|Credit: Mike Stobe-Getty Images|
Yankees 5, Red Sox 4…
|Credit: Charles Wenzelberg-NY Post|
The Red Sox jumped on the board first. In the top of the first inning, with Mookie Betts on first after a walk, Yankees starter Jaime Garcia decided to challenge Hanley Ramirez with an inside fastball on a 3-1 count. Bad idea. Ramirez deposited the ball over the left center wall into the bullpen, and the Red Sox had the early 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, walks to Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge had a runner in scoring position with only one out. But like the struggles in Toronto on Wednesday night, the Yankees failed to advance the runners. Admittedly, it felt like it was going to be another one of those games.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press|
It seemed Red Sox were going to blow the game open in the 3rd inning. Mookie Betts singled to left with one out Great stop by Aaron Hicks that prevented a double. He was followed by Andrew Benintendi who laced a soft line drive single to center. Betts moved to third on the hit, with Benintendi advancing to second on Jacoby Ellsbury’s late throw to third. Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Jaime Garcia, in one of the keys to the game, struck out former Yankee Chris Young and got Xander Bogarts to ground out to escape the inning unscathed.
Bottom of the third, another Yankee (Aaron Hicks) was left stranded at second after he had hit a one-out double to center past a lunging Mookie Betts. The RISP struggle continued.
Boston added another run in the top of the 5th. With Garcia still pitching, Andrew Benintendi homered to right with two outs, a solo shot into the second deck. Garcia got into a little further trouble when the next batter (Hanley Ramirez) doubled off the center field wall and Chris Young walked, but, after a talk with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, he was able to get Xander Bogarts to hit a fly to right for the third out.
Ronald Torreyes doubled to left off the wall with one out in the bottom of the 5th, but like Hicks in the 3rd, he could go no further. Another failed scoring opportunity.
The Red Sox had a chance to add to their lead in the 6th. Garcia struck out Red Sox rookie Rafael Devers but Christian Vazquez got on base with a single up the middle. Jackie Bradley, Jr hit a grounder to short which erased Vazquez at second but the Yankees couldn’t turn the double play. With JBJ at first and Eduardo Nunez coming to bat, Manager Joe Girardi pulled Garcia and replaced him with Adam Warren. Nunez stroked a single to right, with JBJ taking second. The dangerous Mookie Betts came up but Warren got him on a fly out to right. Whew! Evading trouble in that spot was huge.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez did not return for the 7th inning. It was good to see him leave the game. Six innings, two hits, no runs, seven strikeouts. But the Yankees didn’t fare much better against Sox reliever Matt Barnes in the bottom of the 7th. After he walked Todd Frazier, he easily set down the next three batters.
Hats off to Adam Warren. He had shut down the Sox in the 7th and did the same in the 8th. He was as responsible as anyone for the setting the stage for the bottom of the 8th dramatics. If he had not held the Red Sox at bay, the hole might have been too large to overcome.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the 8th against former New York Mets reliever Addison Reed. Gardner reached first when he was hit by a pitch on his front foot (a call made after a replay challenge by the Yankees). A-A-Ron Hicks, in his second game back from the DL, blasted Reed’s slider into the right field stands just inside the foul pole to make it a 3-2 game.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press|
Continuing the inning, Gary Sanchez singled to left and took second on a wild pitch by Reed. Aaron Judge patiently accepted a walk, and Reed was pulled in favor of Joe Kelly. Didi Gregorius singled to left, scoring Sanchez to tie the game. Judge moved to third. Todd Frazier joined the party with a single to left that dropped in front of Andrew Benintendi to score Judge with the go-ahead run. The Yankees loaded the bases when Jacoby Ellsbury, the $153 million man, singled to right after Chase Headley had struck out. Ronald Torreyes, the little man with a big stick, hit a sacrifice fly to left which was deep enough to score Gregorius with what would prove to be a HUGE insurance run. It was 5-3 Yankees. Brett Gardner walked to re-load the bases, but the Sox replaced Kelly with Fernando Abad who retired Aaron Hicks, coming to bat for the second time in the inning, on a pop out to end the inning.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press|
The 9th inning brought Aroldis Chapman into the game. Unfortunately, this season has seen Chapman struggle with too much rest or too much use. This time it was too much rust as he hadn’t pitched since last Saturday. He walked the first three batters to load the bases (while I was losing my mind). Girardi was much more patient than I would have been. I would have pulled Chapman after he walked the second batter to replace him with David Robertson…the luxury of having proven closers in the pen behind Chapman. But Girardi’s patience with Chapman paid off. Even though the Red Sox scored a run with the next batter, Andrew Benintendi, the Yankees probably would have been unable to hold the lead without the sequence of events. Benintendi hit a deep fly to left. Aaron Hicks noticed that his former teammate with the Minnesota Twins, Eduardo Nunez, was breaking for third, and he fired a shot to Todd Frazier who grazed the sliding Nunez with the tag before he was able to reach third. The Red Sox challenged the play (admittedly very close) but lost the appeal. The double play thwarted the Red Sox momentum. The next batter, Mitch Moreland, flied out to center to end the game. If the Yankees had not thrown Nunez out, he most likely would have scored the game tying run when Moreland lofted his fly ball. The Yankees win, 5-4, and stop the Red Sox winning streak.
|Credit: Paul J Bereswill-NY Post|
Adam Warren (3-2) was the winner in relief of Jaime Garcia. New acquisitions Garcia and Sonny Gray can’t seem to get any runs from the Yankees offense. Garcia’s final line was respectable…5 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. It was a ‘bend but not break’ performance that kept the Yankees in the game. A-A-Ron Hicks was the clear MVP of the game with his home run and the brilliant throw to nail Nunez.
|Credit: Charles Wenzelberg-NY Post|
The Yankees (61-53) moved back to 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East Standings after it had felt like they might fall a season high 5 1/2 games back. The Cleveland Indians shut out the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0, to push the Rays 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles fell 5 games behind the Yanks with their 5-4 loss to the Oakland A’s.
Aaron Judge struck out for his 28th consecutive game. He was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored plus the strikeout.
It sounds like Derek Jeter is finally going to be Don Mattingly’s boss after months of rumors and speculation. Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has accepted a bid to sell the team to a group headed by New York businessman Bruce Sherman and Jeter for $1.2 billion. Apparently, Sherman will be the “control person” (the Hal Steinbrenner of the group) and Jeter will run baseball and business operations. The investment group headed by Sherman and Jeter includes NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. The sale, which must be approved by MLB owners, is expected to close in October.
Credit: Andrew Savulich-New York Daily News
As expected, the Yankees placed LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) on the 10-Day DL and recalled LHP Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery is expected to start on Sunday against Boston’s Chris Sale. 1B Tyler Austin was reinstated from the DL and optioned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. I am sure that Garrett Cooper’s recent performance had a strong say in that decision.
Friday night featured a great match-up between Chance Adams of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and Ryan Yarbrough of the Durham Bulls (Triple A team for the Tampa Bay Rays). Yarbrough may not be a top pitching prospect for the Rays (he is #23 on their top prospect list according to MLB.com) but he entered the game with 12 wins, tied for the International League lead, or four more than Adams. The RailRiders tagged Yarbrough with his sixth loss in the 6-2 victory as Adams (9-3) picked up the win. I was very pleased to see that he walked only one batter. Adams threw 101 pitches (69 for strikes) over six innings. He only allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out six. His season ERA stands at 2.31. Soon, Young Grasshopper…
Have a great Saturday! Let’s take down the Sox again this afternoon! Go Yankees!
Blue Jays 4, Yankees 0…
So much for heading home with any momentum to face the AL-East leading Boston Red Sox. The Yankees offense departed Toronto a day too early as the Yankees were blanked by the AL East cellar-dwelling Toronto Blue Jays. Losing two of three to the division’s worst is not exactly a recipe for October.
Sonny Gray kept the Yankees in the game but he had no help.
|Credit: The Associated Press|
The first inning started with hope for a run. With two outs, Aaron Judge walked and moved to third when Didi Gregorius doubled to right. Unfortunately, Gary Sanchez struck out swinging as the Yankees continued to struggle with runners in scoring position.
Garrett Cooper doubled in the second inning with two outs but Ronald Torreyes flied out to right on the first pitch he was thrown by Jays starter Marco Estrada. The Blue Jays didn’t miss their chance in the bottom of the inning. Ezequiel Carrera doubled to center with one out. A failed pick off attempt by Sonny Gray allowed Carrera to move to third. Ryan Goins hit a short grounder which Gray scooped and tossed underhanded with his glove to Sanchez, but Carrera slid in under the tag to score the Jays’ first run.
|Credit: Fred Thornhill-The Associated Press|
The third inning brought another two-out double, this time a line drive down the left field line by Aaron Judge. But like the others, he was left stranded when Didi Gregorius flied out. The Jays, unlike the Yankees, didn’t miss their chances. In the bottom of the third, Jose Bautista walked. Russell Martin struck out on a ball that got past Gary Sanchez. Sanchez’s throw beat Martin to first, but Joey Bats had already stolen second on the play. Josh Donaldson singled to left to score Bautista. It was 2-0 Jays.
After the Yankees went quietly in the 4th, the Blue Jays added another run in the bottom of the inning. Steve Pearce opened with a single off Gray. A sacrifice bunt by Ezequiel Carrera moved Pearce to second. After Ryan Goins walked, Kevin Pillar singled to left (a bouncer between Todd Frazier and Didi Gregorius) to score Pearce.
The fifth inning started with promise. Garrett Cooper led off with a single to left and Ronald Torreyes walked. But they didn’t advance any further when Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Judge recorded outs. For Judge, who struck out to end the inning, it was his 27th consecutive game with a strikeout (extending his own franchise record).
|Credit: The Associated Press|
It was more of the same in the 6th. Gary Sanchez walked with one out. He was followed by Todd Frazier who singled to right. Sanchez advanced to second but there he would stay as Jacoby Ellsbury and Garrett Cooper failed to move the runners.
Manager Joe Girardi brought Chasen Shreve in to start the 7th inning. While Shreve’s performance overall was good, he allowed a home run by Jose Bautista, a solo shot to left. The Blue Jays were up 4-0. It was Bautista’s 36th career homer against the Yankees, the most of any active player.
|Credit: Steve Russell-Toronto Star|
The Yankees couldn’t do anything with a Gary Sanchez single in the 8th. For the 9th, the Jays brought in their closer, Roberto Osuna, even though it wasn’t a save opportunity. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a walk. Following strikeouts by Garrett Cooper and Chase Headley, Brett Gardner walked. Aaron Judge came to the plate with a chance to bring the Yankees within a run but it was not to be as he struck out to end the game.
Sonny Gray (6-7) took the loss. He went six innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Only 2 of the runs were earned due to Sonny’s error on the failed pick-off attempt in the 2nd inning. Throwing a total of 103 pitches, he walked 4 batters and struck out 6.
This was a very disappointing loss. My morning started with a Red Sox fan posting the AL East Standings on my FaceBook page and laughing. The Yankees (60-53) fell 4 1/2 games behind the idle Red Sox who watched the Yankees lose while sitting in NYC. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-1, to move back to 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles won too, 7-2 over the Oakland A’s, so they’re 4 games behind New York. The Yankees still have the Wild Card lead (by two games) but this team is not playing like it wants to play in October. It doesn’t get any easier tonight…
Next Up: Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York…
With Boston’s day off on Thursday, they arrived in New York City a day earlier than the Yankees. So, they’ll be rested and ready for the Bombers tonight. The Red Sox bring an eight-game winning streak into tonight’s game.
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups. It’s a bummer that Sonny Gray will miss this series but he’ll be ready next weekend in Boston.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.08 ERA)
Yankees: Jaime Garcia (1-1, 6.35)
Red Sox: Drew Pomeranz (11-4, 3.06 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (9-4, 2.91 ERA)
Red Sox: Chris Sale (14-4, 2.57 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 4.05 ERA)
Monty, we need you to get back to New York to start on Sunday in place of CC Sabathia. Who’s on the mound for Boston? Um, I’m not sure. Just go out there and throw zeros and we’ll be fine…
Odds & Ends…
Clint Frazier has been placed on the 10-Day DL with his oblique tightness. OF Aaron Hicks was activated off the DL a day earlier than anticipated as a result. I guess this delays the decision of what to do with Red Thunder when Aaron Hicks returns. Hicksie gets to fly from Trenton to Toronto and back to New York City in less than 24 hours. I suppose it could have been worse if the Yankees had been playing in Seattle.
LHP Dietrich Enns, 26, made his Major League debut last night for the Minnesota Twins in their game against the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee. It didn’t go so well. Despite the Twins’ 7-2 win, Enns was pulled after 2 1/2 innings and 53 pitches. He allowed 5 hits and 2 runs (only one earned thanks to his own throwing error). He walked a batter (with the bases loaded in the third) and gave up a home run to Keon Broxton. Enns went to Minnesota with Zack Littell in the deal that brought Jaime Garcia to New York.
|Credit: Tom Lynn-The Associated Press|
Have a great Friday! Yankees-Red Sox. It doesn’t get any better than this. Let’s Go Yankees!
|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
Yankees 11, Blue Jays 5…
The bottom of the Yankees lineup powered the team to victory on Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays with an assist by the bullpen. Six of the eleven runs were courtesy of the bottom third of the order. Nine runs if you throw in the number 6 hitter (the Toddfather). It was a much needed win as the Boston Red Sox are currently riding an eight-game winning streak (which they will bring to the Bronx on Friday night when they begin a three-game series against the beloved home team).
Masahiro Tanaka only gave up two hits but he was gone after four innings, pulled in the 5th with no outs, having thrown 88 pitches which included five walks and three runs (two earned). So, it was up to the stacked bullpen to power its way to victory.
The Yankees got on the board first with two runs in the top of the 2nd. Gary Sanchez and Todd Frazier led off the inning against Blue Jays starter Nick Tepesch with back-to-back home runs. The Jays’ Kevin Pillar made a nearly successful leap to rob Sanchez, but the ball was just beyond his reach. I’ve said it before but I hate solo home runs. It’s not that I hate home runs…I love the runs, but I just prefer men on base when it happens (statement of the obvious). Two home runs…the potential for eight runs…or two. I just prefer to be somewhere in the middle (or more). Oh well, the stats seem to favor the Yankees when they homer in games so I am not complaining.
|Credit: The Associated Press|
The Blue Jays got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd when Steve Pearce walked and advanced to third on Kevin Pillar’s double to left. Nori Aoki hit a grounder to second for an out, but Pearce scored on the play (with Pillar moving to third). It got a little too interesting with the next batter when Darwin Barney hit a grounder to third and the Yankees had Pillar caught in a rundown. But it wasn’t executed cleanly and Pillar almost scored if not for the athleticism of Tanaka who took the throw behind Gary Sanchez to nail the runner at the plate.
|Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports|
The top of the 3rd brought another solo home run, this time a shot to the second deck in right center by Didi Gregorius, as the Yankees increased their lead to 3-1.
|Credit: Steve Russell-Toronto Star|
The Jays answered in the bottom of the inning without a single hit. Raffy Lopez led off and reached base through catcher’s interference on a pitch that would have been the third strike. Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak walked to load the bases. Steve Pearce hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Donaldson to make it a one-run game.
It looked like the Yankees were going to break the game open in the 5th when Aaron Judge walked and moved to third when Didi Gregorius doubled to center. The Jays brought in Leonel Campos to replace Tepesch. He was successful in striking out Gary Sanchez, but Todd Frazier followed with a double to right center to score Judge and Gregorius. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to center to score Frazier and it was 6-2 Yankees.
|Credit: Mark Blinch-The Associated Press|
In the bottom of the 5th, the Jays started to chip away. Jose Bautista led off with a home run to left. Masahiro Tanaka walked the next batter (Josh Donaldson) and Manager Joe Girardi had seen enough. He brought in Chad Green who struck out the side to prevent any further damage.
Unfortunately, the 6th inning didn’t go so well for Green. Nori Aoki opened with a single. Darwin Barney hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Aoki, however, Ryan Goins doubled to left center to score Barney. Girardi elected to pull Green and brought in Tommy Kahnle. A wild pitch by Kahnle moved Goins to third. Raffy Lopez walked to put runners at the corners. Josh Donaldson singled to right center, scoring Goins, and it was a one-run game again.
The Yankees finally got separation in the 8th when Todd Frazier led off the inning with a single to left center off Jays reliever Dominic Leone. The Jays pulled Leone for J.P. Howell who struck out Jacoby Ellsbury. Howell was then lifted for Taylor Cole which backfired on the Jays. Garrett Cooper doubled to left with Frazier moving to third. Ronald Torreyes, who has done a stellar job as a fill-in for Starlin Castro, singled to center to score both Frazier and Cooper. Torreyes took second on the throw. The Yankees almost had another run when Chase Headley singled to left center but Toe was gunned down at the plate.
Nevertheless, the Yankees picked up three more runs in the top of the 9th with Cole still on the mound. Didi Gregorius reached base on an infield single, Gary Sanchez singled to center and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to second but Gregorius scored on the play. Garrett Cooper doubled to center to bring both Sanchez and Frazier home. The Jays had seen enough of Cole and pulled him for Danny Barnes who retired the last two Yankee batters get out of the inning and let the Jays come to bat for their last licks.
David Robertson and Dellin Betances had pitched scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th, respectively. For the 9th to close it out, Girardi brought in Adam Warren. It wasn’t clean but he got the job done. A walk and a single had runners at the corners with two outs, but Warren got Kevin Pillar to fly out to Aaron Judge to end the game. The Yankees win!
It was so great to see the Yankees finally make noise with runners in scoring position. Garrett Cooper led the 17-hit attack with a 4-for-5 night. He had 2 RBI’s and scored a run. It was by far his best game as a Yankee. Jacoby Ellsbury and Ronald Torreyes also had 2 RBI’s each. Todd Frazier was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI’s and four runs scored, including his 19th home run of the season. Didi Gregorius was 3-for-5 with an RBI on the solo homer, his 18th, and three runs scored. It was good to see Gary Sanchez homer, also his 18th. He had two hits and scored twice. This was a great team victory to pick up Tanaka. Green (2-0) was the winner.
|Credit: Mark Blinch-The Associated Press|
The Yankees (60-52) remain four games behind the Boston Red Sox. As noted at the top of this post, the Red Sox won their eighth consecutive game, beating the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-2. Even though the Yankees didn’t gain any ground on the Red Sox, they increased their lead over the Rays by 3 1/2 games. The Baltimore Orioles also lost (5-1 to the Los Angeles Angels) so they fell 5 games behind the Yankees. The Yankees currently hold a 2 1/2 game advantage in the Wild Card standings but I still think the AL East can be won. The Red Sox are off today so the Yankees can pick up a 1/2 game with a win today over the Jays on Getaway Day. The Sox will be waiting for the Yankees in the Bronx for a three-game set starting on Friday night.
Clint Frazier was scheduled to start the game in right field but was a late scratch for oblique tightness. No immediate word on his condition. Aaron Judge was moved from DH to right field, Chase Headley from 1B to DH, and Garrett Cooper inserted into the starting lineup at first. Obviously, Cooper took advantage of the opportunity at Frazier’s expense.
I’ll let others write about the upcoming Players Weekend on August 25th through 27th when players can wear nicknames on the back of alternate uniforms. I know that many Yankee fans are up in arms, but I am indifferent. It is a playful three days and it does not involve desecrating the famed Pinstripes. But Pickles? Really? We’re going to throw Pickles at the Seattle Mariners? Well, at least we can throw The Missile at them later. I know that Sonny Gray has a story behind the name but it is still hard to wrap my head around it.
CC Sabathia’s MRI came back clear so it sounds as though he’ll be back on the mound sooner rather than later. No word if he’ll miss any time. Admittedly, I am skeptical about continuing to throw him out there. The knee surely factored into the two home runs by Josh Donaldson on Tuesday. I am not crazy about testing the knee in live, game scenarios. I’ve enjoyed CC’s Yankees career but the end of this contract is a good farewell point for me. I have no interest in testing the knee in 2018.
I was bummed to see the Mets trade Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians. I thought he would fit well on the Yankees roster as 1B/DH. With a recent inability to get runs across the plate, Bruce would have helped kickstart the offense. Apparently the Yankees were involved in trade talks until the end, but the dealbreaker was money. The Yankees wanted the Mets to pay some of the remaining money owed to Bruce whereas the Indians absorbed the full balance due.
Have a Sunny Day Thursday…or a Sonny Gray Thursday! Let’s Go Yankees!
|Credit: Kathy Willens-AP|
For CC Sabathia, it really came down to one bad pitch. With runners at first and second with two outs in the top of the 2nd inning, CC got into an extended battle with Tigers first baseman John Hicks, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him. On the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Hicks deposited a poorly thrown backdoor slider into the right field stands (just beyond the glove of a leaping Aaron Judge), giving the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish.
|Credit: Paul J Bereswill-New York Post|
Justin Upton homered off Sabathia in the 3rd inning, also with two outs, to give the Tigers the necessary insurance run they would need to win. The Yankees wasted an opportunity to chip away in the bottom of the 3rd when Tyler Wade led off with a double to center. A wild pitch by Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez moved Wade to third with no outs. But Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge all failed to bring Wade home.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Yankees finally got on the board when Gary Sanchez opened with a double to left. Didi Gregorius homered to right to bring the Yankees within two runs, 4-2. But those were the only runs the Yankees would be able to get off Anibal Sanchez.
The Yankees picked up their final run in the bottom of the 8th against the Tigers bullpen. With Alex Wilson pitching, Gary Sanchez singled to left and advanced to second on a throwing error by left fielder Justin Upton. The Tigers replaced Wilson with Daniel Stumpf and he was greeted by a run-scoring single from Didi Gregorius to make it a one-run game. Matt Holliday grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Tigers almost added to their lead in the top of the 9th. David Robertson had been brought in to start the inning, in relief of Adam Warren. Thanks to two singles, the Tigers had runners at first and second with two outs. Austin Romine’s brother Andrew singled to center but Brett Gardner gunned down the lead runner (James McCann) at the plate.
|Credit: Jim McIsaac-Getty Images|
In the bottom of the 9th, Jacoby Ellsbury walked with two outs. A throwing error by Tigers reliever Shane Greene on a pick-off attempt allowed Ellsbury to race to third. The Tigers chose to intentionally walk Brett Gardner to face Clint Frazier. Gardner stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. The stage was set for Frazier to be the hero. Unfortunately, he took two called strikes without moving his bat and then popped out on the third pitch from Greene to end the game. It was a disappointing loss and another game of missed opportunities.
The Yankees (57-48) dropped a half game behind the Boston Red Sox with the loss. Boston battled the Cleveland Indians all night long, with the lead constantly changing hands. The Indians scored 7 runs off Red Sox ace Chris Sale in the game. They also scored two runs in the top of the 9th against Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, including a solo homer by Francisco Lindor which tied the game. The Indians took a 10-9 lead into the bottom of the 9th with closer Cody Allen on the mound, but Boston’s Christian Vasquez hit a three-run homer for the 12-10 walk-off win. The Tampa Bay Rays also won. They beat the Houston Astros, 6-4, behind Chris Archer. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles won their fourth consecutive game (7-2 over the Kansas City Royals) so they moved within 5 1/2 games of the Yankees.
|Credit: John Wilcox-Boston Herald|
|Credit: Kathy Willens-AP|
|Credit: Robert Sabo-New York Post|
Credit: Getty Images
Jaime Garcia, in a pre-game interview, told the story how his late grandfather had told him as a boy he would play for the Yankees. The Yankees are his family’s favorite team, and they were Jaime’s favorite team as a kid. Great story. I am looking forward to watching Jaime pitch in pinstripes. Based on Joe Girardi’s comments, it appears that Sonny Gray will start in Cleveland on Thursday and Garcia will take the mound the next day. I hate to be guilty of looking ahead, but I can’t wait for Thursday and Friday. They should be fun and exciting games.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
It has been said that the Gray trade has the potential to be a steal for the Yankees. While I am glad Gray is a Yankee, the potential also exists for the trade to be a steal for the A’s. I still believe that James Kaprielian can be a top of the rotation starter. Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler can be very dangerous players for a future A’s squad. Best case, the trade is a win/win for both organizations.
It was another win for Chance Adams (7-3, 2.32 ERA). The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Buffalo Bisons, 5-1, on Tuesday behind Adams but the usual problem surfaced with too many walks (four). He went 6 innings (101 pitches), giving up 8 hits and 3 runs to the Bisons. He struck out 3. Billy McKinney, one of the players that will need to be placed on the 40-man roster before December’s Rule 5 Draft, hit a three-run homer to back Adams.
Game 1: Yankees 3, Red Sox 0…
Michael Pineda goes on the DL with a season-ending injury so “who ya gonna call”? Apparently the answer is CC Sabathia. In the first game on Sunday, CC gave the Yankees exactly what they needed…six innings of scoreless two-hit ball. He blamed the five walks on rust, but he was otherwise very effective against the potent Red Sox lineup as the Yankees topped the Red Sox.
Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Sabathia (8-3) walked the first two batters he faced in the game. A force out at second put runners at the corners with one out. But Sabathia was able to induce former Yankee Chris Young to hit into an inning-ending double play to keep the Red Sox off the board.
The Yankees were finally able to break through with the game’s first runs in the fourth inning against Sox starter Rick Porcello. Didi Gregorius lined a one-out single to right. Clint Frazier hit an infield grounder to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, but Bogaerts bobbled the ball for an error, allowing Frazier to reach first as Gregorius took second. Austin Romine singled to left, just past a diving Bogaerts, to load the bases. Ji-Man Choi hit a sharp fly ball to left fielder Andrew Benintendi, which scored Gregorius. Ronald Torreyes got all of a Porcello pitch with the barrel of his bat for a solid single to left, which brought Clint Frazier around to score in a close play at the plate. Brett Gardner took a pitch off the forearm to re-load the bases, but Chase Headley grounded out to first to end the inning. 2-0, Yankees.
Credit: Michael Dwyer-AP
In the top of the 5th, Didi Gregorius lined a fly ball into the right field stands just fair of the Pesky Pole for a two-out solo home run as the Yankees increased their lead to 3-0.
Aaron Judge finally got his first hit of the series in the 7th when he reached first base on an infield grounder against Red Sox reliever Austin Maddox.
In the bottom of the 7th, Tyler Clippard (Yikes!) replaced CC Sabathia. Like Saturday, the first batter he faced (Brock Holt) singled to start the inning. Despite my Clippard-induced uneasiness, he retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
After the Yankees failed to score any runs in the top of the 8th with two men on base, the Red Sox brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the inning after Chad Green two-out walks to Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis. Fortunately, Jackie Bradley, Jr went down swinging as Green preserved the shutout.
Manager Joe Girardi brought in Aroldis Chapman for the 9th, his third consecutive appearance in three days. Unlike Friday night, Chapman did his job, despite a two-out single by Dustin Pedroia, to earn his 9th save of the season.
The Yankees (47-42) moved 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East with the win. Pending the outcome of the second game of the double-header, the Yankees also slid back into a second place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays finally lost to the Los Angeles Angels, 4-3.
Game 2: Red Sox 3, Yankees 0…
In the nightcap, the Red Sox reversed Game 1’s score as they shut out the Yankees. It was the first time this season the Yankees have failed to score.
The Yankees have generally fared well against Red Sox starter David Price but not on this night. Price scattered 7 hits over 8 scoreless innings and struck out 8. He did not walk a batter. Masahiro Tanaka (7-9) gave the Yanks length (he went 7 2/3 innings) but he was unable to match Price’s performance.
|Credit: Adam Glanzman-Getty Images|
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Red Sox broke their 24-inning scoreless streak when Christian Vazquez singled and Mookie Betts clobbered a Tanaka pitch over the Green Monster and out of Fenway Park for a 2-0 lead.
Garrett Cooper picked his first Major League hit in the 5th inning when he lined a double to the wall in left. He was left stranded but it was good to see him finally have a productive at-bat.
The Red Sox picked up another run in the bottom of the 6th. Mookie Betts led off with a liner that deflected off Masahiro Tanaka’s glove. On the run, Starlin Castro scooped it up and hurriedly threw a low throw to first baseman Garrett Cooper which Cooper was unable to handle. Betts, without hesitation, advanced to second. An error was charged to Castro. After Betts moved to third on a groundout by Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia hit a hard single into left field, just past Ronald Torreyes at third. Torreyes misread the velocity of the ball, otherwise, he could have moved into proper position to potentially get the runner at home. The run increased the Sox lead to 3-0.
With Gary Sanchez on base in the eighth, Aaron Judge had a chance to make it a one-run game when he launched a high fly to the Bermuda Triangle in center. But Jackie Bradley, Jr made a leaping catch to snag the ball which would have landed in the Sox bullpen. “I thought it had a chance. But I just hit it to the wrong part of the park and the wrong centerfielder. Jackie’s been making plays like that for a long time,” Judge said after the game.
|Credit: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images|
The Yankees had a chance in the 9th against closer Craig Kimbrel. Didi Gregorius, 0-for-5 with 5 K’s lifetime against Kimbrel, ripped stand-up double off the left field wall. With two outs, Brett Gardner, pinch-hitting for Garrett Cooper, walked. It brought Chase Headley to the plate representing the tying run, but sadly, Headley struck out to end the game.
The Yankees (47-43) fell back into third place with the loss, 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays are 1/2 game ahead of the Yanks.
HR Derby Hangover: It was not a great series for Aaron Judge. He was 1-for-18 with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. Hopefully the Land of 10,000 Lakes helps him get back on track.
Next Up: Minnesota Twins at Target Field, Minneapolis, MN…
The Yankees will see one of their former starters this series when Bartolo Colon takes the mound on Wednesday for his first appearance as a Minnesota Twin. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will be able to meet up with fellow Home Run Derby participant Miguel Sano. Like the Yankees, the Twins (46-45) started the season strong but have tailed off lately.
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups.
Yankees: Bryan Mitchell (1-1, 5.06 ERA)
Twins: Adalberto Mejia (4-4, 4.43 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.18 ERA)*
Twins: Bartolo Colon (0-0, 0.00 ERA) — He was 2-8 with 8.14 ERA for the NL Braves.
*Cessa is listed as the scheduled starter, but with Caleb Smith on the active roster, I wonder if Smith makes his MLB debut this game.
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (6-4, 3.78 ERA)
Twins: Jose Berrios (8-3, 3.70 ERA)
Odds & Ends…
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Boston will formally file a protest over the lack of an interference call in Saturday night’s 4-1 victory by the Yankees. In the 11th inning, Matt Holliday, forced out at second on an infield grounder to first base by Jacoby Ellsbury, raced back to first thinking that Ellsbury had been forced before the throw to second. His action prevented Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland from catching the relay from Xander Bogaerts and Ellsbury was ruled safe at first. Farrell felt that it should have been a double play on interference. The Yankees didn’t score in the inning so the net effect was inconsequential. I am not really sure what purpose the protest serves. It was clearly not an intentional act by Holliday as he thought that he was still in play.
Upon completion of yesterday’s double-header, RHP Domingo German was optioned to Triple A. Bryan Mitchell, who served as the “26th man” for the double-header, was moved onto the 25-man roster and will start tonight’s game.
Have a great Monday! Hopefully the Yankees will be right on target at Target Field. 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!
Red Sox 5, Yankees 4…
The Yankees paid $86 million for Aroldis Chapman to blow last night’s game. The bad with the good. I’ve been concerned about Chapman for a few weeks now, actually dating back before he went on the DL. His struggles with command have largely flown under the radar given the horrific stretches encountered by both Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances. I thought maybe Chapman’s contract might look bad toward the end but not in the first year. For the same money, the Yankees could have signed Kenley Jansen in the off-season. Jansen earned his 22nd save last night for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is 4-0 with 0.93 ERA. Chapman has 8 saves and 3.92 ERA. Granted, Chapman could have used some defensive help in the 9th so to his defense, it was not entirely his fault. I think Chapman will be alright and a force in the second half.
The game was a struggle for Jordan Montgomery, laboring every inning he pitched. Even if he did give up 6 hits and 3 runs in 4 innings worked, it could have been much worse. So credit to him for not rolling over. The Red Sox had runners in scoring position in the first two innings but failed to get them home. They finally broke through in third inning after the Yankees had taken a 1-0 lead. With Xander Bogaerts at first (single), Hanley Ramirez hammered a Montgomery fastball over the Green Monster in center to give the Sox a 2-1 lead.
The Red Sox picked up a third run in the 4th inning. Sam Travis opened with a walk off Montgomery. Christian Vasquez ripped a single to left, runners at first and second. Deven Marrero hit an infield grounder to Didi Gregorius who fired the ball to Ronald Torreyes at second in an attempt to get the force out but Torreyes took his eyes off the ball and it glanced off his glove for an error to load the bases. Montgomery was able to retire Mookie Betts on a pop up but Dustin Pedroia singled to left to score Travis, 3-1 Sox. A subsequent double play with the bases still loaded prevented any further damage.
In the top of the 5th, the Yankees led off with a double by Chase Headley. Brett Gardner lined a one-out single to right to score Headley. Gary Sanchez, the Sanchino, followed with his 14th home run of the year, a high fly ball that sailed out of Fenway Park in left, and the Yankees had taken a 4-3 lead.
|Credit: CJ Gunther-EPA|
The Yankees bullpen took over in the bottom of the 5th. Chad Green was spectacular, working two innings with no hits and 5 strikeouts. Adam Warren despite giving up two singles in the 7th, kept the Sox off the board. Dellin Betances hit Mitch Moreland with a pitch in the 8th but otherwise was great with three strikeouts.
The Yankees were unable to add any insurance runs against Sox starter Drew Pomeranz and the Red Sox bullpen (who held the Yanks hitless for the final 3 innings) so it was off to the bottom of the 9th and closer Aroldis Chapman.
I hate to re-live this inning but here we go. Mookie Betts reached first on an infield single to deep short. Dustin Pedroia followed with a grounder to short. The throw from Didi Gregorius to Ronald Torreyes at second was too high and Torreyes had to jump to catch the ball, taking his feet off the bag. Betts safe at second, Pedroia at first. A double steal moved the runners to second and third. Xander Bogaerts hit an infield grounder to Torreyes and he was unable to handle it for his second error of the game. Betts scored the tying run. The Yankees intentionally walked Hanley Ramirez to load the bases. Chapman then struggled to find the strike zone with Andrew Benintendi and walked him on a 3-1 count, bringing home Pedroia with the winning run. Defeat with no balls out of the infield…a disappointing loss.
|Credit: Stuart Cahill-Boston Herald|
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 2-1, in 10 innings to take sole possession of 2nd place in the AL as the Yankees (45-42) dropped to third. The Yankees are 4 1/2 games behind the Red Sox and a game behind the Rays.
Oh, By The Way…
The news for the second half is certainly not starting off on the right foot. With Michael Pineda’s diagnosis of a flexor muscle strain and a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow, there’s a strong possibility for Tommy John surgery. He’ll seek a second opinion but this is not good news. Considering this is his “walk” year, I wonder if he’ll go the way of Nathan Evoldi who was released and later signed by the Tampa Bay Rays. With Bryan Mitchell scheduled to start Game 1 of Sunday’s double-header and Luis Cessa next week in Minneapolis, the rotation is looking very shaky. I am sure that the Oakland A’s and Pittsburgh Pirates are salivating over the potential price tag they can assign to Sonny Gray and Gerrit Cole. My fear is that the desperation forces the Yankees to part with Chance Adams in addition to other high-ranking prospects to acquire an established starter. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will be throwing Chris Sale and two former AL Cy Young Award winners at us this weekend.
I had my doubts that Pineda would be back next year but this probably seals it for his departure.
Scouts from other teams seem to think that Chance Adams is Major League ready but according to the Yankees, he still needs to work on his command and his third pitch. That’s more involved than a start or two so it’s anybody’s guess when we’ll see Adams in the Bronx. I think he’s potentially more effective than Luis Cessa but they didn’t ask me. Maybe it is Caleb Smith that gets the next call.
|Credit: Fred Adams-Times Leader`|
Oh yeah, and Greg Bird has inflammation in the Os Trigonum of his right ankle and surgery is a strong possibility (if so, 6-8 weeks recovery).
The roster moves made in advance of yesterday’s game with the Red Sox were the activation of DH Matt Holliday and the purchase of 1B Garrett Cooper’s contract from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Making room were the placement of Michael Pineda on the disabled list and the demotion of Rob Refsnyder to SWB. Cooper was thrown to the wolves immediately as he made his Major League debut last night in Boston. Yeah, Garrett, Yankee games can be intense. Welcome to the Pinstripes!
Cooper started last night’s game although he was 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts in his MLB debut.
Odds & Ends…
It is interesting that the Yankees played the fewest games (86) in the first half of any team according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. The team is scheduled to play 52 games in the next 55 days and of course they have 3 games in the next 2 days. With no days off, they play games on the road in Minneapolis and Seattle before they get a break (which of course will be consumed by a cross-country flight to return home from the Pacific Northwest). No rest for the weary…
Have a great Saturday! I’ll be out on my Harley so hopefully the Yankees bring home a victory against the great Chris Sale. Let’s Go Yankees!