Tag Archives: Napoli

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.

WS Game 2: Cubs even series with 5-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Wouldn’t it be something if after 108 years, not only do the Cubs win the WS, but the WS MVP is someone who played in two games all year long because of a torn ACL, was 0 for 4, was activated in time for the WS, and wound up winning the WS MVP?

Kyle Schwarber had 2 hits and a walk in Game 2 of the WS, and drove in two runs. Coming off the DL, he DH’d in Cleveland, and is a poor fielder anyway. The next three games will be in Chicago, and Schwarber will probably be reduced to PH duty.

But hey, that’s what happened in 2009 with Hideki Matsui, when he DH’d for the Yankees, so you never know.

Jake Arrietta pitched a no-hitter for 5 1/3 innings before Cleveland finally got a hit in the Cubs’ 5-1 victory. The Indians got only four hits, two by Mike Napoli.

Ben Zobrist had two hits and an RBI for the Cubs and is 5 for 8 in the Series.Schwarber is 3 for 7.

Game 3 is Friday night.

Ruppert makes HOF, A-Rod to miss 1/2 of 2013

Jacob Ruppert was elected to the Hall of Fame today by the Veterans Committee. The Yanks’ owner in the Ruthian era built the original Yankee Stadium.

Meanwhile, GM Brian Cashman will need to do yeoman work to build a team. We already knew that a catcher and RF may need to be found, what with Martin’s departure and Swisher’s probable departure. Throw in DH if they don’t bring back Ibanez.

Now count 3B into the mix.

Alex Rodriguez will need surgery on his other hip (possibly explaining his poor postseason) and will miss half of the 2013 season.

You wonder if his body is breaking down. It sure appears so. Alex will be 38 in July. You also wonder if that steroid abuse while in Texas has anything to do with it.

You also wonder if he’ll even get the 53 HR he needs for 700. (He needs 99 hits for 3000 and 50 RBI for 2000).

Meanwhile, do the Yanks now bring back 35 year old Eric Chavez for 3B? He’s brittle and would need to platoon. But with whom? Where does Eduardo Nunez slot in, especially if Jeter isn’t ready for Opening Day?

The left side of the Yankees’ infield is now a mess. Two aging, injured players.

Do David Adams (26 in May, AA .306-8-48 in 86 games) or Ronnier Mustelier (28, .314-15-69, AA/AAA, 114 games) get a shot? Platoon one or the other with Chavez?

So now Cashman has to deal with a catcher (unless they are going with Cervelli or Romine), 3B (do you bring back Chavez, and who platoons with him?), possibly a SS if Jeter isn’t ready, a DH (do you bring back Ibanez?) and a RF (do you bring back Ichiro?) Do you sign someone like Cody Ross, Shane Victorino or Ichiro for RF? Trade for a Justin Upton or Mike Cuddyer? Give Melky Mesa a shot at a platoon role? Trade for a catcher? What about DH? Utility infielder?

Position-wise, there are some four positions there where things are a mess.

Cashman has some work to do.

Forget Mike Napoli at C (the Yanks never had interest). The power hitting, but weak defense C signed a 3-yr. deal w/Boston—-to play 1B.

I was kind of hoping that the Yanks would take a flyer on Joakim Soria, thinking that Soria, coming off TJ surgery, might be worth a shot to replace the expected-to-depart Rafael Soriano. Instead, Soria signed with Texas.

Yanks sign Mo, but now need a catcher

The Yanks and Mariano Rivera reached agreement on a one-year contract worth $10 MM + incentives on Mo’s 43rd birthday yesterday.

It’s expected that the 2013 season will be Mo’s swan song.

But the Yanks now need a catcher. Russell Martin, who hit .211-21-53, OPS+ 92, has signed a two-year contract with Pittsburgh, leaving the Yanks with Francisco Cervelli (who spent almost all of last year in AAA), untested Austin Romine, who missed most of last year with a back injury, and Chris Stewart, Martin’s backup last year.

Stewart hit .241-1-13, OPS+ 67 in 55 games last year. Romine, 24, was 3 for 19 in 2011 in a brief callup with the Yanks, but got into just 31 minor league games last year due to his back injury, hitting .243-4-15. It’d be a stretch to suggest he is ready.

Cervelli, who’ll be 27 next year, hit .246-2-39 at AAA last year. In 490 MLB at bats, Cervelli is .271-5-71, OPS+ 84.

Martin only hit .211 last year (and spent most of the year in the .180’s), but it’s still a dropoff.

Gary Sanchez, who’ll be 20 soon, is far from ready. He hit .290-18-85, and could be the catcher of the future, but he hasn’t played any games at all above High-A.

So do the Yanks trade for a catcher?

The two free agent catchers out there are Mike Napoli, 31, who is more of a hitter than a catcher. Napoli hit .227-24-56 last year for Texas, OPS+ 110 (but wags (like me?) would say his low average/high HR would fit in with the Yanks’ lineup). He had 30 HR for Texas in 2011, has postseason experience (10 RBI in the 2011 WS). But his defense isn’t good. He is a .259 career hitter with a very good OPS+ of 126. However he doesn’t seem to fit defensively, as Girardi, a former catcher known for his defense, would want someone in the same defensive mold as himself.

The other free agent catcher is A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski hit a career high 27 HR his past season, .278-27-77. OPS+ 118. His average year is more like .284-13-60, OPS+ 96. He, like Napoli, has postseason experience (and, in his case, a WS ring from 2005), but I don’t see his personality (he can be grating) fitting in with the Yanks.

The Yanks said that they didn’t have the money to compete with Pittsburgh on Martin’s deal. Like one friend stated on his blog, read that again.

It’s too bad Brian Schneider isn’t five years younger. Schneider comes from my hometown, and is a lefty bat. But he hasn’t played regularly since 2008. Since then he hasn’t played in more than 59 games in a season, and has hit just .214. Schneider, a fine defensive catcher, if he were 31 instead of 36, could have platooned with Cervelli until Romine is ready. But even if he were in his prime, and gave you 100 games, the best you would expect from Schneider would be .247-8-40 or so.

Maybe the Yanks force-feed Romine now into the starting role, but I doubt it. But instead of getting the year in AAA he needs, Romine could be force-fed into the backup role. But as of now, I see Cervelli #1 and Stewart #2.

That could change over the next few months. It most likely will, but who would be the new catcher? In any case, it appears that that new catcher would just be a stopgap. But you never know.

No, I don’t see Posada (41) coming out of retirement. Remember that Jorge hasn’t caught regularly since 2010, and his defense in the last few years of his career was highly suspect.

But considering the age of this team, with Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, A-Rod, Kuroda, and possibly Chavez and Ichiro, Jorge would fit right in, wouldn’t he?

2011 WS Game 5: Napoli does it again. Rangers up 3 games to 2.

Mike Napoli did it again, putting in his bid for WS MVP, as his bases-loaded double knocked in two runs in the bottom of the 8th to give the Rangers a 4-2 win.

Napoli had a big 3-run HR in Game 4 and also HR’d in Texas’ Game 1 loss. He has 9 RBI in the Series so far.

For a while, it looked like sloppy Texas D by Moreland would cost the Rangers. For the second time in this Series, he appeared to have a play at the plate and couldn’t execute.

Game 6 is scheduled for Wednesday night in St. Louis. Texas could win their first title ever with a win.

BTW, Derek Holland’s moustache has to be one of the cheesiest I’ve ever seen. He’s 25? He looks 17 with that moustache (which looks like he drank chocolate milk) and probably would look 14 without it.

In other news, the Phils declined options on Oswalt and Lidge. If they want them back, it’ll be at a lower cost.

2011 WS Game 4. Rangers even series behind Holland, Napoli.

Derek Holland pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings and combined with Neftali Perez on a two-hit shutout as the Texas Rangers evened up the World Series at two wins apiece with a 4-0 victory.

One day after scoring 16 runs, the Cardinals attack was just about dead. Both St. Louis hits were by Lance Berkman.

The big blow for the Rangers was a 3-run HR in the sixth by Mike Napoli. Earlier, Josh Hamilton had a first-inning RBI double.

I’m watching some NFL and college football now, of course. Happy my Steelers are 5-2, but a big game awaits next week. They are home vs. New England. Meanwhile Penn St. is #21 (19 BCS) & 7-1, but they have Illinois (home), #13 Nebraska (home) @ Ohio St. and #12 Wisconsin (home) coming up.

2011 WS: Cards take Game 1, 3-2.

In a good game, the Cardinals captured Game 1 of the 2011 WS, 3-2 over the Rangers.

Allen Craig’s PH RBI single in the 6th was the game winner. The Cards went up 2-0 early on a Berkman double. Napoli later tied it with a 2-run HR for Texas.

It will be interesting to see how the Bengals/Raiders Palmer trade works out.

In Yankees news, they declined the option on Damaso Marte, who missed all of this year. A no-brainer. Marte hardly ever pitched for the Yanks after they acquired him, and his regular season stats, let’s be honest, sucked.

BUT… and it’s a big BUT… he owned Ryan Howard in the 2009 WS. You have to give him that much.