Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Winning On A Sonny Day...

Credit:  Kathy Willens-AP
Yankees 7, Tigers 3...

Despite a few unintentional plunkings, the Yankees emerged victorious over the Detroit Tigers on Monday.  A critical error by Ian Kinsler of the Tigers opened the door for runs in the fourth inning, and Aaron Judge later added to his collection of home runs.  

Let's start first with Luis Severino.  He didn't have his best stuff but he battled.  That's the sign of a very good pitcher.  Sevy threw nearly 30 pitches in the first inning which showed that he probably would not have length in the game.  After striking out the first two Tigers batters in the first inning, the Tigers loaded the bases when Justin Upton singled, Miguel Cabrera walked, and Nicholas Castanellos singled.  Fortunately, Sevy got out of the inning when Victor Martinez struck out swinging at a pitch below the strike zone.  

Credit:  Kathy Willens-AP
Detroit's Mikie Mahtook suffered his first hit by pitch leading off the second inning.  Sevy's pitch got away from him and hit Mahtook between the numbers.  Sevy retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.

The Tigers scored first in the top of the 4th inning.  Mikie Mahtook singled to left with two outs, and advanced to second when Clint Frazier overran the ball for an error.  James McCann doubled to right (just beyond a diving Aaron Judge), scoring Mahtook for the early 1-0 lead.  The Yankees came right back in the bottom of the inning.  After Aaron Judge walked, Gary Sanchez hit a grounder to second baseman Ian Kinsler which he mishandled.  Both runners were safe at first and second.  Matt Holliday walked to load the bases for Chase Headley.  Headley took advantage of the situation with a double to the right center wall, splitting the outfielders.  Both Judge and Sanchez scored, while Holliday moved to third.  Todd Frazier followed with a single to right, scoring Holliday and Headley.  The Yankees had taken a 4-1 lead that would not be relinquished.  

The Yankees added a run in the fifth inning when Aaron Judge muscled his 34th home run into the left center stands.  

Luis Severino did not return for the 6th inning and was replaced by Tommy Kahnle.  Sevy had thrown 116 pitches by the time he struck out Victor Martinez in the top of the 5th.  But by completing at least 5 innings, Sevy (8-4) would be the eventual winner.  His final line:  5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 SO. It was his second shortest start of the year.  Kahnle didn't fare so well but he did limit the damage.  The top of the 6th started with a high fastball that curved inside, striking the side of Mikie Mahtook's batting helmet.  It was a very scary moment but Mahtook jumped up quickly and visibly voiced his displeasure.  I was very glad to see that Mahtook was not hurt on the play.  James McCann followed Mahtook and hit an infield grounder to third for a hit.  Mahtook moved to second.  Kahnle was able to retire the next two batters, but then Jim Adduci singled to left to score Mahtook.  5-2, Yankees.

In the bottom of the 7th, Tigers starter Michael Fulmer hit Jacoby Ellsbury in the butt leading off the 7th inning.  "It stinks for Ells," Manager Joe Girardi said after the game, "It stinks for everyone involved. But I kind of expected it to come."  Ellsbury shook it off and promptly stole second.  Clint Frazier tripled to left to score Ellsbury.  

Credit:  Charles Wenzelberg-New York Post
Following a walk to Aaron Judge, Fulmer was pulled in favor of Alex Wilson.  Wilson allowed a sacrifice fly to Gary Sanchez as the Yankees increased their lead to 7-2 before striking out the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder made it a little too interesting in the top of the 9th inning.  Holder had entered the game to start the 8th, allowing only a meaningless single while striking out two of the four batters he faced.  The 9th didn't go quite so well.  After striking out Justin Upton to start the inning, both Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castanellos singled.  Holder hit Victor Martinez with a pitch to load the bases.  End of game for Holder; enter Aroldis Chapman.  Mikie Mahtook hit into a force out at second to erase Martinez, but Cabrera scored.  7-3, Yankees.  Chapman then struck out James McCann with runners at the corners to end the game, picking up his 13th save.  A little too much drama at the end, but the end result worked.  The Yankees win!

Credit:  Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees (57-47) maintained their half game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East with the win.  The Red Sox easily defeated the Yankees' next opponent, the Cleveland Indians, 6-2.  The Tampa Bay Rays were pummeled by the Houston Astros, 14-7, to fall 4 1/2 games off the pace.  The Baltimore Orioles won their third game in a row and sit 6 1/2 games back.  

Chase Headley is hot.  He was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI's and a run scored.  He is batting .383 since the All-Star break (23-for-60). Matt Holliday is not.  He was 0-for-3, with three strikeouts although he did score a run when he walked in the 4th inning.

Deadline Day Recap...

Sonny Skies in the Bronx!  There will be no Gray Matter left hanging in the Bay as the Yankees finally consummated the long awaited deal to bring Sonny Gray to New York.  GM Brian Cashman was successful in retaining top OF prospect Estevan Florial but it cost 2B/SS/CF Jorge Mateo, OF Dustin Fowler, and RHP James Kaprielian.  Fowler is out for the season due to the horrific knee injury suffered in Chicago when he made his MLB debut for the Yanks, and Kaprielian is recovering from Tommy John surgery.  I hate to see all three go but at the end of the day, the Yankees are better today than they were yesterday with a young, controllable starter that will be in Pinstripes beyond this year.  


All things considered, not losing Florial in the trade has to be a win even if it cost the team Fowler and Kaprielian in addition to Mateo.  The stars seem to be aligning for the potential future free agent signings of OF Bryce Harper and/or 3B Manny Machado.  No word yet when Gray will make his Yankees debut, but his turn in the rotation had originally been scheduled for last Sunday and then pushed to Monday (which was obviously postponed due to the trade) so he's ready.  Based on Manager Joe Girardi's words, it sounds as though we'll see both Gray and Garcia when the team travels to Cleveland later this week.  

The Yankees also picked up $1.5 million international bonus slot money in the A's deal.  

The Yankees have a mission to rebuild the Baltimore Orioles' pitching staff.  After sending pitchers Richard Bleier and Matt Wotherspoon to the O's earlier this year, the Yankees sent RHP Yefry Ramirez to the O's for international bonus pool money prior to the Sonny Gray acquisition.  

The day's action opened three spots on the 40-man roster (those held by Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler and Yefry Ramirez).  One will be taken by Sonny Gray, while another will go to Jaime Garcia.  

A very productive day for GM Brian Cashman... 

Odds & Ends...

A couple of quick notes about new Yankees lefty Jaime Garcia.  I thought Garcia was in Oakland, CA with the Minnesota Twins when it was announced that he had been traded to the Yankees.  He was actually home in Atlanta packing his bags when news of the trade was officially announced after catching a red-eye flight on Saturday night. Twins manager Paul Molitor had a great line about Garcia, "Unless we bring him back, he'll go down as one of the few undefeated pitchers in Twins history".  Garcia, with the Twins for only 6 days, won his only start on Friday night.  It is amazing to think that the Minnesota Twins are paying the freight on Garcia's salary, with the Yankees only responsible for the prorated share of the league minimum.  Hal Steinbrenner must have been giddy about dollar savings on the deal.

RHP Jonathan Holder has been recalled from Triple A prior to Monday's game to fill the spot vacated by RHP Luis Cessa when he was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this weekend. Holder and 1B Garrett Cooper were both optioned to SWB after the game, presumably to make room for Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia.  Garcia is scheduled to join the Yankees today.

I am anxious to see what numbers Gray and Garcia will wear.  Both pitchers have worn #54 and we know that one is already taken.  Garcia wore #24 for 6 days in Minnesota, but that one's already spoken for too.  

Have a great Tuesday!  New faces all around...David Robertson is already an old-timer once again.  Let's Go Yankees!

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