Tag Archives: Schmidt

Game 158. Tough day for Judge, Yanks, in 3-1 loss.

A raw, rainy day in NY was only made more miserable with a 3-1 Yankees (97-61) loss and a tough day for Aaron Judge.

If Judge is going to break Roger Maris’ AL and Yankee record of 61 HR in a season, #62 will have to come in Texas, where the Yanks play 4 games in 3 days, starting tonight. (DH on Tuesday).

Maybe it would be a good thing. Maybe the pressure of trying to hit the HR in front of the home fans was daunting. One thing for sure, the weather (high of 84 to 86 degrees and sunny) in Texas will be much nicer than what Judge faced yesterday.

Judge was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk, dropping his batting average to .311. He is four points behind the Twins’ Luis Arraez, and unless Judge gets really, really hot in the next three games, will probably NOT win the Triple Crown, especially since Arraez has sat out a few of the last couple of games, and the Twins will try to protect Arraez’ lead.

Chi Chi Gonzalez was brought up to start the Yanks’ home finale and Jacob Barnes was DFA’d to make room for Gonzalez. Gonzalez pitched into the fifth and pitched well, giving up just one run. Baltimore got that run in the top of the first inning.

The Yanks got their only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. The Aarons, Hicks and Judge, led off the inning with back-to-back walks. After an out a WP moved the runners up, with Hicks scoring on a throwing error on the play, Judge remaining at second.

The Yanks only got four hits in the game and were 0 for 7 w/RISP.

In the seventh, Aroldis Chapman once again proved why he is no lock for the postseason roster and why he can’t be trusted. A single, two walks, a strikeout and yet another walk forced in what proved to be the winning run. Ron Marinaccio relieved Chapman and gave up another run on a SF. Chapman threw 26 pitches. Only 12 were strikes. That’s been Chapman’s problem for a while now. You just can’t keep giving free passes.

Gonzalez 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K. 5.87 (3-team ERA). Could be his only game as a NYY.
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 2.72
Chapman (L, 3-4) 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 4.58
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.05
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.21
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.23




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 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 149. Yanks clinch playoff spot with 5-4, 10-inning win. Judge just misses #61.

The Yankees (91-58) clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4, 10-inning win over Boston Thursday night. Should they finish in a tie with Baltimore, the Yanks get in due to a tiebreaker. The magic # for clinching the division and a bye is 6.

A couple moves were made before the game. Scott Effross back off the IL. Greg Weissert sent down. Wandy Peralta to the IL. Zack Britton back off the IL.

The Yankees also DFA’d Miguel Andujar. They should have traded him when they could have got something for him. Since his 2018 season when he was second in ROY voting, hitting 47 doubles, 27 HR 92 RBI and OPS+ 130, Andujar hasn’t been the same. That injury that cost him most of the 2019 season seems to have destroyed his career. Since then, Andujar has only hit .228-8-26 in 359 at bats. OPS+ 58. The power hasn’t shown up. Of the 82 hits since 2018, only 15 were for extra bases. 100 is a normal OPS+. That drop-off from 130 to 58 is drastic. Granted he has been a yo-yo, up/down, up/down from SWB to NY in that time, but he clearly has dropped off considerably from 2018. A shame.

Aaron Judge almost won the game with a HR in the bottom of the ninth. How appropriate if #61 would have been a walk off into Monument Park. But the 404 ft. drive was caught just in front of the fence, 408 feet away. Judge was 0 for 2 in the game, with 3 walks. Boston’s Xander Bogaerts was 0 for 5 in the game, however, so Judge’s lead for the AL batting crown increased over Bogaerts. Judge is at .316, Bogaerts .314 as Judge tries not only for the AL single-season HR title, but also for a Triple Crown.

The Yanks scored first in the bottom of the fifth inning. Oswaldo Cabrera walked and went to second on a passed ball. He had to stay at second on Harrison Bader’s infield single. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (who made a fine defensive play in the ninth) singled to load the bases, and Kyle Higashioka’s SF scored Cabrera.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-run HR (28) in the bottom of the sixth and the Yanks went up 3-0.

Jameson Taillon was great, pitching six shutout innings, but Clarke Schmidt gave up the lead in the top of the seventh. Schmidt started the inning by going HR, single, walk, HR and before you knew it, the Yanks lost their 3-0 lead and were losing 4-3.

Aroldis Chapman ran into trouble in the eighth, once again with his control. Lou Trivino got out of a bases loaded, one-out jam to keep the score at 4-3, but the Yanks need to fix their bullpen problems before the playoffs start.

The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the eighth. Stanton led off with a single and was PR for by Tim Locastro, who stole second. A groundout moved Locastro to third and he scored on a SF by Bader, who has really been great in his first three games with the club.

Judge got an OF assist in the top of the ninth, perfectly playing a single off the wall in right and throwing out Tommy Pham as he tried to make a double out of it. Then in the bottom of the ninth, the almost game-winning #61. So Close!

Clay Holmes had no trouble with the ghost runner for Boston in the top of the tenth, then it was the Yankees’ turn. Marwin Gonzalez PR for Anthony Rizzo as the ghost runner. Gleyber Torres was intentionally walked to set up a DP, but Josh Donaldson singled to win the game.

The Yanks sit as the #2 seed in the AL. There is almost no chance of catching Houston for the #1 seed (7 back with 13 to go). If, as expected, it stays this way, the Yanks get a bye into the ALDS where, as of now, they would face the winner of the Cleveland/Seattle series. You get what you hope for, and I won’t want to pick who I’d like to face, but I will say this. The Yankees targeted and didn’t get Luis Castillo, who went from the Reds to the Mariners at the trade deadline. Castillo has given the Yanks fits this year, as a Red and as a Mariner. The Yanks are 5-1 vs. Cleveland this year, 2-4 vs. Seattle (thanks in part, to Castillo). Now things could change, and it could be the winner of Cleveland/Tampa Bay or the winner of Cleveland/Toronto. Only 1 1/2 games separate Toronto, Tampa Bay and Seattle for the 4, 5, and 6 spots.

Donaldson 3 hits, GW RBI single
Stanton 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (28)

Taillon 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 W, 8 K. 3.90
Schmidt (BS, 1) 1 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR. 3.46
Chapman 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.36
Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 WP 4.78
Holmes (W, 7-4) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.59

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 143. Aided by Boston bloopers, Yanks win, 5-3.

The Yankees (87-56) beat Boston Wednesday night, 5-3, helped by a few plays that made Boston look like the Bad News Bears.

With the win, the Yankees magic # for clinching the AL East is 14. The magic number for a playoff spot is 8 since they own the tiebreaker over Baltimore.

Nestor Cortes was “Nasty” again, even using a fancy “dipsy-doodle” move to strike out Rafael Devers. I wonder if Nestor can teach that move to Gerrit Cole.

The Yanks broke open a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, Aaron Hicks reached on an error. Hicks went to second on an infield single by Aaron Judge. After Giancarlo Stanton struck out, Gleyber Torres singled in Hicks, with Judge going to third. The throw came home, and Torres was caught way off of first base. But catcher Connor Wong’s throw to try and get Torres went way up the right field line, bringing in not only Judge, but Torres as well. 3-0 Yankees. Two errors that led to three Yankees runs.

Cortes gave up a run in the bottom of the fifth that cut the Yanks’ lead to 3-1.

The Yanks got the run right back in the top of the sixth. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) walked to start off the inning, stole second, and after a groundout, scored on a double by Jose Trevino. 4-1.

Boston cut the lead to 4-2 with a run in the bottom of the eighth. An overturned call at first base took a run off of the board when Boston when it was determined that J.D Martinez didn’t hit the first base bag but went over it. DP instead of run-scoring force out. A mistake that cost Boston.

The Boston mistakes continued in the top of the ninth. With one out, Giancarlo Stanton doubled on a ball misplayed by CF Abe Almonte. Then Torres hit a ball to the wall that Almonte turned into a two-base error, and the PR for Stanton, Tim Locastro, scored. 5-2.

Almonte got a leadoff double for Boston and came around to score in the bottom of the ninth. Final, 5-3.

Hey, we will take Boston’s Blunders anytime. Four of the five runs the Yanks scored were unearned.

Torres 3 hits, RBI

Cortes (W, 10-4) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 7 K. 2.70
Schmidt (H, 1) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.59
Loaisiga (H, 10) 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.54
Holmes (S, 20) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.47

The Yanks will have a lot of decisions to make soon as some guys are coming off the IL. The first guy expected back is Aroldis Chapman on Friday. We will see who get replaced, one by one, as the reinforcements arrive.





Game 141. Yanks have a cushion after 10-4 win over Rays.

As Yogi said, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The 1964 Phillies blew a 6 1/2 game lead with 12 games left in the season. The 2004 Yankees blew a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 series. The 2007 Mets blew a 7-game lead with 17 games left. You don’t count your chickens until they are hatched.

But with yesterday’s 10-4 win over Tampa Bay, coupled with the 10-3 win on Saturday, the Yankees (85-56) opened up a 5 1/2 game lead with 21 games to go. Had the Rays swept the Yankees this weekend instead of only winning the first game, the lead would have been down to 1 1/2 games and the pressure really would have been on after having once had a 15 1/2 game lead.

There are other things finally turning in the Yankees’ favor after almost two months of things going sour. For one, the Rays have some 15 of their 24 remaining games against Toronto and Houston, making it that much more difficult to catch the Yankees for the division title. Toronto sits 6 back of the Yankees, and just 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay. Seattle is in a virtual tie with Tampa Bay. So those three teams are jockeying for 4-5-6 playoff position.

You will see that the Yankees have magic numbers of 18 for the division and 11 for a playoff spot. Actually, it is one less number for each because the Yankees own the tiebreakers.

Another thing in the Yankees’ favor is that the cavalry is on its way. Four Yankees started rehab assignments with AA Somerset yesterday (see other post). Yes, rust may be a factor, but hopefully they come back healthy and refreshed.

Lastly, something you will see in the game recap. The bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres seem to be waking up after long slumbers. This is extremely important. It means that teams just can’t pitch around Aaron Judge. He needs protection. Stanton and Torres hitting provides that protection. Then the Yankees’ offense can go.

As they did on Saturday, the Yankees jumped out early and big. Judge led off the bottom of the first with a single, and Stanton walked. Torres followed with a 3-run HR, #20 on the season, and the Yanks were up 3-0.

Domingo German started the game for the Yankees on short rest because of the rainout and subsequent doubleheader against the Twins a few days ago. He only pitched the first inning as the Yankees went with a bullpen game, using eight pitchers.

Tampa Bay got a run in the top of the second, but the Yanks blew the game open by responding with seven runs in the bottom of that inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the inning with a walk, Kyle Higashioka walked, and Marwin Gonzalez singled to load the bases. Judge hit a SF to make it 4-1, and Stanton followed with a 3-run HR (26) to make it 7-1. Torres followed with another HR (21) to make it 8-1. Josh Donaldson then walked, and Oswaldo Cabrera hit his first MLB HR to give the Yankees a 10-1 lead.

Cabrera also got another OF assist. When will teams learn not to run on him?

The Rays scored two in the sixth and another in the ninth. Final score 10-4.

Ben Rortvedt, who didn’t get into a game, was sent back to AAA after the game as Jose Trevino will be returning from paternity leave.

Stanton 3 RBI. 3-run HR (26)
Torres 2 hits, 4 RBI. 3-run HR and Solo HR (21) 4th Yankee with 20 or more HR
Cabrera 2 RBI. 2-run HR (1) First MLB HR.

German 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.21
Luetge 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63
Weissert (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.88
Peralta (W, 3-4) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.44
Trivino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.82 (A’s/NYY ERA)
Marinaccio 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.93
Schmidt 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. 2.70
Holmes 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1 WP 2.41

Albert Pujols hit HR #697 yesterday, passing Alex Rodriguez for fourth place on the all-time list.



Game 138. Yanks fall short, 4-3. Big Series with Rays this weekend.

Before the game, Deivi Garcia was sent back down so that Nestor Cortes could come off the IL and make the start. Cortes was limited to 60 pitches, however.

Miguel Andujar was to go down after having been the 29th man in Wednesday’s DH. Instead, he stayed and D.J. LeMahieu joined the large contingent on the IL.

With so many players on the IL, the depleted Yankees need to think outside the box. In some ways, they did last night, but in another way, they did not, and it may have cost them the game. I’ll explain soon.

With the 4-3 loss, the Yankees lead over Tampa Bay is now 4 1/2 games. The Yankees host the Rays for three HUGE games this weekend. The Yankees’ magic # for clinching the AL East remains at 22. It is 15 for a playoff spot.

The Yankees started the game with Isiah Kiner-Falefa (IKF) hitting in the cleanup spot. It was one way of thinking outside the box, and this was more or less by necessity. Everyone else is injured. In trying to hold on to their division lead, the Yankees’ lineups are looking like spring training lineups. Maybe worse. At least IKF did have two hits.

Andujar hit a 2-run HR (1) in the second inning to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. They wouldn’t score again until the eighth and blew chances in the eighth and ninth to tie the game or possibly win it. With all these injuries, the Yankees may need Andujar to recapture that 2018 form when he hit .297-27-92, with 47 doubles, and finished second in ROY voting to Shohei Ohtani.

Cortes retired the first 12 men he faced, but then two ex-Yankees got him. Cortes gave up a single to Gio Urshela to lead off the fifth, then after a WP, Gary Sanchez doubled Urshela home. Clarke Schmidt relieved Cortes. After a walk and a strikeout, a single tied the game.

With one out in the top of the eighth, pitcher Wandy Peralta could not make the play at first base, first missing the bag, then when he did step on the bag ahead of the runner, he didn’t have control of the ball. That bobble helped cost the Yankees the game. Peralta got the next batter out, but then Greg Weissert came in to face Carlos Correa. Weissert gave up a 2-run HR to Correa that made the score 4-2 and turned out to be the game-winner.

I do have to question the use of Weissert there. I understand that you want to use a righty against the righty swinging Correa. But Weissert? It was only Weissert’s seventh MLB game. He is 3-0, but with an ERA of 8.22. That is a lot of trust in a big spot in a big September game to place in someone with that little experience. I understand the injury situation. No Trivino or Effross. That may have factored into things here, also the fact that a lot of the bullpen was used in that 12-inning game one of the DH the day before. So Holmes and Loaisiga may have been unavailable. Those two things (injury and BP usage in the extra inning game) may have forced the Yanks to use Weissert. It cost them.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks got one run back, but it could have been more. Aaron Judge led off, and he doubled. What you are seeing now is teams avoiding Judge like the plague if they can. We will get to that in a bit. After Gleyber Torres walked, IKF hit into a force out, then stole second while Marwin Gonzalez struck out. On ball four to Estevan Florial, the ball got away and Judge scored to make it 4-3. IKF went to third. Giancarlo Stanton PH but struck out. I wonder if Stanton is hurt more than we realize. Since June 1, he is hitting .153. That is Gallo-like. He is 4 for 39 with 10 strikeouts since coming off of the IL. The failure of Stanton to be Stanton and to protect Judge in the lineup is hurting the Yankees.

In the bottom of the ninth, the failure of Aaron Hicks to think outside the box may have cost the Yankees the game. With one out, Oswald Peraza singled. Hicks doubled Peraza to third. Hicks should NOT have gone to second but should have stayed at first. In a Sports Century feature on Willie Mays, at the end of the show, it was mentioned how Mays would sometimes NOT take second base, but would stay at first, in order to force pitchers to pitch to Willie McCovey rather than to walk McCovey. That is exactly why Hicks should NOT have gone to second. He had to think outside the box there and realize what would happen. And what would happen DID happen. With one out and men on second and third, the Twins walked Aaron Judge of course. A Judge single wins the game. The Twins, being smart and playing for THEIR playoff lives, were not going to let the big guy (pun not intended) beat them. So, they walk Judge to 1) not face the big man and 2) set up a game-ending DP. I wonder if when Hicks went into second if he realized the mistake he made. He took the bat out of Judge’s hands.

Gleyber Torres, who needs to right himself with all the other injuries going on, struck out. Torres is down to .237 and is hitting .179 since July 13. Once again, Judge needs help. He can’t do it alone.

IKF then grounded out to end the game.

The point is, the Yanks need to think outside the box. They can’t do things that will take the bat OUT of Judge’s hands. The other team will try to do that enough times on their own.

Judge 2 hits
IKF 2 hits
Andujar 2 hits, 2-run HR (1)

Cortes 4 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 WP 2.73
Schmidt 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.82
Peralta (L, 2-4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 big error. 2.55
Weissert 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR, which decided game. 8.22
Weber 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.04







Game 133. Rays 2, Judge 1 (52nd HR), rest of team 0. Lead down to 4.

The Yankees (79-54) got three hits last night. Two by Aaron Judge. They got one run, on Judge’s 52nd HR of the season (matching his career high from 2017). The rest of the team did nothing except for a Giancarlo Stanton single.

The Yanks lost to Tampa Bay, 2-1. The AL East lead is down to 4. The pitching has been ok during this collapse. The hitting except for Judge has gone ice cold.

On Twitter, there is a video of a Yankees fan, and it could be me, you, anyone of us, watching Judges’ 9th inning HR on TV, and screaming “HELP HIM OUT, GUYS! HE CAN’T DO IT ALONE! HELP HIM OUT!”

Precisely.

The Rays got two in the third. A single, single and sac bunt put runners on second and third. A ball hit back at Yankees’ starter Clarke Schmidt. If he can field it, maybe he gets out of the inning with no runs allowed. Instead, it ricocheted off him, went into right field for a single, and both runners scored. When things go bad, you aren’t getting any breaks. Just like the night before, when Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s drive hit the very top of the fence. 4 inches higher and it is a HR. All luck is against the Yanks right now.

In the seventh, the Yanks nailed a runner on the bases, Cabrera to Torres. Cabrera has played what, 10 games? And he has what, 3 outfield assists?

Judge hit his HR in the ninth, and that avoided a second straight shutout. He was leading off the inning.

Judge 2 hits, Solo HR (52)

Schmidt (L, 5-4) 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 HBP. 3.02
Trivino 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 4.87 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Marinaccio 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.82
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.03

The pitching hasn’t been bad. It’s the hitting. The pitchers are under so much pressure right now, probably feeling that they have no margin for error.

Before the game, Andrew Benintendi went on the 15-day IL, Estevan Florial called up. Anthony Banda DFA’d, Ryan Weber called up.

There isn’t much more to say, except …

“HELP HIM OUT, GUYS! HE CAN’T DO IT ALONE! HELP HIM OUT!”