Tag Archives: Hicks

Game 155. Fit to be tied! Judge gets #61, Cole ties Guidry K mark in Yanks’ 8-3 win.

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.

Game 154. Yanks win AL East; Judge 0 for 1, 4 Walks.

The Yankees (95-59) won the AL East by beating Toronto 5-2 last night.

It appears that they will face the winner of the Cleveland/Seattle series in the ALDS, unless something drastic happens. So, after the regular season ends, the Yankees will have a few days off while Cleveland and Seattle battle each other. Time to rest, heal, and set up their rotation and roster for that series.

Aaron Judge went 0 for 1 with 4 walks. His only at bat resulted in a lineout to third that off the bat appeared to be a double down the line. Good play by Toronto’s 3B Matt Chapman there.

While still waiting for HR #61, Judge still leads the AL batting race as he has a shot at the triple crown. Judge is at .3136, Luis Arraez of the Twins at .3125, and Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .3104.

We will see if Judge plays today in Toronto. With an off day tomorrow, he could have the day off today as well as tomorrow to be fully rested with two days off to go after Maris’ AL and Yankee HR record. This weekend’s games are at home, before the Yankees end the regular season in Texas. I don’t think he will have today off (I think he will DH) but it would not surprise me if he did.

Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon gave up a HR to the first batter he faced, George Springer, but settled in to pitch 7 1/3 innings for the win.

The Yanks got two runs in the top of the third inning. Kyle Higashioka led off the inning with a single, and one out later, Judge walked. Anthony Rizzo singled in one run and Gleyber Torres singled in the other.

Judge got the ball rolling in the fifth by leading off with another walk. Rizzo singled, and Torres singled in Judge. Rizzo was thrown out at third on the play, Torres taking second. 3-1 Yankees.

The Yanks got their final two runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Higashioka and Aaron Hicks hit back-to-back doubles to bring in one run. Judge walked again, then after Rizzo lined out, Torres singled to make it 5-1.

Toronto got a run in the bottom of the sixth but ran themselves into two outs at second.

In the bottom of the eighth, Toronto had two on and one out when Luis Trivino relieved Taillon. Trivino got a DP on only one pitch to get out of it.

Rizzo 2 hits, RBI
Torres 3 hits, 3 RBI
Cabrera 2 hits
Higashioka 3 hits.

Taillon (W, 14-5) 7 1/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.83
Trivino (S, 11) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.61 (Stats combined A’s/Yankees)

To see if Judge matches that record, try MLB network (out of network only) tonight.


Game 150. Yanks Magic #4 after 5-4 win. Judge still stuck on 60.

The Yankees (92-58) magic number for clinching the AL East and a bye into the ALDS is now 4 after a 5-4 win over Boston coupled with a Toronto loss to Tampa Bay. The Yankees have an 8 1/2 game lead with 12 games to go. It doesn’t seem too long ago we were worried about that lead getting under 3.

Aaron Judge was 1 for 4 with a single, so we are still awaiting HR #61. He still leads in batting average, .315 to .314 for Xander Bogaerts and .312 for Luis Arraez so as of now he still leads in all Triple Crown categories.

Gerrit Cole got 8 strikeouts to up his season total to 244. He is 4 behind the Yankees’ single season record of 248, set by Ron Guidry in 1978. He should have two starts left and should break that record in one of those starts. Cole, however, still had gopher ball problems last night, which we will get to shortly.

Tommy Pham homered off of Cole in the top of the first to give Boston a quick 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Aaron Hicks homered (8) to tie the game. Yankee fans (and baseball fans?) joked it was the wrong Aaron who homered.

The Yanks scored three times in the fifth to go up 4-1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) led off with a single, and Marwin Gonzalez walked. Hicks singled IKF home, Gonzalez going to second. Two outs later, Gleyber Torres doubled in both runners. Torres went to third on the play on an error but was stranded.

One thing Yankees fans have noticed about Gerrit Cole this year. Besides the high number of gopher balls he has given up, it seems like Cole can’t pitch through a little adversity. If the pregame ceremony goes a little long, it affects him. If there is a rain delay or an error behind him, he immediately gives up a big hit afterward. If an umps ball/strike call goes against him, you know a big hit is coming against him. Last night, in the top of the sixth, a 1-2 pitch with two on was called a ball. Awful call by the ump. The next pitch was immediately hit for a game-tying 3-run HR. I have to question the pitch selection since all the pitches in the at bat were fastballs, and Alex Verdugo finally timed one that was also placed in the wrong spot. But once Cole didn’t get the call, he folded. It just seems like every time something doesn’t go his way, he isn’t pitching through it. Just an observation.

Cole did strike out the next hitter to end the inning and knew with his pitch count that he was done for the night, so he let that ump have it with a curse word as he left the mound. He was ejected, as was manager Aaron Boone, who came out to protect his player.

Now, yes, Cole had a right to be pissed off, but he needs to pitch through that. Also, yes, umpires are human, and we all make mistakes, but MLB has to hold umpires more accountable for bad calls. There are too many awful calls that umpires get away with (think Angel Hernandez, although he didn’t make that bad call last night). Whatever happened to responsibility and accountability?

So, the game was now tied at 4.

In the bottom of the eighth, newly acquired (well, not so new, since we had to wait for him to get off the IL after the trade) Harrison Bader was a sparkplug again. With two out, Bader pinch hit for Oswaldo Cabrera and walked. He stole second and went to third on an error, then scored when Jose Trevino singled. This held up as the deciding run in the 5-4 Yankees win.

Torres 2 RBI
HIcks 2 hits, 2 RBI Solo HR (8)

Cole 6 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR 3.49 4 K behind Guidry’s record of 248 in 1978.
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20
Loaisiga (W, 2-3) 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.43

Non-Yankee related but what a feat. Albert Pujols, retiring after the season, hit 2 HR for St. Louis against the Dodgers in LA last night. The second was HR #700 of his career, joining Barry Bonds*, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players to hit 700 HR in their careers. Pujols joins Aaron as the only player with 3000 or more hits AND 700 or more HR in their career. Congrats!

One other note. Tampa Bay, Toronto and Seattle are neck and neck and neck for the 4-5-6 seedings in the AL playoff race. Just so you know, Tampa Bay wins all tiebreakers. Seattle has the tiebreaker over Toronto. Toronto loses all tiebreakers. Based on head-to-head record.







Game 146. Judge at 59 HR after Yanks win slugfest, 12-8. Triple Crown within reach.

Aaron Judge is at 59.

No right-handed batter in American League history has hit more in a season. Judge trails only lefty swinging hitters Babe Ruth (60 in 1927) and Roger Maris (61 in 1961) for most HR in a season by an American League player.

We know all about the 154 vs. 162 game season controversy, as well as the steroid-aided MLB and NL records.

Not only is Judge at 59 HR, but with a 4-hit performance yesterday that included 2 HR, he is now hitting .316, which is only one point short of the AL leader, meaning a Triple Crown is within reach. Only one man, Miguel Cabrera in 2012, has won the Triple Crown since 1967. Two Yankees have won it, Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956.

With their 12-8 slugfest win Sunday, the Yankees (88-58) have a 5 1/2 game lead with 16 games to go. Their magic # for clinching the division is 11. Their magic # for a playoff spot is 5 (since they own the tiebreaker over Baltimore).

Gerrit Cole stuck out 8 batters to give him 236 for the season, 12 behind Ron Guidry’s Yankees record of 248 set in 1978, but Cole, despite getting the win, was victimized once again by the gopher ball.

Kolten Wong hit a 3-run HR off of Cole in the bottom of the first. Brewers 3-0.

Oswaldo Cabrera got a run back for the Yankees in the top of the second with his second HR of the season. 3-1.

In the bottom of the second, Tyrone Taylor homered off Cole and it was 4-1, Brewers. Things didn’t look good.

Judge and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back HRs in the top of the third to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 4-3. For Judge, #58. It was #31 for Rizzo, who just returned off of the IL. (Estevan Florial was sent down).

The Yanks got 4 runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-4 lead. Judge led off with a walk. Rizzo singled Judge to second. A flyout by Gleyber Torres moved both runners up. Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. An error on a fielder’s choice by Giancarlo Stanton tied the game. Bases still loaded. An infield single by Cabrera put the Yanks up 5-4. After a lineout with no advance, Kyle Higashioka singled in two runs to make it 7-4.

In the top of the seventh, the Yanks scored three times to increase their lead to 10-4. Cabrera doubled to lead off the inning, and two groundouts moved him around. 8-4. Aaron Hicks then hit his seventh HR. 9-4. Judge made it back-to-back HR by creaming #59, a 443-ft. blast. 10-4.

The extra runs proved necessary. Rowdy Tellez hit a 2-run HR for the Brewers in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Yanks’ lead to 10-6. They then stranded two.

Judge got a 2-run double in the top of the ninth to make it 12-6. Michael Kay mentioned something in the lines of that Judge was the only guy in baseball that can hit a 2-run double and you are disappointed.

Those two runs were necessary, too. Each of Milwaukee’s first three hitters in the bottom of the ninth singled off of Wandy Peralta. Clay Holmes then relieved Peralta and gave up a ground rule double that made the score 12-8. Holmes then got an out before a walk reloaded the bases, bring the tying run to the plate. A strikeout and groundout ended the game.

Judge 4 hits, 4 RBI. 2 solo HR (59) .316-59-127. One point short of batting average lead.
Rizzo 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (31). First game off the IL.
Cabrera 3 hits, 2 RBI. Solo HR (2)
Higashioka 3 RBI.
Hicks 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (7).

Cole (W, 12-7) 5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 3 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.41 236 K, 12 behind Guidry’s 248 in 1978.
Schmidt (H, 2) 2 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.82
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.35
Peralta 0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.72
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.55

The Yanks are off today.


Game 144. Disappointing 7-6 loss for Yanks.

It was a disappointing game in many ways as the Yankees (87-67) blew a 5-0 lead and lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Friday night.

Before the game, Aroldis Chapman came off the IL, and Ryan Weber was DFA’d. The Yanks will have many more moves next week as several others come off the IL.

With the loss the Yanks’ magic # to clinch the AL East remains at 13. Since Baltimore lost, the Yankees’ magic # to secure a playoff berth is 7 (since the Yankees own the tiebreaker against the Orioles).

It looked great early on for the Yankees. They scored three runs in the top of the first. Aaron Judge led off the game with a single, and one out later, Gleyber Torres doubled, Judge going to third. A SF by Josh Donaldson plated Judge. Oswaldo Cabrera walked, then Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in one run and Marwin Gonzalez singled in another. 3-0. They had runners on second and third after a WP but couldn’t add on further.

Later in the game, Gonzalez had to leave due to illness, and Cabrera had to move to first, which he never played before. Also, catcher Jose Trevino had to leave after taking a foul ball off his knee. He was replaced by Kyle Higashioka.

The Yanks added two runs in the top of the second, when Aaron Hicks led off with a single, then Judge singled. A walk to Giancarlo Stanton loaded the bases. Torres flied out, no advance, but a run scored when Donaldson hit into a force at second. An error on the play allowed Judge to score as well. 5-0.

But Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, who struggled in the first inning, gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the second. 5-3. The trade for Montas has been a disappointment. He is 1-3, 6.35 as a Yankee in 8 starts (5-12, 4.05 overall). With Sonny Gray before, and now Montas, the joke going around is that the Yankees should stop trading for Oakland pitchers. Anyway, I cringe every time I hear talk about whether Montas is the Game 2 or 3 playoff starter for the Yankees. From what I’ve seen, HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE PLAYOFF ROSTER! I’d prefer Cole, Cortes, Severino (off the IL next week), Taillon and even German over Montas right now. That is 5 guys when you probably only need 4 and maybe, depending on the playoff schedule and off days, 3. Yes, that is right. In my pecking order, once Severino comes back, Montas is #6 … and depending on how you like Clarke Schmidt, maybe even #7.

To the top of the third, and Aaron Hicks made the same mistake he made a few days ago. He has to realize who bats behind him. With two outs, he doubled. NORMALLY, you would be happy with the double. You go to second base. NOT IN THIS CASE. Hicks should have just stopped at first. For by going to second, he took the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball, Judge. Judge, of course, was intentionally walked. Stanton made out. Hicks has to learn to stop at first on such occurrences, or Stanton (hitting .215) needs to step it up. Aaron Boone and the coaches also should realize this and talk to Hicks about it.

Willie Mays would sometimes stop at first in those situations so as to NOT take the bat out of the hands of Willie McCovey. Mays had baseball smarts. Hicks? Not so.

Maybe move Torres to 2 behind Judge? After all, he’s hot lately. Stanton isn’t.

To the fourth, and the Yanks stranded two more runners. Meanwhile, the Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth off of Montas and Lucas Luetge. Given a 5-0 lead, Montas couldn’t get out of the fourth inning and Boone had to use most of his bullpen for the rest of the game. Unacceptable.

The Yanks stranded two more runners in the sixth.

In the bottom of the eighth, Milwaukee took the lead. On one play, Gleyber Torres couldn’t come up with a ball hit up the middle. A tough break there. But on another, IKF made an error with two out allowing a run to score. The internet has been on his defense lately. Could Oswald Peraza have made that play? Who knows. But IKF has to make that. Instead, 6-5, Brew Crew.

Donaldson tied the game in the top of the ninth with his 14th HR of the season, a ball that hit the foul pole. Cabrera followed with a double but was left stranded. The home plate umpire made an absolutely horrendous called third strike call on Miguel Andujar with Cabrera on third and one out. MLB needs to do more than to give umps a slap on the wrist on these egregious errors. They need to suspend or fire umps. We have seen so many bad calls and nothing happens to the umps. Boone was tossed arguing the call. Yeah, the manager and/or player pays for the umps f-up.

Clay Holmes came on for the bottom of the ninth and blew the game. This has to be very concerning for the Yankees. You need a reliable closer going into the postseason. In 2009, EVERY closer blew a postseason game except for one. Mariano Rivera. The Yankees won the World Series, their last one to date. Since July 9, Holmes ERA is 6.86. He has lost 4 games and has 3 blown saves. He has walked 13 in 19 2/3 innings. He has to right the ship and quickly or the Yanks will have to find another closer for the postseason.

The loss is one thing. But the 2 for 11 w/RISP, 11 left on base, and the struggles of Montas and Holmes are another. That is what made this loss so disappointing. Oh yeah, one more thing at the bottom.

Judge 2 hits.
Torres 2 hits
Donaldson 3 RBI. Solo HR (14)
Cabrera 2 for 2, 3 walks.
Hicks 2 hits.

Montas 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.05 (Oak/NYY ERA)
Luetge 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.75
Weissert 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.56 SEE BELOW
German 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.12
Peralta 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.40 SEE BELOW
Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.69 SEE BELOW
Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.43
Holmes (L, 6-4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.59.

One more thing here. (I told you above, didn’t I?) Check the pitching line above. Weissert faced one batter. Stuck him out. Peralta faced one batter. Struck him out. Trivino faced three batters, struck them all out.

WHY DIDN’T THEY STAY IN THE GAME LONGER, BOONE? Don’t mess with success!


















Game 139. Lead down to 3 1/2 after 4-2 loss to Rays.

Before the game, news regarding C Jose Trevino. He was put on paternity leave. Ben Rortvedt was called up from AAA.

Trevino also is the team nominee for the Roberto Clemente award, given for community service.

With Trevino joining the list of unavailable Yankees due to injury or paternity leave, the lineup was further depleted, and the Yankees (83-56) lost to Tampa Bay 4-2 Friday night. Their lead in the AL East, once 15 1/2, is now 3 1/2.

Even the return of Derek Jeter to Yankee Stadium for the first time in a while didn’t bring any luck.

Some reinforcements back from the IL can’t arrive quickly enough (more on that in a bit), but how good will they be? How rusty?

Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas gave up back-to-back, one out doubles in the first inning, and the Rays were up 1-0.

The Rays got three runs in the fourth, thanks to a couple of misplays by Aaron Hicks, who was then booed mightily and pulled from the game. Harrison Bader can’t arrive soon enough, it seems. I had to laugh and pull a “show me” attitude when Hicks said his goal in spring training was to be a 30/30 guy. Not even close and right now his goal should be just to remain on the team in 2023, which I don’t believe will happen. Hicks contract, with 3 more years to go, is one of the worst in Cashman’s GM history. The Yanks, like they did with Joey Gallo and Sonny Gray, need to know when to cut the cord. As with Gallo and Gray, they’ve stuck with Hicks too long. Once the fans turn on you, you got to go.

With one out in that fourth inning, Ji-Man Choi walked. Montas got the second out, then gave up a single. Wander Franco, just off the IL, and who doubled in the Rays’ first inning rally, doubled again, driving in two runs. Hicks had the ball in his glove at the foul line, but with the side wall approaching, appeared to shy off and dropped it. He thought it was a foul ball and took his time getting the ball back in while two runs scored. Very bad look. Then he misplayed the next drive into another double and the Rays lead went from 1-0 to 4-0. If he makes the first play, the game remains at 1-0. He basically gave away three runs. With the Yankees’ offense compromised, that was like giving away the game. The fans then gave Hicks the “Gallo” treatment, not only booing him but actually chanting “Joey Gallo” at him. It was a bad look and made manager Aaron Boone pull Hicks after the inning.

On top of that, Hicks to that point was 0 for 2, 2 strikeouts, and his batting average dropped to .211.

You can’t have this. The Yanks need to find a taker for him or eat his contract. Like I wrote, when the fans turn on you as they have, you got to go.

This isn’t to be mean at Hicks. It’s just reporting the reality of what happened and what must happen.

The Yanks scored a run in the seventh, thanks to who else? Aaron Judge. Oswald Peraza walked, and with one out, moved to second on a groundout. Judge singled to make the score 4-1.

Kyle Higashioka homered (8) in the bottom of the ninth to make it 4-2. Judge walked with two out in the ninth, but Gleyber Torres, the potential tying run, flied to right to end the game. The ball was caught at the fence.

Judge 2 hits, RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Higashioka 3 hits, solo HR (8)

Montas (L, 5-12) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 4 W, 4 K. 1 HBP 3.89 (Combined A’s/NYY record)
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.49
Weber 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.84


Game 138. Yanks fall short, 4-3. Big Series with Rays this weekend.

Before the game, Deivi Garcia was sent back down so that Nestor Cortes could come off the IL and make the start. Cortes was limited to 60 pitches, however.

Miguel Andujar was to go down after having been the 29th man in Wednesday’s DH. Instead, he stayed and D.J. LeMahieu joined the large contingent on the IL.

With so many players on the IL, the depleted Yankees need to think outside the box. In some ways, they did last night, but in another way, they did not, and it may have cost them the game. I’ll explain soon.

With the 4-3 loss, the Yankees lead over Tampa Bay is now 4 1/2 games. The Yankees host the Rays for three HUGE games this weekend. The Yankees’ magic # for clinching the AL East remains at 22. It is 15 for a playoff spot.

The Yankees started the game with Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) hitting in the cleanup spot. It was one way of thinking outside the box, and this was more or less by necessity. Everyone else is injured. In trying to hold on to their division lead, the Yankees’ lineups are looking like spring training lineups. Maybe worse. At least IKF did have two hits.

Andujar hit a 2-run HR (1) in the second inning to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. They wouldn’t score again until the eighth and blew chances in the eighth and ninth to tie the game or possibly win it. With all these injuries, the Yankees may need Andujar to recapture that 2018 form when he hit .297-27-92, with 47 doubles, and finished second in ROY voting to Shohei Ohtani.

Cortes retired the first 12 men he faced, but then two ex-Yankees got him. Cortes gave up a single to Gio Urshela to lead off the fifth, then after a WP, Gary Sanchez doubled Urshela home. Clarke Schmidt relieved Cortes. After a walk and a strikeout, a single tied the game.

With one out in the top of the eighth, pitcher Wandy Peralta could not make the play at first base, first missing the bag, then when he did step on the bag ahead of the runner, he didn’t have control of the ball. That bobble helped cost the Yankees the game. Peralta got the next batter out, but then Greg Weissert came in to face Carlos Correa. Weissert gave up a 2-run HR to Correa that made the score 4-2 and turned out to be the game-winner.

I do have to question the use of Weissert there. I understand that you want to use a righty against the righty swinging Correa. But Weissert? It was only Weissert’s seventh MLB game. He is 3-0, but with an ERA of 8.22. That is a lot of trust in a big spot in a big September game to place in someone with that little experience. I understand the injury situation. No Trivino or Effross. That may have factored into things here, also the fact that a lot of the bullpen was used in that 12-inning game one of the DH the day before. So Holmes and Loaisiga may have been unavailable. Those two things (injury and BP usage in the extra inning game) may have forced the Yanks to use Weissert. It cost them.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks got one run back, but it could have been more. Aaron Judge led off, and he doubled. What you are seeing now is teams avoiding Judge like the plague if they can. We will get to that in a bit. After Gleyber Torres walked, IKF hit into a force out, then stole second while Marwin Gonzalez struck out. On ball four to Estevan Florial, the ball got away and Judge scored to make it 4-3. IKF went to third. Giancarlo Stanton PH but struck out. I wonder if Stanton is hurt more than we realize. Since June 1, he is hitting .153. That is Gallo-like. He is 4 for 39 with 10 strikeouts since coming off of the IL. The failure of Stanton to be Stanton and to protect Judge in the lineup is hurting the Yankees.

In the bottom of the ninth, the failure of Aaron Hicks to think outside the box may have cost the Yankees the game. With one out, Oswald Peraza singled. Hicks doubled Peraza to third. Hicks should NOT have gone to second but should have stayed at first. In a Sports Century feature on Willie Mays, at the end of the show, it was mentioned how Mays would sometimes NOT take second base, but would stay at first, in order to force pitchers to pitch to Willie McCovey rather than to walk McCovey. That is exactly why Hicks should NOT have gone to second. He had to think outside the box there and realize what would happen. And what would happen DID happen. With one out and men on second and third, the Twins walked Aaron Judge of course. A Judge single wins the game. The Twins, being smart and playing for THEIR playoff lives, were not going to let the big guy (pun not intended) beat them. So, they walk Judge to 1) not face the big man and 2) set up a game-ending DP. I wonder if when Hicks went into second if he realized the mistake he made. He took the bat out of Judge’s hands.

Gleyber Torres, who needs to right himself with all the other injuries going on, struck out. Torres is down to .237 and is hitting .179 since July 13. Once again, Judge needs help. He can’t do it alone.

IKF then grounded out to end the game.

The point is, the Yanks need to think outside the box. They can’t do things that will take the bat OUT of Judge’s hands. The other team will try to do that enough times on their own.

Judge 2 hits
IKF 2 hits
Andujar 2 hits, 2-run HR (1)

Cortes 4 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 WP 2.73
Schmidt 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.82
Peralta (L, 2-4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 big error. 2.55
Weissert 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR, which decided game. 8.22
Weber 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.04







Games 136 & 137. Despite depleted lineups, Yanks sweep Twins. Judge hits #55, IKF, Peraza, Cole star.

Sorry, my original draft got erased and I had to re-write a lot. UGH.

A load of baseball yesterday, and at first it didn’t look good. Due to injuries, the Yankees’ lineups looked worse than a spring training lineup. In the first game of the DH yesterday, the Yanks (83-54) started three rookies, plus another guy who, although he had MLB experience and wasn’t a rookie, hadn’t played in the majors all season.

The Yanks put Josh Donaldson on the paternity list. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) played 3B. IKF had won a GG at 3B for Texas in 2020. Bard DFA’d, Deivi Garcia up. Miguel Andujar up as 29th man for the doubleheader. Rizzo to IL, Ron Guzman up.

But at the end of the day, the Yankees had won both games off of their perennial whipping boys, the Twins, by scores of 5-4 (in 12 innings) and 7-1.

With the wins, the Yanks are 5 up on the Rays in the AL East. The magic # for winning the division is 22, and the magic # for a playoff berth is 15. The wins ensured the Yankees a winning season. They haven’t had a losing season since 1992.

Game 1: Domingo German had a rough start but settled in. A double, strikeout, and HR, and Minnesota was up 2-0 just three batters into the game. With two out in the fourth, three straight singles made it 3-0 Twins and with the weakened Yankees’ lineup, it didn’t appear good.

The Yanks got a run in the bottom of the fourth of Aaron Judge’s 55th HR of the season. The home run meant that Judge now has hit more HR in a season than any other righty hitter in Yankees’ history. Only Ruth (60 in 1927) and Maris (61 in ’61) have hit more. Judge was walked 5x yesterday, 3x intentionally. Another reason to hate the ghost runner. If Judge is the first guy up, even with the ghost runner on second, first base is open, and Judge is walked to set up a DP. You take the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball.

Gleyber Torres tied the game with a 2-run HR in the sixth. (19).

Both teams wasted chances. Oswaldo Cabrera, an infielder brought up to the Yanks a few weeks ago, got his fifth OF assist of the season in the top of the tenth. Ron Guzman, up for Rizzo, struck out 4x and then with the bases loaded and no out in extra innings, hit into a 3-2-3 DP.

The Twins got a run in the top of the 12th off of Ron Marinaccio, but with the bases loaded and one out, Greg Weissert avoided further damage.

In the bottom of the 12th, Marwin Gonzalez was the ghost runner and IKF singled to tie the game. With one out, IKF stole second. Jose Trevino singled, IKF was held up and Trevino took second on the throw. With two out, Cabrera singled to win the game.

Judge solo HR (55)
Torres 2-run HR (19)
Kiner-Falefa (IKF) 2 hits, RBI
Peraza 3 hits FIRST 3 HITS OF MLB CAREER.

German 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.27
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.58
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.66
Holmes 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.29
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K. 1.73
Weissert (W, 3-0) 2/3 I, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.36

Game 2: With the long game in game 1, and several bullpen members used, the Yanks needed length from Gerrit Cole. He went 6 2/3 IP, striking out 14.

Cole leads MLB with 218 strikeouts and is 30 away from Ron Guidry’s Yankee team single season record of 248, set in 1978. Cole has four, maybe five starts left in the season.

Cole gave up a HR to his ex-teammate, Carolos Correa, in the top of the third.

IKF hit a grand slam, just his third HR of the season, in the bottom of the fourth. He didn’t get his first HR until mid-August.

In the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Hicks hit a bases-loaded double for three runs to make it 7-1.

Hicks 3 RBI
Kiner-Falefa 4 RBI. Grand Slam. (3)
Florial 2 hits.

Cole (W, 11-7) 6 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 14 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.20
Luetge (S, 2) 2 1/3 Ip, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 3 K. 2.55

Nestor Cortes returns to the rotation tonight to face ex-Yankee Sonny Gray.










Game 116. Yanks blanked again, 4-0.

I was going to write that there are no words.

But there are words. Words I’ll try to keep to a minimum, but words of frustration, anger, sadness and disappointment at the way the Yankees (72-44) are playing right now.

The Yanks were shutout for the second time in a row, 4-0, by Tampa Bay last night. It’s the fourth time they have been shutout in their last nine games, and the tenth time this season. Aaron Judge must feel as if he has to HR every time up.

Gerrit Cole pitched well. He gave up a run in the fourth which wasn’t his fault. Aaron Hicks badly misplayed a ball in CF into a leadoff triple, the next batter singled, and Tampa Bay was up 1-0.

In the bottom of the same inning, Hicks came to bat with one out and the bases loaded. Unfortunately, Hicks is now 9 for 63 (.143) in his career with the bases loaded after bouncing into an inning-ending, rally-killing 1-2-3 DP. The boos for Hicks were loud afterward and deserved. He’s 6 for his last 57.

In the top of the ninth inning, Wandy Peralta got two outs, but he also walked two. As I’ve written a lot during this bad streak the Yanks are having, walks and two-out hits have been killing Yankees’ pitchers. Lou Trivino came in and his first three batters were single, HBP and single before he got the last out. 4-0 Tampa Bay. Ballgame over.

Amazingly, the Yankees still have a 10-game lead in the division despite going 20-26 in their last 46 games and losing 10 of their last 12. They are 11-21 since July 8.

Why the Yanks got Trivino (5.79 ERA) as well when they made the deal for Montas, who knows. Meanwhile Clarke Schmidt (2.40 ERA) and Ron Marinaccio (2.03) are at AAA. Yankees fans are shaking their head at that.

Yankees fans also are shaking their heads at the Jordan Montgomery trade. Since the Yanks traded Monty to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader (more on that in a moment), Monty has won both his starts (one against the Yankees) and has pitched 11 scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Bader is still in a walking boot.

Bader can’t come off the IL and replace Hicks in CF soon enough. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Hicks once Bader joins the Yankees. Meanwhile, Estevan Florial is still at AAA, and instead of bringing up Florial, who can play all OF positions, especially CF, the Yanks brought up Miguel Andujar, who can’t play CF or RF. (SMH). These kind of front office decisions anger and frustrate the fans. One thing noticeable the past few years in Yankee land is that the Yanks hang on to guys far past their expiration date. We’ve seen it with Sonny Gray, Gary Sanchez, Joey Gallo and now Aaron Hicks. Maybe they want to get the most they can out of a bad deal or contract, but it’s like holding on to milk after it has spoiled. You want guys to do well. But if they don’t, you can’t hold on to them forever.

Ok, I kept the words of frustration, anger, disappointment and sadness to a minimum. The integrity of this blog requires that something be written. Talk to Yankees fans, read their blogs or tweets and you will know and see that there is a lot more of that anger, frustration, disappointment and sadness right now.

This team, as written by Jon Heyman yesterday, needs a jolt. This can’t continue.



Torres 2 hits.

Cole (L, 9-5) 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. 3.30 (Tough, Hard-luck Loss).
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.00
Peralta 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 2.53
Trivino 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 5.79 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)







Game 109. Yanks lose 5th straight, 12-9.

I have friends in the Lehigh Valley Yankee fan club who are on their way home to PA after their road trip to St. Louis. I hope their travels have been safe and the rest of their trip was fun. The games they watched in St. Louis certainly were not fun.

The Cardinals swept the Yanks (70-39) Sunday by winning 12-9 and extended the Yankees’ losing streak to a season-high 5 games.

In losing, the Yanks made, shall we say, some cardinal sins. They gave up too many runs with two out. Those pitchers have to finish off the inning. Also, it’s one thing to let an All-Star in Nolan Arenado beat you all series. It’s another thing to have a guy hitting under .150 beat you all series.

For the first time in months, the Yanks lead in the division is less than 10 games. It’s now 9 1/2 over Toronto. It’s only 1/2 a game over Houston for best record in the AL. The Yanks trail the dodgers by 5 1/2 for the best record in baseball. No need for panic yet, but the Yanks have to right the ship, and soon. They now head to Seattle, so most of us Easterners won’t be awake for the end of the games.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the first when D.J. LeMahieu doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on a SF by Matt Carpenter.

St. Louis tied it in the bottom of the first.

In the top of the second, the Yanks scored three runs and you thought it could be their day. Gleyber Torres singled to lead off the inning. Andrew Benintendi singled Torres to second. Aaron Hicks singled to score Torres and send Benintendi to second. Before those three hits, those three hitters were a combined 3 for their last 79. So, you thought, maybe this’ll be a good day after all. After Jose Trevino struck out, Marwin Gonzalez was HBP to load the bases. LeMahieu struck out, but Aaron Judge singled in two runs, and it was 4-1 Yanks.

But St. Louis came right back with five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6-4 lead. Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, just acquired at the trade deadline, hadn’t pitched since July 26, a 12-day gap, because of being on bereavement due to the death of his mother-in-law. He had just arrived in St. Louis Saturday night and didn’t meet most of his teammates until hours before game time. So, he gets a mulligan here. Tough situation for him. Two walks (oh, those bases on balls! As the old Cardinal, Frankie Frisch would say) started the inning. Then a one-out double drove in one run. Another walk loaded the bases. A SF drove in another run. Then a two-out 3-run HR by Nolan Arenado made it 6-4, Cardinals. All-Star Arenado killed the Yanks all series with his bat and glove.

Meanwhile, the Yanks’ lineup, without Anthony Rizzo or Giancarlo Stanton, was good enough this day to get 16 hits. Rizzo and Stanton were surely missed In Friday’s 4-3 and Saturday’s 1-0 losses.

The Yanks tied the game in the top of the fifth when Benintendi led off with a double and Hicks walked. Trevino singled to load the bases. After a couple of strikeouts, Judge doubled off the base of the wall to tie the game. In fairness, the Yanks did get some big two-out hits of their own, Judge’s double, for example, here. After Judge’s double, both manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake were ejected for arguing balls and strikes. One strike called on Matt Carpenter, batting after Judge, was a terrible call by the home plate umpire. Looking at it on video, the pitch looked a good four inches outside. I can’t blame Boone and Blake for arguing that one.

But once again, the Cardinals came right back in the bottom of the same inning. With one out, a single. Then a double by Paul DeJong, who we’ll read again about shortly. After a pitching change and another out, a single to drive in DeJong. Two walks (there’s those walks again!) to load the bases. Another pitching change, then ANOTHER walk to force in a run before getting the last out of the inning. 9-6 Cardinals.

The Yanks, to their credit, battled back. In the top of the sixth, Josh Donaldson led off with a single. Torres singled Donaldson to second, and one out later, a single by Hicks loaded the bases. Trevino singled in a run, and a force-out by Gonzalez made it 9-8.

But any hopes for a comeback died in the bottom of the eighth when DeJong hit a 3-run HR to put the Cardinals up 12-8. Here was a fatal mistake all series for the Yanks. DeJong had the GW 2-run double Friday night against them. Here yesterday he had a big RBI double and 3-run HR. At games’ end, he was hitting .157. You just wanted to pull your hair out, letting a guy with a batting average that low beat you.

As a result, LeMahieu’s solo HR (12) in the top of the ninth went for naught. 12-9 final.

LeMahieu 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (12)
Judge 2 hits, 4 RBI
Torres 3 hits.
Benintendi 2 hits
Hicks 3 hits, RBI
Trevino 2 hits, RBI

Montas 3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. 3.59 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Abreu (L, 2-1) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.73 (Combined 3-team ERA)
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 6.66
Trivino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.86 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Peralta 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.36
Effross 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.06 (Combined Cubs/NYY ERA)

8 walks. Ouch. The Yanks could use a pep talk/clubhouse meeting right now.