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 took a 2-run lead into the ninth inning last night. In 167 previous instances in postseason play, the Yankees had never blown that lead. Meanwhile Cleveland was 0 for 41 when trailing by two or more entering the ninth in their postseason history. Unfortunately for the Yankees last night, there is a first time for everything. The Yankees blew a 5-3 lead, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and lost 6-5. They were ONE STRIKE away from winning the game. They are down two games to one in the series and must win tonight to stay alive. Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees. The odds aren’t good for the Yanks. The winner of Game 3 in a series that was tied at one each has won the series 72% of the time. The Yanks did beat the odds in 1977. If Cleveland is to slay the dragon, so to speak, they aren’t doing it by chopping its head off. They are doing it with pinpricks. Little bleeders and dinkers that find a hole. Cue Roberta Flack. They are killing you softly. The Yanks roster usage and bullpen usage is coming into question. Here is a link https://www.mlb.com/news/yankees-lose-alds-game-3-2022 taking you to that. Clay Holmes wasn’t used, much to the surprise of Holmes and teammate Luis Severino. Holmes said he was available. Manager Aaron Boone said he didn’t want to use Holmes back-to-back games because of soreness. Fine good that does you, to have relievers compromised come playoff time. Of course, the Yankees are already shorthanded in the bullpen with King, Green, Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, Montas (even though he’s a starter), and Effross all down. That lack of bullpen depth is hurting them right now. A 10-inning loss followed by blowing a 2-run ninth inning lead. With Holmes down, the way Boone handled the bullpen the rest of the game comes into question. See the article. It’s not just Bryan Hoch of mlb asking the questions about Trivino or Loaisiga’s usage. The YES postgame broadcasting team, like Michael Kay and John Flaherty (and, should Boone need to be replaced, Flaherty would be my choice to replace him) asked the same questions. The article I referenced above also alludes to some communication problems it seems the Yankees have in the clubhouse. If so, there is a major problem with the front office or manager, or BOTH. In five seasons as Yankees manager, Boone has had two seasons of 100 or more wins and another of 99. Of course, one season was the 60-game Covid shortened season. Success there. But you now have to wonder if he is a “push-button” manager, who can take a team to the playoffs, but can’t go further because he gets outmanaged by a Kevin Cash, Alex Cora or Terry Francona come playoff time. Just my opinion, but I think it is a fair question, and has Brian Cashman run his course? Put it this way. When your own broadcasting team second guesses you… The game didn’t start out well. Luis Severino struggled in the first and second innings, giving up a run in both innings and the Yanks were down 2-0 after two innings. They were lucky it wasn’t worse. A couple balls looked like they would leave the yard, but Aaron Judge caught them on the warning track. In the top of the third, Oswaldo Cabrera doubled, and Aaron Judge later hit a 2-run HR to tie the game. Judge was 0 for 9 with 8 strikeouts before finally coming through. In the fifth, Harrison Bader singled and one out later, Cabrera homered to put the Yanks up 4-2. Cleveland got a run in the sixth, all after Severino got the first two outs. Isiah Kiner Falefa’s defense has been shaky this series and I would not be surprised if Oswald Peraza is the Yanks’ starting SS next year. One play to start the rally was ruled a hit, but you wonder if Peraza would have made the play. Heck, you could make a good case that Peraza should be on THIS postseason roster. It could have been worse. A line drive caught by Gleyber Torres was the third out. That would have tied the game. Instead, the Yanks still led 4-3. Bader, impressive in his short time with the Yanks so far after the trade, homered in the seventh to make it 5-3 Yanks. The Yanks’ runs were on the HR. They only got five hits all game to Cleveland’s 15. Cleveland strung hits. The Yankees did not. Then to the ninth. Boone wanted to stretch out Wandy Peralta, who had pitched well, and have him close it out. A one-out blooper to left for a double. Just like in Game 2, Cabrera could not get to it. On the postgame show, Paul O’Neill, the Yankees legend, stated that Cabrera is a good fielder, but the converted infielder is great laterally but still has to learn more coming in or out. My question is, with Tim Locastro being a more experienced outfielder, and with more speed than that of Cabrera, should Boone have replaced Cabrera with Locastro for defensive purposes late in Game 2 and Game 3? Could Locastro have made those plays? And what is Aaron Hicks doing on the roster for if you aren’t going to use him for defensive purposes there? Or Marwin Gonzalez? You have to use the WHOLE roster come playoff time, not just have guys on there to fill out the roster. Hicks and Gonzalez are two guys I don’t expect to be on the team in 2023. If your confidence in them is that low where you can’t use an experienced outfielder for a rookie with 9 games of LF experience under his belt (he had 27 in RF), then why are you carrying them? Steven Kwan, who had three hits in this game and who is killing the Yanks in this series, served a ball to left to move the runner, Myles Straw, to third, and I do mean served. Looked like a tennis backhand. In came Clarke Schmidt, not Holmes. A single to score the runner and make it 5-4. Then, another blooper. Had the infield not been in a shift, it would have been an easy popup to SS. Instead, bases loaded. Schmidt got a strikeout for the second out, then got two strikes on Oscar Gonzalez. But on a 1-2 pitch, Gonzalez singled up the middle for two runs and the ballgame. 6-5, Cleveland. Judge 2-run HR Bader 2 hits, solo HR. I’d consider leading him off. He’s hot, has speed … Cabrera 2 hits, 2-run HR. The Yanks in three games, are hitting .172. Of the 11 runs they have scored, 10 are by the HR. Trevino’s SF in Game 1 is the only run not via HR. They have to start stringing hits together. Severino 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. Settled in after rocky start. Trivino (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Could have been stretched out more? Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. See Trivino. Peralta (H) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Two bleeping bleeding bloopers. Schmidt (LOSS, BLOWN SAVE) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. Concerning: Severino: 10 postseason games, ERA 5.17. He needs to be dominating. He hasn’t done so. If the Yanks advance, they will face their nemesis, Houston, in the ALCS. Houston swept Seattle by winning Game 3, 1-0, in 18 innings. A shocker in the NL. #5 and #6 will meet each other (Padres vs Phillies) for the NL pennant. Gone are 111-win LA, 101-win Atlanta, 101-win Mets. Even the 92-win Cardinals. Instead, it is an 89-win vs an 87-win matchup. UPDATE: One more thing. Aroldis Chapman gave up HR that sent the Yanks home in 2019 and 2020. This year, his own selfishness may doom the Yanks. It is becoming apparent that losing his closer spot affected him, and that the possibility of being left off the playoff roster made him mope so that he missed a mandatory workout. So that selfishness may wind up costing the Yanks again. He is a free agent. Good riddance. May he never wear a Yankees uniform again, not even to an Old-Timer’s game.
Posted in Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Media, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Scandal, The Front Office
Tagged Bader, Boone, Cabrera, Cashman, Chapman, Cole, Gonzalez, Hicks, Holmes, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Loaisiga, Locastro, Peralta, Peraza, Schmidt, Severino, Trivino
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
Now we start wondering if #62 will come at all. Aaron Judge was 1 for 5 with a single in the first game of a day/night DH, a game the Yankees (99-61) won 5-4. He is now hitting .310 after that game. The Yanks have just the night game tonight and an afternoon game tomorrow left in their season before their postseason begins with Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on October 11. The Yanks did hit three HR in the game, including the first MLB HR by Oswald Peraza. Oswaldo Cabrera got the scoring started with a HR in the top of the first inning (6). Yanks’ starter Jameson Taillon gave two runs back in the bottom of the first and had to get out of a bases-loaded jam or else he would have given up more than that. Texas up 2-1 after one inning. Peraza hit his HR in the top of the second to tie the game. The Yanks went up 3-2 in the top of the fifth. Peraza (who has been playing great since he has been called up, as has Cabrera) singled and stole second. After a popup, Marwin Gonzalez singled in Peraza. But Taillon gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the fifth and Texas took a 4-3 lead. The Yanks’ winning rally came in the top of the eighth. Kyle Higashioka, hot lately, led off the inning with a HR (10) to tie the game. Judge singled and Anthony Rizzo was HBP. Cabrera sacrificed both runners over, and Harrison Bader singled to give the Yanks the eventual winning run. Cabrera solo HR (6) Peraza 2 hits, solo HR (1) FIRST MLB HR Higashioka solo HR (10) Taillon 6 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 W, 5 K. 1 HBP Gave up 1 HR. 3.91 Chapman (W, 4-4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.46 The Chapman we need to see. Weissert (H, 2) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.56 Loaisiga (S, 2) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.13 Ron Marinaccio to the IL. He will miss the ALDS. Albert Abreu back off the IL.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Bader, Cabrera, Chapman, Gonzalez, Higashioka, Judge, Loaisiga, Marinaccio, Peraza, Taillon, Weissert
A raw, rainy day in NY was only made more miserable with a 3-1 Yankees (97-61) loss and a tough day for Aaron Judge. If Judge is going to break Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61 HR in a season, #62 will have to come in Texas, where the Yanks play 4 games in 3 days, starting tonight. (DH on Tuesday). Maybe it would be a good thing. Maybe the pressure of trying to hit the HR in front of the home fans was daunting. One thing for sure, the weather (high of 84 to 86 degrees and sunny) in Texas will be much nicer than what Judge faced yesterday. Judge was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk, dropping his batting average to .311. He is four points behind the Twins’ Luis Arraez, and unless Judge gets really, really hot in the next three games, will probably NOT win the Triple Crown, especially since Arraez has sat out a few of the last couple of games, and the Twins will try to protect Arraez’ lead. Chi Chi Gonzalez was brought up to start the Yanks’ home finale and Jacob Barnes was DFA’d to make room for Gonzalez. Gonzalez pitched into the fifth and pitched well, giving up just one run. Baltimore got that run in the top of the first inning. The Yanks got their only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. The Aarons, Hicks and Judge, led off the inning with back-to-back walks. After an out a WP moved the runners up, with Hicks scoring on a throwing error on the play, Judge remaining at second. The Yanks only got four hits in the game and were 0 for 7 w/RISP. In the seventh, Aroldis Chapman once again proved why he is no lock for the postseason roster and why he can’t be trusted. A single, two walks, a strikeout and yet another walk forced in what proved to be the winning run. Ron Marinaccio relieved Chapman and gave up another run on a SF. Chapman threw 26 pitches. Only 12 were strikes. That’s been Chapman’s problem for a while now. You just can’t keep giving free passes. Gonzalez 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K. 5.87 (3-team ERA). Could be his only game as a NYY. Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.72 Chapman (L, 3-4) 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 4.58 Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.05 Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.21 Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.23
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 tied Roger Maris for the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record by hitting his 61st HR last night in the Yankees’ (96-59) 8-3 win at Toronto. The blow broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning. Fitting that it was the game-winning hit. So, 61 years after Maris, who wore #9, hit 61, Judge, also a RF, who wears #99, matches him. And Maris sometimes played CF, especially after Mantle went down late in the 1961 season. We’ve seen Judge play a lot of CF himself this season. The Yankees are off today and return to NY for a weekend series against Baltimore. If Judge doesn’t hit #62 Friday night, maybe he does it Saturday, October 1. If so, he would break Maris’ mark exactly 61 years after Roger hit his 61st. Judge wasn’t the only one to tie a single season Yankees’ record last night. Gerrit Cole struck out four batters to give him 248 on the season, tying the mark set by Ron Guidry in 1978. Judge’s HR was his only at bat in a 1 for 4 night. He still leads, barely, in the batting title race as he possibly could win a Triple Crown. He is hitting .3134 to the Twins’ Luis Arraez .3133. Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .309. Should Judge win the Triple Crown, he would be only the second player since 1967 to do so. He would be the third Yankee. Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956 are the Yankees to have done so. By the way, no NL hitter has won the Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick of St. Louis in 1937. Having won the AL East the night before, manager Aaron Boone made Anthony Rizzo the de facto manager for the evening. Most of the lineup was made up of the bench players, and rookie Oswald Peraza hit cleanup. The Yanks scored three times in the top of the first inning. Judge walked, and so did Oswaldo Cabrera. Josh Donaldson singled in Judge, and Peraza then got a single for his first MLB RBI to make it 2-0. After a force-out, Marwin Gonzalez hit a SF to make it 3-0. Cole retired the first 15 batters he faced before giving up a HR to Danny Jansen leading off the bottom of the sixth. As we have seen this year, anything that seems to throw Cole off a bit seems to mess him up big time, as far as limiting the damage. A single and walk immediately followed. After a lineout, a single brought in one run. A balk by Cole moved the runners up to second and third. A SF tied the game before Cole got out of the inning. In the top of the seventh, Aaron Hicks singled before Judge hit his AL record-tying HR (and we know about the steroid controversy surrounding the NL and MLB mark, a fact alluded to by Roger Maris, Jr. in a postgame interview). But two outs after Judge’s line drive blast (394 ft with an exit velo of 117+ MPH, the hardest HR Judge has hit all season), the Yanks tacked on another run. Peraza singled, went to second on a WP and scored on a single by Harrison Bader, who moved to second on an error. 6-3 Yankees. The Yanks got a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Cabrera doubled, and Donaldson was HBP. A groundout by Peraza moved the runners up. Bader then hit a ball back to the mound, but in trying to get the runner out at home, Toronto pitcher Adam Cimber threw the ball back to the backstop and both runners scored. 8-3. Judge 2-run HR (61). Ties AL record and Yankees’ record for most HR in a season. Peraza 2 hits, RBI. First MLB RBI Locastro 2 hits Hicks 3 for 3 with a walk. Cole (W, 13-7) 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1 Balk. Gave up 1 HR. 3.51 Cole’s 248 K ties Guidry single season NYY record. Britton (H, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 13.50 After TJ surgery, control is the last thing to return. Effross (H, 16) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63 (Cubs/NYY) Schmidt (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.29 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.24 D.J. LeMahieu is expected off the IL on Friday, and we will see about the corresponding move.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Bader, Boone, Britton, Chapman, Cole, Donaldson, Effross, Gonzalez, Guidry, Hicks, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Maris, Peraza, Rizzo, Schmidt
The Yankees’ (94-59) magic number remains at 2 after a 3-2, 10-inning loss in Toronto Monday night. For this game, I will start at the end and work my way backwards, because a questionable decision by manager Aaron Boone led to the loss. In the top of the tenth, the Yanks wasted their chance. Oswaldo Cabrera was the ghost runner on second. A strikeout, walk and strikeout put runners on first and second and brought Aaron Judge to the plate. Toronto wouldn’t let the big guy beat them and walked Judge. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to end the threat. In the bottom of the tenth, Yankees’ pitcher Clarke Schmidt got a strikeout, then Judge made a fine catch to save the game temporarily. With Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. up, the Yankees pitched to him, a decision I disagreed with. You don’t let the big guy beat you. I (and many other Yankees fans) would have walked him to set up the force at any base. Boone didn’t like the matchup on Kirk (an All-Star) either and decided to go after Vlad. Vlad will probably be a HOF just like his dad. Vlad finished 2nd in MVP voting last year. He’s Toronto’s “Judge”—their best player (with no disrespect to Springer, Bichette or Kirk). You don’t let the big guy beat you. Boone did let the big guy beat him, since Vlad singled to win the game (then acted like a jerk afterwards. I’m old school, and Vlad wasn’t classy after his hit. Get your hit, celebrate with your teammates, keep quiet and stay classy. Didn’t like his B.S. at all. Did DiMaggio, Mantle, Aaron or Musial act that way? No.) I and many fans were and are critical of Boone there. There are two out. Walk him and set up a force at any base for the last out of the inning. Other guys, you pitch to. A future HOF? No. Going back, the Yanks scored first when Judge led off the game with a single and then Rizzo doubled. Gleyber Torres hit a SF to put the Yanks on the board. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) homered (4) in the second to put the Yanks up 2-0. But IKF made a big mistake in the fourth. With a man on first and no one out, Vlad singled. I don’t know what the official scorer was thinking because that ball should have been a DP ball. It should have been ruled an error and the two runs scored off of Luis Severino should have been unearned. Severino pitched well except for one batter. After IKF botched that ball (ruled an infield hit), a walk loaded the bases. A short flyout advanced no one, but then Teoscar Hernandez doubled, just missing a grand slam (and Hernandez, hot-dogging it, could have found himself thrown out at second. See above about staying and playing classy). That double tied the game. Sevy then got out of the inning, but it should not have been that way. IKF needs to make that play. So, two mistakes. One by IKF, and the one by Boone, cost the Yanks the game in my opinion. Judge was 1 or 3. A single, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts. We are still waiting on #61. He does have the batting lead at .3144. Luis Arraez (.3129) and Xander Bogaerts (.3127) are behind Judge as Judge not only is looking for the AL (and Yankees) single-season HR record but also at a triple crown. Tonight’s game will be on TBS (out of market only). Check your carrier. If you get the YES network, then you are good there. As for me, I’ll be checking out TBS. The Yanks struck out 14x last night. Rizzo 2 hits. IKF solo HR (4) Severino 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 4 K. 3.41 (both runs should have been unearned) Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.76 (A’s/NYY) Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.65 (Cubs/NYY) Marinaccio 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.18 Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.27 Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.54 Schmidt (L, 5-5) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.35 Interesting news I see. Aroldis Chapman is a free agent after the season and the Yanks will most likely not be bringing him back. Not only that, but he may also not even be on the postseason roster. The Yanks are even considering DFAing him as of now.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Boone, Chapman, Effross, Holmes, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Loaisiga, Marinaccio, Rizzo, Schmidt, Severino, Trivino
The Yankees (91-58) clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4, 10-inning win over Boston Thursday night. Should they finish in a tie with Baltimore, the Yanks get in due to a tiebreaker. The magic # for clinching the division and a bye is 6. A couple moves were made before the game. Scott Effross back off the IL. Greg Weissert sent down. Wandy Peralta to the IL. Zack Britton back off the IL. The Yankees also DFA’d Miguel Andujar. They should have traded him when they could have got something for him. Since his 2018 season when he was second in ROY voting, hitting 47 doubles, 27 HR 92 RBI and OPS+ 130, Andujar hasn’t been the same. That injury that cost him most of the 2019 season seems to have destroyed his career. Since then, Andujar has only hit .228-8-26 in 359 at bats. OPS+ 58. The power hasn’t shown up. Of the 82 hits since 2018, only 15 were for extra bases. 100 is a normal OPS+. That drop-off from 130 to 58 is drastic. Granted he has been a yo-yo, up/down, up/down from SWB to NY in that time, but he clearly has dropped off considerably from 2018. A shame. Aaron Judge almost won the game with a HR in the bottom of the ninth. How appropriate if #61 would have been a walk off into Monument Park. But the 404 ft. drive was caught just in front of the fence, 408 feet away. Judge was 0 for 2 in the game, with 3 walks. Boston’s Xander Bogaerts was 0 for 5 in the game, however, so Judge’s lead for the AL batting crown increased over Bogaerts. Judge is at .316, Bogaerts .314 as Judge tries not only for the AL single-season HR title, but also for a Triple Crown. The Yanks scored first in the bottom of the fifth inning. Oswaldo Cabrera walked and went to second on a passed ball. He had to stay at second on Harrison Bader’s infield single. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (who made a fine defensive play in the ninth) singled to load the bases, and Kyle Higashioka’s SF scored Cabrera. Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-run HR (28) in the bottom of the sixth and the Yanks went up 3-0. Jameson Taillon was great, pitching six shutout innings, but Clarke Schmidt gave up the lead in the top of the seventh. Schmidt started the inning by going HR, single, walk, HR and before you knew it, the Yanks lost their 3-0 lead and were losing 4-3. Aroldis Chapman ran into trouble in the eighth, once again with his control. Lou Trivino got out of a bases loaded, one-out jam to keep the score at 4-3, but the Yanks need to fix their bullpen problems before the playoffs start. The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the eighth. Stanton led off with a single and was PR for by Tim Locastro, who stole second. A groundout moved Locastro to third and he scored on a SF by Bader, who has really been great in his first three games with the club. Judge got an OF assist in the top of the ninth, perfectly playing a single off the wall in right and throwing out Tommy Pham as he tried to make a double out of it. Then in the bottom of the ninth, the almost game-winning #61. So Close! Clay Holmes had no trouble with the ghost runner for Boston in the top of the tenth, then it was the Yankees’ turn. Marwin Gonzalez PR for Anthony Rizzo as the ghost runner. Gleyber Torres was intentionally walked to set up a DP, but Josh Donaldson singled to win the game. The Yanks sit as the #2 seed in the AL. There is almost no chance of catching Houston for the #1 seed (7 back with 13 to go). If, as expected, it stays this way, the Yanks get a bye into the ALDS where, as of now, they would face the winner of the Cleveland/Seattle series. You get what you hope for, and I won’t want to pick who I’d like to face, but I will say this. The Yankees targeted and didn’t get Luis Castillo, who went from the Reds to the Mariners at the trade deadline. Castillo has given the Yanks fits this year, as a Red and as a Mariner. The Yanks are 5-1 vs. Cleveland this year, 2-4 vs. Seattle (thanks in part, to Castillo). Now things could change, and it could be the winner of Cleveland/Tampa Bay or the winner of Cleveland/Toronto. Only 1 1/2 games separate Toronto, Tampa Bay and Seattle for the 4, 5, and 6 spots. Donaldson 3 hits, GW RBI single Stanton 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (28) Taillon 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 W, 8 K. 3.90 Schmidt (BS, 1) 1 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.46 Chapman 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.36 Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 WP 4.78 Holmes (W, 7-4) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.59
Posted in Awards, In-Season Moves, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Andujar, Bader, Britton, Chapman, Donaldson, Effross, Higashioka, Holmes, Judge, Peralta, Schmidt, Stanton, Taillon, Trivino, Weissert
With all apologies to the Dells, Oh, What a Night! Before the game, the Yankees placed Frankie Montas on the 15-day IL, retroactive to 9/17. Since he’d come off it right at the end of the season, I think it is safe to say that he would NOT start a postseason game. Harrison Bader came off the IL and made his Yankees debut with 3 RBI. We will get to the game recap soon. Ryan Weber chose free agency after being DFA’d. We’ll see what happens there. Now to the game. Aaron Judge hit his 60th HR, tying the # Babe Ruth hit in 1927 (and in 147 games too!). He is now one behind Roger Maris’ Yankees and AL record of 61 (we know about the MLB and NL Steroid-aided records*). Judge’s HR also put him at .316, and he now leads the AL in batting average as well as HR and RBI (and a whole lot of other categories). As of now, he’d win the Triple Crown, a feat done only once since 1967. Two Yankees have won the Triple Crown—Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956. Not only that, the Yankees, down 8-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, scored five runs to win the game 9-8 over Pittsburgh, capped off by an “ultimate slam” — a walk off grand slam with your team down by 3—by Giancarlo Stanton. Nestor Cortes was “Nasty Nestor” again, but the Yankees’ bullpen was horrendous. Judge and Stanton’s HR, as well as Bader’s great Yankees debut, saved them. With the win, the Yankees (89-58) kept their 5 1/2 game lead over Toronto. The magic # for clinching the division is 10. The magic # for a playoff berth is now 2 (since the Yankees own the tiebreaker over Baltimore). The Pirates scored first, on a SF in the top of the fourth inning. Oswaldo Cabrera, making his first start in LF, caught the ball at the top of the wall. It just missed being a grand slam. In the bottom of the fifth, Cabrera reached on a 3-base error, and was driven in on a single by Bader. Bader moved up on a groundout and scored on a single by Jose Trevino. 2-1 Yanks. Ron Marinaccio put a couple runners on in the top of the sixth, and both scored when Lou Trivino replaced Marinaccio only to give up a 2-run double. 3-2, Pirates. The Yanks came back in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead. Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a single. After Stanton struck out, Cabrera walked. A wild pitch moved the runners up, then Bader singled them both in. Nice Yankees’ debut for Bader, who the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery for, but who the Yanks had to wait on, due to Bader being on the IL with plantar fasciitis. Trivino gave up a HR to Brian Reynolds in the top of the seventh that tied the game. In the top of the eighth, the bullpen imploded further. With one out, a walk, error by Anthony Rizzo, and single off of Jonathan Loaisiga made it 5-4. Clay Holmes, who has been awful since July 9, came in and gave up a 3-run HR to made it 8-4. I don’t know what is wrong with Holmes, but the Yankees need to straighten him out. At this time, it seemed like the only reason to keep watching or listening was to see what Judge would do in his last at bat. And in the bottom of the ninth, Judge didn’t disappoint, hitting #60 to make it 8-5 Yankees. The historic homer seemed to spark the team, who didn’t want the homer to go to waste in a loss. Rizzo followed with a double. Gleyber Torres walked. Donaldson singled to load the bases. Then Stanton, struggling mightily since June 1, hit HR #27, a walk off grand slam to win the game. It was the fourth time in Yankees’ history that the Yankees were down by three runs and a batter hit a walk off grand slam (ultimate slam) to win the game. Babe Ruth did it in 1925, then a long wait for the second one, Jason Giambi in 2002. Donaldson did it last month, and now Stanton last night. Judge Solo HR (60) .316-60-128 leads AL in all three categories. Can he win the Triple Crown? Torres 2 hits Donaldson 2 hits Stanton 4 RBI walk off grand slam (27) Bader 2 hits, 3 RBI Trevino 2 hits, RBI Cortes 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 4 K. 2.67 Marinaccio (H, 6) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.31 Trivino (BS, 3) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.84 (A’s/NYY) Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.64 Holmes 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.67 Chapman (W, 3-3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.41
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Bader, Chapman, Cortes, Donaldson, Gehrig, Giambi, Holmes, Judge, Loaisiga, Mantle, Marinaccio, Maris, Montas, Ruth, Stanton, Torres, Trevino, Triple Crown, Trivino, Weber