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Yankees 3, Rangers 1…
Luis Severino was spectacular on Saturday as he combined with two relievers to one-hit the Texas Rangers. Sevy didn’t get the win, but he was masterful a day after Masahiro Tanaka’s implosion. Manager Joe Girardi went with the “A” team for the bullpen, using David Robertson (the winner) and Aroldis Chapman (the save).
Brett Gardner kicked off the game with a single to left. However, the Yankees came up empty when Chase Headley hit a sharp fly to center that Gardy thought was going to drop in. He took off for second and thinking the ball would fall, he accelerated for third. Unfortunately, Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez made a great catch. There was no chance for Gardy to get back to first so the Rangers were able to complete the easy double play. Gary Sanchez popped out to short so it was time to start the Luis Severino Show.
The Yankees came up with a great defensive play of their own in the bottom of the first when Jacoby Ellsbury, echoing shades of his younger self, recorded the final out with a diving catch to rob Elvis Andrus of a hit. The play received an ovation from Severino on the mound.
In the bottom of the 2nd, the Rangers’ Carlos Gomez had to be helped off the field during an at-bat when he rolled his right ankle after hitting a grounder to second and suffered a high ankle sprain.
Through the early innings, Severino was cruising but unfortunately so was Rangers starter Andrew Cashner. The Yankees threatened again in the top of the 3rd when Brett Gardner hit a two-out single to left. Chase Headley singled to right to put the runners at the corners, but Gary Sanchez went down swinging to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 5th, with the Rangers still searching for their first hit against Severino, Joey Gallo walked to start the inning for the Rangers. Will Middlebrooks hit into a fielder’s choice at third and the Yankees erased Gallo at second but they were unable to turn the double play. Rangers backup catcher Brett Nicholas, starting in place of Robinson Chirinos who had the day off, doubled to the right field corner to score Middlebrooks. It was the only hit the Rangers would get off Severino and the Yankees bullpen for the duration of the game.
Luis Severino pitched through the 7th inning but the Yankees still trailed 1-0.
In the top of the 8th with Andrew Cashner still on the mound for the Rangers, Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch. That would be all for Cashner, who did a magnificent job. The Rangers brought in Alex Claudio to replace Cashner. The Yankees sent up Matt Holliday to pinch hit for Greg Bird. Holliday singled to right and Frazier moved to third. Tyler Wade replaced Holliday at first. After Brett Gardner fouled out to the catcher, Chase Headley hit a sacrifice fly deep to center to score Frazier. The game was tied. Gary Sanchez singled to left past shortstop Elvis Andrus, moving Wade to second. However, the Yankees were unable to capitalize when Didi Gregorius grounded out to the defensive shift at short/second to end the inning.
David Robertson pitched a clean bottom of the 8th to send the game to the 9th.
With Alex Claudio still pitching for the Rangers, Starlin Castro led off the 9th with a single to right. Aaron Judge hit a grounder to third and the throw erased Castro at second. The Rangers were unable to turn the double play when the relay to first pulled Joey Gallo off the bag so Judge was safe. Jacoby Ellsbury lined a single to right which advanced Judge to third. The Rangers replaced Claudio with Ricky Rodriguez. Todd Frazier was hit by pitch, again, so he took first and Ellsbury moved to second. The bases were loaded. Tyler Austin, who had entered the game in the bottom of the 8th to replace Bird, singled to left on a hard hit ball which brought Judge home with the go-ahead run.
Credit: Larry W Smith-EPA
Brett Gardner was unable to advance the runners when he popped out to short. It brought Chase Headley to the plate with the bases still packed. He patiently took a walk which brought Ellsbury home with the second run of the inning. The Yankees led 3-1. The Rangers made another pitching change to bring in Nick Gardewine. Gardewine ended the Yankees rally by getting Gary Sanchez to hit into a fielder’s choice which forced Headley at second.
Bottom the 9th and the heart of the Rangers order due up. It was time for the return of Aroldis Chapman to his endeared role as the Yankees closer. He did not disappoint. After Elvis Andrus grounded out to second (Starlin Castro’s brilliant throw to first just beat the runner as confirmed by the challenge replay), Chapman struck out both Nomar Mazara and pinch-hitter Mike Napoli to end the game. The Yankees win!
Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees (76-65) were unable to make up any ground on the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox, behind Chris Sale, dismantled the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-0, and maintained their 4 1/2 game lead over the Yankees. The Cleveland Indians won their 17th game in a row. Their 4-2 victory over Baltimore pushed the O’s 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees.
It was an incredible effort by Luis Severino. He pitched seven innings, allowing only the single hit and run. He walked three and struck out ten. The outing lowered his season ERA to 2.96. David Robertson (7-2) picked up the win and Aroldis Chapman captured his 17th save.
For the Yankees offense, they had nine hits but all were singles. Brett Gardner (2-for-5) was the only hitter with multiple hits. Chase Headley had 2 RBI’s and Tyler Austin had the crucial game-winning RBI in the 9th.
Odds & Ends…
The Yankees have a change in the pitching match-up for today’s game. Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.14 ERA) will start in place of CC Sabathia, who was moved to Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field in Queens. A.J. Griffin (6-5, 5.09 ERA), who had originally been scheduled to pitch on Saturday until Andrew Cashner was moved up, will start for the Rangers. The Minnesota Twins lost so they are 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card Standings (holding the 2nd spot). The Los Angeles Angeles and Texas Rangers are 2 and 2 1/2 games behind the Twins, respectively.
The Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders won Game 3 of their Governor’s Cup best-of-five first round series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies). The 6-1 win, behind the arm of Brady Lail, gives the RailRiders the 2-1 series advantage. Donovan Solano was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Mason Williams was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Billy McKinney homered for the second time in the series with a two-run shot in the 6th inning.
Credit: Fred Adams-for Times Leader
Game 4 is scheduled for today at 1:05 pm at PNC Field in Moosic, PA. Nestor Cortes (2-4, 1.49 ERA) takes the mound in the potential series-clinching game. he’ll face Jacob Waguespack (9-7, 3.42 ERA in A-Adv and AA this year).
The Double A Trenton Thunder crushed the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets), 9-1, in Game 4 of their Eastern League Division Series to win the series and advance to the Eastern League Championship Series. They’ll face the Altoona Curve (Pirates) with Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday night at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, NJ.
As expected, the Yankees signed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop prospect Ronny Rojas. The Yankees have long been tied to the youngster but he didn’t turn 16 until August 23rd. Rojas was rated as the eleventh best unsigned international prospect earlier this summer by MLB.com. He is the highest rated Yankees signing behind OF Everson Pereira, who was rated fourth.
Have a great Sunday! Let’s take this series and head for NYC! Go Yankees!
Orioles 7, Yankees 6…
I’ve never been a big fan of Dellin Betances as closer and Tuesday night was Exhibit A. I do not feel that he has the closer’s mentality and his arm plays best in a prime setup role. His inability to throw strikes to Tim Beckham with two outs set up Manny Machado for the late night heroics with a dramatic two-run walk-off home run. I’ve felt all along that David Robertson should have been the interim closer but at this point, an argument could be made for the return of Aroldis Chapman.
In a game delayed by rain (game time was 9:15 pm Eastern), the Orioles scored first in the bottom of the first inning. Jonathan Schoop worked a two-out walk off Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Adam Jones reached base on an infield single to third (a slow roller that hit the bag). During Trey Mancini’s at-bat, a wild pitch by Sabathia that got away from Austin Romine allowed the runners to move up to second and third. Mancini proceeded to hit a short dribbler to short. Didi Gregorius charged in to retrieve the ball but in the words of Michael Kay, he had to “eat it” when there was no play at either first or home. Schoop scored and the O’s led 1-0.
The Yankees erupted in the third inning against Orioles starter Jeremy Hellickson. Austin Romine led off with a single to left through the hole. After Brett Gardner lined out to right, Aaron Judge walked and Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Didi Gregorius lined a single to right which scored both Romine and Judge. Judge slid in safely under the throw. Matt Holliday walked to re-load the bases. The O’s then pulled Hellickson and replaced him with former Yankee Richard Bleier. Greg Bird hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored Castro. An error by center fielder Adam Jones, he dropped the ball, allowed Bird to safely reach base and the bases were still loaded. Todd Frazier grounded out softly to short with the only play the throw to first. Gregorius came home with the fourth run. Jacoby Ellsbury was next and he singled up the middle to center to score Holliday and Bird. The Yankees were seemingly in control at 6-1.
|Credit: Patrick Semansky-Associated Press|
Leading off the bottom of the 3rd, Manny Machado, the American League Player of the Month in August, gave a preview of coming attractions with his line drive home run to center. The Yankees still led, 6-2, but it was statement by Machado that the game was not over.
While the Yankees were struggling to get runners past second base, the O’s added another run in the bottom of the 5th inning when Jonathan Schoop took Sabathia deep to left center for a solo homer.
Sabathia pitched into the 6th inning but overstayed his welcome. Trey Mancini led off with a looper just over Todd Frazier’s outreached glove for a single. Mark Trumbo took advantage and blasted a two-run shot to left. It was a one-run game. After Chris Davis grounded out for the first out of the inning, the Yankees finally pulled Sabathia. Tommy Kahnle took over and got the final two outs.
Girardi’s formula was then to use David Robertson for the 7th and Aroldis Chapman for the 8th. Both men did their jobs. Each retiring the three batters they faced. Unfortunately, after the big 3rd inning, the Yankees offense stalled. Their last chance came in the 8th when they had two men on base with only one out, but Aaron Judge struck out and Starlin Castro popped out to third in foul territory to strand the runners.
Fast-forward to the bottom of the 9th, Dellin Betances took over for Chapman and retired the first two batters. He needed just one more out which never came. He couldn’t throw strikes to Tim Beckham, walking him on a 3-1 count. Manny Machado, swinging at a poorly placed high pitch from Betances, sent the ball over the wall in center field for the walk-off two-run home run.
|Credit: Associated Press|
The Yankees (74-64) lost ground to the Boston Red Sox. The Sox were trailing the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th before tying the game and sending it into extra innings. They finally scored the walk-off run in the 19th inning to win the game and push the Yankees 3 1/2 games back. The Orioles moved back to 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees with the win. The Los Angeles Angels leap-frogged the Minnesota Twins and trail the Yankees by 2 1/2 games in the Wild Card Standings. The Angels beat the Oakland A’s, 8-7, in 10 innings, while the Twins fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1.
This is another game that the Yankees should have won. It would have been huge to win the first two games in Baltimore. But it was not meant to be so hopefully the Yankees can rebound today. Rain is in the forecast throughout the evening so there’s a strong possibility the game is called and pushed to Thursday. When the teams take the field, the Yankees must play like a team fighting for the post-season and avoid the mistakes that allow the opponent to capitalize. Moving Betances back to set up would be a start.
Odds & Ends…
Every time the Yankees add a player from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, I can’t help but feel bad for RailRiders Manager Al Pedrique as his team prepares for its International League playoff series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. But then again, the RailRiders can raid from the Double A Trenton Thunder as 2B Billy Fleming will attest. I guess talent rolls up hill. The latest RailRider to exit the team is 1B/OF Tyler Austin who was promoted to the big league club prior to yesterday’s game. It makes more sense for Austin to provide outfield corner support than either Tyler Wade or Ronald Torreyes. Austin had two home runs the other day in the RailRiders’ regular season finale.
Luis Severino’s post on The Player’s Tribune website entitled My Journey to the Bronx is a great read. It makes you feel proud and excited to be a Yankees fan. I didn’t realize how close he came to being a Colorado Rockie. I am glad it didn’t happen and that the opportunity to play for his favorite childhood team came to fruition.
Have a great Wednesday! Let’s grab a win today at Camden Yards before the team jumps on a plane bound for the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex! Go Yankees!
|Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports|
Yankees 13, Tigers 4…
Watch out, the Yankees have the runs! Seriously, it was great to finally have a breather. The tone was set early when Gary Sanchez blasted the second longest home run this year (493 feet) as the Yankees throttled the Tigers.
Aaron Hicks got the party started in the first inning with a one-out single, a grounder up the middle. Enter El Gary. Boom! He blasted a moon shot that flew over all rows in the left field stands and bounced off the back wall just under the LED board that shows pitch count. The home run was two feet short of the home run Aaron Judge hit on June 11th against the Baltimore Orioles. Aaron Judge, moved down in the order to clean-up, worked a walk off Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd. Didi Gregorius, the road warrior (has hit in 16 of his last 19 road games), lined a double to right-center. Judge advanced to third. The Yankees picked up their final run of the inning when Tyler Austin lofted a sacrifice fly to center which scored Judge. 3-0, Yankees.
|Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports|
With Masahiro Tanaka cruising, the Yankees picked up more runs in the third. Aaron Judge led off with another walk. Didi Gregorius hit an infield bouncer toward third that glanced off the leg of the pitcher, Matthew Boyd, as he attempted to field the ball. Didi was awarded a hit. Tyler Austin lined a solid fly that dropped in left, scoring Judge. Didi moved to second. After Chase Headley lined out to center, Todd Frazier ripped the ball down the line to the right field corner. Both Judge and Gregorius scored. The Toddfather safely slid into third ahead of the outfield relay. The Tigers pulled Boyd and brought in reliever Warwick Saupold. Ronald Torreyes, the little man always coming up big, lined a sacrifice fly to right, and Frazier slid into home under the throw from the outfield. The Yankees led, 7-0.
The Tigers finally got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd. James McCann led off with a liner to center to reach first. Two outs later, Ian Kinsler hit a long fly that bounced off the warning track in center for a double. McCann scored on the play.
The Yankees loaded the bases in the 4th with a single (Gary Sanchez) and two walks (Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin) but couldn’t score. With Warwick Saupold still on the mound, they broke through with more runs in the 5th. Todd Frazier lined a single to left. Ronald Torreyes chopped a hit through the left side for single. Brett Gardner hit into a fielder’s choice to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Cabrera off first, threw to second to erase Toe. Gardy was too fast for the Tigers to get the ball back to first. Runners at the corners. Aaron Hicks hit an infield grounder toward first that Miguel Cabrera couldn’t field cleanly. It was ruled a fielder’s choice with Hicks safely reaching base. Frazier scored on the play while Gardy took second. After Gary Sanchez struck out, Aaron Judge ripped the ball to left to score Gardy. The Yankees had increased their lead to 9-1. It was the end of the day for Saupold. I was sorry to see him go. The Tigers brought in Drew VerHagen and he got the Tigers out of the inning by inducing Didi Gregorius to ground out to second.
The 7th inning brought more runs for both sides. I am sure that Sonny Gray was feeling slightly envious of the run support Masahiro Tanaka was getting. Brett Gardner led off the 7th with a triple, a long fly to right that Alex Presley couldn’t catch up to. Aaron Hicks followed with a shot into the right center field stands and the Yankees had added to their lead, 11-1.
|Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports|
In the bottom of the inning, the Tigers finally broke through against Tanaka again. John Hicks, pinch-hitting for Miguel Cabrera, doubled to left. Nicholas Castanellos homered to right, just a few rows up in the stands and it was 11-3. Following a coaching visit to the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Andrew Romine hit a ball down the left field line similar to the ball that John Hicks had hit, but Gardy’s throw to second was ahead of the runner for the out. A ground out by James McCann ended the inning and the game for Masahiro Tanaka.
Chasen Shreve replaced Tanaka in the 8th. He retired the Tigers despite a double by Jose Iglesias to push the game to the 9th. With Tigers reliever Jeff Ferrell pitching, Tyler Wade, pinch-hitting for Ronald Torreyes, reached on an infield single to short thanks to his speed out of the box. Following line outs by Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez hit his second home run, a blast to right. It was 13-3 Yankees. The homer was El Gary’s 25th of the year. He is only 5 homers of the team record shared by Jorge Posada and Yogi Berra (twice). All this from a man who missed a month of the season. I think he likes the third hole in the lineup.
Shreve finished up the 9th to protect the bullpen. There was a bit of comedy with Nicholas Castanellos at bat (easy to say when the Yankees are holding a 10-run lead). Castanellos hit a fly to center. Jacoby Ellsbury tried to catch the ball on a slide but the ball got past him and rolled to the wall. Brett Gardner retrieved it and threw to the cut-off man, Tyler Wade, who threw home too late to get Castanellos. Inside-the-park home run and the second HR of the night for Castanellos. Andrew Romine followed with a high fly ball that took Brett Gardner to the wall but Gardy made the catch to end the game. The Yankees win!
The Yankees (67-57), who picked up a 1/2 game during Monday’s day off thanks to a Red Sox loss, couldn’t make up any ground on Tuesday as Boston pounded the Cleveland Indians, 9-1. It was an interesting game for the Red Sox as starter Doug Fister gave up a lead off home run to Francisco Lindor and then held the Indians hitless for the duration of the game. Not bad for a bargain basement pickup. The Yankees trail the Sox by 4 games. The battle for third place in the AL East continues to swing back and forth between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-5, to move back into third. They are 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The O’s fell to the Oakland A’s, 6-4. They are 7 games back of the Yankees. No change in the Wild Card standings as the Yankees continue to lead the Minnesota Twins by 2 1/2 games.
I had no problem with Manager Joe Girardi’s decision to pinch-hit for Aaron Judge in the 7th inning. Judge had four at-bats. He walked three times and had the RBI single. He also scored two times. It was a productive day for him and it was time for the MLB-record for strikeouts in consecutive games to end at 37. Girardi denied pulling Judge to end the streak but regardless of whether or not he did, I thought it was the right thing to do.
|Credit: Carlos Osorio-Associated Press|
The two-run home run masked an otherwise tremendous start by Masahiro Tanaka (9-10). This is the pitcher the Yankees need down the stretch. His final line was 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 SO which qualified as a quality start but it was better than that. Nice job, Masa!
|Credit: Carlos Osorio-Associated Press|
It was a very productive night for Gary Sanchez, including the two home runs, and Aaron Hicks, with his dinger. They had 4 and 3 RBI’s, respectively. Every Yankees starter reached base by either hit or walk. We needed this. Hopefully the Yankees will continue to hit and drive in runs during this road trip.
Have a great Wednesday! The Yankees can take the series today with a win. Go Luis Severino and Go Yankees!
|Credit: Getty Images|
Yankees 4, Red Sox 3…
Tyler Austin apparently did not get the memo that the Yankees are not supposed to score multiple runs off Boston ace Chris Sale. His three-run dinger gave the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish. CC Sabathia, fresh off the DL, pitched like an ace and the bullpen duo of David Robertson and Dellin Betances came through in the clutch to help the Yankees hold off the Red Sox for the much-needed win.
|Credit: Adam Glanzman-Getty Images|
There’s no disputing Chris Sale is a great pitcher. But for whatever reason, the Yankees have fared well against him this season. In 4 starts, including Saturday, Sale is 0-2. He has only lost a total of five games this season. But in the three preceding games against the Yankees, he had only given up only one homer and three earned runs. With one swing, Tyler Austin matched that production.
Didi Gregorius got on base first in the top of the 2nd inning with a one-out ground rule double that bounced into the right field stands. It probably would have been a homer at Yankee Stadium with its short right field porch. Todd Frazier reached first base when he was hit in the left shin with a 82 mph slider by Sale (Ouch!). Joe Girardi and Trainer Steve Donohue walked with Frazier down the first base line, but he stayed in the game. Tyler Austin was the beneficiary of a mistake fastball by Sale and he crushed it out of Fenway Park in left. The Yankees led, 3-0.
|Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports|
The Red Sox finally got to Yankees starter CC Sabathia in the 5th inning. With one out, Xander Bogaerts worked a walk on six pitches. Rafael Devers, rapidly becoming a Yankee killer at only 20 years of age, rapped a single to right. Bogaerts raced around to third, sliding in ahead of Aaron Judge’s strong throw. Sandy Leon grounded out to Ronald Torreyes at second, but Bogaerts scored on the play. Devers moved to second. Jackie Bradley, Jr singled to left which brought Devers home ahead of the slightly high and away throw, and it was a one-run game, 3-2. Sabathia held it there as he was able to get Eduardo Nunez to hit into an inning-ending ground out.
Todd Frazier provided what would prove to be the game-winning run when he blasted a solo shot to left center, just over the Green Monster, in the 6th with two outs and down to two strikes. It was Frazier’s 21st home run of the season. He showed no ill effects of the earlier ball to the shin but you have to believe that he’ll be feeling it today.
Sabathia allowed a lead off double to deep center by Mookie Betts in the bottom of the 6th, but he retired the next three Red Sox hitters to leave Betts stranded at second. That would be all for Sabathia who finished six innings strong, holding the Sox to four hits and two runs. He walked a batter and punched out four. I was expecting the worst from Sabathia and his balky knee but he proved me wrong. I am glad he did.
Adam Warren was brought into the game in the bottom of the 7th inning. After Xander Bogaerts struck out, Rafael Devers took Warren deep to center for a home run. The ball hit the left side of the yellow line but caromed into the triangle. The Yankees challenged the play but it was upheld. It was a one-run game again, 4-3 Yankees. Warren struck out Sandy Leon. The ball got away from Gary Sanchez but he easily threw Leon out at first to complete the strikeout. The Yankees then made a pitching change. David Robertson came in and got Jackie Bradley, Jr to ground out on one pitch. Man, every friggin’ day I am grateful for D-Rob.
The Red Sox had runners in scoring position in the 8th inning against D-Rob. Andrew Benintendi struck out swinging but made it to first base on a wild pitch when Gary Sanchez was unable to stop the ball. It took a wicked bounce so I couldn’t really fault Sanchez on the play. Hanley Ramirez lined a double to deep left, but Benintendi, the potential game-tying run, pulled up at third. D-Rob intentionally walked Mitch Moreland, loading the bases, to pitch to Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts went down swinging on three pitches and the inning was over. Thanks, D-Rob.
|Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports|
The Yankees had a chance to add to their lead in the top of the 9th. Tyler Austin doubled between the gap to the center field wall off Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree. He was replaced by the $153 million pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury. After a pickoff attempt nearly got Ellsbury, a sacrifice bunt by Ronald Torreyes moved Ells to third. Brett Gardner hit a fielder’s choice to third with Ellsbury breaking for home. Third baseman Rafael Devers’ throw to catcher Sandy Leon easily nailed Ellsbury short of home plate. The Yankees had runners at first and second, following a wild pitch and subsequent walk of Aaron Hicks, for Aaron Judge but he struck out on a foul tip to the mitt to end the threat.
With Aroldis Chapman temporarily removed from the closer’s role by Manager Joe Girardi, Dellin Betances came on in the bottom of the 9th. Betances struck out the first batter, Rafael Devers, but Sandy Leon reached base on a swinging strikeout when the third strike got away from Gary Sanchez. Betances was charged with the wild pitch. But in baseball, there is always a chance for atonement. Brock Holt, who had entered the game as a pinch-runner for Leon, made a break for second with Jackie Bradley, Jr. at bat. The throw by Gary Sanchez to Didi Gregorius was perfect to nail the sliding Holt for the second out. JBJ flied out to left and it was game over. The Yankees win!
|Credit: Adam Glanzman-Getty Images|
The Yankees (66-56) regained the game on the Red Sox they had lost on Friday night, and trail the Sox by four games in the AL East Standings again. The Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1, so the Angels remain 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card standings (the Angels and Minnesota Twins are tied for the second WC spot). The O’s, the third place team in the AL East, slid 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees. Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays lost on Saturday.
It was a great game by CC Sabathia (10-5). The Yankees had their chances to put more runs on the board (leaving a total of eight men on base) but the bullpen held to give Sabathia the win over Chris Sale. I am really glad that we didn’t see Aroldis Chapman. While my preference is Betances then Robertson, the reversed order worked and Betances had his 9th save.
|Credit: Corey Sipkin-NY Post|
Girardi continues to bat Aaron Judge third in the lineup, but at this point, Judge seems to be living off his first half reputation. The Yankees would probably be better served moving Didi Gregorius up to third and dropping Judge down in the order. Judge was hitless in four at-bats, and struck out 3 times to extend his MLB record with strikeouts to 3 consecutive games. Judge had been tied with Montreal Expos pitcher Bill Stoneman who struck out in 35 consecutive games in 1971. At 36 games regardless of season, Judge has tied the MLB record so if he strikes out again today, he’ll be the all-time consecutive game strikeout leader. I know, Judge could care less about the strike outs as long as he gets his hits and walks, but I personally would like to see the end of the streak and maybe a clutch hit or two with men in scoring position.
|Credit: Adam Glanzman-Getty Images|
Odds & Ends…
Perhaps Tyler Austin heard footsteps. On Friday night, first baseman Greg Bird homered twice in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 10-6 loss to the Durham Bulls. Yesterday, Bird was 2-for-4, with double and a run scored, in the RailRiders’ 8-4 loss to the Bulls. I really hope that Bird continues hitting when he returns to the Yankees. This would be a great boost for the team as they attempt to stave off Wild Card challengers while holding aspirations for the division crown.
|Credit: Fred Adams-For Times Leader|
Prior to yesterday’s game, LHP Jordan Montgomery was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for CC Sabathia. With Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to return this week in the Detroit Tigers series, Monty returns to Triple A for “softer” innings while the Yankees monitor his pitch count.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand is reporting that Yankees VP of Player Development Gary Denbo is a strong early candidate to become GM for the Miami Marlins once Derek Jeter takes control of the team’s operations. I am hopeful the Marlins retain manager Don Mattingly, one of my favorite managers. Well, unless the Yankees decide to part ways with Joe Girardi…
Have a great Sunday! The Yankees, with ‘OMG, it’s Sonny Gray!’, can take the series today with a win. Let’s Go Yankees!
Yankees 7, Mets 5…
Bryan Mitchell tried to give the game away, loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th and then allowing a grand salami by former Yank Curtis Granderson, but Dellin Betances came in (“it’s not really what you want to do” –Joe Girardi) to restore order and give the Yankees the series sweep over the New York Mets.
This should have been an easy win with the dominance of Luis Severino and the power of Gary Sanchez but it was a nail-bitter at the end. If the Mets had gotten a runner on base against Betances, they would have brought the potential game-tying run to the plate. But Dellin is no Aroldis Chapman (of late) and he shut the door.
This game should have been all about the Kraken. Gary Sanchez is rapidly becoming Mr August although I’d be okay with Mr August through October. He owned August last year and he owns it again this season. Brett Gardner led off with a bouncer back to Mets pitcher Steven Matz and reached second when Matz’s throw sailed over first baseman Dominic Smith’s head. Aaron Hicks walked. After Aaron Judge struck out (record extended), El Gary came to the plate and sent a Matz pitch into the left center stands as a souvenir. The Yankees led 3-0 to give Luis Severino some backing before he had even thrown a pitch.
|Credit: Frank Franklin II-Associated Press|
The Yankees got to Matz again in the fourth inning. Tyler Austin singled to right, his second hit of the game. Ronald Torreyes followed with a single to left, a roller through the hole at short. The best hit of the night, sorry Gary, came when Luis Severino popped a bunt that fell in for a single to load the bases. The Yankees bench went nuts over Sevy’s first Major League hit. Brett Gardner, showing the professional hitter that he is, lined a double into the left field corner. Both Austin and Torreyes scored. Sevy stopped at third, huffing and puffing (not seriously). After Aaron Hicks grounded out, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded again. The Mets pulled Steven Matz and replaced him with reliever Chasen Bradford. Gary Sanchez greeted Bradford with a single to left (through the hole between third and short), which scored Severino and Gardner. Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud was unable to hold Yoenis Cespedes’ throw, otherwise, he might have had a play on Gardner at the plate. The Yankees had scored 4 runs and now led 7-0.
|Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports|
Luis Severino was dominant after his collapse against Boston last weekend. He pitched into the seventh inning. He got the first out…a ground out by Amed Rosario, but from there, the inning deteriorated. A fly ball to right by Travis d’Arnaud was dropped by Aaron Judge and d’Arnaud was able to reach second on the two-base error. With Matt Reynolds batting, a wild pitch by Severino allowed d’Arnaud to move to third. It was another case where Gary Sanchez didn’t have his glove low enough to stop the pitch. Matt Reynolds looped a single to center to score d’Arnaud and the Mets had their first run of the game. Brandon Nimmo also singled to center, and Sevy’s day was done. He could only watch from the dugout as both runners were his responsibility. The Yankees brought in lefty Chasen Shreve, causing Tweeter to blow up with the “Chasen History” references due to the appearance of two Chasens (Shreve and the Mets’ Bradford) in the game. Shreve struck out Curtis Granderson for the second out, but walked Asdrubal Cabrera to load the bases. In perhaps what would prove to be one of the game’s biggest moments, Shreve struck out Michael Conforto to end the threat.
Shreve easily set down the Mets in the 8th, but Bryan Mitchell was brought in for the 9th to close it out. Sadly, he was ill equipped for the job on this night. Travis d’Arnaud led off with a double to the wall in left. Matt Reynolds singled to right while d’Arnaud was held at third. Following a coaching visit by pitching coach Larry Rothschild (it didn’t work), Mitchell walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases with no outs. Curtis Granderson came up and jumped all over the first pitch from Mitchell for a grand slam to right. Manager Joe Girardi was visibly unhappy (along with Yankees fans), and finally pulled Mitchell. Enter Dellin Betances. 1-2-3, game over. Yankees win!
The Boston Red Sox had the day off so the Yankees (65-55) picked up a 1/2 game and now trail the Sox by 4 games as they head to Boston for the weekend. The Tampa Bay Rays continue to slide, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3. The loss, combined with the Blue Jays win, created a three-way tie for the AL East Cellar (the Baltimore Orioles were idle). All three teams trail the Yankees by 6 1/2 games.
Excellent pitching performance by Luis Severino (10-5). After giving up 10 runs (8 earned) in his last start, Sevy bounced back to allow only four hits and one run (none earned) over 6 1/3 innings. If not for Judge’s error, he probably could have gone deeper into the game. He walked three batters, but struck out nine in lowering his season ERA to 3.18.
|Credit: Mike Stobe-Getty Images|
Also, you can’t say enough about the huge bullpen performances by Chasen Shreve and Dellin Betances, who picked up his eighth save. Both pitchers had the outcome of the game in their hands and they triumphed.
As for Mitchell, I know that he is capable of providing long relief but I’d probably send him down to Triple A and recall hot reliever Ben Heller with Caleb Smith, also capable of going long, in the pen.
Gary Sanchez…The Kraken…El Gary…The Sanchino. Two hits, including the homer and five RBI’s. Jump on his back and hold on…the man is on fire.
|Credit: Mike Stobe-Getty Images|
The streak continues. Aaron Judge extended his own Major League record for strikeouts (by a non-pitcher) to 34 games. I’d like to see a nice clean 4-for-4 day to put this one in the history books. For this game, Judge went hitless in four at-bats and was punched out three times.
The Yankees had a sense of humor with their Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) reference after the game:
We could probably use Dany’s dragons as the Yankees head north to Massachusetts.
Next Up: Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston, MA…
The Red Sox come into the latest series well rested as they had the day off on Thursday following their walk-off win over the St Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. The Yankees meanwhile had to toil in Queens last night before hopping a plane for the short flight to Beantown.
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 3.94 ERA)
Red Sox: Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.39 ERA)
Yankees: CC Sabathia (9-5, 4.05 ERA)
Red Sox: Chris Sale (14-4, 2.51 ERA)
Yankees: Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.37 ERA)
Red Sox: Doug Fister (2-6, 5.56 ERA) / TBA
It’s unfortunate we won’t have Luis Severino for this series, but at least we have Sonny Gray. Gray will be making his first start in the Yankees-Red Sox wars. He’ll really find out that he no longer resides in Oakland (if watching last weekend’s series wasn’t enough). I am not sure if Boston has fully decided its starter for Sunday. Fister is a strong possibility but not a certainty.
Odds & Ends…
The Yankees have recalled 1B/OF Tyler Austin from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He takes the place of 1B Garrett Cooper. Cooper has been placed on the 10-day DL with left hamstring tendonitis.
Greg Bird was in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup last night at DH. He was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the RailRiders’ 5-4 win over the Gwinnett Braves (a team that will soon be called something like the Buttons or the Sweet Teas).
Have a great Friday! May the Baseball Gods favor the Yankees this weekend. Go Yankees!
Indians 7, Yankees 2…
The title of this post sounds like a Tex-Mex country band. Unfortunately, it’s the description of the Friday night Yankees who dropped their fourth straight game.
It was not a great debut for Jaime Garcia. After the game, Manager Joe Girardi said that Garcia was up in the zone. “He didn’t throw as many strikes with his fastball as he usually does. This is a guy that’s pitched for three different teams in three different starts and been all over the country. He looked rusty to me.” It wasn’t just you, Joe, he looked rusty to us too.
The Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to take the lead they would not relinquish. Carlos Santana walked with two outs. Former Yankee Austin Jackson doubled to the left field corner, and the relay throw from Clint Frazier to Didi Gregorius to Gary Sanchez was not in time as Santana slid head first with his hand reaching home plate ahead of the tag. Ajax took third on the play and scored a subsequent passed ball on Gary Sanchez.
The next inning, the Indians added to their lead. Brandon Guyer hit a lead-off single to left. Michael Brantley singled to right. As Guyer was running to third, the throw from Aaron Judge hit the runner and bounced up into the seats. Guyer easily scored while Brantley took second. A ground out moved Brantley to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Edwin Encarnacion.
The Yankees had probably their biggest opportunity in the 5th inning. After Indians starter Trevor Bauer threw a pitch up and in to Todd Frazier (which provoked Frazier to say a few works after he spun to avoid getting hit), Frazier blasted a one-out solo home run to right center (his 18th of the year). Ronald Torreyes singled to the right field corner. He thought about going for two but wisely held up at first. Brett Gardner singled to left field as Torreyes moved to third. Clint Frazier hit a sharp grounder to Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela who made a highlight reel play when he threw across the runner to catcher Roberto Perez to nail Torreyes at the plate. With Gardner and Frazier on base, Aaron Judge patiently took a walk to load the bases. Gary Sanchez, representing the potential go-ahead run, had a sloppy at-bat, chasing a few pitches out of the strike zone, and went down swinging to leave the bases full.
|Credit: David Dermer-AP|
The Indian came right back and added another run in the bottom of the 5th. Brandon Guyer walked and stole second. Michael Brantley singled to left, scoring Guyer. A wild pitch and a subsequent ground out moved Brantley to third. Girardi pulled Garcia and brought in Chad Green. A wild pitch by Green allowed Brantley to score and it was 6-1 Indians.
|Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports|
Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle pitched the 8th inning in relief of Green. Jose Ramirez punched a double into left field in front of Clint Frazier, and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a double off the top of the wall in left, scoring Ramirez. Kahnle settled down to retire the next three batters, but it was too little, too late for a team struggling to score runs.
The Yankees unsuccessfully tried one last rally in the top of the 9th against Indians reliever Bryan Shaw. Chase Headley led off with a single to center but Todd Frazier grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Ronald Torreyes hit a soft infield single to short, and moved to second on defensive indifference. Brett Gardner singled to center which scored Torreyes. 7-2, Indians. But that would be all as Clint Frazier hit a grounder to third, erasing Gardner at second with the force out.
The Yankees (57-51) fell 3 games behind the Boston Red Sox with the loss. The Red Sox, winners of four in a row, beat the Chicago White Sox, 3-2, in 11 innings. Bummer. No seriously, that is who was on the mound when the Sox scored the winning run (Aaron Bummer). Can’t blame Tyler Clippard…he gave the White Sox two scoreless innings. The Tampa Bay Rays lost 2-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers so they remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles fell 5-2 to the Detroit Tigers so they are still 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees.
This was another disappointing loss. There was so much optimism on Monday but five days later, it’s hard not to have a ‘glass is half empty’ point of view. I hate to single out any one player since this loss was a team effort, but Matt Holliday’s bat is a liability. He had another ‘0-fer’ performance (hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout). As good as he has been in the clubhouse, I think this is his one and only year in Pinstripes. While I had previously felt that Clint Frazier should stay on the MLB roster when Aaron Hicks returns, his play of late (4 for his last 27 at-bats) has me wondering if a couple of weeks back at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until the roster expands on September 1st might be the right move. Gary Sanchez definitely needs to clean up his play.
|Credit: David Maxwell-Getty Images|
Odds & Ends…
The last time he was in New York to pitch, Yu Darvish was a Texas Ranger going against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees. Last night, he returned to NYC but this time was a Los Angeles Dodger, making his NL debut, at Citi Field against Jacob DeGrom and the Mets. Darvish fared much better against DeGrom than he did against Masahiro Tanaka. He had a couple of Mets on base in the first inning, but settled down to go 7 strong innings, shutting out the Mets on 3 hits. He walked only one batter while striking out 10. He picked up the win in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory over the Mets. I’d say that Darvish had a much better debut than Sonny Gray, but then again, Darvish has baseball’s best team (most wins) behind him.
Credit: Elsa Garrison-Getty Images
According to Elias Sports, Jaime Garcia performed a MLB rarity on Friday night. He is the first pitcher since Gus Weyhing in 1895 to have three consecutive starts in the same season with three different teams within the span of 20 days.
On July 21st, Jaime Garcia was the winning pitcher for the Atlanta Braves when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 12-3. Garcia pitched 7 innings and allowed 7 hits and 3 runs. On July 28th, he was the winning pitcher for the Minnesota Twins in their 6-3 victory over the Oakland A’s. He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 runs. The Yankees probably wish that he had held the Indians to only 3 runs, but then again, they would have still lost the game.
Congrats to Tyler Austin! His dramatic two-run home run yesterday in the bottom of the 9th inning powered the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to a 3-1 walk-off win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Jake Cave singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest active streak in the International League and the season high for the RailRiders.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was a pre-game guest in the Yankees clubhouse prior to yesterday’s game. He also watched batting practice. I am sure that went over well with the Yankees fans who are die-hard Giants fan (not me, sorry).
Credit: David Dermer-AP
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers has cleared waivers. No thank you. Like the pitcher, don’t like the contract.
Have a great Saturday! Time to get back into the win column. Let’s Go Yankees!
|Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo-Chicago Tribune|
Yankees 6, White Sox 5…
Moral of the story…never take anything for granted. The Yankees took a comfortable five run lead into the bottom of the 9th inning but it was an edge of your seat, nail-biter at the end. A three-run homer and a run-scoring double made it interesting but the Yankees were able to hold on for the win over the Chicago White Sox.
There were a few stars in this game, but credit first has to go to starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery who has proven to be the stopper in the absence of CC Sabathia. Montgomery (6-4) held the White Sox to one run on five hits over seven innings while striking out eight. He issued just one free pass. Montgomery gave up his only run in the second inning when speculated trade target Todd Frazier opened with a solo shot to left center. From there, Monty kept the White Sox off the board while the Yankees built what appeared to be a comfortable lead.
A fielding error by Frazier in the fourth allowed Gary Sanchez to reach base. Aaron Judge, who had opened the inning with a walk, moved to third. Tyler Austin lofted a sacrifice fly to right which scored Judge, tying the game. Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off the DL, singled to move Sanchez into scoring position. Chase Headley singled, scoring Sanchez. Following a walk by Austin Romine to load the bases, Ronald Torreyes hit into a double-play but Ellsbury was able to score before the White Sox completed the final out, catching Headley between second and third, to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
With one out in the sixth, Tyler Austin gave the Yankees what they were missing from first base with a line drive homer to left or as Michael Kay called it, “a bullet”. Ellsbury reached base on a fielding error by White Sox starting pitcher David Holmberg and Headley followed with a double to move Ells to third. The White Sox made a pitching change and Austin Romine greeted reliever Juan Minaya with a sac fly to center, scoring Ellsbury. A passed ball moved Headley to third. Ronald Torreyes hit a grounder that should have been the final out, but an error by first baseman Matt Davidson, the third White Sox error of the game, allowed Torreyes to reach first while Headley scored, making it 6-1 Yankees.
The Yankees got into some trouble in the 8th when Jonathan Holder replaced Montgomery to start the inning. He struck out the first batter but a single by former Yankee Melky Cabrera and a walk to Jose Abreu put Cabrera in scoring position. Avisail Garcia hit into a force out that erased Abreu at second, moving Cabrera to third. Holder was pulled and replaced by Dellin Betances who subsequently walked Frazier to load the bases. In what would prove to be one of the plays of the game, Betances struck out Davidson to end the threat.
Unable to tack on any further insurance runs, the Yankees took the 6-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th. Chasen Shreve was brought in to pitch in relief of Betances and secured the first out on a grounder by Yolmer Sanchez. But Kevan Smith and Adam Engel followed with singles to put runners at first and second. Tim Anderson punched a fly ball over the center field wall to pull the White Sox within two runs, 6-4. A frustrated Shreve was pulled for Aroldis Chapman but the White Sox kept the rally going with a single by Melky Cabrera. Fellow Cuban Jose Abreu doubled off Chapman, scoring Cabrera, and it was 6-5 Yankees. Fortunately, Chapman got Avisail Garcia on a ground out and Todd Frazier flied out to left to secure the save.
A little too close for comfort but the final result was a much-needed win. The Yankees (41-33) kept pace with the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings. The Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-1, earlier in the evening. The Tampa Bay Rays were idle and slipped to 3 games back.
The game wasn’t without its bad news. Second baseman Starlin Castro left the game in the third inning after straining his right hamstring while trying to run out a grounder. He was replaced by Rob Refsnyder. Castro will have a MRI today while the Yankees decide whether or not to place him on the DL. The initial word is the Yankees will call up infield prospect Tyler Wade. Wade has 5 HR’s and 25 RBI’s for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His slash line is .313/.390/.444. In 71 games, he led the RailRiders with 13 errors but has stolen 24 bags. Wade, expected to be the utility-man of the future, will now get his first taste of the Bigs. He’ll back up Ronald Torreyes at second until Castro is able to resume play.
|Credit: Jon Durr-Getty Images|
Odds & Ends…
The Yankees were busy Monday on the transactions wire. They placed Aaron Hicks, as expected, on the 10-Day DL with a right oblique strain. Jacoby Ellsbury, who had been expected to continue his rehab with Double A Trenton was instead activated to replace Hicks. Healthy, there’s no question I prefer Hicks over Ellsbury, but since that’s not an option, I am hopeful the Yankees can get something…anything…out of first base for production. If so, it will help offset the loss of Hicks. The Yankees also sent LHP Tyler Webb and OF Mason Williams to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. I was sorry to see Webb go after just two Major League appearances, but hopefully, he’ll be back. RHP Ronald Herrera and IB/OF Rob Refsnyder were recalled to replace Webb and Williams. Refsnyder will provide corner outfield relief and help at first base if necessary. Herrera had been scheduled to start last night’s game for the RailRiders so he represents a rotation insurance arm.
Matt Holliday was unavailable for the second straight day with his condition as a result of the allergic reaction suffered in Oakland. He had some medical tests ran yesterday but hopefully everything comes back good. The Yankees can ill afford to lose his productive bat for any extended period of time.
I do not want to detract from the great rookie season Aaron Judge is having, but Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger is amazing. He had his sixth multi-homer game on Sunday and now has 24 homers on the year. With a delayed start (he wasn’t promoted to the Dodgers until April 25th), he has the most home runs of any NL rookie in the first half since the All-Star Game debuted in 1933. The Dodgers have been steamrolling their opponents since he arrived. At his current pace, the son of a former Yankees utility player may catch and surpass Judge for most home runs in MLB. Bellinger and the Dodgers certainly have the mojo working right now.
|Credit: Chris Carlson-AP|
Have a great Tuesday! Hopefully it’s a two-for Tuesday as the Yankees attempt to secure their second win against the White Sox. Let’s Go Yankees!