Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Betances Fails The Late Night Show...

Credit:  Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles 7, Yankees 6...

I've never been a big fan of Dellin Betances as closer and Tuesday night was Exhibit A.  I do not feel that he has the closer's mentality and his arm plays best in a prime setup role. His inability to throw strikes to Tim Beckham with two outs set up Manny Machado for the late night heroics with a dramatic two-run walk-off home run. I've felt all along that David Robertson should have been the interim closer but at this point, an argument could be made for the return of Aroldis Chapman.

In a game delayed by rain (game time was 9:15 pm Eastern), the Orioles scored first in the bottom of the first inning. Jonathan Schoop worked a two-out walk off Yankees starter CC Sabathia.  Adam Jones reached base on an infield single to third (a slow roller that hit the bag). During Trey Mancini's at-bat, a wild pitch by Sabathia that got away from Austin Romine allowed the runners to move up to second and third.  Mancini proceeded to hit a short dribbler to short. Didi Gregorius charged in to retrieve the ball but in the words of Michael Kay, he had to "eat it" when there was no play at either first or home. Schoop scored and the O's led 1-0.  

The Yankees erupted in the third inning against Orioles starter Jeremy Hellickson. Austin Romine led off with a single to left through the hole.  After Brett Gardner lined out to right, Aaron Judge walked and Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Didi Gregorius lined a single to right which scored both Romine and Judge.  Judge slid in safely under the throw.  Matt Holliday walked to re-load the bases. The O's then pulled Hellickson and replaced him with former Yankee Richard Bleier. Greg Bird hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored Castro. An error by center fielder Adam Jones, he dropped the ball, allowed Bird to safely reach base and the bases were still loaded.  Todd Frazier grounded out softly to short with the only play the throw to first. Gregorius came home with the fourth run.  Jacoby Ellsbury was next and he singled up the middle to center to score Holliday and Bird. The Yankees were seemingly in control at 6-1.

Credit:  Patrick Semansky-Associated Press

Leading off the bottom of the 3rd, Manny Machado, the American League Player of the Month in August, gave a preview of coming attractions with his line drive home run to center.  The Yankees still led, 6-2, but it was statement by Machado that the game was not over.  

While the Yankees were struggling to get runners past second base, the O's added another run in the bottom of the 5th inning when Jonathan Schoop took Sabathia deep to left center for a solo homer.  

Sabathia pitched into the 6th inning but overstayed his welcome. Trey Mancini led off with a looper just over Todd Frazier's outreached glove for a single.  Mark Trumbo took advantage and blasted a two-run shot to left. It was a one-run game. After Chris Davis grounded out for the first out of the inning, the Yankees finally pulled Sabathia.  Tommy Kahnle took over and got the final two outs.

Girardi's formula was then to use David Robertson for the 7th and Aroldis Chapman for the 8th. Both men did their jobs. Each retiring the three batters they faced.  Unfortunately, after the big 3rd inning, the Yankees offense stalled. Their last chance came in the 8th when they had two men on base with only one out, but Aaron Judge struck out and Starlin Castro popped out to third in foul territory to strand the runners.

Fast-forward to the bottom of the 9th, Dellin Betances took over for Chapman and retired the first two batters. He needed just one more out which never came.  He couldn't throw strikes to Tim Beckham, walking him on a 3-1 count.  Manny Machado, swinging at a poorly placed high pitch from Betances, sent the ball over the wall in center field for the walk-off two-run home run.  

Credit:  Associated Press

The Yankees (74-64) lost ground to the Boston Red Sox. The Sox were trailing the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th before tying the game and sending it into extra innings. They finally scored the walk-off run in the 19th inning to win the game and push the Yankees 3 1/2 games back. The Orioles moved back to 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees with the win.  The Los Angeles Angels leap-frogged the Minnesota Twins and trail the Yankees by 2 1/2 games in the Wild Card Standings. The Angels beat the Oakland A's, 8-7, in 10 innings, while the Twins fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1.

This is another game that the Yankees should have won. It would have been huge to win the first two games in Baltimore.  But it was not meant to be so hopefully the Yankees can rebound today. Rain is in the forecast throughout the evening so there's a strong possibility the game is called and pushed to Thursday. When the teams take the field, the Yankees must play like a team fighting for the post-season and avoid the mistakes that allow the opponent to capitalize. Moving Betances back to set up would be a start.

Odds & Ends...

Every time the Yankees add a player from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, I can't help but feel bad for RailRiders Manager Al Pedrique as his team prepares for its International League playoff series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. But then again, the RailRiders can raid from the Double A Trenton Thunder as 2B Billy Fleming will attest. I guess talent rolls up hill. The latest RailRider to exit the team is 1B/OF Tyler Austin who was promoted to the big league club prior to yesterday's game.  It makes more sense for Austin to provide outfield corner support than either Tyler Wade or Ronald Torreyes. Austin had two home runs the other day in the RailRiders' regular season finale.

Luis Severino's post on The Player's Tribune website entitled My Journey to the Bronx is a great read. It makes you feel proud and excited to be a Yankees fan. I didn't realize how close he came to being a Colorado Rockie. I am glad it didn't happen and that the opportunity to play for his favorite childhood team came to fruition.

Have a great Wednesday! Let's grab a win today at Camden Yards before the team jumps on a plane bound for the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex! Go Yankees!


  1. Ot was easy to see he did not have his fastball tonight.However the real blame goes to the offense who was 2-11 with RISP .
    You also had Ells and Gardy on with 1 out and didn't try to run ( yes I know the catcher is good at throwing out runners but this was Ells and Gardy)
    You gotta score more than 1 inning and we werd gifted some of those runs.
    CC was toast after the 5th you cpuld see it so again I question Rothschild and Girardi do you really wamt to win?
    Again stats show that in games Judge hits 2nd or 3rd he does not do well but rakes as the 5th or 6th hitter and Didi is better suited for 7th accprding to stats.
    Girardi can read and interpret a stat sheet from all the baseball analytics

  2. How about this lineup (when everyone is back)...?
    Everyone is interchangeable although nobody is much in the line of clutch!

  3. I know I am totally in the minority here but I want Didi hitting third. If I were putting together the lineup I think it would look something like this. I know this lineup defies the stats but I have never been one to be afraid to go against the grain either so...

    Gardner - L
    Castro - R
    Didi - L
    Judge - R
    Sanchez - R
    Bird - L
    Holliday - R
    Frazier/Headley - R/S
    Ellsbury - L

    Yes I know

    1. Better than mine, but more like my 2nd choice almost! Looks good to me. I really like the 3 thu 7 setup.
      Daniel, where have all the clutch hitters gone? No, no need to answer...they are on other teams! We need clutch hitting more then anything. Hell, every game it is the same thing...put them on and...NOT bring them in.
      Almost done packing, getting out of this stupid tax happy state, next week!

    2. I feel like Didi is pretty clutch, Gardner can be. Clutch is probably the hardest thing to find because you can't actively recruit it or teach it.

    3. I couldn't agree more, both come though more than most of the other guys do!
      Being a clutch hitter is not something one can explain, I have had people that could hit anything they shot at without even thinking about it. I think it is their DNA.


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