Tag Archives: Hunter

Game 81. Yanks reach halfway point with 6-3 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks reached the halfway point of the season at 44-37, thanks to a 6-3 win Monday night over Toronto.

They remain three games behind Boston, in second place in the AL East, and in the top wild card position.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched a great game, giving up just one run in seven innings, to even his record at 7-7.

Hopefully he has turned it around after an awful start to the season.

Here is an example of someone turning it around. After signing with the Yankees, Catfish Hunter had a great year in 1975, going 23-14, 2.58 and being the runner-up for the CYA. In 1976, while the Yanks won the pennant, Hunter slipped to 17-15, 3.53. When the Yanks won it all in 1977, Catfish was 9-9, 4.71.

While we remember 1978 for the great comeback and Ron Guidry’s 25-3 (and some may also recall Ed Figueroa winning 20 that year as well), people forget about Catfish Hunter’s resurgence. After the games of July 27, Hunter was 3-4, 6.51. Hunter went 9-2, 2.23 from that date to the end of the year. It was the last great stretch of his pitching career. In 1979, Hunter went  2-9, 5.31 and he retired after that 1979 season at the age of 33. The Hall of Famer’s best work came before he turned 30.

But without that two month resurgence at the end of the 1978 season, that great comeback and WS title never would have happened.

I thought of that with Tanaka’s troubles earlier this season. That as bad as he was, maybe a Hunter like resurgence would happen in the second half of the season. Hopefully so.

The Yanks got two runs in the first on a bases-loaded HBP by Headley followed by a walk to Ellsbury.

Toronto got a run in the seventh, so it was a tight 2-1 game going into the bottom of the eighth.

Aaron Judge led off the inning with a single, Gary Sanchez doubled him to third and Didi Gregorius walked to load the bases with no one out. Headley doubled in two runs. After Ellsbury struck out, an error brought in two runs.

Toronto got two runs in the ninth.

Judge, Sanchez and Headley had two hits each, Headley had 3 RBI.

Tanaka (w, 7-7, 5.25) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 8 K.
Betances (H, 8) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.00
Chapman 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 w, 1 K. 3.86

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Game 11. Despite it all, Yanks win sixth in a row, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok. The Yanks aren’t getting Didi back until May. They won’t get Sanchez back until mid-May as well. Bird is 1 for 26 with 13 strikeouts. Carter (who did have an RBI today) is 4 for 22, 8 strikeouts. So that is 5 for 48 between those two with 21 strikeouts.

Matt Holliday was a late scratch because of a stiff back.

Jacoby Ellsbury has been hitting cleanup (!)

The Yankees struck out 17x today.

They were 1 for 13 with RISP and left 12 men on base.

Tanaka has struggled.

And despite all that, they still managed to win their sixth straight game to improve to 7-4. Go figure.

Hey, we’ll take it.

CC Sabathia was great for 7 1/3 innings, leaving after he gave up a gopher ball that cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-1. The win was #225 of CC’s career, moving him past Catfish Hunter and Jim Bunning on the all-time list.

In the first, the Yanks got a run thanks to two walks (they drew 8 for the game), a passed ball and a wild pitch.

In the sixth, no one could find Ronald Torreyes’ popup in the sun and it fell in for a gift double. After a groundout moved him to third, a comebacker and error helped Torreyes score and put Aaron Hicks on second, and he scored on Chris Carter’s single to make it 3-0.

Thanks for the gifts, Cardinals.

CC gave up a HR in the eighth, and Tyler Clippard a HR in the ninth. Clippard had more trouble in the ninth but got the final out with the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

Ellsbury had 2 of the Yanks’ 5 hits.

Sabathia (W, 2-0, 1.47) 7 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren (H, 2)  2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H,  0 walks, 1 K. 0.00
Clippard (S, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 3.00 Gave up 1 HR.

Last night I got into a discussion with someone who called Roger Maris a one-year wonder. My rejoinder? How can a guy who won TWO MVP awards be a one-year wonder?

Game 2. Yanks shut out Rays, 5-0. The Long & Short of it (hint, hint….)

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia is 6’7″, as is RF Aaron Judge. Ronald Torreyes is listed at 5’8″. CC and Judge are over 100 pounds heavier than Torreyes.

Tonight, CC and Torreyes combined to give the Yanks a 5-0 victory to even their record at 1-1.

Here is the long and short of it if you will…

CC had a bad spring training but pitched five scoreless innings, gaining his 224th career victory, tying him with Hall of Famers Jim Bunning and Catfish Hunter on the all-time list.

Go Figure. Tanaka had a great spring training and was bombed Opening Day.

The first two Yankees’ runs came on the first HR by a Yankee this year, and who got it? None other than the “Mighty Mite”, the smallest guy on the team, Ronald Torreyes, a 2-run shot in the third. Who was there to greet him at home plate, scoring in front of the Mighty Mite? Aaron Judge.

Later in that inning, Matt Holliday got a gift RBI double on a fly ball lost in the lights.

Chase Headley hit his first HR of the year in the sixth to make it 4-0. Headley singled in a run in the eighth for the final score of 5-0.

Jacoby Ellsbury had 2 hits and made a nice defensive play. Headley had the 2 hits, SB, HR and 2 RBI. Torreyes had the 2-run HR and made a nice defensive play himself.

Sabathia (W, 1-0) 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 0.00
Mitchell 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 0.00
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 k. 0.00
Holder 1/3 iP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 0.00
Betances 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K, 0.00
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 0.00

In the minors, Gleyber Torres will be spending 3-4 days a week at SS, 2 days at 2B and a day at 3B. I like this. Versatility means prevention against injuries.

The Minors start Thursday.

Lastly, Pedro Guerrero, the former Dodger who was co-MVP of the 1981 WS, has suffered a massive stroke. He had a stroke a few years ago. Reports are that this stroke left him brain dead for a while and that he is comatose. Guerrero is just 60.

 

Game 94. Bye, Bye, Birdies. Yanks sweep series with 9-3 win.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

Back in the early 1960s, there was a play and movie called Bye, Bye, Birdie. The Yanks could be thinking of that as they swept the series from Baltimore with a 9-3 win Thursday afternoon.

Tanaka reminds me of Catfish Hunter. Give up the long ball, but make sure they are solo HR and won’t beat you.

The Yanks jumped ahead early, loading the bases in the first with no one out, but after two outs  and no runs in, you wondered if they would waste an opportunity.

Nope. Chase Headley cleared the bases with a double, went to third on the play at the plate, and Didi Gregorius singled in Headley to make it 4-0.

Tanaka gave up the first of the three solo HR he gave up in the second. 4-1.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who had 3 hits today (missing the cycle by a triple) and 4 RBI, hit HR #3 of the season in the second to make it 5-1.

In the third, the Yanks made it 7-1 on an RBI double by Drew and SF by Ellsbury.

Ellsbury drove in two in the fifth to make it 9-1.

Tanaka gave up two solo dingers in the eighth before being pulled.

The win kept the Yanks 5 1/2 in front. They are now 53-41 on the season.

Besides Ellsbury’s big day (3 h, 4 rbi), Chase Headley had 2 h, 3 rbi, and 3 hits each for John Ryan Murphy and Didi Gregorius.

Tanaka (W, 7-3, 3.64) 7 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H,  0 walks and 7 K.

Capuano 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K, 4.60.

Pinder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 Walks, 0 K. 2.45.

More awards, a signing, and a huge trade.

Manager of the Year Awards went out last night. Davey Johnson of Washington won for the N.L., and the A.L. award went to Bob Melvin of Oakland.

I thought Buck Showalter of Baltimore would win in the A.L., but he lost 16 first-place votes to 12. I’m not saying Melvin wasn’t deserving, but I thought Buck would get it.

Today, the CYA winners were announced. David Price of Tampa Bay edged out Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the A.L. award by just four points. The N.L.  award went to R. A. Dickey of the Mets, who became the first knuckleballer to ever win the award.

Tomorrow, the MVPs.

Torii Hunter signed a 2-yr. deal with Detroit. You would think that Hunter, winner of 9 Gold Glove awards, will help the Tiger defense, what with being next to Austin Jackson in that big outfield in Detroit. Hunter wanted 2 years, and the Yanks wouldn’t go for that, even if Swisher goes. Hunter got those 2 years, along with $26MM, from the Tigers. Hunter, who will be 38 next June (and it may be a good thing the Yanks DID NOT get him, what with their present age concerns), hit .313-16-92, OPS+ 132 for the Angels this past year. Yes, an excellent year, but you have to ask how many players 35+ you want on the Yankees.

As for the Yankees, they better watch out. Toronto made a huge trade. If the old players on the Yankees show their age, then the Yanks could very well slip to 3rd or 4th place in the A.L. East. The Blue Jays picked up a #1 AND a #2 starter from the Marlins in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, as well as an All-Star SS in Jose Reyes. They also got C John Buck and speedy utility man Emilio Bonifacio in the deal. (Reyes and Bonifacio combined for 70 SB, and Bonifacio only played in 64 games).

There is rumors that Miami isn’t done. I see on the BBD blog that the Yanks are thinking about bringing back Ibanez (I’m against it, he’ll be 41 next June) and thinking about Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins. I also see a rumor that Miami may shop Logan Morrison.

Nolasco, 29, was 12-13, 4.48, ERA+ 88 last year. I don’t want that. For his career, he is 76-64, 4.49. His 162 g. average is 14-12, 4.49. Figure in the DH league he goes something like 13-13, 4.80. That’s not good enough in my book.

I’d rather let Ibanez go and go after Morrison if the Marlins have him on the block. I appreciate what Ibanez did last year (esp. in the postseason), but he will be 41 next June. How many old players do you want on the Yankees (think Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, A-Rod, maybe Kuroda, maybe Ichiro… Jones is most likely gone, if Chavez comes back, he is 35, Ichiro…). Morrison is 25, LF/1B. With Gardner maybe moving to CF and Granderson to LF, Morrison can DH, play RF and fill in at 1B once in a while (he seems better suited for DH, his defense isn’t good). He hit just .230-11-36 (OPS+ 91) last year, but is young, a lefty hitter, 6’3″ 240 and hopefully can use that to take advantage of the porch. He hasn’t done badly vs. lefties (.247 vs. righties and .259 vs. lefties). He hit 23 HR in 2011. His 162 g. average is .250-21-73. OPS+ 110. Younger than Ibanez, more potential, can probably put up better numbers in 2013 than Raul.

But getting back to Toronto. This is a big deal for them. Let’s face it. The Yanks have an OLD team. If the Yanks don’t watch it, they can fall to fourth place in a hurry, maybe even last. God forbid. But look at the division. Good young players in Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and now Toronto made a big move. Goodness knows how Boston will rebuild.

Yes, I know the Yanks had the best record in the league last year. But they were exposed in the playoffs.

There is a fine line between experienced, and old.

Will the Yanks inject some youth in 2013?

Slow time.

Well, there hasn’t been many posts lately for a number of reasons.

1) the season is over and we see what happens with trades/free agents.

2) Hurricane Sandy knocked my power off for 22 hours. I’m lucky. Many didn’t get power for many more days.

3) I’ve been busy. 48 hours of work this past week and 48 next. 40 Thanksgiving week and I’m not working on the holiday. 50 hour weeks the two weeks after T-Giving.

So we await on the major awards from MLB. So far, Cano and Teix got the GG, Cano and Jeter SS awards.

I don’t know what the Yanks will do yet with their free agents. They did give some qualifying offers (rejected) to Kuroda, Swish and Soriano. I expect Swish and Soriano to be gone. Kuroda is a question mark.

Martin is a free agent. I wouldn’t mind a 2-yr. deal for him, but remember, he only hit .211 last year (with 21 HR). Romine needs a full year at AAA, something his back injury prevented him from last year. So 2013 AAA, maybe 2014 back up Martin. If so, who is the backup? If Stewart, then best to trade Cervelli and see what you can get for him. Sanchez is on the come, so you don’t even know if Romine is the future. Sanchez is a few years away.

SS/3B is a problem. Jeter is 39 next June, and coming off a broken ankle. He had just 9 sb this year, his range is in question and now a broken ankle. I’d love to see Nunez figure more in the lineup for the 35-40 SB potential he brings, but where to put his horrendous defense? And A-Rod looks like a fading star. 38 next July. Do you really want a left side of the infield that has a 39 year old SS and 38 year old 3B? Guess what. You are stuck with it.

Do you bring back Kuroda and Pettitte? One will be 38 next year, the other 41 next June. Then there is Mo. He threw 25 pitches off a mound for a commercial. Good sign, but he will be 43 in a few weeks. Ibanez is on the block. 41 next year. Jones 35. Chavez 35. Who comes back?

This team MUST get younger.

Meanwhile, Toronto mgr. Farrell goes to Boston. Toronto is looking. One-time A’s SS Walt Weiss is now the Rockies’ mgr. Mark McGwire leaves St. Louis to become the Dodgers’ new hitting coach.

The Mets and Jason Bay reach an amicable divorce. That didn’t work out.

College Football: Darrell Royal died at age 88. He won 3 national titles for Texas in the 1960’s (although, as a PSU grad, I’ll dispute that 1969 one).

Lee MacPhail, who was the Yanks’ GM in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, died at the age of 95. His dad (Larry) owned the Yanks for a brief time (1945-1947). Lee later became the A.L. President and it was he who made the Pine tar ruling.

The Yanks are thinking of flip-flopping Granderson and Gardner, moving the Grandy Man to LF. If they bring Ichiro (39) back for RF, they’ll have a speedy and good defensive OF, but having Ichiro AND Gardner cuts into your power.

If Torii Hunter really wants $20 mil over 2 years, count the Yanks out. He is 37 so it wouldn’t fit the “getting younger” plan.

I worry about next year. Too much age.

As for 6-4 PSU, I’m happy with the job Bill O’Brien has done. It’ll get much harder after this year. I see an offense that has come out of the stone age. Under very difficult circumstances, he has done a good job.

A strange year. My faves are Rivera and Polamalu (Steelers fan) and between the two, I don’t get to see them on the field what with injuries. I’m happy the Steelers are 5-3. They should beat KC tomorrow night, they should reach the playoffs.

But anyone doubting the Texans needs to be aware of them. Houston is for real.

Baseball passings and free agency

Pascual Perez was killed in an armed robbery at his home. Perez, 55, went 3-4, 2.87 in 17 starts for the Yankees in 1990-1991. For his career, he was 67-68, 3.44, ERA+ 110 from 1980-1985, 1987-1991 with the Pirates, Braves, Expos and Yankees. He had drug problems throughout his career. In the 1982 NLCS he was 0-1, 5.19. He won 15 in 1983 for the Braves (All-Star) and 14 the year after. His brother Melido pitched for the Yankees 1992-1995, going 33-39, 4.06 during that period.

Dave May, an OF with the Orioles, Brewers (twice), Braves, Rangers and Pirates from 1967-1978, died at the age of 68. He was once traded for Henry Aaron (when the Brewers traded for Aaron at the end of his career to return him to Milwaukee to DH). In 1973 May was an all-star with the Brewers (.303-25-93, 8th in MVP voting) and he hit .251 in his career.

OF/1B Champ Summers died at the age of 66. He hit .255 from 1974-1984 with the A’s, Cubs, Reds, Tigers, Giants and Padres. He last played for the 1984 pennant-winning Padres.

Free agents:

Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract. We’ll see if he returns. Meanwhile, it’s not certain whether Mariano Rivera is returning. He turns 43 at the end of this month and is coming off ACL surgery.

If Nick Swisher departs (free agent), there has been rumors of the Yanks possibly pursuing Torii Hunter on a one or two year deal as a stopgap until kids like Tyler Austin are ready. Hunter is 37.

Which creates a problem. Most of the Yankees free agents are old. Never mind Jeter and A-Rod both signed for next year (when they turn 39 and 38 midseason). You have Mo at 43. Pettitte will be 41 next year. Do you bring back Kuroda at 38? Ichiro at 39? Chavez at 35? Ibanez 41 next year and Jones 35 are old. What about them?

Martin is also a free agent. CC will be 33.

Of course I want the team to win. But there is no getting around the fact that the Yankees are getting long in the tooth. They need to get younger, and soon if not now. But how to gently get rid of legends like Mo, Pettitte and Jeter (I’m not suggesting dumping them, but one day the page has to be turned).

Of course, it doesn’t say much for your farm system if 40 year olds still outperform 25 year olds.