Tag Archives: Showalter

First impressions, and an endorsement from an unexpected source?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We can’t read the minds of the Yankees’ front office, but mlbtr.com through Jon Heyman reports that

The Yankees’ first round of interviews seemingly went well, Heyman writes. Boone and Meulens, in particular, “aced” their initial interviews, according to Heyman.

Meanwhile, Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens got support from what may be an unlikely source, an AL East manager he would have to be going up against if he gets the Yankees’ manager job—-Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Check out the story on the link below.

https://nypost.com/2017/11/18/hensley-meulens-has-all-the-intangibles-buck-showalter/

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Game 149. Yanks lose, 6-4. Didi Ties Yanks SS HR record.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Didi Gregorius hit his 24th HR of the season, tying the Yankees’ record for HR in a season by a Yankees’ SS, set in 1999 by Derek Jeter, but the Yanks lost to Baltimore Sunday, 6-4.

The loss keeps the Yanks (82-67) 3 games back of Boston for the AL East with 13 games to go. The tragic # for losing out on the division is 11.

The Yanks are still up on the top wild card spot by four games over the Twins. The Yanks’ magic # for clinching the top wild card spot and that sudden-death wild card game at home is 10. With games against the Twins tomorrow (Monday), Tuesday and Wednesday, the Yanks can decrease that number significantly. The magic # for making the playoffs at all, (wild card game on the road) is 8.

By the way, Gary Sanchez has the most HR in a season by someone who was primarily a catcher for the Yankees with 31 but he does NOT have the most HR by a Yankees’ catcher in a season. Yogi Berra (both 1952 and 1956) hit 30, and ALL were as a catcher, none at PH or at another position. Jorge Posada’s 30 in 2003? All were hit as a catcher, none as DH, 1B or PH or another position Not all of Sanchez’ 31 this year were as a catcher. 25 are at C, 1 at 1B, 5 at DH.

Sonny Gray didn’t have it. He gave up a run in the top of the second, and Didi tied it with his HR in the bottom of the frame.

Baltimore got one in the third, but the killer came in the fourth when Gray gave up a 3-run HR to Tim Beckham.

Baltimore got a run in the fifth off of Bryan Mitchell to make it 6-1.

Matt Holliday doubled in two in the sixth to cut it to 6-3.

A Castro SF in the eighth made it 6-4.

Buck Showalter made an odd move in the ninth. With a man on third and two out, he intentionally walked Aaron Judge to set up a force. But in doing so, he put the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate in Gary Sanchez. Sanchez struck out to end the game.

Castro had 2 hits.
Didi HR.
Holliday 2 RBI.

The Yanks struck out 14X.

Gray hasn’t been getting run support, but he has himself to blame for this one.

Gray (L, 9-11, 3.38) 4 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Mitchell 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. 4.73.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.04
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.54

With Garcia going on Monday, and Chad Green rested, don’t be surprised to see a quick hook from Girardi.

 

 

Tribe, Toronto, go 1-up. Another Yankee moves on.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Unlike Buck Showalter the other night leaving his best in the bullpen, Terry Francona of Cleveland went to Andrew Miller early…in the fifth inning, and Miller provided two key innings of scoreless middle relief in Cleveland’s 5-4 win over Boston in Game 1 of their division series. Cleveland hit 3 hr in one inning. There were six HRs hit in the game, three by each side.

Toronto hammered Texas 10-1 in the first game of their division series, knocking out Cole Hamels in the fourth inning. Marco Estrada went 8 1/3, giving up just four hits and one run. Josh Donaldson was 4 for 4, scored 2, drove in 2. Troy Tulowitzki had a base-loaded triple among his 3 hits, and Jose Bautista homered and drove in 4 runs.

Eric Young, Jr. decided not to accept the Yanks optioning him to SWB and became a free agent. Young got in six games with the Yanks in September, went 0 for 1, scored 2 runs and stole 1 base.

 

Giants oust Mets, some Yankee moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete-game 4-hit shutout as the Giants eliminated the Mets in the NL wild card game, 3-0. They now face the Cubs.

Conor Gillaspie’s 3-run HR in the top of the ninth off of Jeurys Familia was the whole game.

Curtis Granderson did save a run for the Mets with a great catch, but in the end, it all went for naught.

Noah Syndergaard pitched great for the Mets, 7 shutout innings, 2 hits, 10 K, but unlike Bumgarner, was pulled and didn’t pitch the complete game. It proved fatal for the Mets.

Bumgarner is now 8-3, 1.94 in postseason play. A postseason beast.

Meanwhile, Buck Showalter is getting blasted for not using his closer in the extra inning loss that the Orioles had up in Toronto the other night. He did the same mistake that Joe Torre did in Game 4 of the 2003 WS, which is saving your closer for a save on the road. Meanwhile your team never gives you a lead to save and some lesser pitcher loses the game for you while your best is in the bullpen. In extra innings, sometimes you need your best to preserve the tie and prevent a walkoff win.

ALDS series start today. Toronto at Texas, Boston at Cleveland.

A couple of Yankees moves. The Angels claimed Blake Parker and Kirby Yates off of waivers. Parker was 1-0, 4.96 after coming over from Seattle this year.

Yates was 2-1, 5.23.

Anthony Swarzak, who was 1-2, 5.52, refused assignment to SWB and became a free agent.

CC Sabathia will have routine knee surgery to clean it out.

Toronto wins wild card game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I was hoping Baltimore would win for Buck, (and I can’t stand Bautista and Encarnacion, both of whom homered tonight). Encarnacion hit a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 11th and Toronto beat Baltimore 5-2.

Toronto goes to Texas.

It was despicable that some Toronto fan threw a beer can or something at Baltimore’s LF as he was trying to catch a flyout (he did).

Managers of the Year: Buck, Matt Williams

Buck Showalter and Matt Williams were named the AL and NL Managers of the year today, respectively.

For Buck, it is the third time he has won the award, following the 1994 Yankees (who had the best record in the AL at the time of the strike) and the 2004 Texas Rangers.

You were saying?

In 2012, a certain NY beat writer arrogantly dismissed me when I mentioned that the Yanks should call up Steve Pearce, who that year in AAA hit .318-11-30 in 53 games for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At the time I advocated for his call up, the Yanks had some injuries/slumping players, I forget which. It was probably a combination of the two.

Now this reporter usually dismisses minor leaguers. I don’t know why he doesn’t like to give them chances. After all, he was a rookie in his job at one time. Someone had to give HIM a chance at one time. Often, he has no clue who is doing well in the minors or at what level. He’d rather bring in a washed up veteran than give a kid a chance.

I remember Suzyn Waldman once urging the Yanks to bring a 45-year-old David Wells out of retirement rather than bring up and see what a promising minor league prospect had. Really? You couldn’t give a youngster a chance to establish himself but want to bring a faded, retired veteran out of retirement? But then, we remember her going way over the top when the Yanks brought Roger Clemens out of retirement in 2007.

For all the praise heaped on the Core Five (and yes, I include Bernie Williams along with the “Core Four” of Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada), someone had to give them that first chance. Now, a quintet that that coming along at about the same time (Bernie came up four years before the others) doesn’t happen but once in a generation, and the Yanks’ minor league talent isn’t as deep as it was 20-25 years ago with those players, but people, especially youngsters, need chances.

But I digress. In 2012, Pearce played for three different major league teams at the age of 29. He wasn’t a prospect, but someone who bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors for Pittsburgh from 2007-2011. In that timeframe he hit .232-9-52 in 185 games. His OPS+ was 79. Nothing to write home about.

In 2012, for three teams (Balt/Hou/NYY) Pearce hit .239-4-26 in 61 games. OPS+ 92. He was 4 for 25, 1 HR, 4 RBI for the Yankees in 12 games. Nothing to write home about, and probably a good cause for the one reporter’s arrogant dismissal.

But sometimes all it takes is a player to get a chance and to be used right and managed correctly, which is what I hoped the Yanks could do with Pearce in 2012.

In 2013, Pearce only played in 44 games with Baltimore, but put up an OPS+ of 114. Solid. .261-4-13.

This year, the 1B/OF has an OPS+ of an excellent 146. .284-16-39 as a platoon player. Now, Pearce is a righty batter and LF at Camden Yards is as much of a short porch—-with a short wall—as RF is at Yankee Stadium. After all, it’s just 364 to LCF there (most places have it 370-390, and Yankee Stadium has a 399). That short LCF may have helped Pearce.

But look at those numbers. Pearce could have fit right into this Yankees team as a legitimate 1B backup to Teixeira (rather than using the players the Yanks HAVE used this year there). He also could have been a legitimate righty-hitting backup to Gardner and platoon partner for the power-challenged Ichiro in RF.

In 2013-2014 combined, Pearce has hit .278-20-52 in 136 games, 425 at bats. The OPS+ is a superb 136.

Take a look at those numbers. You think they wouldn’t fit in well with these offensively challenged Yankees?

Sometimes, all it takes is an opportunity, and a manager who gives you that opportunity. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses, and who maximizes those strengths and minimizes those weaknesses by platooning you —playing you and sitting you at the appropriate times. It appears Buck has done that with Pearce down in Baltimore.

We have no idea whether Pearce’s recent success will continue. After all, he is 31 now. But his 2013 and 2014 seasons have me doing a few things.

One is to shake my head and wonder what might have been. Could Girardi have utilized Pearce as Buck has? His numbers match anything any current Yankee has done this year. As I wrote above, he would have been a fine fit on this team as a backup 1B/sometimes DH/RF platoon/backup OF.

Besides shaking my head, there is also the satisfaction of having the last laugh.

Sometimes, all one needs is a chance.