Tag Archives: Kershaw

Fischer, who gave up Mantle blast in 1963, dies. Free agency begins. A minor move by Yanks, and Texas has a new manager.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Free agency season has begun, and we will see how the bidding shakes out and who goes where.

Bill Fischer, the pitcher who gave up the HR on 5/22/1963 to Mickey Mantle that almost cleared Yankee Stadium, died Oct. 30 at the age of 88. The blast missed clearing the facade (frieze) by about 18 inches.

The Yanks made a minor move on Friday, getting infielder Hanser Alberto from Texas off the waiver line. Alberto, 26, plays all infield positions and has 89 games of MLB experience, hitting .192-0-9 in 182 MLB at bats, OPS+18. He is a righty batter. Like I said, a minor move.

Forget about Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers opting out of his contract. He signed a 3 yr. extension worth $93MM.

Texas named a new manager. Dodgers’ 3B coach Chris Woodward, who last year interviewed for the Yankees’ job that went to Aaron Boone, is the choice.

 

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WS Game 5. Boston wins series; Pearce MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Allow me to repeat the first couple of lines from yesterday’s blog.

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce.

Last night, Pearce won the WS MVP award by hitting 2 HR (3 for the WS) as Boston won their fourth WS of this century (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) by beating L.A. 5-1 to wrap up the Series in five games.

For L.A., it’s back-to-back WS losses.

Pearce got things started in the first with a 2-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who can now opt out of his contract, for all his brilliance, somehow can’t get it together in the postseason. This was his second WS loss this year.

David Freese homered off of David Price to lead off the bottom of the first for L.A., but that was all they’d get. Price was great, and the Dodgers got 3 hits all night.

For Price, 2 WS wins after having had a career filled with postseason failure.

Mookie Betts homered in the sixth to make it 3-1 Boston.

J.D. Martinez homered in the seventh, 4-1.

Then Pearce capped off everything with his second HR of the game in the eighth for the final score of 5-1.

And it was Manny Machado who struck out for the WS’ last out.

Alex Cora, as a rookie manager, wins the WS. Boston led the majors with 108 wins in the regular season, then went 11-3 in the postseason.

So Yankees’ fans have to watch their archrival win the WS. They can only take solace in two things.

One, that no one has repeated since the Yankees threepeated in 1998-1999-2000. So maybe that streak continues next year.

Two, that the Red Sox began last century with WS wins in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 and we know how the rest of the century played out. The Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. The “Curse of the Bambino.”

But somehow, I don’t see a “Curse of the Mookie” coming….

But hopefully next year for the Yanks.

We’ll see what moves the offseason brings and what awards are won by whom.

WS Game 1: Ex-Yank Nunez’ 3-run PH HR ices game for Boston, 8-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ex-Yankee Eduardo Nunez hit a 3-run, PH HR in the bottom of the seventh to cap off an 8-4 Boston victory over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.

Boston jumped on Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw for 2 runs in the first, thanks to an RBI single by Andrew Benintendi, who had four hits in the game. Matt Kemp homered for LA in the top of the second to cut it to 2-1.

Manny Machado, who drove in the other 3 Dodgers’ runs, tied it in the top of the third, but but J.D. Martinez, who singled in a run in the first, doubled in a run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2 Boston.

LA tied it in the top of the fifth, but Boston got two in the bottom of the fifth to go up 5-3. In the top of the seventh, the Dodgers got a run to cut it to 5-4, but Nunez’ HR in the bottom of the seventh iced it for Boston.

Dodgers: Turner 3 hits, Freese 2 hits, Machado 3 RBI. Kemp HR. Kershaw the loss.
Red Sox: Benintendi 4 hits, Martinez 2 hits and 2 RBI, Nunez HR, 3 RBI. Leon 2 hits. Barnes the Win.

For Clayton Kershaw, another postseason dud. For all his regular season success…

Neither he nor Chris Sale pitched more than 4 innings.

 

Dodgers go 1 up, Boston 2 up in LCS’s. Didi has successful surgery; Machado

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Dodgers went up 3 games to 2 over Milwaukee and are one game away from returning to the WS with a 5-2 win yesterday in Game 5 on the NLCS. Clayton Kershaw, who has had postseason trouble in the past, pitched like the ace he usually is.

Boston took a 3 games to 1 lead over defending WS champ Houston in the ALCS, beating them 8-6 Wednesday night. Jackie Bradley, who hit a grand slam in Game 3, hit a 2-run HR in Game 4. Closer Craig Kimbrel has been shaky this postseason, but with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth, LF Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch to save the game for Boston. If the ball drops and gets past him, Houston at least ties, and probably wins, the game. Also, fans interfered earlier with a ball that went for an out instead of a HR, and that too, cost Houston. Was the call correct? Who knows, but there is a good article by Joel Sherman in the NY Post today criticizing MLB for continuing to use overweight, 66-yr. old umpires as the OF umps down the line.

Didi Gregorius of the Yankees had successful Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow. Once again, he’s expected to miss at least half of the 2019 season.

Meanwhile, one possible replacement for Didi, Manny Machado, isn’t helping his free agent cause. As talented as Machado is, his lack of hustle and sometimes dirty play is turning a lot of people off.

In an interview on the Michael Kay show, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman states that teams have inquired about Gary Sanchez, but that Sanchez is unavailable, even after his disappointing 2018 season.

 

$alary Cap limiting Yanks moves, now.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brrrr. There was a game at Yankees Stadium today but it was a college football game and not a baseball game.

You think of college football games being played in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl—warm weather sites.

But the Pinstripe Bowl is in Yankee Stadium, and Boston College and Iowa played in bitterly cold temps today. Iowa winning, 27-20.

The field was frozen, and instead of cleats, players had to resort to sneakers on a field that was like a hockey rink. Icy.

As for the Yankees themselves, the free agent and trade market is as icy as Yankee Stadium was today. But then, the whole free agent market has been like that so far.

With the Yanks, the problem is that Hal wants to get under the $alary cap, which is $197MM. Right now, depending on what source you are looking at, the Yanks are somewhere around $178-182MM, leaving little for arbitration raises or moves made mid-season 2018 at the trade deadline.

Of course, freeing themselves of some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract would help, but how much can they free for a fifth OF making $21MM?

As far as possible deals to give more depth to the starting rotation, the Yanks apparently have offered Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and/or Tyler Wade/ Thairo Estrada for Chris Archer or Mike Fulmer and a little lesser package for Gerrit Cole.

Gleyber Torres, Estevan Florial and Justus Sheffield are off the table.

So the Yanks, for now, have their hands tied.

That includes trying to re-sign Todd Frazier, who probably wants a multi-year deal. He made $12MM last year, and even re-signing him for 1 yr at the same price puts the Yanks perilously close to the limit they want to stay under.

Why stay under? It would reset the Yanks luxury tax penalty which is currently 50 cents to the dollar.

Then they could actively go after free agents after 2018 with no penalty and next years class is a monster class which includes Kershaw, Machado, Harper and Donaldson for starters.

Seve 3rd in CYA voting. AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer were named the winners of the CYA in the AL and NL respectively.

The Yankees’ Luis Severino placed 3rd for the AL Cy Young Award, behind Kluber and Chris Sale.

I’m a little surprised that Scherzer beat Clayton Kershaw by such a wide margin (Scherzer’s teammate, Stephen Strasburg, finished third). Kershaw won more games, had the lower ERA. Scherzer struck out more because he started four more games than Scherzer. For Scherzer, his third CYA, matching Kershaw.

For Kluber, his 2nd CYA.

Tomorrow, we find out the MVPs and if Aaron Judge wins or is runnerup.

In the Arizona Fall League, Sxottsdale lost, 4-1.

Yankees prospects:

1b Billy McKinney 1 for 4, double. 2 strikeouts. .279

Andrew Schwaab RP, 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 6.35
Cody Carroll, RP, 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00

Remember that recent Yankees’ prospects who have starred in the Arizona Fall League are Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres.

Hal Steinbrenner confirmed that he thought the same way as Cashman, that it was time for Girardi to go, and he’s felt this way for a few years, not a few weeks. Hal said that he agreed with the decision, and it was a confirmation of the decision from Hal, not a persuasion.

 

WS Game 7, Houston wins 1st WS Title. , AFL, Tanaka, Minor Leagues…

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The WS is over. Masahiro Tanaka has 3 days now to decide if he wants to opt out of his Yankees’ contract or not. We’ll know by Saturday.

The Houston Astros are WS champs for the first time in their history with a 5-1 win, because just as in Game 3, Yu Darvish stunk. In both games, Darvish was knocked out in the second inning, Games 3 and 7.

In the first inning, a double by George Springer, a 2-base error by Cody Bellinger (who set a WS record for striking out) and a groundout led to 2 runs.

In the second, after one run had already scored, Springer hit a 2-run HR to make it 5-0.

But why, down 2-0 in the bottom of the first, and needing to get back in the game, after a leadoff double, don’t the Dodgers bunt the guy over?

Springer’s HR was his fifth of the WS, tying a WS record set by Reggie Jackson (1977) and by Chase Utley (2009).

Deservedly so, Springer is the Willie Mays’ WS MVP.

For Houston, some joy after the hurricane damage.

The only thing with Utley is that his team (Phillies) lost to the Yankees, four games to two, in that WS.

Clayton Kershaw did come into Game 7 and pitch 4 scoreless innings of relief for LA, but where was that when he blew a 4-0 lead in Game 5?

In the Arizona Fall League, Yankees’ prospects:

SS Thairo Estrada, 1 for 5, 2 RBI. .340
LF Billy McKinney 2 for 3, walk, .310

Reliever Cody Carroll, 2 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 w,  K. 0.00. 4th save.

Scottsdale won 7-5.

Good news for the future for the Yankees:

MILB.com listed the Yankees as having the best farm system. Add these guys to youngsters they have now, and the future looks bright.

Kevin Reese was promoted in Yankees’ front office to take over for Gary Denbo, who left to join Jeter in FL.

Keep an eye on the Marlins this offseason. Fire sale coming which could involve big names.

Could the Yanks be interested in some of those names? At what price?