To no one’s surprise, Aaron Judge was named as one of the three finalists for the AL MVP award. He is considered the favorite to win the award. I still get ticked by people pushing for Alvarez (it’s a regular season award, people!) or Ohtani (the Angels finished 33 games back. So, you are telling me that without him they are 45 back? Whoopdie damn do.).
The Contemporary Baseball Committee will be looking at 8 ex-players for the HOF. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. Five of the eight would be controversial selections because of steroids and/or personality issues, despite in some cases 3000+ hits, 500+ HR, 300+ wins. I won’t get into that. We know about all that. That leaves McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy. I believe McGriff, who is tied on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig with 493 HR (and no steroids) should have already been put in. I’d love Mattingly, but Mattingly’s 1994-1989 pre-back injury (HOF quality) and 1990-1995 post-back injury numbers (merely above average) are drastically different. If Donnie could have only stayed healthy and put up numbers 1990-1995 that matched his 1984-1989 numbers, then he would be a more serious candidate. Murphy I am on the fence on. A back-to-back MVP (1982 and 1983) that like Maris (1960 and 1961) isn’t in the HOF. Maybe a few more HR (he had 398) or a higher average (.265) would have given him a better shot. Once he turned 32, he wasn’t the same player. A few more seasons at his peak would have given him a better chance. The Yanks have not only players as free agents, but coaches too. Pitching coach Matt Blake is a free agent. (GM Brian Cashman is coming back but as of now is working pro bono. His contract expired October 31 and no new deal has been done yet). Assistant pitching coach Hensley Meulens is gone to be hitting coach for Colorado. As expected, the Yanks picked up the team option for Luis Severino at $15MM for 2023. Anthony Rizzo opted out of his contract and is a free agent. Here are the Yankees’ free agents and my thoughts. Andrew Benintendi. Yanks will make an offer to try to keep him. Zack Britton. Interesting call. With Chapman departing, Yanks could use a lefty reliever, but Britton will be 35 next year and missed almost all of 2022 after a poor 2021 and TJ surgery. Pass. Use $ for Judge. Matt Carpenter. A tough call. Turns 37 around Thanksgiving. If Stanton is DH most of the time, where does that leave Carpenter? I think it depends on if Judge stays or goes. If Judge stays, pass. If Judge goes, then the Yanks may look to sign Carpenter and Stanton and Carpenter could switch between RF and DH. Miguel Castro. Pass. The Yanks could probably replace him with Weissert at a lower cost (save $ for Judge). They already have Trivino, Marinaccio, King, Holmes, as RH relievers, as well as Schmidt and German if Schmidt and German aren’t starters. And Stephen Ridings should be over his injury issues that cost him 2022. Aroldis Chapman. Pass. Goodbye and Good Riddance for missing that mandatory workout before the ALDS. Marwin Gonzalez. Pass. Only hit .185 in 2022. Since 2019, has only hit .198. Oswaldo Cabrera can fill his utility role for less money. 34 next year. Like Britton, pass, go with youth and less $$. Save $ for Judge. Chad Green. Pass. Will miss most if not all of 2023 because of TJ surgery. Instead of paying him will need to throw that $ at Judge. Aaron Judge. Obviously the #1 Yankees target and priority. Anthony Rizzo. The Yanks will look to retain him. Jameson Taillon. Questionable. Even if the Yanks get Judge back, is there enough money left to go after a Carlos Rodon (my choice)? Would they give a low in years but high in $$ deal to Verlander, DeGrom or Kershaw? Could go either way here. Of course, getting rid of the salaries of Donaldson and Hicks would help. As of now, the Yanks think both have something left (excuse me while I get sick), but of course they aren’t going to say anything that diminishes whatever trade value they have.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, Offseason Moves, Players, The Front Office
Tagged Benintendi, Blake, Britton, Carpenter, Castro, Chapman, Donaldson, Gonzalez, Green, Hicks, Judge, Mattingly, Meulens, Rizzo, Severino, Taillon
Before the ALCS began, a couple of moves. Off the roster are Hicks (injured, done for year), Luetge and Gonzalez. On go Peraza, Montas and Weissert. For those wanting Giancarlo Stanton in the OF and Matt Carpenter DH-ing, they got their wish. But you know the old saying. Be careful what you wish for. Carpenter’s story is a nice one. He fought to come back from a fractured foot. But it is clear he should not be on the roster (although, to be fair, with injuries to Hicks, Benintendi and LeMahieu, who could they put on?). He’s 0 for 6 in the postseason, all strikeouts. He’s 36 years old. He was 0 for 4 last night. All strikeouts. Another 36-year-old, Josh Donaldson, also disappointed, going 0 for 3 last night with a walk in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to Houston. The few chances the Yanks had came down to Donaldson and/or Carpenter needing to come up with a big hit. They didn’t even put the ball in play. I was not a fan of getting Donaldson, who is 37 soon and who earns almost $22MM a season. I didn’t want to let Gio Urshela, who is six years younger than Donaldson, go. Urshela hit .285-13-64 this year, OPS+ 121. He cost $6.55MM. Donaldson showed serious signs of slippage due to age. He hit .222-15-62, OPS+ 94. Donaldson’s defensive metrics seem to have been much better than Urshela’s, though. You’d have to weigh the cost, and the decline of Donaldson’s offense against the better defense he supposedly provided. But the way Donaldson has declined, you have to worry about 2023 and even 2024. He has a $21.75MM deal for 2023 with up to $550K award bonus available. There is a team option of $16MM for 2024 (I can’t see that being picked up) with a $8MM buyout option that may increase to $12MM based on 2023 awards. So, it looks like the Yanks are stuck with him for 2023 and will have to cough up a lot of money via a buyout to be rid of him in 2024. Terrible contract the Yanks took on. Anyway, it’s apparent that Donaldson should not be hitting fifth. Nor should Carpenter be in the lineup. But what are the solutions? Let me get into the game recap and I will try to find one. The same old, same old. For those sick of losing to Tom Brady (45 years old) year after year and want him to go home to his money and supermodel wife (or ex-wife? Marital issues), we feel the same about 39-year-old Justin Verlander, who apparently wants to pitch until he is 45. Take your money and go home to your beautiful supermodel wife. We are tired of losing to you. Ugh. 2006, 2011, 2012 (those years with Tigers), 2017, 2019 and maybe 2022? The Yanks have to find a way to beat this guy. He is 5-1, 2.62 vs. the Yanks in the postseason. Just kidding about the go home already regarding Brady and Verlander, but you get the drift. You get tired of losing to them. Although, truth be told, a lot of people have been tired of losing to the Yankees since 1921. Verlander is a future first ballot Hall-of-Famer. The history on pitchers like that is to get them early or you won’t get them at all. That is what happened last night. Top 1st: Donaldson struck out with 2 men on base to end the inning. Bottom 1st: Judge saves two runs with a diving catch. Top 2nd. Bader homers (again!) to put Yanks up 1-0. I would move the red-hot Bader up to first in the lineup and drop Torres to fifth, which enables me to drop Donaldson down. Bottom 2nd. Taillon is one strike away from getting out of the inning when he gives up a game-tying double. Taillon did all we could ask for. 4 1/3 innings, only one run. He struggled but kept the Yanks in the game. Top 3rd. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, both Donaldson and Carpenter struck out. This was the ballgame right there. They left Verlander off the hook and he then settled in. A big hit by Donaldson in the first or either Donaldson or Carpenter here and you have Verlander on the ropes. Instead, he became unhittable. The Yanks got only 5 hits in the game and struck out 17 times. Once again this postseason, the runs came on homers and the Yanks did not string hits together. Bottom 4. Stanton makes a great play in LF to rob a batter of a double. Bottom 5. Schmidt in for Taillon after a one-out double. An intentional walk and another walk load the bases, but Schmidt gets a DP to get out of it. BUT … Bottom 6. Schmidt gives up 2 HR and Houston goes up 3-1. Bottom 7. Frankie Montas comes in. Montas?! Ugh. And he gives up a HR. 4-1, Houston. Anthony Rizzo homered for the Yanks in the top of the 8th to make it 4-2 but that was it. Jose Trevino looks like he ran out of gas around Labor Day. Great first half, but he hit .177 in September/October and is now 1 for 15 in the postseason. Most losses to the Astros are just like this. Pitching OK but not good enough. Bats silent. We have seen this in the 2015 wild card game (a 3-0 loss), the 2017 ALCS (losses of 2-1, 2-1 and 4-0) and the 2019 ALCS (3-2 in 11 innings, 4-1). Between losing to Verlander and losing to Houston in a close game, same old script. Severino starts for the Yanks tonight in Game 2. It’s time to flip the script. Rizzo solo HR Stanton 2 hits Bader solo HR. Taillon 4 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 0 K. Schmidt (LOSS) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR. Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Montas 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. Castro 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. One last thing. Some players have physical gifts, but you question their mental acumen. Those Yankees’ teams of the late 1990’s had players who were not only gifted physically, but also mentally. Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, O’Neill, Tino, etc. You usually didn’t see them do anything mentally wrong or boneheaded. The same can’t be said for some players today. The Yanks need some more players with the mental toughness of those past players. Just saying. San Diego came back from an early 4-0 hole to even up the NLCS at a game apiece with an 8-5 win over the Phillies.
Posted in Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason
Tagged Bader, Carpenter, Castro, Donaldson, Gonzalez, Hicks, Judge, Luetge, Montas, Peraza, Rizzo, Schmidt, Severino, Stanton, Taillon, Trevino, Trivino, Weissert
The Yankees took a 2-run lead into the ninth inning last night. In 167 previous instances in postseason play, the Yankees had never blown that lead. Meanwhile Cleveland was 0 for 41 when trailing by two or more entering the ninth in their postseason history. Unfortunately for the Yankees last night, there is a first time for everything. The Yankees blew a 5-3 lead, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and lost 6-5. They were ONE STRIKE away from winning the game. They are down two games to one in the series and must win tonight to stay alive. Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees. The odds aren’t good for the Yanks. The winner of Game 3 in a series that was tied at one each has won the series 72% of the time. The Yanks did beat the odds in 1977. If Cleveland is to slay the dragon, so to speak, they aren’t doing it by chopping its head off. They are doing it with pinpricks. Little bleeders and dinkers that find a hole. Cue Roberta Flack. They are killing you softly. The Yanks roster usage and bullpen usage is coming into question. Here is a link https://www.mlb.com/news/yankees-lose-alds-game-3-2022 taking you to that. Clay Holmes wasn’t used, much to the surprise of Holmes and teammate Luis Severino. Holmes said he was available. Manager Aaron Boone said he didn’t want to use Holmes back-to-back games because of soreness. Fine good that does you, to have relievers compromised come playoff time. Of course, the Yankees are already shorthanded in the bullpen with King, Green, Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, Montas (even though he’s a starter), and Effross all down. That lack of bullpen depth is hurting them right now. A 10-inning loss followed by blowing a 2-run ninth inning lead. With Holmes down, the way Boone handled the bullpen the rest of the game comes into question. See the article. It’s not just Bryan Hoch of mlb asking the questions about Trivino or Loaisiga’s usage. The YES postgame broadcasting team, like Michael Kay and John Flaherty (and, should Boone need to be replaced, Flaherty would be my choice to replace him) asked the same questions. The article I referenced above also alludes to some communication problems it seems the Yankees have in the clubhouse. If so, there is a major problem with the front office or manager, or BOTH. In five seasons as Yankees manager, Boone has had two seasons of 100 or more wins and another of 99. Of course, one season was the 60-game Covid shortened season. Success there. But you now have to wonder if he is a “push-button” manager, who can take a team to the playoffs, but can’t go further because he gets outmanaged by a Kevin Cash, Alex Cora or Terry Francona come playoff time. Just my opinion, but I think it is a fair question, and has Brian Cashman run his course? Put it this way. When your own broadcasting team second guesses you… The game didn’t start out well. Luis Severino struggled in the first and second innings, giving up a run in both innings and the Yanks were down 2-0 after two innings. They were lucky it wasn’t worse. A couple balls looked like they would leave the yard, but Aaron Judge caught them on the warning track. In the top of the third, Oswaldo Cabrera doubled, and Aaron Judge later hit a 2-run HR to tie the game. Judge was 0 for 9 with 8 strikeouts before finally coming through. In the fifth, Harrison Bader singled and one out later, Cabrera homered to put the Yanks up 4-2. Cleveland got a run in the sixth, all after Severino got the first two outs. Isiah Kiner Falefa’s defense has been shaky this series and I would not be surprised if Oswald Peraza is the Yanks’ starting SS next year. One play to start the rally was ruled a hit, but you wonder if Peraza would have made the play. Heck, you could make a good case that Peraza should be on THIS postseason roster. It could have been worse. A line drive caught by Gleyber Torres was the third out. That would have tied the game. Instead, the Yanks still led 4-3. Bader, impressive in his short time with the Yanks so far after the trade, homered in the seventh to make it 5-3 Yanks. The Yanks’ runs were on the HR. They only got five hits all game to Cleveland’s 15. Cleveland strung hits. The Yankees did not. Then to the ninth. Boone wanted to stretch out Wandy Peralta, who had pitched well, and have him close it out. A one-out blooper to left for a double. Just like in Game 2, Cabrera could not get to it. On the postgame show, Paul O’Neill, the Yankees legend, stated that Cabrera is a good fielder, but the converted infielder is great laterally but still has to learn more coming in or out. My question is, with Tim Locastro being a more experienced outfielder, and with more speed than that of Cabrera, should Boone have replaced Cabrera with Locastro for defensive purposes late in Game 2 and Game 3? Could Locastro have made those plays? And what is Aaron Hicks doing on the roster for if you aren’t going to use him for defensive purposes there? Or Marwin Gonzalez? You have to use the WHOLE roster come playoff time, not just have guys on there to fill out the roster. Hicks and Gonzalez are two guys I don’t expect to be on the team in 2023. If your confidence in them is that low where you can’t use an experienced outfielder for a rookie with 9 games of LF experience under his belt (he had 27 in RF), then why are you carrying them? Steven Kwan, who had three hits in this game and who is killing the Yanks in this series, served a ball to left to move the runner, Myles Straw, to third, and I do mean served. Looked like a tennis backhand. In came Clarke Schmidt, not Holmes. A single to score the runner and make it 5-4. Then, another blooper. Had the infield not been in a shift, it would have been an easy popup to SS. Instead, bases loaded. Schmidt got a strikeout for the second out, then got two strikes on Oscar Gonzalez. But on a 1-2 pitch, Gonzalez singled up the middle for two runs and the ballgame. 6-5, Cleveland. Judge 2-run HR Bader 2 hits, solo HR. I’d consider leading him off. He’s hot, has speed … Cabrera 2 hits, 2-run HR. The Yanks in three games, are hitting .172. Of the 11 runs they have scored, 10 are by the HR. Trevino’s SF in Game 1 is the only run not via HR. They have to start stringing hits together. Severino 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. Settled in after rocky start. Trivino (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Could have been stretched out more? Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. See Trivino. Peralta (H) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Two bleeping bleeding bloopers. Schmidt (LOSS, BLOWN SAVE) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. Concerning: Severino: 10 postseason games, ERA 5.17. He needs to be dominating. He hasn’t done so. If the Yanks advance, they will face their nemesis, Houston, in the ALCS. Houston swept Seattle by winning Game 3, 1-0, in 18 innings. A shocker in the NL. #5 and #6 will meet each other (Padres vs Phillies) for the NL pennant. Gone are 111-win LA, 101-win Atlanta, 101-win Mets. Even the 92-win Cardinals. Instead, it is an 89-win vs an 87-win matchup. UPDATE: One more thing. Aroldis Chapman gave up HR that sent the Yanks home in 2019 and 2020. This year, his own selfishness may doom the Yanks. It is becoming apparent that losing his closer spot affected him, and that the possibility of being left off the playoff roster made him mope so that he missed a mandatory workout. So that selfishness may wind up costing the Yanks again. He is a free agent. Good riddance. May he never wear a Yankees uniform again, not even to an Old-Timer’s game.
Posted in Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Media, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Scandal, The Front Office
Tagged Bader, Boone, Cabrera, Cashman, Chapman, Cole, Gonzalez, Hicks, Holmes, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, Loaisiga, Locastro, Peralta, Peraza, Schmidt, Severino, Trivino
Now we start wondering if #62 will come at all. Aaron Judge was 1 for 5 with a single in the first game of a day/night DH, a game the Yankees (99-61) won 5-4. He is now hitting .310 after that game. The Yanks have just the night game tonight and an afternoon game tomorrow left in their season before their postseason begins with Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on October 11. The Yanks did hit three HR in the game, including the first MLB HR by Oswald Peraza. Oswaldo Cabrera got the scoring started with a HR in the top of the first inning (6). Yanks’ starter Jameson Taillon gave two runs back in the bottom of the first and had to get out of a bases-loaded jam or else he would have given up more than that. Texas up 2-1 after one inning. Peraza hit his HR in the top of the second to tie the game. The Yanks went up 3-2 in the top of the fifth. Peraza (who has been playing great since he has been called up, as has Cabrera) singled and stole second. After a popup, Marwin Gonzalez singled in Peraza. But Taillon gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the fifth and Texas took a 4-3 lead. The Yanks’ winning rally came in the top of the eighth. Kyle Higashioka, hot lately, led off the inning with a HR (10) to tie the game. Judge singled and Anthony Rizzo was HBP. Cabrera sacrificed both runners over, and Harrison Bader singled to give the Yanks the eventual winning run. Cabrera solo HR (6) Peraza 2 hits, solo HR (1) FIRST MLB HR Higashioka solo HR (10) Taillon 6 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 W, 5 K. 1 HBP Gave up 1 HR. 3.91 Chapman (W, 4-4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.46 The Chapman we need to see. Weissert (H, 2) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.56 Loaisiga (S, 2) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.13 Ron Marinaccio to the IL. He will miss the ALDS. Albert Abreu back off the IL.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Bader, Cabrera, Chapman, Gonzalez, Higashioka, Judge, Loaisiga, Marinaccio, Peraza, Taillon, Weissert
There should be no doubt that Luis Severino is the Yankees #3 starter come playoff time. Severino was marvelous last evening, pitching 7 no-hit innings as the Yankees (98-61) defeated Texas, 3-1. It was Severino’s third start since coming off the IL. As a result, his pitch count was limited to 90 (he threw 94) and therefore was pulled for safety reasons. Also, Miguel Castro was activated (Chi Chi Gonzalez DFA’d) and the Yankees do need to see if Castro should be on the postseason roster or not. Aaron Judge was 1 for 4 with an infield single. He has 2 days and 3 games left to see if he can hit #62 to set a new AL and Yankees record. You now wonder if he will do it. He has just 1 HR since September 20. His batting average is at .311, 4 points back. I doubt that he will make it up to win the Triple Crown. The Yanks have a day-night doubleheader today. If Judge doesn’t get a HR in the opener, does he play in the night game? I’m sure if he DOES HR in the opener, he will be given the night game off. Maybe even tomorrow too. The Yanks scored in the fifth inning on a leadoff single by Oswald Peraza followed by a force out by Aaron Hicks. Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked, and Kyle Higashioka singled in Hicks. The Yanks hit into six DP in the game. In the top of the eighth, Marwin Gonzalez led off the inning with a 400 ft. HR (6), before Judge struck out. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a 457 ft. HR (30) to make it 3-0. Castro came in for the eighth and got an out before losing the no-hitter and then the shutout. Stanton solo HR (30) good to see. Hopefully coming out of slump. Peraza 2 hits. .333 in limited time. Be interesting to see if on postseason roster. Higashioka 2 hits, RBI. Heating up after a bad season. Gonzalez solo HR (6) Severino (W, 7-3) 7 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 7 K. 3.18 Castro (H, 9) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.18 Just off IL. First game since mid-July. Effross (S, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.54 (Cubs/NYY ERA)
A raw, rainy day in NY was only made more miserable with a 3-1 Yankees (97-61) loss and a tough day for Aaron Judge. If Judge is going to break Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61 HR in a season, #62 will have to come in Texas, where the Yanks play 4 games in 3 days, starting tonight. (DH on Tuesday). Maybe it would be a good thing. Maybe the pressure of trying to hit the HR in front of the home fans was daunting. One thing for sure, the weather (high of 84 to 86 degrees and sunny) in Texas will be much nicer than what Judge faced yesterday. Judge was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk, dropping his batting average to .311. He is four points behind the Twins’ Luis Arraez, and unless Judge gets really, really hot in the next three games, will probably NOT win the Triple Crown, especially since Arraez has sat out a few of the last couple of games, and the Twins will try to protect Arraez’ lead. Chi Chi Gonzalez was brought up to start the Yanks’ home finale and Jacob Barnes was DFA’d to make room for Gonzalez. Gonzalez pitched into the fifth and pitched well, giving up just one run. Baltimore got that run in the top of the first inning. The Yanks got their only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. The Aarons, Hicks and Judge, led off the inning with back-to-back walks. After an out a WP moved the runners up, with Hicks scoring on a throwing error on the play, Judge remaining at second. The Yanks only got four hits in the game and were 0 for 7 w/RISP. In the seventh, Aroldis Chapman once again proved why he is no lock for the postseason roster and why he can’t be trusted. A single, two walks, a strikeout and yet another walk forced in what proved to be the winning run. Ron Marinaccio relieved Chapman and gave up another run on a SF. Chapman threw 26 pitches. Only 12 were strikes. That’s been Chapman’s problem for a while now. You just can’t keep giving free passes. Gonzalez 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K. 5.87 (3-team ERA). Could be his only game as a NYY. Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.72 Chapman (L, 3-4) 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 4.58 Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.05 Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.21 Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.23
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 tied Roger Maris for the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record by hitting his 61st HR last night in the Yankees’ (96-59) 8-3 win at Toronto. The blow broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning. Fitting that it was the game-winning hit. So, 61 years after Maris, who wore #9, hit 61, Judge, also a RF, who wears #99, matches him. And Maris sometimes played CF, especially after Mantle went down late in the 1961 season. We’ve seen Judge play a lot of CF himself this season. The Yankees are off today and return to NY for a weekend series against Baltimore. If Judge doesn’t hit #62 Friday night, maybe he does it Saturday, October 1. If so, he would break Maris’ mark exactly 61 years after Roger hit his 61st. Judge wasn’t the only one to tie a single season Yankees’ record last night. Gerrit Cole struck out four batters to give him 248 on the season, tying the mark set by Ron Guidry in 1978. Judge’s HR was his only at bat in a 1 for 4 night. He still leads, barely, in the batting title race as he possibly could win a Triple Crown. He is hitting .3134 to the Twins’ Luis Arraez .3133. Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .309. Should Judge win the Triple Crown, he would be only the second player since 1967 to do so. He would be the third Yankee. Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956 are the Yankees to have done so. By the way, no NL hitter has won the Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick of St. Louis in 1937. Having won the AL East the night before, manager Aaron Boone made Anthony Rizzo the de facto manager for the evening. Most of the lineup was made up of the bench players, and rookie Oswald Peraza hit cleanup. The Yanks scored three times in the top of the first inning. Judge walked, and so did Oswaldo Cabrera. Josh Donaldson singled in Judge, and Peraza then got a single for his first MLB RBI to make it 2-0. After a force-out, Marwin Gonzalez hit a SF to make it 3-0. Cole retired the first 15 batters he faced before giving up a HR to Danny Jansen leading off the bottom of the sixth. As we have seen this year, anything that seems to throw Cole off a bit seems to mess him up big time, as far as limiting the damage. A single and walk immediately followed. After a lineout, a single brought in one run. A balk by Cole moved the runners up to second and third. A SF tied the game before Cole got out of the inning. In the top of the seventh, Aaron Hicks singled before Judge hit his AL record-tying HR (and we know about the steroid controversy surrounding the NL and MLB mark, a fact alluded to by Roger Maris, Jr. in a postgame interview). But two outs after Judge’s line drive blast (394 ft with an exit velo of 117+ MPH, the hardest HR Judge has hit all season), the Yanks tacked on another run. Peraza singled, went to second on a WP and scored on a single by Harrison Bader, who moved to second on an error. 6-3 Yankees. The Yanks got a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Cabrera doubled, and Donaldson was HBP. A groundout by Peraza moved the runners up. Bader then hit a ball back to the mound, but in trying to get the runner out at home, Toronto pitcher Adam Cimber threw the ball back to the backstop and both runners scored. 8-3. Judge 2-run HR (61). Ties AL record and Yankees’ record for most HR in a season. Peraza 2 hits, RBI. First MLB RBI Locastro 2 hits Hicks 3 for 3 with a walk. Cole (W, 13-7) 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1 Balk. Gave up 1 HR. 3.51 Cole’s 248 K ties Guidry single season NYY record. Britton (H, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 13.50 After TJ surgery, control is the last thing to return. Effross (H, 16) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63 (Cubs/NYY) Schmidt (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.29 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.24 D.J. LeMahieu is expected off the IL on Friday, and we will see about the corresponding move.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Bader, Boone, Britton, Chapman, Cole, Donaldson, Effross, Gonzalez, Guidry, Hicks, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Maris, Peraza, Rizzo, Schmidt
First off apologies. The milb.com site had that the Eastern League (AA) Finals were to start tonight, and that is what I previously reported. But with both semi-finals ending in 2-game sweeps, Game 1 of the Finals was moved up and began last night. Sorry. The remaining games are as previously reported. Game 2 will be Tuesday, with Somerset needing to win to stay alive. AAA: SWB lost 1-0 to Lehigh Valley. A tough loss, because it dropped SWB 1 1/2 GB with only a few games left in the season. SWB only got one hit. Chi Chi Gonzalez 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 W, 4 K. 4.03 M. Gomez 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 5.03 Banda (L, 0-2) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.60 Barnes 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.92 AA: Somerset lost Game 1 of the Eastern League Finals (best-of-3) to Erie, 6-5. CF Jasson Dominguez “The Martian” 2 hits #2 prospect See below. C Austin Wells 2 hits, 2 RBI #4 prospect 3B Tyler Hardman 2 RBI Will Warren 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 7 K. Gave up 2 HR. #8 prospect. Semple 1 2/3 IP 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Minnick (BS) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. McGarity (L) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K. Coleman 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Dominguez made a fielding error which enabled the winning run to score.
Posted in Minor Leagues, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Banda, Barnes, Coleman, Dominguez, Gomez, Gonzalez, Hardman, McGarity, Minnick, Semple, Warren, Wells
AAA: SWB (77-63) lost 3-2. CF Blake Perkins 2 hits, RBI 2B Chad Bell 2 for 2 RF Michael Beltre 2 hits Chi Chi Gonzalez 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.36 Effross (L, 0-1) 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 10.80 REHAB Bard 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.54 Deivi Garcia 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 7.75 #26 prospect. Overall: 4-5, 6.71 Zach Greene 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.34 AA: Somerset (83-53) won 6-3. This concludes their regular season. As the first-half division champ, Somerset will start a best-of-3 semifinal playoff vs. Portland at Portland on Tuesday. DH Jasson Dominguez solo HR (1). First AA HR for “The Martian” #2 prospect. Overall stats (3 levels): .273-16-59, 37 SB. Just 19 years old. 3B Andres Chaparro 2-run HR (19) 2B Jesus Bastidas 2 Hits, 2 RBI Solo HR (18) C Rodolfo Duran Solo HR (9) Yoendrys Gomez 4 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 7 K. 1 HBP. 3.86 #12 prospect. Overall: 1-0, 2.49 Myatt 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 1 WP 4.30 Albert Abreu (W, 1-0) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00 REHAB McGarrity (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.30 Semple (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.63 Ramirez 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1.93 Everyone is off today in the Yankees Universe. Majors and Minors. Me too, as I have been out a while on disability and have a medical procedure today.
Posted in Awards, Minor Leagues, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Bard, Bastidas, Bell, Beltre, Chaparro, Dominguez, Duran, Effross, Garcia, Gomez, Gonzalez, Greene, McGarrity, Myatt, Perkins, Ramirez, Semple