Friday, September 1, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/1

Friday night baseball in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Rivalry renewed. Let’s get to it. Tonight in the second matchup of the series between these two clubs the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound to square off with Doug Fister for the Red Sox. Both teams need a win but the Yankees need that win just a little bit more so let’s hope they play like it tonight. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, NESN, 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 giving @GreedyStripes a follow and enjoy the game. Need a win, get a big win. Go Yankees! Enjoy your weekend. 

The Yankees Offense vs. Doug Fister and the Red Sox Offense vs. Sonny Gray

The Yankees and the Red Sox continue their series in the Bronx here in a few hours and like most games tonight’s outcome will likely come down to the starting pitching in one way or another. With that being the case let’s take a look at tonight’s starters and how they have fared against the respective offenses on the other side of the diamond. Will these stats paint a clearer picture as to what we are about to watch? Who knows, you can’t predict baseball.

All stats courtesy of

Next Baby Bomber to Watch: Dermis Garcia

The New York Yankees youth movement is in full swing and that swing only looks to sway more and more as we enter the month of September. September call ups are here and more reinforcements are likely on the way when all the various minor league affiliates finish their postseason runs which makes the Yankees potentially a very scary team to face going down the stretch and into the future. Speaking of the future the Yankees have one of the brightest futures in all of Major League Baseball with one of the best farm systems in the game right now and one such member to keep an eye on from that farm system is my next Baby Bomber to watch, infielder Dermis Garcia.  

Back in 2014 the New York Yankees went on a bit of a spending spree on the international market spending $17 million on players and almost another $14 million in tax penalties when the team went over their spending cap and one of the players that $14 million bought was Garcia. Garcia was signed for $3 million as a 16-year old as a third baseman as the team looked to fill what looks to be a thin position within the position. Miguel Andujar looks to be the Yankees third baseman of the future currently but if Garcia can live up to the hype and his projections Andujar may simply just be keeping the seat warm for Dermis.  

Garcia is a huge power hitter which was on display last season in the Appalachian League where Garcia was second in the league with 13 home runs. Dermis has followed that up with 15 home runs combined for the Pulaski Yankees and the Charleston Riverdogs this season although his strikeout total, like that of Aaron Judge, is a bit higher than you would like. The difference between Judge and Garcia though is that Judge was drafted out of college as a high power, high strikeout kind of player while Garcia is still a teenager and was signed as an international free agent. Judge was basically the player he is now when he was drafted but the sky is the limit for Dermis.  

FYI, Aaron Judge has a 39% strikeout rate this season and Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins has a 41% strikeout rate in 2017 at the time of this writing and both were All-Stars for the American League in 2017. Dermis, again just in A-Ball, has a strikeout rate of 29% at the time of this writing so the strikeouts aren’t as damning as many people will likely make them out to be. Especially for a third baseman, Garcia was signed as a shortstop but has since moved to third base, where the position is more about defense and power than it is about high average in most cases. Garcia could ultimately move to third base though if his defense and range doesn’t improve but, again, he is just 19-years old and is learning a position he has never played before so I am not putting much stock into this either.  

Garcia has shown some pop in his professional career, he has shown an ability to adjust as he lowers his strikeout percentage every season, he has shown an ability to work a work and he has shown an ability to meet or exceed expectations so I expect nothing less from Dermis going forward with the Yankees. With an ETA of late 2020 or early-to-mid 2021 we will just have to sit back and watch more improvements and more hard work from the Yankees prospect as he continues to climb the ladder all the way to the Bronx. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/1

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will be back at it again tonight for the second time in their four-game extended weekend set. Last night we watched as two left-handed starters faced off head-to-head in CC Sabathia and Eduardo Rodriguez and tonight we will watch as Sonny Gray takes the ball for the Yankees and Doug Fister takes the ball for the Red Sox. Over the past couple offseasons I have clamored for the Yankees to sign Fister, even on a non-guaranteed deal, for insurance and such so if Fister pitches well tonight I may put aside my “small sample size” philosophy and rage a little bit. I can’t help it, it’s the fan and the passion for this team in me. Let’s hope the Yankees offense and Gray can make all this a moot point because I’m sure you guys and girls don’t want to hear me rant again. Or maybe you do J

Gray pitched like the pitcher the Yankees thought they were acquiring at the July 31st trade deadline last time out against the Seattle Mariners allowing just a solo home run and two other hits while mixing in nine strikeouts in a victory. Gray has made five starts for the Yankees and has posted a 2-3 record with a 2.70 ERA in five starts including a loss to the Boston Red Sox on August 20. Many of these losses were due to lack of run support and not because Gray didn’t pitch well enough to win.

Fister has also made five starts for the Red Sox and will make his first rivalry start for the team tonight in the Bronx. In five starts Fister has put up a 3-2 record and a 3.41 ERA for the Red Sox and will be making just his second career start inside Yankee Stadium tonight as well. In Fister’s only start in the Bronx the righty allowed three runs in seven innings of work as a member of the Washington Nationals.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, NESN (gross) 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. Enjoy the game, need a win so get a win and GO YANKEES!!

Holding the Door to Victory...

Credit:  HBO

Yankees 6, Red Sox 2...

There was too much drama in the 9th inning but the Yankees persevered to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a four-game series in the Bronx.

CC Sabathia, reinforcing his reputation this year as the Yankees' stopper, got the win in a strong performance.  The first inning started a little rocky, but Sabathia made his pitches and avoided putting the Yankees in the early hole like they had with the Cleveland Indians the last couple of games.  After easily retiring lead-off hitter Rajai Davis, Eduardo Nunez, in a move that would draw CC's ire, bunted toward the pitcher.  Sabathia retrieved the ball but his throw to first base pulled Greg Bird off the bag.  Two subsequent walks and the bases were loaded.  Sabathia struck out the next two batters to avoid what could have been a very big inning for the Red Sox.  

Credit:  Craig Ruttle-Associated Press

There were a few challenges in the game.  The first one occurred in the top of the 2nd.  Rajai Davis was at the plate with a runner on first and two outs.  He was awarded base on a hit by pitch, but replay showed that the ball hit the end of the bat and not the player.  So, Davis, who had taken first with his acting performance, had to return to the plate.  He proceeded to strike out to end the inning.

Top of the 3rd and more challenges.  Eduardo Nunez led off the inning for the Red Sox with a single up the middle.  Next up was Andrew Benintendi who hit a liner to left field.  Nunez went around to third, and Benintendi slid into second at the same time as the throw.  The call on the field was safe but the Yankees challenged it and Benintendi was ruled out upon review (in a very close call).

Credit:  Rich Schultz-Getty Images

Mookie Betts walked to put runners at the corners.  Xander Bogaerts hit a grounder to short that appeared to be turned for a double play, but it was Boston's turn to challenge.  Betts, sliding into second, was ruled safe ahead of the throw from Didi Gregorius to Starlin Castro, so Bogaerts was the only out and Nunez scored on the play.  1-0, Red Sox.  Betts subsequently stole third and the Sox had runners at the corners when Rafael Devers walked, but Sabathia, continuing his bend but not break outing, induced Hanley Ramirez to hit into an inning-ending ground out.  

The Yankees finally got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd to tie the game.  Brett Gardner led off with a single to left, but he was erased when Aaron Hicks hit into a double play.  So, the bases were empty when Gary Sanchez came to the plate.  El Gary hit a high fly off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez that carried into the right field stands. It was Gary's 28th home run of the season and his 12th in August.

Credit:  Craig Ruttle-Associated Press

Sanchez always takes heat for the passed balls and wild pitches that get past him, but his arm is a thing of beauty.  In the top of the 5th, with Andrew Benintendi on first and Mookie Betts at the plate, Benintendi broke for second on a called third strike on Betts and El Gary's throw to Starlin Castro was easily in time to nail the sliding runner for the strike-em out, throw-em out double play.

In the bottom of the 5th, the Yankees took the lead.  With one out, singles by Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks put runners at the corners.  Gary Sanchez hit a high fly to shallow right that looked like it would be the second out but Eduardo Nunez went too far and couldn't reach back to make the catch over his shoulder so the ball fell in.  Sanchez was awarded a single in what appeared to be an error.  No matter, Gardy scored on the play and it was 2-1 Yankees.  The Yankees subsequently loaded the bases for Aaron Judge with two outs but he weakly popped out for a missed opportunity.

While Sabathia was holding the Red Sox in check, the Yankees broke through with more runs in the bottom of the 6th.  Chase Headley started the inning with a double off the center field wall.  Greg Bird, who can be a huge asset down the stretch, ripped a Rodriguez pitch deep into the right-center field stands for a two-run home run.  After Todd Frazier singled to left, the Sox pulled Eduardo Rodriguez and replaced him with Fernando Abad.  Abad struck out Brett Gardner, but Aaron Hicks reached first with an infield hit.  Gary Sanchez lined out for the second out, however, Didi Gregorius singled up the middle to center field to score Headley.  The Yankees had taken a 5-1 lead.  The Sox replaced Abad with Heath Hembree who got the final out when Starlin Castro hit a grounder to short, forcing Didi out at second.

David Robertson took the mound to start the 7th inning so it closed the book on CC Sabathia.  It was a very gutty performance by Sabathia.  He could have easily broken and allowed the Red Sox to take advantage of their scoring opportunities but he held the door.  DRob easily set down the Red Sox for three quick outs to send the game to the bottom of the 7th.  The Yankees had an opportunity for a big inning but they were only able to score a single run.  Aaron Judge started things by working a walk on four pitches.  Chase Headley singled to center, a fly that dropped in, with Judge moving to third.  Greg Bird singled to left on a grounder through second and short to score Judge.  The Yankees were up 6-1.  Todd Frazier subsequently walked to load the bases with no outs.  The Sox went to the pen and brought in Robby Scott.  Sadly, Brett Gardner hit a liner at Eduardo Nunez and his throw to Xander Bogaerts beat Bird sliding back into second for the double play.  The Yankees challenged the play (replay did appear to show Bird's hand reaching second base just ahead of Bogaerts' foot) but the umps felt otherwise and stood by the call on the field.  Aaron Hicks followed by striking out for a huge missed opportunity.  I know that I didn't feel comfortable with a five-run lead at that point against the dangerous Red Sox lineup.

Robertson evaded trouble in the top of the 8th when the first two batters reached base, the second on his own fielding error.  Fortunately, he retired the next three batters to end the inning unscathed.  Moments like that make me appreciate that Big Papi retired last year.

Red Sox reliever Blaine Boyer easily set down the Yankees in the bottom of the 8th to send the game into the 9th inning.  Dellin Betances replaced DRob and then proceeded to scare the h**l out of me.  After Chris Young walked, Betances hit the next two batters (Christian Vazquez and Brock Holt) to load the bases with no outs.  He finally got the first out when Eduardo Nunez struck out swinging.  But a walk to Andrew Benintendi scored Young.  The Red Sox had two chances with the potential tying run at the plate and two hitters very capable of hitting the long ball.  Mookie Betts was first and he popped up for the second out.  Mitch Moreland, pinch-hitting for Xander Bogaerts, was next.  Moreland has done some damage against the Yankees this year, but Betances got him to fly out to left for the final out.  Whew, game over!  Yankees win!

Credit:  Paul J Bereswill-NY Post

The Yankees (71-62) moved to within 4 1/2 games of the Red Sox with the victory.  They maintained a one-game lead in the Wild Card standings over the red-hot Minnesota Twins.  The Baltimore Orioles finally lost, 11-8 to the Toronto Blue Jays, so they fell 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

CC Sabathia (11-5) got the much-deserved win.  He walked too many (five) but he held the Sox to four hits and one run despite what seemed like multiple run-scoring opportunities.  He struck out six.  I was so fearful that Dellin Betances was going to blow the big lead in the top of the 9th but credit to him for his recovery to get the outs when he needed them.  My preference, not shared by Joe Girardi, is to keep Betances in a setup role and use David Robertson as the closer until Aroldis Chapman can right the ship.  

I like what I am seeing out of Greg Bird.  He is clearly showing signs of being the tremendous hitter he exhibited in spring training before injuring his foot.  He was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI's.  Gary Sanchez was great with his home run and 2 RBI's but it's a little bittersweet given the impending suspension. 

The Judge's Chambers featured a true Judge with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in attendance.

Credit:  Craig Ruttle-Associated Press

Hopefully the Yankees can continue their success against the Red Sox tonight when Sonny Gray takes the hill in perhaps his most significant Yankees start yet.  He'll be opposed by journeyman Doug Fister.   

Odds & Ends...

While we continue to await word on the suspension appeals for Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine (it is my understanding that Gary's appeal will be heard today), it sounds as though the Yankees will be able to stagger the suspensions so that the team is not without at least one member of its top catching tandem.  It's disappointing that Kyle Higashioka remains on the DL since it will most likely result in the loss of a 40-man roster spot for another player in order to create room for a back-up catcher.  It was looking like career minor leaguer Eddy Rodriguez might get the call, but the Yankees acquired veteran catcher Erik Kratz yesterday from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations. The Yankees will soon make a roster move to add Kratz.  Kratz is 37 and has logged 225 MLB games since 2010 for various teams.  By comparison, the 31-year-old Rodriguez has only played 2 MLB games (for San Diego in 2012).  Any way you look at it, there's going to be a noticeable drop-off from the team of Sanchez and Romine to whomever fills the interim backup role.  

Prior to last night's game, the Yankees recalled RHP Giovanny Gallegos.  He takes the roster spot vacated when LHP Caleb Smith was optioned to Triple A after Wednesday's double-header loss to the Cleveland Indians.  DH Matt Holliday is expected to be activated soon.

Former Yankees Assistant GM and now Angels GM Billy Eppler is getting aggressive in helping his team track down the Yankees and the Twins in the Wild Card chase.  Eppler made a bold move yesterday to acquire OF Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers.  Upton is batting .279 with 28 HRs and 94 RBIs. Solid move for the Halos.  They gave up young pitching prospect RHP Grayson Long.  To make room for Upton, the Angels placed much-traveled Cameron Maybin on waivers.  He was subsequently acquired by the Houston Astros.  Later in the day, the Angels acquired 2B Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves and the Astros, in a move that could solidify their chances for the World Series, picked up pitcher Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers.

There has been much talk about Shohei Otani this week with GM Brian Cashman's trip to Japan, but it is too premature for me to read anything into it. The Yankees do not have an advantage over other clubs should Otani decide to come to the United States other than they'd have more dollars to spend on some future contract that would have absolutely no bearing on the dollars that will be present for Otani's first contract.  It's a level playing field for the most part in terms of the international bonus pool money, with the slight increases for those teams like the Yankees that have added money through trades.  Still, the cap on those dollars can be reached by any number of teams.  I'll get excited if there are signs that Otani is actually considering the Yankees, but until then, it's a pipe dream.

Have a great Friday!  Hopefully the Yankees won't have to "labor" too hard for victories this weekend!  Go Yankees!

The Drum Beating for Chance Adams Begins NOW

You guys knew this was coming, didn’t you? I mean you had to. The calendar changes to September 1st today which means a lot of things. We are one day closer to the end of the regular season, one day closer to Christmas, one day closer to Bryce Harper donning pinstripes and most importantly it is September call up day! The Yankees have many September call up decisions to make this season as many of their affiliates including the Major League team fight for a postseason spot and championship but no decision should be bigger than the decision to call up or not to call up arguably their top pitching prospect Chance Adams. I think you all have an idea on what side of that argument I am on if you have been reading my work for a while now.  

Chance Adams should absolutely be on the Major League roster and in the Bronx this weekend for the Boston Red Sox series and he should stay up until the Yankees take their ball and go home for the long winter ahead. Not only has he earned it, which should trump anything, but he also makes the team far better than they were with Jaime Garcia taking the ball every fifth day. You know, because Jaime Garcia sucks. 

Adams was a fifth-round pick by the Yankees back in 2015 and is a right-handed pitcher that broke out in a big way as a starting pitcher in 2016. Adams was drafted as a relief pitcher but was immediately converted to a starter by the Yankees which produced a combined 13-1 record, 2.33 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 127.1 innings in 2016 between High-A  with the Tampa Yankees and Double-A with the Trenton Thunder. Adams also struck out 144 batters which opened a lot of eyes and put him on the map as far as Yankees prospects go. Adams has been equally as impressive in 2017 leading the Scranton RailRiders to their third straight division title and postseason berth and is currently knocking on the door to Yankee Stadium begging the little pig to let him in. Will Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman respond “not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin?” Lord I hope not. 

Adams is a four-pitch pitcher whose repertoire consists of a mid-90 MPH fastball, a hard slider and a developing change-up and curveball that keeps batters off his hard stuff. Adams does struggle with control and command of his pitches, especially the change and the curve, which is his only knock in not calling him up but at this point in the season what does New York really have to lose? The team doesn’t have to give him a 40 man roster spot this season which is also a huge part of the decision making process here but let’s be honest, the Yankees need Adams in 2017 if they want to go far in the postseason. They do. Garcia isn’t going to cut it and as well as CC Sabathia has pitched at times he may not be able to cut it either. Who knows if and when that knee pain will flare up again? Adams provides the Yankees youth, aggression, talent and the ultimate depth and insurance piece all for the low, low price of a 40 man roster spot that he will probably win outright next season in Spring Training camp anyway if we’re being honest. 

Adams is ready. Make the move. Call him up. Make Daniel Burch happy. Get Greedy. I love you all!

So it Seems… The Day the Marathon Became a Sprint

September 1st. The day every MLB season where the regular season known as a marathon becomes a sprint. The time of every baseball season where you stop thinking about there always being tomorrow and really start focusing on today, the now. The time of the season where you can’t look ahead to the next series or the series after that because this series actually may make or break your season, especially if you’re chasing one of the two available American League Wild Card spots. That day is today.

Good morning Yankees family and welcome to September baseball. Especially you. Hey you. I love you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/1: September Call Up Day

Surprisingly not much has happened on September call ups day in New York Yankees history but one bit of notable news happened on this day in 1931 when Lou Gehrig continued to hit grand slams. Gehrig's bases loaded blast would be his third in four days as the Yankees would beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 at Yankee Stadium.

Also on this day in 1947 the Giants would break the 1936 Yankees record for most home runs hit in one season by a team. The New York Giants would break the record with the 185 team home runs and would finish the season with 221.