Tagged: Clay Bellinger

Sunday’s Recurring Theme: If Only…

Credit:  Seth Wenig-AP

Brewers 5, Yankees 3…

I guess three positive starts by Masahiro Tanaka was not enough to prove that the right-hander was back.  He followed up those three starts with another disappointing performance on a beautiful day in the Bronx as the Yankees fell to the Brew Crew.  Tanaka (7-8) lasted just 4 1/3 innings and 83 pitches, giving up 6 hits, 5 runs (including two home runs), and a walk.  He struck out 5 in the loss.  He didn’t have his best stuff on Sunday but he also didn’t receive much help.  If only…

Saturday’s hero, Clint Frazier, tried.  He had another homer but the big bats of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were a combined 2-for-9 with no homers or RBI’s and 5 strikeouts.  

The Brewers jumped on Tanaka right away with three runs in the first.  Jonathan Villar opened the game with a single.   Eric Thames singled to right to put runners at the corners.  After Domingo Santana struck out, former Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw pummeled a Tanaka pitch over the bullpen in right to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.  I wonder how much Boston wishes they still had Shaw (19 HR and 65 RBI) instead of Pablo Sandoval and fill-ins at third base.  The guy they traded for (former Brewers closer Tyler Thornburg) underwent season-ending surgery last month.  

The Brewers added another run in the top of the 2nd inning when Stephen Vogt, formerly of the Oakland A’s, opened with a solo shot to center which dropped into the bullpen.  4-0, Brewers.

The Yankees offense finally got something going in the 4th.  With two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury singled to left and subsequently stole second.  Headley singled to left, which scored Ellsbury with the Yankees’ first run.  Clint Frazier followed with his third homer as a Yankee, to right center, which brought the Yankees within one run, 4-3.  

Credit:  Seth Wenig-AP

After Tanaka gave up two one-out singles in the top of the 5th, his day was done.  Chasen Shreve was brought in and he lost the battle to the only batter he faced when Travis Shaw collected his 4th RBI of the day with a run-scoring single.  Adam Warren should be called The Cleaner because he’s always the one that has to clean up the mess.  He struck out both batters to get out of the inning without any further damage.  

The Yankees had a runner in scoring position in every inning from the 5th inning through the 9th but all were left stranded.  For a moment, it seemed as though the Yankees had taken a 6-5 lead on an apparent 3-run home run by Chase Headley in the 6th inning, but appeal and further review clearly showed the ball sailed just to the right of the right field foul pole so the homer was erased…yes, if only.  Headley subsequently went down swinging. It was another lost opportunity in a day of lost opportunities.  Brett Gardner was on second in the bottom of the 9th after he walked and stole a base, but Gary Sanchez took a called third strike to end the game.  Gary, Dude…if only.  The Brewers escaped with the 5-3 win.  

Credit:  UPI

I got my pre-game wish.  More Red Thunder and no Tyler Clippard.  But it was not enough.  If only we had won…

With the loss, the Yankees (45-41) dropped into a second place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays.  Both teams are 3 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox, who fell to the Rays, 5-3, on Sunday.  It was a very disappointing finish to the first half for the Yankees who had started the season so strongly.  I have no clue if the Yankees will be buyers or sellers at the end of the month, but I am in agreement with those who believe the Yankees are not yet a World Series contender.  I know that GM Brian Cashman feels a return to good health and a few enhancements could be the difference-maker but I’d hate to see the team make moves this year that might steal from 2018 or 2019 when the Yankees really will be World Series contenders.  But I admit, we do need a  new first baseman.

Odds & Ends…

Matt Holliday played DH for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Sunday in their 5-2 loss to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  His lone hit in four at-bats was a run-scoring single.

The Home Run Derby is tonight.  I have already completed my bracket and have Aaron Judge emerging as the victor over Giancarlo Stanton but I do think that Gary Sanchez could get on a roll to steal this one.  It’s unfortunate that he drew Stanton as his first round opponent.  Former Yankee Clay Bellinger will serve as the Derby pitcher for his son, Cody.  I am sure Yankee fans will be paying close attention to Aaron Judge’s first round opponent given the trade rumors swirling about the potential trade of Justin Bour to the Yankees.

Have a great Monday!  Let’s Go Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge!  Enjoy the HR Derby!

Santa Didn’t Bring Any Presents…

 

A disappointing trade deadline day…

 

 

Leading up to the trade deadline, I felt that the Yankees needed to do something to plug the hole in the rotation.  As great as it was to think about Roy Halladay in pinstripes, I was realistic in my thinking that Jarrod Washburn would have been a good fit.

 

Steve Nesius/AP 

 

Yankee interest in Washburn has been rumored for several years so it seemed liked he was destined for the Bronx.  Apparently, the Seattle Mariners desired center field prospect Austin Jackson in return and it was a deal-killer.  I agree with the decision, as I would have not given up Ajax either, but it was tough to see Washburn go to the Detroit Tigers for a couple of minor league pitchers that I’ve never heard of. 

I know that GM Brian Cashman feels that there will be quality pitchers who slip through waivers in August because teams will be fearful of incurring additional salaries.  But it’s not like Roy Halladay will clear waivers.  The quality of the available talent will be limited, and a good fit for the Yankees will be even narrower. 

Of course, on Deadline Day, the Yankees #5 starter, Sergio Mitre, gets pummeled in Chicago and lasts only three innings in a 10-5 loss to the White Sox.  This only added salt to the wound of the day’s earlier inactivity.  Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox were very active and acquired the Cleveland Indians’ Victor Martinez.  Martinez, a good friend of CC Sabathia, was a solid pickup for Boston.  I didn’t fully understand the trade of recently acquired Adam LaRoche to Atlanta for first baseman Casey Kotchman.  It was mentioned that LaRoche was no longer a fit with the addition of Martinez, but I do not know what Kotchman brings that LaRoche didn’t other than an additional year on his contract.  I guess GM Theo Epstein decided that if he couldn’t have Mark Teixeira, he’d take the guy who was once trade for Tex.  Seriously, I wonder if the Kotchman trade is a precursor to another deal this month.  Knowing Theo, there is a method to the madness and of course that concerns me…

 

 

The Yankees have now dropped two straight games to the White Sox, which has allowed the Boston Red Sox to close the gap to 1 ½ games in the AL East.

 

 

 

The Yankees did pick up one player yesterday, when they found a centerfield solution in Jerry Hairston, Jr.

 

Kirby Lee/US Presswire 

 

To acquire Hairston from the Cincinnati Reds, the Yanks gave up minor league catching prospect Chase Weems.  Hairston will take the super utility role that is currently occupied by Cody Ransom upon Brett Gardner’s return from the DL.  Hairston has joined the Yankees in Chicago, and is starting in left field.  It is ironic that his first game will be against his father’s long-time team.

 

 

 

I saw a quote where Brian Cashman mentioned that Hairston is a better version of Clay Bellinger.  Somehow it’s hard to get enthused about that, but I will admit that Bellinger did play in a World Series so perhaps there’s a silver lining to the Hairston pickup…

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Hopefully, the Yankees will get back on track today.  A.J. Burnett will be on the hill and he has proven to be the cure for stopping Yankee losing streaks so far this season. 

As for the Yankees #5 rotation spot, the sooner the Yankees replace Mitre, the better.  Unfortunately, the only in-house possibility appears to be…yikes!…Kei Igawa.  So, I trust that Brian Cashman knows what he is doing, and he’ll find a solution sooner rather than later.  Meanwhile, the fate of the AL East hangs in the balance.  No worries…

 

Worried1.JPG

 

Poor Shelley Duncan.  He has had a very good season for the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees.  He had started to wonder if he’d ever return to the big leagues, and was very excited when the Yanks finally called yesterday.  Today, he was tapped on the shoulder and told to head back to Scranton-Wilkes Barre to make room for Hairston.  I feel bad for Shelley as he has definitely deserved an opportunity.  Hopefully, he will find his way back soon.

 

IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Shelley Duncan #17  of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Shelley Duncan

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

Well, it is almost time for Julia and I to resume our battle when the Yankees and Red Sox resume their rivalry on Thursday for a four-game set.  We are still working out the terms of latest wager and are open to any suggestions.  But I feel that the Yankees are much improved and will be ready to end the eight game skid against the Red Sox.  I may be down, but I am definitely not out.  The rotation has lined up for Joba Chamberlain, A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in the Boston series.  Hey Julia, Game On!

 

Boston Herald

Great autograph of Shelley Duncan!  🙂

–Scott