Friday, October 27, 2017

World Series Game Three Thread: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston Astros

Good evening everyone and welcome to Houston, the site of Game Three of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first two games of this series were entertaining to say the least and I expect nothing less out of these two teams tonight and going forward over the next three games here inside Minute Maid Park. In Game Three the Dodgers will send Yu Darvish to the mound to face off with Lance McCullers Jr. The game will be played at 8:00 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on FOX.

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. I have been right on my predictions, as far as the winner and not so much the score, in the first two games so let’s make it three-for-three tonight.

Prediction: Dodgers win 6-4 

Yankees Postseason History Recap: Alex Rodriguez in 2009

The 2009 season was a season for the Yankees and their fans that came with a lot of hope but a lot of pressure at the same time. The team had went out and signed huge free agents like CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira while acquiring the likes of Nick Swisher from the Chicago White Sox while their big-money star third baseman Alex Rodriguez started the season on the DL with a hip injury. Alex came back seemingly healthier than ever hitting a home run on the first pitch he saw this season and he ended up with 30 home runs and 100 RBI on the dot after a huge final game of the season.

Alex was riding high into the postseason as he looked to finally break out like a 13-year old boy and while the Yankees searched for the 27th World Series title in the franchise’s history. Alex finished the 2009 postseason with a .365 average, six home runs and 18 RBI but no home run may have been bigger than the one he hit on October 9th, 2009.

On this day against the Minnesota Twins the Yankees DH slugged a two-run home run late to tie the game, a game that the Yankees ultimately went on to win. Without that win the ALCS and eventually the World Series may never have come.

Another Reason To Be Excited About The Future

While I was already excited about the future of the Yankees, the recent decision to part ways with Joe Girardi has increased it.

Let me start by touching upon the reasons I was excited before....

1. The Yankees are stocked with young stars. Aaron Judge is not only an MVP candidate after his rookie season, but is also a finalist for the Gold Glove award. Among catchers with at least 400 plate appearances this season, Gary Sanchez was first in fWAR, first in wOBA, first in SLG, first in home runs, and first in RBI. Luis Severino, in his first full season as a starter, was third in the AL in fWAR, third in ERA, and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings. And then you have other youngsters like Greg Bird and Jordan Montgomery. Not to mention that Sonny Gray is young and under team control for two more seasons, and Didi Gregorius is in the same boat while being a prime candidate for a contract extension (although the Yankees are not keen on contract extensions).

2. While there are already youngsters in the Majors making big contributions, that doesn't mean there aren't more on the way. Gleyber Torres is the #1 prospect in baseball, and will likely make his MLB debut sometime in 2018. Chance Adams will likely debut next season too, while other good pitching prospects like Justus Sheffield are not far behind. Then there's Miguel Andujar, who could very well be the team's long-term answer at third base (this could be dependent on the team ridding themselves of Starlin Castro, of course).

3. This is the area that has me a little concerned. Emphasis on "little".

I believe young players need veterans to guide the start of their careers. For example, Matt Holliday had a well-documented impact on Aaron Judge this season. Adjusting to the spotlight, particularly in New York, is extremely difficult. So to see a player like Judge handle things in stride like he did should be enough to tell you that some veteran presence is a good thing.

That's an area where CC Sabathia has been big for the team. Sure, we haven't heard much about the interaction between CC and youngsters like Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery, but I'm sure some of CC's knowledge has been shared with them. And as long as the team has a starting spot to fill, and he's still effective, then Sabathia should be brought back.

But on the offensive side of things that veteran presence isn't so obvious. The 22+ years of experience in MLB from Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, and Didi Gregorius should be there for the kids of today and the future. But is it really? I'd like to know, because until then I'm just a little concerned here.

4. I have faith in Brian Cashman and the front office (btw, the fact that Brian Cashman had much to do with the decision to let Joe Girardi go tells you he's returning as the general manager). I know Brian has his share of detractors, but I'm not among them. What Cash has done the past few years is extraordinary. Before the 2016 trades of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman the Yankees farm system was middle of the road, but after those trades ranked them second. Brian was also able to get the Yankees a young, strong, cost-controlled starter in Sonny Gray without giving up that much (Fowler, Kaprielian, and Mateo are not bad prospects, but each has questions about their futures). And how about the trade for Didi? That worked out pretty well, didn't it? Or how about holding onto top prospects who have made it possible for the Yankees to not only build a winner, but have a winning team right away? Has Cash made some mistakes (Chris Carter)? Sure. But his pros significantly outweigh his cons.

And that brings us back to the first line of this post... the Yankees' new manager.

I wasn't against Joe Girardi, but I wasn't for him either. I saw the good... I saw the bad. My faith in Girardi as the manager mainly revolved around the fact that the front office had faith in him. Was that wishful thinking on my part? I really don't know. There are numerous articles out there talking about all the good and bad things Joe Girardi did for the Yankees, so I really don't want to repeat all of that.

My faith again is in the hands of the front office, and I feel good about that. Because the front office has made it so the future of this team is brighter than it's been since 1996. They could very well hire some guy that flat-out stinks, but seeing how well the vast majority of their decisions have worked recently, I feel good about what will happen. Especially since it's been made clear that they were not on board with the "binder" thing that many people hated about Joe Girardi's managing style.

To wrap things up, I'll never be happy about the Yankees losing, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the loss are. Losing in the American League Championship Series, especially being one win away from winning the pennant with two games to go, hurts. But the fact that this team, and by "team" I'm talking about players, coaches, and front office, lost gives them motivation to be even better in 2018. They may not be the underdogs they were in 2017, but they still have something to prove.

Yankees Postseason History Recap: The Flip

Derek Jeter did a lot of amazing things in his career as a New York Yankee and it would take me a few pages and 20-30 minutes to probably tell you all of them and that’s just the regular season. Jeter somehow found a way to step it up in the postseason and always be in the right place and the right spot at the right time. See the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland Athletics with the Yankees backs against the wall for a perfect example of this.

The Yankees were down 2-0 in a best-of-five series against Oakland and with their playoff lives at stake the Yankees sent Mike Mussina to the mound. The Moose did not disappoint as he was pitching a gem before Terrence Long ripped a ball down the right field line. Jeremy Giambi came rumbling around third base while Shane Spencer retrieved the ball and hauled it home over the cutoff man Tino Martinez. Giambi looked all but safe at home and the Yankees looked all but dead in the water before out of nowhere came Derek Jeter.

Jeter grabbed the ball and flipped it to catcher Jorge Posada who applied the tag to Giambi thus saving the game, the series and the season for New York. Some will say that Jeter should have been in that position anyway and that he shouldn’t be cheered for simple fundamentals but it’s the small things that make ordinary men great and other men mediocre in this game and Jeter was great. Plays like this cemented his legacy.

World Series Game Three Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston Astros

Welcome to Houston, welcome to the land of the designated hitter and welcome back to the World Series as the Houston Astros and Minute Maid Park play host to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the 2017 World Series. The Dodgers and Astros split the two games out in Los Angeles after a couple of crazy games to kick off the World Series and much of the same is expected tonight in Houston for Game Three. In Game three of the series the Astros will send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound to face off with Yu Darvish, the first right-handed pitcher for the Dodgers to take the mound as a starter during this Fall Classic.

Darvish has been the Dodgers second best pitcher this postseason behind only Clayton Kershaw so every time the Japanese-born right-hander takes the mound you have to think that Los Angeles is confident that they are going to win. Darvish has made two starts in this postseason allowing just two runs while striking out 14. This will be the first time that Darvish pitches in the World Series though in his Major League career.

McCullers Jr.  was a hero for the Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees where the right-hander threw four scoreless innings in the victory for Houston. McCullers pitched well in the ALCS overall throwing 10 innings and allowing just one run and three hits with nine strikeouts consistently keeping the Yankees bats down.

The game will be played at 8:00 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park in Houston and can be seen on FOX. Enjoy the game, and FYI my boycott of this year’s World Series is still going strong despite my feelings of missing baseball. I just can’t stomach to see the Astros in the World Series after the Yankees were so close to making it, it’s nothing personal to them. Oh, and I’m not the biggest fan of Yankees haters like Joe Buck but I feel like I’m not alone in that sentiment. 

Recapping Joe Girardi’s Tenure in the Bronx

The New York Yankees and Joe Girardi will no longer be a couple in 2018, the feels are real. Whether the news that Girardi would no longer be the manager of the team next season makes you feel happy, sad or indifferent the fact of the matter is this, Girardi did a great job for the Yankees during his tenure overall. Let’s take a look at that tenure here this morning.

Years: 10
Win/Loss: 910 – 710
Games Managed: 1620
Playoffs: 6
Missed Playoffs: 4
Playoff Record: 28-24
2009 World Series Champions
Three trips to the ALCS
Binders: 1
Fans Annoyed: Far too many to count

Thanks for the memories, Joe, even if they weren’t always so great. 

So it Seems… HELP WANTED

Good morning everyone, it is that time of the year again where we ask for help with writing here on the blog. The offseason is full of rumors, news, speculations and opinions and frankly I just can’t keep up with it all myself, so I am asking for a little help. Obviously, this is a volunteer-only job, I don’t even make a dime off the site, so you would not be tied down to minimums and such. Just post what you can, when you can.

For whatever reason the Gmail address we have for the site is acting funny, I won’t get emails for months at a time and then boom… flooded with them, so send me an email to my personal email if you’re interested at Daniel Burch 1102 at Yahoo dot com. Thanks in advance.

HEY YOU. Good morning. Another day of being blessed, another day of being happy because it’s another day of being your man. I love you Kari. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/27: 1999 Yankees Win!

On this day in 1999 the Yankees completed a sweep of their second consecutive World Series beating the Braves in four games. Roger Clemens led the Yankees to the 4-1 victory in Game 4 that ended the Fall Classic. The Braves become only the second team in World Series history joining the 1910-1919 New York Giants to lose four World Series in one decade.

Also on this day in 1954 Joe DiMaggio and his wife Marilyn Monroe decided to get a divorce after just 274 days as a married couple. This was a disaster waiting to happen from the beginning as this was well known to be a stormy marriage. Marilyn filed the papers citing mental cruelty as the reasoning. Say it ain't so Joe.