Tag Archives: Gardner

Gardner played with wrist injury the entire season

From the Lohud blog, new hitting coach Alan Cockrell states that Brett Gardner played the entire 2015 season with a wrist injury.

Gardner’s offense began to significantly decline after the All-Star break. He was still getting on base at a pretty decent clip through the end of July, but Gardner hit just .203/.288/.290 from August 1 through the end of the year. Why would a hit by pitch in April cause a massive second-half decline? Cockrell said Gardner got injections to deal with the issue, but eventually he wasn’t allowed to get any more.

“I know he was getting some cortisone and some things like that to try to help him, and they did,” Cockrell said. “They helped him in spurts, but you can only get three of those in a year.”

That wrist injury, along with lingering trouble with Jacoby Ellsbury’s knee, might have been a factor in the Yankees’ struggles at the top of the order.

“It’s tough to hit if you don’t have legs,” Cockrell said. “And it’s tough to hit if you don’t have your hands. … I think it probably was a bigger thing than either of those guys let on.”

Also, the Yanks have let minor leaguer Kyle Roller go. Andrew Bailey is gone as a free agent. Chris Martin was released to go to a Japanese team.

Houston ends Yankees’ season, 3-0.


You can’t win if you don’t score, and in 22 innings vs. Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel this season (regular and postseason), the Yankees didn’t score once.

As a result, the Yankees are going home, eliminated from the rest of the postseason, after losing 3-0 to Houston in the wild card game. The Yanks managed just three hits all night.

Chris Young started in left, and I guess the decision was who would play CF and who would sit between Brett Gardner & Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury sat, Gardner was awful, striking out three times, but it wouldn’t have made a difference. Ellsbury PH and popped up late in the game.

Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t bad, but on this night he had to be perfect. He wasn’t, giving up solo HRs in the second and fourth innings. Houston touched Dellin Betances for a run in the seventh.

Tanaka (L) 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 3 walks and 3 K.
Wilson 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K
Betances 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 4 K
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

The way the Yanks weren’t hitting, when the Yanks got down 2-0, it felt like 20-0, and you kind of knew Houston would be the ones heading to KC.

Tip your cap to Keuchel and the Astros. Hopefully in 2016, the Yanks can score off of Keuchel.

Soon, a review of the 2015 season, including final report cards and a look at what the Yanks must do to improve in 2016.

Game 162. Thanks to Arizona, Yanks get WC game at home.


The Yankees ended the season by losing six of their last seven games, ending at 87-75, but will host the wild-card play-in game because Arizona beat Houston 5-3 in the last game of the season.

Ugh. No one likes to “back into” anything.

Michael Pineda was knocked out in the fourth inning today. More discouraging to Yankees’ fans was who replaced him. First Chris Capuano, who was DFA’d FOUR times by the Yanks this year, then Bryan Mitchell, who hasn’t been the same since he was hit in the face by a liner. As someone wrote, the two guys (out of 20 on the expanded roster) with the highest ERAs of anyone with over 8 IP.

The offense disappointed again today, going 1 for 12 with RISP in the 9-4 loss. This isn’t the way you want to enter the playoffs.

Pineda gave up two in the first, but the Yanks did get a run back in the second on an RBI groundout by Ackley, one guy who is hot lately.

But the O’s got 3 in the fourth and the way the Yanks have been playing lately, that was enough. At that point, Yankees’ fans were hoping for Arizona to beat Houston.

Two in the fifth by the Orioles made it 7-1 and ensured that the Yanks would get swept in Baltimore.

The Yanks got one back in the sixth on a Gregorius triple and two in the seventh on a Bird single and Ackley RBI groundout. It made it 7-4 but a two-run HR by Chris Davis (MLB HR leader with 47) made the score 9-4, the final.

The Yanks need to send a BIG gift to Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, whose two-run HR won the game for Arizona and gave the home field advantage for the wild card game to the Yankees.

The Yanks finished 87-75, three games better than last year and two games better than in 2013. Mark Teixeira was (according to WAR) their best player this year by an eyelash over Dellin Betances. The problem, of course, is that Teix missed the last 40 games of the year, and will miss all of the postseason, with a broken leg.

Attendance this year was the lowest since 1998.

So the Yanks will face Houston Tuesday night at home, and although I will be rooting hard for the Yanks (winner goes to KC), it isn’t promising. Still, anything could happen in one game.


it’ll be Tanaka (12-7,  3.51) vs. Keuchel (20-8, 2.48). Keuchel beat the Yanks twice this year, pitching a CG six-hit shutout with 12 K on June 25, and pitching seven innings of 3-hit shutout ball on August 25 with 9 K. 16 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 21 K. Ugh. The Yanks can only hope he is off (3 days rest) on Tuesday night.

Tanaka faced Houston once this year, and it wasn’t good. 6 R in 5 IP on June 27.

The Yanks are a lefty-leaning lineup that has been hurting without the switch-hitting Teixeira’s bat from the right side.

Against the lefty Keuchel, you wonder what Girardi will do with the lineup, especially since lefty hitters Ellsbury (ended the year at .257, terrible for a table-setting leadoff hitter making $22MM and who is just .224-6-27 with just 7 SB since coming off the DL July 8). That is certainly NOT setting the table as the leadoff hitter.

McCann is 8 for 58 since Sept. 12. (.138).

Gardner, like Ellsbury, finished under .260. That is NOT setting the table. You wanted both to hit .280-.290 with about 35-40 SB apiece. Instead both finished under .260 with 41 SB—–COMBINED.

Since September 12, Gardner is 12 for 72….  .167.  I don’t mean to discourage, but those are three lefty bats all struggling, and you are facing a lefty pitcher in Keuchel on Tuesday night.

Since Sept 12, Headley is 12 for 71… slightly better than the .167 of Gardner, and Headley is a switch-hitter.  Another struggling.

Does Girardi have the guts to go with Refsnyder at 2B,  Murphy at C and Young in CF or LF, especially since McCann, Ellsbury and Ellsbury have been struggling so badly? Does he play Ackley in LF for the struggling Gardner?

Does he take it one step further and play Ryan at 3B?

With Ellsbury, McCann, Gardner all struggling, could he go with an innovative lineup vs. Keuchel such as…

Young CF
Refsnyder 2B
A-Rod DH
Beltran RF
Bird 1B
Murphy C
Ackley LF
Gregorius SS
Ryan 3B

Tanaka P

and bring off the bench if needed against a righty pitcher Ellsbury, McCann, Headley and Gardner?

I doubt it. But those four have been killing the Yanks recently. If in the lineup, they have to wake up.

As for today…

Pineda (L, 12-10, 4.37) 3 2/3 IP, 4 R,  6 H, 0 walks and 5 K.
Capuano 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 7.97
Mitchell 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 6.37
Pazos 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walks and 2 K. 0.00 (don’t see how they don’t take him for the postseason roster).
Bailey 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walks and 0 K. 8.31
Pinder 1 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.93 (Should merit consideration).
Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.10
Miller 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.04
Cotham 1/3 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K 6.52 

You hope Tanaka can give you 7 strong (preferably scoreless) and then go to Wilson, Betances and Miller. The bullpen has been shaky lately, showing signs of wear. But Tanaka has to have a good game and go deep.

The Yanks have to play littleball, which they haven’t played (or been good at) this year. They can’t expect to bomb Keuchel out. They have to scratch for runs, steal, hit and run, bunt runners over and not go, say 0 for 10 with RISP. They must take advantage of all their opportunities.

And Joe Girardi must go for broke. I’m interested in what lineup he puts out there Tuesday night; if he benches some guys.

I remember Billy Martin benching Reggie Jackson for Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS for Paul Blair because Reggie could not hit Splittorff.

Maybe Girardi channels Martin and benches some guys.

We will see.

One game. Let’s go Yankees.

Game 160. Yanks lose opener, 9-2. Magic number for home game Tuesday still at 1.


The Yanks lost the opener of a day-night DH to Baltimore 9-2 today (Saturday). The magic number to have that wild card play-in game played at home remains at one. A Yankees win in the nightcap tonight (provided they play, what with the weather) or a Houston loss will ensure the Yanks are at home on Tuesday night for the play-in game.

It wasn’t a good game for the Yanks in many ways. Ivan Nova and Chasen Shreve, both not pitching well lately and both on the bubble as far as making the postseason roster, didn’t pitch well today again. The Yanks also missed out on opportunities, going 1 for 12 with RISP.

I wouldn’t be surprised if neither Nova or Shreve is on the postseason roster. Nova is 6-11 with an ERA over 5.00. He is 2-8 in his last 10 starts with a 6.58 ERA. Meanwhile, Shreve in his last nine games has given up nine runs in five innings.

Down 7-0, the Yanks only two runs came in the seventh  on an RBI groundout by Gardner followed by an RBI single by Refsnyder.

Rico Noel did get his first MLB at bat and he made the most of it, getting a single in the ninth.

Also getting his first MLB at bat, making his MLB debut was Gary Sanchez, who popped up after Noel’s hit.

Nova (L, 6-11, 5.07) 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 walks and 4 K.
Shreve 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.09.
Goody 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 4.76
Martin 1 IP, 0 r, 1 h, 0 W, 1 K. 5.66.

Games 140 and 141. Yanks division title hopes dim after getting swept in DH by Jays.


The Yanks may have to settle for the wild card after getting swept by the Blue Jays today, 9-5 in 11 innings in Game 1 and 10-7 in Game 2.

The one bright spot was three HR by Brett Gardner today.

One bad spot: Jacoby Ellsbury was 0 for 9 in the doubleheader. He is down to .259. When he went on the DL he was at .324. That shows you how bad he has been since coming back. He hasn’t been setting the table. Maybe Joe Girardi should bench him tomorrow and play Slade Heathcott in CF to give Ellsbury a day off?

The Yanks are now 4 1/2 behind Toronto with just 21 games left. They are 77-64 and as of this writing are still three up for WC #1. But they have lost five in a row and need to start winning again soon. The Yanks are 77-64.

With a Twins loss, the magic number just to get into the wild card game is down to 18.

There were a couple of questionable decisions made today.

Game 1. 

The Yanks got off to a 4-1 lead but Michael Pineda could not hold it.

Gardner homered in the first (14) to put the Yanks up 1-0. Headley homered in the second (11) to make it 2-0.

But Pineda gave up a HR to Bautista in the fourth. 2-1.

A-Rod hit a 2-run HR (31, 685 career) to make it 4-1 in the fourth. But Pineda could not hold that lead, giving up two homers and three runs to make it 4-4.

Toronto got a HR off of Dellin Betances in the eighth. 5-4. I am worried about Betances’ workload and recent outings. He seems to have tired and his outings lately have not been sharp.

The Yanks tied it in the eighth, but here is where they may have lost the game. Ellsbury and Gardner walked, and after an out, there was a WP. Ellsbury moved up but Gardner didn’t. Why not? Because when McCann singled, it tied the game instead of putting the Yanks up. The Yanks loaded the bases with one out when A-Rod walked, but they could not get the run in as Headley popped up and Bird’s sharp grounder was stabbed and Bird was thrown out on a nice play by Toronto’s second baseman. The failure to score that second run was fatal.

It was brutal how the Yanks lost this game in the eleventh. Toronto scored four runs on only one hit. Five walks and a HBP. Sheesh.

Pineda 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 walks and 5K. 4.25
Wilson 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.12
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.48
Miller 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 1.87
Mitchell (L, 0-2, 5.47) 1/3 IP, 3 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 1 K.
Shreve 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 walks and 1 K. 2.44
Goody 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.45

Game 2.

Ivan Nova had nothing and was knocked out in the second inning when he gave up six runs. I don’t know if it is the adjustment or fatigue from coming back off the Tommy John surgery but in his last seven starts, Nova’s ERA has jumped from 3.10 to 5.11.

Brett Gardner hit a 3-run HR (15) in the fifth to cut it to 6-3. A Didi Gregorius double in the sixth cut it to 6-4 but with runners on second and third and one out the Yanks couldn’t get the hit to tie the game. Young PH and popped up and the slumping Ellsbury lined out.

The Blue Jays immediately responded with four in the top of the seventh. Here is something else I find questionable. Girardi let Chris Capuano start the seventh inning. Granted he had pitched three scoreless innings prior to the seventh, but…. it’s Capuano. He was DFA’d FOUR times by the Yanks in the last month, cleared waivers all FOUR times, was optioned down to AAA, well, you get the point. A fourth inning for Capuano in the biggest series of the year? Sorry, I don’t get it. Sure enough, the game got away. Four Toronto runs to make it 10-4.

Brett Gardner’s SECOND three-run HR of the game (16) and third of the doubleheader cut the lead to 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth but that was all she wrote. Gardner drove in six of the Yanks’ seven runs in the game.

Nova (L, 6-8, 5.11) 1 2/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Rumbelow 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.84
Capuano 3 2/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 7.91
Pinder 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 2.45
Pazos 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00

Boston’s David Ortiz joined the 500 HR club today.

Game 138. Yanks miss chance to gain ground, lose 5-3.


When you see the team you are trying to gain ground on getting spanked, you have to capitalize on the opportunity. Tonight the Yanks didn’t, as they lost 5-3 to the Orioles.

They did it in many ways. Defensively, Stephen Drew botched one play that led to a run in the first. His two-0ut, two-run error later in the fifth also hurt. The offense got only four hits all game. The player who drove in all three Yankees’ runs and had two of the four hits seemed to take a bad route to a ball in the 9th. The bullpen couldn’t hold Baltimore.

Brett Gardner pinch-hit but didn’t start because of the shoulder issue. Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury is down to .267. The Yanks need the table setters.

Baltimore got a run in the first. Maybe if Drew can start the 4-6-3 DP instead of having to settle for a 4-3 out (with the runner moving up), the O’s don’t score.

Beltran tied the game with an opposite-field homer in the bottom of the first. HR #15 was #388 of Beltran’s career.

Beltran put the Yanks up 3-1 in the third with a two-run single. After that, it was all downhill.

With two out and two on in the fifth, CC hit a batter to load the bases and Warren came in. He got a ground ball to Headley, who lollypopped a throw to second. Yes, the throw should have had a little more zip, but Drew has to catch the ball. He didn’t and two runs scored on what should have been an inning-ending groundout. Tie game.

In the eighth, Warren gave up a HR to Steve Pearce to put the O’s up 4-3. The O’s added an insurance run in the 9th on a double by Chris Davis. I don’t know if Beltran could have got it, but in looking at the video, it did appear as if he got a bad read and took a bad route to the ball.

As mentioned, the Yanks got just four hits in the game, two by Beltran. Jacoby Ellsbury, as mentioned above, is down to .267 and Brett Gardner has missed a few games with a bum shoulder. It would be beneficial if both could play, get hot and set the table.

So now the Yanks start a big four-game series vs. Toronto tomorrow night 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays for the AL East lead. Since Toronto was spanked by Boston tonight, it would have been nice to win this one to cut that lead to 1/2 game. It wasn’t to be.

The Yanks are 77-61, 1 1/2 back. As for the WC, they still have a  3 1/2 game lead for WC#1 as of this writing, and a 6 game lead for WC#2. The magic # to make the playoffs, even as the second wild card, is 19.

Sabathia 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 walks and 5 K. 5.16
Warren (L, 6-6, 3.29) 2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Rumbelow 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walks and 1 K. 3.18
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 Walks and 0 K. 0.00
Mitchell 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 4.44.

Game 137. Yanks waste Tanaka gem, fall 1 1/2 back.


Masahiro Tanaka gave up just 1 run in 8 innings, but the Yanks scored just one run and Chasen Shreve gave up a tie-breaking HR in the ninth as the Yanks lost to Baltimore, 2-1 on Tuesday night.

The loss, coupled with Toronto’s tenth-inning win up in Fenway, pushed the Yanks 1 1/2 behind Toronto in the AL East at 77-60.

The Yanks are a bit banged up. Earlier in the day, it was announced that Adam Warren would be stretched out and rejoin the rotation what with Nathan Eovaldi being out for two weeks. You wonder, this late into the season, if Eovaldi and Warren may have to switch roles, Eovaldi going to the bullpen when he returns because of rust and coming back so late into the season.

The Yanks are also resigned to the possibility of Mark Teixeira being done for the season. Not only that, but Brett Gardner has a sore shoulder and was given another day off today, and Chase Headley had the night off (except to make the last out as a PH). Light-hitting Brendan Ryan started at third. Even though Refsnyder is up and on the team, Girardi has gone with Ryan over Refsnyder lately. Heck, the other day he went with Pirela over Refsnyder.

Tonight’s game was scoreless until the sixth, when Tanaka gave up a HR (Ugh, to the #9 hitter). A-Rod tied it in the bottom of the sixth with his 30th HR of the season, #684* of his career. The HR tied Hank Aaron for 15 seasons of 30 or more (they are the only two to hit 30 or more in 15 seasons) and it’s the first time since 2010 that Alex has hit 30 in a season. His two hits tonight passed Rickey Henderson on the all-time list. Alex now has 3056. Next up, Craig Biggio at 3060.

In the ninth, Chasen Shreve gave up a HR to Chris Davis and that was it. 2-1 Orioles. The Yanks have used Wilson, Betances and Miller a lot lately, and had to go to Shreve because of the other guys workload. Davis rode a pitch (lefty on lefty) out to left for his 41st HR of the year.

Tanaka 8 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 10 K. 3.57
Shreve (L, 6-2, 1.99) 1 IP, 1 R,  3H, 0 walks and 1 K.

This was a tough one to lose.