Tag Archives: Soriano

Game 70. Gardner, McCann lead Yanks to 7-3 win.

Brian McCann, struggling all season, had 5 RBI with a 2-run HR (8) and a base-loaded triple, and Brett Gardner had four hits as the Yanks beat Toronto 7-3 to climb to within 2 1/2 games of the Blue Jays. The win made the Yankees 37-33 on the season.

It’s hard to say who has been a bigger surprise this season, Yangervis Solarte (who has been slumping lately) or Chase Whitley.

Whitley (W, 3-0, 2.56) got the win by pitching 5 innings, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 2 K.

The Yanks got one in the first on an RBI single by Soriano.

After the Blue Jays got two in the fourth off Whitley, McCann’s two-run blast in the bottom of the inning put them back in the lead.

The Yanks broke it open in the seventh. Ichiro walked with the bases loaded to force in a run then McCann cleared the bases with his triple.

After Whitley left the game, Warren went 2, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 2.08.

Jose Ramirez came in and just faced two batters, giving up doubles to both. 0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 6.75.

Girardi wasn’t about to wait. After those two doubles, in came Betances. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 1.51.

Robertson in the 9th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.28.

The win puts the Yanks at 37-33, 2 1/2 back of Toronto in the AL East, 2nd place. They are tied with Detroit for the 2nd WC spot.

Game 65. Jeter, Whitley, pace Yanks in 6-3 win.

Two months ago, you would have won a lot of money by betting that on June 12th, Chase Whitley would be the Yanks #2 starter behind Masahiro Tanaka.

In fact, most people would have said Chase Who?

But Whitley, a converted reliever turned starter, has been great since he was promoted to the majors to replace the injured CC Sabathia. He’s been everything Yankees fans hoped they’d be getting from CC, but weren’t this year.

Whitley pitched 7 2/3 innings last night against Seattle, giving up 2 R, 5 h, 0 walks and 6 K, with 1 HBP, in the Yanks 6-3 win over Seattle. Whitley improved his record to 2-0, 2.41.

Derek Jeter, in his last game in Seattle (unless the teams face each other in the playoffs), had three hits and drove in two runs. His career hit total now stands at 3377.

The Yanks got two in the first on a two-run HR by Jacoby Ellsbury (4). Ellsbury also made a couple nice catches in the game.

After Seattle got a run (Logan Morrison HR) off Whitley in the second, the Yanks got two in the third on a Soriano double and two more in the fourth on a Jeter single.

Seattle got one in the fifth and one in the ninth for the final tally.

After Whitley left the game, Matt Thornton pitched 1/3 of an inning, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.65.

Shawn Kelley, just off the DL, came in, 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 h, 0 walks and K. 4.02.

David Robertson picked up his 16th save. 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 3.57.

It appears that Francisco Cervelli will be activated soon and John Ryan Murphy will be sent down to SWB to get more regular playing time. Although I understand the move (Cervelli is out of options and Murphy has them), I don’t like it. Hopefully Cervelli plays well enough to have some trade value at the deadline so that Murphy is brought back soon. Murphy had two hits last night and is hitting .310. A 23-year-old, doing well as a backup, hitting .310 and he gets sent down? I don’t like that a bit.

Ellsbury was removed from the game with hip tightness but expects to be ok.

The win puts the Yanks at 34-31, tied for 2nd with the Orioles, 3 1/2 behind Toronto in the AL East. They are tied with the Orioles for the final WC slot.

Game 62. Yanks shoot themselves in foot in 2-1 loss.

I’d rather lose 9-0 then lose this way.

The Yanks went 1 for 17 with RISP in losing to KC 2-1. They fall to .500 (31-31) with the loss and are 2-6 this month.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 3 K as he fell to 4-4, 4.12.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38.

It had to be painful for Kuroda, who pitched well, but who watched his offense shoot themselves in the foot time and time again. 1st and 2nd, two out in the first, nothing. In the second, the Yanks loaded the bases and couldn’t score as Johnson struck out, Gardner grounded into a 3-2 force and Jeter struck out. They wasted a leadoff double by Ellsbury in the third.

In the fourth, a one-out double by Roberts. Nothing. They finally got their run in the sixth when Solarte doubled, went to third on a PB and scored on an Ichiro groundout.

A one-out triple by Gardner in the 7th. Surely they would tie the game. But, remember, Girardi NEVER ******* squeezes. He doesn’t bunt guys over or in. It’s what I don’t like about Girardi (who I do regard as a good manager). With Jeter up there, he should have bunted. Jeter isn’t Jeter anymore. He’s only 2/3 of the Jeter we remember, if that. Heck, (and I hate to say this), Jeter shouldn’t be hitting 2nd anymore. He should be hitting 8th. He’s hitting .254, OPS+ 72. Just seven of his 54 hits are for extra bases. Jeter grounds out, runner can’t score. Ellsbury strikes out. In the 9th, Ichiro singled and went to 2nd on a WP. Tying run on second, no out, nothing.

So it went.

I hate to say this, but Jeter was a major culprit today in the Yanks losing. Derek isn’t Derek anymore. Not even close. Look at what I wrote above. Bases loaded, two out, he whiffed. Man on third, one out, a weak grounder that can’t get the run in. He and Gardner each left five on, Johnson four, McCann three.

It was like Chinese water torture. They would get guys on and leave them there.

A painful loss.

If the Yanks continue like this, I’d consider some major changes. Once Cervelli comes off the DL, I’d look to trade him. Go with the kid, Murphy. I’d also look to dump Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson and Roberts, as well as good-field/no-hit Brendan Ryan. Go with a youth movement. You are using a soon-to-be 40 year-old SS in Jeter, a 36 yr. old 2b in Roberts, Beltran is 36 (and on a 3-yr. deal), Soriano 38 and Ichiro 40. The age is showing.

Obviously, Jeter is going nowhere.

Some things I’d consider if I were in the Yanks’ front office:

Replace Roberts (.239-2-13, OPS+86) with Rob Refsnyder, 23, 2B, currently hitting .340 or so at AA. RHB

Replace Johnson (.216-4-14, OPS+ 85) with Zelous Wheeler, 27, mostly 2B/SS/3B as another utility man (He’s played a little OF as well). Hitting .298 at AAA, RHB.

Replace Ryan (.238 career hitter, .217 2010-2013) with Pirela, who has played 2B/SS/LF (gives you an OF in an emergency, 24) currently around .333 at AAA.

Replace Ichiro with Almonte, a switch-hitter and 25 this week and see what you have in him. You won’t know unless you play him. Bringing him up and not playing him, or playing him once every seven games or so, does nothing. In 105 AAA games, Almonte is .293-14-66 with 8 SB. Over a full season, he would be .293-21-99 with 12 SB. You don’t know how that would translate to the majors, but I’d rather lose with a 25 year old, seeing what he has and what he could offer, than a 38 year old Soriano and/or a 40 year old Ichiro. Yes, I know Ichiro is hitting .320, but he’s not your future, and only four of Ichiro’s 33 hits are for extra bases. Maybe you get some power, as well as some consistency, if Almonte plays every day instead of once in a blue moon when you bring him up.

Replace Soriano (.229-6-20, OPS+ 78) with Kyle Roller, a legit 1B (instead of Johnson) who is a lefty power hitter. 26, and between AA/AAA, .343-14-38 this year. Maybe he could be like Kevin Maas when Maas first came up in 1990 and you catch lightning in a bottle with him as he takes advantage of the porch as a DH and 1B sub for Teixeira.

Couldn’t hurt. I’d rather be .500 with youth who could develop than washed-up has-beens, no matter how much I love what they did in their prime.

Maybe it sounds harsh, but this game was the 10th in a row in which the Yanks scored four runs or less. You can’t just keep going on this way.

Some changes may need to be made. I just made a few suggestions.

Game 59. Yanks end skid behind Tanaka, 2-1.

The guy never ceases to amaze. Even when he is made to work and doesn’t have his best stuff, the guy still delivers a quality start and gets a win despite hardly any support from his offense.

Not only that, but Masahiro Tanaka LOWERS his AL leading ERA from 2.06 to 2.02 while improving to 9-1.

Consider this. In the WORST game that he pitched this year, the one he’s lost, he went 6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER. That is still considered a quality start. … and that is the WORST game out of the twelve he has pitched this year.

The guy has been worth every penny.

He gave up a HR to the second batter he faced, but that was it. He then retired the next 10 in a row.

He did have to work for it today. He “only” went 6 IP. 84 2/3 ip for the year in 12 starts. That’s just over 7 innings per start. Quality.

Today, 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 4 K. He goes to 9-1, 2.02.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.54.

Now I will admit that I was NOT happy when Girardi went to Warren in the 8th. My attitude is why? Betances did well, LEAVE HIM IN. If the seas are calm, why rough them up? If a guy is doing well, why take him out? I HATE ROLES, like 7th inning guy, 8th inning guy, etc. RIDE THE HOT HAND.

Warren got into trouble in the 8th and I was cursing. To his credit, he did get out of it, with help from Ichiro on a nice defensive play, which helped to save the game. Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.45.

Robertson in the 9th for his 13th save. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 k. 4.05.

The Yanks didn’t hit much in the 2-1 win. They wasted an opportunity in the first when Jeter singled (hit #3369) and Ellsbury doubled, just missing a 2-run HR by a foot or so. With men on 2nd and 3rd with one out, they couldn’t get a run in.

They got a run in the third to tie the game when McCann singled, went to second on an error, and scored on a single by Soriano.

The game-decider came in the third when Gardner homered (4) to make it 2-1 Yanks, and no one scored after that.

The Yanks now go to KC as they start a road trip to KC, Seattle and Oakland.

With the win, they go above .500 to 30-29 and stay 6 back of Toronto in the AL East.

Game 57. Yanks waste Kuroda’s effort, lose in 10, 5-2.

Adam Warren didn’t have it tonight. Unfortunately the Yanks offense doesn’t seem to have it every night right now. As a result, the Yanks lost to Oakland 5-2 in 10 innings.

Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup, and had an RBI single and a solo HR (10). But that was all the Yankees’ offense could muster. Teix’s HR (351) tied Dick Allen on the all-time list.

In the last seven games, they’ve scored just 17 runs, and 7 of those were in one game. The offense is 10th in the AL in OBP, SA and OPS. They are 12th in R, 13th in doubles and 9th in HR. The OPS+ is 95, 5% below average. That needs to improve.

The Yanks wasted a superb outing by Hiroki Kuroda, who went 6 2/3, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 2 hits. ERA to 4.27.

The Yanks took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, but Dellin Betances could not hold it. 1 1/3, 1 R, 1 h, 1 walk, 2 K. 1.59.

Robertson the 9th, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.26.

Warren (L, 1-3, 2.53) 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K in 1/3 IP.

Claiborne 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 k. 3.57.

Blame Warren all you want, but when your starter goes 6 2/3 and only gives up one run on two hits, he deserves better support than that. Two runs. Right now it’s an effort for the Yanks to put up four runs in a game. The Yanks struck out 13 times last night.

Soriano was 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. He’s down to .226, has walked just six times and has struck out 58 times. His OPS+ is down to 76. I love Sori, but those numbers are screaming for a release.

Before the game, the Yanks sent Almonte down, brought up Sizemore, placed Pineda on the 60-day DL retroactive to May 6th (won’t be back until mid-July at the earliest) and claimed lefty Wade LeBlanc off waivers. The lefty may be replacing Aceves. LeBlanc is 29, and has pitched in 97 MLB games for SD, Miami, Houston and the Angels, 68 starts. He is 20-32, 4.53, ERA+ 84 in his career.

The loss drops the Yanks to 29-28 and to third in the AL East, 5 back.

Game 48. Yanks “steal” one, 4-3 in 10.

The Yanks were thisclose to falling to .500, 24-24. Vidal Nuno had given up 3 in the first, thanks to giving up hits to the first three batters he faced.

To his credit, he settled in after that three-batter, three-hits and eventually three-run inning to not give up any more runs. 7 ip, 3 r, 9 h , 1 walk and 5 K. ERA still a high 5.49.

The problem was, while Nuno settled in, the offense wasn’t doing anything. They got just one hit in the first seven innings of the game.

They got two hits in the eighth but entered the top of the ninth down 3-0. Ellsbury got a hit in the 9th but was on first base with two out. Things looked bleak.

Whereupon Soriano doubled for a run, Solarte singled for another, and Ichiro walked. McCann, PH-ing for Murphy, blooped in a hit to tie the game.

In the top of the 10th, Ellsbury HR’d (2) to give the Yanks a 4-3 win.

After Nuno left, Daley went 2/3, 0 R, H, walks and K. 3.72.

Thornton 1/3. A K. 5.00.

Betances (3-0, 1.59) got the win. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

D-Rob the save. Nice to see after he blew Friday’s game. Get right back out there and get them. Save #10. 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 h, 0 walks and struck out the side.

The win puts the Yankees at 25-23, keeps them at 2 back of Toronto. It moves them into second place, but Toronto looks like a team that could (with Buehrle/Dickey and Encarnacion/Bautista) take over the division.

Hopefully the win helps start the Yanks on a streak. Tanaka is up next.

Game 46. Yanks get just 3 hits in 3-2 loss.

Ok, I could cry over spilt milk, but I won’t. I did think that the strike three call on Soriano, on a full-count pitch and one on to end the game, was ball four. So, evidently, did Soriano.

But going into the top of the 9th, the Yanks were down 3-0 and had just one hit. Chris Sale was superb for the White Sox, in what was his first start after coming off the DL. He retired the first 17 Yankees in a row, 9 by K before giving up a single to Almonte, who stole second. No problem for Sale, who got a K then left the game.

The hard-luck loser was Phelps, who pitched great, but what can you do? Phelps went 7, 2 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 8 K. He falls to 1-1, 3.18.

Aceves 1 IP, and 1 R, 2 h, a walk and 0 K. His first outing back since his return to the Yanks was great, but since then, he has been disappointing. ERA up to 6.08.

In the 9th, Suzuki singled with one out and Jeter walked with two out. A passed ball helped move up the runners and Teix singled in two before the slumping Soriano (.235) struck out.

The Yanks’ bats have been very silent lately. Forget the fact that the rotation is hurting with Pineda, CC and Nova out right now. The bats have been quiet. Hopefully they wake up soon.

With the loss, the Yanks fall to 24-22, one game behind Toronto.

Game 41. Yanks blast 5 HR in 7-1 win.

The Yanks got 5 HR in blasting their way to a 7-1 win Saturday over Pittsburgh.

The blasts come from Gardner (3), Teixeira (9, #350 career), Soriano (#6, #412 career), McCann (6) and Zoilo Almonte (1).

Almonte wasn’t supposed to play, but was a last minute replacement due to Jacoby Ellsbury having a stomach bug.

Derek Jeter got two hits. The hit count is now at 3351.

David Phelps (W, 1-0, 3.33) got the win. He went 5, but it took him 100 pitches to do so. He got help defensively from McCann and Soriano. 5 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 5 K.

Dellin Betances saw the first pitch he threw drilled for a HR, but went 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 3 more K. 1.85.

Adam Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.48.

Matt Daley the 9th after the Yanks opened it up. 1 IP, scoreless, 6.75.

A good day. 5 HR by the Yanks, and the pitchers gave up only 1 run and struck out 11.

The Yanks go to 22-19. They are now tied for first in the A.L. East.

Game 40. Yanks win a 1-0 classic.

This was a great game. Even if the Yanks would have lost, this was a great game.

Thankfully, the Yanks didn’t lose, but won a 1-0 classic.

Two starting pitchers, each making their MLB debut in the heat of a Subway Series battle in NY. You think both would have nerves and that one or both would crack under the pressure.

Neither did. Instead of a slugfest, with both pitchers succumbing to the pressure, instead we got one great pitchers’ duel.

Chase Whitley started for the Yanks and went 4 2/3, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. Not only that, he singled in his only (and first MLB) plate appearance.

Dellin Betances (W, 2-0, 1.61) was absolutely smoking. He replaced Whitley in the fifth, men on second and third, two out and got a ground out to get out of the inning. All he did after that was to strike out the next six hitters.

Meanwhile, the Yanks couldn’t touch Jake deGrom, who was making HIS MLB debut. They finally got a run off him in the seventh, which was the only run of the ballgame.

Teixeira walked with one out and was forced out by McCann. Soriano doubled in McCann, and advanced to third on the throw home.

….and that was the only run of the game.

Warren 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and both outs via the K. 1.54.

David Robertson got a four-out save. #7. 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.74.

14 K for Yanks’ pitchers tonight, 6 by Betances. After Tanaka’s 4-hit CG shutout last night, a combined 3-hit shutout tonight.

Before the game, the Mets honored Jeter.

The win kept the Yanks (21-19) 1/2 game back of the Orioles in the A.L. East.

Whitley took the roster spot of Beltran, who was DL’d for 15 days. He took the 40 man roster spot of Billings, who was reactivated off the DL and DFA’d.

Game 35. CC’s struggles continue as Yanks lose, 5-4.

Ok, because of an error by Brendan Ryan, 3 of the 4 runs CC Sabathia gave up last night were unearned.

But there’s no way to whitewash things. CC Sabathia right now is a major problem for the Yankees. The Yanks aren’t paying CC $23MM to pitch like a guy trying to keep his job in the rotation. Let’s face it, the way CC has pitched since the end of the 2012 season, if his name was NOT CC Sabathia, and his paycheck weren’t so high, he might be pulled from the rotation.

CC threw 107 pitches last night in only lasting 5 1/3 innings. He gave up 4 R, 1 ER, and took a ND as the Yanks lost 5-4. But look beyond the name and look at the numbers. 107 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. 3 HR given up. Once Ryan made a two-out error behind him, an inability to escape or limit damage. He is 3-4, 5.28. Baseball Reference has a stat called WPA, which basically stands for Win Probability added by pitcher. In only two of CC’s eight starts this year is that number a positive number, meaning he pitched in a way that normally contributes to a win. CC leads the A.L. in games started. He leads the majors in HR given up. 46/8 equates to about 5 2/3 innings a start. That’s not ace-like, but more of a 4 or 5 starter. Since the end of the 2012 season, he is 17-17, 4.87, ERA+ 83 (17% below league average). Now if, say, Phil Hughes were still a Yankee, and those were HIS numbers, what would happen? Those numbers remind us more of A.J. Burnett’s last two years as a Yankee, when A.J. went 21-26, 5.20, ERA+ 83.

Sad to say, but if CC doesn’t turn it around soon, you may hear the kind of boos that were directed at Hughes and Burnett at the end of their Yankees’ tenures. Probably the only reason he hasn’t heard it yet is because he is CC.

More troublesome is this: CC turns 34 in July. But watching him this year, he appears much older. He has the look of someone who is 39 and is hanging on. The Yanks are paying him $23MM this year. But here is the rub: CC is on the books for $23MM next year, $25MM in 2016 and $25MM in 2017.

There is a $5MM buyout for 2017, but the 2017 salary is guaranteed if he 1) does not end 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury, 2) does not spend more than 45 days in 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury or 3) does not make more than six relief appearances in 2016 because of a left shoulder injury. There is nothing voiding 2017’s contract for poor performance. Only if there is an injury. If he is healthy but performing poorly, the Yanks are still on the hook.

So you have $96MM invested in CC for this year through 2017. If he continues to perform like this, it’s a major problem.

The Yanks have to get CC back on track. He may have to become a completely different pitcher, but CC MUST figure it out and get back on track. There is simply too much relying on that.

I’m hoping for him to rebound and rooting for it. I’m not expecting it, however.

CC’s third pitch of the game was hit for a HR. The Yanks took the lead in the third on a triple by Gardner and single by Beltran. In the bottom of the inning came Ryan’s error and the b2b bombs given up by CC for a 4-2 Brewers lead.

The Yanks came back to tie it. Mark Teixiera got HR #6 (347 career) in the sixth, and Soriano singled in the eighth to tie it up.

Good points:

Teixiera’s average is just .253, and I expect him never to hit .280+ again, but he does have 6 HR and 15 RBI in 21 games. He basically missed 10 games b/c of his injury. 21 x 7 is 147. Basically a full season with some days given off for rest. At that pace, Teix would have 42 HR and 105 RBI. The power numbers we were hoping he would come back to after his injury that cost him most of 2013. I’m not saying he will reach 40/100, but he looks like he could be the 30/90 guy we were hoping he would come back as. Now to get McCann going.

Betances (2.00) came into a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth and got out of it with two strikeouts. What a job. He is getting better, gaining confidence, and look at the situation Girardi put him in as Girardi gains more confidence in using him in tight spots.

Aceves (0-1, 1.23) took the tough loss. He gave up a run in two innings of relief.

The loss drops the Yanks to 19-16, 1 1/2 behind Baltimore in the A.L. East. Phelps goes today.