Saturday, April 30, 2016

Red Sox Blow Out Yankees, 8-0

     The Yankees came into Saturday nights game looking to rebound from a loss where they again could not find the big hit. Getting another solid but fruitless outing from their ace Masahiro Tanaka, New York needed yet another quality start from their big right-hander, Michael Pineda. Pineda would need to rebound from a rough start to the season, carrying a 1-2 record with a 6.95 ERA. Boston sent Rick Porcello and his 4-0 record to oppose the Yankees. If  New York had any ideas of tying the series tonight, they would need someone to wake up the sleeping bats and put some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. But, again, that did not happen.
     The Achilles' heel for Pineda all season long has been his inability to put batters away.  His struggles would continue tonight, beginning in the bottom of the second inning, when Pineda could not put away Christian Vasquez with two outs, serving up a single to the rookie backstop. Vasquez would advanced to third base on a double by the following batter Jackie Bradley Jr..  And then it looked like he got out of it when Mookie Betts hit a soft fly ball to right, where it was perfect Lee placed for a two RBI double, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Pineda did not record his first 1-2-3 inning until the bottom of the fifth, which was his final inning, having eclipsed the 100-pitch threshold at that point.
       In the bottom of the sixth, in relief of Pineda, Chasten Shreve walked Brock Holt with one out. Striking out Christian Vasquez, Shreve served up a two-out RBI hit to Jackie Bradley Jr. who laced a triple into centerfield, scoring Holt, extending the lead to three. Girardi then replaced Shreve with Kirby Yates, Who immediately served up a single to Mookie Betts, his third RBI, giving the Red Sox a 4-0 lead. And then David Ortiz struck again in the bottom of the seventh, homering to right-center off of newly inserted reliever Johnny Barbato.  The righty reliever then walked Hanley Ramirez and gave up a single to Travis Shaw, moving Ramirez to third-base, still with no outs. Brock Holt then drove in Ramirez, reaching base on a Starlin Castro error, 6-0. Nick Goody would then replace Barbato, immediately allowing the fourth triple of the season for Jackie Bradley Jr., scoring both Shaw and Holt, breaking it wide open, 8-0.
     Porcello was dominant against the lifeless Yankee offense. He pitched seven shut out innings, allowing just five hits, walking one and striking out six. The Yankees inept offense continues to paralyze any hopes of turning this disasterous season around. If I was Joe Girardi, I seriously would be turning over some tables in the clubhouse after a showing like tonight.
     New York was unable to push across any runs in the final two innings, leaving the score at 8-0. After losing the first two games of the series, life doesn't get any easier tomorrow as they face Red Sox ace, left-hander David Price, in the final game of the series beginning at 8:05 PM ET on ESPN.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/29

It’s Saturday night and most of us don’t have to go to work tomorrow so what could be better than staying up late and watching a good ole’ Yankees vs. Red Sox matchup. That’s just what we’re in for tonight as the New York Yankees travel to Fenway Park for the second of their three-game set this weekend in Boston. Tonight the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound, and yes Red Sox fans only Michael Pineda, to face off with Rick Porcello for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET and can be seen on MLB Network and MLB TV.

Just one more game inside Fenway Park after tonight and then the team makes the trip to Oriole Park and Camden Yards to face off with the first place Baltimore Orioles. This is how you get caught back up in the division and make moves from the bottom to the top. Make moves and follow along by following us on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) for this game and every game this season.

The season is getting serious early and it’s getting late far too early. Turn it around and put your game faces on. Go Yankees!

Does the Rivalry Need a Spark?

Earlier in the day when I wrote up my game preview I mentioned that the rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent years. Aside from one trip to the World Series the Boston Red Sox have been cell dwellers in the American League East while the reign at the top by the Yankees has come to a screeching halt since Hal Steinbrenner has taken over the team. We thought we would see more of the rivalry after the Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz bro-code breakup but they have since kissed and made up leaving the fans wanting more. Wanting more of a rivalry. Does this rivalry need a spark?

To answer the question simply, yes. While the rivalry will always be a thing with the fans and with the broadcasters on both ESPN and MLB Network they do that so you will tune in or because someone writes their lines for them. The rivalry between the players is just not there anymore. I can’t think of off the top of my head one player I truly hate on the current Red Sox roster and I can’t think of any bad blood or anything between any current Red Sox player and Yankees player. In fact I have a ton of respect for the likes of Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and especially for their manager John Farrell. Both teams have so many new faces and so many young guys though that there hasn’t been enough time to truly brew a true rivalry.

With free agency the rivalry sees new faces in different places all the time and the new guys to see the rivalry this time around most notably are Starlin Castro for the Yankees and tomorrow night’s starter David Price for the Red Sox. Luckily for the Red Sox and luckily for the rivalry Price is the kind of personality and the kind of pitcher that could easily spark the rivalry. Price is not the hot head pitcher that will throw at Yankees batters like Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira but he’s a competitor and a little loose with his lips in some of his interviews. That’s the kind of electric personality that sparks the rivalry not only with the fans but with the players as well.

So how do you spark a rivalry or rekindle a flame that has been lit for close to 100 years? Well besides Michael Pineda throwing at David Ortiz’s head tonight in the contest the best way to do it is for both teams to rebuild and win consistently. The Yankees are in the middle of their rebuild on the fly while the Red Sox are nearing the finish line on theirs in my opinion. The Red Sox have assembles quite the impressive cast of players on the positional side of things but the starting pitching and bullpen is still lacking while the Yankees are stockpiling young talent and a basketball team worth of pitchers on the other side of the equation.

So in a nutshell, yes this rivalry needs a spark and it needs a spark in a big way. No longer do the games last over four hours and no longer do the casual fans care about these games broadcasted on Saturday or Sunday nights. It’s just another game for most until Dellin Betances blows a 100 MPH fastball by David Ortiz in the ALCS or until New York can avenge their 2004 collapse in the playoffs where the World Series got cancelled all because the Yankees got up 3-0 in the series. The Yankees and Red Sox rivalry hasn’t been a true rivalry since then and it won’t be until they are both power houses once again like they were in the late 90’s and 2000’s. 

Breaking News: Yankees Call Up 3B Drew Bridges?

Have the New York Yankees called up third baseman Drew Bridges from the Charleston Riverdogs? According to the roster and transactions page on, SEEN HERE, they have leaving you to wonder what's the future hold for Chase Headley.

No one is talking about this yet so more when news breaks.

Just When You Thought the Game Was Getting Clean

Just when you thought Major League Baseball was finally starting to get ahead of this whole steroids and performance enhancing drugs thing you find two players getting suspended at the Major League level for 80 games each. In recent weeks the Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello was suspended for 80 games while vehemently denying any use and any allegations while the Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was also popped on a failed drug test this week. This game is not getting any cleaner the drugs are just getting harder to detect and the players are getting sneakier which could complicate things when the two sides go sit down at the table to talk about the subject and a new collective bargaining agreement this winter.

It’s not just the Major Leagues that are struggling with PED use and suspensions but it’s minor league baseball as well. You can go on Baseball America once a month and see the list of two or three, sometimes even four or five, players that got suspended that month for PED use. You know why? In the minor leagues it’s almost worth the risk to do it at least once. I’m not condoning the use of steroids nor am I making it out to be okay that they are using it but some players you have to remember are international free agents. They left everything they had and everything they knew to come here on the off chance they may make it to the show and they have very little to lose and the world to gain by using and not getting caught. The Major League players should know better especially MLB players like Dee Gordon who just signed a monster contract extension with his club.

Truth be told the game may never be clean because the world will never be free of dirty people looking to cheat the system and exploit anything and everything with every opportunity that they can. We are living in a world where people will cheat and exploit something as simple as a video game or a math test. We are living in a world where lawyers can be vilified but at the same time they can rise to fame and stardom, remember Johnny Cochran? We are living in a world where if you’re not cheating you’re not trying and if you’re not trying you’re not feeding your kids as well as the next guy. I may be over simplifying this thing but I am only doing so to prove a point and that point is this. The game will never be clean. Every time we think it’s clean we read about someone getting popped for drugs and steroids. We just have to deal with it.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/29/16

For the second time in as many days the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will face off head-to-head inside of the historic Fenway Park. Rivalry renewed! The rivalry that hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent years writes its next chapter tonight in a night game on Saturday night, the first for the Yankees this season. In this night game the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound looking to harness some of those “Big Mike” super powers while Rick Porcello takes the ball for the home team.

Pineda drew rave reviews from his right arm in spring training but that has not exactly translated well into the 2016 regular season. Pineda has struggled in his four starts this season allowing 30 hits in just 22 innings. Pineda is still striking out guys but he’s also walking guys at an alarming rate, for him anyway, and has also allowed seven home runs this season.

Porcello on the other hand had a mediocre spring by all accounts but that has only made him better thus far this season. Porcello has won every decision he has been involved with this season and has also been tough against this Yankees squad. In his career Porcello has posted a 5-4 record with a 3.66 ERA in 11 starts against the Bronx Bombers.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside of Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. How long into the broadcast before someone on television or on Twitter mentions Pineda using pine tar to get a better grip in a couple games against the Red Sox? I know this game is on MLB Network and not ESPN but someone will mention it, you just watch. Let it go boys.

Go Yankees!!

If Miami Needs a Second Baseman…..

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that reigning National League batting champion and current Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended for 80 games due to “unknowingly” taking steroids and/or performance enhancing drugs. If you haven’t then more on that later. One position that the Yankees seem to be absolutely stacked at is the middle infield leaving me to wonder if Miami needs a second baseman and the Yankees need some pitching help could these two teams hook up for a trade later on this season?

Just off the top of my head without doing too much research I can name you at least 10 middle infielders that the Yankees could deem as trade bait to send to the Marlins in a potential trade. The list starts with Robert Refsnyder, continues with Ronald Torreyes, wraps around Jorge Mateo and ends with some combination of Wilkerman Garcia, Chase Headley (move Martin Prado to second and Headley to third), Kyle Holder, Tyler Wade and a slew of others I could name but you likely already know by name anyway at this point.

What does Miami potentially have to offer in return? Well I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Miami Marlins and I’m especially not well versed in their farm system but I know a guy named Jose Fernandez! A guy can dream anyway, right? But in all seriousness the Marlins have to have something to match up with the Yankees. Maybe a  Justin Nicolino? I really don't know, maybe someone can fill me in. 

You get what you pay for, remember that, but if the Marlins need a second baseman and the Yankees need some pitching I think these two sides could work something out. Miami will likely ride things out without Gordon, it is only for 80 games, but this may be the perfect opportunity for Cashman to do what he does best. Sell from a strength and take advantage of what is going on around him to maximize the deal. He did it with Aroldis Chapman and gave up peanuts in terms of the return and he can do so again with Dee Gordon. But will he? Stay tuned. 

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

What can I say about my personal favorite Yankees prospect thus far this season? Refsnyder was given an opportunity to learn a new position in spring training with the hopes of breaking the club on the bench but a few miscues in the field kept him from his ultimate goal of making the show. Such has been his story to date as it’s always been his defense that has kept him out of the Bronx for long stretches of time but recently, obligatory small sample size reference inserted here, his bat has not been pressing the issue much either.

Refsnyder has been seen hitting below the Stephen Drew line for much of this young 2016 season which is not an encouraging sign for the young infielder. It will be his bat that ultimately forces the hand of Yankees GM Brian Cashman, not his defense, good looks or personality, and if he wants to be back in the Bronx to stay he needs to hit. Bottom line.

Tough love Ref. I’m your biggest fan next to your parents, I’ve said it numerous times, but you need to step it up if you want to prove the organization and the doubters wrong. How about we start now?


This Day in New York Yankees History 4/30: 51 Saves in a Row for Mo

On this day in 2010 Mariano Rivera ties Eric Gagne's major league mark when he saved his 51st straight game at home in as row in a 6-4 Yankees win over Chicago. Rivera also struck out two batters to move ahead of Roger Clemens for 10th place on the Yankees all-time list with 1,015 K's.

Also on this day in 1989 the Toronto Blue Jays traded outfielder Jesse Barfield to the Yankees for pitcher Al Leiter. Barfield led the American League with 40 home runs in 1986 but would only bat .231 with 62 home runs in four seasons in the Bronx. Leiter would finish 26-24 in seven years in Toronto.

Also on this day in 1988 Dave Winfield ties the major league RBI record for April with 29 RBI's. Winfield was on base for every single game that April and tied the Dodgers Ron Cey in 1977 and Dale Murphy for the Braves in 1985.

Also on this day in 1939 Lou Gehrig's iron man streak comes to an end at Yankee Stadium. Gehrig's final game would be a 0-4 against the Washington Senators and the streak would come to an end at 2,130 consecutive games played. Gehrig finishes with a career .340 batting average and 490 home runs in 17 seasons, all with the Yankees.

Finally on this day in 1903 the New York Highlanders, which 10 years later would be renamed the New York Yankees, would play the first game ever played at Hilltop Park. The Highlanders would beat the Washington Senators 6-2. The Highlanders would finish in fourth place but would have a 41-26 home record in their first season which is very impressive.