Friday, September 16, 2016

Boston Buries Bronx Bombers, 7-4)

Tonight, the Yankees made it harder on themselves and their playoff hopes as they fell to the Boston Red Sox for a second consecutive night. Luis Sessa took the ball and the loss for New York, falling to 4-2 on the year with his tough game two loss. Getting the start and the win for Boston was Clay Buchholz improving to 7-10 in a game where his varying speeds from fastball to changeup led to a quiet offensive night for the Bomber bats.

The Red Sox were first to hit the scoreboard, jumping on the rookie righty in the bottom of the first inning; an inning the likes of which I have never seen. Dustin Pedroia started the frame with a "Fenway single", but was thrown out at second base trying to advance it to a double. The next batter Xander Bogarts got hit by a Sessa curveball, taking second on a wild pitch. David Ortiz followed up with an RBI single to center, scoring Bogarts to make it 1-0 Boston, but also was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the single into a double. Mookie Betts then reached on an infield single, a line drive off the glove of third baseman Chase Headley, advancing to second on a stolen base that was originally called out, but was overturned after replay review. And that overturned call ended up hurting New York as the Sox's hero from last night Hanley Ramirez lined a single up the middle that scored Betts and extended their first inning advantage to two.

Hanley Ramirez added the third Red Sox run of the game when he belted his 26th longball of the year, a fourth inning line drive solo shot to dead center that made it 3-0.

The Yankees got two of those runs back in the top of the fifth, as they tried to put together a comeback on the AL East leaders. Mark Teixeira and Mason Williams started the frame with back-to-back singles to left. After Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner failed to drive in either baserunner, Gary Sanchez delivered with a long double that ricocheted off the Green Monster, plating both runners and pulling the Bombers back to within one.

But, the Red Sox would add onto their lead in the bottom of the sixth as they tried to put the game away. Ortiz led off the frame with a towering double to center off of lefty reliever James Pazos, passing Frank Robinson on the all-time extra-base hits list. Pazos was lifted for Jonathan Holder, who immediately allowed a Betts sharp single to right and then walked Ramirez to load the bases with still no one out. Travis Shaw then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Ortiz and extended the Sox lead back to two. And then, Sandy Leon lofted a fly ball to left field that dropped in fair territory and bounced over the fence down the left-field line for a ground-rule double, scoring Betts to make it 5-2 Boston.

The Red Sox added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh as they really turned this game into a laugher in the late innings. Jackie Bradley Jr. put the sixth run of the game on the board when he launched a long homer to right field off of left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve, 6-2. Shreve was pulled for Kirby Yates, who immediately loaded the bases full of Red Sox by allowing hits to Pedroia, Bogarts and an intentional walk to Ortiz. Betts then grounded into a double play, scoring Pedroia from third and widening their lead to five at 7-2.

Billy Butler recorded his first homerun as a Yankee in the top of the ninth, a deep two run shot over the Monster off of left-hander Fernando Abad to make it a 7-4 ballgame.

New York came into the series with high hopes of making a strong playoff push, but after three consecutive losses, I think it's safe to say, they blew it. This easily has been one of the toughest stretches that Yankee fans have had to endure in quite some time.

It doesn't get any easier tomorrow as the Yankees take on David Price and the Red Sox in game three, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM/EST and can be seen on FS1 or MLB.TV.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 9/16

Here we go ladies and gentleman once again as the New York Yankees make the trip to Fenway Park to face off with the Boston Red Sox head-to-head. This will be the second time in a four-game series that these two teams will collide and while tonight’s pitching matchup won’t necessarily include an ace vs. a Yankees killer in the making it should be good enough to make for a great game. In the contest the Yankees will send rookie hurler Luis Cessa to the mound who will look to limit the long ball tonight while the Red Sox counter with Clay Buchholz. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11, MLB Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees will be in Boston all weekend long as their push towards October continues so rally the troops and root for the home team from afar with us by liking our page on Facebook and by giving our Twitter handle @GreedyStripes a follow.

NEED A WIN. Get a win, please? Go Yankees!

Highlights from the 2017 Yankees Schedule

The New York Yankees announced their tentative 2017 schedule this week and it’s time to start making plans. See the Yankees are going for it, presumably anyway, in 2017 and will have a young and exciting roster to check out so here are a few highlights for the 2017 regular season that I feel like you must see if you’re a Yankees fan. Don’t look too far ahead though, we still have a lot of work to do here yet in 2016. Enjoy.

The Yankees will end Spring Training 2017 with an exhibition game with the Atlanta Braves in their newly built SunTrust Park. I’m not sure, and won’t be until around January or February, whether the Yankees will play any other exhibition games with either MLB teams or college teams towards the end of spring training though so you will have to stay tuned for that. The game on March 31, 2017 is confirmed to be happening though down in Atlanta.

Opening Day for the Yankees is on Sunday, April 2nd down in Tampa, Florida as New York takes on the Tampa Bay Rays. You have to think that’s a Masahiro Tanaka vs. Chris Archer kind of afternoon inside Tropicana Field. The Yankees will play three games in Tampa and three games in Baltimore against the Orioles before welcoming the Tampa bay Rays to the Bronx for their home opener on Monday, April 10.

The Yankees and Mets play their split Subway Series again in 2017 with two games coming in Queens and two games coming in the Bronx on August 14 – August 17th while New York also faces off with the National League Central in Interleague Play. That includes series with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds at home while the team makes the trip to PNC Park to face the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Cubs and the Great American Ballpark to hit home runs against the Cincinnati Reds.

2017 should be another fun season full of great series matchups, historic teams facing off head-to-head and I’m sure there will be a firework or two to be shot off. I’m not looking ahead whatsoever but I still can’t wait for next season. I mean, come on. The Yankees inside Wrigley Field? The St. Louis Cardinals inside Yankee Stadium? The Yankees down in Atlanta, even for an exhibition game, when I’m a Yankees fan displaced in Atlanta? What’s not to love?

Meet a Prospect: Billy Butler

When the New York Yankees first learned the news that outfielder Aaron Judge would probably miss the remainder of the regular season with a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique muscle the team scrambled to find a replacement for the team that is fighting for their playoff lives. New York scoured the waiver wire and found former Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals designated hitter and first baseman Billy Butler. Now it seems that Tyler Austin will take over the everyday right field duties for Judge along with Mason Williams while Butler takes over the first base and occasional DH duties vacated by Austin. Now’s is a good time to meet him so let’s do it. This is Meet a Prospect: The Billy Butler Edition.

Billy Ray Butler, born William Raymond Butler Jr., was born on April 18, 1986 and has played for the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics from the 2007 season through the 2016 season to date. Before becoming a Major Leaguer though Butler spent his time at Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, Florida where he was teammates with a former first-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers Eric Hurley. Butler also went in the first round, 14th overall, when the Kansas City Royals took him in the 2004 MLB First Year Players Draft. Butler took a $1.45 million signing bonus to forego his commitment to the University of Florida and begin his professional career.

Butler made his MLB debut on May 1, 2007 with Kansas City and singled in his first at bat. After an injury to Mike Sweeney landed him on the disabled list Butler was here to stay in the Kansas City lineup. Butler improved in 2008 from his rookie campaign but he really broke out in 2009 when he hit .301 in over 500 at bats while solidifying himself at the Royals third place hitter in the lineup due to his power, contact and on-base percentage skills. Butler was great again in the 2010 season for Kansas City, although his power numbers dipped slightly, raising his batting average to .318 and his OBP to .388 which earned him a new four-year contract worth $30 million from the team.

Butler was given that money to play first base for Kansas City but after the promotions of first baseman Kila Ka’aihue and eventually some guy named Eric Hosmer the Royals first baseman found himself playing DH more and more throughout the year. Butler was named to his first American league All-Star Game in 2012 as a DH thanks to manager Ron Washington hand selecting him and Butler finished the 2012 season by winning the American league Silver Slugger Award for the DH position and the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award as well.

Butler played in all 162 games in 2013 for the first time in his career and it may or may not have led to him having one of his worst seasons in his career in 2014. Butler hit only nine home runs and knocked in just 66 RBI while his batting average and other triple slash numbers hit career lows. Butler went to the World Series with Kansas City but after hitting just .217 in the postseason the Royals declined his club option making him a free agent. Butler signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Athletics for $30 million the following November but his stats never regained their 2011-2014 form. Butler spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with Oakland before a falling out of sorts with the Athletics led to his release on September 11.

Back in August of this year Butler was involved in a clubhouse fight with Danny Valencia and was placed on the seven-day concussion DL because of it. Less than a month later he was a free agent, that’s probably not a coincidence. But the past is where it needs to be, in the past, and now he’s with the Yankees organization after signing a Major League contract. So welcome to the team, welcome to the family and please try not to pick on the little guy Ronald Torreyes. He can’t help it he’s so small. Sorry, I had to take a jab. I’m really glad you’re here though. Welcome again!

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 9/16

Friday night September baseball in historic Fenway Park between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Let me rephrase, if the Yankees were in first place comfortably instead of fighting for their playoff lives while the Boston Red Sox were already mathematically eliminated from postseason play in David Ortiz’s final season I guess I would consider that “better” but that may just be the spitefulness trying to come out of me. Anyway tonight the Yankees will send rookie Luis Cessa to the mound to make the start for New York while the Red Sox will counter with the man who once got arrested in college for stealing laptops and selling them, Clay Buchholz. True story, look it up.

Cessa has pitched exceptionally well as a starter for the New York Yankees although he has given up more home runs than you probably would like to be comfortable with. In his last start he allowed just four runs in his first loss as a starter including three home runs to the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa had just two other hits other than those three home runs.

Buchholz on the other hand has not been great lately which was especially evident in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays. Buchholz lasted just three innings and gave up six runs including a grand slam to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in a loss for the Red Sox.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the WPIX Channel 11, MLB Network and MLB TV. The Yankees need a win tonight for sure, they need two more this weekend as well truth be told but maybe that’s just me being greedy, and Cessa has pitched well lately while Buchholz has not. It’s written in the stars and the planets are aligning so New York just needs to go out there and take care of business. Need a win. Get a win. Go Yankees!

Who Should We Blame Last Night's Collapse On?

Last night, the New York Yankees suffered a loss that left a bad taste in fans mouths that tasted like bleach and cow manure. First, before we dig into the stats and look who really is in the blame for this loss, let's look at how in the world the Red Sox wound up winning this game....

The Yankees had a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, almost everybody believed that they had it in the bag, oh little did we all know. Girardi would send Tommy Layne out there to begin the inning and once Chris Young came up to bat (who mashes lefties) , he went to the bullpen and got Blake Parker who looked like he was going to finish the game. Due to the arrival of Layne and Parker, many believed that Betances was unavailable due to how exhausted he is.

Once Parker enters the game he hit Young on the tip of his helmet with a pitch that he leaned into and only hit him by an inch. Then Girardi decides that it would be a swell idea to go to Dellin Betances, who has desperately been in need of some rest due to the maximum overusage. We all know what happens after this, I do not even have to explain it. To put it simply, the Yankees blew the game.

Betances obviously could not locate any of his pitches and after the Pedroia at bat where it was obvious he was not going to swing at any pitches, Girardi should have pulled the plug on Betances right there and bring in someone else, you can't use a guy who relies on control like Betances every single night.

That is why, many people believe the blame for last nights game should be on Dellin Betances but I disagree. I believe Joe Girardi should take the blame 100% for the putrid event that happened last night. Girardi knew that Betances was exhausted which is why he didn't go to him to begin the inning, because he knew that he needed rest. But no, he just thought that it would be a great idea to go to the deadest arm in the bullpen and I wouldn't be shocked at all if Dellin Betances needs tommy john surgery in a few years thanks to how Girardi uses him.

You can't expect a guy like Betances who is a large man and relies on the control for his curveball to pitch EVERY NIGHT despite if he's tired or not. It was a really bad move by Joe. So far in the month of September, Betances has pitched 3 straight days TWICE. It has only been two weeks and Betances has already had to pitch three straight days twice, think about that for a moment.

It also does not help that the Yankees left TWELVE runners on base but that's a different story....

Therefore, The blame for last night's absolute collapse should 98% be on the hands of Girardi, 1% on the offense, and 1% on Betances.

Follow Me On Twitter - @Yankeesfan0504

Playoff Roster Prediction if Yankees Make Postseason

The chances that the New York Yankees make the postseason are not great on paper, nobody can deny that, but the team has proven that it’s not going down without a fight and that they are at least going to let the league know that they mean business. If New York were to slip into the 2nd Wild Card slot or even jump three teams to take the division crown, and with three games left with Boston this series including tonight I don’t see why that’s not a possibility, they would be one of the hottest and most dangerous teams in the postseason in my opinion. Let’s have a little fun this morning, it’s Friday and that’s what Friday’s were made for, and assume that the season is over today and the Yankees are headed to the postseason. What would their playoff roster look like? 

Aaron Judge is out for the regular season and unless the Yankees went beyond a play-in game in the Wild Card round of the playoffs it seems unlikely that Judge will play again this season leaving the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Brett Gardner in left and probably Tyler Austin in right field as far as the starters go. Mark Teixeira is your first baseman along with the usual suspects in Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius, Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Gary Sanchez but not newcomer Billy Butler. Butler will not be postseason eligible since he was not on the Yankees 40 man roster before the end of the August 31st trading deadline.

The rotation is not set and some jockeying of positions would be needed if the Yankees were to make the postseason. Masahiro Tanaka started last night and will make starts in Tampa Bay on September 21, in Toronto on September 26, in the Bronx on October 1st making him unavailable on normal rest for the American league Wild Card Game on October 4th. CC Sabathia is the one now lined up to pitch on normal rest in that game as it stands today. Now if the Yankees were to win that game and if they didn’t move their rotation around, and trust me if the playoffs were more of a sure thing then they would, Tanaka would be available to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series on October 6th. If the Yankees made it the ALDS you would have to think that CC Sabathia, Luis Cessa and Michael Pineda would be listed as the other starting pitchers on the roster. 

Bryan Mitchell would head to the bullpen along with Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren, Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard. I would also bring Tommy Layne and use him as a LOOGY only after he has proven capable of getting left-handed hitters out at an effective rate. 

On the bench I would have Brian McCann as stated above while I also bring Rob Refsnyder, Eric Young Jr., Aaron Hicks assuming his health (and all signs point to him being back by then barring a setback in his rehab from a hamstring injury) and Ronald Torreyes to fill out the roster. 

This isn’t a roster that is going to blow everyone out and win 10-0 in three or four games and move on. This is not a juggernaut team but this is a team that more resembles the 1995, 1996 and 1998 teams than the “juggernauts” in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2012 and all those other heavy offense and veteran pitcher laden teams of the 2000’s. This team is scrappy and it’s built to win, now. Just have to get there first. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Jorge Mateo

The High-A Tampa Yankees season ended a bit prematurely this week meaning two of the Yankees top three prospects now have a long wait before they see baseball again. Gleyber Torres was on that team and is going to the Arizona Fall League here in a couple of months while Jorge Mateo, today’s weekly check in showcase, will presumably head to a winter league somewhere if the Yankees allow him to. The problem with the winter league though is the fact that it’s fall. Maybe I’m just too much like Lou Gehrig who used to sit and look out the window in the winter depressed until summer came back around and baseball returned.

All-in-all Mateo had a good season in 2016, it wasn’t like his 2015 season by any means but a solid season nonetheless, and the Yankees young shortstop will look to build upon this in 2017. Mateo gained a lot of experience and knowledge this season both on and off the field that cannot be expressed in a number or a gesture. You just have to watch as the rest of his career plays out to see the dividends.

Here is the official stat line for the 2016 season for Mr. Jorge Mateo. See you in 2017. 


This Day In New York Yankees History 9/16: Catfish Hunter Day

The New York Yankees have become known for the days they honor their current and former stars, players, and managers, and the Yankees did just that on this day in 1979 when they honored retiring closer Catfish Hunter. Hunter was surprisingly only 33 years old when the future Hall of Fame pitcher decided to hang up his cleats for good.

On the same day the Yankees got a glimpse into the future as a 20 year old rookie pitcher made his major league debut. His name was Dave Righetti.

Also on this day in 1948 Joe DiMaggio became only the 8th player in major league history to reach the 300 home run mark. DiMaggio joins Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Rogers Hornsby, Chuck Klein, and Hank Greenberg in the 300 home run club.

Finally on this day in 1923 in a move that future owner George Steinbrenner would have made 23 year old shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh was hired to replace Frank Chance as the manager of the team. Peckinpaugh lasted a whole 20 games and went 10-10 for the 6th place Yankees squad.