Friday, August 25, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners 8/25

Friday night baseball in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners, let’s get to it. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound tonight to square off with Ariel Miranda for the Mariners as these two teams vying for a spot in the AL Wild Card Playoff Game square off head-to-head three times this weekend. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11, MLB Network 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!

Five Yankees Related Movies for Your Upcoming Weekend

The weekend is coming and if you’re like me you’re just getting off of work. What will you do this weekend? Do you have any plans? If so, leave them below in the comments section. If not here are a few Yankees related movies that you could watch while waiting on the Yankees game. Or, you know, you could always come chat with us on Twitter by sending @GreedyStripes a tweet. That’s always an option as well. On to the movies!!

“The Babe” is obviously a movie about Babe Ruth, the Yankees legend, but this movie covers it all. His time with the Boston Red Sox, the purchase from the New York Yankees, his time with the Braves, etc. It’s definitely an interesting one to watch.

The Pride of the Yankees is a movie covering the life and playing career of Lou Gehrig. I’m sure everyone knew that by now but how can you not watch this movie if you see it on television? Also, how can you not get goosebumps when Gehrig “considers himself… the luckiest man…. On the face of this Earth?”

At one point this season when I listed my Top 10 favorite baseball related movies I caught flak for not including the Yankees-themed movie “61*” so you best believe I am including it here. This movie covers the single-season home run chase in 1961 by Roger Maris, who hits 61 passing Babe Ruth who hit 60 home runs in a single season in less games (hence the asterisk), and teammate Mickey Mantle. I absolutely love this movie and I love Barry Pepper as an actor so this one I have watched at least 50 – 100 times already in my lifetime.

Finally you have “The Scout” which has Brendan Fraser as a pitcher for the Yankees. This movie covers it all, not only the game on the field but Fraser adapting to life in the big city and life in the big leagues after not coming through the system in the traditional sort like most pitchers. This is a great movie and one of my absolute all-time favorites, check it out. It has George Costanza for crying out loud, how could it be bad?

Enjoy your weekend. 

Baby Bomber to Watch: Freicer Perez

For the first time in a long, long time the New York Yankees have a very strong and an extremely deep farm system. As a self-professed prospect humper, trademark pending, nothing more makes me excited than to watch players like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez get drafted or signed before working their way to the Major Leagues and succeeding. Now that this crop of Yankees Baby Bombers are up and dominating the league at a high level it’s time to focus on the next wave of Baby Bombers. Now normally I focus on players in Double-A or Triple-A but I am going to dive deep into the Yankees farm system for this one and give you another Baby Bomber to watch, Freicer Perez.

With the trade of James Kaprielian and with what could be the imminent promotion of Chance Adams the Yankees will need a new wave of reinforcements on the pitching side of things. Justus Sheffield is great, Domingo Acevedo can throw 103 MPH fastballs, Albert Abreu, Dillon Tate and Jorge Guzman look to have found and harnessed their potential but what about Freicer Perez? Truth be told Perez may be the best of the bunch when the dust settles and all is said and done and that is a scary, scary thought for opposing batters in the league.

Perez was signed for a mere $10,000 back in 2014, you know… the year the Yankees spent $17 million on international free agents, and has far exceeded any expectations that anyone inside the organization could have given him. Perez started in the Dominican Summer League and was quickly moved up to the New York-Penn League with the Staten Island Yankees in 2016 and in both stops has dominated minor league hitting. Perez, still a teenager mind-you, has his flaws and his biggest issue is that he gives up a lot of hits, almost one hit per inning pitched in both 2015 and 2016 to be exact, but the right-hander has thoroughly improved in 2017 while with the Low-A Charleston Riverdogs. While Perez still gives up a lot of hits, he has given up 91 hits in his first 112.2 innings pitched this season, you can see an improvement in his 22 starts.

Perez has learned how to repeat his delivery and mix his pitches very well and has become more of a pitcher here in 2017 and less of a hard thrower. At the time of this writing Perez was sporting a 2.88 ERA, a WHIP of 1.15, a batting average against of .220 and a staggering 107:39 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Perez throws a fastball, curveball, changeup and a slider and all four pitches have seen upticks in velocity the older the right-hander has gotten. Perez can already reach triple digits on his fastball which has garnered comparisons to another Yankees prospect and All-Star, Dellin Betances.

Imagine if Dellin had been able to figure it out as a starter. Imagine that strikeout potential and power as a starter instead of for 100 innings a season in the bullpen. That’s what the Yankees could be getting with Perez if he develops the way every scout thinks that he will. Perez has better command and a better feel for pitching and for his pitches at Betances’ age though which leads many scouts to believe that Perez will stick as a starting pitcher, which is exciting.

Perez is just 21-years old and has not pitched above A-Ball in his career so an aggressive ETA for the right-hander is the 2019 season in my opinion, which is okay. Perez could conceivably start next season in Double-A and end up in Triple-A by the end of the 2018 season if all goes well. It may come sooner, the Yankees have shown an ability and a willingness to be aggressive with starters when they have to. See Luis Severino. This time next year though Perez may be the Yankees top pitching prospect in the system, or the best prospect period. His upside is that high and his talent is that immense.

Imagine a rotation with Luis Severino, Chance Adams, a healthy Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and a pitcher who could be dominant like Dellin Betances over the course of six-or-seven innings at a time. That’s scary and borderline unfair. No, that’s greedy and I absolutely love it. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners 8/25

No weekend is complete without the Yankees and the team will not disappoint this weekend as the team returns home to the Bronx to play host to the Seattle Mariners in a three-game weekend set. With both teams in a fight for the two Wild Card playoff spots in the American League this has all the makings of being a huge series for both teams. The Mariners added a lot of pieces before the July 31st trade deadline but so did the Yankees so it will be interesting to see how each of their respective set of moves plays out over the weekend. In the opener of the three-game set the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to make his second start since coming off the disabled list while the Mariners will counter with Ariel Miranda. Enjoy the game!

Sabathia pitched a quality start last time out after struggling for the better part of a month beforehand, presumably due to the pain in his knee. Sabathia will be making his second start off the disabled list tonight and the second start against the Mariners in 2017 after allowing just one run in five innings of work against Seattle on July 21st.

Miranda has struggled with command lately which usually doesn’t bode well for opposing pitchers against the Yankees inside Yankee Stadium. In Miranda’s last 14.2 innings pitched he has allowed 13 earned runs while also walking nine batters in the same span. Yes please.

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

The Motor City Brawl...

Credit:  Gregory Shamus-Getty Images

Tigers 10, Yankees 6…

Damn, I wish we would have/could have won this game.  It left a very bad taste on Getaway Day as the Yankees fell to the Detroit Tigers in a fight-marred game.  I can’t say that I’ve seen too many games where the manager and his replacement are both tossed at different points of the game.  

Credit:  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a back and forth game until the Tigers finally pulled away in the latter stages of the game after several skirmishes.

The Tigers scored first in the bottom of the 1st when Justin Upton took Yankees starter Jaime Garcia deep with a solo blast to left. Upton got all of it with the barrel of his bat and you knew it was gone by simply the sound.  I’ve tried to give Garcia every benefit of the doubt but I am starting to believe that the Minnesota Twins traded Garcia to the Yanks a week after they had acquired him because they wanted a way to make up ground on the Yankees.  

Aaron Judge led off the 2nd inning with a single to center.  He advanced to second on a wild pitch in the dirt by Tigers starter Michael Fulmer.  Didi Gregorius grounded out to the second baseman, Ian Kinsler, with the relay to first.  Judge moved over to third.  He was brought home when Chase Headley punched a single to left.  The game was tied at 1.

Credit:  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd but Garcia was able to get out of the inning when Miguel Cabrera lined out to right.

Gary Sanchez led off the 4th inning with his 27th home run of the season, a shot to center.  Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones could only watch as the ball sailed over the fence.  The homer was El Gary’s fourth of the series.  The Yankees had taken a 2-1 lead, but the Tigers came right back in the bottom of the inning to tie it.  Nicholas Castanellos led off with a double to center in the gap as center fielder Aaron HIcks was in right center due to a shift.  Castanellos moved to third on a fly out to left by James McCann, easily beating the throw from Brett Gardner.  John Hicks got a hit through the infield on the left side which brought Castanellos home.  The game was tied.

The Yankees jumped ahead in the 5th inning.  Ronald Torreyes led off and reached base on a fielding error by second baseman Ian Kinsler. The ball rolled past the pitcher and Kinsler attempted to make the play but bobbled it.  Toe moved to second on a ground out by Austin Romine. The grounder rolled up on the shortstop, Jose Iglesias, so his only play was at first. Brett Gardner singled to deep short, with Toe moving to third (wisely holding up).  A sacrifice fly to center by A-A-Ron Hicks scored Toe.  The Yankees led, 3-2.  The incident that probably sparked the later fights occurred with the next batter when Michael Fulmer hit Gary Sanchez in the hip.  I honestly couldn’t tell if Fulmer’s pitch was intentional or not.  Fulmer’s reaction seemed to imply that it was not. The HBP moved Gardy into scoring position, but the Yankees couldn’t capitalize when Aaron Judge went down swinging to end the inning. 

The Tigers tied the game again in the bottom of the 5th.  Mikie Mahtook led off and reached first base on a fielding error by Didi Gregorius (a routine grounder that rolled under Didi’s glove; this one hurt as it would open the door for the Tigers).  Justin Upton doubled down the left field line, pushing Mahtook to third.  Jaime Garcia was mercifully pulled from the game (don’t let the door hit you on the way out) and replaced by Adam Warren.  Sadly, Warren was about as effective as Garcia.  He struck out the first batter he faced, Miguel Cabrera, but then Nicholas Castanellos hit a fly ball to center, deep enough for Mahtook to tag and score.  Upton took third.  The game was again tied.  Walks to James McCann and John Hicks loaded the bases.  After a visit to the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild, JaCoby Jones singled to right,  a liner just over Ronald Torreyes’ head, scoring both McCann and Hicks.  Jose Iglesias followed with a ground-rule double to left center (a one-hopper over the wall) to score Hicks.  It was 6-3 Tigers.  Tommy Kahnle replaced Warren and struck out Ian Kinsler to get out of the inning. 

Tempers were ignited in the 6th inning. With two outs in the bottom of the 6th, Tommy Kahnle threw behind MIguel Cabrera and was immediately ejected.  It brought out a furious Joe Girardi and he was tossed. Girardi’s beef was that there was no warning from the umpiring crew after Gary Sanchez was hit by Fulmer. Aroldis Chapman warmed up and entered the game.  As Miguel Cabrera walked back into the batter’s box, he was running at the mouth with words directed at catcher Austin Romine.  Romine flipped off the catcher’s mask and Cabrera shoved him, clearing both benches.  

Credit:  Reuters

After things started settling down, it was interesting to see Romine’s brother Andrew over getting the story from Austin.  It seemed to me that the melee was incited by Cabrera.  The umps tossed Austin and Cabrera.  The move forced the Yankees to forfeit the DH when Gary Sanchez was moved to catcher. 

Credit:  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In a valiant comeback attempt, the Yankees tied the game again in the top of the 7th.  Ronald Torreyes led off with a walk. Jacoby Ellsbury, pinch-hitting for Aroldis Chapman, also walked.  The Tigers pulled Micheal Fulmer and replaced him with Daniel Stumpf.  With Brett Gardner at the plate, a wild pitch by Stumpf that got away from James McCann allowed Toe and Ellsbury to move to second and third.  Gardy then singled to center with a fly that just dropped in, scoring Toe and moving Ells to third.  A sacrifice fly to the left field wall by Aaron Hicks scored Ellsbury.  The Tigers made another pitching change to bring in Alex Wilson.  Gary Sanchez greeted Wilson with a single up the middle to center field and Gardy scored to tie the game at 6.

Dellin Betances took over in the bottom of the 7th and he was ejected when he threw a ball that hit James McCann in the head. That was not pretty.  I was glad to see that McCann was okay. I think the ball got away from Betances.  I don’t think he was purposely head-hunting.  Plus, it didn’t make sense to hit a batter in that spot.  Game tied, no outs. Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson, the interim manager when Girardi was ejected, was also thrown out for arguing.  David Robertson replaced Betances and hit John Hicks on the hand with an unintentional pitch.  JaCoby Jones walked to load the bases.  Jose Iglesias doubled to left center over Brett Gardner’s head, clearing the bases.  The Tigers had re-taken the lead, 9-6.  

In a retaliatory move, Alex Wilson plunked Todd Frazier (hip) in the top of the 8th.  The benches were cleared a second time.  Brett Gardner was the one who had to be pulled out of the crowd, kicking and screaming. Both Wilson and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus were ejected.  Shane Greene entered the game and shut the Yankees down from there.  

Credit:  Gregory Shamus-Getty Images

In the bottom of the 8th with Caleb Smith on the mound, James McCann got a measure of revenge when he took Smith deep for a solo blast high over the wall in left center.  

Brett Gardner led off the top of the 9th with a single to right off Greene, but Aaron Hicks grounded into a double play.  Gary Sanchez ended the game by striking out on a foul tip.  A tough loss, particularly the way it went down.  

The Yankees (68-58), fortunately, did not lose any ground in the AL East and remain 4 games back.  The Cleveland Indians apparently solved the Chris Sale mystery as they bludgeoned the Boston Red Sox, 13-6.  The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, to move into a third place tie with the idle Baltimore Orioles.  Both teams are 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

There were no heroes in this game.  The umpiring crew was a joke.  They let the game get out of control.  There was even a scuffle in the Tigers’ dugout when Victor Martinez had to be restrained from going after Justin Verlander after the two exchanged words.  Yankees third base coach Joe Espada finished up the game as manager after Rob Thomson was thrown out.  

Gary Sanchez took criticism after the game for his sucker punches on Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castanellos.  He could be facing a suspension at a time when the Yankees need him the most.  With both Sanchez and Austin Romine potentially losing time due to suspensions and Kyle Higashioka on the DL at Triple A, the catching position is suddenly very thin.  The most disappointing part of the day is that suspensions will only hurt the Yankees and not the Tigers since they have nothing to play for at this point in the season. Maybe a suspension of the umpire crew is in order...

Next Up:  Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY…

The Yankees return home to host the Mariners for Players Weekend.  It should be fun with the relaxed uniform standards and player names or nicknames on the jerseys.  Hopefully the Yankees can shake off Thursday’s brawl and return to the winning ways they experienced in taking the first two games from the Detroit Tigers.  

It’s unclear if Robinson Cano will play this series.  Don’t You Know was pulled from a game on Wednesday with hamstring tightness and was scheduled for tests yesterday.  At the present time, he’s listed day-to-day.

Credit:  Associated Press

Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:

Mariners:  Ariel Miranda (8-6, 4.78 ERA)
Yankees:  CC Sabathia (10-5, 3.99 ERA)

Mariners:  Yovani Gallardo (5-9, 5.75 ERA)
Yankees:  Sonny Gray (7-8, 3.38 ERA)

Mariners:  Andrew Albers (2-0, 3.60 ERA)
Yankees:  Masahiro Tanaka (9-10, 4.86 ERA)

The Mariners are currently tied for third in the Wild Card Standings with the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels.  They trail the Yankees by four games and the second WC team, the Minnesota Twins, by just a 1/2 game.  

Have a great Friday!  Back home and time to take care of business.  Let's Go Yankees!

The Yankees September Hero, Another Arm and Unleash the Kraken v2

Good morning once again everyone reading and everyone in the Yankees family. This morning I wanted to throw a little mashup of things into one post as I collect my thoughts before this big weekend for the Yankees. The Yankees need a September hero and I am prepared to tell you who that hero could be, the Yankees could be bringing up another arm as rosters expand in September and this arm wasn’t listed in my post from earlier in the week covering September call ups and someone poked the bear and woke up Gary Sanchez, didn’t they? Keep reading as I transfer my thoughts to a theoretical piece of paper for you all this morning.

Greg Bird hasn’t played for the Yankees in about three months and the last time he did the left-handed first baseman for New York was seen hitting a cool .100 so surely I am not about to nominate him to be the Yankees hero here in September, am I? You’re damn right I am. Bird was not healthy at all this season after trying to play through an ankle injury that he suffered in spring training and never seemed completely right at the plate since. Bird has since had ankle surgery and has been rehabbing down in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. Bird was slated to play a full nine innings at first base last night with Scranton and is set to be re-evaluated sometime today. The Yankees are probably not going to bring Bird up to the Majors with less than a week to go unless they have to but I fully expect, if healthy and that is a big “if” with Bird this season, Bird to be up on September 1st.

If Bird won’t be the savior, and the Yankees need a left-handed bat so they may be putting all their eggs in one Bird basket, then maybe Starlin Castro can be. Castro isn’t far behind Bird in terms of rehab after spending time on the disabled list for a second time with a hamstring injury. Ronald Torreyes has filled in admirably for Castro in the wake of his injury but having an impact and power bat like Castro’s makes everyone around him better and ultimately the Yankees better as well.

Giovanny Gallegos could become a big part of the Yankees bullpen and plans when rosters expand to 40 players on September 1st. At the time of this writing Gallegos has logged 14.0 innings at the Major League level and has a 5.79 ERA and 1.43 WHIP to show for it but don’t let that small sample size fool you. At the time of this writing Gallegos has logged 42.1 innings in Triple-A and has posted an impressive stat line that includes a 4-2 record with five saves, a 1.70 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and an impressive 14.7 K/9 ratio. With strikeout numbers like that any team can find a spot for you in their bullpen, especially in September. Gallegos is already on the 40 man roster and since being converted from a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher back in 2015 the right-hander has been nothing short of dominant. Gallegos won’t be Dellin Betances but he could be a very effective bridge from the starter to Dellin, David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman while Tommy Kahnle struggles to find himself back in pinstripes.

Finally, who pissed off Gary Sanchez and where can I send the thank you card? Somebody poked the bear and somebody has unleashed the Kraken because it seems like every time this guy makes contact he is either hitting a mammoth home run or knocking in a run. Sanchez is out to prove that last season was not a fluke and despite some questioning his defense that his bat is strong. It has always been strong. It will always be strong. Unleash the Kraken v2!!! All the way to the postseason. Have a great Friday Yankees family. 

So it Seems… Welcome to MLB Players Weekend

Good morning, Happy Friday and a warm welcome to the first ever MLB Players Weekend across Major League Baseball. As we discussed once on the blog the game will have a new, fresh and fun look to it this weekend as the players get to let their hair down a bit thanks to Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred, Tony Clark and the MLB Players Association.

This weekend you will see new jerseys with nicknames on the back, yes even on the Yankees and Red Sox uniforms, and various different bats, batting gloves, spikes, arm and wrist bands and other forms of gear and accessories. No other sport is doing this so I am really excited to see how this goes over the weekend. I truly think the nicknames and such allow the players to show a bit of personality and a bit of themselves and that is never a bad thing for the players or for the fans.

This weekend will be a pretty uneventful one for me in my personal life unfortunately but that’s okay. It’s good to slow down and accomplish things you have been wanting or needing to accomplish every once in a while and that is the plan for this weekend.

Everyone enjoy your weekends and enjoy MLB Players Weekend. Especially you. HEY YOU. I love you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/25: Three Grand Slams In One Game

Never in the history of Major League Baseball had one team hit three grand slams in one game before the New York Yankees accomplished the feat in 2011. The Yankees would beat the Oakland Athletics 22-9 with Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson all going deep with the bases loaded in Yankee Stadium.

Also on this day in 1996 Mickey Mantle joined Miller Huggins, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig as Yankees greats that have a monument in Monument Park. Mantle died of liver cancer last year and is the first new monument to be dedicated by the team in 47 years.

Also on this day in 1968 Yankees outfielder Rocky Colavito pitched 2.1 innings of relief giving up just one hit in a victory for the Yankees 6-5 over the Tigers. The Yankees outfielder, who also hit a home run in the game, will be the last position player to get a win by pitching until Colorado Rockies Brent Mayne would win a game in the year 2000.

Finally on this day in 1956 the Yankees general manager George Weiss and manager Casey Stengel hold a closed door meeting with shortstop Phil Rizzuto. The meeting discussed who should be let go since the team had acquired Enos Slaughter off waivers from the Atheltics. Rizzuto made several suggestions on who he thought who should be released from the Yankees before Weiss informed Scooter that he would be the player to be let go. Shady.