Tuesday, October 6, 2015

AL Wild Card Game: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 10/6

Here we go ladies and gentleman the game that we as Yankees fans have been waiting 162 games for, the return of the New York Yankees to the postseason. Call it a play-in game if you want to, call if a playoff game if you don’t but regardless there are 20 MLB teams sitting at home right now while New York is among the 10 teams still vying for the World Series trophy. The first step in most anything you do is usually the hardest and Major League Baseball is no exception as the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros face off head-to-head in a do-or-die one-game playoff series tonight. When you have one game to win who do you turn to? Well if you’re the Yankees you turn to your Japanese-born ace and star Masahiro Tanaka and if you’re Houston you turn to Dallas Keuchel the AL’s only 20-game winner in 2015. The game will be played at 8:08 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN.

Keys to the Game for the Yankees brought to you by The Greedy Pinstripes (@GreedyStripes on Twitter):

  • Keep Jose Altuve off the bases
  • Jump on Keuchel early and often in the 1st inning
  • Patience! Take pitches and get into the bullpen after the 1st
  • Don’t beat yourselves defensively
  • Talent overrides bad decisions, this team is talented just have to show it
  • Hit Carlos Gomez. I mean, just if you want to

I only ask one thing from the fans tonight, bring the confidence and bring the optimism. There’s no need to boo the team for every strikeout, every RISPfail and every hit or run allowed. This team will go NOWHERE without the cheers and the energy of the crowd, nowhere. I also ask just one thing of the team, send me a sign. If you’re going to lose put me out of my misery early. If you’re going to win then jump out early and often. My heart can’t take it, although you have my heart regardless. Go. Yankees!

Analyzing the Yankees vs. Astros Head-To-Head Matchups in 2015

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros have faced off seven times head-to-head this season and will go for an even eighth time tonight in just around three hours. The Yankees lost the season series to Houston with four losses in their seven matchups, and two of those four losses came at the hands of tonight's starter Dallas Keuchel, leaving New York and manager Joe Girardi searching for answers tonight. Will Keuchel respond well pitching on three days of rest for the first time in his career and can Masahiro Tanaka be the stopper, the ace and the workhorse that the New York Yankees signed him to be? Those answers are hard to answer but let's look at the seven matchups between these two teams this season to analyze just how much of a chance the Yankees have of moving on to Kansas City or going home for the winter.

Gm# Date Tm Opp W/L R RA Win Loss Save
73 Thursday, Jun 25 NYY @ HOU L 0 4 Keuchel Warren
74 Friday, Jun 26 NYY @ HOU W 3 2 Eovaldi Harris Betances
75 Saturday, Jun 27 NYY @ HOU W 9 6 Shreve Neshek Betances
76 Sunday, Jun 28 NYY @ HOU L 1 3 McHugh Pineda Gregerson
124 Monday, Aug 24 NYY HOU W-wo 1 0 Miller Perez
125 Tuesday, Aug 25 NYY HOU L 1 15 Keuchel Nova
126 Wednesday, Aug 26 NYY HOU L 2 6 McHugh Pineda
As you can see by this very neat and clean embed above the Yankees are 1-2 inside Yankee Stadium and 0-2 against Keuchel this season as I said. Even in the Yankees victories they did not exactly hit any of the Astros pitchers especially well while the Astros got to Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda early and often in their most recent pair of contests. What it means for tonight remains to be seen, and with this being the second season it probably means relatively little, but this has to be in the back of the Yankees players heads... no?

Joe Girardi and his binder are in full swing this season so don't think they haven't seen these numbers and seen the Keuchel matchups. They have. Good luck Yankees family.

The Final Yankees Leaders Post for 2015

The 2015 season is now officially in the books and we, the fans, are in the final off day before the American League and National League Wild Card playoffs begin. The American League Playoff will go down tomorrow between the New York Yankees and the --- while the National League Playoff will happen on Wednesday between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs. The Yankees, like these other three teams listed, exceeded expectations this season behind deep lineups and strong pitching all the way to the postseason. That deep lineup and strong pitching for the Yankees was led by the following players, the Yankees leaders in key categories for the 2015 season:


Games Played:
Chase Headley - 156

At Bats:
Chase Headley - 581

Runs Scored:
Brett Gardner - 94

Chase Headley - 150

Carlos Beltran - 34

Home Runs:
Alex Rodriguez - 33

Brian McCann - 94

Carlos Beltran - .276


CC Sabathia - 29

Justin Wilson & Dellin Betances - 74 each

Nathan Eovaldi - 14

Ivan Nova - 11

Bullpen: Dellin Betances - 1.50
Rotation: Luis Severino - 2.89

Rotation: Michael Pineda - 156
Bullpen: Dellin Betances 131

Now the postseason is upon us and the records, the stats everything else in the game is set back to zero. This is truly the second season and a new season and that new seasons begins on October, 6 inside Yankee Stadium with the above players leading the charge. THIS is the postseason. 

Yankees Postseason Roster Announced

The New York Yankees postseason roster has been announced before tonight’s game. The roster is as follows:

SP: Masahiro Tanaka

Luis Severino, Ivan Nova, Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, Adam Warren, James Pazos and Bryan Mitchell in the pitching department.

Brian McCann, John Ryan Murphy and Gary Sanchez for catchers. Alex Rodriguez is the DH and Greg Bird, Robert Refsnyder, Dustin Ackley, Brendan Ryan, Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley are the infielders. In the outfield you have Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Chris Young, Slade Heathcott and Rico Noel.

Almost game time, let’s get to it. Go Yankees!!!

AL Wild Card Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 10/6

The 2015 Major League Baseball Postseason kicks off in roughly eight hours and eight minutes, but who is counting, with the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros facing off head-to-head in the Bronx. Forget the Yankees 1-6 record in their last seven games and forget how the team basically backed into the postseason and into home field advantage, this is a new season and it’s a second season where anything can happen. With that said I can’t see much of anything happening against these two starting pitchers as both aces of their respective staffs will be on the mound, #AcesGonnaAce. For the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka makes his first playoff start of his MLB career on five days of rest, his optimal amount of rest per the Yankees coaching staff, while the Astros will counter with Dallas Keuchel who will also be making his first playoff start of his MLB career and his first start ever on three days of rest, that’s probably not what you want. The game will be played at 8:08 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN.

  • Tanaka made his last start after battling a hamstring injury and lasted five innings in the start. The results were less important, four runs allowed, than the fact that he came through it healthy but if New York is looking for something to build on it is the fact that after presumably knocking the early game rust off Tanaka looked just as dominant as ever in his last three innings. Tanaka will not be allowed any rust in this start and will have to have all his pitches going, especially the splitter, if the Yankees want a chance tonight. This is why the Yankees signed Tanaka, to be the stopper and to be the ace, and he needs to step up tonight.

  • Keuchel was the only pitcher in the American League to win 20 games this season and the only pitcher in the league to have 16 consecutive shutout innings against the New York Yankees this season. Keuchel last pitched on Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he earned his 20th win and will go on just three days of rest for the first time in his young Major League career. Keuchel has pitched on just two days of rest before but that start came after throwing 1.1 IP of relief, not six innings against a Major League caliber offense. No one knows how the southpaw will react.

Win or go home, the ultimate one-game playoff. In my personal opinion, and if asked I’d say just about every analyst or expert would agree, the New York Yankees are the best team suited for a one-game playoff. Dellin Betances last pitched on Saturday and comes into the contest with two days of rest while both Justin Wilson and Andrew Miller had their outing severely limited on Sunday. Conceivably the Yankees “Big Three” in the bullpen could give you anywhere from five-to-six innings of relief tonight while Adam Warren could available for three more in a perfect scenario. With the day off tomorrow, assuming a victory, the bullpen would head into a potential ALDS fully rested and ready to roll.

All New York has to do is get past Dallas Keuchel, which is no easy task. Will the bright lights get to the southpaw? Will the stage and the pressure make the young Houston Astros team crack? Who knows, you have to tune in to find out. Optimism, confidence, victory. Go Yankees!

Quick Hit: Recapping the 2015 Season in a Snap Shot

Baseball Reference is one of those must bookmark websites if you are a fan of any of the 30 Major League Baseball teams. Before I was a blogger I used to use the site quite often but ever since Bryan Van Dusen and myself began this journey almost four years ago I have used this site for something almost every single day. With the 2015 regular season now officially in the books and this being the final off day before the postseason let's take a look at the season's final screenshot.

Welcome to the 2015 postseason ladies and gentleman.

Yankees Batters vs. Dallas Keuchel This Season

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros are your 2015 representatives in the American League Wild Card round of the playoffs. In no surprise, especially for Yankees fans, New York will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound tonight to face off with Dallas Keuchel for the Astros. The Yankees have seen Keuchel a total of two times this season with little to no success against the tough lefty, although Keuchel will be going on three days of rest for the first time in his career tonight. Keuchel has dominated the Yankees this season and dominated anyone and everyone inside Minute Maid Park... tonight's game goes down in the Bronx though.... stay tuned. 

Here is a quick breakdown courtesy of ESPN.com of what the Yankees offense has done against Keuchel this season. Do the Yankees stand a chance? You be the judge.

October 6, 2015 Playoff Schedule

Just one game around the league tonight as the postseason gets kicked off in style with the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 
Masahiro Tanaka vs. Dallas Keuchel
8:00 pm ET on ESPN

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/6: Midges Attack

The New York Yankees made the postseason once again in 2007 extending the team's consecutive streak of making the playoffs to 13 straight seasons as they drew the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. On this day in 2007 the Yankees and Indians played in Game 2 of the ALDS at Jacobs Field in a game that the Yankees had in hand before the eight inning. Joba Chamberlain came in to try and hold the lead and hand the ball to Mariano Rivera but a rare infestation of insects, or midges, appeared and took over the pitchers mound and the field. Joba threw a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score in Joba's first blown save of the season.

Also on this day in 2005 the Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi won the American League Comeback Player of the Year award. Ken Griffey Jr. won the award for the National League in the first time that the award was given out by the fans vote on MLB.com. Giambi finished the season with a .271 average with 32 home runs and 87 RBI.

Also on this day in 1995 Bernie Williams set one of his many records in postseason history as he became the first player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same postseason game. The Mariners fan who caught the eight inning blast was unaware of the milestone and foolishly threw the ball back onto the field.

Finally on this day in 1985 the Yankees Phil Niekro became the 18th and oldest player in major league history to win 300 games when he shut out the Toronto Blue Jays on the final game of the season. Niekro was 46 years old and 188 days and would ultimately finish with 318 victories.