Tag Archives: Higashioka

Game 88. 1st game of DH. Yanks lose, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Game 1 of today’s DH. A disappointing 5-4 loss to Baltimore (now 25-65) which drops the 58-30 Yanks 2 1/2 back of Boston. I was born after 1954, but anyone remember 1954? After winning 5 WS in a row,  the 1954 Yankees went 103-51 but finished 8 games back of Cleveland, who were swept in the WS. Those 1954 Yankees were the only team Casey Stengel had that won more than 100 in a season. Chasing Boston this year makes me think of 1954. Hope it doesn’t wind up like that.

This was a very disappointing loss to a team that even after this win, was just 25-65.

The Yanks went up 1-0 in the second on a HR by Stanton (22). They got 2 in the third on a double by Higashioka, single by Wade which moved Higa to 3rd. Hicks grounded into a DP, Wade moving to second, but Judge then singled in one run,  and moving to second on the play at the plate. Didi then singled in Judge. Up 3-0, CC on the mound.

But they blew it. CC gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the fourth, 3-2.

In the sixth, Stanton singled, moved up on a groundout, and scored on a single by Neil Walker, 4-2.

But they tried to push CC past the fifth inning, and in the sixth, a walk, double, and 3-run HR cost the Yanks the game, 5-4.

In the ninth, the Yanks got a runner on third with one out, but Higashioka struck out and Gardner grounded out.

Higashioka is like, 5 for 38 in his MLB career, 3 HR, 1 double, but I wonder if a squeeze was in play there. I don’t know if Higgy can bunt, but…. 5 for 38 is 5 for 38. A squeeze play may have been in order there.  He struck out and Gardner (PH for Wade) grounded out.

The Yanks struck out 12x in the game, Clint Frazier 3x.

Stanton 2 hits, HR, RBI.

Sabathia (L, 6-4, 3.34)  5+ IP, 5 R, 7 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  1.98
Cole 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. 5.33 (W/NYY combined).



Game 84. Yanks win 6-2 behind 3 HR, but lose Gleyber to DL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks kept pace with Boston, staying one game back (56-28, .667 winning pct., the Red Sox are 59-29, .670; with four less games, the Yanks would have to go 3-1 in those for a tie) by beating Atlanta 6-2, but had to put rookie sensation Gleyber Torres on the 10 day DL. The expectation and hope is that Gleyber comes back for the Subway Series against the Mets starting July 20.

It’s a hip injury.

Neil Walker and maybe Brandon Drury will man second base until Gleyber returns. Time for Walker (.188) to step up and earn his keep. He was close to a DFA before this. Tyler Wade will most likely be called from from SWB. Ronald Torreyes is away from SWB dealing with personal, family, issues.

We’ll see what happens. The Yanks were 10-9 when Gleyber made his MLB debut, and have gone 46-19 since he arrived. Some of the mediocre start you can blame on really cold weather, but you can also see the impact Gleyber had.

The Yanks got a run in the second on a double by Didi and a single by Bird.

In the third, Giancarlo Stanton hit HR #21, a 3-run shot, to make it 4-0.

Kyle Higashioka is 3 for 34 in his MLB career, but he become only the second Yankee (Alfonso Soriano) to have each of his first 3 hits be homers. HR #3 made it 5-0 in the third.

CC Sabathia gave up a run in the fifth and a solo HR in the sixth, but that was all the Braves would get on the day.

Aaron Judge closed out the scoring with HR #24 in the seventh.

6-2 Yanks.

Judge solo HR.
Stanton 3-Run HR.
Didi 2 hits.
Higashioka solo HR.

CC’s 243rd career win ties Juan Marichal on the all-time list.

Sabathia (W, 6-3, 3.02) 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 3 W, 5 K. 2 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Green (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.  1.96
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.63
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  1.83


Game 83. 3 HRs lift Yanks over Braves 8-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (55-28) got off to a 6-0 lead and hung on to beat Atlanta 8-5 Tuesday night. By doing so, they remain one game behind Boston.

Aaron Hicks hit a 2-run HR in the first (15) to give the Yanks a quick lead.

Funny thing about Kyle Higashioka. He’s something like 2 for 30 in his MLB career, but both hits are homers. HR #2 was hit in the second, 3-0 Yankees.

Five walks led to two Yankees’ runs in the third, with Brandon Drury and Higashioka drawing theirs with the bases loaded.

A double by Gardner, single by Judge and a WP made it 6-0 in the fourth.

Laugh-er?  Nope.

Domingo German unraveled in the fifth, giving up 3 runs on back-to-back HR, and A.J. Cole had to come in and get out of a jam. He left the bases loaded.  6-3.

Adam Warren gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh. 6-5.

Chasen Shreve (of all people) came in for Warren and got out of a two-on, one out jam in the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, Giancarlo Stanton sliced a 2-run HR (20) right around the RF foul pole to make it 8-5 Yanks. Most of his HR go well over 400 feet, and this one may have only been 320, if that, but we’ll take it.

Judge 2 hits
Stanton 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Hicks HR, 2 RBI
Higashioka HR, 2 RBI

German 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR.   5.37
Cole (W, 3-1, 5.76) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K.    But 2-0, 0.61 as a Yankee.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 R, 1 W.  2.11  Gave up 1 HR.
Shreve 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  4.85
Chapman (S, 24) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.43

Game 81. Yanks hit halfway mark at 54-27 with 6 HR (3 by Hicks), 11-1 with another Seve gem.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks got revenge on Boston’s 11-0 win last night by beating Boston 11-1 tonight. They bombed 6 HR (3 by Aaron Hicks) and our ace, Luis Severino, did to them what Chris Sale did to us last night.

The win puts the Yanks at 54-27 at the halfway point, in a virtual tie with Boston (56-29) but with the Yanks percentage points up.

The Yanks struck early. After Hicks make out in the first, Judge homered (22), Stanton singled, Didi doubled, and Torres hit a 3-run HR (15). 4-0 after one, and with Seve, $$$ in the bank.

To the second and Hicks hits a 2-run HR, his first of 3 for the night, to make it 6-0.

To the fourth, and Kyle Higashioka, after starting his MLB career 0 for 22, gets a HR for his first MLB hit, 7-0. Hicks later hits a 2-run HR, 8-0. After Hicks’ HR, Judge singled, Stanton doubled and Didi got a SF, 9-0.

In the eighth, Hicks hits his third HR (14) of the game to make it 10-0.  Judge walks, Drury singles and Walker gets an RBI single as the Yanks empty the bench.

Boston broke up the shutout in the ninth.

Hicks 3 HR (14), 4 RBI.
Judge 3 hits, solo HR (22).
Stanton 2 hits.
Torres HR, 3 RBI
Andujar 2 hits.
Higashioka HR, 1st MLB hit.

Severino (W, 13-2, 1.98) 6 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 6 K. Talk him up for CYA!!!
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.38
Betances 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.78
Chapman 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.  1.51

Game 80. Ugly loss. Boston 11, Yanks 0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks ran up against their nemesis, Chris Sale, last night and lost to Boston 11-0. Sale has the lowest ERA against the Yanks of any pitcher in the past 100 years.

The loss drops the 53-27 Yanks one game behind 56-28 Boston. Tonight is game 81, meaning the last game of the first half of the season.

Since the Yanks only got two hits in the game, one against Sale and one against a reliever, it probably would not have mattered if the Yanks threw Ford, Gomez, Ruffing, Guidry, or Pettitte on the mound against Sale. It probably wouldn’t have mattered because Sale was that dominant.

But it wasn’t any of those Yankees legends on the mound. It was Sonny Gray. And Gray’s struggles against Boston (and not just as a Yankee) continued.

I give Gray a lot of credit for standing up to the interviewers after the game and in answering all their questions honestly instead of cowering in the trainer’s room. But in watching that interview on the post game YES show, I also had the feeling I was listening to a lost soul who had that deer in the headlights look.

Gray is 1-6, 6.98 in his career vs. Boston. When you feel more confident in maybe starting Jonathan Loaisiga, in what would have been his fourth MLB start, against Boston than Gray, well ….  at least Boston hasn’t seen Loaisiga and maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. And remember, “Johnny Lasagna” had only as 45 IP above Low A before pitching in the majors.

But in watching body language, doesn’t it seem like Loaisiga is more calm and collected and that Gray is scared to throw a pitch?

Gray got the first two hitters out, then gave up a single, walk, single, and with two strikes, a grand slam. The Yanks didn’t even come up to bat yet, and were down 4-0 to Sale. Game effectively over at that point. Then Gray gave up two more runs in the second and was knocked out in the third.

Gray is 5-6, 5.44. Here is a damning stat. Of all pitchers with a dozen or more starts as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium, Gray has the worst ERA, 7.10. That’s worse than Pavano, Jeff Johnson, Tim Leary, Scott Sanderson…. worse than anyone, even Ed Whitson. In 14 starts at Yankee Stadium, including as a member of the Oakland A’s facing the Yankees, Gray is 4-6, 6.78.

He’s getting booed, and as long as he is pitching like this, the boos will get more merciless.

We have a problem.

One reporter from Newsday suggested Cashman “work his magic” and trade Gray. Of course, the Yanks have to get a starter first, then trade Gray, and right now, you are trading low on Gray.

I hope he can get straightened out. But it could be that Gray is better suited for a small market team like Oakland and that he can’t handle NY. We’ve seen it before. One scout a few weeks ago suggested that that wasn’t going to be the case, and said the Yanks have and will continue to have a problem with Gray.

One thing we do know. This isn’t good with Gray. It has to improve or Gray and the Yankees would be better suited if he pitches elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Austin Romine, with a tight hamstring, was removed early from last night’s game for precautionary reasons. Hopefully it’s just a day-to-day thing and Romine doesn’t have to go on the DL. But Gary Sanchez already is on the DL and won’t be back for a month. Losing Romine would be a crippling blow. The lack of Yankees’ catching depth was proven in this year’s MLB draft when they took catchers in BOTH the first and second rounds.

The Yanks sent Giovanny Gallegos down to AAA and haven’t made a move yet, pending Romine’s leg. Kyle Higashioka is Romine’s backup right now, and Higashioka is 0 for 21 now in his MLB career. If Romine has to go down, Wilkin Castillo would be coming up from SWB. Castillo, 34, last played in the majors in 2009, and has just 22 games of MLB experience. A switch-hitter, he was an OF/IF back then before being converted to a catcher. He started this year in independent league baseball. He only hit .218 last year for SWB, .244 now.

One guy the Yanks did have was 38 year old Erik Kratz, but they traded him to Milwaukee a few weeks ago when they re-signed Castillo. In 14 games for the Brewers, Kratz has hit 3 HR. Go figure. In his brief Yankees’ career, Kratz was 2 for 2 last year.

Not much to say about last night’s game. As mentioned, Gray put the Yanks into an early 6-0 hole, they couldn’t do anything against Sale, and Boston dominated.

With the ace, Severino, on the mound tonight, let’s hope Seve is as dominant tonight against Boston as Sale was against the Yanks last night.

The offense has been sluggish lately as well, with a couple of shutouts. Let’s hope they awaken.

Gleyber Torres hit cleanup last night, the youngest Yankee to do so since Mickey Mantle in 1953.

Brandon Drury was called up and played 1b last night.

Gray (5-6, 5.44) 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up Grand Slam.
Warren 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.  1.35
Gallegos 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.  3.86    Gave up 1 HR. Sent down to AAA
Holder 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.  2.01
Shreve 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.97


Game 76. Tasty Lasagna! Loaisiga and relievers K 15 in 4-2 Yanks win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jonathan Loaisiga (nicknamed Johnny Lasagna) pitched five no-hit innings as the Yanks beat the Phils 4-2 on Monday night.

Loaisiga and his relievers combined to strike out 15 Phils tonight.  The Yanks struck out 12x themselves.

Before the game it was announced that Gary Sanchez, placed on the DL, will probably miss 3-4 weeks. Clint Frazier was sent back to AAA before the game as the Yanks needed another pitcher so Giovanny Gallegos was brought up. Kyle Higashioka was brought up to be the backup catcher to Austin Romine.

In the second, Greg Bird walked, went to second on a WP and scored on a double by Gleyber Torres.

Aaron Judge hit HR #20 in the fifth inning to make it 2-0.

The Phils got a run in the seventh off of David Robertson to cut it to 2-1.

In the eighth, a single by Gardner, walk to Judge and bunt single by Didi loaded the bases for the hot Stanton, who hit a 2-run single to make it 4-1.

Aroldis Chapman gave up a two-out, two-strike HR in the ninth before closing out the game.

4-2 Yanks, who improve to 51-25 and take a 1/2 game lead over idle Boston.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Loaisiga (2-0, 1.93) 5 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 8 K.  His 3rd MLB start.
Robertson (H, 13) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.  3.47
Betances (H, 12) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.  2.83
Chapman (S, 23) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.  1.29


Game 75. Struggling Shreve costs Yanks game in 12th, 7-6. Sanchez to DL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Chasen Shreve has been struggling badly lately, and it cost the Yanks dearly on Sunday when his only pitch of the game was hit for a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 12th, making the Yanks lose 7-6 to the Rays.

Meanwhile, Gary Sanchez appears to be out a while with a hip/groin injury. It looks like Austin Romine will step into the starting catcher role and that the Yanks will bring up Kyle Higashioka from AAA to backup Romine.

The only thing is, Higashioka can’t hit. In his only MLB games last year, 9 of them, he was 0 for 18.

This year, at AAA SWB, he has hit .191 with 5 HR and 22 RBI. Ugh. In 109 games at the AAA level, he has only hit .222-17-64.

Domingo German had nothing today and was hit hard. He gave up 2 runs in the first, and seems to always have trouble with the first batter. I don’t know what’s up with his bullpen preparation, but wasn’t it in the last game where his first pitch was hit for a HR? Today? Leadoff triple followed by a double. Two runs given up in the first inning right away.

The Yanks took a 3-2 lead in the second on a 3-runG HR (11) by Miguel Andujar.

But German gave up a HR in the second that tied the game, and three more runs in the third to put Tampa Bay up 6-3.

Doubles by Didi and Stanton cut it to 6-5 in the fifth.

In the eighth, Stanton, who went 5 for 5, homered (19) to tie the game.

In the top of the ninth, Clint Frazier clubbed a ball that ricocheted off a speaker and was caught for an out. If the speaker wasn’t there, could it have gone for a possible game-winning HR? Maybe.

This park, and the Rays’ poor attendance, have been a disgrace to MLB for years, now.

Come the twelfth, and after the Yanks’ bullpen had pitched eight no-run, no-hit innings, Shreve blew everything with just one pitch.

Some improvements the Yanks need to make:

  1. Catching depth. We see it now with Sanchez hurt. Higashioka is now the backup to Romine. A .191 hitter at AAA this year. 0 for 18 MLB career. .222 AAA in his minor league career.
  2. Lefty relief specialist (outside of the closer Chapman). Shreve isn’t cutting it. They can pursue Brad Hand from SD. I don’t see one at AAA I like, but there is someone, Caleb Frare at AA, who is currently 3-1 with an ERA of 0.54. In his minor league career, the soon-to-be 25 year old is 17-12, 2.41.
  3. First base. Greg Bird is struggling. .193-3-5 in 83 at bats (OPS+ 86). Neil Walker went 0 for 3 today and is at .192-2-14, and his OPS+ is around 50. The best of the lot so far has been Tyler Austin at .223-8-23, OPS+ 99 but Austin has only 8 walks to go with 53 strikeouts. I’d love to pursue a trade for Joey Votto of the Reds, if the Reds would pick up half of Votto’s salary because of the prospects the Yanks would give up for him. Votto, 35 in September, fields well, draws a ton of walks, is a lefty hitter, great OPS+. He’d fit in perfect. I’d offer Wade, Frazier, Bird, and a pitcher like Albert Abreu (and maybe one other low-end pitcher) for Votto, as long as the Reds (who aren’t going anywhere and have stunk for years) pick up half his salary in exchange for players who can help them rebuild. The Reds could honor Votto by trading him to a team that could possibly give him a ring. If Votto is unavailable, then the Yanks should cut ties with Walker now and bring up Brandon Drury to platoon with Greg Bird at 1B. Drury has been getting some games at 1B at AAA, and is experienced at 2B and 3B if you want to give Torres or Andujar a day off. He’s hitting .320 at SWB, and cutting Walker for Drury now seems like the thing to do. The Yanks haven’t been getting much from 1B, and unless Bird and/or Walker start heating up, why not try a Drury/Bird platoon? Especially since Drury’s .320 is being wasted at AAA?

    Gardner 2 hits.
    Stanton 5 for 5, HR, 2 RBI (half of team’s 10 hits)
    Andujar 3-run HR

German 3 IP, 6 R, 9 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.40
Warren 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1.65
Holder 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.84
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.34
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.   2.91
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.   2.17
Shreve (L, 2-2, 5.19) 0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Threw 1 pitch = HR.

With the loss, the Yanks (50-25) fall into a virtual tie with Boston (the Yanks are percentage points ahead). The Yanks rearranged their rotation, setting themselves up for next weekend’s Boston series. So against the Phillies Monday-Wednesday, it’ll be Loaisiga, Severino and Cessa. After an off-day, CC goes with some extra rest Friday, then it’ll be Gray and Severino.

With today’s loss, the Yanks became the last MLB team this year to experience a 3-game losing streak.