Saturday, October 3, 2015

GAME TWO Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 10/3

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles play what basically equates to a meaningless game for both clubs as these teams head in opposite directions going forward. I don’t think anyone had an October game between these two teams being meaningless before the season started but the Yankees have already clinched a playoff spot while the Orioles are going home for the winter with tough free agency questions ahead of them. Tonight in the game before the last game of the regular season and the second game of this double-header the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to face off with the Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Last chance! The playoffs start on October 6th with the New York Yankees playing host to either the Houston Astros or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The playoffs are back in the Bronx so click that Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog one last time, or maybe not, to secure your seat to root for the home team. Also be sure to head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow as we root for this team all the way to the World Series and down the Canyon of Heroes.

Game 161, let’s do it. Go Yankees!

ICYMI: We're All On the Same Page... Drinking

This team is special, they just don't know it nor do they believe it yet. But they will.

GAME TWO Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 10/3

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles will face off tonight in the penultimate game of the 2015 regular season and the second game of the double-header, thank you Mother Nature. We may see the final tune up of Yankees regulars tonight as New York seemingly has little to nothing to play for during the regular season. The playoffs are guaranteed and the home field advantage is all but guaranteed at this point as playoff baseball returns to the Bronx. Tonight the Yankees will send Luis Severino (unless the Yankees win Game One) to the mound to face off against the Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez in his last start of the year. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Severino may start this game tonight in order to perfectly line him up for a potential Game One start in the ALDS. Severino has been up since the beginning of August with the club but has not faced the Baltimore Orioles this season so this could be his first start against the Yankees division rival in his young career. 

  • Jimenez may be happy to see the 2015 season come to an end after the right-hander was not able to replicate a strong first half in the second half of the campaign. Jimenez has been inconsistent this half dropping his overall record to 12-10 and raising his ERA to 4.10.

We are likely to see a skeleton crew tomorrow, especially if the Yankees win tonight, that will resemble the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders more so than the New York Yankees. If the Yankees win tonight we may even see Gary Sanchez make his Major League debut tomorrow which would set a Major League Baseball record for the most rookies making their MLB debuts in one season set by the New York Highlanders, now known as these same New York Yankees. Win and we rest tomorrow! Go Yankees!

The Wild Card Game IS The Playoffs

Okay Yankees fans I gave you a day to celebrate and enjoy the fact that the New York Yankees have clinched a Wild Card spot so now it’s time to rant. Some people could not give their fellow Yankees fans the same courtesy and were complaining about and downplaying the clinch even before it happened and I can’t wrap my head around why.

The Wild Card Playoff Game, despite your feelings about it, is in fact a playoff game. Baseball Reference will list it as a playoff round in their playoff stats section, Fangraphs will list it as a playoff game, Major League Baseball considers it a playoff game and about 90% of the game’s fans considers it a playoff game. I personally think some Yankees fans are taking this “World Series or bust” or “we’re too good to settle for a Wild Card berth” mentality seriously. The Yankees celebrated in 1995 when they won the Wild Card, they also celebrated in 1997 when they won another Wild Card. They’ve celebrated every Wild Card berth the same way they’ve celebrated a division victory because it’s a playoff game.

New York is one of five teams to make the playoffs in the American League in 2015 and you can bet your life savings on the fact that the 10 teams that did not would absolutely consider winning a Wild Card, even the second Wild Card which the Yankees will not win, a trip to the playoffs. New York did not choose, nor should they be punished, for the playoff format. Calling it a “play-in” game is just arguing semantics if you ask me.

Why can’t fans ever just be happy and satisfied? Nobody, and I use the term for emphasis more so than its literal meaning, picked the Yankees to finish above third or fourth place in 2015 but now that the team is hosting a Wild Card round game inside Yankee Stadium those same fans are disappointed? This is Major League Baseball where parity runs amuck, luxury tax thresholds exist, profits are shared, draft spending and international signings are limited and where the talent is as a deep as it ever was. The worst team can beat the best team on any given night and no team is going 162-0. One playoff game, best of five or a best of seven doesn’t matter. The playoffs are the playoffs. 

GAME ONE Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 10/3

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles are ready to kick off the final weekend of the regular season in Major League Baseball with a head-to-head matchup. These two teams have fought one another in the American League East Division all season long and one team, the Yankees, will get rewarded for it with a postseason trip back home to Yankee Stadium while the Fighting Showalter’s are playing mere spoilers in these final three games. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound this afternoon in the first game of the double header to face off with the Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. The game will be played at 12:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The American League Wild Card playoff game will be played on Tuesday, October 6 in the Bronx, New York in front of the Yankee Stadium crowd. While the team that New York will be playing host to, rather rudely we hope, is yet to be determined all eyes will be on New York City that night. It’s up to us, the fans, to fill that stadium and rock the house and you can do that by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and by getting your postseason tickets now. Moral support works as well so be sure to head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the home team from afar and celebrate together as the team reaches the postseason for the first time since 2012.

The postseason won’t be the same for me without the Core Four but a win tonight and a win next Tuesday can ease my suffering just a tad. Go Yankees!

(Adam) Warren the Weapon

In what I am officially calling a new era of Major League Baseball fans around the Yankee Kingdom are worried. Offense is down around the league and has been for quite a few years now, although there have been signs of life in that department in the second half of 2015, parity has entered Major League Baseball giving teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates chances to win despite lower payrolls and the emphasis on young, versatile and homegrown players is being more important than ever before. You can’t just be a first baseman only and survive in this league anymore unless you can hit 30 home runs and you can’t be equally as good at two things as a pitcher in an era of “defined roles.” Well, unless you’re Adam Warren.

Adam Warren has become an absolute weapon for the New York Yankees and I’m not quite sure the league has caught on just yet. Warren the Weapon, I like that nickname FYI and I may just patent it before MLB “does” and sues someone else for putting it on a T-shirt, was on full display this week for the Yankees showing off what he brings to the table. Warren started a game against the Chicago White Sox and finished the contest with 6.0 IP, four K’s, three BB’s and just three hits allowed. He started off slow, the first inning has been his biggest issue since returning to the starting rotation, but finished strong and once again gave the team a strong chance to win a ball game. Then came the Boston Red Sox who, not to equivocate, beat the Yankees brains and their pitchers into submission the first three games of the series thus wearing down the bullpen at the worst possible time as the team looked to clinch, and it was Adam Warren who saved them all.

Warren, who was Friday night’s scheduled starter, came in out of the bullpen in Thursday night’s 10,000th win in Yankees franchise history and the game that clinched the postseason for New York, after CC Sabathia had thrown five great innings and shut down the Boston Red Sox offense. Warren pitched three innings of relief and did not give up a run as he handed the ball to Dellin Betances in the 9th inning for the save. Betances is credited with the save but Warren saved not only the game but the Yankees bullpen going forward, just like a secret weapon would.

Girardi tipped his hand a bit with this relief appearance when the Yankees needed one most as it now seems likely that Warren will be in the bullpen for the postseason. The Yankees now have a back end of the bullpen that consists of Warren, Justin Wilson, Betances and Andrew Miller which is capable of giving you almost nine innings of relief work if need be. Warren is the secret weapon, if a starter can’t give you length then Warren can pick you up. If Betances of Wilson are needed earlier than you’d like or unavailable for the day Warren can pitch late into games, he even closed a game or two for the Yankees in prior seasons, and Warren could even start a game if need be. Warren the Weapon, remember where you heard it first. 

GAME ONE Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 10/3

Welcome to October baseball Yankees family and welcome to a series that is not against either the Chicago White Sox or the Boston Red Sox. A show of hands if you’re reading this and you’re happy that the Yankees and the Red Sox are done playing head-to-head in 2015? Me too. The Yankees enter their final three games of the regular season with the Wild Card locked up and a postseason game in the Bronx looming, now their biggest battle will be with Mother Nature. Today the Yankees are scheduled to send Ivan Nova to the mound in the first game of the double-header to face off against Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles. The game will be played at 12:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Nova has looked great since his return to the Yankees starting rotation and may be pitching for his position on the team and with the franchise in 2016. The Yankees have a plethora of names to fill the 2016 starting rotation and it may become a numbers game this winter, a numbers game that Nova doesn't want to lose.

  • Chen will be making his final start of the season tonight and possibly his last start in a Baltimore Orioles uniform as he looks to hit free agency on a high note. Chen has had his best Major League season at the best possible time in 2015 posting a 3.35 ERA and 150 strikeouts. Chen is likely to become too expensive for the Orioles budget this winter.

Three more games separate the teams that are planning golfing ventures and trip to Disney with their families from the teams who get the prestige and the honor to play in the postseason. It may be just a Wild Card berth and it may only be for one game but it’s an experience and it’s an accomplishment for these teams no matter the circumstances. Us as fans are spoiled, and we’re entitled to be so, but you have to keep in mind that the human beings behind the uniforms have their same rights and entitlements. Let them celebrate and let them be happy, they earned it. Just not this week. Go Yankees!

Quick Hit: Where's Hal Steinbrenner?

Sometimes I think we all have to admit that the Boss, Mr. George Steinbrenner, spoiled us as Yankees fans. You see George thought of the Yankees as a hobby, his passion, where as it seems like his sons, Hank and Hal, think of the team as a business. Truth be told Major League Baseball is a business and the other 29 owners and franchises are probably run like a business with maybe the exception of the Los Angeles Dodgers. When George was running the show you never had to wonder where he was or what he was doing, he was in the middle of everything for better or for worse. Maybe the spoiled Yankee fan in me is coming to the surface on this early Saturday morning but where the hell has Hal Steinbrenner been this season?

You don't see Hal at the stadium in the luxury boxes, you barely see his presence at the Bernie Williams Days and the Jorge Posada Days and the latter and the only time you hear about him is when he reportedly is blocking a trade or an acquisition due to the financial ramifications. If the Yankees aren't trying to get under the luxury tax you don't hear a thing out of Hal unless he's apologizing for missing the postseason again with a "World Series caliber" team.

It's fine, this isn't a rant or anything, I'm just wondering where in the world is Hal Steinbrenner-Diego.

Scoreboard Watching: October 3, 2015

The 2015 Major League Baseball season ends tomorrow, TOMORROW! It feels like just yesterday the Yankees were losing to the Toronto Blue Jays on Opening Day, I was tweeting "Dammit Didi" four times a game and many of us were wondering if the Yankees would ever make the postseason ever again. Flash forward 160 games to Game 161 and we're telling a different story and I frankly couldn't be any happier about it.

Saturday, October 3

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles (split double-header 12:05 and 7:05)

Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays

Houston Astros @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Texas Rangers

Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/3: Wild Card Winners

As we learned yesterday in this same series the New York Yankees and the Colorado Rockies became the first ever set of Wild Card winning teams when a fourth playoff team was added to the mix. On this day in 1995 the first American League and National League Division Series were played with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, and the Atlanta Braves winning the first ever games.

Also on this day in 1947 in Game 4 of the World Series the Yankees pitcher Bill Bevens came within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. Cookie Lavagetto of the Dodgers came up with two outs in the ninth to pinch hit for Eddie Stanky and hit a two out double. The Dodgers would miraculously come back to win the game 3-2.