Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yanks Launch Three Longballs, Lead to 6-4 Victory In Sox Series Opener

On A cloudy night in the Bronx, the Yankees bashed their way into a game one win against the rival Red Sox. Getting the start for New York was rookie right-hander Luis Sessa, who pitched very well but was saddled with a no decision as his bullpen let him down once again. Getting the call and the loss for Boston was ace David Price, falling to 17-9 while raising his ERA to 4.04 in an outing that saw him get hit early and often against a team that he has historically not had much success.

It didn't take long for the Yankees to jump on the ace Price, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. After a Brett Gardner led off the night with a strikeout. Jacoby Ellsbury laced a single into centerfield. The next batter Gary Sanchez crushed a first-pitch fastball from Price deep into the Red Sox bullpen in left-center for his 20th homer in just 51 games, tying an MLB record for quickest to 20 and giving New York a 2-0 lead. With the longball, Sanchez also became the 104th player this season to collect 20 or more homeruns, a new MLB record that bested the 103 mark set in 1999.

They put up their third run of the game on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Austin Romine and Tyler Austin started the frame with back-to-back singles, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a one-out single into right field that scored Romine to extend the Yankees lead to three.

The Red Sox responded with two runs in the top of the sixth, but it could've been a lot worse had it not been for Sessa's impressive escapability. Andrew Benintendi started the rally with an infield single that bounced in front of Sessa, advancing to second base on a throwing error by the rookie pitcher. The next batter Dustin Pedroia smacked a single to centerfield that scored Benintendi to put the Red Sox on the board at 3-1. After Xander Bogarts followed up with a line drive double to right, Sessa got the lifetime .307 hitter against the Yankees David Ortiz to strike out for out number one. Mookie Betts then followed up with a ground out to short, scoring Pedroia and pulling Boston to within one. But, Sessa got out of it by striking out last week's Yankee killer Hanley Ramirez to end the threat and the frame.

Didi Gregorius became the 105th player to hit 20 or more homeruns this season when he blasted HIS 20th shot of the year, a solo blast to right in the bottom of the sixth to push the Yankees back out by two.

Even though Sessa left the game for Tommy Layne in the seventh, all of his prior work was for not as the Sox came back to tie it against their old teammate Layne. Aaron Hill came on to pinch-hit for Brock Holt to lead off the inning and proceeded to launch a solo homerun to left field that made it a 4-3 ballgame. Jackie Bradley Jr. kept the offensive pressure on by driving a single to right, advancing to second on a bunt by Sandy Leon. Dustin Pedroia struck again, this time with a two-out single that beat the shift down the right field line to score Bradley Jr. and tie the game at four apiece. Blake Parker then came on in relief and proceeded to get Ortiz to ground out to short to prevent any further damage.

But the game didn't stay tied for long as the Yankees came back to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning, knocking Price out in the process. Romine led off the seventh with a single to right; scoring when the next batter Tyler Austin blasted his fourth longball of the season, an opposite-field two-run shot to right that put the Bombers back on top by a 6-4 score. After a Gardner single and an Ellsbury line out, Price was pulled for right-handed side-winding Brad Ziegler. The deadline acquisition from the Diamondbacks proceeded to get Gary Sanchez to ground out into an inning ending double-play.

With all the well-documented recent struggles of Delin Betances, the Yanks decided to send Tyler Clippard to close out the game in the ninth. After getting Leon to strike out to begin the frame, Benintendi laced a double down the right field line. Pedroia followed up with a walk, representing the tying run at first base with one out. But, Clippard tight-roped out of it by getting Bogarts to pop out to short and then got Ortiz to strike out to end the ballgame. The win guarantees that the Yankees will finish the season at at least .500 and prevented the Red Sox from celebrating a division championship in Yankee Stadium.

The Pinstripers will try to keep it rolling tomorrow night as they square off against Boston in game two of the three game set, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/27

Here we go ladies and gentleman, rivalry renewed once again and one last time this season. Tonight the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium play host to the retiring David Ortiz and his Boston Red Sox. Before we honor the long-time Red Sox DH and Yankees killer in the Bronx we have two more games that the team can play spoiler in so let’s see if the Baby Bombers are up to the task. In the game tonight the Yankees will send rookie starter Luis Cessa to the mound to square off against savvy veteran David Price for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN2 and MLB TV.

It’s time to play spoiler. Go Yankees!

Also if you want to see David Ortiz’s final game in the Bronx click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog. Alright, Go Yankees for real this time. 

Expect Another Quiet Offseason for New York

Last offseason the New York Yankees did the least New York Yankees thing they could have done, they signed the same amount of Major League free agents as I’ve gotten hits in Major League Baseball. Zero. The Yankees were quiet although they did make trades for Aroldis Chapman and Starlin Castro and you know what? We, as fans, could be in for an equally as long and quiet offseason this winter as well.

The New York Yankees have plans of getting under the luxury tax threshold, and FYI it is expected to go up around or above $200 million when the new collective bargaining agreement is all said and done this winter, either this season or next leaving the possibility of signing many free agents unlikely. This is especially true when you consider that Ivan Nova, yes that Ivan Nova, may be the best starting pitcher available and is already asking for $70 million across a five-year deal.

Remember the 2013 Yankees that let like 672 home runs, exaggeration but only a slight one, go in the offseason only to replace them with Chris Stewart and Kevin Youkilis? Well we may be heading towards that route again except this time the Yankees youth will take center stage. With Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez finally coming off the books this may be the Yankees final chance to strike and get under the cap before super free agents like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper hit the open market, presumably.

As it stands right now the Yankees only have $95 million committed to players for the 2018 season and $57 million for the 2019 season not counting arbitration eligible players so this time around the possibility of getting under the cap is a real one. It’s only a real one though if the team stays off the free agent board, and I think that they will. Unfortunately. 

REMINDER: Two Days Left Until We Moon Big Papi

This is not a joke, nor is this a drill. There is an organization out there trying to get as many people as possible to moon Big Papi during his final game inside Yankee Stadium. What are they going to do? Kick out and lock up 40,000 people for showing their butt to a baseball player? I would hope not anyway.

Head over to MoonBigPapi.com and check out what they have planned. If you’re going to the stadium Thursday night at least consider it, there is no bigger sign of respect for a player that killed the team we love for so many years than to show him our butt’s while he rides off into the sunset.

This is just a reminder. T-minus two days until we moon Big Papi. Be there!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/27

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox begin their final series of the 2016 season tonight marking the final three times that David Ortiz will step foot inside Yankee Stadium. One word comes to mind when I think about Oritz’s final game inside Yankee Stadium. No not the word “ceremony” or “retirement” but instead “hallelujah” comes to mind. This guy has killed the Yankees in his career, hasn’t he? Let me answer that for you, he has, and the ultimate sign of respect will be millions of Yankees fans holding the door for him and pushing him through it to retirement. That’s the Thursday night game though, we have to worry about tonight first so we’ll do just that right here with this preview. In the start tonight the Yankees will send Luis Cessa to the mound to face off with Mr. David Price, a familiar foe for these Yankees over the years.

Cessa has been a lot more prone to the home run ball lately than the Yankees would like but they can’t really ask any more from the young right-hander than they’ve already gotten this season. Cessa has pitched especially well since moving into the team’s starting rotation and has pitched well enough for the Yankees to win every start he’s made if he had a little help from the offense. What more could you ask for?

Price is starting to hit his second half groove but it hasn’t come against the Yankees this season. Price has gone at least seven innings in four of his past five starts including his last start against the Baltimore Orioles to push his season total up to 218.2 innings pitched. Fatigue tonight in the Bronx? I sure hope so.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium, welcome home Yankees, and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN 2 and MLB TV. It all comes down to this Yankees family. Three games with the Boston Red Sox, a David Ortiz goodbye ceremony and three games with the Baltimore Orioles before the Yankees are all golfing for the winter. Well, these are the baby bombers after all so maybe it will be a long winter of playing video games instead. Either way the season is winding down and part of me is glad. The 162 game grind is exhausting, especially with the ups and downs with this team this season, and it takes its toll even on the people who blog about and cover the team. The players have to be exhausted too but that’s no excuse. It’s still Go Yankees!

Even if the Playoffs Don’t Come

Even if the playoffs don’t come to the New York Yankees in 2016 I still have two words for this team and this organization, thank you. The New York Yankees came into the 2016 season with expectations at an all-time low. The team hadn’t signed a single MLB free agent that offseason, although they did acquire Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman in trades, and big time prospects like Greg Bird were injured to start the season. The Yankees had the deck stacked against them and after a 9-17 start they already had some throwing dirt on their graves before the team rose from the ashes.

This team clawed their way back to the .500 mark and while they struggled to get above it they hovered around it until the All-Star break and subsequently the August 1st trading deadline. New York decided to fully commit to the rebuild and the youth movement and the team traded away their best hitter, their two best pitchers and a key piece to their rotation all for prospects. Once again dirt was being flung around and over the graves of the Yankees and once again the team came back stronger than ever from those same ashes.

This team went on a run thanks to the youth that at one time were discarded by some fans and youth that just flat out exceeded expectations. The back-to-back home runs in their first MLB at-bats by Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin. Gary Sanchez hitting a home run every 45 minutes for a solid week or more. The clutch hitting by Didi Gregorius and the clutch pitching by Masahiro Tanaka. The saves lodged by Dellin Betances and the work put in by Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren after coming home. All of it was special in its own little way.

The emergence of Chad Green and then the emergence of Luis Cessa as starting pitchers. The return of Bryan Mitchell. The retirement of Alex Rodriguez. The eventual retirement of Mark Teixeira. The return of dominant CC. Wow, what a season.

We may not have ended up where we all wanted to be but the experience, the team building and the fun we had on this roller coaster ride of a season you can’t merely put into words. So I won’t try, all I’ll say once again is thank you for a fantastic 2016 Yankees family.

Scoreboard Watching for September 27th

September 27, 2016. Good morning Yankees family and good morning baseball fans everywhere. The playoffs are a week away and we have some scoreboard watching to do tonight. Let’s get to it.

AL East Race:

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles

AL Wild Card Race: 

Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians
Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals  vs. Minnesota Twins

National League Wild Card: 

New York Mets @ Miami Marlins
San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs

Unfortunately pretty soon it looks like the Yankees will be mathematically eliminated and will drop off the list. Oh well, still a great season. More on that later.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/27: 4 Million Fans

The New York Yankees continued to sell tickets and smash records in the 2000’s and on this day in 2006 the stadium in the Bronx saw its 4,000,000th fan enter the ballpark. This marked the second consecutive season that New York surpassed 4,000,000 fans in one season. The Yankees and the 1991-1993 Toronto Blue Jays are the only teams in major league history with 4,000,000 plus fans in more than one season.

Also on this day in 1998 the Yankees won their seventh straight game to end the 1998 season 114-48. The Yankees .704 winning percentage marked the first time a team finished a season with over a .700 winning percentage since the 1954 Indians who went 111-43.

Finally on this day in 1938 we finish on a somber note as Lou Gehrig would hit his 493rd and final home run of his career. Gehrig’s home run came off Dutch Leonard of the Washington Senators. It is also worth mentioning that one this day 15 years earlier Gehrig hit his first home run of his major league career off the Red Sox Bill Piercy.