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.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, Offseason Moves, Players, The Front Office
Tagged Benintendi, Blake, Britton, Carpenter, Castro, Chapman, Donaldson, Gonzalez, Green, Hicks, Judge, Mattingly, Meulens, Rizzo, Severino, Taillon
The Yankees played 11 games vs. Houston this year. They won two, both in walk off fashion, and none in Houston. It was apparent Houston had the Yanks’ number. They Yanks hardly led at all in all 11 games. That carried over to the ALCS, in which the Astros swept the Yanks out of, winning Game 4 6-5. I didn’t think the Yanks would beat Houston, although I was hoping. You have to separate your head from your heart. You think with your brain, not with your heart. But I didn’t think they would get swept. Ouch. And what REALLY hurts? Of that 2-9 record (including the ALCS) this year, 4 of the losses were by 1 run, and another 3 by 2 runs. As if losing itself didn’t hurt, that was just twisting the knife. It marked the fifth straight time the Yanks lost in the ALCS since last going to (and winning) the WS in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2022). The last three ALCS losses were all to the Astros. There needs to be change, from the top down, within the Yankees’ organization. Otherwise, it’ll be the same old same old next year too. They have to break this pattern in order to advance further. Many are calling for Derek Jeter to be the new GM and Don Mattingly to be his manager. Although I love both Yankees legends, and that would be the popular move, let’s step back and take a look at that. First off, with Jeter as CEO and Mattingly manager of the Marlins, the Marlins didn’t exactly do well, did they? Granted they didn’t have the talent or financial resources the Yankees do, but you didn’t even see year to year gradual improvement, did you? Here are the win totals, not counting 2020 (the 60 game Covid season) under Mattingly. 79-77-63-57-67-69. I would be more interested if they were on a gradual uphill climb, like 60-65-73-77-85 something like that. You didn’t see that. When Donnie managed the talented and much more financially stable Dodgers, he was ok (82-86-92-94-92), but he couldn’t get them in to the WS. His overall winning percentage, Dodgers and Marlins, is under .500. And as for Jeter, do you really think he would take a position (GM) in which he could be fired? Jeter doesn’t want to work for a boss, he wants to BE the boss. CEO or owner. If he was going to come back to the Yankees, it would be as an adviser, not GM. Much like Reggie Jackson was. Oh yeah, guess who Reggie is advising now. Ugh. The Astros. The Astros are now unbeaten (7-0) in the postseason. They will face the Phillies in the WS. The Phils got lucky and hot. As the #6 seed in the NL, they never would have made the playoffs before this year. But with MLB changing the playoff structure, they snuck in and got hot at the right time. Dave Dombrowski, the Phillies’ President of Baseball Operations, is going to the HOF one day. This is the fourth team he has run that is going to the WS. Their manager, Rob Thomson, hitting coach Kevin Long and reliever David Robertson were all part of the last Yankees team to win a WS back in 2009. The game started out good for the Yanks. They scored twice in the bottom of the first. Harrison Bader singled, and with one out, Anthony Rizzo was HBP. Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with singles and the Yanks were up 2-0. In the bottom of the second, the Yanks made it 3-0. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IF) led off with a double, and two outs later, Aaron Judge walked. A double by Rizzo plated IKF. But Nestor Cortes, who pitched two scoreless innings, was pitching through a groin injury that caught up to him in the third inning. Two walks and a 3-run HR to start the inning, and Cortes was removed. Wandy Peralta relieved Cortes, and Houston got another run off him. 4-3. The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Bader singled, and with two out, moved to second on a passed ball. Rizzo singled to tie the game at four. Bader, who had an incredible postseason, hit his FIFTH HR of the postseason to put the Yanks up 5-4 in the sixth. But with one out in the seventh, it came undone. Jose Altuve got an infield hit, just beating Yankees’ pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga to first on a bang-bang play. Then came a ball that should have been a DP, but the exchange, Torres to IKF, went awry and everyone was safe. The error was charged to Torres, but I think IKF should have at least caught the ball for a force. Whatever, both at fault. Two consecutive singles, off Loaisiga and then Clay Holmes, followed to tie the game and then to give Houston the lead, which they held on to. The Yanks hit .182 vs. Cleveland in the ALDS. They hit .162 in the ALCS vs. Houston. .173 for the postseason. Aaron Judge, the face of the Yanks, will get criticized (5 for 36, 2 HR, 15 K) but it wasn’t only him (And Judge, although he won’t admit it, was probably gassed from carrying the team the last two months and from the HR chase to 62). Some other numbers: Jose Trevino was 1 for 22 in the postseason. 6 K. Kyle Higashioka 0 for 6, 5 K. So, neither catcher did anything. Oswaldo Cabrera 2 for 28, with 12 K. Benintendi missed. Tough postseason for the rookie. Stanton 6 for 36, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 K. Torres 6 for 34, 10 K. Josh Donaldson 5 for 29, 16 K. No LeMahieu. Matt Carpenter 1 for 12, 9 K. The only bright spots: Bader,10 for 30 with 5 HR. Rizzo 8 for 29, 2 HR. Kiner-Falefa was 5 for 18, but the shaky fielding… Game 4 recap: Bader 3 hits, solo HR Rizzo 2 hits, 2 RBI Torres 2 hits, RBI but critical error Cortes 2+ IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. Peralta 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K. Loaisiga (LOSS) 2 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Holmes 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Waiting for changes. Hoping they are MASSIVE Changes, from the top down.
Posted in Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, The Front Office
Tagged Bader, Cabrera, Carpenter, Cortes, Dombrowski, Donaldson, Higashioka, Holmes, Jeter, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Loaisiga, Mattingly, Peralta, Rizzo, Stanton, Torres, Trevino
Before the ALCS began, a couple of moves. Off the roster are Hicks (injured, done for year), Luetge and Gonzalez. On go Peraza, Montas and Weissert. For those wanting Giancarlo Stanton in the OF and Matt Carpenter DH-ing, they got their wish. But you know the old saying. Be careful what you wish for. Carpenter’s story is a nice one. He fought to come back from a fractured foot. But it is clear he should not be on the roster (although, to be fair, with injuries to Hicks, Benintendi and LeMahieu, who could they put on?). He’s 0 for 6 in the postseason, all strikeouts. He’s 36 years old. He was 0 for 4 last night. All strikeouts. Another 36-year-old, Josh Donaldson, also disappointed, going 0 for 3 last night with a walk in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to Houston. The few chances the Yanks had came down to Donaldson and/or Carpenter needing to come up with a big hit. They didn’t even put the ball in play. I was not a fan of getting Donaldson, who is 37 soon and who earns almost $22MM a season. I didn’t want to let Gio Urshela, who is six years younger than Donaldson, go. Urshela hit .285-13-64 this year, OPS+ 121. He cost $6.55MM. Donaldson showed serious signs of slippage due to age. He hit .222-15-62, OPS+ 94. Donaldson’s defensive metrics seem to have been much better than Urshela’s, though. You’d have to weigh the cost, and the decline of Donaldson’s offense against the better defense he supposedly provided. But the way Donaldson has declined, you have to worry about 2023 and even 2024. He has a $21.75MM deal for 2023 with up to $550K award bonus available. There is a team option of $16MM for 2024 (I can’t see that being picked up) with a $8MM buyout option that may increase to $12MM based on 2023 awards. So, it looks like the Yanks are stuck with him for 2023 and will have to cough up a lot of money via a buyout to be rid of him in 2024. Terrible contract the Yanks took on. Anyway, it’s apparent that Donaldson should not be hitting fifth. Nor should Carpenter be in the lineup. But what are the solutions? Let me get into the game recap and I will try to find one. The same old, same old. For those sick of losing to Tom Brady (45 years old) year after year and want him to go home to his money and supermodel wife (or ex-wife? Marital issues), we feel the same about 39-year-old Justin Verlander, who apparently wants to pitch until he is 45. Take your money and go home to your beautiful supermodel wife. We are tired of losing to you. Ugh. 2006, 2011, 2012 (those years with Tigers), 2017, 2019 and maybe 2022? The Yanks have to find a way to beat this guy. He is 5-1, 2.62 vs. the Yanks in the postseason. Just kidding about the go home already regarding Brady and Verlander, but you get the drift. You get tired of losing to them. Although, truth be told, a lot of people have been tired of losing to the Yankees since 1921. Verlander is a future first ballot Hall-of-Famer. The history on pitchers like that is to get them early or you won’t get them at all. That is what happened last night. Top 1st: Donaldson struck out with 2 men on base to end the inning. Bottom 1st: Judge saves two runs with a diving catch. Top 2nd. Bader homers (again!) to put Yanks up 1-0. I would move the red-hot Bader up to first in the lineup and drop Torres to fifth, which enables me to drop Donaldson down. Bottom 2nd. Taillon is one strike away from getting out of the inning when he gives up a game-tying double. Taillon did all we could ask for. 4 1/3 innings, only one run. He struggled but kept the Yanks in the game. Top 3rd. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, both Donaldson and Carpenter struck out. This was the ballgame right there. They left Verlander off the hook and he then settled in. A big hit by Donaldson in the first or either Donaldson or Carpenter here and you have Verlander on the ropes. Instead, he became unhittable. The Yanks got only 5 hits in the game and struck out 17 times. Once again this postseason, the runs came on homers and the Yanks did not string hits together. Bottom 4. Stanton makes a great play in LF to rob a batter of a double. Bottom 5. Schmidt in for Taillon after a one-out double. An intentional walk and another walk load the bases, but Schmidt gets a DP to get out of it. BUT … Bottom 6. Schmidt gives up 2 HR and Houston goes up 3-1. Bottom 7. Frankie Montas comes in. Montas?! Ugh. And he gives up a HR. 4-1, Houston. Anthony Rizzo homered for the Yanks in the top of the 8th to make it 4-2 but that was it. Jose Trevino looks like he ran out of gas around Labor Day. Great first half, but he hit .177 in September/October and is now 1 for 15 in the postseason. Most losses to the Astros are just like this. Pitching OK but not good enough. Bats silent. We have seen this in the 2015 wild card game (a 3-0 loss), the 2017 ALCS (losses of 2-1, 2-1 and 4-0) and the 2019 ALCS (3-2 in 11 innings, 4-1). Between losing to Verlander and losing to Houston in a close game, same old script. Severino starts for the Yanks tonight in Game 2. It’s time to flip the script. Rizzo solo HR Stanton 2 hits Bader solo HR. Taillon 4 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 0 K. Schmidt (LOSS) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR. Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Montas 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. Castro 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. One last thing. Some players have physical gifts, but you question their mental acumen. Those Yankees’ teams of the late 1990’s had players who were not only gifted physically, but also mentally. Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, O’Neill, Tino, etc. You usually didn’t see them do anything mentally wrong or boneheaded. The same can’t be said for some players today. The Yanks need some more players with the mental toughness of those past players. Just saying. San Diego came back from an early 4-0 hole to even up the NLCS at a game apiece with an 8-5 win over the Phillies.
Posted in Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason
Tagged Bader, Carpenter, Castro, Donaldson, Gonzalez, Hicks, Judge, Luetge, Montas, Peraza, Rizzo, Schmidt, Severino, Stanton, Taillon, Trevino, Trivino, Weissert
Sorry if this arrives a bit late. I had to get sprung from Facebook (or do I call it Meta now?) prison again, so I couldn’t copy or post anything for a while. An Aside: Fight for your First Amendment rights. Fight censorship. What they do is B.S. as far as restricting those rights. The Yanks set their ALDS roster, and there may be a few surprises. First who is on. Trevino, Higashioka, Rizzo, Torres, Kiner-Falefa, Donaldson, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Hicks, Bader, Judge, Carpenter (a surprise), Stanton, Locastro. Who is not on: LeMahieu, who apparently has a foot fracture, Benintendi, and rookie Oswald Peraza. As for the pitchers. On: Cole, Cortes, Severino, Taillon, German, Schmidt, Trivino, Loaisiga, Luetge, Peralta, Holmes, Castro. Not on: Effross (needs TJ surgery), Montas, Chapman (we will get to that in a bit), Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, King (went down a few months ago), Green (lost at beginning of the year), Weissert. The Yankees’ bullpen is a concern. Chapman was inconsistent, and not reliable. There was no certainty he would be on the roster. But then, since he wasn’t sure, Chapman blew off a mandatory workout, his excuse was unacceptable, and the Yanks told him to stay home. With Effross’ surprising diagnosis, Chapman would have made the roster. Instead, he is replaced by Castro. Chapman is a free agent, and it is certain he won’t be back with the Yankees. Who would want him after this selfish incident, who knows. But that would be their problem. GM Brian Cashman’s moves at the trade deadline do not look good. There is nothing he can do about the injuries, but Benintendi, Montas, and Effross aren’t on the ALDS roster, and Bader barely made it after the Yankees had to wait on his injury to heal. But anyway, the Yankees did take Game 1 of the ALDS (best-of-five) Tuesday night, 4-1. Gerrit Cole pitched into the seventh and ran into trouble in the third inning. Cole, who gave up 33 HR in the regular season, gave up a one-out HR to Steven Kwan. We’ve seen Cole fall apart when something throws him off, and it appeared that would happen again. Cleveland loaded the bases after Kwan’s HR, and you were afraid they would break things open with a big inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Cole got a force at home. A bad call by the umpire didn’t let Cole get the strike three he wanted, but he held it together and got the strike three a bit later to get out of the inning surrendering only the one run. In the bottom of the third, Harrison Bader homered for the Yankees to tie the game at one. In the bottom of the fifth, Josh Donaldson led off the inning by hitting a ball that looked like a HR. It hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play. Donaldson was into his HR trot and got thrown out. Had he been running all the way it would have been an easy double. Lesson: Run them out! Isiah Kiner-Falefa picked Donaldson up by singling to right, then advancing all the way to third on a 2-base error by RF Oscar Gonzalez. Jose Trevino made Cleveland pay for the error by hitting a SF to put the Yanks up 2-1. In the sixth, the Yanks got some insurance runs. Aaron Judge led off with a walk and stole second. Judge went to third when catcher Austin Hedge’s throw went for an error. Anthony Rizzo followed with a 2-run HR to make it 4-1, which wound up as the final score. Rizzo 2-run HR. Donaldson 2 for 2, walk. Bader solo HR. Cole (WIN) 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 8 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Peralta (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Holmes 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night, with Nestor Cortes on the mound. Friday is supposed to be another off day. However, the weather forecast is not good and Game 2 could be postponed to Friday, which would mean havoc to the pitching rotation. If you play Game 2 on Thursday, Cole could come back for Game 4 on regular rest on Sunday, with Cortes on 3 days rest for a Game 5. But if Game 2 is postponed until Friday, Cortes won’t be able to do that. Now if Cole goes in Game 4 you cannot bring Cortes back for Game 5 on two days’ rest. Instead, the Yanks would probably use Cole in Game 4 only if down 2 games to 1, then figure out later who goes in Game 5 (Taillon or German). If the Yanks are UP 2 games to 1, then they save Cole for Game 5 if necessary and go with Taillon or German in Game 4. Of course, no matter what the weather does, the easiest way to avoid that headache is just to win in a 3-game sweep. Recently, Tyler Wade, who was picked back up by the Yanks and sent to SWB after being DFA’d by the Angels, declared free agency. In other game ones, the Phillies held on beat the Braves, 7-6. The Dodgers won Game 1 over the Padres 5-3, and those hated Astros got a 3-run walk off HR by Yordan Alvarez to win 8-7. Seattle blew a 7-3 lead they had after 7.
Posted in Players, Postseason, Scandal, The Front Office
Tagged ALDS roster, Bader, Carpenter, Cashman, Chapman, Cole, Donaldson, Effross, Holmes, LeMahieu, Loaisiga, Peralta, Rizzo, Wade
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.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Benintendi, Boone, Britton, Cabrera, Carpenter, Castro, Chapman, Effross, German, Holmes, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Marinaccio, Peralta, Stanton
Aaron Judge can’t do it by himself. Without Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton or Matt Carpenter in the lineup, the Yanks (71-40) only managed three hits as they lost to Seattle 1-0 in 13 innings. Even four innings with that ghost runner starting the inning at second base didn’t help. Before the game, the Yankees brought up Miguel Andujar to replace the injured Carpenter. This time, the rematch of Gerrit Cole vs. Luis Castillo lived up to its billing. Last week at Yankee Stadium, Cole gave up three first-inning HR and put the Yanks into a big hole they couldn’t climb out of. Not this time. Cole pitched seven scoreless innings, and Castillo eight as they dueled each other. The Yankees’ defense (Judge, Benintendi and Hicks) made some nice plays behind Cole. Meanwhile the Yankees have faced Castillo, who was their #1 trade target, three times in less than a month. The ex-Red, who wound up being traded to Seattle, has pitched 21 2/3 innings against the Yanks in that time, giving up just four runs on ten hits with 23 strikeouts (ERA 1.66). You can see why the Yanks and their fans really wanted him. The Yanks had runners at first and second with one out in the top of the eighth, but Jose Trevino grounded out and Isiah Kiner-Falefa did the same. In the tenth, the Yanks had the ghost runner at second, and Josh Donaldson was HBP to put runners at first and second with no one out. The ghost runner, Andrew Benintendi, was thrown out at third on a double steal attempt. Bad luck in the eleventh, when a line drive by Aaron Hicks was a DP instead of a run-scoring single. Just a few feet higher … Bad baserunning on a DP in the twelfth. The Yanks got out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the bottom of the twelfth. In the top of the thirteenth, the Mariners intentionally walked Judge, and later the Yanks had the bases loaded with one out, but Gleyber Torres struck out and Andujar grounded out. A couple singles around a walk gave Seattle the only run of the game in the bottom of the 13th. The game ended around 2:22 AM Eastern time. The Yanks struck out 14x and were 0 for 10 w/RISP. Aaron Judge was caught stealing for the first time all season after 11 SB. It was the second time in the last four games that the Yanks lost 1-0. They could get Rizzo back today. They need him. Cole 7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 W, 8 K. 3.38 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.28 Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP 2.22 Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.00 (Combined Cubs/Yankees ERA) Peralta 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.28 Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.75 (Combined A’s/Yankees ERA) Loaisiga (L, 1-3) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.57 STANDINGS While the Yanks still have a 10 1/2 game lead in the AL East, they are now tied with Houston for the best record in the AL. Both teams are six games back of the Dodgers, who hold the best record in the majors, and one game behind the Mets.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Andujar, Carpenter, Chapman, Cole, Effross, Holmes, Loaisiga, Peralta, Trivino
The Yankees (71-39) snapped their five-game losing streak, beating Seattle 9-4 but lost Matt Carpenter in the process. Carpenter fouled a pitch off his left foot in the first inning, and X-rays revealed a fracture. Aaron Judge hit his 44th HR in the game, and Josh Donaldson got four hits, including a HR, and 3 RBI. The Yanks started off right away with two runs in the top of the first inning. D.J. LeMahieu singled, then Judge hit a ground-rule double. Carpenter then struck out, strike two being the foul ball that broke his foot. Donaldson then singled in two runs. In the bottom of the first, Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon gave a run back by giving up a HR to Mitch Haniger. It was one of those you hated. Two-out, two-strike, one strike from getting out of the inning. Aargh. The Yanks went up 4-1 in the top of the third. This time they did the two-out damage. Donaldson hit a HR (11), then Gleyber Torres singled. Andrew Benintendi followed with a double. Torres would have been out at the plate, but the throw short-hopped the catcher for an error, Torres scored, Benintendi went to third. Taillon gave up a run in the fourth in another of those innings that drives you crazy. With two out and one on, he walked three straight batters to force in a run that made the score 4-2. Taillon did go seven innings, giving up just three hits, and got the win. It’s just those two-out hits and the three consecutive walks here that had you gritting your teeth. The Yanks came right back in the top of the fifth, however, taking a 7-2 lead. Donaldson, who had four hits on the night, led off with a double. Torres doubled, but Donaldson didn’t score. Benintendi doubled in both runners. A groundout moved Benintendi to third, and a SF by Isiah Kiner-Falefa made it 7-2. Taillon gave up a HR to Cal Raleigh (yes, with two out, ugh) to cut the Yanks lead to 7-3 in the seventh. In the top of the ninth, Aaron Judge led off with his 44th HR of the year, and one out later Donaldson doubled. After a strikeout for the second out, Benintendi walked. Jose Trevino singled to make it 9-3. Clay Holmes, struggling lately, gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth before finishing off the game. 9-4 the final score. Holmes’ struggles lately are bothersome. So, a much-needed win, but a lot of concerns (Carpenter, Holmes, two-out meltdowns) as well. Here is one amazing stat from MLB.com about Judge’s amazing season so far: Aaron Judge of the @Yankees currently leads MLB in runs, home runs, RBI & total bases. Since RBI became official in 1920, only 4 players have led the majors in all 4 categories in a season: Babe Ruth (1921, 1923, 1926) Lou Gehrig (1931) Ted Williams (1942) Mickey Mantle (1956). (My additional note: there was no MVP award in 1921. Ruth won in 1923 but under the pre-1931 rules, since he won in 1923, he was then ineligible in 1926. Gehrig lost out to Lefty Grove (31-4 for the pennant-winning A’s) in 1931, and Williams, despite a triple crown season, lost the MVP to the Yankees’ Joe Gordon in 1942. Mantle won in 1956). RECAP LeMahieu 2 hits Judge 2 hits, solo HR (44) .303-44-98 and 11 for 11 in SB Donaldson 4 hits, 3 RBI. 2 doubles, Solo HR (11) Torres 2 hits Benintendi 2 hits, both doubles, 3 RBI Taillon (W, 11-2) 7 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. 1 WP. Gave up 2 HR. 3.95 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.44 Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.27 Cole vs. Castillo tonight. We will see what the move is to replace Carpenter.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Benintendi, Carpenter, Chapman, Donaldson, Holmes, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, LeMahieu, Taillon, Torres, Trevino
I have friends in the Lehigh Valley Yankee fan club who are on their way home to PA after their road trip to St. Louis. I hope their travels have been safe and the rest of their trip was fun. The games they watched in St. Louis certainly were not fun. The Cardinals swept the Yanks (70-39) Sunday by winning 12-9 and extended the Yankees’ losing streak to a season-high 5 games. In losing, the Yanks made, shall we say, some cardinal sins. They gave up too many runs with two out. Those pitchers have to finish off the inning. Also, it’s one thing to let an All-Star in Nolan Arenado beat you all series. It’s another thing to have a guy hitting under .150 beat you all series. For the first time in months, the Yanks lead in the division is less than 10 games. It’s now 9 1/2 over Toronto. It’s only 1/2 a game over Houston for best record in the AL. The Yanks trail the dodgers by 5 1/2 for the best record in baseball. No need for panic yet, but the Yanks have to right the ship, and soon. They now head to Seattle, so most of us Easterners won’t be awake for the end of the games. The Yanks got a run in the top of the first when D.J. LeMahieu doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on a SF by Matt Carpenter. St. Louis tied it in the bottom of the first. In the top of the second, the Yanks scored three runs and you thought it could be their day. Gleyber Torres singled to lead off the inning. Andrew Benintendi singled Torres to second. Aaron Hicks singled to score Torres and send Benintendi to second. Before those three hits, those three hitters were a combined 3 for their last 79. So, you thought, maybe this’ll be a good day after all. After Jose Trevino struck out, Marwin Gonzalez was HBP to load the bases. LeMahieu struck out, but Aaron Judge singled in two runs, and it was 4-1 Yanks. But St. Louis came right back with five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6-4 lead. Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, just acquired at the trade deadline, hadn’t pitched since July 26, a 12-day gap, because of being on bereavement due to the death of his mother-in-law. He had just arrived in St. Louis Saturday night and didn’t meet most of his teammates until hours before game time. So, he gets a mulligan here. Tough situation for him. Two walks (oh, those bases on balls! As the old Cardinal, Frankie Frisch would say) started the inning. Then a one-out double drove in one run. Another walk loaded the bases. A SF drove in another run. Then a two-out 3-run HR by Nolan Arenado made it 6-4, Cardinals. All-Star Arenado killed the Yanks all series with his bat and glove. Meanwhile, the Yanks’ lineup, without Anthony Rizzo or Giancarlo Stanton, was good enough this day to get 16 hits. Rizzo and Stanton were surely missed In Friday’s 4-3 and Saturday’s 1-0 losses. The Yanks tied the game in the top of the fifth when Benintendi led off with a double and Hicks walked. Trevino singled to load the bases. After a couple of strikeouts, Judge doubled off the base of the wall to tie the game. In fairness, the Yanks did get some big two-out hits of their own, Judge’s double, for example, here. After Judge’s double, both manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake were ejected for arguing balls and strikes. One strike called on Matt Carpenter, batting after Judge, was a terrible call by the home plate umpire. Looking at it on video, the pitch looked a good four inches outside. I can’t blame Boone and Blake for arguing that one. But once again, the Cardinals came right back in the bottom of the same inning. With one out, a single. Then a double by Paul DeJong, who we’ll read again about shortly. After a pitching change and another out, a single to drive in DeJong. Two walks (there’s those walks again!) to load the bases. Another pitching change, then ANOTHER walk to force in a run before getting the last out of the inning. 9-6 Cardinals. The Yanks, to their credit, battled back. In the top of the sixth, Josh Donaldson led off with a single. Torres singled Donaldson to second, and one out later, a single by Hicks loaded the bases. Trevino singled in a run, and a force-out by Gonzalez made it 9-8. But any hopes for a comeback died in the bottom of the eighth when DeJong hit a 3-run HR to put the Cardinals up 12-8. Here was a fatal mistake all series for the Yanks. DeJong had the GW 2-run double Friday night against them. Here yesterday he had a big RBI double and 3-run HR. At games’ end, he was hitting .157. You just wanted to pull your hair out, letting a guy with a batting average that low beat you. As a result, LeMahieu’s solo HR (12) in the top of the ninth went for naught. 12-9 final. LeMahieu 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (12) Judge 2 hits, 4 RBI Torres 3 hits. Benintendi 2 hits Hicks 3 hits, RBI Trevino 2 hits, RBI Montas 3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 3.59 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA) Abreu (L, 2-1) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.73 (Combined 3-team ERA) Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 6.66 Trivino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.86 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA) Peralta 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.36 Effross 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.06 (Combined Cubs/NYY ERA) 8 walks. Ouch. The Yanks could use a pep talk/clubhouse meeting right now.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Benintendi, Blake, Boone, Carpenter, Effross, Hicks, Judge, LeMahieu, Loaisiga, Montas, Peralta, Torres, Trevino, Trivino
It’s one thing if you get beaten by the other team’s best player, who is an MVP candidate, or perhaps an All-star or a retiring all-time great who’s a Hall of Fame lock. (Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, or Albert Pujols/Yadier Molina). It’s another thing to get beaten by someone hitting .137. That is exactly what happened in a painful 4-3 loss the Yankees had to the St. Louis Cardinals last night. With the loss, Yanks (70-37) lost their third game in a row. They haven’t had a four-game losing streak all season. Also with the loss, the Yanks’ lead for the best record in the AL is down to just a half a game over Houston. The Yanks are 3 1/2 games behind the Dodgers for the best record in baseball. This fade is because the Yanks are 9-14 after starting out a blistering 61-23. Hopefully they right the ship soon. In the first inning, D.J. LeMahieu walked, and after Aaron Judge lined out, Matt Carpenter, returning for the first time to St. Louis, for whom he played for for many years, singled D.J. to third. One out later, Josh Donaldson doubled in D.J. 1-0 Yankees. St. Louis tied it in the second. A lead-off walk, then a two-out walk put two runners on, and future HOF C Yadier Molina singled to tie the game at one. That hit was the ONLY hit Nasty Nestor Cortes gave up. But walks and a wild pitch from the Yankees’ pitchers hurt them all night long. The Yanks came right back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. Aaron Judge led off with a single and Carpenter then singled Judge to third. One out later, Donaldson singled to give the Yanks the lead. The Yanks went up 3-1 in the fifth, when Judge led off with a single and stole second. He is 11 for 11 in SB attempts this season. Judge moved to third on a groundout and scored on an infield single by Gleyber Torres. Cortes gave up a one-out walk in the sixth, and was replaced by Albert Abreu, who threw a WP to move the runner to second. A single put runners on first and third. Abreu got the second out via a K, but then gave up a single to make the score 3-2. Those two-out hits that drive in runs kill you. With the meat of the Cardinals order coming up in the bottom of the eighth, manager Aaron Boone called on closer Clay Holmes. I thought it was the right move. You want your best facing their best. If Holmes does his job, then St. Louis has the bottom of the order up in the ninth and you can then use someone else. But in making the right move, as Boone did, the player still needs to execute. Holmes did not. After a groundout by Goldschmidt, who is on his way to an MVP season, Holmes gave up a single to All-Star Nolan Arenado. Then he got a strikeout. So far so good. But then a walk. As I mentioned, walks killed the Yanks last night, as did two-out RBI hits. Holmes then gave up a 2-out, 2-run double to Paul DeJong, who was hitting .137 at the time. Ouch. 4-3 Cardinals, which was the final score. It will be awkward tonight because the opposing pitcher for the Cardinals will be ex-Yankee Jordan Montgomery, who the Yanks just traded to St. Louis on Tuesday. Judge 2 hits Carpenter 2 hits. Donaldson 2 hits, 2 RBI Slumping: Aaron Hicks is 0 for his last 26 and 5 for his last 45. Newcomer Andrew Benintendi is just 2 for 24. Ouch. Cortes 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 4 W, 4 K. 2.57 Nestor was Nasty again. The real ace this year. Abreu (H, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP. 2.27 (Combined 3-team ERA) Effross (H, 14) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.54 (Combined Cubs/NYY ERA) Holmes (L, 5-3; BS, 4) 1 P, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.12 Yankees’ pitchers only gave up five hits, but those six walks came back to bite them. In his last 8 games, Holmes is 1-3 with two blown saves, and has given up 9 R in 7 1/3 IP. 11.05 ERA. Ouch, again. Some guys have to shake their slumps. What can you say? UPDATE: I just read that despite the .137 batting average, that DeJong was 5 for 7 in his career vs. Holmes before that hit. Ouch, again.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Benintendi, Boone, Carpenter, Donaldson, Effross, Hicks, Holmes, Judge, Montgomery, Torres
The trade deadline is tomorrow, and we still await a Yankees (69-34) move. For if any game emphasized the need to add help for both the rotation and the bullpen, Sunday’s was it, in an 8-6 loss to Kansas City. Jordan Montgomery, who was knocked out early in his previous start, a loss to the Mets, only lasted four innings in this one. After four scoreless innings where he looked really good, he fell apart in the fifth. It started by Monty walking the first two batters of the inning. Two singles and a double followed, and Montgomery was out of the game. Albert Abreu got three outs in a row, one run scoring on a groundout, but by the time the inning was over, the Yanks were down 4-0. The Yanks came back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Carpenter led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout by Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF). Kyle Higashioka got a bloop single to drive in Carpenter, then D.J. LeMahieu homered (11) to cut KC’s lead to 4-3. The Yankees took a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Aaron Hicks, PH for Higashioka, led off the inning with a walk. One out later, Aaron Judge walked, and after a pitching change, Anthony Rizzo greeted the new pitcher with a 3-run HR (25). The way the bullpen has been this season, you expected them to shut down KC for the win. Wrong. Ron Marinaccio, who had pitched nineteen straight scoreless innings, gave up a HR to Hunter Dozier leading off the top of the eighth, and it was 6-5 Yankees. Clay Holmes came in for the ninth, and with one out, gave up a walk and then hit a batter. Salvador Perez then hit a 441-ft 3-run HR that proved to be the game-winner, 8-6. Holmes has come back to earth a bit lately. The Yanks did get the tying runs on bases and the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but to no avail. LeMahieu 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (11) Rizzo 2 hits, 3-run HR (25) Carpenter 2 hits, both doubles. Montgomery 4+ IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 W, 6 K. 3.69 4 good innings, then fell apart in fifth. Abreu 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.10 3-team ERA Peralta 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.35 Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.75 Marinaccio (H, 3) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 WP. Gave up 1 HR. 2.25 19-inning scoreless streak snapped. Holmes (L, 5-2; BS, 3) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 1.77 Luetge 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.70 I won’t speculate on trade rumors. Once something is done, if anything, then I will comment.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Carpenter, Higashioka, Holmes, LeMahieu, Loaisiga, Luetge, Marinaccio, Montgomery, Peralta, Rizzo