Tag Archives: Harper

Game 154. Yanks clinch playoff spot with 3-2 win. Stay 1 1/2 up on A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (95-59) clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs with a 3-2, 11-inning, win over the Bad News Bears (oops, 44-110 Baltimore Orioles) yesterday, but whether the Yanks will be playing that one-game, sudden-death wild card game in the Bronx is very much still up in the air.

Oakland scored in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a Minnesota error and a passed ball (hmm, Twins imitating Sanchez) that let in the winning run, and won 3-2. The A’s remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top wild card spot.

The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to ensure that the wild card game will be played in the Bronx is 6. Any combination of Yanks’ wins and A’s losses adding up to 6 and the game will be in the Bronx. The Yanks own the tiebreaker.

The Yanks got two runs in the second on homers by Aaron Hicks (26) and Luke Voit (12, 11 as a Yankee). They now have 251 HR on the season, on pace to tie the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the all-time single season record by a team (264).

Gary Sanchez continued his defensive woes, committing a PB and a throwing error in the third inning that allowed the Orioles to score a run. Besides a PB and an error, Sanchez also went 0 for 4, striking out twice, and his batting average dropped to .182. He was dropped to eighth in the lineup, and you really wonder if it’s just best right now to have Romine in there instead.

The Yanks could really have been in trouble except that Steve Wilkerson was twice thrown out at home.

Baltimore tied it in the fifth, and would have had more except for one of those times Wilkerson was thrown out at home (by Judge) and the fact they left the bases loaded.

After the Voit HR, the Yanks didn’t do too much offensively, and it became a battle of the bullpens.

Jonathan Holder got out of a huge jam in the top of the 10th. The Orioles left the bases loaded.

Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, Didi Gregorius singled, and Aaron Hicks double drove in Didi with the winning run.

Hicks 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Voit HR

Lynn 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K.  4.80 (Min/NYY)
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.60
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.59  Encouraging outing since just off DL
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.   2.64
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.26 (Balt/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.97
Kahnle (W, 2-0, 6.75) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

MLBTR states that CC wants to return in 2019, even if not to the Yanks. Tough call. Questionable knee, doesn’t go too deep into games. 39 next July. Yanks may want to cut the cord, so to speak.

Also, MLBTR reporting that Yanks have interest in bringing back McCutchen (a free agent) if the price is right, but that probably means buying out Brett Gardner’s option at $2MM instead of bringing him back at $12.5MM. Also, you have Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury (both of whom missed most or all of this year due to injuries) to think about…

Then again, Bryce Harper is a free agent….

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$alary Cap limiting Yanks moves, now.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brrrr. There was a game at Yankees Stadium today but it was a college football game and not a baseball game.

You think of college football games being played in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl—warm weather sites.

But the Pinstripe Bowl is in Yankee Stadium, and Boston College and Iowa played in bitterly cold temps today. Iowa winning, 27-20.

The field was frozen, and instead of cleats, players had to resort to sneakers on a field that was like a hockey rink. Icy.

As for the Yankees themselves, the free agent and trade market is as icy as Yankee Stadium was today. But then, the whole free agent market has been like that so far.

With the Yanks, the problem is that Hal wants to get under the $alary cap, which is $197MM. Right now, depending on what source you are looking at, the Yanks are somewhere around $178-182MM, leaving little for arbitration raises or moves made mid-season 2018 at the trade deadline.

Of course, freeing themselves of some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract would help, but how much can they free for a fifth OF making $21MM?

As far as possible deals to give more depth to the starting rotation, the Yanks apparently have offered Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and/or Tyler Wade/ Thairo Estrada for Chris Archer or Mike Fulmer and a little lesser package for Gerrit Cole.

Gleyber Torres, Estevan Florial and Justus Sheffield are off the table.

So the Yanks, for now, have their hands tied.

That includes trying to re-sign Todd Frazier, who probably wants a multi-year deal. He made $12MM last year, and even re-signing him for 1 yr at the same price puts the Yanks perilously close to the limit they want to stay under.

Why stay under? It would reset the Yanks luxury tax penalty which is currently 50 cents to the dollar.

Then they could actively go after free agents after 2018 with no penalty and next years class is a monster class which includes Kershaw, Machado, Harper and Donaldson for starters.

Harper, Donaldson, MVPs

Josh Harper of the Washington Nationals was the unanimous winner of the NL MVP, and Josh Donaldson of Toronto was announced the AL MVP last night.

Brian McCann, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees received consideration.

Harper is one of the youngest players to win the award.

 

Game 58. Drew, Tanaka lead Yanks to 7th straight win, 6-1.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

For six-plus innings, this was everything it was hyped to be. A great pitching duel, Tanaka vs. Scherzer.

In the end, Tanaka got the best of it, the Yanks won their seventh straight game, and opened up a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL East with a 33-25 record.

Stephen Drew had 2 HR. The first came in the bottom of the third, and gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

Tanaka then coughed up a HR to Bryce Harper in the top of the fourth to tie the game. I thought it would be a long fly ball, but it just kept carrying.

Then I saw a couple of mistakes. In the bottom of the sixth, the Yanks had first and third and one out. Beltran hit a liner to CF. The Nats CF tried for a shoestring catch but trapped the ball. He still got a force on McCann on second. However, Teix was caught in no man’s land and instead of just staying on the bag, then coming home no matter what happened, he was stuck on third. They did not score. Ugh.

But then Bryce Harper of Washington pulled what I thought was a bad play. In the top of the seventh, Harper, leading off, had two strikes on him. He had homered off Tanaka earlier, his 20th HR of the season. With two strikes on him, he tried to bunt, fouled it off, and that was strike three. In a close ballgame you want him swinging the bat. Break for the Yankees.

In the fourth, the Yanks got a break. With men on first and second, and two out, A-Rod sent one toward the hole. Washington’s SS tried to get a force at third, but the throw hit the runner, Ramon Flores, and ricocheted into the dugout to advance the runners and give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. But (and the most important thing) is that they tacked on. Brian McCann singled in two, and Beltran singled in another one to make it 5-1.

In the 8th, Drew hit his second HR of the game (and the second 2-HR game from him in less than a week) to make it 6-1. Drew now has just 31 hits on the year and a .175 batting average, but he does have 9 HR. He is on course for about 25 HR. Yes, .175 stinks, but 25 HR for a second baseman? I’ll take that. Sometimes batting average is overrated. I am not saying .175 is good, but hey, as long as the hits he does get are extra base hits (9 HR), I’ll take it. .175 or not, he is tied with McCann as far as HR, and only Teix and A-Rod have more. .175 but 25 HR? Ok, I’ll accept that. Not ideal, but…

McCann had 3 hits and 2 RBI. Flores, a rookie in the majors for what, 3 weeks now? had three hits and two were off Scherzer, one of the best pitchers in the game. Go figure.

McCann is hot, raising his average to .266.

Tanaka (W, 4-1, 2.48) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 6 K.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 h, 0 walks and 1 K. 0.28.
Shreve 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 h, 1 walk, and 0 K. 2.16
Miller 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walk and 0 K. 1.03.

Washington drafted Mariano Rivera’s son, Mariano Rivera III, in the fourth round of the draft today.

The Giants got a no-no from one of their pitchers for the fourth straight year today. After Cain (PG), and Lincecum twice, Chris Heston no-hit the Mets today.

 

ROY to Trout, Harper

Mike Trout won the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award in a unanimous vote. The Angels’ OF hit .326-30-83, led the majors with 49 SB, led the majors in runs scored, and led the A.L. in adjusted OPS (OPS+) with a 171.

In the N.L., Washington OF Bryce Harper won a close vote over Arizona pitcher Wade Miley, 112-105. Harper received 16 first place votes to Miley’s 12. Harper hit .270-22-59 with 18 SB. OPS+ 119. Miley was 16-11, 3.33, ERA+ of 125.

The Managers of the Year will be announced today (Tuesday). I’d expect Buck Showalter of Baltimore to be the A.L. mgr. of the year.