Tag Archives: Harkey

Game 41. 10-run inning dooms Yanks, 12-7.

Lately, it seems like every move Aaron Boone is making is backfiring on him.

Especially when it comes to the bullpen.

Right now, Brian Cashman is with the team, and after last night’s 12-7 loss, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll after this season.

Watching part of the YES postgame show, it seemed like ex-Yankee and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty had a couple of criticisms, and was more critical than normal.

In the line of fire would be pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and even manager Boone himself.

Blake had no coaching experience before getting the pitching coach job this year and was a bit of a surprise choice to replace the fired Larry Rothschild (now with SD).

You may argue that maybe going with David Cone, who interviewed for the job, may have been a better choice.

I wonder if the Yankees need to take a good, hard look at how their pitching philosophy has or hasn’t worked lately. One reason they have been coming up short has been their rotation. Just getting Cole may be like putting a band-aid on what seems to be a bigger problem.

When you lose 14 of 19, and have free-falled your way into clinging to the 8th and last playoff spot (and that spot is only there because of the virus of 2020), you can expect fans not to be happy on Twitter. And, it appears, there isn’t much happiness on the YES postgame show or in the front office. I would guess Hal isn’t too happy either.

Injuries are one thing, but bad play is another.

If ever there is a time for a good ripping into a team to wake them up, now is the time.

The Yanks (21-20) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, only to see Chad Green and Adam Ottavino give up 10 runs in what turned out to be a 12-7 loss.

Flaherty, on the postgame show, wondered why Boone stayed with Ottavino (who didn’t record an out, all six batters scoring) so long. He also criticized Boone’s body language during the inning. Just an observation, but Flaherty’s words sounded like someone angling for Boone’s job. They were quite critical, and you may add, harsh.

But this was really bad. It’s one thing to lose 14 of 19 in a 162 game season, but in a 60 game season? We’re talking 1/3 of the season here.

The Yanks got back-to-back HR from Luke Voit (14) and Aaron Hicks (4) in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead.

But as has been their wont lately, the Yankees’ pitchers, Jordan Montgomery in this instance, gave runs right back, and Montgomery joined the cast of Yankees’ starters not giving any length, thus putting more pressure on a failing bullpen.

Montgomery gave up a run in the first, another in the second, and the game was tied.

The Yanks got a run in the fourth when Miguel Andujar hit his first HR of the season. 3-2 Yanks.

In the fifth, with one out, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit both singled, and with two out, Clint Frazier’s double scored two runs. 5-2, Yanks.

A bases-loaded walk to Hicks in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.

Then the roof fell in, as Green and Ottavino gave up ten runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final indignity came when Ottavino gave up a grand slam. The bottom of the sixth lasted 43 minutes and took up 67 pitches.

I have wondered about pitch selection a lot lately. In checking out the game on MLB’s gameday, I had to shake my head when, during a 9 or 10 pitch at bat (which resulted in Luke Voit making an error), Green threw nothing but fastballs. Really? Eventually the batter will time the fastball, especially after seeing nine or ten in a row.

There is a difference between pitching and throwing. Yes, there was criticism of that in Twitterworld, and I think, on the YES postgame show as well (I’m not too sure about YES, but YES was a bit critical last evening, and rightfully so).

The Yankees’ defense, suspect lately, made two more errors. Nothing is going right.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by Andujar.

But this game signified “just when you think things can’t get worse…”

Something’s gonna happen. It has to. This can’t continue.

Because the Yanks are close to missing out on the playoffs entirely.

Voit 2 hits, solo HR (14)
Hicks solo HR (4), 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, 2 RBI
Andujar solo HR (1), 2 RBI

Montgomery 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.72
Holder 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.25
Green 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.26
Ottavino (L, 2-3; BS, 3; 7.82) 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up grand slam.

Cessa 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.81
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 7.71

Games 37 and 38. Yanks split DH with O’s.

When the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to make what they thought would be a rotation to possibly take them to the World Series, the last thing they probably expected was that they would have two rookies starting a DH in September in the midst of the stretch drive and pennant race.

That they did yesterday, with Michael King starting the first game and Deivi Garcia the second. On top of THAT, Clarke Schmidt made his MLB debut in the nightcap.

Based on very early impressions, it appears that King isn’t quite ready and needs more work in the minors. Unfortunately, there is no minor league season in this crazy year. Garcia looks ready and as advertised. MLB ready now needs more MLB experience. Since it was Schmidt’s MLB debut, the jury is out on him

Another impression, and it isn’t a good one. The Yankees (21-17) may or may not make the postseason this year. Shocking since they were, to a lot of people, the favorites to win the AL pennant. Now, 5 1/2 back with 22 games to go, it looks like they won’t even win the division. At present they are either the #6 or the #8 (and last) seed in the expanded, CCP virus playoffs of 2020. They are tied for 2nd in the AL East with Toronto. One would be #6, the other grabs that last spot.

And, even though you have the injuries to Severino, Paxton, Torres, Judge, Stanton, etc., one other truth is troubling. The pitchers aren’t holding leads.

It doesn’t matter who manager Aaron Boone is bringing in lately. Relievers are giving up leads, and not just one-run leads. It makes Boone and BP coach Mike Harkey look bad, as well as the relievers themselves.

That can’t happen. You get a three-run lead, you should be able to close out the game. Who’d have thought a supposed strength, the Yankees’ bullpen, would be such a problem right now?

Game 1

Before the game, Gio Urshela and Jonathan Loaisiga go on the IL. Coming back up are Miguel Andujar and Miguel Yajure.

The Yanks won this one in extras, 6-5 in nine innings (2020 DHs are 7 inning games).

King gave up a HR to the first batter he faced. O’s up 1-0.

The struggling Gary Sanchez (.135, 44 strikeouts in 96 AB) hit his seventh HR of the season (7 of his 13 hits are HR. All or nothing) to tie the game up 1-1 in the top of the second.

The Yanks got three in the top of the third to go up 4-1. Tyler Wade reached on an error, D.J. LeMaiheu singled, and Luke Voit walked to load the bases. Brett Gardner, also struggling, singled in two runs, then Clint Frazier walked to reload the bases. One out later, MIke Tauchman walked to force in a run.

King coughed up a 2-run HR in the fourth. 4-3.

The O’s tied it up in the fifth, when Ben Heller gave up a HR. After this game, Heller was sent down, replaced on the roster by Schmidt.

Zack Britton almost gave the game away in the bottom of the sixth. He had to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam.

With extra innings, and that new rule where the inning begins with a runner on second, you are always in a jam right away. Neither team scored in the eighth.

In the top of the ninth, because of PH/PR, and losing the DH, Jonathan Holder, yes, the pitcher, was the runner starting the inning on second base. LeMahieu grounded out, moving Holder up to third. Andujar singled in a run to make it 5-4. Gardner walked and Clint Frazier singled to make it 6-4.

The Orioles got one run in the bottom of the ninth but the Yanks held on to win their 19th straight game at Camden Yards, 6-5.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Gardner 2 hits, 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, 1 RBI
Sanchez solo HR (7)

King 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR. 1 HBP. 6.33. 7TH MLB game.
Heller 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.00
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 3.00
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 7.20
Holder (W, 2-0, 2.51) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Green (S, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.89

Game 2

The streak of beating the Orioles came to an end as the Orioles won 6-3.

Garcia did pretty decently, but it was Schmidt, making his MLB debut, who couldn’t close out an inning and that cost the Yankees.

Garcia gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second, and the Orioles were up 2-0.

The Yanks got one run back in the top of the third on a gift run. Tyler Wade singled, advanced to second on a WP, to third on a throwing error by the catcher, and scored on a groundout by Thairo Estrada.

The Yanks took the lead in the fourth. Gardner walked, and two outs later, moved to third on a two-base error. Andujar to second. Erik Kratz singled both runners in.

Hate to say it, but truth is truth. Kratz, a career long backup journeyman, at the age of 40, is far outperforming starting C Gary Sanchez.

In the bottom of the fifth, Garcia got a fly out, walked the next hitter, got a strikeout, then gave up a single.

Then was pulled.

In came Schmidt. If Schmidt gets the batter out, Garcia’s line doesn’t look too bad and the Yanks maintain a 3-2 lead.

Instead, Schmidt gave up three straight hits, allowing four runs to score, and the Yanks were down 6-3. The final score.

The Yanks only got four hits in this game.

Kratz (see above) 2 hits, 2 RBI, .348

Garcia (L, 0-1, 3.38) 4 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. 2ND MLB GAME
Schmidt 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 13.50 MLB DEBUT

Game 15. Yanks “slammed”. Lose 5-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The heavily depleted Yanks lost to Chicago 5-2 today to fall to 6-9 on the season.

Unfortunately, the lineup now looks like a spring training lineup with a lot of guys in it who really, if not for the injuries, would not be in the majors right now.

It’s good the Boss, George, isn’t alive right now, for it was at this time in the season (1982) when Bob Lemon got the axe (6-10), and in 1985 when Yogi (6-8) got canned.

This isn’t to say that Boone should get fired, but just giving some historical perspective. There’s not much Boone can do right now but hope to keep the ship afloat.

The Yanks did have an early 2-0 lead, but in the fifth, Tanaka gave up a grand slam and that was it.

The Yanks only got four hits.

Tanaka (L, 1-1, 3.22) 4 + IP, 5 R, 7 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up grand slam.
Cessa 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.08
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.86
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K.  1.13
Harvey 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  9.95

One disturbing thing. It’s coming out that Paxton was probably tipping pitches against Houston? Severino apparently tipping pitches at the end of last year?

The pitching coaches need to see and realize this before it becomes an issue. This is on Harkey and Rothschild.

 

Game 18. “Gray” Cloudy skies. Sonny bad in 8-5 Yanks’ loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

After four starts, Masahiro Tanaka has an ERA of 6.45. Sonny Gray’s is worse at 8.27. That, as well as the fact that several key Yankees aren’t hitting, is why the Yanks are 9-9 after Friday night’s 8-5 loss to Toronto.

Should they be 9-9? Well, after 18 games, they have scored 99 runs and have given up 98. If that isn’t saying 9-9, what is?

Meanwhile, Boston keeps making like the 1984 Detroit Tigers who started out 35-5 and who ran away with the season. The Red Sox are now 17-2.

The Yanks are digging themselves a hole, and early. Yes, you can make the excuse that they haven’t played in good weather yet (except for the opening series in Toronto’s dome). You can say that pitchers are having trouble with the grip in the cold for their curveballs or sliders and that hitters are uncomfortable in the cold, too. You can wonder why Boston’s schedule has them in Anaheim and Miami while the Yanks have seemingly been stuck in the Arctic. But these wins for Boston and losses for the Yanks still count. 18 games into the season, the Yanks are 9-9, which is 7 1/2 games behind Boston already, and 3 1/2 behind Toronto.

Despite the struggles of Stanton (.205), Sanchez (.182), Walker (.179), Wade (.086), etc. the team OPS+ after Friday night’s game was a 115. 15% above league average, thanks to Didi and Judge. So even with some guys doing subpar or awful offensively, you can see how good the offense could be once some guys get going, especially if it is a 115 now.

But as for the pitching, coaches Rothschild and Harkey have a lot of work to do. Going into Friday night’s game, the ERA+ was 93. 7% below league average, and that doesn’t count unearned runs, because the Yanks’ defense was the worst in the league. Last night didn’t help. You can’t have two supposed aces in Tanaka and Gray both have ERAs over 6. (not to mention Betances and Kahnle (currently on the DL) in the bullpen).

In half of their 18 games this season, Yankees’ pitching has given up six or more runs. No wonder then, that their record is 9-9. They have done so in eight of their last eleven games. That won’t do. Pitching is the key to the kingdom. Boston has two starters with ERAs under 1.50(!) and another at 2.25. Now they’ll regress to the mean, but you can see why they are 17-2.

Even if the Yanks’ offense was clicking, you can’t be giving up six or more runs a game.

The Yanks have to do a lot of things better, and starting pitching is right up there, unless you want to burn out your bullpen early.

Tyler Austin hit a two-run HR (3) to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the second. Gray gave up a 2-run HR right away to blow the lead in the top of the third. Stanton hit a 2-run HR (4) in the bottom of the third to put the Yanks up 4-2 but Gray gave three back immediately in the top of the fourth to put Toronto up 5-4. He was behind hitters, walked too many, and got pounded.

Miguel Andujar tied the game up with his second HR of the season in the bottom of the fourth, but that was it for Yankees’ scoring last night.

Toronto got two runs off Domingo German in the fifth, and Adam Warren gave up a solo HR in the sixth. 8-5 Toronto.

Ronald Torreyes had three hits, Tyler Austin two.

Gray 3 1/3 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 4 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 8.27
German (L, 0-1, 6.14) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 4 W, 3 K.
Warren 2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.24
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K   0.00

The Yankees will have some decisions to make soon. When Torres comes up, Tyler Wade will probably be going down. Drury most likely will replace Andujar. But what of Bird? Tyler Austin is doing ok. Could Neil Walker then be on his way out? Torreyes (.438!) isn’t going anywhere. Jacoby Ellsbury (if he EVER gets healthy) could replace Jace Peterson. But the Walker thing, wow. And there still wouldn’t be room for say, Adam Lind or Clint Frazier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanton press conference today. Yanks to also announce new bench & 3B Coaches.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have a press conference at 2 PM today to announce their acquisition of slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Also to be announced today are two new coaches.

From Replacement Yankees web blog:

Josh Bard will be Aaron Boone’s new bench coach. Bard, 39, was a catcher for the Indians 2002-2005, Red Sox 2006, Padres 2006-2008, Washington 2009, and Mariners 2010-2011. In 586 MLB games, he hit .254 with and OPS+ of 90. His 162 g. average was .254-11-61. He got into one postseason with the 2006 Padres, going 1 for 7. He had hit .330-9-40 as a platoon C that season.

Bard was a teammate of Aaron Boone’s in Cleveland in 2005 and has spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach. As a former catcher, he probably will also work with Gary Sanchez.

Phil Nevin will be the Yanks’ 3B coach. Nevin was the guy selected by Houston one notch above Derek Jeter in the 1992 MLB draft, much to the chagrin of Astros’ scout, HOF Hal Newhouser.

Nevin, 46, was the Giants’ 3B coach in 2017. He played for Houston 1995, Detroit 1995-1997, the Angels 1998, the Padres 1999-2005, Rangers 2005-2006, Cubs 2006 and Twins 2006.

He topped 100 RBI in 2000, 2001 and 2004, and hit 31 HR in 2000 and 41 in 2001. He played 3B, 1B, C and some corner OF.

He hit .270 with 208 HR in his MLB career, OPS+ 114. His 162 g. average was .270-28-99. He went 0 for 3 in his only postseason with the 2006 Twins.

The Yanks are expected to bring back Mike Harkey as the bullpen coach, and he would join returning pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

No word on the Yankees 1B coach or hitting coaches. Last year, Tony Pena was the 1B coach (and worked with catchers) and the hitting coaches were Marcus Thames and Alan Cockrell were hitting coaches.

UPDATE: From mlbtr.com: Nevin and Boone were high school teammates. Nevin was considered to be a strong candidate for the Tigers’ managerial opening before the club selected Ron Gardenhire to be their next skipper.

The Yankees’ extension of Brian Cashman’s GM pact is completed. 5 yr. $25MM

 

 

Harkey back as bullpen coach

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

Mike Harkey is back as the Yankees bullpen coach as the Yanks are bringing back almost all of their coaches. The only other change was at hitting coach, reported earlier.

Yogi Berra and Willie Mays are two of the newest recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s too bad Yogi died before he could receive the award.

The Rookies of the Year were named: Kris Bryant of the Cubs and Carlos Correa of Houston.

Brett Gardner may or may not be still on the trading block, but one possible suitor (Seattle) may be out after the Mariners made a deal with Texas for Leonys Martin.

The managers of the year will be announced tonight.

Yankees to replace some coaches.

Hitting coach Jeff Pentland will not be returning in 2016, nor will bullpen coach/catching instructor Gary Tuck.

Mike Harkey, who was a bullpen coach for manager Joe Girardi before going to Arizona, is available, and could be returning.

Youkilis to Japan

Kevin Youkilis didn’t help the Yanks much last year, playing in only 28 games. Maybe he can help them more as a foreign diplomat.

Youkilis signed a one-year deal with Rakuten, to play in Japan. That is the same team that ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka plays on.

If Tanaka isn’t posted, maybe Youkilis can talk up the Yankees to Tanaka….

then again, there isn’t that much (just 28 games) to talk about.

The Yanks did announce some non-player moves, the most notable being Gary Tuck as bullpen coach, replacing Mike Harkey who left to become the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach, and that Trey Hillman returns to the Yanks organization. Hillman left when he became KC’s manager.

Needed: New bullpen coach

Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News tweets that the Yanks will be looking for a new bullpen coach. Mike Harkey is leaving to become the pitching coach for the Diamondbacks.

If only Mo would take the job. (I can dream, can’t I?)

Coaching staff set?

From Pete Abraham of the Lower Hudson Journal:
(My notes are in italics).

This is not yet official, but it appears the coaching staff will shake out this way:

Outside of Pena, no big names….maybe translates (with Girardi) into a more scrappy, teaching Yankees? Also, young LOOK AT THE AGES! (translates well to kids as opposed to 67 year old Torre?) Girardi is 43.

Pitching: Dave Eiland (41, 12-27, 5.74 with Yanks, Padres, Devil Rays, had youngsters in minors, now here)

Hitting: Kevin Long (41 at end of year) never made majors, hit .264 in KC minor leagues

Bench: Rob Thomson (a bit of a surprise here; Thomson, 44, was the major league field coordinator last season and has been with the Yankees in various jobs for 18 years. He was responsible for advance scouting last season and did a lot of the preparation work for Torre. He is a very sharp guy who deserves the promotion. Thomson was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 32nd round of the 1985 draft. He played catcher and third base in the Tigers’ minor league system until 1988, when he became a minor league coach for the team (I have no record of his minor league career on baseball-reference). In 1990, Thomson joined the Yankees organization as a third base coach for the team’s Class-A affiliate in Fort Lauderdale. He moved into the front office in 1998 as a Field Coordinator, and became Director of Player Development in 2000. Prior to the 2003 season, he was named Vice-President of Minor League Development, and was named to the Major League coaching staff in November of the same year.)

Third base: Bobby Meacham (former Yankee SS. 47. 1983-1988 NYY, full-time SS in 1985 when he hit .218-1-47, 25 sb. .236 career hitter).

First base/catching: Tony Pena (50, five-time All Star, Managed KC. Thought he’d be bench coach)

Bullpen: Mike Harkey (41) 36-36 for Cubs, Rockies, Angels, A’s, Dodgers) 4.49.

Eiland was the AAA pitching coach last season. Long got a three-year deal worth $1 million, which is a lot for a coach (keep him from Torre?). Harkey and Meacham were with Girardi with the Marlins in 2006.

It’s too early to say whether the staff will be better or worse than what they had last season. There is certainly less experience (and more youth). I don’t know Meacham or Harkey but Eiland, Thomson and Long are hard workers and Pena is tremendous at what he does.

One thing to note. I see a lot of people on blogs today bemoaning the lack of a big name coach. Most of the time, big names couldn’t coach or manage well. What came NATURAL to them, they couldn’t teach. For example, Ted Williams managed the Senators and Rangers (after they left DC for Texas) from 1969-1972. One of the greatest hitters of all time had a team that hit .217 for him one year.

Meanwhile, Walter Alston played in one major league game. Sparky Anderson had one year (.218 with no HR) as the starting 2b for the 1959 Phils. That was it. LaRussa hit .199. Martin .257. McCarthy and Earl Weaver never played in the majors.