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 dropped their regular season finale, 4-2 to Texas to finish the season 99-63, 7 games in front of second place Toronto in the AL East. Game 1 of the ALDS is next Tuesday, October 11, at Yankee Stadium against the winner of the Tampa Bay/Cleveland Series. The Yankees were 11-8 vs. Tampa Bay this season, and 5-1 against Cleveland. Aaron Judge did not play in today’s game, getting a well-deserved rest after playing in 55 games in a row, with the last two weeks seeing incredible pressure. He finished second in the AL batting race at .311, five points back, so no Triple Crown, but he ends at .311- 62 (new AL and Yankees record)-131, 16 SB, 111 walks, OPS+ 211 (! that could change by a point or so, but still, !) He led MLB in R, HR, RBI, OBP, SA, OPS, OPS+ and Total bases, and the AL in walks. It’s amazing how many people wanted him to play in a meaningless game today. What if he would have pulled a hamstring running out a double? Or gotten hit by a pitch that broke his wrist? It was smart to have him out of the lineup and save him for the playoffs. People can be so dumb sometimes. The Yanks scored first in the second inning when with one out, Oswald Peraza walked. Jose Trevino singled Peraza to third and one out later, Kyle Higashioka hit an RBI single. Yankees’ starter and losing pitcher Domingo German gave up a HR to Charlie Culberson in the third that just snuck around the LF foul pole. Tie game, 1-1. The Yanks went up 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a HR by Trevino (11). German gave up a HR to Jonah Heim in the bottom of the fourth that tied the game at two, then two runs in the bottom of the fifth that cost him the game. He wasn’t helped by an error from Aaron Hicks or a double that Josh Donaldson probably should have made a play on. Final score 4-2. Trevino 2 hits, solo HR (11) German (L, 2-5) 4 1/3 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.61 Abreu 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.26 Just off IL Castro 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 1 WP 4.03 Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.53 (A’s/NYY ERA) Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.67
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 will have to wait for HR #62, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks in the Yankees’ (96-60) 2-1 loss to Baltimore Friday night. Judge is at .314, about 7/10th of a point behind Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.315) as Judge also goes for a Triple Crown. A couple of mistakes, lack of control, no run support and a lot of rust hurt the Yanks in the loss. In the first inning, Baltimore scored on a walk, a SB, a throwing error on Jose Trevino on the SB that allowed Cedric Mullins of Baltimore to go to third, and an RBI single. I thought Gleyber Torres should have caught or at least knocked down Trevino’s throw, but it is what it is. The Yanks only got four hits in the game, struck out 13x, and their only run came on a HR by Oswaldo Cabrera (5) in the bottom of the fifth. No way does Cabrera not make the postseason roster. Even if D.J. LeMahieu, Andrew Benintendi or Matt Carpenter do get over their injuries and make it. As for someone else, I’ll get to that in a bit. Domingo German was the tough luck loser in this game, having pitched well, but getting no run support save for Cabrera’s HR. In the top of the sixth, German walked the first two hitters before getting a groundout that moved the runners up. He was then relieved by Zack Britton. Britton is just coming off of TJ surgery and it is said that control is the last thing to return. Britton walked a batter before throwing a WP that enabled the deciding run in the game to score. He was then removed with a tired arm. Nice try in coming back and hoping to make the postseason roster. It is obvious that Britton isn’t ready yet. It will be interesting to see if Matt Carpenter, now taking batting practice, can get a couple of games in before the postseason, and if he can make the postseason roster, because if Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton, and making over $30MM a year, then based on performance alone, Stanton should NOT be on the postseason roster. Stanton is hitting .140 since coming off the IL, and .156 since June 1. If the Yanks had guts (and it would be a highly controversial move), if Carpenter is ok, they put Carpenter on the postseason roster and DH him and leave Stanton off of it. It won’t happen, though. But the Yanks are racing against the clock to get Stanton straightened out. I fear Stanton will kill the Yanks in the playoffs. He’s been THAT awful. Gallo-like awful. If Stanton is on the postseason roster, as expected, then PLEASE Aaron Boone, drop him in the lineup. To Seventh. Maybe even Eighth like Joe Torre did with A-Rod in 2006. You can’t just keep putting him 4 or 5. But then, Boone had Gallo hitting cleanup in last year’s wildcard game loss at Boston. Sigh. Don’t make the same mistake, Boonie. LeMahieu came off the IL for the game. Locastro taken off the roster. LeMahieu went 0 for 3 and we will see if D.J. is good enough to be on the postseason roster or not. Soon, we see about Benintendi, too. Feelings be damned. If someone isn’t ready or deserves to be on the postseason roster, then leave him off. You can’t mess around come playoff time. Today’s game may be delayed or postponed. The weather forecast calls for rain in NYC. Cabrera 2 hits, solo HR (5) German (L, 2-4) 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. 3.31 Tough loss. Britton 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 WP. 13.50 Rusty. Not ready. Go home and heal up more. Marinaccio 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K. 2.09 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.11 Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.59 (Cubs/NYY) Boone also revealed postgame that right-handed reliever Clay Holmes received a cortisone injection for inflammation in his right rotator cuff and likely won’t pitch again until the American League Division Series starts Oct. 11. We will have to see how he is. Meanwhile, Wandy Peralta should be off the IL by then, and Miguel Castro and Albert Abreu have finished rehab. The Yanks will have a LOT of interesting decisions to make regarding the postseason roster.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Benintendi, Boone, Britton, Cabrera, Carpenter, Castro, Chapman, Effross, German, Holmes, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Marinaccio, Peralta, Stanton
The Yankees (83-58) reduced their magic # for winning the AL East to 3 with a 7-5 win over Boston on Saturday. While they hit 3 HR, none were by Aaron Judge, who is stuck on 60 as he tries to tie and surpass Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61. Judge went 0 for 3 with a walk and fell one point behind Boston’s Xander Bogaerts in the batting race, .315 to .314. Luis Arraez of the Twins is at .313. Since Judge is way ahead in HR and RBI, he also could be a Triple Crown winner as well. The Yanks got on the board first when Gleyber Torres homered (24) in the bottom of the first inning. 1-0, Yankees. Domingo German had a shaky second inning though, giving up 2 HR and 3 runs as Boston took a 3-1 lead. The Yanks got a run back in the bottom of the second. With one out, Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader both walked. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in Cabrera, Bader out at third. The Yanks went up 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run HR by Cabrera (4). Now this will be interesting in the offseason. Andrew Benintendi is a free agent, and currently on the IL with a broken hand. Do the Yankees try to sign Benintendi or do they feel confident in having the 23-year-old rookie Cabrera as their starting LF in 2023? In the fifth inning, the Yanks upped their lead to 5-3. Kyle Higashioka led off with a single and Judge walked. A flyout moved Higashioka to third. One out later, Josh Donaldson’s infield single brought home Higashioka. 5-3, Yankees. After a year away because of Tommy John surgery, Zack Britton returned to the mound but was ineffective, as Boston cut the Yanks lead to 5-4 in the sixth when Britton walked in a run. Lou Trivino came in with the bases loaded and one out and made sure that was all the Red Sox got. But Boston tied it up in the seventh off of Trivino and Lucas Luetge, who with two out, couldn’t slam the door before Boston tied the game. Anthony Rizzo hit a 2-run HR (32) in the bottom of the seventh that wound up deciding the game. 7-5 Yankees. Rizzo 2-run HR (32) Torres 2 hits, solo HR (24) Cabrera 2-run HR (4) German 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.30 One rough inning. Britton (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 27.00 First appearance of season. Trivino (H, 4) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.86 (A’s/NYY ERA) Luetge (W, 4-4; BS, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.78 Schmidt (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.40 Effross (S, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.70 (Cubs/NYY ERA)
Posted in Players, Regular Season
Tagged Benintendi, Britton, Cabrera, Donaldson, Effross, German, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Luetge, Rizzo, Schmidt, Torres, Trivino
It was a disappointing game in many ways as the Yankees (87-67) blew a 5-0 lead and lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Friday night. Before the game, Aroldis Chapman came off the IL, and Ryan Weber was DFA’d. The Yanks will have many more moves next week as several others come off the IL. With the loss the Yanks’ magic # to clinch the AL East remains at 13. Since Baltimore lost, the Yankees’ magic # to secure a playoff berth is 7 (since the Yankees own the tiebreaker against the Orioles). It looked great early on for the Yankees. They scored three runs in the top of the first. Aaron Judge led off the game with a single, and one out later, Gleyber Torres doubled, Judge going to third. A SF by Josh Donaldson plated Judge. Oswaldo Cabrera walked, then Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in one run and Marwin Gonzalez singled in another. 3-0. They had runners on second and third after a WP but couldn’t add on further. Later in the game, Gonzalez had to leave due to illness, and Cabrera had to move to first, which he never played before. Also, catcher Jose Trevino had to leave after taking a foul ball off his knee. He was replaced by Kyle Higashioka. The Yanks added two runs in the top of the second, when Aaron Hicks led off with a single, then Judge singled. A walk to Giancarlo Stanton loaded the bases. Torres flied out, no advance, but a run scored when Donaldson hit into a force at second. An error on the play allowed Judge to score as well. 5-0. But Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, who struggled in the first inning, gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the second. 5-3. The trade for Montas has been a disappointment. He is 1-3, 6.35 as a Yankee in 8 starts (5-12, 4.05 overall). With Sonny Gray before, and now Montas, the joke going around is that the Yankees should stop trading for Oakland pitchers. Anyway, I cringe every time I hear talk about whether Montas is the Game 2 or 3 playoff starter for the Yankees. From what I’ve seen, HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE PLAYOFF ROSTER! I’d prefer Cole, Cortes, Severino (off the IL next week), Taillon and even German over Montas right now. That is 5 guys when you probably only need 4 and maybe, depending on the playoff schedule and off days, 3. Yes, that is right. In my pecking order, once Severino comes back, Montas is #6 … and depending on how you like Clarke Schmidt, maybe even #7. To the top of the third, and Aaron Hicks made the same mistake he made a few days ago. He has to realize who bats behind him. With two outs, he doubled. NORMALLY, you would be happy with the double. You go to second base. NOT IN THIS CASE. Hicks should have just stopped at first. For by going to second, he took the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball, Judge. Judge, of course, was intentionally walked. Stanton made out. Hicks has to learn to stop at first on such occurrences, or Stanton (hitting .215) needs to step it up. Aaron Boone and the coaches also should realize this and talk to Hicks about it. Willie Mays would sometimes stop at first in those situations so as to NOT take the bat out of the hands of Willie McCovey. Mays had baseball smarts. Hicks? Not so. Maybe move Torres to 2 behind Judge? After all, he’s hot lately. Stanton isn’t. To the fourth, and the Yanks stranded two more runners. Meanwhile, the Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth off of Montas and Lucas Luetge. Given a 5-0 lead, Montas couldn’t get out of the fourth inning and Boone had to use most of his bullpen for the rest of the game. Unacceptable. The Yanks stranded two more runners in the sixth. In the bottom of the eighth, Milwaukee took the lead. On one play, Gleyber Torres couldn’t come up with a ball hit up the middle. A tough break there. But on another, IKF made an error with two out allowing a run to score. The internet has been on his defense lately. Could Oswald Peraza have made that play? Who knows. But IKF has to make that. Instead, 6-5, Brew Crew. Donaldson tied the game in the top of the ninth with his 14th HR of the season, a ball that hit the foul pole. Cabrera followed with a double but was left stranded. The home plate umpire made an absolutely horrendous called third strike call on Miguel Andujar with Cabrera on third and one out. MLB needs to do more than to give umps a slap on the wrist on these egregious errors. They need to suspend or fire umps. We have seen so many bad calls and nothing happens to the umps. Boone was tossed arguing the call. Yeah, the manager and/or player pays for the umps f-up. Clay Holmes came on for the bottom of the ninth and blew the game. This has to be very concerning for the Yankees. You need a reliable closer going into the postseason. In 2009, EVERY closer blew a postseason game except for one. Mariano Rivera. The Yankees won the World Series, their last one to date. Since July 9, Holmes ERA is 6.86. He has lost 4 games and has 3 blown saves. He has walked 13 in 19 2/3 innings. He has to right the ship and quickly or the Yanks will have to find another closer for the postseason. The loss is one thing. But the 2 for 11 w/RISP, 11 left on base, and the struggles of Montas and Holmes are another. That is what made this loss so disappointing. Oh yeah, one more thing at the bottom. Judge 2 hits. Torres 2 hits Donaldson 3 RBI. Solo HR (14) Cabrera 2 for 2, 3 walks. Hicks 2 hits. Montas 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.05 (Oak/NYY ERA) Luetge 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.75 Weissert 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.56 SEE BELOW German 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.12 Peralta 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.40 SEE BELOW Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.69 SEE BELOW Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.43 Holmes (L, 6-4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.59. One more thing here. (I told you above, didn’t I?) Check the pitching line above. Weissert faced one batter. Stuck him out. Peralta faced one batter. Struck him out. Trivino faced three batters, struck them all out. WHY DIDN’T THEY STAY IN THE GAME LONGER, BOONE? Don’t mess with success!
Posted in Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Boone, Cabrera, Chapman, Donaldson, German, Gray, Hicks, Holmes, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Loaisiga, Luetge, Mays, McCovey, Montas, Peralta, Rivera, Stanton, Torres, Trivino, Weber, Weissert
As Yogi said, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The 1964 Phillies blew a 6 1/2 game lead with 12 games left in the season. The 2004 Yankees blew a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 series. The 2007 Mets blew a 7-game lead with 17 games left. You don’t count your chickens until they are hatched. But with yesterday’s 10-4 win over Tampa Bay, coupled with the 10-3 win on Saturday, the Yankees (85-56) opened up a 5 1/2 game lead with 21 games to go. Had the Rays swept the Yankees this weekend instead of only winning the first game, the lead would have been down to 1 1/2 games and the pressure really would have been on after having once had a 15 1/2 game lead. There are other things finally turning in the Yankees’ favor after almost two months of things going sour. For one, the Rays have some 15 of their 24 remaining games against Toronto and Houston, making it that much more difficult to catch the Yankees for the division title. Toronto sits 6 back of the Yankees, and just 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay. Seattle is in a virtual tie with Tampa Bay. So those three teams are jockeying for 4-5-6 playoff position. You will see that the Yankees have magic numbers of 18 for the division and 11 for a playoff spot. Actually, it is one less number for each because the Yankees own the tiebreakers. Another thing in the Yankees’ favor is that the cavalry is on its way. Four Yankees started rehab assignments with AA Somerset yesterday (see other post). Yes, rust may be a factor, but hopefully they come back healthy and refreshed. Lastly, something you will see in the game recap. The bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres seem to be waking up after long slumbers. This is extremely important. It means that teams just can’t pitch around Aaron Judge. He needs protection. Stanton and Torres hitting provides that protection. Then the Yankees’ offense can go. As they did on Saturday, the Yankees jumped out early and big. Judge led off the bottom of the first with a single, and Stanton walked. Torres followed with a 3-run HR, #20 on the season, and the Yanks were up 3-0. Domingo German started the game for the Yankees on short rest because of the rainout and subsequent doubleheader against the Twins a few days ago. He only pitched the first inning as the Yankees went with a bullpen game, using eight pitchers. Tampa Bay got a run in the top of the second, but the Yanks blew the game open by responding with seven runs in the bottom of that inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the inning with a walk, Kyle Higashioka walked, and Marwin Gonzalez singled to load the bases. Judge hit a SF to make it 4-1, and Stanton followed with a 3-run HR (26) to make it 7-1. Torres followed with another HR (21) to make it 8-1. Josh Donaldson then walked, and Oswaldo Cabrera hit his first MLB HR to give the Yankees a 10-1 lead. Cabrera also got another OF assist. When will teams learn not to run on him? The Rays scored two in the sixth and another in the ninth. Final score 10-4. Ben Rortvedt, who didn’t get into a game, was sent back to AAA after the game as Jose Trevino will be returning from paternity leave. Stanton 3 RBI. 3-run HR (26) Torres 2 hits, 4 RBI. 3-run HR and Solo HR (21) 4th Yankee with 20 or more HR Cabrera 2 RBI. 2-run HR (1) First MLB HR. German 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.21 Luetge 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63 Weissert (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.88 Peralta (W, 3-4) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.44 Trivino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.82 (A’s/NYY ERA) Marinaccio 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.93 Schmidt 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. 2.70 Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1 WP 2.41 Albert Pujols hit HR #697 yesterday, passing Alex Rodriguez for fourth place on the all-time list.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged a-rod, Cabrera, German, Holmes, Luetge, Marinaccio, Peralta, Pujols, Rortvedt, Schmidt, Stanton, Torres, Trevino, Trivino, Weissert
Sorry, my original draft got erased and I had to re-write a lot. UGH. A load of baseball yesterday, and at first it didn’t look good. Due to injuries, the Yankees’ lineups looked worse than a spring training lineup. In the first game of the DH yesterday, the Yanks (83-54) started three rookies, plus another guy who, although he had MLB experience and wasn’t a rookie, hadn’t played in the majors all season. The Yanks put Josh Donaldson on the paternity list. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) played 3B. IKF had won a GG at 3B for Texas in 2020. Bard DFA’d, Deivi Garcia up. Miguel Andujar up as 29th man for the doubleheader. Rizzo to IL, Ron Guzman up. But at the end of the day, the Yankees had won both games off of their perennial whipping boys, the Twins, by scores of 5-4 (in 12 innings) and 7-1. With the wins, the Yanks are 5 up on the Rays in the AL East. The magic # for winning the division is 22, and the magic # for a playoff berth is 15. The wins ensured the Yankees a winning season. They haven’t had a losing season since 1992. Game 1: Domingo German had a rough start but settled in. A double, strikeout, and HR, and Minnesota was up 2-0 just three batters into the game. With two out in the fourth, three straight singles made it 3-0 Twins and with the weakened Yankees’ lineup, it didn’t appear good. The Yanks got a run in the bottom of the fourth of Aaron Judge’s 55th HR of the season. The home run meant that Judge now has hit more HR in a season than any other righty hitter in Yankees’ history. Only Ruth (60 in 1927) and Maris (61 in ’61) have hit more. Judge was walked 5x yesterday, 3x intentionally. Another reason to hate the ghost runner. If Judge is the first guy up, even with the ghost runner on second, first base is open, and Judge is walked to set up a DP. You take the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball. Gleyber Torres tied the game with a 2-run HR in the sixth. (19). Both teams wasted chances. Oswaldo Cabrera, an infielder brought up to the Yanks a few weeks ago, got his fifth OF assist of the season in the top of the tenth. Ron Guzman, up for Rizzo, struck out 4x and then with the bases loaded and no out in extra innings, hit into a 3-2-3 DP. The Twins got a run in the top of the 12th off of Ron Marinaccio, but with the bases loaded and one out, Greg Weissert avoided further damage. In the bottom of the 12th, Marwin Gonzalez was the ghost runner and IKF singled to tie the game. With one out, IKF stole second. Jose Trevino singled, IKF was held up and Trevino took second on the throw. With two out, Cabrera singled to win the game. Judge solo HR (55) Torres 2-run HR (19) Kiner-Falefa (IKF) 2 hits, RBI Peraza 3 hits FIRST 3 HITS OF MLB CAREER. German 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.27 Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.58 Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.66 Holmes 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.29 Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K. 1.73 Weissert (W, 3-0) 2/3 I, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.36 Game 2: With the long game in game 1, and several bullpen members used, the Yanks needed length from Gerrit Cole. He went 6 2/3 IP, striking out 14. Cole leads MLB with 218 strikeouts and is 30 away from Ron Guidry’s Yankee team single season record of 248, set in 1978. Cole has four, maybe five starts left in the season. Cole gave up a HR to his ex-teammate, Carolos Correa, in the top of the third. IKF hit a grand slam, just his third HR of the season, in the bottom of the fourth. He didn’t get his first HR until mid-August. In the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Hicks hit a bases-loaded double for three runs to make it 7-1. Hicks 3 RBI Kiner-Falefa 4 RBI. Grand Slam. (3) Florial 2 hits. Cole (W, 11-7) 6 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 14 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.20 Luetge (S, 2) 2 1/3 Ip, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 3 K. 2.55 Nestor Cortes returns to the rotation tonight to face ex-Yankee Sonny Gray.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Andujar, Bard, Cabrera, Cole, Cortes, Donaldson, Florial, Garcia, German, Guidry, Guzman, Hicks, Holmes, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Loaisiga, Luetge, Marinaccio, Maris, Peralta, Peraza, Rizzo, Ruth, Torres, Weissert
You don’t know what to write anymore. A 15 1/2 game lead is now down to 5. Tom Petty’s song “Free Fallin'” keeps playing in your head. From 61-23 to 79-53. 18-30 in their last 48 games, and as much as you want it to stop, it isn’t. Anthony Rizzo had an epidural for his back. He’s out for this whole Tampa Bay series. During the game, an embarrassing 9-0 loss, Andrew Benintendi hurt his wrist, saying he “felt something pop.” X-rays were negative, but an MRI is forthcoming. Don’t be surprised if he is out a while, maybe for the season. Meanwhile you can’t win if you can’t score, and the Yankees’ offense right now looks like I’ve been transported back to the Horace Clarke/Gene Michael/Jake Gibbs days. Ugly. The Yankees got just five hits last night. It’s hard to pitch when you have no margin for error. For six innings, Domingo German was really good. The Rays got a run in the fourth because Josh Donaldson made two errors on back-to-back plays. The Rays would have had another run except that Oswaldo Cabrera (who replaced the injured Benintendi) threw out a runner at the plate. It stayed 1-0 into the seventh. In the seventh, German made his only mistake, giving up a 2-run HR. 3-0, and you knew it was over then. The way this offense has collapsed, you knew they were not coming back. Then the Rays got six runs in the eighth off of Greg Weissert and Anthony Banda (you are forgiven for saying “Who?”). Who’d have thought, on September 2, in the middle of a pennant race, that Weissert and Banda would be on the mound for you. That says a lot of where the Yanks are right now. Then the ultimate ignominy last night. Marwin Gonzalez on the mound to get the last out in the eighth. Embarrassing. And I’m trying to be nice about it. Let’s face it. No matter what happens from here on in, heads should roll. Hal Steinbrenner has been far too quiet. Show a little anger at what is happening Hal! Instead, he’s been too busy buying an Italian soccer team. Yankees’ fans on the Internet made themselves known yesterday. If you went on websites, blogs, Twitter, etc. they were all wondering why rookies Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza were not in the lineup. Bring them up only to sit? Keep guys like Hicks in the lineup? Yankees Universe was NOT happy when that lineup came out. For the sake of integrity for this blog, some numbers that Michael Kay alluded to on last night’s broadcast. You can’t ignore this. We have been seeing this every day. LeMahieu (toe problem) 10 for 69 since Aug. 8. . 145. NO extra base hits. Stanton by month: April .269; May .301; June .176, July .156, August .130. 0 for 3 last night, 3 strikeouts. Since June 1, Stanton is hitting .159. That is Gallo-like bad. Achilles problem. Torres .186 since July 13. 6 walks. 50 strikeouts. Hicks starting with 2nd game of a DH on July 21. . 155, NO extra base hits. Donaldson has pretty much been in the .220s all year. Higashioka is at .191. Even Rizzo, despite 30 HR, is only at .225. Marwin Gonzalez doesn’t play much. But he’s 0 for his last 29. If a team hits, you can carry someone like Isiah Kiner-Falefa. This team is hitting .239. That makes IKF’s lack of power stand out more despite his .261 batting average. Those numbers are one reason the fans were upset at the lineup last night. Granted Cabrera went 0 for 3, and Peraza, in his MLB debut, struck out, but give the kids a chance. They can’t do much worse than what has been going on. I don’t know. Whatever the hitting coaches are telling these guys, it isn’t working, or some guys are stubborn and aren’t listening. Maybe some guys are hurt more than what is being let on. One last thing before the recap. The MVP thing. When was the last time Ohtani played a meaningful game? One that had pennant race implications for his team? The Angels were out of the race by the end of June. Take Ohtani off the Angels and they are still a crappy fourth place team. Since the All-Star Game, Aaron Judge is hitting .321 with 18 HR. Of course, other teams are and have been pitching around him based on what the rest of the lineup has NOT been doing. While the ship is sinking, the one lifeboat in the Yankees lineup has been Judge. The award is for the most VALUABLE player. Not Player of the Year, Decade or Century. Ohtani is great. Granted. But look at the numbers. Who right now is more VALUABLE? Ok, enough. Recap. The Yanks were shut out on five hits. They struck out 13x. German (L, 2-3) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 3.12 Weissert 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. 10.13 Banda 0 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 6.75 Marwin Gonzalez 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00 POSITION PLAYER.
Posted in Mike's Musings, Players, Regular Season, The Owner
Tagged Banda, Benintendi, Cabrera, German, Gonzalez, Peraza, Rizzo, Steinbrenner, Weissert
Before the game, the Yankees’ depleted bullpen took another hit, and in one of the strangest ways possible. Aroldis Chapman had to go on the IL
due to an infected wound from a recent tattoo he got. Sheesh. He joins King, Green, Castro, Abreu, Effross and Holmes on the IL. (Did I miss anyone?) Holmes should be coming off of it soon. As for Schmidt, he has to start today because of Cortes being on the IL. Way to trade pitching depth at the trade deadline, Cashman. No corresponding move yet. I’d guess maybe Ryan Weber again? The Yanks’ (78-49) offense was practically non-existent in this game, wasting an excellent outing by Domingo German. German pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings but received no support. The only hit the Yankees had in the 3-2, 11-inning loss to Oakland came on a double by Oswaldo Cabrera in the top of the sixth inning. The scoreless duel went into extra innings and to that (Ugh) ghost runner on second base. In the top of the tenth, Kyle Higashioka was the ghost runner. Andrew Benintendi tried to bunt him to third, but Higashioka was thrown out. Benintendi stole second while Aaron Judge struck out. Josh Donaldson was intentionally walked to set up a DP but Anthony Rizzo was HBP to load the bases. A WP and error on the play scored two runs. The Yanks couldn’t do anything after that, much as they didn’t do anything all game long. Two gift runs. But the Yanks would eventually lose by gifting one back. But in the bottom of the tenth, the A’s started with their ghost runner, and Ron Marinaccio (see above about the depleted bullpen) got the first out but then gave up a game-tying 2-run HR to Stephen Vogt. He then got a groundout, and on a strikeout, the pitch got away for a WP and the batter reached. A single followed, but Lou Trivino came in to get a strikeout and send the game into the eleventh. The Yanks did nothing in the top of the eleventh. In the bottom half, a walk put runners on first and second with no one out. Trivino got a fly out, then a ground ball appeared to be an inning-ending DP. The Yanks got the force at second, but D.J. LeMahieu threw the ball away in going to first trying for the DP and the winning run scored. The Yanks challenged the slide into second, but the call stood. 3-2 A’s. 11 innings. The Yanks only managed one hit. German 7 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 5 K. 1 HBP. 3.19 Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.52 Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1.93 Trivino (L, 2-8) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.14 (Combined stats A’s/NYY)