Yes, it appears that Kyle Higashioka has become Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher, and based on the results last night and in his past few outings, should remain so come the postseason.
Helped by a healthy attack, Cole beat the Blue Jays 12-1 last night. The Yankees (32-23) remain as the #5 seed, 1 1/2 games behind the Twins with 5 games to go.
This was the last regular season start for the Yankees’ ace, who went 7-3, 2.84 in the regular season.
The Yanks scored twice in the first inning. Wirth one out, Aaron Judge walked and Aaron Hicks tripled him home. HIcks then scored on a WP.
With two out in the top of the fourth, Gleyber Torres doubled and was driven home by Gio Urshela’s single. 3-0.
Cole made one mistake that cost him all night. Cavan Biggio hit a solo HR off him in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Yanks’ lead to 3-1.
The Yanks came right back with four runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, Higashioka singled. LeMahieu was HBP. Judge singled in a run and everyone moved up on the throw. Hicks singled in two, stole second, then scored on a single by Torres. 7-1.
The Yanks got three in the top of the eighth. With two out, Urshela doubled, and Clint Frazier walked. Brett Gardner singled in a run. Kyle Higashioka’s drive hit the very top of the wall, just missing a HR. Instead, a 2-run double. 10-1 Yanks.
The Yanks closed out the scoring with two in the top of the ninth. Judge singled. Mike Tauchman walked. After an out, Torres singled in Judge, Tauchman moving to third. Urshela singled to make it 12-1, which was the final score.
The Yanks don’t seem to like Buffalo too much. Buffalo is the COVID-19 induced “home” of the Toronto Blue Jays this year, and in the games played there this year, the Yanks haven’t fared too well.
Last night the Yankees (31-23) lost 11-5, dropping them 1 1/2 games behind the Twins for that #4 playoff seed. There are only six games left. The Twins at 33-22 have five games left. If things stay like this, the Yanks will not have a home playoff game. All three games in the first round would be in Minnesota and if the Yanks advance, they then head to the “bubble” in California for the ALDS and ALCS. The WS will be at another neutral bubble in Texas. The Yanks are 21-7 at Yankee Stadium this year, 10-16 on the road.
The lack of a minor league season has really hurt Michael King. Hopefully he can learn from his MLB experience this year but it is becoming apparent he needed more minor league time to develop–minor league time not available during this COVID dominated year. Sending someone to the alternate site isn’t the same as sending them down for AAA games.
King, 25, had 15 games at AA (6-3, 3.14) and 10 games at AAA (7-1, 2.30) so 25 games equals basically a full season of AA or higher experience. Nice records but the majors are different. He’s 1-2, 7.76 in the majors this season. More minor league experience would have helped, but it just isn’t there this year.
The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the top of the second. With one out, Gleyber Torres walked. Aaron Hicks walked, and Gio Urshela singled in Torres.
King gave up five runs in the bottom of the third, the last two coming in when Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a double allowing two inherited runners to score.
Loaisiga, good this year until last night, then gave up four runs in the bottom of the fourth. 9-1.
Nick Nelson, a pitcher in the same boat as King, gave up a HR in the bottom of the sixth. 10-1 Toronto.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the seventh. Torres led off with a walk, moved to third on a double by Hicks and scored on a groundout by Urshela. 10-2.
Chad Green gave up a HR in the bottom of the seventh. 11-2.
The Yanks got three in the top of the ninth. With one out, Urshela singled. With two out, both Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade walked. With the bases loaded, Mike Tauchman doubled all three runners home.
I haven’t cared too much for C Gary Sanchez’ pitch selection at times this year (in addition to Sanchez’ low batting average), and in reading a recent article, it seems manager Aaron Boone was questioning Sanchez the other day about it too. It will be interesting to see if Kyle Higashioka catches Gerrit Cole again tonight. Has Higgy become Cole’s personal catcher? Will we see that in the postseason? Tonight will be Cole’s last start before the postseason, Game 1 of the first round vs. (it appears to be) the Twins.
The Yankees have beaten Boston in every game this season, and will play them for the final time on Sunday.
On Saturday night, J.A. Happ was superb in pitching eight innings in an 8-0 shutout of the Red Sox.
As of right now, the Yanks have four starters who are all clicking and who all have ERAs of 3.30 or lower. That’s a good, encouraging sign as the playoffs draw near.
With the win, the Yanks remain three percentage points ahead of the Twins for the #4 seed in the AL.
The Yankees got two runs right away in the top of the first inning. D.J. LeMahieu (.368 leads MLB; leads AL in OPB, OPS and OPS+) singled, and Aaron Judge walked. Both runners moved up on a passed ball. With one out, Luke Voit (20 HR leads MLB) walked to load the bases. Gio Urshela hit a SF for one run, and Clint Frazier singled in another. 2-0, Yankees.
The Yanks scored twice in the fourth to go up 4-0. With one out, Frazier singled. He moved up to second, and Mike Tauchman reached first, on an error. Kyle Higashioka singled in a run, Tauchman going to third. Tyler Wade drove in the second run on a forceout.
In the fifth, Judge led off with a single but was caught trying to steal second. Brett Gardner singled and scored all the way from first on a single by Voit. Voit’s foot problems held him at first. After another out, Frazier hit a 2-run HR (8), to make it 7-0.
The Yanks made it 8-0 in the top of the ninth. With one out, Gardner walked, moved to second on a WP, to third on a single by Voit, and scored when Urshela hit a SF that turned into a DP (Gardner scored before Voit was doubled up).
Nick Nelson finished off the shutout.
LeMahieu 2 hits (see above; MLB leader in BA, AL leader in OBP, OPS, OPS+) Gardner 2 hits Voit 2 hits, RBI Urshela 2 RBI Frazier 3 hits, 2-run HR (8), 3 RBI
Happ (W, 2-2, 3.25) 8 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 W, 9 K. Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.17
UPDATE: The Yanks’ magic # to reach the postseason is 1. Win #31 guarantees the Yanks a winning season. They haven’t had a losing season since 1992.
The Yankees (27-21) moved back into second place in the AL East with a 6-HR, 20-run drubbing of Toronto Tuesday night. The final score was 20-6.
As it now stands, with 12 games left in the season, the Yanks would be the #5 seed in the AL and would head to Minnesota to play a familiar postseason foe, the Twins.
Before the game, the Yanks sent down to the alternate site Clarke Schmidt, Miguel Andujar and Mike Ford. Coming off the IL were Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela and Jonathan Loaisiga.
After the game, Thairo Estrada was sent back, so it appears as if Aaron Judge comes off the IL tonight.
Deivi Garcia pitched a strong seven innings to pick up his seventh MLB win in his fourth MLB start. Other than Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., Garcia didn’t have much trouble with the rest of the Blue Jays lineup.
Luke Voit hit two of the Yankees’ six HR in the game to take over the MLB HR lead at 18. He is a strong MVP candidate.
Guerrero hit a HR off of Garcia in the top of the second to make it 1-0 Toronto.
The Yanks came back with seven in the bottom of the second. With one out, Urshela, who had a great game just coming off the IL, doubled. Clint Frazier reached on an error (Toronto RF Derek Fisher had an awful night), moving Urshela to third. Brett Gardner singled in Urshela to tie the game. After an out, Tyler Wade singled in Frazier to make it 2-1. D.J. LeMahieu singled Gardner to make it 3-1. Luke Voit then hit a 3-run HR (17) to make it 6-1 and Aaron Hicks made it back to back HR with his fifth. 7-1 Yanks.
The Yanks added five more in the bottom of the third to go up 12-1 and the game was basically over. Urshela walked, went to second on a balk, and Frazier walked. Gardner walked to load the bases. Sanchez was HBP, forcing in a run. Wade walked, forcing in another run. LeMahieu cleared the bases with a 3-run double. 12-1.
Garcia gave up a 2-run HR to Gurriel in top of the fourth that cut the lead to 12-3.
The Yanks came right back with four in the bottom of the fourth to make it 16-3. Urshela doubled, Frazier walked, and after an out, Sanchez hit a 3-run HR (8). After another out, LeMahieu doubled, and Voit singled in LeMahieu.
Voit hit a solo HR in the bottom of the sixth (18). 17-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, Urshela singled and Frazier hit a 2-run HR (6). 19-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, LeMahieu hit a solo HR (7). 20-3.
Michael King gave up 3 runs in the top of the ninth. It does appear he needed minor league time this year, but alas, no minors this COVID year, so he is getting a bit of a rude awakening on the MLB level.
When the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to make what they thought would be a rotation to possibly take them to the World Series, the last thing they probably expected was that they would have two rookies starting a DH in September in the midst of the stretch drive and pennant race.
That they did yesterday, with Michael King starting the first game and Deivi Garcia the second. On top of THAT, Clarke Schmidt made his MLB debut in the nightcap.
Based on very early impressions, it appears that King isn’t quite ready and needs more work in the minors. Unfortunately, there is no minor league season in this crazy year. Garcia looks ready and as advertised. MLB ready now needs more MLB experience. Since it was Schmidt’s MLB debut, the jury is out on him
Another impression, and it isn’t a good one. The Yankees (21-17) may or may not make the postseason this year. Shocking since they were, to a lot of people, the favorites to win the AL pennant. Now, 5 1/2 back with 22 games to go, it looks like they won’t even win the division. At present they are either the #6 or the #8 (and last) seed in the expanded, CCP virus playoffs of 2020. They are tied for 2nd in the AL East with Toronto. One would be #6, the other grabs that last spot.
And, even though you have the injuries to Severino, Paxton, Torres, Judge, Stanton, etc., one other truth is troubling. The pitchers aren’t holding leads.
It doesn’t matter who manager Aaron Boone is bringing in lately. Relievers are giving up leads, and not just one-run leads. It makes Boone and BP coach Mike Harkey look bad, as well as the relievers themselves.
That can’t happen. You get a three-run lead, you should be able to close out the game. Who’d have thought a supposed strength, the Yankees’ bullpen, would be such a problem right now?
Before the game, Gio Urshela and Jonathan Loaisiga go on the IL. Coming back up are Miguel Andujar and Miguel Yajure.
The Yanks won this one in extras, 6-5 in nine innings (2020 DHs are 7 inning games).
King gave up a HR to the first batter he faced. O’s up 1-0.
The struggling Gary Sanchez (.135, 44 strikeouts in 96 AB) hit his seventh HR of the season (7 of his 13 hits are HR. All or nothing) to tie the game up 1-1 in the top of the second.
The Yanks got three in the top of the third to go up 4-1. Tyler Wade reached on an error, D.J. LeMaiheu singled, and Luke Voit walked to load the bases. Brett Gardner, also struggling, singled in two runs, then Clint Frazier walked to reload the bases. One out later, MIke Tauchman walked to force in a run.
King coughed up a 2-run HR in the fourth. 4-3.
The O’s tied it up in the fifth, when Ben Heller gave up a HR. After this game, Heller was sent down, replaced on the roster by Schmidt.
Zack Britton almost gave the game away in the bottom of the sixth. He had to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam.
With extra innings, and that new rule where the inning begins with a runner on second, you are always in a jam right away. Neither team scored in the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, because of PH/PR, and losing the DH, Jonathan Holder, yes, the pitcher, was the runner starting the inning on second base. LeMahieu grounded out, moving Holder up to third. Andujar singled in a run to make it 5-4. Gardner walked and Clint Frazier singled to make it 6-4.
The Orioles got one run in the bottom of the ninth but the Yanks held on to win their 19th straight game at Camden Yards, 6-5.
King 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR. 1 HBP. 6.33. 7TH MLB game. Heller 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.00 Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 3.00 Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 7.20 Holder (W, 2-0, 2.51) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. Green (S, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.89
The streak of beating the Orioles came to an end as the Orioles won 6-3.
Garcia did pretty decently, but it was Schmidt, making his MLB debut, who couldn’t close out an inning and that cost the Yankees.
Garcia gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second, and the Orioles were up 2-0.
The Yanks got one run back in the top of the third on a gift run. Tyler Wade singled, advanced to second on a WP, to third on a throwing error by the catcher, and scored on a groundout by Thairo Estrada.
The Yanks took the lead in the fourth. Gardner walked, and two outs later, moved to third on a two-base error. Andujar to second. Erik Kratz singled both runners in.
Hate to say it, but truth is truth. Kratz, a career long backup journeyman, at the age of 40, is far outperforming starting C Gary Sanchez.
In the bottom of the fifth, Garcia got a fly out, walked the next hitter, got a strikeout, then gave up a single.
Then was pulled.
In came Schmidt. If Schmidt gets the batter out, Garcia’s line doesn’t look too bad and the Yanks maintain a 3-2 lead.
Instead, Schmidt gave up three straight hits, allowing four runs to score, and the Yanks were down 6-3. The final score.
The Yanks (20-16) have had a lot of disappointments this season, from injuries to underperforming ballplayers.
The bullpen was supposed to be a strength, not a weakness. But lately, it has been hurting the Yankees.
The Yanks blew 4-0 and 7-4 leads and lost in 10 innings today (Thursday) to the Mets, 9-7.
The Yanks got four runs in the second. With one out, Gio Urshela singled and Brett Gardner walked. Kyle Higashioka singled to load the bases, then Tyler Wade singled in one run to make it 1-0. D.J. LeMahieu hit a SF to make it 2-0. Luke Voit’s 2-run double made it 4-0. They reloaded the bases, but couldn’t score any more.
J.A. Happ gave up a HR to ex-Yankee Todd Frazier in the bottom of the second and it was 4-1. The Toddfather hurt his former team today.
Happ gave up 3 more runs in the fourth and the game was tied. Frazier started off the inning for the Mets with a double. Happ got the next two hitters out, but four straight hits brought in three runs.
The Yanks got two runs in the seventh. With one out, Aaron Hicks walked, and with two out, stole second. Mike Ford walked, then Gio Urshela singled in a run. Brett Gardner doubled in a run and it was 6-4.
The Yanks scored another run in the eighth. With one out, LeMahieu doubled. He went to third on a WP and Luke Voit walked. Aaron Hicks singled in a run. 7-4.
Then the bullpen imploded.
Zack Britton gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth and it was 7-6. Guess who started the rally for the Mets? Yup. The Toddfather.
Aroldis Chapman, pitching while he is appealing his suspension, gave up a game-tying HR to J.D. Davis in the bottom of the ninth. Yankee fans probably wish he was sitting out the game and serving that suspension.
Then in the top of the tenth, Tyler Wade made a baserunning mistake, getting doubled off of second.
In the bottom of hte tenth, Albert Abreu gave up a 2-run HR to Pete Alonso. Ball game over. Mets 9-7.
The Yankees have lost 10 of their last 14 games.
UPDATE: They have now fallen into a tie for 2nd place in the AL East with Toronto, five games behind Tampa Bay.
Voit 2 RBI Urshela 2 hits, RBI Happ 5 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 1 W, 4 K. 4.68 Gave up 1 HR. Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.55 Green (H, 6) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.06 Britton (H, 2) 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.27 Chapman (BS, 2) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 9.00 Gave up Game -tying HR. Abreu (L, 0-1, 20.25) 0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up GW HR
After what happened with Aroldis Chapman (suspended 3 games, managers Aaron Boone and Kevin Cash suspended one game each), the Rays came out mad and took it to the Yankees and Jordan Montgomery, defeating the Yankees (20-15), 5-2.
The Yankees finished the regular season 2-8 against the Rays.
The first five batters went double, HR, single, HR, double. The Rays were up 4-0 after just five batters. Montgomery didn’t make it out of the first inning.
One of the homers was by Mike Brosseau, whom Chapman buzzed the night before. Brosseau homered again in the fourth to make it 5-0.
The Yanks got one run back on a HR by Clint Frazier (4) in the sixth.
They got another in the bottom of the ninth when with one out, Gary Sanchez singled, was forced at second by Brett Gardner, Mike Ford walked, and D.J. LeMahieu singled in Gardner.
With the loss the Yankees fall 4 1/2 back of the Rays. If the Yanks don’t win the AL East, they can just look to their 2-8 record against the Rays this year.
Frazier solo HR (4) Urshela 2 hits.
Montgomery (L, 2-2, 5.76) 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR Nelson 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 W, 2 K. 6.17 Holder 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.70 Gave up 1 HR. 1 WP Heller 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K 1.80. 1 HBP Cessa 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 WP 3.29 Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.86 Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.24
HOF pitcher Tom Seaver, who broadcast Yankees games on TV for several games after retiring from baseball, died last night age 75. I have another post on the passing of the Mets’ legend.
After being 1-7 against the Rays this year, and having lost six in a row to them, the Yankees (20-14) finally beat the Rays last night, 5-3. The win puts the 2nd place Yankees 3 1/2 back of the Rays in the AL East.
It didn’t come without controversy. A high and tight fastball by Aroldis Chapman to the last batter of the game called for warnings, and Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was pretty hot after the game. Both benches cleared after the final out, but no punches were thrown.
We’ll see what happens today. Will there be a warning before a pitch is thrown?
Forget Boston right now. The real AL East rivalry is right here.
D.J. LeMahieu led off the bottom of the first with the first of his two homers of the game to put the Yanks up 1-0. It became 2-0 in the third when D.J. homered (4) again. LeMahieu is leading the AL with a .402 batting average.
In the top of the fifth, Mashairo Tanaka gave up a 2-run HR and the game was tied.
The Yanks got three in the bottom of the sixth. Luke Voit led off with a single, and one out later, Clint Frazier singled. Gio Urshela doubled in two runs and came all the way around to score himself on a throwing error by SS Willy Adames. 5-2.
Adames hit a HR off of Jonathan Loaisiga in the seventh to make it 5-3 but the Yanks held on for the win.
The Yankees (19-14) are 18-7 against everyone else. Good.
And 1-7 against their division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, who extended their AL East lead over the Yanks to 4 1/2 games with a 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium Monday night. The Rays have beaten the Yanks six straight.
This is a problem.
Even the Yankees’ ace, Gerrit Cole, is having trouble with the Rays, as he didn’t have it last night and lost the game. The gopher bug has hit him lately.
Cole gave up a 2-run HR to Ji-Man Choi in the first inning as Choi (a one-time Yankee for six games in 2017) seems to own him and the Yanks lately.
Cole gave up another HR in the second. 3-0, Rays.
The Rays got another run in the fifth, in an inning started by a walk to Choi.
Nick Nelson gave up a run in the sixth on an RBI single by, you guessed it, Choi.
Meanwhile, the Yanks didn’t get a hit until the sixth inning.
In the seventh, Gio Urshela homered (6) to cut it to 5-1.
Luke Voit hit a two-run HR (13) in the eighth, 5-3.
The Yankees (19-13) used a miraculous comeback to win the first game of a DH, then struggling Gary Sanchez hit a grand slam to enable the Yankees to gain the sweep in Game 2.
Both games were won in 8 innings, extra innings what with the 2020 Covid rules for a DH. (7-inning games, extras start w/man on second).
Down 7-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Yanks scored five in the bottom of the seventh and once in the eighth to win 8-7.
In the bottom of the first, D.J. LeMahieu walked, was doubled to third by Luke Voit, and scored on a groundout by Mike Tauchman.
The Mets got two in the top of the fourth to go up 2-1, but the Yanks tied it in the bottom of the inning when Mike Tauchman walked and Mike Ford doubled him home.
Ex-Yankee Robbie Cano hit a 2-run HR in the top of the fifth to put the Mets up 4-2. The Mets got three more runs in the top of the sixth to go up 7-2.
Then, in the bottom of the seventh, the comeback. Ford reached on an error, and got back to the bag safely to avoid being doubled up when Brett Gardner lined out. Gio Urshela flied out for the second out. Down 7-2, things looked dire. Ford advanced to second on defensive indifference and Tyler Wade walked. Thairo Estrada was HBP to load the bases. Luke Voit singled to make it 7-4. Estrada should have been out at third to end the game but the 3B dropped the ball. WHEW. A WP made it 7-5. Aaron Hicks then tied the game with his third HR of the season.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the new rules, Tauchman started the inning at second base. Gary Sanchez flied out and Ford walked. After Brett Gardner flied out, Gio Urshela singled in Tauchman to win the game.
KIng 3 2/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 3 K. 6.23
Kriske 1 1/3 IP, 5 R, 2 H, 3 W, 4 K. 2 WP. 20.25 Gave up 1 HR.
Heller 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1.93
Green (W, 3-2, 3.45) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Deivi Garcia was brilliant in his MLB debut. At 21, he was the youngest Yankee starter since Phil Hughes in 2007.
The Yanks went up 1-0 in the top of the third (Mets home team in this one) when Tyler Wade hit his first HR of the season.
Garcia took a shutout into the bottom of the sixth. The Mets tied it up on a single after Luke Voit made a two-base error.
In the top of the eighth, Brett Gardner started the inning at second, and Clint Frazier walked. After a flyout moved both runners up, Tauchman was intentionally walked. Sanchez, now hitting just .134, PH for Erik Kratz and hit a grand slam for his sixth HR of the season. Of Sanchez’ 11 hits this year, six are HR.
The Mets got a run in the bottom of the eighth and had the bases loaded but the Yanks held on to win 5-2.
Sanchez Grand Slam (6)
Wade solo HR (1)
Garcia 6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 W, 6 K. MLB DEBUT
Holder (W, 1-0, 2.25) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Cessa (S, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.09