Tag Archives: Francona

Tito Francona, father of Indians’ mgr. Terry, dies at 84.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Tito Francona, the father of Indians’ manager Terry Francona, has died at the age of 84.

Francona, an OF/1B who threw and batted lefty, played for the Orioles (1956-1957), White Sox (1958), Tigers (1958), Indians (1959-1964), Cardinals (1956-1966), Phillies (1967), Braves (1967-1969), A’s (1969-1970) and finished with the 1970 Brewers.

He finished in a tie for runnerup for the 1956 ROY, when he hit .258-9-57-11 SB, OPS+95.

He finished fifth in MVP voting in 1959, hitting .363-20-79, OPS+ 171. He was 34 at bats short of qualifying and winning the batting title.

He led the league in doubles in 1960 (292-17-79, OPS+ 127), and was an All-Star in 1961 when he hit .301-16-85, OPS+ 122.

He hit .318 with an OPS+ of 140 (100 is average) as a backup in 1969.

He hit .272 with 125 HR. His 162 g. average was .272-12-62, OPS+ 107.

 

 

 

ALDS Game 5. Yanks complete comeback! Advance to ALCS, 5-2. Didi HRs twice.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees stunned the baseball world, completing a comeback from an 0-2 deficit in their best-of-five ALDS series vs. Cleveland, by beating the Indians, 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Before losing the last three games of this division series, Cleveland had won 35 of their previous 39 games. Cleveland manager Terry Francona, while with Boston, led them to their historic comeback from down 0-3 to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, but now has seen the Indians lose a 3-1 WS lead last year, and a 2-0 ALDS lead this year.

The Indians’ last WS title? 1948.

For Joe Girardi, a reprieve from what happened with the non-challenge in Game 2.

The Yankees now head to Houston to take on the Astros for the AL pennant. The ALCS is a best-of-seven.

Didi Gregorius got the Yanks on the board in the first inning with his first HR of the night.

In the third, Didi did it again, hitting a 2-run HR to put the Yanks up 3-0.

CC Sabathia was brilliant for 4 1/3 innings, striking out nine, but faltered in the fifth, giving up four straight hits, and two runs.

David Robertson came in and got a DP to get out of the inning, then went two more innings.

It was nail-biter time until the ninth, when the Yanks got two insurance runs to put the game away. With one out, Hicks singled and went to second on an error. After an out, Todd Frazier walked, and Brett Gardner got his third hit of the night to drive in a run. When the throw to the infield got away for another Cleveland error, Frazier scored.

Aroldis Chapman then closed out the game.

The Yanks won despite striking out 16x. Judge struck out 4x. The Yanks struck out 15 Indians.

Sabathia 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 W, 9 K.
Robertson (Winner) 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Chapman (Save) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.

Gardner 3 hits, RBI.
Didi 3 hits, 2 HR, 3 RBI.

What to do about Aaron Judge? 1 for 20 in the series with 16 strikeouts. Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird had a rough Game 5, each took 0-for’s with 3 K each. Chase Headley had an 0 for the series.

Despite some players having offensive woes that they need to break out of vs. Houston, the Yanks came back from a seemingly impossible situation and advance.

Game 1 of the ALCS is Friday in Houston. I would expect the Yanks’ rotation to go like this for the ALCS:

Gray
Tanaka
Severino
CC
Gray
Tanaka
Severino (lined up for Games 3 and 7)

One problem with that is that Tanaka has pitched far better at home than on the road, and with this scenario, Games 2 and 6 are on the road. The Yanks could (and probably won’t) use Montgomery, but Montgomery hasn’t pitched in a while, and with that short LF fence in Houston, the Yanks probably wouldn’t want to use a lefty there.

As for that trade with Chicago this summer? Getting Robertson back has been huge.

And better things to come? The Arizona Fall League started yesterday, and Yankees’ prospects did well in a 7-4 win.

Yankees’ prospects for the Scottsdale Scorpions:
Justus Sheffield 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 6 K. Win
Cody Carroll 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. Save
SS Thairo Estrada 2 for 4, RBI
OF Billy McKinney 1 for 4, 3 -run HR.
OF Estevan Florial 1 for 4.

Lastly, Boston manager John Farrell got the axe yesterday. Brad Ausmus of the Tigers is history. So the Phils, Mets, Tigers and Red Sox are all currently looking for new managers.

ALDS Game 1. Yanks shut down, lose 4-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

All this morning, I heard about how Terry Francona was a dummy for pitching Trevor Bauer, arguably his third best pitcher, in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees, instead of Corey Kluber, who may win his second CYA this year.

Excuse me? Francona has 2 WS titles and almost (last year, extra innings in Game 7) a third, to his name. Give the guy credit, he knows what he is doing.

So Bauer takes a no-no into the sixth inning. The Yanks managed only three hits all night.

Now, not to make excuses, but the HP umpire’s strike zone tonight left something to be desired. Didi, Headley and Judge, to name three, argued against some calls tonight, and in watching the game, I had to agree. Judge had the “Golden Sombrero.” 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts.

The Yanks have a problem. In the wild card game, Severino only lasted one out. Tonight, Sonny Gray was knocked out in the fourth inning. You can’t burn your bullpen.

Gray got out of a bases-loaded, no out situation in the second by only giving up one run.

He gave up a two-run HR to Jay Bruce in the fourth. Bruce doubled and scored the previous run.

The Yanks only got three hits tonight, but struck out 14x.

In the fifth, Bruce got a SF. Yup, him again. There were rumors about the Yanks going after Bruce, who started the year with the Mets, at the trade deadline. Instead of the Mets trading him to the Yankees, he got dealt to Cleveland.

That hurt tonight. Bruce got 2 hits, one a HR, and drove in 3 runs in the Indians’ 4-0 win. So Cleveland takes Game 1 of the best-of-five series, 4-0.  Cleveland only got 5 hits all night, but made them count. By contrast, the Yanks only got 3 hits. Castro had 2 of the three hits.

Gray (Loss) 3 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3H,  4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Garcia 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.

Good to see Betances on track.

Game 2 could be rained out Friday, with a lot of rain in the forecast.

CC vs. CYA candidate Kluber in Game 2.  A tough road for the Yanks. But then, they are facing a team that set an AL record of 22 wins in a row, and who has won 34 of their last 38 games.

In the other ALDS game, Jose Altuve hit 3 hr for Houston as the Astros took Game 1, beating Boston, 8-2

 

 

 

 

 

AL wins ASG in 10, 2-1, on Cano HR.

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Current Seattle Mariner and ex-Yankee Robbie Cano homered in the top of the 10th to lead the AL to a 2-1 win in the All Star Game.

The game doesn’t count anymore for home field advantage in the WS. That honor will go to who had the best record. IMO, that’s the way it always should have been, but hasn’t been.

Luis Severino didn’t get to pitch in the game. Dellin Betances went 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. He pitched the third inning, got into trouble (2 WP as well) but got out of it.

Aaron Judge went 0 for 3 as a starter, and Gary Sanchez, a backup, went 0 for 2. Sanchez was charged with a PB.

Starlin Castro was named an All-Star reserve, but had to be replaced (by Cano) because of injury.

The AL had gotten a run in the fifth on an RBI single by the Twins’ Miguel Sano. The Cardinals’ Yadier Molina homered in the sixth.

The Indians’ bench coach, Brad Mills, had to manage the AL because Indians’ manager Terry Francona is recovering from a heart procedure.

Yankees Notes: Girardi 5th in Mgr. of year; AFL Notes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi finished 5th in voting for AL Mgr. of the Year, won by Cleveland’s Terry Francona.

The NL Mgr. of the Year was Dave Roberts, giving the Dodgers the Mgr. and Rookie of the Year (Corey Seager) thus far.

In Arizona Fall League action, Scottsdale won 8-6. Here are the Yankees’ prospects today:

Tyler Wade, CF, 1 for 3, scored 2 runs. SB. .250.

DH Greg Bird. 1 for 3, RBI. Scored a run, walked, struck out. .215.

WS Game 4: Indians one win away from breaking Cubs’ heart again.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Cleveland Indians are one win away from their third WS title—and first since 1948—after a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs in Game 4.

For the Cubs, it’s one more loss until they chant “wait ’til next year” which they have done each year since 1908.

For Terry Francona, now 11-1 in WS games, it’s one win away from ensuring a ticket to Cooperstown as a HOF mgr. We won in 2004 and 2007, both in sweeps while Boston’s manager. If he now takes the Indians to a title, breaking yet another curse (86 years for Boston, 68 for Cleveland), his election should be assured.

Jason Kipnis had 3 hits, inc. a 3-run HR (the first player to hit a 3-run HR at Wrigley Field in a WS since… Babe Ruth) and Carlos Santana had 3 hits, inc. a HR in the victory. Francisco Lindor had 2 hits and an RBI.

Corey Kluber pitched six strong innings for the win, giving up 1 run. He even drove in a run with an infield single.

Andrew Miller finally cracked, giving up a HR to Dexter Fowler.

Game 5 is tonight in Chicago.

Cleveland wins AL Pennant, Miller ALCS MVP; Cubs even NLCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Cleveland Indians are going back to the World Series for the first time since 1997. They have only won it twice, in 1920 and 1948.

Andrew Miller was named the ALCS MVP after the Indians beat the Blue Jays in Game 5 in Toronto 3-0 to win the series four games to one.

Terry Francona should probably be put in the Hall of Fame now. With a depleted rotation, two guys down (Carrasco and Salazar), another cuts up his hand (Bauer), he deftly guided his bullpen—thanks to Miller—to a sweep of Boston and a five-game win over Toronto. Good pitching beat good hitting. When you look at his rotation problems right now, you say “No Way!”. Fabulous job by Francona.

Here is one example of the Indians depleted rotation and the job Francona did. The Game 5 starter for Cleveland was Ryan Merritt, a 24 yr. old rookie who had just four major league games under his belt and just one start. He pitched 4 1/3 innings.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp hit solo HRs for Cleveland in the game. Francisco Lindor, who could have been ALCS MVP himself, had 3 hits.

In the NLCS, the Cubs offense woke up after being shut out in Games 2 and 3 and they evened the series at two games apiece, winning Game Four 10-2.

Anthony Rizzo had 3 hits, 3 RBI, inc. a HR. Addison Russell had 3 hits, 2 RBI inc. a HR. The Dodgers were sloppy in making four errors.

I never saw a pitcher wearing a single digit number before Urias last night. And that is in 50 years of watching baseball. How about you?

 

 

ALCS Game 3: Kipnis, Miller, put Blue Jays on the brink.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jason Kipnis once again got the big hit, a HR that broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth, and Andrew Miller was once again dominating, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out three for the save, in Cleveland’s 4-3 win over Toronto last night.

In nine postseason innings, Miller has struck out 20.

The win puts Cleveland on the brink of winning the AL Pennant. They are up 3 games to none in the series. The last time the Indians were in the WS was in 1997 when they lost Game 7 in extra innings to the Marlins. The last time the Indians won the WS was in 1948 when they beat the Boston (Spahn and Sain and pray for rain) Braves.

Indians pitcher Trey Bauer only lasted 2/3 of an inning because a laceration on his pitching hand (pinky finger) opened up and he was bleeding badly on the mound. Indians’ manager Terry Francona mixed and matched, and the Indians used seven pitchers in the game, including Bauer.

The Indians go for the sweep at 4 pm today.

In the NLCS, Game 3 between the Cubs and Dodgers is at 8 pm. The series is tied at one game apiece.

I read one post somewhere from one fan who thinks the umpires should be split across countries because Toronto is from Canada. That there should be some Canadian umpires in this series. What’s next? Japanese umpires if you have a Japanese pitcher like Tanaka? Dominican umpires for those players? Just the whines of a crybaby Blue Jays fan.

Tribe, Toronto, go 1-up. Another Yankee moves on.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Unlike Buck Showalter the other night leaving his best in the bullpen, Terry Francona of Cleveland went to Andrew Miller early…in the fifth inning, and Miller provided two key innings of scoreless middle relief in Cleveland’s 5-4 win over Boston in Game 1 of their division series. Cleveland hit 3 hr in one inning. There were six HRs hit in the game, three by each side.

Toronto hammered Texas 10-1 in the first game of their division series, knocking out Cole Hamels in the fourth inning. Marco Estrada went 8 1/3, giving up just four hits and one run. Josh Donaldson was 4 for 4, scored 2, drove in 2. Troy Tulowitzki had a base-loaded triple among his 3 hits, and Jose Bautista homered and drove in 4 runs.

Eric Young, Jr. decided not to accept the Yanks optioning him to SWB and became a free agent. Young got in six games with the Yanks in September, went 0 for 1, scored 2 runs and stole 1 base.

 

Managers of the Year

AL: Terry Francona, Indians. A bit of an upset over John Farrell, who took Boston from worst to WS Champs.

NL: I was hoping for Mattingly, but Hurdle won. You can’t argue. He got Pittsburgh into the playoffs. Not only that, he got them into the playoffs after they had losing seasons EVERY YEAR since 1992.

Marlon Byrd to the Phils. 36, 2-yr. deal. Guess either Ben Revere or John Mayberry, Jr. is gone. Byrd had a good 2013 for Mets/Pirates but was lousy in 2012 and was suspended for 50 g. in 2012 for PEDs. You wonder what Byrd shows up for the Phils. He had played for them before, 2002-2005.