Tag Archives: Verlander

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.

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ALCS Game 2. Houston evens up the series with a walkoff HR in the 11th, wins 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Justin Verlander was as tough as we thought he’d be. But the Yanks still had a chance to go up 2-0 in the series. Instead, they lost to Houston 3-2 in 11 innings and head home with the ALCS tied at a game apiece.

The problem is, certain guys not having good postseasons so far continued not to produce, and that hurt the Yanks in Game 2. See below.

James Paxton didn’t last long, giving up a run in the second, and getting knocked out in the third inning.

Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR in the fourth for the Yanks’ only two runs of the game.

Chad Green did a great job in relief of Paxton, but Adam Ottavino, in relief of Green, gave up a HR on his very first pitch in the bottom of the fifth and the game was tied at two.

In the bottom of the eleventh, J.A. Happ gave up a HR to Carlos Correa on his first pitch of the inning, and the game was over. A tough, extra-inning loss, where a win would have put Houston’s backs against the wall what with the next three games in the Bronx.

Before the game, it was announced that Giancarlo Stanton had a quad strain, is day to day and was out of the Game 2 lineup. Cameron Maybin, who had a hit and a walk, replaced him. Aaron Hicks replaced Maybin later in the game.

Ottavino hasn’t had a good postseason so far. In 2 1/3 IP, he’s only given up 1 R, but on 5 H, 2 walks.

Gary Sanchez is 2 for 17 this postseason.

Edwin Encarnacion had a decent series against the Twins, but is 0 for 8 with 6 strikeouts against Houston.

Hopefully the off-day today (The NLCS will play Game 3 tonight) will give those players time to regroup and get right.

Game 3 features Severino vs. Cole. With tight games like this, not only do you need great pitching, which the Yanks so far have gotten for the most part (3 runs given up in 19+ innings) but you also have to play littleball, knowing you probably aren’t going to score many runs off of Houston.

Judge 2-run HR
Encarnacion 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts.
Sanchez 0 for 5, 3 strikeouts.
Paxton 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 W, 3 K.
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Ottavino (BS) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Sabathia 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Loaisiga 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K.
Happ (LOSS) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up walkoff HR.

Hard-fought game. Tough loss.

To get to the WS, the Yanks have to beat Verlander and Cole. They had a chance last night to win a game Verlander started. They didn’t do it, although they came close. That hurts.

Now to try to get one against Cole.

ALCS Roster set, and pre-series thoughts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees have finalized their ALCS roster. Coming on are CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks and coming off are Luke Voit and Tyler Wade.

The Yanks are going with 13 pitchers.

I think that they are going with the pitching (13) and defense, and expect low scoring games against Houston’s staff. If so, Gardner LF, Hicks CF, Stanton DH, Encarnacion 1b with DJ at 3b, and if they have a late inning lead, then DJ goes to 1b and Gio goes in at 3b. Either that or keep it as it was, but Maybin/Hicks d for Stanton late in game. But I would go with the first scenario. Dh Stanton. Have good D all around (save for maybe Edwin at 1B) then sub out Edwin later.

So my lineup would be:

DJ 3B
Judge RF
Gardner LF
Encarnacion 1B
Stanton DH
Torres 2B
Sanchez C
Gregorius SS
Hicks CF

Hicks hasn’t played since August 3. It may be a case of whatever he gives you offensively you take, but just cover the ground and play good defense. I also like him ninth because of his speed. He can steal, you can hit and run with him with DJ, there are nice options there.

The Astros front three of Greinke, Verlander and Cole seems to be better than the Yanks, but I wonder about something this time of year. They have been better than Tanaka, Paxton and Severino but will all those extra innings they pitched this year so far be to their detriment? Are the Yanks arms fresher (in the case of Severino, who missed most of this season, most definitely so)?

The IP this year (rounded to nearest out):

Greinke 209
Verlander 223
Cole 212

Tanaka 182
Paxton 151
Severino 12.

Who knows if those extra innings take a toll? I hope so.

Hopefully Stanton and Sanchez step up and have a good series, and key for the Yanks could be how Green and Ottavino do.

Since Hicks is coming off the IL, David Hale was DFA’d.

Starters set for first 3 games of ALCS. Times set for all.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The starters have been set for the first three games of the ALCS.

Game 1 Tanaka NY/ Greinke Hou
Game 2 Paxton NY/ Verlander Hou
Game 3 Severino NY/ Cole Hou

Games 1 and 2 are Saturday and Sunday at 8:08 in Houston. Fox Game 1 , FS1 Game 2

Game 3 in Ny at 4:08 Tuesday (rats, I work until 6 and will miss most of it).  FS1

Game 4 in NY at 808 Wednesday FS1

Game 5 in NY at 808 Thursday (if necessary) FS1

Game 6 in Hou at 408 Saturday if NLCS alive, 808 if NLCS over FS1 (if necessary)

Game 7 in Hou at 738 Sunday  FS1

All times Eastern.

 

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.

ALDS Game 2: Yanks up 2-0 after Didi slams, Tanaka tames Twins, 8-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One thing about the postseason. A player can be struggling at the end of the regular season, then one postseason at bat can make him a hero.

Such is the case with Didi Gregorius in Game 2 of the ALDS. Didi, who was struggling badly at the end of the regular season, and also in Game 1, hit a grand slam that broke Game 2 open, and the Yanks beat the Twins 8-2 to take a two games to none lead into Minnesota on Monday for Game 3 of the best-of-five series.

Masahiro Tanaka continued to be a postseason force, improving his record to 4-2, 1.54 in the postseason. The YES network showed a graph of people with postseason ERAs under Tanaka’s (minimum five starts). That list was headed by Sandy Koufax, Christy Mathewson and Eddie Plank (although the YES network screwed up. The picture shown was of Lefty Grove, not Eddie Plank). Wild Bill Hallahan was in there too. Koufax, Mathewson and Plank are all hall-of-famers.

The Twins made a curious decision, starting a rookie, Randy Dobnak, making only his SIXTH start in the majors, and who had only 28 1/3 innings of major league experience. This, in Game 2 of the ALDS, in a game you NEED to win to avoid going down 0-2 in a best of five series. Strange decision indeed.

Not only that, the kid got married last Saturday. So his focus lately hasn’t been 100% on baseball.

Tanaka got out of a jam in first, being the back end of a nifty 3-6-1 DP to end the inning. Tanaka helps himself out when he pitches by holding runners on well and also by fielding his position well. Here his fielding helped him out.

The Yanks got to Dobnak early, scoring one run in the first. D.J. LeMahieu led off with a double and Aaron Judge walked. A flyout by Brett Gardner moved D.J. to third. Edwin Encarnacion, looking hot and nothing like a guy just off the IL, singled to make it 1-0 Yanks.

Then came the third inning. The Yankees tied their postseason record by scoring seven runs in the inning.

Judge led off with a single and Gardner walked. Encarnacion singled to load the bases and Giancarlo Stanton hit a SF to make it 2-0. Gleyber Torres singled in a run, 3-0. Gary Sanchez was HBP to reload the bases and then Didi hit his grand slam. 7-0. After Gio Urshela struck out, D.J. walked and Judge singled. Gardner singled to make it 8-0, and the game was basically over.

Tanaka did give up a run in the fourth, and the Twins also got a run off of Jonathan Loaisiga in the ninth.

Judge 2 hits, 2 walks
Encarnacion 2 hits, RBI
Gregorius 2 hits, 4 RBI. Grand slam. (1st by Yankee in postseason since Robbie Cano 2011)
Urshela 2 hits.

 

Tanaka (WINNER) 5 IP,  1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K.  Brilliant.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Lyons 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts. Meanwhile, besides getting 11 hits, the Yankees drew 8 walks.

 


No offense to other good teams in the AL, like Oakland, Tampa Bay and Cleveland (who didn’t make the playoffs despite winning over 90 games) or the Twins, but for months it has appeared that, unless there is an upset, that the ALCS would be the Yankees vs. the Astros.

That possibility became even more of a certainty Saturday night when Houston beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to go up two games to none in their series. Gerrit Cole struck out 15 in 7 2/3 innings. The only pitchers to strike out more in a postseason game were Bob Gibson and Kevin Brown (yeah, I still wretch when I think of Kevin Brown). Houston pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts and Alex Bregman hit a HR.

Cole is a free agent after the season. The Yanks drafted him in 2008 but he went to college instead. The Yanks tried to trade for him but wouldn’t give up Miguel Andujar in the deal.  So the interest is clearly there. Cole went 20-5, 2.50 with 326 K this season. He led the AL in ERA and the majors in strikeouts. You can guess how much I want Hal Steinbrenner to break open the piggy bank and sign Cole (who, obviously, won’t come cheap) in this upcoming offseason. Not only to help the Yanks but to hurt Houston.

Can you imagine a rotation of Cole, Severino, Tanaka, Paxton and Happ (sorry to the youngsters).

Cole is 29. A three-time All-Star who will get CYA consideration for the third time this offseason (and who may win it, unless he loses to teammate Justin Verlander). His 162 g. average is 17-7, 3.22, ERA+ 127.

Look at that rotation again. You can buy Happ out after 2020 and maybe a youngster like Deivi Garcia is ready in 2021 (and I didn’t even mention Jordan Montgomery).

8 years, $250 million?

It isn’t my money, obviously. But I can dream about spending Hal’s, can’t I?

ALDS Game 1: Torres and DJ lead Yanks to 10-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In setting the roster for the Division Series, the Yanks went with Luke Voit over Mike Ford. Making the bullpen were Tyler Lyons, Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loaisiga.

The 25-man roster is:

C: Sanchez and Romine
IF/OF Wade
IF Voit, Encarnacion (who’ll DH), LeMahieu, Torres, Didi, Urshela
OF Stanton, Maybin, Gardner, Judge

P Paxton, Tanaka, Severino, Happ, Loaisiga, Cessa, Lyons, Kahnle, Green, Ottavino, Britton, Chapman.

The Yanks took Game 1 of the ALDS 10-4. Paxton had his usual first inning troubles, as even though he struck out the side, he gave up a solo HR. Twins up 1-0 already.

He gave up another HR in the top of the third. 2-0 Twins.

The Yanks came back with three in the bottom of the third. D.J. LeMahieu, who made an uncharacteristic error in the second inning (it didn’t come back to bite them) singled. Aaron Judge singled D.J. to second. After Gardner lined out to advance D.J., Edwin Encarnacion doubled to make it 2-1. Giancarlo Stanton walked to load the bases. Gleyber Torres bounced into a force out, but two runs scored on the fielding error when the Twins tried to turn the DP. 3-2 Yanks.

Paxton gave up a run in the top of the fifth, and was pulled from the game. He was OK, nothing special. Ottavino faced one man and walked him. Kahnle got the last out.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Yanks took the lead for good. Aaron Judge walked and Brett Gardner was HBP. After Encarnacion struck out, Stanton walked to load the bases. Torres hit a double to make it 5-3.

Kahnle gave up a HR in the top of the sixth that cut it to 5-4, Yankees. He walked the next guy but then Chad Green came in to get out of the inning.

The Yankees built a cushion in the bottom of the sixth when both LeMahieu and Gardner hit solo HR. 7-4.

They put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Stanton walked and was PR for by Cameron Maybin, who stole second. Expect to see that—Maybin for defensive purposes for Stanton late in games. Torres walked, and after Sanchez struck out, Maybin and Torres executed a double steal. Didi walked to load the bases. Urshela flied out, not deep enough to advance anyone, but then LeMahieu doubled, clearing the bases and making it 10-4.

LeMahieu 3 hits, solo HR, 4 RBI
Judge 2 walks; 2 diving catches
Gardner solo HR
Encarnacion 2 hits, RBI
Stanton 3 walks
Torres 2 RBI

Sanchez and Gregorius didn’t look too good at the plate.

Paxton 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR
Ottavino 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Kahnle (Winner) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Green (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Britton (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Happ 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.

In the other division series:

Houston won Game 1 6-2 over Tampa Bay. Verlander 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 8 K. Jose Altuve HR.

Atlanta shut out St. Louis 3-0 to even that series at a game apiece. Mike Foltynewicz 7 shutout innings, Adam Duvall a PH 2-run HR.

Washington beat the L.A. Dodgers 4-2 to even that series at a game apiece. Stephen Strasburg (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 10 K) out dueled Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is a great pitcher, but his “kryptonite” is the postseason, where he has never dominated like he does in the regular season.

Notable Passing:

Tom Waddell, 60, went 15-11, 4.30 with 15 saves for the Indians from 1984-1985 and 1987.