Tag Archives: Heaney

Game 149. In/out, up/down; Yanks’ 11-3 loss knocks them out of playoff picture again for now.

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t want your starting pitcher, in the middle of a pennant race and with 14 games to go, to be a rookie making just his sixth major league start. Nor would you want his reliever to be another rookie, nor the reliever after him to be someone who may be the one pitcher on your staff struggling the most (see the stat below).

But as we know, it isn’t an ideal world, and injuries to the Yankees’ pitching staff forced that scenario yesterday as the Yankees got clobbered by Cleveland, 11-3. The loss was painful because both Boston and Toronto won.

Wild Card Standings.

Boston 85-65 top seed as of now.
Toronto 83-65 2nd seed as of now. -1 from Boston
NYY 83-66 -1 1/2 from Boston, – 1/2 from Toronto
Oakland 81-67 -3 from Boston, -2 from Toronto (- 1 1/2 from Yankees)
Seattle 79-69 -5 from Boston, – 4 from Toronto.

So as you can see, the loss not only has (temporarily we hope) knocked the Yanks out of a wild card spot but don’t look back, Oakland is gaining on you.

Just win, baby.

Starter Luis Gil pitched ok for four innings, giving up a HR in the second. Entering the fifth, the Yanks were losing 1-0. Ok, still in the ballgame.

In the meantime, Yankees’ LF Joey Gallo had to leave the game with a neck problem.

An elephant in the room has to be addressed. In each of the Yankees’ last three losses, crucial defensive mistakes by catcher Gary Sanchez have helped the Yankees lose those games. With Gerrit Cole starting for the Yankees today, expect Kyle Higashioka to catch. But the Yankees should consider catching Higashioka full-time from here out, because of Sanchez’ defense over the past week.

With one out in the fifth, losing 1-0, Sanchez dropped a foul popup that should have been out #2, with no one on base. Instead, it opened the floodgates for Cleveland to put up a seven-run inning and the game was basically over. This after the phantom tag in the Mets game and the WP that Sanchez couldn’t catch in the Orioles’ loss. If the Yanks want to make the playoffs, those plays can’t happen.

Still in all, when Gil left the game, there was two on and one out. Hopefully Albert Abreu could get a DP ball and get out of the jam. Nope. Instead, the dam broke. Double, HBP, double, single. Four runs in. A second out (should have been the third if Sanchez catches the pop up). Then the killer, a 3-run HR that made it 8-0.

The struggling Andrew Heaney came in for the sixth. D.J. LeMahieu made an uncharacteristic error, and Heaney, prone to giving up homers (see below), gave up a 2-run shot that made it 10-0.

Giancarlo Stanton homered (30) in the bottom of the seventh to put the Yanks on the board, but Heaney gave up a HR in the top of the eighth to make it 11-1.

Luke Voit hit a 2-run HR (11) in the bottom of the eighth and the final was 11-3 Cleveland.

LeMahieu 2 hits.
Voit 2-run HR (11)
Stanton solo HR (30)
Sanchez 2 hits but the crucial error.

Gil has great stuff, but needs control. 6 K in 4 1/3 good, but 4 walks and a HBP aren’t.

In just 35 2/3 IP as a Yankee, Heaney has given up 13 HR. Ouch.

Gil (L, 1-1) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. gave up 1 HR. 3.07 First MLB loss.
Abreu 2/3 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 4.75
Heaney 3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. 5.76 (LAA/NYY)
Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.64 (Tex/NYY)

Gil was sent down after the game. We will see what move comes next (German? Severino?)

Game 144. Yanks comeback to edge Twins in 10, 6-5. Back in tie for 2nd WC spot.

The Yanks came back from a 5-0 deficit to edge the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 10 innings in a Monday afternoon makeup game.

With the win, the Yanks moved back into a virtual tie for the 2nd wild card spot. Here is how things stand.

Toronto 81-63 — 1st wild card
Yankees 80-64 -1 .556 virtual tie for 2nd wild card
Boston 81-65 -1 .555 virtual tie for 2nd wild card
Seattle 78-66 -3 from Toronto, -2 from NYY/BOS
Oakland 77-66 -3 1/2 from Toronto, -2 1/2 from NYY/BOS

The Yanks made some changes before the game. With recent errors defensively from Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres at 3B and SS respectively, Torres moved back to 2B, D.J. LeMahieu took over at 3B, and Tyler Wade was at SS. Also, Kyle Higashioka caught more because it was a day game after a night game, but even there, Higashioka is better defensively than Gary Sanchez. We will see who catches Gerrit Cole tonight, a job usually handled by Higashioka.

But just because he did not start yesterday’s game, doesn’t mean Sanchez couldn’t finish it. And finish it he did.

Yankees’ starter Luis Gil put the Yankees in an early hole, giving up two 2-run HRs in the first inning. The Yanks were down 4-0 before they even came to bat. Gil settled down after that, lasting six innings. After that first inning, he only gave up one more run—on a HR in the third inning.

Meanwhile, after five innings, the only hit the Yanks had was on a fifth inning bunt single by Joey Gallo.

The Yanks got a run in the sixth when Wade walked, stole second, went to third on a flyout, and scored on a SF by LeMahieu, who was robbed of a double on the play by a great catch.

Gallo made it 5-2 in the seventh with a HR (33).

In the bottom of the eighth, PH Anthony Rizzo led off with a walk. Sanchez PH for Higashioka and flied out. After LeMahieu flied out, Brett Gardner walked on a full-count pitch. It was a controversial call that got Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli ejected. After a pitching change, Aaron Judge homered (33) to tie the game.

No one scored in the ninth, although Aroldis Chapman made things hairy once again.

The game went into extra innings, with that ghost runner I hate. Clay Holmes kept the Twins off the board in the top of the tenth.

Gleyber Torres was the ghost runner for the Yankees in the bottom of the tenth. Gio Urshela, who took over at SS, struck out trying to bunt Torres over, but Sanchez laced one to the wall for the game-winning hit.

Judge 3-run HR (33)
Gallo 2 hits, solo HR (33)
Sanchez game-winning single in bottom of the tenth.

Gil 6 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 1 W, 8 K. Gave up 3 HR. 2.88
Heaney 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 5.76 (LAA/NYY)
Abreu 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.19
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.70
Holmes (W, 8-3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.07 (Combined Pit/NYY) .

Clarke Schmidt was sent back to SWB. Sal Romano decided to become a free agent rather than go to SWB.

Game 143. Yanks drop to 4th in division, out of wildcard spots, after 7-6 loss.

Francisco Lindor hit 3 HR against the Yankees as the Mets won Sunday night 7-6 in a game that featured a bench-clearing incident regarding whistling/tipping of pitches.

The loss was the Yanks 12th in their last 15 games. It dropped them to 4th in their division, and as of now, they are out of the wild card picture.

Wild Card Standings (Tampa Bay, The Chicago White Sox and Houston lead their divisions)

Boston (81-64)/Toronto (80-63) in a virtual tie for the two wild card spots.
NYY 79-64, one game back
Oakland and Seattle each 77-66, three games back of Bos/Tor, 2 back of the Yankees.

The Yanks have an afternoon makeup game against the Twins today (Monday afternoon). They have to pick things up. Just 19 games to go.

The Yanks got two runs in the top of the first inning. D.J. LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo both walked. Aaron Judge, who had to leave the game later because of dizziness, struck out. Giancarlo Stanton doubled in one run, and Joey Gallo hit a SF to bring in another. Amazing stat in that it was only the second SF of Gallo’s career.

The Yanks were forced to start rookie Clarke Schmidt because of their pitching woes. It was just Schmidt’s second MLB start and his fourth MLB game. He gave up a run in the bottom of the first, and stranded two.

In the bottom of the second, an error by Gleyber Torres led to three unearned runs when Lindor hit a 3-run HR, his first of three homers for the game. 4-2, Mets.

A SF scored a run for the Mets in the fifth, and it was 5-2.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Gallo walked and Torres hit a 2-run HR (7) and it was 5-4.

Lindor hit his second HR in the bottom of the sixth and it was 6-4. Apparently he whistled going around the bases as if to signal and mock the Yankees for whistling and accusing them of tipping off pitches to hitters.

In the top of the seventh, LeMahieu singled, and two outs later, Stanton hit a 2-run HR (27) to tie the game. He jawed at Lindor while circling the bases and the benches emptied. Brett Gardner mocked the thumbs down gesture that the Mets used against their fans recently.

Lindor hit his third HR of the game in the bottom of the eighth to give the Mets a 7-6 lead and they hung on for the win.

Stanton had a chance to get in the last word, but with two on and two out in the top of the ninth, he popped up to Lindor to end the game.

LeMahieu 3 hits
Stanton 2 hits, 3 RBI, 2-run HR (27)
Torres 2-run HR (7) but a huge error that allowed 3 unearned runs to score which helped cost the game.

Torres and Urshela once again made errors. Sanchez had a PB. The Yanks’ defense has to tighten up.

Schmidt 4 1/3 IP, 5 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 4.15
Heaney 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.83 (LAA/NYY)
Peralta 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.89 (SF/NYY)
Green (L, 7-7) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.28

Andrew Velazquez was sent down to make room for Schmidt.

Game 140. Wild card race tightens as Yanks lose sixth straight, get bad news on pitchers.

When it rains, it pours.

On a day when the Yanks got more bad news pitching-wise, the Yanks (78-62) lost their sixth game in a row, and tenth in their last twelve, to Toronto, 6-4.

Toronto has won eight in a row and has turned the wild card race into a crapshoot.

Before the game, besides the uncertainty on ace Gerrit Cole and his tight hamstring, the Yanks had to put Jameson Taillon on the 10 day IL due to a partially torn tendon in his ankle. They are holding out hope he still might make a start this season, but it doesn’t look good. Sal Romano was called up. OF Jonathan Davis was DFA’d , and expect Michael King up soon.

Also, Zack Britton, already done for this year, will in most likelihood miss ALL of 2022. Besides a bone chip being removed from his elbow, he also went TJ surgery.

Now for the game. Bo Bichette, the first batter of the game, hit a HR (22) off of Yankees’ starter Nestor Cortes, Jr. to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 immediate lead.

Cortes pitched well, giving up another solo HR, this one to Randal Grichuk (22) in the fifth, and the Blue Jays were up 2-0. That is all “Nasty Nestor” gave up. But he got little run support.

But the state of the Yankees bullpen is such that in a big game in September, Sal Romano and Andrew Heaney had to pitch.

The Yanks did tie the game in the bottom of the sixth when Aaron Judge singled and Anthony Rizzo followed with a 2-run HR (19).

But Toronto scored in the top of the seventh and never looked back. An error by Tyler Wade led to Toronto getting another run in the eighth and Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit HR #42 in the ninth off of Heaney to put the Blue Jays up 5-2. Toronto got another run off Heaney later in the ninth and it became 6-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, Gary Sanchez (21) and Luke Voit (9) hit back-to-back HRs, Voit as a PH, to make it 6-4, which would be the final score.

Judge 3 hits
Rizzo 2-run HR (19; Cubs/NYY)
Sanchez solo HR (21)
Voit solo HR (9)

Cortes, Jr. 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 0 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. 2.70
Romano (L, 0-2) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP 5.84 (Combined Reds/Brewers and NYY)
Peralta 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 W, 2 K. 3.86 (Combined SF/NYY)
Heaney 1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K. gave up 1 HR. 5.86 (Combined LAA/NYY)

The Yanks are 10 behind Tampa Bay, 3rd in AL East, with 22 games to go.

Now for the wild-card picture.

Bos 80-62, top wild card seed
NYY 78-62 -1 from Boston. At present, the second wild card.
Tor 77-62 -1 1/2 from Boston and only 1/2 game behind the Yanks.
Oakland AND Seattle each 76-64, 3 behind Boston and both just 2 1/2 behind the Yanks.

Game 138. Cole leaves early with hamstring issue as Yankees lose 4th straight, 5-1.

Gerrit Cole left Tuesday’s game early with hamstring tightness and may miss his next start. It’s the last thing the reeling Yankees needed as they lost their fourth game in a row, 5-1, to the surging Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yanks are now 2-8 since the 13-game winning streak.

Even if Cole was healthy and pitched like he usually does, like an ace, the offense was still comatose, scoring just the one run.

The Yanks fell 9 1/2 back of Tampa Bay for the divisional lead. With just 24 games to go, it’s a given the Rays win the division.

But the Yanks are struggling to hold on to a wild card spot. They still have the top seed, but things are close.

NYY 78-60 — (top wild card spot)
Bos 79-62 – 1/2 (second wild card spot)
Tor 75-62 – 2 1/2 from Yanks, 2 behind Bos
Sea 75-64 -3 1/2 from Yanks, 3 behind Bos
Oak 74-64 -4 from Yanks, 3 1/2 behind Bos

Cole gave up a HR to Alejandro Kirk in the second inning, and the Blue Jays were up 1-0.

The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the third inning when Andrew Velazquez singled, stole second, went to third on a flyout, and scored on a single by Anthony Rizzo.

Cole gave up two runs in the top of the fourth. Toronto was helped by a balk and a passed ball. Cole then had to leave the game.

Albert Abreu gave up a HR to Marcus Semien (38) in the top of the fifth. 4-1.

Kirk got his second HR of the game off of Clay Holmes in the eighth.

Rizzo 2 hits, RBI
Gardner 2 hits
Velazquez 2 hits

Cole (L, 14-7) 3 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 2 K. 1 balk. Gave up 1 HR. 2.78
Abreu 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.50
Rodriguez 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.76 (Tex/NYY)
Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.13 (Pit/NYY)
Heaney 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.76

Luis Gil will try to right the ship. He starts tonight. Brooks Kriske was sent down to make room for Gil.

Game 136. Sanchez’ heroics can’t save Yanks, fall 8-7.

Gary Sanchez hit 2 HR and drove in 6 runs, but it wasn’t enough as the Yankees (78-58) lost to Baltimore 8-7 on Sunday.

Before the game, some really bad news. Jonathan Loaisiga goes on the IL with a strained right rotator cuff. Those are serious injuries. So a bullpen that already has lost Zack Britton, who had an ineffective season because of bone chips in his elbow, and that currently has a struggling Aroldis Chapman, now probably loses Loaisiga for the season. For now, he is just on the 10-day IL, but rotator cuffs are serious.

The loss places more emphasis on the four game series against Toronto beginning today. If Toronto wins three of four, or sweeps the Yankees, they put themselves right back in the wild card mix and then the wild card becomes a crapshoot. Forget the division. Tampa Bay, with a 7 1/2 game lead over the Yankees, has that wrapped up. But here is how the wild card standings look:

NYY 78-58 —
Bos 79-60 – 1/2 would be second WC, sudden death game in NY
Sea 75-62 -3 1/2 from NYY, -3 from Bos
Tor 73-62 -4 1/2 from NYY, -4 from Bos
Oak 74-63 -4 1/2 from NYY, -4 from Bos.

You can see what could happen should the Yanks not hold serve over these next four games. It could turn into a five-team shootout for two places.

Now for yesterday’s game. Ugh. I’m sure the NY and national media is going to have a lot to say. The Yanks cannot and should not lose two of three to the last-place Orioles. They shouldn’t be only 9-7 against them this year. But they are. And it is a big reason why the Yanks are in the predicament that they are in.

Some players, when acquired or signed, just don’t work out. We can think of a few, and here are just pitchers: Carl Pavano, Sonny Gray, Ed Whitson, Jeff Weaver.

You can add Andrew Heaney to that list.

“He’s going to have to [turn things around],” manager Aaron Boone said of Heaney, who now owns a 7.62 ERA in seven games as a Yankee. “He’s going to have to step up.”

The Yanks fell behind 1-0 in the second inning when Yankees’ starter Corey Kluber gave up a HR.

With one out in the bottom of the second, Luke Voit walked, Gleyber Torres singled, and Rougned Odor was HBP, loading up the bases. Gary Sanchez hit a grand slam (19) and the Yanks were up 4-1.

The Orioles got a run in the fourth, to make it 4-2, and in so doing, knocked Kluber from the game.

The Yanks went up 5-2 in the fifth. D.J. LeMahieu and Joey Gallo both walked, and two outs later, Anthony Rizzo singled in a run.

Baltimore scored twice in the top of the sixth to cut it to 5-4. With two out, a single on a ball Gleyber Torres was slow making a play on, and should have made a play on. It would help cost the Yanks the game. Cedric Mullins followed with a 2-run HR off of Albert Abreu, who was brought up when Loaisiga was put on the IL.

“It’s a ground ball to short, we gotta make that play,” said Boone.

Torres singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and one out later, Sanchez hit a 2-run HR (20) to make it 7-4.

Heaney came in for the top of the seventh. He only got one out, and gave up 4 runs as Baltimore went ahead 8-7 and hung on to win by that score. Some people on various blogs criticized Aaron Boone for leaving Heaney in too long, but this wasn’t on Boone. Boone was ejected earlier in the game.

Luis Gil will be brought up sometime to make a start and give the rest of the rotation an extra day. With 20 games in 20 days, they can use it. If I were the Yanks, I’d keep Gil up and then use him out of the bullpen, especially with Loaisiga out and Heaney being ineffective.

Unfortunately, the Heaney pickup hasn’t worked out at all.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Torres 2 hits, but one huge fielding miscue (even referred to by Boone in the postgame interviews)
Sanchez 2 hits, both HR, 6 RBI. A grand slam and a 2-run HR (20)

Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton combined to go 0 for 12 with 6 strikeouts. Ouch. Very frustrating.

Kluber 3 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 3 H, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP. 3.69
Rodriguez 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.97 (TEX/NYY)
Abreu (H, 2) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.45
Heaney (L, 8-9; BS, 1) 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP 5.81 (LAA/NYY)
Peralta 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.02 (SF/NYY)
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.04

Game 131. Yanks lose 3rd straight, edged by Angels, 8-7

The Yanks got edged by the Angels last night, 8-7, and it was their third straight loss.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has won 8 in a row, and the Yankees are now 7 back with 31 to go. You never give up, but it looks increasingly likely that the Yanks will have to concentrate on getting the home field for the wild card game. They are two up on Boston for the top wild card spot. Oakland is 2 behind Boston for the second wild card spot, Seattle and Toronto both 4 1/2 behind Boston.

The Yanks struck first last night, getting two runs in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back doubles by D.J. LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo plated one run. Aaron Judge singled Rizzo to third, and Rizzo scored when Giancarlo Stanton GIDP.

I was a bit concerned about Corey Kluber coming off the IL to start this game for the Yankees. In his rehab starts, I don’t believe he pitched over 3 2/3 innings, and while he may have felt fine, the results didn’t look good. I know he is working on things, seeing if physically fine, and the results don’t matter as much, but there were a few things I didn’t like. Kluber surprised me with three great innings last night then ….

he ran out of gas in the fourth. After a strikeout, three straight singles plated a run. An out that moved the runners up to second and third. A walk to load the bases. Then, a grand slam. Angels up 5-2. The grand slam came on the first pitch after a mound visit. That doesn’t make the pitching coach look good.

The Yanks tied the game with three runs in the top of the fifth. The top four hitters in the lineup did all the damage for the Yanks last night. The inning started at the bottom, when Brett Gardner drew a one-out walk. He went to second on a balk, and after an out, LeMahieu singled to make it 5-3. Rizzo singled and both runners took an extra base on an error on the play. Men on second and third. A Judge single made it 5-4, Rizzo holding up at third. Stanton’s single tied the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Angels’ amazing Shohei Ohtani homered to put the Angels up 6-5. The homer, off ex-teammate Andrew Heaney, was Ohtani’s 42nd of the season, leading the majors. He is also 8-1 with an ERA of 3.00 as a pitcher. What a talent.

The Angels got another run off of Heaney in the bottom of the sixth to go up 7-5.

In the top of the seventh, Rizzo led off with a walk, and one out later, Stanton hit a 2-run HR (25) to tie the game.

The Angels scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Wandy Peralta started the inning and gave up a single. Clay Holmes relieved Peralta, and got two groundouts, each moving the runner up. A single brought in what turned out to be the winning run, batter (ex-Met Juan Lagares) out trying to stretch it into a double.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI
Rizzo 2 hits, RBI
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Stanton 2 hits, 3 RBI, 2-run HR (25)

Kluber 4 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. Gave up grand slam. 3.61
Heaney 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.53 (Combined LAA/NYY ERA)
Peralta (L, 4-3) 1+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.76
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.22 (Combined Pit/NYY)

Game 126. Yanks hold on to edge Braves, 5-4, for 11th straight win.

For the first time since 1985, the Yankees have an 11-game winning streak. They are now 19-4 in the month of August and have won 33 of their last 44 games.

It wasn’t easy. Wandy Peralta had to relieve an ineffective Aroldis Chapman with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth. He got Freddie Freeman (last year’s NL MVP) to fly to left for the final out to preserve a 5-4 victory for the Yanks over the Atlanta Braves.

With the win, the Yanks (74-52) stay 4 back of Tampa Bay in the division. They are 2 1/2 up on Boston for the top wild card spot. The Yanks are off Wednesday, and are heading to Oakland to face the A’s. The A’s are 2 behind Boston for the other wild card spot, so the Yanks can put a little distance and breathing room between themselves and the A’s. Seattle is 3 behind Boston, and Toronto 5 1/2 behind Boston.

The Braves struck first, getting two runs in the bottom of the first off of Yankees’ starter Andrew Heaney. With two out, Heaney walked Freeman and hit Austin Riley with a pitch. On an 0-2 pitch, Dansby Swanson doubled in two runs. Ugh. All with two out, and on an 0-2 pitch. 2-0 Braves. And to add insult to injury, Freeman walked on a pitch that appeared to be strike three. It was one of a couple controversial calls by the umpires last night.

The Yanks got one back in the top of the second when Giancarlo Stanton hit his 22nd HR of the season.

The Yanks tied it in the fourth when Aaron Judge doubled and two outs later, scored on a single by Gary Sanchez.

The Yanks went up 4-2 in the top of the fifth. Andrew Velazquez singled, stole second, and scored when D.J. LeMahieu hit a 2-run HR (9).

The Braves got a run in the bottom of the fifth. Albert Abreu started the inning on the mound for the Yanks. After an out, a single and a walk. Joely Rodriguez replaced Abreu and got a forceout. But then Riley singled in one run, but Freeman, also trying to score, was called out at the plate, upheld by review.

The inning before, Braves’ CF Joc Pederson was ejected for arguing a call. The umpires ruled that he had swung and struck out even though he was hit by the pitch. The swing negating the HBP. Pederson, of course, didn’t think he swung. As I mentioned, several controversial calls in this game.

In the top of the seventh, Rougned Odor homered (15) to put the Yanks up 5-3. It would turn out to be the decisive run.

In the bottom of the eighth, with one out and Freeman (he seemed to be in the middle of everything) on first, Riley singled Freeman to third, but was thrown out at second trying to advance. Another out upheld on review.

To the bottom of the ninth, and Chapman in. A groundout, then a single and a strikeout. Fine. Two run lead, one on. Then Chapman could not seal the deal. A walk on four pitches. An infield single to load the bases. Another walk to force in a run to make it 5-4.

Peralta then came in and got Freeman to fly to left, but it took nine pitches to do it, and a 3-2 count. Close to walking in the tying run, but he got the job done.

One nail-biting ending.

LeMahieu 2-run HR (9)
Judge 2 hits
Stanton solo HR (22)
Odor solo HR (15)

Heaney 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. 1 HBP. 5.48 (Combined LAA/NYY ERA)
Abreu 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 4.21
Rodriguez (H, 12) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.05 (Combined Tex/NYY ERA)
Holmes (W, 5-2) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.38 (Combined Pit/NYY)
Green (H, 16) 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.03
Chapman (H, 1) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 3.86
Peralta (S, 5) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.62 (Combined SF/NYY)

I guess Loaisiga wasn’t available last night. Salaries be damned, I’d make him the closer over Chapman right now.

UPDATE: Zack Britton appears done for the season and could require TJ surgery which would take him out of 2022 and the rest of his Yankees’ contract. Hopefully he is just shut down for the year, does not need the surgery, and can come back strong next year.

Game 121. Velazquez leads Yanks to sweep of Bosox, 5-2.

Andrew Velazquez was born in the Bronx, went to Yankees games as a child, and dreamed of making his mark with his favorite and local team.

Last night his dreams came true. The light-hitting SS had two hits, drove in two runs, and made an outstanding play to end the game and save a 5-2 Yankees win that enabled the Yanks (69-52, 2nd in AL East, 5 games back) to sweep this week’s three-game series against Boston.

The wild card standings. Two of three would make the playoffs (granted, 41 games to go)

NYY 69-52 .570
Oak 68-53 .562 1 game behind NYY for top WC
Bos 69-54 .561 1 game behind NYY for top WC, .001 behind the A’s for the second wild card.

The Yanks have won 28 of their last 40 games, and their last six in a row.

Andrew Heaney gave up a HR to Xander Bogaerts in the first inning, giving Boston a 1-0 lead. You are forgiven, if, after his first three Yankees’ starts, all bad, you thought “here we go again.”

But Heaney was superb last night. After giving up that HR, he gave up no more runs, and only one more hit, in pitching seven innings.

The Yanks came back with four runs in the bottom of the second. Giancarlo Stanton led off with a single and Rougned Odor walked. Gary Sanchez blooped a single that loaded the bases. Odor was almost forced out at second on the play. Brett Gardner tied the game with a sacrifice fly, and Velazquez then singled to put the Yanks up 2-1. Velazquez stole second to put runners on second and third, and after a groundout that froze the runners, Anthony Rizzo singled in two runs on a play botched by Boston 1B Bobby Dalbec to make it 4-1.

It stood that way until the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Sanchez doubled and moved to third on a ground out by Gardner. Velazquez singled to make it 5-1.

Earlier in the day, Rizzo and Aroldis Chapman were brought off the IL. Rizzo the Covid-IL, and Chapman the regular IL. Sent down were NIck Nelson and Jonathan Davis. Chapman started the ninth.

But as we’ve seen this year, it seems the Yanks can’t just close out games easily. Chapman gave up a one-out, 456 ft. HR to Hunter Renfro. He did get a second out, but Lucas Luetge had to replace Chapman with two outs, two on and the tying run at the plate. Kevin Plawecki grounded a ball into the hole, but Velazquez made the stop and the long throw to nip Plawecki at first for the final out of the game, upheld upon review. An outstanding play.

Rizzo 2 RBI
Sanchez 2 hits.
Velazquez 2 hits, 2 RBI. Outstanding defensive play.

Heaney (W, 8-8) 7 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 4 K. 1 WP. Gave up 1 HR. 5.51 (Combined LAA/NYY)
Britton (H, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.71
Chapman 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.79
Luetge (S, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.09

Game 115. Dream turns into nightmare as White Sox walk-off Yanks, 9-8.

The Yankees-White Sox game at the Field of Dreams site in Iowa was nearly perfect. I’d like to see what the TV ratings were on this one. Unlike the movie, however, the game didn’t have a feel-good ending for Yankees’ fans.

After a stirring comeback in the top of the ninth, Zack Britton gave up a 2-run walk-off HR in the bottom of the ninth to Tim Anderson, and the Yanks (63-52, 3rd in AL East, 7 GB; 2 games out of a playoff spot) lost to the White Sox, 9-8. It appears as if the Yanks should concentrate on the wild card. They can still win the division, but those chances seem very remote.

There are a couple things about the game and its retro-ness that could have been better. Nitpicking, maybe, but … One, no Nike Swoosh on the uniforms. Take it off for one game. Two, the home plate ump could have worn the old-fashioned balloon chest protector. There is another one, but I won’t get into that one.

The Yanks need guys to get healthy. Especially pitchers. Going with bullpen games like the other day are necessary right now, but not what you want. It hurts you for the next game. We all can’t wait for Cole and Montgomery to come back from the Covid list, or Kluber, Severino, and German from the IL. How much better that rotation would be. Some decisions would have to be made then on the rotation. Also the bullpen if Clarke Schmidt and/or Michael King are ready. One decision may have to be to just shut down certain guys (German? King?) for the remainder of the season.

One decision that apparently needs to be made is that when certain guys come back, Andrew Heaney has to get taken out of the rotation. Heaney has started three games for the Yankees after being acquired from the Angels. In those 3 starts, he has given up 15 runs in 15 IP. Eight HR. He gave up 7 runs in 5 IP last night, 3 HRs. That’s just facts. (Heaney is a free agent after this year. Let’s just say his Yankees’ “audition” isn’t going well.).

UPDATE AND SPOILER ALERT: See minor league report. Kluber didn’t do well in first rehab stint. Hopefully nothing physical, just rust.

Heaney gave up a run in the first, as Jose Abreu hit the first MLB HR at the Iowa site. 1-0 Chicago.

In the top of the third, with two out, D.J. LeMahieu (who got the first hit at the site) walked, and Brett Gardner singled. Aaron Judge hit a 3-run HR (his first of two for the night) to put the Yanks up 3-1.

The lead was short-lived. The White Sox came back with a one-out double and a two-out 3-run HR to take a 5-3 lead. Ugh. Nothing like the first pitch after a mound visit being hit for a 3-run HR. It doesn’t make the pitching coach look good.

Chicago got a two-out, two-run HR in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-3 lead. We will see how this park plays out in the future, but it was a hitters’ park last night. 8 HR, 4 by each team.

Brett Gardner hit a HR (5) to cut the White Sox’ lead to 7-4 in the sixth.

To the ninth. Tyler Wade singled to lead off the inning, and two outs later, Judge hit his second HR of the game (25) to make it 7-6. Joey Gallo walked and Giancarlo Stanton homered (18) to put the Yanks up 8-7. Some comeback.

But for naught. After a groundout, Britton gave up a walk, then the 2-run HR to Anderson. Chicago, 9-8. Final.

I was hoping for Loaisiga in the ninth. He has been lights out, and the Yankees’ best reliever this year. Maybe he was unavailable, but if he WAS available, then Boone has to ditch the “roles” and past experience, and go by what he sees. And what WE see this year is that Loaisiga has been far better than Britton, or for that matter, Chapman (who is on the IL, which is why Britton was in the game, not Chapman–not recently. Chapman was great until mid-June. Since then … shaky).

As we know, there have been too many of these kind of losses this year. And they may be costing the Yanks a playoff spot. We hope not.

Gardner 2 hits, solo HR (5)
Judge 2 hits, both HR, 5 RBI (25)
Stanton 2-run HR (18)
Wade 2 hits.

Heaney 5 IP, 7 R, 5 H, 3 W, 5 K. Gave up 3 HR. 5.78 (Angels/Yankees)
Peralta 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 4.31 (SF/NYY)
Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.35 (Tex/NYY)
Britton (L, 0-1; BS, 3) 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 6.32

The Yanks are off today. Rare for a Friday, but now the series resumes in Chicago.