Tag Archives: LeMahieu

Game 156. No #62 yet, and Yanks lose, 2-1.

Aaron Judge will have to wait for HR #62, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks in the Yankees’ (96-60) 2-1 loss to Baltimore Friday night.

Judge is at .314, about 7/10th of a point behind Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.315) as Judge also goes for a Triple Crown.

A couple of mistakes, lack of control, no run support and a lot of rust hurt the Yanks in the loss.

In the first inning, Baltimore scored on a walk, a SB, a throwing error on Jose Trevino on the SB that allowed Cedric Mullins of Baltimore to go to third, and an RBI single. I thought Gleyber Torres should have caught or at least knocked down Trevino’s throw, but it is what it is.

The Yanks only got four hits in the game, struck out 13x, and their only run came on a HR by Oswaldo Cabrera (5) in the bottom of the fifth. No way does Cabrera not make the postseason roster. Even if D.J. LeMahieu, Andrew Benintendi or Matt Carpenter do get over their injuries and make it.

As for someone else, I’ll get to that in a bit.

Domingo German was the tough luck loser in this game, having pitched well, but getting no run support save for Cabrera’s HR.

In the top of the sixth, German walked the first two hitters before getting a groundout that moved the runners up. He was then relieved by Zack Britton.

Britton is just coming off of TJ surgery and it is said that control is the last thing to return. Britton walked a batter before throwing a WP that enabled the deciding run in the game to score. He was then removed with a tired arm. Nice try in coming back and hoping to make the postseason roster. It is obvious that Britton isn’t ready yet.

It will be interesting to see if Matt Carpenter, now taking batting practice, can get a couple of games in before the postseason, and if he can make the postseason roster, because if Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton, and making over $30MM a year, then based on performance alone, Stanton should NOT be on the postseason roster. Stanton is hitting .140 since coming off the IL, and .156 since June 1. If the Yanks had guts (and it would be a highly controversial move), if Carpenter is ok, they put Carpenter on the postseason roster and DH him and leave Stanton off of it. It won’t happen, though. But the Yanks are racing against the clock to get Stanton straightened out. I fear Stanton will kill the Yanks in the playoffs. He’s been THAT awful. Gallo-like awful. If Stanton is on the postseason roster, as expected, then PLEASE Aaron Boone, drop him in the lineup. To Seventh. Maybe even Eighth like Joe Torre did with A-Rod in 2006. You can’t just keep putting him 4 or 5.

But then, Boone had Gallo hitting cleanup in last year’s wildcard game loss at Boston. Sigh. Don’t make the same mistake, Boonie.

LeMahieu came off the IL for the game. Locastro taken off the roster. LeMahieu went 0 for 3 and we will see if D.J. is good enough to be on the postseason roster or not. Soon, we see about Benintendi, too.

Feelings be damned. If someone isn’t ready or deserves to be on the postseason roster, then leave him off. You can’t mess around come playoff time.

Today’s game may be delayed or postponed. The weather forecast calls for rain in NYC.

Cabrera 2 hits, solo HR (5)

German (L, 2-4) 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. 3.31 Tough loss.
Britton 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 WP. 13.50 Rusty. Not ready. Go home and heal up more.
Marinaccio 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K. 2.09
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.11
Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.59 (Cubs/NYY)

Boone also revealed postgame that right-handed reliever Clay Holmes received a cortisone injection for inflammation in his right rotator cuff and likely won’t pitch again until the American League Division Series starts Oct. 11. We will have to see how he is. Meanwhile, Wandy Peralta should be off the IL by then, and Miguel Castro and Albert Abreu have finished rehab. The Yanks will have a LOT of interesting decisions to make regarding the postseason roster.












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 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







Game 129. Judge hits #50, but Yanks lose, 4-3.

Aaron Judge became the third Yankee (after Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle; A-Rod* also did it, but two of the three times A-Rod* did it were with Texas, and the asterisk is there on purpose) and tenth player in MLB history with multi-50-HR seasons, but the Yanks (78-51) lost to the Angels Monday night, 4-3.

The Yanks’ lead over Tampa Bay is 7. The magic number for clinching the AL East is 28.

Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas gave up 3 HR, one to Shohei Ohtani, who has 4 career HR off of Montas. Ex-Yankee Mike Ford also tagged Montas.

Luis Rengifo started the scoring by hitting a HR off Montas in the bottom of the second.

The Yanks tied it in the third, but the way they did it raises questions. Also, Aaron Boone’s lineup raises questions.

With one out, Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked and Oswaldo Cabrera singled IKF to third. D.J. LeMahieu squeezed IKF home to tie the game. Now in certain circumstances I love the squeeze. Not here. The play took the bat out of Aaron Judge’s hands. He was then intentionally walked. Andrew Benintendi then grounded out to end the inning.

I can see D.J. not wanting to hit into a DP. Understood. But a sac fly gets the run in and then first base is NOT open, and the Angels probably DON’T walk Judge then. But with first base open, the Angels walk a 49 (now 50) HR guy to get to a guy with 4 HR this season. A no-brainer. Your best hitter had the bat taken out of his hands.

Which leads us to the lineup. Boone needs to stop changing the lineup every day and stick with something. And he needs to protect Judge. Put Giancarlo Stanton behind him. Now I understand when Stanton was on the IL that other than Rizzo, the only choices were Josh Donaldson or Gleyber Torres, both struggling, and that for a while, Rizzo was out with back issues. But you need someone behind Judge that the pitchers fear. Roger Maris in 1961 had Mantle behind him. It’s why Maris DID NOT GET ONE INTENTIONAL WALK ALL YEAR LONG IN 1961. Granted Stanton is still getting his bearings after coming off the IL, but he inspires more fear than Benintendi does. I’d have had a lineup of DJ, Benintendi, Judge, Stanton, Rizzo, Torres (Donaldson didn’t start last night). Donaldson 6 if Torres isn’t starting. Cabrera 7th. The kid is handling himself well. See below. He almost saved the game for the Yankees. Then Trevino or Higgy eighth, with IKF ninth. And LEAVE IT THAT WAY.

The Yanks went up 2-1 in the top of the fourth when Anthony Rizzo homered (29).

But in the bottom of the fourth, Ex-Yankee Mike Ford homered to tie the game.

In the top of the fifth, IKF doubled. Two outs later, Judge was intentionally walked again (see previous paragraph) to face Benintendi, who flied out. Now I don’t know what Stanton would have done, and this isn’t a knock on Benintendi, but you need a 24 HR Stanton or a 29 HR Rizzo protecting Judge, not a 4 HR Benintendi. The bat gets taken out of your best hitter’s hands again. Twice in a game that you lost 4-3 your best hitter didn’t get a chance to swing the bat.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ohtani, who seems to own Montas, hit a 2-run HR to put the Angels up 4-3. It was, as mentioned above, the fourth career HR Ohtani has hit off of Montas. The mistake here, as pointed out on MLB network’s broadcast, was that it was the fourth straight splitter thrown in the same location. To Ohtani’s credit, he adjusted. Montas needed to mix things up a little better there to keep Ohtani off balance.

In the eighth, Judge finally got to swing the bat again, and that is when he hit HR #50 to cut the Angels’ lead to 4-3.

The Yanks had a runner on in the ninth with two out. Rookie Oswaldo Cabrera got a good swing on one, but the ball was caught on the warning track by Mike Trout for the final out. The pinch-runner was Tim Locastro, called up when Marwin Gonzalez was put on paternity leave.

The purpose of this blog is not only to report, but also to provide objective analysis. I would do certain things to the lineup and leave it alone rather than to change it daily to suit the analytics people. But having the bat taken out of Judge’s hands twice helped contribute to a loss. You want your best hitter at least having a chance.

I do get a bit upset with people pushing the Ohtani MVP narrative. Yes, he’s great. But the second word is VALUABLE. Not special, which Ohtani, by being a great pitcher and hitter, is. Not Player of the Year or decade. VALUABLE. With Ohtani, the Angels are still only a fourth-place team at 56-73. Without him they are what, fourth? Last? But take away Judge from the Yankees. Are the Yankees (78-51, 7 game lead) still in first place? I don’t think so. Judge leads all of MLB in R, HR, RBI, Slugging average, OPS, OPS+ (199), and total bases. That is seven categories. And he leads the AL in walks. Without him the Yanks are not in first place. With Ohtani, the Angels are still in fourth. Enough said.

Clay Holmes came off the IL. Luke Bard sent down.



Judge solo HR (50)
Rizzo Solo HR (29)

Montas (L, 4-11) 6 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. 1 WP. 1 HBP. Gave up 3 HR. 3.94 (Combined A’s/NYY Stats)
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.34
Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.53










Game 127. Lack of offense (1 hit in 11 innings) dooms Yanks in 3-2 loss. Chapman to IL.

Before the game, the Yankees’ depleted bullpen took another hit, and in one of the strangest ways possible. Aroldis Chapman had to go on the IL due to an infected wound from a recent tattoo he got. Sheesh.

He joins King, Green, Castro, Abreu, Effross and Holmes on the IL. (Did I miss anyone?) Holmes should be coming off of it soon. As for Schmidt, he has to start today because of Cortes being on the IL. Way to trade pitching depth at the trade deadline, Cashman. No corresponding move yet. I’d guess maybe Ryan Weber again?

The Yanks’ (78-49) offense was practically non-existent in this game, wasting an excellent outing by Domingo German. German pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings but received no support. The only hit the Yankees had in the 3-2, 11-inning loss to Oakland came on a double by Oswaldo Cabrera in the top of the sixth inning.

The scoreless duel went into extra innings and to that (Ugh) ghost runner on second base. In the top of the tenth, Kyle Higashioka was the ghost runner. Andrew Benintendi tried to bunt him to third, but Higashioka was thrown out. Benintendi stole second while Aaron Judge struck out. Josh Donaldson was intentionally walked to set up a DP but Anthony Rizzo was HBP to load the bases. A WP and error on the play scored two runs. The Yanks couldn’t do anything after that, much as they didn’t do anything all game long. Two gift runs. But the Yanks would eventually lose by gifting one back.

But in the bottom of the tenth, the A’s started with their ghost runner, and Ron Marinaccio (see above about the depleted bullpen) got the first out but then gave up a game-tying 2-run HR to Stephen Vogt. He then got a groundout, and on a strikeout, the pitch got away for a WP and the batter reached. A single followed, but Lou Trivino came in to get a strikeout and send the game into the eleventh.

The Yanks did nothing in the top of the eleventh. In the bottom half, a walk put runners on first and second with no one out. Trivino got a fly out, then a ground ball appeared to be an inning-ending DP. The Yanks got the force at second, but D.J. LeMahieu threw the ball away in going to first trying for the DP and the winning run scored. The Yanks challenged the slide into second, but the call stood. 3-2 A’s. 11 innings. The Yanks only managed one hit.

German 7 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 5 K. 1 HBP. 3.19
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.52
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1.93
Trivino (L, 2-8) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.14 (Combined stats A’s/NYY)









Game 122. Benintendi’s blast lifts Yanks, 4-2.

Before yesterday’s game, the Yanks retired #21 in honor of Paul O’Neill. O’Neill becomes the 24th Yankee and 23rd number retired (#8 is retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey). Note I didn’t say players, as broadcaster John Sterling erroneously said in his introduction. After all, Joe Torre (6) and Casey Stengel (37) were managers, not players, for the Yankees.

One thing the Yankees should do next. I feel it is LONG overdue that Graig Nettles and Bobby Murcer get plaques in Monument Park. I am not talking retiring the numbers, for the numbers they wore (9 for Nettles, retired for Roger Maris or the 1 or 2 worn by Murcer. Those numbers are retired for Billy Martin (1) and Derek Jeter (2), respectively) are retired for other individuals, but plaques to honor the superb Yankees’ tenure of both men. For Murcer, not only as a player but also as a broadcaster. Get it done, Yankees.

The Yankees (74-48) then got a much-needed win over Toronto, 4-2. Their lead in the AL East is 8 games and the magic number for clinching the division is 34. The lead once was 15 1/2. As you know, the team has been struggling greatly lately.

The Yanks struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. With two out, Anthony Rizzo singled, then D.J. LeMahieu singled Rizzo to third. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.’s throw to third, trying to get Rizzo, got away, and Rizzo came in to score.

Toronto tied the game in the top of the third with one of the weirdest homeruns you’ll ever see. Whit Merrifield’s blast hit the top of the fence, bounced up and to the left, then bounced off the wall again and then over it for a HR. It was the only run Yankees’ starter Nestor Cortes gave up. Meanwhile the Yankees made four fine defensive plays in the game, two by RF Marwin Gonzalez, and one each by 1B Rizzo and SS Oswaldo Cabrera.

the Yanks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. With one out, Andrew Benintendi walked. After Aaron Judge struck out, Rizzo walked. LeMahieu followed with an RBI single.

Toronto tied it in the top of the seventh when the Yankees’ bullpen faltered. Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a leadoff single, but after a force-out, gave up a walk. Wandy Peralta came in and gave up a single to load the bases but then walked in the tying run. He then got a force-out at home before Lou Trivino came in to get the final out. Trivino did a great job in finishing the game off, going 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jose Trevino led off with an infield single and was bunted over to second by Gonzalez. Benintendi then followed with his fourth HR of the season, and first as a Yankee, to make the score 4-2 Yankees, which was the final score.

There was a minor dustup in the fifth inning when Judge was HBP. The Yankees’ bench was about to charge but Judge waved them off. With first base open and a man on second at the time, the original thought was that the HBP was intentional (instead of just sending him to first) but it wasn’t.

A needed win. The Yanks are scheduled to face the Mets today and tomorrow, and not only that, but they also have to go up against Scherzer and DeGrom. Today’s game could be rained out, however. The weather forecast calls for rain all day.

Benintendi 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (4). First HR as a Yankee.
LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI.

Cortes 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.68
Loisiaga (H, 7) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.04
Peralta (BS, 5) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.45
Trivino (W, 2-7) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.27 (Combined Oak/NYY stats)





Game 119. Yanks lose to Toronto, 9-2.

Frankie Montas struggled in his Yankees’ home debut and the Yankees’ offense went back into its funk in losing to Toronto 9-2 Thursday evening.

The Yanks’ lead in the division was cut to 9 over Tampa Bay and Toronto. The Yanks are 73-46 and the magic # for clinching the division is 36. However, the Yanks are only 21-28 in their last 49 games, and 3-12 in their last 15. Also, it’s tough watching the guys they got rid of doing well while the guys they got are struggling. It’s just been a bad month all around.

Once again, Yankees’ pitching couldn’t limit the damage when they were one strike away from doing so. In the top of the second, Montas gave up a single, got a strikeout, then gave up a double. A force out made it 1-0 Toronto. Then came the backbreakers. First, a walk that put runners at first and second, then a bloop single by George Springer on a 1-2 count (one strike away from getting out of the inning only giving up one run) that made it 2-0. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. then followed with a 3-run HR to make it 5-0 and the game was kind of over right then.

Guerrero’s HR, 362 ft., wouldn’t have been a HR in any other ballpark. The porch giveth, but the porch also taketh away.

The Yanks got their two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the score to 5-2. Jose Trevino led off with a walk and Estevan Florial was HBP. An infield single by D.J. LeMahieu plus an error on the play scored Trevino and put runners on first and third. Aaron Judge grounded into a force out that scored Florial.

Toronto got a run in the fifth as Springer was in the middle of everything. He was 5 for 5 for the night.

The Blue Jays got three runs in the seventh, helped by a two-base error by D.J. LeMahieu (originally a throwing error on Josh Donaldson but correctly changed to a fielding error on LeMahieu). They should have had a DP there. Instead, the error helped lead to three runs. 9-2. End of scoring for the game.

Yankees’ rookie Oswaldo Cabrera played SS in his second MLB game and went 2 for 4. His first MLB hit was a double. Meanwhile, Estevan Florial is trying to get off the schneid. He’s 0 for 16 in the majors this season.

The Yanks struck out 13x.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Rizzo 2 hits
Cabrera 2 hits (First 2 MLB hits)

Montas (L, 4-10) 6 IP, 6 R, 8 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.87 (Combined A’s/NYY Record)
Abreu 1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.16
Luetge 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.74







Game 110. Oh, Josh! Yanks win 9-4, snap losing streak. #44 for Judge, 4 hits for Donaldson, but Carpenter fractures foot.

The Yankees (71-39) snapped their five-game losing streak, beating Seattle 9-4 but lost Matt Carpenter in the process. Carpenter fouled a pitch off his left foot in the first inning, and X-rays revealed a fracture.

Aaron Judge hit his 44th HR in the game, and Josh Donaldson got four hits, including a HR, and 3 RBI.

The Yanks started off right away with two runs in the top of the first inning. D.J. LeMahieu singled, then Judge hit a ground-rule double. Carpenter then struck out, strike two being the foul ball that broke his foot. Donaldson then singled in two runs.

In the bottom of the first, Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon gave a run back by giving up a HR to Mitch Haniger. It was one of those you hated. Two-out, two-strike, one strike from getting out of the inning. Aargh.

The Yanks went up 4-1 in the top of the third. This time they did the two-out damage. Donaldson hit a HR (11), then Gleyber Torres singled. Andrew Benintendi followed with a double. Torres would have been out at the plate, but the throw short-hopped the catcher for an error, Torres scored, Benintendi went to third.

Taillon gave up a run in the fourth in another of those innings that drives you crazy. With two out and one on, he walked three straight batters to force in a run that made the score 4-2. Taillon did go seven innings, giving up just three hits, and got the win. It’s just those two-out hits and the three consecutive walks here that had you gritting your teeth.

The Yanks came right back in the top of the fifth, however, taking a 7-2 lead. Donaldson, who had four hits on the night, led off with a double. Torres doubled, but Donaldson didn’t score. Benintendi doubled in both runners. A groundout moved Benintendi to third, and a SF by Isiah Kiner-Falefa made it 7-2.

Taillon gave up a HR to Cal Raleigh (yes, with two out, ugh) to cut the Yanks lead to 7-3 in the seventh.

In the top of the ninth, Aaron Judge led off with his 44th HR of the year, and one out later Donaldson doubled. After a strikeout for the second out, Benintendi walked. Jose Trevino singled to make it 9-3.

Clay Holmes, struggling lately, gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth before finishing off the game. 9-4 the final score. Holmes’ struggles lately are bothersome.

So, a much-needed win, but a lot of concerns (Carpenter, Holmes, two-out meltdowns) as well.

Here is one amazing stat from MLB.com about Judge’s amazing season so far:

Aaron Judge of the @Yankees currently leads MLB in runs, home runs, RBI & total bases. Since RBI became official in 1920, only 4 players have led the majors in all 4 categories in a season:
Babe Ruth (1921, 1923, 1926) Lou Gehrig (1931) Ted Williams (1942) Mickey Mantle (1956).


(My additional note: there was no MVP award in 1921. Ruth won in 1923 but under the pre-1931 rules, since he won in 1923, he was then ineligible in 1926. Gehrig lost out to Lefty Grove (31-4 for the pennant-winning A’s) in 1931, and Williams, despite a triple crown season, lost the MVP to the Yankees’ Joe Gordon in 1942. Mantle won in 1956).

RECAP

LeMahieu 2 hits
Judge 2 hits, solo HR (44) .303-44-98 and 11 for 11 in SB
Donaldson 4 hits, 3 RBI. 2 doubles, Solo HR (11)
Torres 2 hits
Benintendi 2 hits, both doubles, 3 RBI

Taillon (W, 11-2) 7 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. 1 WP. Gave up 2 HR. 3.95
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.44
Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.27

Cole vs. Castillo tonight. We will see what the move is to replace Carpenter.

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.

Game 105. Yanks lose 8-6. Trade Montgomery. Sports world mourns Vin Scully.

Before getting into Yankees’ news, some sad news in the sports world. Another legend has passed away. Just a few days ago, basketball legend Bill Russell died at the age of 88. Russell was a 5x NBA MVP, won 2 NCAA Titles, an Olympic Gold Medal, and in his 13 years in the NBA, won 11 titles, 8 in a row. The last two titles Russell won came as a player-coach. He was the first black coach or manager of a major sports team.

Now the sports world has lost one of the greatest sportscasters of all time, Vin Scully, at the age of 94. Scully attended the church my sister and her family attend in California, and when I went to church while visiting, besides spending some time with our Lord, I also hoped to see or meet Mr. Scully. Didn’t happen though.

May both Russell and Scully rest in peace.

Before the Yankees game last night, a final trade happened, and it was a stunner. I don’t like the trade right now. Time will tell. The Yanks traded Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for CF Harrison Bader.

Montgomery was 3-3. 3.69 for the Yanks this year (ERA+ 104) and 22-20, 3.94 in his career (ERA+ 108). Bader is a top-notch defensive CF, who is currently on the IL and in a walking boot with plantar fasciitis. He is expected back in a few weeks. Should he not be able to play this season, the Yanks get a minor league prospect as well from an approved list. Besides Bader, the Yanks get a player to be named later or cash.

Bader, 28, is from Bronxville, NY, a righty batter. He finished 6th in ROY voting in 2018 and won a Gold Glove last year. This year he was hitting .256-5-21 with 15 SB (OPS+ 93). For his career, his 162-game average is .246-16-52, 17 SB, OPS+ 99.

What this means for Aaron Hicks down the road, who knows. As for now, I didn’t and still don’t get the deal. Bader is on the IL. Where he fits into a crowded outfield (Judge, Benintendi, Hicks, Stanton, Carpenter, even Gonzalez and for now Locastro, who would be sent down when Bader is healthy) who knows.

But the Montgomery trade comes after the Yanks traded away prospects Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, JP Sears and Luis Medina, and came while Luis Severino is on the 60-day IL. For now, the Yanks’ rotation is Cole, Montas, Cortes, Taillon and German. I know with Severino’s injury and lack of work because of injury the last three years that the Yanks want to be careful with Severino, and that Severino could be back in mid-September, but how good would Sevy be come playoff time?

Time determines whether trades are good or bad.

As for last night’s game, the Yanks (70-35) lost 8-6 to Seattle. Taillon wasn’t good.

Eugenio Suarez hit a 2-run HR off Taillon in the first inning. Cal Raleigh made it 3-0 Seattle with a HR in the second.

Those were the only hits Taillon gave up. His wildness hurt him. In the third, Seattle scored on a walk, an error and a SF. 4-0.

The Yanks got back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Anthony Rizzo led off with a walk, and one out later, Josh Donaldson doubled home Rizzo. One out after that, Jose Trevino hit a 2-run HR (10) and it was now 4-3.

Taillon was pulled after a couple of walks in the top of the fifth. Lucas Luetge came in but surrendered a double that made the score 6-3 Seattle.

The Yanks tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Rizzo led off the inning with a HR (27), then Matt Carpenter singled. Donaldson then homered (10) to tie it up.

However, Luetge immediately gave the lead back to Seattle, giving up a HR to PH Sam Haggerty to lead off the top of the seventh.

Seattle scored an insurance run, with help of a WP, in the top of the ninth inning. The Yanks loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but didn’t score. Final score, 8-6 Seattle.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Rizzo solo HR (27) 4th consecutive game with HR
Donaldson 2 hits, 3 RBI. 2-run HR (10)
Trevino 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (10)
Kiner-Falefa 2 hits.

Taillon 4 2/3 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 H, 4 W, 6 K. Both hits given up were HR. 3.96
Luetge (L, 3-4) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. gave up 1 HR. 2.82
Effross 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.62 (Combined ERA Cubs/NYY) Yankees debut
Abreu 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP 2.30 (3-team ERA)
Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.34 (Combined ERA A’s/NYY) Yankees debut