Brett Gardner matched his career high in HR and Didi Gregorius homered twice in the Yanks’ 6-4 win over Seattle on Sunday. It was the first time the Yanks took a series in about six weeks.
Despite their heroics, the big blow came off the bat of Clint Frazier, whose 2-run double provided the winning runs.
There are two things I hate about modern baseball. One, you have read about recently on this blog. That is managers who pull pitchers for no good reason (and Girardi did it again today) because the next inning is “not their inning”, never mind that they threw few pitches the inning before and blew people away.
The second thing I hate pertains to Frazier. When Aaron Hicks comes off the DL, the Yanks will have too many outfielders. You would have Judge (who obviously isn’t going anywhere since he’s a legit MVP candidate), Gardner, Hicks, Ellsbury and Frazier. Only a few have options. And $$$$$$$$ speaks. So even though Ellsbury is the worst of the five, and has been benched for Frazier lately, he makes $21MM a year and has that $$$$$ through 2020 with a buyout of $5MM for 2021. Ellsbury also has a no-trade clause in his contract. So guess who would have to be sent down? Frazier. Even though he has been a spark plug for this team and has been great.
How great? Only one other Yankees rookie has had as many extra base hits in his first 15 games than Frazier. It’s some guy that was once married to Marilyn Monroe. Some guy that had his #5 retired. Some Hall of Famer.
So the money talks, at the expense of the team.
With outfielders like Frazier, and Dustin Fowler (hopefully he recovers from that gruesome injury), Billy McKinney, Jake Cave, and even Estevan Florial at Low A, and even after trading Blake Rutherford, there are a lot of OF options between now and 2020. But between now and 2020, the Yanks owe Ellsbury over $65MM.
This is a big problem. How do make room for the improving Hicks & for Clint Frazier? The Red Sox just ate $90MM of Pablo Sandoval’s salary just to get rid of him (he signed a minor league deal to go back to the Giants). What do the Yanks do with a bad contract in Ellsbury’s, when they have better kids like Frazier about to take over? How much $$ can they eat? Can they even trade Ellsbury or do they have to release him and eat $$ as they are doing with A-Rod?
A big problem. Now to the game. The win puts the Yanks at 51-46, 2 1/2 back of Boston and all alone in 2nd place in the AL East with the #1 wild card spot.
Brett Gardner led off the game with a HR. #17 ties his career high for most HR in a season. They made it 2-0 in the second on HR #13 by Didi Gregorius.
It became 3-0 in the fourth when Didi hit his second HR of the game. #14.
Luis Cessa was scratched for Caleb Smith. Smith was pitching in his second MLB game and it was his first MLB start. He pitched three scoreless innings but the wheels came off in the fourth when he gave up four runs and was knocked out.
Sonny Gray? Yu Darvish? We’ll see if the Yanks can make a deal. It won’t come cheap but the Yanks do need to add another starting pitcher. We’ll see if they do so and at what cost.
The Yanks got 3 in the sixth to win the game 6-4. With one out, Headley and Todd Frazier walked. Ronald Torreyes singled to load the bases and Gardner singled to tie the game at four.
Clint Frazier then doubled in two runs to put the Yanks up 6-4, the final score.
Once again, Joe Girardi drove me nuts by doing his by the book game. He pulled Betances after one good inning and did the same for Robertson. Meanwhile, Aroldis Chapman ran into trouble in the ninth.
Here is a novel concept, Girardi, (and I hope you can read this). If someone is doing well,
LEAVE HIM IN THERE FOR THE NEXT INNING! DON’T PULL HIM UNTIL HE SHOWS SIGNS OF TIRING/TROUBLE! PULLING SOMEONE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF PULLING HIM IS DRIVING ME AND OTHER YANKEES FANS CRAZY! AND I AM HEARING THIS FROM LOTS OF OTHER YANKEES’ FANS!
Take that book/binder and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.
Sanchez is struggling, down to .265. Same w/Holliday, down to .238.
Gardner 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI. Frazier 2 RBI.
Didi 2 HR, 2 RBI.
Smith 3 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. 8.10
Green (W, 1-0, 1.56) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Betances (H, 12) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.62
Robertson (H,1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.72
Chapman (S, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.51.
As I mentioned, I didn’t like pulling Betances or Robertson for no good reason other than they pitched “their inning”. Leave them in if they are doing well. Meanwhile, Chapman struggled in the ninth.
BTW, isn’t it time to give a big shout out to Chad Green for a tremendous job he’s done this year? If the Yanks CANNOT get Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish, how about stretching Green out and starting him?