Tag Archives: Severino

News and Notes.

To no one’s surprise, Aaron Judge was named as one of the three finalists for the AL MVP award. He is considered the favorite to win the award. I still get ticked by people pushing for Alvarez (it’s a regular season award, people!) or Ohtani (the Angels finished 33 games back. So, you are telling me that without him they are 45 back? Whoopdie damn do.).

The Contemporary Baseball Committee will be looking at 8 ex-players for the HOF. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. Five of the eight would be controversial selections because of steroids and/or personality issues, despite in some cases 3000+ hits, 500+ HR, 300+ wins. I won’t get into that. We know about all that. That leaves McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy. I believe McGriff, who is tied on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig with 493 HR (and no steroids) should have already been put in. I’d love Mattingly, but Mattingly’s 1994-1989 pre-back injury (HOF quality) and 1990-1995 post-back injury numbers (merely above average) are drastically different. If Donnie could have only stayed healthy and put up numbers 1990-1995 that matched his 1984-1989 numbers, then he would be a more serious candidate. Murphy I am on the fence on. A back-to-back MVP (1982 and 1983) that like Maris (1960 and 1961) isn’t in the HOF. Maybe a few more HR (he had 398) or a higher average (.265) would have given him a better shot. Once he turned 32, he wasn’t the same player. A few more seasons at his peak would have given him a better chance.

The Yanks have not only players as free agents, but coaches too. Pitching coach Matt Blake is a free agent. (GM Brian Cashman is coming back but as of now is working pro bono. His contract expired October 31 and no new deal has been done yet). Assistant pitching coach Hensley Meulens is gone to be hitting coach for Colorado.

As expected, the Yanks picked up the team option for Luis Severino at $15MM for 2023. Anthony Rizzo opted out of his contract and is a free agent. Here are the Yankees’ free agents and my thoughts.

Andrew Benintendi. Yanks will make an offer to try to keep him.

Zack Britton. Interesting call. With Chapman departing, Yanks could use a lefty reliever, but Britton will be 35 next year and missed almost all of 2022 after a poor 2021 and TJ surgery. Pass. Use $ for Judge.

Matt Carpenter. A tough call. Turns 37 around Thanksgiving. If Stanton is DH most of the time, where does that leave Carpenter? I think it depends on if Judge stays or goes. If Judge stays, pass. If Judge goes, then the Yanks may look to sign Carpenter and Stanton and Carpenter could switch between RF and DH.

Miguel Castro. Pass. The Yanks could probably replace him with Weissert at a lower cost (save $ for Judge). They already have Trivino, Marinaccio, King, Holmes, as RH relievers, as well as Schmidt and German if Schmidt and German aren’t starters. And Stephen Ridings should be over his injury issues that cost him 2022.

Aroldis Chapman. Pass. Goodbye and Good Riddance for missing that mandatory workout before the ALDS.

Marwin Gonzalez. Pass. Only hit .185 in 2022. Since 2019, has only hit .198. Oswaldo Cabrera can fill his utility role for less money. 34 next year. Like Britton, pass, go with youth and less $$. Save $ for Judge.

Chad Green. Pass. Will miss most if not all of 2023 because of TJ surgery. Instead of paying him will need to throw that $ at Judge.

Aaron Judge. Obviously the #1 Yankees target and priority.

Anthony Rizzo. The Yanks will look to retain him.

Jameson Taillon. Questionable. Even if the Yanks get Judge back, is there enough money left to go after a Carlos Rodon (my choice)? Would they give a low in years but high in $$ deal to Verlander, DeGrom or Kershaw? Could go either way here.

Of course, getting rid of the salaries of Donaldson and Hicks would help. As of now, the Yanks think both have something left (excuse me while I get sick), but of course they aren’t going to say anything that diminishes whatever trade value they have.









Notes from Boone/Cashman press conference




Since I’ve been out on disability for a while, I was able to watch the Boone/Cashman press conference yesterday. Here are a few takes from it.

Since everything revolves around Aaron Judge, they would like a deal sooner rather than later. Nothing would be as bad as being scorned and then having no backups to fall back on. Cashman denied any friction with Judge from this spring’s negotiations.

Neither thinks a drastic retool is necessary. They think the Yankees would have been far more competitive in the ALCS vs. Houston if LeMahieu, Benintendi and Carpenter were healthy. I can agree there. Judging by their comments about Benintendi’s and Carpenter’s injuries, it appears that they will be reaching out to both of them to see if they can get both back.

One thing that concerned me was their defense of Josh Donaldson. Now if anyone were on the trading block, neither Boone nor Cashman would be tipping their hand on that. But to state that Donaldson, 37 next month, underachieved offensively but still has something in the tank goes against everything we saw this year. He looked cooked. But with Donaldson’s contract being horrible, I guess they have to hope. They did think Donaldson deserved to be among the three Gold Glove finalists at 3B, though.

SS appears to be a competition next spring training. IKF could still be there but will be pushed by Peraza and possibly Volpe. Oswaldo Cabrera figures in here too. Peraza was described as impressive in his short 18 game stint at the end of the season. Other terms used for him was that he needed to improve and develop last year (done) hence not an earlier callup. Jack Curry, on the YES network, mentioned that IKF was a polarizing figure to the Yankees fanbase much as Sanchez was. Boone and Cashman were defending IKF at the presser, stating that IKF (as a bridge) did everything that was expected from him.

They would like Anthony Rizzo back. Rizzo will opt out of his $16MM deal, but the question is will he accept a qualifying offer of $19.65MM or go for more? Or accept more years at less than the qualifying offer? (2 yr/$18MM per). But the Yanks hope to work something out with him.

To no surprise, the Yanks WILL pick up Severino’s $15MM team option. One more rotation piece could be in play. It could be retaining Taillon (a free agent) or going elsewhere. After the front three of Cole, Cortes and Severino, there still is Schmidt, Montas and German even if Taillon goes, but you know what they say…. you NEVER have enough pitching.

The feeling is that Stanton was playing through something at the end of the year. I feel the same way. His batting average after June 1 was Gallo-like.

Cashman’s contract actually expired October 1. He wants to return, and Hal wants him back, so it is like Cashman is working pro bono as of now. But you figure something will be worked out soon there.

I wrote down notes haphazardly while the conferences were going on, but there is a quick synopsis for you.

UPDATE: One thing I didn’t like: From the NY Post: In other bits of info from Cashman’s press conference, he said he wouldn’t discuss trading players but noted that outfielder Aaron Hicks would be back and that the team felt he still had something to offer. Really? Ugh. But then, if he is on the market, they don’t want to say anything hurting Hicks’ trade value (which is probably low enough already).

Other things I came across:

A sad state of affairs. Graig Nettles states that the Yanks stopped inviting him to Old-Timer’s games and events some five years ago and he doesn’t know why. It’s a shame. Nettles should have a plaque in Monument Park (#9 is already retired for Roger Maris and I don’t think Nettles deserves that honor, but a plaque? Definitely). Apparently, someone in the front office has it in for Nettles, but who?

One tweet on Twitter accuses the Yanks of being more of a corporation than anything else, including a baseball organization. Looking at how they have the YES network, are involved with an Italian soccer team, have the Pinstripe Bowl, were in negotiations to play regular season games in France (and remember they played in England recently, also Japan) I have to wonder if that person is correct, and if so, that could be a scary thing. After all, I remember the CBS years, where the Yanks were not the priority of a corporation, but just part of it. You would like it to be 100% baseball. Does this explain the fan base’s exasperation with the owner and the front office? Or some of the postseason failures of recent times? After all, Hal is more corporate than the old man was as far as divesting his interests (or so it appears). And the last time the Yanks won, or even went to the WS, the old man was still alive (although much diminished in capacity). Hal’s track record does seem more corporate and bottom line than baseball oriented, and is that a problem and a cause of the postseason disappointments?

Finally, another Japanese player few have heard of to keep an eye on. Yesterday I mentioned RHP Koudai Senga.

Now, Masataka Yoshida. If the Yanks are not able to bring back Benintendi, Yoshida has many of the same skill sets as Benintendi. He is a lefty hitter. He turns 30 next July. He hit .336 with 21 HR and 89 RBI in Japan this season. His power would probably drop in the USA but then again, Benintendi only had five HR this season. Like Benintendi, a contact hitter. Benintendi had 52 walks and 77 strikeouts while hitting .304. Yoshida had 82 walks and only 42 strikeouts. Yoshida has hit .326 in Japan and has 427 walks to 307 strikeouts. He has had four seasons of 20 or more HR (which would be what here? 12-15?). If you take Yoshida’s career stats in Japan and divide by five, his average season in Japan comes out to something like .326-27-95 over 156 games. Taking into account the tougher MLB competition, could he hit .280-15-70 here? Be Benintendi-like for a cheaper price? Be a backup consideration if the Yanks can’t sign Benintendi? Just throwing his name out here because until recently, I hadn’t heard of Yoshida (or Senga) either. But most of us haven’t heard of these Japanese stars who could be MLB-bound. So just passing his name out there and informing you (and me).

ALCS Game 2. One bad pitch, couple of feet cost Yanks in 3-2 loss.

One bad pitch and a couple of feet cost the Yanks in a 3-2 loss to Houston last night. The Yanks are now down 0-2 in the best-of-7 ALCS.

There are certain things you can blame a manager for, and certain things you can’t. In some games, Aaron Boone’s bullpen management has been questionable, as have his lineups.

You can’t blame him for anything last night, though. Last night was just some bad luck. He also can’t swing the bat for some guys who aren’t putting the ball in play. 17 strikeouts in Game 1, 13 more in Game 2. Even some much needed and correct lineup changes didn’t work. The Yankees have played 16 postseason games against Houston, starting in 2015. They have scored 47 runs. Do the math. That is a little less than 3 runs per game. It seems like the Yanks keep losing to Houston 2-0, 4-0, 3-2, 4-2, 4-1, etc.

Harrison Bader, with his 4 postseason HR was moved to leadoff. He got a hit, drew a walk. Jose Trevino, 1 for 15, was benched for Kyle Higashioka. But Higashioka went 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. What can you do when NEITHER catcher hits?

Rookie Oswald Peraza started at SS. Peraza played a great defensive game, making a couple great plays, just missing out on a few more, and teaming up with Gleyber Torres for a remarkable DP. It already looks like Peraza will be next year’s starting SS. He looks that smooth. As long as he hits. At the plate last night, Peraza was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, however. With Peraza, it will be interesting to see what the Yanks do with Anthony Volpe. With Josh Donaldson turning 37 and showing signs of age, does someone like Volpe or Oswaldo Cabrera move to 3B? Of course, you have D.J. for 3B but I’m thinking long-term.

Boone can’t do anything about the injuries. It is very apparent that the losses of D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi have hurt the Yanks considerably. Both are contact hitters. Neither strikeout much. 30 strikeouts in two games. Ugh. Put the ball in play. You never know. It might fall in (See Cleveland last series) or someone could make an error—-which is how the Yanks scored their two runs last night.

Who would have thought in a postseason game that the Yanks would be forced to start two rookies?

Anyway, two things about roster construction for the playoffs. Here is where the Yanks could be held at fault a little. Once again, nothing you can do about injuries. Besides D.J. and Benintendi, the losses of bullpen stalwarts King, Green, Marinaccio and Effross hurt as well (we won’t discuss malcontent Chapman). But you have to go with and put HEALTHY people on the roster. It’s apparent Matt Carpenter isn’t ready. Cheers to him for trying. But he had no minor league rehab games to help him work his way back. He is 0 for 7 in the postseason and all 7 at bats are strikeouts. It is apparent he should not be on the team. But if not him, who? D.J. is hurt (and there was thought about having him on the roster. I think the results would be the same as with Carpenter. The rust and injury would limit him the same way and hurt the team the same way Carpenter is hurting them now). Benintendi is hurt. Hicks, who didn’t contribute much anyway, is hurt. You could have kept Gonzalez on the team for this round, but he wasn’t doing much even though healthy.

Secondly, and here is where the Yanks are at fault a little, although bullpen injuries have played a part as far as this year goes. Don’t force guys into situations they are not comfortable with. Bullpen guys are bullpen guys. Starters are starters. Putting a starter in the bullpen for the playoffs usually backfires. There are exceptions, but too often I see it backfire. Montas HR in Game 1. Schmidt, not a closer but a spot starter/middle relief guy, closing. J.A. Happ coming out of the bullpen to blow games in 2019 and 2020 (remember the Deivi Garcia as opener game?). Jack McDowell coming out of the bullpen in 1995. Heck, Jeff Weaver in 2003. Learn from history. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Taking your #5 starter (granted, McDowell was higher than #5) and throwing him into the bullpen for the postseason usually backfires.

To the game. How many times this season have we seen the Yankees’ pitchers give up runs when they are ONE STRIKE away from getting out of an inning? Two out, two strikes and Boom. Gives up runs. In the bottom of the third, that is what happened to Luis Severino. I am a little concerned about Severino in the postseason, because in 11 postseason games, Sevy is 1-4, 5.15. Great stuff, but his postseason numbers aren’t too good. He was good last night except for that one pitch, which was with two outs and two strikes and hit for a 3-run HR.

The Yanks came back with two runs in the top of the fourth, helped by an error. Aaron Judge singled, and a double error (fielding and throwing) on a ball hit back to Astro’s pitcher Framber Valdez put runners on second and third with no one out. Anthony Rizzo moved the runners up, scoring Judge with a groundout. An infield single by Torres scored Stanton.

In the top of the eighth, the Yanks came oh-so-close. Harrison Bader walked with one out. Judge hit a ball deep to right field that was caught at the top of the fence. Three feet or so higher and it would have been a two-run HR that would have given the Yanks a 4-3 lead and possibly a victory. Yankee Stadium is the only park in which it WOULD have been a HR. Houston rarely plays with the roof open. It was open and there was a significant wind that may have held the ball up. The Yanks got unlucky.

Only 4 hits. 13 strikeouts. Put the ball in play.

Severino (LOSS) 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Peralta 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Gold Glove nominations came out yesterday, with three nominations for each position plus one for utility players. Five Yankees got nominations: Taillon, Trevino, Rizzo, Benintendi (KC/NYY) and LeMahieu. Lemahieu’s was for the utility category. Two that should have gotten nominations but didn’t were Donaldson and Judge.

ALCS Game 1. Old script repeated. Yanks fall, 4-2.

Before the ALCS began, a couple of moves. Off the roster are Hicks (injured, done for year), Luetge and Gonzalez. On go Peraza, Montas and Weissert.

For those wanting Giancarlo Stanton in the OF and Matt Carpenter DH-ing, they got their wish. But you know the old saying. Be careful what you wish for.

Carpenter’s story is a nice one. He fought to come back from a fractured foot. But it is clear he should not be on the roster (although, to be fair, with injuries to Hicks, Benintendi and LeMahieu, who could they put on?). He’s 0 for 6 in the postseason, all strikeouts. He’s 36 years old. He was 0 for 4 last night. All strikeouts.

Another 36-year-old, Josh Donaldson, also disappointed, going 0 for 3 last night with a walk in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to Houston. The few chances the Yanks had came down to Donaldson and/or Carpenter needing to come up with a big hit. They didn’t even put the ball in play. I was not a fan of getting Donaldson, who is 37 soon and who earns almost $22MM a season. I didn’t want to let Gio Urshela, who is six years younger than Donaldson, go. Urshela hit .285-13-64 this year, OPS+ 121. He cost $6.55MM. Donaldson showed serious signs of slippage due to age. He hit .222-15-62, OPS+ 94. Donaldson’s defensive metrics seem to have been much better than Urshela’s, though. You’d have to weigh the cost, and the decline of Donaldson’s offense against the better defense he supposedly provided. But the way Donaldson has declined, you have to worry about 2023 and even 2024. He has a $21.75MM deal for 2023 with up to $550K award bonus available. There is a team option of $16MM for 2024 (I can’t see that being picked up) with a $8MM buyout option that may increase to $12MM based on 2023 awards. So, it looks like the Yanks are stuck with him for 2023 and will have to cough up a lot of money via a buyout to be rid of him in 2024. Terrible contract the Yanks took on.

Anyway, it’s apparent that Donaldson should not be hitting fifth. Nor should Carpenter be in the lineup. But what are the solutions? Let me get into the game recap and I will try to find one.

The same old, same old. For those sick of losing to Tom Brady (45 years old) year after year and want him to go home to his money and supermodel wife (or ex-wife? Marital issues), we feel the same about 39-year-old Justin Verlander, who apparently wants to pitch until he is 45. Take your money and go home to your beautiful supermodel wife. We are tired of losing to you. Ugh. 2006, 2011, 2012 (those years with Tigers), 2017, 2019 and maybe 2022? The Yanks have to find a way to beat this guy. He is 5-1, 2.62 vs. the Yanks in the postseason.

Just kidding about the go home already regarding Brady and Verlander, but you get the drift. You get tired of losing to them. Although, truth be told, a lot of people have been tired of losing to the Yankees since 1921.

Verlander is a future first ballot Hall-of-Famer. The history on pitchers like that is to get them early or you won’t get them at all. That is what happened last night.

Top 1st: Donaldson struck out with 2 men on base to end the inning.
Bottom 1st: Judge saves two runs with a diving catch.

Top 2nd. Bader homers (again!) to put Yanks up 1-0. I would move the red-hot Bader up to first in the lineup and drop Torres to fifth, which enables me to drop Donaldson down.
Bottom 2nd. Taillon is one strike away from getting out of the inning when he gives up a game-tying double.

Taillon did all we could ask for. 4 1/3 innings, only one run. He struggled but kept the Yanks in the game.

Top 3rd. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, both Donaldson and Carpenter struck out. This was the ballgame right there. They left Verlander off the hook and he then settled in. A big hit by Donaldson in the first or either Donaldson or Carpenter here and you have Verlander on the ropes. Instead, he became unhittable.

The Yanks got only 5 hits in the game and struck out 17 times. Once again this postseason, the runs came on homers and the Yanks did not string hits together.

Bottom 4. Stanton makes a great play in LF to rob a batter of a double.

Bottom 5. Schmidt in for Taillon after a one-out double. An intentional walk and another walk load the bases, but Schmidt gets a DP to get out of it. BUT …

Bottom 6. Schmidt gives up 2 HR and Houston goes up 3-1.

Bottom 7. Frankie Montas comes in. Montas?! Ugh. And he gives up a HR. 4-1, Houston.

Anthony Rizzo homered for the Yanks in the top of the 8th to make it 4-2 but that was it.

Jose Trevino looks like he ran out of gas around Labor Day. Great first half, but he hit .177 in September/October and is now 1 for 15 in the postseason.

Most losses to the Astros are just like this. Pitching OK but not good enough. Bats silent. We have seen this in the 2015 wild card game (a 3-0 loss), the 2017 ALCS (losses of 2-1, 2-1 and 4-0) and the 2019 ALCS (3-2 in 11 innings, 4-1).

Between losing to Verlander and losing to Houston in a close game, same old script.

Severino starts for the Yanks tonight in Game 2. It’s time to flip the script.

Rizzo solo HR
Stanton 2 hits
Bader solo HR.

Taillon 4 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 W, 0 K.
Schmidt (LOSS) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Trivino 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Montas 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Castro 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

One last thing. Some players have physical gifts, but you question their mental acumen. Those Yankees’ teams of the late 1990’s had players who were not only gifted physically, but also mentally. Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, O’Neill, Tino, etc. You usually didn’t see them do anything mentally wrong or boneheaded. The same can’t be said for some players today. The Yanks need some more players with the mental toughness of those past players. Just saying.

San Diego came back from an early 4-0 hole to even up the NLCS at a game apiece with an 8-5 win over the Phillies.

ALDS Game 5. Yanks advance to ALCS with 5-1 win.

For the fifth time since they last went to the World Series in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and now 2022), the Yankees are in the ALCS. For the third time in six years, their opponent will be the Houston Astros (the Yanks lost to Texas in 2010 and lost to Detroit in 2012. 2012 was when Jeter broke his ankle).

Of course, Yankees fans are hoping for a different outcome this time around. There won’t be any rest after beating Cleveland 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday. Game 1 of the ALCS is in Houston tonight. Not only that, but the only off-day in the ALCS is between Game 2 and 3. There isn’t one between Game 5 and 6 (if it gets that far). We’ll get into that in a bit.

The Yankees are 28-2 in games in which both Aaron Judge and Gaincarlo Stanton homer. That includes yesterday’s game.

The Yanks jumped out right away to a 3-0 lead, putting the pressure on the Guardians right away and getting the crowd right into the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and after Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Stanton then hit a 3-run HR.

Judge homered in the second to make it 4-0. Say what you will, since Judge was 4 for 20 in the series with 2 HR and a ton of strikeouts, but he has homered in four separate do-or-die postseason games.

Nasty Nestor Cortes was fabulous on 3 days’ rest. He went five innings, giving up only one run, and Cleveland should not have received that. I don’t know what it was in this series with Cleveland hitting balls into short LF that the LF, 3B or SS couldn’t catch. With one out and a man on first in the top of the third, Steven Kwan (yes, him again) hit a ball to short LF that Oswaldo Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks all converged on, with Cabrera calling for it. Cabrera collided with Hicks and the ball fell in for a single. Hicks had to be removed from the game with an injury that ends his season. We will have to see who replaces him on the postseason roster. Candidates are Oswald Peraza (since the Yanks benched SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Games 4 and 5), D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi.

Another candidate for the ALCS roster is Ron Marinaccio, who declared his sore shin ok to go.

Anyway, a walk loaded the bases after Kwan’s single, and a SF cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-1 before Cortes got out of the inning.

The Yanks scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Torres walked and stole second. Judge struck out, but Rizzo singled to make it 5-1.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 3-run HR.

Cortes (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Pitched in all five ALDS games.

The LCS will have a pitching problem for the Yanks. Down 2 games to 1 in the ALDS, the Yanks had to use their two best pitchers, Cole and Cortes, in Games 4 and 5 in order to advance, so Cole and Cortes won’t be available until Games 3 and 4. Jameson Taillon starts Game 1 tonight. He and Luis Severino are going to have to step up big-time. Here is how I see the rotation for the ALCS shaking out.

Game 1, Oct. 19 (tonight) Taillon (hasn’t pitched much recently)
Game 2 Oct 20 Severino
OCT 21 OFF DAY
Game 3 Oct 22 Cole (five days rest)
Game 4 Oct 23 Cortes
Game 5 Oct 24 if necessary Taillon
Game 6 Oct 25 if necessary Severino
Game 7 Oct 26 if necessary, Cole on three days’ rest.
Could Cortes give an inning or two on 2-days rest?

For the first time in MLB history, an LDS and LCS game were played on the same day. Shortly after the Yanks and Cleveland wrapped up an LDS, the Phillies and Padres opened the NLCS with the Phillies winning Game 1 2-0 behind HR by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. There were only four hits in the game. 3 by the Phillies and only one by the Padres.

ALDS Game 3. Yanks blow 9th inning lead, lose 6-5.

The Yankees took a 2-run lead into the ninth inning last night. In 167 previous instances in postseason play, the Yankees had never blown that lead. Meanwhile Cleveland was 0 for 41 when trailing by two or more entering the ninth in their postseason history.

Unfortunately for the Yankees last night, there is a first time for everything. The Yankees blew a 5-3 lead, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and lost 6-5. They were ONE STRIKE away from winning the game. They are down two games to one in the series and must win tonight to stay alive. Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees. The odds aren’t good for the Yanks. The winner of Game 3 in a series that was tied at one each has won the series 72% of the time. The Yanks did beat the odds in 1977.

If Cleveland is to slay the dragon, so to speak, they aren’t doing it by chopping its head off. They are doing it with pinpricks. Little bleeders and dinkers that find a hole. Cue Roberta Flack. They are killing you softly.

The Yanks roster usage and bullpen usage is coming into question. Here is a link

https://www.mlb.com/news/yankees-lose-alds-game-3-2022

taking you to that. Clay Holmes wasn’t used, much to the surprise of Holmes and teammate Luis Severino. Holmes said he was available. Manager Aaron Boone said he didn’t want to use Holmes back-to-back games because of soreness. Fine good that does you, to have relievers compromised come playoff time. Of course, the Yankees are already shorthanded in the bullpen with King, Green, Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, Montas (even though he’s a starter), and Effross all down. That lack of bullpen depth is hurting them right now. A 10-inning loss followed by blowing a 2-run ninth inning lead.

With Holmes down, the way Boone handled the bullpen the rest of the game comes into question. See the article. It’s not just Bryan Hoch of mlb asking the questions about Trivino or Loaisiga’s usage. The YES postgame broadcasting team, like Michael Kay and John Flaherty (and, should Boone need to be replaced, Flaherty would be my choice to replace him) asked the same questions.

The article I referenced above also alludes to some communication problems it seems the Yankees have in the clubhouse. If so, there is a major problem with the front office or manager, or BOTH.

In five seasons as Yankees manager, Boone has had two seasons of 100 or more wins and another of 99. Of course, one season was the 60-game Covid shortened season. Success there. But you now have to wonder if he is a “push-button” manager, who can take a team to the playoffs, but can’t go further because he gets outmanaged by a Kevin Cash, Alex Cora or Terry Francona come playoff time. Just my opinion, but I think it is a fair question, and has Brian Cashman run his course?

Put it this way. When your own broadcasting team second guesses you…

The game didn’t start out well. Luis Severino struggled in the first and second innings, giving up a run in both innings and the Yanks were down 2-0 after two innings. They were lucky it wasn’t worse. A couple balls looked like they would leave the yard, but Aaron Judge caught them on the warning track.

In the top of the third, Oswaldo Cabrera doubled, and Aaron Judge later hit a 2-run HR to tie the game. Judge was 0 for 9 with 8 strikeouts before finally coming through.

In the fifth, Harrison Bader singled and one out later, Cabrera homered to put the Yanks up 4-2.

Cleveland got a run in the sixth, all after Severino got the first two outs. Isiah Kiner Falefa’s defense has been shaky this series and I would not be surprised if Oswald Peraza is the Yanks’ starting SS next year. One play to start the rally was ruled a hit, but you wonder if Peraza would have made the play. Heck, you could make a good case that Peraza should be on THIS postseason roster. It could have been worse. A line drive caught by Gleyber Torres was the third out. That would have tied the game. Instead, the Yanks still led 4-3.

Bader, impressive in his short time with the Yanks so far after the trade, homered in the seventh to make it 5-3 Yanks. The Yanks’ runs were on the HR. They only got five hits all game to Cleveland’s 15. Cleveland strung hits. The Yankees did not.

Then to the ninth. Boone wanted to stretch out Wandy Peralta, who had pitched well, and have him close it out. A one-out blooper to left for a double. Just like in Game 2, Cabrera could not get to it. On the postgame show, Paul O’Neill, the Yankees legend, stated that Cabrera is a good fielder, but the converted infielder is great laterally but still has to learn more coming in or out. My question is, with Tim Locastro being a more experienced outfielder, and with more speed than that of Cabrera, should Boone have replaced Cabrera with Locastro for defensive purposes late in Game 2 and Game 3? Could Locastro have made those plays? And what is Aaron Hicks doing on the roster for if you aren’t going to use him for defensive purposes there? Or Marwin Gonzalez? You have to use the WHOLE roster come playoff time, not just have guys on there to fill out the roster. Hicks and Gonzalez are two guys I don’t expect to be on the team in 2023. If your confidence in them is that low where you can’t use an experienced outfielder for a rookie with 9 games of LF experience under his belt (he had 27 in RF), then why are you carrying them?

Steven Kwan, who had three hits in this game and who is killing the Yanks in this series, served a ball to left to move the runner, Myles Straw, to third, and I do mean served. Looked like a tennis backhand. In came Clarke Schmidt, not Holmes. A single to score the runner and make it 5-4. Then, another blooper. Had the infield not been in a shift, it would have been an easy popup to SS. Instead, bases loaded. Schmidt got a strikeout for the second out, then got two strikes on Oscar Gonzalez. But on a 1-2 pitch, Gonzalez singled up the middle for two runs and the ballgame. 6-5, Cleveland.

Judge 2-run HR
Bader 2 hits, solo HR. I’d consider leading him off. He’s hot, has speed …
Cabrera 2 hits, 2-run HR.

The Yanks in three games, are hitting .172. Of the 11 runs they have scored, 10 are by the HR. Trevino’s SF in Game 1 is the only run not via HR. They have to start stringing hits together.

Severino 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. Settled in after rocky start.
Trivino (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Could have been stretched out more?
Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. See Trivino.
Peralta (H) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Two bleeping bleeding bloopers.
Schmidt (LOSS, BLOWN SAVE) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K.

Concerning: Severino: 10 postseason games, ERA 5.17. He needs to be dominating. He hasn’t done so.

If the Yanks advance, they will face their nemesis, Houston, in the ALCS. Houston swept Seattle by winning Game 3, 1-0, in 18 innings.

A shocker in the NL. #5 and #6 will meet each other (Padres vs Phillies) for the NL pennant. Gone are 111-win LA, 101-win Atlanta, 101-win Mets. Even the 92-win Cardinals. Instead, it is an 89-win vs an 87-win matchup.

UPDATE: One more thing. Aroldis Chapman gave up HR that sent the Yanks home in 2019 and 2020. This year, his own selfishness may doom the Yanks. It is becoming apparent that losing his closer spot affected him, and that the possibility of being left off the playoff roster made him mope so that he missed a mandatory workout. So that selfishness may wind up costing the Yanks again. He is a free agent. Good riddance. May he never wear a Yankees uniform again, not even to an Old-Timer’s game.










ALDS Game 2 PPD to Friday.

ALDS Game 2 has been ppd. to Friday at 1 PM. This means there will be no off days for games 2-5. It affects the rotation.

Nestor Cortes is still to start Game 2, with Luis Severino Game 3.

Originally, Gerrit Cole was to go on regular rest in Game 4, with Cortes going in Game 5 on short (3 days) rest. That has to change now. James Taillon will need to start a game (or Domingo German, but I expect Taillon).

I don’t know how manager Aaron Boone will do this, but here is what I would do if I were Boone. If the Yankees sweep, no problems. If the Yanks are UP 2 games to 1, start Taillon in Game 4, save Cole for game 5. If Cortes is needed for one batter or one inning on 2 days rest in game 5, so be it.

If the Yankees are DOWN 2 games to 1, you got to go with Cole in Game 4 to save your season. You then worry about Game 5 when you get there, and you use Taillon then. But Down 2 to 1? You then just worry about getting to that Game 5.

The NLDS is even at one game apiece in both series.

The damned Astros are up 2 games to none on Seattle.

Game 159. Severino sensational in Yanks’ 3-1 win. 2 HR, but none by Judge.

There should be no doubt that Luis Severino is the Yankees #3 starter come playoff time.

Severino was marvelous last evening, pitching 7 no-hit innings as the Yankees (98-61) defeated Texas, 3-1.

It was Severino’s third start since coming off the IL. As a result, his pitch count was limited to 90 (he threw 94) and therefore was pulled for safety reasons. Also, Miguel Castro was activated (Chi Chi Gonzalez DFA’d) and the Yankees do need to see if Castro should be on the postseason roster or not.

Aaron Judge was 1 for 4 with an infield single. He has 2 days and 3 games left to see if he can hit #62 to set a new AL and Yankees record. You now wonder if he will do it. He has just 1 HR since September 20. His batting average is at .311, 4 points back. I doubt that he will make it up to win the Triple Crown. The Yanks have a day-night doubleheader today. If Judge doesn’t get a HR in the opener, does he play in the night game? I’m sure if he DOES HR in the opener, he will be given the night game off. Maybe even tomorrow too.

The Yanks scored in the fifth inning on a leadoff single by Oswald Peraza followed by a force out by Aaron Hicks. Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked, and Kyle Higashioka singled in Hicks.

The Yanks hit into six DP in the game.

In the top of the eighth, Marwin Gonzalez led off the inning with a 400 ft. HR (6), before Judge struck out. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a 457 ft. HR (30) to make it 3-0.

Castro came in for the eighth and got an out before losing the no-hitter and then the shutout.

Stanton solo HR (30) good to see. Hopefully coming out of slump.
Peraza 2 hits. .333 in limited time. Be interesting to see if on postseason roster.
Higashioka 2 hits, RBI. Heating up after a bad season.
Gonzalez solo HR (6)

Severino (W, 7-3) 7 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 7 K. 3.18
Castro (H, 9) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.18 Just off IL. First game since mid-July.
Effross (S, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.54 (Cubs/NYY ERA)




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 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.