Sunday, June 8, 2014

Girardi Explains Why He Didn't Have Roberts Bunt in Today's Ninth Inning

After a lead-off single and a wild pitch, the Yankees looked to be in pretty good position in today's ninth inning.

Facing the Royals' Greg Holland, a closer known for his triple-digit fastball, the Bombers had the tying run in scoring position, with Brian Roberts, Mark Teixeira, and Brett Gardner due up.

At first thought, most would probably want to have the weak-hitting Roberts bunt to try to give Teixeira a chance for a routine sac fly, although Manager Joe Girardi didn't think so, instead letting Roberts swing.

Eventually, Roberts would unproductively fly out, followed shortly by a Tex groundout and a Gardner strikeout.

After the loss, Girardi explained to the New York Post's George A. King III why he let the .240-batting Roberts hit, claiming that since Holland's dominant it'd be tough to bunt off of him.

“You got a strikeout pitcher and also a guy who gets ground balls,’’ Girardi said. “It’s not an easy guy to bunt [off] throwing 97-98 if you ever tried it.’’

Despite that, you have to think that sacrificing in that situation would've been the smart thing to do, especially since the offense had struggled throughout the game.

Yes, doing so would have been kind of risky, but if it didn't work the result would've still been the same, something that, let's be honest, was likely to happen in the first place.

Offense Struggles in Second Straight Loss to Royals

After scoring 4 runs each of the last two games, it appeared the Yankees' offense was finally getting things together.

The expensive bats, 31-30 going into today, had gotten some big hits over the last few contests, putting themselves in a pretty good position with Hiroki Kuroda due to start.

That confidence, unfortunately, ended up proving misguided this afternoon, with the Yanks falling in ugly fashion to the Royals, 2-1.

Kuroda wasn't terrible in the loss, tossing 7 innings of two-run ball (both coming with two outs in the second), but due to recurring offensive struggles he and the team came up short.

To start off the day of dissapointment, the Yanks stranded the bases loaded in the top of the second, not scoring due to a pair of strikeouts of Derek Jeter and Kelly Johnson.

In between those K's was a grounder to first from Brett Gardner, causing Yangervis Solarte to be thrown out at the plate.

Later on in the third and fourth, the Yanks would also leave runners in scoring position, allowing James Shields to get the win with a six-inning, one-run start.

In the seventh and ninth, the Bombers got men to third off KC's bullpen, but again didn't score after a pair of inning-ending strikeouts of Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Basically, the visiting team could never get a hit when it mattered, going just 1-for-17 with RISP. 

To add insult to injury, the team's power hitting duo of Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann struggled to just make contact in the ballgame, going a combined 0-for-7 with 4 K's.

On the bright side of things, Ellsbury did single in the contest's first inning, extending his current hitting streak to 13 games. It didn't necessarily help out the confident Yangervis Solarte and Ichiro Suzuki (RBI Groundout in sixth), who both had two knocks, but did show that at least one of this team's superstars was mentally at the game, something you could definitely argue against.

Can't Predict Baseball: Leaving, On A Jet Plane

On this day in 1934 the Reds become the first team to travel in an airplane when the Cincinnati General Manager Larry MacPhail flew 19 of his players to Chicago to play the Chicago Cubs. In 1946 the New York Yankees will become the first team to fly on a regular basis using the "Yankee Mainliner" for team travel.

On this day in 1939 the New York Yankees really earned the Bronx Bomber nickname as they set a franchise record for home runs in a single game with eight against the Athletics. The mark the Yankees set will not be tied for 68 years as the Yankees beat the A's 22-3 on this day.

On this day in 1951 White Sox relief pitcher Marv Rotblatt became the first pitcher to be driven in from the bullpen when he enters in a black Cadillac that was supplied by a local funeral home for the White Sox pitchers. The White Sox would lose the game to the New York Yankees 4-2 at the old Comiskey Park.

Alfredo Aceves Outright To Triple-A Scranton

Alfredo Aceves was designated for assignment last week when the New York Yankees acquired and claimed Wade LeBlanc off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and has been outrighted to Triple-A Scranton after clearing waivers. For all those that thought we were finally rid of the Mexican Gangster this is bad news for you as we still have the minor league depth in the system. It would not surprise me to see him back with the club before the season is over, just a hunch.

Shawn Kelley & Francisco Cervelli Injury Updates

Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley pitched Saturday night in Trenton with the Thunder in his first action since a back injury landed him on the disabled list. Kelley came through everything fine with no pain, stiffness, etc. and looks primed to join the big league club tomorrow in the finale against the Kansas City Royals. Great news for a Yankees bullpen that needs a fresh arm, a guy that can pitch at the back end of the bullpen, and a guy who is not Matt Daley. 

Francisco Cervelli has been out since April with a hamstring injury and has been working down in Tampa on his minor league rehab assignment. Cervelli's rehab has been ramped up and he has been moved to Scranton in Triple-A to conintue rehabbing.  I think Cervelli is still about a week away from being eligible to be activated and the Yankees have quite the decision on their hands. John Ryan Murphy has played well and Cervelli is out of options so something is going to have to give here. 

Game Thread: Yankees @ Royals 6/8

The New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals will play the third of their four game set this weekend at Kauffman Stadium this afternoon. The Yankees are in the middle of a 17 games in 17 days stretch and with a day game after a night game I wouldn't expect to see many regulars out there today. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with James Shields, big game James no more. The game will be played at 2:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and WFAN.

Follow @GreedyStripes on Twitter to keep the conversation going during the game and all weekend long. We're always on and always talking Yankees baseball. If you would rather see the team live be sure to grab your Yankees tickets RIGHT HERE through our blog and with our friends at Ticket Monster. Drop us a line in the comments section as well, we had a few guys join recently and it has really revamped the conversation in there as well.

Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Big Game James Shields No More... Meme

Hasn't started a big game since being traded to the Kansas City Royals. I bet he is ready to get the hell out of there huh?

Complete 2014 Yankees Draftees List

Preview: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 6/8

The New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals will play in the third of a four game set this weekend at Kauffman Stadium this afternoon. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with Big Game James Shields for the Royals. The game will be played at 2:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Kuroda is coming off what was probably his best start of the season last time out against one of the best teams in the American League in the Oakland A's. Kuroda allowed one run and two hits in 6.2 IP in his second longest start of the season. Kuroda's command has returned as he has averaged only one walk in his last three starts.

Shields has given up 17 runs in three straight no decisions so it's time for him to come in and dominate the Yankees, isn't that how it always works? The good news for the Royals is they have won all three of those games. Shields had won six of his seven starts prior to this streak and saw his ERA jump from 2.67 to 3.68 while allowing the 17 runs, 15 of them earned.

You can get your Yankees tickets for this game and every Yankees game home or away right here on the blog through our friends at Ticket Monster. TM offers no fee's on their purchases and has free same day shipping with Fed Ex express on every single order. Order your tickets now, Go Yankees!!

New York Yankees 2014 Draft Strategy

I think the New York Yankees draft strategy and strategy going forward to rebuild the farm system is pretty simple and it won't take them long. The Yankees drafted 39 players between the three days of the draft and 32 of them were from college, only seven from High School. The Yankees want their players polished and in need of as little seasoning and development as possible. The people in charge may finally be aware of the shortcomings of the personnel in the organization and the lack of developmental success over the last few seasons.

Of the 39 players the Yankees drafted 24 of them were pitchers, nine of them were infielders, four were outfielders, and two were catchers. The Yankees plan to spend heavily on the International market and may replace the lack of high upside players they didn't draft this season.

The Yankees will rely on the college talent to make impacts now while they wait on every 16 year old from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela to come up through the system later. It's not a bad plan and it may buy Damon Oppenheimer and crew a few more seasons with the club.

Quick Hit: Notable Players Drafted This Weekend

Just for fun let's take a look at a few of the players that were drafted during the three days of the 2014 MLB Draft:

The Washington Nationals drafted the son of Cal Ripken Jr., Ryan Ripken, in the 15th round on Saturday.

The San Diego Padres drafted Johnny Manziel in the 28th round. Johnny Baseball?

The Baltimore Orioles drafted Brandon Bonilla, son of Bobby Bonilla, in the 25th round.

The New York Yankees drafted Mariano Rivera Jr. in the 28th round.

I, unfortunately, was not drafted but I'm not giving up.

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap 6/7

'Dogs Shut Out By Gant, Gnats on Saturday
Savannah native John Gant's seven scoreless innings opens a shutout against Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC - On Saturday evening, the Charleston RiverDogs lost a 4-0 shutout to the Savannah Sand Gnats in front of 4,458 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action. Savannah, Ga. native John Gant pitched the first seven innings of the four-hit shutout.
The RiverDogs have a 28-34 record as the first-place Sand Gnats improve to 40-19. Heading into Sunday's series finale, Savannah leads this four-game set by a 2-1 margin.
For the third straight game of this series, the Sand Gnats scored in the first inning. Gavin Cecchini got into scoring position after a one-out double. L.J. Mazzilli drove in Cecchini on a two-out single to put Savannah in front 1-0.
Savannah added three more runs in the fifth inning, extending the lead to 4-0. The Sand Gnats opened the frame with three straight singles, driving in Stefan Sabol in the process. After a double play, Jeff McNeil doubled to score Colton Plaia. Mazzilli singled and allowed Patrick Biondi to come in for the final run of the rally.
Gant pitched with a lead throughout his seven scoreless innings. In the first inning, Aaron Judge was stranded at second base after his two-out double. Gant hit Brandon Thomas with a pitch in the third inning, but Thomas was caught stealing second, and Gant retired the next nine batters that he faced. Gosuke Katoh doubled in the sixth inning and Eduardo de Oleo singled in the seventh for the only other RiverDogs hits against Gant, who struck out five.
Tim Peterson and Robert Coles relieved Gant and finished the shutout with a scoreless inning apiece. In the eighth, Peterson allowed a single to Katoh before the inning came to a close with a double play. Coles pitched a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation.
Gant improved to 6-2 with the victory. Brady Lail was charged the loss and drops to 7-3. He allowed four runs while striking out five in five innings pitched.
BALLPARK FUN: Edward Holton celebrated his 50th birthday at the game in a special seating section that was visited by South Carolina State University President Thomas J. Elzey. Elzey was in Holton's section to sing the Seventh-Inning Stretch while representing SCSU's sponsorship of Larry Doby Heritage Weekend. The weekend started with the Jackie Robinson Kansas City Monarchs Jersey Giveaway, courtesy of WCSC Channel 5, and pregame recognition of the 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars.
COMING UP: Charleston closes a four-game homestand against Savannah with the series finale on Sunday at 5:05pm. The scheduled pitchers are RiverDogs RHP Rookie Davis (2-5, 5.55 ERA) and Sand Gnats RHP Chris Flexen (2-5, 5.63 ERA). South Carolina State University continues to present Larry Doby Heritage Weekend, which wraps up on Sunday with both teams in Negro Leagues uniforms and appearances from former Negro Leagues players. It is also CCPRC and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sunday, presented by Y102.5, which includes Kids Eat Free from Pepsi, and parking is free for the game. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs, the original post can be seen HERE

Phelps Gives Up Seven Runs in Frustrating Loss to Royals

After watching him toss a 1-2-3, two-strikeout bottom of the first, you'd think Yankees Pitcher David Phelps would do well tonight.

The long-reliever-turned-starter, 0-3 in his last three starts, was going up against a struggling Royals offense, one that you'd want to face if you were in his position.

That didn't happen though, as the young right-hander ended up surrendering 7 earned runs in just 5.2 innings in an 8-4 loss.

Going into the bottom of the second, as I already said, Phelps seemed to be doing alright, but to start off that frame #41 couldn't get anyone out, surrendering 4 consecutive hits and 5 total in the at-bat to put the Bombers in an early 3-0 hole. 

That deficit, though not huge, held up for KC until the top of the sixth, when the Pinstripes rallied to tie thanks to an RBI Double from Carlos Beltran (his first hit since coming off the DL) and a 2-Run Single from Yangervis Solarte, both coming with two outs.

Unfortunately, the contest wouldn't stay even for long, with the Royals retaking the lead in the bottom of that frame thanks to a 3-Run Homer from Salvador Perez.

That shot to left helped take Starter Danny Duffy (ND; 5.2 IP, 3 ER), who had recently blown the lead, off the spot, and pretty much put the game out of reach, with the Yanks only scoring once more on the night when Brian Roberts grounded out in the ninth.

Note: After Matt Daley gave up another run in the bottom of the seventh, rookie Jose Ramirez entered the ballgame, tossing a scorless 1.1 innings. It wasn't perfect by any means, as the youngster did walk a batter, but overall, the outing was still successful, with 14 of Ramirez's 26 pitches going for strikes.

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/8

On this day in 1927 the New York Yankees Tony Lazzeri becomes the first Bronx Bomber to hit three home runs in one game. The last home run came in the ninth inning and tied what was a five run deficit for the Yankees at the hands of the White Sox. The Yankees would beat Chicago 12-11 in 11 innings.

On this day in 1969 the Yankees held Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium and retired the #7 uniform number in front of a crowd of 60,096. This would mark the first sellout for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium since the 1964 World Series. Mantle also received a plaque for Monument Park that Joe DiMaggio hung in center field right before Mantle reciprocates the gesture to the Yankee Clipper.