Tag Archives: Rizzo

Game 157. Nestor Nasty as Yanks shutout O’s, 8-0. Judge stuck on 61. Rainout likely Sunday?

Nestor Cortes’ last regular season start could not have gone much better. The best Yankees’ starter this season (sorry, Gerrit Cole) pitched 7 1/3 one-hit, shutout baseball as the Yankees defeated Baltimore 8-0 Saturday afternoon. Cortes was dominating, striking out 12.

Cortes ends his season 12-4, with a superb 2.44 ERA.

Aaron Judge went 0 for 2, with 2 walks and a HBP as we still wait and see if he can get #62 to set a new AL and Yankees record. He has a couple of things working against him. For one, the weather forecast is not good for Sunday. Should the Yankees be rained out on Sunday, the game, meaningless in the standings, would not be made up. So, Judge has one less game in order to hit #62. The Yankees next four games are on the road in Texas. One game Monday, a doubleheader Tuesday and the regular season finale on Wednesday. There may be a window to play today, but the game may be delayed for a very long time until that window arrives. There appears to be only a one-hour rainless window around 2 pm today, and a window from about 7 to 10 pm. That’s it, and with the Yankees needing to travel to Texas, it does not look good for a game today. Do they really sit in a clubhouse (and make the fans wait) six hours to start the game at 7 PM when they have to travel to Texas for a game tomorrow? For a game that means nothing in the standings, but only for one player. I don’t think so.

Also, you can’t hit a HR if every pitch is 2 inches off the ground and 4 inches outside. Since hitting #60, Judge is 7 for 27, with that 61st HR, but SEVENTEEN walks and the HBP.

Yesterday, as mentioned above, Judge was 0 for 2, both strikeouts, with a HBP and 2 walks. His batting average is at .313, two points below Luis Arraez of the Twins .315 as Judge also attempts to win the Triple Crown. It appears to be a two-man race for the batting title. Xander Bogaerts of Boston has dropped to .305.

The Yanks got on the board quickly yesterday scoring 3 runs in the first inning. Judge was HBP but forced out at second by Anthony Rizzo. Gleyber Torres doubled in Rizzo and went to third on the throw home. Josh Donaldson hit a SF to make it 2-0, then Giancarlo Stanton smashed a 447-ft. HR (29) to make it 3-0. For the badly slumping Stanton, who was hitting .156 since June 1, he needed that badly.

Kyle Higashioka homered for the Yanks in the bottom of the second (9) to make it 4-0.

In the seventh, Judge walked to lead off the inning, with the pitcher, who appeared to be avoiding Judge, drawing a great deal of derision. The Yanks made him pay for that. Rizzo singled Judge to second. Torres singled in a run to make it 5-0, both runners moving up on the throw. Donaldson singled in both runners to make it 7-0, and he moved up on the throw. Two outs later, Harrison Bader doubled to close out the scoring at 8-0.

Rizzo 2 hits
Torres 2 hits, 2 RBI
Donaldson 2 for 2, walk, 2 RBI.
Stanton 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (29)
Bader 2 hits, RBI
Higashioka 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (9)

Cortes (W, 12-4) 7 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 12 K. 2.44
Barnes 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 5.64 (Det/NYY)

Before the game Jacob Barnes up from SWB. Zack Britton to IL.

If there is a game today, Chi Chi Gonzalez is supposed to start. No word as far as a corresponding move to get Gonzalez on the roster.

Luis Severino is to go on Monday. Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon will go in Tuesday’s doubleheader, and Domingo German closes out the regular season on Wednesday. The Yanks would then be off for six days, with Game 1 of the ALDS being at Yankee Stadium on October 11. Opponent to be determined.

Game 2 would be after another off day on October 13. Then another off day. Game 3, October 15.
Games 4 and 5 October 16 and 17 if necessary.

The Yankees would only need 3 starters for this series. Most likely Cole, Cortes and Severino. With the off days, the Game 1 starter could come back for Game 4, and the Game 2 starter for Game 5, but the Game 2 starter would be doing so on 3 days’ rest. Severino would probably go Game 3. But who goes in Game 1 and who in Game 2 between Cole and Cortes?

I think Cole would be better on his regular rest, so he lines up for 1 and 4. I think Cortes can adapt better to go on three days’ rest, so I’d have him Game 2. Taillon and German for middle relief if needed.

Game 155. Fit to be tied! Judge gets #61, Cole ties Guidry K mark in Yanks’ 8-3 win.

Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris for the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record by hitting his 61st HR last night in the Yankees’ (96-59) 8-3 win at Toronto.

The blow broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning. Fitting that it was the game-winning hit.

So, 61 years after Maris, who wore #9, hit 61, Judge, also a RF, who wears #99, matches him. And Maris sometimes played CF, especially after Mantle went down late in the 1961 season. We’ve seen Judge play a lot of CF himself this season.

The Yankees are off today and return to NY for a weekend series against Baltimore. If Judge doesn’t hit #62 Friday night, maybe he does it Saturday, October 1. If so, he would break Maris’ mark exactly 61 years after Roger hit his 61st.

Judge wasn’t the only one to tie a single season Yankees’ record last night. Gerrit Cole struck out four batters to give him 248 on the season, tying the mark set by Ron Guidry in 1978.

Judge’s HR was his only at bat in a 1 for 4 night. He still leads, barely, in the batting title race as he possibly could win a Triple Crown. He is hitting .3134 to the Twins’ Luis Arraez .3133. Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .309. Should Judge win the Triple Crown, he would be only the second player since 1967 to do so. He would be the third Yankee. Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956 are the Yankees to have done so. By the way, no NL hitter has won the Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick of St. Louis in 1937.

Having won the AL East the night before, manager Aaron Boone made Anthony Rizzo the de facto manager for the evening. Most of the lineup was made up of the bench players, and rookie Oswald Peraza hit cleanup.

The Yanks scored three times in the top of the first inning. Judge walked, and so did Oswaldo Cabrera. Josh Donaldson singled in Judge, and Peraza then got a single for his first MLB RBI to make it 2-0. After a force-out, Marwin Gonzalez hit a SF to make it 3-0.

Cole retired the first 15 batters he faced before giving up a HR to Danny Jansen leading off the bottom of the sixth. As we have seen this year, anything that seems to throw Cole off a bit seems to mess him up big time, as far as limiting the damage. A single and walk immediately followed. After a lineout, a single brought in one run. A balk by Cole moved the runners up to second and third. A SF tied the game before Cole got out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Aaron Hicks singled before Judge hit his AL record-tying HR (and we know about the steroid controversy surrounding the NL and MLB mark, a fact alluded to by Roger Maris, Jr. in a postgame interview). But two outs after Judge’s line drive blast (394 ft with an exit velo of 117+ MPH, the hardest HR Judge has hit all season), the Yanks tacked on another run. Peraza singled, went to second on a WP and scored on a single by Harrison Bader, who moved to second on an error. 6-3 Yankees.

The Yanks got a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Cabrera doubled, and Donaldson was HBP. A groundout by Peraza moved the runners up. Bader then hit a ball back to the mound, but in trying to get the runner out at home, Toronto pitcher Adam Cimber threw the ball back to the backstop and both runners scored. 8-3.

Judge 2-run HR (61). Ties AL record and Yankees’ record for most HR in a season.
Peraza 2 hits, RBI. First MLB RBI
Locastro 2 hits
Hicks 3 for 3 with a walk.

Cole (W, 13-7) 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1 Balk. Gave up 1 HR. 3.51
Cole’s 248 K ties Guidry single season NYY record.

Britton (H, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 13.50 After TJ surgery, control is the last thing to return.
Effross (H, 16) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63 (Cubs/NYY)
Schmidt (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.29
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.24

D.J. LeMahieu is expected off the IL on Friday, and we will see about the corresponding move.

Game 154. Yanks win AL East; Judge 0 for 1, 4 Walks.

The Yankees (95-59) won the AL East by beating Toronto 5-2 last night.

It appears that they will face the winner of the Cleveland/Seattle series in the ALDS, unless something drastic happens. So, after the regular season ends, the Yankees will have a few days off while Cleveland and Seattle battle each other. Time to rest, heal, and set up their rotation and roster for that series.

Aaron Judge went 0 for 1 with 4 walks. His only at bat resulted in a lineout to third that off the bat appeared to be a double down the line. Good play by Toronto’s 3B Matt Chapman there.

While still waiting for HR #61, Judge still leads the AL batting race as he has a shot at the triple crown. Judge is at .3136, Luis Arraez of the Twins at .3125, and Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .3104.

We will see if Judge plays today in Toronto. With an off day tomorrow, he could have the day off today as well as tomorrow to be fully rested with two days off to go after Maris’ AL and Yankee HR record. This weekend’s games are at home, before the Yankees end the regular season in Texas. I don’t think he will have today off (I think he will DH) but it would not surprise me if he did.

Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon gave up a HR to the first batter he faced, George Springer, but settled in to pitch 7 1/3 innings for the win.

The Yanks got two runs in the top of the third inning. Kyle Higashioka led off the inning with a single, and one out later, Judge walked. Anthony Rizzo singled in one run and Gleyber Torres singled in the other.

Judge got the ball rolling in the fifth by leading off with another walk. Rizzo singled, and Torres singled in Judge. Rizzo was thrown out at third on the play, Torres taking second. 3-1 Yankees.

The Yanks got their final two runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Higashioka and Aaron Hicks hit back-to-back doubles to bring in one run. Judge walked again, then after Rizzo lined out, Torres singled to make it 5-1.

Toronto got a run in the bottom of the sixth but ran themselves into two outs at second.

In the bottom of the eighth, Toronto had two on and one out when Luis Trivino relieved Taillon. Trivino got a DP on only one pitch to get out of it.

Rizzo 2 hits, RBI
Torres 3 hits, 3 RBI
Cabrera 2 hits
Higashioka 3 hits.

Taillon (W, 14-5) 7 1/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.83
Trivino (S, 11) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.61 (Stats combined A’s/Yankees)

To see if Judge matches that record, try MLB network (out of network only) tonight.


Game 153. Yanks fall in 10, 3-2. Magic Number remains 2.

The Yankees’ (94-59) magic number remains at 2 after a 3-2, 10-inning loss in Toronto Monday night.

For this game, I will start at the end and work my way backwards, because a questionable decision by manager Aaron Boone led to the loss.

In the top of the tenth, the Yanks wasted their chance. Oswaldo Cabrera was the ghost runner on second. A strikeout, walk and strikeout put runners on first and second and brought Aaron Judge to the plate. Toronto wouldn’t let the big guy beat them and walked Judge. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to end the threat.

In the bottom of the tenth, Yankees’ pitcher Clarke Schmidt got a strikeout, then Judge made a fine catch to save the game temporarily. With Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. up, the Yankees pitched to him, a decision I disagreed with. You don’t let the big guy beat you. I (and many other Yankees fans) would have walked him to set up the force at any base. Boone didn’t like the matchup on Kirk (an All-Star) either and decided to go after Vlad. Vlad will probably be a HOF just like his dad. Vlad finished 2nd in MVP voting last year. He’s Toronto’s “Judge”—their best player (with no disrespect to Springer, Bichette or Kirk). You don’t let the big guy beat you. Boone did let the big guy beat him, since Vlad singled to win the game (then acted like a jerk afterwards. I’m old school, and Vlad wasn’t classy after his hit. Get your hit, celebrate with your teammates, keep quiet and stay classy. Didn’t like his B.S. at all. Did DiMaggio, Mantle, Aaron or Musial act that way? No.) I and many fans were and are critical of Boone there. There are two out. Walk him and set up a force at any base for the last out of the inning. Other guys, you pitch to. A future HOF? No.

Going back, the Yanks scored first when Judge led off the game with a single and then Rizzo doubled. Gleyber Torres hit a SF to put the Yanks on the board.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) homered (4) in the second to put the Yanks up 2-0.

But IKF made a big mistake in the fourth. With a man on first and no one out, Vlad singled. I don’t know what the official scorer was thinking because that ball should have been a DP ball. It should have been ruled an error and the two runs scored off of Luis Severino should have been unearned. Severino pitched well except for one batter. After IKF botched that ball (ruled an infield hit), a walk loaded the bases. A short flyout advanced no one, but then Teoscar Hernandez doubled, just missing a grand slam (and Hernandez, hot-dogging it, could have found himself thrown out at second. See above about staying and playing classy). That double tied the game. Sevy then got out of the inning, but it should not have been that way. IKF needs to make that play.

So, two mistakes. One by IKF, and the one by Boone, cost the Yanks the game in my opinion.

Judge was 1 or 3. A single, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts. We are still waiting on #61. He does have the batting lead at .3144. Luis Arraez (.3129) and Xander Bogaerts (.3127) are behind Judge as Judge not only is looking for the AL (and Yankees) single-season HR record but also at a triple crown.

Tonight’s game will be on TBS (out of market only). Check your carrier. If you get the YES network, then you are good there. As for me, I’ll be checking out TBS.

The Yanks struck out 14x last night.

Rizzo 2 hits.
IKF solo HR (4)

Severino 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 4 K. 3.41 (both runs should have been unearned)
Trivino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.76 (A’s/NYY)
Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.65 (Cubs/NYY)
Marinaccio 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.18
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.27
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.54
Schmidt (L, 5-5) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.35

Interesting news I see. Aroldis Chapman is a free agent after the season and the Yanks will most likely not be bringing him back. Not only that, but he may also not even be on the postseason roster. The Yanks are even considering DFAing him as of now.



Game 151. Yanks hit 3 HR (none by Judge) in 7-5 win over Boston. Magic #3 for AL East crown.

The Yankees (83-58) reduced their magic # for winning the AL East to 3 with a 7-5 win over Boston on Saturday.

While they hit 3 HR, none were by Aaron Judge, who is stuck on 60 as he tries to tie and surpass Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61.

Judge went 0 for 3 with a walk and fell one point behind Boston’s Xander Bogaerts in the batting race, .315 to .314. Luis Arraez of the Twins is at .313. Since Judge is way ahead in HR and RBI, he also could be a Triple Crown winner as well.

The Yanks got on the board first when Gleyber Torres homered (24) in the bottom of the first inning. 1-0, Yankees.

Domingo German had a shaky second inning though, giving up 2 HR and 3 runs as Boston took a 3-1 lead.

The Yanks got a run back in the bottom of the second. With one out, Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader both walked. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) singled in Cabrera, Bader out at third.

The Yanks went up 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run HR by Cabrera (4). Now this will be interesting in the offseason. Andrew Benintendi is a free agent, and currently on the IL with a broken hand. Do the Yankees try to sign Benintendi or do they feel confident in having the 23-year-old rookie Cabrera as their starting LF in 2023?

In the fifth inning, the Yanks upped their lead to 5-3. Kyle Higashioka led off with a single and Judge walked. A flyout moved Higashioka to third. One out later, Josh Donaldson’s infield single brought home Higashioka. 5-3, Yankees.

After a year away because of Tommy John surgery, Zack Britton returned to the mound but was ineffective, as Boston cut the Yanks lead to 5-4 in the sixth when Britton walked in a run. Lou Trivino came in with the bases loaded and one out and made sure that was all the Red Sox got.

But Boston tied it up in the seventh off of Trivino and Lucas Luetge, who with two out, couldn’t slam the door before Boston tied the game.

Anthony Rizzo hit a 2-run HR (32) in the bottom of the seventh that wound up deciding the game. 7-5 Yankees.

Rizzo 2-run HR (32)
Torres 2 hits, solo HR (24)
Cabrera 2-run HR (4)

German 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.30 One rough inning.
Britton (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 27.00 First appearance of season.
Trivino (H, 4) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.86 (A’s/NYY ERA)
Luetge (W, 4-4; BS, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.78
Schmidt (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.40
Effross (S, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.70 (Cubs/NYY ERA)





Game 146. Judge at 59 HR after Yanks win slugfest, 12-8. Triple Crown within reach.

Aaron Judge is at 59.

No right-handed batter in American League history has hit more in a season. Judge trails only lefty swinging hitters Babe Ruth (60 in 1927) and Roger Maris (61 in 1961) for most HR in a season by an American League player.

We know all about the 154 vs. 162 game season controversy, as well as the steroid-aided MLB and NL records.

Not only is Judge at 59 HR, but with a 4-hit performance yesterday that included 2 HR, he is now hitting .316, which is only one point short of the AL leader, meaning a Triple Crown is within reach. Only one man, Miguel Cabrera in 2012, has won the Triple Crown since 1967. Two Yankees have won it, Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956.

With their 12-8 slugfest win Sunday, the Yankees (88-58) have a 5 1/2 game lead with 16 games to go. Their magic # for clinching the division is 11. Their magic # for a playoff spot is 5 (since they own the tiebreaker over Baltimore).

Gerrit Cole stuck out 8 batters to give him 236 for the season, 12 behind Ron Guidry’s Yankees record of 248 set in 1978, but Cole, despite getting the win, was victimized once again by the gopher ball.

Kolten Wong hit a 3-run HR off of Cole in the bottom of the first. Brewers 3-0.

Oswaldo Cabrera got a run back for the Yankees in the top of the second with his second HR of the season. 3-1.

In the bottom of the second, Tyrone Taylor homered off Cole and it was 4-1, Brewers. Things didn’t look good.

Judge and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back HRs in the top of the third to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 4-3. For Judge, #58. It was #31 for Rizzo, who just returned off of the IL. (Estevan Florial was sent down).

The Yanks got 4 runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-4 lead. Judge led off with a walk. Rizzo singled Judge to second. A flyout by Gleyber Torres moved both runners up. Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. An error on a fielder’s choice by Giancarlo Stanton tied the game. Bases still loaded. An infield single by Cabrera put the Yanks up 5-4. After a lineout with no advance, Kyle Higashioka singled in two runs to make it 7-4.

In the top of the seventh, the Yanks scored three times to increase their lead to 10-4. Cabrera doubled to lead off the inning, and two groundouts moved him around. 8-4. Aaron Hicks then hit his seventh HR. 9-4. Judge made it back-to-back HR by creaming #59, a 443-ft. blast. 10-4.

The extra runs proved necessary. Rowdy Tellez hit a 2-run HR for the Brewers in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Yanks’ lead to 10-6. They then stranded two.

Judge got a 2-run double in the top of the ninth to make it 12-6. Michael Kay mentioned something in the lines of that Judge was the only guy in baseball that can hit a 2-run double and you are disappointed.

Those two runs were necessary, too. Each of Milwaukee’s first three hitters in the bottom of the ninth singled off of Wandy Peralta. Clay Holmes then relieved Peralta and gave up a ground rule double that made the score 12-8. Holmes then got an out before a walk reloaded the bases, bring the tying run to the plate. A strikeout and groundout ended the game.

Judge 4 hits, 4 RBI. 2 solo HR (59) .316-59-127. One point short of batting average lead.
Rizzo 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR (31). First game off the IL.
Cabrera 3 hits, 2 RBI. Solo HR (2)
Higashioka 3 RBI.
Hicks 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (7).

Cole (W, 12-7) 5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 3 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.41 236 K, 12 behind Guidry’s 248 in 1978.
Schmidt (H, 2) 2 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.82
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.35
Peralta 0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.72
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.55

The Yanks are off today.


Game 145. Yanks shut down by Brew Crew, 4-1.

Jameson Taillon made one huge mistake, but in giving up homers, a solo HR is one thing, but a 3-run HR is quite another. Taillon’s mistake was in giving up a 3-run HR to Willy Adames, and it was the difference in a 4-1 Yankees loss to Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Adames killed the Yankees with a HR Friday night, and this 3-run HR in the third inning made Adames Milwaukee’s single-season leader for a SS, topping the 29 HOF Robin Yount had in his MVP season of 1982.

The Yankees only run came on a HR by Josh Donaldson (15) in the top of the fourth inning.

The Brewers tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth. They only got four hits in the game, but that 3-run HR was the killer.

The Yanks only got five hits, striking out 12x. Giancarlo Stanton (.212) struck out all four times he was up. Rookie Oswaldo Cabrera was 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts. Hopefully the Yanks get Anthony Rizzo back today from the IL

Marwin Gonzalez of the Yanks had to leave the game in the top of the third when catcher Victor Caratini’s return throw to the pitcher struck Gonzalez in the head. Such a freak thing.

With the loss, the Yanks’ lead in the AL East shrunk to 4 1/2 games over Toronto. So today is a big day with Gerrit Cole on the mound. An almost-must win today. Monday is an off day before the Yanks come home to face Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Speaking of Cole, his 228 strikeouts lead the majors. He is 20 behind Ron Guidry’s Yankee season record of 248, set in Guidry’s magical CYA season of 1978.

The Yanks magic # for clinching the AL East remains 13. With the Orioles losing yesterday, the Yanks’ magic # for a playoff spot is 6 (they own the tiebreaker over the Orioles).


Donaldson solo HR (15)

Taillon (L, 13-5) 5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.04
Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 6.75
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 4.55
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 HBP 1.88

Note on the MVP debate

Judge WAR (Wins Above Replacement) 9.2. Yanks are in 1st, 87-58. So with a normal player, subtract 9 wins. Yanks then are 78-67, and instead of in 1st place, 2nd seed in AL behind Houston, getting a bye into the ALDS, they are in 3rd place in AL East, and squeak into the playoffs as the #6 seed and have to play in the best-of-3 wild card round.

Ohtani WAR 8.7 (combined hitting and pitching). Angels are 63-82. Tied for 3rd in division, and FAR OUT OF PLAYOFF CONTENTION. Take 9 wins away and they are 54-91, in fourth place in their division, barely above Oakland for the cellar.

Ohtani is a great player. But who has been more valuable? The Angels have been out of it since what, June? There is no pennant race pressure on him.

Meanwhile Judge has been carrying a team on his back regarding winning or losing the AL East, and the higher or lower seed that would entail.

MVP: JUDGE.

UPDATE: Frankie Montas is scheduled for an MRI on his shoulder.

Games 136 & 137. Despite depleted lineups, Yanks sweep Twins. Judge hits #55, IKF, Peraza, Cole star.

Sorry, my original draft got erased and I had to re-write a lot. UGH.

A load of baseball yesterday, and at first it didn’t look good. Due to injuries, the Yankees’ lineups looked worse than a spring training lineup. In the first game of the DH yesterday, the Yanks (83-54) started three rookies, plus another guy who, although he had MLB experience and wasn’t a rookie, hadn’t played in the majors all season.

The Yanks put Josh Donaldson on the paternity list. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) played 3B. IKF had won a GG at 3B for Texas in 2020. Bard DFA’d, Deivi Garcia up. Miguel Andujar up as 29th man for the doubleheader. Rizzo to IL, Ron Guzman up.

But at the end of the day, the Yankees had won both games off of their perennial whipping boys, the Twins, by scores of 5-4 (in 12 innings) and 7-1.

With the wins, the Yanks are 5 up on the Rays in the AL East. The magic # for winning the division is 22, and the magic # for a playoff berth is 15. The wins ensured the Yankees a winning season. They haven’t had a losing season since 1992.

Game 1: Domingo German had a rough start but settled in. A double, strikeout, and HR, and Minnesota was up 2-0 just three batters into the game. With two out in the fourth, three straight singles made it 3-0 Twins and with the weakened Yankees’ lineup, it didn’t appear good.

The Yanks got a run in the bottom of the fourth of Aaron Judge’s 55th HR of the season. The home run meant that Judge now has hit more HR in a season than any other righty hitter in Yankees’ history. Only Ruth (60 in 1927) and Maris (61 in ’61) have hit more. Judge was walked 5x yesterday, 3x intentionally. Another reason to hate the ghost runner. If Judge is the first guy up, even with the ghost runner on second, first base is open, and Judge is walked to set up a DP. You take the bat out of the hands of the most dangerous hitter in baseball.

Gleyber Torres tied the game with a 2-run HR in the sixth. (19).

Both teams wasted chances. Oswaldo Cabrera, an infielder brought up to the Yanks a few weeks ago, got his fifth OF assist of the season in the top of the tenth. Ron Guzman, up for Rizzo, struck out 4x and then with the bases loaded and no out in extra innings, hit into a 3-2-3 DP.

The Twins got a run in the top of the 12th off of Ron Marinaccio, but with the bases loaded and one out, Greg Weissert avoided further damage.

In the bottom of the 12th, Marwin Gonzalez was the ghost runner and IKF singled to tie the game. With one out, IKF stole second. Jose Trevino singled, IKF was held up and Trevino took second on the throw. With two out, Cabrera singled to win the game.

Judge solo HR (55)
Torres 2-run HR (19)
Kiner-Falefa (IKF) 2 hits, RBI
Peraza 3 hits FIRST 3 HITS OF MLB CAREER.

German 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 1 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.27
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.58
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.66
Holmes 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.29
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K. 1.73
Weissert (W, 3-0) 2/3 I, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.36

Game 2: With the long game in game 1, and several bullpen members used, the Yanks needed length from Gerrit Cole. He went 6 2/3 IP, striking out 14.

Cole leads MLB with 218 strikeouts and is 30 away from Ron Guidry’s Yankee team single season record of 248, set in 1978. Cole has four, maybe five starts left in the season.

Cole gave up a HR to his ex-teammate, Carolos Correa, in the top of the third.

IKF hit a grand slam, just his third HR of the season, in the bottom of the fourth. He didn’t get his first HR until mid-August.

In the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Hicks hit a bases-loaded double for three runs to make it 7-1.

Hicks 3 RBI
Kiner-Falefa 4 RBI. Grand Slam. (3)
Florial 2 hits.

Cole (W, 11-7) 6 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 14 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.20
Luetge (S, 2) 2 1/3 Ip, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 3 K. 2.55

Nestor Cortes returns to the rotation tonight to face ex-Yankee Sonny Gray.










Baseball news from 9-6-22. Rainouts, Minor league games, and Mark Littell passes away (think Chris Chambliss, 1976).

Not much baseball news yesterday, so everything is combined into this one thread. We will start with the majors. The Yankees were rained out. They will have a single admission, old-school doubleheader starting at 3 PM today.

The Yankees had to put Anthony Rizzo on the 10-day IL, backdated. He is suffering migraines after receiving an epidural for his back issues. They called up Ronald Guzman, Lefty bat, 6’5″, 235. 27 years old. Guzman was hitting .260-12-39 in 90 games for SWB. In 243 MLB games, all with Texas from 2018-2021, he has hit .227 with 31 HR, 104 RBI, OPS+ 86. His 162 G average is .227-21-69, OPS+ 86.
(Average OPS+ is 100).

A baseball passing. Mark Littell has passed away at the age of 69. The reliever pitched for Kansas City (1973, 1975-1977), and St. Louis (1978-1982). He was a member of the 1976 and 1977 AL West Division Champ Royals and the WS Champion Cardinals of 1982. For his career, Littell was 32-31, 3.32, ERA+ 114 (average ERA+ is 100) with 56 saves. His 162-game average was 6-6, 3.32, 11 saves, ERA+ 114. He went 8-4, 2.08 with 16 saves for the Royals in 1976, finishing 24th in MVP voting. He was 8-4, 3.61 with 12 saves for them in 1977. After two good seasons with St. Louis in 1978 (4-8, 2.79, 11 saves) and 1979 (9-4, 2.19 13 saves), he started to fade. His last game was in June of 1982, so he wasn’t on the Cardinals’ postseason roster that year.

Littell went 0-1, 2.35 in five postseason games for the Royals in 1976 and 1977 against the Yankees. It is that one loss for which he will be remembered. He is the pitcher who gave up the HR to Chris Chambliss in the bottom of the ninth of ALCS Game 5 in 1976, enabling the Yankees to win the 1976 pennant.

Minor League Action from last night:

AAA: SWB off.

AA: Somerset ppd.

High A: Hudson Valley (69-57) lost 5-3.
C Anthony Seigler 3 hits, RBI
1B TJ Rumfield Solo HR (4) (High A stat only)

Castano (L, 5-8) 5 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP 3.49
Alvarez 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. 1 WP 2.96
Diaz 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.35

Low A: Tampa (61-64) split two games.

Game 1: Completion of game suspended on July 17. Lost 5-0. Got only four hits. Stats backdated to that date.

Fitts 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 4.78
O. Rodriguez (L, 0-1) 1 2/3 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 WP 27.00
Bustamonte 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00

Game 2: Regularly scheduled game. Won 7-6.
C Antonio Gomez 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (8) #18 prospect. .248-8-47
RF Madison Santos 2 RBI
SS Luis Santos 2 RBI

Yulie 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 4 W, 2 K. 1 WP. 1 Balk 4.97
Watson 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 3 W, 2 K. 2 WP. 1 HBP 4.06
Anderson (W, 3-7; BS, 3) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP 4.47



Game 132. Lead down to 5 after 9-0 loss.

You don’t know what to write anymore. A 15 1/2 game lead is now down to 5. Tom Petty’s song “Free Fallin'” keeps playing in your head. From 61-23 to 79-53. 18-30 in their last 48 games, and as much as you want it to stop, it isn’t.

Anthony Rizzo had an epidural for his back. He’s out for this whole Tampa Bay series. During the game, an embarrassing 9-0 loss, Andrew Benintendi hurt his wrist, saying he “felt something pop.” X-rays were negative, but an MRI is forthcoming. Don’t be surprised if he is out a while, maybe for the season.

Meanwhile you can’t win if you can’t score, and the Yankees’ offense right now looks like I’ve been transported back to the Horace Clarke/Gene Michael/Jake Gibbs days. Ugly. The Yankees got just five hits last night.

It’s hard to pitch when you have no margin for error.

For six innings, Domingo German was really good. The Rays got a run in the fourth because Josh Donaldson made two errors on back-to-back plays. The Rays would have had another run except that Oswaldo Cabrera (who replaced the injured Benintendi) threw out a runner at the plate.

It stayed 1-0 into the seventh. In the seventh, German made his only mistake, giving up a 2-run HR. 3-0, and you knew it was over then. The way this offense has collapsed, you knew they were not coming back.

Then the Rays got six runs in the eighth off of Greg Weissert and Anthony Banda (you are forgiven for saying “Who?”). Who’d have thought, on September 2, in the middle of a pennant race, that Weissert and Banda would be on the mound for you. That says a lot of where the Yanks are right now.

Then the ultimate ignominy last night. Marwin Gonzalez on the mound to get the last out in the eighth.

Embarrassing. And I’m trying to be nice about it.

Let’s face it. No matter what happens from here on in, heads should roll. Hal Steinbrenner has been far too quiet. Show a little anger at what is happening Hal! Instead, he’s been too busy buying an Italian soccer team.

Yankees’ fans on the Internet made themselves known yesterday. If you went on websites, blogs, Twitter, etc. they were all wondering why rookies Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza were not in the lineup. Bring them up only to sit? Keep guys like Hicks in the lineup? Yankees Universe was NOT happy when that lineup came out.

For the sake of integrity for this blog, some numbers that Michael Kay alluded to on last night’s broadcast. You can’t ignore this. We have been seeing this every day.

LeMahieu (toe problem) 10 for 69 since Aug. 8. .145. NO extra base hits.
Stanton by month: April .269; May .301; June .176, July .156, August .130. 0 for 3 last night, 3 strikeouts.
Since June 1, Stanton is hitting .159. That is Gallo-like bad. Achilles problem.
Torres .186 since July 13. 6 walks. 50 strikeouts.
Hicks starting with 2nd game of a DH on July 21. .155, NO extra base hits.
Donaldson has pretty much been in the .220s all year.
Higashioka is at .191.
Even Rizzo, despite 30 HR, is only at .225.
Marwin Gonzalez doesn’t play much. But he’s 0 for his last 29.

If a team hits, you can carry someone like Isiah Kiner-Falefa. This team is hitting .239. That makes IKF’s lack of power stand out more despite his .261 batting average.

Those numbers are one reason the fans were upset at the lineup last night. Granted Cabrera went 0 for 3, and Peraza, in his MLB debut, struck out, but give the kids a chance. They can’t do much worse than what has been going on.

I don’t know. Whatever the hitting coaches are telling these guys, it isn’t working, or some guys are stubborn and aren’t listening. Maybe some guys are hurt more than what is being let on.

One last thing before the recap. The MVP thing. When was the last time Ohtani played a meaningful game? One that had pennant race implications for his team? The Angels were out of the race by the end of June. Take Ohtani off the Angels and they are still a crappy fourth place team.

Since the All-Star Game, Aaron Judge is hitting .321 with 18 HR. Of course, other teams are and have been pitching around him based on what the rest of the lineup has NOT been doing. While the ship is sinking, the one lifeboat in the Yankees lineup has been Judge. The award is for the most VALUABLE player. Not Player of the Year, Decade or Century. Ohtani is great. Granted. But look at the numbers. Who right now is more VALUABLE?

Ok, enough.

Recap. The Yanks were shut out on five hits. They struck out 13x.

German (L, 2-3) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 3.12
Weissert 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. 10.13
Banda 0 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 6.75
Marwin Gonzalez 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00 POSITION PLAYER.