Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 9/9

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles are just about ready to kick off the finale of their three game set this week in the Bronx. The Yankees may be looking past this game a bit and who could blame them as the Toronto Blue Jays, the team they are chasing in the American League East, come to town tomorrow night for a huge four game series inside Yankee Stadium. It's Joe Girardi's job to keep the team focused on tonight and CC Sabathia's job to get the team started with a strong pitching performance. Opposing Sabathia will be Ubaldo Jimenez for the Orioles. The game will begin at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

To see any of the four games this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays be sure to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog. Be prepared to open your wallet though as these games are some of the most expensive third-party ticket buying games of the season, and for good reason. If you can't make it to the Bronx or you need your arm and a leg that it will cost to see the game at this point simply jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us during the game and root for the Yankees for the remainder of the 2015 season.

I'ts CC Day, let's see if that's going to be a good thing or a bad thing. Go Yankees!

USA Today's Weekly MLB Power Rankings

"Yankees make me feel like...." - Chris Archer

Another week of Major League Baseball is officially in the books and as far as the race between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays in concerned not much has changed. Every time New York takes a step forward with a 8-2 record in their last 10 that gets the team within 0.5 games of the division lead the Blue Jays counter with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games to push the deficit back to just a half a game before play started last night. Not much changed in the standings and I don't expect much to change on these power rankings from the USA Today either.

The New York Yankees finished with the #8 position this week while the Toronto Blue Jays finished slightly ahead of New York with the #4 position. The rest of the American League East finished the week with the Tampa Bay Rays finishing with the #15 position while the Baltimore Orioles continued their free fall with the #18 position. Boston may be in last place in the American League East Division and the last in these rankings with the #19 position it may not be long before the team crawls out of the basement and into fourth place in both the rankings and the division.

The biggest rise of the week goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers who rose two spots to the #7 position while the biggest fall of the week goes to the Atlanta Braves who fell five spots all the way to the #30 position. The top spot in the rankings went to the St. Louis Cardinals who began a Top Five of the Cardinals, the Kansas City Royals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The worst team in the rankings this week is the Atlanta Braves who finished #30 and was preceded by the #29 Philadelphia Phillies, the #28 Colorado Rockies, the #27 Miami Marlins and the #26 Cincinnati Reds.

The trading deadlines are gone and reinforcements have arrived so all #30 Major League Baseball teams are now all in, for better or for worse. This is going to be one hell of a month of September around the league and I'm super excited to see it all unfold. Stay tuned to these rankings so we can pay attention to all 30 MLB teams so you don't have to.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Your Favorite Girardi-isms

We all know, love and admire the Yankees legend Yogi Berra, sometimes for better or worse. We've all heard of Yogi-ism's and some of the off the wall things the former Yankees catcher has said in his 90 years and counting on this Earth, some are funny and some just make you wonder. Quotes like "it's getting late early" or "no one goes to that place anymore, it's too crowded" or my personal favorite "if you come to a fork in the road, take it" will likely forever follow Berra and are unlikely to be replicated again in that magnitude. The closest we as fans of today have may be Yankees current manager Joe Girardi who has had a few quotes that have become custom to his press conferences as well. What are your favorites? Go!
“I kicked it around in my head. It's basically just been a thought in my head. I haven't spoken to him about it.”

“I thought we had a very good day. Pitchers were able to throw with hitters standing in.”

“We'll just kind of wait to see how he feels. If he says he is ready to go, he's ready to go.”

“I thought he threw better than the score indicated. We didn't make some plays behind him and that's when things happened.”

“We have a plan for what we're doing.”

“With our guys, it shouldn't be a problem. They're probably too young to shave anyway.”

Keep them going Joe and maybe one day down the road we will have your quotes on the side bar of our blog right next to Yogi's. Enjoy the off day and this little fun post we had Yankees family.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 9/9

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles are ready to finish off their three game series head-to-head tonight inside Yankee Stadium. The Yankees welcome CC Sabathia off the 15 day disabled list and back into the starting rotation as New York replaces injured Nathan Eovaldi with Sabathia for at least the next two weeks of the season. The Orioles meanwhile will send Ubaldo Jimenez out to the mound tonight looking to keep Baltimore in the hunt for a second Wild Card spot in the American League. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia will be activated off the 15 day disabled list before tonight's game after leaving his last start with right knee pain. The official diagnosis was right knee inflammation and is not the first time Sabathia's knee has bothered him. 

  • Jimenez did something in his last start not many pitchers can say of late, he beat the mighty Toronto Blue Jays. Jimenez did walk six batters but completed six innings, something he has only done 11 times in his 27 starts this season, but was able to grind out a victory for Baltimore. 

It will be interesting to see what CC Sabathia looks like in his first start back off the disabled list. Sabathia was wearing a protective sleeve over his surgically repaired right knee before landing on the disabled list and will come back with a brace that will reportedly be non-restrictive. Will it take a while for CC to adjust to having the brace on the knee and can he pitch effectively with it? Only one way to find out, Go Yankees!

New York Yankees on the 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

The New York Yankees have sent a total of 53 players, managers and executives to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and have seen another six broadcasters receive the Ford C. Frick Award from Cooperstown in the franchise's storied history. Could New York send another former player to the Hall of Fame and the shrine that is Cooperstown, New York in 2016?

The latest former Yankees player, although he went into the Hall wearing a Arizona Diamondbacks hat, was Randy Johnson breaking a drought that had been around since 2009 when former Yankee Rickey Henderson, who went in as a member of the Oakland Athletics, got elected into Cooperstown. Three former Yankees are on the ballot for the 2016 and while two of them will forever be linked to steroids and PED's one player has a true shot at immortality. Those three players are of course Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield.

We won't spend too much time here on Clemens but what about Sheffield and Mussina? Mussina pitched eight of his 18 season career with the Yankees and narrowly missed winning 300 games and striking out 3,000 batters in his career. Mussina got within four outs of a perfect game three different times and missed a perfect game inside Fenway Park by just one strike, eff you Carl Everett, during his career for one of his four one-hitters in his career. Mussina was on the ballot in 2015 and earned 24.6% of the vote on a ballot loaded down with talent, expect that number to sky rocket in 2016. Will it be 75% next season? That's unlikely in my opinion but he could be there by 2017 or 2018 at the latest when more people look at his numbers in the height of the steroid and PED era that is keeping so many hitters out of the Hall.

Gary Sheffield played in Yankees pinstripes for three of his 22 seasons in Major League Baseball as New York was one of the eight professional teams he played for in his career. In three seasons Sheffield belted 76 home runs and hit .291 adding to his hit totals that were above 2,600 hits and 500 home runs when he finally decided to hang it up. Sheffield was named in the 2007 Mitchell Report that accused him of using steroids though likely erasing his "500 home runs is an automatic ticket into the Hall of Fame" card.

I'm not sure any of the three former Yankees will get into the Hall this winter but if one player does it's likely to be Mussina. That Mitchell Report is just too damning for offensive players and Sheffield will suffer from it.

Quick Hit: Brian McClutch

Has anyone been better or more important to this Yankees club since Mark Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin? Has anyone been more important to this Yankees club all season long, especially in the clutch, than Brian McCann? In a word, no.

Bases empty: .212/.293/.418
Runners on base: .285/.368/.559
Runners in scoring position: .327/.410/.664
Runners in scoring position, two outs: .302/.439/.604
Runners at first and second: .415/.500/.927
*stats courtesy of Lohud

Numbers like that translate into good September numbers and even better October numbers.

Weekly Check In: Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees decided against calling up their top positional prospect during September call ups this season Aaron Judge and Judge is making this look like the right decision unfortunately. Judge has struggled in Triple-A essentially since the "injury" that kept him out about a week for the RailRiders and ever since he was seen in the Scranton locker room with his back wrapped up. New York played the injury off as no big deal and nothing to report on or worry about but the box score tells an entirely different story.

Judge has been basically non-existent since the "injury" and ended his regular season on Sunday with an 0-for-5 with a K. While the Yankees outfielder has hit the occasional home run he has also seen his strikeout totals steadily climb in his Triple-A career. It probably was the best call to give him the playoffs in Triple-A to go through without expectations and a long winter to rest, rehab and work on whatever is ailing him.


RiverDogs’ Kamplain Tabbed SAL Pitcher of the Week

Alabama-native takes home award with 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA in two starts

CHARLESTON, SC - Charleston RiverDogs left-handed pitcher Justin Kamplain received the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week Award for games played August 31 – September 7 on Tuesday. For the week, Kamplain went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two games started with no allowed on nine hits, he did not walk anyone and struck out 11 across 12 1/3 innings.

Kamplain, a native of Jasper, Alabama and a former University of Alabama standout, began the week with 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Asheville Tourists in game two of a doubleheader on Monday August 31st. He allowed six hits, two of which were extra-base hits, he did not walk anyone and retired four by way of the K. The 22-year old’s second start of the week was better than his first as he tossed six-scoreless innings against the Augusta GreenJackets. Montgomery held the GreenJackets to just three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven.

The final four starts of the season were outstanding for Kamplain. He went 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA, allowing three runs, all earned, on 21 hits across 24 2/3 innings pitched. He has walked only two and struck out 15 during the final month of the season. In 26 games, 25 of which were starts, Kamplain went 5-14 with a 4.29 ERA. He finished second in the league in strikeouts with 119, three shy of the league leader, Sam Howard from Asheville.

Kamplain was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 18th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Alabama. A 6’0” 175-pound lefty, Kamplain is the third RiverDog to be honored by the South Atlantic League with a pitcher/player of the week award in 2015. Lefty Jordan Montgomery won Pitcher of the Week for his work from May 18-24, he is the only other pitcher to be honored, while infielder Vince Conde took home the Player of the Week award for August 10-16.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/9: Jeter Passes Ruth

As we all know Derek Jeter currently sits at the top of many Yankees records including the all-time hits list for New York but Jeter moved into second place on that very list on this day in 2008. Jeter passed the Yankees legend Babe Ruth on the list with his 2,874th hit of his career, a first inning single in a Yankees 7-1 victory on the road. At the time the only player ahead of Jeter on the Yankees all-time hit list was Lou Gehrig with his 2,721 hits.

Also on this day in 1998 surprisingly the New York Yankees clinched the AL East division crown when they increased their lead over the second place Boston Red Sox to 20.5 games. The Yankees would set an American League record in 1998 with a 114-48 record but I think clinching the division on September 9th may be more impressive.

Finally on this day in 1961 the M&M boys Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle passed another set of Yankees teammates in the MLB record books. On this day Maris hit his 56th home run of the season and when you combine that with Mantle's 52 the Yankees teammates held the record for the most single season home runs by a pair of teammates with 108. The M&M boys passed the 1927 Yankees teammates and legends Babe Ruth (60) and Lou Gehrig(47) for the MLB record.