|Credit: Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press|
Red Sox 10, Yankees 5…
I have been guilty of using the word “ace” when it comes to Luis Severino but performances like Saturday when Sevy imploded against the Boston Red Sox serves as a reminder that he is not there yet. After the brilliant come-from-behind win on Friday night, it was the Red Sox who caught and then battered the Yankees.
Boston rookie left-fielder Andrew Benintendi, 23, became the youngest Red Sox player to have 6 RBI’s against the Yankees since 1920. He was just the second Red Sox hitter to belt two homers of three or more runs since legendary HOFer Jimmie Foxx did it twice during the 1938 season.
The game started beautifully. Severino retired the first three Red Sox hitters on six pitches to start the game, and the Yankees jumped on Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz in the bottom of the first. Brett Gardner led off with a single to left. After Pomeranz struck out Aarons Hicks and Judge, Gary Sanchez took advantage of the right field porch to give the Yankees the early 2-0 lead.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press|
Severino was still dominant in the second inning. He only needed 11 pitches to retire the four through six hitters of the Red Sox lineup, including a swinging strikeout of Hanley Ramirez to start the inning.
The game changed in the third inning. With the Yankees still leading 2-0, Severino walked Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley, Jr with one out. A fielding error by Todd Frazier (dropped the ball on the transfer from his glove) allowed Eduardo Nunez to reach base and the bases were loaded. Mookie Betts singled to left in the hole through short, scoring Vazquez and JBJ, and the game was tied. Andrew Benintendi hit a sharp fly that hit the top of the center field wall and bounced over for a three run homer. The Red Sox had taken a 5-2 lead. They got a couple more singles (by Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland), but the Yankees were able to get out of the inning when Xander Bogaerts lined out to left and Brett Gardner’s throw to second doubled Ramirez off 2nd for the final out.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press|
The Yankees looked like they were going to make it a game again in the 4th inning. Severino struck out the side to bring the Yankees to bat. Didi Gregorius led off with a single to center. Todd Frazier walked, and Chase Headley singled to center to load the bases. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to first, but Gregorius came home to score and it was 5-3. The Yankees were unable to push any more runs across when both Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner popped out against Pomeranz. The missed opportunity hurt because the Red Sox would make the Yankees pay the next inning.
Eduardo Nunez led off the fifth with a single to left. Mookie Betts doubled to left, with Nunez moving to third. Andrew Benintendi came up again and belted his second home run of the game, and 16th of the year, to give the Red Sox an 8-3 advantage. I am sure the ‘no doubt about it’ blast to the right center field stands caused the bars in Boston to erupt. After Hanley Ramirez flied out, Mitch Moreland doubled to left. Xander Bogaerts reached base on a throwing error by Didi Gregorius and Moreland moved to third. Manager Joe Girardi ended Severino’s day and brought in Giovanny Gallegos. Boston rookie third baseman Rafael Devers greeted Gallegos with a double to center, scoring both Moreland and Bogaerts. Gallegos retired the next two batters but the Red Sox had scored 5 times to increase their lead to 10-3.
The Yankees added a couple of solo home runs in the bottom of the 9th when both Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury went yard, but it was too little, too late. Red Sox reliever Robby Scott settled down and retired the next three Yankees to end the game.
|Credit: Getty Images|
The Yankees (61-54) fell back to 4 1/2 games behind the Red Sox with the loss. It doesn’t bode well for Sunday with Chris Sale pitching for Boston. Sale hasn’t beaten the Yankees this year, but he’ll bring a 1.15 ERA into the game based on two starts against the Bombers. For a team struggling to score, Sale is not exactly a recipe for success. The Tampa Bay Rays were unable to make up any ground on the Yankees and remain 3 1/2 games behind New York. They were shut out by the Cleveland Indians, 3-0. The Baltimore Orioles moved back to 4 games behind the Yankees with their 12-5 win over the Oakland A’s.
Aaron Judge was cold as ice. He was 0-for-4, with two strikeouts. He extended his own team record with his 29th consecutive game with a strikeout. While Judge is still the favorite for AL Rookie of the Year, Benintendi is the one making noise in the Dog Days of Summer. Later in the day, I turned on the TV to see Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger belt his 34th home of the season against the San Diego Padres. The other top rookies have made the necessary adjustments. Hopefully Judge can figure this out and follow suit. He is capable of doing to Boston what Benintendi did to the Yankees.
|Credit: Robert Sabo|
Luis Severino’s final line was very ugly. 4 1/3 innings, 8 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He gave up the two homers to Benintendi. His season record dropped to 9-5 and his ERA was inflated to 3.32. Nice job by Gallegos after he got past the two-run double by Devers. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing only the double, and struck out 4. Bryan Mitchell pitched the final two innings, giving up three hits but no runs.
|Credit: Rich Schultz-Getty Images|
Odds & Ends…
Saturday opened with news that Masahiro Tanaka had been placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation. Tanaka will avoid pitching for 5 days but is expected to return when eligible. To take his place, the Yankees recalled reliever Giovanny Gallegos (who relieved Luis Severino in Saturday’s game). I had thought Bryan Mitchell would get the start on Monday in place of Tanaka, but his two innings of work probably means that Luis Cessa will be recalled to make the start against the New York Mets. No announcement has been made regarding who will make the start. Caleb Smith is scheduled to start for the RailRiders today so he’s probably not an option. The long-anticipated MLB debut for Chance Adams will have to wait since Adams pitched Friday night and is not an option for Monday.
The Yankees almost lost another starter when Jordan Montgomery took a ball to the head during Red Sox batting practice. Montgomery was signing autographs for fans down the right field line when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon. Talking to reporters later, Montgomery said that he’ll be fine and will make today’s start but you could clearly see a laceration on his ear from the seams on the baseball. Very scary but hopefully he’ll have no lasting effects.
|Credit: Kathy Willens-The Associated Press|
Have a great Sunday! Here’s hoping the Yankees can defy the odds against Sale and took the series with a win. Let’s Go Yankees!
A’s 8, Yankees 7…
I love California but this road trip has been horrific.
The Yankees fought back in this game time and again and took the lead in the 10th, only to lose another game with a rookie pitcher on the mound. I am not pinning this on Giovanny Gallegos but it’s a testament to the mounting bangs and bruises on this team.
After the Yankees failed to score with the bases loaded in the first inning, the A’s took the early lead in the bottom of the frame with a solo shot by Jed Lowrie. The A’s took a 3-0 lead in the second when Adam Rosales doubled off Jordan Montgomery, following a walk by Matt Chapman, making his Major League debut, and a ground-rule double by Josh Phegley, scoring both base runners.
The game stayed that way until the sixth. In the top of the inning, Chase Headley singled with the bases loaded to score two runs. Chris Carter followed with a single to tie the game at 3. The A’s replaced starting pitcher Sonny Gray with Sean Dolittle who retired the next two Yankees to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the 6th, Yonder Alonso homered as the A’s re-captured the lead, 4-3.
The seesaw battle continued in the 7th inning when Gary Sanchez doubled with Starlin Castro on second, scoring Castro with the tying run. But the A’s answered the run with a run-scoring single by Chad Pinder in the bottom of the inning and the A’s were back up, 5-4.
Chris Carter homered in the top of the 8th to once again tie the game, 5-5. Like the inning before, the A’s answered the call in the bottom of the inning when Matt Joyce hit a grounder into a force out with the bases loaded and only one out, scoring the lead runner. 6-5, A’s. Tyler Clippard had started the inning but he was ineffective (again) as two of three batters he faced reached base through a single and a walk. Dellin Betances was on the mound when the A’s scored their run, but he was able to strike out Rajai Davis to prevent any further damage.
The 9th inning saw the Yankees tie the game again when Starlin Castro doubled off A’s closer Santiago Casilla and Gary Sanchez followed with a run-scoring single. Gary Sanchez stole second to give the Yankees a runner in scoring position (replaced by pinch runner Ronald Torreyes as Sanchez came out of the game with a tight groin) with only one out, but Didi Gregorius and Chris Carter could not move the runner. Didi flied out, and Carter went down swinging on a 3-2 count. In the bottom of the 9th, the A’s loaded the bases with two outs against Betances but he was able to get out of the inning by striking out Matt Chapman.
The Yankees took their first lead of the game in the 10th when Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. Matt Holliday, entering the game at DH to replace Torreyes, struck out against A’s reliever Liam Hendricks to end the inning. The Yankees could have used a few insurance runs on this night. In the bottom of the 10th, Giovanny Gallegos replaced Betances. He retired the first two batters he faced, but then Rajai Davis singled and Chad Pinder doubled to move Davis to third. Jed Lowrie was intentionally walked to load the bases. Khris Davis ended the game with a single just over Starlin Castro (ball tipped off his glove), scoring Davis and Pinder with the winning runs. A’s emerged with the 8-7 victory in another lost opportunity for the Yankees.
|Credit: Jason O Watson-Getty Images|
Manager Joe Girardi summed it up after the game, “It hurts because it’s a matter of a couple inches that you lose that game by and it’s frustrating.”
This was another game that shows how much the Yankees miss closer Aroldis Chapman. It will be good to get Chapman back this weekend (hopefully on Sunday) so that Betances can get into games earlier and lessen the reliance on other arms.
Fingers crossed for both Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks who also left the game in the 9th with tightness in his Achilles Heel. After the game, it was disclosed that reliever Adam Warren is battling tightness in his trapezius muscle which accounted for his unavailability. Hopefully, none of these ailments are serious.
Didi Gregorius singled in the game to extend his current hitting streak to 17 games.
Fortunately, the Yankees (38-26) did not lose any ground to any AL East team except the Toronto Blue Jays as everyone else lost. The Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays remain 2 games and 5 1/2 games behind, respectively, while the Blue Jays moved up to 6 1/2 games back (bringing the Baltimore Orioles into a tie for the AL East cellar).
Hopefully, better results await the Yankees today.
Odds & Ends…
Ronald Herrera, we hardly knew ye. After taking the loss in his lone Big League appearance on Wednesday night, Herrera has found himself back with the Double A Trenton Thunder. I thought it was much to ask of Herrera to make the jump from AA to the Majors, and the proof was in the pudding with the pitch he threw Andrelton Simmons. What works in AA goes for a long home run in the Big Leagues. The Yankees also placed CC Sabathia on the Disabled List, as expected. To replace Herrera and Sabathia, the Yankees have recalled Luis Cessa and Domingo German. Sunday’s starter has not yet been determined but Girardi has a pool of Cessa, German and Chad Green to choose from. Cessa appears to be the favorite to start on Sunday (or on Saturday if Girardi decides to push Masahiro Tanaka back a day).
The Yankees stopped the rehabilitation for Greg Bird yesterday and he’ll see Team Physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad today. Bird told Trainer Steve Donohue on Thursday morning that the leg was not feeling right and not functioning right. This is not good news. The Yankees are already suspect at both infield corners. Tyler Austin has not exactly set the World on fire at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He is currently batting .303 but only has 1 homer and 6 RBI’s in 17 games (66 AB’s). In my opinion, the best first baseman in the system is Thunder first baseman Mike Ford. This year, including his time at AAA, Ford, 24, is batting .289/.410/.509 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI’s. He has played 61 games and has walked 44 times. He even stole a base…once. But he has the same disadvantage as Chance Adams and others, he does not have a place on the 40-man roster.
There was already talk the Yankees needed to upgrade at third. If the priority becomes first base, does this increase the likelihood that we’ll see Gleyber Torres as soon as next month? I still think it is too premature for him and his AAA manager is on record saying that he is not ready yet. I guess this is why GM Brian Cashman is paid to make these decisions. The added pressure on him is the moves over the next 45 days will go a long way toward determining his future at the end of the year with the expiration of his contract.
Have a great Friday! Let’s win one of these close games for a change…
The latest Yahoo Sports MLB Power Rankings that pushed the New York Yankees to #1 were a bit premature. These Yankees are not quite up to par with the high flying Houston Astros (who were ranked #3). Two games does not a season make, but the Yankees haven’t exactly shown they can hang with the Astros so far in this series.
The Astros seem to have every answer and it appears that both Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran have found themselves on the right side of the equation.
Credit: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Right now, the two best teams in Baseball are the Astros and the Washington Nationals (even with their bullpen problems).
The Yankees have two games to right the ship. They can prove that they can play with the Astros, just not with pitchers named Keuchel or McCullers. Today’s game has been postponed due to inclement weather so the Yankees will play a double-header tomorrow for the joint Derek Jeter’s and Mother’s Day. It’s single-admission entry so only Sunday’s ticketholders have seats for the Derek Jeter ceremonies. Saturday’s ticketholders will be able to exchange their tickets for future games. The Bronx weather forecast calls for a 60% chance for rain tomorrow which falls to 20% by evening. The first game is expected to start at 2:05 pm. Hopefully we’ll be listening to Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York by the end of the day.
Yesterday’s game was not pretty. Brian McCann set the tone early with his three run homer off Jordan Montgomery in the fourth inning. The ball traveled just inside right-field foul pole into an area that McCann has frequently deposited pitches. As a guy we once cheered for, McCann is becoming a thorn. He caught the pitch that nailed Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate to end Thursday’s game, then he launched the deciding blast yesterday. Lance McCullers, Jr showed why he is one of the great young talents in the game. It was eery when the TV telecast showed a comparison of his dad pitching for the Yankees and then the younger McCullers. They are very similar with their pitching motions and release. Young Lance went six innings, holding the Yanks to four hits and no runs. He showed excellent control with no walks, and struck out seven Bombers (although Gary Sanchez was the most frequent contributor to those K’s).
The Yankees scored a run in the ninth inning on a two-out RBI single by Didi Gregorius, but it was too little, too late. Ronald Torreyes struck out to end the game.
I felt bad for Jordan Montgomery. Remove the McCann homer, and he didn’t pitch that badly. He did register 7 strikeouts, but the final line in six innings was not pretty. 8 hits and 4 runs saw the elevation of Montgomery’s season ERA from 3.81 to 4.19. As for the bullpen, Jonathan Holder and Tyler Clippard continue to show that the arms in front of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman are very strong. Aroldis Chapman, on the other hand, is cause for concern. Chapman only lasted two-thirds of an inning in the ninth when he allowed three hits, including a two-out RBI single to Josh Reddick. With shades of his poor performance in Cincinnati earlier in the week, Chapman couldn’t finish the inning after he gave up a single to Jose Altuve. Giovanny Gallegos, making his Major League debut, had to be called on to retire the Astros (he induced Yankee killer Carlos Correa into a fly out to center). Hopefully this is just a temporary funk for Chapman and he is not seriously injured.
Credit: Elsa/Getty Images
Despite the loss (their third in a row), the Yankees (21-12) remain a half-game behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East as the O’s fell to the Kansas City, 3-2. The Boston Red Sox tried unsuccessfully to rally against the Tampa Bay Rays and lost 5-4, so there was no movement at the top of the division standings.
Chance Adams is getting closer to New York. You can feel the rumble. On Friday, the Yankees promoted the 22-year old right-hander from AA-Trenton to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In six games for the Thunder, Adams was 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA. In 35 innings, he has only given up 23 hits, 6 runs (4 earned), 2 HR’s, and 15 walks. He has also sent 32 batters muttering to themselves as they walked back to the dugout after strikeouts. There’s no doubt we’ll soon be taking a chance on Adams in the Big Apple in the not-so-distant future if he keeps pitching like this. Given that he’s dominated every level, there’s little doubt that AAA is his next victim.
The word is that Tyler Austin will begin playing rehab games soon. So, when he is ready, the Yankees have decisions to make. They can send Austin to AAA or they can bring him to the Bronx. If he arrives at 161st and River and starts making solid contributions, Chris Carter is going to become obsolete. I do not see a need for Carter once both Austin and Greg Bird are healthy. If Carter was at least demonstrating some of the power that led to 41 home runs last year, it would be one thing but he’s not. He’s a one-dimensional player that isn’t exactly tearing it up in his one dimension. I think Carter needs regular at-bats to get into a groove but the Yankees are not going to afford him that opportunity (nor should they). The team would be best served by flipping Carter to another team for some spare parts.
Have a great Saturday! Stay dry and keep your fun and excitement at an all-time high!