Thursday, April 27, 2017
Aaron Judge and Luis Severino emerged from the thick fog at Fenway Park to lift the Yankees to a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night in the first of 19 rivalry matchups this season.
Celebrating his 25th birthday, Judge hammered a two-run homer in the top of the second inning in his first career at-bat at Fenway Park. An inning later, the big right fielder went into the stands to catch a foul ball hit by Xander Bogaerts.
“The adrenaline was pumping, so I didn’t really feel too much when I went in there,” Judge said of the catch. “Just trying to make a play for Sevvy.”
Severino turned in one of the strongest performances of his young career, firing seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks and striking out six.
“My confidence right now is very good,” said Severino. “Like I said, I was making good pitches. I wasn’t thinking about left field or the Green Monster or whatever. I was just trying to throw everything I’ve got.”
Now, the worst case scenario is that the Yankees split the series with the Red Sox (and with Sale pitching tomorrow night, they probably WILL split the series with the Red Sox), and I’m sure we can all live with that.
Severino was amazing tonight - the change-up was brilliant and he made it look effortless. Chapman hadn’t pitched in a while and looked a bit rusty, but as I always say, Chapman is right there for me with Mo, Robertson and Miller when it comes to my faith in him in tough situations and with runners on first and third and one out, he struck out the last two batters to earn the save. Betances pitched a dominant eighth, while we got to hear a bizarre discussion by the YES announcers about how Betances pitching the eighth versus the ninth makes is different because of “immeasurables” like “blood pressure.” Yes, they seriously described blood pressure as “immeasurable.” We all saw how Betances struggled as the closer last year, but who is to say that that was due to him not being able to handle the ninth and how much was him just wearing down after a long season? He had plenty of great games as a closer, as well.
Aaron Judge continued his strong play. What a home run and what a catch (iffy, but awesome!)!
Let’s hope that Tanaka can keep the good times going tomorrow!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Yankees: Luis Severino (R): (20 IP, 4.05 ERA) vs. Red Sox: Rick Porcello (R): (23.2 IP, 5.32 ERA
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF .182/.318/.236
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B .339/.431/.565
3. Matt Holliday (R) DH .217/.379/.391
4. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF .333/.380/.455
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B .357/.400/.571
6. Aaron Judge (R) RF .279/.343/.639
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B .104/.204/.229
8. Austin Romine (R) C .324/.381/.459
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS .293/.293/.431
1. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS .333/.377/.351
2. Andrew Benintendi (L) LF .347/.415/.444
3. Mookie Betts (R) RF .313/.389/.469
4. Mitch Moreland (L) 1B .315/.390/.548
5. Hanley Ramirez (R) DH .210/.269/.306
6. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF .280/.345/.480
7. Josh Rutledge (R) 3B—/—/—
8. Marco Hernandez (L) 2B .286/.324/.314
9. Sandy Leon (S) C .205/.222/.318
Monday, April 24, 2017
Yes, that’s the same Ivan Nova. Facing his former team for the first time, Nova put together the kind of performance he’s become known for since joining the Pirates, firing seven efficient innings and leading the Bucs to a 2-1 victory and series win over the Yankees on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.
Nova, a Yankee from the time he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004 until he was traded this past August, held New York to four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He confidently pounded the strike zone, as he’s done with confidence for the Pirates and worked quickly, two staples of his 15 starts with the Pirates.
“I always thought he had good stuff,” Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said. “Sometimes, you know, a different voice or a different location—and I don’t mean that as a shot towards our guys—but sometimes guys go elsewhere, and it benefits them.”
Well, we all expected Nova to be great. It’s just a shame that the Yankees couldn’t come through with a timely hit against the Pirates’ bullpen. They certainly had their chances.
Jordan Montgomery was quite good, as well, so that was certainly something that you could leave the game pleased about.
Bizarrely, people were actually asking Girardi if Didi Gregorius was necessarily getting his job back when he returns, because of Torreyes’ strong play. What kind of dumb question is that? Girardi treated it with as much respect as such a question merited, basically an automatic, “Yes.”
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (L): (10.2 IP, 4.22 ERA) vs. Pirates: Ivan Nova (R): (20 IP, 2.25 ERA
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF .192/.323/.250
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B .362/.456/.603
3. Starlin Castro (R) 2B .364/.408/.591
4. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF .323/.373/.403
5. Aaron Judge (R) RF .281/.349/.667
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B .111/.216/.244
7. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS .296/.296/.444
8. Kyle Higashioka (R) C—/—/—
9. Jordan Montgomery (L) P—/—/—
1. Jordy Mercer (R) SS .220/.303/.288
2. Josh Harrison (R) 3B .275/.362/.353
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF .262/.319/.462
4. Gregory Polanco (L) LF .216/.298/.275
5. David Freese (R) 1B .333/.443/.569
6. Jose Osuna (R) RF .167/.375/.500
7. Phil Gosselin (R) 2B .077/.077/.077
8. Chris Stewart (R) C .250/.250/.375
9. Ivan Nova (R) P—/—/—
Held hitless for 4 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon, the Yankees finally found their bats—in a big way. Starlin Castro and Chris Carter each launched a three-run homer and Aaron Judge added a monster solo shot in the ninth, leading the Yankees to an 11-5 win at PNC Park.
While Castro’s game-tying homer and Carter’s go-ahead blast pushed the Yankees past the Bucs, it was Judge’s prodigious shot, his sixth of the season, that had everyone talking after the game. More >
“Every time he hits the ball,” Castro said, “the sound is unbelievable.”
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Dellin Betances came in with one out and a runner on third base in a 5-5 game. He promptly got the next two outs without the run scoring. So headed into the 8th inning, Joe Girardi obviously planned on using Betances in the 8th. Then, with two outs in the top of the 8th, the Pirates second baseman, Adam Frazier, booted a ball with two outs to allow Austin Romine to reach base. Ronald Torreyes followed with his third hit of the game. That brought up the pitcher’s spot. If Girardi pinch-hit and the pinch-hitter didn’t drive in a run, that would mean he would no longer have Betances pitching in a tie game. However, if he let Betances hit, it would almost assuredly mean that the game would remain tied. I don’t think it was an obvious decision, but Girardi went to his bench and pinch-hitter Chris Carter hit a three- run home run to give the Yankees an 8-5 lead. Wow, what a moment.
Aaron Judge later hit an amazing home run, but honestly, I am almost more amazed by Carter’s home run. Judge absolutely CRUSHES his home runs, but Carter, that guy is nuts - he is so strong that he barely seems to get good wood on the ball and it goes flying. It’s a short, effortless swing, as opposed to Judge’s dramatic hacks. It’s cool how two guys can both be power hitters while batting so differently.
Anyhow, this was a heck of a win. The Yankees take on their old friend, Ivan Nova, for the first time in a real game (not counting spring training games). Let’s hope that Jordan Montgomery keeps the good times going!
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Yankees: Michael Pineda (R): (18.1 IP, 3.44 ERA) vs. Pirates: Jameson Taillon (R): (20 IP, 0.90 ERA
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF .333/.387/.421
2. Aaron Hicks (S) LF .321/.459/.786
3. Chase Headley (S) 3B .377/.476/.623
4. Starlin Castro (R) 2B .371/.409/.565
5. Aaron Judge (R) RF .269/.345/.615
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B .122/.217/.268
7. Austin Romine (R) C .313/.378/.469
8. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS .245/.245/.388
9. Michael Pineda (R) P—/—/—
1. Adam Frazier (L) 2B .289/.347/.444
2. Josh Bell (S) 1B .213/.275/.383
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF .254/.299/.413
4. Gregory Polanco (L) LF .239/.327/.304
5. David Freese (R) 3B .340/.456/.532
6. John Jaso (L) RF .091/.200/.091
7. Francisco Cervelli (R) C .212/.281/.404
8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS .218/.306/.291
9. Jameson Taillon (R) P—/—/—
It has been a long and scenic road for CC Sabathia, one that might eventually lead to Cooperstown. But the 36-year-old Yankees left-hander required a detour lately before resuming, and he practically reinvented himself.
Sabathia owns more than 2,700 strikeouts in a Major League career that began in 2001 with Cleveland. He won an American League Cy Young Award six years later. But what he had to give up was the big heat that helped produce such accomplishments. His fastball is down to 90 mph on a good day—and Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Pirates was not one of those days.
CC has been so good this year that you really can’t complain. Better luck next game, Yankees!
Friday, April 21, 2017
Yankees: CC Sabathia (L): (18.1 IP, 1.47 ERA) vs. Pirates: Tyler Glasnow (R): (6.2 IP, 12.15 ERA)
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B
3. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
4. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
5. Aaron Judge (R) RF
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B
7. Austin Romine (R) C
8. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS
9. CC Sabathia (L) P
1. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
2. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Gregory Polanco (L) LF
5. David Freese (R) 3B
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Jose Osuna (R) RF
8. Josh Bell (S) 1B
9. Tyler Glasnow (L) P
I’m still not buying the re-invention of Sabathia. I do think he can possibly put an ERA in the low 4s.
I still can’t wrap my head around the concept of Smellsbury, Clean-Up hitter. Then again, I can’t wrap my head around the concept of a Yankee team that is fun to watch and has won two-thirds of their games so far this season either.
With Alex Rodriguez no longer in the DH picture after batting .200 in 65 games and being released last Aug. 13, the Yankees were in the market for his replacement in the offseason.
Among the hitters they had contact with was Eric Thames, who was looking to return to the big leagues after spending three seasons punishing pitchers in Korea.
“We talked to his agent, but the financial considerations weren’t a match,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said of the 30-year-old Thames, a lefty swinging first baseman/outfielder.
Thames must have gotten a lot more money than Matt Holliday since the financial considerations weren’t a match, right?
Thames, a 39th-round pick of the Yankees in 2007 when he was a sophomore eligible out of Pepperdine who didn’t sign, inked a three-year deal with the Brewers in November for $16 million.
Yeah, $16M over three years for a 30-year-old player who hadn’t done anything in MLB does seem a bit risky. You could end up with Yasmany Tomas or Rusney Castillo.
In early December, the Yankees signed 37-year-old Matt Holliday to a one-year contract for $13 million to be their DH.
Whereas $13M for ONE season for a 37-year-old coming off the worst season of his career is a good one.
This all makes sense to me. Why would you want to pay Thames $3M for two more years?
See, even with the Yankees at 10-5, we can find things to complain about if we apply ourselves.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
The Yankees combined tape-measure thunder with a Masahiro Tanaka gem to put the finishing touches on an impressive first homestand, breezing to a 9-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge whipped their teammates into a frenzy with back-to-back homers in the fifth inning off rookie Dylan Covey. Chase Headley and Aaron Hicks also went deep for the surging Yanks, who won eight of nine games in their best home showing since July 2009.
“We came here and played in front of our fans,” said Judge, whose 448-foot blast was the third-longest at Yankee Stadium in the Statcast™ era. “There was a lot of energy in this stadium the whole homestand. I think we just kind of fed off that, and our pitching staff came out and did what they did. I think collectively as a team, we just did our job.”
The healthy run support helped Tanaka pick up his second victory of the year on a night when his best stuff seemed to be absent. The first four innings were a grind for the right-hander, who settled in to hold the White Sox to Jose Abreu’s RBI double over seven innings while striking out six.
“He cleaned up his pitches,” catcher Austin Romine said. “His slider was a little tighter, his split was real good. That was the best I’ve seen his split this year. The fastball command was there, other than a couple of pitches. Overall I thought he did pretty well.”
Man, this team is really starting to get disturbing in how well that they are playing. They are just hitting the hell out of the ball and that’s all without perhaps their best hitter on the team! And with their backup shortstop instead of their pretty good hitting shortstop. That’s what is so remarkable about all of this, is that they’re doing it without Sanchez or Gregorius.
The Yankees finished out one hell of a homestand with a whole lot of offense and some battling from Tanaka, who did not look good at all all night, but he hung in there and gutted out a one-run outing. Good for him. They obviously will need him if they are going to make any noise this season.
Hopefully CC can keep the good times going against Pittsburgh on Friday!