Thursday, June 18, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins 6/18

The New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins are in the championship rounds now as they face off head-to-head for the fourth and final time this week. Will Miami land the decisive knockout blow forcing the Yankees to tap out or can New York come roaring back to take the series to decision? Only one way to find out as CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees and Mat Latos takes the mound for Miami. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees remain home after this series to play host to the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies. To see either of these series live and in person without breaking the bank simply click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to get your tickets through our friends at Ticket Monster. If you can’t make it live then that’s not an issue, simply jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow and/or join us in our comments section of the site to interact during each and every game.

Sabathia is in the red corner, the Marlins are in the blue corner and both are ready. It’s time to settle this, go Yankees!

Girardi knows what he wants to do with Miller-less bullpen

Losing a shutdown closer like Andrew Miller certainly won't help the Yankees in the long run, but manager Joe Girardi has a plan to weaken the blow.

The plan includes more reliance on youngster Chasen Shreve, Girardi said Wednesday.

"I've said Shreve's my seventh (inning man), (Justin) Wilson's my eighth and Dellin (Betances) is my ninth," Girardi told's Ryan Hatch"That's what it is right now, and we'll continue to go with that."

The Yankees have won twice since Miller was placed on the DL with a forearm strain, and in both victories, Girardi has followed his new strategy. Wednesday's contest, however, proved that the Yankees' bullpen is still somewhat unreliable without the lefty -- Wilson having recorded just one out in the eighth before the Marlins had runners on the corners.

Indeed, question marks remain throughout the Yankees' late innings -- even with Betances regularly dominating everyone.

"(Betances) doesn't really need to show me anything else," Girardi said. 

Betances has successfully converted both of his save opportunities over the last week, lowering his already-phenomenal ERA to 0.26. It's fair to say he's the pen's best arm at the moment, though Shreve and Wilson have also showed promise in recent weeks.

And considering how inconsistent the Yankees have been this season, they're likely going to have to keep it up.

"We've just got to go out there and pick up whoever needs to be picked up," Shreve said in April, via the New York Post. "And we've been doing that well."

A-Rod Isn’t The Only One Close to Milestones

Many times this season we have discussed the milestones that Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez is creeping up on including him tying and passing Willie Mays, Alex tying and passing Barry Bonds and Lou Gehrig on the all-time RBI list and Alex eclipsing 3,000 hits in his career. Alex has seen his name rocket up the all-time lists in many categories this season but he isn’t the only one close to a pretty substantial milestone, The Greedy Pinstripes is as well.

As I write this the blog is now under 7,000 views away from 1,000,000 views all-time. When we started this blog back in 2012 I never had a five year plan for the site that included hitting 3,000 Twitter followers, which @GreedyStripes did earlier this season, and 1,000,000 views on the site total. In three and a half years we are going to surpass both of those expectations and I have to say it is one of the most humbling experiences of my life.

I didn’t even want a blog and 993,000 + views later I am glad there were two gentleman out there big enough to carry me in kicking and screaming. So the countdown has begun as the pursuit of 1,000,000 views draws nearer and nearer.

Where will you be when The Greedy Pinstripes eclipses 1,000,000 views? 

My Plan to Expand MLB to 32 Teams: Part 1

About a year ago I thought it would be fun to take a look at whether it would be a good idea for Major League Baseball, or whether it would be conceivably possible, to expand to 32 teams much like the NBA and NFL. The key word to that first sentence is that this was done for fun so if you have constructive criticism or something that I missed or that could be improved on by all means let me know in the comments section but just keep that in mind, this is all hypothetical. I felt the need to update this post with the recent events in the world surrounding the diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba with potential exhibition games, spring training games and possibly more coming to the native island that sits just 85 miles off the coast of Miami.

My reasoning for this post was that ever since the second Wild Card in each league was added the fun has been taken out of the July 31st trading deadline. As a Yankees fan I used to constantly refresh MLBTradeRumors and such waiting to see who the Yankees would acquire or trade for every season and I used to love getting on my Playstation on August 1st and trading all the players on my MLB game to keep the rosters current (before online game play really got popular). The fun of the July 31st trading deadline has been taken out of the game because with the second Wild Card there are just too many contenders and pretenders and not enough sellers in the market.

MLB wants five playoff teams in each league and wants the television ratings that come along with it (this is a business after all) then have no fear because I have a solution. Rather than contracting teams like the Miami Marlins and the Minnesota Twins, which has been discussed in years past under the Bud Selig regime, why not add two more teams? You turn three divisions of five teams each into four divisions of four teams each and go back to a single Wild Card winner. You can always go to the eight teams making the playoffs like the NFL later on if you would like, although I don't think that works in MLB unless you want World Series games in December.

What lucky cities would be presented with the new franchises you ask? I'm glad you asked!

To be continued.....

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins 6/18

For the final time this week the New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins will face off head-to-head inside Yankee Stadium. The first two games of this series came inside Marlins Park where Miami took care of business with the final two games going down in the Bronx. In the finale the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off against another tough Marlins pitcher Mat Latos. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia is coming into this start fresh off a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. Sabathia allowed four runs on eight hits, two of those hits of the home run variety, in five innings while striking out three batters and walking none. Sabathia will look to start a winning streak for the Yankees tonight.

  • Latos is coming off possibly his best start of the season as he struck out 11 batters in a victory over the Colorado Rockies. Latos has not been as advertised since Miami acquired him from Cincinnati this winter but with his velocity back up to 96 MPH and his legs apparently finally healthy this may be a long night for the Yankees. Latos has never faced the Yankees in his career.

The Yankees stay home tomorrow night to play host to the Detroit Tigers in a three game series while the Marlins go somewhere. I don’t know where they are going and frankly I don’t care where they go they just have to get the hell out of here. What a pesky team that should not beat up on the Yankees like they have this week. Oh well, such is the life of a Major League Baseball franchise playing in the grind that is a 162 game season. Go Yankees!

The Curious Case of Nathan Eovaldi

Before the 2015 season started I was one of the very few to stand up and applaud Brian Cashman for the trade that brought Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones to the team for David Phelps and Martin Prado. Don’t get me wrong I loved having Phelps and I loved having Prado on the team but after Shane Greene was traded away I thought the team needed another starting pitcher and I thought Eovaldi was going to be that guy. I quickly donned Eovaldi by the moniker of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Eovaldi” because of his inconsistencies on the mound and he has done nothing to distance himself from the nickname, he’s been consistently inconsistent this season.

Eovaldi has thrown four quality starts this season of at least six innings and three runs or less while he has essentially called in four starts for the Yankees in 2015 allowing four runs or more in a contest. Eovaldi has pitched five innings or less in five of his starts this season while he has given the team more than six innings just five times this season. What's odd is he is second on the team in victories with five while he only has two losses to his credit with the help of six no-decisions in 13 starts. While I understand that Eovaldi is a fourth starter and should essentially be relied upon as so you have to expect a little more out of him after the trade and all the hype that came with him and his loud arm. 

The problem here is the Yankees are stuck with him. You don’t want to move that straight fastball to the bullpen but at the same time you don’t want to waste the occasional gem in an inning or two of work either. He had minor league options remaining but I am about 99% sure that he has enough consecutive years (games wise, not calendar wise) of service time that his options are erased essentially erasing any plans to send him down to Triple-A as well. Eovaldi can’t have much trade value after laying goose eggs in a few starts this season and failing to get out of the first inning leaving him in the Yankees lap as their problem for the rest of this season. What will the Yankees do and how will Eovaldi react to it? That is the curious case of Nathan Eovaldi. 

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Wake Up Against Detroit

New York has this weird ability to lay down against teams they are supposed to beat and pick up their game against the tough teams in the league. With Detroit coming to town for three games the Yankees will find a way to win two of them at least.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Greg Bird

Greg Bird has been off the disabled list for a couple of weeks now and picked up right where he left off in the power department. Bird is currently playing at Double-A Trenton with the Trenton Thunder and while his batting average has been severely lacking his power numbers have not suffered for it. As a first baseman you would hope to see a little more average moving forward but if he can showcase 30 home run power then you deal with it, see Mark Teixeira.

My only concern with Bird is the injury history, an injury history that may lead New York to trade him if they are as concerned as I am about it. Bird has a history of back issues which moved him from the catcher position to first base and had another bout with the injury bug this season already. The promise is there and so is the offense and the defense but it would be a shame to see the back injury bug rob another Yankees first baseman of a promising career. Let’s hope I’m just being the worrier that I am in my nature and we see Bird in Triple-A and then the Major Leagues soon enough.


This Day in New York Yankees History 6/18: Roger is Acquitted & Derek is Grand

On this day in 2012 Roger Clemens was finally acquitted of all charges after a ten week trial. Clemens was found not guilty to lying and obstructing Congress when he testified about his steroid use in baseball. Clemens claimed that his success later in his career was due to "over the top" work ethic and not performance enhancing drugs.

Also on this day in 2005 Derek Jeter finally hit his first grand slam of his career. Jeter had accumulated 136 at bats and 155 plate appearances with the bases loaded before taking one out over the fences. The grand salami ended the longest drought, in at bats and number of home runs, among current major leaguers without hitting a grand slam.

Also on this day in 1979 Billy Martin came back to manage for the Yankees for the second time, replacing Bob Lemon. Lemon replaced Martin last season and led the team to the World Series title before being replaced by Martin the next season. Martin will spend 95 games as the manager of the club and will finish in fourth place winning 55 of those games.

Finally on this day in 1977 the Bronx erupted into flames when Yankees manager Billy Martin removed All Star Reggie Jackson from a game in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. Martin later explained that he did not appreciate Jackson's "curious" approach to a fly ball that turned into a cheap double for Jim Rice. In the dugout the two began screaming at one another and had to be separated by Yogi Berra and Elston Howard. The Bronx was burning.