I agreed with the decision to start Deivi Garcia in game 2 of this ALDS. Less pressure on the rookie (the youngest Yankee to start a postseason game), and especially less pressure after the Game 1 win.
But I was shocked when I saw that Aaron Boone only planned to use Garcia as the opener, pitching just one inning, before bringing in J.A. Happ. I didn’t like that move, and that move backfired when Happ reverted to the Happ of earlier this year and of 2019 in a 7-5 loss to Tampa Bay that evened the series at one game apiece.
Who knows if Garcia, who gave up one run (a HR) in the first inning would have settled down? Happ, a starter his whole career, isn’t used to coming out of the bullpen. I didn’t like the move, still don’t, and the results speak for themselves.
Yankees’ pitching gave up four HR last night in the loss. After getting a couple of flyouts, Garcia gave up a HR, hit a batter, then got a groundout. I don’t know what Boone’s plans are for Garcia for the rest of the series, but who knows if the kid would have settled down after that and had given you four, five or six good innings after that?
In the top of the second, a red-hot (homers in four straight postseason games) Giancarlo Stanton homered to tie the game at one.
But in came Happ, who gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second, then another two-run HR in the bottom of the third and after three innings, the Yanks were in a 5-1 hole they couldn’t get out of.
We won’t know what Garcia would have done because in going the “opener” route, Garcia was never given the chance. While he was pitching and getting the first two outs, Happ was already warming up. Sometimes you just outthink yourself, and maybe Boone did that here. How are you going to inspire confidence in the kid when you do that? Boone talks about the kid’s maturity and confidence but then does that?
This is just my opinion, and I haven’t read the NY Post, MLB, ESPN or anything but I’d be interested in reading some reactions to Boone’s move on those sites. Also see what the fans think.
As or me, I didn’t like it.
So, after Boone brings in Happ, who made the deficit 5-1, Stanton tried to get the Yankees back into the game with a three-run bomb of a HR in the top of the fourth that cut the Rays’ lead to 5-4.
But the Yanks showed little offense other than Stanton. They struck out 18x, a postseason record for a 9-inning game.
One problem the Yanks have had all year is that their bullpen is letting inherited runners score, and not shutting down the inning then and there. After Adam Ottavino walked the leadoff man in in the bottom of the fifth (who then stole second), and got a groundout, Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run-scoring single before getting a DP (great play by D.J. LeMahieu) to end the inning.
Loaisiga gave up a HR in the sixth and it was 7-4.
The Yanks got a couple of walks to lead off the top of the ninth, but then two strikeouts. D.J. LeMahieu kept hope alive with an RBI single, but Aaron Judge grounded out to end the game.
Let’s hope Tanaka brings his A game tonight. At least we know he won’t be used as an “opener.”
Sanchez was 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts, PB. Maybe just stick with Higashioka?
Stanton 2 HR, 4 RBI
Garcia 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. Happ (LOSS) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. Made an error. Ottavino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
The Yankees (33-27) lost their regular season finale, 5-0, to Miami but backed into the #5 seed when Toronto lost to Baltimore. Had Toronto won, the Yanks would have fallen to the #8 seed.
The Yanks head to Cleveland for the best-of-three first round, all games in Cleveland.
So Tuesday will be very interesting in Cleveland. Gerrit Cole, 7-3, 2.84 vs. Shane Bieber 8-1, 1.63. And, also the presidential debate in Cleveland, too.
As for yesterday’s game, not too much to write about. Clarke Schmidt got his first MLB start and took the loss, giving up three runs in the second. Jonathan Holder gave up a HR in the fifth, and Nick Nelson a HR in the eighth.
The Yanks got six hits. Three were by Brett Gardner, who may have been playing in his last game as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium. At 37, and coming off of a .223 year, and with Clint Frazier coming on, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he isn’t back next year. Two hits were by D.J. LeMahieu, who ended the season the MLB batting champ at .364 (Luke Voit’s 22 HR also led the majors).
LeMahieu 2 hits Gardner 3 hits
Schmidt (L, 0-1, 7.11) 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K. 1 WP, 1 HBP Holder 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.98 Nelson 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.79
Both Games 1 and 2 against Cleveland, Tuesday and Wednesday, are 7 PM, ESPN.
Maybe pitching in the place (Fenway Park) where his idol, Pedro Martinez, made his mark was too much for young, 21 year old Deivi Garcia. Maybe he just didn’t have it. But Michael Chavis hit two homers off him, and after twelve straight wins over Boston, eight of them this year, the Yanks (31-22) finally lost to Boston, 10-2.
Chavis hit a two-run HR in the second, and added a three-run HR in the third and Boston was up 6-0.
The Yankees’ bats didn’t provide much help. They didn’t get their first hit until the sixth inning, and got only three for the game.
In the sixth, Tyler Wade doubled for the Yanks’ first hit, and went to third on a PB. After a walk to D.J. LeMahieu, Wade scored when Luke Voit GIDP.
Jonathan Holder gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh, one on a solo HR by Bobby Dalbec, and Boston went up 9-1.
Yankees’ backup C Erik Kratz gave up a HR to J.D. Martinez in the 8th and the Yanks were down 10-1.
Luke Voit hit his MLB leading 21st HR in the top of the ninth for the final of 10-2.
Even with the loss, the Yanks clinched a posteason berth when Seattle lost.
But the loss did knock the Yanks into the #5 seed for now. They are 31-22, while the Twins are 33-22. The way it looks now, the Twins, a familiar Yankees’ postseason opponent, and so-far, Yankees’ punching bag in the postseason, will be their opponent again.
The Yanks are moving back Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka in the rotation to set them up for starting Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs.
Voit solo HR (21)
Garcia (L, 2-2, 4.88) 3 IP, 6 R, 8 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.21 Holder 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K. 5.03 Gave up 1 HR. Kratz 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 9.00 Gave up 1 HR. (BACKUP C)
Got to say, I’m not sure how much I trust Holder or Ottavino right now.
First team in MLB history to hit six or more HR in three consecutive games.
There’s mashing, and there is MASHING.
The Yanks (29-21) won their eighth straight game, 10-7 over Toronto Thursday night (and it wasn’t that close. Toronto got 4 in the top of the ninth) and by sweeping the three game series against the Blue Jays, opened up space between them and Toronto. Not only that, the #5 seed (as of now) Yankees are just one game behind the #4 seed (as of now) Twins. That is the difference between having all three games in the first round be at home or on the road.
The scores in this three game bludgeoning of Toronto were 20-6, 13-2 and 10-7. As mentioned, if Jonathan Holder does his job last night instead of being sloppy, that last game would have been 10-3.
The Yankees got two runs in the first inning when D.J. LeMahieu walked, Luke Voit doubled him to third, and Aaron Hicks walked to load the bases. Giancarlo Stanton singled in one run, and the second scored when Gleyber Torres GIDP.
Masahiro Tanaka gave up two runs in the top of the third, one on a solo HR by Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., and the game was tied.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, came a power show you had to see to believe. You’ve never seen anything like it before.
With one out, Clint Frazier walked. Gary Sanchez doubled to make it 3-2.
Brett Gardner homered (5). 5-2. D.J. LeMahieu homered (10). 6-2. Back-to back HR. Luke Voit made it three HR in a row (MLB leading 20th). 7-2.
Six straight batters. 5 HR. Three in a row, then after a strikeout, back-to-back. Wow.
Gurriel hit another HR off of Tanaka in the fifth. 9-3, Yankees.
Sanchez homered (9) in the bottom of the seventh to make it 10-3 and enable the Yanks to set the record of first team with six or more HR in three consecutive games.
As mentioned above, things got sloppy in the top of the ninth. Jonathan Holder couldn’t do his job to close it out and Aroldis Chapman was needed to do so. Final 10-7.
The Yanks now go to Boston to hopefully put a lot of dents into the Green Monster or the seats above it.
LeMahieu (.373) solo HR (10) Leads MLB in BA, OPS+, AL in OBA, OPS Voit 2 hits, solo HR (20—leads MLB) also leads AL in SA. Stanton 4 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR (4) Torres solo HR (3) Sanchez 2 hits, 2 RBI Solo HR (9) Gardner 2 hits, 2 RBI. A 2-run HR (5)
Tanaka (W, 3-2, 3.27) 7 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 0 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.91 Holder 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.08 Chapman (S, 3) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.15
Jordan Montgomery pitched a great game after having had a couple of clunkers lately, and the Yankees’ bullpen completed the job in a 2-1 win in 10 innings over Baltimore on Saturday afternoon.
The win was the Yankees’ (25-21) fourth straight.
The Yanks scored right away in the bottom of the first when D.J. LeMahieu doubled, Luke Voit flied to right, moving D.J. to third, Aaron HIcks walked, and Clint Frazier hit a SF.
We’ll read more about Voit getting the job done again in a couple more paragraphs.
The Yanks would have a couple scoring opportunites in the game, especially when in different innings, Frazier (third inning) and Brett Gardner (eighth) got two-out triples, but they were left stranded.
The O’s tied the game in the sixth due to the Yankees’ fielding miscues. A single, an error by Gardner, then, after an out, and with the Yankees playing the infield in, a pop single that second baseman Thairo Estrada went back for but had glance off his glove. If Estrada was at normal depth he would have had it, but that’s baseball.
In the bottom of the tenth, D.J. LeMahieu started the inning at second base, what with these 2020 extra inning rules. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and Voit did his job, winning the game with a sac fly.
The Yanks got only five hits and made three errors, but still won the game.
Montgomery 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 9 K. 4.76 Green 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.98 Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.40 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 5.14 Holder (W, 3-0, 2.12) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K
Mark Newman, long time front office exec for the Yankees, died at the age of 71.
Lately, it seems like every move Aaron Boone is making is backfiring on him.
Especially when it comes to the bullpen.
Right now, Brian Cashman is with the team, and after last night’s 12-7 loss, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll after this season.
Watching part of the YES postgame show, it seemed like ex-Yankee and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty had a couple of criticisms, and was more critical than normal.
In the line of fire would be pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and even manager Boone himself.
Blake had no coaching experience before getting the pitching coach job this year and was a bit of a surprise choice to replace the fired Larry Rothschild (now with SD).
You may argue that maybe going with David Cone, who interviewed for the job, may have been a better choice.
I wonder if the Yankees need to take a good, hard look at how their pitching philosophy has or hasn’t worked lately. One reason they have been coming up short has been their rotation. Just getting Cole may be like putting a band-aid on what seems to be a bigger problem.
When you lose 14 of 19, and have free-falled your way into clinging to the 8th and last playoff spot (and that spot is only there because of the virus of 2020), you can expect fans not to be happy on Twitter. And, it appears, there isn’t much happiness on the YES postgame show or in the front office. I would guess Hal isn’t too happy either.
Injuries are one thing, but bad play is another.
If ever there is a time for a good ripping into a team to wake them up, now is the time.
The Yanks (21-20) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, only to see Chad Green and Adam Ottavino give up 10 runs in what turned out to be a 12-7 loss.
Flaherty, on the postgame show, wondered why Boone stayed with Ottavino (who didn’t record an out, all six batters scoring) so long. He also criticized Boone’s body language during the inning. Just an observation, but Flaherty’s words sounded like someone angling for Boone’s job. They were quite critical, and you may add, harsh.
But this was really bad. It’s one thing to lose 14 of 19 in a 162 game season, but in a 60 game season? We’re talking 1/3 of the season here.
The Yanks got back-to-back HR from Luke Voit (14) and Aaron Hicks (4) in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead.
But as has been their wont lately, the Yankees’ pitchers, Jordan Montgomery in this instance, gave runs right back, and Montgomery joined the cast of Yankees’ starters not giving any length, thus putting more pressure on a failing bullpen.
Montgomery gave up a run in the first, another in the second, and the game was tied.
The Yanks got a run in the fourth when Miguel Andujar hit his first HR of the season. 3-2 Yanks.
In the fifth, with one out, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit both singled, and with two out, Clint Frazier’s double scored two runs. 5-2, Yanks.
A bases-loaded walk to Hicks in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.
Then the roof fell in, as Green and Ottavino gave up ten runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final indignity came when Ottavino gave up a grand slam. The bottom of the sixth lasted 43 minutes and took up 67 pitches.
I have wondered about pitch selection a lot lately. In checking out the game on MLB’s gameday, I had to shake my head when, during a 9 or 10 pitch at bat (which resulted in Luke Voit making an error), Green threw nothing but fastballs. Really? Eventually the batter will time the fastball, especially after seeing nine or ten in a row.
There is a difference between pitching and throwing. Yes, there was criticism of that in Twitterworld, and I think, on the YES postgame show as well (I’m not too sure about YES, but YES was a bit critical last evening, and rightfully so).
The Yankees’ defense, suspect lately, made two more errors. Nothing is going right.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by Andujar.
But this game signified “just when you think things can’t get worse…”
Something’s gonna happen. It has to. This can’t continue.
Because the Yanks are close to missing out on the playoffs entirely.
Voit 2 hits, solo HR (14) Hicks solo HR (4), 2 RBI Frazier 2 hits, 2 RBI Andujar solo HR (1), 2 RBI
Montgomery 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.72 Holder 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.25 Green 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.26 Ottavino (L, 2-3; BS, 3; 7.82) 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up grand slam. Cessa 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.81 Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 7.71