Tag Archives: Castro

Game 154. Yanks’ clinch playoff spot.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees clinched their 53rd postseason appearance with a 5-1 win over the Blue Jays this afternoon.

I was going to say that the magic number to clinch the home game for the wild card is three over the Twins, but actually it is two. The Yanks won the season series over the Twins 4 games to 2, so a tiebreaker goes to the Yanks.

Sonny Gray gave up a HR in the third for the only Blue Jays’ run.

Meanwhile, the Yanks were hitting into bad luck. Liners that were becoming DPs.

But in the fifth, Greg Bird hit a 3-run HR (6) to put the Yanks up 3-1.

Todd Frazier homered in the eighth (27) to make it 4-1, and Starlin Castro got an RBI single in the ninth for the 5-1 score.

Gray (W, 10-11, 3.31) 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green  (h, 7)  1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.90
Robertson (H, 6 ) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.96
Chapman  1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.42. \

The Yanks did escape a potential disaster before the game. Luis Severino was struck by a line drive during batting practice above his non-throwing shoulder but appears to be OK. He is probably going to be the starting pitcher for the wild card game.


Game 151. Yanks beat Twins, 5-2. Reduce Magic Numbers.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks beat the Twins 5-2 Tuesday night, and in so doing, reduced their magic numbers to make the playoffs and host the wild card game.

They remain 3 back of Boston in the AL East with 11 games to go. The division title is still within reach, but it seems like the top wild card berth is what they will get.

The magic # for hosting the wild card game is now 6 over the Twins. The Angels lost last night as well, so the magic # for just making the playoffs and being the road team in that sudden death wild card game is 5.

The game’s start was delayed a little over an hour by rain. CC Sabathia gave up a run in the first inning. It could have been worse. A single and two bunt singles (wonder how CC feels about those), and the Twins had the bases loaded with no one out. A DP brought the run home and then a groundout and CC minimized the damage.

In the second, Castro walked, and two outs later, Bird walked. Gardner doubled home a run to tie the game.

CC gave up a HR in the top of the third, 2-1 Twins, but that was it for Minnesota.

The Yanks took the lead in the fourth and never looked back. Ellsbury, who has raised his average some 30 points lately, doubled. After an out, Bird walked. Gardner singled in a run to tie the game. After a WP, Judge hit a SF to put the Yanks up 3-2.

In the fifth, with one out, Headley was HBP. Castro singled, and Ellsbury grounded out, moving up the runners. Todd Frazier walked to load the bases. Bird hit a grounder that 1B Joe Mauer muffed, everyone safe, Yanks up 4-2.

In the sixth, Judge and Sanchez singled, and after two out, Castro singled to make it 5-2.

Gardner 3 hits, 2 RBI.
Judge 2 hits, RBI.
Castro 3 hits, RBI.

Sabathia (W, 12-5, 3.81) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green (H, 6) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1.93
Robertson (H, 5) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.99 Struck out the side.
Chapman (S, 20) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.50

For CC, it was career win #235, putting him one behind Whitey Ford on the all-time list.

Game 149. Yanks lose, 6-4. Didi Ties Yanks SS HR record.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Didi Gregorius hit his 24th HR of the season, tying the Yankees’ record for HR in a season by a Yankees’ SS, set in 1999 by Derek Jeter, but the Yanks lost to Baltimore Sunday, 6-4.

The loss keeps the Yanks (82-67) 3 games back of Boston for the AL East with 13 games to go. The tragic # for losing out on the division is 11.

The Yanks are still up on the top wild card spot by four games over the Twins. The Yanks’ magic # for clinching the top wild card spot and that sudden-death wild card game at home is 10. With games against the Twins tomorrow (Monday), Tuesday and Wednesday, the Yanks can decrease that number significantly. The magic # for making the playoffs at all, (wild card game on the road) is 8.

By the way, Gary Sanchez has the most HR in a season by someone who was primarily a catcher for the Yankees with 31 but he does NOT have the most HR by a Yankees’ catcher in a season. Yogi Berra (both 1952 and 1956) hit 30, and ALL were as a catcher, none at PH or at another position. Jorge Posada’s 30 in 2003? All were hit as a catcher, none as DH, 1B or PH or another position Not all of Sanchez’ 31 this year were as a catcher. 25 are at C, 1 at 1B, 5 at DH.

Sonny Gray didn’t have it. He gave up a run in the top of the second, and Didi tied it with his HR in the bottom of the frame.

Baltimore got one in the third, but the killer came in the fourth when Gray gave up a 3-run HR to Tim Beckham.

Baltimore got a run in the fifth off of Bryan Mitchell to make it 6-1.

Matt Holliday doubled in two in the sixth to cut it to 6-3.

A Castro SF in the eighth made it 6-4.

Buck Showalter made an odd move in the ninth. With a man on third and two out, he intentionally walked Aaron Judge to set up a force. But in doing so, he put the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate in Gary Sanchez. Sanchez struck out to end the game.

Castro had 2 hits.
Didi HR.
Holliday 2 RBI.

The Yanks struck out 14X.

Gray hasn’t been getting run support, but he has himself to blame for this one.

Gray (L, 9-11, 3.38) 4 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Mitchell 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. 4.73.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.04
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.54

With Garcia going on Monday, and Chad Green rested, don’t be surprised to see a quick hook from Girardi.



Game 145. Yanks edge Rays, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi has turned into Captain Hook, whether his starters like it or not. He has “flipped the page”. Whereas earlier this year, he may have stuck with a starter, now with a playoff spot on the line, he’ll go to his bullpen much quicker, the starter’s feelings be damned for the sake of the team and getting that W.

We saw it earlier this week when he pulled CC in the middle of the fifth up 5-1 when he brought in David Robertson.

Today we saw it with two outs in the fifth when he yanked Jaime Garcia for Chad Green.

They are moves worthy of Casey and Billy. Aggressive, bold and gutsy, the starter’s feelings be damned. It doesn’t matter what pitcher gets the W, as long as it’s a W and not an L. Garcia didn’t like being pulled one out away from qualifying for a win, but it is what it is. Don’t like it? Garcia is a free agent at the end of the year. Don’t like buying into TEAM right now? Leave.  It’s not like he’s been Sandy Koufax or Clayton Kershaw since he was traded for. Besides, right now, Chad Green is such an unhittable weapon.

Girardi couldn’t do this earlier in the year, or he would burn out the bullpen. Now? No holds barred.

Besides Garcia, Betances got a quick hook when he ran into trouble and got pulled for Chapman.

Simple concept. Does well, leave him in. Struggles? Pull him.

The Yanks beat the Rays, 3-2 today, scoring all three runs in the top of the second.

Castro and Ellsbury singled. Todd Frazier singled in a run. After an out and a walk that loaded the bases, Gardner singled in two.

The Rays got a HR in the third off Garcia and scored another in the eighth. With Boston losing tonight, the 79-66 Yanks are three back of the division lead (and to avoid the sudden death wild card game) with 17 games left.

Gardner 2 hits, 2 RBI.
Sanchez 2 hits.
Castro 2 hits.
Ellsbury 2 hits.

Garcia 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.35
Green (W, 5-0, 1.96) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Kahnle (H, 14) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.62
Betances (H, 18) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.09
Chapman (S, 18) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 4 K. 3.71

Otani, the Japanese hitter/pitcher will be posted at the end of the year. The Yanks have interest.

Magic numbers for the Yanks making a wild card spot and for top wild card are less than 20.


Game 139. Yanks’ 4 HR bomb Orioles, 9-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (75-64) beat Baltimore Thursday afternoon, 9-1, to close the gap to 3 1/2 back of Boston with 23 games to go.

They struck early, getting 3 runs in the top of the first.  Gardner walked, stole second, and with two out, Didi Gregorius doubled him home. Aaron Judge followed with a 2-run HR, #39.

That HR put Judge second all-time for HR in a season by a rookie. The record is Mark McGwire, A’s, 1987, with 49.

In the third, Didi singled with one out, and Judge walked. Holliday singled in a run, moving Judge to third. Ellsbury grounded out, driving in a run and making it 5-0.

A two-run HR by Chase Headley (12) in the fourth made it 7-0.

Starlin Castro hit a HR (14) in the sixth, 8-0. Baltimore scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth, 8-1.

Todd Frazier finished the scoring, hitting a solo HR (23) in the seventh.

Sonny Gray was solid, and the Yanks’ bullpen picked him up.

Gardner 2 hits.
Headley HR, 2 RBI
Castro HR
Gregorius 3 hits, RBI.
Judge HR, 2 RBI.
Romine 2 hits. Sanchez returns Friday, when Romine will serve his 1-game suspension.

Adam Warren is on the 10-day DL, maybe done for the year, with back spasms. Now we know why he wasn’t used Tuesday, but still, Joe, only 11 pitches for D-Rob and Chapman the other night?

Rumors are CC is having knee trouble again. He has had a good year, but is a free agent after the year, is 37, and would you want someone back who will be 38 next July and has been having knee trouble?

Gray (W, 9-9, 3.22 combined A’s/Yankees) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 5 K.
Green 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.93.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.77
Heller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00

Game 138. Golden opportunity missed, Yanks blow it in 9th, 7-6.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It was so close to being cut to 1 1/2 games. So close.

The Yanks had a 6-1 lead. They took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth in Baltimore. Meanwhile, Toronto took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth up in Boston.

With two out, Dellin Betances walked a batter and gave up a game-winning 2-run walk-off HR to the Orioles’ Manny Machado. It was Machado’s second HR of the game.

Meanwhile, Boston won 3-2 in 19 innings. Instead of cutting the lead to 1 1/2 games, the Yanks fall 3 1/2 back. Ouch.

With two out in the first, CC gave up a run on a walk, infield hit, WP and another infield hit.

The Yanks struck for six in the third, but couldn’t tack on. Romine singled, and after an out, Judge walked and Castro was HBP. Didi singled in two, 2-1 Yanks. Holliday walked to re-load the bases. Bird hit a sac fly, E-8 on Adam Jones, everyone moves up, everyone safe. 3-1. Todd Frazier grounded out, run scored, 4-1. Ellsbury singled in two, 6-1.

But the Yanks gave it all back. CC gave up a HR in the bottom of the third to Machado. 6-2.

He gave up a HR in the fifth to Yankee-killer Schoop. 6-3.

I would NOT have had CC start the sixth inning, and was surprised and angry when he did. My fears and anger were justified when he gave up a 2-run HR to Mark Trumbo to make it 6-5.

Pulls Montgomery early on Labor Day (puts in Green, right move) but doesn’t pull CC for Warren when the situation was about the same? I don’t know how Warren was feeling or anything, but….

I don’t know how Yankees fans around the country feel, but living close enough to NY to get WFAN and hear the Yankees fans there, I can say that there are a lot of Yankees fans not happy with Joe Girardi’s managing. This is the last year of Girardi’s contract.

One reason is this: his constant over managing. Guy comes in, pitches well, and he pulls the guy after one inning. Too often, by doing this, you eventually find the guy who doesn’t have it that night and blows the game. Guy doing well, leave him in! I’ve written that how many times this year.

Too many cooks spoil the soup.

It is one reason the Yanks’ real record is eight games worse than their expected record based on runs scored vs. runs allowed. It is one of the reasons they are 15-24 in one-run games. They are 3 1/2 back of Boston. If they were 19-20, not even .500 in those one-run games…. you can do the math.

So Kahnle gets two outs. Robertson only pitches one inning, 11 pitches. Same with Chapman, one inning, 11 pitches. Then instead of letting Robertson go two, or Chapman two, Girardi brings in Betances, who blows the game.

Joe. Simple concept. Guy does well, not many pitches, leave him in for another inning.

Stop over-managing.

Castro 2 hits.
Gregorius 2 RBI
Ellsbury 2 hits, 2 RBI

Tyler Austin was brought up from SWB.

Sabathia 5 1/3 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 1 W, 3 K. Gave up 3 HR. 3.91
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.82
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H. 0 W, 1 K. 2.24. Threw just 11 pitches and pulled.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.02. Threw just 11 pitches and pulled.
Betances (BS, 3; L, 3-6, 2.73) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up GW HR.

So close to cutting it to 1 1/2. So damned close.

…and Boston was caught using illegal technology to steal Yankees’ signs recently. We’ll see about any ramifications for that.

Paul Schaal, a 3B for the Angels (1964-1968, 1974) and Royals  (1969-1974) passed away Sept. 1, age 74. His best year was 3B for the 1971 Royals, .274-11-63, OPS+ 129. For his career, .244 with 57 HR. 162 g. average .244-8-46, OPS+ 99.

Game 137. Castro, Didi lead Yanks to 7-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Starlin Castro had 3 hits, inc. a HR, and 3 RBI, and Didi Gregorius hit a 2-run HR as the Yankees (74-63) beat the Orioles Monday afternoon, 7-4.

Things didn’t start well. Jordan Montgomery gave up a HR to the first batter he faced, and gave up a 2-run HR in the second. 3-0 Orioles.

The Yankees tied it in the fourth. Castro singled and Didi hit HR #20 to cut the Orioles lead to 3-2. Didi became the first Yankees SS ever to have back-to-back 20 HR seasons. Nope, Derek Jeter didn’t do that. Judge walked (he walked four times in he game) and so did Todd Frazier. Jacoby Ellsbury’s single tied the game.

In the fifth, Headley singled and Castro’s 13th HR of the season made it 5-3 Yanks.

To the sixth. Frazier and Ellsbury walked and Romine bunted them over (Sanchez’ suspension was reduced to 3 games, beginning with this game). Gardner grounded out, run scoring. Headley walked and Castro singled to make it 7-3.

Baltimore got a HR in the 9th for the final of 7-4.

Castro 3 for 5, HR, 3 RBI.
Didi 2-run HR
Judge 1 for 1, 4 walks (first rookie since Jim Gilliam, 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, to have 100 walks in a season). The Yanks drew 10 walks in the game.

Montgomery 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. 4.14
Green (W, 3-0, 1.97) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K. Great all year.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 2.28. Houdini. Walked first two, then out of trouble.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.42


Game 136. No $ale! Yanks cash in, hit 4 HR and beat Boston, 9-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees hit 4 HR, 3 off of Cy Young candidate Chris Sale, and closed to 3 1/2 back of Boston in the AL East by beating Boston 9-2 Sunday night.

The win puts the Yanks at 73-63 and gives them a 2-game cushion over the Twins for the top wild card spot and 3 1/2 over the Angels and Orioles for the lower wild card spot. They face the Orioles this afternoon.

Red-hit Chase Headley got the ball rolling with HR #11, a solo shot in the third inning, to put the Yanks up 1-0. They had scoring opportunities in the first and second innings but didn’t cash in.

Matt Holliday (18) and Todd Frazier (22) hit back-to-back HRs in the fourth to make it 3-0.

Luis Severino, meanwhile, was brilliant, giving up just one unearned run (two Todd Frazier errors and yet another passed ball by Sanchez) in the sixth. Although Severino will most likely fall behind Sale and Indians’ pitcher Corey Kluber in the CYA voting, he should get consideration.

The Yanks blew it open with a six-run sixth. Matt Holliday walked, and after Frazier struck out, Jacoby Ellsbury singled. Brett Gardner walked to load the bases but Headley struck out for the second out. Then the Yanks pounced. On a bang-bang play, Gary Sanchez singled in a run. 4-1. Starlin Castro doubled to clear the bases, 7-1. Then, finally, after a long drought, Aaron Judge hit #38, a 2-run HR, to make it 9-1. It had been some 15 games or so since Judge connected.

Boston got a run in the ninth for the final of 9-2.

Headley 2 hits, HR, RBI.
Sanchez 2 hits, RBI.
Castro 3 hits, 3 RBI.
Holliday 1 for 2, HR, RBI.
Ellsbury 3 for 3.

Severino (W, 12-6, 3.03) 6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 9 K.
Kahnle 1 Ip, 0 r, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.85
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.49
Gallegos 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 6.00

Game 135. Holliday weekend! Matt’s 3-run HR keys Yanks’ 5-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks’ struggles after a 38-23 start can be addressed to several factors. Matt Holliday, so good up to mid-June (and going into yesterday, .137-3-7 since June 12), got a viral infection, and spent time on the DL. Aaron Judge has cooled off considerably from his superman-like early performance (.190 since July 4), Aaron Hicks went on the DL (and may be headed back there. Since coming off the DL, just .207) and Starlin Castro spent 2 stints on the DL. All simultaneously, or it has appeared so. The problems at 1B have been documented (Bird’s injuries, Chris Carter) and Brett Gardner also has been known to cool off in the second half over the course of his career.

Every team has injuries, but the losses of Hicks (despite Clint Frazier doing ok in his absence), Holliday and Castro all at about the same time really hurt. And it can take a while to get it back, even when off the DL.

Yesterday, Castro missed the game due to an emergency root canal. Hicks hurt his oblique and you worry about him being lost for the season.

But Holliday, in his first game back from the DL, hit a 3-run HR to key a 5-1 Yankees’ (72-63) victory. Maybe he can get back to where he was before June 12.

As for Judge, you hope and wonder when he’ll get it back. The Yanks can use it down the stretch.

Masahiro Tanaka continued his resurgence after a rocky start to this season by pitching seven strong innings to put him over .500 on the season.

The Yanks struck first when Chase Headley (3 hits) hit his 10th HR of the season, giving the Yanks a 1-0 lead in the second.

Boston tied it in the top of the sixth when Eduardo Nunez (tearing it up since Boston got him from SF; where was this Nunez when the Yanks had him?) doubled, went to third on a groundout, and scored on a WP.

Holliday broke that tie in the bottom of the sixth with his 3-run HR (17).

A triple by Ellsbury (who replaced the injured Hicks) and a single by Sanchez (3 hits) accounted for the final score of 5-1.

Tanaka (W, 11-10, 4.54) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 3 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.32
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.29

With 27 games to go, the Yanks are 4 1/2 back of Boston in the AL East. Big pitching showdown tonight, Severino vs. Sale. The Yanks maintain a 1-game lead over the surprising Twins for the top wild card and have a 2 1/2 game cushion as far as dropping out of the playoffs altogether.

Game 133. Bird is the word in Yanks’ 6-2 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It’s been a horrible year for Greg Bird, who had such a great spring training before fouling a ball off his ankle which messed up his swing, put him on the DL, and required surgery.

Last night, we saw what could have been for this year if Bird had stayed healthy. He hit a 2-run HR (3) to give the Yanks a cushion and had 3 RBI in the Yankees’ 6-2 win over Boston.

The win puts the 71-62 Yanks 4 1/2 behind Boston in the AL East. They have the top wild card spot by just one game over the Twins, and have a 2 1/2 game edge over the Angels for falling out of the playoffs altogether. The Angels made a couple of big moves to try to get over the hump and into the playoffs, picking up Justin Upton from the Tigers and Brandon Phillips off the Braves. Meanwhile, AL West leading Houston picked up Justin Verlander (Kate Upton’s fiancee, LOL) from the Tigers.

CC Sabathia escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning but gave up a run in the third. The Yanks won one challenge in the top of the third when Aaron Hicks threw out Andrew Benintendi when Benintendi was trying for a double, but lost another when Mookie Betts was called safe at second when the Yanks were trying for an inning-ending DP that would have prevented a run from scoring. Instead, one out, no DP and Boston up 1-0.

Gary Sanchez tied the game in the bottom of the third with his 28th HR of the season.

The Yanks got a big break in the fifth. With one out, Brett Gardner singled. Aaron Hicks was jammed, but his little jam shot found grass, and the single pushed Gardner to third. Sanchez popped up, but Eduardo Nunez, shifted over from his normal position, overran the popup, it fell for a single, and the Yanks were up 2-1.

Bird’s 2-run HR (3) made in 4-1 in the sixth. It came after a Chase Headley double that led off the inning. After Bird’s HR, Todd Frazier singled, and with one out, Aaron Hicks singled. With two out, Didi Gregorius singled to make it 5-1.

A walk to Aaron Judge (dropped to sixth in the lineup), a single by Headley and a single by Bird made it 6-1 in the seventh.

Boston got a run in the ninth for the final of 6-2.

Gardner 2 hits.
Hicks 2 hits. Robbed of a third, when a line drive was turned into a 1-3 DP.
Sanchez 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI.
Castro 2 hits.
Headley 2 hits.
Bird 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI.

Nice TEAM effort.

Sabathia (W, 11-5, 3.71) 6 IP, 1 r, 4 H, 5 W, 6 K.
Robertson 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 w, 1 K. 2.36
Betances 1 Ip, 1 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.34

CC was in and out of trouble, what with the walks, but got out of it. Hicks and Judge made nice throws from the outfield to nab runners at second.

UPDATE: Rosters can expand now, and Matt Holliday will be back with the Yanks tonight (Friday). We’ll see who else joins the team.

The Yanks got 37 year old catcher Erik Kratz off of Cleveland for cash considerations. This is because Romine and Sanchez will have to serve their suspensions soon (not simultaneously, of course). But it gives them a backup catcher. Kyle Higashioka is on the DL down at SWB. Kratz has played with the Pirates, Phillies, Blue Jays, Royals, Phillies again, Astros, and Pirates again. In 225 games, 599 AB, he is .200-24-73. Low average, has a bit of pop. 162 g. average: .200-17-53, OPS+ 66. This is just a temporary thing b/c of the suspensions.

This year, Kratz was at AAA Columbus, .270-13-37 in 86 games.