Tag Archives: Girardi

Game 44. Yanks fall to .500.

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Sorry for the late post. I was at last night’s game and got home around 2 a.m.

As a result, there will be NO minor league report from Sunday’s games.

On a night when Bernie Williams’ #51 was retired, and Derek Jeter made his first trip back to Yankee Stadium since his retirement, the Yanks continued their funk, losing their tenth game in their last eleven (sixth in a row) to fall to 22-22, even .500. They remain in 2nd place in what is so far a weak AL East, 1 1/2 games back.

The ingredients for a loss were as follows: mental and physical lapses in the field (2B Jose Pirela), a starting pitcher who couldn’t give you five innings (Capuano), an offense that for the fourth time in eleven games gave you two runs in the first inning and nothing thereafter, and a bullpen that let a close game slip away.

Jose Pirela made a mental mistake on the first play of the game, and the batter almost reached because Pirela was too lackadaisical in fielding a ground ball. The play was only called an out upon review. Pirela then booted the next ball. When Prince Fielder doubled to score the run, it appeared as if there was a play at the plate, but Pirela’s throw home on the relay wasn’t good. Pirela was only charged with one error, but had made three bad plays, and Texas had an unearned run.

The Yanks got two in the first when Gardner (who has been slumping badly…down to .279, .196 since May 9)  reached on an error, then Headley singled. Gardner however, was thrown out at third on Headley’s single. Maybe it was a case of over-aggressiveness, of someone trying to make things happen while his team is in the midst of a losing streak, but there you have it. A-Rod singled, and after a ground out that moved up the runners, McCann singled in two runs to make it 2-1 Yankees.

But in the second, on a 2-2 pitch with two out and a runner on, Capuano gave up a 2-run HR that hit the top of the wall and bounced over. One strike away from getting out of the inning and …. …. I suspect Capuano, who in two starts has given a total of 7 1/3 innings, will be the one pulled when Tanaka or Nova become ready. The Yanks need a starter who’ll give more innings than Capuano has provided so far.

It remained that way, 3-2, for a while, but the Yanks’ offense (minus Beltran, who has the flu, the slumping Young (.240, 2 for his last 28, played CF and Garrett Jones was in RF)) couldn’t do anything and the Yanks’ bullpen gave up two in the seventh to seal their doom.

It is a good thing Girardi has some job security. I’m blaming none of this on him, it’s the players, but it may be a good thing if he (or Hal Steinbrenner, who was there for the Bernie ceremony) ripped into the players after the game. Hal, especially, should pull a page from his dad’s playbook. Losing ten out of eleven is not acceptable. A lesser manager than Girardi may be on the hot seat. But these players need to be held accountable, especially with some of the bad mental errors they are currently making out there.

It doesn’t get any easier. The defending AL champion Royals are in now, and the Yanks are heading west soon.

They have gone from 21-12 to 22-22. That should be a wake up call to tell them to pull their heads out of their you-know-where’s.

The good news is that in a weak division so far, losing ten out of eleven—even this early—hasn’t buried them. There is time to right the ship, and it needs to be done now.

Capuano (L, 0-2, 7.36) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 walks, 4 K.
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.00
Wilson 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.79.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Carpenter 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.19.
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.93.

I was kind of hoping, but didn’t get, the MLB debut of Jacob Lindgren, who was brought up yesterday. Brandon Pinder was sent down after having thrown 48 pitches on Saturday.

Game 41. Slump continues as Yanks lose, 3-2.

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Sometimes over a course of a season, you question a manager’s moves. I have to do that here with the Yanks’ 3-2 loss to the Nats last night.

In the top of the seventh, in a 2-2 game,  Joe Girardi let Adam Warren hit for himself. Warren then coughed up the lead and the game in the bottom of the inning. Granted, Warren was pitching well (from LOHUD: Warren had retired 13 of the past 15 batters before that seventh inning when an error and two walks loaded the bases) except for the two solo HR he gave up. But I might have PH there. Joe decided to save his pinch-hitters for later. I can see that, but it didn’t work out. Besides, there were two out anyway and no one on when he let Warren bat for himself.

I’m just saying that I might have PH there, knowing that Warren was not used to going that deep into games. But horses for courses…

The only other time in his career Warren started a game and pitched into the seventh inning was in his previous start. He isn’t used to it. Granted, it’s nice to get him to do so, but I’d rather see him do it for the first or second time in a game where he has a cushion, not in a 2-2 game. I was wondering why Girardi didn’t PH for him at the time and was really wondering why after Warren coughed up the lead and game in the bottom of the inning.

As a result, the Yanks lost their seventh game in their last eight. Amazingly, they are still tied for first with a 22-19 record as they hit the quarter pole of the season. It looks like 90 wins may be enough to win this division, maybe less.

For the third time (I think) in this slump, the Yanks scored two runs in the first inning and nothing thereafter. Gardner singled, Beltran doubled him home, was moved to third on a groundout and McCann hit a SF. After that, nothing.

The home plate umpire made a few questionable calls. Washington’s Bryce Harper and manager Matt Williams were ejected. The last pitch of the game, a called strike three to A-Rod, looked awful as well.

After the Yanks scored two in the top of the first, Warren gave up solo dingers in the bottom of the first and in the fourth. The winning run was unearned due to an error by Headley, whose defense this year has been disappointing so far. Nine errors in 1/4 of the season.

Warren 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 h, 4 walks and 4 K. (L , 2-3, 4.26)
Wilson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.97.
Rogers 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 3.12.

The Yanks are off today. They come back home after a brutal road trip (2-7) to face the Rangers this weekend. I’ll be up at the Sunday night game. Before that game, the Yanks will honor Bernie Williams and retire his #51.

Odds and Ends.

Some odds and ends.

I saw an article that stated that according to insiders, Manager Joe Girardi did broach the subject of dropping Derek Jeter down in the batting order last season. Jeter hit just .256-4-50, OPS+ just 75 in his final season. The idea was shot down by upper management, and apparently Jeter wouldn’t go for moving him out of the #2 slot in the order either. Girardi knew that to do so would open a can of worms, so before it even hit the media, he apparently went through upper management and possibly Jeter himself. Would dropping Jeter have benefitted the Yanks? Possibly. Enough to make the playoffs? Possibly not. Enough to make the playoffs and soothe Jeter’s ego? Possibly not. But it’s interesting to note that the idea of dropping Derek (where to? 8? 9?) was considered.

Jason Giambi retired. He was with the Yanks from 2002-2008, hitting 209 of his 440 HR as a Yankee. Giambi, 44, hit 440 HR in his career, hit .277 with an excellent OPS+ of 139, won an MVP award with the A’s in 2000, was runner-up in 2001, and is one of five Yankees with back-to-back 40 HR seasons (2002 and 2003). He hit two homers off of Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. He won’t make the HOF however, because of his admitted PED usage and BALCO connection. It’s said he is a great teammate, and Terry Francona, manager of the Indians (Giambi’s most recent team) states that Giambi is a “manager in waiting.” His 162 g. average was .277-32-103, OPS+ 139, with 98 walks.

Alex Rodriguez issued a written “apology.” Really, I don’t want to hear it. Who believes anything he says or does anymore? He’s exhausted all credibility. Really, A-Rod, shut up and play. Show us you have something, if anything, left. It’s noted that he was suspended for all of 2014. What’s forgotten is that he played in only 44 games in 2013 and even then looked on the downside.

The Yanks signed Jared Burton to a minor league deal. The righty reliever is 33 and went 3-5, 4.36, ERA+ 91 in 2014 for the Twins with three saves. For his career he is 18-19, 3.44, 10 saves, ERA+ 123.  A depth move. He was 3-2 with a superb 2.18 ERA (ERA+ 189) and five saves for the Twins in 2012.

When I get time (I’ve been doing my taxes, need to do other family members taxes, working (of course) and …. well, shoveling snow and freezing my ass off…) I want to look at the future. I expect the Yanks to tread water for a while, but to me, the 2020 team could be interesting. Players (top prospects) would be in their primes (providing they prove MLB caliber players and aren’t traded away), old guys like CC, Teix, Beltran and A-Rod gone (maybe McCann as well)….it could be interesting to look at what could be the Yankee future. Stay tuned. Hopefully when Yoan Moncada signs (before the end of this month) I can include him on that 2020 future team I want to write about. Will the Yanks fork over the $$$$ to land Moncada?

Game 150. Yanks lose, 6-1.

Michael Pineda has an ERA of 2.15.

He also has a W-L record of 3-5, since the Yanks don’t hit for him. Tuesday night was no exception as the Yanks lost 6-1 to the Rays.

Pineda went 5 1/3, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 walks and 5 K. He left losing 2-1.

The bullpen didn’t keep the Yanks in the game after Pineda left.

Josh Outman 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Overall ERA 2.86.

Esmiel Rogers 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. Overall ERA 5.31.

Rich Hill 2 batters, 2 hits. 0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks or K. Overall ERA 3.86.

David Phelps 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 4.35.

David Huff 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Overall ERA 3.54.

Things got a bit heated when Derek Jeter was HBP and David Phelps threw a pitch inside in retaliation. The Rays have hit a couple batters in recent Rays/Yanks games recently, including Jeter last week as well as the pitch that hit Headley in the chin. Phelps, Girardi and coach Tony Pena were ejected.

Jeter’s 0-for string reached 26. His batting average is down to .249, a 29 point drop since August 2nd.

Earlier in the day, the Yanks lost their hottest hitter, Martin Prado, for the season due to an emergency appendectomy.

Masahiro Tanaka will test out his arm (and that hopefully-recovering torn ligament in his elbow) with a start on Sunday.

The only Yanks run in the game came on an rbi single by Ichiro in the second. They were 1 for 10 with RISP.

One other sad note: The Yanks are dead last in the AL in runs scored.

With the loss, the Yanks remain in 3rd place in the AL East (Baltimore clinched the division last evening) at 76-74, and there is a chance they may finish without a winning record for the first time since 1992. They are six out of the final playoff spot with just 12 games remaining and would have to jump four teams.

Game 148. Robertson can’t hold lead, Yanks lose 3-2.

David Robertson threw 35 pitches on Friday in one of the doubleheader games. He threw 11 Saturday in saving that game. He was brought in yesterday to save a 2-1 Yankees lead in the 9th.

You just knew what was going to happen. Robertson had nothing, gave up two runs and the Yanks lost 3-2.

On the ESPN telecast, the announcers basically said that to them, it appeared that the Yanks were basically saying “you are a free agent, we aren’t going to re-sign you, so we’ll just run you into the ground.”

Seriously, there was no one else Girardi could have brought in to get three outs? Robertson for a third straight day?

Martin Prado homered in the second, his 12th overall HR of the year, to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. Baltimore tied it in the sixth.

Brian McCann put the Yanks up 2-1 in the top of the 9th with his 20th HR of the year.

But then Robertson gave up doubles to Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce to tie it (and see my recent post “You were saying” about Pearce, a one-time Yankee), and after a fly out, a double to Kelly Johnson (remember him? Yup, that Kelly Johnson from the Yanks earlier this year) to win it.

Kuroda went 7, 1 R, 6 H, 0 walks and 5 K. 3.81. Too bad the Yanks, like usual for this year, didn’t give any run support to a starter who pitched well.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.35. His 2 K tied Mariano Rivera’s record of 130 K in a season by a Yankees’ reliever. It looks more and more like he will be the closer next year and the Yanks will let Robertson leave via free agency and take the money saved to shore up other needs. This year’s first-round draft pick, Jacob Lindgren, may wind up being the set-up man. We’ll see what happens this winter.

Robertson 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 k. He falls to 2-5, 2.93.

The Yanks fall to 76-72. They remain in third place, 12 1/2 behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East with 14 to go. They are one game behind second-place Toronto. The Orioles’ magic # for eliminating the Yanks from the division title is down to two. As far as that final playoff spot is concerned, the Yanks are five out with 14 to go and would have to jump over four teams to get there.

The Yanks finished 85-77 last year. They would need to go 9-5 in their last 14 games just to meet that mark this year. That’s what has been disappointing. They had a lot of injuries last year (Jeter and Teix both missed most of the year), and with the free agent signings of Beltran, McCann, Ellsbury and Tanaka, you thought the record would be better, or at least the same—not worse. Yes, there have been injuries this year, but still, it’s been disappointing.

Derek Jeter went 0 for 4. He is now 0 for his last 24 and down to .250 (actually, .249534, which is rounded up to .250). He did hit a couple of balls well last night, but no luck. His OPS+ is down to 70 and he’s hitting .172 since August 2nd. It makes you wish the season, and his career, were over already.

It’s not like you want Jeter’s career to be over, and yes, you’d like for a miracle to happen and for the Yanks to make the playoffs (isn’t happening) but you just don’t want Jeter to go on to the end like this. Another point fell off the lifetime batting average. He started this year at .312, and it’s down to .309.

There are 14 games to go, and how many Jeter plays in we don’t know. You’d hate to see him below .250 or even .240. You’d hate to see another point drop off that lifetime batting average.

You hope he has one or two multi-hit games left in him.

But does he?

You were saying?

In 2012, a certain NY beat writer arrogantly dismissed me when I mentioned that the Yanks should call up Steve Pearce, who that year in AAA hit .318-11-30 in 53 games for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At the time I advocated for his call up, the Yanks had some injuries/slumping players, I forget which. It was probably a combination of the two.

Now this reporter usually dismisses minor leaguers. I don’t know why he doesn’t like to give them chances. After all, he was a rookie in his job at one time. Someone had to give HIM a chance at one time. Often, he has no clue who is doing well in the minors or at what level. He’d rather bring in a washed up veteran than give a kid a chance.

I remember Suzyn Waldman once urging the Yanks to bring a 45-year-old David Wells out of retirement rather than bring up and see what a promising minor league prospect had. Really? You couldn’t give a youngster a chance to establish himself but want to bring a faded, retired veteran out of retirement? But then, we remember her going way over the top when the Yanks brought Roger Clemens out of retirement in 2007.

For all the praise heaped on the Core Five (and yes, I include Bernie Williams along with the “Core Four” of Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada), someone had to give them that first chance. Now, a quintet that that coming along at about the same time (Bernie came up four years before the others) doesn’t happen but once in a generation, and the Yanks’ minor league talent isn’t as deep as it was 20-25 years ago with those players, but people, especially youngsters, need chances.

But I digress. In 2012, Pearce played for three different major league teams at the age of 29. He wasn’t a prospect, but someone who bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors for Pittsburgh from 2007-2011. In that timeframe he hit .232-9-52 in 185 games. His OPS+ was 79. Nothing to write home about.

In 2012, for three teams (Balt/Hou/NYY) Pearce hit .239-4-26 in 61 games. OPS+ 92. He was 4 for 25, 1 HR, 4 RBI for the Yankees in 12 games. Nothing to write home about, and probably a good cause for the one reporter’s arrogant dismissal.

But sometimes all it takes is a player to get a chance and to be used right and managed correctly, which is what I hoped the Yanks could do with Pearce in 2012.

In 2013, Pearce only played in 44 games with Baltimore, but put up an OPS+ of 114. Solid. .261-4-13.

This year, the 1B/OF has an OPS+ of an excellent 146. .284-16-39 as a platoon player. Now, Pearce is a righty batter and LF at Camden Yards is as much of a short porch—-with a short wall—as RF is at Yankee Stadium. After all, it’s just 364 to LCF there (most places have it 370-390, and Yankee Stadium has a 399). That short LCF may have helped Pearce.

But look at those numbers. Pearce could have fit right into this Yankees team as a legitimate 1B backup to Teixeira (rather than using the players the Yanks HAVE used this year there). He also could have been a legitimate righty-hitting backup to Gardner and platoon partner for the power-challenged Ichiro in RF.

In 2013-2014 combined, Pearce has hit .278-20-52 in 136 games, 425 at bats. The OPS+ is a superb 136.

Take a look at those numbers. You think they wouldn’t fit in well with these offensively challenged Yankees?

Sometimes, all it takes is an opportunity, and a manager who gives you that opportunity. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses, and who maximizes those strengths and minimizes those weaknesses by platooning you —playing you and sitting you at the appropriate times. It appears Buck has done that with Pearce down in Baltimore.

We have no idea whether Pearce’s recent success will continue. After all, he is 31 now. But his 2013 and 2014 seasons have me doing a few things.

One is to shake my head and wonder what might have been. Could Girardi have utilized Pearce as Buck has? His numbers match anything any current Yankee has done this year. As I wrote above, he would have been a fine fit on this team as a backup 1B/sometimes DH/RF platoon/backup OF.

Besides shaking my head, there is also the satisfaction of having the last laugh.

Sometimes, all one needs is a chance.

Game 135. Another painful loss, 4-3.

The Yanks had a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth in Toronto. Brandon McCarthy was working on a two-hit shutout.

Then the game slipped away. McCarthy got two outs but then gave up back-to-back HRs to Melky Cabrera and Juan Bautista to make it 3-2. He then got out of the inning.

Instead of pulling him, manager Joe Girardi left him in for the seventh. Mistake. Edwin Encarnacion homered to tie the game and McCarthy walked the next batter. Dellin Betances got two strikeouts, but in the interim, the runner stole second. Betances then gave up a single which turned out to be the game-winning hit before getting another strikeout to finish the inning.

Toronto won 4-3. The loss puts the Yanks 9 back of Baltimore in the division with just 27 games to play. Worse yet, it knocks the 70-65 Yanks 3 1/2 games out of the last wild card spot and now to get there they would need to pass three teams—Cleveland, Seattle and Detroit.

Brett Gardner led off the game with a HR (16). The Yanks got a run in the fourth on a Cervelli single and another in the fifth when Gardner (who missed the cycle by just a single) tripled and scored on a throwing error.

McCarthy went 6+, 4 R, 5 H (but 3 were HR), 2 walks and 4 K. He falls to 8-14, 4.19 overall, 5-4, 2.80 as a Yankee.

Betances 2 IP, 0 R, 2 h, 0 walks and 4 K. 1.46.

The Yanks are off today.

Derek Jeter got hit #3445 of his career, but has been slumping lately. 16 for his last 85.

The Yanks did make a minor move, acquiring pitcher Chaz Roe.