Wednesday, June 29, 2016

McCann Homers Twice, Gregorius Walks Off Rangers, 8-7

     After dropping the first two games of the four-game set, Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees took on Nick Martinez and the Texas Rangers in game three tonight. Tanaka is in either the top five or the top ten in every major statistical pitching category in the American League. On the other side of the field, Nick Martinez has struggled for Texas in 2016, with a 5.54 ERA and a .308 batting average against. Although the two starters did somewhat of a "role reversal", a big night for the Yankee backstop led to New York stealing game three. 
     Prince Fielder got the Rangers off to an early one run lead, coming in the top of the second. Cecil's son led off the inning by smoking a double off of Tanaka, advancing to third base on a ground out by the next batter Rougned Odor. Elvis Andrus then smacked a single into left that scored Fielder from third. But, Chase Headley would tie the game in the bottom of the frame when he drilled a long solo homerun to right center, driving in the 500th run of his career. 
     Tanaka got himself into sone serious trouble in the top of the third as he gave the lead back to the Rangers. He began the frame by allowing back to back singles to Robinson Chirinos and Shin-Soo Choo and then walked Ian Desmond to load the bases. The youngest position player in Major League Baseball Nomar Mazara then ripped a double into the right-center field gap that plated all three runners, making it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Prince Fielder drove in the fifth Ranger run when he followed with a single that ricocheted off the glove of Rob Refsnyder that scored Mazara. 
     Rougned Odor scored the Rangers sixth run of the game with a solo shot in the top of the sixth as they knocked Tanaka out of the ball game. He would go on to finish the sixth but would be lifted for Luis Sessa in the top of the seventh. Tanaka struggled with control all night long and departed with a final line of six innings pitched, allowing six runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out seven. 
     Martinez, too, would be pulled in the sixth as he allowed two baserunners to reach to lead off the inning. Brian McCann walked, Starlin Castro singled and Martinez was lifted for left-handed reliever Cesar Ramos. After Gregorius grounded out, Chase Headley hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored McCann, making it a 6-2 contest. Martinez finished the night going five innings, allowing two runs on three hits while walking five and striking out two. Adrian Beltre would get that run back when he extended his hit-streak to 11 games as he belted an opposite-field solo homerun in the top of the eighth. 
      Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius put on their "Superman" capes as they made their unlikely come back in the best Yankee win of the season. McCann retaliated Beltre's shot in the bottom of the frame as he hit an almost identically located solo shot that inched the Yankees back to within four. In the bottom of the ninth, Refsnyder smacked a leadoff single and advanced to second base when the next batter Jacoby Ellsbury walked. After a Texas pitching change, Rangers closer Sam Dyson served up a single to Brett Gardner that was mishandled by centerfielder Ian Desmond, allowing Refsnyder to score, 7-4. After Alex Rodriguez lined out, Brian McCann came up enormous yet again, unloading on a Dyson fastball that soared into the right field stands, tying the game at seven. Starlin Castro walked and then Didi Gregorius sent Yankee fans home happy as he blasted a two run shot into the Bronx night that sent the stadium into a frenzy and put an end to the Yankees losing streak. 
     The Yankees will try to earn a split with Texas tomorrow in the fourth and final game of the series, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM ET. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers 6/29

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers are back in the Bronx and readying themselves for the third game in their big four-game set this week. This series has been an especially frustrating one for the Yankees and their fans but that can all be turned around tonight with a big offensive outburst and an even bigger win. The Yankees have the right man on the mound to get that victory too as New York sends Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with the Rangers starter Nick Martinez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network locally and MLB TV wherever you are.

The Yankees have one more game in the Bronx tomorrow night before making the long trip out west to face off with the San Diego Padres over the weekend. If you want to see that game live or if you just want to get your tickets secured now for the next time the Yankees are back in town click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to get your tickets now. Also I’m working on a review of my Jacoby Ellsbury milk carton shirt that I got and that we now sell on the blog (TGP T-Shirts link at the top of the blog) so if you want to get one you can get one now or simply wait for the review. It’s up to you.

Follow along during this game and every game this season while interacting with us by liking us on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on Twitter. We’re always around. Happy Tanaka Day ladies and gentleman and Go Yankees!

Live Game Updates: Rangers at Yankees - 6/29

7:30 p.m., End 1st: Yankees find a way to leave a couple on in the first despite a lot of hard-hit balls. Heading into the second, this one's still scoreless.

7:42 p.m., Mid 2nd: Rangers make the Yankees pay for their wasted opportunity. After Prince Fielder leads off the second with a double, Elvis Andrus drives him in with a single to left, as the Yankees fall behind early for the sixth consecutive game.

7:55 p.m., End 2nd: Headley evens it up with a solo shot to right. Fair to say Nick Martinez, whose pitch count has already reached 44, is struggling tonight.

8:16 p.m., Mid 3rd: Well, at least Tanaka looked okay in the first. The Yankees' ace implodes in the third, allowing four runs to score. Just like that, it's 5-1 Texas and with the way the Yanks have played lately a loss here seems pretty much definite.

9:32 p.m., End 7th: Things have remained pretty stagnant at Yankee Stadium since the third inning. Both teams scored a run in the sixth, but the momentum has certainly stayed on Texas' side. 

10:30 p.m., End 9th: Unbelievable. Trailing 7-3 with three outs remaining, the Yankees rally to win with a six-spot, highlighted by a game-tying three-run shot by McCann (his second long ball of the night) and a walk-off two-run blast by Didi. Just like that, the Yankees win 9-7. 

Press Release: Riverdogs Celebrate July 4th All Weekend Long!

Duke, BUSH’S Beans Help RiverDogs Celebrate America’s Independence All Weekend at the Joe
Three days of fireworks, appearances by popular BUSH’S mascot highlight the RiverDogs’ Independence Day weekend festivities

CHARLESTON, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs will celebrate America’s Independence with three days of postgame fireworks festivities fromJuly 1-3 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park with some help from BUSH’S Beans. Nothing says America’s birthday like a backyard cookout and the RiverDogs will get plenty of help from ‘Duke,’ the lovable golden retriever made famous by BUSH’S who will be making appearances all weekend.

In conjunction with BUSH’S Beans, the Charleston RiverDogs present a three-day long fireworks extravaganza, and fans can snap a picture with ‘Duke’ and see if he’ll finally ‘spill the beans’ about the secret family recipe. ‘Duke’ will also be visiting kids at the MUSC Children’s Hospital on Friday starting at 10am, before taking in all three days of baseball action.

“Nothing says Independence Day like fireworks and a baseball game,” said RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols. “We’re excited to partner with BUSH’S to kick off the holiday weekend festivities with a bang, and Charlie T. RiverDog might have some competition on who will be the favorite dog at The Joe this weekend.”

It all starts on Friday, July 1 at 7pm as the RiverDogs begin the weekend with another Home Telecom postgame fireworks show on an ISHPI Red Shirt Friday. The RiverDogs will wear specialty red uniforms to honor our military, and all fans that wear red can save a buck at the gate with option to donate that dollar to the Wounded Warrior Corps. Adding in another summer staple, the RiverDogs will also celebrate National Watermelon Day at the ballpark.

On Saturday, July 2 at 6:05 pm celebrate America on “Red Neck Night” at Riley Park with another postgame fireworks showcase presented by BUSH’S Beans. Fans can join in on toilet bowl horseshoes and other redneck activities throughout the game. BUSH’S Beans will present the second straight night of fantastic fireworks as the RiverDogs take on the Augusta GreenJackets.

On Sunday, July 3 at 6:35pm show off your patriotism and your Charlestonian pride as the RiverDogs celebrate a Holy City Sunday and cap off the weekend with the third postgame fireworks spectacular presented by BUSH’S. The club will wear specialty uniforms that proudly display the "Holy City" namesake across their pinstriped tops with a new 'HC' emblem on the caps. It's also a Kids Club Sunday where all Kid's Club members get in free. In association with Charleston County Parks & Recreation, and Y102.5, Sunday features free parking and Lowcountry youth eat free, and enjoy pregame catch on the field.

Ticket information for the RiverDogs’ homestand can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online Playoff tickets for game two of the South Atlantic League Divisional Series on Friday, September 9 at The Joe are now available. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online

Don’t Be Fooled, the StubHub Agreement is NOT a Good Thing for Fans

The New York Yankees reached an agreement with StubHub to let the ticket reseller become the official place to go to buy your New York Yankees tickets. The Yankees Ticket Exchange is a thing of the past, and good riddance, but don’t be fooled into thinking the StubHub agreement will be a good thing for the fans either. In fact, this may hurt the fans even more and is a deal that was put into place simply to line the pockets of the Steinbrenner family. Imagine that, right?

The deal with StubHub was made for six-and-a-half years and a cool $100 million and that deal starts on July 15, 2016. In the deal the Yankees have taken away the option to get a last minute ticket for well under the retail and face value of the ticket, the Yankees couldn’t have that no, and have replaced it with a “floor” or a minimum purchase price for said ticket. So the Yankees would rather the ticket go unsold and miss out on potential merchandise, vending, parking and other sales inside the stadium and would rather set the floor at 50% less of the season ticket holders price. So if a ticket is $100 you’re not paying any less than $50.

The Yankees saw another 6.5% drop in attendance last year, and that was with Joe Torre Day and Bernie Williams Day and this day and that day which they will not have in 2016, in a year where overall attendance was once again up in Major League Baseball. The YES Network ratings, which the Steinbrenner are still minority owners in, are down too. Now the Yankees are making it even more expensive and even more of an inconvenience to head to the stadium to see a last place or second-to-last place team struggle to score runs and blow leads left and right on days where the three-headed monster are unavailable. Sounds legit to me.

The Yankees also didn’t lift their ban on print-at-home tickets in the deal. Why? It’s not fraud, the Yankees honored an average of five fraudulent tickets a game last year which is what Hal Steinbrenner spent on drinking alone this weekend, but it’s because they wanted to screw StubHub and force people to their Ticket Exchange. The ticket exchange is gone and the fans still suffer. But hey, Lonn Trost can sleep well at night knowing that people who can’t normally afford premium seats in the stadium aren’t sitting there. Because no one is sitting there. Idiot. 

Blake Rutherford Is A Yankee!

Some people didn't think it would happen, as they thought the Yankees had taken too big a risk, but it's true.

Blake Rutherford, the Yankees' first round pick in this past draft, has signed for $3.282 million. He was taken at #18, which is slotted for just $2.4416 million, but the Yankees were able to save a lot of money elsewhere in the draft in order to sign Rutherford.

Blake was the #10 prospect according to Baseball America, but was passed up on by many teams possibly due to concern that he was going to follow through on his commitment to play baseball at UCLA.

I'm very happy that the team was able to sign Rutherford, who could turn out to be a very nice piece of the puzzle in New York.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers 6/29

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers continue their four game series this week in the Bronx with the third game taking place tonight inside Yankee Stadium. These two teams have battled back and forth for much of the series already both pitching wise and offensively speaking and I expect nothing but the same tonight between these two clubs. The Yankees will send their ace and stopper Masahiro Tanaka to the mound tonight looking to get back on track and looking to deliver another “W” for the Yankees while the Rangers will counter with Nick Martinez.

Tanaka earned a victory last time out against the Minnesota Twins despite giving up three runs and seven hits in just six innings of work. Tanaka has been consistent though allowing three earned runs or fewer in sox of his last seven starts. With that Yankees bullpen behind him that’s all he really needs to do is six innings and three runs or less and it will usually result in a Yankees victory.

Martinez has just one victory this season as a starter for the Rangers and will be looking for his second tonight in the Bronx against the Yankees. Martinez presumably thought he had his second win last time out against Boston despite giving up four runs in six innings but the three-run lead he left the contest with was not enough in a loss for Texas.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. It’s not Cole Hamels tonight in the Bronx and this is usually the spot occupied by the now injured Yu Darvish for Texas so have the Yankees caught a break? And if they have can they take advantage of it and bring themselves a victory? Stay tuned tonight to find out. Go Yankees!

Have We Heard the Last of Alex Rodriguez?

The New York Yankees have done something over the past week or so that I have said on Twitter and on this blog many times that they would never do, the team has benched Alex Rodriguez due to production. As a fan of Alex’s and as a fan that has stood up for his forgiveness and playing times many times here, maybe more than anyone and certainly before it was “cool” back in 2015, it’s bittersweet for me because I know he’s hurting the team as an automatic out and as a black hole in the middle of the lineup but at the same time it still hurts to see the players you have watched all your life grow old and let father time catch up to them. Rodriguez is saying all the right things though including a statement that resonated with me. Alex said that “you haven’t heard the last of me” so I beg the question, have we heard the last of Alex Rodriguez?

Honestly I don’t think so. So many times we’ve heard the stories of Alex being done and that Alex needs to retire only to take a few games off and come back hitting like a 31-year old again instead of a 41-year old. That may not be the case this time around but I don’t think we’ve heard the last of him regardless. He’s a proud man and a loyal student to the game and he will not simply ride off into the sunset because of a bad stretch. Michael Kay told a story on the YES Network the other day that really cemented this thought process home for me. He said he was driving home from the stadium and he was listening to Suzyn Waldman on the radio and in the background a “crack” could be heard every 10 seconds or so. Suzyn commented that the sound they were all hearing was Alex Rodriguez taking batting practice in the cage. Forty five minutes after the game had come to an end Alex was still in the cage working, tweaking and adjusting with hopes of getting back into the lineup and making a contribution.

This really stuck with me because I am currently reading a book called “Boycott the Yankees” by Mike DeLucia (have no fear, when I am finished I fully plan on doing a review of the book) and in the book DeLucia mentions what I have mentioned many times on this blog. A lot of players don’t have the incentives to do well or to even give a crap in the world of guaranteed contracts and bloated MLB salaries. What does Alex have to gain? He’s five home runs away from the 700 home run club and despite anything he says he wants that in the worst way. In fact he wants Barry Bonds all-time home run record but I don’t think taking batting practice before, during and after a game is driven by his own personal goals and admirations. It’s not because he’s working towards a salary either. It’s because he loves the game, he loves New York and he wants to help his teammates. 

Alex could ride off into the sunset if he wanted to with his millions and live happily ever after. But he won’t. He’s too proud to go out like that and he wants to help this team win so no, we haven’t heard the last of Alex Rodriguez. Not by a long shot. Given the next opportunity he will prove to you all once again what I already know and understand. He’ll be back, mark my words. 700 home run club here we come. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Aaron Judge

The Judge, or Aaron Judge as he’s known on his birth certificate, has returned from his short recess in Triple-A and has begun his ruling on the entire league. And it’s not good for the entire league but it’s great for the Yankees. Judge won the Player of the Week Award last week for the Eastern League after crushing home run after home run and he’s not slacking off this week thus far.

There are a few obstacles in the way of an Aaron Judge call up though before anyone gets too excited. He’s not on the 40 man roster and I don’t believe he has to be after this season anyway. Given the Yankees 40 man roster crunch this presents itself as a problem and the solution to this problem is at least two injuries to Yankees outfielders. One injury can be replaced by Aaron Hicks and the other can be replaced by Robert Refsnyder but it’s taking Ref off the bench that creates the spot for Judge or vice versa.

Either way the Judge is handling Triple-A pitching finally and it is a damn sight for sore eyes. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 6/29: David Justice the Yankee

On this day in 2000 the New York Yankees tried multiple times to bolster their offense in trades and failed to get Juan Gonzalez and Sammy Sosa before settling for David Justice from the Cleveland Indians for Ricky Ledee and two players to be named later. That trade kind of worked, no?

Also on this day in 1941 Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees played in a double header with the Washington Senators. The wins and losses didn't matter as much as the fact that DiMaggio tied and then broke the American League record for consecutive games with a hit, previously held by George Sisler with 41 straight games with a hit. DiMaggio had a seventh inning single off Walt Masteron to break the tie with Sisler.