Thursday, August 31, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 8/31

And just like that it is game time between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Tonight marks the first of four games in this series and may mark the final four times that we see these two teams face off head-to-head. The postseason is not guaranteed for either team and there are no guarantees that these two teams could face each other in the postseason so this may be the final four times the rivalry gets renewed here in 2017. In the opener of the huge four-game set the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound on an extra day of rest to face off with Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox. 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.

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

Would Brian Cashman Really Head to Miami in 2018?

Here we stand on August 31st with the trade deadline now past and the rumor mill has already begun for the 2018 offseason. That’s typical in baseball but this story kind of hits close to home as some publications are already speculating that the Yankees GM Brian Cashman may be done in pinstripes after the season. Cashman, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the year, is speculated to be joining the Miami Marlins who were recently bought by a group headed by former Yankees legend Derek Jeter in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months or so but this begs the question, Cashman wouldn’t really leave New York for Miami…. Would he?

Honestly I can’t see Cashman bolting from the Yankees to go anywhere, let alone the Miami Marlins. Why? Giancarlo Stanton. That contract is moveable, sure, but that contract is going to hinder the Marlins ability to spend for a long, long time. Cashman, in his own defense, has been great lately with his handling of prospects and in trading for young, cheap and controllable players but at the end of the day Cashman has always and will always look to bail himself out with the big money grab of a veteran player or a key piece. That just simply, and I am obviously speculating here, won’t be the case down in Miami. The Miami Marlins will never have the payroll that the Los Angeles Dodgers or the New York Yankees have. The market would never support it, the attendance would never support it and I doubt the group headed by Jeter could support it.

Cashman finally has the power and the ability to basically make trades at will here in the Bronx. Sure, he has a spending limit but his spending limit here is much higher than it would be anywhere else in the league with the obvious exception of the Los Angeles Dodgers so why would he want to go anywhere else? Cashman has a young team brewing here with plenty of star power and has a Top 5 – Top 10 farm system to boot because of recent developmental changes and philosophies in the system which begin and end with the man handing out the checks and trading, or in this case not trading, the Yankees prospects. Cashman has fought for a long time for this kind of team, this kind of farm system and this kind of control over it and I simply can’t see Cashman moving on from it now.

The only way I can see Cashman leaving is if he gets a huge pay raise and promotion much like the Tampa Bay Rays executive Andrew Friedman a few years back. If Jeter were to offer President of Baseball Operations to Cashman and full control over the team… then maybe… but if it were just to be a GM I think Cashman will be back in the Bronx for the 2018 season, and I’m okay with that. 

Yankees to Honor Fairfield American Little League Baseball Team Tomorrow!

Tomorrow night before the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium play host to their biggest rivals in the Boston Red Sox the organization will honor one of our own. The team will welcome the Fairfield American Little League baseball team to Yankee Stadium to honor them after their impressive run through the 2017 Little League World Series. The players from the team will be able to take the players on the field with them during the National Anthem at 7:05 pm ET tomorrow night.

The Fairfield American community can purchase a limited number of tickets for $45 and then those within the community will be given a unique link to invite friends after purchasing their tickets. Everyone in the Fairfield American community will be sitting in Section 130 of the stadium.

What an awesome gesture by the New York Yankees, especially to do so while hosting the team whose executive once donned New York the “Evil Empire.” Sounds pretty evil to me, huh? Kudos to the Yankees for doing this!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 8/31

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will face off for the final four times during the 2017 regular season tonight and into the weekend so let’s get pumped, let’s get excited and let’s steal this division away from them. Rivalry renewed ladies and gentleman and there’s a whole lot riding on this four-game series. In the opener of the series the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to square off with Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox. A battle of the lefties commences here in just a few short hours.

Sabathia has made two starts since coming off the disabled list with right knee pain and has allowed just three runs in 13 innings of work. This will mark the first time Sabathia has faced his former and original team this season and the 12th time the southpaw has seen him throughout his career.

Rodriguez on the other hand hasn’t been impressive since coming off the disabled list posting a 0-2 record with a 5.08 ERA in eight starts for Boston. Rodriguez has been tough inside Yankee Stadium though throughout his career posting a career 2-1 record and 1.38 ERA in four starts so the Bronx may be just what the doctor ordered for the man they call E-Rod.

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. Say what you will about Mr. and Ms. Baseball and their telecast but it always seems that no matter your opinion on them you always miss them when they are gone. We have less than 30 games to go during this regular season and I’m already starting to miss them if I’m being honest. Need a win, get a win. Especially against these Boston Red Sox. Go Yankees!!!

Are Playoff Chances Being Swept Away?...

Credit:  Corey Sipkin-NY Post
Game 1 - Indians 2, Yankees 1...

The Yankees continued their struggles with runners in scoring position and lost another one run game.  Sadly, these games against the Cleveland Indians are showing the Yankees are not postseason-worthy or if they do make the play-offs, it will be a short stay.  I'd love for the Yankees to make me eat these words.

The first inning is generally a good litmus test for the starting pitcher.  By my account, Yankees starter Jaime Garcia failed.  Francisco Lindor led off the game with a single to right center.  Excuse me a moment...Jaime Garcia, you suck!...okay, I'm back.  Lindor stole second, and then advanced to third when Jose Ramirez singled to left past a diving Didi Gregorius.  Lindor came home to score the first run when Garcia's pitch got past Gary Sanchez (here we go again).  It was El Gary's thirteenth passed ball this season.  Ramirez moved up to second.  Yandy Diaz (who?) then singled to center (another unsuccessful dive by Didi) which scored Ramirez.  The Indians had the early 2-0 lead.  

Credit:  Bill Kostroun-Associated Press

The Yankees had something going in the bottom of the 2nd but couldn't produce.  Chase Headley led off with a walk.  After Greg Bird popped out to the shortstop (Lindor), Todd Frazier singled to left to put runners at the corners with just the one out.  Unfortunately, neither Jacoby Ellsbury nor Ronald Torreyes could move the runners against Indians starter Trevor Bauer.  Another failed RISP opportunity which has been a common theme the second half.  

The Yankees picked up their first run in the bottom of the 3rd before the ugly RISP monster raised its head again.  Aaron Hicks worked a walk with one out.  A ground out by Gary Sanchez pushed Hicksie to second.  Doing his best "Bradley Zimmer" impersonation, Hicks advanced to third on a wild pitch by Bauer that got away from catcher Roberto Perez.  Didi Gregorius must have been unaware there was a runner in scoring position because he doubled to left to score A-A-Ron.  Another wild pitch by Bauer moved Didi 90 feet away from home plate, but Chase Headley, realizing there WAS a runner in scoring position, struck out to end the inning.

Jaime Garcia ended up making it through five innings with just the two first inning runs scored against him (only one earned), but you know what?  He still sucks.  The Tribe had runners in scoring position every inning against him except for the 3-up, 3-down 2nd inning.  Luck was his friend this day...not talent.  He walked the first batter (Carlos Santana) to start the 6th inning which caused Manager Joe Girardi to make the call to the bullpen.  Exit He Who Sucks, Enter Chad Green.  For a bullpen that has been leaky recently, Green just quietly goes about his business.  Two strikeouts and Santana caught stealing second sent the game to the bottom of the 6th.  No drama...thanks Greeny!

Green struck out the side in the 7th but allowed a lead-off double in the 8th to the pesky Jose Ramirez.  He struck out the next two batters before Girardi gave him the hook and brought in Tommy Kahnle.  Kahnle induced Carlos Santana to pop out to third to end the inning.  I can't say enough great things about the job that Chad Green has done this year.  He hasn't been perfect, but all things considered, he is most of the time.  For this outing, he ended up with 7 strikeouts for 2 2/3 innings of work and just the one hit.  I never thought I'd say that Green is a better reliever (right now) than Aroldis Chapman.  For his effort, according to, Green became the first player in history to record seven strikeouts in a game when facing eight or fewer batters.  

The last Yankees reliever who was this dominant was Ron Davis, who struck out eight of nine on May 4, 1981 against the then-California Angels in Anaheim. The Yankees won that game, 4-2, with Davis picking up the save in relief of Gene Nelson. 

Meanwhile, the Yankees couldn't muster anything against Bauer and reliever Tyler Olson.  Ronald Torreyes made it to second in the bottom of the 7th but that would be as far as he would get.  That was the last opportunity the Yankees would get as relievers Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen slammed the door over the final two innings.  Aaron Judge striking out to end the game seemed to represent how the second half has gone for the Yankees.  This was a very disappointing loss.  

With the loss, the Yankees (70-61) fell 4 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox before the start of the second game of the double-header.  They moved closer to the third place Baltimore Orioles than they are from the top.  If the O's keep winning, they'll soon be making noise in the Wild Card Standings and potentially for second place in the AL East.  

Game 2 - Indians 9, Yankees 1...

Perhaps I should have been kinder toward Jaime Garcia.  If he failed the first inning test for me, Jordan Montgomery stunk the place up.  I always want to see the game's first batter retired for home games, but it was not to be for this double-header in either game.  Like the first game, Francisco Lindor led off with a single to center.  The second batter, Austin Jackson, walked.  Surprisingly, Jose Ramirez, who has proven to be a Yankee killer, struck out swinging.  But it didn't stop the next few batters from celebrating batting practice against Montgomery.  

Credit:  Bill Kostroun-Associated Press

Edwin Encarnacion got the party started with a single to center to score Lindor. Austin Jackson advanced to third on the hit and subsequent throw. A double to left by Carlos Santana brought Jackson home.  Encarnacion moved to third. Yandy Diaz (who is this guy and why does he keep scorching us?) singled to left, scoring both Encarnacion and Santana.  Brandon Guyer got the fifth hit of the inning off Montgomery with a single to left.  Diaz moved to second.  Yan Gomes struck out for the second out. A wild pitch sent Diaz to third.  Erik Gonzalez walked to load the bases, but fortunately, Francisco Lindor, coming to bat for the second time in the inning, struck out swinging to finally end the first inning disaster.  The Indians led, 4-0, before the Yankees could even pick up a bat.

The Yankees' half of the inning started promising.  Brett Gardner led off and reached on an infield single.  So far, so good.  Starlin Castro followed by hitting into a double play.  End of smiley face.  A fly out by Gary Sanchez and it gave the illusion that it would be another long day for the Yankee hitters (which ultimately proved to be true).  

The Yankees scratched out a run in the bottom of the 2nd.  Aaron Judge led off with an infield single.  Aaron Hicks stroked a one-out single to left, Judge to second.  Greg Bird singled to right which brought Judge around to score with Hicks moving to second.  4-1, Indians.  Ronald Torreyes hit into a fielder's choice which erased Bird at second so the Yankees had runners at the corners with two outs.  But Austin Romine continued the RISP struggles when he grounded out to third.

Credit Jordan Montgomery for recovering from the devastating first inning.  He held the Indians in check from the second inning through the fourth.  Unfortunately, the Yankees just couldn't get their offense untracked.  Monty was gone when the 5th inning rolled around, having thrown 92 pitches.  Lefty Chasen Shreve replaced Monty to start the 5th.  Sadly, Shreve's recent struggles continued as Edwin Encarnacion took him deep into the left field stands for a solo home run.  If you are slumping, just trying hitting against Shreve.  You're guaranteed to bust out in a big way.  Carlos Santana followed with a grounder to short, but the throw from Didi Gregorius took Greg Bird off the base to allow Santana to reach first safely.  Fortunately, Shreve retired the next 3 Indians to end the inning but I can't say I am too confident in the pitcher at the moment.

In the top of the 6th, with the still not-so-reliable Shreve on the mound, Erik Gonzalez led off with a double to left field.  After Francisco Lindor grounded out, Austin Jackson doubled to center to score Gonzalez.  The Tribe had increased their lead to 6-1.  Joe Girardi pulled Shreve (wasn't too sorry to see him go) and brought in Caleb Smith.  Smith got out of the 6th, but he wasn't so lucky in the 7th.  After a Yandy Diaz walk, Yan Gomes smashed a two-run homer off Smith to right.  

Credit:  Bill Kostroun-Associated Press

Smith ended up taking one for the team and finished the game to spare the other bullpen arms for Boston.  He allowed one more homer in the 8th when Francisco Lindor blasted a solo shot to left.  Not a pretty performance but at this point, it didn't really matter anymore.

The Indians took the 8-run lead into the bottom of the 9th.  With former Yankee Zach McAllister on the mound and in the 'too little, too late' department, Greg Bird unloaded a three-run bomb to right-center.  It was meaningless for this game but hopefully it is a sign that Bird's bat is coming around for the weekend series.  The Indians walked off the field with the 9-4 victory and the double-header sweep.  

Credit:  Bill Kostroun-Associated Press

The three-game downward spiral for the Yankees (70-62) dropped them 5 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox after pulling within 2 1/2 games just 48 hours previously.  The Baltimore Orioles won their seventh game in a row to draw within 2 1/2 games of the Yankees in both the AL East and the Wild Card standings.  At this point, the Yankees hold a very slight edge for the Wild Card  (one game ahead of the Minnesota Twins) and playing like they intend to bow out completely.  

Credit:  Getty Images

Things do not get any easier...

Next Up:  Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York...

The Yankees and Red Sox resume their great rivalry today with a four-game set at 161st and River.  The Yankees can make some noise in the AL East by winning this series.  At the very least, they need to hold their own with at least a split to avoid slipping further behind the Red Sox.

Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:

Red Sox:  Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4, 4.19 ERA)
Yankees:  CC Sabathia (10-5, 3.82 ERA)

Red Sox:  Doug Fister (3-7, 4.53 ERA)
Yankees:  Sonny Gray (8-8, 3.26 ERA)

Red Sox:  Drew Pomeranz (14-4, 3.23 ERA)
Yankees:  Masahiro Tanaka (10-10, 4.69 ERA)

Red Sox:  Chris Sale (15-6, 2.77 ERA)
Yankees:  Luis Severino (11-6, 3.14 ERA)

Odds & Ends...

The Yankees will be sending six players to the Arizona Fall League this year. You may recall that Gleyber Torres had tremendous success there last year (AFL Most Valuable Player).  He's not going this year as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery, but we'll be closely watching the six prospects who will be there.  OF Estevan Florial and LHP Justus Sheffield lead the pack.  They'll be joined by RHP Dillon Tate (who has really reinvigorated his prospect status this year), 1B Chris Gittens, SS Thairo Estrada, and SS Kyle Holder.  I'd love to see Florial dominate this year like Torres did last year.  That might be a tall order for the youngster but I am looking forward to seeing what the latest crop of Baby Bombers will bring.  

After yesterday's double-header, the Yankees optioned LHP Jordan Montgomery (the 26th man) and LHP Caleb Smith to Triple A.  No immediate word who will fill Smith's spot on the active roster.  The obvious move is the activation of DH Matt Holliday from the 10-day DL but we'll find out before today's game.  

Have a great Thursday!  Time to make a statement against the Red Sox and bring silence to the RSN!  Go Yankees!

My Thoughts on the Yankees Arizona Fall League Participants for 2017

The New York Yankees are sending some heavy hitters to the Arizona Fall League this winter and as a self-professed prospect humper, trademark pending, I am so damn excited for it. The Yankees organization announced that they would be sending one of their top outfield prospects Estevan Florial to the Scottsdale Scorpions as well as Justus Sheffield, Dillon Tate, Thairo Estrada, Chris Gittens and Kyle Holder. All these rosters are preliminary and subject to change and the Yankees have a couple extra slots they could add some players to, usually pitchers are the late additions to the team.

Florial was the subject of trade rumors this summer as the Oakland Athletics were asking for the 19-year old left-handed hitting outfielder in the Sonny Gray deal so the fact that he is still with the team and getting a chance to play for the Scorpions and represent the Yankees excites me. Florial represented Team World in the All-Star Game Futures Game this season and is currently the Yankees 4th best prospect according to Florial hit well in A-Ball splitting time with the Charleston Riverdogs and the Tampa Yankees and with his inclusion in the AFL the lefty may be on the fast track to the Major Leagues. See Gleyber Torres and the rocket he road to Triple-A after his breakout AFL campaign in 2016 before scoffing at that statement.

Right behind Florial on the Yankees prospects rankings is Sheffield and the lefty starting pitcher will be right behind Florial as well as his teammate down in Scottsdale. The Yankees likely want to give Sheffield some additional innings since the southpaw is currently rehabbing an oblique injury with the Gulf Coast Yankees but the team also likely wants to see what Sheffield can do against some advanced talent. Sheffield pitched 90.1 innings in Double-A this season before the injury and is slated to be in Triple-A as soon as the beginning of next season with his current progression. Sheffield may be the top Yankees pitching prospect in terms of projectability and if he isn’t he is right behind Chance Adams and Freicer Perez.

The Yankees have some 40 man roster decisions to make this offseason before the Rule 5 Draft which likely explains why Estrada, Holder and Gittens are on the roster this winter. It isn’t uncommon for teams to get an extended look at prospects they deem to be “on the bubble” in terms of 40 man roster protection so expect Estrada, Holder and Gittens to get extended looks, especially Estrada. It seems unlikely that any team would take Gittens or Holder at this point, although Holder’s defense and versatility could fit well with a rebuilding team in the National League like the San Diego Padres, but in my opinion Estrada would be chosen in the first round if left unprotected.

So what are my thoughts on this cast of Yankees players heading down to Arizona? I love the roster. I am so looking forward to seeing Sheffield pitch, Florial play the outfield, Dillon Tate make his second consecutive appearance and continue his climb back to being a top prospect in Major League Baseball and I look forward to watching the trio of Yankees infielders making progress as well. I’m a prospect humper, what did you expect me to say about this roster? Who wouldn’t want to see Tate, Sheffield and Florial on a big stage? It’s a no-brainer. Enjoy your day Yankees family.

For your information here is how each team is made up in the Arizona Fall League:

AFL club
MLB clubs

So it Seems… August 31st Trade Deadline Day

Good morning everyone and happy August 31st trade deadline day. While this deadline day is nothing compared to the July 31st trade deadline day it is still a rather big deal nonetheless. Any player acquired today or before today obviously is eligible for postseason play with their new team while any player acquired after the trade deadline, because yes teams can trade up until the final day of the season if they would like, are not eligible for postseason play in 2017. Will the Yankees acquire anyone? It honestly seems very unlikely at this point and if they did it may be a third catcher for the month of September but probably nothing more than that. Don’t get too excited about today Yankees family because it is looking like it’s going to be just another day in the Bronx.

Every day with you is special though. HEY YOU. I love you!

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/31: Indians 22 Yankees 0

The New York Yankees have had a very storied history including a ton of blowouts on both sides of the ball but none bigger than the whooping the Cleveland Indians put on the New York Yankees on this day in 2004. This actually tied the largest shutout margin in the history of Major League Baseball, but set the record in Yankees history, when the Indians beat the Yankees 22-0 in Yankee Stadium. The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs by the same margin way back in 1975 at Wrigley Field to set the original record.

Also on this day in Yankees getting clobbered history Omar Vizquel had six hits in that same 2004 game. Vizquel would become the first player in the 81 year history of Yankee Stadium to get six hits in one game.

Finally on this day in 1997 Don Mattingly Day was held at Yankee Stadium where his #23 jersey was retired in Monument Park. Mattingly was the Yankees captain from 1991 to 1995 and becomes the first Yankee to have his uniform number retired without reaching the World Series.