Yankees 9, Reds 5…
All seems to be right in the Yankees Universe once again. After Manager Joe Girardi voiced that “he’s thrown the best all year for us…call him what you want”, Luis Severino went out and threw another ace-style performance at the Cincinnati Reds as the Yankees swept the two-game series.
Jordan Montgomery took a no-hitter into the sixth inning on Tuesday and settled for a two-hit, one-run performance over 6 2/3 innings. It was as if Severino said, “that’s great, but I can do better”. Sevy (7-4) pitched 7 innings for the win, allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs (none earned). He walked a couple of batters and struck out 9. For the man who couldn’t win a start in 2016, he is this year’s MVP in the starting rotation.
Then there’s Didi Gregorius who is hitting everything thrown within 50 miles of him. Derek Jeter who? Okay, I jest on that part so as to not offend the DJ fans and his legacy but Didi is simply playing in a higher league right now.
Credit: Paul J Bereswill-The NY Post
The game started out to be a pitching duel between Severino and Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey. They traded 0’s for a couple of innings until the Yankees broke through with a run in the bottom of the 3rd. The Toddfather (Todd Frazier, as if it needs an explanation) got the inning started with a single. But he was quickly erased when the $153 million pinch-runner, starting in center due to a day off for Aaron Judge in right, hit into a double play. Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner took matters into their own bats and both singled to put runners at first and second. The other Frazier (Red Thunder) singled to right to score Torreyes. The Yankees had the early 1-0 lead.
In the 5th inning, after the $153 million man flied out for the second out of the inning, Ronald Torreyes, Brett Gardner, and Clint Frazier repeated the third inning formula. Single, single, single with run scored. Like the 3rd inning, Gary Sanchez got the final out leaving Gardner stranded. It was 2-0 Yankees.
Finally in the 6th inning, the Yankees looked elsewhere than Torreyes, Gardy and Red Thunder for runs as Didi Gregorius reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Jose Peraza, subbing for the injured Zack Cozart, and advanced to second. Chase Headley singed to center to bring home Didi. 3-0, Yankees. After Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch, Jacoby Ellsbury reached base on a force attempt throwing error to second base by first baseman Joey Votto to load the bases. Frazier was originally called out at second, but the Yankees rightfully challenged the play and it was overturned when it clearly showed that Jose Peraza’s foot was off base when he took the throw from Votto. Ronald Torreyes hit a grounder to short and was thrown out at first but Headley scored on the play as the Yankees increased their lead to 4-0.
The Reds picked up a couple of runs against Severino in the top of the 7th. Scott Schebler reached base on a fielding error by Didi Gregorius. Eugenio Suarez made the Yankees pay for it with a double to left, scoring Schebler. A wild pitch by Sevy advanced Suarez to third. Tucker Barnhart grounded out to first, but Suarez scored. 4-2, Yankees.
The Yankees broke the game open in the bottom of the 7th. Clint Frazier walked and scored when Gary Sanchez doubled to left. Sanchez advanced to third on the throw. Matt Holliday singled to left to score Sanchez. It was 6-2 Yankees and the end of the line for Homer Bailey. Reliever Tony Cingrani entered the game and was met with a Didi Gregorius home run to right (that’s been happening to quite a few pitchers lately). Two more runs and it was 8-2. After Chase Headley lined out, the Toddfather finally crashed the party with his first Yankee home run, a solo shot to left. It was 9-2 Yankees and it seemed like it would be a coast to victory.
Credit: Elsa-Getty Images
Enter Luis Cessa. The first out was easy…a ground out by Billy Hamilton. The second batter, Scooter Gennett, should have been an out but Gennett reached first after swinging at the third strike, a ball that got past Gary Sanchez due to a wild pitch on Cessa. Cessa then proceeded to walk Joey Votto which brought up Adam Duvall. During the at-bat, I was thinking that Cessa had better be careful with the dangerous Duvall at the plate. Boom, a three-run shot to right and the Reds had closed the gap to 9-5. Fortunately, after a visit by pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Cessa retired the next two batters to get out of the inning. I am not sure that I could have been that patient with Cessa. If I was manager, he probably would have been grabbing his bus seat for the trip to Scranton, PA by the end of the game.
Girardi made the wise choice to go with David Robertson in the 9th. 1-2-3, game over. Man, I love having D-Rob back in the fold. The Yankees win!
The Yankees (53-46) did not make up any ground in the AL East despite the win. The Boston Red Sox, behind Chris Sale and rookie third baseman Rafael Devers who homered in his first MLB at-bat, beat the Seattle Mariners, 4-0. The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1. So, the Yankees remain one game behind the Red Sox and a game and a half ahead of the Rays who departed for the Bronx following their game in Baltimore.
The $153 Million Man was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and was the only starting position player without a hit. What was it that Joe Girardi said? He was to take advantage of his opportunities? Ouch…
Next Up: Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York…
The Yankees get back into AL East play this evening at Yankee Stadium. The third-place Tampa Bays come to town ready to make some noise. It is the Yankees’ mission to ensure that they leave disappointed.
|Credit: Will Vragovic-Tampa Bay Times|
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:
Rays: Chris Archer (7-6, 3.77 ERA)
Yankees: CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.44 ERA)
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (7-9, 5.37 ERA)
Rays: Blake Snell (0-6, 4.86 ERA)
Yankees: Caleb Smith (0-1, 8.10 ERA)
Rays: Jacob Faria (5-1, 2.67 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-5, 3.92 ERA)
Odds & Ends…
Chance Adams pitched yesterday in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 5-4 win over the Norfolk Tides. He did not get the decision but went 7 innings, giving up only three hits and two runs. He had two walks to go with seven strikeouts. His season ERA stands at 2.39. The RailRiders won the game, thanks to a two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning by Mike Ford off former Yankees pitcher Matt Wotherspoon. The Tides got a run off winner Ben Heller in the bottom of the 10th.
Have a great Thursday! Let’s keep this winning streak alive! Go Yankees!
|Credit: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports|
Mariners 6, Yankees 5…
So much for a potential sweep in Seattle as the Mariners prevailed over the Yankees in extra innings on Saturday night. Ex-Yankees Ben Gamel and Robinson Cano made themselves heard in this game. The Yankees can still take three of four with a victory today so they can still end this road trip on a high note.
Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have his best stuff (in a statement that we have made far too often this season). The Yankees scored first in the second inning when Gary Sanchez doubled to right, a one-hopper off the wall. After Sanchez was nearly picked off at second, Didi Gregorius hit a single to right which moved Sanchez to third. Todd Frazier hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Sanchez scored on the play. After allowing a meaningless single in each of the two first innings, Tanaka lost the lead in the third. Mike Zunino opened with a blast to left center and the game was tied. Following a strikeout of Jean Segura, former Yankee Ben Gamel homered on the first pitch to right center. It was the 26th home run allowed by Tanaka this season, tying him for the dubious AL lead with Ricky Nolasco. Robinson Cano went down swinging for the second out. Nelson Cruz singled on an infield grounder to third (Tood Frazier’s long throw was up the line which took Garrett Cooper off first) and Kyle Seager was hit by a pitch on the back toe to put runners at first and second. Following a coaching visit to the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild (it didn’t work), Danny Valencia ripped a single to left to score Cruz and Mitch Haniger singled through the hole to left to score Seager. It was 4-1 Mariners. Jarrod Dyson grounded out to end the inning.
|Credit: Ted S Warren/AP|
Garrett Cooper tripled to center in the fifth with a near home run which sent center fielder Jarrod Dyson into the wall. Dyson stayed but you could tell that he was still affected by the collision. He would depart the game after the inning was over. Ronald Torreyes lofted a fly ball to Dyson in center as Cooper tagged and scored. In the sixth, Clint Frazier started the inning with a 10-pitch at-bat against M’s starter Ariel Miranda but chased an upstairs fastball to strike out. The Mariners pulled Miranda and replaced him with Steve Cishek. Aaron Judge greeted Cishek with a high fly to right center for his 32nd home run of the season. The Yankees had closed the gap to 4-3.
|Credit: Ted S Warren/AP|
The Yankees tied the game in the 8th inning. With one out, Brett Gardner beat out a grounder to short for a single. Clint Frazier doubled to center off the top of the wall (if only it had been just a few more inches), Gardner moved to third. The Mariners intentionally walked Aaron Judge to face Matt Holliday. Holliday hit a deep sacrifice fly to right, easily scoring Gardner. The game was tied at 4. Gary Sanchez lined out to right so the Yankees were unable to push any more runs across the plate. In retrospect, this was a very big missed opportunity.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Mariners recaptured the lead when Robinson Cano led off with a home run to left off David Robertson. Bummer, but you couldn’t blame D-Rob as it was an excellent pitch. He was able to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning without any further damage.
The Yankees had life again in the top of the 9th with Mariners closer Edwin Diaz on the mound. Didi Gregorius walked to start the inning. Diaz was able to retire the next two batters, Todd Frazier and Chase Headley who pinch-hit for Garrett Cooper. With Ronald Torreyes at the plate, Jacoby Ellsbury was brought in to pinch run for Gregorius and promptly stole second. Torreyes singled to left on a line drive, bringing Ellsbury around to score and the game was tied again. After Tommy Kahnle finished the M’s in the bottom of the 9th, it was off to extra innings.
|Credit: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports|
M’s reliever Tony Zych replaced Diaz in the 10th and easily retired the Yankees, including strikeouts of both Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge. In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Warren was on the mound. Warren gave up a lead-off double by Ben Gamel (rapidly becoming a Yankee killer). Robinson Cano was intentionally walked to open the possibility for a double play, but unfortunately, Nelson Cruz hit a line drive to left and Clint Frazier’s throw to the plate was off the mark as Gamel scored the winning run. The Mariners win, 6-5.
|Credit: Ted S Warren/AP|
The Yankees (50-46) didn’t lose any ground in the AL East despite the loss. The Boston Red Sox fell to the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, while the Texas Rangers rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3. It would have been a great opportunity to pick up ground in the division but it was not meant to be. The Yankees and Rays remain 3 1/2 games behind Boston.
Somehow, the Yankees need to get Todd Frazier going. His 0-for-4 night dropped his season batting average to .201. Anything from him last night could have been a difference-maker. Among the starting position players, he was the only one without a hit for the second game in a row.
Odds & Ends…
Second baseman Starlin Castro has been placed on the 10-Day DL after re-aggravating his hamstring. Tyler Wade, who was seen in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre locker room before the RailRiders’ game yesterday, was recalled and didn’t get to Seattle until late last night. Presumably, he’ll share time at second with Ronald Torreyes. Wade had a tremendous game on Thursday when the RailRiders defeated the Charlotte Knights, 13-2. He tripled and homered, driving in 4 RBI’s.
Caleb Smith (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will start today’s getaway game against the Mariners in place of Luis Cessa. I am very glad to see this move. I’d rather see what Smith is capable of doing with his first Major League start versus another uneven performance by Luis Cessa. I am sure that Cessa will be the first call to the pen if Smith gets into trouble early but hopefully he is able to show the great success he has enjoyed in Triple A this year. Yovanni Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) will oppose Smith.
Jacoby Ellsbury, at least temporarily, has lost his starting gig. With over $68 million still owed Ellsbury after this year, there’s probably not much chance he’ll be exiting anytime soon. Manager Joe Girardi has said that he wants to go with the hot hand which means keeping Clint Frazier in the lineup. The threat of Frazier being demoted to Triple A when Aaron Hicks returns still looms as the Yankees are not going to cut Ellsbury. This goes against the premise of putting your best players on the field but obviously there are more factors at play.
The Yankees get a much needed day off on Monday following their cross-country flight home. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox, flying up from Orange County, will replace the Yankees at Safeco Field for a three-game series against the Mariners.
Have a great Sunday! Let’s make this a fun day with a much-needed win! Go Yankees!
Yankees 4, Mariners 1…
The Yankees took manager Joe Girardi’s biggest concern (“just winning games”) to heart as they defeated the Seattle Mariners on late night TV. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have perhaps the best Yankees starting pitcher (Luis Severino) on the mound. Felix Hernandez is tough but I had the confidence in Sevy to persevere.
|Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP|
The first innings of games, lately, always seem to be so tough. King Felix easily dispatched the first three Yanks to move to the bottom of the first. Ben Gamel ripped a one-out double to left (why did we get rid of him one day after being named the 2016 International League MVP again?…I know, the glut of outfielders but still, he has been very solid for the M’s). Robinson Cano hit an infield grounder that caught Gamel off second (out in a rundown…great athleticism by Sevy to start the play). The deadly Nelson Cruz came up and singled to left to move Cano to second. Corey Seager’s big brother Kyle was next but Sevy dialed up the heat to 99 mph and punched Seager out to end the threat. I am so tired starting games in the hole so it was great to see the Yankees escape without allowing any runs despite the two hits.
The Mariners got their hits against Sevy but pushing them across the plate was a different story. The M’s threatened in the fourth with the game still in a scoreless tie. Kyle Seager opened with a double just fair down the third base line (glad he didn’t do that in the first inning). Danny Valencia followed with a solid single to center to put runners at the corners with no outs. Sevy was able to retire Mitch Haniger on a pop-up and Jarrod Dyson on a shallow center fly out after falling behind 3-0, before walking Mike Zunino to load the bases. Fortunately, Jean Segura, in a long at-bat, hit a grounder to Didi Gregorius who flipped the ball to Starlin Castro to force Zunino out at second to end the inning.
In the 6th inning with one out, Brett Gardner drilled a ‘no doubt about it’ homer right center, his 16th to match Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. He was fortunate as King Felix was still going strong, recording all outs in the 6th by strikeout. But on the other side, Sevy was still holding the M’s off the board.
|Credit: Getty Images|
Former Yankee James Pazos replaced King Felix in the top of the 8th. After Jacoby Ellsbury weakly grounded out to Pazos with a broken bat, Chase Headley singled to center on a ball deflected off the tip of Robinson Cano’s glove. Brett Gardner hit into a fielder’s choice but a fielding error by Jean Segura (he would have easily had the force out at second but was unable to successfully pull the ball out of his glove) allowed Gardy to reach base with Headley safe at second. Tony Zych replaced Pazos and promptly walked Gary Sanchez on a full count to load the bases. A single to right by Aaron Judge scored Headley and it was 2-0 Yankees. Unfortunately, Matt Holliday hit into an inning-ending double play so the Yankees were unable to further cash in with the bases full of Yanks.
Dellin Betances replaced Sevy in the 8th and ran into a little trouble. After hitting Kyle Seager with a pitch, Danny Valencia singled to right to move Seager to second. With one out and the tying run at the plate, Mitch Haniger hit into a force out at second (a play challenged by the M’s after Castro bobbled the ball on the exchange but upheld by the umps). Seager moved to third. Betances reared back and struck out Jarrod Dyson to leave Seager stranded.
The Yankees picked up a couple of huge insurance runs in the 9th courtesy of Robinson Cano. Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier hit one-out singles off M’s reliever Max Povse. After Jacoby Ellsbury flied out to left (sure seemed like the Yankees were always having to work around Ellsbury outs), Chase Headley reached first base on a throwing error by Cano. Both Gregorius and Frazier scored on the play. Thanks Robby! To Cano’s defense, first baseman Danny Valencia gave up too early and didn’t try to reach out to catch Cano’s wide throw from shallow right.
It was off to the 9th and Aroldis Chapman with the Yankees leading 4-0. Chapman’s control issues continued as he walked the first batter, Mike Zunino. Zunino was replaced by pinch-runner Guillermo Heredia. A wild pitch by Chapman moved to Heredia to second. Chapman struck out Jean Segura and Ben Gamel, with Heredia taking third, before Robinson Cano laced a double to the center field wall bringing Heredia home to score. Chapman was able to secure the final out when Nelson Cruz flied out to right. The Yankees win…a much needed victory.
|Credit: Getty Images|
Hats off to Luis Severino (6-4) for delivering an ace-like performance against one of the AL’s best starting pitchers. Although he gave up 8 hits and a walk in 7 innings, he held the M’s scoreless while striking out 6. King Felix held the Yanks to 3 hits and struck out 9, but one of those hits was the Gardy homer which gave the Yanks the lead they would not relinquish. I had confidence going into this game with Sevy on the mound and he did not disappoint.
Todd Frazier was 1-for-4 in his first Yankees start with a run scored. Neither David Robertson nor Tommy Kahnle made an appearance in this game although Chapman was giving me reasons to wish that it was D-Rob on the mound in the 9th. Joe Girardi must have thought the same thing as he had Robertson up in the pen after Chapman’s wild pitch.
Ben Gamel was hitless in his next four at-bats after the first inning double, striking out three times. Robby Cano, Dontcha Know!, was 3-for-5 with the lone Mariners RBI.
|Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP|
The Yankees (49-45) picked up on a game on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings and trail by 3 1/2 games. The Red Sox lost 8-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yanks are a game behind the idle Tampa Bay Rays (tied in the loss column).
The Yankees go for their 50th win tonight with CC Sabathia (8-3, 3.54 ERA) on the mound facing Andrew Moore (1-1, 5.25 ERA). Sabathia was moved up from Saturday as Masahiro Tanaka was pushed back a day. The Mariners announced a change for their scheduled starter on Sunday. Yovani Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) will replace Sam Gaviglio in the match-up against Luis Cessa.
Odds & Ends…
I’ve been reading columns that feel the Yankees overpaid to acquire Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. After watching yesterday’s acquisition of reliever and former Yankee David Phelps by the Seattle Mariners, I am starting to think the Yankees may have underpaid. For Phelps alone, the Miami Marlins acquired four players. Three of the players rank in the Mariners list of Top 30 Prospects according to MLB.com. OF Brayan Hernandez rates the highest at #6. RHP Brandon Miller is #16 and RHP Pablo Lopez is #22. The Marlins also acquired RHP Lukas Schiraldi, son of former Major Leaguer Calvin Schiraldi. Granted, the Yankees have a stronger farm system so #6 on the Mariners’ list does not equal #6 on the Yankees list but this is still a very good haul by the Marlins. I know that one scout referred to them as “just guys” but I am also a believer in ‘expect the unexpected’. Suddenly, losing OF Blake Rutherford, LHP Ian Clarkin, and OF Tito Polo (along with the inconsequential Tyler Clippard) seems like a very small price to pay for a strong third base upgrade and two bullpen power arms. I guess that we’ll be seeing David Phelps very soon unless the Yankees can avoid giving the Mariners any late inning leads to work with.
|Credit: Gary Landers/AP|
Todd Frazier is now saying that he’ll stay with #29 rather than ask Paul O’Neill if he can use #21. If I was O’Neill, I’d probably reach out to Frazier and say, “It’s okay, Kid…you’ve worn the number out of respect for me and for my original team (the Reds). Please take #21 and wear it with pride”. There’s no doubt Frazier will do the number justice.
GM Brian Cashman has said that Clint Frazier will be optioned to Triple A when Aaron Hicks returns in a few weeks. I know that he’ll be back in September, but it does kind of stink that a douche like Jacoby Ellsbury gets to keep his seat at the grownups’ table while Frazier has to go have a seat with the kids. I hope that Frazier continues to make this a very hard decision for the Yankees.
Have a great Friday! Let’s just keep winning games in Seattle. Go Yankees!
Twins 6, Yankees 1…
The new guys did not help as the Yankees got clobbered in losing the series to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. I liked the tweet by Mike Axisa of CBS Sports-MLB: “Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle for a starting pitcher”. Funny but also a bit truthful. I realize that Jordan Montgomery bounced back after the disastrous 2nd inning to give the Yankees an otherwise strong six innings but those 6 runs in the 2nd proved to be insurmountable. In the game of win or lose, Monty (6-5) sucked.
The toughest part about the 6-run 2nd was that all of the runs were scored with two outs. With runners at second and third, Zack Granite, a native New Yorker who was 2-for-22 in his MLB career to that point, singled up the middle to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. The dangerous Brian Dozier walked on a 3-2 count, pushing Granite to second. A Larry Rothschild visit to the mound later, Eduardo Escobar hit a single to center field which scored Granite and moved Dozier to second. Miguel Sano stepped up and decided to play a game of Home Run Derby with a blast to center off an 0-2 rolling curveball from Jordan Montgomery. It was 6-0 Twins before the new guys, who had just shown up due to a flight delay, could shake hands with all of their new Yankees teammates.
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn/AP
The Yankees had their biggest chance to get back into the game in the 7th inning. With Twins starter Jose Berrios still on the mound, Clint Frazier started the inning with a single to center. Garrett Cooper hit a liner to left for the first out. He was followed by Austin Romine who was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch. Clint Frazier to second. Todd Frazier then entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Ronald Torreyes but went down swinging for the second out. Gardner singled to left center to score Clint Frazier and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder, Robbie Grossman (who mishandled the ball before firing it to third). Romine moved to third. The Twins pulled Berrios and brought in reliever Taylor Duffey to face Jacoby Ellsbury. A single by Ellsbury could have brought the Yankees within striking distance but he struck out with the bat resting on his shoulder with a fastball down the middle to end the inning. It was the second time the Yankees left the bases full with no runs as Ronald Torreyes had grounded out with bases full of Yanks in the top of the 2nd before the onslaught of runs by the Twins.
Tommy Kahnle made his Yankees debut in the 8th in relief of Chad Green. He gave a preview of coming attractions by retiring the three batters he faced including two by strikeout. His pitches were hitting up to 100 mph. I liked Kahnle’s quote after the game, “I always dreamed once they (the Yankees) drafted me I would pitch for them in the big leagues. That day has come”. As a fan of Kahnle’s who was very disappointed when he was lost in the Rule 5 Draft to the Colorado Rockies and has remained keenly aware of the pitcher, I share his sentiments. Despite the loss, it was very good to see Kahnle in a Yankees uniform.
Credit: Associated Press
Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch on the right hand in the 9th but he is expected to be fine for today’s game in Seattle.
Credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Yankees (48-45) need to forget this series and start with a clean slate today against the Mariners. The time is now to make a move after weeks of sliding backwards. The Yankees lost ground to the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-1, so the Yankees are now 4 1/2 games behind the leaders. They remain 1 1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays who lost to the Oakland A’s, 7-2.
Next Up: Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA…
The Yankees get a chance to catch up with Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel for four games in the Pacific Northwest.
Here are the scheduled pitching matchups:
Yankees: Luis Severino (5-4, 3.40 ERA)
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (5-3, 4.20 ERA)
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (7-9, 5.33 ERA)
Mariners: Andrew Moore (1-1, 5.25 ERA)
Yankees: CC Sabathia (8-3, 3.54 ERA)
Mariners: Ariel Miranda (7-4, 4.35 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.61 ERA)
Mariners: Sam Gaviglio (3-5, 4.62 ERA)
I feel fairly confident about Thursday, even with King Felix on the mound, and Saturday, but as for Friday and Sunday…not so much.
Here’s hoping the new guys bring some much needed magic and mojo back to our favorite team.
Odds & Ends…
As expected, the Yankees made a flurry of roster moves yesterday to make room for Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle. Chasen Shreve was optioned to Triple A and Ji-Man Choi was designated for assignment. Rob Refsnyder, on the 40-man roster, was also DFA’d as the Yankees needed to create the room on the 40-man roster even though Tyler Clippard vacated his spot with the trade to the White Sox. I can’t say that I am overly excited about Luis Cessa remaining on the active roster. Given a choice between Cessa and Caleb Smith, I’d prefer to see Smith get the next start in place of Michael Pineda. Frazier took Tyler Clippard’s old number (29), Robertson reclaimed his own old number (30) with Clint Frazier switching to double-Mickey Mantle (77), and Kahnle’s number with the White Sox was waiting for him thanks to the recent dismissal of Chris Carter (48).
Speaking of poor starts, the Yankees are surely looking for rotation help after Jordan Montgomery’s string of sub-par starts. But being “careful buyers” probably means that the Yankees will not be players for guys like Sonny Gray or Gerrit Cole. Now is the time for GM Brian Cashman to earn the dollars for his next contract.
This is a hypothetical question considering that Aaron Hicks is not healthy, but if you have five outfielders (Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks, and Clint Frazier), is Jacoby Ellsbury the sixth or seventh best outfielder? Just wondering…
Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Manager Joe Girardi has said that Todd Frazier will be the team’s regular third baseman. Chase Headley will move to first and platoon with Garrett Cooper. If Frazier has a strong finish to the season, I’d have to believe it is more likely the team will attempt to re-sign him over Matt Holliday. Frazier intends to talk to YES Network broadcaster Paul O’Neill about possibly switching his number from #29 to #21 before the team returns to the Bronx. Frazier has always worn #21 because of O’Neill. I think it would be appropriate and would not boo the move assuming that he gets O’Neill’s blessing.
Former Yankee Chris Carter has signed with the Oakland A’s, a team he played for from 2010 to 2012. He’ll report to the A’s Triple A club, the Nashville Sounds. I can still remember when the Sounds were a Double A team for the Yankees and Buck Showalter was a first baseman/outfielder for them.
We’ll probably be seeing another former Yankee soon (in the wrong uniform) as the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners have been identified as strong possibilities for David Phelps of the Miami Marlins. The Red Sox are also still looking at Miami’s Martin Prado, currently on the 10-Day DL, as well as Eduardo Nunez of the San Francisco Giants.
Have a great Thursday! Sevy can make it a truly awesome day. Let’s Go Yankees!
|Credit: Rich Gagnon-Getty Images|
Yankees 4, Red Sox 1…
What started out as a nice afternoon game in Boston turned out to be an extended night game as the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox. Chris Sale, with a career ERA of 1.17 against the Yankees, was outstanding on Saturday which generally does not bode well for our guys. Fortunately, Luis Severino was up to the task and kept the Yankees in the game, setting the stage for late inning heroics.
|Credit: Associated Press|
The Red Sox scored the first run in the 3rd inning. With one out, Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both walked to put runners at first and second. Xander Bogaerts hit an infield roller to third that Chase Headley scooped up, looked to first and then turned around and threw too late to shortstop Ronald Torreyes, covering at third. Everyone was safe. Mitch Moreland then lofted a deep fly to left and Betts easily ran home for the game’s first run. Hanley Ramirez could have done more damage but Severino got him on a line out to Chase Headley to end the threat.
The Yankees only managed three hits off Chris Sale, which included two doubles, but they were unable to push any runs across the plate. Sale went into the 8th inning, getting Ronald Torreyes to ground out before Brett Gardner singled to right. Sale then got Gary Sanchez to go down swinging, but with 118 pitches thrown (and 13 strikeouts), the Sox made the call to closer Craig Kimbrel. Aaron Judge flied out to right to end the top half of the inning.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees brought in Tyler Clippard (Yikes!) to replace Luis Severino. Tzu-Wei Lin promptly singled to center and I had a sinking feeling of “here we go again”. It didn’t help when the count rose to 3-0 on the next batter, Mookie Betts, but on a full count, Betts popped out to short. Lin then got a great jump on a steal attempt and was sliding past second baseman Starlin Castro who stayed with the play and took the throw from Gary Sanchez to catch Lin on the foot before his hands reached second base. The Red Sox challenged the play but the call on the field was upheld (rightfully so). So good to have Castro back at second. Dustin Pedroia lined out and Clippard was able to leave the field with his head held high.
For his Red Sox career, Craig Kimbrel was 30-for-30 in save opportunities as he took the mound in the 9th. A good point was made during the FOX TV telecast by A.J. Pierzynski with the four-out save attempt. Aaron Judge, despite the fly out to end the top of the 8th, extended the at-bat which forced Kimbrel to throw 10 pitches. It’s not often that he throws that many pitches before having to sit and come back out again. It would be a foretelling comment as Matt Holliday greeted Kimbrel with a game-tying, save-blowing home run to left center over the Green Monster to open the inning.
|Credit: John Wilcox-Boston Herald|
Starlin Castro subsequently reached base when first baseman Mitch Moreland was pulled off the base on an errant throw from Xander Bogaerts and pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury stole second, just beating the tag by Bogaerts. But Ellsbury was left stranded when Kimbrel proceeded to strike out the side. The bottom of the 9th brought in Dellin Betances who seems to have left his control problems behind him. He easily retired the three batters he faced and the game headed into extra innings.
The Red Sox looked like they were in position for the walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th. Chasen Shreve had been brought in to replace Betances, and he gave up singles to Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley, Jr to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. It was a little surprising that Benintendi didn’t try to run for third on JBJ’s hit, but thankfully he did not. Girardi wasted no time in giving Shreve the hook and brought in Adam Warren. Warren, proving how much he means to this team, retired the three batters he faced, leaving Benintendi stranded at second. Had Benintendi been on third, he most likely would have scored the winning run when Tzu-Wei Lin flied out to Aaron Judge for the second out against Warren.
The 11th inning brought an unusual play that resulted in a game protest by Red Sox manager John Farrell. Matt Holliday walked to open the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury then hit a grounder to first, and Mitch Moreland threw the ball to Xander Bogaerts for the force out at second. But Matt Holliday, as we later found out, mistakenly thought that Moreland had stepped on first to retire Ellsbury (he had not) and turned to dive back toward first base. Bogaerts threw the ball back to Moreland but it glanced off Ellsbury’s leg since Holliday was in Moreland’s way, leaving Ellsbury safe at first. Farrell argued unsuccessfully that it should have been called a double play due to interference. Despite the 4 minute, 50 second delay, it didn’t really matter as neither Chase Headley nor Didi Gregorius were able to advance Ellsbury from first.
|Credit: John Wilcox-Boston Herald|
From there it was a battle of the bullpens until the top of the 16th inning with Boston’s Doug Fister pitching. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to left and Chase Headley singled to center to put runners at the corners with no outs. Didi Gregorius singled to center which scored Ellsbury with the go-ahead run. Austin Romine followed with a single to center, scoring Headley while Gregorius took second. Ronald Torreyes successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Gary Sanchez hit a sac fly to left, scoring Gregorius with an insurance run as the Yankees took a 4-1 lead.
|Credit: John Wilcox-Boston Herald|
Ben Heller (1-0), who had replaced Aroldis Chapman in the 15th inning, retired Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, and Mitch Moreland to win the game for the Yankees.
|Credit: Michael Dwyer-Associated Press|
It was a very long game (5 hours and 50 minutes) but perseverance paid off as the Yankees eventually pulled out the win. I can’t say enough about the tremendous performance by Luis Severino. It was the key to the game, along with the dramatic home run by Matt Holliday in the 9th which gave Craig Kimbrel his first blown save at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform. Considering today’s double-header, it is amazing to think the Yankees will have played at least 34 innings in 24 hours by the end of the day.
The Yankees (46-42) remain in third place in the AL East standings but moved 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels again, 6-3, to move 2 1/2 games behind Boston.
New Yankees first baseman Garrett Cooper had another unsuccessful day at the plate before he was lifted from the game. He was 0-for-3, with two strikeouts. Aaron Judge may have been 0-for-6 but I’d still go back to his extended at-bat against Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the 8th as a key factor for Holliday’s 9th inning home run.
A long hard day but it’s so much better to walk off the field with a win.
Odds & Ends…
Michael Pineda will meet with Dr Timothy Kremchek, an orthopaedic surgeon, in Cincinnati, Ohio on Monday for a second opinion. Dr Kremchek is the medical director for the Cincinnati Reds. If Tommy John surgery is needed (as expected), the procedure could be performed as early as Tuesday.
CC Sabathia will start Game 1 of today’s double-header in place of Bryan Mitchell. In a flurry of roster moves today, the Yankees recalled RHP Domingo German and added LHP Caleb Smith to the 25-man roster. Relievers Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder, both of whom would have been unavailable today after yesterday’s game, were optioned to Triple A. Michael Pineda was moved to the 60-day DL with his right UCL injury and RHP Bryan Mitchell was added as the “26th man”.
Prior to yesterday’s game, the Yankees activated Starlin Castro and optioned Tyler Wade to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
I am not sure why it took so long but Manager Joe Girardi has finally said that Tyler Clippard is no longer the “7th inning” guy. Adam Warren and Chad Green will take over the duties of setting up Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. Good move. Warren and Green have both been outstanding in recent weeks while the bullpen overall as struggled.
Chance Adams had his latest start for the RailRiders yesterday. While he did limit the Buffalo Bisons to two hits and one run in 4 2/3 innings, he walked four batters. It is the command issues that are holding Adams back at this point (along with the development of his third pitch) so yesterday was not a positive outcome. Adams did not factor into the decision as the RailRiders defeated the Bisons, 2-1. Miguel Andujar was the hitting star. He was 2-for-3 and provided the eventual margin of victory with a run-scoring single in the 7th inning.
Have a great Sunday! In honor of the double-header, let’s have twice the fun! Let’s Go Yankees!
Yankees 8, Angels 4…
OMG, we scored more runs than the other team! What do we do now????
Seriously, it’s so good to experience the winning feeling again. Whew! It has been far too long. Congratulations to us! High fives all around. The game had its moments but in the end, it was a 103 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman blazing into Austin Romine’s mitt for a swinging third strike that brought joy back to the Bronx.
The Yankees jumped out to the early lead when Didi Gregorius homered following a single by Gary Sanchez in the second inning. The Angels tied the score in the fourth. Didi’s buddy from Curacao, Andrelton Simmons, singled and advanced to second on a balk. Angels catcher Martin Maldonado then hit a ball over the left field wall. Game tied at 2. With someone like Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, you’d feel the floodgates were about to open for the opponent. But on this night, Jordan Montgomery was on the mound and he continues to instill confidence with each outing. For whatever reason, that dude looked slimmer on the mound than usual. I guess Pinstripes are thinning but I digress.
Matt Holliday’s solo shot in the fifth gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead which the Yankees took into the sixth. Montgomery (5-4) retired the first two batters he faced but then Simmons singled again. Manager Joe Girardi pulled Montgomery and inserted Chad Green who promptly struck out Maldonado to end the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees picked up 3 more runs on a two-run double by Austin Romine and a run-scoring single by Aaron Hicks.
|Credit: Paul J Bereswill-The New York Post|
In the seventh, I had an uneasy feeling when Green walked C.J. Cron on four straight pitches. A ball to the next batter, Danny Espinosa, brought pitching coach Larry Rothschild to the dugout steps but Green found his groove and registered a strikeout. He retired the next two batters on groundouts and really emerged as one of the stars of this game. The Yankees picked up a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning when Matt Holliday doubled and scored on Starlin Castro’s single. Chase Headley singled to score Castro, pushing the score to 8-2.
Dellin Betances pitched a clean eighth inning, punching out the first two batters he faced and getting the third on a groundout to short.
All was going great…until Tyler Clippard got up in the bullpen. I get the logic of trying to give Clippard a clean inning to work with and much better do it with a 6 run lead but, right now, if there is a pitcher that could butcher a large lead, it’s Clippard. Sure enough, Girardi brought him in to start the 9th. Simmons doubled and there was a strong sense of ‘here we go again’. Maldonado stepped up and hit his second home run of the night which Aarons Judge and Hicks could only watch sail over the right field wall to bring the Angels within four runs. Mercifully, Girardi pulled Clippard and signaled for Aroldis Chapman. The walkup music for Chapman drowned the boos for Clippard as he sadly walked off the field.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-AP|
Admittedly, I was still a bit concerned with Chapman. This was only his second appearance since returning from the DL and he had not pitched since Sunday. I had visions of his control problems from his last minor league rehab stint, but my concerns were unfounded. He was the Chapman of old and he came out throwing extreme heat. By the time he was facing his third and final batter, Eric Young Jr, he was throwing pitches that registered on the Statcast leaderboard. His final pitch, at 102.9 mph, was the fastest in the Majors this year.
Yankees win. The Yankees win! All is right in the world again.
The Yankees (39-30) recaptured first place in the AL East, by 1/2 game, with the victory as the Boston Red Sox fell to the Kansas City Royals, 6-4. Thank you to Salvador Perez for his 8th inning grand slam. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cincinnati Reds, 8-3. They are 3 games back. The Toronto Blue Jays also won so they, along with the Baltimore Orioles, are 5 games behind. The Red Sox are off today so the Yankees will either be tied or a full game up upon conclusion of tonight’s series finale with the Angels.
The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth…
I realize that this blog is not for movie news, but hey, they don’t pay me so I’ll take the liberty of the departure. Director Jay Russell, best known for 2004’s Ladder 49 starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta, has been tabbed to direct a planned feature film called The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth. The movie will be based on Jonathan Eig’s biography Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig.
For those of you who have not read the book, here is the description per the book’s publisher:
“The definitive account of the life and tragic death of baseball legend Lou Gehrig.
Lou Gehrig was a baseball legend–the Iron Horse, the stoic New York Yankee who was the greatest first baseman in history, a man whose consecutive-games streak was ended by a horrible disease that now bears his name. But as this definitive new biography makes clear, Gehrig’s life was more complicated–and, perhaps, even more heroic–than anyone really knew.
Drawing on new interviews and more than two hundred pages of previously unpublished letters to and from Gehrig, Luckiest Man gives us an intimate portrait of a man who became an American hero: his life as a shy and awkward youth growing up in New York City, his unlikely friendship with Babe Ruth (a friendship that allegedly ended over rumors that Ruth had an affair with Gehrig’s wife), and his stellar career with the Yankees, where his consecutive-games streak stood for more than half a century. What was not previously known, however, is that symptoms of Gehrig’s affliction began appearing in 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged. Later, aware that he was dying, Gehrig exhibited a perseverance that was truly inspiring; he lived the last two years of his short life with the same grace and dignity with which he gave his now-famous “luckiest man” speech.
Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Jonathan Eig’s Luckiest Man shows us one of the greatest baseball players of all time as we’ve never seen him before.”
The planned movie already has a script written by Dan Kay. Branded Entertainment’s Michael Uslan and David Uslan head a producing team that includes Kingsway Productions’ Robert Molloy and Conglomerate Media’s Armando Gutierrez.
Molloy is the grandson of late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. “As my late grandfather always believed, Lou Gehrig was a great role model for the world. There is triumph even in tragedy and it’s only in the face of great odds that true human heroes are born and inspire us all.”
Barrie Osborne, an executive producer for the film, said, “What I love most about the project is the fact that audiences need to know nothing about sports, baseball, the Yankees, or even the legend of Lou Gehrig in order to be moved by this emotionally uplifting story.”
“Lou Gehrig is an iconic character, not just in baseball, but as a true American hero, a man who faced his intense, personal battles with quiet bravery,” said Russell. “While Gehrig’s story has previously been told in the beloved Pride of the Yankees (1942), this will be a new depiction with a more contemporary style and approach.”
As a lifelong Lou Gehrig fan, I am very excited to hear this news. I have always considered Gehrig to be the greatest Yankee and it’s wonderful that they are bringing his story to the big screen. We know Gehrig’s accomplishments on the baseball field. This is an opportunity to know and understand the depth of the man behind the legend. I can’t wait…
Odds & Ends…
A Jacoby Ellsbury sighting has been reported. Ellsbury took batting practice and ran the bases on Wednesday. GM Brian Cashman said before yesterday’s game that the most important thing is to see how Ellsbury responds to the next three to six days. As long as Aaron Hicks is healthy, I am completely fine with Ellsbury taking all the time he needs. But realistically, the Yankees are probably stronger with Hicks rotating through the outfield to provide relief for all of the outfielders and not just center. But if the Yankees could find a way to trade Ellsbury for a bucket of bolts, I’m all in. Just be sure that he takes Chris Carter and Tyler Clippard with him.
Congrats to Gleyber Torres for his successful Tommy John surgery yesterday. Gleyber posted “Surgery went as planned now time to recover and get back on the field. I can’t wait for next season thank you all for support” on Twitter last evening. Gleyber, we can’t wait for you to get back on the field either. Happy Recovery!
|Credit: Gleyber Torres-Twitter|
Have a great Thursday! I like this new thing called winning. Can we do it again today?…
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.