Monday, October 9, 2017

Yankees Fly to Victory Behind Tanaka and Company...

Credit:  Kathy Willens-AP

American League Division Series, Game 3
Yankees 1, Indians 0...

The Yankees rode the arms of Masahiro Tanaka and Aroldis Chapman, the glove of Aaron Judge and the bat of Greg Bird to to their first win in the ALDS. It was a very exciting game and one that cannot underestimate the value of Gary Sanchez's defense behind the plate. 

After a postseason that was seen a bevy of starting pitching blowups in both leagues, this was a classic pitcher's duel. Going against Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, a "quiet" 18-game winner during the season, I figured that getting runs would be difficult.  

The Indians threatened first. With one out in the top of the 4th, the Indians got their second hit of the game when Jason Kipnis lined a shot into right field for a triple. Aaron Judge, running hard, tried to reach the ball but it bounced off the palm of his glove. It looked like the Indians might score the game's first run but Tanaka struck out both Jose Ramirez and Jay Bruce, very dangerous sluggers, to retire the Indians (much to the delight of the very loud Yankee Stadium crowd).  

As great as Tanaka was pitching, the Yankees were unable to register their first hit against Carrasco until the bottom of the 4th when Didi Gregorius singled to center. He didn't go anywhere but at least the Yankees had eliminated the goose egg under the hits column.  

Roberto Perez opened the top of the 6th inning for the Tribe with a single to left.  Giovanny Urshela lined out to right for the first out to bring superstar Francisco Lindor to the plate. Lindor smoked a Tanaka splitter high to right field and it looked like the Indians might have the first runs of the game. Hold your horses! Aaron Judge perfectly timed his leap and with his glove stretched high from his 6'7" frame, he caught Lindor's ball from landing in the first rows of the right field seats. It was a brilliant game-saving catch. If you can't beat them with your bat, beat them with your glove.  


Credit:  Kathy Willens-AP
The Yankees mounted their first genuine scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 6th. The inning started when Aaron Hicks reached first base on a slow grounder to third off the end of his bat. Unfortunately, Brett Gardner hit a grounder to short which the Indians turned for a double play.  Aaron Judge was next and he walked on five pitches. Gary Sanchez followed with a single to center. Didi Gregorius, like Judge, also walked on five pitches from Carrasco.  Bases loaded for Starlin Castro.  Tribe manager Terry Francona made the call to the bullpen and brought in the great Andrew Miller. Miller retired Castro on a pop up to shallow left, leaving the bases full of Yanks. Ugh...

While Tanaka was continuing to breeze through the Indians' lineup, Greg Bird led off the bottom of the 7th against Miller with a massive home run into the second deck (almost into the third deck) of right field. Remind me again why we (which includes me) wanted Yonder Alonso, Justin Bour, Lucas Duda or Jay Bruce for first base before the trading deadline. Bird is showing that he was the best first base "acquisition" of the second half. The Yankees were up, 1-0.


Credit:  Paul J Bereswill-NY Post

Todd Frazier followed Bird, however, he flied out to left. Francona made another call to the pen, this time for one-time Yankee Tyler Olson. Olson struck out both Chase Headley and Aaron Hicks to end the inning, making me wonder why the Yankees cut Olson in 2016. Olson had come to the Yankees in the January 2016 trade that also brought Ronald Torreyes from the Los Angeles Dodgers for third baseman Rob Segedin. The Yankees ended up cutting both players, although we know that Torreyes eventually found his way back home. Nice job by Olson although I was hoping for a much worse result for him.

David Robertson took over for Tanaka in the top of the 8th. He got Austin Jackson to fly out to right for the first out, but then he walked Michael Brantley on a full count. Manager Joe Girardi wasn't going to take any chances so he pulled D-Rob and replaced him with Aroldis Chapman. Chapman did his job, racking up two strikeouts on eight pitches.  


Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

In the bottom of the 8th, with Olson still pitching for the Indians, Brett Gardner led off with a fly to center that dropped barely in front of the glove of center fielder Jason Kipnis for a double. The Indians brought in former Los Angeles Angels reliever Joe Smith who struck out Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. After Didi Gregorius was intentionally walked, Starlin Castro hit into a fielder's choice at third to retire Gardy on the force out. I would have preferred an insurance run or two in that spot but it was not to be.

Onto the top of the 9th, and time for a showdown between Chapman and the Indians, facing the top of the order. Chapman struck out Francisco Lindor for the first out. Then things got very tense. Jason Kipnis singled up the middle to center field, followed by a very sharp grounder to third by Jose Ramirez.  Todd Frazier made a great stop but the ball came out of his glove on the transfer from his knees.  Runners at first and second with only one out. Chapman, firing at 100 mph+, dug deep and struck out Jay Bruce for the critical second out.  One man stood between Chapman and victory and it was Carlos Santana, more than capable of sending one out for the tying run. Chapman won the battle when Santana got under a 102 mph Chapman fastball and lifted a fly to left center into the glove of Aaron Hicks for the final out. The Yankees win!


Credit:  Getty Images

It was a nail-biter at the end but the Yankees persevered to live another day. I honestly didn't think that Greg Bird's solo home run would hold up as the margin of victory but to my pleasant surprise, it did. Clearly, if Aaron Judge hadn't made that great catch in the 6th inning, there would be champagne stains on the floor in the visitor's clubhouse.  

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was booed heavily by the home crowd during the pre-game introductions. I blamed Girardi for the Game 2 loss as much as anyone, but I thought it was unfair to treat Girardi so poorly. Regardless of his faults, he is the current manager of the Yankees and his job is win games for us.  The last thing he needed was our non-support. Not one of the better moments at Yankee Stadium.  


Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Gary Sanchez, who has taken much heat for his defense and league-leading passed balls, did an excellent job catching this game.  

For today's game, the Cleveland Indians have announced that Game 1 starter Trevor Bauer, pitching on short rest, will get the nod. He'll be opposed by Luis Severino who made the less-than-stellar extremely short start in the Wild Card game. Hopefully, Sevy will have the answer for his nerves tonight when he steps out on the main stage. His job is to get this series back to Cleveland and into the hands of Sonny Gray.

Odds & Ends...

I enjoy reading Nick Cafardo's Sunday Baseball Notes in the Boston Globe even if it does have a slight Red Sox taint to it. Cafardo is a very good baseball writer. But one entry this weekend was disturbing. I know that there's a strong possibility and very likely that new Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter will draw upon past relationships as he builds his new organization in Miami. Already, names like Gary Denbo and even GM Brian Cashman have been mentioned. Cafardo threw out a few more names of potential possibilities...Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. Ugh, I really hope that this does not happen. While I may never have been a great fan of Jeter, he's hitting on some names that I hold very dear within the Yankees history. I didn't dislike Jeter when he was a Yankee (I appreciated his time in Pinstripes), but he wasn't one of my favorites. The other names would be a little harder to accept (for me). It is tough enough watching Don Mattingly in a Marlins cap...

Credit:  Getty Images
Have a great Monday! Let's even this series! Go Yankees!

15 comments:

  1. I've been reading a lot about the "firing" of Girardi. Is it really firing him if you simply do not renew his contract? If a player isn't brought back when his contract is up he isn't considered fired. Why don't they just offer him an insulting BS contract like they did to Torre? Either way, it's time for the Yankees to move on from Girardi.

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    1. My suggestion for manager is John Flarety. This guy knows the game inside and out and I think he would make a great replacement for Girardi. You can see Girardi knows the end is near and I truthfully believe it will be on his end. Hal is to stubborn to make the move.

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    2. Flahrety wouldn't be a bad choice. I'm not sure that's how you spell it, but you know who I'm talking about. I would also consider O'neill because of his intensity. The guy I'd really like to see is Kevin Cash though. It would be nice to see what he could do with an organization that actually spends on payroll.

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    4. Levin I love the Paul O'Neill reference. I love the tenacity, however I'm not sure he would like to manage. Obviously Kevin Cash is off limits so that name goes bye bye

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    5. Yeah, I know he's under contract until 2019. I can hope though, right?

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  2. One last thing, can we please stop seeing Girardi try giving the game away with inserting Betance's. The only time Betance's should see the mound is when he goes to the pen before the game starts and after he runs by it when the game is over. He has the yips and will someone tell Girardi that you have a professional hitter in Matt Holliday on the bench and I am sick of seeing Headley go up to the plate looking aloof.

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    1. All great points.....Hansel. You show how easy it is to make
      site hit on all eights.(Cylinders).

      Last night was just OUTSTANDING ! The crowd, the sound, the
      intensity, the final score. Missed that a lot!

      Holliday....Hmmmm? Could be the key that gets them past Cleveland.

      Great to see the site starting to wake up. Wake up lads !

      Will it last ? One can not contribute in a morgue environment.
      I can not. Always has been the problem here. Sorry.

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    2. Win, lose, or implode....Your manager for the next few years
      will be Joe Girardi. When the new pieces start falling into place,
      he will be the next Joe Torre.

      ***Question: What was the name of that guy the team signed
      as a free agent in February.....Who hit 41HR's for Milwaukee
      last year ? The team cut him twice this year.
      What a crap signing!

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    3. KEN REED....At 90 years of age, why move to the Ice World?
      Michigan! So you can fish in a ice hole ?
      Remember the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald ?
      You belong on Hilton Head Island.

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    4. patrick, young man, this weather is about the same as Just North of Rochester near the lake.
      I got out of eastern New York years ago and don't want to see the old place as it is now...changed for the better they say. But, I bet they don't have the fun (looking back) as we had back in the old days.

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    5. Patrick you always put a smile on my face with your comments. I agree with you on Girardi. I'm not a fan but the guy has done more with less over the last few years. This year he had the youth so I'm not sure how I feel should he leave

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    6. Ken h, You and patrick are right! surprise!
      He has worked hard and none of agree with everything he has done but, the job got done much sooner than I expected. They have 4 more games to win to go to the big games.
      I hope I have to say I was 100% wrong, as of now I am 75% wrong but I'll take that 100% for the chance at the Gold!
      Stay well!

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  3. patrick, I did live in Hilton, NY, but not like you, living in Hilton Head! Stay well!
    The Yankees won!

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  4. Sonny Gray for our starter in game one?!?
    He is the one guy I am not sure of, he doesn't impress me very much. I hope for the best as always...go Yanks!

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