Tag Archives: Matsui

Cubs win epic game 7; first WS title since 1908. Zobrist MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

First a correction. I forgot that Albert Pujols also drove in 6 RBI in a game. He was 5 for 6, scored 4 runs, had 3 HR and had 6 RBI in Game 3 of the 2011 WS. A game where he tied the WS record for HR AND RBI in one game.

So the four to drive in 6 in a WS game are Richardson, Matsui, Pujols and Russell.

Now to Game 7. Where to begin. It was epic.

The Cubs beat the Indians in ten innings, 8-7. It’s the first WS title for the Cubs since 1908. They are the sixth team to come back from down three to games to one in a best-of-seven World Series. The others: 1925 Pirates, 1958 Yankees, 1968 Tigers, 1979 Pirates and 1985 Royals.

Ben Zobrist was named WS MVP.

Dustin Fowler led off the game with a HR, the first time that ever happened in a Game 7.

The Indians tied it in the third on a single by Carlos Santana.

The Cubs got two in the fourth (Russell SF, Willson Contreras double) and two in the fifth to go up 5-1 after 4 1/2. Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller both didn’t have it. You can tell some pitchers were worn out.

Javier Baez homered for one of those Cubs runs in the fifth. The other scored on a single by Anthony Rizzo.

In the bottom of the fifth, a wild pitch let two runners score. 5-3 Cubs.

In the top of the sixth, David Ross, playing in his last MLB game, homered. What a way to retire, by homering in Game 7 of a WS. 6-3 Cubs.

Then, four outs away from victory, the Cubs let the game slip away for the time being.

With two out in the bottom of the eighth, Jose Ramirez singled and the Cubs brought in Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman’s recent workload caught up with him. He gave up a double to Brandon Guyer, and then shockingly, a 2-run HR to Rajai Davis that tied the game up.

The game went into the tenth. Kyle Schwarber singled and was PR for. After an out and an intentional walk, Zobrist doubled. After an intentional walk to load the bases back up for a DP, Miguel Montero singled to make it 8-6. Cleveland got out of the inning with no further damage, but the fatal damage was done.

The Indians didn’t go quietly however. (You knew it wasn’t going to be easy for the Cubs after 108 years, didn’t you?) After two out, a walk, an advance due to defensive indifference and a single (Davis again) made it 8-7 and put the tying run on first with the winning run at the plate. Cubs fans had to fear a game-tying double or WS winning HR. Michael Martinez grounded out and it was over.

For the Indians, another year of waiting for their first WS title since 1948.

For the Cubs, they can retire the Billy Goat. As for the 108 year gorilla (not monkey) on their backs, that’s gone, too.

Theo Epstein, president of the Cubs, can probably book his HOF ticket. As GM of Boston, he ended an 86-year old Curse of the Bambino and as President of the Cubs, ended the 108 year Cubs’ curse.

Finally, Joe Maddon, Cubs’ manager, wins a WS (he lost as Tampa Bay mgr. in 2008). Maddon comes from Hazleton, PA, about an hour’s drive from me.

Now for the hot stove league. Who gets traded? What free agents go where?

Cubs force Game 7 of WS; Russell’s 6 RBI ties record.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Addison Russell tied a WS record (with Bobby Richardson and Hideki Matsui) of 6 RBI in a game as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 9-3 in Game 6 of the World Series to force Game 7 tonight.

I just wonder what the TV ratings will be like. The Cubs are trying to comeback from being down three games to one. Only the 1925 Pirates, 1958 Yankees, 1968 Tigers, 1979 Pirates and 1985 Royals have won a WS after being down 3 games to 1.

The Cubs got 3 runs in the first. Kris Bryant homered with two out on an 0-2 pitch, and after a couple of singles, Russell’s pop fly fell between two outfielders for a gift two-run double.

Russell hit a grand slam in the third. It was the first WS grand slam since Paul Konerko of the White Sox did it in 2005.

The Indians got a run in the fourth on a Mike Napoli single and another in the fifth on a Jason Kipnis HR to cut it to 7-2.

Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run HR in the ninth to make it 9-2 Cubs. The Indians got a run in the bottom of the ninth on a Roberto Perez single.

Bryant had four hits, Rizzo three.

Aroldis Chapman came in in the seventh and pitched 1 1/3 innings.

Jason Kipnis had three of Cleveland’s six hits.

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.