Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Yankee Errors Squander Rainy Dodger Rubber Game, Lose 2-0

On another soggy night in the Bronx, the Yankees made two crucial errors that ultimately lost the game in the series against the Dodgers. Michael Pineda and Clayton Kershaw where the starters for the game tonight, but a high pitch count for Pineda and a rain soaked performance by Kershaw led to neither pitcher factoring into the final decision. Before the game even started, Toronto had already lost in their game earlier in the afternoon, which meant a win would pull New York to within one game of a playoff spot, but they just couldn't get it done and have no one to blame but themselves.

While both starters kept the game scoreless through three, they did it in completely different styles. With just two hits combined, Pineda, who gave up the two hits, needed 60 pitches to get through three and 81 pitches to get through four. Kershaw, on the other hand, was perfect and needed just 29 pitches to get through three before they put the tarps on the field for the first rain delay, which ended up lasting about 12 minutes.

After the interruption, Kershaw came back out and retired the Yankees in order, keeping his line perfect while tossing just 13 pitches to get through the fourth. Tommy Layne came out for the Yankees in the top of the fifth and retired the side in order before the skies opened up for the second time, forcing the tarps back on the field.

After the 48 minute intermission, Kershaw surprisingly came back out and allowed his first two baserunners of the evening; an error and a hit. He would go on to finish the fifth unscored upon, striking out the last two batters of the frame. Adding to the list of curious moves made by manager Dave Roberts this week, Kershaw would be lifted before the bottom of the sixth for Grant Dayton.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@BennyTomko) know that I was flabbergasted by the Roberts decision to deny Rich Hill his shot of a potential perfect game. And if Kershaw would have gotten hurt during that delay or when he returned, I feel like there would've been a few more people joining me and my stance on the Dodgers manager.

Tommy Layne, Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard were phenomenal in their four innings of scoreless relief, but it was actually Delin Betances who gave up the first and only runs of the game in the top of the ninth. Corey Seager reached on a fielding error by Castro, advancing to second on a stolen base. The next batter Justin Turner ripped a double down the left-field line to score Seager, giving the Dodgers a late 1-0 lead. After a Gonzalez line out moved Turner to third, Yasmani Grandal hit a comebacker to Betances: who proceeded to shot put the throw over the head of first baseman Tyler Austin, allowing Turner to score. Turner's run would be the last to cross home plate as New York was unable to put a come back together in the bottom of the ninth, leading to a final score of 2-0.

The loss especially hurts because it denies the Yankees a chance to pull within one game of the second Wild Card spot. You just can't afford to give away games late in the year in the middle of a playoff push.

The Yanks head to Boston tomorrow to begin a HUGE four-game set with their AL East leading rivals, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.

Atlanta Braves to Open SunTrust Park Against the Yankees

As a displaced Yankees fan living in Metro Atlanta, Georgia and as a Yankees fan that loves and misses his team like no other I only have one word to describe what I am just about to tell you. Hallelujah.

The New York Yankees are still very much in the playoff race in 2016 and presumably have not even thought about next month, let alone next year, but that hasn’t stopped the organization from making plans for the 2017 season. See the Atlanta Braves are opening a new stadium in 2017 called SunTrust Park and the team will open up and unveil the new stadium in an exhibition game at the end of spring training against none other than the Bronx Bombers.

The Braves say this game will only be available to season ticket holders but I say if I check StubHub and Ticket Monster enough I think I’ll find a pair of seats. The game will take place on March 31, 2017 and frankly I absolutely cannot wait. I’ll be there or you all have permission to take my Yankees fan card and burn it.

What great news this is! Awesome. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 9/14

Here we go ladies and gentleman one last time this week and this season, barring an epic World Series matchup of course, as the New York Yankees stay home to play host to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the final matchup of these two clubs this series the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound who will need to harness all of his “Big Mike” powers this afternoon because the Dodgers will send out Clayton Kershaw to oppose him. The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

After the game the Yankees head to Fenway Park for another big series with the Boston Red Sox. Four games that may decide the season for New York. No pressure. To see those games live, assuming you’re in the Boston area, click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to purchase your seats now before they are all gone. Who else is going to moon Big Papi ( shameless plug alert).

Follow along with us all season long as we continue to push towards the playoffs besides the Yankees by either liking our page on Facebook or by giving our Twitter handle @GreedyStripes a follow. Need a win, please get a win. Go Yankees!

Former Yankees Update: Hiroki Kuroda

Just a quick check in with one of the Yankees former players, Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda was marvelous as a starting pitcher for the Yankees in his three-year stint here but the lure of wanting to return home to his native Japan was too much. Now Kuroda can presumably retire and ride off into the sunset because he just led his Hiroshima Carp team to something that has not been done in 25 years. A championship.

The Hiroshima Carp with Kuroda on the mound beat the Yomiuri Giants 6-4 last weekend to secure their first Central League pennant in 25 seasons. Kuroda allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of work in the contest while striking out four and it was just enough to lead the team to victory. This marks Hiroshima’s seventh Central League title in their storied history.

Kuroda, now 41-years old, has done everything and more with his career. He played for Hiroshima before playing four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and three years with the Yankees before returning home to the Carp in 2015. Now he’s finished the 2016 season on top. What more does he have to do?

Nothing. And that’s a great feeling to have. Congrats to the Carp and congrats to an old friend in Kuroda.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 9/14

The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers will finish off their three-game set this afternoon with an intense pitching matchup. Clayton Kershaw had spent much of this season on the disabled list but the Dodgers kept on keeping on and kept on winning until he returned last week against the Miami Marlins. In his second start since coming off the disabled list he takes the mound in the Bronx against Michael Pineda and the New York Yankees. Not only is it cool to see a historic team and former rival like the Dodgers in town this week but it is amplified by having one of, if not the best pitchers in our lifetime toeing the rubber in the finale.

Pineda was tagged with a no decision last time out after Joe Girardi pulled him one out shy of qualifying for the victory. Pineda was visibly upset with the decision but he has not done himself any favors allowing 14 runs in his last four starts. Need a win, and Pineda hasn’t had one since August 5th, then get a win. Don’t leave it in the hands of the bullpen.

Kershaw came off the disabled list last Friday night against Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins and lasted only three innings after spending 75 days on the disabled list. Kershaw made just one rehab start since the Dodgers needed him for the pennant push so the lefty will only be available for around 80 pitches tonight in the Bronx, if that.

The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. In honor of the radio and our tribute to Vin Scully earlier on the blog also be sure to give John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman a listen on WFAN as well. As much as many of us may or may not like John and Suzyn we have to keep in mind that they are the voice of the Yankees on the radio and one day we may be talking about them and their silly home runs calls the way we’re speaking of Mr. Scully today. It could happen. Now, need a win. GET A WIN! Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Vin Scully

The New York Yankees asked Vin Scully, the Los Angeles Dodgers legendary announcer, if he would make the trip to New York this season to call the three-game series between the two clubs and to be honored by the organization. Scully declined, and who wouldn’t have thought that Mr. Humble would decline, so the game goes on as planned this afternoon but not before we honor Mr. Scully for his life’s work and achievements the only way really that we know how. This is Meet a Prospect: The Vin Scully Edition. Put respect on his name.

Vincent Edward Scully was born on November 29, 1927 and has been the Dodgers sportcaster and play-by-play announcer since the team was still in Brooklyn. Scully has been with the team 67 seasons now including the 2016 season, his final season, which is by far the longest tenure with one organization in all of sports history. “It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good morning to you, wherever you may be.”

Scully was born in the Bronx and grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan where he made ends meet by delivering beer and mail, cleaning silver in the baseball of the Pennsylvania Hotel and any other odds and end jobs he could find. Scully grew up in a hard situation like many did in that area during that time. His biological father died when he was just four-years old and he grew to love his stepfather, Allan Reeve, like his own father. Scully attended Fordham Preparatory School for High School before attending Fordham University, the same school as our very own Michael Kay, with a short United States Navy stint thrown in between for good measure. While at Fordham Scully helped found the school’s FM radio station WFUV while also working as an assistant sports editor for the “Fordham Ram.” Scully somehow also found time to since in a barbershop quartet and play centerfield for the Fordham Rams baseball team while also doing announcing the for the baseball, football and basketball teams from the school. Did this guy ever sleep?

Scully caught his big break while announcing a University of Maryland vs. Boston University college football game at Fenway Park in 1949 and it led to him beginning his tenure with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950. Scully worked with Red barber and Connie Desmond while with the Dodgers until a salary dispute for Barber led to Scully taking the reins for the 1953 World Series at the age of just 25. Scully remained with the Brooklyn Dodgers until they moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season and Scully followed his team to the West Coast where he can still be found today. Scully had offers to go elsewhere, the New York Yankees offered him a job to succeed Mel Allen in 1964 for example, but Scully remained loyal to the Dodgers and the Dodgers fans remained loyal to him. In 1976 the Dodgers fans voted him the “most memorable personality” in the history of the franchise. What an accomplishment.

It wasn’t always smiles and cheers for Scully though. During the 1993 season Don Drysdale, former Hall-of-Fame pitcher for the Dodgers and at the time the color commentator for the Dodgers alongside Scully, suffered a heart attack and passed away before a game and Scully was told not to mention the death on air until the family could be notified and an official death announcement was made. When Scully was finally able to speak on the matter he did so with class, as always, and with another memorable quote. “Never have I been asked to make an announcement that hurts me as much as this one. And I say it to you as best I can with a broken heart.”

Scully is best known for his baseball announcing but he also held media credentials in football from 1975 to 1982 for CBS Sports. Scully also covered CBS Sports tennis coverage as well in the late 19780’s and early 1980’s including covering the Masters from 1975 to 1982. Scully left CBS for NBC in 1983 after Scully was, for lack of a better word, pushed out of the NFL limelight by John Madden. Scully worked as NBC’s baseball broadcaster from 1983 to 1989 while also calling the 1984, 1986 and 1988 World Series as well as the NLCS on four occasions and the All Star Game four times as well. Scully stayed with NBC until 1990 when his contract ran out and he decided to fully focus on his job with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Vin Scully’s final game inside Dodger Stadium after his 67 season career will come on September 25, 2016 when the Los Angeles Dodgers play host to the San Francisco Giants. The final regular season game for Vin is expected to be at San Francisco’s AT&T Park on October 2, 2016. When will his final game be seeing as the Dodgers seem ready to head to the postseason? Only the man good enough to have created Mr. Scully knows that. Congratulations on such an awesome career and thank you for all you’ve done for Major League Baseball. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Gleyber Torres

The Tampa Yankees have gone cold at the worst possible time, the playoffs and the championship. After winning the first half championship by leading the division and advancing in the first round of the playoffs the Tampa Yankees and their top prospects went cold. Jorge Mateo struggled for much of the postseason and Gleyber Torres, who did exceptionally well in the first round, fell short in the Florida State League Championship. What a shame.

Don’t hang your heads too much though boys. You had an exceptional season and you got postseason experience and the experience of winning that you cannot put a stat to or put a price tag on. Well done and enjoy the offseason.


This Day In New York Yankees History 9/14: Red Sox Suck!

As everyone knows by now the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have one of the strongest and most hated rivalries in all of Major League Baseball history. The rivalry was especially hot and in full form in the 2000's as the two teams traded division titles and both teams won multiple World Series championships. On this day in 2007 that rivalry went to a whole new level when Yankees infielder Shelley Duncan signed an autograph for a ten year old Red Sox fan Griffin Whitman. Shelley signed the autograph "RED SOX SUCK" before signing his name.