Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sweepless in Seattle...

Credit:  Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
Mariners 6, Yankees 5…

So much for a potential sweep in Seattle as the Mariners prevailed over the Yankees in extra innings on Saturday night.  Ex-Yankees Ben Gamel and Robinson Cano made themselves heard in this game.  The Yankees can still take three of four with a victory today so they can still end this road trip on a high note.

Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have his best stuff (in a statement that we have made far too often this season).  The Yankees scored first in the second inning when Gary Sanchez doubled to right, a one-hopper off the wall. After Sanchez was nearly picked off at second, Didi Gregorius hit a single to right which moved Sanchez to third.  Todd Frazier hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Sanchez scored on the play.  After allowing a meaningless single in each of the two first innings, Tanaka lost the lead in the third.  Mike Zunino opened with a blast to left center and the game was tied.  Following a strikeout of Jean Segura, former Yankee Ben Gamel homered on the first pitch to right center.  It was the 26th home run allowed by Tanaka this season, tying him for the  dubious AL lead with Ricky Nolasco. Robinson Cano went down swinging for the second out.  Nelson Cruz singled on an infield grounder to third (Tood Frazier’s long throw was up the line which took Garrett Cooper off first) and Kyle Seager was hit by a pitch on the back toe to put runners at first and second.  Following a coaching visit to the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild (it didn’t work), Danny Valencia ripped a single to left to score Cruz and Mitch Haniger singled through the hole to left to score Seager.  It was 4-1 Mariners.  Jarrod Dyson grounded out to end the inning.

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP
Garrett Cooper tripled to center in the fifth with a near home run which sent center fielder Jarrod Dyson into the wall.  Dyson stayed but you could tell that he was still affected by the collision.  He would depart the game after the inning was over.  Ronald Torreyes lofted a fly ball to Dyson in center as Cooper tagged and scored.  In the sixth, Clint Frazier started the inning with a 10-pitch at-bat against M’s starter Ariel Miranda but chased an upstairs fastball to strike out. The Mariners pulled Miranda and replaced him with Steve Cishek.  Aaron Judge greeted Cishek with a high fly to right center for his 32nd home run of the season.  The Yankees had closed the gap to 4-3.

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP
The Yankees tied the game in the 8th inning.  With one out, Brett Gardner beat out a grounder to short for a single.  Clint Frazier doubled to center off the top of the wall (if only it had been just a few more inches), Gardner moved to third.  The Mariners intentionally walked Aaron Judge to face Matt Holliday.  Holliday hit a deep sacrifice fly to right, easily scoring Gardner.  The game was tied at 4.  Gary Sanchez lined out to right so the Yankees were unable to push any more runs across the plate.  In retrospect, this was a very big missed opportunity.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Mariners recaptured the lead when Robinson Cano led off with a home run to left off David Robertson. Bummer, but you couldn’t blame D-Rob as it was an excellent pitch. He was able to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning without any further damage. 

The Yankees had life again in the top of the 9th with Mariners closer Edwin Diaz on the mound.  Didi Gregorius walked to start the inning.  Diaz was able to retire the next two batters, Todd Frazier and Chase Headley who pinch-hit for Garrett Cooper.  With Ronald Torreyes at the plate, Jacoby Ellsbury was brought in to pinch run for Gregorius and promptly stole second.  Torreyes singled to left on a line drive, bringing Ellsbury around to score and the game was tied again.  After Tommy Kahnle finished the M’s in the bottom of the 9th, it was off to extra innings.

Credit:  Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
M’s reliever Tony Zych replaced Diaz in the 10th and easily retired the Yankees, including strikeouts of both Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge.  In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Warren was on the mound.  Warren gave up a lead-off double by Ben Gamel (rapidly becoming a Yankee killer).  Robinson Cano was intentionally walked to open the possibility for a double play, but unfortunately, Nelson Cruz hit a line drive to left and Clint Frazier’s throw to the plate was off the mark as Gamel scored the winning run.  The Mariners win, 6-5.  

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP
The Yankees (50-46) didn’t lose any ground in the AL East despite the loss.  The Boston Red Sox fell to the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, while the Texas Rangers rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3.  It would have been a great opportunity to pick up ground in the division but it was not meant to be.  The Yankees and Rays remain 3 1/2 games behind Boston.  

Somehow, the Yankees need to get Todd Frazier going.  His 0-for-4 night dropped his season batting average to .201.  Anything from him last night could have been a difference-maker.  Among the starting position players, he was the only one without a hit for the second game in a row.

Odds & Ends…

Second baseman Starlin Castro has been placed on the 10-Day DL after re-aggravating his hamstring.  Tyler Wade, who was seen in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre locker room before the RailRiders’ game yesterday, was recalled and didn’t get to Seattle until late last night.  Presumably, he’ll share time at second with Ronald Torreyes.  Wade had a tremendous game on Thursday when the RailRiders defeated the Charlotte Knights, 13-2.  He tripled and homered, driving in 4 RBI’s.  

Caleb Smith (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will start today’s getaway game against the Mariners in place of Luis Cessa.  I am very glad to see this move.  I’d rather see what Smith is capable of doing with his first Major League start versus another uneven performance by Luis Cessa.  I am sure that Cessa will be the first call to the pen if Smith gets into trouble early but hopefully he is able to show the great success he has enjoyed in Triple A this year.  Yovanni Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) will oppose Smith.  

Jacoby Ellsbury, at least temporarily, has lost his starting gig.  With over $68 million still owed Ellsbury after this year, there’s probably not much chance he’ll be exiting anytime soon.  Manager Joe Girardi has said that he wants to go with the hot hand which means keeping Clint Frazier in the lineup.  The threat of Frazier being demoted to Triple A when Aaron Hicks returns still looms as the Yankees are not going to cut Ellsbury.  This goes against the premise of putting your best players on the field but obviously there are more factors at play.  

The Yankees get a much needed day off on Monday following their cross-country flight home.  Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox, flying up from Orange County, will replace the Yankees at Safeco Field for a three-game series against the Mariners.

Have a great Sunday!  Let’s make this a fun day with a much-needed win!  Go Yankees!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Judge Rules In Favor Of Yanks...

Credit:  Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
Yankees 5, Mariners 1…

Powered by a monster blast from Aaron Judge that nearly reached the back wall of the upper left stands (if not for a fan in the next to the last row), the Yankees won for the second night in a row in Seattle.  Statcast was unable to capture the length of the homer and it was estimated at 440 feet although it seemed longer to most people watching.  It probably wasn’t the game highlight that Mariners starter Andrew Moore wanted to see after the game but he’s not the first nor the last pitcher that will have to wait a very long time to watch a home run ball drop with Judge at the plate.  

The game should have been about veteran lefty starter CC Sabathia (9-3).  Celebrating his 37th birthday, CC had previously never won a birthday start in his career.  Friday night was a different story.  The game didn’t start like it was going to be a good evening for the road gray.  After Moore breezed through the first three of the Yankees order in the top of the first inning, CC ran into trouble after easily retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the inning.  He lost Robinson Cano, walking him on a full count.  Nelson Cruz hit a “loud” single to the left field wall, with Cano racing around to third.  Chase Headley’s inexperience as a first baseman showed with the next batter, Kyle Seager.  Seager hit a grounder that deflected off Headley’s glove and was retrieved by Starlin Castro in shallow right.  Headley went back to first but his foot placement was inch or two off the base.  So, although Castro’s throw to first was in time, Headley’s recovery to move his foot to the base was too late to get Seager.  Cano scored on the play.  Mitch Haniger laced a line drive down the first base line, past a diving Headley, to load the bases.  Fortunately, CC induced Guillermo Heredia to hit an infield grounder, Todd Frazier to Starlin Castro, to force Haniger out at second for the final out.  Whew!

Credit:  Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
After the Yankees failed to score in the of the 2nd despite a couple of hits, Ben Gamel opened the bottom of the inning for the M’s with a double to center past a running Brett Gardner.  Mike Zunino followed with a hard hit liner to left but Clint Frazier made a terrific diving catch for the out and held Gamel at second.  As YES Network Analyst David Cone said, “Young athleticism on display”.  Gamel was subsequently erased at third on a fielder’s choice by Didi Gregorius with a snap throw to Todd Frazier.  CC was able to retire Danny Valencia on a weak grounder back to the pitcher to emerge from the inning unscathed.  

The Yankees were finally able to get to M’s starter Andrew Moore in the 3rd inning.  Chase Headley opened the inning with a double to left center, just beyond the glove of diving center fielder Guillermo Heredia.  Red Thunder blasted a double off the right center wall as Headley circled around to score just ahead of the throw which got away from catcher Mike Zunino.  Clint Frazier tagged on the next play, a fly ball by Brett Gardner to center, and made it to third just ahead of a tremendous throw by Heredia.  A sacrifice fly to warning track in center by Aaron Judge scored Frazier and the Yankees had a 2-1 lead.

With CC Sabathia seemingly gaining steam as he progressed through the innings, the Yankees scored again in the 5th.  Brett Gardner singled on a line drive to right.  Gary Sanchez singled to left, with Gardner moving to third.  Aaron Judge came up and smashed the Andrew Moore offering to left as the ball nearly left the stadium.  5-1, Yankees.  4 RBI’s on the night for Judge.

Credit:  Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
CC opened the sixth but he walked the leadoff batter, Kyle Seager, and his night was done.  I know that CC could have continued to be effective, but the high pitch count in the early innings had Sabathia at 98 pitches following the walk to Seager.  Nevertheless, this is no longer the Tyler Clippard era of the bullpen.  Tommy Kahnle, who might be my new favorite Yankee, came in to strike out Mitch Haniger.  He easily retired pinch-hitter Jarrod Dyson and Ben Gamel for another highly effective inning of work.
The bottom of the 7th saw the 2017 Yankees debut for former Yankees and White Sox closer David Robertson.  D-Rob was the magnificent reliever of old as he retired the side by strikeout.  Welcome back, D-Rob!  We have certainly missed you and  your leg kick.  My only concern about D-Rob pitching the 7th was that he would not be there as a safety net in later innings.  Fortunately, the Yankees bullpen was as good as advertised.  Dellin Betances got into a little trouble with a double by Robinson Cano and a single by Mitch Haniger, sandwiched between two strikeouts, had runners at the corners.  But he was able to get Jarrod Dyson to pop up to third to leave the runners stranded.

With Aroldis Chapman taking the night off due to a non-save situation, Adam Warren came on in the 9th.  The pesky Ben Gamel opened with a single to left, but was eliminated when Mike Zunino grounded into a double play, Gregorius to Castro to Headley.  Jean Segura hit a hard grounder to Didi Gregorius and he threw to Chase Headley for the final out.  The Yankees win!

Credit:  Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
The Yankees (50-45) were unable to gain ground on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East, however, they did move into a tie for second place.  The Red Sox scored five runs in the first inning to back Chris Sale as they beat the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2.  The Tampa Bay Rays fell 4-3 to the Texas Rangers.  The Yankees and the Rays are both 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.

The Toddfather was the only Yankee without a hit other than the bench players who didn’t get into the game.  So, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the first T-Frazier blast.

Odds & Ends…

It’s tough watching Ben Gamel have such success in Seattle.  I understand the reasons for the trade but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch him thrive at the MLB level for another team.  I don’t know if he’ll have a Jay Buhner type career but it was comparable circumstances.  Enjoyed watching the tremendous Minor League exploits of the player, only to watch him traded to Seattle for a long and prosperous career.  The two players the Yankees received for Gamel are Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula.  Orozco, 19, a right-handed pitcher, is 2-0 with 2.36 ERA in five games (four starts) for the Advanced Rookie League Pulaski Yankees while De Paula, also a 19-year-old righty, is 2-3 with 5.25 ERA in five games (all starts) for the Short-Season A Staten Island Yankees.  In other words, it is going to be a very long time before we see any payoff for Gamel.  

I liked David Cone’s comments about the Yankees new and improved combination of power arms in the bullpen.  He said that it has reduced the need for starting pitchers to a “soft-tossing lefty to give you three or four (innings)”.  I know that I am loving the bullpen parade of the current crew.  I do not miss the cringing feeling that came with the entry of Tyler Clippard into the game.  But despite the strong pen, the Yankees do need to do something about the starting rotation.  We’ll probably have to live with a few more starts by Luis Cessa (I’d prefer to see Caleb Smith) as I doubt any of the available starters are moved until the last minute before the trading deadline as their current teams seek maximum return.  I have no speculation who the Yankees should acquire other than I don’t want to lose top and highly regarding prospects which probably means the team will have to stand pat or take chances for catching lightning in a bottle with bottom feeders.  I am hopefully optimistic that GM Brian Cashman will surprise me.

Brian Cashman is on record saying that Red Thunder will be returned to Triple A when Aaron Hicks comes off the DL but with each passing game, it is so hard to think that the Yankees most exciting outfielder, behind Aaron Judge, will have to go down.  He has shown he is ready the big time and he has nothing left to prove for the RailRiders.  He is better player, right now, than Jacoby Ellsbury despite the $20 million plus difference being paid to the latter player this year.  Money for nothin’ and the chicks for free.  I hope Clint Frazier stays.

Have a great Saturday!  Let’s keep this winning streak alive!  Go Yankees!

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP

This Day in New York Yankees History 7/22: The Mick Mans Shortstop

As you probably know we like to bring you this day in New York Yankees history every single day for better or worse. Well today it's the worse as on this day in 2012 the Yankees set a franchise record and not one they want to remember. The Oakland Athletics would tie the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning and would later complete the sweep with a 5-4 walk off victory of the Yankees in the 12th inning. This marks the first time in Yankees history that New York was swept in a four game series while losing all four games by only one run. Ouch.

Also on this day in 2007 the Yankees knocked around Devil Rays pitcher Shawn Camp to the tune of three home runs and nine hits in 1.1 innings of relief. The Yankees would rout the Rays 21-4 and send the Yankee Stadium crowd home happy.

Finally on this day in 1954 Casey Stengel, probably the best manager of all time in my opinion, moved Mickey Mantle to shortstop from center field in the top of the 9th inning to add another bat to the lineup. Mantle would respond by hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the White Sox 4-3.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners 7/21

Ladies and gentleman it is finally game time between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners. Tonight marks the second time these two teams have faced off head-to-head in their four-game weekend set and tonight’s pitching matchup should be entertaining for the fans. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound who is always (well… maybe USUALLY, not always) enjoyable to watch in my opinion while the Mariners will counter with rookie Andrew Moore. The game will be played at 10:10 pm ET inside Safeco Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The game can also be heard on the radio and in your cars on WFAN by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Who doesn’t want to hear John Sterling freak out about a shallow fly ball down the right field line like it was Aaron Judge hitting a bomb in the Home Run Derby on a Friday night? I know I rather enjoy it.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow and enjoy the game. Go Yankees!!!

Minor League Baseball and Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation Partner to Increase Awareness and Education of Domestic Violence

Minor League Baseball and Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation Partner to Increase Awareness and Education of Domestic Violence
More than one million fans expected to see campaign in MiLB ballparks from July 17-24

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. and NEW YORK — Minor League Baseball® (MiLB™) and The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation are collaborating to generate awareness about domestic violence and helping to end its destructive cycle. Beginning today, and continuing through July 24, Minor League Baseball teams are educating their fans about this growing epidemic and its lasting effects through in-park videos and public address announcements, as well as online through a social media campaign. Clubs will also provide fans with information on resources available to those who may be victims of domestic violence, specifically children. The effort is coordinated by Minor League Baseball Charities, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to giving back to and enhancing the communities MiLB teams call home.
The partnership with Minor League Baseball marks the first time The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation has aligned with a sports property on a league-wide initiative. As part of the awareness campaign, each participating MiLB team will raffle or auction off a Joe Torre autographed baseball to benefit a local organization that supports victims of domestic violence or the Safe At Home Foundation. Fans attending games during the promotional period will also receive a Topps card pack, along with a commemorative card featuring an image of Torre and facts about the Safe At Home Foundation.
The announcement to partner with Minor League Baseball clubs complements The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation’s integrated, national advertising campaign launched in April. To amplify its important mission and message, Safe At Home debuted its largest awareness campaign to date, and its first in nearly 12 years, called ‘End the Cycle.’ The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation’s mission is educating to end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives by providing intervention and prevention programs via its signature program “Margaret's Place.” As a byproduct of a home where domestic violence was prevalent, Joe, along with his wife, Ali, founded the Safe At Home Foundation in 2002 to reach children who are exposed to violence in their homes, schools and communities.
“I am so grateful to Pat O’Conner and Minor League Baseball for the commitment shown in raising awareness of domestic violence and the Safe At Home Foundation,” said Torre. “With more than 15 million children facing domestic violence every year, these events and partnerships are critical to educating the public, shedding light on the issue, and achieving our goals so that every child feels safe at home.”
“Domestic violence is a sensitive topic that people often don’t want to talk about or bring to the forefront, but we have an obligation to the children affected to do so,” said Pat O’Conner, Minor League Baseball President & CEO. “I’ve known Joe [Torre] for many years, and to be able to support a cause that is so personal to him and his family is very important to me. We consider our ballparks places where people feel safe, and having a forum like Safe At Home to address an otherwise taboo subject is something our clubs are eager to take part in and fully support.”
Minor League Baseball Charities has implemented several initiatives in Minor League Baseball ballparks this season including the ‘Cover Your Bases’ Sun Safety Initiative with the American Cancer Society, the Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation Father’s Day Initiative and the BairFind Foundation Concourse Sign Project. This August, Minor League Baseball will once again activate the MiLB CommUNITY Initiative, a campaign designed to encourage fans to come together and stand up against discrimination and violence. Additionally, the organization has designated August “MiLB CommUNITY Month.” To learn more about Minor League Baseball Charities and its Charity Partners Program, visit
For more information on domestic violence and the Safe At Home Foundation, visit If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
About Minor League Baseball 
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball® clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2016, Minor League Baseball attracted 41.3 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information, visit
Follow Minor League Baseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation 

Reaching more than 12,000 middle and high school students annually in L.A. and metropolitan New York, Safe At Home has reached more than 60,000 students since 2002, through individual and group counseling, school-wide campaigns, peer leadership, and educational opportunities. The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation helps young people overcome their fears, heal from trauma, and end the cycle of violence that all too often continues on through generations. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners 7/21

The New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners will continue their four-game extended weekend set tonight with the second game of the series. It’s all downhill from here Yankees fans and I think you know exactly what I mean. After facing off with the always tough Felix Hernandez last night the pitching matchups, at least on paper, get a bit easier for New York starting tonight with the Mariners starter Andrew Moore. Now I’m not trying to be disrespectful and I am not trying to write off Moore or any of the other Seattle starters that will toe the rubber in this series but I am more so merely complimenting Hernandez on always being tough and always being especially tough against the Yankees. New York will send CC Sabathia to the mound to counter Moore in the contest. It should be another fun one here for New York, let’s just hope the offense made the trip over this time around.

Sabathia was great in his last start against the Boston Red Sox holding the Yankees division rival to just two hits and no runs in six innings of work in the first game of the doubleheader. Sabathia did walk five in the outing which limited the number of innings he could pitch but was overall effective in a much-needed win for New York.

Moore started out his MLB career with three solid starts for the Mariners before taking a step back a bit in his last start against the Chicago White Sox. In the start Moore allowed five runs on six hits including six home runs in a loss to the White Sox. Moore will be making his fourth home start already of his young MLB career and will look to improve on his 1-1 record and 3.86 ERA inside Safeco Field in his career.

The game will be played at 10:10 pm ET inside Safeco Field in Seattle and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN. Finally, a west coast game on the weekend that I can actually stay up and watch. What happened to some good old fashioned east coast bias? I’m looking at you MLB schedule makers. Enjoy the game and Go Yankees!!!

Just Winning Games in Seattle...

Credit:  Elaine Thompson/AP
Yankees 4, Mariners 1...

The Yankees took manager Joe Girardi's biggest concern ("just winning games") to heart as they defeated the Seattle Mariners on late night TV.  Of course, it didn't hurt to have perhaps the best Yankees starting pitcher (Luis Severino) on the mound.  Felix Hernandez is tough but I had the confidence in Sevy to persevere.

Credit:  Elaine Thompson/AP
The first innings of games, lately, always seem to be so tough.  King Felix easily dispatched the first three Yanks to move to the bottom of the first.  Ben Gamel ripped a one-out double to left (why did we get rid of him one day after being named the 2016 International League MVP again?...I know, the glut of outfielders but still, he has been very solid for the M's).  Robinson Cano hit an infield grounder that caught Gamel off second (out in a rundown...great athleticism by Sevy to start the play).  The deadly Nelson Cruz came up and singled to left to move Cano to second.  Corey Seager's big brother Kyle was next but Sevy dialed up the heat to 99 mph and punched Seager out to end the threat.  I am so tired starting games in the hole so it was great to see the Yankees escape without allowing any runs despite the two hits.  

The Mariners got their hits against Sevy but pushing them across the plate was a different story.  The M's threatened in the fourth with the game still in a scoreless tie.  Kyle Seager opened with a double just fair down the third base line (glad he didn't do that in the first inning).  Danny Valencia followed with a solid single to center to put runners at the corners with no outs.  Sevy was able to retire Mitch Haniger on a pop-up and Jarrod Dyson on a shallow center fly out after falling behind 3-0, before walking Mike Zunino to load the bases.  Fortunately, Jean Segura, in a long at-bat, hit a grounder to Didi Gregorius who flipped the ball to Starlin Castro to force Zunino out at second to end the inning.  

In the 6th inning with one out, Brett Gardner drilled a 'no doubt about it' homer right center, his 16th to match Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.  He was fortunate as King Felix was still going strong, recording all outs in the 6th by strikeout.  But on the other side, Sevy was still holding the M's off the board.

Credit:  Getty Images
Former Yankee James Pazos replaced King Felix in the top of the 8th.  After Jacoby Ellsbury weakly grounded out to Pazos with a broken bat, Chase Headley singled to center on a ball deflected off the tip of Robinson Cano's glove.  Brett Gardner hit into a fielder's choice but a fielding error by Jean Segura (he would have easily had the force out at second but was unable to successfully pull the ball out of his glove) allowed Gardy to reach base with Headley safe at second.  Tony Zych replaced Pazos and promptly walked Gary Sanchez on a full count to load the bases.  A single to right by Aaron Judge scored Headley and it was 2-0 Yankees.  Unfortunately, Matt Holliday hit into an inning-ending double play so the Yankees were unable to further cash in with the bases full of Yanks.

Dellin Betances replaced Sevy in the 8th and ran into a little trouble.  After hitting Kyle Seager with a pitch, Danny Valencia singled to right to move Seager to second.  With one out and the tying run at the plate, Mitch Haniger hit into a force out at second (a play challenged by the M's after Castro bobbled the ball on the exchange but upheld by the umps).  Seager moved to third.  Betances reared back and struck out Jarrod Dyson to leave Seager stranded. 

The Yankees picked up a couple of huge insurance runs in the 9th courtesy of Robinson Cano.  Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier hit one-out singles off M's reliever Max Povse.  After Jacoby Ellsbury flied out to left (sure seemed like the Yankees were always having to work around Ellsbury outs), Chase Headley reached first base on a throwing error by Cano.  Both Gregorius and Frazier scored on the play.  Thanks Robby!  To Cano's defense, first baseman Danny Valencia gave up too early and didn't try to reach out to catch Cano's wide throw from shallow right.

It was off to the 9th and Aroldis Chapman with the Yankees leading 4-0.  Chapman's control issues continued as he walked the first batter, Mike Zunino.  Zunino was replaced by pinch-runner Guillermo Heredia.  A wild pitch by Chapman moved to Heredia to second.  Chapman struck out Jean Segura and Ben Gamel, with Heredia taking third, before Robinson Cano laced a double to the center field wall bringing Heredia home to score.  Chapman was able to secure the final out when Nelson Cruz flied out to right.  The Yankees win...a much needed victory.

Credit:  Getty Images
Hats off to Luis Severino (6-4) for delivering an ace-like performance against one of the AL's best starting pitchers.  Although he gave up 8 hits and a walk in 7 innings, he held the M's scoreless while striking out 6.  King Felix held the Yanks to 3 hits and struck out 9, but one of those hits was the Gardy homer which gave the Yanks the lead they would not relinquish.  I had confidence going into this game with Sevy on the mound and he did not disappoint.

Todd Frazier was 1-for-4 in his first Yankees start with a run scored.  Neither David Robertson nor Tommy Kahnle made an appearance in this game although Chapman was giving me reasons to wish that it was D-Rob on the mound in the 9th.  Joe Girardi must have thought the same thing as he had Robertson up in the pen after Chapman's wild pitch.

Ben Gamel was hitless in his next four at-bats after the first inning double, striking out three times. Robby Cano, Dontcha Know!, was 3-for-5 with the lone Mariners RBI.

Credit:  Elaine Thompson/AP
The Yankees (49-45) picked up on a game on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings and trail by 3 1/2 games.  The Red Sox lost 8-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Yanks are a game behind the idle Tampa Bay Rays (tied in the loss column).  

The Yankees go for their 50th win tonight with CC Sabathia (8-3, 3.54 ERA) on the mound facing Andrew Moore (1-1, 5.25 ERA). Sabathia was moved up from Saturday as Masahiro Tanaka was pushed back a day.  The Mariners announced a change for their scheduled starter on Sunday.  Yovani Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) will replace Sam Gaviglio in the match-up against Luis Cessa.

Odds & Ends...

I've been reading columns that feel the Yankees overpaid to acquire Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.  After watching yesterday's acquisition of reliever and former Yankee David Phelps by the Seattle Mariners, I am starting to think the Yankees may have underpaid.  For Phelps alone, the Miami Marlins acquired four players.  Three of the players rank in the Mariners list of Top 30 Prospects according to  OF Brayan Hernandez rates the highest at #6.  RHP Brandon Miller is #16 and RHP Pablo Lopez is #22.  The Marlins also acquired RHP Lukas Schiraldi, son of former Major Leaguer Calvin Schiraldi.  Granted, the Yankees have a stronger farm system so #6 on the Mariners' list does not equal #6 on the Yankees list but this is still a very  good haul by the Marlins.  I know that one scout referred to them as "just guys" but I am also a believer in 'expect the unexpected'.  Suddenly, losing OF Blake Rutherford, LHP Ian Clarkin, and OF Tito Polo (along with the inconsequential Tyler Clippard) seems like a very small price to pay for a strong third base upgrade and two bullpen power arms.  I guess that we'll be seeing David Phelps very soon unless the Yankees can avoid giving the Mariners any late inning leads to work with.   

Credit:  Gary Landers/AP
Todd Frazier is now saying that he'll stay with #29 rather than ask Paul O'Neill if he can use #21.  If I was O'Neill, I'd probably reach out to Frazier and say, "It's okay,'ve worn the number out of respect for me and for my original team (the Reds).  Please take #21 and wear it with pride".  There's no doubt Frazier will do the number justice.  

GM Brian Cashman has said that Clint Frazier will be optioned to Triple A when Aaron Hicks returns in a few weeks.  I know that he'll be back in September, but it does kind of stink that a douche like Jacoby Ellsbury gets to keep his seat at the grownups' table while Frazier has to go have a seat with the kids.  I hope that Frazier continues to make this a very hard decision for the Yankees.

Have a great Friday!  Let's just keep winning games in Seattle.  Go Yankees!

My Thoughts on Todd Frazier Wearing the #21

So if you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you probably missed the blockbuster trade between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox earlier in the week. Actually, I take that back. WIFI reaches about everywhere these days, even under rocks, so you have no excuse. Shame on you. Anyway, I digress. As I tuned into the game on Wednesday, a day game between the Yankees and the Minnesota Twins, I heard that Todd Frazier was wanting to wear the #21 as he made his Yankee Stadium debut. My initial thought was that of shock because that’s Paul O’Neill’s number so I immediately went to Twitter to see if our followers shared the same sentiments and it seemed like they were just as shocked as I was. Now with a day or two to digest the fact that the #21 may be back back in circulation here are my thoughts on Frazier potentially wearing O’Neill’s old number.

Personally I think the whole retiring numbers thing is getting a bit watered down. I know that’s not a popular opinion amongst Yankees fans but it’s mine. Sure, you retire the numbers of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and the other Yankees legends but there are a few numbers I simply have a problem with. I won’t name Reggie Jackson’s name but there are a few names you could really make an argument against, and for probably as well. Roy White I’m looking at you and the need for a Roy White Day here at Yankee Stadium. The fact that O’Neill’s number hasn’t been retired by now though and the fact that the team held a Paul O’Neill Day at Yankee Stadium suggests that it’s time for the number to be put back into circulation.

O’Neill walked off the Yankee Stadium field during the 2001 World Series never to be seen again in New York as a player, it’s been 16 years folks. O’Neill finished the World Series in Arizona during that season and retired. The Yankees haven’t retired the number and they have given him his plaque in Monument Park. O’Neill was tremendous for the Yankees and was a huge part of the dynasty that brought New York four World Series championships in five years and nothing can take away from that but I reiterate… it’s been 16 years and the number hasn’t been retired. Give it to someone.

So that’s what the Yankees did. If Todd Frazier wears the #21 for the remainder of the 2017 season I’m okay with that. I’m borderline indifferent to be completely honest. It doesn’t bother me to see anyone wear Tino Martinez’s #24 uniform and he was my favorite player growing up so it shouldn’t and won’t bother me to see anyone wear O’Neill’s #21. I’m sorry but it doesn’t. I know, again, that’s not the popular opinion around these parts but, again, that’s mine and only my opinion.  ---

Frankly I’m happy to see the number potentially back in circulation as I have quite a few #21 jersey’s hanging in my closet somewhere that can now be put to good use again. So Todd, talk to O’Neill before heading back to Yankee Stadium like you intend to and enjoy the number if you get his okay. Either way you’ll make us proud. 

So it Seems a Busy Weekend is Ahead

Good morning everyone and a Happy Friday to you all. Another week in the books ladies and gents and we made it! I hope everyone has a great Friday and an even better weekend. Summer is almost over, schools will be returning soon across the United States (school starts back on August 4th here, what kind of absolute crap is that???) the temperatures will be dropping and before we know it we will be turning in shorts, skirts and tank tops for sweaters and scarves again. Enjoy it while it’s here. Enjoy every last minute of it.

So it seems this is going to be a busy weekend for me and my amazing and ever-growing family. Concerts, birthday parties, cash transactions that get us one step closer to forever and war. This is happening. This is really, actually and absolutely happening. Pinch yourself, it’s real. I love you!!!!!

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/21: "How Could You Have Traded Buhner For Ken Phelps?"

How many milestones and special moments have we seen as fans of the New York Yankees? It seems like every year I am writing a "potential milestones" post for the blog naming All Star and sure fire Hall of Fame players and their accomplishments. It's a gift and a curse but anyway we were all treated to this exact thing on this day in 2006 with Alex Rodriguez. The 30 year old Rodriguez would hit a home run in the third inning giving him his 2,000th hit of his career. A Rod also became the youngest player to reach 450 home runs.

Anyone ever watch Seinfeld? Dumb question, I know, but do you guys remember when George Costanza asked about the extremely one sided deal by saying "How could you have traded Buhner for Ken Phelps?". Well that came from this day in 1988 when the Yankees traded Jay Buhner and minor league prospect Rich Balabon with a player to be named later (Troy Evers) to the Seattle Mariners for 33 year old Ken Phelps. The rest is history.