For the first time since 1968 (Gibson and McLain) both CYA winners were unanimous winners of the award.
In the NL Sandy Alcantara became the first Marlin to cop the honor. In the AL Justin Verlander won his third CYA, adding to his HOF resume. For Verlander, very impressive given his age (39) and coming off TJ surgery. The Yankees’ Nestor Cortes got three fifth-place votes and finished eighth in the voting. Gerrit Cole got one fifth place vote and finished ninth. We keep wondering when Cole might win the award himself. He has finished second twice, losing out to Verlander in 2019. The MVP awards will be announced tonight and here is hoping Aaron Judge beats out Shohei Ohtani for the award.
The fat lady isn’t singing, but she is warming up after a 5-0 loss to Houston yesterday put the Yanks down 3 games to none in the ALCS. In all of MLB history, only one team has come back from an 0-3 deficit. As Yankees fans are too painfully aware, that was Boston against the Yanks in 2004. I am one of many criticizing some of Aaron Boone’s moves. Twitter is full of them, and when Yankees’ broadcaster Michael Kay is LIVID at Boone’s moves …. well, Houston, we have a problem. Yet ANOTHER lineup change for the Yankees before the game. Doesn’t it always seem, after five years, that Aaron Boone never can find the right formula and STICK WITH IT? It’s obvious that Matt Carpenter isn’t right (although he finally got a hit in the ninth inning), but Boone batted him FIFTH? (And remember last year in Boston, Boone batted Gallo cleanup!) Instead of sticking with Peraza’s glove at SS, he went back to Stanton in LF (LF in Yankee Stadium is no picnic) and put Cabrera at SS. The constant lineup changes appear to be clueless panic moves now, making it seem like Boone is grasping at straws. Fans are now demanding a change. I hear it talking to them, feel it myself, and read it online. And some of it is from the broadcasters on your OWN NETWORK. The same old, same old. And just changing what seems to be a push-button manager taking orders from the front office, GM, analytics people won’t work if all you are going to do is to hire another push-button manager to take and make the wrong decisions from an inept front office. There needs to be a change from the top down. That would not only include Boone, but Cashman (been there some 25 years), Levine and maybe even Hal himself (that won’t happen, but Hal, can you show a little fire? Are you still alive?). Otherwise, next year will be like all the others. The same old, same old. The Yanks are hitting .156 this postseason. They survived hitting .182 vs Cleveland. They are hitting .128 vs. Houston. The Yankees have had six or less hits in a game now for TEN STRAIGHT POSTSEASON GAMES. Think about that. They have hit .159 in that span. Their modus operandi for hitting isn’t working in the postseason. The Yanks got 3 hits last night, two in the bottom of the ninth. Feeble. Some things you can’t control, like injuries to LeMahieu and Benintendi. But you don’t see any adjustments in batter’s approaches. Meanwhile, and getting back to front office decisions, in the NLCS, the Phillies are up 3 games to one on the Padres. The Phils are pounding the baseball. Have you noticed something there? Kevin Long is the Phillies’ hitting coach. Does that name sound familiar? He was the Yankees’ hitting coach from 2007 to 2014. The last time the Yanks won a WS, in 2009, Long was the hitting coach. The Phils’ manager is Rob Thomson, who took over for Joe Girardi and who has done a masterful job. When the Yanks let Girardi go, they got rid of his coaches too. Hmmm. Maybe they are getting rid of the wrong people. Maybe they should start AT THE TOP. Looking at the postseason here, and my grades from a few weeks ago, I had mentioned that the final grade for the front office and manager was still to be determined, based on a few things. I originally gave a C, with it being an F if they didn’t re-sign Judge. Forget that now. It’s an F, no matter what. In the second inning, with two out, a flyball was called for by Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge. Replays showed Bader clearly calling for it, and the CF has the right of way. But neither heard the other and Bader dropped it after shying away from the 6’7″ Judge at the last moment. Who wants Judge running into you? Starter Gerrit Cole then gave up a 2-run HR that hit the top of the RF wall and bounced over. The way the Yanks have been hitting, 2-0 felt like 20-0. In the sixth, Cole loaded the bases with no one out. Boone went to Lou Trivino. All three inherited runners scored. 5-0. Game over. For all intents and purposes, season over. Boone has managed five seasons, one of which was the 60-game Covid season of 2020. He’s had years of 103, 100 and 99 wins. But it still seems like he is overwhelmed by the postseason, getting outmanaged by Kevin Cash, Alex Cora, and now Dusty Baker. 3 hits. 11 strikeouts (making it 41 for the 3 games so far in the ALCS). If there are more lineup changes, I don’t think I want to know. One thing I do see. Without D.J. or Benintendi, the Yanks don’t have a true leadoff hitter. You wonder if even those two are true leadoff hitters. Cole (LOSS) 5+ IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP Trivino 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. German 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. Einstein’s theory of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Meanwhile, losses to Houston (I hate the Astros) in 2015, 2017, 2019 and it appears, 2022. If things don’t change, the same or worse will occur in 2023. CHANGE. Not cosmetic change, but MAJOR CHANGE.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Media, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, The Front Office, The Owner
Tagged Bader, Boone, Cashman, Cole, German, Judge, Kay, Steinbrenner, Trivino
The Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a 9 year, $324MM deal for this reason. To be their ace. To be the guy who wins two games in a best-of-five postseason series. To be the guy winning a do-or-die game for them. It didn’t work out that way last year, when Cole lost the one-game wild card game in Boston. Last night was a different story. Cole pitched seven gutsy innings in a 4-2 Yankees win to tie the series up and send it back to the Bronx for a deciding Game 5 tonight. He had also won Game 1 of this series. Manager Aaron Boone made a lineup change before the game, moving Oswaldo Cabrera to SS and benching Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Aaron Hicks went to LF. You wonder if maybe Oswald Peraza should have been placed on the postseason roster. If the Yanks win tonight to face Houston in the ALCS, maybe that is something they should consider—putting Peraza on for the ALCS. It’s amazing some things you see on social media. Like people wanting Giancarlo Stanton in LF so that Matt Carpenter could DH. Stanton missed time a couple of months ago with an Achilles issue. There is no way you put him out there with what could still be an Achilles issue. What if he tried to catch a ball, needed that extra burst of speed and tore that Achilles? The Yanks jumped on Cleveland right away, a big plus in a do or die game. Gleyber Torres singled leading off the game and stole second while Aaron Judge struck out. Anthony Rizzo singled Torres home. 1-0. In the top of the second, Josh Donaldson singled and one out later, Harrison Bader hit a two-run HR to put the Yankees up 3-0. It was Bader’s third HR of the series. Cleveland nicked Cole in the bottom of the third for a run, but a baserunning blunder led to the third out and kept them from a bigger inning. Josh Naylor hit a HR for Cleveland in the fourth to cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-2 and in circling the bases, did an infantile “rock the baby” hot-dogging move. Ridiculous. The Yanks got an insurance run in the top of the sixth. Judge led off with an infield single, and Rizzo doubled him to third. Stanton hit a SF to bring the run in. Jameson Taillon will start for the Yanks tonight. Nestor Cortes could come out of the bullpen to face a tough lefty or give an inning or two. Rizzo 2 hits, RBI Bader 2-run HR. Cole (WIN) 7 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR. Holmes (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. Peralta (S) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. A couple notes. Just my opinions. Some people would like Yankees legend Don Mattingly to replace Aaron Boone as manager. If the Yanks were going to make a move, my choice would be John Flaherty. Here is why. Flaherty, by covering the Yankees on the YES network, sees them every day. He is well acquainted with the current team already. He is a former catcher, so he has experience in handling a pitching staff. I wish the Yanks had David Cone as the pitching coach and Paul O’Neill as hitting coach instead of being in the broadcast booth. Sometimes it seems as if their TV ratings are more important than having the right coaches. (No offense to who they do have). But why that expertise in the booth and not on the field or in the dugout? Anyway, no way would Cone or O’Neill give up their nice cushy job right now. But it would be nice if they were coaches, wouldn’t it? I don’t like the new playoff format. I think it has watered down the playoffs and made the work of a 162-game season less relevant. The bye hurt the teams that did well over 162 games when it was meant to help them. Baseball is a DAILY sport. Yes, I feel that the best record in the league should be rewarded. But here is how I would do it. Scrap the current format. What I propose won’t happen because it will eliminate a round and therefore cost the owners money. But … First round. The three division winners and the second-place team with the best record as the wild card. Four teams, not six. Now keep that division series best-of-five. But the wild card team gets NO HOME GAMES. To reward the best team in the league over 162 games, they get all the games at home. The wild card gets punished for not winning their division. The other series between the other two division winners stays at the 2-2-1 format, with the better record getting the home field advantage. The LCS stays as it is. 2-3-2. Better record gets home field advantage. Same for the World Series. Just a thought.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason
Tagged Bader, Boone, Cabrera, Cole, Cone, Cortes, Flaherty, Hicks, Holmes, Kiner-Falefa, Mattingly, O'Neill, Peralta, Peraza, Rizzo, Stanton, 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
ALDS Game 2 has been ppd. to Friday at 1 PM. This means there will be no off days for games 2-5. It affects the rotation. Nestor Cortes is still to start Game 2, with Luis Severino Game 3. Originally, Gerrit Cole was to go on regular rest in Game 4, with Cortes going in Game 5 on short (3 days) rest. That has to change now. James Taillon will need to start a game (or Domingo German, but I expect Taillon). I don’t know how manager Aaron Boone will do this, but here is what I would do if I were Boone. If the Yankees sweep, no problems. If the Yanks are UP 2 games to 1, start Taillon in Game 4, save Cole for game 5. If Cortes is needed for one batter or one inning on 2 days rest in game 5, so be it. If the Yankees are DOWN 2 games to 1, you got to go with Cole in Game 4 to save your season. You then worry about Game 5 when you get there, and you use Taillon then. But Down 2 to 1? You then just worry about getting to that Game 5. The NLDS is even at one game apiece in both series. The damned Astros are up 2 games to none on Seattle.
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
Eerie. As Yankees’ announcer Michael Kay stated, when the game started, the Yankees’ record matched the number on the back of Aaron Judge’s jersey and the number of HR he had. 99-61. When the game ended, it also matched up. 99 and 62. The 3-2 loss to Texas in the second and night game of a day/night doubleheader was the only damper in a day that saw Judge break the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record (and to many, me included, set the CLEAN MLB record) and also see Gerrit Cole set a new Yankees’ single-season strikeout record. Both players did it in the same inning, the first. With the division and postseason seeding already wrapped up and known, it may be one of the very few times the result of the game didn’t matter as much as the individual accomplishments, although it would have been nice to top the achievements off with a win. Judge still has an outside chance to win the Triple Crown, but it is a slim one. From MLB.com: Here is a non-exhaustive list of examples of potential outcomes that would result in Judge winning the first Triple Crown in baseball since 2012 and the 13th in AL/NL history: Judge goes 4-for-4 (.315331), (Luis) Arraez (of Twins) goes 1-for-4 (.314545) Judge goes 4-for-4 (.315331), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747) Judge goes 3-for-4 (.313589), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747) Judge goes 3-for-3 (.314136), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747) As you can see, it’s certainly not impossible for Judge to end up on top, but it won’t come easy. Now a couple of questions come into play here. One, will Judge play at all today? After what has been an exhaustive couple of weeks after having hit #60 on September 20, will manager Aaron Boone give Judge today off? Judge appears ready to play judging (pun not intended) from his postgame remarks last night, but if he gets the day off, who is to begrudge him that after all the pressure of the last two weeks? The other consideration is that the Twins probably won’t give Arraez four at bats today, in order to protect his average. Who knows if Arraez even plays today? Given those scenarios, I don’t expect Judge to win the Triple Crown, but what a season. Somewhere, 61 years later in the great beyond, Phil Rizzuto probably screamed “Holy Cow, he did it!” Judge’s HR came on the third (3, Babe Ruth’s number) pitch of the game off of Jesus Tinoco. #99 passed #9 (Roger Maris) to become the all-time AL and Yankees’ single-season HR king. In the bottom of the first, Cole gave up a single and SB, then got a strikeout. That K, #249 of the season, broke Ron Guidry’s mark of 248 set in Guidry’s remarkable 25-3, 1.74 1978 season. Maybe the achievement affected Cole a little, maybe not, but the next batter after that K singled, and Texas had tied the game at one each. Catcher Jose Trevino saved Cole from more damage by throwing the runner out at second attempting a steal. Then after a triple, Trevino picked THAT runner off of third. In the top of the fifth, Giancarlo Stanton homered (31) to put the Yanks up 2-1. But in the bottom of the fifth, Yankees’ 3B Josh Donaldson made an error, and after a strikeout, Cole gave up a 2-run HR to Leody Taveras that put Texas up 3-2, and that turned out to be the final score. Funny but the runner on base (via Donaldson’s error) when Taveras hit the HR was a guy by the same of Sam Huff. When Maris hit his 61st HR in 1961, the NY Giants had an All-Pro linebacker by the same of Sam Huff. What goes around comes around. Today is the last day of the regular season. After today, the Yankees open their postseason with Game 1 of the ALDS on October 11 at Yankee Stadium vs. Tampa Bay or Cleveland. All the seedings are set. The best of 3 wild card has all three games at the field of the higher seed. AL : Tampa Bay (6) vs. Cleveland (3), winner plays Yankees (2) in ALDS Seattle (5) vs. Toronto (4), winner plays Houston (1) in ALDS NL: Philadelphia (6) vs. St. Louis (3), winner plays Atlanta (2) in NLDS San Diego (5) vs. NY Mets (4), winner plays LA Dodgers (1) in NLDS Judge solo HR (62) NEW AL AND YANKEES SINGLE SEASON RECORD Stanton solo HR (31) LeMahieu 2 hits Cole (L, 13-8) 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 W, 9 K. 3.50 257 K IS NEW YANKEES SINGLE SEASON RECORD Schmidt 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.12
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Media, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Boone, Cole, Guidry, Judge, Kay, LeMahieu, Maris, Schmidt, Stanton, Trevino, Triple Crown
Nestor Cortes’ last regular season start could not have gone much better. The best Yankees’ starter this season (sorry, Gerrit Cole) pitched 7 1/3 one-hit, shutout baseball as the Yankees defeated Baltimore 8-0 Saturday afternoon. Cortes was dominating, striking out 12. Cortes ends his season 12-4, with a superb 2.44 ERA. Aaron Judge went 0 for 2, with 2 walks and a HBP as we still wait and see if he can get #62 to set a new AL and Yankees record. He has a couple of things working against him. For one, the weather forecast is not good for Sunday. Should the Yankees be rained out on Sunday, the game, meaningless in the standings, would not be made up. So, Judge has one less game in order to hit #62. The Yankees next four games are on the road in Texas. One game Monday, a doubleheader Tuesday and the regular season finale on Wednesday. There may be a window to play today, but the game may be delayed for a very long time until that window arrives. There appears to be only a one-hour rainless window around 2 pm today, and a window from about 7 to 10 pm. That’s it, and with the Yankees needing to travel to Texas, it does not look good for a game today. Do they really sit in a clubhouse (and make the fans wait) six hours to start the game at 7 PM when they have to travel to Texas for a game tomorrow? For a game that means nothing in the standings, but only for one player. I don’t think so. Also, you can’t hit a HR if every pitch is 2 inches off the ground and 4 inches outside. Since hitting #60, Judge is 7 for 27, with that 61st HR, but SEVENTEEN walks and the HBP. Yesterday, as mentioned above, Judge was 0 for 2, both strikeouts, with a HBP and 2 walks. His batting average is at .313, two points below Luis Arraez of the Twins .315 as Judge also attempts to win the Triple Crown. It appears to be a two-man race for the batting title. Xander Bogaerts of Boston has dropped to .305. The Yanks got on the board quickly yesterday scoring 3 runs in the first inning. Judge was HBP but forced out at second by Anthony Rizzo. Gleyber Torres doubled in Rizzo and went to third on the throw home. Josh Donaldson hit a SF to make it 2-0, then Giancarlo Stanton smashed a 447-ft. HR (29) to make it 3-0. For the badly slumping Stanton, who was hitting .156 since June 1, he needed that badly. Kyle Higashioka homered for the Yanks in the bottom of the second (9) to make it 4-0. In the seventh, Judge walked to lead off the inning, with the pitcher, who appeared to be avoiding Judge, drawing a great deal of derision. The Yanks made him pay for that. Rizzo singled Judge to second. Torres singled in a run to make it 5-0, both runners moving up on the throw. Donaldson singled in both runners to make it 7-0, and he moved up on the throw. Two outs later, Harrison Bader doubled to close out the scoring at 8-0. Rizzo 2 hits Torres 2 hits, 2 RBI Donaldson 2 for 2, walk, 2 RBI. Stanton 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (29) Bader 2 hits, RBI Higashioka 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (9) Cortes (W, 12-4) 7 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 12 K. 2.44 Barnes 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 5.64 (Det/NYY) Before the game Jacob Barnes up from SWB. Zack Britton to IL. If there is a game today, Chi Chi Gonzalez is supposed to start. No word as far as a corresponding move to get Gonzalez on the roster. Luis Severino is to go on Monday. Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon will go in Tuesday’s doubleheader, and Domingo German closes out the regular season on Wednesday. The Yanks would then be off for six days, with Game 1 of the ALDS being at Yankee Stadium on October 11. Opponent to be determined. Game 2 would be after another off day on October 13. Then another off day. Game 3, October 15. Games 4 and 5 October 16 and 17 if necessary. The Yankees would only need 3 starters for this series. Most likely Cole, Cortes and Severino. With the off days, the Game 1 starter could come back for Game 4, and the Game 2 starter for Game 5, but the Game 2 starter would be doing so on 3 days’ rest. Severino would probably go Game 3. But who goes in Game 1 and who in Game 2 between Cole and Cortes? I think Cole would be better on his regular rest, so he lines up for 1 and 4. I think Cortes can adapt better to go on three days’ rest, so I’d have him Game 2. Taillon and German for middle relief if needed.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Bader, Barnes, Britton, Cole, Cortes, Donaldson, German, Gonzalez, Higashioka, Judge, Rizzo, Severino, Stanton, Taillon, Torres
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 (92-58) magic number for clinching the AL East and a bye into the ALDS is now 4 after a 5-4 win over Boston coupled with a Toronto loss to Tampa Bay. The Yankees have an 8 1/2 game lead with 12 games to go. It doesn’t seem too long ago we were worried about that lead getting under 3. Aaron Judge was 1 for 4 with a single, so we are still awaiting HR #61. He still leads in batting average, .315 to .314 for Xander Bogaerts and .312 for Luis Arraez so as of now he still leads in all Triple Crown categories. Gerrit Cole got 8 strikeouts to up his season total to 244. He is 4 behind the Yankees’ single season record of 248, set by Ron Guidry in 1978. He should have two starts left and should break that record in one of those starts. Cole, however, still had gopher ball problems last night, which we will get to shortly. Tommy Pham homered off of Cole in the top of the first to give Boston a quick 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, Aaron Hicks homered (8) to tie the game. Yankee fans (and baseball fans?) joked it was the wrong Aaron who homered. The Yanks scored three times in the fifth to go up 4-1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) led off with a single, and Marwin Gonzalez walked. Hicks singled IKF home, Gonzalez going to second. Two outs later, Gleyber Torres doubled in both runners. Torres went to third on the play on an error but was stranded. One thing Yankees fans have noticed about Gerrit Cole this year. Besides the high number of gopher balls he has given up, it seems like Cole can’t pitch through a little adversity. If the pregame ceremony goes a little long, it affects him. If there is a rain delay or an error behind him, he immediately gives up a big hit afterward. If an umps ball/strike call goes against him, you know a big hit is coming against him. Last night, in the top of the sixth, a 1-2 pitch with two on was called a ball. Awful call by the ump. The next pitch was immediately hit for a game-tying 3-run HR. I have to question the pitch selection since all the pitches in the at bat were fastballs, and Alex Verdugo finally timed one that was also placed in the wrong spot. But once Cole didn’t get the call, he folded. It just seems like every time something doesn’t go his way, he isn’t pitching through it. Just an observation. Cole did strike out the next hitter to end the inning and knew with his pitch count that he was done for the night, so he let that ump have it with a curse word as he left the mound. He was ejected, as was manager Aaron Boone, who came out to protect his player. Now, yes, Cole had a right to be pissed off, but he needs to pitch through that. Also, yes, umpires are human, and we all make mistakes, but MLB has to hold umpires more accountable for bad calls. There are too many awful calls that umpires get away with (think Angel Hernandez, although he didn’t make that bad call last night). Whatever happened to responsibility and accountability? So, the game was now tied at 4. In the bottom of the eighth, newly acquired (well, not so new, since we had to wait for him to get off the IL after the trade) Harrison Bader was a sparkplug again. With two out, Bader pinch hit for Oswaldo Cabrera and walked. He stole second and went to third on an error, then scored when Jose Trevino singled. This held up as the deciding run in the 5-4 Yankees win. Torres 2 RBI HIcks 2 hits, 2 RBI Solo HR (8) Cole 6 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR 3.49 4 K behind Guidry’s record of 248 in 1978. Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20 Loaisiga (W, 2-3) 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.43 Non-Yankee related but what a feat. Albert Pujols, retiring after the season, hit 2 HR for St. Louis against the Dodgers in LA last night. The second was HR #700 of his career, joining Barry Bonds*, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players to hit 700 HR in their careers. Pujols joins Aaron as the only player with 3000 or more hits AND 700 or more HR in their career. Congrats! One other note. Tampa Bay, Toronto and Seattle are neck and neck and neck for the 4-5-6 seedings in the AL playoff race. Just so you know, Tampa Bay wins all tiebreakers. Seattle has the tiebreaker over Toronto. Toronto loses all tiebreakers. Based on head-to-head record.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Aaron, Bader, bonds, Boone, Cole, Guidry, Hicks, Judge, Loaisiga, Marinaccio, Pujols, Ruth, Torres, Trevino