Tag Archives: Matsui

KC repeats as AL Champ, to face Mets in WS

The Kansas City Royals repeated as AL Champions, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Friday night to win the ALCS in six games.

The Royals, of course, lost last year’s WS to the Giants in 7 games.

One HR, by Moustakas of KC, was controversial when it appeared that a fan may have reached over and interfered. It was close. MLB should do something about fences like KC’s and Philly’s were there is a fence and then some funky railing or flowerbed, etc.. It’s a bit confusing. Just have the fence, no funky decoration. Then you aren’t determining did it clear this, not that, etc. You just go by did it clear or not.

I’m kind of glad Toronto lost. I don’t care for hot dogs like Bautista and Encarnacion.

Bautista did hit two homers in the loss.

Alcides Escobar was named ALCS MVP.

From 1976-1980, the Royals and Yankees played each other four times in five years in the ALCS, and the series were classics. Now it’s KC/NY again, but this time against the Mets in the World Series.

Don Mattingly and the Dodgers have parted ways. Donnie Baseball may not have to wait long for another managerial job. Besides the Dodgers, other teams who have let their managers go and who are looking for a new one are the Marlins, Mariners and Nationals. (Updated: I didn’t see that the Mariners hired a new manager yesterday.) Some Yankees fans would like Donnie back with the Yanks as hitting coach. Although it’d be nice, I cannot see it. When the Yankees let Joe Torre go as manager after 2007, Donnie was interviewed for the job along with Tony Pena and Joe Girardi. Girardi won the job. Although Pena is on Girardi’s staff, I don’t believe it is a good idea to have the two guys who competed with you for the manager’s job under you on your staff. Granted they are all professionals, but there could be too much looking over one’s shoulder. The first time the Yanks slump, people may start wondering if Mattingly would replace Girardi. That isn’t good for team chemistry and morale.

I’ve always thought that Hideki Matsui would make a great hitting coach, but the language barrier would be a problem. Some former players whose names are being tossed around include Raul Ibanez and Chili Davis.

In the Arizona Fall League, Gary Sanchez has been raking so far.

We’ll see if this one will be a classic. On paper, it appears the Mets have the starting pitching edge, but KC the bullpen edge.

The WS starts Tuesday night.

2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

S.T. Game 9. Yanks lose, 3-1.

Chase Headley went 3 for 3 and C prospect Gary Sanchez hit a HR, but the Yanks managed just two other hits in a 3-1 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday.

Also in the day, it was announced that Hideki Matsui was hired by the Yanks to be a special assistant. Great move.

The loss puts the Yanks spring training record at 5-3-1.

The pitching line:

Chase Whitley 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 walks and 1 K. In and out of trouble.
Esmiel Rogers 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.
Brandon Pinder 1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Jose Ramirez 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Chasen Shreve 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Jacob Lindgren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.



Game 63. Yanks edge Seattle, 3-2.

Derek Jeter got 2 hits (3372) and scored two runs, and Jacoby Ellsbury not only got the GW hit, but made a couple of fine defensive plays as the Yanks edged Seattle 3-2 Tuesday night.

The Yanks broke out early, scoring two in the first when Jeter singled, Teixeira singled, Beltran doubled in one and McCann singled in another.

Starter Vidal Nuno gave one back in the bottom of the first.

Nuno went 5 2/3, 1 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 2 K in lowering his ERA to 4.97. Nuno picked up a no-decision, because for the 11th consecutive game, the Yanks scored 4 or fewer runs. Sometimes when that happens, the offensive breakout occurs when you don’t need it. For example, Tanaka pitches tonight.

Nuno got help from his D. Ellsbury made two superb catches and Ichiro made a superb catch of his own.

Seattle tied the game in the seventh off of Betances.

Betances 1 1/3 IP, (W, 4-0, 1.69) 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. He hurt himself with a HBP and WP, but picked up the win.

In the eighth, Jeter got his first XBH in a while, a one-out double, and scored on Ellsbury’s single.

Warren and Robertson then shut down Seattle.

Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.31.

Robertson (15th save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and he struck out the side. 3 K. 3.68.

The win puts the Yanks back over .500 at 32-31 and into a tie for 2nd in the AL East with Baltimore, 5 1/2 back of Toronto.

In other Yankees news:

Shawn Kelley should be back tomorrow. I’d expect Jose Ramirez to be sent down.
Johnny Damon & Hideki Matsui will be attending Old-Timer Day ceremonies on June 22.
2b Robert Refsnyder was promoted from AA to AAA.

Game 105. 2003 again? On Matsui retirement day, Jeter, Mo & Soriano lead Yanks to 6-5 win.

Hideki Matsui came to the Yankees in 2003 after a stellar career in Japan. Today he signed a one-day minor league deal, then signed retirement papers in order to go out as a Yankee. He signed at home plate in front of fans who have appreciated his great play and pure class.

Then three of his teammates from that 2003 team went out and were key in winning the game: Jeter, Mo and Alfonso Soriano.

On Twitter or somewhere, it was suggested that Jeter’s life is like a fairy tale. You can’t write this stuff up. First back this year he singles his first time up after his ankle was broken twice. But he injures a quad and is out two weeks. So he returns again today and on the first pitch he sees, he homers. Mr. Dramatic.

Career HR #256 (and hit 3306) seemed to spark the Yankees offense. Cano and Soriano singled, Wells had a SF to make it 2-0 and after a WP, Ichiro singled to make it 3-0.

But the good times stopped there because Phil Hughes gave the lead back. Once again, Hughes gave up a big 3-run HR to Myers when he had two strikes on him. He has to start PITCHING and stop throwing. Often he goes for the K, thinking he’s Roger Clemens or someone and leaves a pitch up. He has to start thinking more like Wang was or Pettitte. Keep those pitches DOWN. Hughes is a flyball pitcher, and that is not good in Yankee Stadium. With Phelps returning soon, Hughes’ spot in the rotation isn’t guaranteed. He could be dealt before the deadline in a few days but I doubt it. Who’d take a chance on a 2-month rental? For that is what he’d be. He’s a free agent at the end of the year.

Between the booing at the Stadium and pissed-off people on blogs, fans are tired of Hughes and the gopher balls. They aren’t willing to remember that he has had 18 and 16 win seasons.

I think a lot of it is mental with Hughes and not physical. But he’s a goner.

The problem is, Hughes’ ERA of 4.58 is STILL less than CC’s 4.65. That is an indictment of CC.

Alfonso Soriano’s first HR since returning to the Yanks took the lead back for the Yanks. 5-4 after three.

But then, Hughes gave up ANOTHER HR to Myers, which tied it up.

Hughes 4 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 2 walks and 4 K. ERA to 4.58.

The Yankees bullpen was magnificent today.

He won’t get the award, but Preston Claiborne should get some ROY consideration. 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. ERA 2.06.

Logan the 7th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.30.

Robertson the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, no walks and 2 K. 1.87.

Faced with the prospect of falling 9 behind the Rays with a loss or 7 back with a win, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mo in the top of the 9th to hold the tie, hoping for a walk-off win in the bottom of the inning.

Mo did his part with a 1-2-3 inning. The 43 1/2 year old legend lowered his ERA to 1.64 in improving to 2-2 on the year. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Three groundouts.

In the bottom of the 9th, Gardner walked and advanced on a WP. Jeter was intentionally walked to set up a DP. Cano struck out but Soriano singled to win the game.

Jeter had 2 hits and an RBI. HR #256. He now has 3307 hits for his career. Next up are Eddie Collins with 3315 and Paul Molitor with 3319.

Soriano had 4 hits and drove in 3 runs.

Ichiro was 4 for 4 with an RBI.

The Yanks are off tomorrow as they head to La-La Land to face Donnie Baseball’s Dodgers.

Meanwhile, some reports are stating that MLB suspensions for Biogenesis could come this week, with A-Rod possibly getting the rest of this year and ALL of 2014.

Game 104. No O (except on scoreboard). Yanks lose 1-0.

If you are Ivan Nova, or others on the pitching staff, it has to be tough.

Nova went 7 great innings today and got no offensive support. Despite giving up just one run on six hits, three walks and 8 K, he lost 1-0. He falls to 4-4, 3.41 because the Yanks managed only two hits (Gardner & Overbay) in the whole ballgame. No one walked. One (Ichiro) reached on an error. That was it.

Robertson pitched the 8th. 1 Ip, 0 r, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.91.

Kelley the 9th. 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 3.40.

So there you have it. Yankees pitchers gave up 1 run, struck out 12, but because of no offense (actually, the offensive was quite offensive to Yankees’ fans), two hits, the Yanks lost 1-0.

It was the ninth time the Yanks have been shut out this year. They once (early 1930’s) went two years without being shut out.

The Yanks are still looking for their first post-ASG HR.

Jeter returns tomorrow (Sunday). Hafner to the DL w/a strained rotator cuff.

Some great news from the LOHUD blog:

LATEST CENSUS: With Alfonso Soriano playing last night, the Yankees have used 47 players this season (18 pitchers, 3 catchers, 15 infielders, 10 outfielders, 1 DH), exceeding their total from all of last year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees already topped the most players the club had ever used through its first 100 games of a season. The Yankees last used more players in a season in 2011 (48), and the franchise record is 51 (accomplished in 2008 and 2005).

YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: The Yankees will honor Hideki Matsui prior to Sunday’s game, which includes a Matsui bobblehead giveaway. Matsui will sign a minor league contract to formally rejoin the organization so that he can retire as a Yankee. The on-field ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m., which will include a video tribute and his signing of retirement papers at home plate alongside Yankees Senior V.P./General Manager Brian Cashman, Senior V.P./Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman and Matsui’s mother (Saeko) and father (Masao). He will then be presented with a matted and framed 2009 Yankees jersey. Matsui will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Yankees-Rays game.

Maybe they should try to get Godzilla out of retirement (just kidding). After all, this lineup is performing like they think they are the Highlanders in the dead-ball era.


Godzilla retires.

Hideki Matsui, the MVP of the 2009 WS for the Yankees, announced his retirement today. He hit 175 MLB HR, but if you combine that with the HR he hit in Japan (332) you get 507.

I always loved Matsui. He was a low maintainence PROFESSIONAL. A clutch player who was also classy.

Who can forget when he apologized to his fans and to his teammates for breaking his wrist (which cost him 100 games one year)?

A Classy Yankee. I can only hope that he makes MANY Old-Timer’s games.