Friday, May 5, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs 5/5

Afternoon baseball in Chicago is about as American as it gets but having the New York Yankees join those Chicago Cubs on a Friday afternoon inside Wrigley Field… well that’s just awesome and I don’t care who you are. The Yankees and the Cubs kick off their three-game weekend set this afternoon with a stellar pitching matchup that pits Michael Pineda for New York against Kyle Hendricks for Chicago. The game will be played at 2:20 pm ET inside Wrigley Field and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along with the game at work like I am or in your cars by tuning into WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. Enjoy the game and Go Yankees!

Yankees Statistical Leaders Through 26 Games

It’s hard to believe but before this afternoon’s game with the Chicago Cubs the New York Yankees have already played in a whopping 26 games this season. Aaron Judge has 13 home runs in those 26 games and the Yankees are riding high at the top of the American League East Division. Whether the team can keep up the pace and whether Judge can hit more home runs than Barry Bonds did in 2001, 73 which is a single-season record and a record that Judge is on pace to match or surpass, is a discussion for another day. Instead we’ll just focus on the statistical leaders for the major categories for New York this season as we wait for first pitch inside Wrigley Field here in just a couple hours. Enjoy.

The Yankees Offense

At Bats:

Starlin Castro leads the team with 105 at-bats.


Starlin Castro has played in all 26 games thus far this season.


It’s the Starlin Castro show ladies and gentleman as he also leads the team with 38 hits.


Chase Headley has ended up on second base eight times already after taking his turn at the dish.

Home Runs:

Aaron Judge leads the world and the universe right now with 13 home runs.


A lot of home runs equate to a lot of RBI generally and Judge leads the team with 27 of them.

Batting Average:

Starlin Castro one more time with a .362 average.

The Yankees Pitching


Masahiro Tanaka has four wins. Happy Tanaka Day.


Luis Severino is the only Yankees pitcher in the bullpen or rotation with two losses. Everyone else has either none or just one loss.


Starters: Michael Pineda 3.14.
Bullpen: Chasen Shreve 0.00 in three games and Adam Warren 0.63 in eight games.


Starters: Michael Pineda 37 K’s.
Bullpen: Dellin Betances has 17 K’s in a third of the innings Pineda has.


Aroldis Chapman has six saves. No brainer here though.


Masahiro Tanaka has the Yankees only shutout this season thus far.

I Left My Heart In San Fran…I mean, Chicago!…

Credit:  Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

ChiTown is spreading the love for our second baseman, Starlin Castro.  From comments by Cubs manager Joe Maddon “He was a great teammate here” to current Cubs players like Anthony Rizzo “He played hard and played every day”, the warm accolades about Castro are overflowing in the Chicago papers.  As Rizzo went on to say, “He was here for a while and part of this two-year run.  But I’m sure he was pulling for us.  I’m sure it would have been great for him to be a part of it, too, but I think a little part of him was.”

The Cubs will honor Castro before today’s game at Wrigley Field as a thank you for his contributions while a long-time member of the Cubs organization.  From the 2010 to 2015 seasons, Castro played in 891 games and batted .281/.321/.404.  He hit 62 home runs with 363 RBI’s and 75 stolen bases. 

I am sure that it will be tough for Castro to watch Adam Warren and Aroldis Chapman accept their World Series rings from Cubs President Theo Epstein and Maddon, considering he was part of the rebuilding effort that led to the championship run.  He played six seasons in Chicago’s North Side, while you could piece together only one season collectively for Warren and Chapman (if you include Warren’s time in the minors). 

Credit:  Jonathan Danie/Getty Images

I fully expect a loud and rousing ovation for Castro when he comes to bat for the first time today.  He has always said the right things about his time in Chicago and I don’t think I really understood before how willing Castro was to accept the position change from shortstop to second base during his final months as a Cub.  It had to have been a huge letdown but he didn’t complain or argue.  He embraced the change and has continued to improve as a second baseman.  

I am very happy that he’ll be recognized by the city of Chicago and Cubs fans.  But of course, once the first pitch is thrown, he is a Yankee and his job will be to beat the Cubs.

While three Yankees will be having fun reminiscing, one Yankee returns to the field of his arch-rival.  With so many years in St Louis as a member of the Cardinals, Wrigley Field is like a Yankee setting foot on Fenway Park turf for Matt Holliday.  He’ll have no trouble going to war when the games begin.  

Credit:  Getty Images

It will also be interesting to see how Chapman does.  I don’t expect any spillover from his negative comments about his handling by Joe Maddon in the World Series (the two have apparently talked and mended fences since then, plus Chapman was right).  I think Aroldis will be a pro when he takes the mound.  He played a huge role in getting the Cubs to the World Series and certainly deserves the ring he’ll receive.

Credit:  Jon Durr/Getty Images

I forgot to mention Yankees manager Joe Girardi as this is a homecoming for him too.  A Chicagoland native, he is also a former Cub (1989-1992, 2000-2002).  I am sure that he’ll have fun visiting with friends and family.  When I think of Girardi and the Cubs, it always reminds me of a very tragic day.  On June 22, 2002, Girardi, then the Cubs catcher, took the microphone to speak to the Wrigley Field crowd moments after a game with the Cardinals was scheduled to begin.  A very emotional Girardi spoke the words “I thank you for your patience.  We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinals family, the Commissioner has cancelled the game today.  I ask you to say a prayer for the St Louis Cardinals family.”  The crowd was silenced.  The name had not yet been released but we subsequently found out that Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile had been found dead (heart disease) in his hotel room. I have always admired Girardi for how he handled the situation that day even though he didn’t know Kile.  

Among the Coaching Staff, Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild was the long-time pitching coach for the Cubs prior to his arrival in New York (from 2002 to 2010).  Bullpen coach Mike Harkey played for the Cubs in 1988 and 1990-1993.  

Here are the pitching match-ups for the Yankees-Cubs series:

NYY:  Michael Pineda (3-1, 3.14 ERA)
CHC:  Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.18 ERA)

NYY:  Jordan Montgomery (1-1, 4.15 ERA)
CHC:  Brett Anderson (2-1, 6.23 ERA)

NYY:  Luis Severino (2-2, 3.86 ERA)
CHC:  Jon Lester (1-1, 3.67 ERA)

Gary Sanchez is expected to be activated before today’s game.  He is the one guy capable of stealing ratings away from The Aaron Judge Show.  It’s going to be so much fun watching those two in the lineup together again.  It’s an awesome time to be a Yankees fan!

Credit:  Seth Wenig/AP

Have a great Friday!  Let’s show the World Champions that we can play this game!

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs 5/5

How’s this for a historic matchup? The New York Yankees are fresh off their off day yesterday and heading to the Windy City of Chicago to take on the Chicago Cubs in a three-game set inside Wrigley Field. In the first matchup of the series these two teams will send possibly their best starters thus far this season to kick things off as the Yankees send Michael Pineda to the mound to square off against Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs.

Pineda pitched well once again in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles allowing two unearned runs in 5.1 innings of work walking one batter and striking out eight. Pineda is back to being the high strikeout and low walk guy the Yankees traded for all those years ago striking out 37 batters this far this season to just four walks in 28.2 innings pitched.

Hendricks faces his second consecutive American League East team tonight after making his last start against the Boston Red Sox. In that start Hendricks lasted six innings allowing just three hits including a Hanley Ramirez two-run home run. More of those please.

The game will be played at 2:20 pm ET inside Wrigley Field and can be seen on the YES Network in New York, MLB Network nationally, CSN-C in Chicago and on MLB TV wherever you are your device are. You can also follow along on the radio the old fashioned way with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Enjoy the game and as always, Go Yankees!

My Second Trip to AT&T Field to Watch the Chattanooga Lookouts

So you all may or may not remember, or you may be new to the blog so if so… welcome, but last year my son Evan won an annual award from his school for being the Most Improved Student. What you get for this besides the obvious learning ramifications is a free ticket and food at the Chattanooga Lookouts AT&T Field. Well Evan won again this year so we made our second trip to Chattanooga on Wednesday night to watch the Lookouts take on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

Last year Evan’s little brother, Hayden, was a little too young to attend the game but this time around he made the trip with us for his first baseball game. Boy did Hayden have a good time. The chants, the mascots, the game and of course the hot dogs and ice cream he was a huge fan of. Plus at Minor League games the kids can be kids and aren’t confined to a small, cramped seat surrounded by thousands of people. It was nice and the boys had a great time. Evan almost caught a foul ball too but he missed it by about 10 feet, maybe next time kid!

It really is a great time. They have lots of things to keep you entertained in-between innings and such and the atmosphere is just nice. I love it there. I loved seeing old Yankees in new places like Angelo Gumbs, Matt Tracy, Nik Turley, Eric Jagielo and others along with new faces that I had never seen before. Nick Gordon was the starting second baseman for the Lookouts and Paul Clemens started the game which was cool to see live.

It was just a really enjoyable experience and I fully recommend it for anyone who is in the neighborhood. Next time though it’s going to be with you. Hey you. I love you. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/5: The Yankees in 3D!

On this day in 2010 DirecTV and the YES Network strike a deal to televise the first major league baseball game in three dimensions. The July 10 Safeco Field telecast between the Yankees and Mariners will be available in 3-D in New York, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Idaho.

Also on this day in 1955 the musical "Damn Yankees" opens up on Broadway. The comedy set in Washington, D.C. and based off Douglass Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, tells the tale of an aging Washington Senators fan's bargain with the devil to stop the Yankees dominance in the 1950's.

Finally on this day in 1930 the New York Yankees traded Cedric Durst to the Boston Red Sox for Red Ruffing. This deal allowed the Red Sox to sell Tom Zachary to the Braves for the waiver price. Boston will never learn.