Tag Archives: McCutchen

Game 154. Yanks clinch playoff spot with 3-2 win. Stay 1 1/2 up on A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (95-59) clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs with a 3-2, 11-inning, win over the Bad News Bears (oops, 44-110 Baltimore Orioles) yesterday, but whether the Yanks will be playing that one-game, sudden-death wild card game in the Bronx is very much still up in the air.

Oakland scored in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a Minnesota error and a passed ball (hmm, Twins imitating Sanchez) that let in the winning run, and won 3-2. The A’s remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top wild card spot.

The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to ensure that the wild card game will be played in the Bronx is 6. Any combination of Yanks’ wins and A’s losses adding up to 6 and the game will be in the Bronx. The Yanks own the tiebreaker.

The Yanks got two runs in the second on homers by Aaron Hicks (26) and Luke Voit (12, 11 as a Yankee). They now have 251 HR on the season, on pace to tie the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the all-time single season record by a team (264).

Gary Sanchez continued his defensive woes, committing a PB and a throwing error in the third inning that allowed the Orioles to score a run. Besides a PB and an error, Sanchez also went 0 for 4, striking out twice, and his batting average dropped to .182. He was dropped to eighth in the lineup, and you really wonder if it’s just best right now to have Romine in there instead.

The Yanks could really have been in trouble except that Steve Wilkerson was twice thrown out at home.

Baltimore tied it in the fifth, and would have had more except for one of those times Wilkerson was thrown out at home (by Judge) and the fact they left the bases loaded.

After the Voit HR, the Yanks didn’t do too much offensively, and it became a battle of the bullpens.

Jonathan Holder got out of a huge jam in the top of the 10th. The Orioles left the bases loaded.

Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, Didi Gregorius singled, and Aaron Hicks double drove in Didi with the winning run.

Hicks 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Voit HR

Lynn 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K.  4.80 (Min/NYY)
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.60
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.59  Encouraging outing since just off DL
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.   2.64
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.26 (Balt/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.97
Kahnle (W, 2-0, 6.75) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

MLBTR states that CC wants to return in 2019, even if not to the Yanks. Tough call. Questionable knee, doesn’t go too deep into games. 39 next July. Yanks may want to cut the cord, so to speak.

Also, MLBTR reporting that Yanks have interest in bringing back McCutchen (a free agent) if the price is right, but that probably means buying out Brett Gardner’s option at $2MM instead of bringing him back at $12.5MM. Also, you have Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury (both of whom missed most or all of this year due to injuries) to think about…

Then again, Bryce Harper is a free agent….

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Game 153. Yanks hold off O’s, stay 1 1/2 up on A’s for top wild card spot.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (94-59) got off to a 6-0 lead, and hung on to beat the Bad News Bears (um, the 44-109 Baltimore Orioles) Friday night, 10-8.

With the win, the Yanks remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Oakland for that top wild card spot and to have the one-game sudden-death wild card game played in the Bronx.

Magic Numbers: 7 over the A’s for the top wild card spot (because the Yanks own the tiebreaker). 2 over Tampa Bay for the bottom wild card spot.

Didi Gregorius hit his 27th HR to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the first inning.

They got four more in the fourth. Neil Walker doubled with one out, and Gleyber Torres singled him in. Torres stole second, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on an Austin Romine groundout. 4-0. Brett Gardner walked and Aaron Hicks homered (25) to make it 6-0. The Yanks now have 249 HR on the season, and are on pace to tie the all-time record of 264, set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

Hicks became the fifth Yankee this year to hit the 25 HR mark. Gleyber Torres needs two more to become the sixth.

Then, it seems, manager Aaron Boone got a little too cute in utilizing his bullpen and that could have cost the Yankees the game.

With two out, CC Sabathia gave up two runs in the fifth. 6-2.

In the seventh, Boone brought in Jonathan Loaisiga to replace CC. He immediately gave up a HR, 6-3. Single. Strikeout but a stolen base and an E2 on Romine put the runner on third. Zach Britton came in and gave up a single, 6-4, before getting out of the inning.

The Yanks came back with three in the bottom of the inning. Hicks singled, Judge walked and McCutchen singled in a run. Judge was out on a fielder’s choice, caught in a rundown which put runners on second and third with one out. Luke Voit then singled in two runs. 9-4.

Here is where Boone got a bit too cute and almost blew the game. Instead of leaving Britton in, Boone brought in Stephen Tarpley, who got a strikeout. Fine.

But instead of leaving Tarpley in after he faced one batter and struck him out, Boone now brings in A.J. Cole, who gives up a walk and a HR. 9-6.

Cole gets a pop up for the second out, then a bunt single. In comes David Robertson, who promptly gives up a 2-run HR before getting the last out of the inning. 9-8.

The Yanks got an insurance run in the eighth when with two out, Hicks singled and Aaron Judge doubled him home.

Dellin Betances closed it out in the ninth.

But that eighth inning was too close for comfort. Why remove Britton after just 2/3 and why remove Tarpley after just one batter?

The Yanks have to sweep Baltimore. With the A’s breathing down the Yanks’ throats and the Yanks having seven games at Tampa Bay and Boston to close the season, in order to ensure that the wild card game is played in the Bronx, sweeping the Orioles is almost an imperative.

Hicks 2 hits, scored 4 runs, 2 RBI, walked 2x. HR
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI, HR
Voit 2 RBI

Sabathia (W, 8-7, 3.77) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 5 K.  Career win #245.
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.82
Britton (H, 9) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  3.35 (Balt/NYY)
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  5.40
Cole 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.74 (Wash/NYY)
Robertson (H, 20) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.   2.93
Betances (S, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.69

Game 152. Boston clinches AL East, beating Yanks 11-6. Yanks lead over A’s 1.5 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It wasn’t a good night for the Yanks, who lost 11-6 to Boston as Boston clinched the AL East with the win.

Also, the A’s routed the Angels yesterday, so the Yanks’ (93-59) lead over the A’s for the top wild card spot is down to 1 1/2 games. The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s (since the Yanks hold the tiebreaker) is 8, and the Yanks magic # to make the playoffs is 3 over Tampa Bay, 2 over Seattle.

Masahiro Tanaka started and struggled, giving up a run in the first and two in the second.

Luke Voit cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second that set a couple of records. Voit became the 12th Yankee to hit 10 or more HR this season (it was his 11th HR, his 10th as a Yankee), and that set a MLB record for most players on a team with 10 or more. It also was the Yanks’ 246th HR of the season, setting a new team single season record.

But Boston came back with a run in the third. 4-2. Mookie Betts killed the Yanks in this game, getting 4 hits and driving in 5 runs.

In the fourth, Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam (his 35th HR) to put the Yanks up 6-4.

But Tanaka gave up a run in the fifth and the Yanks’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

Up 6-5 in the seventh, the Yanks gave up 3 runs in the seventh and another 3 in the eighth to lose 11-6.

Ex-MLB pitching star and current broadcaster for the MLB network, Jim Kaat (who once pitched for the Yanks briefly) was critical, and rightly so, of some pitching decisions made by either the Yankees’ pitchers or by catcher Gary Sanchez.

Chad Green, who smoked batters in the sixth, gave up a game-tying HR to Jackie Bradley in the seventh on a changeup. Kaat pointed out that his fastball was electric, and that Green has thrown maybe 15 changeups all year long, and you should not get beat on what is, for Green, his third best pitch, and one that is a work in progress. Two more runs scored after this. 8-6 Boston.

The Yanks had to get Aroldis Chapman some work, since he just came off the DL, in order to get him ready for the playoffs, and some rust showed. He gave up a 3-run HR to Betts, 11-6. Once again, Kaat was critical because the HR came off a slider, and not Chapman’s vaunted fastball.

McCutchen 2 hits, 2 walks
Stanton grand slam
Gregorius 2 hits
Voit 2-run HR.

Tanaka 4+ IP, 5 R, 8 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.67
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.81
Green (BS, 4; L, 8-3, 2.64) 1+ IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  2.73
Chapman 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.64 Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.02
Cole 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  5.21 (Wash/NYY)
Tarpley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  5.79

 

Game 149. Yanks’ Malaise continues with 3-2 loss. Need to wake up soon.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks scored 2 in the first, but the offense went to sleep thereafter, and Dellin Betances blew a 2-1 lead in the eighth as the 91-58 Yanks lost to Toronto, 3-2, Sunday afternoon.

The Yanks need to look in the mirror and start kicking themselves in the ass. Fortunately, the Oakland A’s lost, so the lead for the top wild card spot remains at 1 1/2.

Forget the division. Boston’s magic # to clinch the AL East is down to 2 and barring a Yankee sweep of Boston Tue-Wed-Thu of this week, the Red Sox (who already clinched a playoff berth) will be celebrating clinching the AL East at Yankee Stadium.

Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the first with a HR, # 19 on the year, #4 as a Yankee.

Stanton walked and Hicks later singled, Didi hit a SF. 2-0.

Toronto got a run in the third, and then the two in the eighth off Betances.

The Yanks got burned when they took out Andujar for Hechevarria for defensive reasons, then, when Andujar’s spot in the lineup came up in the 9th, they had to PH Walker then for Hechevarria.

Sometimes, it’s best to just leave Andujar in. But I could see the reasoning for removing him.

Boone is really on the hot seat right now.

The biggest problem lately is that the Yanks (since 8/26) have gone 5-8 against teams they should be pounding. 1-2 vs. the White Sox. 2-2 vs. Detroit. 1-2 vs. Minnesota. 1-2 vs. Toronto.

5-8 vs. teams under .500. Some of those teams are a lot below .500. If they went 8-5 (and it was Jack Curry on YES who brought this up) they wouldn’t have too many worries. They’d be 4 1/2 up on Oakland for that top wild card spot instead of 1 1/2.

The Yanks need to look in the mirror and kick themselves in the ass.

If this continues, they will be one and done. They’ll lose that wild card game.

Their play lately isn’t inspiring confidence.

These last 13 games will not be easy. Yes, 4 are against Baltimore. 6 are against Boston and 3 vs. Tampa Bay.

You wonder, if they go 6-7 in these last 13 games and wind up 97-65, where that wild card game will then be played at.

They still could piss away a lot. They need to stop worrying about hitting HR and concentrate on making contact.

They strike out too much. Yes, they hit HR. But they don’t bunt runners over, they do not steal. You don’t see hit and runs. Very one-dimensional. Hit HR, strike out too much, don’t bunt, don’t steal.

The Yanks’ magic # for getting the top wild card seed is 11 (since they currently own the tiebreaker). Their # for getting into the playoffs remains at 6.

McCutchen solo HR.
Stanton 2 hits.

Lynn 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K.  4.90 (Min/NYY)
Robertson (H, 18) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.89
Betances (BS, 3; L, 4-6, 2.77) 1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.50 (Balt/NYY)

 

Game 148. Yanks’ comeback falls short, lose to Toronto, 8-7.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia had nothing, neither did Tommy Kahnle and a furious Yankees comeback came up short in an 8-7 loss to Toronto Saturday.

With the loss, the Yanks fell to 91-57. Tampa Bay beat Oakland, so the Yanks stay 1 1/2 games ahead of the A’s for the top wild card spot. They are 10 1/2 back of Boston with just 14 games left. Boston’s magic # for clinching the AL East is 4.

The Yanks’ magic # for that top wild card spot is 13, and possibly 12 since they currently hold a tiebreaker. Their magic # just to make the wild card game is 6.

CC gave up 5 runs and 3 HR in getting knocked out in the third inning.

Down 5-0, Didi Gregorius homered (25) for the Yanks in the sixth to make it 5-1. The Yanks loaded the bases with two out, but Andrew McCutchen struck out. McCutchen struck out four times in the game.

There are some decisions Aaron Boone is making that I don’t understand. Once again he batted .191 hitting Gary Sanchez fifth. In a normal year, yes. In a .191-hitting year, I don’t know why he is hitting ahead of say, Gleyber Torres (.280) or Miguel Andujar (.299). The rookies are doing better and should be hitting above Sanchez in the lineup.

Analytics be damned.

Another thing I can’t see is his bringing in certain relievers at certain times of the game. For the third time this month, Tommy Kahnle let a manageable deficit become an unmanageable one, and any comeback the Yanks had in them was wasted because the deficit to overcome got too large. On Sept. 2,  Kahnle came into a game and immediately gave up a HR to the first batter he faced.  Early last week, he came into a game in Minnesota, and the first batter he faced, Joe Mauer, hit a grand slam.

On Saturday he didn’t last an inning, giving up 3 runs in ballooning the Toronto lead from 5-1 to 8-1. This proved costly.

Why Boone is relying on guys in September who haven’t proven anything all year long is beyond me. Kahnle’s ERA is 7.11. Neither he nor Sanchez have performed to their capabilities all year long. Neither have others—Greg Bird for instance.

Those three runs Kahnle gave up helped to cost the Yanks the game, because the Yanks scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh. Stanton homered (34) to start things up. Didi hit his second HR of the game (26) to make it 8-3.

That second HR by Didi broke his own record for HR in a season by a Yankees’ SS, which he set just last year.

Then Miguel Andujar, who didn’t start the game, hit a grand slam later in the inning to make it 8-7. It was Andujar’s 24th HR of the season.

But the Yanks couldn’t close the gap completely and lost 8-7.

The HR are great, but it’s coming with a price. The Yanks struck out 16 times in the game.

In the second inning, the Yanks had loaded the bases with no one out, but three straight strikeouts by Walker, Voit and Gardner meant no runs scored. That helped cost them the game, too.

Sabathia (L, 7-7, 3.80) 2 1/3 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 3 HR.
Green 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K.  2.45
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.08
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.  7.11
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  6.75
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.    2.52
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.60 (Balt/NYY)

Billy O’Dell, a lefty pitcher who pitched against the Yanks in the 1962 WS for the SF Giants, died Sept. 12, age 85. O’Dell started and lost Game 1 of that WS, but got a save in Game 4. He also pitched in Game 7. O’Dell had won 19 games that year for the Giants. O’Dell pitched for the Orioles (1954, 1956-1959), Giants (1960-1964) Braves (1965-1966) and Pirates (1966-1967). He was a 2x All-Star (Orioles 1958 and 1959) who was 105-100 in his MLB career with an ERA of 3.29, ERA+ 109. His 162 g. average was 48 games, 20 of which would be starts, 11-10, 3.29.

 

Game 147. Yanks blow out Jays, 11-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks blew out the Toronto Blue Jays, 11-0, to match last year’s win total of 91.

Masahiro Tanaka continued his recent run of great pitching. As of now, it looks like J.A. Happ would start that wild card game. Some maneuvering would have to be done to have Tanaka start it instead of Happ. We’ll see what happens.

Aaron Judge was activated off the DL. He isn’t cleared to hit yet, but just play D and PR. He got into the last two innings as a defensive replacement. We’ve missed him and the fans let him know that by giving him a resounding ovation when he took the field.

The Yanks got five runs in the first inning. McCutchen doubled, Stanton walked and Hicks singled in a run, with Stanton taking third and Hicks moving up on the throw. After Andujar popped up, Didi hit a groundout moving both runners up, scoring Stanton. 2-0. Torres singled in Hicks. 3-0. Sanchez singled. Voit doubled in two. 5-0.

Three runs in the third basically salted the game away. Didi was HBP, and two batters and two outs later, Voit walked. Gardner singled in a run to make it 6-0. McCutchen walked to load the bases and Stanton singled in two to make it 8-0.

McCutchen homered in the fifth. #18 and #3 as a Yankee. 9-0.

To the eighth. Didi homered (24) 10-0. Sanchez doubled, Voit reached on an error, moving Sanchez to third and Gardner got a SF. Voit must have thought there were two outs because he got doubled off of first, but after Sanchez had scored.

McCutchen 3 for 3 with 2 walks.
Stanton 2 RBI
Gregorius HR, 2 RBI
Torres 2 hits, RBI
Sanchez 3 hits
Voit 2 RBI
Gardner 2 RBI

Nice offense night. 2 HR, 14 hits, 7 walks, scored 11 runs.

Tanaka (W, 12-5, 3.47) 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 W, 8 K.
Cessa (S, 2) 3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K.  4.93

Funny to see Cessa get a save in a 11-0 blowout, but he pitched 3 innings, so…

With the win the Yanks go to 91-56.

Oakland won, so the Yanks stay just 1 1/2 up on Oakland for the top WC spot.

(Forget the division, the Yanks are 9 1/2 out with 15 to go. Boston’s tragic # for getting the AL East is 6).

But as for getting the top WC spot, the Yanks magic # is 14, and probably just 13. As of now, the Yanks would win the tiebreaker.

The Yanks’ magic # for just getting in as the 2nd WC is 6.

Game 144. Sanchez and Happ key Yanks’ 7-2 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I advocated dropping Gary Sanchez down in the lineup, it was done (to 6) and it worked as Sanchez hit a 460 foot home run and had three hits in the Yanks’ 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins Monday night.

Just like Masahiro Tanaka did a few nights earlier, J.A. Happ put in his bid to start the wild card game with a great performance.

Sanchez broke open a scoreless game with his HR (16) in the sixth. 1-0 Yanks.

The Yanks broke open a tight game with six runs in the seventh. McCutchen and Hicks walked, and Andujar doubled in both runs. 3-0. Stanton doubled in Andujar. 4-0. Gregorius doubled in Stanton, 5-0. Sanchez singled and Bird walked. Bases loaded, no one out. Gardner struck out, but McCutchen hit a SF, 6-0. Hicks walked to re-load the bases but Andujar lined out to end the inning.

The Twins got two in the bottom of the eighth.

Final 7-2 Yanks.

The win is the Yanks’ 90th of the season (90-54). They are 8 GB of Boston with 18 to go. The tragic # for Boston to win the AL East is 11. The magic # for the Yanks to win the top wild card spot is 16, and the magic # to make the playoffs as the second wild card team is 9. The Yanks lead the A’s by 3 games for the top wild card spot.

The Yanks drew 10 walks in the game.

McCutchen, RBI, 3 walks
Hicks 2 walks
Andujar 2 RBI
Sanchez 3 hits, solo HR.
Gardner 2 hits.

Happ is 6-0 as a Yankee.

Happ (16-6, 3.75 Tor/NYY) 6 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 0 W, 3 K.  1 WP
Cessa 2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W 2 K.  5.35  1 WP
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.15

SWB will host Game 1 of the International League (AAA) finals tonight, Tuesday evening vs. Durham.