Tag Archives: Smoltz

While Yanks rest, the other series are all going the distance.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have four days off before Game 1 of the ALCS begins on Saturday. While they have swept the Twins, all of the other series are going the distance.

The NLDS’s will wrap up today. St. Louis at Atlanta, Game 5 at 5 PM Eastern, and Washington at the LA Dodgers at 8:30.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay forced a Game 5 in Houston  7 PM  Thursday night by beating the Astros and Justin Verlander 4-1 last night. The Rays scored three in the first inning. Tommy Pham (3 hits) homered in the first for the Rays, and Willie Adames homered later. Avisail Garcia had four hits. Tampa Bay used an “opener” and went through six pitchers in the win.


Gleyber Torres reminds me of Derek Jeter, and in a good way. Derek hit for a higher average and stole more bases, while Gleyber has more power. But both at a young age show and showed an incredible amount of maturity and poise. You can see Torres becoming, like Jeter was, a long-time Yankee star, and maybe future captain and Hall-of-Famer. Hopefully his career follows the same great path Jeter’s did.


If the Yanks have to play Houston in the next round, it’ll be difficult ot beat them, but the Yanks did beat a trio of great pitchers in 1996 and 1999 when they beat the Braves’ HOF trio of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. But could this Astro trio of Verlander, Cole and Greinke be even better? Let’s see.

2019 Astro trio. Combined record (inc. Greinke’s overall record, time w/AZ this year)
59-16, Combined ERA+ 518

1996 Braves: 54-29, Combined ERA+ 458

1999 Braves: 44-28, Combined ERA+ 376.

It does look like, should Houston win Game 5, that the Yanks of 2019 may have a tougher battle.

But Houston’s overall team ERA of 3.66 was 2nd in the AL…. to Tampa Bay’s. Despite its unconventional use of “openers”, the Rays’ team ERA was 3.65, barely better than Houston’s.

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Games 147 and 148. Yanks sweep DH but injury bug bites again and hard. Magic #5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

First the good news. The Yanks swept a DH from the Tigers on Thursday. The magic # for just getting into the playoffs, and also for winning the division outright, is down to 5.

Houston lost, so the Yanks lead Houston by two games for best record in the AL. The Yanks also lead the Dodgers by two games in the race for best record in the majors, which the Yanks currently own.

The lead in the AL East is 10 over Tampa Bay with 14 games to go.

More good news. Jordan Montgomery comes off the IL and will start Sunday. Luis Severino comes off the IL and starts Tuesday.

More news. Stephen Tarpley off the IL. He was activated before yesterday’s games. Also Ben Heller was brought up.

With 4 HR in the DH, the Yanks have more HR than the Twins (280 to 279) but the Twins have played two less games, in the race for who winds up with the new record for most HR in a season.

Now the bad news. We hope it isn’t worse. Tests will prove how bad. The injury bug has hit again, and at the worst possible time, with the end of the regular season just over two weeks away. J.A. Happ has been pitching with tendonitis in his left (pitching arm) biceps. Edwin Encarnacion had to leave Game 1 early with an oblique strain. Gary Sanchez had to leave Game 2 with tightness in his left groin. Losing Happ may be mitigated by the arrivals of Montgomery and Severino, but the lineup would take a huge hit if they lose the parrot and the Kraken.

As for Sanchez, what was he doing trying to steal? And in a game played in less than optimum conditions? And with the Yanks up 3-0? He’s a catcher. He’s slow. He NEVER tries to steal. SMH. That could really come back to bite them if he has to miss time—including PLAYOFF time.

Game 1: Yanks win 10-4. Luke Voit hit a 2-run HR (20) in the top of the first to put the Yanks up 2-0.

In the third, Encarnacion hit a 2-run HR (34) to put them up 4-0. He left later in this game with the oblique problem.

Detroit got a 2-run HR in the fifth off of MayHapp, who pitched well despite the biceps tendonitis. After giving up the HR, Happ gave up a single and then was pulled after 99 pitches, one out short of qualifying for the win. Understandable. The Yanks didn’t want to take any more chances.

In the seventh, Aaron Judge walked, and one out later, Luke Voit doubled. Didi Gregorius was intentionally walked to load the bases as the Tigers were hoping for an inning-ending DP. Instead a WP moved all runners up and put the Yanks up 5-2. After Gio Urshela struck out, Cameron Maybin doubled to put the Yanks up 7-2.

The Tigers scored in the bottom of the seventh to cut it to 7-3.

The Yanks put the game away with three in the top of the eighth. Austin Romine singled and one out later, Aaron Judge singled. With two out, Voit singled in one run and Didi Gregorius tripled in two and it was 10-3 Yanks.

Heller, who is just coming back from missing 2018 and most of this season recovering from TJ surgery, gave up a HR in the bottom of the eighth. 10-4, the final score.

Judge 3 walks, scored 4 runs.
Encarnacion 2-run HR (34)
Voit 3 hits, 3 RBI. 2-run HR (20). Scored 3 runs.
Gregorius 2 RBI
Maybin 2 RBI
Romine 3 hits.

Happ 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.07
Green (W, 4-4, 4.57) 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Heller 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  9.00
Gearrin 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.  4.32
Lyons 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  7.04

Game 2: Yanks win 6-4. CC, despite giving up 2 runs, looked good. German was great in relief getting his MLB=leading 18th win.

Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR in the first inning (22) to give the Yanks a quick 2-0 lead.

In the second, Mike Ford singled and scored on a double by D.J. LeMahieu. 3-0.

CC lost it a bit in the fourth, when he gave up two runs, but German was in shutdown mode. 3-2 Yanks after four.

The Yanks got one run back in the top of the fifth when Tyler Wade doubled to lead off the inning and scored two outs later on a single by Didi. Didi went to third (two-base error) on the play but was left stranded. 4-2.

Gio Urshela hit a 2-run PH HR (20) in the top of the ninth to put the Yanks up 6-2, and they needed those runs because Detroit scored two in the bottom of the ninth to close it to 6-4 before the Yanks closed out the game.

LeMahieu 3 hits, RBI. .325
Judge 2-run HR (22)
Gardner the Golden Sombrero. 0 for 4, 4 strikeouts.
Urshela 2-run PH HR (20)  .328
Wade 2 hits

Sabathia 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K.  4.95
German (W, 18-4, 4.09) 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Kahnle (H, 26) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  3.36
Chapman (S, 37) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.32

It doesn’t look as if CC will pass Bob Gibson on the all-time win list (both with 251) because CC isn’t going the five for the win, but CC did pass John Smoltz on the strikeout list last night. The next one up is too far ahead to reach before CC retires at the end of the season.

The minors, and trade deadline risks.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With the Yankees off yesterday, a look at the minors and a look at risks at the trade deadline.

AAA: SWB won 2-1 on a walkoff inside-the-park HR by CF Ben Gamel. Kyle Davies 7 IP, 1 unearned run. 3 h, 1 walk and 8 K.  Caleb Cotham two scoreless IP of relief. (W, 2–0, 1.07). Gamel also had a double. Besides Gamel, 1B Greg Bird and 3B Jose Pirela each had two hits.

AA: Trenton off.

High A: Tampa won 4-2. LF Ericson Leonora a 2-run HR. Five others with two hits each. Jordan Montgomery 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 walks, 7 K.

A: Charleston off.

Funny how people are still complaining that the Yanks didn’t do a major splash at the trade deadline. I have a few thoughts on that.

For those who say that “the Boss” would have done something, face facts. The Boss, George Steinbrenner, has been dead for five years now. Accept that fact and accept that it is a new regime with his son Hal who isn’t his father. He will run things differently. Also, things weren’t always peaches and cream with George. Remember him trading away talents like Jay Buhner, Bob Tewksbury and Doug Drabek?

So for those who wanted a big deal, were you really going to trade away Luis Severino for what may turn out to be a two-month rental? As much as I would like the Yankees to win every year, you don’t want to sacrifice the future for a one-year quick fix. And don’t kid yourself. You can’t get something for nothing. The Yanks would have had to give up top talent like Severino to get something. You weren’t getting a David Price type talent for lower tier talent.

Here are examples of teams that went for it and paid for it.

8-12-87. The Tigers trade John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. Alexander goes 9-0 down the stretch for the Tigers. The Tigers make the playoffs as the AL East champ and lose the ALCS to the Twins. Alexander goes 14-11 in 1988 and 6-18 (leading the majors in losses) in 1989 then retires. The Tigers don’t make it back to the playoffs until 2006. Smoltz goes to the Braves, is in the playoffs every year from 1991-2005 (except for the 1994 strike) and goes to be a Hall of Famer.

8/30/1990: The Red Sox trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston for Larry Andersen. Andersen goes 0-0, 1.23 as a two-month rental. Boston wins the division but loses the ALCS to Oakland. Bagwell goes on to hit 449 HR for the Astros. He played a lot in the cavernous Astrodome. Imagine him with the Green Monster at Fenway.

Is that what these people want?

Also, some people, upset with Stephen Drew, are wondering if the Yanks should pursue Chase Utley. I wonder if these people realize that Utley, although the greatest Phillie 2B ever (and JAWS has him ranked 12th best 2B all-time), has been worse than Drew this year.

Drew: 32, $5MM, free agent after this year. 94 g. .194-13-32, OPS+ 77.

Utley: 36, $15MM, 69 games, .190-4-28. OPS+ 55. Utley has had a far better career than Drew, and is a borderline Hall of Famer.  His vesting option ($15MM each of the next three years) will not kick in because he won’t make 500 plate appearances this year. But a lot of money for someone four years older who is having a WORSE year for even Drew. Utley WAS great. He no longer IS.

Really, do you want that?

Yanks re-sign Drew, and HOF gets 4 new members.

The Yankees re-signed Stephen Drew to a one-year, $5MM contract, and I must admit, I am perplexed and not too happy about the deal.

Ok, does Drew play SS or 2B? Where does Didi Gregorious play? What about the youngsters, Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder, each of whom hit .300+ at AAA last year while Drew (32 in March) hit .162-7-26 between Boston and the Yanks last year? That’s an OPS+ of 51, 49% below league average. I don’t understand the move—-unless it is to package Gregorious, or Refsnyder or Pirela along with the one to two of the surplus of lefty relievers (and maybe someone like Gary Sanchez or Austin Romine?) to say, the Phils for Cole Hamels, or, if they can sign him to a contract extension right away, Johnny Cueto of the Reds (who is a free agent after 2015)?

As of now, I don’t like the move. Drew’s 162 g. ave. is .256-15-70, OPS+ 95 (100 is average). He is a lefty hitter who may (along with Gregorious) have pop for the porch but was flat out awful in 2014.

After the signing of Gregorious, I just don’t get this move. I’d rather give Refsnyder and Pirela a chance at 2B. I don’t like it.

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame will have 4 new members. The BBWAA elected Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio to the Hall today. Mike Piazza got about 70%, and 75% is needed for induction.

Very brief thumbnails about the new Hall-of-Famers.

Johnson: I wonder about the cap, but I think (sorry, Seattle) that it’ll be Arizona. 5X CYA (4 with AZ, and another year a runner-up w/AZ) 10x All-Star. 303-166. 4875 K (2nd all-time and most by a lefty). 3x 20-game winner. 162 g. ave. 17-9, 3.29, ERA+ 135. 7-9, 3.50 in the postseason. 2001 WS Co-MVP, when he won 3 games in that WS. Twice in the top 10 for MVP. Too bad he was past his prime and only mediocre in his two seasons as a Yankee. (One decent enough year, ERA+ 112, 17-8, 3.79, but the other bad, 17-11, 5.00, ERA+ 90). Won CYA in each league.

Pedro:  His ERA+ is the best of any starter, ever. 2x  20-game winner. Like Johnson, won the CYA in each league. 219-100. 2.93 career ERA, ERA+ 154. 8X All-Star. 3x CYA. 2x top 5 for MVP, inc. runnerup in 1999. 6-4, 3.46 postseason. Definitely a Boston hat. Ave. 162 g. season, 17-8, 2.93.  Over 3000K.

Smoltz: Braves. 213-155. 154 saves. Only pitcher ever with over 200 wins and over 150 saves. Started as a starter, arm problems forced him to close, then went back into the rotation.  Led league in wins 2x (one-time 20 g. winner w/24). Led MLB with 55 saves in 2002. 162 g. ave. 12-9, 9 saves, 3.33, ERA+ 125. This is hurt by the four years he spent closing. 8x All-Star. 1996 CYA. Over 3000 K. 8th in MVP voting in 2002.  Great postseason pitcher, 15-4, 2.67, 4 saves in the postseason.

Biggio: Whole career w/Astros. 7x All-Star. Twice top-5 for MVP. 3060 hits.  Versatile. Mostly 2B, but also C, CF, LF. 162 g. average .281-17-67, 24 SB. Over 400 SB. OPS+ 112.  4 x GG. 40 postseason games, .234-2-11.

Game 21. Yanks @ Orioles. Lineup and notes.

The Yanks come home tomorrow, after having played 15 of their first 21 on the road.

Considering that, 13-7 going into tonight isn’t bad. 3 in Boston, 3 in Tampa, 6 vs. the Angels (h/a). Not bad.

Tonight’s lineup:

Derek Jeter SS 2773 hits, two behind Griffey for active leader.
Nick Swisher RF hot streak has him up to .284
Mark Teixeira 1B .133. Waiting for him to take off.
Alex Rodriguez 3B 585 and counting. Per LoHud 0 for last 16. Down to .260. Still looking to tie F. Robinson 
Robinson Cano 2B .390. 6 HR. 15 RBI Great April.
Marcus Thames DH Keeping Gardner’s D out there. Johnson sits. Thames DH’s vs. the lefty.
Curtis Granderson CF Slumping. .243.
Francisco Cervelli C Posada out for a bit after getting HBP on the knee.
Brett Gardner LF He is at .310 with 9 SB. Can’t ask for more. AL lead in SB   

RHP A.J. Burnett 2-0, 3.20

I like the rule changes for the All-Star Game. Especially the DH in NL parks. It’s an all-star game. Who wants to see the pitchers hit?

If you get a chance, check out John Smoltz’s take on Joba.

If you didn’t see it, there was a poll on who was the most hated MLB team. The criteria was varied, but guess what? It wasn’t the Yankees (5th most hated). As Maxwell Smart would say…

Maxwell Smart

 

Would you believe…

the Cleveland Indians? Boston was #2.

Posada ok in case of emergency. But it may be a couple days off that he needs.

Make that 2774 for Jeter. He leads off the game with a single. I’ll put a new post up for the game.

 

 

 

Gold for Bode, USA beats Canada in Hockey.

A gold medal, finally, for Bode Miller. Redemption after basically pissing away 2006 to partying it up too much. He gets a gold in the super combined. A gold, silver and the bronze in these Olympics for Miller.

The USA hockey team beat Canada 5-3. Is this the biggest victory since the Miracle on Ice in 1980?

Now that JD is signed, the guy out there with the best credentials…and unsigned…is Felipe Lopez.

Meanwhile, are John Smoltz and Pedro each going to do the “half-season” thing?

An ultimatum by Winn?

Apparently the $2m/yr. OF gave the Yanks an ultimatum, for Winn had an offer on the table from the Nats. The Yanks moved. Whether Damon would have lowered his demands, who knows (most likely not) but when Winn told the Yanks to make a decision or not, it was goodbye Johnny.

Most don’t think either side would have budged. I did read where some in the Yankees hierarchy thought a $6M deal (most of the $ deferred) could have brought JD back, but it would have had to be signed off on by a honeymooning Hal (NY Post article). But many think Hal still would have stuck to his guns.

I hear the radio today. How come every time I hear Harry Chapin, it’s always Cat in the Cradle? Hey, Taxi was a good tune. Why don’t I ever hear that one anymore?

Jim Edmonds, who didn’t play in 2009, signed a minor league deal with the Brew Crew.

3rd? Chad Jennings writes about Pecota’s prediction for the 2010 Yankees. A bunch of crap if you ask me. Hmmm….Seattle has Lee and King Felix and just 86 and no playoffs. Yanks have CC/AJ/Andy and Vazquez. Robertson, Joba and Hughes still developing. But 10 games worse? You never know, but what BS.

I know the Phils have bullpen issues, but just 88 with an infield of Howard, Utley, Rollins and Polanco? Hey, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth isn’t a shabby OF, either. The BS adds up.

Cashman may be getting help. Chad Jennings reports that ex-SD GM Kevin Towers, who is friends with Cashman, may join the Yanks’ front office. A good move if you ask me.

So I am driving home the other night, make a right hand turn onto a one-way street (on my way to my ATM) and what do I see…some SOB coming the other way. (…and yes, I was the one driving the right way).

According to Joel Sherman in the Post, the Yanks may still look at Rocco Baldelli, Reed Johnson or Marcus Thames…but on minor league deals.

MLBTR states that the Mets are interested in Tatis to platoon with Murphy at 1B, meaning goodbye Delgado. They maybe in the market for Smoltz. First Glavine, now Smoltz a Met? It isn’t just politics that makes strange bedfellows (but then we had Damon/Yankees; Gooden/ Yankees and Strawberry/Yankees).

Interesting some rumors. We should hold a “where will JD wind up” contest. Meanwhile, it’s certainly nice to see Boras grovel.