Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 7/21

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles will face off head-to-head tonight in a big series for both clubs, as big as can be in July anyway. The Orioles and the Yankees are battling the other three teams in the American League East Division for supremacy in a race that could go down to the final weekend of the series. First thing is first though as the Yankees send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound tonight looking for his 10th win while Wei-Yin Chen looks to keep Eovaldi at nine wins for the Orioles. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees have two more games in the Bronx this week before the team starts an extended road trip. By clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the site you can help support the blog and support the home team inside Yankee Stadium. You can also support both the blog and the team on twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow.

Eovaldi has been nicknamed "The Revolver" by some of the site while others never would have guessed he would have won 10 games all season, let alone in mid-July. Let's see if he can get that 10th win and help the Yankees get another game cushion in the division. Go Yankees!

The 2015 Yankees Have Quietly Become Dangerous

Due in large part to the latest collective bargaining agreement, luxury tax thresholds, draft slot caps, caps on international spending and other restrictions I truly believe the era of the “Super Teams” is over in Major League Baseball. When I say super teams I mean the teams that go out there and win 105 games a season and snowplow their way through the competition all the way to a World Series title. The 2009 Yankees come to mind and so do the 1998 Yankees as both teams were extremely dangerous and never out of any contest. Quietly and somewhat quickly I believe the 2015 version of these Yankees have also become quite the dangerous team as well in an era without the super team.

The 2015 New York Yankees can do it all on any given night, the problem is that the team doesn’t tend to do it all every single night which is what separates them from the super teams of the past. New York’s offense behind Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann in the middle with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner setting the table is one of the best in the American League and in all of Major League Baseball. The team can simply outslug you, especially inside Yankee Stadium, or they can single and double you to death, and the team gets especially frustrating for the opposing teams pitcher with two outs and runners in scoring position. The team is also clutch. While we won’t see another “Year of the Walk-off” like we did in 2009 this team has many late victories that either saw a game tied late or saw the team come from behind to win late, Sunday’s game as the perfect example of this.

The starting pitching can be stellar at times, even if it is just for five or six innings at a time, while the bullpen is one of the best in the league. With the bullpen the way it is currently constructed this Yankees team can turn any contest into a five or six inning contest every single night with the flexibility, durability and ability to mix and match innings and situations. If the offense gets behind late the bullpen almost always throws up zeroes to give the team a chance to come from behind and/or win the game late and the bullpen also rarely every blows a lead. The confidence that Joe Girardi has in the bullpen in evident on a daily basis when the likes of CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi are taken out of games at just 85 pitches or so every fifth day.

This may not be a super team, and with a long second half to go this may not even be a playoff team for all we know, but this team is definitely dangerous. The team is 6-1 this season with former or reigning Cy Young Award winners on the mound opposing them and they always seem to bring their “A” games against the best of the best around the league. This team may not be a super team but if it makes it to October healthy and still on this roll they may be the most dangerous team in all of Major League Baseball in 2015. 

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The New York Yankees came out of the second half with a nice little series win against the Seattle Mariners including a victory in a game that notorious Yankee-killer Felix Hernandez pitched in. The Yankees held their own at the #8 position last week and in a short sample size are likely to do the same again this week. Meanwhile the St. Louis Cardinals continued to hold on to the top spot, but just barely as the Pittsburgh Pirates continue their hot streak and continue to climb into the NL Central Division race. Who will claim the top spot? Where will the Yankees land? Keep reading.

Like always we start out with the greatest rise of the week and that goes to the Baltimore Orioles who rose one spot to the #12 position. Meanwhile the biggest fall of the week goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks who fell one all the way to the #18 position. The Yankees were able to once again remain in the #8 position after their series win over the Mariners in the Bronx.

To round out the rest of the American League East you have the Baltimore Orioles coming in at the #12 position while the Toronto Blue Jays finished the week off at the #14 position. The Tampa Bay Rays were next in the rankings with the #15 position while the Boston Red Sox are still sitting at the top of the division in the #20 position.

The five best teams in order are the #1 St. Louis Cardinals followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals. The five worst teams in the league according to the rankings are the #26 Cincinnati Reds, #27 Miami Marlins, #28 Colorado Rockies, #29 Milwaukee Brewers and the #30 Philadelphia Phillies.

Don’t get used to these rankings because a whole lot is going to change in the next two weeks. The July 31st trading deadline will come and pass while the contenders and the pretenders put a little more distance between themselves. This is shaping up to be another fun second half of Major League Baseball and if these rankings are any indicator of how close things are going to be frankly, I can’t wait. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 7/21

The New York Yankees are fresh after another off-day yesterday and look to lengthen their lead in the American League East Division before the weekend. The Yankees at one point this last weekend had the biggest lead, 4.5 games, of any division leader in the entire American League and look to lengthen that lead once again tonight in the Bronx against the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound looking for his 10th win of the season and Baltimore will send Wei-Yin Chen to the mound to oppose him. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV.

  • Eovaldi heads into his first start of the second half looking for his 10th win of the season which would lead the Yankees pitching staff in wins. Not bad for a guy that was leading the American League in hits allowed this season and led the National League in hits allowed while with the Miami Marlins in 2014. 

  • Chen will also make his first start of the second half tonight after taking a loss in his last start on July 12th. Chen gave up three runs, two of them earned, on eight hits to the Washington Nationals in a loss for Baltimore. Chen didn't walk a batter and struck out seven batters in eight innings in that loss. 

The Yankees have two more games at home in the Bronx before heading out on a long road trip that will take the club as far west as Texas. New York plays much better at home this season, especially offensively for obvious reasons, so the club has to take advantage of these home games against divisional opponents if they want to hold on and make the playoffs in 2015. Go Yankees!

The Robert Refsnyder Rant You Knew Was Coming

Everyone saw the roster move that the New York Yankees announced on Sunday, Carlos Beltran was activated and Robert Refsnyder was sent back down to Triple-A Scranton. This Yankees team would rather have a 33-year old backup shortstop who has managed a week's worth of games this season due to injury and ineffectiveness on the bench while the team carries a player who may see the Mendoza Lina moved down and renamed after him in a playoff run. Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan make sense to someone while Refsnyder gets sent back down to Triple-A, what a frustratingly typical dumb-ass move by the Yankees, but we all saw it coming didn't we?

Cashman and Yankees manager Joe Girardi need to get the same guy writing their scripts because there was a, Cool Hand Luke quote inbound, serious failure to communicate here in the Bronx. Joe Girardi said over the weekend basically that Stephen Drew was going to be learning to play third base while taking ground balls at second base and shortstop in preparation for a utility type role with the team. Me, using the common sense I was blessed with, thought that would mean that Refsnyder would stay up as the Yankees second baseman while New York went with a short bullpen or finally designated Brendan Ryan for assignment, how much more wrong could I be?

Now I know many people ranted and raved about this on Sunday and some did yesterday as well but in order for me to keep this blog post, and the blog in general, PG-13 I had to give it a couple of days to cool down inside me. Don't piss on me and tell me it is raining and I feel like that is exactly what the Yankees organization is doing right now. I don't have the numbers in front of me and frankly I don't feel like I need them, look at the attendance numbers both on YES and in Yankee Stadium for the two games that Refsnyder plays and check the attendance for the games before and the Sunday game against Seattle.

Hal Steinbrenner wants to worry about the bottom line but is paying a combined $7 million for extreme mediocrity that in layman's terms pisses off the fans and pushes the fans away from the stadium, their computers and their televisions. Cashman told the team if they kept things close in July he would get the team the pieces they need to get to the playoffs and potentially reach the World Series and unless he has a Ben Zobrist trade that seems imminent he's doing doing a great job of that either. This pisses me off and pisses me off on a personal level. Right a wrong or get the hell out of the Bronx, only a suggestion.

Bryan Van Dusen Represents The Greedy Pinstripes Again on the Radio TODAY

Vinny Brown via his Twitter

On the Sunday right before the All-Star break one of our fellow Yankees blogs, Yanks Go Yard, held a first-half round table with Ricky Keeler of YGY, Chris Carelli of Yankees Unscripted and our very own Bryan Van Dusen representing The Greedy Pinstripes. Bryan must have garnered some attention from what I believe to be a very entertaining radio show where he more than held his own despite being at a bachelor party just hours before because another Yankees-based radio show wanted to have him on.

Vinny Brown of the Vinny Brown show will have Bryan on his show at noon TODAY. The link to his spreaker account can be found HERE where you can listen to the show live. We will also try and bring you the show after the fact for those, like myself, who have to work during the day.

I'm told the agenda for the show will be discussions about the upcoming July 31st trading deadline, Alex Rodriguez's comeback season in 2015, the upcoming series with the Baltimore Orioles that begins tonight in the Bronx and I'm sure Bryan will make me proud and find a way to bash on Brian Cashman and company about the demotion of Robert Refsnyder.

Check it out, support Vinny (who can be found on Twitter by following @RealVinnyBrown) and support The Greedy Pinstripes like you guys and girls always do. We appreciate the support very much and your support allows us and motivates us to do more for you, so keep it coming and so will we.

Weekly Check In: Aaron Judge

It has to be good to be Aaron Judge right about now, doesn’t it? Nobody likes to lose whether you are in the minor leagues, the major leagues, little league or your own league you made up with your friends in your neighborhood. While some of us lose better than others the fact remains, nobody likes to lose. The good news for Judge is that he hasn’t been losing very much as a member of the Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders due to the fact that he is surrounded with such immense talent.

It has to be nice to be out in right field every fifth day with Luis Severino on the mound now throwing to catcher Gary Sanchez. It has to feel nice to know that the offensive load is taken off your shoulders a bit having a young star like Greg Bird manning first base and hitting home runs. It has to feel good that despite a little run before the All-Star break and in one game since the light at the end of the tunnel for Carlos Beltran in the Bronx may be closer than it appears in the mirror. It has to be nice to be Judge right now knocking on the door of Yankee Stadium knowing that if Brian Cashman and company don’t answer that you’re big enough to rip it off the hinges and take the league by storm.

It has to be nice to be Aaron Judge right now…. 

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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.