Blue Jays 4, Yankees 0…
So much for heading home with any momentum to face the AL-East leading Boston Red Sox. The Yankees offense departed Toronto a day too early as the Yankees were blanked by the AL East cellar-dwelling Toronto Blue Jays. Losing two of three to the division’s worst is not exactly a recipe for October.
Sonny Gray kept the Yankees in the game but he had no help.
|Credit: The Associated Press|
The first inning started with hope for a run. With two outs, Aaron Judge walked and moved to third when Didi Gregorius doubled to right. Unfortunately, Gary Sanchez struck out swinging as the Yankees continued to struggle with runners in scoring position.
Garrett Cooper doubled in the second inning with two outs but Ronald Torreyes flied out to right on the first pitch he was thrown by Jays starter Marco Estrada. The Blue Jays didn’t miss their chance in the bottom of the inning. Ezequiel Carrera doubled to center with one out. A failed pick off attempt by Sonny Gray allowed Carrera to move to third. Ryan Goins hit a short grounder which Gray scooped and tossed underhanded with his glove to Sanchez, but Carrera slid in under the tag to score the Jays’ first run.
|Credit: Fred Thornhill-The Associated Press|
The third inning brought another two-out double, this time a line drive down the left field line by Aaron Judge. But like the others, he was left stranded when Didi Gregorius flied out. The Jays, unlike the Yankees, didn’t miss their chances. In the bottom of the third, Jose Bautista walked. Russell Martin struck out on a ball that got past Gary Sanchez. Sanchez’s throw beat Martin to first, but Joey Bats had already stolen second on the play. Josh Donaldson singled to left to score Bautista. It was 2-0 Jays.
After the Yankees went quietly in the 4th, the Blue Jays added another run in the bottom of the inning. Steve Pearce opened with a single off Gray. A sacrifice bunt by Ezequiel Carrera moved Pearce to second. After Ryan Goins walked, Kevin Pillar singled to left (a bouncer between Todd Frazier and Didi Gregorius) to score Pearce.
The fifth inning started with promise. Garrett Cooper led off with a single to left and Ronald Torreyes walked. But they didn’t advance any further when Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Judge recorded outs. For Judge, who struck out to end the inning, it was his 27th consecutive game with a strikeout (extending his own franchise record).
|Credit: The Associated Press|
It was more of the same in the 6th. Gary Sanchez walked with one out. He was followed by Todd Frazier who singled to right. Sanchez advanced to second but there he would stay as Jacoby Ellsbury and Garrett Cooper failed to move the runners.
Manager Joe Girardi brought Chasen Shreve in to start the 7th inning. While Shreve’s performance overall was good, he allowed a home run by Jose Bautista, a solo shot to left. The Blue Jays were up 4-0. It was Bautista’s 36th career homer against the Yankees, the most of any active player.
|Credit: Steve Russell-Toronto Star|
The Yankees couldn’t do anything with a Gary Sanchez single in the 8th. For the 9th, the Jays brought in their closer, Roberto Osuna, even though it wasn’t a save opportunity. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a walk. Following strikeouts by Garrett Cooper and Chase Headley, Brett Gardner walked. Aaron Judge came to the plate with a chance to bring the Yankees within a run but it was not to be as he struck out to end the game.
Sonny Gray (6-7) took the loss. He went six innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Only 2 of the runs were earned due to Sonny’s error on the failed pick-off attempt in the 2nd inning. Throwing a total of 103 pitches, he walked 4 batters and struck out 6.
This was a very disappointing loss. My morning started with a Red Sox fan posting the AL East Standings on my FaceBook page and laughing. The Yankees (60-53) fell 4 1/2 games behind the idle Red Sox who watched the Yankees lose while sitting in NYC. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-1, to move back to 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles won too, 7-2 over the Oakland A’s, so they’re 4 games behind New York. The Yankees still have the Wild Card lead (by two games) but this team is not playing like it wants to play in October. It doesn’t get any easier tonight…
Next Up: Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York…
With Boston’s day off on Thursday, they arrived in New York City a day earlier than the Yankees. So, they’ll be rested and ready for the Bombers tonight. The Red Sox bring an eight-game winning streak into tonight’s game.
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups. It’s a bummer that Sonny Gray will miss this series but he’ll be ready next weekend in Boston.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.08 ERA)
Yankees: Jaime Garcia (1-1, 6.35)
Red Sox: Drew Pomeranz (11-4, 3.06 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (9-4, 2.91 ERA)
Red Sox: Chris Sale (14-4, 2.57 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 4.05 ERA)
Monty, we need you to get back to New York to start on Sunday in place of CC Sabathia. Who’s on the mound for Boston? Um, I’m not sure. Just go out there and throw zeros and we’ll be fine…
Odds & Ends…
Clint Frazier has been placed on the 10-Day DL with his oblique tightness. OF Aaron Hicks was activated off the DL a day earlier than anticipated as a result. I guess this delays the decision of what to do with Red Thunder when Aaron Hicks returns. Hicksie gets to fly from Trenton to Toronto and back to New York City in less than 24 hours. I suppose it could have been worse if the Yankees had been playing in Seattle.
LHP Dietrich Enns, 26, made his Major League debut last night for the Minnesota Twins in their game against the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee. It didn’t go so well. Despite the Twins’ 7-2 win, Enns was pulled after 2 1/2 innings and 53 pitches. He allowed 5 hits and 2 runs (only one earned thanks to his own throwing error). He walked a batter (with the bases loaded in the third) and gave up a home run to Keon Broxton. Enns went to Minnesota with Zack Littell in the deal that brought Jaime Garcia to New York.
|Credit: Tom Lynn-The Associated Press|
Have a great Friday! Yankees-Red Sox. It doesn’t get any better than this. Let’s Go Yankees!
|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
Yankees 11, Blue Jays 5…
The bottom of the Yankees lineup powered the team to victory on Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays with an assist by the bullpen. Six of the eleven runs were courtesy of the bottom third of the order. Nine runs if you throw in the number 6 hitter (the Toddfather). It was a much needed win as the Boston Red Sox are currently riding an eight-game winning streak (which they will bring to the Bronx on Friday night when they begin a three-game series against the beloved home team).
Masahiro Tanaka only gave up two hits but he was gone after four innings, pulled in the 5th with no outs, having thrown 88 pitches which included five walks and three runs (two earned). So, it was up to the stacked bullpen to power its way to victory.
The Yankees got on the board first with two runs in the top of the 2nd. Gary Sanchez and Todd Frazier led off the inning against Blue Jays starter Nick Tepesch with back-to-back home runs. The Jays’ Kevin Pillar made a nearly successful leap to rob Sanchez, but the ball was just beyond his reach. I’ve said it before but I hate solo home runs. It’s not that I hate home runs…I love the runs, but I just prefer men on base when it happens (statement of the obvious). Two home runs…the potential for eight runs…or two. I just prefer to be somewhere in the middle (or more). Oh well, the stats seem to favor the Yankees when they homer in games so I am not complaining.
|Credit: The Associated Press|
The Blue Jays got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd when Steve Pearce walked and advanced to third on Kevin Pillar’s double to left. Nori Aoki hit a grounder to second for an out, but Pearce scored on the play (with Pillar moving to third). It got a little too interesting with the next batter when Darwin Barney hit a grounder to third and the Yankees had Pillar caught in a rundown. But it wasn’t executed cleanly and Pillar almost scored if not for the athleticism of Tanaka who took the throw behind Gary Sanchez to nail the runner at the plate.
|Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports|
The top of the 3rd brought another solo home run, this time a shot to the second deck in right center by Didi Gregorius, as the Yankees increased their lead to 3-1.
|Credit: Steve Russell-Toronto Star|
The Jays answered in the bottom of the inning without a single hit. Raffy Lopez led off and reached base through catcher’s interference on a pitch that would have been the third strike. Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak walked to load the bases. Steve Pearce hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Donaldson to make it a one-run game.
It looked like the Yankees were going to break the game open in the 5th when Aaron Judge walked and moved to third when Didi Gregorius doubled to center. The Jays brought in Leonel Campos to replace Tepesch. He was successful in striking out Gary Sanchez, but Todd Frazier followed with a double to right center to score Judge and Gregorius. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to center to score Frazier and it was 6-2 Yankees.
|Credit: Mark Blinch-The Associated Press|
In the bottom of the 5th, the Jays started to chip away. Jose Bautista led off with a home run to left. Masahiro Tanaka walked the next batter (Josh Donaldson) and Manager Joe Girardi had seen enough. He brought in Chad Green who struck out the side to prevent any further damage.
Unfortunately, the 6th inning didn’t go so well for Green. Nori Aoki opened with a single. Darwin Barney hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Aoki, however, Ryan Goins doubled to left center to score Barney. Girardi elected to pull Green and brought in Tommy Kahnle. A wild pitch by Kahnle moved Goins to third. Raffy Lopez walked to put runners at the corners. Josh Donaldson singled to right center, scoring Goins, and it was a one-run game again.
The Yankees finally got separation in the 8th when Todd Frazier led off the inning with a single to left center off Jays reliever Dominic Leone. The Jays pulled Leone for J.P. Howell who struck out Jacoby Ellsbury. Howell was then lifted for Taylor Cole which backfired on the Jays. Garrett Cooper doubled to left with Frazier moving to third. Ronald Torreyes, who has done a stellar job as a fill-in for Starlin Castro, singled to center to score both Frazier and Cooper. Torreyes took second on the throw. The Yankees almost had another run when Chase Headley singled to left center but Toe was gunned down at the plate.
Nevertheless, the Yankees picked up three more runs in the top of the 9th with Cole still on the mound. Didi Gregorius reached base on an infield single, Gary Sanchez singled to center and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to second but Gregorius scored on the play. Garrett Cooper doubled to center to bring both Sanchez and Frazier home. The Jays had seen enough of Cole and pulled him for Danny Barnes who retired the last two Yankee batters get out of the inning and let the Jays come to bat for their last licks.
David Robertson and Dellin Betances had pitched scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th, respectively. For the 9th to close it out, Girardi brought in Adam Warren. It wasn’t clean but he got the job done. A walk and a single had runners at the corners with two outs, but Warren got Kevin Pillar to fly out to Aaron Judge to end the game. The Yankees win!
It was so great to see the Yankees finally make noise with runners in scoring position. Garrett Cooper led the 17-hit attack with a 4-for-5 night. He had 2 RBI’s and scored a run. It was by far his best game as a Yankee. Jacoby Ellsbury and Ronald Torreyes also had 2 RBI’s each. Todd Frazier was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI’s and four runs scored, including his 19th home run of the season. Didi Gregorius was 3-for-5 with an RBI on the solo homer, his 18th, and three runs scored. It was good to see Gary Sanchez homer, also his 18th. He had two hits and scored twice. This was a great team victory to pick up Tanaka. Green (2-0) was the winner.
|Credit: Mark Blinch-The Associated Press|
The Yankees (60-52) remain four games behind the Boston Red Sox. As noted at the top of this post, the Red Sox won their eighth consecutive game, beating the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-2. Even though the Yankees didn’t gain any ground on the Red Sox, they increased their lead over the Rays by 3 1/2 games. The Baltimore Orioles also lost (5-1 to the Los Angeles Angels) so they fell 5 games behind the Yankees. The Yankees currently hold a 2 1/2 game advantage in the Wild Card standings but I still think the AL East can be won. The Red Sox are off today so the Yankees can pick up a 1/2 game with a win today over the Jays on Getaway Day. The Sox will be waiting for the Yankees in the Bronx for a three-game set starting on Friday night.
Clint Frazier was scheduled to start the game in right field but was a late scratch for oblique tightness. No immediate word on his condition. Aaron Judge was moved from DH to right field, Chase Headley from 1B to DH, and Garrett Cooper inserted into the starting lineup at first. Obviously, Cooper took advantage of the opportunity at Frazier’s expense.
I’ll let others write about the upcoming Players Weekend on August 25th through 27th when players can wear nicknames on the back of alternate uniforms. I know that many Yankee fans are up in arms, but I am indifferent. It is a playful three days and it does not involve desecrating the famed Pinstripes. But Pickles? Really? We’re going to throw Pickles at the Seattle Mariners? Well, at least we can throw The Missile at them later. I know that Sonny Gray has a story behind the name but it is still hard to wrap my head around it.
CC Sabathia’s MRI came back clear so it sounds as though he’ll be back on the mound sooner rather than later. No word if he’ll miss any time. Admittedly, I am skeptical about continuing to throw him out there. The knee surely factored into the two home runs by Josh Donaldson on Tuesday. I am not crazy about testing the knee in live, game scenarios. I’ve enjoyed CC’s Yankees career but the end of this contract is a good farewell point for me. I have no interest in testing the knee in 2018.
I was bummed to see the Mets trade Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians. I thought he would fit well on the Yankees roster as 1B/DH. With a recent inability to get runs across the plate, Bruce would have helped kickstart the offense. Apparently the Yankees were involved in trade talks until the end, but the dealbreaker was money. The Yankees wanted the Mets to pay some of the remaining money owed to Bruce whereas the Indians absorbed the full balance due.
Have a Sunny Day Thursday…or a Sonny Gray Thursday! Let’s Go Yankees!
Indians 7, Yankees 2…
The title of this post sounds like a Tex-Mex country band. Unfortunately, it’s the description of the Friday night Yankees who dropped their fourth straight game.
It was not a great debut for Jaime Garcia. After the game, Manager Joe Girardi said that Garcia was up in the zone. “He didn’t throw as many strikes with his fastball as he usually does. This is a guy that’s pitched for three different teams in three different starts and been all over the country. He looked rusty to me.” It wasn’t just you, Joe, he looked rusty to us too.
The Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to take the lead they would not relinquish. Carlos Santana walked with two outs. Former Yankee Austin Jackson doubled to the left field corner, and the relay throw from Clint Frazier to Didi Gregorius to Gary Sanchez was not in time as Santana slid head first with his hand reaching home plate ahead of the tag. Ajax took third on the play and scored a subsequent passed ball on Gary Sanchez.
The next inning, the Indians added to their lead. Brandon Guyer hit a lead-off single to left. Michael Brantley singled to right. As Guyer was running to third, the throw from Aaron Judge hit the runner and bounced up into the seats. Guyer easily scored while Brantley took second. A ground out moved Brantley to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Edwin Encarnacion.
The Yankees had probably their biggest opportunity in the 5th inning. After Indians starter Trevor Bauer threw a pitch up and in to Todd Frazier (which provoked Frazier to say a few works after he spun to avoid getting hit), Frazier blasted a one-out solo home run to right center (his 18th of the year). Ronald Torreyes singled to the right field corner. He thought about going for two but wisely held up at first. Brett Gardner singled to left field as Torreyes moved to third. Clint Frazier hit a sharp grounder to Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela who made a highlight reel play when he threw across the runner to catcher Roberto Perez to nail Torreyes at the plate. With Gardner and Frazier on base, Aaron Judge patiently took a walk to load the bases. Gary Sanchez, representing the potential go-ahead run, had a sloppy at-bat, chasing a few pitches out of the strike zone, and went down swinging to leave the bases full.
|Credit: David Dermer-AP|
The Indian came right back and added another run in the bottom of the 5th. Brandon Guyer walked and stole second. Michael Brantley singled to left, scoring Guyer. A wild pitch and a subsequent ground out moved Brantley to third. Girardi pulled Garcia and brought in Chad Green. A wild pitch by Green allowed Brantley to score and it was 6-1 Indians.
|Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports|
Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle pitched the 8th inning in relief of Green. Jose Ramirez punched a double into left field in front of Clint Frazier, and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a double off the top of the wall in left, scoring Ramirez. Kahnle settled down to retire the next three batters, but it was too little, too late for a team struggling to score runs.
The Yankees unsuccessfully tried one last rally in the top of the 9th against Indians reliever Bryan Shaw. Chase Headley led off with a single to center but Todd Frazier grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Ronald Torreyes hit a soft infield single to short, and moved to second on defensive indifference. Brett Gardner singled to center which scored Torreyes. 7-2, Indians. But that would be all as Clint Frazier hit a grounder to third, erasing Gardner at second with the force out.
The Yankees (57-51) fell 3 games behind the Boston Red Sox with the loss. The Red Sox, winners of four in a row, beat the Chicago White Sox, 3-2, in 11 innings. Bummer. No seriously, that is who was on the mound when the Sox scored the winning run (Aaron Bummer). Can’t blame Tyler Clippard…he gave the White Sox two scoreless innings. The Tampa Bay Rays lost 2-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers so they remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles fell 5-2 to the Detroit Tigers so they are still 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees.
This was another disappointing loss. There was so much optimism on Monday but five days later, it’s hard not to have a ‘glass is half empty’ point of view. I hate to single out any one player since this loss was a team effort, but Matt Holliday’s bat is a liability. He had another ‘0-fer’ performance (hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout). As good as he has been in the clubhouse, I think this is his one and only year in Pinstripes. While I had previously felt that Clint Frazier should stay on the MLB roster when Aaron Hicks returns, his play of late (4 for his last 27 at-bats) has me wondering if a couple of weeks back at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until the roster expands on September 1st might be the right move. Gary Sanchez definitely needs to clean up his play.
|Credit: David Maxwell-Getty Images|
Odds & Ends…
The last time he was in New York to pitch, Yu Darvish was a Texas Ranger going against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees. Last night, he returned to NYC but this time was a Los Angeles Dodger, making his NL debut, at Citi Field against Jacob DeGrom and the Mets. Darvish fared much better against DeGrom than he did against Masahiro Tanaka. He had a couple of Mets on base in the first inning, but settled down to go 7 strong innings, shutting out the Mets on 3 hits. He walked only one batter while striking out 10. He picked up the win in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory over the Mets. I’d say that Darvish had a much better debut than Sonny Gray, but then again, Darvish has baseball’s best team (most wins) behind him.
Credit: Elsa Garrison-Getty Images
According to Elias Sports, Jaime Garcia performed a MLB rarity on Friday night. He is the first pitcher since Gus Weyhing in 1895 to have three consecutive starts in the same season with three different teams within the span of 20 days.
On July 21st, Jaime Garcia was the winning pitcher for the Atlanta Braves when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 12-3. Garcia pitched 7 innings and allowed 7 hits and 3 runs. On July 28th, he was the winning pitcher for the Minnesota Twins in their 6-3 victory over the Oakland A’s. He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 runs. The Yankees probably wish that he had held the Indians to only 3 runs, but then again, they would have still lost the game.
Congrats to Tyler Austin! His dramatic two-run home run yesterday in the bottom of the 9th inning powered the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to a 3-1 walk-off win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Jake Cave singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest active streak in the International League and the season high for the RailRiders.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was a pre-game guest in the Yankees clubhouse prior to yesterday’s game. He also watched batting practice. I am sure that went over well with the Yankees fans who are die-hard Giants fan (not me, sorry).
Credit: David Dermer-AP
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers has cleared waivers. No thank you. Like the pitcher, don’t like the contract.
Have a great Saturday! Time to get back into the win column. Let’s Go Yankees!
Tigers 2, Yankees 0…
Wouldn’t you know it…Getaway Day with a plane waiting on the tarmac for a flight to Ohio and a lengthy rain delay to extend the wait to depart the Stadium. I guess on the bright side, the Cleveland Indians had to wait for night game to be called because of rain in Boston before they could head home so both teams should be equally sleep-derived today when Sonny Gray makes his much anticipated debut for the Yankees.
With rain delays of over 4 1/2 hours, the end of the day was painful as the Yankees, behind a very lackluster offensive-performance (yes, it was very offensive), fell to the Tigers. It was only their second shut out of the season.
The game, originally scheduled to start at 2:30 pm Eastern, was delayed by rain.
Fresh off the 14-strikeout performance, Masahiro Tanaka did not have quite the same pitches on Wednesday. It was yet another game where the Yankees started off with a first inning deficit. Ian Kinsler led off with a single to left, and advanced to second when Jim Adduci singled to center. Before most fans could even get a sip of their first beer, Justin Upton doubled down the left field line, scoring Kinsler with the game’s first run. From there, Tanaka settled down retiring the next three batters (two by strikeout).
|Credit: Elsa-Getty Images|
Like Tuesday, the Yankees continued to struggle with runners in scoring position. They had their first scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 2nd when Gary Sanchez was hit by a pitch to reach first base. Chase Headley lined a double to right to move Sanchez to third. Todd Frazier was the suspect this time, with a fly out to end the inning.
A second great scoring opportunity presented itself in the bottom of the 3rd. Both Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury hit one-out singles, with Gardner moving to third. Aaron Judge had first crack at bringing one or both runners home but he struck out. Ellsbury stole second during the at-bat to move into scoring position, representing the potential tying run. Unfortunately, Gary Sanchez grounded out to end the threat.
The Tigers picked up their second run in the top of the 4th. With two outs, Mikie Mahtook walked. James McCann followed with a single to center which Jacoby Ellsbury mishandled (twice) for an error, allowing Mahtook to score from first. McCann ended up on second but was left stranded when Andrew Romine (man, I wanted to type Austin) flied out to left.
The bottom of the 6th brought another failed scoring opportunity for the home team. Aaron Judge opened with a single to left. Gary Sanchez doubled to left as Judge moved to third. Runners in scoring position with no outs. Didi Gregorius popped out to the shortstop. Matt Holliday hit a fly ball to center but it wasn’t deep enough for Judge to tag and score. One more opportunity with Chase Headley, but he went down swinging. More men left 90 feet away, suffering severe cases of “home” sickness.
Six innings and Masahiro Tanaka was done. After the wobbly start, his final line was decent. 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO. Also, he was successful in bringing his season ERA below five to 4.93. Tommy Kahnle pitched a three-up, three-down 7th, however, the Yankees hit into three consecutive ground outs in the bottom of the inning. Then, the second rain delay…
|Credit: Michael Noble Jr-AP|
After the game resumed in the top of the 8th, Dellin Betances pitched an immaculate inning. He struck out three Tigers on 9 pitches.
|Credit: Elsa-Getty Images|
In the bottom of the inning, Jacoby Ellsbury tried. On a pitch that would have been Ball 4, Ellsbury hit a grounder to short but was able to beat it out. A wild pitch from reliever Bruce Rondon that catcher James McCann was unable to handle allowed Ells to move to second. Like the previous Yankees in scoring position for this game, he was left stranded when Rondon retired the next 3 batters.
Shane Greene, the newly appointed Tigers closer following the trading deadline deal that sent Justin Wilson to the Chicago Cubs, took the mound in the 9th and easily retired the Yankees for the 2-0 win. A disappointing way to leave the Stadium for the road trip to Cleveland.
The Yankees (57-49) fell a game behind the Red Sox with the loss. Boston’s game with the Cleveland Indians was rained out and will be made up on Monday, August 14th (after the Red Sox complete a three-game series at Yankee Stadium). The Tampa Bay Rays moved 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees with their 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros. The Baltimore Orioles keep winning. They won their fifth in a row, a 6-0 shutout of Kansas City Royals, and have moved 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Rays and Orioles defeat two of the best teams in the AL while the Yankees lose a series to one of its worst.
Masahiro Tanaka (8-10) took the tough luck loss. I am very concerned about Matt Holliday. He has been a shell of his former self since returning from his viral infection. His bat is hurting this offense. Same with Todd Frazier. Both hitters were hitless in four at-bats. As a team, the Yankees left 20 men on base. It’s very hard to win this game when you can’t push runs across the plate.
|Credit: Elsa-Getty Images|
Next Up: Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH…
The Yankees are set to play a four-game series in Cleveland against the defending American League Champions. The Tribe are returning from a road trip that just ended in Boston against the hated Red Sox.
The scheduled pitching match-ups are:
Yankees: Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.43 ERA)
Indians: Corey Kluber (8-3, 2.90 ERA)
Yankees: Jaime Garcia (5-7, 4.29 ERA)
Indians: Trevor Bauer (9-8, 5.25 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 4.15 ERA)
Indians: Danny Salazar (4-5, 4.63 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (8-4, 2.98 ERA)
Indians: Mike Clevinger (5-4, 3.68 ERA)
Today’s game starts off with a marquee pairing. Luis Severino may be the staff ace, but Sonny Gray is the shiny new toy going against one of the AL’s best in Corey Kluber. It should be a fantastic game. I just wish the Yankee bats were swinging a little better.
|Credit: Kathy Willens-AP|
It’s reunion time for Clint Frazier who makes his first trip to Cleveland as a Yankee. Although he never played at the Major League level, it’s still the organization he began his professional career. He was Cleveland’s top prospect along with outfielder Bradley Zimmer and the two are close friends. Zimmer was called up earlier this season by the Indians and is hitting .282 with 8 home runs and 37 RBI’s in 67 games. I hope Frazier plays as well against the Indians as former Yankee Ben Gamel did against the Yankees a couple of weeks ago.
|Credit: Mark Podolski-The Times-Herald|
Odds & Ends…
The Yankees will miss old friend Andrew Miller on their trip to Cleveland. The Indians placed the versatile lefty on the 10-Day DL yesterday with right knee patella tendinitis. Another former Yankee, Boone Logan, is also on the DL for the Tribe. Logan is most likely good buddies with Tommy Kahnle since they spent a few years together in the Colorado Rockies bullpen. Good that we won’t have to face Miller, but bad for the player. All things considered, I’d prefer to see a happy and healthy Andrew Miller regardless of what uniform he currently wears.
|Credit: Getty Images|
Have a great Thursday! Let’s hope for better things in C-Town as Sonny Gray takes the field for the first time as a friend…not a foe. Go Yankees!
|Credit: Kathy Willens-AP|
For CC Sabathia, it really came down to one bad pitch. With runners at first and second with two outs in the top of the 2nd inning, CC got into an extended battle with Tigers first baseman John Hicks, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him. On the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Hicks deposited a poorly thrown backdoor slider into the right field stands (just beyond the glove of a leaping Aaron Judge), giving the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish.
|Credit: Paul J Bereswill-New York Post|
Justin Upton homered off Sabathia in the 3rd inning, also with two outs, to give the Tigers the necessary insurance run they would need to win. The Yankees wasted an opportunity to chip away in the bottom of the 3rd when Tyler Wade led off with a double to center. A wild pitch by Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez moved Wade to third with no outs. But Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge all failed to bring Wade home.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Yankees finally got on the board when Gary Sanchez opened with a double to left. Didi Gregorius homered to right to bring the Yankees within two runs, 4-2. But those were the only runs the Yankees would be able to get off Anibal Sanchez.
The Yankees picked up their final run in the bottom of the 8th against the Tigers bullpen. With Alex Wilson pitching, Gary Sanchez singled to left and advanced to second on a throwing error by left fielder Justin Upton. The Tigers replaced Wilson with Daniel Stumpf and he was greeted by a run-scoring single from Didi Gregorius to make it a one-run game. Matt Holliday grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Tigers almost added to their lead in the top of the 9th. David Robertson had been brought in to start the inning, in relief of Adam Warren. Thanks to two singles, the Tigers had runners at first and second with two outs. Austin Romine’s brother Andrew singled to center but Brett Gardner gunned down the lead runner (James McCann) at the plate.
|Credit: Jim McIsaac-Getty Images|
In the bottom of the 9th, Jacoby Ellsbury walked with two outs. A throwing error by Tigers reliever Shane Greene on a pick-off attempt allowed Ellsbury to race to third. The Tigers chose to intentionally walk Brett Gardner to face Clint Frazier. Gardner stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. The stage was set for Frazier to be the hero. Unfortunately, he took two called strikes without moving his bat and then popped out on the third pitch from Greene to end the game. It was a disappointing loss and another game of missed opportunities.
The Yankees (57-48) dropped a half game behind the Boston Red Sox with the loss. Boston battled the Cleveland Indians all night long, with the lead constantly changing hands. The Indians scored 7 runs off Red Sox ace Chris Sale in the game. They also scored two runs in the top of the 9th against Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, including a solo homer by Francisco Lindor which tied the game. The Indians took a 10-9 lead into the bottom of the 9th with closer Cody Allen on the mound, but Boston’s Christian Vasquez hit a three-run homer for the 12-10 walk-off win. The Tampa Bay Rays also won. They beat the Houston Astros, 6-4, behind Chris Archer. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles won their fourth consecutive game (7-2 over the Kansas City Royals) so they moved within 5 1/2 games of the Yankees.
|Credit: John Wilcox-Boston Herald|
|Credit: Kathy Willens-AP|
|Credit: Robert Sabo-New York Post|
Credit: Getty Images
Jaime Garcia, in a pre-game interview, told the story how his late grandfather had told him as a boy he would play for the Yankees. The Yankees are his family’s favorite team, and they were Jaime’s favorite team as a kid. Great story. I am looking forward to watching Jaime pitch in pinstripes. Based on Joe Girardi’s comments, it appears that Sonny Gray will start in Cleveland on Thursday and Garcia will take the mound the next day. I hate to be guilty of looking ahead, but I can’t wait for Thursday and Friday. They should be fun and exciting games.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
It has been said that the Gray trade has the potential to be a steal for the Yankees. While I am glad Gray is a Yankee, the potential also exists for the trade to be a steal for the A’s. I still believe that James Kaprielian can be a top of the rotation starter. Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler can be very dangerous players for a future A’s squad. Best case, the trade is a win/win for both organizations.
It was another win for Chance Adams (7-3, 2.32 ERA). The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Buffalo Bisons, 5-1, on Tuesday behind Adams but the usual problem surfaced with too many walks (four). He went 6 innings (101 pitches), giving up 8 hits and 3 runs to the Bisons. He struck out 3. Billy McKinney, one of the players that will need to be placed on the 40-man roster before December’s Rule 5 Draft, hit a three-run homer to back Adams.
Yankees 7, Tigers 3…
Despite a few unintentional plunkings, the Yankees emerged victorious over the Detroit Tigers on Monday. A critical error by Ian Kinsler of the Tigers opened the door for runs in the fourth inning, and Aaron Judge later added to his collection of home runs.
Let’s start first with Luis Severino. He didn’t have his best stuff but he battled. That’s the sign of a very good pitcher. Sevy threw nearly 30 pitches in the first inning which showed that he probably would not have length in the game. After striking out the first two Tigers batters in the first inning, the Tigers loaded the bases when Justin Upton singled, Miguel Cabrera walked, and Nicholas Castanellos singled. Fortunately, Sevy got out of the inning when Victor Martinez struck out swinging at a pitch below the strike zone.
|Credit: Kathy Willens-AP|
Detroit’s Mikie Mahtook suffered his first hit by pitch leading off the second inning. Sevy’s pitch got away from him and hit Mahtook between the numbers. Sevy retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
The Tigers scored first in the top of the 4th inning. Mikie Mahtook singled to left with two outs, and advanced to second when Clint Frazier overran the ball for an error. James McCann doubled to right (just beyond a diving Aaron Judge), scoring Mahtook for the early 1-0 lead. The Yankees came right back in the bottom of the inning. After Aaron Judge walked, Gary Sanchez hit a grounder to second baseman Ian Kinsler which he mishandled. Both runners were safe at first and second. Matt Holliday walked to load the bases for Chase Headley. Headley took advantage of the situation with a double to the right center wall, splitting the outfielders. Both Judge and Sanchez scored, while Holliday moved to third. Todd Frazier followed with a single to right, scoring Holliday and Headley. The Yankees had taken a 4-1 lead that would not be relinquished.
The Yankees added a run in the fifth inning when Aaron Judge muscled his 34th home run into the left center stands.
Luis Severino did not return for the 6th inning and was replaced by Tommy Kahnle. Sevy had thrown 116 pitches by the time he struck out Victor Martinez in the top of the 5th. But by completing at least 5 innings, Sevy (8-4) would be the eventual winner. His final line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 SO. It was his second shortest start of the year. Kahnle didn’t fare so well but he did limit the damage. The top of the 6th started with a high fastball that curved inside, striking the side of Mikie Mahtook’s batting helmet. It was a very scary moment but Mahtook jumped up quickly and visibly voiced his displeasure. I was very glad to see that Mahtook was not hurt on the play. James McCann followed Mahtook and hit an infield grounder to third for a hit. Mahtook moved to second. Kahnle was able to retire the next two batters, but then Jim Adduci singled to left to score Mahtook. 5-2, Yankees.
In the bottom of the 7th, Tigers starter Michael Fulmer hit Jacoby Ellsbury in the butt leading off the 7th inning. “It stinks for Ells,” Manager Joe Girardi said after the game, “It stinks for everyone involved. But I kind of expected it to come.” Ellsbury shook it off and promptly stole second. Clint Frazier tripled to left to score Ellsbury.
|Credit: Charles Wenzelberg-New York Post|
Following a walk to Aaron Judge, Fulmer was pulled in favor of Alex Wilson. Wilson allowed a sacrifice fly to Gary Sanchez as the Yankees increased their lead to 7-2 before striking out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder made it a little too interesting in the top of the 9th inning. Holder had entered the game to start the 8th, allowing only a meaningless single while striking out two of the four batters he faced. The 9th didn’t go quite so well. After striking out Justin Upton to start the inning, both Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castanellos singled. Holder hit Victor Martinez with a pitch to load the bases. End of game for Holder; enter Aroldis Chapman. Mikie Mahtook hit into a force out at second to erase Martinez, but Cabrera scored. 7-3, Yankees. Chapman then struck out James McCann with runners at the corners to end the game, picking up his 13th save. A little too much drama at the end, but the end result worked. The Yankees win!
|Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports|
The Yankees (57-47) maintained their half game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East with the win. The Red Sox easily defeated the Yankees’ next opponent, the Cleveland Indians, 6-2. The Tampa Bay Rays were pummeled by the Houston Astros, 14-7, to fall 4 1/2 games off the pace. The Baltimore Orioles won their third game in a row and sit 6 1/2 games back.
Chase Headley is hot. He was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. He is batting .383 since the All-Star break (23-for-60). Matt Holliday is not. He was 0-for-3, with three strikeouts although he did score a run when he walked in the 4th inning.
Deadline Day Recap…
Sonny Skies in the Bronx! There will be no Gray Matter left hanging in the Bay as the Yankees finally consummated the long awaited deal to bring Sonny Gray to New York. GM Brian Cashman was successful in retaining top OF prospect Estevan Florial but it cost 2B/SS/CF Jorge Mateo, OF Dustin Fowler, and RHP James Kaprielian. Fowler is out for the season due to the horrific knee injury suffered in Chicago when he made his MLB debut for the Yanks, and Kaprielian is recovering from Tommy John surgery. I hate to see all three go but at the end of the day, the Yankees are better today than they were yesterday with a young, controllable starter that will be in Pinstripes beyond this year.
All things considered, not losing Florial in the trade has to be a win even if it cost the team Fowler and Kaprielian in addition to Mateo. The stars seem to be aligning for the potential future free agent signings of OF Bryce Harper and/or 3B Manny Machado. No word yet when Gray will make his Yankees debut, but his turn in the rotation had originally been scheduled for last Sunday and then pushed to Monday (which was obviously postponed due to the trade) so he’s ready. Based on Manager Joe Girardi’s words, it sounds as though we’ll see both Gray and Garcia when the team travels to Cleveland later this week.
The Yankees also picked up $1.5 million international bonus slot money in the A’s deal.
The Yankees have a mission to rebuild the Baltimore Orioles’ pitching staff. After sending pitchers Richard Bleier and Matt Wotherspoon to the O’s earlier this year, the Yankees sent RHP Yefry Ramirez to the O’s for international bonus pool money prior to the Sonny Gray acquisition.
The day’s action opened three spots on the 40-man roster (those held by Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler and Yefry Ramirez). One will be taken by Sonny Gray, while another will go to Jaime Garcia.
A very productive day for GM Brian Cashman…
Odds & Ends…
A couple of quick notes about new Yankees lefty Jaime Garcia. I thought Garcia was in Oakland, CA with the Minnesota Twins when it was announced that he had been traded to the Yankees. He was actually home in Atlanta packing his bags when news of the trade was officially announced after catching a red-eye flight on Saturday night. Twins manager Paul Molitor had a great line about Garcia, “Unless we bring him back, he’ll go down as one of the few undefeated pitchers in Twins history”. Garcia, with the Twins for only 6 days, won his only start on Friday night. It is amazing to think that the Minnesota Twins are paying the freight on Garcia’s salary, with the Yankees only responsible for the prorated share of the league minimum. Hal Steinbrenner must have been giddy about dollar savings on the deal.
RHP Jonathan Holder has been recalled from Triple A prior to Monday’s game to fill the spot vacated by RHP Luis Cessa when he was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this weekend. Holder and 1B Garrett Cooper were both optioned to SWB after the game, presumably to make room for Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia. Garcia is scheduled to join the Yankees today.
I am anxious to see what numbers Gray and Garcia will wear. Both pitchers have worn #54 and we know that one is already taken. Garcia wore #24 for 6 days in Minnesota, but that one’s already spoken for too.
Have a great Tuesday! New faces all around…David Robertson is already an old-timer once again. Let’s Go Yankees!
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
Rays 5, Yankees 3…
Ronald Torreyes tried but nobody else in the offensive lineup was cooperative as the Yankees lost the fourth and final game of the series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Yankee hitters were 1-for-11 in scoring opportunities so this one goes down as a game of ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’.
On a day when it was announced the Yankees had acquired left-handed starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, one of the other lefties in the rotation…Jordan Montgomery…failed to get out of the third inning. Like Saturday, the Rays took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Montgomery struck out Peter Bourjos, walked Steven Souza, Jr, and struck out Evan Longoria. Lucas Duda singled to left as Souza, Jr took second. Trevor Plouffe followed with a single up the middle, scoring Souza, Jr with the game’s first run.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
The Yankees grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second. Chase Headley walked with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Rays starter Jacob Faria. After Todd Frazier struck out, Ronald Torreyes hit a homer over the left field wall…2-1, Yankees.
Peter Bourjos led off the third inning with a double to the left field wall. After Steven Souza, Jr struck out, Evan Longoria reached on an infield chopper as the speedy Bourjos took third. Lucas Duda walked to load the bases with only one out. For a moment, it looked like Monty might be able to work out of the jam. He struck out Trevor Plouffe and had Corey Dickerson a strike away from ending the inning. But Dickerson hit a 1-2 pitch into center field, scoring Bourjos and Longoria with the tying and go-ahead runs. Wilson Ramos followed with a single to center, scoring Duda, and it was 4-2 Rays. Manager Joe Girardi had seen enough, and pulled Montgomery, who had thrown 71 pitches despite an inability to get out of the 3rd inning, in favor of Luis Cessa. Cessa threw a wild pitch which allowed Dickerson to take third as Ramos moved to second, but he was able to strike out Tim Beckham to get out of the inning.
The Yankees made it a one-run game in the bottom of the 4th. With two outs, Todd Frazier walked on four straight balls and scored when Ronald Torreyes doubled to the left field corner. Frazier slid in under the throw from the outfield to score while Torreyes moved to third but Toe was left stranded when Austin Romine grounded out.
The Rays added an insurance run in the top of the 8th against Yankees reliever Chad Green. Mallex Smith, pinch-hitting for Tim Beckham, led off the 8th with an infield single. Smith stole second, easily sliding in under the tag. With two outs, Steven Souza, Jr doubled off the left center wall to bring Smith home for the Rays’ fifth and final run.
The Yankees had numerous scoring opportunities in this game, but none bigger than the bottom of the 9th. After Gary Sanchez struck out against Rays closer Alex Colome, Brett Gardner singled to left. A wild pitch moved Gardy to second and Clint Frazier reached first when Colome threw four straight pitches outside of the strike zone. With the tying run at first and one out, the Yankees had the heart of the lineup representing the winning run at the plate. Aaron Judge had the first opportunity but got under a pitch and popped out to Trevor Plouffe in foul territory. It came down to Matt Holliday for the Yankees’ last chance. He weakly grounded out to Evan Longoria who easily threw Holliday out at first.
The Yankees could have won this game, leaving a total of 22 men on base, but it was not meant to be. The bullpen did a very good job after Montgomery’s early exit. The combination of Luis Cessa, Chasen Shreve and Chad Green pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing only 3 hits and the 8th inning run given up by Green. They walked 6 batters but struck out 11. Shreve and Green worked out of a bases loaded threat in the top of the 7th inning. The trio gave the Yankees the chance to win so that’s all you can ask.
Fortunately, the Boston Red Sox also lost on Sunday, by the same 5-3 score to the Kansas City Royals, so the Yankees (56-47) maintained their half game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. The Rays picked up a game so they are 3 1/2 back after losing three of four to the Yankees over the weekend.
Austin Romine left the game after getting hit by a pitch in the 6th inning. It was a tough game for him. He was struck in the throat by a bounced foul ball earlier in the game, and was hit in the head by Steven Souza, Jr’s bat on a follow-through of his swing. Although he stayed in the game to run after getting hit, he was replaced at catcher by Gary Sanchez the next inning. The cameras showed a bruised welt on Romine’s hand but x-rays proved negative. Manager Joe Girardi does not expect any DL time for Romine, and of course Romine’s attitude was the usual ‘just cram the hand in the glove and go’.
Credit: Getty Images
Clint Frazier had quite a second inning. Right before Romine got the ball to the throat, Frazier caught a fly ball in front of Brett Gardner who had tried to call Frazier off. The next batter, Adeiny Hechavarria, hit a ball to the left field wall and Frazier timed his leap and catch perfectly to take away an extra base hit. Bad play-good play, but fortunately both were for outs.
Next Up: Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY…
The Yankees entertain the Detroit Tigers for a three-game series at the Stadium beginning today. By game time, the Trading Deadline will have come and gone. It’s time to focus on winning the AL East. Newcomer Jaime Garcia, having pitched last Friday in Oakland for the Twins, will be unavailable to pitch until Thursday, thereby missing the Detroit series.
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:
Tigers: Michael Fulmer (10-8, 3.35 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (7-4, 3.03 ERA)
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 6.18 ERA)
Yankees: CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.66 ERA)
Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann (6-8, 5.69 ERA)
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (8-9, 5.09 ERA)
Odds & Ends…
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Yankees optioned lefty starter Caleb Smith to Triple A and recalled lefty reliever Chasen Shreve. After the game, they optioned RHP Luis Cessa to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (presumably to make room for LHP Jaime Garcia).
I had thought Tigers reliever Justin Wilson would be the next ex-Yankee traded this month in what has been a flurry of transactions involving former Pinstripers. I was wrong. Yesterday, the Chicago White Sox made their latest veteran dump when they sent OF Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals. This is Melky’s second tour with the Royals where he spent the 2011 season. But Wilson wasn’t far behind as word spread that he was on his way to Wrigley Field by the end of the day.
Congratulations to third baseman Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers for becoming a member of the 3,000 Hit Club. Beltre reached the milestone on Sunday with a double off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wade Miley. Beltre is currently in his 20th MLB season and is the first player born in the Dominican Republic to reach 3,000 hits.
Credit: Tom Fox-The Dallas Morning News
As of this writing, I don’t know what to think about the Sonny Gray rumors. On Saturday, it sounded like the Yankees were making significant progress with the Oakland A’s but then yesterday, nothing (implying a potential impasse). With the clock clicking down, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen. While I remain optimistic the Yankees will get Gray, there is a good possibility that Jaime Garcia is the Yankees’ last acquisition before the deadline. Although the Yankees are rumored to be looking at Yu Darvish as a backup plan, I think that is far less likely to happen. I’m hoping we’ll be looking at Sonny skies before game time today but prepared to move on with the arms and bats currently on the roster.
Have a great Monday! It’s should be a wild ride up to 4 pm Eastern today but afterwards, let’s start a new winning streak. Go Yankees!