Tag Archives: Pearce

WS Game 5. Boston wins series; Pearce MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Allow me to repeat the first couple of lines from yesterday’s blog.

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce.

Last night, Pearce won the WS MVP award by hitting 2 HR (3 for the WS) as Boston won their fourth WS of this century (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) by beating L.A. 5-1 to wrap up the Series in five games.

For L.A., it’s back-to-back WS losses.

Pearce got things started in the first with a 2-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who can now opt out of his contract, for all his brilliance, somehow can’t get it together in the postseason. This was his second WS loss this year.

David Freese homered off of David Price to lead off the bottom of the first for L.A., but that was all they’d get. Price was great, and the Dodgers got 3 hits all night.

For Price, 2 WS wins after having had a career filled with postseason failure.

Mookie Betts homered in the sixth to make it 3-1 Boston.

J.D. Martinez homered in the seventh, 4-1.

Then Pearce capped off everything with his second HR of the game in the eighth for the final score of 5-1.

And it was Manny Machado who struck out for the WS’ last out.

Alex Cora, as a rookie manager, wins the WS. Boston led the majors with 108 wins in the regular season, then went 11-3 in the postseason.

So Yankees’ fans have to watch their archrival win the WS. They can only take solace in two things.

One, that no one has repeated since the Yankees threepeated in 1998-1999-2000. So maybe that streak continues next year.

Two, that the Red Sox began last century with WS wins in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 and we know how the rest of the century played out. The Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. The “Curse of the Bambino.”

But somehow, I don’t see a “Curse of the Mookie” coming….

But hopefully next year for the Yanks.

We’ll see what moves the offseason brings and what awards are won by whom.

WS Game 4. Boston takes 3-1 lead in Series as LA blows late 4-0 lead.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce. Last night, Pearce drove in 4 runs to enable Boston to go up 3 games to 1 over the Dodgers in the World Series.

Funny how things turned out.

It’s a painful loss for L.A. Not only are they one loss from losing the WS for the second year in a row, but they blew a late 4-0 lead in losing 9-6.

They scored 4 runs in the sixth, highlighted by a 3-run HR by Yasiel Puig. Boston entered the top of the seventh with only one hit.

Then they woke up. Rich Hill, pitching so great to that point, walked the first batter, struck out the next, and was pulled from the game. The Dodgers’ bullpen imploded.

A walk. Another pitching change. A popup.

And once again, Boston struck with two out. PH Keith Moreland hit a 3-run HR to make it 4-3.

Ryan Madson has allowed EVERY inherited runner to score in this WS. So why was he on the mound with two on in a 4-0 game only to give up a 3-run HR?

Yes, Hill may have been tiring in the seventh. But he was still working on a one-hit shutout!

I swear, sometimes teams—in every sport—don’t win games as much as the other team’s coach or manager blows it.

In the eighth, Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen gave up a game-tying HR for the second straight night. Pearce’s blast tied the game.

Then Boston put it away with five runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted by a bases-clearing 3-run double by Pearce. Pearce’s double, and another hit that drove in Pearce after that, came with…. you guessed it, two out.

Enrique Hernandez hit a 2-run HR for L.A. in the bottom of the ninth, but the final was 9-6, Boston.

WS MVP if Boston wins tonight? Interesting. Pearce has to be considered, but as of now, I might go with Boston reliever Joe Kelly as a frontrunner. He has pitched in all four games, has one win (in last night’s game 4), has pitched five scoreless innings and has struck out seven.

Kelly the winning pitcher last night, Floro the loser.

Seattle’s Edwin Diaz won the Mariano Rivera Award for best reliever in the A.L., and Josh Hader of Milwaukee won the Trevor Hoffman Award for best N.L. Reliever.

Once the WS is over, I’ll take a look at how Yankees’ prospects are doing in the Arizona Fall League.

 

Boston goes up 2-1 in ALCS, Dodgers even NLCS at 2 each.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I was working a lot of OT, so I didn’t see much of either game, but…

in the ALCS, how to piss a game away. 3-2 Boston, top of the eighth, and Roberto Osuna comes in to pitch for Houston. He gets two outs but also gives up two singles. He gets two strikes on the next batter. One strike away from getting out of the inning and keeping his team in the game. He hits the batter to load the bases. He gets two strikes on the next guy and hits him too, forcing in a run. Then he gives up a grand slam. Boston’s good enough without having games handed to them like that.

For Osuna, maybe some karma due to his domestic violence issue earlier this year.

The deciding run in the game? A HR by Steve Pearce, a guy one writer said wasn’t worth the Yankees calling up from SWB a few years ago. Um, ….

In the NLCS, the Dodgers got a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 13th to even the series up at 2 games apiece, 2-1.

Game 107. Yanks’ pitching is atrocious in 15-7 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the game, the Yanks put J.A. Happ on the DL with foot, hand and mouth disease and brought up Luis Cessa (who was supposed to start for Happ Saturday. After this game, who knows who starts Saturday?). Luke Voit came up and Tyler Wade went down.

It also was announced (finally!) that Sonny Gray is out of the rotation and that Lance Lynn will take his place.

The game started well for the Yanks as Didi Gregorius hit the first of his two HR, a 3-run shot, in the first inning.

In the top of the second, Aaron Hicks homered (18) to make it 4-0 Yanks.

Then the roof fell in as the Yankees’ pitching was just atrocious, especially Jonathan Holder. Steve Pearce hit 3 HR for Boston as they won 15-7.

Years ago, I wrote that the Yanks should bring up Pearce from the minors, where he was doing pretty well for SWB. At that time, Pierce had been a bit player for the Pirates for a few years. One sportswriter (which I should but won’t name) argued against it, and in doing so, was e-mailing me in the middle of a game he was covering. A close game. He was more concerned about me and my comments that the Yanks should bring up Pearce and in arguing against it, than in covering the game and doing his job. Talk about thin-skinned. He basically had a low opinion of Pearce’s abilities and pooh-poohed me. This was in 2012.

Pearce went on to different teams and has bounced around a little since then, but he did hit 21 HR as a platoon player for the 2014 Orioles. His adjusted OPS from 2014 to today is 125. Pretty damned good for a platoon player.

Yes, from 2007-2012, when I had this confrontation with this guy, Pearce’s OPS+ was 82. But from 2013 to today, it’s 124. I guess I have had the last laugh for a while over that arrogant dude.

Anyway, back to the game. CC Sabathia gave up a run in the second, another in the third, and struggled all three innings he pitched, throwing 77 pitches in those three innings.

So in comes Holder and the roof fell in on the Yanks. Holder got no one out, giving up 7 runs in Boston’s 8-run inning, and watched his ERA go from 2.01 to 3.50.

Cessa, who was supposed to start in place of Happ on Saturday, had to come in in relief later, and gave up 5 runs himself. Now who starts Saturday, who knows.

Didi hit his second HR of the game (20) to make it 10-5 in the fifth, but Boston got one in the fifth and three in the sixth. 14-5.

Stanton homered (25) in the seventh, 14-6, but Boston scored in the eighth.

Stanton got a SF in the ninth.

Final 15-7.

Ugh.

Hicks solo HR.
Stanton 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Gregorius 2 HR, 4 RBI

Sabathia 3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.59
Holder (L, 1-2, 3.50) 0 IP, 7 R, 5 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.82
Cessa 3 2/3 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 1 W, 1 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  4.50
Britton 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  3.44 (Balt/NYY)

 

The loss drops the 68-39 Yanks 6 1/2 back of Boston in the AL East.

After tonight’s game, the season will be 2/3 over.

Because we are switching systems at work today, it’ll be hectic and I have to go in a bit earlier to make the adjustment to a new system. Therefore no minor league report today on last night’s games.

Baseball Winter Meetings.

Yankee Stadium Frieze
No more action on the Yankees front since the signing of Matt Holliday.

They are rumored to be in discussions with Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Chapman is said to want a six-year deal, which is probably a bit much for a closer, although the Yanks did give a six-year deal to the Goose (1978-1983).

There also have been rumors of reuniting with Boone Logan for the bullpen, and of maybe going after Luis Valbuena as a utility man.

There are other relievers the Yanks are looking at also.

A couple of teams did make some moves.

Mark Melancon to SF. 4 yrs., $62MM.

Joaquin Benoit to the Phillies on a 1 yr. deal. $7.5MM

Steve Pearce to Toronto.2 yr. $12.5MM

Washington is still a rumor hotbed regarding them getting Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale or both.

 

 

 

Game 129. Yanks blanked, 5-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Maybe I should go away for the weekend more often.

Or take more time off of work and stay longer. (Actually, it’s a weekend retreat, so I couldn’t stay longer).

While I was away, the Yanks beat the Orioles 13-5 on Friday night and 14-4 on Saturday afternoon. Gary Sanchez homered in both games to become the fastest player to hit 11 homers. Starlin Castro homered, Mark Teixeira got one (#405 career), Hicks, even Headley, who must have seen my criticism of him the other day when he complained about playing time and I basically said shut up and produce.

Then I come home Sunday afternoon and the Yanks lose 5-0. Sanchez did have a single and double, and is hitting .405. Ronald Torreyes, who has for now taken Headley’s job, had two more hits.

With Sanchez and Torreyes hot, McCann and Headley’s playing time has decreased.

Before the loss, the Yanks had hit their high water mark of the year, six over .500. They are presently 67-62 with 33 games left. 4th in AL East, 6 1/2 out. As for making the playoffs, they are 3 1/2 out of the second wild card spot, but the problem is the logjam. They have to jump five teams.

As Al Davis, former Raiders’ owner would say, “Just Win, Baby.”

Steve Pearce had 3 hits, inc. a HR, and 3 RBI for the Orioles yesterday. A few years ago, he was doing well for SWB and I thought he should be brought up by the Yanks to platoon. A certain NY sportswriter criticized me. Let’s just say that I don’t care for the reporter or his rag of a paper, and have been proven right. Pearce has proven to be a decent platoon player. (.301-12-33 this year so far between the Rays and O’s, 21 HR as a part-timer in 2014 for the O’s).

CC pitched well, made one mistake, a HR to Pearce, left with some runners on, and instead of shutting down Baltimore and getting out of the inning, Adam Warren gave up a hit that let the inherited runners score. Ballgame over.

Sabathia (L, 8-11, 4.31) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.11 (Cubs/NYY)
Heller 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2nd MLB game. 10.80
Parker 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 1.17 (Sea/NYY)

To the NFL for a bit.

I see Tony Romo of the Cowboys got hurt AGAIN. He didn’t play in the first two preseason games, and on the third play of the third preseason game—and first one he plays in—he gets a broken bone in his back. This after a couple of broken collarbones, one of which cost him 12 games last year (in which Dallas went 1-11). Now he is out for 2 months.  Maybe he  should just retire.

… and a big resounding BOO to Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand for the National Anthem. In what other country can you earn $19MM per year for doing what you do? And not too well lately, I may add. Spoiled brat.

Finally, back to baseball. Steve Arlin, a pitcher for the Padres in the early 1970s, in the first years of the Padres’ existence, passed away recently.

 

 

You were saying?

In 2012, a certain NY beat writer arrogantly dismissed me when I mentioned that the Yanks should call up Steve Pearce, who that year in AAA hit .318-11-30 in 53 games for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At the time I advocated for his call up, the Yanks had some injuries/slumping players, I forget which. It was probably a combination of the two.

Now this reporter usually dismisses minor leaguers. I don’t know why he doesn’t like to give them chances. After all, he was a rookie in his job at one time. Someone had to give HIM a chance at one time. Often, he has no clue who is doing well in the minors or at what level. He’d rather bring in a washed up veteran than give a kid a chance.

I remember Suzyn Waldman once urging the Yanks to bring a 45-year-old David Wells out of retirement rather than bring up and see what a promising minor league prospect had. Really? You couldn’t give a youngster a chance to establish himself but want to bring a faded, retired veteran out of retirement? But then, we remember her going way over the top when the Yanks brought Roger Clemens out of retirement in 2007.

For all the praise heaped on the Core Five (and yes, I include Bernie Williams along with the “Core Four” of Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada), someone had to give them that first chance. Now, a quintet that that coming along at about the same time (Bernie came up four years before the others) doesn’t happen but once in a generation, and the Yanks’ minor league talent isn’t as deep as it was 20-25 years ago with those players, but people, especially youngsters, need chances.

But I digress. In 2012, Pearce played for three different major league teams at the age of 29. He wasn’t a prospect, but someone who bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors for Pittsburgh from 2007-2011. In that timeframe he hit .232-9-52 in 185 games. His OPS+ was 79. Nothing to write home about.

In 2012, for three teams (Balt/Hou/NYY) Pearce hit .239-4-26 in 61 games. OPS+ 92. He was 4 for 25, 1 HR, 4 RBI for the Yankees in 12 games. Nothing to write home about, and probably a good cause for the one reporter’s arrogant dismissal.

But sometimes all it takes is a player to get a chance and to be used right and managed correctly, which is what I hoped the Yanks could do with Pearce in 2012.

In 2013, Pearce only played in 44 games with Baltimore, but put up an OPS+ of 114. Solid. .261-4-13.

This year, the 1B/OF has an OPS+ of an excellent 146. .284-16-39 as a platoon player. Now, Pearce is a righty batter and LF at Camden Yards is as much of a short porch—-with a short wall—as RF is at Yankee Stadium. After all, it’s just 364 to LCF there (most places have it 370-390, and Yankee Stadium has a 399). That short LCF may have helped Pearce.

But look at those numbers. Pearce could have fit right into this Yankees team as a legitimate 1B backup to Teixeira (rather than using the players the Yanks HAVE used this year there). He also could have been a legitimate righty-hitting backup to Gardner and platoon partner for the power-challenged Ichiro in RF.

In 2013-2014 combined, Pearce has hit .278-20-52 in 136 games, 425 at bats. The OPS+ is a superb 136.

Take a look at those numbers. You think they wouldn’t fit in well with these offensively challenged Yankees?

Sometimes, all it takes is an opportunity, and a manager who gives you that opportunity. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses, and who maximizes those strengths and minimizes those weaknesses by platooning you —playing you and sitting you at the appropriate times. It appears Buck has done that with Pearce down in Baltimore.

We have no idea whether Pearce’s recent success will continue. After all, he is 31 now. But his 2013 and 2014 seasons have me doing a few things.

One is to shake my head and wonder what might have been. Could Girardi have utilized Pearce as Buck has? His numbers match anything any current Yankee has done this year. As I wrote above, he would have been a fine fit on this team as a backup 1B/sometimes DH/RF platoon/backup OF.

Besides shaking my head, there is also the satisfaction of having the last laugh.

Sometimes, all one needs is a chance.