Tag Archives: Britton

Yanks get Britton back. Ottavino next?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

To quote the Beatles…. and in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.

The mom of a close friend, affectionately known as “Momma B”, passed away on Jan. 2 and her funeral was today. God bless her and her family.

As for another person with the last name beginning with B, the Yanks are getting Zach “Great” Britton back. 3 yrs, $40 MM with an option for a fourth year.

UPDATE: The fourth year option can be added after year two for another $13 million, or, if not exercised, Britton can then opt out.

So the back of the bullpen will be excellent with Britton, Betances and Chapman. Not to mention Chad Green, and they are still talking to Adam Ottavino. And I think lefty Stephen Tarpley is NOT someone to sleep on. Tarpley came up at the end of last year and would still be a rookie for 2019. Keep an eye on him.

Long relief/Spot starter for now is between Gray, German and Cessa. Cessa is out of options, German has at least one left. The Yankees are looking to deal Gray (but may want to wait for a better deal and also to check on how CC is after the stent).

Britton is 31. Last year, between the Orioles and the Yankees, he was 2-0, 3.10, 7 saves, ERA+ 140. For his career, the lefty has a 162 g. average of 6-4, 3.21 and 26 saves, ERA+ 131.

He is a 2x All-Star who had an historic season for the Orioles in 2016, when he was 2-1, ERA 0.54 and 47 saves. That year he finished 4th for the CYA and was 11th for the MVP.

 

Jerry Buchek, a backup INF who played against the Yanks in the 1964 WS, passed away on Jan. 2. He played in 4 games in that WS, going 1 for 1 (single) and scoring a run. He played 1961, then 1963-1966 with the Cards, then 1967-1968 with the Mets. 421 MLB games.

His 162 g. average was .220-8-42, OPS+ 67.

 

 

 

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Yanks lose D-Rob to Phils

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Well, now we see if the Yanks can keep Zach Britton or if they go after Adam Ottavino.

Yesterday David Robertson left the Yanks again via the free agent route. While last time he went to the White Sox, this time he goes to join the Phillies on a 2 yr. $23MM deal with an option for a third year.

Robertson was 8-3, 3.23 for the Yanks last year with five saves. ERA+ 136. In his time with the Yanks he is 38-22, 2.75 and when he was with the White Sox 15-10, 3.28. His total career record is 53-32, 2.88 with 137 saves. 162 g. average 6-3, 2.88, 14 saves, ERA+ 147.

Still no word on getting Manny Machado or in trading away Sonny Gray.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Apologies to the late Tom Petty for the headline. And yes, I know I haven’t written anything in ten days or so.

But nothing has been going on, what with the holidays and all.

And I don’t want to deal or write about rumors. Where someone is going, how much $, how many years —- I want to deal with the facts and then give my opinion.

Just writing about rumors and something that may not happen is fruitless.

Some free agents did sign recently—-no, not Machado (we are still waiting on that) or Harper.

From Twitter, a great example of how Yankees’ fans are feeling right now:

But Japan’s LHP Yusei Kikuchi signed with Seattle on a 4-yr. deal. DH/OF Nelson Cruz to the Twins on a 1-yr. $14.3 MM deal.

There is a HOF tracker that has 1/3 of the votes counted. You need 75% of the writer’s vote to get in. Not 74.8 (they don’t round up) but 75% or more. So far …

Rivera 100%, Halladay 94.9, Edgar Martinez 91.2, Mussina 83.2 and Clemens a nail-biter at 75.2.

Barry Bonds 74.5, Schilling 73, Larry Walker 65.7.

Andy Pettitte is only at 8%.

And oh yeah, Sonny Gray is still a Yankee. Not dealt yet.

Nothing on Ottavino, Robertson or Britton either.

More when things DO develop.

Game 4 ALDS. Yanks are eliminated, 4-3. Furious comeback comes up short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

They’ll talk about that 16-1 beating all winter. They will talk about Boone leaving Severino in for the fourth, about Lynn coming in instead of Green, I don’t know if any of it would have mattered, considering the score.

We’ll remember the two one-run losses even more. Win those, and the Yanks would still be playing, despite that beatdown.

The Yanks lost Game 4 of the ALDS to Boston Tuesday night, 4-3, and therefore lost the series 3 games to 1. The Red Sox advance to face Houston in the ALCS.

You now wonder which players will be back. CC, Gardner (0 for 8 in the ALDS), Robertson, Britton, Happ, Lynn, Walker, Hechevarria and McCutchen (2 for 15 in the ALDS) are all free agents or have options that may not be picked up.

A couple of key hits here or there, liners that found Boston gloves or that went foul while their balls blooped in. Shots that fell short of the fence while theirs barely cleared the wall, that we’ll remember.

Aaron Boone did shake up the lineup, hoping to get more lefty oomph in there. Gardner started in LF, Hicks in CF, Walker at 3B. McCutchen and Andujar sat.

CC got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but gave up 3 runs in the third. One of the hits a bleeder by Yankee-killer Steve Pearce. One RBI double appeared to be misplayed by Gardner, but to be fair, it was hit so hard it probably handcuffed him.

Boone’s bullpen management may be questioned a bit. It’s one thing that hopefully improves next year.

Zach Britton gave up a HR in the fourth to Christian Vazquez. 4-0 Boston. The HR just cleared the short porch.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the fifth when Sanchez doubled, Torres got an infield hit and Gardner a SF.

In the bottom of the ninth, Judge led off with a walk, Didi singled and after Stanton (4 for 18, 6 strikeouts in the ALDS) struck out, Voit walked. Walker was HBP to make it 4-2. Sanchez just missed a game-winning grand slam, getting under it and hitting it to the warning track for a SF, 4-3. But Torres barely missed beating out a dribbler and the game, series, and season were over.

Up until that ninth inning, the Yanks had only scored 2 runs in their previous 19 innings. That won’t get it done.

Just like in 2017, in those games in Houston that year, the Yanks couldn’t come up with the big hit when you needed it.

The homers are nice. That HR record is nice. But hitting with RISP, being able to get the bat on the ball, avoiding strikeouts, going the other way, situational hitting, those are things that need to be improved upon for the Yanks to advance to the next levels. Homers alone won’t do it. Also, baserunning. The Red Sox were 5 for 5 in stealing bases in the series, the Yanks didn’t even attempt one.

Starters who go deep would help too. The longest any Yankee starter pitched in this postseason was the five innings Tanaka went in getting the Game 2 win.

Hopefully for the youngsters, Torres and Andujar (1 for 9 in the series), this postseason was a learning experience. Same for veterans like Stanton, making his first postseason appearance. Learn from it.

The bullpen did a great job keeping the Yanks in the game and giving them a chance.

Gregorius 2 hits (out of the Yanks’ 5)

Sabathia (L) 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Britton 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3  K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

More post-mortem analysis to come in the coming weeks.

Game 2 ALDS. Yanks even series behind the Kraken.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Turn the page.

Gary Sanchez had a poor regular season. His .186 batting average was the lowest ever for any Yankee with 300 or more plate appearances.

But he did hit 18 HR. He hit 33 last season. He hit 20 in just 53 games in 2016. You knew the power was there, and that at any time he could put up a two homer, 4 RBI game.

That is the Sanchez we hoped would return, and in time for the playoffs. Make up for a bad regular season with a great postseason.

It is the Sanchez we got last night. Sanchez hit two homers and drove in 4 runs as the Yanks won 6-2 to even the series up. Game 3 is in the Bronx Monday night.

David Price started for Boston, and he has had a couple of problems lately. #1, he has trouble against the Yankees. #2, he has trouble in the postseason (0-9 record in 10 starts). #3 Gary Sanchez owns him. Not a good combination.

So Aaron Judge, the second batter of the game, hit a 445-ft. HR to give the Yanks a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Judge has homered in all three postseason games so far.

Sanchez came up in the bottom of the second and continued his mastery of Price by hitting a HR to make it 2-0 Yanks. With two out, Price proceeded to walk Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner. Gardner was starting in CF for Aaron Hicks, who has a tight hamstring. Hicks was available for pinch-hitting duty and the hammy won’t keep him out for the rest of the series (if it did, he wouldn’t be available again until the World Series–no ALCS).

Andrew McCutchen then singled off of the green monster to make it 3-0 Yanks and give Price an early shower.

Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka was on, and was his postseason bulldog self. (He is now 3-2, 1.50 in five postseason starts). He gave up a HR in the bottom of the fourth, but it was a solo one, and went five innings giving up just that one run.

In the seventh, the Yanks broke the game open. Judge singled and Voit walked. Stanton, who is struggling—so much so that lots of people are comparing him to A-Rod and A-Rod’s postseason struggles—hit a topper that at first it appeared as if Nunez’ throw hoping for a force pulled the fielder off the bag. But Boston reviewed and the call was overturned. Forceout. Hmm. The fielder must have kept his big toenail on the bag because it didn’t look that way. Nunez’ throwing was shaky all night long. He almost made 3 errors instead of the one he did make. But then again, when he was a Yankee, he had the nickname of Nun-E.

Hopefully Stanton comes around. Aim for RF in the Bronx, Giancarlo. You are strong enough to hit it out anywhere, especially there. Stay back.  No need to pull everything.

So it was first and third, one out, and here is where Sanchez hit his second HR of the game, a 479-ft. bomb that left everything and went out on the street. 6-1 Yanks.

Dellin Betances gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-2, but that was it. Yankees’ pitchers limited Boston to 2 runs and 5 hits. Good job.

I am a bit concerned yet about the Yanks’ hitting w/RISP. 2 for 10 last night (the Yanks had 8 hits and drew 7 walks, so they could have scored more runs than 6). Hopefully that picks up.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Voit 0 for 2 but drew 3 walks.
Sanchez 2 HR, 4 RBI
Gardner 0 for 2 but drew 2 walks.

Tanaka (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.

In the other ALDS series, Houston beat Cleveland 12-1 behind Gerrit Cole’s 7 innings and 12 K. Houston is up 2 games to 0.

The NL was off. Milwaukee is up 2-0 on Colorado and the Dodgers are up 2-0 on the Braves.

Game 1 ALDS. Un-Happ-y result as Yanks lose, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

J.A. Happ didn’t have it, giving up a 3-run HR to J.D. Martinez in the first inning and getting knocked out in the third. The Yanks clawed back in it, but couldn’t come all the way back and lost Game 1 of the Division Series to Boston 5-4.

Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yanks tonight vs. David Price. The Yanks have had success against Price so hopefully the Yanks will exit Boston with a split.

The hope was that Chris Sale, who has a history of owning the Yankees, would be stale Sale since he hasn’t pitched much since the All-Star break, having been on the DL twice and whose velocity has been down recently. Instead, Sale mixed his pitches well, and was hitting 95 instead of the recent 90. Sale struck out the side (with one walk in there) in the first inning.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the first, Happ gave up that 3-run HR that just cleared the green monster.

In the third, Betts doubled off the monster, Benintendi bunted for a hit, and Happ was replaced by Chad Green. The Yankees nemesis, Steve Pearce, singled in a run. 4-0 Boston. Two flyouts advanced and scored Benintendi. 5-0 Boston.

The Yanks’ bullpen shut down Boston after that as the Yanks tried to make a late charge to steal the win away from the Red Sox.

But the rookies who have helped so much this year, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, along with veteran Giancarlo Stanton, who is in his first playoff series, couldn’t come up with the big hits when needed.

In the fourth, Aaron Hicks singled but had to be pulled from the game due to a tight hamstring. We’ll have to see about his availability for the rest of the series. A huge blow. Gardner can provide the D, but not the power that Hicks can provide.

With two on and two out in the fourth, Andujar struck out. The Yanks struck out 13x in the game.

The Yanks finally broke through in the sixth. Judge singled, and after a forceout, Stanton singled, which knocked Sale out of the game. Voit singled in a run to make it 5-1. Didi grounded into a forceout, runner scoring. 5-2. Didi moved up on a WP. Andujar and Sanchez both walked to load the bases, but Torres struck out.

Maybe the young Torres (21) got too anxious. He swung at the first pitch out of the zone, took three balls, but that 3-1 pitch he took for strike two looked like a pitch he should have swung at and crushed. Then he fished on a breaking pitch which would have been ball four and struck out.

The Yanks probably lost the game for good in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with no one out and only got one run out of it. McCutchen and Judge started it off with singles, and after a pitching change, both moved up on a WP. Gardner walked to load the bases.

But Stanton, who went 1 for 5 with 4 strikeouts, struck out. That may have been THE at bat of the ball game.

A-Rod got criticized often for not coming up big in key moments of the postseason (at least until 2009, and even in retirement he still gets criticized, despite 2009, for it today). Yankee fans are hoping Stanton isn’t another “A-Rod” in this regard.

But last night didn’t help.

The fact that Stanton couldn’t get his bat on the ball, even for a SF there, played a major factor in costing the Yanks the game.

Voit grounded into a force out, barely beating out the DP attempt, to make it 5-3. Didi grounded out to end the inning.

But the Yanks needed more there. They couldn’t load the bases with no one out and come away with just one run. That inning was the difference and cost the Yanks the game.

In the ninth, Judge homered to lead off the inning, but Kimbrel bounced back with three straight strikeouts (including Stanton, who NEVER TOOK THE BAT OFF HIS SHOULDER) to end the game. Voit striking out to end it.

Big one for the Yanks tonight. Get out of Boston with the split. Hopefully Tanaka is on.

And hopefully, the Yanks’ situational hitting improves. Don’t worry about the green monster. Use the whole field.

Make contact.

Judge 3 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 1 for 5, struck out 4 times
Voit 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Happ (L) 2+ IP, 5 R, 4 H, 1 W, 2 K.  Gave up 3-run HR
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Lynn 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

 

In other series, Milwaukee shut out Colorado 4-0 and is up 2 games to 0.
The Dodgers blanked the Braves, 3-0, and are up 2 games to 0.
Houston beat Cleveland behind 4 HR, 7-2, and are up 1-0.

By the way, did you see who the Brewers’ catcher is? Erik Kratz, who started the year being the backup to Kyle Higashioka at SWB. Kratz, who is 38, played in four games for the Yanks in 2017,  going 2 for 2 with a double and 2 RBI. He started this year at SWB. On May 25 of this year, the Yanks traded him to Milwaukee for a player to be named later (it turned out to be Wendell Rijo). In 67 games for the Brewers, Kratz hit .236-6-23, OPS+ 69. Six walks, 40 strikeouts.

 

 

 

Yanks advance to ALDS with 7-2 win over A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees advance to the ALDS against Boston after beating the Oakland A’s 7-2 in the one-game, sudden death, wild card game Wednesday night.

They jumped off to an early 2-0 lead when Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Aaron Judge crushed a 2-run HR that was estimated at 427 feet.

Luis Severino pitched four no-hit innings before being removed after giving up back-to-back singles to begin the fifth.

Severino did have some trouble with walks and some shaky fielding (Miguel Andujar throws) and had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

After Severino gave up the hits in the fifth, Dellin Betances came in to work out of the jam, and Betances pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.  Adeiny Hechevarria replaced Andujar at third for defense early—in the sixth.

A bit early for Betances, and maybe for Hechevarria, but in a sudden death game you manage differently, and Aaron Boone did a great job managing last night.

The A’s meanwhile, were doing a bullpen game. They had an opener, who gave up 2 runs (the Judge HR), another guy for 3 innings, another for 1, etc.

The Yanks broke it open in the bottom of the sixth. Judge and Aaron Hicks doubled off of Fernando Rodney (who can stick his arrow in his quiver) to make it 3-0, and Rodney then threw a WP. The A’s then brought in their closer, Blake Treinen, who was 9-2, 0.78, with 38 saves this season, in an effort to keep the game where it was.

Treinen walked Giancarlo Stanton, Stanton maybe getting the benefit of a call, and then Stanton stole second. Luke Voit worked Treinen over, fouling off a few pitches before getting one he liked. Voit drove it the other way for a 2-run triple, just narrowly missing a HR. 5-0 Yanks. Didi Gregorius hit a SF (Didi had made a nice defensive play earlier, saving Voit an error), the burly Voit somehow getting in there despite the throw beating him to the plate. 6-0.

Hechevarria made a fabulous catch at third off a line drive to start the seventh.

In the eighth, Zach Britton was very shaky, giving up a 2-run HR to Khris Davis. Davis had led the majors with 48 this year. 6-2 Yanks.

Brett Gardner had come in for defense for McCutchen in LF in the eighth, and Neil Walker would do so for Luke Voit at 1B in the ninth.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the bottom of the eighth for the Yanks with a HR that was crushed, 443 feet and just fair. It seemed to almost go over the foul pole.

7-2 Yanks, the final score.

On the Boston where the best-of-five ALDS begins Friday night. I expect J.A. Happ to get the call to start Game 1 for the Yanks.

Judge HR, double, 2 RBI
Hicks double, RBI
Stanton solo HR
Voit 2-run Triple

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

Severino 4+ IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 W, 7 K.
Betances (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  He’s been shaky lately.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.