Tag Archives: Hicks

Game 64. A sloppy win, 7-6 in 10. Also, news on Lucchesi, Big Papi.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (40-24) tried their best to blow this game. Their best relievers failed, and it was up to a rookie, who arrived at 4 AM after a seven-hour or so drive via cab or Uber (don’t know which; UPDATE: Yanks arranged a SUV for the 6 1/2 hour, 375 mile drive), to save the day.

But in the end, they won 7-6 in 10 innings over Cleveland and maintained their first place tie with Tampa Bay.

Before the game, the Yanks had to place Domingo German on the IL (hip) and recall Stephen Tarpley. Tarpley is the one who had to make the trip in the wee small hours of the morning.

Now we know that German didn’t “hit a wall” per se, but that something was physically wrong the past few starts.

Forced to use an opener again (Tanaka’s start pushed back a day due to his wife giving birth), the Yanks got 5 runs in the second inning. With two out, Clint Frazier singled and Brett Gardner homered (9). Gio Urshela walked and Cameron Maybin singled. D.J. LeMahieu singled in a run, 3-0. Then a WP and a walk to Aaron Hicks loaded the bases. Luke Voit doubled in two runs, 5-0. Gary Sanchez walked to reload the bases but Gleyber Torres flied out.

Chad Green, the opener, and Nestor Cortes, Jr.Greg combined to shut out the Indians for five innings, but in the bottom of the sixth, Tommy Kahnle gave up 4 runs on 2 HR and it was 5-4.

In the seventh, Adam Ottavino gave up a HR that tied the game at 5.

In the top of the ninth, with one out, Luke Voit singled and Gary Sanchez doubled. Gleyber Torres was inentionally walked to possibly set up a DP but Clint Frazier hit a SF to put the Yanks up 6-5.

But in the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman gave up a single, made and error on a pickoff attempt, and then walked the next batter. He rebounded to get two outs and then had two strikes on the next batter. One strike away, and then a ground ball to SS. Didi Gregorius, who didn’t start the game but who was in for defensive purposes, booted it for a two-base error and the tying run scored. Chapman then got out of the inning.

With one out in the tenth, Maybin doubled, and one out later, Hicks doubled to put the Yanks up 7-6.

Tarpley, who made that long trip hours earlier, struck out the side in the bottom of the tenth to earn his first MLB save.

Tarpley, you’ll recall, had a great spring training before getting roughed up earlier in the season, causing him to be sent down to SWB.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI (.321)
Hicks GW RBI double
Voit 2 hits, 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, RBI
Gardner 2-run HR (9)
Maybin 2 hits

Green 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.  8.27
Cortes, Jr.  3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.86
Kahnle 1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.84   Gave up 2 HR.
Ottavino (BS, 3) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  1.53  Gave up 1 HR
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.86
Chapman (W, 1-1, 1.40; BS, 2) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Tarpley (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  First MLB save.

The Yanks now play the Mets for two games in Yankee Stadium.

In other baseball news…

Frank Lucchesi died at the age of 92. Lucchesi managed the Phillies (1970-1972), Rangers (1975-1977, taking over for Billy Martin) and Cubs (1987). He was the last manager for the Phillies while they played at old Connie Mack Stadium. He also was the manager that Lenny Randle assaulted in 1977 when Randle took umbrage at how Luchessi was managing him. Luchessi’s managerial record was 316-399, a .442 winning pct., which averages to a 72-90 season.

Ex-Red Sox star David Ortiz (Big Papi) is in stable condition after being shot in the Dominican Republic. From MLB.com:

Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot and wounded at an amusement center in his hometown of Santo Domingo on Sunday but was in stable condition and expected to be OK, his agent Fernando Cuza told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

Ortiz’s father, Leo Ortiz, also addressed reporters and said doctors anticipate a full recovery.

confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region…..

(FROM ESPN) The team had to remove part of Ortiz’s intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder. Ortiz suffered liver damage. He was shot at a club in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Authorities say Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range.

 

 

Advertisements

Game 62. Yanks’ lead cut to 1/2 game after 5-2 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Domingo German still leads the majors in wins (9), but he has hit a lull recently. Last night, German couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead and the Yanks (39-23) lost to Cleveland, 5-2. German’s ERA in his last three starts has risen from 2.60 to 3.86, and seven of the 12 HR he has given up this year have been in the last three starts.

With the loss, the Yanks’ lead over Tampa Bay decreased to just 1/2 a game.

Didi Gregorius returned of the IL to the Yanks and had two hits. In the second inning, Gary Sanchez singled, and Didi singled Sanchez to third, Didi getting thrown out trying for two. After a walk to Kendrys Morales, Clint Frazier doubled home Sanchez. One problem with Morales—he can’t run a lick, and couldn’t score himself.

Aaron Hicks 4th HR of the season made it 2-0 Yanks in the third.

German was great for three innings, then hit a wall, as it seems he is starting to do at this point in the season, at least in the past three starts. He gave up a run in the fourth that made it 2-1, a HR in the fifth that tied the game, and a 2-run HR in the sixth that put Cleveland up 4-2. The Indians scored a run off David Hale in the eighth for the final tally of 5-2.

Zach Plesac, nephew of former MLB pitcher and current MLB network anayst Dan Plesac, got his first major league win.

The Yanks got just six hits in the game.

Hicks solo HR (4)
Didi 2 hits.
Frazier 2 hits, RBI

German (L, 9-2, 3.86) 6 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR
Hale 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  3.00

At least there should be a full bullpen contingent (barring Hale) ready for today’s game.

Game 61. Yanks beat Toronto 6-2 behind Happ, Hicks, D.J.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (39-22) snapped their three-game losing streak Thursday night with a 6-2 win over Toronto. They went into the game knowing that Tampa Bay and Boston had both already won in the afternoon.

J.A. Happ pitched probably his best game of the season so far.

In the second inning, with two out, Thairo Estrada reached on an error. Cameron Maybin singled, and D.J. LeMahieu just missed a 3-run HR as he doubled off of the CF fence for a run. Aaron Hicks then cleared the fence with a 3-run HR (3) to put the Yanks up 4-0.

Gio Urshela led off the top of the fourth with his fourth HR of the season to put the Yanks up 5-0 and they weren’t finished that inning. After an out, Maybin doubled and LeMahieu continued his amazing production w/RISP this season with an RBI single, 6-0.

Happ gave up a solo HR in the bottom of sixth. Toronto also scored in the ninth when they loaded the bases with no one out and Aroldis Chapman had to come in to close the game out.

As the game progressed, it was found out that Dallas Keuchel isn’t going to become a Yankee. It was thought that the Yanks were the favorite to sign the free agent, but he went to Atlanta instead.

After the game, Thairo Estrada was sent down to make room for Didi Gregorius’ return off of the Injured List. I was kind of hoping they would have kept him a bit longer and DFA Morales, but they want Estrada to play and not rot on the bench.

LeMahieu 3 hits, 2 RBI (.323)
Hicks 2 hits, 3-run HR (3)
Urshela (.323) solo HR
Maybin 2 hits.

Happ (W, 6-3, 4.48) 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 IP+, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K.  9.16
Chapman (S, 18)  1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.   1.46

Game 59. Blue Jays best Yanks, 4-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One bad inning by Masahiro Tanaka and the lack of clutch hitting (1 for 12 w/RISP, 11 LOB) by the Yanks (38-21) led to a 4-3 defeat to the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night. It was the first time in over a month that the Yanks lost back-to-back games.

Clint Frazier’s 2-run HR (11) in the fourth gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead.

But in the fifth, Tanaka, who had a one-hit shutout through four innings, gave up a HR to lead off the inning, then after a walk and an out, another HR which made it 3-2 Toronto. After another out, a double, and single made it 4-2 Blue Jays before Tanaka got out of the inning.

Tanaka can’t pitch up in the zone. He doesn’t have that velocity. He has to keep the ball down. Pitches got up all inning long.

In the eighth, Aaron Hicks hit his second HR of the year to cut it to 4-3. The Yanks kept threatening, but as you saw with the 1 for 12 w/RISP, couldn’t break through.

Voit 2 hits
Hicks 2 hits, solo HR (2)
Frazier 2-run HR (11)
Tanaka (L, 3-5, 3.42) 6 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.25
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  9.17

The Yanks released infielder Cliff Pennington from his minor league deal. The former major league infielder, signed in early April, was hitting .196 for SWB.

Barry Latman, a spot starter/long reliever for the White Sox, Indians, Angels and Astros from 1957-1967, died recently at the age of 83. Latman was a pitcher on the 1959 AL Champ White Sox (8-5, 3.75, ERA+ 101) and an All-Star for the 1961 Indians (13-5, 4.02, ERA+ 97). He was 59-68 in his career. His 162 game average was 8-10, 3.91, ERA+ 94.

The Yanks are considered the favorites for signing free agent Dallas Keuchel, but won’t budge from a 1-year, pro-rated contract at the qualifying offer. Meaning at $17.9MM, if Keuchel signs for the second half of the year, he’d get around $9MM. Keuchel apparently would like more years and $$. He, and his agent Bora$$, may have bitten off more than they could chew. One other reason he is still a free agent is that now teams don’t lose the compensatory draft pick anymore since the draft is over.

Game 56. Great sounds from D.J.’s bat in Yanks 4-1 win over Boston.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

What a pick up D.J. LeMahieu has been for the Yanks. If you had to vote for MVP today, he most likely would not win, but would gather a lot of consideration.

The Yanks beat Boston 4-1, pushing them 8 1/2 behind the (37-19) Yanks, and the Rays also lost so the Yanks lead over the Rays is 1 1/2 games.

The Yanks went 20-7 in May. This despite all the injuries. Fabulous.

Boston struck first in this game when Rafael Devers homered off of J.A. Happ in the second.

The Yanks got three in the third. Gio Urshela led off the inning with a single. After Cameron Maybin struck out, Brett Gardner singled. LeMaheiu doubled to tie the game. Luke Voit struck out for the second out of the inning, but then Aaron Hicks singled in two runs to make it 3-1.

LeMahieu homered (6) in the fifth to make it 4-1 Yanks and no one scored after that.

In the fifth, with the score 3-1 and with Boston having 2 runners on and with 2 out, Gary Sanchez picked the runner off of second. Huge play and big turning point at that time of the game.

LeMahieu 2 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR. (.317)
Hicks 2 RBI
Urshela 2 hits, (.338)

Happ (W, 5-3, 4.83) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino (H, 13) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.32
Kahnle (H, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  1.57
Britton (H, 12) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.13
Chapman (S, 16) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   1.59

Take a look at the ERAs of the relievers.

Now, as Jack Curry said on the YES postgame show, consider this.

The Yanks split the relievers into two groups of three.

One group of three could be, say, Ottavino, Betances (when he comes back) and Chapman.

The other group is Kahnle, Green (as long as he is back to snuff) and Britton.

You can mix and match the trios any which way you want.

The point is, you have two different killer trios of relievers. One could go one day, the other the next. Everyone stays fresh.

Two killer bullpen trios. The starter doesn’t have to give much more than five or six innings.

Deadly.  That kind of bullpen can give you a ton of wins.

Right into late October and (if needed) November.

Game 54. First four batters doom Yanks, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Four batters and 14 pitches into the game, the Yanks were down 4-0. They fought back but lost 5-4.

So at the 1/3 point in the season, the Yanks are 35-19 (a 105 win pace, despite all the injuries) and the lead in the AL East is one game over Tampa Bay.

Those 14 pitches resulted in an error, a single, a bloop single for a run, and a 3-run HR. Before recording an out, Masahiro Tanaka and the Yanks were down 4-0. Tanaka rebounded to give six innings, but the rough beginning put the Yanks in a hole they couldn’t get out of.

In the fourth, the Yanks got a run when Gary Sanchez hit his 17th HR of the season.

San Diego got a run in the sixth to go up 5-1.

The Yanks got three in the seventh when Kendrys Morales walked, and one out later, Thairo Estrada walked. Brett Gardner singled to load the bases, and D.J. LeMahieu singled in two runs to make it 5-3. Luke Voit re-loaded the bases with an infield single. Aaron Hicks drove in a run on a ground out, 5-4.

The Yanks put the leadoff man on in the ninth, but couldn’t bring him around to tie the game.

LeMahieu 2 RBI (.313)
Voit 2 hits
Hicks 2 hits, RBI
Sanchez solo HR (17)
Urshela 1 for 1, PH single (.333)

Tanaka (L, 3-4, 3.20) 6 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Joe Harvey 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K.  4.50
Cessa 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  3.16

Aaron Judge has started hitting off a tee. Didi Gregorius’ AAA rehab game was rained out. James Paxton comes off the DL today to start and CC looks good to go for Sunday. Slowly, some guys are starting to work at coming off the DL.

UPDATE: After the game, Harvey was sent down to make room for Paxton’s return.

Game 52. Yanks rally to force extras but lose in 10th, 8-7.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Nothing lasts forever.

Domingo German came into the game with a 9-1 record (it stays 9-1) and the Yanks were on a seven-game winning streak.

German had an off-day, giving up 4 HR, and the Yanks, down 7-1 at one point, rallied with three runs with two out in the ninth to force extra innings only to lose 8-7 in the tenth.

Before the game, Jake Barrett to the IL (elbow inflammation), Joe Harvey brought up.

The Yanks scored first when with one out in the second, Gleyber Torres singled, Kendrys Morales walked and Clint Frazier singled in Torres.

German gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the second, then a solo shot in the fourth.

In the fifth, back-to-back HR given up by German scored three more runs and the Yanks were in a 7-1 hole.

Gleyber Torres got the Yanks back in the game with a 3-run HR (13) in the sixth. 7-4.

In the top of the ninth, with one out, Frazier and Gio Urshela singled. Frazier had to watch himself as he could have been picked off second. Brett Gardner struck out and the Yanks were down to their final out. D.J. LeMahieu singled in Frazier to make it 7-5. Luke Voit walked to load the bases, and Aaron Hicks singled to tie the game.

Here is where I had a lot of questions. I don’t know what relievers were available, but I found some decisions a bit strange.

Manager Aaron Boone left Nestor Cortes, Jr. in to pitch a fourth inning after the Yanks had tied it up. I had figured that once the Yanks did tie it up, that someone like Ottavino, Kahnle, or Britton might now come in. Instead Cortes stayed out there. He got the first two outs, then got into a jam, giving up two singles and an intentional walk to load the bases before getting out of it with a pop-up. Even after Cortes gave up the hits, he stayed out there. Odd, I thought, stretching Cortes out to four innings, especially with the game on the line.

Then in the tenth, Boone brought in Jonathan Holder rather than someone else. As I mentioned, I don’t know who was or wasn’t available, but I am not too comfortable with Holder in a tight game. Of all the regular relievers (those who have pitched in ten or more games this year, not those on the SWB shuttle), only Chad Green has a higher ERA than Holder. So my “trust factor” in Holder isn’t as high as with the others. But again, it may have been a case of lose the battle to win the war. Who was and wasn’t available.

Holder’s biggest mistake was, with one out, walking the #9 hitter, Billy Hamilton. Hamilton has little power, but a great deal of speed. You just can’t walk him there (and on five pitches). You have to make him earn his way on. Sure enough, Hamilton stole second. After Gio Urshela made a fabulous play for the second out, Whit Merrifield hit one past Urshela that ate him up and that ended the ballgame.

WFAN’s Mike Francesa did make an interesting and true observation the other day. As much as we love the bats of Sanchez, Voit, Frazier and Andujar, the Yanks will have to make some decisions on them. Now Sanchez and Voit aren’t going anywhere, but Frazier and Andujar’s futures could turn on their defense, or lack of it. As much as we love their bats, their defense can’t be so bad that it negates their sticks. We know the problems with Sanchez on wild pitches and passed balls. Voit is Ok, but more Giambi than Mattingly-like at 1B.  You can’t just field a team that cannot play the D. Judging by what I heard, I think Francesa thinks that if Frazier’s and Andujar’s D don’t pick up in the upcoming years, that both could be on the trade block. One reason for the Yanks winning right now is the defense of guys like LeMahieu and Urshela. Maybe Frazier (and this was mentioned on YES’ postgame show) is a little gun-shy after his concussion last year, but his defense in this KC series left a lot to be desired, especially when he got close to the wall. And it hasn’t just been in this past KC series, either.

The “easy” part of the Yanks’ schedule is now over. They don’t have as many Orioles/KC/White Sox teams anymore. The schedule now gets tougher. They have a 3-game series at home now against SD, followed by 4 games at home against Boston. They’ll be facing tougher teams now.

To their credit, the Yanks did what they should do with the soft schedule they’ve had so far. Win. 34-18. Up by 2 games in the AL East, even with a team decimated by injuries. Good job so far.

But decisions will have to be made soon. Didi Gregorius will move up to AAA SWB on Tuesday and should be back in maybe one or two weeks. What I would do when he comes back is not to send down Thairo Estrada, but to DFA Kendrys Morales. Didi could DH (until Stanton returns) instead of Morales. By having Didi DH, you protect that recently operated on right elbow of his. You play him at SS every so often to give Torres or LeMahieu a rest, and LeMahieu or Estrada can go to 3B to give Urshela a breather. LeMahieu can spell Voit at 1B. To me, Morales (5 for 30) as a Yankee is expendable. I would like to keep Estrada (.318) a bit longer. We’ll see what the Yanks do.

Also, when Stanton or Judge return, more decisions. Frazier has options, Maybin doesn’t. It may be better to keep Maybin’s defense and speed on the bench for now (out of options) and send down Frazier (who has options) to work on his defense once Judge or Stanton, whoever is first, comes back.

But when guys return, tough decisions will have to be made, and someone who is performing well now will have to go for guys like Didi, Judge and Stanton to regain their spots.

That goes for pitchers too, when Paxton, Severino, Betances and Montgomery come back and also if, after the baseball draft, the Yanks outbid the Rays for someone like Dallas Keuchel.

The moves in the next few months will be very interesting.

The game:

Hicks 2 RBI (tied game in 9th)
Torres 2 hits, 3 RBI, 3-run HR (13)
Frazier 3 hits, RBI. Did make an error.
Urshela 2 hits

German 5 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 0 W, 6 K. 3.43. Gave up 4 HR.
Cortes 4 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K.  5.40
Holder (L, 3-2, 4.91) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.

A non-baseball note: RIP Bart Starr, #15, QB for those great Lombardi Green Bay Packer teams of the 1960s. Starr was a 5x Champion. After losing in the 1960 NFL title game to the Eagles, Starr led the Packers to NFL titles in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1967. The 1966 and 1967 titles were followed with wins over the AFL (pre-merger) in Super Bowls I and II, both of which Starr was the MVP in. Starr was 85.

Update: With Paxton still on the shelf, as well as CC and Loaisiga (and Adams went 4 innings the other day, Cortes 4 yesterday), Chad Green will once again be the “opener” today, hence the decisions of yesterday to save the bullpen. Pitching, especially starting, reinforcements can’t arrive fast enough, whether it be Paxton and CC getting off the DL (along with Severino and Montgomery) or getting another starter.