Monday, April 17, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 4/17

Game time ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees play host to the Chicago White Sox in the first of a three-game set here in the Bronx this week. The best news about this series is what you ask? Well if it’s not the fact that the Yankees will be missing Jose Quintana this week, although he didn’t pitch all that well over the weekend to be completely honest, then I don’t know what it is. One pitcher they will be seeing though is Derek Holland who takes the bump for Chicago while the Yankees counter with Jordan Montgomery who is making his second MLB start. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV while you can also follow along on the radio with WFAN.

Follow along with us all game and season long while interacting with us as well on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. Have fun and as always, Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 4/17

The New York Yankees are back at it again here in the Bronx and this time the Yankees and Yankee Stadium play host to the Chicago White Sox for a three-game set. The Yankees have been dominant at home thus far this season and hopefully the White Sox can help New York keep the good times rolling here in the Bronx in 2017. The first matchup has me excited because of the pitching matchup as a pair of southpaws take the mound in Jordan Montgomery for the Yankees and Derek Holland for the Chicago White Sox.

Montgomery will make his second MLB start tonight after shutting down the Tampa Bay Rays in his MLB debut on April 12th. In the start Montgomery struck out seven in just 4.2 innings pitched whole throwing with a calming demeanor and a deceptive delivery. Montgomery did give up three runs in the start, two of them earned, but did well overall for a MLB debut in the Bronx.

Holland, a former member of the Texas Rangers, just looks weird in a Chicago White Sox uniform to me. I guess it’s because he pitched in Arlington for so long, I don’t know. Anyway, Holland has begun his White Sox tenure with back-to-back quality starts and is seemingly enjoying his time in the Windy City with the White Sox. It’s too bad that ends tonight in the Bronx.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along all season long in your cars and on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN. As always, Go Yankees!

Free As A Bird…

The slump is over.

On a night the Yankees completed their seventh consecutive win (sixth straight at home for the first time since 1998), thanks largely to another good pitching performance by Michael Pineda, the star of the game, for me, was first baseman Greg Bird.

After Aaron Judge’s apparent home run in the second inning was ruled a triple due to fan interference, Bird smashed a 'no-doubt-about-it' 444 foot homer to right, scoring Judge.  The Baseball Gods smiled.  Mystique and Aura were alive and well, and dancing throughout the Stadium.  

Bird was 3-for-3 for the game with two runs scored and the two RBI’s courtesy of the long homer.  He raised his batting average by 100 points (from .038 to .138).  It was a beautiful sight to see.  Bird’s bat is instrumental to the long term success for the team so it was great to see the strong offensive explosion.  Maybe he did take my slump-busting advice after all (reference to Mark Grace's infamous slump buster quote).   

A week ago Saturday, when the Yankees stood at 1-4, it was hard to be optimistic.  Now, at 8-4 and just a half-game behind the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles, the glass is half full once again.  If not for the Orioles (8-3 in one less game), the Yankees would be tied for the best record in all of Baseball.  

Michael Pineda delivered a very solid pitching performance, allowing only two runs in seven innings of work.  He did allow six hits (including Yadier Molina’s home run in the seventh) but he walked only one and struck out six.  I was thinking to myself that the Yankees pitchers, excluding Masahiro Tanaka (so far), seem to be playing a game of ‘one-up-manship’.  But then I came across a Jordan Montgomery quote.  “Yeah, well every staff I’ve been a part of, (when we) get rolling like this, we’re all just trying to beat the last guy that were out there.  Kind of one-up him, and one-up and then one-up.”  Yep, he one-upped me.  Now, if Masahiro Tanaka could join the One-Up Party.

Hats off to Ronald Torreyes.  He was not my choice for starting shortstop when Didi Gregorius but the so-called “Toe” has been a great fill-in.  He drove in two with a ground rule double in the eighth inning to push his team-leading season RBI total to ten (two more than the Aarons who both have eight).  I am looking forward to the return of Gregorius, but Torreyes has impressed.  He’s doing his best to ensure that Ruben Tejada never puts on the Yankee pinstripes at Yankee Stadium.  

I hate to say that I was nervous with a 9-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning but I gotta admit that Bryan Mitchell had me a little worried.  The inning did not start well with a double by Eric Fryer.  A wild pitch advanced Fryer to third, and Mitchell ended up walking the next batter (Jedd Gyorko) on four pitches.  Randal Grichuk then hit a ball toward third which Torreyes made a great stop but then hurriedly threw the ball to second baseman Starlin Castro for a force out attempt.  The throw was too low and Castro couldn’t come up with it, and Torreyes was charged with the throwing error.  Fryer scored on the play. A home run at that point could have brought the score to 9-6 (too close for comfort).  Fortunately, Mitchell settled down and got the next three batters out by strikeout and two fly balls, and it was game over.

I felt bad for Matt Holliday as he missed his second game with the lower back stiffness.  So it wasn’t much of a reunion for Holliday with his old mates, and he finished the series with his Friday night performance (0-for-4, three strikeouts).  Per Manager Joe Girardi, he was available to pinch-hit so hopefully that means he’ll be back in the saddle tonight against the Chicago White Sox.  Of all the things I want to see with the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury as the clean-up hitter has not been one of them.  Hopefully, Girardi is able to pencil in #17 for the clean-up spot tonight.    

Playing the Chicago White Sox brings a few former Yankees back to the Bronx.  Starting pitcher Jose Quintana, Closer David Robertson, relievers Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak, and outfielder Melky Cabrera.  Friday night, in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox made “Garcia” history when every starting outfielder was named Garcia.  Willy in left, Leury in center, and Avisail in right.  Quintana pitched on Saturday in a 6-0 loss to the Twins and will not be available this series.  I’ve already read a few ‘trade for Quintana’ articles this morning.  Stop it.  Forget Quintana and move on with life.  You're going to upset Bryan Van Dusen.

Have an awesome Monday!  Eight would be great!

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/17: Thurman Munson the Captain

On this day in 1976 Thurman Munson was named the Yankees captain by owner George Steinbrenner. Munson is the first Yankees captain since Lou Gehrig when he was named the captain in 1935.

Also on this day in 1953 Mickey Mantle hit a reported 565 foot home run off Chuck Stobb in the Yankees 7-3 victory over Washington at Griffith Stadium. The home run length was historic at the time but was later debunked as not going that far. How they determined that is beyond me but I am sure ESPN, Bud Selig, and the Boston Red Sox had something to do with it.

Also on this day also in 1951 the Yankees had another legend making his debut as Bob Sheppard announced the Yankees lineup for the first time. Sheppard announced Yankees legends Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, and Yogi Berra but the first batter Sheppard announced was that of a guy named DiMaggio. That was Dom DiMaggio, he was the leadoff for the Boston Red Sox that day.

Also on this day in 1951 rookie Mickey Mantle made his first ever appearance and grounded out to second base. The 19 year old would go 1-4 with a six inning single and RBI in a Yankees Opening Day 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Also on this day in 1929 Babe Ruth got married on Opening Day at 5:00 am ET to Claire Hodgson, the second Mrs. Babe Ruth. Ruth's first wife, Julia Woodford, died in a house fire in January of 1929. Ruth wastes no time in the love department apparently.

Also on this day in 1925 Babe Ruth underwent an operation for an intestinal abscess at St. Vincent's Hospital. The 30 year old Yankees outfielder missed the first 40 games of the season and the Yankees finished in seventh place that year.

Finally on this day in 1912 The New York Giants and the New York Yankees play an unscheduled exhibition game to raise money for the survivors of the HMS Titanic. Over 14,000 fans came out to the Polo Grounds to see Broadway legend George M. Cohan and the new look Yankees uniforms who were now sporting pinstripes. This would be the first Sunday game ever played between two Major League teams and raised over $9,000 when each fan donated the price of an admission ticket to purchase a special program for the event.

Lucky Number Seven: Pineda, Bird Lead Yanks to Cardinals Sweep and Seventh Straight

Not even a little Easter Sunday rain in the Bronx could stop Michael Pineda and the Yankees from completing the three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. Pineda, who carried a perfect game into the seventh on Monday, was phenomenal again this evening as he put together New York's seventh consecutive quality starting pitching performance while increasing their winning streak to seven. Adam Wainwright toed the rubber for the Cards tonight and pitched pretty well. But, an awoken Greg Bird bat and a lack of offense from his own squad led the right-hander to collect his second loss of the young season.

Pineda found himself in some early trouble, giving up the lead in the top of the second inning. Jedd Gyorko started it off with a single, advancing to second on a ground out by Randall Grichuk. Greg Garcia collected his first of three hits with a sharp line-drive single to left-center that scored Gyorko to give the Cardinals a one run lead.

But the Bombers were quick to get that run back and then some by taking the lead in the bottom of that same frame. Chase Headley got things going with a ground ball single up the middle, scoring on the evening's first controversial call. The next batter Aaron Judge unloaded on a Wainwright fastball to deep right-center where a fan reached over the fence and interfered with the ball. The original call of homerun was overturned, forcing Judge back to third for a game-tying RBI triple. Greg Bird finally broke out of his early-season futility by collecting his first of two extra-base hits on the night, a titanic blast to right field that looked like it was headed for Manhattan that gave the Yanks their first lead at 3-1.

New York used the homerun ball again in the bottom of the fifth to not only enlarge their advantage but also to knock Wainwright out of the game. Aaron Hicks continued his recent offensive success by blasting a one-out solo shot to right field that widened their lead to three. After giving up another single to Headley, Adam Wainwright was taken out for Matt Bowman, who retired Judge to "stop the bleeding" and end the frame.

Even though he gave up a seventh inning leadoff homerun to Yadier Molina that made it a 4-2 game, Michael Pineda got out of the inning to finish off another outstanding outing. Pineda was tremendous during his second consecutive quality start; tossing seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and just one walk. The big righty turned the game over to his nearly-untouchable bullpen to begin the top of the eighth.

After Dellin Betances got through the eighth cleanly, the Yankee offense stayed white-hot and blew the game wide open in the bottom of the frame. Headley and Judge started the rally with back to back walks, advancing a base to load them up on Greg Bird's third hit(a single) of the night. Austin Romine then laced a double into the right-center field gap that scored both Headley and Judge to make it 6-2. The next better Ronald Torreyes followed up with his own two-run double, this one down the left-field line that scored Bird and Romine to open their lead up to four. Torreyes scored the final run of the inning on a sac fly by Aaron Hicks that made it a 9-2 ballgame.

Because of the large lead, Brian Mitchell came on to pitch the ninth inning. And although the righty gave up his first run of the season, he was able to close the door on any St. Louis hopes of a miracle comeback and locked down the Yankees second consecutive sweep and seventh straight victory.

New York welcomes in the Chicago White Sox tomorrow night for a three-game set, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.