Tag Archives: Cortes

Two unanimous CYA winners first time since 1968. Cortes 8th, Cole 9th. MVPs announced tonight.

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.

ALCS Game 4. Houston sends Yanks home (again) 6-5 to sweep series.

The Yankees played 11 games vs. Houston this year. They won two, both in walk off fashion, and none in Houston. It was apparent Houston had the Yanks’ number. They Yanks hardly led at all in all 11 games.

That carried over to the ALCS, in which the Astros swept the Yanks out of, winning Game 4 6-5. I didn’t think the Yanks would beat Houston, although I was hoping. You have to separate your head from your heart. You think with your brain, not with your heart. But I didn’t think they would get swept. Ouch.

And what REALLY hurts? Of that 2-9 record (including the ALCS) this year, 4 of the losses were by 1 run, and another 3 by 2 runs. As if losing itself didn’t hurt, that was just twisting the knife.

It marked the fifth straight time the Yanks lost in the ALCS since last going to (and winning) the WS in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2022). The last three ALCS losses were all to the Astros.

There needs to be change, from the top down, within the Yankees’ organization. Otherwise, it’ll be the same old same old next year too. They have to break this pattern in order to advance further.

Many are calling for Derek Jeter to be the new GM and Don Mattingly to be his manager. Although I love both Yankees legends, and that would be the popular move, let’s step back and take a look at that. First off, with Jeter as CEO and Mattingly manager of the Marlins, the Marlins didn’t exactly do well, did they? Granted they didn’t have the talent or financial resources the Yankees do, but you didn’t even see year to year gradual improvement, did you? Here are the win totals, not counting 2020 (the 60 game Covid season) under Mattingly. 79-77-63-57-67-69. I would be more interested if they were on a gradual uphill climb, like 60-65-73-77-85 something like that. You didn’t see that. When Donnie managed the talented and much more financially stable Dodgers, he was ok (82-86-92-94-92), but he couldn’t get them in to the WS. His overall winning percentage, Dodgers and Marlins, is under .500. And as for Jeter, do you really think he would take a position (GM) in which he could be fired? Jeter doesn’t want to work for a boss, he wants to BE the boss. CEO or owner. If he was going to come back to the Yankees, it would be as an adviser, not GM. Much like Reggie Jackson was. Oh yeah, guess who Reggie is advising now. Ugh. The Astros.

The Astros are now unbeaten (7-0) in the postseason. They will face the Phillies in the WS. The Phils got lucky and hot. As the #6 seed in the NL, they never would have made the playoffs before this year. But with MLB changing the playoff structure, they snuck in and got hot at the right time. Dave Dombrowski, the Phillies’ President of Baseball Operations, is going to the HOF one day. This is the fourth team he has run that is going to the WS. Their manager, Rob Thomson, hitting coach Kevin Long and reliever David Robertson were all part of the last Yankees team to win a WS back in 2009.

The game started out good for the Yanks. They scored twice in the bottom of the first. Harrison Bader singled, and with one out, Anthony Rizzo was HBP. Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with singles and the Yanks were up 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, the Yanks made it 3-0. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IF) led off with a double, and two outs later, Aaron Judge walked. A double by Rizzo plated IKF.

But Nestor Cortes, who pitched two scoreless innings, was pitching through a groin injury that caught up to him in the third inning. Two walks and a 3-run HR to start the inning, and Cortes was removed. Wandy Peralta relieved Cortes, and Houston got another run off him. 4-3.

The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Bader singled, and with two out, moved to second on a passed ball. Rizzo singled to tie the game at four.

Bader, who had an incredible postseason, hit his FIFTH HR of the postseason to put the Yanks up 5-4 in the sixth.

But with one out in the seventh, it came undone. Jose Altuve got an infield hit, just beating Yankees’ pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga to first on a bang-bang play. Then came a ball that should have been a DP, but the exchange, Torres to IKF, went awry and everyone was safe. The error was charged to Torres, but I think IKF should have at least caught the ball for a force. Whatever, both at fault. Two consecutive singles, off Loaisiga and then Clay Holmes, followed to tie the game and then to give Houston the lead, which they held on to.

The Yanks hit .182 vs. Cleveland in the ALDS. They hit .162 in the ALCS vs. Houston. .173 for the postseason. Aaron Judge, the face of the Yanks, will get criticized (5 for 36, 2 HR, 15 K) but it wasn’t only him (And Judge, although he won’t admit it, was probably gassed from carrying the team the last two months and from the HR chase to 62).

Some other numbers:
Jose Trevino was 1 for 22 in the postseason. 6 K.
Kyle Higashioka 0 for 6, 5 K. So, neither catcher did anything.
Oswaldo Cabrera 2 for 28, with 12 K. Benintendi missed. Tough postseason for the rookie.
Stanton 6 for 36, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 K.
Torres 6 for 34, 10 K.
Josh Donaldson 5 for 29, 16 K. No LeMahieu.
Matt Carpenter 1 for 12, 9 K.

The only bright spots:
Bader,10 for 30 with 5 HR.
Rizzo 8 for 29, 2 HR.
Kiner-Falefa was 5 for 18, but the shaky fielding…

Game 4 recap:

Bader 3 hits, solo HR
Rizzo 2 hits, 2 RBI
Torres 2 hits, RBI but critical error

Cortes 2+ IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Peralta 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Loaisiga (LOSS) 2 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Holmes 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Waiting for changes. Hoping they are MASSIVE Changes, from the top down.

ALDS Game 5. Yanks advance to ALCS with 5-1 win.

For the fifth time since they last went to the World Series in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and now 2022), the Yankees are in the ALCS. For the third time in six years, their opponent will be the Houston Astros (the Yanks lost to Texas in 2010 and lost to Detroit in 2012. 2012 was when Jeter broke his ankle).

Of course, Yankees fans are hoping for a different outcome this time around. There won’t be any rest after beating Cleveland 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday. Game 1 of the ALCS is in Houston tonight. Not only that, but the only off-day in the ALCS is between Game 2 and 3. There isn’t one between Game 5 and 6 (if it gets that far). We’ll get into that in a bit.

The Yankees are 28-2 in games in which both Aaron Judge and Gaincarlo Stanton homer. That includes yesterday’s game.

The Yanks jumped out right away to a 3-0 lead, putting the pressure on the Guardians right away and getting the crowd right into the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and after Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Stanton then hit a 3-run HR.

Judge homered in the second to make it 4-0. Say what you will, since Judge was 4 for 20 in the series with 2 HR and a ton of strikeouts, but he has homered in four separate do-or-die postseason games.

Nasty Nestor Cortes was fabulous on 3 days’ rest. He went five innings, giving up only one run, and Cleveland should not have received that. I don’t know what it was in this series with Cleveland hitting balls into short LF that the LF, 3B or SS couldn’t catch. With one out and a man on first in the top of the third, Steven Kwan (yes, him again) hit a ball to short LF that Oswaldo Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks all converged on, with Cabrera calling for it. Cabrera collided with Hicks and the ball fell in for a single. Hicks had to be removed from the game with an injury that ends his season. We will have to see who replaces him on the postseason roster. Candidates are Oswald Peraza (since the Yanks benched SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Games 4 and 5), D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi.

Another candidate for the ALCS roster is Ron Marinaccio, who declared his sore shin ok to go.

Anyway, a walk loaded the bases after Kwan’s single, and a SF cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-1 before Cortes got out of the inning.

The Yanks scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Torres walked and stole second. Judge struck out, but Rizzo singled to make it 5-1.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 3-run HR.

Cortes (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Pitched in all five ALDS games.

The LCS will have a pitching problem for the Yanks. Down 2 games to 1 in the ALDS, the Yanks had to use their two best pitchers, Cole and Cortes, in Games 4 and 5 in order to advance, so Cole and Cortes won’t be available until Games 3 and 4. Jameson Taillon starts Game 1 tonight. He and Luis Severino are going to have to step up big-time. Here is how I see the rotation for the ALCS shaking out.

Game 1, Oct. 19 (tonight) Taillon (hasn’t pitched much recently)
Game 2 Oct 20 Severino
OCT 21 OFF DAY
Game 3 Oct 22 Cole (five days rest)
Game 4 Oct 23 Cortes
Game 5 Oct 24 if necessary Taillon
Game 6 Oct 25 if necessary Severino
Game 7 Oct 26 if necessary, Cole on three days’ rest.
Could Cortes give an inning or two on 2-days rest?

For the first time in MLB history, an LDS and LCS game were played on the same day. Shortly after the Yanks and Cleveland wrapped up an LDS, the Phillies and Padres opened the NLCS with the Phillies winning Game 1 2-0 behind HR by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. There were only four hits in the game. 3 by the Phillies and only one by the Padres.

Game 5 ppd. to 4 PM today. Cortes replaces Taillon as starter.

The fifth and deciding game of the Yankees/Cleveland ALDS was postponed due to rain last night. It will be played at 4 PM today.

With the postponement, the Yankees have switched their starting pitcher from Jameson Taillon to Nestor Cortes.

Cleveland hasn’t announced a change yet, but they could switch as well.

ALDS Game 4. Yanks stay alive behind Gutsy Gerrit, Bader Blast. 4-2.

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.

ALDS Game 2. Yanks fall in 10, 4-2.

I have a couple of different theories to go over, but bear with me, read, and see if you agree, while we go over yesterday’s 4-2, 10-inning Yankees loss to Cleveland in Game 2 of the ALDS. The series is now tied at a game apiece.

The first is that baseball messed up. The byes were supposed to HELP the teams with the best records in the league. Only, except for Houston (up 2-0 on Seattle), they seen to have hurt. The defending WS Champ Braves are down 2-1 to the Phillies. The 111-win Dodgers are down 2-1 to the Padres. The Yanks are even against Cleveland.

Baseball isn’t a two or three times a week sport like hockey or basketball are. It isn’t a once-a-week sport like football. It’s a DAILY sport, with occasional off days for travel. Playing 19 games in 21 days is normal. As a result, you develop a rhythm, a flow.

The byes, with teams getting a few days off to see who they face, seem to have hurt, not help teams. They are out of that flow, that rhythm. The Dodgers are 0 for 20 or something like that w/RISP in their series. Aaron Judge (who I’ll discuss a bit more on later) is 0 for 8 with 7 strikeouts. It’s one thing to keep having batting practice to try to stay sharp, another to actually face live pitching. Relievers, used to pitching a few times a week, now are rusty after that bye. Nothing replaces game action. You can try to simulate it, but there is no replacement. As a result, these higher seeded teams are having trouble. Just my observation.

Judge was booed after a strikeout. Some gratitude for a 62-homer season. These fans DO realize that Judge is a free agent after the season, don’t they? That if the Yanks lose two in a row to Cleveland that yesterday COULD be the last time you see Judge in pinstripes? Ridiculous. Besides the layoff, could the HR pressure have messed Judge up? After all, Roger Maris went 2 for 19 in the 1961 WS. Granted, one hit was a 9th-inning HR that won Game 3, but you get the point. And of course, Maris from 1962-1966 was booed for his achievement. Don’t repeat that, Yankees fans.

Cleveland, and their future HOF manager, Terry Francona, must know something about Judge. Judge was 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts against Cleveland in the 2017 ALDS–after a 52 HR season that year.

But hey, you never know. Judge could snap out of it by going 5 for 7 in the next two games with a couple of walks and 2 or 3 HR.

The Yanks got two runs in the first inning yesterday, but nothing thereafter. Giancarlo Stanton (who has had great postseasons) hit a 2-run HR. The HR came after what Stanton, and everyone else, thought was ball four. It was a terrible call by the ump, but Stanton hit the next pitch out. The home plate ump was terrible yesterday.

Some elements of luck didn’t go the Yanks’ way. In the third, with two out and men on second and third, Josh Donaldson hit a liner that Guardians’ LF Steven Kwan made a shoestring catch on. Josh just missed driving in a run or two. In the eighth, with two out and the bases loaded, a liner by Kyle Higashioka went right to the third baseman. You hit it hard. You (usually) can’t direct. Sometimes you don’t hit it hard, but you get lucky. That is what happened for Cleveland. We’ll get to that.

Nestor Cortes gave up a run in the fourth after starting the inning with two outs. It could have been worse, but with the bases loaded, Cortes made a sensational stop of a comebacker to get the final out.

Cortes gave up a game-tying HR to Amed Rosario in the fifth.

Manager Aaron Boone brought in Jameson Taillon for the tenth. I would have brought in Clarke Schmidt instead. Starters aren’t used to coming out of the bullpen, unless it’s say, Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen to face the Yankees (1995 and 2001). My recollections of starters being used in relief in playoff games are that the starter fails. I am thinking Jack McDowell for the Yankees in 1995, and the Royals’ Dennis Leonard against the Yankees in 1977.

Taillon ran into tough luck. A blooper into LF that Oswaldo Cabrera just missed making a sliding catch on went for a double, but Josh Donaldson’s throw to second was bad and Jose Ramirez wound up at third. With a man on third and no one out, the infield came in. A blooper over the drawn-in infield scored Ramirez. Harrison Bader appeared to misplay a hard-hit ball and a double scored an insurance run. Maybe Bader doesn’t catch it anyway, but …

I didn’t understand why, with a man on and down to their final out, that Boone let Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit in the bottom of the tenth. Granted IKF had two hits in the game. Granted also that Marwin Gonzalez had a bad year, hitting just .185, but Gonzalez is a switch-hitter and could have taken aim at the short porch to tie the game. IKF is a right-handed hitter. Also, Gonzalez had 6 HR in 184 at bats. IKF had 4 HR in 483 at bats, and until mid-August didn’t have any HR. Why not roll the dice there, Boone?

Anyway, there is a short recap of the game, but a lot of observations. Maybe I am accurate in my observations, maybe not. But the Yanks now need Severino and Cole to step up with masterful outings. Also, for Judge to be JUDGE.

One final observation. This is not a knock on rookie Oswaldo Cabrera, who has struggled at the plate in these first two games. But Andrew Benintendi this year vs. Cleveland hit .441 (15 for 34) with a HR and 8 RBI. He is missed.

The Yanks struck out 15x yesterday.

Torres 2 hits.
Stanton 2-ruun HR.
Kiner-Falefa 2 hits.

Cortes 5 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 23 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holmes 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Taillon (LOSS) 0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Schmidt 1 IP, 0R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.


ALDS Game 2 PPD to Friday.

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.

Game 157. Nestor Nasty as Yanks shutout O’s, 8-0. Judge stuck on 61. Rainout likely Sunday?

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.

Game 152. Rain gives Yanks rain-shortened 6 inning win, 2-0, robs Judge of an AB. Magic # 2

Before last night, the Yankees had no complete games out of their starters this season.

They do now, thanks to the rain. Nestor Cortes pitched six innings of one-hit shutout baseball, and since the rain ended the game after six innings, he’s credited with a complete game victory.

The 2-0 win means the Yankees (94-58) magic number for clinching the AL East title is 2. Since the Yankees now head to Toronto for a three-game series, all the Yanks have to do is to win one of the three games and the AL East crown is theirs.

The rain ending the game early also meant that Aaron Judge was robbed of at least one at bat. He was scheduled to lead off the bottom of the seventh for the Yanks. Judge doubled in the first inning, walked in the third, and flied out in the fifth. His 1 for 2, combined with Xander Bogaerts 0 for 2, put Judge back on top for the AL batting lead and the Triple Crown, and barely. Judge is currently hitting .3143, and Bogaerts .3137.

The Yanks scored in the fourth when Oswaldo Cabrera led off with a double and stole third. A single by Jose Trevino plated Cabrera.

In the sixth, Harrison Bader singled and was forced out by Aaron Hicks. With two out, Hicks came around to score when one-time Yankee Rob Refsnyder had trouble catching a ball between the pouring rain and the lights and was charged with an error.

Although it would have been great to have Judge hit #61 and #62 at home, the perfect scenario now would be for him to hit both in the same game at Toronto tonight. Therefore, there could be a ton of celebrating, for Judge would have broken the AL and Yankees’ single season HR record in the same game in which they clinch the division. Also, perfect would be for that little boy who is a huge Judge fan and who was gifted a HR ball by a Toronto fan in a scene that went viral this summer to be there to witness it.

Rookie SS Oswald Peraza had 2 hits.

Cortes (W, 11-4) 6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 5 K. 2.56

Miguel Andujar, DFA’d by the Yankees, was picked up by the Pirates.

Yankees’ legend Don Mattingly will not be back as Marlins’ manager next year. No offense to any of the Yankees’ coaches, but here is hoping Donnie comes back home, perhaps as the Yankees’ hitting coach (no offense to the coaches doing that now). It would be great to see #23 wearing his retired Yankees uniform, not have the pressure of managing, and teaching what he (.307 career batting average) did so well.

Game 147. What a night! 60! Fabulous Comeback! Triple Crown?

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