Tag Archives: Luetge

Game 158. Tough day for Judge, Yanks, in 3-1 loss.

A raw, rainy day in NY was only made more miserable with a 3-1 Yankees (97-61) loss and a tough day for Aaron Judge.

If Judge is going to break Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61 HR in a season, #62 will have to come in Texas, where the Yanks play 4 games in 3 days, starting tonight. (DH on Tuesday).

Maybe it would be a good thing. Maybe the pressure of trying to hit the HR in front of the home fans was daunting. One thing for sure, the weather (high of 84 to 86 degrees and sunny) in Texas will be much nicer than what Judge faced yesterday.

Judge was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk, dropping his batting average to .311. He is four points behind the Twins’ Luis Arraez, and unless Judge gets really, really hot in the next three games, will probably NOT win the Triple Crown, especially since Arraez has sat out a few of the last couple of games, and the Twins will try to protect Arraez’ lead.

Chi Chi Gonzalez was brought up to start the Yanks’ home finale and Jacob Barnes was DFA’d to make room for Gonzalez. Gonzalez pitched into the fifth and pitched well, giving up just one run. Baltimore got that run in the top of the first inning.

The Yanks got their only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. The Aarons, Hicks and Judge, led off the inning with back-to-back walks. After an out a WP moved the runners up, with Hicks scoring on a throwing error on the play, Judge remaining at second.

The Yanks only got four hits in the game and were 0 for 7 w/RISP.

In the seventh, Aroldis Chapman once again proved why he is no lock for the postseason roster and why he can’t be trusted. A single, two walks, a strikeout and yet another walk forced in what proved to be the winning run. Ron Marinaccio relieved Chapman and gave up another run on a SF. Chapman threw 26 pitches. Only 12 were strikes. That’s been Chapman’s problem for a while now. You just can’t keep giving free passes.

Gonzalez 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K. 5.87 (3-team ERA). Could be his only game as a NYY.
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.72
Chapman (L, 3-4) 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 4.58
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.05
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.21
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.23




Game 151. Yanks hit 3 HR (none by Judge) in 7-5 win over Boston. Magic #3 for AL East crown.

The Yankees (83-58) reduced their magic # for winning the AL East to 3 with a 7-5 win over Boston on Saturday.

While they hit 3 HR, none were by Aaron Judge, who is stuck on 60 as he tries to tie and surpass Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61.

Judge went 0 for 3 with a walk and fell one point behind Boston’s Xander Bogaerts in the batting race, .315 to .314. Luis Arraez of the Twins is at .313. Since Judge is way ahead in HR and RBI, he also could be a Triple Crown winner as well.

The Yanks got on the board first when Gleyber Torres homered (24) in the bottom of the first inning. 1-0, Yankees.

Domingo German had a shaky second inning though, giving up 2 HR and 3 runs as Boston took a 3-1 lead.

The Yanks got a run back in the bottom of the second. With one out, Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader both walked. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in Cabrera, Bader out at third.

The Yanks went up 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run HR by Cabrera (4). Now this will be interesting in the offseason. Andrew Benintendi is a free agent, and currently on the IL with a broken hand. Do the Yankees try to sign Benintendi or do they feel confident in having the 23-year-old rookie Cabrera as their starting LF in 2023?

In the fifth inning, the Yanks upped their lead to 5-3. Kyle Higashioka led off with a single and Judge walked. A flyout moved Higashioka to third. One out later, Josh Donaldson’s infield single brought home Higashioka. 5-3, Yankees.

After a year away because of Tommy John surgery, Zack Britton returned to the mound but was ineffective, as Boston cut the Yanks lead to 5-4 in the sixth when Britton walked in a run. Lou Trivino came in with the bases loaded and one out and made sure that was all the Red Sox got.

But Boston tied it up in the seventh off of Trivino and Lucas Luetge, who with two out, couldn’t slam the door before Boston tied the game.

Anthony Rizzo hit a 2-run HR (32) in the bottom of the seventh that wound up deciding the game. 7-5 Yankees.

Rizzo 2-run HR (32)
Torres 2 hits, solo HR (24)
Cabrera 2-run HR (4)

German 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.30 One rough inning.
Britton (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 27.00 First appearance of season.
Trivino (H, 4) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.86 (A’s/NYY ERA)
Luetge (W, 4-4; BS, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.78
Schmidt (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.40
Effross (S, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.70 (Cubs/NYY ERA)





Game 148. Pinstripes Pummel Pirates, 14-2. 5 RBI each for Cabrera, Gleyber.

History was made at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night, but not the history fans came to see.

Aaron Judge didn’t hit HR #61 but did hit two doubles in the game. He still leads the AL in batting average, .3171 to .3166 over Xander Bogaerts as he tries to become only the second Triple Crown winner since 1967.

If Judge is to get HR #61 tonight, it would be against the same team Roger Maris got #61 against—the Red Sox. One thing though—Judge is 0 for 14 against Red Sox starter Michael Wacha.

With the win, 14-2 over Pittsburgh, the 90-58 Yankees’ magic # is 8 to clinch the division, and 1 to ensure a playoff spot. Since the Yankees own the tiebreaker over Baltimore, any Yankees’ win or Orioles loss and the Yankees get at least the #6 seed.

Oswaldo Cabrera and Gleyber Torres each had 5 RBI in the game, and each did it in record-setting fashion.

Luis Severino came off of the IL and was great, giving up just one run in five innings. With Frankie Montas going on the IL and who will probably NOT be ready for the playoffs (and Montas wasn’t pitching well anyway), Severino could be the starter for Game #3 after Cole and Cortes and in front of Taillon.

Miguel Andujar was sent down in order to bring Severino off of the IL.

In the bottom of the first, Cabrera hit a grand slam (3) to put the Yankees up 4-0. From MLB.com, here are a few history-making notes about his grand slam.

It marked the first time in AL/NL history that a team had won a game on a grand slam (Giancarlo Stanton’s ultimate slam on Tuesday night), then scored its first four runs in the next game with another slam.

It was also only the third instance of a team hitting a grand slam in the final inning of one game and then another slam in the first inning of its next contest. The others involved the Red Sox in 1955 and the Dodgers in 2017, according to Stats Perform.

The Yankees — who rode consecutive-inning slams by Judge and Aaron Hicks to a rout of these same Pirates on July 6 — also became the first club in history to hit slams in back-to-back innings twice in one season. The feat is so rare that no other team has hit a pair of consecutive-inning grand slams against the same opponent at any point in its history — not to mention the same season.


Pittsburgh got a run in the fourth off of Severino to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-1.

The Yanks scored two in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Judge doubled. If he would have gotten under the ball just a little bit, maybe #61. Instead, the ball went 305 feet down the 318 ft. LF line and one-hopped the fence for a ground-rule double. After another out, Judge moved up on a WP and scored on a single by Torres. Josh Donaldson then doubled in Torres to make it 6-1.

The Pirates got a run in the top of the sixth off Lucas Luetge. 6-2.

Then the Yanks scored 8 in the eighth to blow the game open. Torres led off with a HR (22). Donaldson and Stanton each walked. Cabrera doubled in Donaldson, Stanton to third. Harrison Bader doubled in both runners to make it 10-2. So far in his first two games as a Yankee, Bader has been a sparkplug. 5 RBI for him in the two games. After an out, Jose Trevino doubled in Bader. Judge walked, and after a WP and another out, Torres hit his second HR (23) of the inning to make it 14-2.

Torres became the fifth Yankee to HR twice in the same inning. Judge can’t do everything by himself, so to see Torres get hot is a great sign. Now for Rizzo and Stanton to do the same.

Once again, from MLB.com:

The 25-year-old joined the company of Alex Rodriguez (who did it twice, most recently on Oct. 4, 2009), Cliff Johnson (1977), Joe Pepitone (’62), and Joe DiMaggio (’36). Coincidentally, Torres’ own skipper (Aaron Boone) also accomplished the feat during his playing days, smashing a pair of long balls for the Reds in the first inning on Aug. 9, 2002.

Judge 2 hits. Leads in all triple Crown categories. Barely in average. .3171 to .3166 over Bogaerts.
Torres 3 hits, 5 RBI. Solo and 3-run HR (23), Both HR in the same inning.
Cabrera 2 hits, 5 RBI. Grand Slam (3)
Bader 2 RBI.

Severino (W, 6-3) 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 6 K. 3.36
Luetge 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 HBP 2.82
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.25
Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.10







Game 144. Disappointing 7-6 loss for Yanks.

It was a disappointing game in many ways as the Yankees (87-67) blew a 5-0 lead and lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Friday night.

Before the game, Aroldis Chapman came off the IL, and Ryan Weber was DFA’d. The Yanks will have many more moves next week as several others come off the IL.

With the loss the Yanks’ magic # to clinch the AL East remains at 13. Since Baltimore lost, the Yankees’ magic # to secure a playoff berth is 7 (since the Yankees own the tiebreaker against the Orioles).

It looked great early on for the Yankees. They scored three runs in the top of the first. Aaron Judge led off the game with a single, and one out later, Gleyber Torres doubled, Judge going to third. A SF by Josh Donaldson plated Judge. Oswaldo Cabrera walked, then Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in one run and Marwin Gonzalez singled in another. 3-0. They had runners on second and third after a WP but couldn’t add on further.

Later in the game, Gonzalez had to leave due to illness, and Cabrera had to move to first, which he never played before. Also, catcher Jose Trevino had to leave after taking a foul ball off his knee. He was replaced by Kyle Higashioka.

The Yanks added two runs in the top of the second, when Aaron Hicks led off with a single, then Judge singled. A walk to Giancarlo Stanton loaded the bases. Torres flied out, no advance, but a run scored when Donaldson hit into a force at second. An error on the play allowed Judge to score as well. 5-0.

But Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas, who struggled in the first inning, gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the second. 5-3. The trade for Montas has been a disappointment. He is 1-3, 6.35 as a Yankee in 8 starts (5-12, 4.05 overall). With Sonny Gray before, and now Montas, the joke going around is that the Yankees should stop trading for Oakland pitchers. Anyway, I cringe every time I hear talk about whether Montas is the Game 2 or 3 playoff starter for the Yankees. From what I’ve seen, HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE PLAYOFF ROSTER! I’d prefer Cole, Cortes, Severino (off the IL next week), Taillon and even German over Montas right now. That is 5 guys when you probably only need 4 and maybe, depending on the playoff schedule and off days, 3. Yes, that is right. In my pecking order, once Severino comes back, Montas is #6 … and depending on how you like Clarke Schmidt, maybe even #7.

To the top of the third, and Aaron Hicks made the same mistake he made a few days ago. He has to realize who bats behind him. With two outs, he doubled. NORMALLY, you would be happy with the double. You go to second base. NOT IN THIS CASE. Hicks should have just stopped at first. For by going to second, he took the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball, Judge. Judge, of course, was intentionally walked. Stanton made out. Hicks has to learn to stop at first on such occurrences, or Stanton (hitting .215) needs to step it up. Aaron Boone and the coaches also should realize this and talk to Hicks about it.

Willie Mays would sometimes stop at first in those situations so as to NOT take the bat out of the hands of Willie McCovey. Mays had baseball smarts. Hicks? Not so.

Maybe move Torres to 2 behind Judge? After all, he’s hot lately. Stanton isn’t.

To the fourth, and the Yanks stranded two more runners. Meanwhile, the Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth off of Montas and Lucas Luetge. Given a 5-0 lead, Montas couldn’t get out of the fourth inning and Boone had to use most of his bullpen for the rest of the game. Unacceptable.

The Yanks stranded two more runners in the sixth.

In the bottom of the eighth, Milwaukee took the lead. On one play, Gleyber Torres couldn’t come up with a ball hit up the middle. A tough break there. But on another, IKF made an error with two out allowing a run to score. The internet has been on his defense lately. Could Oswald Peraza have made that play? Who knows. But IKF has to make that. Instead, 6-5, Brew Crew.

Donaldson tied the game in the top of the ninth with his 14th HR of the season, a ball that hit the foul pole. Cabrera followed with a double but was left stranded. The home plate umpire made an absolutely horrendous called third strike call on Miguel Andujar with Cabrera on third and one out. MLB needs to do more than to give umps a slap on the wrist on these egregious errors. They need to suspend or fire umps. We have seen so many bad calls and nothing happens to the umps. Boone was tossed arguing the call. Yeah, the manager and/or player pays for the umps f-up.

Clay Holmes came on for the bottom of the ninth and blew the game. This has to be very concerning for the Yankees. You need a reliable closer going into the postseason. In 2009, EVERY closer blew a postseason game except for one. Mariano Rivera. The Yankees won the World Series, their last one to date. Since July 9, Holmes ERA is 6.86. He has lost 4 games and has 3 blown saves. He has walked 13 in 19 2/3 innings. He has to right the ship and quickly or the Yanks will have to find another closer for the postseason.

The loss is one thing. But the 2 for 11 w/RISP, 11 left on base, and the struggles of Montas and Holmes are another. That is what made this loss so disappointing. Oh yeah, one more thing at the bottom.

Judge 2 hits.
Torres 2 hits
Donaldson 3 RBI. Solo HR (14)
Cabrera 2 for 2, 3 walks.
Hicks 2 hits.

Montas 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.05 (Oak/NYY ERA)
Luetge 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.75
Weissert 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.56 SEE BELOW
German 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.12
Peralta 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.40 SEE BELOW
Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.69 SEE BELOW
Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.43
Holmes (L, 6-4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.59.

One more thing here. (I told you above, didn’t I?) Check the pitching line above. Weissert faced one batter. Stuck him out. Peralta faced one batter. Struck him out. Trivino faced three batters, struck them all out.

WHY DIDN’T THEY STAY IN THE GAME LONGER, BOONE? Don’t mess with success!


















Game 142. Judge hits 2 HR (now has 57) in Yanks’ 7-6 win over Boston.

Aaron Judge kept up the pace (he’s on pace for 65) for being the new AL and Yankees’ single season HR champ, hitting two HR last night to put him 4 behind Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61. There are 20 games left.

The Yankees’ (86-56) 7-6 win in 10 innings means that their magic # for clinching the AL East is now 15. It is 9 for clinching a playoff berth (you may see 10 but the Yankees own the tiebreaker due to head-to-head record against Baltimore).

Despite Judge’s HR, it took a bases-loaded double by Gleyber Torres and some relief by Wandy Peralta to win the game for the Yankees in the tenth.

Yankees’ starter Gerrit Cole only gave up 4 hits, but 3 of them were HR. In the bottom of the second inning, he gave up a 2-run HR to Triston Casas, and Boston was up 2-0. (None of the 3 HR Cole gave up were to Rafael Devers, who owns Cole).

Marwin Gonzalez tied the game for the Yankees in the top of the third inning with a 2-run HR (5). But Cole gave up a HR to Reese McGuire in the bottom of the third and Boston went back on top, 3-2.

Judge hit HR #56 to tie the game in the top of the sixth, but in the bottom of the sixth, Xander Bogaerts sliced a HR around the Pesky Pole to put Boston up 4-3.

One thing about the Pesky Pole. Many people, including sportscasters, have it all wrong. They act as if it is named that because Johnny Pesky hit a lot of HR around that pole. WRONG. Boston SS/3B Johnny Pesky hit 17 HR IN HIS WHOLE CAREER, 13 with Boston and 4 as a Detroit Tiger. It is named the Pesky Pole because his name was actually John Michael Paveskovich. He was Polish. The Pesky Pole is because of his ethnicity, not his HR ability.

Judge tied the game up with HR #57 leading off the top of the eighth inning. 4-4.

To extra innings and that blasted ghost runner. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was the ghost runner at second for the Yankees. Aaron Hicks PH for Jose Trevino and walked, but Gonzalez GIDP. With a runner on third and two out, Boston, of course, intentionally walked Judge. But Giancarlo Stanton also walked, and he was then PR for by Estevan Florial. Torres cleared the bases with his double to put the Yanks up 7-4.

Boston got a HBP in the bottom of the tenth to have runners on first and second with no one out. Clay Holmes got a K, but then was relieved by Wandy Peralta. Wandy escaped, but barely. A single made it 7-5. Then a flyout for out #2. One strike away from a win, Peralta threw a WP to make it 7-6 and put the tying run on second. He then got a swing and a miss to end the game.

Judge 3 hits, 2 RBI. Two solo HR (57) He is now hitting .310 with 123 RBI.
Judge Leads MLB in 9 categories, and the AL in a 10th. Stop talking Ohtani MVP. It’s Judge.
Ohtani’s team is 61-81. What, you are penalizing Judge because he doesn’t pitch as well? C’mon.
Without Judge, the Yanks aren’t in first place. With Ohtani, the Angels are still in fourth. Enough said.

Torres 3 RBI
Gonzalez 2-run HR (5)

Cole 6 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 W, 10 K. Gave up 3 HR 3.30
Cole has 228 K, 20 behind Guidry’s Yankee record of 248 in 1978.
Luetge 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.60
Trivino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 4.79 (A’s/NYY ERA)
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.42
Holmes (W, 6-3) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.35
Peralta (S, 4) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP 2.41

Before the game, Jose Trevino off the paternity list, Ben Rortvedt sent down.






Game 141. Yanks have a cushion after 10-4 win over Rays.

As Yogi said, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The 1964 Phillies blew a 6 1/2 game lead with 12 games left in the season. The 2004 Yankees blew a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 series. The 2007 Mets blew a 7-game lead with 17 games left. You don’t count your chickens until they are hatched.

But with yesterday’s 10-4 win over Tampa Bay, coupled with the 10-3 win on Saturday, the Yankees (85-56) opened up a 5 1/2 game lead with 21 games to go. Had the Rays swept the Yankees this weekend instead of only winning the first game, the lead would have been down to 1 1/2 games and the pressure really would have been on after having once had a 15 1/2 game lead.

There are other things finally turning in the Yankees’ favor after almost two months of things going sour. For one, the Rays have some 15 of their 24 remaining games against Toronto and Houston, making it that much more difficult to catch the Yankees for the division title. Toronto sits 6 back of the Yankees, and just 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay. Seattle is in a virtual tie with Tampa Bay. So those three teams are jockeying for 4-5-6 playoff position.

You will see that the Yankees have magic numbers of 18 for the division and 11 for a playoff spot. Actually, it is one less number for each because the Yankees own the tiebreakers.

Another thing in the Yankees’ favor is that the cavalry is on its way. Four Yankees started rehab assignments with AA Somerset yesterday (see other post). Yes, rust may be a factor, but hopefully they come back healthy and refreshed.

Lastly, something you will see in the game recap. The bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres seem to be waking up after long slumbers. This is extremely important. It means that teams just can’t pitch around Aaron Judge. He needs protection. Stanton and Torres hitting provides that protection. Then the Yankees’ offense can go.

As they did on Saturday, the Yankees jumped out early and big. Judge led off the bottom of the first with a single, and Stanton walked. Torres followed with a 3-run HR, #20 on the season, and the Yanks were up 3-0.

Domingo German started the game for the Yankees on short rest because of the rainout and subsequent doubleheader against the Twins a few days ago. He only pitched the first inning as the Yankees went with a bullpen game, using eight pitchers.

Tampa Bay got a run in the top of the second, but the Yanks blew the game open by responding with seven runs in the bottom of that inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the inning with a walk, Kyle Higashioka walked, and Marwin Gonzalez singled to load the bases. Judge hit a SF to make it 4-1, and Stanton followed with a 3-run HR (26) to make it 7-1. Torres followed with another HR (21) to make it 8-1. Josh Donaldson then walked, and Oswaldo Cabrera hit his first MLB HR to give the Yankees a 10-1 lead.

Cabrera also got another OF assist. When will teams learn not to run on him?

The Rays scored two in the sixth and another in the ninth. Final score 10-4.

Ben Rortvedt, who didn’t get into a game, was sent back to AAA after the game as Jose Trevino will be returning from paternity leave.

Stanton 3 RBI. 3-run HR (26)
Torres 2 hits, 4 RBI. 3-run HR and Solo HR (21) 4th Yankee with 20 or more HR
Cabrera 2 RBI. 2-run HR (1) First MLB HR.

German 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.21
Luetge 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63
Weissert (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.88
Peralta (W, 3-4) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.44
Trivino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.82 (A’s/NYY ERA)
Marinaccio 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.93
Schmidt 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. 2.70
Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1 WP 2.41

Albert Pujols hit HR #697 yesterday, passing Alex Rodriguez for fourth place on the all-time list.



Game 139. Lead down to 3 1/2 after 4-2 loss to Rays.

Before the game, news regarding C Jose Trevino. He was put on paternity leave. Ben Rortvedt was called up from AAA.

Trevino also is the team nominee for the Roberto Clemente award, given for community service.

With Trevino joining the list of unavailable Yankees due to injury or paternity leave, the lineup was further depleted, and the Yankees (83-56) lost to Tampa Bay 4-2 Friday night. Their lead in the AL East, once 15 1/2, is now 3 1/2.

Even the return of Derek Jeter to Yankee Stadium for the first time in a while didn’t bring any luck.

Some reinforcements back from the IL can’t arrive quickly enough (more on that in a bit), but how good will they be? How rusty?

Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas gave up back-to-back, one out doubles in the first inning, and the Rays were up 1-0.

The Rays got three runs in the fourth, thanks to a couple of misplays by Aaron Hicks, who was then booed mightily and pulled from the game. Harrison Bader can’t arrive soon enough, it seems. I had to laugh and pull a “show me” attitude when Hicks said his goal in spring training was to be a 30/30 guy. Not even close and right now his goal should be just to remain on the team in 2023, which I don’t believe will happen. Hicks contract, with 3 more years to go, is one of the worst in Cashman’s GM history. The Yanks, like they did with Joey Gallo and Sonny Gray, need to know when to cut the cord. As with Gallo and Gray, they’ve stuck with Hicks too long. Once the fans turn on you, you got to go.

With one out in that fourth inning, Ji-Man Choi walked. Montas got the second out, then gave up a single. Wander Franco, just off the IL, and who doubled in the Rays’ first inning rally, doubled again, driving in two runs. Hicks had the ball in his glove at the foul line, but with the side wall approaching, appeared to shy off and dropped it. He thought it was a foul ball and took his time getting the ball back in while two runs scored. Very bad look. Then he misplayed the next drive into another double and the Rays lead went from 1-0 to 4-0. If he makes the first play, the game remains at 1-0. He basically gave away three runs. With the Yankees’ offense compromised, that was like giving away the game. The fans then gave Hicks the “Gallo” treatment, not only booing him but actually chanting “Joey Gallo” at him. It was a bad look and made manager Aaron Boone pull Hicks after the inning.

On top of that, Hicks to that point was 0 for 2, 2 strikeouts, and his batting average dropped to .211.

You can’t have this. The Yanks need to find a taker for him or eat his contract. Like I wrote, when the fans turn on you as they have, you got to go.

This isn’t to be mean at Hicks. It’s just reporting the reality of what happened and what must happen.

The Yanks scored a run in the seventh, thanks to who else? Aaron Judge. Oswald Peraza walked, and with one out, moved to second on a groundout. Judge singled to make the score 4-1.

Kyle Higashioka homered (8) in the bottom of the ninth to make it 4-2. Judge walked with two out in the ninth, but Gleyber Torres, the potential tying run, flied to right to end the game. The ball was caught at the fence.

Judge 2 hits, RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Higashioka 3 hits, solo HR (8)

Montas (L, 5-12) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 4 W, 4 K. 1 HBP 3.89 (Combined A’s/NYY record)
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.49
Weber 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.84


Games 136 & 137. Despite depleted lineups, Yanks sweep Twins. Judge hits #55, IKF, Peraza, Cole star.

Sorry, my original draft got erased and I had to re-write a lot. UGH.

A load of baseball yesterday, and at first it didn’t look good. Due to injuries, the Yankees’ lineups looked worse than a spring training lineup. In the first game of the DH yesterday, the Yanks (83-54) started three rookies, plus another guy who, although he had MLB experience and wasn’t a rookie, hadn’t played in the majors all season.

The Yanks put Josh Donaldson on the paternity list. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) played 3B. IKF had won a GG at 3B for Texas in 2020. Bard DFA’d, Deivi Garcia up. Miguel Andujar up as 29th man for the doubleheader. Rizzo to IL, Ron Guzman up.

But at the end of the day, the Yankees had won both games off of their perennial whipping boys, the Twins, by scores of 5-4 (in 12 innings) and 7-1.

With the wins, the Yanks are 5 up on the Rays in the AL East. The magic # for winning the division is 22, and the magic # for a playoff berth is 15. The wins ensured the Yankees a winning season. They haven’t had a losing season since 1992.

Game 1: Domingo German had a rough start but settled in. A double, strikeout, and HR, and Minnesota was up 2-0 just three batters into the game. With two out in the fourth, three straight singles made it 3-0 Twins and with the weakened Yankees’ lineup, it didn’t appear good.

The Yanks got a run in the bottom of the fourth of Aaron Judge’s 55th HR of the season. The home run meant that Judge now has hit more HR in a season than any other righty hitter in Yankees’ history. Only Ruth (60 in 1927) and Maris (61 in ’61) have hit more. Judge was walked 5x yesterday, 3x intentionally. Another reason to hate the ghost runner. If Judge is the first guy up, even with the ghost runner on second, first base is open, and Judge is walked to set up a DP. You take the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball.

Gleyber Torres tied the game with a 2-run HR in the sixth. (19).

Both teams wasted chances. Oswaldo Cabrera, an infielder brought up to the Yanks a few weeks ago, got his fifth OF assist of the season in the top of the tenth. Ron Guzman, up for Rizzo, struck out 4x and then with the bases loaded and no out in extra innings, hit into a 3-2-3 DP.

The Twins got a run in the top of the 12th off of Ron Marinaccio, but with the bases loaded and one out, Greg Weissert avoided further damage.

In the bottom of the 12th, Marwin Gonzalez was the ghost runner and IKF singled to tie the game. With one out, IKF stole second. Jose Trevino singled, IKF was held up and Trevino took second on the throw. With two out, Cabrera singled to win the game.

Judge solo HR (55)
Torres 2-run HR (19)
Kiner-Falefa (IKF) 2 hits, RBI
Peraza 3 hits FIRST 3 HITS OF MLB CAREER.

German 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.27
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.58
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.66
Holmes 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.29
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K. 1.73
Weissert (W, 3-0) 2/3 I, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.36

Game 2: With the long game in game 1, and several bullpen members used, the Yanks needed length from Gerrit Cole. He went 6 2/3 IP, striking out 14.

Cole leads MLB with 218 strikeouts and is 30 away from Ron Guidry’s Yankee team single season record of 248, set in 1978. Cole has four, maybe five starts left in the season.

Cole gave up a HR to his ex-teammate, Carolos Correa, in the top of the third.

IKF hit a grand slam, just his third HR of the season, in the bottom of the fourth. He didn’t get his first HR until mid-August.

In the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Hicks hit a bases-loaded double for three runs to make it 7-1.

Hicks 3 RBI
Kiner-Falefa 4 RBI. Grand Slam. (3)
Florial 2 hits.

Cole (W, 11-7) 6 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 14 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.20
Luetge (S, 2) 2 1/3 Ip, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 3 K. 2.55

Nestor Cortes returns to the rotation tonight to face ex-Yankee Sonny Gray.










Game 130. 3 HR, including Judge’s 51st, spark Yanks to 7-4 win.

I didn’t know I had this much power. Yesterday I said what the lineup should be. I had Andrew Benintendi hitting second, Giancarlo Stanton hitting fourth behind Aaron Judge in order to protect Judge, and Anthony Rizzo fifth. Benintendi, Judge and Rizzo all homered last night in a 7-4 Yankees’ win.

Now I’m sure that manager Aaron Boone doesn’t read my blog, care about it or give a hoot about my opinion, but it sure made me look smart and feel good last night that what I suggested was done and with good results!

With the win, the Yanks stay 7 up on Tampa Bay in the AL East, reduced their magic number to 27 for clinching the division, and put their record at 79-51. After playing the Angels again today, the Yanks are off Thursday before being in Florida this weekend to take on Tampa Bay in a big series.

The victory came with a very big scare. The Yanks have a lot of pitchers on the IL and almost had to place starter Jameson Taillon on the IL after he took a liner to his forearm. Luckily, X-rays showed just a bruise, and no IL stint is necessary. But he was knocked out after two innings and the Yankees had to piece together a bullpen game from there.

Benintendi started the ball rolling. As the second hitter in the top of the first inning, he homered (5) to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

Rizzo homered (30) leading off the top of the second to make it 2-0.

Taillon gave up a 2-run HR to Max Stassi in the bottom of the second that tied the game. Shortly afterward, he took the liner off his arm that forced him from the game.

The Yanks came back with two runs in the top of the third. D.J. LeMahieu walked, and with one out, Judge singled. After another out, Rizzo walked to load the bases. A throwing error on Angels’ 3B Luis Rengifo then enabled two runs to score. 4-2.

The Yanks made it 7-2 in the top of the fourth. With two out, LeMahieu and Benintendi each singled, then Judge launched HR #51, a three-run shot.

Ex-Yankee Mike Ford tormented his former team again, homering in the fifth to make it 7-3. The Angels added another run in the ninth. Final score 7-4.

Greg Weissert got his first MLB win in his third MLB game.

Benintendi 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (5)
Judge 3 hits, 3 RBI. 3-run HR (51) He now has 113 RBI.
Rizzo solo HR (30)

Taillon 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.97
Weissert (W, 1-0) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.23 FIRST MLB WIN
Luetge 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.68
Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.02 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.85
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 5.29
Peralta 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.72











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