Tag Archives: Betts

Game 103. Pitching woes continue in Yanks’ 10-5 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

For the third straight time, James Paxton gave up a HR to the leadoff hitter.

And this time, that leadoff hitter then proceeded to go deep two MORE times against Paxton.

Mookie Betts hit three HR, all in the FIRST FOUR INNINGS, off of Paxton, to lead Boston to a 10-5 win over the (66-37) Yankees Friday night.

The loss cuts the Yanks’ lead to 8 1/2 over Tampa Bay and 9 over Boston.

Paxton has struggled, while targets like Patrick Corbin, Gio Gonzalez, and Dallas Keuchel are doing Ok elsewhere. Three guys the Yanks could have had (they had Gio, but he opted out when there was no room in the rotation for him).

Also disheartening is when guys like Paxton or Sonny Gray have success elsewhere (and what do you think Gray would tell his former Vanderbilt teammate, Mike Minor of Texas, a trade target, about NY?) come to NY and don’t do well. In Gray’s case, now that he is out of NY, he’s doing well again. You could put J.A. Happ in that category for this year, but to be fair, Happ did pitch well last year for the Yanks before the playoff outing.

Another disheartening thing is not having some players, like Michael Pineda or Nathan Eovaldi, realize their potential while in pinstripes.

You may say, that some guys can’t pitch in NY. True. But when it happens over and over and over again, that pitchers good elsewhere come to NY and have difficulties, when do you start looking at the pitching coach, and not just blame it on NY?

Remember that Larry Rothschild was inherited by Aaron Boone. Boone picked some, not all, of his coaching staff. He inherited the pitching part, Rothschild and bullpen coach Mike Harkey.

If the Yanks don’t turn this abysmal week by the starting pitchers around, they not only could blow their lead (Boston worries me more than Tampa Bay, because the Rays have now lost Snell for a month) and if so, could Rothschild be on the hot seat? The next few months will be very interesting to see how the starting pitching does. Because if it continues to flounder as it has, it won’t be good. Changes would have to be made, and maybe not just the pitchers but also the coach. Maybe this is only a blip. We hope so.

For the first 14 games of July, the Yanks’ starter’s ERA was 2.88. In the last six games, an atrocious 15.61. The Yanks have given up 64 runs in their last six games. 10.66 per game. Amazingly, they won two of those games. No Yankee starter in the last six games has pitched in the fifth inning. None in seven games has pitched in the sixth.

Forget about any of these starters, even when they are going GOOD, pitching in the seventh, eighth or ninth. They just don’t do that.

One worry I have is this. Even if they rebound, and wind up with 100 to 105 wins, who, amongst all the starters in the rotation, do you absolutely trust to start a must-win postseason game? A fair question, I think. None are “old reliable” Andy Pettitte’s, El Duque’s, or David Cone’s.

With this bad stretch, the Yanks’ ERA+, which was about 110 most of the year, has dropped to 104, just 4% above league average. No starter has an ERA less than 4.00.

Tanaka 7-6, 4.79. ERA+ 93 (7 % below league average)
Happ 8-5, 5.23  ERA+ 86
German 12-2, 4.03  ERA+ 111 ( his youth and inexperience are a concern)
Sabathia 5-5, 4.50  ERA+ 99
Paxton 5-6, 4.72  ERA+ 95.

As I mentioned, which of these would you trust to start a must-win playoff game? It’s a huge concern.

One last thing before the game recap. Could it be that Boston sees some guys tipping pitches or has some Yankee pitching been too consistent in their approach? Rumors are that Severino was tipping pitches in Game 3 of the ALDS last year. Boston has pounded Tanaka this year, and Tanaka thought he made good pitches at some points the other night. Did Boston know what was coming? Paul O’Neill on WPIX last night mentioned Boston waiting for hard stuff inside from Paxton, got it, and creamed it.

Paxton’s line is strange. 9 K in 4 IP. But 4 HR given up, 3 to Betts, 7 runs allowed.

If guys ARE tipping, why isn’t the pitching staff seeing it? Remember that Chad Green was straightened out at AAA, not by the major league staff. Once sent down, he worked it out. Also, Jonathan Holder has had to go down. He also, couldn’t work it out at the big league level.

Could there be a problem with the pitching coach? Sorry, Rothschild, but that has to be addressed right now. To stop that, the starting pitching, once again, has to improve, and IMMEDIATELY.

Let’s remember that Gray took some parting shots at Rothschild on the way out to Cincinnati, where Gray is doing well. Could there be something to what Gray said?

And it’s not just Rothschild. Let’s remember that the Yanks lost out on possibly getting Verlander, Cole, Corbin, Keuchel, and Gonzalez, all of whom could certainly be helping right now.  If the Yanks would have just one of those right now…

So something is amiss with their pitching philosophy. Whether it is the coach, or the whole organizational approach of what is coached, who is targeted, what you’ll give up for a stud pitcher…

Anyway you look at it, corrections and improvements are necessary. The Yanks have two more games against Boston this weekend, and after two games against Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday, have four more against Boston next Friday to Sunday, including a DH on Saturday. If they don’t turn it around, and FAST, Boston could be right back in it. Let’s just say Boston takes 6 of 8 in the games this weekend and next. The lead goes from 11 to 7. If they take 7 of the 8, it’s 5. Sweep and 3. Yankees’ fans don’t want 1978 in reverse. Yes, there is the wild card to fall back on, and that wasn’t there in 1978. We don’t want that. Win the division, avoid the wild card game.

This is the time to bury Boston, not have them rise from the dead. So far, the shovels have been put away. Boston has woken up.

As for making a trade, I am getting really discouraged that that may happen. Teams are asking for Gleyber Torres in any deal. That is a non-starter. The two-time All-Star, who has hit 20 or more HR in both of his MLB seasons, isn’t even 23 yet.

As for the game, Paxton gave up, as noted above, a leadoff HR to Betts, marking the third straight time he gave up a HR to the first batter of the game. He has had (like German) first inning woes all season. Then a single, strikeout and HR (by J.D. Martinez) and it was 3-0 already. After the week the Yanks have had, it was like here we go again.

A HR by Betts and an RBI triple by Martinez made it 5-0 after three innings.

Then Betts hits his THIRD HR of the game to make it 7-0 in the fourth.

The Yanks got a run in the sixth when with two out, they got consecutive singles by Encarnacion, Gregorius and Voit.

Boston got two in the bottom of the sixth to make it 9-1. Betts doubled in one run and scored the other on another double. He was 4 for 5 with 5 RBI—3 HR and a double.

Before the game, Stephen Tarpley was sent down and Cameron Maybin came off the IL. Maybin walked to lead off the seventh, and went to third on a double by Mike Tauchman. Austin Romine singled in one run, and another scored when D.J. LeMahieu GIDP.

Boston got a run in the bottom of the seventh, 10-3.

The Yanks got two in the ninth before succumbing. Tauchman led off the inning with a single, and scored on a double by Romine. A walk to LeMahieu and an error on a ball hit by Judge loaded the bases. But then three consecutive outs ended the game. One out was a SF by Gregorius.

It is hard to win when you are giving up 10 or more runs a game.

Tauchman 3 hits
Romine 3 hits, 2 RBI

Paxton (L, 5-6, 4.72) 4 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 0 W, 9 K. Gave up 4 HR, 3 to Betts. Weird line.
Hale 2 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 W, 0 K.   2.89
Ottavino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.59
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.57

The Yanks really could use a well-pitched, crisp victory right now. They are taking it on the chin right now.

July 27. The trade deadline is just four days away.

Is any pitching help coming from the outside? Or do the Yanks have to keep their fingers crossed that internal options who have been on the IL (Severino, Betances, Montgomery, Loaisiga) will be coming to the rescue?

 

 

 

 

 

Betts (AL) Yelich (NL) win MVP honors. Yanks finish 12, 19, 20 and 22. Final AFL stats for Yanks’ prospects.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Mookie Betts of Boston won the AL MVP quite handily, getting 28 of the 30 first place votes. Mike Trout of the Angels finished as the runnerup for the fourth time (Trout has won the award twice). Trout got one first place vote, and Betts’ teammate, J.D. Martinez, who finished fourth, got the other.

As for Yankees, Aaron Judge finished 12th, Giancarlo Stanton 19th, Didi Gregorius finished in a tie for 20th (he was also 20th last year) and Aaron Hicks finished in a tie for 22nd.

Christian Yelich of Milwaukee won the NL MVP, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes (the only other one going to Jacob DeGrom of the Mets, who finished fifth). Javier Baez of the Cubs was the runnerup.

The Glendale Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League season is over with a 12-18 record. Here is how Yankees’ prospects did:

SS Thairo Estrada .238-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .197-0-9
CF Estevan Florial .178-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 9.15
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.20
RP Matt Wivinis 0-1, 1.50
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 11.57

 

WS Game 5. Boston wins series; Pearce MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Allow me to repeat the first couple of lines from yesterday’s blog.

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce.

Last night, Pearce won the WS MVP award by hitting 2 HR (3 for the WS) as Boston won their fourth WS of this century (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) by beating L.A. 5-1 to wrap up the Series in five games.

For L.A., it’s back-to-back WS losses.

Pearce got things started in the first with a 2-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who can now opt out of his contract, for all his brilliance, somehow can’t get it together in the postseason. This was his second WS loss this year.

David Freese homered off of David Price to lead off the bottom of the first for L.A., but that was all they’d get. Price was great, and the Dodgers got 3 hits all night.

For Price, 2 WS wins after having had a career filled with postseason failure.

Mookie Betts homered in the sixth to make it 3-1 Boston.

J.D. Martinez homered in the seventh, 4-1.

Then Pearce capped off everything with his second HR of the game in the eighth for the final score of 5-1.

And it was Manny Machado who struck out for the WS’ last out.

Alex Cora, as a rookie manager, wins the WS. Boston led the majors with 108 wins in the regular season, then went 11-3 in the postseason.

So Yankees’ fans have to watch their archrival win the WS. They can only take solace in two things.

One, that no one has repeated since the Yankees threepeated in 1998-1999-2000. So maybe that streak continues next year.

Two, that the Red Sox began last century with WS wins in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 and we know how the rest of the century played out. The Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. The “Curse of the Bambino.”

But somehow, I don’t see a “Curse of the Mookie” coming….

But hopefully next year for the Yanks.

We’ll see what moves the offseason brings and what awards are won by whom.

WS Game 2: Boston holds LA to 3 hits, wins 4-2 to take 2-0 lead.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Dodgers only got 3 hits as Boston beat them 4-2 to go up 2 games to none in the Series.

For David Price, previously so bad in the postseason, it was a sweet victory.

For Boston, Mookie Betts had three hits and J.D. Martinez a big 2-run single.

It seems like Boston keeps getting that big hit with two outs.

Off day today as the Series heads to LA.

One-time Yankees’ announcer Hank Greenwald (radio, 1987 and 1988) passed away at age 83. He was the Yanks’s radio guy before John Sterling.

 

Game 152. Boston clinches AL East, beating Yanks 11-6. Yanks lead over A’s 1.5 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It wasn’t a good night for the Yanks, who lost 11-6 to Boston as Boston clinched the AL East with the win.

Also, the A’s routed the Angels yesterday, so the Yanks’ (93-59) lead over the A’s for the top wild card spot is down to 1 1/2 games. The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s (since the Yanks hold the tiebreaker) is 8, and the Yanks magic # to make the playoffs is 3 over Tampa Bay, 2 over Seattle.

Masahiro Tanaka started and struggled, giving up a run in the first and two in the second.

Luke Voit cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second that set a couple of records. Voit became the 12th Yankee to hit 10 or more HR this season (it was his 11th HR, his 10th as a Yankee), and that set a MLB record for most players on a team with 10 or more. It also was the Yanks’ 246th HR of the season, setting a new team single season record.

But Boston came back with a run in the third. 4-2. Mookie Betts killed the Yanks in this game, getting 4 hits and driving in 5 runs.

In the fourth, Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam (his 35th HR) to put the Yanks up 6-4.

But Tanaka gave up a run in the fifth and the Yanks’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

Up 6-5 in the seventh, the Yanks gave up 3 runs in the seventh and another 3 in the eighth to lose 11-6.

Ex-MLB pitching star and current broadcaster for the MLB network, Jim Kaat (who once pitched for the Yanks briefly) was critical, and rightly so, of some pitching decisions made by either the Yankees’ pitchers or by catcher Gary Sanchez.

Chad Green, who smoked batters in the sixth, gave up a game-tying HR to Jackie Bradley in the seventh on a changeup. Kaat pointed out that his fastball was electric, and that Green has thrown maybe 15 changeups all year long, and you should not get beat on what is, for Green, his third best pitch, and one that is a work in progress. Two more runs scored after this. 8-6 Boston.

The Yanks had to get Aroldis Chapman some work, since he just came off the DL, in order to get him ready for the playoffs, and some rust showed. He gave up a 3-run HR to Betts, 11-6. Once again, Kaat was critical because the HR came off a slider, and not Chapman’s vaunted fastball.

McCutchen 2 hits, 2 walks
Stanton grand slam
Gregorius 2 hits
Voit 2-run HR.

Tanaka 4+ IP, 5 R, 8 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.67
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.81
Green (BS, 4; L, 8-3, 2.64) 1+ IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  2.73
Chapman 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.64 Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.02
Cole 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  5.21 (Wash/NYY)
Tarpley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  5.79