Thursday, June 22, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6/22

Time flies when you’re having fun I guess. I feel like it was just a few minutes ago that we were previewing the game tonight between the Yankees and the Angels and not it’s already game time. Tonight in the finale of their three game set the New York Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to bounce back from a rough start last time out in Oakland while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will counter with Jesse Chavez who gave the Kansas City Royals fits in his last start. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio and in your cars by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter as we continue our climb towards 5,000 twitter followers by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. Enjoy the game and as always…. Go Yankees!!!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6/22

The New York Yankees need a win. The team has gone on a recent skid against west coast teams and are in danger of falling out of the American League East division title race. There’s still plenty of time left this season and there’s still plenty of more wins in the Yankees future but after a prolonged losing streak you, as a fan and as a player, always like to start a prolonged winning streak just to even it out. That mission continues tonight as the Yankees send Luis Severino to the mound to square off with Jesse Chavez for the Angels. Someone wake the offense, T-minus seven hours until game time. Someone wake up Tyler Clippard too while you’re at it.

Severino got knocked around a bit in his last start against the Oakland Athletics but he ultimately survived a four-run second inning to complete six innings of work. Severino allowed those four runs on four hits with four walks in a no-decision. Severino has not lost a decision since May 1 of this year.

Chavez is making his 15th appearance of the season tonight in the Bronx and his 14th start overall for the Angels. In his last outing the right-hander pitched seven innings against the Kansas City Royals allowing just two runs.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You can also follow along with the game on the radio and in your cars by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN. Enjoy the game and as always, Go Yankees!

Hello Win Column, I've Missed You...

Credit:  Jim McIsaac-Getty Images
Yankees 8, Angels 4...

OMG, we scored more runs than the other team!  What do we do now????  

Seriously, it's so good to experience the winning feeling again.  Whew!  It has been far too long. Congratulations to us! High fives all around. The game had its moments but in the end, it was a 103 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman blazing into Austin Romine's mitt for a swinging third strike that brought joy back to the Bronx.  

The Yankees jumped out to the early lead when Didi Gregorius homered following a single by Gary Sanchez in the second inning.  The Angels tied the score in the fourth.  Didi's buddy from Curacao, Andrelton Simmons, singled and advanced to second on a balk.  Angels catcher Martin Maldonado then hit a ball over the left field wall.  Game tied at 2.  With someone like Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, you'd feel the floodgates were about to open for the opponent.  But on this night, Jordan Montgomery was on the mound and he continues to instill confidence with each outing.  For whatever reason, that dude looked slimmer on the mound than usual.  I guess Pinstripes are thinning but I digress.

Matt Holliday's solo shot in the fifth gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead which the Yankees took into the sixth.  Montgomery (5-4) retired the first two batters he faced but then Simmons singled again.  Manager Joe Girardi pulled Montgomery and inserted Chad Green who promptly struck out Maldonado to end the inning.  In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees picked up 3 more runs on a two-run double by Austin Romine and a run-scoring single by Aaron Hicks.

Credit:  Paul J Bereswill-The New York Post
In the seventh, I had an uneasy feeling when Green walked C.J. Cron on four straight pitches.  A ball to the next batter, Danny Espinosa, brought pitching coach Larry Rothschild to the dugout steps but Green found his groove and registered a strikeout.  He retired the next two batters on groundouts and really emerged as one of the stars of this game.  The Yankees picked up a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning when Matt Holliday doubled and scored on Starlin Castro's single.  Chase Headley singled to score Castro, pushing the score to 8-2.

Dellin Betances pitched a clean eighth inning, punching out the first two batters he faced and getting the third on a groundout to short.

All was going great...until Tyler Clippard got up in the bullpen.  I get the logic of trying to give Clippard a clean inning to work with and much better do it with a 6 run lead but, right now, if there is a pitcher that could butcher a large lead, it's Clippard.  Sure enough, Girardi brought him in to start the 9th.  Simmons doubled and there was a strong sense of 'here we go again'.  Maldonado stepped up and hit his second home run of the night which Aarons Judge and Hicks could only watch sail over the right field wall to bring the Angels within four runs.  Mercifully, Girardi pulled Clippard and signaled for Aroldis Chapman.  The walkup music for Chapman drowned the boos for Clippard as he sadly walked off the field.  

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-AP
Admittedly, I was still a bit concerned with Chapman.  This was only his second appearance since returning from the DL and he had not pitched since Sunday.  I had visions of his control problems from his last minor league rehab stint, but my concerns were unfounded.  He was the Chapman of old and he came out throwing extreme heat.  By the time he was facing his third and final batter, Eric Young Jr, he was throwing pitches that registered on the Statcast leaderboard. His final pitch, at 102.9 mph, was the fastest in the Majors this year.

Yankees win.  The Yankees win!  All is right in the world again.

The Yankees (39-30) recaptured first place in the AL East, by 1/2 game, with the victory as the Boston Red Sox fell to the Kansas City Royals, 6-4.  Thank you to Salvador Perez for his 8th inning grand slam.  The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cincinnati Reds, 8-3.  They are 3 games back.  The Toronto Blue Jays also won so they, along with the Baltimore Orioles, are 5 games behind.  The Red Sox are off today so the Yankees will either be tied or a full game up upon conclusion of tonight's series finale with the Angels.  

The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth...

I realize that this blog is not for movie news, but hey, they don't pay me so I'll take the liberty of the departure.  Director Jay Russell, best known for 2004's Ladder 49 starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta, has been tabbed to direct a planned feature film called The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth.  The movie will be based on Jonathan Eig's biography Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig.  

For those of you who have not read the book, here is the description per the book's publisher:

"The definitive account of the life and tragic death of baseball legend Lou Gehrig.

Lou Gehrig was a baseball legend--the Iron Horse, the stoic New York Yankee who was the greatest first baseman in history, a man whose consecutive-games streak was ended by a horrible disease that now bears his name.  But as this definitive new biography makes clear, Gehrig's life was more complicated--and, perhaps, even more heroic--than anyone really knew.

Drawing on new interviews and more than two hundred pages of previously unpublished letters to and from Gehrig, Luckiest Man gives us an intimate portrait of a man who became an American hero: his life as a shy and awkward youth growing up in New York City, his unlikely friendship with Babe Ruth (a friendship that allegedly ended over rumors that Ruth had an affair with Gehrig's wife), and his stellar career with the Yankees, where his consecutive-games streak stood for more than half a century.  What was not previously known, however, is that symptoms of Gehrig's affliction began appearing in 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged.  Later, aware that he was dying, Gehrig exhibited a perseverance that was truly inspiring; he lived the last two years of his short life with the same grace and dignity with which he gave his now-famous "luckiest man" speech.

Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man shows us one of the greatest baseball players of all time as we've never seen him before."

The planned movie already has a script written by Dan Kay.  Branded Entertainment's Michael Uslan and David Uslan head a producing team that includes Kingsway Productions' Robert Molloy and Conglomerate Media's Armando Gutierrez.  

Molloy is the grandson of late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.  "As my late grandfather always believed, Lou Gehrig was a great role model for the world.  There is triumph even in tragedy and it's only in the face of great odds that true human heroes are born and inspire us all."

Barrie Osborne, an executive producer for the film, said, "What I love most about the project is the fact that audiences need to know nothing about sports, baseball, the Yankees, or even the legend of Lou Gehrig in order to be moved by this emotionally uplifting story."

"Lou Gehrig is an iconic character, not just in baseball, but as a true American hero, a man who faced his intense, personal battles with quiet bravery," said Russell.  "While Gehrig's story has previously been told in the beloved Pride of the Yankees (1942), this will be a new depiction with a more contemporary style and approach."

As a lifelong Lou Gehrig fan, I am very excited to hear this news.  I have always considered Gehrig to be the greatest Yankee and it's wonderful that they are bringing his story to the big screen.  We know Gehrig's accomplishments on the baseball field.  This is an opportunity to know and understand the depth of the man behind the legend.  I can't wait...

Odds & Ends...

A Jacoby Ellsbury sighting has been reported. Ellsbury took batting practice and ran the bases on Wednesday.  GM Brian Cashman said before yesterday's game that the most important thing is to see how Ellsbury responds to the next three to six days.  As long as Aaron Hicks is healthy, I am completely fine with Ellsbury taking all the time he needs.  But realistically, the Yankees are probably stronger with Hicks rotating through the outfield to provide relief for all of the outfielders and not just center.  But if the Yankees could find a way to trade Ellsbury for a bucket of bolts, I'm all in.  Just be sure that he takes Chris Carter and Tyler Clippard with him.

Congrats to Gleyber Torres for his successful Tommy John surgery yesterday.  Gleyber posted "Surgery went as planned now time to recover and get back on the field.  I can't wait for next season thank you all for support" on Twitter last evening.  Gleyber, we can't wait for you to get back on the field either.  Happy Recovery!

Credit:  Gleyber Torres-Twitter
Have a great Thursday!  I like this new thing called winning.  Can we do it again today?...

What the Yankees Can Do if “Tyler Clippard Sucks”

The whole “fill in the blank with the players name Sucks” campaign has really been a running joke here on the blog since the days of Stephen Drew manning second base in the Bronx. Then, admittedly, it was meant to be an insult because Drew was just absolutely terrible for New York but it has since evolved into more of a sarcastic way of saying that the player is struggling. Some players take these struggles and build on them and get better while others let the big lights, the media scrutiny and the fans get to them before folding under the pressure. Which one of these will Tyler Clippard be and what can the Yankees do if Tyler Clippard Sucks going forward? 

The Yankees have a few options, the first option should be to take Clippard out of these high-leverage situations. Let Clippard rebuild some of his confidence in the 6th inning or with a huge lead or deficit and stop letting him enter in close games for a while. Let Adam Warren have those big innings when he returns from his injury or let Dellin Betances have more than one inning, just don’t let Clippard have them for a while. He needs a confidence boost and letting games get away like he did on Monday against the Angels isn’t helping. 

If you don’t trust Clippard and his track record, and just for the record I do but playing Devil’s Advocate helps write articles and can be fun sometimes, then there seems to be plenty of presumably available relievers out there on the trade market. When looking at who could potentially be available and who isn’t the first thing you look at is the team’s record which will usually tell you if the team will be a buyer or a seller at the deadline. Then you look at that particular team’s bullpen for standout arms with good statistics which brought me to this list of arms the Yankees could potentially look at.  

Pat Neshek of the Philadelphia Phillies will be moved because at the time of this writing he is pitching to a sub-1.00 ERA while the Phillies are on pace for their worst season in the history of Major League Baseball. Not far behind the Phillies are the San Diego Padres in terms of wins and losses despite the efforts of 27-year old left-hander Brad Hand. Hand is under team control until 2020 though so this would likely require a nice package of prospects if he were to be made available. The final arm that looks all but likely to be traded will be right-hander Ryan Madson of the Oakland Athletics who has been pitching well out in the Oakland Coliseum. Entering this week Madson had pitched to a 2.63 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00. 

The Miami Marlins could make or break the trade deadline this year as the team seems to be undecided on whether they will be buyers or sellers. If the team buys then there are at least two arms that come off the potential trade board but if the team decides to sell the Yankees could look at one or both of former Yankees right-hander David Phelps and AJ Ramos. Phelps, like he was with the Yankees, has been the swingman for the Marlins since the Martin Prado trade three seasons ago while Ramos has posted huge strikeout numbers (12.4 K/9) in 2017 despite having an ERA over 4.00.

Stay tuned.

So it Seems Matt Marsh is Suspended for 50 Games

The New York Yankees learned this week that one of their own would be suspended for 50 games under baseball’s minor league drug program. The Yankees right-hander Matt Marsh along with Minnesota Twins left-hander Cam Booser were both handed 50-game suspensions after both tested positive for a second time when taking a drug test.

Marsh, 25-years old, was 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 10 relief appearances at the time of the suspension while in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder. Marsh was recently called up from High-A with the Tampa Yankees where the righty posted a 1-0 record with seven shutout innings.

The suspensions of Marsh and Booser are the 42nd and 43rd this season under the minor league drug program while just two suspensions have happened at the big league level. Drugs are bad but you, my dear, are my favorite addiction. Have a great day everyone. Hey you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/22: #TooManyDamnHomeRuns

On this day in 1941 the Yankees hit a home run for the 18th consecutive game setting a new major league record. Joe DiMaggio hit the historic home run in a 5-4 Yankees victory over the Detroit Tigers and extended his own hitting streak to 35 games.