortes
Game 5 Oct 24 if necessary Taillon
Game 6 Oct 25 if necessary Severino
Game 7 Oct 26 if necessary, Cole on three days’ rest.
Could Cortes give an inning or two on 2-days rest?

For the first time in MLB history, an LDS and LCS game were played on the same day. Shortly after the Yanks and Cleveland wrapped up an LDS, the Phillies and Padres opened the NLCS with the Phillies winning Game 1 2-0 behind HR by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. There were only four hits in the game. 3 by the Phillies and only one by the Padres.

ALDS Game 2. Yanks fall in 10, 4-2.

I have a couple of different theories to go over, but bear with me, read, and see if you agree, while we go over yesterday’s 4-2, 10-inning Yankees loss to Cleveland in Game 2 of the ALDS. The series is now tied at a game apiece.

The first is that baseball messed up. The byes were supposed to HELP the teams with the best records in the league. Only, except for Houston (up 2-0 on Seattle), they seen to have hurt. The defending WS Champ Braves are down 2-1 to the Phillies. The 111-win Dodgers are down 2-1 to the Padres. The Yanks are even against Cleveland.

Baseball isn’t a two or three times a week sport like hockey or basketball are. It isn’t a once-a-week sport like football. It’s a DAILY sport, with occasional off days for travel. Playing 19 games in 21 days is normal. As a result, you develop a rhythm, a flow.

The byes, with teams getting a few days off to see who they face, seem to have hurt, not help teams. They are out of that flow, that rhythm. The Dodgers are 0 for 20 or something like that w/RISP in their series. Aaron Judge (who I’ll discuss a bit more on later) is 0 for 8 with 7 strikeouts. It’s one thing to keep having batting practice to try to stay sharp, another to actually face live pitching. Relievers, used to pitching a few times a week, now are rusty after that bye. Nothing replaces game action. You can try to simulate it, but there is no replacement. As a result, these higher seeded teams are having trouble. Just my observation.

Judge was booed after a strikeout. Some gratitude for a 62-homer season. These fans DO realize that Judge is a free agent after the season, don’t they? That if the Yanks lose two in a row to Cleveland that yesterday COULD be the last time you see Judge in pinstripes? Ridiculous. Besides the layoff, could the HR pressure have messed Judge up? After all, Roger Maris went 2 for 19 in the 1961 WS. Granted, one hit was a 9th-inning HR that won Game 3, but you get the point. And of course, Maris from 1962-1966 was booed for his achievement. Don’t repeat that, Yankees fans.

Cleveland, and their future HOF manager, Terry Francona, must know something about Judge. Judge was 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts against Cleveland in the 2017 ALDS–after a 52 HR season that year.

But hey, you never know. Judge could snap out of it by going 5 for 7 in the next two games with a couple of walks and 2 or 3 HR.

The Yanks got two runs in the first inning yesterday, but nothing thereafter. Giancarlo Stanton (who has had great postseasons) hit a 2-run HR. The HR came after what Stanton, and everyone else, thought was ball four. It was a terrible call by the ump, but Stanton hit the next pitch out. The home plate ump was terrible yesterday.

Some elements of luck didn’t go the Yanks’ way. In the third, with two out and men on second and third, Josh Donaldson hit a liner that Guardians’ LF Steven Kwan made a shoestring catch on. Josh just missed driving in a run or two. In the eighth, with two out and the bases loaded, a liner by Kyle Higashioka went right to the third baseman. You hit it hard. You (usually) can’t direct. Sometimes you don’t hit it hard, but you get lucky. That is what happened for Cleveland. We’ll get to that.

Nestor Cortes gave up a run in the fourth after starting the inning with two outs. It could have been worse, but with the bases loaded, Cortes made a sensational stop of a comebacker to get the final out.

Cortes gave up a game-tying HR to Amed Rosario in the fifth.

Manager Aaron Boone brought in Jameson Taillon for the tenth. I would have brought in Clarke Schmidt instead. Starters aren’t used to coming out of the bullpen, unless it’s say, Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen to face the Yankees (1995 and 2001). My recollections of starters being used in relief in playoff games are that the starter fails. I am thinking Jack McDowell for the Yankees in 1995, and the Royals’ Dennis Leonard against the Yankees in 1977.

Taillon ran into tough luck. A blooper into LF that Oswaldo Cabrera just missed making a sliding catch on went for a double, but Josh Donaldson’s throw to second was bad and Jose Ramirez wound up at third. With a man on third and no one out, the infield came in. A blooper over the drawn-in infield scored Ramirez. Harrison Bader appeared to misplay a hard-hit ball and a double scored an insurance run. Maybe Bader doesn’t catch it anyway, but …

I didn’t understand why, with a man on and down to their final out, that Boone let Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit in the bottom of the tenth. Granted IKF had two hits in the game. Granted also that Marwin Gonzalez had a bad year, hitting just .185, but Gonzalez is a switch-hitter and could have taken aim at the short porch to tie the game. IKF is a right-handed hitter. Also, Gonzalez had 6 HR in 184 at bats. IKF had 4 HR in 483 at bats, and until mid-August didn’t have any HR. Why not roll the dice there, Boone?

Anyway, there is a short recap of the game, but a lot of observations. Maybe I am accurate in my observations, maybe not. But the Yanks now need Severino and Cole to step up with masterful outings. Also, for Judge to be JUDGE.

One final observation. This is not a knock on rookie Oswaldo Cabrera, who has struggled at the plate in these first two games. But Andrew Benintendi this year vs. Cleveland hit .441 (15 for 34) with a HR and 8 RBI. He is missed.

The Yanks struck out 15x yesterday.

Torres 2 hits.
Stanton 2-ruun HR.
Kiner-Falefa 2 hits.

Cortes 5 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 23 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holmes 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Taillon (LOSS) 0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Schmidt 1 IP, 0R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.


Game 156. No #62 yet, and Yanks lose, 2-1.

Aaron Judge will have to wait for HR #62, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks in the Yankees’ (96-60) 2-1 loss to Baltimore Friday night.

Judge is at .314, about 7/10th of a point behind Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.315) as Judge also goes for a Triple Crown.

A couple of mistakes, lack of control, no run support and a lot of rust hurt the Yanks in the loss.

In the first inning, Baltimore scored on a walk, a SB, a throwing error on Jose Trevino on the SB that allowed Cedric Mullins of Baltimore to go to third, and an RBI single. I thought Gleyber Torres should have caught or at least knocked down Trevino’s throw, but it is what it is.

The Yanks only got four hits in the game, struck out 13x, and their only run came on a HR by Oswaldo Cabrera (5) in the bottom of the fifth. No way does Cabrera not make the postseason roster. Even if D.J. LeMahieu, Andrew Benintendi or Matt Carpenter do get over their injuries and make it.

As for someone else, I’ll get to that in a bit.

Domingo German was the tough luck loser in this game, having pitched well, but getting no run support save for Cabrera’s HR.

In the top of the sixth, German walked the first two hitters before getting a groundout that moved the runners up. He was then relieved by Zack Britton.

Britton is just coming off of TJ surgery and it is said that control is the last thing to return. Britton walked a batter before throwing a WP that enabled the deciding run in the game to score. He was then removed with a tired arm. Nice try in coming back and hoping to make the postseason roster. It is obvious that Britton isn’t ready yet.

It will be interesting to see if Matt Carpenter, now taking batting practice, can get a couple of games in before the postseason, and if he can make the postseason roster, because if Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton, and making over $30MM a year, then based on performance alone, Stanton should NOT be on the postseason roster. Stanton is hitting .140 since coming off the IL, and .156 since June 1. If the Yanks had guts (and it would be a highly controversial move), if Carpenter is ok, they put Carpenter on the postseason roster and DH him and leave Stanton off of it. It won’t happen, though. But the Yanks are racing against the clock to get Stanton straightened out. I fear Stanton will kill the Yanks in the playoffs. He’s been THAT awful. Gallo-like awful. If Stanton is on the postseason roster, as expected, then PLEASE Aaron Boone, drop him in the lineup. To Seventh. Maybe even Eighth like Joe Torre did with A-Rod in 2006. You can’t just keep putting him 4 or 5.

But then, Boone had Gallo hitting cleanup in last year’s wildcard game loss at Boston. Sigh. Don’t make the same mistake, Boonie.

LeMahieu came off the IL for the game. Locastro taken off the roster. LeMahieu went 0 for 3 and we will see if D.J. is good enough to be on the postseason roster or not. Soon, we see about Benintendi, too.

Feelings be damned. If someone isn’t ready or deserves to be on the postseason roster, then leave him off. You can’t mess around come playoff time.

Today’s game may be delayed or postponed. The weather forecast calls for rain in NYC.

Cabrera 2 hits, solo HR (5)

German (L, 2-4) 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. 3.31 Tough loss.
Britton 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 WP. 13.50 Rusty. Not ready. Go home and heal up more.
Marinaccio 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K. 2.09
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.11
Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.59 (Cubs/NYY)

Boone also revealed postgame that right-handed reliever Clay Holmes received a cortisone injection for inflammation in his right rotator cuff and likely won’t pitch again until the American League Division Series starts Oct. 11. We will have to see how he is. Meanwhile, Wandy Peralta should be off the IL by then, and Miguel Castro and Albert Abreu have finished rehab. The Yanks will have a LOT of interesting decisions to make regarding the postseason roster.












Game 151. Yanks hit 3 HR (none by Judge) in 7-5 win over Boston. Magic #3 for AL East crown.

The Yankees (83-58) reduced their magic # for winning the AL East to 3 with a 7-5 win over Boston on Saturday.

While they hit 3 HR, none were by Aaron Judge, who is stuck on 60 as he tries to tie and surpass Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61.

Judge went 0 for 3 with a walk and fell one point behind Boston’s Xander Bogaerts in the batting race, .315 to .314. Luis Arraez of the Twins is at .313. Since Judge is way ahead in HR and RBI, he also could be a Triple Crown winner as well.

The Yanks got on the board first when Gleyber Torres homered (24) in the bottom of the first inning. 1-0, Yankees.

Domingo German had a shaky second inning though, giving up 2 HR and 3 runs as Boston took a 3-1 lead.

The Yanks got a run back in the bottom of the second. With one out, Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader both walked. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in Cabrera, Bader out at third.

The Yanks went up 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run HR by Cabrera (4). Now this will be interesting in the offseason. Andrew Benintendi is a free agent, and currently on the IL with a broken hand. Do the Yankees try to sign Benintendi or do they feel confident in having the 23-year-old rookie Cabrera as their starting LF in 2023?

In the fifth inning, the Yanks upped their lead to 5-3. Kyle Higashioka led off with a single and Judge walked. A flyout moved Higashioka to third. One out later, Josh Donaldson’s infield single brought home Higashioka. 5-3, Yankees.

After a year away because of Tommy John surgery, Zack Britton returned to the mound but was ineffective, as Boston cut the Yanks lead to 5-4 in the sixth when Britton walked in a run. Lou Trivino came in with the bases loaded and one out and made sure that was all the Red Sox got.

But Boston tied it up in the seventh off of Trivino and Lucas Luetge, who with two out, couldn’t slam the door before Boston tied the game.

Anthony Rizzo hit a 2-run HR (32) in the bottom of the seventh that wound up deciding the game. 7-5 Yankees.

Rizzo 2-run HR (32)
Torres 2 hits, solo HR (24)
Cabrera 2-run HR (4)

German 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.30 One rough inning.
Britton (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 27.00 First appearance of season.
Trivino (H, 4) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.86 (A’s/NYY ERA)
Luetge (W, 4-4; BS, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.78
Schmidt (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.40
Effross (S, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.70 (Cubs/NYY ERA)





Game 134. Yanks hold on for 2-1 win. Judge (Who else? 53rd HR) leads way. Benintendi needs surgery.

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.

Game recap.

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

Game 133. Rays 2, Judge 1 (52nd HR), rest of team 0. Lead down to 4.

The Yankees (79-54) got three hits last night. Two by Aaron Judge. They got one run, on Judge’s 52nd HR of the season (matching his career high from 2017). The rest of the team did nothing except for a Giancarlo Stanton single.

The Yanks lost to Tampa Bay, 2-1. The AL East lead is down to 4. The pitching has been ok during this collapse. The hitting except for Judge has gone ice cold.

On Twitter, there is a video of a Yankees fan, and it could be me, you, anyone of us, watching Judges’ 9th inning HR on TV, and screaming “HELP HIM OUT, GUYS! HE CAN’T DO IT ALONE! HELP HIM OUT!”

Precisely.

The Rays got two in the third. A single, single and sac bunt put runners on second and third. A ball hit back at Yankees’ starter Clarke Schmidt. If he can field it, maybe he gets out of the inning with no runs allowed. Instead, it ricocheted off him, went into right field for a single, and both runners scored. When things go bad, you aren’t getting any breaks. Just like the night before, when Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s drive hit the very top of the fence. 4 inches higher and it is a HR. All luck is against the Yanks right now.

In the seventh, the Yanks nailed a runner on the bases, Cabrera to Torres. Cabrera has played what, 10 games? And he has what, 3 outfield assists?

Judge hit his HR in the ninth, and that avoided a second straight shutout. He was leading off the inning.

Judge 2 hits, Solo HR (52)

Schmidt (L, 5-4) 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. 3.02
Trivino 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 4.87 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Marinaccio 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.82
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.03

The pitching hasn’t been bad. It’s the hitting. The pitchers are under so much pressure right now, probably feeling that they have no margin for error.

Before the game, Andrew Benintendi went on the 15-day IL, Estevan Florial called up. Anthony Banda DFA’d, Ryan Weber called up.

There isn’t much more to say, except …

“HELP HIM OUT, GUYS! HE CAN’T DO IT ALONE! HELP HIM OUT!”