Monday, May 1, 2017

Fifteen wins for April? Sign me up…

Credit:  Elsa/Getty Images

All things considered, I'd rather talk about wins than losses...  

After reeling off two wins against the Baltimore Orioles, it felt like the chances were good for a sweep when the Yankees rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie Sunday’s game 4-4.  But unfortunately, luck ran out and the Yankees lost 7-4 as they now await the arrival of the Toronto Blue Jays later today.  

The loss dropped the Yankees to 15-8 and back into a tie for first place with the Orioles.

Although the Yankees had their chances late in the game, I thought the inability to push more runs across early in the game was key.  Had they broken open the game early, there would have been no need for late game heroics.  Through the first three innings, the Yankees left seven men on base.  The Yankees had runners on second and third with no outs in the second inning, but failed to score when O’s starter Wade Miley struck out Kyle Higashioka, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks in succession.

For the game, the Yankees left sixteen runners on base.  Still, they had a chance, thanks to a single by Didi Gregorius in the bottom of the ninth that scored Aaron Judge and Chase Headley to tie the game.  After Gregorius took second due to defensive indifference, the Yankees had runners at second and third.  Unfortunately, Chris Carter struck out to end the threat with a weak at-bat.  

From there, things got interesting.  Manager Joe Girardi moved reliever Bryan Mitchell, who had pitched the top of the ninth, to first base, and brought in Aroldis Chapman.  By keeping Mitchell in the game, the Yankees lost the DH spot in the lineup as it was taken by the new pitcher.  Had the Yankees won the game in the bottom of the tenth, it would have been a brilliant move.  Mitchell did commit one error (dropped foul pop) but Chapman prevented any other damage.  Sadly, with no DH, Matt Holliday was out of the game, and the Yankees had to pinch hit Greg Bird with the winning run at third base and only one out.  Bird was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and the next batter, Starlin Castro, hit into a force out that got Austin Romine out at the plate.  With the bases still loaded and two outs, Aaron Judge had a chance to send his team to victory, but it was not meant to be as he struck out.  

The lost chances eliminated the Yankees’ hopes for a win as the Orioles scored three runs in the top of the eleventh against Bryan Mitchell, who had moved back to pitching from first base to replace Chapman at the start of the inning.  

It was a frustrating set of circumstances that led to the lost DH but I do not fault Girardi for trying to get creative.  With a depleted bullpen, the Yankees did not have the men for an extended extra inning affair.  I would have preferred to have seen Holliday batting in the tenth with the winning run 90 feet away but you cannot fault Girardi’s logic.  He was trying to win a game and it could have (coulda, woulda, shoulda) worked out.  

I am not going to worry about a loss on April 30th.  The Yankees are still playing very well, and there’s nothing about yesterday’s loss that can detract from the excitement about the team.  If the Yankee took two games out of three for every series, they’d be in excellent shape.  

Credit:  Elsa/Getty Images

Tonight, the Yankees begin a three game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.  After a horrific start to the season, the Blue Jays are starting to win.  They took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.  This will be a big test for the young Yankees.

The scheduled pitching match-ups are:

Blue Jays:  Marco Estrada (0-1, 2.70 ERA)
Yankees:  Luis Severino (2-1, 3.00 ERA)

Blue Jays:  Mat Latos (0.00, 3.27 ERA)
Yankees:  Masahiro Tanaka (3-1, 4.20 ERA)

Blue Jays:  Marcus Stroman (2-2, 2.97 ERA)
Yankees:  CC Sabathia (2-1, 4.34 ERA)

The former Yankees in this series are Blue Jays starting catcher Russell Martin and outfielder Steve Pearce.

Speaking of ex-Yankees, infielder Pete Kozma, who had been designated for assignment when Didi Gregorius returned, has been claimed by the Texas Rangers.  To make room for Kozma, the Rangers demoted former top prospect Jurickson Profar to Triple-A.  Best of luck to Kozma and thanks to him for his brief efforts in the Bronx.

As for current Yankees, catcher Gary Sanchez begins a rehab assignment with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tomorrow with eyes on returning this weekend at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  

Have a great Monday!  Let’s get this machine back in the win column!


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  2. Now we will see how good Severino can be. He had nothing in the 1st 2 innings, let's see how far he can go without adding too the score! I have always said, "A starter needs 3 pitches" and this game is showing why, C&C has been gone for all three pitches but he has better control of his change-up. Most of the time if one sticks with it, the C&C will show-up again.

  3. Greg Bird....Why is he still an everyday player here ?

    He is lost, and struggling...big time. An out every at bat.

    Don't let a .100 average hitter try to find himself here! A month
    at Scranton could put him back on track. But not here.
    Judge was sent down, as well of hundreds of others.

    No one commented my Sabathia post ?
    I guess you are all pleased with him. Too bad.

  4. I agree, bird continuing isn't doing any good- I know he stays positive, and stuff like "everyone goes thru slumps" but this is borderline detrimental, in my opinion.

    The problem- there's no one that can play first! Ok- 1 player. Refsnyder. Sure, let him come up- PS he's hitting 0.260 on his 3rd, third, THIRD season in AAA. not exactly overwhelming numbers. This is the only move without making a 40 man crunch. Again, I'd say cut mason Williams for a PTBNL, add wade, guaranteed Wade can play 1st better than Refs, and he's 22 and hitting over 0.300 in AAA.

    The problem with Sabathia! There's no one to replace him, besides Luis Cessa. I would think the issue- the bullpen would take a huge hit, leaving people like Dear God, Tommy Layne and John Holder to take a more pivotal role, and they are two of the worst people on this team. completely useless. Bryan Mitchell can't handle his 2 innings at a time role. Guy throws 95, but is a 2 pitch pitcher that can't locate for the life of him. Chad Green is playing with toys in AAA and has a 3.74... again, another pitcher that needs a third pitch. We are playing well enough right now. If we go on a losing streak and the season is written off, AND sabathia is pitching over a 4.50 era, I'd put cessa in the rotation.

    Maybe Adam Warren? However, there's Chance Adams in Trenton, completely killing it, pitching to a 0.60 era. hopefully he will get the bump to AAA soon.

  5. Daryl....Great last sentence !
    There must be someone else who is qualified, or we're doomed.

    1. The answer has been sitting in the bullpen the whole time. It's Warren. Like I said last year this guy gets crewed over as much as RR. Mitchell won't amount to anything as he always wets the bed. Cessa is terrible as is Green. Face it we don't develop pitchers and anyone that says we do is an idiot. I can't wait to get a response from someone who says we do

    2. Hanzel...Never wanting to be an idiot, I therefore agree that
      this team does not churn out top notch pitchers.

      I am sorry for those pitchers who have tried, and spent years working at their craft, but only to become cannon fodder.

      Dayrl mentioned last night...Chance Adams. Great, but is that
      it ?....No more in the holding tank ?
      If so, they are truly doomed.

    3. Well said Patrick. I would like to see the elf stop making prospects play all minor league levels. If your competent to play you shouldn't be required by the elf to go station to station. I know he isn't a pitcher, but I want to see GT this year and not in September. Other organizations jump players from Double A to the majors. what baseball manual says it has to be all minor league levels before the majors?

    4. Lucas Giolito jumped AA to majors. he was also the #1 prospect at the time. Proceeded to throw 21 innings of 6.75 ERA ball. now he's in the minors for the freaking White Sox... The only others I can think- Conforto and Manny Machado.

      Conforto was 2 years older than torres and a college player. BUT. I'd say right now, trade refs for a PTBNL, add wade to the 40 man (or with bird on DL) and run him at 1st every couple games. Torres is crushing AA, strikes out 8% of the time, hitting like 0.320, showing power, move him to Scranton. Try and trade headley, for whatever, even a salary dump. Hopefully torres will have 30-40 games at AAA, then bring him to 3rd.

      There's also 40 man issues, that's the biggest issue. so what star Trenton players are major league ready, and follow up with all 40 man moves. Unfortunately, you can't just execute players that don't perform well for 3 weeks, and if we did that, your boy refsnyder would be long gone.

      I'll start with some moves for space. Tommy Layne, John Holder, Mason Williams should be gone. Trade Brett Gardner. Yea, well unfortunately we aren't getting back much for brett gardner, otherwise it would be done. Trade him when his value is the lowest for nothing?

      Ok, we got rid of john holder and tommy layne. But now you need bullpen depth. Who's filling those positions? Just because they can play in the BP doesn't mean they can start, which is really what we want. See severino 2016.

      I think part of the reason- my guess is these pitchers like Acevedo and German were signed young, so now they're protected. they are far away. Looking at it again, German might be good to put in the bullpen- if the season turns south, I'd say get rid of clippard and put german for the 7th inning role.

      Deinrich Enns is another, Patrick. and no innings limit. Come trade deadline, trade pineda and let the kids fight for a spot. Enns should get an opportunity to crack the rotation, because he will have a full year of AAA under his belt, pitching a sub 2 ERA. not too shabby.

    5. I would trade Tanaka as well as he looks to be opting out and the elf said if he opts out he is done. Let's not get fleeced like we did with Cano and Robertson and only got a sandwich pick.

    6. There's a difference between trading an expiring contract and eating ellsburys 100 million dollar contract. Two very different things. Just because you jump someone from trenton to the Bronx doesn't mean they're going to miraculously come out as a savior. If they suck, they suck, bottom line

  6. Any player that can play "above good" baseball at AA can jump to the Majors as well as one from AAA.
    Chance Adams is the next guy up, even if he never plays in AAA. Just my opinion!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)