Blue Jays 2, Yankees 1…
I can’t say that I went into this game feeling very strongly about a win or loss. In the grand scheme of things, the playoff format has been decided so it didn’t really matter if the Yankees went 92-70 or finished 91-71 (which they did). They still finished second in the American League East and hold home field advantage in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday. Despite holding the Blue Jays to two hits, the Yankees were unable to muster any significant offense and lost by a run.
The Yankees lineup featured many backup players as key starters got the day off in advance of the AL Wild Card game. The only notable starters were Todd Frazier and Starlin Castro. Chase Headley got the start at first base, but he’s probably the team’s DH heading into the post-season. Greg Bird got into the game later.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
It was nice outing for Jordan Montgomery. He held the Blue Jays scoreless until the top of the 4th inning. Richard Urena worked a one-out walk. Justin Smoak singled to right on a grounder that went just past the glove of Tyler Wade, with Urena moving to third. Jose Bautista, making perhaps his final start as a Blue Jay, lofted a high fly to center. Urena scored on the sacrifice as the throw from Aaron Hicks was off line.
Credit: Associated Press
I thought the Yankees had a chance to potentially pick up a run in the bottom of the 4th. Tyler Wade singled to left barely over the stretched glove of shortstop Richard Urena with one down. While Matt Holliday was batting, Wade appeared to steal second to move into scoring position. However, replay showed that the tag was applied before Wade reached the base as Urena’s foot blocked the base to prevent Wade from touching the bag. Matt Holliday flied out to end the inning so the Yankees were still down by a run.
Credit: Getty Images
Montgomery made it into the 6th inning, striking out Ryan Goins. But that was all for Monty’s successful rookie campaign as Manager Joe Girardi took the ball and turned it over to Adam Warren. 5 1/3 innings for Montgomery. Two hits, a walk and a run. He struck out three batters for the eventual no-decision.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
Adam Warren, making his first appearance since being activated off the disabled list, retired the two batters he faced to end the inning and show that he’s ready to be a potential weapon for Tuesday night.
Warren retired the only batter he faced in the top of the 7th (pop out by Justin Smoak) and was replaced by Domingo German.
With Blue Jays reliever Danny Barnes on the mound in the bottom of the 7th, Matt Holliday homered into the left field seats with one out, a solo shot. The game was tied at 1. It looked like the Yankees might get more when Greg Bird followed with a walk. Miguel Andujar doubled to left center (ball dropped in front of a sliding Teoscar Hernandez), with Bird moving to third and there was still only one out. But the Yankees couldn’t get either runner home as both Austin Romine and Clint Frazier grounded out to leave the runners stranded.
The Blue Jays scored the eventual winning run in the top of the 8th despite no hits. With Domingo German still pitching, Rob Refsnyder reached first base after striking out when Austin Romine couldn’t catch a wild pitch from German (a low pitch that hit the ground behind the plate and bounced away). Ezequiel Carrera walked, with Refsnyder advancing to second. Darwin Barney laid down a good sacrifice bunt with two strikes to push the runners to second and third. Ryan Goins took advantage of the runner at third with perhaps the shortest RBI I’ve seen this year, a slow dribbler that went no more than 10 feet. Refsnyder came home to score as the only play was to get the runner at first. The Blue Jays had recaptured the lead, 2-1. German struck out Teoscar Hernandez to get out of the inning but the Jays had the run they would need to win the game.
From there, the Yankees couldn’t do anything against Toronto relievers Ryan Tepera and Roberto Osuna with Greg Bird popping out to the shortstop Richard Urena for the final out to end the game. It would have been nice to close out the season with a win but as I stated when I started this blog post, it didn’t really matter one way or the other. It’s hard to take momentum from a game when most of the starters are sitting on the bench.
The second-place Yankees (91-71) finish the season two games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox (93-69) fell to the Houston Astros, 4-3, as those two teams prepare to resume their battle in Houston, Texas with Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday. The Minnesota Twins, the Yankees opponent on Tuesday, beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-1, to finish the season at 85-77.
It’s been a long, run season and I hope that it continues beyond Tuesday. If not, I feel that Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner has been given the message that this team is ready to compete now and that he needs to ensure the team is given the best possible chance for success in 2018.
GM Brian Cashman and Amateur Scouting Director Damon Oppenheimer presented Aaron Judge with an inscribed Waterford Crystal Gavel for his rookie record of 52 home runs.
Next Up: American League Wild Card Game, Minnesota Twins versus New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY…
Here it is…do or die. We’ve endured the rigor of 162 regular season games and the pay-off is a chance to advance to the American League Division Series. Win or lose, this has been a tremendous year for the Yankees. They’ve surprised the experts who didn’t expect the Yankees to contend this quickly. The Minnesota Twins have had an excellent year as well, going from a team that lost 100 games in 2016 to a play-off contender.
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups. Suffice it to say that every pitcher on both teams will be ready for the call.
Tuesday, October 3rd, 8:00 pm ET
Twins: Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA)
This should be a great game! The winner advances to play the Indians for Game 1 of the ALDS in Cleveland on Thursday.
Odds & Ends…
The Yankees announced on Sunday that “they will significantly expand the protective netting during the upcoming off-season at both Yankee Stadium and George M Steinbrenner Field”. The action comes after the young girl was hit in the mouth on a foul ball by Todd Frazier on September 25th.
The managerial firings should begin shortly. It’s been announced after much speculation that Terry Collins will not be returning to the dugout for the New York Mets in 2018. He’ll move into a front office position. Ironically, neither of the AL Wild Card managers have a contract beyond this year. I guess Tuesday will have a say in their respective futures although you’d have to believe that both would be back after unexpectedly successful seasons.
Have a great Monday! Enjoy the day off, and let’s get ready to root, root for the home team on Tuesday night. Go Yankees!
|Credit: Jim McIsaac-Getty Images|
Yankees 6, Rays 1…
Tuesday night, Aaron Hicks found himself back in the starting lineup after his latest stint on the disabled list. Not a moment too soon as A-A-Ron sparked the Yankees to victory with his superior catch in the first inning.
The game didn’t start so well for young Mr Jordan Montgomery. Kevin Kiermaier got the game started with a single up the middle to center field. Stephen Souza, Jr singled through the hole at short into shallow left field. Montgomery had Evan Longoria on a full count but lost him with Ball Four. The bases were loaded full of Rays with no outs. Monty finally struck out Logan Morrison to secure the first out. Wilson Ramos was up next and he blasted a shot over the center field wall for a grand slam…no, wait…Aaron Hicks with the spectacular over the fence catch for the second out! Kiermaier tagged and scored on the play. I am not a math major but I’ll take a 1-0 deficit over 4-0 any day. Montgomery struck out Adeiny Hechavarria, who has seemed to feast on Yankees pitching this year, to end the inning. Whew! Monty and the Yankees dodged a major bullet.
The Yankees had two runners on base in the bottom of the 1st inning, courtesy of walks by Rays starter Blake Snell, but they were unable to score.
The top of the 2nd went more smoothly for Montgomery as he set down the Rays in order…three up, three down. No drama…just the way I like it.
In the bottom of the inning, Starlin Castro led off with a home run into the left field bleachers to tie the game. Star-light, Star-bright!
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
The inning continued as consecutive singles by Todd Frazier, Clint Frazier and Ronald Torreyes loaded the bases. Aaron Hicks picked up the go-ahead RBI when he took a walk to bring the Toddfather home. Next up, Aaron Judge walked on four pitches to bring Red Thunder home. The Yankees were up, 3-1. The Rays pulled Snell, who hadn’t lost a game since late July, and replaced him with Chaz Roe. Gary Sanchez lined out to first, with Judge staying put, but the Rays caught Hicks off second (he couldn’t get back in time) to complete the double play. With Matt Holliday batting, Judge stole second so the Yankees had runners at second and third. Roe uncorked a wild pitch that got by Wilson Ramos all the way to the backstop, and Torreyes ran home with the fourth run of the inning. Judge moved to third but he was left stranded when Holliday flied out to center.
Jordan Montgomery kept the Rays off the board through the 6th inning and turned the game over to the bullpen in the 7th. Tommy Kahnle was up first and he retired the Rays in order, including the last two by strikeout. David Robertson took over in the 8th. He walked the first batter, Stephen Souza, Jr, but the runner did not advance past first base as D-Rob retired the next three Rays.
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
In the bottom of the 8th, with Rays reliever Austin Pruitt on the mound, Ronald Torreyes drew a one-out walk. While Brett Gardner was at bat, a wild pitch allowed Toe to move to second. Gardy grounded out to second, advancing Toe to third. Aaron Judge walked to put runners at the corners. After a brief delay that saw Home Plate Umpire Dan Bellino toss a fan for tipping pitches, Gary Sanchez singled on a fly that dropped in front of center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (to my surprise) which brought Toe home to score. Matt Holliday reached on an infield single to short that Adeiny Hechavarria wasn’t able to field cleanly (made a running stop on the grounder in shallow left but the ball dropped out of his glove) allowing Sanchez to slide safely into second just ahead of the throw. Judge scored on the play and the Yankees had increased their lead to 6-1. Chase Headley grounded out, back to the pitcher, but the Yankees took the five run lead to the 9th.
Dellin Betances, who I thought should have pitched in Monday’s win over the Royals, entered the game in the non-save situation. A ground out and two fly outs on seven pitches, Game over. I was very glad to see a clean (and short) outing by Betances. The Yankees win!
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
The Yankees (88-69) picked up another game on the Boston Red Sox with the win. The Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays for the second consecutive day. The Blue Jays won the game, 9-4, behind J.A. Happ. The loser for the Sox was Chris Sale, a loss that might tilt the AL Cy Young Award toward Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. The Yankees trail the Sox by three games with five to play. The Yankees secured home-field advantage for the Wild Card game with the win although they have not given up on the AL East championship. The Minnesota Twins won yesterday, 8-6 over the Cleveland Indians, and lead the second Wild Card spot by five games over the Los Angeles Angels.
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
|Credit: Paul J Bereswill-NY Post|
Yankees 9, Orioles 3…
Jordan Montgomery turned in one of his best performances of the season with six shutout innings to lead the Yankees over Buck Showalter’s Orioles. He was backed by three home runs in the third game of the four-game series with the O’s. Chasen Shreve was unable to get three outs in the ninth, but the Yankees emerged with their third consecutive victory over the Orioles.
The Orioles started a fly ball pitcher, Jeremy Hellickson, which is probably not the best of ideas at Yankee Stadium. To his credit, he held the Yankees at bay for 2 2/3 innings. But then, with two outs in the 3rd inning, he walked both Chase Headley and Aaron Judge. Didi Gregorius made him pay for it with a three-run homer to the right field porch.
|Credit: Julie Jacobson-Associated Press|
While Jordan Montgomery was cruising, the Yankees struck again in the 4th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury got it started when he ripped a double to the right field wall. After Todd Frazier walked, Greg Bird hit a home run into the second deck in right (“See ya!”) to make it a 6-0 game. It was the second consecutive game with a homer for Bird. Buck Showalter decided he’d seen enough of Hellickson and brought in Chris Tillman who got the O’s out of the inning.
The Yankees added a run in the 5th inning. Didi Gregorius reached base on a one-out single to second that was deflected by Tillman. Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch on his right knee (Ouch!) which moved Gregorius into scoring position at second. Jacoby Ellsbury’s single, through the fielders at third and shortstop into left field, brought Gregorius home and it was 7-0 Yankees.
Tommy Kahnle took over for Jordan Montgomery in the top of the 7th inning. It started well when Kahnle struck out the first two batters, but then JJ Hardy reached base on an infield single to third, a soft roller. A wild pitch that got past Austin Romine moved Hardy to second. Kahnle had Austin Hays down to two strikes (2-2 count) but lost him with two successive balls to put runners at first and second. Fortunately, Kahnle struck out Joey Rickard to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Yankees added to their lead. Donnie Hart took over Chris Tillman on the mound. Didi Gregorius hit an infield single to third, beating the throw to first, to lead off the inning for the Yanks. Then, with two outs, Todd Frazier homered on a high fly to center, just to the left of Monument Park. The Yankees had a commanding 9-0 lead.
Credit: Jim McIsaac-Getty Images
From there, it was up to the second tier bullpen. Ben Heller replaced Kahnle for the eighth. I was a bit concerned when he walked the first two batters, but then he settled down and retired the next three batters. Chasen Shreve took over in the 9th and was dreadful. JJ Hardy took a one-out walk and Austin Hays followed with a homer to right in front of the Modell’s sign to spoil the shutout. Shreve struck out Joey Rickard but then proceeded to walk the next three batters to load the bases. Joe Girardi finally made the move to replace Shreve and brought in Giovanny Gallegos. With Anthony Santander batting, Gallegos balked which brought Tim Beckham home from third to score. I can’t say that I saw the balk but Joe Girardi didn’t argue the call. Aroldis Chapman was up in the bullpen but Gallegos was able to end the game when he struck out Santander. The Yankees win!
The Yankees (82-66) won their fourth consecutive game but remain three games behind the Red Sox. Boston beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, as both the O’s and Rays fade to oblivion. The Minnesota Twins lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-2, so the Yankees’ lead in the Wild Card Standings has increased to five games. They remain six games up on the third place WC team, the Los Angeles Angels.
Excellent job by Jordan Montgomery (8-7) in picking up his first win since July. Pitching six scoreless innings, he only allowed 4 scattered hits and 1 walk while striking out six.
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
What can you say about Didi Gregorius? He’s been incredible and continued his dominance with a 3-for-4 day, scoring three runs and driving in 3 RBI’s. At the beginning of the season, I would have laughed at the thought of Didi batting in the cleanup position. I am not laughing anymore. He needs one more home run to match Derek Jeter for most HR’s in a season by a Yankees shortstop. Jacoby Ellsbury, continuing his resurgence as a force in the lineup, also had a 3-for-4 day, with one run scored and an RBI. Greg Bird, the Toddfather…it was yet another great team win.
With yesterday’s win, the Yankees assured themselves of their 25th consecutive winning season. It is the longest streak in Yankees history since the Yankees won for 39 consecutive seasons between 1926 and 1964.
The series finale is set for this afternoon at 1:05 pm. The Yankees have made a pitching change for the game. Sonny Gray (9-10, 3.17 ERA) gets the start while the originally scheduled starter, CC Sabathia, has been moved to Tuesday to pitch against the Minnesota Twins. Jaime Garcia gets the start on Monday versus his former team of six days in July. The moves allow CC to avoid the series in Toronto and the artificial turf of Rogers Centre. The Yanks also avoid sending Luis Severino out to face the Twins, their likely Wild Card opponent if the current standing remain unchanged. Gray will be opposed by Ubaldo Jimenez (5-10, 6.75 ERA).
Odds & Ends…
Prior to yesterday’s game, the Yankees recalled 3B Miguel Andujar and RHP Jonathan Holder from Triple A. Andujar made it into the game as a pinch-hitter but he grounded out in the 8th inning. The Yankees also placed LHP Caleb Smith on the 10-day DL with a viral infection.
Have a great Sunday! Let’s make it a sweeping success. Go Yankees!
Given it was the opening weekend for the NFL, I guess it was appropriate for the Yankees to win using a football score. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez both homered twice to power the Yankees to the series-clinching win over the Texas Rangers.
The Yankees didn’t waste any time getting on the board. With two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning, Gary Sanchez hit a long home run to left center, a solo shot that traveled 412 feet, off Rangers starter A.J. Griffin for the early 1-0 lead. It was El Gary’s 29th homer of the year.
Credit: Larry W Smith-EPA
The Rangers got the run back in the bottom of the 2nd when catcher Robinson Chirinos took Jordan Montgomery deep with a solo shot of his own to the right field bleachers.
Brett Gardner led off the top of the 3rd with a single to left past a diving Joey Gallo. After Chase Headley flied out to center for the first out, Gary Sanchez was hit by a pitch on the back of his shoulder to put runners at first and second. A double to the wall in right by Didi Gregorius scored Gardner with the go-ahead run, while Sanchez moved to third. Starlin Castro reached base when he hit into a fielder’s choice at third. Third baseman Joey Gallo made the decision to try and tag Sanchez who started toward home but turned back. Sanchez beat Gallo back to third so all runners were safe. Aaron Judge followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Sanchez. It was 3-1 Yankees.
With A.J. Griffin still on the mound for the Rangers, Jacoby Ellsbury was hit by a pitch leading off the top of the 4th. Austin Romine lined a single to left, moving Ellsbury to second. That was all for Griffin as the Rangers brought in reliever Nick Martinez. Brett Gardner greeted Martinez with a triple to the center field wall which scored Ellsbury and Romine. Chase Headley’s single to center through the drawn-in infield scored Gardy. Gary Sanchez doubled down the left field line, advancing Headley to third. Didi Gregorius singled to right, scoring Headley. Sanchez moved to third. Starlin Castro hit into a double play at short, with the Rangers recording the outs at second and first but Sanchez scored. Aaron Judge was next up to take swings against the Yankees-friendly Martinez. He blasted a solo home run to center, his 40th of the year. It was 9-1 Yankees and the end of Martinez’s enjoyable stay. Texas brought in reliever Yohander Mendez to replace Martinez and he retired Greg Bird on a pop out in foul territory to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 4th, Jordan Montgomery walked the first two batters he faced (Robinson Chirinos and Joey Gallo). After striking out Rougned Odor, Montgomery gave up a run-scoring double to left over the head of Brett Gardner by Ryan Rua. Gallo moved to third. Monty was removed at that point, failing to get the additional two outs he needed to qualify for the win. Chad Green came in and surrendered a sacrifice fly to center by Delino DeShields which scored Gallo to make it 9-3. Green then struck out Shin-Soo Choo to end the inning, leaving Rua stranded at third.
The Yankees added to their lead in the 5th. Doubles to right by both Jacoby Ellsbury and Austin Romine had runners at second and third. After Brett Gardner grounded out to first, Chase Headley hit a grounder to third but the ball bounced off Joey Gallo’s glove. Shortstop Elvis Andrus got to the ball but he became distracted with Jacoby Ellsbury at third and had no play. The bases were loaded. Gary Sanchez flied out to right field in foul territory for the second out. Didi Gregorius singled to right, scoring both Ellsbury and Romine, but he was caught off first base by the throw from the outfield for the final out. The Yankees had increased their lead to 11-3.
Credit the Texas Rangers for refusing to roll over. They led off the bottom of the 5th with a double to center by Elvis Andrus. Mike Napoli’s single to left scored Andrus to make it 11-4. Green retired the next three batters to move the game to the top of the 6th.
After Starlin Castro grounded out to start the 6th, Aaron Judge blasted a long home run to left center that traveled 463 feet for his second HR of the game and 41st of the year. 12-4, Yankees.
Credit: Larry W Smith-EPA
Gary Sanchez led off the top of the 8th with his second long home run of the game. The shot to center off Rangers pitcher Tyson Ross, which fell two feet short of Judge’s last blast, was El Gary’s 30th of the year and it increased the Yankee lead to 13-4.
Dellin Betances took over for Tommy Kahnle to start the bottom of the 8th. Kahnle had relieved Green with two outs in the bottom of the 6th and had kept the Rangers off the board. Betances was not so lucky. He started off right by striking out Drew Robinson but then proceeded to walk Ryan Rua and Delino Deshields. Shin-Soo Choo took advantage of Dellin’s control problems by hitting a two-run double to right center to make it 13-6. It must have served as a wakeup call for Betances as he struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
On to the 9th. Tyson Ross was still on the mound for the Rangers and he walked Jacoby Ellsbury to get things started. Austin Romine singled to left, with Ellsbury moving to second. Tyler Wade singled to center to score Ellsbury. 14-6, Yankees, with Romine moving to third. Up to the plate strolled Erik Kratz, pinch-hitting for Gary Sanchez and making his first official at-bat for the Yankees. His double to deep left center scored both Romine and Wade to make it a 16-6 game. Welcome to the Pinstripes, Mr Kratz! That hit may have earned you a free, all-expenses paid trip to New York City.
The bottom the 9th brought out Caleb Smith to relieve Betances. Smith retired the first two hitters on pop outs, but then he walked Brett Nicholas, who had the only Rangers hit in Saturday’s game against Luis Severino. Drew Robinson hit a long fly ball to deep left that fell in against the wall to score Nicholas to make it 16-7. Smith recovered and struck out Ryan Rua to end the game. The Yankees win!
Credit: Richard Rodriguez-Getty Images
The Yankees (77-65) pulled back to 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox with the win. Boston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-1. The Baltimore Orioles trail the Yankees by 6 1/2 games after falling to the Cleveland Indians, 3-2. It was Cleveland’s 18th consecutive win. The Rays trail the Yankees by 7 games. The Yankees also increased their Wild Card lead over the Minnesota Twins to 3 1/2 games. The Twins were defeated 11-3 by the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. The Los Angeles Angels are a game behind the Twins following their 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Chad Green (4-0) picked up the win in relief of Jordan Montgomery.
Aaron Judge is only the second rookie in MLB history with at least 40 home runs. Mark McGwire holds the record with 49 in 1987. Judge also set the MLB record for most walks by a rookie when he walked for the 107th time in the 2nd inning. Didi Gregorius tied a career high with four hits, and same with Gary Sanchez in scoring four runs. The Yankees had 18 hits in total, ten of which were for extra bases.
Next Up: Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field, Flushing Meadow (Queens), New York…
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by Hurricane Irma. It must be very tough for the Rays to be on the road while friends and family are dealing with the impact of the hurricane in Florida. It’s unfortunate that the Rays are unable to play this series on their home turf and we wish them and their families the very best as they deal with the aftermath of the disaster.
For the games on the field, here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:
Yankees: CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.91 ERA)
Rays: Jake Odorizzi (8-7, 4.58 ERA)
Yankees: Sonny Gray (9-9, 3.22 ERA)
Rays: Blake Snell (3-6, 4.36 ERA)
Yankees: Jaime Garcia (1-2, 4.88 ERA)
Rays: Chris Archer (9-9, 4.00 ERA)
Wednesday’s game looks to be a bit of a mismatch so hopefully the Yankees can take at least the first two games.
Odds & Ends...
Congratulations to the Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders! They won their best-of-five International League Division Series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) with a 1-0 victory on Sunday. Nestor Cortes got the win with seven strong innings. He held the IronPigs to five hits and no runs. He walked a batter and struck out eight. Nick Rumbelow worked out of trouble in the 9th after two singles to record the save. He struck out Dylan Cozens to end the game and preserve the shutout win. The RailRiders scored their only run in the 7th inning on a home run by Mike Ford.
The RailRiders will advance to the best-of-five Governor’s Cup Finals to play the Durham Bulls (Rays). The series begins Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC.
The Yankees activated 1B Garrett Cooper from the DL and optioned him to the RailRiders. He had been on a rehab assignment with the Trenton Thunder. The Yankees are also expected to activate OF Clint Frazier sometime this week. He has also been on a rehab assignment with Trenton. The Thunder will begin play in the Eastern League Championship Series on Tuesday.
Have a great Monday! The Yanks may still be on the road but they are back in NYC! Go Yankees!
Yankees 7, Orioles 4…
I’d prefer to see Aaron Judge, the Monster Home Run Hitter, but there’s no mistaking that the young slugger knows how to take his walks. By walking four more times yesterday, Judge now has 103 walks on the season. The great Ted Williams holds the modern record for most walks by a rookie with 107 in 1939. Granted, he’s far off the pace set by all-time record holder Barry Bonds (232 in 2004) and well down the overall list (tied for 432nd place) but his rookie year has been a record-setter. He is the first rookie with 100 walks since Jim Gilliam did it for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1953.
Oh, there was a game played too as the Yankees took down the Baltimore Orioles hours after their arrival in Maryland following Sunday night’s win over the Boston Red Sox. I think I heard the team got in at 3 am on Monday morning and they were back at it by 2:05 pm. Apparently no sleep is needed this time of year. The Yankees spotted the O’s a 3-0 lead and then mounted their comeback.
Jordan Montgomery got the start over Jaime Garcia, but he was rudely welcomed by O’s lead-off hitter, Tim Beckham, who homered to right in the bottom of the first. With Dylan Bundy, arguably the O’s best pitcher this year, on the mound, it looked like it might be a long afternoon.
Credit: Nick Wass-Associated Press
While Bundy was easily dispatching the Yankees (he held the Yanks hitless for the first three innings), the O’s scored more runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Mark Trumbo opened the inning by reaching base on a fielding error by Didi Gregorius when he couldn’t make a backhanded stop. Chris Davis may not hit for average but when he gets a hold of a pitch with the barrel of his bat, it’s gone. His shot to left center put the O’s up, 3-0. To Brett Gardner’s defense, he almost came up with a spectacular catch but the ball was just over his glove.
The Yankees finally got to Bundy in the 4th. Starlin Castro led off with a single to left. Didi Gregorius followed with a line drive home run to right, bouncing off the railing, and it was a one-run game. Walks to Aaron Judge and Todd Frazier set the table for Jacoby Ellsbury. His chopper through the hole into right field scored Judge and the game was tied at 3.
Baltimore came right back in the bottom of the 4th when the first two batters reached on singles, but Chris Davis grounded into a double play and Wellington Castillo struck out to end the threat without scoring.
The Yankees didn’t miss their chance in the top of the 5th inning. Chase Headley looped a single to center and scored when Starlin Castro jumped on Bundy’s first pitch with a two-run shot to left. It was the end of the day for Bundy and a 5-3 lead for the Yankees.
Credit: Associated Press
Two insurance runs were added in the top of the 6th. Todd Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury walked against O’s reliever Miguel Castro to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt rolling down the first base line by Austin Romine moved the runners to second and third. O’s Manager Buck Showalter pulled Castro and replaced him with Donnie Hart. Brett Gardner hit a grounder to short and was thrown out at first but Frazier scored on the play. After Chase Headley walked, Showalter made another pitching change and brought in Richard Rodriguez. Starlin Castro greeted Rodriguez with a single lined to center, scoring Ellsbury. The Yankees had increased their lead to 7-3.
The Yankees had a couple of hits in the top of the 7th, including a double by Todd Frazier, but were unable to capitalize, thanks to a double play on Greg Bird and a ground out by Austin Romine. Meanwhile, Yankees reliever Chad Green was mowing the Orioles down. He had taken over for Jordan Montgomery with two outs in the 5th inning, and pitched through the 7th (striking out the final three batters he faced).
Credit: Ron Sachs
Manager Joe Girardi turned the game over to David Robertson to start the 8th. It didn’t start well when D-Rob walked the first two batters. But he responded by striking out Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones for the first two outs. Trey Mancini came up with a chance to make it a close game but his grounder to second ended the inning. ‘Bend but not break’ continues to be the theme lately with D-Rob.
For the 9th, it was time to turn the game over to the arm of Dellin Betances. Betances got the first two hitters out, but Wellington Castillo, in the midst of a career year with Baltimore, punched his 19th home run over the center field wall. The O’s had closed the gap to 7-4. Seth Smith was then inserted as a pinch-hitter for Joey Rickard but he went down swinging for the final out. Game over. Yankees win!
The Yankees (74-63) find themselves a mere 2 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East Standings this morning. The Red Sox fell to the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-4. The win pushed the Orioles 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Yankees also gained ground in the Wild Card Standings, moving 3 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins. The Twins lost, 11-4, to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The pitching star, no doubt, was Chad Green (3-0). He pitched 2 1/3 innings and didn’t give up any hits or runs. He struck out a total of four batters in picking up the win. It wasn’t a great effort by Jordan Montgomery but credit to him for not letting the dam burst when the Orioles scored their early runs.
Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The hitting star was Starlin Castro who was 3-for-5 with the two-run homer. Didi Gregorius deserves honorable mention for his two-run shot.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter sounded a little bitter about the expanded September rosters after the game. “There’s so many things that happen this time of the year,’’ said Showalter in his post-game comments. “They don’t make the moves they made in July and June. They’ve got all those bullets down there. They’ve got 12 people down there if you count Garcia. You’re able to do that. We couldn’t today because I had like three or four guys I wasn’t going use today. We had to do that to win the previous game. Everything is effect-counter-effect.” That’s fine, I’ll take the counter-effect…the Judge walks and the Castro/Gregorius homers…for the win.
Odds & Ends…
It’s tough when you are playing a team nipping at your heels, but Gary Sanchez began serving his three-game suspension (reduced from four games). So, El Gary will miss the Baltimore series and will resume play on Friday night in Arlington, Texas. Austin Romine becomes the starting catcher against the Orioles, backed by Erik Kratz. Romine’s suspension was reduced from three games to two, and he’ll begin serving his time when Sanchez returns. Then, sadly, the storied Yankees career of Erik Kratz will come to an end.
Prior to Monday’s game, Sanchez posted the following message on his FaceBook page:
The Yankees have recalled 2B/SS Tyler Wade. Wade could potentially see some time in the outfield with Aaron Hicks on the DL, but he also brings speed to the basepaths with 26 steals at Triple A. Wade won the International League batting title (.310) with the conclusion of the IL regular season yesterday.
Congratulations to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for their 86-55 finish in the International League! They begin the play-offs against the Wild Card Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) tomorrow. The RailRiders finished 6 1/2 games better than the IronPigs in the IL North Division.
Have a great Tuesday! It’s back to work for many of us who enjoyed the long Labor Day Weekend but hopefully the Yankees keep putting in the hours for another victory. Go Yankees!
Yankees-Indians rained out…
Tonight’s game versus the Cleveland Indians, postponed due to rain, has been re-scheduled as a single admission double-header for tomorrow, Wednesday, August 30th, beginning at 1:00 pm ET.
Jaime Garcia will be the Game 1 starter and Jordan Montgomery, scratched from tonight’s RailRiders game, will start Game 2. They’ll oppose Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Monty’s appearance allows CC Sabathia to start the first game of the upcoming four games series with the Boston Red Sox. The move pits Luis Severino against Chris Sale on Sunday night. Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka will pitch on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
No word yet regarding a roster move for Montgomery but I have to believe that LHP Caleb Smith will be the odd man out and Scranton-bound.
Manager Joe Girardi has said that Aaron Judge will start at least one of the games tomorrow. He had not been scheduled to start today’s game.
IL North Division Champs…
Congratulations to the Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for winning the 2017 International League North Division!
Credit: Fred Adams-for Times Leader
The RailRiders beat the second place Rochester Red Wings (Twins) on Monday night to clinch the division. Bryan Mitchell was the winning pitcher. Jake Cave, Mason Williams and Cito Culver all homered to back Mitchell and two relievers enroute to the 5-3 victory. The Yankees will have to get creative with the 40-man roster in September but I am hopeful that we’ll see Mr Cave bring his show to the Bronx.
Credit: Fred Adams-for Times Leader
The division crown is the third consecutive for the RailRiders and the ninth in twelve years. The Governor’s Cup play-offs begin September 6th.
We’ll try this again tomorrow. Enjoy your evening!
Red Sox 9, Yankees 6…
I am sick of games with lost opportunities. When the Yankees scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th but subsequently had the bases loaded with only one out, I had such a sickening feeling when both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez failed to bring home any more runs. Unfortunately, that feeling was correct as the Red Sox raged back against the Yankees bullpen to take the win.
That’s right, Joe Girardi, Aroldis Chapman is your closer. Keep rolling him out there and watch your playoff aspirations fade. Maybe something is not wrong physically with Chapman but there’s something wrong between the ears. I know that he didn’t give up the lead, Tommy Kahnle did, but the runs the Red Sox scored off him put the dagger in the heart. I personally think Chapman needs time away to get himself right. The team is better off with David Robertson and Dellin Betances closing out games.
What makes this loss worse is today’s game features probable Cy Young winner Chris Sale. It doesn’t get any easier, especially with CC Sabathia and his balky knee on the mound. The Yankees are facing a series loss and falling 6 games behind Boston unless they can somehow find a way to pull out a win today.
While the Yankees seemed to be leaving runners stranded every inning (total of 14 men left on base), the Red Sox scored first in the second inning in the rain off starter Jordan Montgomery. Xander Bogaerts hit a two-out double to left and Rafael Devers homered to opposite field, over the Green Monster, to give the Sox the early 2-0 lead.
Christian Vazquez led off the bottom of the 5th with a solo shot, a high fly out of the park in left.
Working against the Red Sox bullpen, the Yankees finally broke the ice in the 6th. Chase Headley lined a one-out single to right. Todd Frazier hit his 20th home run of the year, a shot to left center and it was a one-run game. The Yankees subsequently proceeded to load the bases with two outs, but Aaron Judge grounded out to snuff a potentially huge inning.
|Credit: Adam Glanzman-Getty Images|
Gary Sanchez led off the next inning with his 23rd homer, a fly to left center near the light tower and the game was tied. The Yankees proceeded to load the bases on two walks and a single (not in that order) to load the bases for Ronald Torreyes. Torreyes, unlike Judge, didn’t fail. He hit a line-drive single to left off the scoreboard to score both Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley. The Yankees had taken the lead, 5-3. After Austin Romine struck out, Brett Gardner walked to load the bases. Red Sox reliever Robby Scott then hit Aaron Hicks with a pitch to bring Todd Frazier home from third. 6-3 Yankees and the bases were still juiced. Aaron Judge had the first crack, but he went down swinging. Last chance fell to Gary Sanchez who had led off the inning with a homer, but this time he lined out to first. The Yankees had the lead but I didn’t feel good. I felt the score should have been 8 or 9 to 3 at that point.
|Credit: Adam Glanzman-Getty Images|
The Red Sox rallied against the Yankees bullpen. Chad Green had pitched an effective 6th inning after relieving Jordan Montgomery, but the bottom of the 7th didn’t go so well. Green got the first batter, Rafael Devers, to pop out to Didi Gregorius. Christian Vazquez then hit a line drive to left that Gregorius just missed. Jackie Bradley Jr was up next, but Green couldn’t throw strikes and the Sox had runners at first and second. Exit Green, enter Tommy Kahnle. Exit lead. Eduardo Nunez reached base on an infield hit to load the bases. A sacrifice fly to center by Mookie Betts scored Vazquez. Andrew Benintendi singled to right, scoring JBJ. Hanley Ramirez walked to re-load the bases. Mitch Moreland singled to score two more runs and the Red Sox had a lead they would not relinquish, 7-6.
|Credit: Michael Dwyer-Associated Press|
After the Yankees were unable to do anything offensively in the top of the 8th, Girardi brought Aroldis Chapman in to pitch the bottom of the inning. Sorry Chapman, you suck. 20 year-old Rafael Devers, finding his new bitch in Chapman, singled to right. Christian Vazquez was up next and he reached base when Chapman couldn’t find the strike zone. With JBJ at the plate, the Sox executed a double-steal with Devers and Vazquez taking third and second, respectively. JBJ hit a single up the middle and the Sox had two more runs on the board. 9-6, Sox. A throwing error by Hicks on the single allowed JBJ to reach second, but Chapman finally settled down and retired the next 3 batters. Too little, too late.
|Credit: New York Daily News (back page)|
Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the 9th to give the Sox the agonizing win. This was a very disappointing loss (as if you couldn’t tell from the tone of my words).
The Yankees (65-56) fell five games behind the Red Sox with the loss. The Yankees retained the lead in the Wild Card Standings, 3 1/2 games up, but the second place team, the Los Angeles Angels were caught by the Minnesota Twins for a tie with the second WC spot. The Angels suffered a devastating loss when Manny Machado hit a walk-off grand slam to give the Baltimore Orioles a 9-7 win over the Angels. The O’s have sole possession of third place in the AL East, 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees, thanks to losses by both the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays. The O’s are just 2 games out of the 2nd WC. The Twins, probably wishing they had kept Jaime Garcia, beat the Arizona D-Backs, 10-3.
Odds & Ends…
Congratulations to Derek Jeter and his wife Hannah on the birth of their daughter, Bella Raine Jeter. Little BRJ was born on Thursday and she anxiously awaits her father’s takeover of the Miami Marlins. I am sure that she’s already looking forward to life on South Beach.
The Boston Red Sox have opted to pitch Rick Porcello on Sunday against the Yankees’ Sonny Gray. Porcello, last year’s AL Cy Young Winner, is 7-14 with 4.59 ERA. Porcello is 0-3 against the Yankees this year in 19 innings with 3.79 ERA.
Mets OF Curtis Granderson, fresh off his grand slam against the Yankees in the final game of this week’s Subway Series, has found himself on MLB’s best team. From the outhouse to the penthouse. The Grandy Man was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the familiar player to be named later or cash considerations. Interestingly enough, the Dodgers are currently in the city where Grandy got his start as they are playing a weekend series in Detroit. Credit the Dodgers for continuing to find ways to improve the team despite 86 wins on August 19th.
|Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports|
Have a great Saturday! Seems like a good day to beat the Red Sox! Let’s Go Yankees!