Tag Archives: Walker

When will free agents sign?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We are about two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and there are still a lot of free agents still unsigned, including four major ones in Harper, Machado, Kimbrel,  and Keuchel. There are others.

When will they finally sign?

Freddy Galvis signed a 1 yr, $4MM deal with Toronto.

Ex-Yankee Neil Walker went to the Marlins, 1 yr, $2MM.

The Red Sox signed Jennry Mejia to a minor league deal, even though he has been suspended 3x for PEDs. He last pitched in the majors in 2015.

Shawn Kelley to Texas 1 yr, $2.5 MM, option for a 2nd yr.

 

 

HOF ballots announced tomorrow.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Just a reminder. The new HOF class selected by the writers will be announced tomorrow night at 6 PM.

 

 We know Mo is a certainty, Fingers crossed for Mussina, and also for Pettitte to stay on the ballot.

With 52.7% of the vote known (you need 75.0 or better to get in, and need 5% to stay on the ballot)

Mo 100%
Halladay 92.6%
Edgar Martinez 90.8%
Mussina 81.6%

Clemens 71%
Schilling and Bonds 70.5%
Walker 65.4$

Pettitte 6.9%

 

UPDATE: Wow. Just found out Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy only voted for ONE person.   Mo.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Apologies to the late Tom Petty for the headline. And yes, I know I haven’t written anything in ten days or so.

But nothing has been going on, what with the holidays and all.

And I don’t want to deal or write about rumors. Where someone is going, how much $, how many years —- I want to deal with the facts and then give my opinion.

Just writing about rumors and something that may not happen is fruitless.

Some free agents did sign recently—-no, not Machado (we are still waiting on that) or Harper.

From Twitter, a great example of how Yankees’ fans are feeling right now:

But Japan’s LHP Yusei Kikuchi signed with Seattle on a 4-yr. deal. DH/OF Nelson Cruz to the Twins on a 1-yr. $14.3 MM deal.

There is a HOF tracker that has 1/3 of the votes counted. You need 75% of the writer’s vote to get in. Not 74.8 (they don’t round up) but 75% or more. So far …

Rivera 100%, Halladay 94.9, Edgar Martinez 91.2, Mussina 83.2 and Clemens a nail-biter at 75.2.

Barry Bonds 74.5, Schilling 73, Larry Walker 65.7.

Andy Pettitte is only at 8%.

And oh yeah, Sonny Gray is still a Yankee. Not dealt yet.

Nothing on Ottavino, Robertson or Britton either.

More when things DO develop.

Game 4 ALDS. Yanks are eliminated, 4-3. Furious comeback comes up short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

They’ll talk about that 16-1 beating all winter. They will talk about Boone leaving Severino in for the fourth, about Lynn coming in instead of Green, I don’t know if any of it would have mattered, considering the score.

We’ll remember the two one-run losses even more. Win those, and the Yanks would still be playing, despite that beatdown.

The Yanks lost Game 4 of the ALDS to Boston Tuesday night, 4-3, and therefore lost the series 3 games to 1. The Red Sox advance to face Houston in the ALCS.

You now wonder which players will be back. CC, Gardner (0 for 8 in the ALDS), Robertson, Britton, Happ, Lynn, Walker, Hechevarria and McCutchen (2 for 15 in the ALDS) are all free agents or have options that may not be picked up.

A couple of key hits here or there, liners that found Boston gloves or that went foul while their balls blooped in. Shots that fell short of the fence while theirs barely cleared the wall, that we’ll remember.

Aaron Boone did shake up the lineup, hoping to get more lefty oomph in there. Gardner started in LF, Hicks in CF, Walker at 3B. McCutchen and Andujar sat.

CC got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but gave up 3 runs in the third. One of the hits a bleeder by Yankee-killer Steve Pearce. One RBI double appeared to be misplayed by Gardner, but to be fair, it was hit so hard it probably handcuffed him.

Boone’s bullpen management may be questioned a bit. It’s one thing that hopefully improves next year.

Zach Britton gave up a HR in the fourth to Christian Vazquez. 4-0 Boston. The HR just cleared the short porch.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the fifth when Sanchez doubled, Torres got an infield hit and Gardner a SF.

In the bottom of the ninth, Judge led off with a walk, Didi singled and after Stanton (4 for 18, 6 strikeouts in the ALDS) struck out, Voit walked. Walker was HBP to make it 4-2. Sanchez just missed a game-winning grand slam, getting under it and hitting it to the warning track for a SF, 4-3. But Torres barely missed beating out a dribbler and the game, series, and season were over.

Up until that ninth inning, the Yanks had only scored 2 runs in their previous 19 innings. That won’t get it done.

Just like in 2017, in those games in Houston that year, the Yanks couldn’t come up with the big hit when you needed it.

The homers are nice. That HR record is nice. But hitting with RISP, being able to get the bat on the ball, avoiding strikeouts, going the other way, situational hitting, those are things that need to be improved upon for the Yanks to advance to the next levels. Homers alone won’t do it. Also, baserunning. The Red Sox were 5 for 5 in stealing bases in the series, the Yanks didn’t even attempt one.

Starters who go deep would help too. The longest any Yankee starter pitched in this postseason was the five innings Tanaka went in getting the Game 2 win.

Hopefully for the youngsters, Torres and Andujar (1 for 9 in the series), this postseason was a learning experience. Same for veterans like Stanton, making his first postseason appearance. Learn from it.

The bullpen did a great job keeping the Yanks in the game and giving them a chance.

Gregorius 2 hits (out of the Yanks’ 5)

Sabathia (L) 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Britton 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3  K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

More post-mortem analysis to come in the coming weeks.

Game 158. Yanks’ comeback falls short. Lead over A’s 1 1/2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (97-61) opened and closed the game strong offensively, but didn’t do anything in between as a furious ninth inning comeback came up just short in a 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay Wednesday night.

The A’s won, so the Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to clinch home field for the wild card game next Wednesday remains at 2. The Yanks lead the A’s by 1 1/2 games.

Neil Walker hit his 11th HR of the season, a 3-run shot, to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.

But Masahiro Tanaka had nothing, giving 3 right back to the Rays in the bottom of the first.

In the third, Tanaka gave up a HR, 4-3 Rays. If this was an audition for starting the wild card game, Tanaka didn’t help himself.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the fifth with one out, but Giancarlo Stanton GIDP.

In the bottom of the eighth, David Robertson came in and had nothing, giving up 4 runs, and yes, Gary Sanchez committed another passed ball. 8-3 Rays.

The Yanks scored four in the top of the ninth. Sanchez walked and with one out, Brett Gardner singled. Andrew McCutchen singled to load the bases. Aaron Judge singled in a run. Luke Voit singled in two runs. Giancarlo Stanton singled in a run. But Tyler Wade flied out and Miguel Andujar popped up to end the game.

Injury report: Didi Gregorius has been cleared to play. He didn’t Wednesday, but the cortisone shot in the wrist is helping. Aaron Hicks didn’t play because of the turf and a tight hamstring. Gleyber Torres didn’t start (tight hip/groin) but did come into the game later.

McCutchen 2 hits
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Voit 3 hits, 2 RBI
Walker 3-run HR

Tanaka (L, 12-6, 3.75) 4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.88
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.53
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.49
Robertson 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.   3.26
Sheffield 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  0.00

Sheffield made a costly error on a pickoff attempt that enabled the final run to score.

Game 150. Walker saves Yanks with bat and glove in 3-2 win. Lead over A’s 2 1/2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Neil Walker hit a 3-run HR in the seventh and made two fine defensive plays in the ninth inning as the Yankees beat Boston 3-2 Tuesday night.

The game was supposed to be an afternoon game but rain pushed it into the evening.

Aaron Judge returned to the Yankees’ lineup for the first time since suffering a broken wrist. He went 0 for 4 but did hit the ball hard three times.

With the win, the Yanks kept Boston from clinching the AL East for at least one more day. With the A’s loss to the Angels, the Yanks lead over Oakland for the top wild card spot increased to 2 1/2 games. Win #92 (92-58) means that the Yanks have won more games in this year’s regular season than last year and is the most wins they have won in a season since 2012.

Magic numbers: 9 over Oakland for the top wild card seed (Yanks own the tiebreaker). 5 over Tampa Bay for the bottom wild card seed.

Boston scored an unearned run in the third as Gary Sanchez is starting to earn the boos of the Yankee faithful. A single, a balk by Yankees’ starter J.A. Happ and a walk put men on first and second for Boston with no out. Then, as we’ve seen far too often the past two years, a PB by Sanchez which moved the runners up. Thankfully, Boston only got one run out of it on a SF.

Between the passed balls, and the .187 batting average this year, the fans’ patience with Sanchez is running out.

The Yanks, who got only 3 hits all game, got all their runs in the seventh. Hicks walked, stole second, and with one out, Sanchez walked. Walker hit his 10th HR of the season to put the Yanks’ up 3-1. Walker became the eleventh Yankee to hit double digits for the season, and that tied a MLB record. If Luke Voit can get hot and hit 3 more this year, the Yanks could set a record.

Both of Boston’s runs in the game were unearned as the Yanks literally almost threw the game away in the ninth. Zach Britton got a strikeout for the first out, but it was one where Sanchez had to throw out the runner at first. Walker made a nice stretch to keep his foot on the bag.

Then came a walk. On a grounder to third, Hechevarria, in for defensive purposes, made a throw behind Gleyber Torres that Torres couldn’t catch, and Torres was charged with an error. Instead of a game-ending DP, now it was first and third, one out.

The next hitter hit one back to Britton, who also should have started a game-ending DP, but Britton threw the ball away, and Boston cut the lead to 3-2, with runners at 1st and 2nd, still one out.

Finally, the next hitter hit another one back to Britton, who started a 1-4-3 DP, but even on this one, Walker had to make a nice scoop of Torres’ throw to get that final out and save the game.

J.A. Happ, on pace to start the wild card game, pitched great.

Happ 6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 6 K.  3.62 (Tor/NYY)
Green (W, 8-2, 2.42) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Robertson (H, 19) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K   2.85
Britton (S, 6) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  3.41 (Balt/NYY)

Something I should have mentioned a week or so ago. CC Sabathia is the Yankees’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente award for public service.

Game 143. Yanks go 2 for 15 w/RISP, lose, 3-2, see WC lead shrink to 2 1/2 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (89-54) are hearing footsteps.

By losing to Seattle, 3-2 today, the Yanks lead over Oakland for the top wild card spot shrunk to 2 1/2 games.

Time to get nervous, Yankees fans.

What killed the Yanks today was that they were 2 for 15 w/RISP.

This team doesn’t bunt, as I mentioned at our recent Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club Meeting. 10 sacrifices all year. I mentioned that in the old days, Phil Rizzuto would have had that many at the All-Star break.  (Rizzuto led the majors 1949-1952).

In 1930, Babe Ruth (BABE RUTH!) had 21 sacrifice bunts. Lou Gehrig had at least 10 each season from 1925-1930, including 21 for the great 1927 squad. Joe DiMaggio had 6 in 1939.

As recently as 2004, Derek Jeter had 16. That is 6 more than the WHOLE YANKEES TEAM has this season.

The game has changed, and not for the better. Instead of a well-rounded team, you have teams that rely strictly on the HR, don’t hit-and-run, can’t steal bases and don’t bunt runners over. Sound familiar?

MeanwAnhile, Seattle won the game because they DID bunt a runner over.

The Yanks scored in the top of the first when Stanton and Andujar had back-to-back doubles.

But after getting the first two guys out in the bottom of the first, CC gave up four straight singles. Two runs. Seattle up 2-1.

Now, for a rookie manager, I think Boone has done a good job. How can you argue with 89-54? But….

I realize he was hired to project more calm as opposed to Girardi’s tenseness. But still, there are times when you have to light a fire under the team and bitch them out if necessary.

Girardi’s strength was bullpen management. Some of Boone’s bullpen decisions I question.

But I think the most questions I have regarding Boone is his lineups. Nothing consistent, and the biggest problem I have is this:

Why does he continue to bat Gary Sanchez 4th (as he did today) or 5th in the lineup? Sanchez is now hitting .181 on the season. What other manager bats a guy hitting .180 something 4th or 5th in the lineup? When will Boone ride the hot hand and have Voit cleanup, Torres 5th and have Sanchez and Walker 6th or 7th, instead of Sanchez 4th and Walker 5th?

Here are the numbers and today’s lineup. Batting averages as of the game’s finish.

4th. Sanchez .181 (PR for by Wade later, Romine finishing the game).
5th. Walker .221
6th. Voit .306
7th. Torres .280

Now, based on that, who should be batting 4 and 5, and who should be hitting 6 and 7?

Really?

Three singles and a bases-loaded walk to McCutchen tied the game in the fourth. But they had the bases loaded, no out and only scored that one run. No bunt by Hechevarria or Gardner with the bases loaded, and Stanton grounded out.

Voit doubled to lead off the sixth. He was left stranded. Torres nor Hechevarria with a bunt.

In the bottom of the eighth, a walk, steal, sac bunt and fielder’s choice brought in the winning run for Seattle.

Littleball, which the Yanks need to employ.

You can’t just rely on the HR. They didn’t get any today, and lost 3-2 as a result.

Andujar 2 hits, RBI
Voit 2 hits (once again, why him 6th, and .181 Sanchez 4th?)

Sabathia 5 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 W, 4 K.  3.54
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  2.54
Betances (L, 4-5, 2.56) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.