Tag Archives: Sanchez

Yanks hire new catching coach. CC getting in Cole’s ear.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From the NY Post:

The Yanks have hired a new catching coach, Taylor Swanson. Swanson was the minor-league catching coordinator for the Twins this past season.

Whether Austin Romine is one of them remains to be seen. The free agent may decide he wants to start for another team rather than backup Gary Sanchez on the Yankees.


CC Sabathia may be retired, but he is doing his best to try to get one heck of a replacement for himself on the Yankees. The recently retired Yankees hurler said he has spoken “many times” with Gerrit Cole, trying to put a bug in his ear and sell him on the NY experience. Both are West Coast guys.

Initial rumors of what Cole, this year’s top free agent, could go for are 8 years, and anywhere from $250 to $280 million. Could it even hit $300 million with a ninth year?

 

ALCS Game 6. Altuve’s walkoff HR in bottom of 9th ends Yanks’ season, WS is Houston/Washington.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I’ll get into some mistakes I think the Yanks made in this ALCS in another post. For now, just a game post.

Jose Altuve (ALCS MVP) hit a walkoff HR in the bottom of the ninth to give Houston a 6-4 win and send the Astros to the WS where they’ll meet the Washington Nationals. It’s the second pennant for the Astros in three years. Houston won the 2017 WS.

For the Yankees, it’s the first decade since the 1910s where they haven’t made a WS appearance. They did lose four ALCS’s in the 2010s.

2010: Lost in 6 to Texas.
2012: Swept by Detroit in the series where Derek Jeter broke his ankle in Game 1.
2017: Lost in 7 to Houston.
2019: Lost in 6 to Houston.

The use of an opener didn’t work well for the Yanks, because Chad Green gave up a 3-run HR in the first inning to Yuri Gurriel with two out. The HR came right after a mound visit. That sure didn’t work well.

The Yanks got one run back in the second when slumping players Didi Gregorius doubled and Gary Sanchez singled him in. Later, with two out and two on, Brett Gardner struck out on a questionable call. It was the first of many breaks that did not go the Yankees’ way last night.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the third, but Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the inning. Why he swung at the first pitch, who knows. Down 3-1, needing to get back in the game, and a new pitcher just in the game, make him throw strikes. Check his nerves out. Instead, it appeared Didi succumbed to the nerves and pressure. He should have taken one. That, I couldn’t understand. Big mistake by Didi there, I thought, and think.

Gio Urshela homered in the fourth to make it 3-2 and the Yanks then didn’t catch another break. Gardner, up next, hit a long drive to right that looked as if it would tie up the game but it went just foul. He wound up singling but the Yanks couldn’t get him in.

With two out and one on in the top of the sixth, Gardner lined one to right but Josh Reddick made a diving catch on it.

Altuve, who had doubled and scored in the first, walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth for Houston. He went to third on a single by Michael Brantley and scored on a forceout. 4-2 Houston.

In the top of the seventh, another bad break for the Yanks. With Aaron Judge on first and one out, Aaron Hicks lined one to left. Brantley made a diving catch and doubled Judge off of first.

With one out and one on in the top of the eighth, Houston turned a nifty DP to get out of the inning. All breaks were going against the Yanks. The Yanks escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth and went into the ninth down 4-2.

In the top of the ninth, it appeared that maybe the baseball gods would finally smile on the Yankees. Gio Urshela singled. Brett Gardner struck out after almost being HBP. D.J. LeMahieu then tied the game with a HR that barely cleared the wall and the leap of George Springer, now playing RF. 4-4.

Aroldis Chapman started the bottom of the ninth ok with a strikeout and pop up, but then walked Springer. Altuve then hit his pennant-winning HR.

LeMahieu 2-run Game tying HR in top of 9th.
Encarnacion 0 for 3, walk, 3 strikeouts. He killed the Yanks this series.
Gregorius 2 hits, but that first pitch groundout with the bases loaded in the third hurt.
Urshela 3 for 3, HR.

Green 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up HR
Happ 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  Maybe should have started, given more length?
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K.
Chapman (LOSS) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H,  1 W, 1 K.  Gave up GW HR.

In retrospect, maybe the Yanks should have just started Happ and asked for four or five from him. There are a lot of things they could and/or should have done differently this series. That is for the next post, coming later today.

 

 

ALCS Game 4. Yanks pushed to the brink after 8-3 loss. CC ends career by getting hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It can’t be looking worse. An 8-3 loss to the Astros puts the Yanks down three games to one in the ALCS, and the Yanks are looking at Justin Verlander tonight, and if the series continues, Gerrit Cole later, and the Astros can afford to save Cole for a possible Game 7.

Besides giving up the eight runs, the Yanks’ bats were quiet for the most part again, as they blew a couple of chances. Twice they loaded the bases, only to come away with one run total.

In the bottom of the first, D.J. LeMahieu walked, was forced at second by Aaron Judge, but then Aaron Hicks blooped a single and after Gleyber Torres popped out, and a double steal was executed, both Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Gardner walked, Gardner’s walk forcing in a run. But the struggling Gary Sanchez struck out.

The Yanks really could have dropped the hammer there. They let the Astros off the hook.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR to George Springer in the third inning, giving the Astros a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The fifth inning was a killer, as the Yanks loaded the bases with one out. You thought here’s where they get back in the game, but Gleyber Torres and the slumping Edwin Encarnacion both struck out.  Torres has carried the team, but this was one occasion where he couldn’t do it.

Things unraveled in the sixth. Normally sure-handed Gold Glover D.J. LeMahieu made an error, the first of four (2 by LeMahieu, 2 by Torres) by the Yanks on the night. That ended Tanaka’s night and brought in Chad Green. An out later, a single, then a 3-run HR by Carlos Correa made it 6-1 Houston and the game, for all intensive purposes, was over.

Gary Sanchez finally woke up, hitting a 2-run HR in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 6-3. LeMahieu later doubled with two out, but Aaron Judge struck out to end the inning, so the Yanks could not get closer.

I’ve disagreed with Boone’s decisions to keep going back to the struggling Sanchez and also Adam Ottavino. As Joe Torre said, he was advised by Don Zimmer that you can’t have patience in the offseason. Time is too short. Boone, in this series, basically has chosen to sink or swim with those guys (Encarnacion, too, and I’ll get to that in a bit) and it looks like the answer is sink. Ottavino came in for the eighth, and gave up a double right away. Then things got sloppy. LeMahieu, so good with the glove, made his second error of the game to put runners on first and third with one out. In came CC.

Torres then made an error, making it 7-3. A lineout and HBP loaded the bases. CC got another lineout, runners holding, but then had to leave the game with a sore shoulder. Even if the Yanks can come back in this series, win it, and go to the World Series, CC’s career is over. He’ll be replaced on the roster, perhaps by Stephen Tarpley or Jordan Montgomery. Jonathan Loaisiga got a strikeout to get out of the inning.

More sloppiness in the ninth. Torres made his second error of the night, a 2-base error, then a WP and a single made it 8-3 Astros. There was another WP and a walk, but no further damage.

The “savages” have turned tame. The Yanks only had five hits in the game.

The Yanks (.204) are actually out-hitting Houston (.182) in the series, but Houston is getting key hits and the Yanks are not.

Correa is 3 for 17 with 7 strikeouts, but had the GW HR in Game 2 and a 3-run shot last nght. Springer is just 2 for 17 with seven strikeouts but both are homers, the game-tying HR in Game 2 and a 3-run HR last night.

Meanwhile the Yanks were 0 for 7 w/RISP last night.

The late Bill Gallo of the NY Daily News used to draw cartoons, and in big series like this, had the hero with a halo over his head, and the goat with the goat horns.

Encarnacion, 1 for 15 in this series. It could be his last games as a Yankee, as I expect the Yanks not to p/u the $20MM option but buy him out at $5MM instead.

Brett Gardner is 2 for 15. Didi Gregorius 2 for 16. Gary Sanchez 2 for 17. Gio Urshela 2 for 15.

If Stanton can’t play, and he hasn’t, then I do have to question the Yanks’ decision to keep him on the roster and not replace him. If, as Boone states, he can PH, then why can’t he DH instead of the slumping Encarnacion? If he can’t do that, then why is he on the roster? Replacing Stanton with say, Luke Voit or Mike Ford would enable the Yanks to bench the slumping Encarnacion, and get someone off the roster who can’t play anyway.

Also, the decision to stick with Sanchez and not give Romine a game (he couldn’t be worse than Sanchez’ 2 for 17) may come back to haunt them.

There are some decisions made in this series, like the ones I mentioned above and in the last few days) (Stanton/Encarnacion/Ottavino/Sanchez) that it appears the Yanks will rue all offseason.

One thing also appears evident. The Yanks starters are decent, but not elite. That’s the difference between them and say, Houston or Washington.

As good of a bullpen as the Yanks have, consider this. Your best pitchers generally either start or are your closer. The last pitchers on your team are generally the middle relief guys. John Smoltz made a good point in the telecast. You really would like to have your starter go a long way and just hand the ball to the closer. No middleman. Maybe one. But not a bunch of them. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Of all the teams in the playoffs, Washington is in the WS, and had two guys with 200 IP this year. Houston has three starters who went 200 IP or more.

The Yanks haven’t had a starter give 200 IP in a season since 2013 (CC, who had a bad year that year with a 4.78 ERA, and Kuroda, who pitched well that year but had tough luck and no run support).

The Yanks need their starters to give more length, and especially in the postseason. They could really use an ace. An “A” pitcher to go along with a lot of “B” starters they currently have. That would help put them over the top instead of doing what they have the past few years—win 100 or more but come up short to a team that won 106 or more.

Of course, Domingo German, and what he did, didn’t help the Yanks, but that’s another story.

More clutch hitting would also help. The Yanks had 5 hits, and 7 walks, but …  the Yanks struck out 13x.

LeMahieu 2 hits (of the Yanks’ 5). Of course. But uncharacteristically, 2 errors.
Torres 0 for 5, 2 strikeouts, 2 errors. After carrying them so far, a bad game.

Tanaka (LOSS) 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 W, 0 K. Once again, couldn’t get an out. An error hurt.
Sabathia 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP.  Last outing of his career.
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lyons 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

The Yanks aren’t done, but they are close, unfortunately. If they can come back from 3-1 down, and in doing so, beat Verlander and Cole, it’ll be one of the great comebacks ever, and maybe it will wash away some of that bad taste still left from 2004.



Passings: One -time Yankee (briefly, 20 games) Bobby Del Greco. 86. OF. Pittsburgh (1952, 1956), Cardinals (1956), Cubs 1957,  Yankees 1957-1958, Phillies 1960-1961, KC A’s 1961-1963 and Phillies again 1965. Hit .229, 42 career HR, OPS+ 85. 162 game average .229-9-37.

Jackie Hernandez, 79. Platooned at SS for the 1971 WS Champion Pirates. Angels 1965-1966. Twins 1967-1968. KC Royals 1969-1970. Pittsburgh Pirates 1971-1973. Hit .206-3-26 for 1971 Pirates (WS Champs), and .188-1-14 for 1972 Pirates (NL East champs). 162 game average .208=3-32, OPS+ 49. 7 for 31, 2 RBI in 11 postseason games.

 

 

 

 

ALCS Game 3. Yanks fall 4-1, trail in Series 2 games to 1. Nats win NL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Since May 22, Gerrit Cole has been unbeatable, going 19-0 in 25 starts with a 1.59 ERA. Incredible.

He was vulnerable against the Yankees, giving up 5 walks and 4 hits in his seven innings of work, but no runs.

Luis Severino was OK, but gave up a HR in the first to Jose Altuve (Altuve kills the Yankees) and another in the second to Josh Reddick and that is all Cole needed. Houston wins Game 3 of the ALCS, 4-1, and is up two games to one in the series.

The Yanks have a couple of problems. For one, manager Aaron Boone has to wonder if he should bench Gary Sanchez and start Austin Romine instead. Sanchez is 1 for 13 in this series with six strikeouts. For the whole postseason, he is 2 for 21 with 10 strikeouts. He also couldn’t block a WP that enabled Houston to score a run.

In a post-game interview, Boone said no when asked about going to Romine. I think he may be making a mistake.

Another is Adam Ottavino, who came into Game 3 with the score 2-0 in the top of the seventh. Ottavino isn’t getting anyone out and gave up a walk and a single before being pulled. Both runners later scored. Boone said he’ll continue to use him…. what else is he going to say?

Ottavino’s numbers this postseason: 2 1/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 W, 3 K.  1 HR given up. He’s faced 16 batters and 9 have reached base. You just can’t trust him in tight games anymore. At least not now.

There is no time in the postseason to hope. It’s do or die. It’s why Joe Torre once benched Wade Boggs, Tino Martinez AND Paul O’Neill for the same game (replacing them in the lineup with Charlie Hayes, Cecil Fielder and Darryl Strawberry).

Cleanup hitter Edwin Encarnacion is also slumping. 1 for 12 with 6 strikeouts in this series. Maybe he needs to be dropped in the lineup.

The one constant is Gleyber Torres. The only Yankees’ run came on a HR by Torres in the eighth inning. He is 10 for 24 this postseason with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Maybe Boone should just keep him in the 3 spot. He batted fifth in Game 3, probably to try to protect Encarnacion and hopefully get Edwin going.

But that meant Brett Gardner hit third. Now the Yanks did get singles from D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge to lead off the bottom of the first, but Gardner flied out. The Yanks didn’t score. Maybe Gardner should have bunted the runners over there. I know you are thinking big inning, but this is Cole on the mound, and Gardner is not your prototypical #3 hitter (like a Ruth, DiMaggio, Maris or Mantle), and who knows, maybe Gardner beats it out. Just saying.  Gardner is 2 for 13 in this series with five strikeouts.

Didi Gregorius JUST MISSED putting the Yanks up 3-2 with a two-out drive with two on in the fifth that was caught at the wall. Tough break. Didi is 1 for 12 in this series.

The forecast is for rain. There is a very strong chance Game 4 gets rained out tonight. If so, I believe the Yanks HAVE to come back with Tanaka then for Game 4 on regular rest (and in his six innings on Saturday, he only threw 68 pitches in Game 1) to try to even the series and avoid going down three games to one.

The Yanks only had five hits in the game. In their last 20 innings, they’ve scored just three runs.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Torres HR, 2 walks
Aaron Hicks, starting his first game in over 2 months, walked twice.

Severino (LOSS) 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 3 W, 6 K.  Gave up 2 HR
Green 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  1 WP that scored a run.
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.

Who’d have thought Cessa would be out-pitching Ottavino this postseason?

Hopefully some of these Yankees’ bats heat up.

Also, hopefully Boone makes some right, and maybe necessary, tough decisions to shake the Yanks up.


Washington won the NLCS by beating St. Louis 7-4 last night, scoring all seven runs in the bottom of the first. With the four game sweep, the Nationals go to their first WS in franchise history, going back to 1969 when they were the Montreal Expos 1969-2004 before moving to Washington.

For D.C., it’ll host their first WS games since 1933 when the old Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) won the AL pennant but lost the WS to the NY (now SF) Giants.

Howie Kendrick was named the NLCS MVP.

So whoever wins the ALCS knows they’ll have to face Washington with its trio of Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin (not to mention Anibal Sanchez).

 

 

ALCS Game 2. Houston evens up the series with a walkoff HR in the 11th, wins 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Justin Verlander was as tough as we thought he’d be. But the Yanks still had a chance to go up 2-0 in the series. Instead, they lost to Houston 3-2 in 11 innings and head home with the ALCS tied at a game apiece.

The problem is, certain guys not having good postseasons so far continued not to produce, and that hurt the Yanks in Game 2. See below.

James Paxton didn’t last long, giving up a run in the second, and getting knocked out in the third inning.

Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR in the fourth for the Yanks’ only two runs of the game.

Chad Green did a great job in relief of Paxton, but Adam Ottavino, in relief of Green, gave up a HR on his very first pitch in the bottom of the fifth and the game was tied at two.

In the bottom of the eleventh, J.A. Happ gave up a HR to Carlos Correa on his first pitch of the inning, and the game was over. A tough, extra-inning loss, where a win would have put Houston’s backs against the wall what with the next three games in the Bronx.

Before the game, it was announced that Giancarlo Stanton had a quad strain, is day to day and was out of the Game 2 lineup. Cameron Maybin, who had a hit and a walk, replaced him. Aaron Hicks replaced Maybin later in the game.

Ottavino hasn’t had a good postseason so far. In 2 1/3 IP, he’s only given up 1 R, but on 5 H, 2 walks.

Gary Sanchez is 2 for 17 this postseason.

Edwin Encarnacion had a decent series against the Twins, but is 0 for 8 with 6 strikeouts against Houston.

Hopefully the off-day today (The NLCS will play Game 3 tonight) will give those players time to regroup and get right.

Game 3 features Severino vs. Cole. With tight games like this, not only do you need great pitching, which the Yanks so far have gotten for the most part (3 runs given up in 19+ innings) but you also have to play littleball, knowing you probably aren’t going to score many runs off of Houston.

Judge 2-run HR
Encarnacion 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts.
Sanchez 0 for 5, 3 strikeouts.
Paxton 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 W, 3 K.
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Ottavino (BS) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Sabathia 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Loaisiga 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K.
Happ (LOSS) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up walkoff HR.

Hard-fought game. Tough loss.

To get to the WS, the Yanks have to beat Verlander and Cole. They had a chance last night to win a game Verlander started. They didn’t do it, although they came close. That hurts.

Now to try to get one against Cole.

ALCS Roster set, and pre-series thoughts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees have finalized their ALCS roster. Coming on are CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks and coming off are Luke Voit and Tyler Wade.

The Yanks are going with 13 pitchers.

I think that they are going with the pitching (13) and defense, and expect low scoring games against Houston’s staff. If so, Gardner LF, Hicks CF, Stanton DH, Encarnacion 1b with DJ at 3b, and if they have a late inning lead, then DJ goes to 1b and Gio goes in at 3b. Either that or keep it as it was, but Maybin/Hicks d for Stanton late in game. But I would go with the first scenario. Dh Stanton. Have good D all around (save for maybe Edwin at 1B) then sub out Edwin later.

So my lineup would be:

DJ 3B
Judge RF
Gardner LF
Encarnacion 1B
Stanton DH
Torres 2B
Sanchez C
Gregorius SS
Hicks CF

Hicks hasn’t played since August 3. It may be a case of whatever he gives you offensively you take, but just cover the ground and play good defense. I also like him ninth because of his speed. He can steal, you can hit and run with him with DJ, there are nice options there.

The Astros front three of Greinke, Verlander and Cole seems to be better than the Yanks, but I wonder about something this time of year. They have been better than Tanaka, Paxton and Severino but will all those extra innings they pitched this year so far be to their detriment? Are the Yanks arms fresher (in the case of Severino, who missed most of this season, most definitely so)?

The IP this year (rounded to nearest out):

Greinke 209
Verlander 223
Cole 212

Tanaka 182
Paxton 151
Severino 12.

Who knows if those extra innings take a toll? I hope so.

Hopefully Stanton and Sanchez step up and have a good series, and key for the Yanks could be how Green and Ottavino do.

Since Hicks is coming off the IL, David Hale was DFA’d.

NLCS Game 1: Washington shuts out St. Louis 2-0 on a 1-hitter.

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The Washington Nationals took game 1 of the NLCS, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 on a one-hitter.

The only Cardinals hit was by PH Jose Martinez with two outs in the eighth inning.

Washington starter Anibal Sanchez was then removed from the game.

Howie Kendrick and Yan Gomes each had two hits and an RBI for the Nationals.

Game 2 of the NLCS will be at 4 PM today.

The ALCS between the Yankees and Astros begins tonight. Game 1 at 8 PM.


Sammy Taylor, a C who was on the 1962 Mets, died at the age of 86. Taylor played for the Cubs (1958-1962), Mets (1962-1963), Reds (1963) and Indians (1963). His best year was when he hit 13 HR for the 1959 Cubs. He hit .222-3-20 in 68 games for those 1962 Mets. For his career, he hit .245 with 33 HR, OPS+ 84.