Tag Archives: McCutchen

Possible mid-season move?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Now, just to be sure, I do want Brett Gardner to have a great year.

FROM START TO FINISH.

Unfortunately, Gardner does seem to flame out in the second half of the season. It’s been that way his whole career.

Gardner hits .274 in the first half of the season, OPS .771
2nd half? .243, with an OPS of .685.

It is one reason why he didn’t not play much down the stretch last year. It’s why the Yanks picked up Lawrence McCutchen (now with the Phils). Another reason is the broken wrist that Aaron Judge suffered late last year. Last year, Gardy hit .254 in the first half, but only .209 in the second half.

But Gardner turns 36 in August this year, and is on a one year deal (this year). Given his history of 2nd half fades, don’t be surprised if Clint Frazier takes over from Gardner in mid-season this year, or if the Yanks make a deal involving Gardner and/or Frazier for an OF at the trade deadline this year.

If Frazier didn’t suffer that concussion that cost him most of 2018, he might be taking Gardner’s place already.

Of course, with Hicks out for a time, Gardy is the CF for now.

But given Gardner’s 2nd half struggles, I would not be surprised at all, if, given Gardy’s 2nd half troubles, that Frazier (given a good 1st half at SWB) or someone else is taking over for Gardy in the second half of the season (much like McCutchen in 2018).

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O’s get new manager, and waiting on Yankees’ deals.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brandon Hyde, who was Joe Maddon’s bench coach with the Cubs last year, has been tapped to be the new Orioles manager.

Nothing new on the Yankees’ front. I won’t comment on rumors, for if I did, I’d be here forever. But when something happens, I’ll comment on that.

Andrew McCutchen wasn’t expected to return to the Yanks, and he isn’t. The free agent signed a 3 yr., $50MM deal with the Phillies.

One thing I am concerned about…. will the Yanks lose out on Happ as well? With Corbin and Eovaldi off the board, and if Happ goes elsewhere (Phillies?), there still may be pitchers available, but are the Yanks losing out on who they really would want to fill out that rotation? Hoping to hear something on that end soon.

Toronto released Troy Tulowitzki. Injuries cost him most of 2017 and all of 2018. I don’t have interest in him, sadly, even with Didi out for at least half of next year. The once great SS for the Rockies is 34 and hasn’t been the same in a number of years now.

Game 4 ALDS. Yanks are eliminated, 4-3. Furious comeback comes up short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

They’ll talk about that 16-1 beating all winter. They will talk about Boone leaving Severino in for the fourth, about Lynn coming in instead of Green, I don’t know if any of it would have mattered, considering the score.

We’ll remember the two one-run losses even more. Win those, and the Yanks would still be playing, despite that beatdown.

The Yanks lost Game 4 of the ALDS to Boston Tuesday night, 4-3, and therefore lost the series 3 games to 1. The Red Sox advance to face Houston in the ALCS.

You now wonder which players will be back. CC, Gardner (0 for 8 in the ALDS), Robertson, Britton, Happ, Lynn, Walker, Hechevarria and McCutchen (2 for 15 in the ALDS) are all free agents or have options that may not be picked up.

A couple of key hits here or there, liners that found Boston gloves or that went foul while their balls blooped in. Shots that fell short of the fence while theirs barely cleared the wall, that we’ll remember.

Aaron Boone did shake up the lineup, hoping to get more lefty oomph in there. Gardner started in LF, Hicks in CF, Walker at 3B. McCutchen and Andujar sat.

CC got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but gave up 3 runs in the third. One of the hits a bleeder by Yankee-killer Steve Pearce. One RBI double appeared to be misplayed by Gardner, but to be fair, it was hit so hard it probably handcuffed him.

Boone’s bullpen management may be questioned a bit. It’s one thing that hopefully improves next year.

Zach Britton gave up a HR in the fourth to Christian Vazquez. 4-0 Boston. The HR just cleared the short porch.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the fifth when Sanchez doubled, Torres got an infield hit and Gardner a SF.

In the bottom of the ninth, Judge led off with a walk, Didi singled and after Stanton (4 for 18, 6 strikeouts in the ALDS) struck out, Voit walked. Walker was HBP to make it 4-2. Sanchez just missed a game-winning grand slam, getting under it and hitting it to the warning track for a SF, 4-3. But Torres barely missed beating out a dribbler and the game, series, and season were over.

Up until that ninth inning, the Yanks had only scored 2 runs in their previous 19 innings. That won’t get it done.

Just like in 2017, in those games in Houston that year, the Yanks couldn’t come up with the big hit when you needed it.

The homers are nice. That HR record is nice. But hitting with RISP, being able to get the bat on the ball, avoiding strikeouts, going the other way, situational hitting, those are things that need to be improved upon for the Yanks to advance to the next levels. Homers alone won’t do it. Also, baserunning. The Red Sox were 5 for 5 in stealing bases in the series, the Yanks didn’t even attempt one.

Starters who go deep would help too. The longest any Yankee starter pitched in this postseason was the five innings Tanaka went in getting the Game 2 win.

Hopefully for the youngsters, Torres and Andujar (1 for 9 in the series), this postseason was a learning experience. Same for veterans like Stanton, making his first postseason appearance. Learn from it.

The bullpen did a great job keeping the Yanks in the game and giving them a chance.

Gregorius 2 hits (out of the Yanks’ 5)

Sabathia (L) 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Britton 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3  K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

More post-mortem analysis to come in the coming weeks.

Game 2 ALDS. Yanks even series behind the Kraken.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Turn the page.

Gary Sanchez had a poor regular season. His .186 batting average was the lowest ever for any Yankee with 300 or more plate appearances.

But he did hit 18 HR. He hit 33 last season. He hit 20 in just 53 games in 2016. You knew the power was there, and that at any time he could put up a two homer, 4 RBI game.

That is the Sanchez we hoped would return, and in time for the playoffs. Make up for a bad regular season with a great postseason.

It is the Sanchez we got last night. Sanchez hit two homers and drove in 4 runs as the Yanks won 6-2 to even the series up. Game 3 is in the Bronx Monday night.

David Price started for Boston, and he has had a couple of problems lately. #1, he has trouble against the Yankees. #2, he has trouble in the postseason (0-9 record in 10 starts). #3 Gary Sanchez owns him. Not a good combination.

So Aaron Judge, the second batter of the game, hit a 445-ft. HR to give the Yanks a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Judge has homered in all three postseason games so far.

Sanchez came up in the bottom of the second and continued his mastery of Price by hitting a HR to make it 2-0 Yanks. With two out, Price proceeded to walk Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner. Gardner was starting in CF for Aaron Hicks, who has a tight hamstring. Hicks was available for pinch-hitting duty and the hammy won’t keep him out for the rest of the series (if it did, he wouldn’t be available again until the World Series–no ALCS).

Andrew McCutchen then singled off of the green monster to make it 3-0 Yanks and give Price an early shower.

Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka was on, and was his postseason bulldog self. (He is now 3-2, 1.50 in five postseason starts). He gave up a HR in the bottom of the fourth, but it was a solo one, and went five innings giving up just that one run.

In the seventh, the Yanks broke the game open. Judge singled and Voit walked. Stanton, who is struggling—so much so that lots of people are comparing him to A-Rod and A-Rod’s postseason struggles—hit a topper that at first it appeared as if Nunez’ throw hoping for a force pulled the fielder off the bag. But Boston reviewed and the call was overturned. Forceout. Hmm. The fielder must have kept his big toenail on the bag because it didn’t look that way. Nunez’ throwing was shaky all night long. He almost made 3 errors instead of the one he did make. But then again, when he was a Yankee, he had the nickname of Nun-E.

Hopefully Stanton comes around. Aim for RF in the Bronx, Giancarlo. You are strong enough to hit it out anywhere, especially there. Stay back.  No need to pull everything.

So it was first and third, one out, and here is where Sanchez hit his second HR of the game, a 479-ft. bomb that left everything and went out on the street. 6-1 Yanks.

Dellin Betances gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-2, but that was it. Yankees’ pitchers limited Boston to 2 runs and 5 hits. Good job.

I am a bit concerned yet about the Yanks’ hitting w/RISP. 2 for 10 last night (the Yanks had 8 hits and drew 7 walks, so they could have scored more runs than 6). Hopefully that picks up.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Voit 0 for 2 but drew 3 walks.
Sanchez 2 HR, 4 RBI
Gardner 0 for 2 but drew 2 walks.

Tanaka (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.

In the other ALDS series, Houston beat Cleveland 12-1 behind Gerrit Cole’s 7 innings and 12 K. Houston is up 2 games to 0.

The NL was off. Milwaukee is up 2-0 on Colorado and the Dodgers are up 2-0 on the Braves.

Game 161. Yanks win 100, Stanton gets 100, and Yanks set a couple records.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In the next to last regular season game, the Yanks (100-61) beat Boston 8-5 for their 100th win of the season. It is the first time since 2009 that the Yanks have won 100 games in a season.

In so doing, they hit 2 HR which set a new single season record by HR by a team in a season.

Since Gleyber Torres, in the 9 spot, hit the HR for the new record, it meant that each spot in the lineup 1 through 9 contributed 20 or more HR, another MLB record.

Not only that, Miguel Andujar hit 2 doubles in the game, giving him 46 on the year, setting a new record for a Yankees’ rookie, breaking that of Joe DiMaggio in 1936.

In the first, Gardner reached on an error and two outs later, scored on a double by Stanton.

Boston tied it in the bottom of the second.

To the fourth. Didi singles and after an out, Bird doubles in Didi. After another out, Torres hits a HR (24) to make it 4-0. Torres’ HR, #265 on the season for the Yanks, sets the all-time record of HR by one team in one season. They weren’t and are not done.

Boston gets a run in the fourth, 4-2 Yanks after 4.

The Yanks get three in the fifth. Hicks and Stanton single, and after an out, Andujar doubles in two. After another out, Romine singles, 7-2 Yankees.

Stanton homers (38) in the seventh. It’s also RBI #100. Some jerk (hope you are reading this, asshole) throws the ball back and hits Stanton as he is rounding the bases. No harm, no foul, but what an asshole. He was kicked out, deservedly so.

Ugly eighth as Kahnle gives up a run. 8-3.

Ugly ninth with Holder before Chapman closes it out. Give up 2 runs, cut it to 8-5. Then Chappy.

McCutchen 2 hits.
Stanton 3 hits, HR (Yankees HR #266), 2 RBI.  RBI #100
Andujar 2 hits, (2 doubles) 2 RBI. Passes Joe D. for most doubles by a Yankees’ rookie in one season.
Bird 2 hits, RBI
Torres HR (he broke the record with HR #265, also set record of every position in lineup, 1-9, giving 20 or more HR) and 2 RBI

German 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 3 K.   5.57
Tarpley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.   3.68
Lynn (W, 10-10, 4.77 Min/NYY) 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Gray 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.  4.90
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W,  0 K.  6.56
Holder 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K.   Gave up 1 HR.   3.14
Chapman (S, 32)  2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.    2.45

CC suspended first 5 games of next year for what happened Thursday. He is appealing. So if he retires (he is 38), what are they going to do, put him on house arrest?

Game 160. Yanks beat Boston, get the wild card game at home, tie for all-time single season HR record.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees (99-61) beat Boston 11-6 Friday night to ensure that they will play the wild card game against Oakland next Wednesday night in the Bronx.

They denied Boston a 110 win season, and there are only (I think) five teams in MLB history who have accomplished that. One being the 1927 Yankees, another the 1998 Yankees.

The Yanks hit 4 HR in the game and by doing that, have 264 on the season, tying the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the most in one season by a team. They have two games left to hit one HR to break the record.

Gary Sanchez started the scoring in the the top of the third with his 18th HR of the season. With two out, Aaron Judge walked, and singles by Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton made it 2-0 Yanks.

The Yanks got six in the fourth inning. With one out, Miguel Andujar doubled. Gary Sanchez walked and Gleyber Torres doubled in two runs to make it 4-0. Andrew McCutchen singled in Torres to make it 5-0. After Aaron Judge singled, Hicks hit a 3-run HR (27) to make it 8-0.

In the sixth, manager Aaron Boone made a mistake. With two out and men on second and third, Yankees’ starter J.A. Happ walked Xander Bogaerts to load the bases. Up came Steve Pearce, who has killed the Yanks this year.

Not only that, but Pearce had 5 career HR off of Happ.

Make that six. Grand slam. 8-4 Yanks. Boone never should have let Happ pitch to Pearce there.

The Yanks came right back with two in the seventh. With two out, Luke Voit homered (14, and his 13th as a Yankee) to make it 9-4. Didi Gregorius, playing for the first time since injuring his wrist, singled. Andujar walked and Sanchez reached on an error, Didi scoring. 10-4.

Didi looked good tonight in his first game back from the injury. Very encouraging. That cortisone shot to help him recover from torn cartillage in his right wrist seems to be helping.

In the top of the eighth, Aaron Judge homered (27). It was his first HR since coming off the DL from the broken wrist, and that HR not only made it 11-4, but also was #264 of the season, enabling the Yanks to tie the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the all-time single season record.

Of course, there was no DH before 1973, so the 1961 Yankees, who hit 240, didn’t have that luxury (also, Death Valley at the old Stadium killed a lot of potential HR balls).

Things then got sloppy. Boston scored a run in the bottom of the eighth and left the bases loaded.

In the bottom of the ninth, Didi made an error, Boston scored another run to make it 11-6, and they once again left the bases loaded.

Judge 2 hits, HR
Hicks 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI
Stanton 2 hits, RBI
Voit HR
Sanchez 2 hits, HR
Torres 2 RBI

Happ (W, 17-6, 3.65, Tor/NYY) 6 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up grand slam. (7-0 as NYY)
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.   2.50
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K.   2.70
Britton 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 W, 0 K.    3.10 (Balt/NYY)

Game 158. Yanks’ comeback falls short. Lead over A’s 1 1/2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (97-61) opened and closed the game strong offensively, but didn’t do anything in between as a furious ninth inning comeback came up just short in a 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay Wednesday night.

The A’s won, so the Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to clinch home field for the wild card game next Wednesday remains at 2. The Yanks lead the A’s by 1 1/2 games.

Neil Walker hit his 11th HR of the season, a 3-run shot, to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.

But Masahiro Tanaka had nothing, giving 3 right back to the Rays in the bottom of the first.

In the third, Tanaka gave up a HR, 4-3 Rays. If this was an audition for starting the wild card game, Tanaka didn’t help himself.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the fifth with one out, but Giancarlo Stanton GIDP.

In the bottom of the eighth, David Robertson came in and had nothing, giving up 4 runs, and yes, Gary Sanchez committed another passed ball. 8-3 Rays.

The Yanks scored four in the top of the ninth. Sanchez walked and with one out, Brett Gardner singled. Andrew McCutchen singled to load the bases. Aaron Judge singled in a run. Luke Voit singled in two runs. Giancarlo Stanton singled in a run. But Tyler Wade flied out and Miguel Andujar popped up to end the game.

Injury report: Didi Gregorius has been cleared to play. He didn’t Wednesday, but the cortisone shot in the wrist is helping. Aaron Hicks didn’t play because of the turf and a tight hamstring. Gleyber Torres didn’t start (tight hip/groin) but did come into the game later.

McCutchen 2 hits
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Voit 3 hits, 2 RBI
Walker 3-run HR

Tanaka (L, 12-6, 3.75) 4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.88
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.53
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.49
Robertson 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.   3.26
Sheffield 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  0.00

Sheffield made a costly error on a pickoff attempt that enabled the final run to score.