Friday, October 13, 2017

ALCS Game One Thread: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros

And just like that ladies, gentleman and Yankees doubters/haters it is game time and time for Game One of the 2017 American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. In the opener of the series the Yankees face a familiar foe and a tough opponent in Dallas Keuchel for the Astros while New York counters with Masahiro Tanaka. The game will be played at 8:00 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on Fox Sports One. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into either WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman or by turning on ESPN Radio.

Follow us on Twitter to interact with us during the game by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Need a win, one win at a time, so get a win and Go Yankees! Also be on the lookout for my prediction below. Some may call it…. Bold. Enjoy the game.

Prediction: Yankees win 9-4

Friday the 13th Article Revisit: The Curse of the Billy Goat & Other Baseball Superstitions

You have to admit that if you watch baseball, play baseball or have talked to anyone who has played or watched baseball that there is a certain level of superstition in the game. You also have to admit that if you talk to enough people about Friday the 13th that there is a similar set of superstitions surrounding the day. What do you get when you have Game One of the ALCS on Friday the 13th? Well besides the Yankees bombing Dallas Keuchel, my prediction, you also get this article revisit from the 2016 season covering some of the weird known superstitions in baseball as well as the now outdated Curse of the Billy Goat that the Chicago Cubs broke last season. Enjoy the article revisit as we wait on the game tonight inside Minute Maid Park. Go Yankees!!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Curse of the Billy Goat & Other Baseball Superstitions

If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball or if you’ve ever played baseball down from Little League all the way to the show chances are there is at least a little superstitious blood running through your body. I can remember wearing a red power rangers shirt under my jersey back in my early Little League years and the first time I did I went 3-4 and we won. So what did I do? I wore that same shirt under my jersey every single game until the superstition ran out. If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball you probably also believe in curses no matter what you say out loud. The Curse of the Bambino was a real thing, even if it was just in the heads of the Boston Red Sox fans and players, and until the Curse of the Billy Goat and other superstitions around baseball are broken by Cubs players and fans alike those traditions will remain a part of the game as well. 

With the Cubs once again looking to break the Curse of the Billy Goat this fall I wanted to take a look at some of the superstitions in baseball and some of the attempts to specifically end the curse surrounding Wrigley Field. Fans have tried to smuggle in goats into Wrigley Field and one local food company, Carnivore Inc., even went as far as to butcher a goat that lived 90 minutes south of Chicago to turn into sausage that will be served in the Chicago suburbs. Will thousands of Cubs fans eating a goat during the playoffs reverse the Curse of the Billy Goat? Stay tuned, but I doubt it. 

Some other superstitions around baseball include Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Burnett putting a poker chip in his back pocket before taking the mound, Wade Boggs eating fried chicken before every start, Derek Holland watching scenes from “For the Love of the Game,” Jason Giambi and his gold thong he passed around the Yankees clubhouse, CC Sabathia keeps a picture of his children in his jersey while he pitches and so many other superstitions. 

Players won’t step on the white line when entering or leaving the field, players won’t get a new hat or batting helmet if they are hitting well no matter how disgusting they look, Roger Clemens would not take the mound without first rubbing the forehead of Babe Ruth in Monument Park, Phil Hughes doesn’t shave the day he is scheduled to pitch and so much more. Superstitions run rampant in Major League Baseball! 

So will the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series since 1908 and will any other superstitions or outlandish beliefs be put to bed before the end of the 2016 season? Stay tuned. 

FYI, they Cubs did break the curse in case you missed it. I know you didn’t, but still. 

The 2017 Story of the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees

Story time ladies and gentleman and this one is an interesting one. This story covers what the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros have done against one another head-to-head here in 2017. Will these stats mean much in this new season that we call the postseason? No, not likely but you know what they say… “history is usually an indicator of the future.” The Yankees and Astros have the ability to either debunk or prove that theory right here in this series but that process cannot begin without the history between the two clubs. Don’t worry, I got your back. Keep reading.

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros faced off seven times this season, four times in the Bronx and three times inside Minute Maid Park, with the Astros winning five of those seven matchups including three-of-four inside Yankee Stadium. Sure, that looks bad but the last time we did this we were telling the story of the 2017 New York Yankees and the 2017 Cleveland Indians and that story turned out alright in the end for the boys in pinstripes, didn’t it? Also it is worth mentioning that all seven games came before the 2017 July 31st trading deadline and four of those games came way back in May. Needless to say both teams are much different today than they were in May and June/July of this season.
Team Game-by-Game Schedule
Gm# Date Tm Opp W/L R RA Inn W-L Rank GB Win Loss Save Time D/N Attendance Streak
32Thursday, May 11boxscoreNYYHOUL2321-1120.5KeuchelPinedaGiles3:09N39,050--
33Friday, May 12boxscoreNYYHOUL1521-1220.5McCullersMontgomery3:09N41,150---
34Sunday, May 14 (1)boxscoreNYYHOUW11622-121up 0.5WarrenHarris3:20D+
35Sunday, May 14 (2)boxscoreNYYHOUL71022-131up 0.5MortonTanaka3:49D47,883-
78Friday, Jun 30boxscoreNYY@HOUW13443-3521.0PinedaFelizMitchell3:20N40,024+
79Saturday, Jul 1boxscoreNYY@HOUL6743-3622.0DiazBetancesGiles3:25N41,010-
80Sunday, Jul 2boxscoreNYY@HOUL1843-3723.0DevenskiSeverino3:29D41,761--

We can look at the history all day and analyze it until we are blue in the face but when these two teams faced off head-to-head this season players like David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Sonny Gray, Todd Frazier and even Didi Gregorius weren’t either here or firing on all cylinders yet after slow starts due to injuries. Sure, the Astros could say the same and remind us that they didn’t have Justin Verlander during those contests either but when these games took place the Yankees were a young team and a team just at the beginning of coming together. Now the team had melded and molded into what we see before us, potentially the American League Champions.

Stay tuned to see what happens and how this story ends over the next four-to-seven games. Go Yankees, Yankees in six. 

ALCS Game One Preview: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros

Tonight the American League Championship Series takes center stage as the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros prepare to battle in a best-of-seven series. The winner heads to the World Series with an American League pennant in their hands while the loser goes home to lick their wounds and wonder all winter long what they could have done differently. The Yankees path to the ALCS has been a nerve racking one as all four of the team’s postseason wins have come with their backs at the elimination wall after winning the AL Wild Card Game against the Minnesota Twins and after winning three straight in the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians after getting down 0-2 in the best-of-five series. All the Houston Astros did was beat up on the Boston Red Sox and send the American League East Division champions home crying to their mommies inside Fenway Park, no biggie. Tonight is a new series though as the slates are wiped clean once again and in Game One the pitching matchup will be Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees and Dallas Keuchel for the Astros.

Tanaka was dominant in his one ALDS start against the Cleveland Indians with the Yankees down 0-2 in the best-of-five series. Tanaka shut out the Indians in the start keeping the Yankees season alive while stealing a 1-0 victory at home. 

Keuchel took the ball for the Astros in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox and logged 5.2 innings pitched giving up just one run on three hits along the way. The Boston offense did draw three walks off the Houston left-hander but that was easily negated by Keuchel’s seven strikeouts in the Astros 8-2 victory at home. Keuchel has made three career postseason starts and owns a career 0.96 ERA including a victory against the Yankees in the 2015 AL Wild Card Game.

The game will be played at 8:00 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on Fox Sports One. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. You could always tune into ESPN Radio as well but honestly, why would you want to? That’s almost like watching a NESN or SNY broadcast with all their anti-Yankees bias. Defy the haters, silence the doubters, need a win so get a win and GO YANKEES!!!

Why I’m Not Afraid of the Houston Astros in the ALCS

For the longest time I was donned by my Twitter followers and peers the “Yankees Wizard” for my uncanny, and sometime mystical, ability to predict what was going to happen before it happened. While my predictions have become fewer and fewer because life has gotten so damn busy apparently it doesn’t mean the ability is gone because I all but called that the New York Yankees would take down the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS three weeks before the series even began. I labeled the post “Why I’m Not Afraid of the Cleveland Indians in the Postseason” and guess what, I’m baaaaack. This time I’m not afraid the Houston Astros and I am prepared to tell you why. #TAKE17.

The Houston Astros starting pitching has been fantastic this year and it only got better when the team pulled off a last minute trade to acquire veteran right-hander Justin Verlander. The Boston Red Sox felt the wrath of that starting pitching as well as the wrath of MVP candidate Jose Altuve in the ALDS but the Yankees are not the Red Sox. While New York has struggled against Dallas Keuchel throughout his young career, and to be fair everyone in the league has, New York has done extremely well against Verlander to the tune of the below stats. Shout out to Baseball Reference for the tables.

 Verlander vs. Yankees Offense

New York Yankees1844056117201838101.266.327.443.770
Verlander vs. Yankees win/loss:

New York Yankees673.87181800111.211756181011.3888.1

The Yankees have done well against Verlander and have done generally well against the other Houston pitchers not named Keuchel as well. Keuchel can’t win all four games for Houston which means the Yankees have a legitimate chance at this thing here with the Astros. All New York has to do is get through their starting pitching early and get to the lackluster bullpen out in Houston and the team should have a chance to win every single night. While New York has one of the best bullpen’s in all of MLB and in the postseason this year the Astros do not, in fact Houston had one of the worst bullpens among all the postseason-bound teams here in 2017.

I am not saying the Yankees are World Series bound, I’m not saying that they aren’t either mind you, but what I am saying is that I am not heading into this ALCS as a fan thinking my team is about to be heading home after four-or-five games. Even seven games. I’m not worried about the Houston Astros and I don’t believe that this young, feisty and na├»ve team that doesn’t know when they should quit is either. That, my friends, is scary for the Houston Astros. About as scary as the Yankees bullpen has been this postseason. 

So it Seems… ALCS

Good morning everyone and welcome back to the American League Championship series! By a show of hands who had this rebuilding Yankees team in the ALCS here in 2017? Probably not many, not even I did to be frank. This team has grown up together, molded together and is so much more than just a group of players wearing the same uniform. I have said all season long that this was a true TEAM and that this team was fun to watch and they have not disappointed here in the postseason, congratulations to them.

The work is far from done though as the team travels to Houston tonight to begin their ALCS series. Who had the Yankees playing for the American League pennant? This all still blows my mind in the best possible way. Go Yankees!

And hey you. I know this hasn’t been a great week with me being sick and all that and for that I apologize. I will find a way to make up it up to you, I promise. I loves you!! Kari Ann Burch, I loves you. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/13: Zimmer Apologizes

Yesterday in this day in New York Yankees history the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox had their brawl in the ALCS that resulted in Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez throwing Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground. Zimmer apologized to the media and the fans on this day for his part in the incident.

Also on this day in 2001 the Yankees staved off elimination by beating the Oakland Athletics and Barry Zito 1-0 behind a beautiful pitching performance by Mike Mussina. The only run scored was a fifth inning home run off the bat of Jorge Posada and the game was saved by the now famous "flip" play by shortstop Derek Jeter.