Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 8/23

And just like that ladies and gentleman it is game time in Detroit as the Detroit Tigers and Comerica Park play host to the New York Yankees in the middle game of their three-game set. In the matchup tonight the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound, the future and the now, while the Tigers will counter with Jordan Zimmermann. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Need a win, get a win. Go Yankees!!!

Looking Ahead to the 2017 September Call Ups

September call ups are just around the corner in Major League Baseball which means prospects, and for some teams reinforcements, are on the way. The New York Yankees are one of those teams that can truly say that reinforcements are on the way as there is a bunch of useful and talented players down on the farm as we stand here a mere week and a half away from September 1st. Let’s take a look at some of the potential September call ups and see who will or can be most useful for the team as they push towards the postseason.

Clint Frazier will be a day one call up for the Yankees if his left oblique allows him to be healthy and on the field. Frazier was doing well for the big league club before his injury and will definitely be in the mix at all three outfield positions and at DH for the remainder of the 2017 season.

The Yankees love carrying three catchers or more in September and Kyle Higashioka should be up on September 1 if his back and shoulder allows. Higashioka has battled back injuries for much of this season and went on the disabled list this past weekend with a shoulder injury. If Higashioka is healthy he will be here, if not the Yankees may run with just two catchers until he is healthy enough.

Miguel Andujar will likely be a day one call up as well after a short, but impressive, stint with the Yankees at third base earlier this season. Andujar won’t come up for his defense at third base, especially with both Todd Frazier and Chase Headley healthy, but his bat could earn him a few at-bats off the bench down the stretch.

Now is the part of the story where we talk about the potential arms down on the Yankees farm and the part where Joe Girardi and his binder turned iPad begin to salivate when thinking about the pitching matchups. Domingo German could come up to take some of the pressure off Chad Green, Ben Heller could be a guy to come into a game and get a strikeout or three when necessary as he boasts a 13.3 K/9 ratio at Triple-A this season, and Jonathan Holder could make his return to the Yankees bullpen after making the team out of spring training camp.

Is there anyone the Yankees could make a 40 man roster spot for? Nick Rumbelow missed the entire 2016 season with Tommy John surgery and was optioned off the 40 man roster before getting healthy and dominating Triple-A hitting in 2017. Rumbelow will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft and/or minor league free agency at the end of the season so if the team is keen on keeping him they could add him sooner rather than later. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 8/23

The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers are back at it again tonight inside Comerica Park with the middle game of their three-game set. In the matchup tonight the Yankees will send their new ace and arguably their best pitcher this season in Luis Severino to the mound while the Tigers will counter with Jordan Zimmermann who has struggled for much of the 2017 campaign. This seems like a winnable game for the Yankees on paper so they need to win it. No excuses, period. Need a win, get a win.  

Severino has been a winner in five of last six outing with the one blip on the radar coming a couple weekends back against the Boston Red Sox. Over that time period Severino has allowed just 10 earned runs and 29 hits in 36.1 innings pitched. Severino will be on a bit of extra rest tonight as the last time the right-hander took the mound was on August 17 against the New York Mets.

Zimmermann has given up seven runs in back-to-back outings which is a trend that hopefully continues tonight against the Yankees. Before these two horrific starts Zimmermann looked to be turning around a tough season as he threw three straight seven-inning quality starts but has since regressed to his earlier season struggles.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You can also follow along with the game in your cars and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game, need a win so get a win, and Go Yankees!

Quick, Grab the Imodium A-D!...

Credit:  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees 13, Tigers 4...

Watch out, the Yankees have the runs!  Seriously, it was great to finally have a breather.  The tone was set early when Gary Sanchez blasted the second longest home run this year (493 feet) as the Yankees throttled the Tigers.

Aaron Hicks got the party started in the first inning with a one-out single, a grounder up the middle.  Enter El Gary.  Boom!  He blasted a moon shot that flew over all rows in the left field stands and bounced off the back wall just under the LED board that shows pitch count.  The home run was two feet short of the home run Aaron Judge hit on June 11th against the Baltimore Orioles.  Aaron Judge, moved down in the order to clean-up, worked a walk off Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd.  Didi Gregorius, the road warrior (has hit in 16 of his last 19 road games), lined a double to right-center.  Judge advanced to third.  The Yankees picked up their final run of the inning when Tyler Austin lofted a sacrifice fly to center which scored Judge.  3-0, Yankees.

Credit:  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With Masahiro Tanaka cruising, the Yankees picked up more runs in the third.  Aaron Judge led off with another walk.  Didi Gregorius hit an infield bouncer toward third that glanced off the leg of the pitcher, Matthew Boyd, as he attempted to field the ball.  Didi was awarded a hit.  Tyler Austin lined a solid fly that dropped in left, scoring Judge.  Didi moved to second.  After Chase Headley lined out to center, Todd Frazier ripped the ball down the line to the right field corner.  Both Judge and Gregorius scored.  The Toddfather safely slid into third ahead of the outfield relay.  The Tigers pulled Boyd and brought in reliever Warwick Saupold.  Ronald Torreyes, the little man always coming up big, lined a sacrifice fly to right, and Frazier slid into home under the throw from the outfield.  The Yankees led, 7-0.  

The Tigers finally got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd.  James McCann led off with a liner to center to reach first.  Two outs later, Ian Kinsler hit a long fly that bounced off the warning track in center for a double.  McCann scored on the play.  

The Yankees loaded the bases in the 4th with a single (Gary Sanchez) and two walks (Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin) but couldn't score.  With Warwick Saupold still on the mound, they broke through with more runs in the 5th.  Todd Frazier lined a single to left. Ronald Torreyes chopped a hit through the left side for single.  Brett Gardner hit into a fielder's choice to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Cabrera off first, threw to second to erase Toe. Gardy was too fast for the Tigers to get the ball back to first.  Runners at the corners.  Aaron Hicks hit an infield grounder toward first that Miguel Cabrera couldn't field cleanly.  It was ruled a fielder's choice with Hicks safely reaching base. Frazier scored on the play while Gardy took second. After Gary Sanchez struck out, Aaron Judge ripped the ball to left to score Gardy.  The Yankees had increased their lead to 9-1. It was the end of the day for Saupold.  I was sorry to see him go.  The Tigers brought in Drew VerHagen and he got the Tigers out of the inning by inducing Didi Gregorius to ground out to second.  

The 7th inning brought more runs for both sides.  I am sure that Sonny Gray was feeling slightly envious of the run support Masahiro Tanaka was getting.  Brett Gardner led off the 7th with a triple, a long fly to right that Alex Presley couldn't catch up to.  Aaron Hicks followed with a shot into the right center field stands and the Yankees had added to their lead, 11-1.  

Credit:  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In the bottom of the inning, the Tigers finally broke through against Tanaka again.  John Hicks, pinch-hitting for Miguel Cabrera, doubled to left.  Nicholas Castanellos homered to right, just a few rows up in the stands and it was 11-3.  Following a coaching visit to the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Andrew Romine hit a ball down the left field line similar to the ball that John Hicks had hit, but Gardy's throw to second was ahead of the runner for the out.  A ground out by James McCann ended the inning and the game for Masahiro Tanaka.  

Chasen Shreve replaced Tanaka in the 8th.  He retired the Tigers despite a double by Jose Iglesias to push the game to the 9th.  With Tigers reliever Jeff Ferrell pitching, Tyler Wade, pinch-hitting for Ronald Torreyes, reached on an infield single to short thanks to his speed out of the box.  Following line outs by Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez   hit his second home run, a blast to right.  It was 13-3 Yankees.  The homer was El Gary's 25th of the year.  He is only 5 homers of the team record shared by Jorge Posada and Yogi Berra (twice).  All this from a man who missed a month of the season.  I think he likes the third hole in the lineup.  

Shreve finished up the 9th to protect the bullpen. There was a bit of comedy with Nicholas Castanellos at bat (easy to say when the Yankees are holding a 10-run lead).  Castanellos hit a fly to center.  Jacoby Ellsbury tried to catch the ball on a slide but the ball got past him and rolled to the wall.  Brett Gardner retrieved it and threw to the cut-off man, Tyler Wade, who threw home too late to get Castanellos.  Inside-the-park home run and the second HR of the night for Castanellos.  Andrew Romine followed with a high fly ball that took Brett Gardner to the wall but Gardy made the catch to end the game.  The Yankees win!  

The Yankees (67-57), who picked up a 1/2 game during Monday's day off thanks to a Red Sox loss, couldn't make up any ground on Tuesday as Boston pounded the Cleveland Indians, 9-1.  It was an interesting game for the Red Sox as starter Doug Fister gave up a lead off home run to Francisco Lindor and then held the Indians hitless for the duration of the game.  Not bad for a bargain basement pickup.  The Yankees trail the Sox by 4 games.   The battle for third place in the AL East continues to swing back and forth between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles.  The Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-5, to move back into third.  They are 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees.  The O's fell to the Oakland A's, 6-4.  They are 7 games back of the Yankees.  No change in the Wild Card standings as the Yankees continue to lead the Minnesota Twins by 2 1/2 games.

I had no problem with Manager Joe Girardi's decision to pinch-hit for Aaron Judge in the 7th inning.  Judge had four at-bats.  He walked three times and had the RBI single.  He also scored two times.  It was a productive day for him and it was time for the MLB-record for strikeouts in consecutive games to end at 37.  Girardi denied pulling Judge to end the streak but regardless of whether or not he did, I thought it was the right thing to do.

Credit:  Carlos Osorio-Associated Press

The two-run home run masked an otherwise tremendous start by Masahiro Tanaka (9-10).  This is the pitcher the Yankees need down the stretch.  His final line was 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 SO which qualified as a quality start but it was better than that.  Nice job, Masa!

Credit:  Carlos Osorio-Associated Press

It was a very productive night for Gary Sanchez, including the two home runs, and Aaron Hicks, with his dinger.  They had 4 and 3 RBI's, respectively.  Every Yankees starter reached base by either hit or walk.  We needed this.  Hopefully the Yankees will continue to hit and drive in runs during this road trip.  

Have a great Wednesday!  The Yankees can take the series today with a win.  Go Luis Severino and Go Yankees!

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte, left handed starting pitcher, was drafted in the 22nd round in the 1990 First Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees out of his high school in Deer Park, Texas. Andy did not sign with the Yankees that season and instead decided he would go to a junior college which, you may or may not know, allows you to get drafted every season rather then having to play two seasons of college baseball before being eligible again for the draft. Also, as the rules have since changed, no other team could talk to Andy Pettitte nor sign him until a day before the next year's draft because he did not sign with the Yankees. It did not matter anyway as Andy signed with the Yankees the very next season, in 1991, as an amateur free agent for $80,000 which was a nice bonus at that time. Andy turned down a chance to pitch for perennial powerhouse University of Texas to travel to New York.

Pettitte made his pro debut in 1991 going 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 6 Gulf Coast League (GCL) starts followed by a 2-2 record with a 2.18 era in the New York Penn League (NYPL). Those two levels combined Pettitte had 83 K's and 24 BB's for nearly a 4-1 ratio, which is amazing. His command was very impressive but his velocity and "stuff" were considered nothing more then average. Throughout the minors his walk rates got better and better but his K/9 rate got worse and worse. While he showed all the way through the system that he could get advanced hitters out no one was every crazy about Pettitte due to his strike outs. He never once did rank as a Top 10 prospect in any league that he played in because of the low strike out rates and Pettitte projected to be a back end of the rotation starter due to his strike out issues. Pettitte was never graded higher then a "B" graded prospect in his entire minor league career but he had an uncanny ability to hammer the strike zone, keep batters off balance with his off speed stuff, and give his team a chance to win every single time out there.

Pettitte started his Major League career in the bullpen in 1995 after losing out on the fifth starter competition to Sterling Hitchcock. Pettitte was not long for the bullpen though as he replaced an injured Jimmy Key in the rotation where he won six of his last seven starts finishing his rookie season with a 12-9 record and a 4.17 ERA. Pettitte did enough to force the Yankees to trade Hitchcock before the 1996 season and led New York to place Pettitte in the starting rotation. Pettitte started the first half of the season with a 13-4 record which earned him an All-Star appearance for the American League. Pettitte finished the 1996 season with 21 wins which led the American League and finished second in the AL Cy Young Award vote to Toronto's Pat Hentgen. Pettitte would have the last laugh though as the Yankees won the World Series in 1996.
Pettitte followed that amazing season off with 18 more victories in 1997 and a fifth place finish in the AL Cy Young Award vote. Pettitte did not get another ring in 1997 but after 16 more wins in 1998 for possibly the best team of all-time, the 1998 New York Yankees, he received his second World Series ring with a sweep of the San Diego Padres. Pettitte got rings in the 1999 World Series and 2000 World Series as well with two more great seasons from the left-handed pickoff specialist cementing his position as one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. Pettitte made his second All-Star Game trip in 2001 and even won the ALCS MVP by mowing down the Seattle Mariners although the team lost the World Series with two outs in the 9th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a tough loss for all Yankees and their fans.

Pettitte continued his streak of dominance for the Yankees through the 2003 season before hitting free agency for the first time in his career. Pettitte had his contract put on the back burner by owner George Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman which led him into the arms of the Houston Astros before 2004 on a three-year deal worth $31.5 million. Pettitte had elbow surgery in 2004 but was back healthy in the 2005 season just in time to lead the Astros to their first World Series in their organization's history. Pettitte and Clemens, teammates now in Houston, had the two best ERA's in the National League that season but it was not enough in a World Series loss. Pettitte finished his 2006 campaign out of the playoffs before hitting free agency once again before 2007.

A wrong was righted in 2007 as the New York Yankees brought Pettitte back to the Bronx on a one year deal worth $16 million topping the Astros offer of $12 million for one season. Pettitte won his 200th game of his career in a Yankees uniform in 2007 finishing the season with a 15-9 record. Pettitte was back on a one year deal worth $16 million again in 2008 where he made the last start at the old Yankee Stadium. In that final game in Yankee Stadium Pettitte recorded his 2,000th strikeout of his career although he missed the playoffs for the first time in his Yankees tenure. Pettitte had done enough to earn a one year deal worth $5.5 million contract with incentives for the 2009 season, maybe his last.

Pettitte, along with new teammates CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, led the team to the World Series in 2009 with Pettitte on the mound for the clinching contest in every series. Pettitte grabbed his 18th postseason win in that Game 6 of the 2009 World Series and extended his own record of series clinching wins with his seventh of his playoffs career. Pettitte decided to pitch for the Yankees for the 2010 season when he signed for one year and $11.75 million, a great decision for Pettitte and the Yankees. Pettitte started the season 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA earning another All-Star Game appearance. The 2011 season, which ended with a loss to the Detroit Tigers in the postseason, ended up being his last as he announced his retirement before the 2012 season.

Pettitte sat out the 2012 season but decided he had at least one more season in his left arm and agreed to come back on a minor league deal worth $2.5 million for the 2013 season. Pettitte missed two and a half months with a fractured left fibula that season which limited him to just a 5-4 record with a 2.87 ERA in just two starts. Pettitte still had the itch in 2013 though as he agreed to a one year deal with New York worth $12 million. During that 2013 season Pettitte earned his 250th win of his career and became the wins leader for the Yankees organization all-time passing Whitey Ford. He also passed Ford on the Yankees all-time strikeouts list as well this season with a strikeout of Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.
Pettitte announced on September 20, 2013 that he would retire at the end of the season along with Mariano Rivera and Pettitte decided to go out in a big way. Pettitte started against the Houston Astros on the day before the final game of the season and pitched a complete game victory thus closing the book on a great career with an exclamation mark. Pettitte finished with a pair of 20 game winning seasons in 1996 and 2003, he reached the World Series seven times with the Yankees and one time with the Astros winning five of them, he still holds the postseason record for victories with 19 in his career and finished with a 256-153 win-loss record. Pettitte never had a losing record in his career and holds the record for the most win-save combinations along with Jorge Posada with 81 victories.

So it Seems… The Cry to Move Judge

Aaron Judge needs to move down in the batting order. Gary Sanchez probably does too. Bat DIdi Gregorius third, because Didi is probably your best hitter on the team and the third spot is reserved for your team’s best hitter, and go back to winning baseball games by lopsided score totals. It’s easy but why doesn’t Joe Girardi see it? Why doesn’t he do anything about it if he does see it? Is he scared to hurt egos? He didn’t seem scared to hurt the ego of Aroldis Chapman when he removed him from the closer’s role. Come on Girardi, do something.

Beating your head against the same wall every day in the same motion at the same time every single day and expecting a different result is loosely the definition of insanity. I added the bit about beating my head into the wall because that’s how Girardi makes me feel sometimes. Jesus Christ open your eyes and lead and MANAGE this team to a postseason slot. Stop letting talent override your bad decision making or move the hell on back to Miami.

I’m done with Joe Girardi. Can you tell? I apologize for starting the day off on a rant but I can only take so damn much sometimes. Good morning everyone. Especially you. Hey you. I love you!!

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/23: Yankees Present Andy Pettitte Day 2015

On this day in 2015 the Yankees presented to us all Andy Pettitte Day at Yankee Stadium. What another great ceremony and another great weekend in the Bronx as the organization honored their greats like no other team could or would.

Joe Torre passed Casey Stengel for second place on the Yankees all-time managerial wins list on this day in 2007. The victory was Torre's 1,150th win as a Yankees manager.

In case you were wondering Joe McCarthy still holds the all-time Yankees managerial wins record with 1,460 wins in 16 seasons as the Yankees manager.

Also on this day in 2003 the Yankees honored another great from the past when they held Ron Guidry Day at Yankee Stadium. Guidry's #49 uniform was retired after Louisiana Lightning spent his entire career with New York posting a 170-90 record and being co-captain of the club with Willie Randolph. Guidry also received a plaque in Monument Park in his honor on this day.

Finally on this day in 1958 the Yankees Whitey Ford ended Nellie Fox's consecutive games streak without a strikeout. Fox had gone 98 straight games without striking out before Ford rung him up in a 7-1 victory for the White Sox.