Jose Trevino and D.J. LeMahieu were named winners of the Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence yesterday. For catcher Trevino, it is his first. For LeMahieu, his fourth, but first in a newly created category for utility men.
Nominated for the award but losing out were Yankee P Jameson Taillon, 1B Anthony Rizzo and LF Andrew Benintendi. Why OF Aaron Judge, an excellent defender as well as slugger, wasn’t nominated, escapes me. Trevino was also up for, but lost out on, the Roberto Clemente Award for community service. That was won by Justin Turner of the Dodgers. A couple of guys with Yankees’ ties were interviewed for, but didn’t get, managerial positions. One was current Yankees’ bench coach Carlos Mendoza, another was former Yankees coach Joe Espada, and another was former Yankees 2B Miguel Cairo. Cairo took over as interim manager for the White Sox when 76-year-old Tony LaRussa’s health failed him and forced him to retire again. Instead, the White Sox went with Pedro Grifol and the Royals have chosen Matt Quataro. These follow Texas’ choice to bring Bruce Bochy out of retirement. The Astros got hammered by the Phillies in Game 3 of the WS last night 7-0. The Phils hit five HR, and before one of them, Bryce Harper, who had homered, was giving advice to Alec Bohm, who then homered. Could Harper have seen something that Astro starter Lance McCullers, Jr. was tipping pitches? McCullers denies doing so of course, but you have to wonder. The Phils took a two-games-to one lead in the Series, and the decisions of both managers regarding their rotations now are a factor. With the rainout, Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson (a former Yankees coach) switched off of Game 3 scheduled starter Noah Syndergaard to Ranger Suarez, keeping Aaron Nola on his regular rest for Game 4. Suarez rewarded the Phils with shutout pitching. Meanwhile, Astros’ manager Dusty Baker kept his rotation the same, starting McCullers, who got rocked, and instead of bringing back Justin Verlander for Game 4, appears to be sticking with Cristian Javier. Javier better come through, because if the Phils win Game 4 to go up three games to one, Philadelphia will REALLY be rocking for Game 5. Of course, Verlander has been surprisingly bad in WS play, going 0-6, 6.07. But you think sooner or later he’d pitch a good one, right? But the choice of whether to switch after the rainout (Thomson did) or not (Baker) could play a huge part as far as the Series is concerned.
Posted in Awards, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason
Tagged Baker, Benintendi, Bochy, Cairo, Espada, Grifol, Harper, Judge, LeMahieu, Mendoza, Rizzo, Taillon, Thomson, Trevino, Turner
One bad pitch and a couple of feet cost the Yanks in a 3-2 loss to Houston last night. The Yanks are now down 0-2 in the best-of-7 ALCS. There are certain things you can blame a manager for, and certain things you can’t. In some games, Aaron Boone’s bullpen management has been questionable, as have his lineups. You can’t blame him for anything last night, though. Last night was just some bad luck. He also can’t swing the bat for some guys who aren’t putting the ball in play. 17 strikeouts in Game 1, 13 more in Game 2. Even some much needed and correct lineup changes didn’t work. The Yankees have played 16 postseason games against Houston, starting in 2015. They have scored 47 runs. Do the math. That is a little less than 3 runs per game. It seems like the Yanks keep losing to Houston 2-0, 4-0, 3-2, 4-2, 4-1, etc. Harrison Bader, with his 4 postseason HR was moved to leadoff. He got a hit, drew a walk. Jose Trevino, 1 for 15, was benched for Kyle Higashioka. But Higashioka went 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. What can you do when NEITHER catcher hits? Rookie Oswald Peraza started at SS. Peraza played a great defensive game, making a couple great plays, just missing out on a few more, and teaming up with Gleyber Torres for a remarkable DP. It already looks like Peraza will be next year’s starting SS. He looks that smooth. As long as he hits. At the plate last night, Peraza was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, however. With Peraza, it will be interesting to see what the Yanks do with Anthony Volpe. With Josh Donaldson turning 37 and showing signs of age, does someone like Volpe or Oswaldo Cabrera move to 3B? Of course, you have D.J. for 3B but I’m thinking long-term. Boone can’t do anything about the injuries. It is very apparent that the losses of D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi have hurt the Yanks considerably. Both are contact hitters. Neither strikeout much. 30 strikeouts in two games. Ugh. Put the ball in play. You never know. It might fall in (See Cleveland last series) or someone could make an error—-which is how the Yanks scored their two runs last night. Who would have thought in a postseason game that the Yanks would be forced to start two rookies? Anyway, two things about roster construction for the playoffs. Here is where the Yanks could be held at fault a little. Once again, nothing you can do about injuries. Besides D.J. and Benintendi, the losses of bullpen stalwarts King, Green, Marinaccio and Effross hurt as well (we won’t discuss malcontent Chapman). But you have to go with and put HEALTHY people on the roster. It’s apparent Matt Carpenter isn’t ready. Cheers to him for trying. But he had no minor league rehab games to help him work his way back. He is 0 for 7 in the postseason and all 7 at bats are strikeouts. It is apparent he should not be on the team. But if not him, who? D.J. is hurt (and there was thought about having him on the roster. I think the results would be the same as with Carpenter. The rust and injury would limit him the same way and hurt the team the same way Carpenter is hurting them now). Benintendi is hurt. Hicks, who didn’t contribute much anyway, is hurt. You could have kept Gonzalez on the team for this round, but he wasn’t doing much even though healthy. Secondly, and here is where the Yanks are at fault a little, although bullpen injuries have played a part as far as this year goes. Don’t force guys into situations they are not comfortable with. Bullpen guys are bullpen guys. Starters are starters. Putting a starter in the bullpen for the playoffs usually backfires. There are exceptions, but too often I see it backfire. Montas HR in Game 1. Schmidt, not a closer but a spot starter/middle relief guy, closing. J.A. Happ coming out of the bullpen to blow games in 2019 and 2020 (remember the Deivi Garcia as opener game?). Jack McDowell coming out of the bullpen in 1995. Heck, Jeff Weaver in 2003. Learn from history. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Taking your #5 starter (granted, McDowell was higher than #5) and throwing him into the bullpen for the postseason usually backfires. To the game. How many times this season have we seen the Yankees’ pitchers give up runs when they are ONE STRIKE away from getting out of an inning? Two out, two strikes and Boom. Gives up runs. In the bottom of the third, that is what happened to Luis Severino. I am a little concerned about Severino in the postseason, because in 11 postseason games, Sevy is 1-4, 5.15. Great stuff, but his postseason numbers aren’t too good. He was good last night except for that one pitch, which was with two outs and two strikes and hit for a 3-run HR. The Yanks came back with two runs in the top of the fourth, helped by an error. Aaron Judge singled, and a double error (fielding and throwing) on a ball hit back to Astro’s pitcher Framber Valdez put runners on second and third with no one out. Anthony Rizzo moved the runners up, scoring Judge with a groundout. An infield single by Torres scored Stanton. In the top of the eighth, the Yanks came oh-so-close. Harrison Bader walked with one out. Judge hit a ball deep to right field that was caught at the top of the fence. Three feet or so higher and it would have been a two-run HR that would have given the Yanks a 4-3 lead and possibly a victory. Yankee Stadium is the only park in which it WOULD have been a HR. Houston rarely plays with the roof open. It was open and there was a significant wind that may have held the ball up. The Yanks got unlucky. Only 4 hits. 13 strikeouts. Put the ball in play. Severino (LOSS) 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. Peralta 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gold Glove nominations came out yesterday, with three nominations for each position plus one for utility players. Five Yankees got nominations: Taillon, Trevino, Rizzo, Benintendi (KC/NYY) and LeMahieu. Lemahieu’s was for the utility category. Two that should have gotten nominations but didn’t were Donaldson and Judge.
Posted in Awards, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason
Tagged Bader, Benintendi, Boone, Higashioka, Judge, LeMahieu, Loaisiga, Peralta, Peraza, Severino, Trevino
For the fifth time since they last went to the World Series in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and now 2022), the Yankees are in the ALCS. For the third time in six years, their opponent will be the Houston Astros (the Yanks lost to Texas in 2010 and lost to Detroit in 2012. 2012 was when Jeter broke his ankle).
Of course, Yankees fans are hoping for a different outcome this time around. There won’t be any rest after beating Cleveland 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday. Game 1 of the ALCS is in Houston tonight. Not only that, but the only off-day in the ALCS is between Game 2 and 3. There isn’t one between Game 5 and 6 (if it gets that far). We’ll get into that in a bit. The Yankees are 28-2 in games in which both Aaron Judge and Gaincarlo Stanton homer. That includes yesterday’s game. The Yanks jumped out right away to a 3-0 lead, putting the pressure on the Guardians right away and getting the crowd right into the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and after Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Stanton then hit a 3-run HR. Judge homered in the second to make it 4-0. Say what you will, since Judge was 4 for 20 in the series with 2 HR and a ton of strikeouts, but he has homered in four separate do-or-die postseason games. Nasty Nestor Cortes was fabulous on 3 days’ rest. He went five innings, giving up only one run, and Cleveland should not have received that. I don’t know what it was in this series with Cleveland hitting balls into short LF that the LF, 3B or SS couldn’t catch. With one out and a man on first in the top of the third, Steven Kwan (yes, him again) hit a ball to short LF that Oswaldo Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks all converged on, with Cabrera calling for it. Cabrera collided with Hicks and the ball fell in for a single. Hicks had to be removed from the game with an injury that ends his season. We will have to see who replaces him on the postseason roster. Candidates are Oswald Peraza (since the Yanks benched SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Games 4 and 5), D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi. Another candidate for the ALCS roster is Ron Marinaccio, who declared his sore shin ok to go. Anyway, a walk loaded the bases after Kwan’s single, and a SF cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-1 before Cortes got out of the inning. The Yanks scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Torres walked and stole second. Judge struck out, but Rizzo singled to make it 5-1. Judge 2 hits, solo HR. Stanton 3-run HR. Cortes (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Pitched in all five ALDS games. The LCS will have a pitching problem for the Yanks. Down 2 games to 1 in the ALDS, the Yanks had to use their two best pitchers, Cole and Cortes, in Games 4 and 5 in order to advance, so Cole and Cortes won’t be available until Games 3 and 4. Jameson Taillon starts Game 1 tonight. He and Luis Severino are going to have to step up big-time. Here is how I see the rotation for the ALCS shaking out. Game 1, Oct. 19 (tonight) Taillon (hasn’t pitched much recently) Game 2 Oct 20 Severino OCT 21 OFF DAY Game 3 Oct 22 Cole (five days rest) Game 4 Oct 23 Cortes Game 5 Oct 24 if necessary Taillon Game 6 Oct 25 if necessary Severino Game 7 Oct 26 if necessary, Cole on three days’ rest. Could Cortes give an inning or two on 2-days rest? For the first time in MLB history, an LDS and LCS game were played on the same day. Shortly after the Yanks and Cleveland wrapped up an LDS, the Phillies and Padres opened the NLCS with the Phillies winning Game 1 2-0 behind HR by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. There were only four hits in the game. 3 by the Phillies and only one by the Padres.
Posted in Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason
Tagged Benintendi, Cortes, Hicks, Holmes, Judge, LeMahieu, Loaisiga, Marinaccio, Peralta, Peraza, Severino, Stanton, Taillon
Sorry if this arrives a bit late. I had to get sprung from Facebook (or do I call it Meta now?) prison again, so I couldn’t copy or post anything for a while. An Aside: Fight for your First Amendment rights. Fight censorship. What they do is B.S. as far as restricting those rights. The Yanks set their ALDS roster, and there may be a few surprises. First who is on. Trevino, Higashioka, Rizzo, Torres, Kiner-Falefa, Donaldson, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Hicks, Bader, Judge, Carpenter (a surprise), Stanton, Locastro. Who is not on: LeMahieu, who apparently has a foot fracture, Benintendi, and rookie Oswald Peraza. As for the pitchers. On: Cole, Cortes, Severino, Taillon, German, Schmidt, Trivino, Loaisiga, Luetge, Peralta, Holmes, Castro. Not on: Effross (needs TJ surgery), Montas, Chapman (we will get to that in a bit), Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, King (went down a few months ago), Green (lost at beginning of the year), Weissert. The Yankees’ bullpen is a concern. Chapman was inconsistent, and not reliable. There was no certainty he would be on the roster. But then, since he wasn’t sure, Chapman blew off a mandatory workout, his excuse was unacceptable, and the Yanks told him to stay home. With Effross’ surprising diagnosis, Chapman would have made the roster. Instead, he is replaced by Castro. Chapman is a free agent, and it is certain he won’t be back with the Yankees. Who would want him after this selfish incident, who knows. But that would be their problem. GM Brian Cashman’s moves at the trade deadline do not look good. There is nothing he can do about the injuries, but Benintendi, Montas, and Effross aren’t on the ALDS roster, and Bader barely made it after the Yankees had to wait on his injury to heal. But anyway, the Yankees did take Game 1 of the ALDS (best-of-five) Tuesday night, 4-1. Gerrit Cole pitched into the seventh and ran into trouble in the third inning. Cole, who gave up 33 HR in the regular season, gave up a one-out HR to Steven Kwan. We’ve seen Cole fall apart when something throws him off, and it appeared that would happen again. Cleveland loaded the bases after Kwan’s HR, and you were afraid they would break things open with a big inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Cole got a force at home. A bad call by the umpire didn’t let Cole get the strike three he wanted, but he held it together and got the strike three a bit later to get out of the inning surrendering only the one run. In the bottom of the third, Harrison Bader homered for the Yankees to tie the game at one. In the bottom of the fifth, Josh Donaldson led off the inning by hitting a ball that looked like a HR. It hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play. Donaldson was into his HR trot and got thrown out. Had he been running all the way it would have been an easy double. Lesson: Run them out! Isiah Kiner-Falefa picked Donaldson up by singling to right, then advancing all the way to third on a 2-base error by RF Oscar Gonzalez. Jose Trevino made Cleveland pay for the error by hitting a SF to put the Yanks up 2-1. In the sixth, the Yanks got some insurance runs. Aaron Judge led off with a walk and stole second. Judge went to third when catcher Austin Hedge’s throw went for an error. Anthony Rizzo followed with a 2-run HR to make it 4-1, which wound up as the final score. Rizzo 2-run HR. Donaldson 2 for 2, walk. Bader solo HR. Cole (WIN) 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 8 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR. Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Peralta (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Holmes 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night, with Nestor Cortes on the mound. Friday is supposed to be another off day. However, the weather forecast is not good and Game 2 could be postponed to Friday, which would mean havoc to the pitching rotation. If you play Game 2 on Thursday, Cole could come back for Game 4 on regular rest on Sunday, with Cortes on 3 days rest for a Game 5. But if Game 2 is postponed until Friday, Cortes won’t be able to do that. Now if Cole goes in Game 4 you cannot bring Cortes back for Game 5 on two days’ rest. Instead, the Yanks would probably use Cole in Game 4 only if down 2 games to 1, then figure out later who goes in Game 5 (Taillon or German). If the Yanks are UP 2 games to 1, then they save Cole for Game 5 if necessary and go with Taillon or German in Game 4. Of course, no matter what the weather does, the easiest way to avoid that headache is just to win in a 3-game sweep. Recently, Tyler Wade, who was picked back up by the Yanks and sent to SWB after being DFA’d by the Angels, declared free agency. In other game ones, the Phillies held on beat the Braves, 7-6. The Dodgers won Game 1 over the Padres 5-3, and those hated Astros got a 3-run walk off HR by Yordan Alvarez to win 8-7. Seattle blew a 7-3 lead they had after 7.
Posted in Players, Postseason, Scandal, The Front Office
Tagged ALDS roster, Bader, Carpenter, Cashman, Chapman, Cole, Donaldson, Effross, Holmes, LeMahieu, Loaisiga, Peralta, Rizzo, Wade
Eerie. As Yankees’ announcer Michael Kay stated, when the game started, the Yankees’ record matched the number on the back of Aaron Judge’s jersey and the number of HR he had. 99-61. When the game ended, it also matched up. 99 and 62. The 3-2 loss to Texas in the second and night game of a day/night doubleheader was the only damper in a day that saw Judge break the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record (and to many, me included, set the CLEAN MLB record) and also see Gerrit Cole set a new Yankees’ single-season strikeout record. Both players did it in the same inning, the first. With the division and postseason seeding already wrapped up and known, it may be one of the very few times the result of the game didn’t matter as much as the individual accomplishments, although it would have been nice to top the achievements off with a win. Judge still has an outside chance to win the Triple Crown, but it is a slim one. From MLB.com: Here is a non-exhaustive list of examples of potential outcomes that would result in Judge winning the first Triple Crown in baseball since 2012 and the 13th in AL/NL history: Judge goes 4-for-4 (.315331), (Luis) Arraez (of Twins) goes 1-for-4 (.314545) Judge goes 4-for-4 (.315331), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747) Judge goes 3-for-4 (.313589), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747) Judge goes 3-for-3 (.314136), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747) As you can see, it’s certainly not impossible for Judge to end up on top, but it won’t come easy. Now a couple of questions come into play here. One, will Judge play at all today? After what has been an exhaustive couple of weeks after having hit #60 on September 20, will manager Aaron Boone give Judge today off? Judge appears ready to play judging (pun not intended) from his postgame remarks last night, but if he gets the day off, who is to begrudge him that after all the pressure of the last two weeks? The other consideration is that the Twins probably won’t give Arraez four at bats today, in order to protect his average. Who knows if Arraez even plays today? Given those scenarios, I don’t expect Judge to win the Triple Crown, but what a season. Somewhere, 61 years later in the great beyond, Phil Rizzuto probably screamed “Holy Cow, he did it!” Judge’s HR came on the third (3, Babe Ruth’s number) pitch of the game off of Jesus Tinoco. #99 passed #9 (Roger Maris) to become the all-time AL and Yankees’ single-season HR king. In the bottom of the first, Cole gave up a single and SB, then got a strikeout. That K, #249 of the season, broke Ron Guidry’s mark of 248 set in Guidry’s remarkable 25-3, 1.74 1978 season. Maybe the achievement affected Cole a little, maybe not, but the next batter after that K singled, and Texas had tied the game at one each. Catcher Jose Trevino saved Cole from more damage by throwing the runner out at second attempting a steal. Then after a triple, Trevino picked THAT runner off of third. In the top of the fifth, Giancarlo Stanton homered (31) to put the Yanks up 2-1. But in the bottom of the fifth, Yankees’ 3B Josh Donaldson made an error, and after a strikeout, Cole gave up a 2-run HR to Leody Taveras that put Texas up 3-2, and that turned out to be the final score. Funny but the runner on base (via Donaldson’s error) when Taveras hit the HR was a guy by the same of Sam Huff. When Maris hit his 61st HR in 1961, the NY Giants had an All-Pro linebacker by the same of Sam Huff. What goes around comes around. Today is the last day of the regular season. After today, the Yankees open their postseason with Game 1 of the ALDS on October 11 at Yankee Stadium vs. Tampa Bay or Cleveland. All the seedings are set. The best of 3 wild card has all three games at the field of the higher seed. AL : Tampa Bay (6) vs. Cleveland (3), winner plays Yankees (2) in ALDS Seattle (5) vs. Toronto (4), winner plays Houston (1) in ALDS NL: Philadelphia (6) vs. St. Louis (3), winner plays Atlanta (2) in NLDS San Diego (5) vs. NY Mets (4), winner plays LA Dodgers (1) in NLDS Judge solo HR (62) NEW AL AND YANKEES SINGLE SEASON RECORD Stanton solo HR (31) LeMahieu 2 hits Cole (L, 13-8) 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 W, 9 K. 3.50 257 K IS NEW YANKEES SINGLE SEASON RECORD Schmidt 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.12
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Media, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Boone, Cole, Guidry, Judge, Kay, LeMahieu, Maris, Schmidt, Stanton, Trevino, Triple Crown
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.
Posted in In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Postseason, Regular Season
Tagged Abreu, Benintendi, Boone, Britton, Cabrera, Carpenter, Castro, Chapman, Effross, German, Holmes, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Marinaccio, Peralta, Stanton
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.
Posted in Awards, Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Managers and Coaches, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Bader, Boone, Britton, Chapman, Cole, Donaldson, Effross, Gonzalez, Guidry, Hicks, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Maris, Peraza, Rizzo, Schmidt
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
Posted in Ex-Players, In-Season Moves, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Andujar, Cortes, Garcia, Hicks, Judge, Kiner-Falefa, LeMahieu, Peralta, Schmidt, Stanton, Torres, Weber, Weissert
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
Posted in Awards, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Bard, Boone, Ford, Gonzalez, Holmes, Judge, LeMahieu, Locastro, Luetge, Mantle, Montas, Ohtani, Rizzo, Ruth
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)