Tag Archives: Verlander

Thoughts on Mgr of Year; CYA winners announced, and Houston’s scandal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Another blog makes a good point. It may be that a Yankees manager may NEVER be selected Mgr. of the Year because of several reasons. One being the expectations that the Yanks are supposed to be good because of who they are and their financial resources. So if they do well, it was because they were EXPECTED to do well. The manager only did what he was expected to do.

But that wasn’t really the case this year. Yes, the Yanks were expected to do well, but with the team they EXPECTED to have, not a team ravaged by injuries. Severino and Stanton missed almost the whole year each.  Betances and Montgomery the same. Didi two and a half months, Andujar all but a handful of games,  Hicks over half the year and so on and so on. Still, the Yanks won 103 games and the AL East. Still, Boone didn’t get MOY despite managing a M*A*S*H* unit to that victory total.


It is looking more and more like Didi won’t be back. We’ll see, but in reading the tea leaves and insider commentary…


This Houston cheating scandal with the cameras, video cheating, etc. has added another s to the Astros name on various sites. You can guess where that s is going…


The CYA was announced. In the NL, Jacob DeGrom repeats as the Cy Young Award winner, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes.

It is amazing the lack of support DeGrom gets. Take a look at the win totals in these past two CYA winning seasons.

2018 10-9, 1.70, led majors in ERA.
2019 11-8, 2.43. Led NL in strikeouts.

21 wins COMBINED. The Mets are wasting his starts.

In the AL, teammates Justin Verlander & Gerrit Cole were neck and neck with Verlander winning his second CYA. He previously won the CYA in 2011 (and MVP that year too). In addition to two CYA, Verlander also has been the runnerup three times.

Verlander got 17 first place votes and 171 points to Cole’s 13 first place votes and 159 points.

Verlander 21-6, 2.58. Led majors in wins, starts and IP. Struck out 300.
Cole 20-5, 2.50. Led AL in ERA. Led majors with 326 strikeouts.

You could have flipped a coin between the two.

As for Cole, it’s expected the free agent won’t sign until the new year.

 

WS Game 6. Take it to the limit. Washington forces a Game 7 with a 7-2 win.

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Never, in the history of the four major sports, has a road team won the first six games of a series (of course, football doesn’t have a best of 7).

Until now. Washington beat Houston 7-2 Tuesday night to force a seventh and deciding game tonight (Wednesday). The road team has won every game in the WS so far.

Anthony Rendon had three hits, inc. a 2-run HR, and drove in 5 runs. The HR came after a controversial call that went against the Nats and got manager Dave Martinez ejected—the first manager ejected from a WS game since Bobby Cox of Atlanta in Game 6 of the 1996 WS.

For Justin Verlander, another WS loss. The future HOF pitcher is now 0-6 in the World Series. ROY, CYA, MVP, 3 no-hitters, but no WS victory.

Stephen Strasburg went 8 1/3 IP for the win.

Besides Rendon, Adam Eaton and Juan Soto homered for Washington. Alex Bregman hit one for Houston.

Max Scherzer, who missed his Game 5 start because of a neck injury, apparently feels better after getting a cortisone shot and is expected to start Game 7 for Washington. He’ll be opposed by Houston’s Zack Greinke.

 

 

WS Game 4. Houston evens up Series, 8-1. Chapman AL reliever of the Year.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Houston has flipped the script. They came into Washington down 0-2 in the World Series, but have evened the Series up at two games apiece, and have Gerrit Cole  and Justin Verlander set up for Games 5 and 6.

Washington comes back with Scherzer and Strasburg.

Five Astros had two or more hits, including Alex Bregman, who had three, including a grand slam, for 5 RBI. Robinson Chirinos homered for the second straight game. Michael Brantley had 3 hits, and of course, Jose Altuve had two.

Anthony Rendon had two of Washington’s four hits.


Aroldis Chapman was named the AL’s Reliever of the Year—the Mariano RIvera Award—for 2019.

Milwaukee’s Josh Hader won the NL version of the award—the Trevor Hoffman Award.


The Surprise Saguaros lost the Arizona Fall League title to Salt River, 5-1, Saturday night. Surpirse was the team Yankees’ prospects played for in the one-month long Arizona Fall League.


Mickey Callaway, just fired as Mets’ manager, goes to the Angels to serve as Joe Maddon’s pitching coach.


Former MLB umpire Chuck Meriwether died of cancer, age 63.

WS Game 2. Washington going home with 2-0 Series lead. Cubs choose Ross as mgr.

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The Washington Nationals, the biggest WS underdog since the 2007 Colorado Rockies (who got swept by Boston) are heading home after whipping Houston 12-3 in Game 2 last night.

In winning both games at Houston, Washington beat Gerrit Cole AND Justin Verlander. Verlander has now started six WS games in his career, and is 0-5.

Stephen Strasburg gave up a 2-run HR to Alex Bregman in the first inning, but nothing after that as he pitched six innings for the win.

Five different Nationals had two hits, as they banged out 14, including 3 HR.


The Cubs apparently have chosen ESPN broadcaster David Ross as their new manager, replacing Joe Maddon who has moved on to the Angels. Remember the surprise when the Yankees chose Aaron Boone two years ago? And Eduardo Perez (Tony’s son), an ESPN broadcaster, is still in the mix for some open managerial jobs, too.


The Arizona Fall League ends tomorrow, Friday. The Surprise Saguaros, which has some Yankees’ prospects, are 16-11, have clinched their division and will be playing in the Championship game on Saturday.  Stats for those prospects.

1B Brandon Wagner .212-2-21  19 games
C Donny Sands .188-1-7  14 games
CF Josh Stowers .121-1-3   19 games.
P Aaron McGarity 1-0, 0.87 9 games, 10 1/3 IP  14 K
P Glenn Otto  2-1, 1.35  5 starts, 20 IP,  20 K
P Daniel Bies 0-1, 4.50 10 IP, 14 K

 

 

ALCS Game 5. ALIVE! Yanks force a Game 6 behind Paxton gem.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the game, it was announced that (surprise!) Giancarlo Stanton was good enough to play, and he replaced Edwin Encarnacion in the lineup as the DH. Didn’t make any difference, though.

CC was taken off the roster, and his career is officially over. Ben Heller replaced him.

The Yanks only got five hits in the game, but four came in the first inning, two of them homers, and it was enough was James Paxton threw a gem and the Yanks forced a Game 6 tonight in Houston with a 4-1 victory.

The top of the first was sloppy. An infield single that looked as if it should have been fielded by Paxton. A PB to move the runner up. A groundout to move him to third. A walk, a WP that allowed the runner to score and move the other to second. With Justin Verlander pitching for Houston, you wondered if one or two runs would be enough for him to close out the series.

Two lineouts to the outfield ended the inning.

D.J. LeMahieu tied up the game right away by hitting Verlander’s second pitch of the game for a HR. Aaron Judge walked and Gleyber Torres doubled Judge to third. Stanton struck out, and the fear was that the Yanks were on their way to wasting a big chance.

But Aaron Hicks lined one off of the right field foul pole for a three-run HR and the Yanks were up 4-1.

Both starters settled down after that, but because of Hicks’ shot, the Yanks had the upper hand.

With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Robinson Chirinos hit one deep to left that, for a moment, looked like it would cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-3. But just like with Didi Gregorius’ drive for the Yankees the other night, it died just short of the fence.

Tommy Kahnle got into a little trouble in the top of the seventh, but Zack Britton cleaned up the mess and he and Aroldis Chapman closed it out.

No starters have been announced for Game 6 yet, as it appears both teams will be using “openers” in a battle of the bullpens. It appears as if Chad Green may start, but after him (only one inning?) the Yanks may turn to the likes of Happ, Cessa, Loaisiga, even Heller to piece it to Britton and Chapman. Both teams would be holding back their aces for a potential Game 7—Gerrit Cole for Houston, Luis Severino for the Yankees.

Gary Sanchez may want to get away from the Bronx cheers. Sanchez, slumping badly,  was 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. He is 2 for 20 with 11 strikeouts in the series.

LeMahieu HR
Hicks 3-run HR

Paxton (WIN) 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 4 W, 9 K.
Kahnle (HOLD) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Britton (HOLD) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Chapman (SAVE) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

So each team has won a blowout, each team has won a 4-1 game. That 3-2, 11 inning loss by the Yanks to Houston in Game 2 is the one thing separating the two teams right now.   The Yanks have scored 17 runs in the five games and are hitting .199. Houston has scored 16 runs and is hitting .178.

Just a thought. With Houston not having any lefties at all on their staff for this round, maybe the Yanks should have or could have found a way to get Mike Ford on the roster? I understand, you weren’t taking him over Edwin Encarnacion, but Edwin’s 1 for 15 with 8 strikeouts in the series. As they say, hindsight is always 100%.

 

 

ALCS Game 4. Yanks pushed to the brink after 8-3 loss. CC ends career by getting hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It can’t be looking worse. An 8-3 loss to the Astros puts the Yanks down three games to one in the ALCS, and the Yanks are looking at Justin Verlander tonight, and if the series continues, Gerrit Cole later, and the Astros can afford to save Cole for a possible Game 7.

Besides giving up the eight runs, the Yanks’ bats were quiet for the most part again, as they blew a couple of chances. Twice they loaded the bases, only to come away with one run total.

In the bottom of the first, D.J. LeMahieu walked, was forced at second by Aaron Judge, but then Aaron Hicks blooped a single and after Gleyber Torres popped out, and a double steal was executed, both Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Gardner walked, Gardner’s walk forcing in a run. But the struggling Gary Sanchez struck out.

The Yanks really could have dropped the hammer there. They let the Astros off the hook.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR to George Springer in the third inning, giving the Astros a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The fifth inning was a killer, as the Yanks loaded the bases with one out. You thought here’s where they get back in the game, but Gleyber Torres and the slumping Edwin Encarnacion both struck out.  Torres has carried the team, but this was one occasion where he couldn’t do it.

Things unraveled in the sixth. Normally sure-handed Gold Glover D.J. LeMahieu made an error, the first of four (2 by LeMahieu, 2 by Torres) by the Yanks on the night. That ended Tanaka’s night and brought in Chad Green. An out later, a single, then a 3-run HR by Carlos Correa made it 6-1 Houston and the game, for all intensive purposes, was over.

Gary Sanchez finally woke up, hitting a 2-run HR in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 6-3. LeMahieu later doubled with two out, but Aaron Judge struck out to end the inning, so the Yanks could not get closer.

I’ve disagreed with Boone’s decisions to keep going back to the struggling Sanchez and also Adam Ottavino. As Joe Torre said, he was advised by Don Zimmer that you can’t have patience in the offseason. Time is too short. Boone, in this series, basically has chosen to sink or swim with those guys (Encarnacion, too, and I’ll get to that in a bit) and it looks like the answer is sink. Ottavino came in for the eighth, and gave up a double right away. Then things got sloppy. LeMahieu, so good with the glove, made his second error of the game to put runners on first and third with one out. In came CC.

Torres then made an error, making it 7-3. A lineout and HBP loaded the bases. CC got another lineout, runners holding, but then had to leave the game with a sore shoulder. Even if the Yanks can come back in this series, win it, and go to the World Series, CC’s career is over. He’ll be replaced on the roster, perhaps by Stephen Tarpley or Jordan Montgomery. Jonathan Loaisiga got a strikeout to get out of the inning.

More sloppiness in the ninth. Torres made his second error of the night, a 2-base error, then a WP and a single made it 8-3 Astros. There was another WP and a walk, but no further damage.

The “savages” have turned tame. The Yanks only had five hits in the game.

The Yanks (.204) are actually out-hitting Houston (.182) in the series, but Houston is getting key hits and the Yanks are not.

Correa is 3 for 17 with 7 strikeouts, but had the GW HR in Game 2 and a 3-run shot last nght. Springer is just 2 for 17 with seven strikeouts but both are homers, the game-tying HR in Game 2 and a 3-run HR last night.

Meanwhile the Yanks were 0 for 7 w/RISP last night.

The late Bill Gallo of the NY Daily News used to draw cartoons, and in big series like this, had the hero with a halo over his head, and the goat with the goat horns.

Encarnacion, 1 for 15 in this series. It could be his last games as a Yankee, as I expect the Yanks not to p/u the $20MM option but buy him out at $5MM instead.

Brett Gardner is 2 for 15. Didi Gregorius 2 for 16. Gary Sanchez 2 for 17. Gio Urshela 2 for 15.

If Stanton can’t play, and he hasn’t, then I do have to question the Yanks’ decision to keep him on the roster and not replace him. If, as Boone states, he can PH, then why can’t he DH instead of the slumping Encarnacion? If he can’t do that, then why is he on the roster? Replacing Stanton with say, Luke Voit or Mike Ford would enable the Yanks to bench the slumping Encarnacion, and get someone off the roster who can’t play anyway.

Also, the decision to stick with Sanchez and not give Romine a game (he couldn’t be worse than Sanchez’ 2 for 17) may come back to haunt them.

There are some decisions made in this series, like the ones I mentioned above and in the last few days) (Stanton/Encarnacion/Ottavino/Sanchez) that it appears the Yanks will rue all offseason.

One thing also appears evident. The Yanks starters are decent, but not elite. That’s the difference between them and say, Houston or Washington.

As good of a bullpen as the Yanks have, consider this. Your best pitchers generally either start or are your closer. The last pitchers on your team are generally the middle relief guys. John Smoltz made a good point in the telecast. You really would like to have your starter go a long way and just hand the ball to the closer. No middleman. Maybe one. But not a bunch of them. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Of all the teams in the playoffs, Washington is in the WS, and had two guys with 200 IP this year. Houston has three starters who went 200 IP or more.

The Yanks haven’t had a starter give 200 IP in a season since 2013 (CC, who had a bad year that year with a 4.78 ERA, and Kuroda, who pitched well that year but had tough luck and no run support).

The Yanks need their starters to give more length, and especially in the postseason. They could really use an ace. An “A” pitcher to go along with a lot of “B” starters they currently have. That would help put them over the top instead of doing what they have the past few years—win 100 or more but come up short to a team that won 106 or more.

Of course, Domingo German, and what he did, didn’t help the Yanks, but that’s another story.

More clutch hitting would also help. The Yanks had 5 hits, and 7 walks, but …  the Yanks struck out 13x.

LeMahieu 2 hits (of the Yanks’ 5). Of course. But uncharacteristically, 2 errors.
Torres 0 for 5, 2 strikeouts, 2 errors. After carrying them so far, a bad game.

Tanaka (LOSS) 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 W, 0 K. Once again, couldn’t get an out. An error hurt.
Sabathia 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP.  Last outing of his career.
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lyons 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

The Yanks aren’t done, but they are close, unfortunately. If they can come back from 3-1 down, and in doing so, beat Verlander and Cole, it’ll be one of the great comebacks ever, and maybe it will wash away some of that bad taste still left from 2004.



Passings: One -time Yankee (briefly, 20 games) Bobby Del Greco. 86. OF. Pittsburgh (1952, 1956), Cardinals (1956), Cubs 1957,  Yankees 1957-1958, Phillies 1960-1961, KC A’s 1961-1963 and Phillies again 1965. Hit .229, 42 career HR, OPS+ 85. 162 game average .229-9-37.

Jackie Hernandez, 79. Platooned at SS for the 1971 WS Champion Pirates. Angels 1965-1966. Twins 1967-1968. KC Royals 1969-1970. Pittsburgh Pirates 1971-1973. Hit .206-3-26 for 1971 Pirates (WS Champs), and .188-1-14 for 1972 Pirates (NL East champs). 162 game average .208=3-32, OPS+ 49. 7 for 31, 2 RBI in 11 postseason games.

 

 

 

 

ALCS Game 4 postponed. Does it help or hurt Yanks?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Game 4 of the ALCS was postponed due to rain Wednesday night and rescheduled for Thursday night.

The schedule now is

Game 4            8 PM Thursday
Game 5            7 PM  Friday
Game 6            8 PM Saturday if needed
Game 7            7:30 PM Sunday if needed.

The Yanks will now go with Tanaka in 4, Paxton in 5. Houston also bumped up their starters to Greinke in 4, Verlander in 5.

Down 2 games to 1, Game 4 is a must win for the Yanks. They don’t want to be down 3-1 and then have Verlander staring them down in Game 5.

Will the rainout help or hurt? Some guys slumping, like Sanchez and Encarnacion, may benefit from the day off to clear their heads. Maybe, maybe not.

Sometimes a rainout turns a series around. Consider the 1951 WS for example. The NY Giants, fresh off the “shot heard ’round the world” by Bobby Thomson to win the NL pennant, took a 2 games to 1 lead over the Yankees, then a rainout reset the Yanks, who then won the next three games.

So you never know. Sometimes a rainout is what a team needs, sometimes not.

There is a good post on MLB.com asking why if he can’t start, is Stanton still on the roster and why haven’t the Yanks replaced him. Check it out. One reason is if they replace him, he won’t be eligible for the WS then. But the heck with that. In order to get to the WS, you have to worry about winning THIS round first.


Joe Maddon, who took Tampa Bay to a WS and who won the WS with the Cubs three years ago, now tries his hand with the Angels, who hired him as manager today.