|Credit: Frank Franklin II-Associated Press|
Yankees 16, Orioles 3…
Like Michael Pineda the day before, Luis Severino’s even better start was lost among the sea of Yankees hits and homers.
Last year, Severino was a failed 5th starter (0-8 when he started games with an 8.50 ERA). This year, he’s playing like the ace (which is more pronounced since the so-called “ace” is now performing like a failed 5th starter). Credit Severino for keeping his focus this game. It would have been so easy to let up on the accelerator in a game that was 9-0 before many people had even found their seats. He had a one-hitter going until Chris Davis tagged him for a homer in the 7th. Sevvy (5-2) finished seven innings strong with two hits, one run, two walks, and eight strikeouts. He lowered his team-leading ERA (for starting pitchers) to 2.75. Severino continues to come up big for the Yankees and he is as responsible as anyone for the team’s placement atop the AL East.
Now let’s set the pitching aside. This was a monster game by the Yankee bats. Aaron Judge owns the Statcast Leaderboard, and his first inning home run off Baltimore Orioles’ starter Chris Tillman topped his previous efforts in exit velocity at 121.1 mph. The hit also ranked as a Statcast-era record. The homer was Judge’s league-leading 19th of the season. I sure hope that Judge didn’t have any plans for the All-Star Game break because travel plans are already underway for his trip to Miami.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-Associated Press|
Tillman had retired the first two Yankees to start the game, but after Judge’s homer, Matt Holliday doubled. Starlin Castro followed with a double, Holliday to third. Gary Sanchez then singled both Holliday and Castro home. Didi Gregorius stepped up and hit the second home run of the night to put the Yankees up 5-0. They weren’t quite finished yet. The useless Chase Headley walked. A wild pitch by Tillman moved Headley into scoring position, and Chris Carter promptly singled to score Headley. 6-0, Yankees. In an interesting note, Brett Gardner represented the first and third outs of the first inning.
I was fearful that the long inning would adversely impact Severino but those fears were unfounded. Three up, three down, and it was time for the Yankees fireworks again. After Aaron Hicks grounded out, both Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday walked. Starlin Castro didn’t waste the opportunity, as he blasted a three-run homer to left center to increase the lead to 9-0, finishing loser Chris Tillman’s night. If you have Chris Tillman on your fantasy team, please accept my condolences.
|Credit: Jim McIsaac-Getty Images|
In the 4th inning, Aaron Hicks walked and Aaron Judge singled to put runners at the corners. That brought Bald Brother Matt Holliday to the plate. Trailing fellow Bald Brother Brett Gardner by one home run, Holliday tied the count at 13 homers with a shot to left-center. 12-0, Yankees.
Aaron Judge picked up two more RBI’s in the fifth with a double to left. 14-0, Yankees.
The Orioles scored their first run in the 7th with Chris Davis’ homer off Sevvy, and then added another in the 8th with a solo home run by Joey Rickard off reliever Giovanny Gallegos. Leading 14-2, Ronald Torreyes was hit by a pitch from O’s reliever Mike Wright to open the bottom of the 8th. Gary Sanchez then connected with the fifth home run of the night to cap the Yankees’ scoring at 16.
The O’s added a final meaningless run in the 9th before Trey Mancini grounded out to end the game. By a score of 16-3, the Yankees captured the series with the O’s as they’ve won two heading into the third and final game of the series today. I always have concerns when the Yankees score more than 15 runs. I do not have the stats to back up this statement, but it always feels like the Yankees struggle scoring runs the day after a huge blow-out. Hopefully that’s not the case today as the Yankees prepare to embark on a California road trip following the conclusion of the game.
The Yankees (36-23) maintained their three game lead over the Boston Red Sox. The Sox had an offensive show of their own, with an 11-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Of course, it didn’t help that they had Chris Sale on the mound. The O’s slipped to 5 1/2 games back. If the Tampa Bay Rays would have won (they didn’t), the O’s could have fallen into fourth place in the division. This was probably not one of Buck Showalter’s better experiences at Yankee Stadium.
Odds & Ends…
As expected, Chad Green will start today against the Orioles. Green will be the first time the Yankees have gone outside the original 5-man rotation that started the year. However, in a more surprising move, the Yankees designated former LOOGY Tommy Layne for assignment and called up promising rookie Domingo German. German, a starter for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, will provide long relief for Green should he encounter any bumps in the road.
|Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports|
I knew Layne’s days were numbered as he always seemed to be giving up runs with any appearances. He has not been the same pitcher for the Yankees as he was last year following his release by the Boston Red Sox. I have no problem with Chasen Shreve as the key lefty, but I’d be surprised if the Yankees weren’t looking for another lefty.
Greg Bird was 2-for-5 yesterday in the RailRiders’ 11-4 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He had two doubles and a RBI. Nice to see that he’s getting that extra base stroke back again. There is still no timetable for when Bird will rejoin the Yankees.
The current plan for Aroldis Chapman is to pitch on Tuesday for High-A Tampa and on Friday for AA-Trenton. If all goes well, we’ll see Chapman next Saturday in Oakland. Rajai Davis, look out, Chapman’s got your number.
Have a great Sunday! I am hoping for a sweep to wisk the Yankees away to Southern California…
|Credit: Mike Stobe-Getty Images|
Yankees 9, Red Sox 1…
Admittedly, I was glad that it was David Price on the mound Thursday and not Chris Sale. For an ace, I’ve never been worried when Price is pitching against the Yankees as they generally seem to come up big against him. Thursday was no exception.
|Credit: Mike Stobe-Getty Images|
As John Sterling says, “Gary is scary”. A night after Chris Carter almost hit two home runs, Gary accomplished the feat for his second multi-homer game in a week. They had meat in them as both occurred with runners on base (solo homers seem don’t carry the same bang for the buck in a statement of the obvious). Like Wednesday’s game, the Yankees scored first with Brett Gardner’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the 2nd. Then, like Chris Carter the day before, Gary Sanchez got a hold of David Price’s pitch with Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday on base and deposited it over the left-center wall to give the Yankees a nice cushion. Sanchez went deep again in the 5th, with a blast to center off Price, scoring Starlin Castro. Gary was 2-for-4 with 5 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.
Gary has hit Price well in his brief career. He is 4-for-7 with four home runs. As Gary starts to heat up, it is scary to think what the Yankees offense is capable of when it is hitting all cylinders. Even when they are not, it seems like someone is coming up big (unless your name is Chase Headley).
It was also an impressive night for Aaron Judge, even without any homers. He was 3-for-4, with two runs scored, pushing his season batting average to .330. His single in the sixth inning off Red Sox reliever Fernando Abad was the hardest hit ball of the year according to Statcast. With exit velocity of 119.8 mph, Judge pushed two of his own prior efforts to second and third on the Exit Velocity leaderboard.
|Credit: Randy Miller-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|
Brett Gardner took the lead in the Bald Brothers Battle with his 13th home run of the season, a fly to center in the 8th when the game was no longer in doubt. I was really hoping that Matt Holliday would be able to match Gardner two batters later, but he was hit by a pitch, taking the bat out of his hands prematurely.
I have to mention the great running catch by Ronald Torreyes in the 9th. As a defensive substitution for Didi Gregorius after Austin Romine had pinch hit for Didi, Torreyes ran toward the left field foul area after Xander Bogaerts hit a sharp fly. Sliding past the foul line, Torreyes made the catch to record the first out. Plays like this show the 2017 Yankees are a team that likes to have fun. You could see the appreciation from his teammates as Torreyes walked back on field.
Just when you thought Chris Carter was finally starting to hit, he was 0-for-4 as his batting average slipped below .200 again (.195). He was the only starter not to reach base through a hit or a walk. Chase Headley committed his 10th error of the season, matching his season total last year.
Lost among the stellar night by Sanchez was a tremendous start by Michael Pineda (7-3). After the disaster in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Pineda was on top of his game against the Sox. He held Red Sox batters to only four hits over seven innings, and only allowed one unearned run. He walked two and struck out eight in the dominating performance.
|Credit: Randy Miller-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|
The quartet of Pineda, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery have really been fun to watch with the most recent run through the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka, not so much…
As for the bullpen, I thought Adam Warren and Giovanny Gallegos did good jobs. Warren pitched a clean 8th inning, recording one strikeout. Gallegos came on in the 9th, and easily got the first two batters out. Manager Joe Girardi then made a pitching change to bring Dellin Betances into the game. Betances clearly had rust, having not pitched for about five days. He walked Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez subsequently took 2nd on defensive indifference. Dellin struck out the next batter, Jackie Bradley, Jr, but the ball got away from Gary Sanchez for a wild pitch, and JBJ made it safely to first with Ramirez taking third. Like Ramirez, JBJ then took 2nd on defensive indifference. Josh Rutledge followed with a walk to load the bases. I have to say that I was getting a bit concerned, even with a 9-1 lead. Fortunately, Dellin ended the game with the next batter, Pablo Sandoval, on a called third strike. For what should have been a short one-out stint, Betances ended up throwing 17 pitches. Hopefully, the work proves beneficial for the upcoming Baltimore series.
|Credit: Charles Wenzelberg|
Coming into the Boston series, the Red Sox could have taken the AL East lead with a sweep. But thanks to two Yankees victories following the opening game loss, New York (34-23) increased its lead to 3 games. The Baltimore Orioles lost to the Washington Nationals, 6-1, dropping 3 1/2 games back.
I never thought that we’d hold Boston to only one run in two games, but it’s been a very fun couple of nights. I am hoping for a similar result in the upcoming series against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
Odds & Ends…
Greg Bird should be back soon. He is saying that he is as close to 100% as he has been since spring training. On Thursday, he moved up from High-A Tampa to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on rehab assignment. He was 1-for-3 with a single and two walks in SWB’s 3-2 loss to Lehigh Valley. I liked his comments when asked how will he know when he’s ready: “Some magical sign. Lightning will strike my bat”. He was kidding, of course, but if he starts hitting like he did in Spring Training, it’s going to be a very fun summer.
Here are the pitching match-ups for the three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles that begins tonight.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (6-4, 2.93 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 3.67 ERA)
Orioles: Chris Tillman (1-3, 5.59 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (4-2, 2.90 ERA)
Orioles: Kevin Gausman (3-4, 5.86 ERA)
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka, Yikes! (5-6, 6.55 ERA)
Have a great Friday! As always, Go Yankees!
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 0…
The Yankees now have as many wins at Rogers Centre (two) as they had all of last year. They’ve also assured themselves that they’ll leave Toronto later today with no worse than a split of the four-game series and have the potential to take three of four.
There were questions about Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery coming into the game. Even Manager Joe Girardi was a bit testy before the game when the subject of hot prospect Chance Adams was raised. “Are you kidding me?”, Girardi said. “Chance Adams has one or two starts in Triple-A. That kid was like 16-5 last year between Double-A and Triple-A. He’s pitched really well here. Give Chance a chance to get ready. I like what he’s doing and he might pitch for us one day, but we’re not ready to start that.” Adams has actually had four starts at Triple-A and was 13-1 last year between High-A and Double A but that’s beside the point. The best answer to the Chance Adams question is to pitch like you belong in the Major Leagues.
Jordan Montgomery answered that question.
The tall lefty limited the Blue Jays to three hits over six innings. He did walk 3 batters but struck out 5 in lowering his season ERA to 3.67. It was a great performance by the 24-year-old and one that shows he wants to be part of the fun that is called the 2017 New York Yankees.
|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
The game was really a tale of two stories. The first half was a tight pitcher’s game as the Yankees were only able to score two unearned runs in the third through the game’s first six innings. In the third, with one out, Rob Refsnyder reached first base when Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki booted a ground ball twice for an E-6. Ref stole second (let’s see Chris Carter do that) to put himself in scoring position. After Brett Gardner flied out for the second out, the Aarons followed with doubles as Hicks scored Refsnyder and Judge scored Hicks. Those were the only Yankees hits until the seventh inning.
The Yankees finally scored an earned run off Blue Jays starter Joe Biagini in the seventh but it was a very good performance by Toronto’s 27-year-old right-hander. However, on this day, Montgomery was better.
With the pitching duel out of the way following the departures of both Montgomery and Biagini, the game turned into a Home Run Derby in the eighth inning for the Bombers. With reliever Jason Grilli, a former closer, on the mound, it was time for some fun. Brett Gardner opened the inning with his 12th homer of the year with a shot to right to put the Yankees up 4-0. After the Aarons contributed the first two outs of the inning, it was time for the show. First up, Matt Holliday. Obviously upset that his Bald Brother, Gardner, had taken the lead in their home run battle, evened the score with his 12th. “I gotcha Gardy!” I loved that line as Holliday returned to the dugout. The next batter, Starlin Castro, with the 9th pitch of the at-bat, just cleared the left field fence for his 9th home run of the season. That brought Didi Gregorius to the plate. With a shot to right, Didi completed the back-to-back-to-back homer barrage, ending Grilli’s day and capping the Yankees’ scoring. Man, I hated to see Grilli go…
|Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports, via Reuters|
Credit David Cone of the YES Network with the reference to Rodney Dangerfield in the movie Easy Money when talking about the Bald Brothers. “Why don’t you two put your heads together and make an @$$ out of yourselves.” The ending of the quote may not be appropriate for these two but it is a blast watching Holliday and Gardner match each other homer by homer.
It was an interesting stat that the Yankees won this game without hitting at least one single. All of the hits were either doubles or home runs.
Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances combined for three innings of hitless relief in support of Montgomery (3-4).
The Yankees (32-21) increased their AL East lead to three games as the Baltimore Orioles slipped back to third following their 5-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The O’s are 3 1/2 games back.
Odds & Ends…
I need to preface this by saying that I hope Jacoby Ellsbury is not seriously hurt and will not have long-term health implications. According to the Yankees, Ellsbury has suspended baseball activities and will see a neurologist in New York tomorrow due to continued headaches after his concussion. I was glad to hear that Aaron Hicks will continue as the starter in center field although I hate to take satisfaction at Ellsbury’s expense. Ellsbury aside, Hicks has proven he deserves to be a starter in the Major Leagues. The former top Twins prospect is having a career year and is such a part of the success so far this season.
There is not much to report from AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The RailRiders were two-hit in a shutout loss to the Toledo Mud Hens so it was an off-night for everybody.
Although the talk is that Gleyber Torres will be promoted to the Yankees later this summer if Chase Headley continues to scuffle, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting that New York is more likely to pursue a more proven veteran for the hot corner if the Yankees remain in the pennant chase.
Congratulations to Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels who hit his 600th home run in grand fashion…a grand slam off Ervin Santana of the Minnesota Twins.
|Credit: Mark J Terrill-Associated Press|
Also, a shout out to Miami Marlins starter Edinson Volquez. He threw the season’s first no-hitter yesterday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Miami. He accomplished the feat with just 98 pitches and he did it on a day when he paid tribute prior to the game to his good friend and former teammate, the late Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura. Yesterday would have been Ventura’s 26th birthday. After the game, Volquez dedicated the performance to late Miami ace Jose Fernandez and Ventura.
|Credit: Wilfredo Lee-Associated Press|
Have a great Sunday! Hopefully the Yankees can continue the winning feeling today to help make the flight back to New York a happy one.
|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
Yankees 12, Blue Jays 2…
Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
Forget the Toronto Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East. This is a dangerous club and one that was predicted to battle the Boston Red Sox for the division championship in most pre-season polls. They’re a good club and much better than their record might indicate. They’ve been very hot recently (winners of 8 of their prior 10 games) and previously injured stars Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzski have rejoined the team. So, it is that much sweeter to emerge from the first game of the Yankees-Blue Jays series with such a convincing win.
I love the way Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Gary Sanchez was due to break out and then Sanchez promptly parks one in the second deck in left during the second inning at Rogers Centre for his fifth homer of the season, followed by another shot to left for his sixth round-tripper in the fourth, a two-run blast. As John Sterling put it, “Gary is scary!”. The two home runs traveled a combined distance of 874 feet. Now if I could just get Girardi to say that GM Brian Cashman is really close to trading (i.e., dumping) Jacoby Ellsbury and Chris Carter…
|Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports|
If you purely looked at numbers between two players, who would you start in center field?
Player 1: 135 AB, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .281/.349/.422, .771 OPS
Player 2: 126 AB, 8 HR, 30 RBI, .317/.437/.579, 1.016 OPS
Let’s just say that I am glad Jacoby Ellsbury was unable to come off the DL when he was eligible to be activated on Thursday. Aaron Hicks is on fire. It’s hard to say he was the star of the game when Sanchez smacked two massive home runs, but Hicksie was 4-for-5 with 6 RBI’s to achieve at least co-star honors. A very impressive performance for the player who was slow to realize his potential but seems to be breaking out with full force this season.
|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
Aaron Judge, moved up to third in the batting order, singled in the game’s first run.
The Yankees were in control from the start. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada and never looked back.
The recent solid run by CC Sabathia (6-2) has been nice. Backed by superb offense, he pitched into the seventh inning. He departed after allowing the first Blue Jays run on a homer by Kendrys Morales and subsequently striking out Justin Smoak. The Blue Jays were only able to get five hits off CC, in addition to the one run. CC had seven strikeouts and did not walk batter. Chad Green finished the game in relief. He did allow a solo homer by Ezquiel Carrera but provided length to give the rest of the bullpen the night off.
Brett Gardner, with a single in the fourth inning, achieved a career milestone with his 1,000th hit of his career.
This was just a fun game. The Rogers Centre has been a House of Horrors for the Yankees. Last year, they dropped 8 of 10 games to the Blue Jays in the ballpark. So the dominating performance made the win that much more enjoyable.
The Yankees (31-20) were able to gain a game on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, 7-5. The Red Sox are 3 games back, and the Orioles remained 3 1/2 games behind.
Yankees in the News…
Reliever Ernesto Frieri opted not to exercise his opt-out yesterday. Frieri, currently with AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, is 2-0 with 3.00 ERA. Frieri has pitched in 17 games for the RailRiders, covering 21 innings. He has struck out 24 batters and is currently carrying a WHIP of 1.05. As the primary closer for the RailRiders, he has 7 saves. Time will tell if he gets another big league opportunity but you probably shouldn’t hold your breath.
Greg Bird began a rehabilitation assignment with the High-A Advanced Tampa Yankees on Thursday. Bird played first base in the game against the Charlotte Stone Crabs (you gotta love those unique minor league team names). Maybe Tampa should be the Anti-Rays. Bird walked in his first two at-bats showing his eyes are as strong as ever. He finished the game with a single, in addition to the two walks, in the 6-4 loss.
|Credit: Paul LoMoglio-Yankees|
While Chris Carter was putting up another 0-fer night (hitless in 4 at-bats), Tyler Austin, starting at first base for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was getting plenty of legwork with a 3-for-4 night that featured a two run home run in the first inning of the RailRiders’ 6-3 loss to the Columbus Clippers. Carter’s batting average has plummeted to .179 and is making it much easier for the Yankees to eventually decide between Carter and Austin.
Aroldis Chapman threw from 90 to 100 feet on Thursday. Girardi said that the Yankees closer will probably throw a bullpen session next week. The closer is slowly getter closer.
In the first release of All-Star Game balloting, Aaron Judge is currently third with 730,438 votes. The only players he trails are Washington Nationals’ star Bryce Harper and the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (who is currently on the DL following thumb surgery). I am hoping that Harper and Judge are teammates in 2019, but Judge says screw that, I want to be his teammate this year! Not really but if Aaron gets the call for the ASG, I am okay if he does a little schmoozing with Harper and lets him know how wonderful us Yankees fans are.
Have a great Friday! It’s a wonderful time to be alive…and a Yankees fan!
|Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images|
Yankees 8, Orioles 3…
For a moment there, I thought the Yankees were playing a game of Home Run Derby between Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday. By the fourth inning, both players had two home runs. After chasing Orioles starter Chris Tillman and roughing up reliever Logan Verrett, the Yankees offense was finished for the night but like the 70’s show, Eight is Enough.
For both Gardner and Holliday, it was their tenth and eleventh home runs of the season. After the game, Gardner said, “Offensively we got off to such a great start early in the season, the last week or two we slowed down a bit collectively. It’s nice to put some runs back up, put some crooked numbers on the board and give Sevvy a lead he’s comfortable with.” The Yankees were able to put up crooked numbers in three of those first four innings as they cruised to the victory.
The maturation of Luis Severino continues. I thought he did an excellent job escaping the bases loaded jam in the second inning when he struck out JJ Hardy with Gary Sanchez completing the out by throwing to first. Severino (4-2) lasted 6 1/3 innings, limiting the O’s to only one run on seven hits. He walked a batter and struck out eight.
|Credit: Ron Sachs/CNP|
Aaron Judge didn’t join the Home Run Derby but his bat was just as lethal. He had a two-run double in the fourth to cap the Yankees’ scoring and was 2-for-4 on the day, raising his season batting average to .323.
Rob Refsnyer got the start at first base. He was 0-for-3, but had a nice defensive play in the bottom of the third with a diving stop and quick run to first base to erase Seth Smith. Refsnyder, lifted for Chris Carter in the bottom of the seventh inning, was the only Yankees starter without a hit.
The Yankees bullpen did a great job except for a sloppy eighth inning when Bryan Mitchell committed a throwing error and subsequently allowed two runs. Tyler Clippard, overcoming his recent woes, cleanly got the final four outs. He struck out the dangerous Mark Trumbo to finish the game.
Credit Yankees pitching for the great job they’ve done with the O’s great Manny Machado. Machado was hitless in five at-bats with four strikeouts. In the first two games of the series, he is 0-for-9 with six strikeouts.
The Yankees did receive a scare in the ninth when Didi Gregorius was hit on the hand with a pitch from former Yankees pitcher Richard Bleier, but he was able to shake it off and continue playing. X-rays after the game revealed no fractures. Whew!
|Credit: Randy Miller/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|
The Boston Red Sox hammered the Chicago White Sox, 13-7, behind former White Sock Chris Sale (who received a standing ovation from the crowd prior to the game). So, the Yankees (30-19) maintained their three game lead over the Sox in the AL East. Baltimore fell 4 1/2 games back.
The series concludes this evening with Masahiro Tanaka seeking to continue his rebound from an earlier slump. Greg Bird’s Grandview High School (Aurora, CO) teammate, Kevin Gausman, will oppose Tanaka.
Yankees in the News…
Okay, we may have to fast-forward to 2019 for this one…future Yankees outfielder Bryce Harper has been suspended for four games. After he was plunked on Monday by Hunter Strickland of the San Francisco Giants, Harper “charged the mound, threw his helmet, and fought”. Strickland was suspended for six games. Both players have appealed. The penalty is harsher for Harper as an every day player. We’ll have to wait and see if Gerrit Cole plunks a Giant in defense of his future Yankees teammate when San Francisco visits Pittsburgh at the end of June…
|Credit: Ben Margot/Associated Press|
Wanted: Billionaire. Yankees Legend Derek Jeter is searching for a new investment group after Jeb Bush dropped out of the bidding for the Miami Marlins. It will be interesting to see if Jeter joins up with the group headed by Tagg Romney, which also includes Tom Glavine and Dave Stewart. Jeter remains part of the Bush-less group so time will tell if they have the financial resources to top the Romney group. If not, it’s potentially the old ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ situation.
Jacoby Ellsbury is feeling better (finally) and has been cleared to fly to Toronto with the team on Wednesday. He is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday but there’s still no timetable when he’ll be ready. He could be activated this weekend. Given that I am completely comfortable with Aaron Hicks in center, I really wouldn’t mind if Ellsbury wanted to take another week off.
Tyler Austin was the starting DH last night for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in a 5-0 loss to the Columbus Clippers. He had two hits in four at-bats with a single and a double.
Considering Austin’s multi-position eligibility and much cheaper price tag, it will be interesting to see what the Yankees do with Chris Carter when Greg Bird returns to health. Carter hasn’t hit enough to warrant future consideration in my mind. He is a below average hitter and fielder so if he’s not hitting home runs like a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, he’s not worth the roster space. Maybe Austin should start taking some reps at third to expand his resume. Seriously, I think there’s more value with Austin than Carter. So, to Carter, I’d say SEE YA!
After taking a rest day yesterday, Aroldis Chapman will throw again today. Hopefully, all continues to go well for Chapman as he eyes a mid-June return.
Have a great Wednesday! Here’s hoping the Yankees take the series tonight before embarking on their flight to Toronto. Safe travels to the team and of course, Go Yankees!
Yankees 3, Royals 0…
Luis Severino continued the recent albeit short trend of stellar pitching performances by Yankee starters. Masahiro Tanaka excluded, the rotation has pitched to win the last four games. Severino was tremendous, pitching eight innings. He was still clicking the radar gun at 99 mph in the 8th. By completing eight, Severino was able to pass the baton to Dellin Betances for the one inning save without relying on any of the tired arms in the pen.
Severino (3-2) was incredible in the scoreless outing with a season high 114 pitches. He allowed only one extra base hit (a double by Brandon Moss in the 5th inning) and did not allow any runners past second base. Sevy only allowed four hits and walked one while striking out seven. He lowered his season ERA to 3.11.
Jason Hammel kept the Yankees in check most of the night but the Pinstripers didn’t need much. Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer in the third inning to give the Yanks an early 1-0 lead.
|Credit: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports|
In the 6th inning, the Yankees picked up another run through great-base running effort by Gary Sanchez. Sanchez singled to open the inning and then stole second. Thanks to a throwing error by Royals catcher Salvador Perez, Sanchez alertly raced on to third. Matt Holliday brought him home with a sac fly.
The Yankees picked up their final run when Gregorius led off the 7th inning with a double. A ground out by Chris Carter moved Gregorius to third, which brought Brett Gardner to the plate. With two strikes, Gardner was the beneficiary of a called ball on a pitch by Royals reliever Matt Strahm that seemingly landed well within the strike zone. It should have been the third strike for the second out of the inning but with the next pitch, Gardner singled to center to drive in the run.
Betances struck out the side in the 9th inning to earn his fourth save of the season, lowering his season ERA to 0.57.
The Yankees (27-17) moved 2 1/2 games up on the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore lost 4-3 to the Minnesota Twins and their fine rookie pitcher Jose Berrios. The Boston Red Sox remained 3 1/2 games back with their 9-4 win over the Texas Rangers.
I want one of those guys…
Last night, Chris Sale of the Red Sox attempted to become the MLB pitcher in the Modern Era to record at least 10 strikeouts in nine straight games. He failed but he is still the fifth pitcher since 1900 to reach 100 strikeouts in his first 10 starts. It probably wasn’t one of his better games, but Sale still kept the game within reach for the Red Sox until their offense exploded for 7 runs in the 7th inning of their game against the Texas Rangers. Sale finished the night with 7 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk and 6 strikeouts.
Credit: Christopher Evans
Sale has such a presence when he is on the mound. I can’t think of any potential trade targets that can match Sale as a frontline ace. I remain hopeful that GM Brian Cashman will surprise me, but I think most of us know who the available trade suspects are.
Gleyber Torres Watch (with a little Tyler Austin thrown in)…
It was another night at third base yesterday for Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Columbus Clippers, 5-0.
Watching the RailRiders this closely shows me one thing. Clint Frazier is on fire. He hit his eighth home run (and 28th RBI) in the first inning of the RailRiders’ game against the Columbus Clippers on Wednesday. He also had a two-run shot on Tuesday during Gleyber’s first game at the AAA Level. But enough about ridiculously hot outfielders and how the Yankees like to keep them down while parading the $153 Million Man in center field at Yankee Stadium on a nightly basis. Note: To Jacoby Ellsbury’s defense, he was injured during last night’s game against the Royals when he collided into the outfield wall after making a catch. He suffered a neck sprain and a concussion, and has been placed on the 7-Day DL. I wish him no ill will and hope that he returns to the health sooner than later. It does kind of make me wish that the padding on the outfield walls was a little more player-friendly. Rob Refsnyder has been recalled to the Bronx to replace Ellsbury. On performance alone, Frazier would have been the best option, but Refsnyder is already on the 40-Man Roster which was the difference-maker.
Credit: Andy Grosh/MiLB.com
Torres was a wee bit cooler than Frazier. With an ‘O-fer’ night (0-for-3), he wasn’t really doing much with the bat but he did walk twice, stole a base, and avoided striking out. All things considered, it was another game in the education and development of the Yankees premier prospect as he climbs the ladder for the eventual call to the Bronx.
I thought Mike Ford did a good job for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the short time since his call-up. In nine games, he hit 4 homers and 10 RBI’s, batting .306/.432/.750. But he was returned to AA-Trenton yesterday when Ji-Man Choi was activated from the 7-Day DL for the RailRiders.
Credit: Cheryl Pursell
Maybe I should have re-named this section the Minor League Report.
As promised, here’s a little Tyler Austin…
|Credit: Bill Kostroun|
Yankees 4, Royals 2…
In a season when Masahiro Tanaka has forgotten how to throw his splitter and slider, only to see his fastball regularly deposited into outfield bleachers, Michael Pineda has stepped up to be “the man”. Down early 2-0 to the Kansas City Royals, it would have been the point where Pineda collapsed like a cheap suit in years past. But these are not years past and Michael Pineda no longer contributes to an avalanche parade.
When Brett Gardner homered in the bottom of the third, it felt like everything was under control even though the Yanks still trailed by one. With one on in the fourth, Didi Gregorius decided it was much better to lead than follow, launching a homer to right center to put the Yanks in front.
|Credit: Elsa/Getty Images|
Pineda made it into the seventh inning. After striking out Jorge Bonifacio, who had homered for the Royals earlier in the game, Pineda gave up a single to former Cub Jorge Soler. It was the end of Pineda’s night.
With Adam Warren on the mound, Soler took second on a wild pitch. Following a flyout by Whit Merrifield, the Royals appeared to tie the game at 3 when Alcides Escobar hit a grounder to Starlin Castro. Escobar was ruled safe at first, beating an off-balance throw from Castro. Soler scored on the play. The Yankees challenged the call and the Baseball Gods were smiling favorably on the Pinstripes. The decision at first was overturned, the inning was over, and the run scored by Soler was erased. All I can say it was incredibly close.
Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Chris Carter boldly let his bat say, “This is why you hired me” with a blast to left-center. So, instead of a 3-3 game just minutes earlier, the score was suddenly 4-2. A nice reversal of fortune.
From there, the Yankees bullpen shut the Royals down. Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances each delivered a scoreless inning of relief, and Betances struck out Jorge Soler to end the game, picking up his third save.
For the game, Pineda (5-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs, while walking one and striking out six. It wasn’t a clean start but it was the continuation of the strong, consistent version of the Michael Pineda that we’ve literally been waiting years to see.
The win allowed the Yankees (26-16) to move a game and a half in front of the Baltimore Orioles who were throttled 14-7 at Camden Yards by the Minnesota Twins in a 21-hit attack. The Boston Red Sox had the night off so they slipped four and half games back.
Bronx Fury, South Beach Version…
A pair of ex-Yankees squared off on Friday night in Miami. Marlins manager Don Mattingly took offense to something Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren yelled to Marlins closer A.J. Ramos. “If he is going to yell and scream at our guys, the he is going to have to go through me”, said Mattingly, who was ejected in the bench-clearing stand-off.
Credit: Los Angeles Times
Mattingly and Geren were Yankees teammates from 1988 to 1991.
Credit: Getty Images
I feel badly for Mattingly. He is in the midst of a very poor season in Miami and he was facing the team that he once managed. I am not sure that Mattingly will survive the season and he is probably gone if the sale of the Marlins goes through (even if one of the potential new owners is Derek Jeter) unless he can turn things around very quickly. Mattingly remains my favorite manager but these are not the best of times.
Umm, no, thank you…
Yesterday, Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media, quoting an article that appeared on SportsNet.ca, floated the possibility of the Yankees as suitors for third baseman Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays. I do not dispute that Donaldson is a great player but it doesn’t make sense to me. Donaldson is 31 and the Yankees, regardless of the great start this year, are still one to two years away from true World Series contention. Sure, crazier things have happened, but it doesn’t make sense to me to part with talented young prospects for a guy that is on the wrong side of 30.
Manny Machado should remain the target. I am not enamored with Chase Headley covering third until if/when we can get Machado but I don’t think the Yankees are either. With the call-up of infielder Gleyber Torres to AAA, he is positioning himself for an appearance in the Bronx later this year or at the latest, next spring. I’d gladly take Starlin Castro at third (over Headley) to make room for Torres at second. The path to Machado will be costly in terms of dollars but it retains the wealth of prospects within the organization. If the Yankees lose out on Machado, then they’ll need to look at Plan B. I am still optimistic that Miguel Andujar can be a solution within the next couple of years. Let the Boston Red Sox further deplete their farm system for Donaldson and add another player that will be ready for social security in a couple of years.
So, count me out if trying to decide whether or not to bring Donaldson to the Yankees.
All Rise, now entering Right Field, the Honorable Judge, Aaron…
The Yankees have climbed aboard the Judge Train with the rest of us. They’ve unveiled a new area wrapped around the three rows in the back of Section 104 in right field aptly named “The Judge’s Chambers”. Selected fans, with preference to those wearing Aaron Judge jerseys, will temporarily be given black robes adorned by #99 on the back while sitting the special area during games. I guess it beats having a bad tasting candy bar named after you…
Credit: Ben Walker/AP
Have a great Tuesday! Let’s keep this winning feeling going!