Friday, September 26, 2014

Capuano's Gem Leads Yankees to Low-Scoring Win Over Red Sox

Chris Capuano gave up no earned runs in 6 2/3 innings and Francisco Cervelli reached base three times tonight as the Yankees took the opener of this season-ending series, 3-2, with a nice effort against the Red Sox.

In his start this evening, likely his last with the team, Capuano had arguably his best outing since coming over from the Rockies, surrendering just four hits while striking out five for his third win of the year.

Still, after a Chris Young fielding error helped Bryce Brentz get an RBI in the bottom of the second Capuano and the Yankees trailed 1-0 early, a deficit they'd quickly erase in their half of the third.

Facing Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright with Eurey Perez on second in that frame, the aforementioned Cervelli lined one off the Green Monster for a run-scoring single, a clutch knock that was followed by a Mookie Betts bad throw two batters late to plate the former.

So, thanks to those plays and the recurring dominance of Capuano, New York led 2-1 until after Wright's removal before the sixth, when Zelous Wheeler drove John Ryan Murphy home with a sac fly that provided the bullpen with all the support they needed.

Granted, the first pitch Shawn Kelley threw to Rusney Castillo with two outs in the seventh was hit into the left field parking lot, but since the Adam Warren/David Robertson duo was able to pick up the slack in the last two innings things still worked out for the visitors in the end, with the save by Robertson going down as his 39th.

9/26 Open Game Thread vs. Boston Red Sox

Welcome to the open thread before the penultimate open thread of the season as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox begin a three game set this week in Fenway Park. The Yankees will send Chris Capuano to the mound for his final start in Pinstripes and he will be faced off with Steven Wright of the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Get your Yankees tickets for this final series of the season. Follow the blog on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and Like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It’s an open thread so go crazy Yankees family, as always go Yankees!

9/26 Game Preview vs. Boston Red Sox

This is it Yankees fans the final series of the season for the New York Yankees. Tonight the Yankees travel to Boston to take on the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park in their final three games of the season. Derek Jeter’s career will end in Fenway Park after an emotional goodbye last night at Yankee Stadium. Tonight the Yankees will send Chris Capuano to the mound to face off with the Red Sox Steven Wright. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the MY9, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Capuano will be making his 12th start of the season for the Yankees and his last in the place where his season began, in Fenway Park. Capuano has a 6.61 ERA in September and it all started in Boston when he allowed for runs to these same Red Sox.

Wright will be making his first major league start tonight and second of his young career. The Knuckleballer has a 3.38 ERA and a 9.00 K/BB ratio this season as a long reliever in Boston. Wright replaces Rubby De La Rosa in the rotation.

Go Yankees!!

Jeter to DH, Not Play SS, Versus Red Sox This Weekend

Yankees' Shortstop Derek Jeter will DH this weekend in Boston instead of playing shortstop.

Jeter, whose walk-off single against the Orioles yesterday ended the home part of his Hall-of-Fame career, revealed the decision after last night's victory, in which he went 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

"I played my last game at shortstop," Jeter told Newsday's David Lennon. "I wanted to take something special from Yankee Stadium and the view from shortstop here tonight is what I want to take from it."

Jeter added that he's not sure if he'll play tonight, but still wants to appear in the series out of respect for the New England fans. Remember, in the usually-bitter rivalry Jeter has often proved to be one of the few players liked by both sides, regardless of how dominant he's been for one of them.

"Out of respect for the Red Sox, their fans and the rivalry, I'm going to DH," Jeter said. "I don't know about [Friday night]. I'm not sure I will play. I hope people can respect my decision. I've only played shortstop my entire career and the last time I wanted to play was tonight."

Jeter's choice to do this stops his number of games started at the position at an impressive 2,674, the second highest total in baseball history. Indians great Omar Visquel is first on that list with 2,709.
My views on Derek Jeter

By now, you've all seen the great moment Derek Jeter had to send Yankee Stadium into mass hysteria. I'm going to reflect on Jeter for a little while. Let me start off by saying I'm only 21 years old, so his early years before 2000 are a bit of a grey area to me. But, I've seen everything since and remember it dearly, as I'm sure all of you do. 

Let's talk about Jeter for a minute, why not? This is a guy if you're being completely honest with yourself never was the most talented shortstop in his career at any point in time. From '97-'03 you had guys like Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, and Miguel Tejada. All of those guys did one or multiple things very well, that on a scouting grade would rate an 80 (also known as a 100 in school). Jeter probably had his highest grade around a 65, which is very good, but nothing like A-Rod or Nomar. Jeter was what scouts like to call a Halloween bucket. A bucket of a bunch of good things that you're happy with, but nothing's great or terrible. 

You know what made him what he is today? His hard work, perseverance, and most of all will to win. When you put those great virtues mixed with the Halloween bucket, you get Jeter's playing ability. 

It's also seemed quite apparent that he's had a knack for the moment, no? I've always been quite interested in why he always seems to do the Hollywood-esque play when it's least likely. I heard someone on ESPN today remark about how unlikely his career was, I believe it was Colin Cowherd. He brought up the example of back in 2011 how Jeter needed 2 hits to get to 3000, but was slumping very hard. The All-Star break was coming up and the Yankees were set to go off on a long trip after the break. What does Jeter do? Naturally breaks out of his skid against David Price and goes 5-5. Those types of games and plays are littered throughout his career. Let's take last night for example. Yankees are leading 5-2. One of the top closers in the game David Robertson comes in, Sure thing, no? He gives up the lead on two rockets to left field. A guy named Jose Pirela whom the MLB Network broadcast was mispronouncing his name all night gets a hit to lead off the 9th. Who'd have thought? A well placed bunt and Jeter is up, wouldn't ya guess it, to win the game. 

Every producer and director would read this script and throw it in the garbage. Why? Because it is too good to be true. That personifies Derek Jeter's career, too good to be true. A guy who came up from the minors with no great tool to become the greatest offensive shortstop of the live ball era. Who'd have thought? 

My thoughts are rather mixed and odd, I know, but this is the perspective a ton of scouts and I have regarding Jeter. Just wow. We will not see another player like him for a long time. Farewell Captain. MLB fans everywhere will miss you, now, or in the future.

Chase Headley is the Most Important Yankee FA Signing For 2015

The New York Yankees have quite a few players hitting free agency in 2014 including Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda, Stephen Drew, Derek Jeter (who is obviously retiring), Chris Capuano, and Chase Headley to name a few. Headley has been long sought after in Pinstripes and while his production has fell off he still may be the most important free agent that the Yankees sign this winter.

Headley was advertised as an average defender at third base by GM Brian Cashman who has proven to be a terrible player evaluator as he called Masahiro Tanaka a third our fourth starter before the season. Headley has been fantastic at third base this season defensively but has also filled in at first base and the outfield in small sample sizes extremely well. With this team being built on versatility, flexibility, etc. Headley may be the perfect fit for the Yankees along with Martin Prado.

Headley also helps to balance out the lineup as he is a switch hitter and a clutch hitter. Headley has already walked off three times this season as a Yankee and did not arrive until July of this season. Brian McCann has been in the Bronx all season and has two walk offs while Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, and others only have one each.

Some people can hack it in New York and some people simply cannot and I think Headley has proven that he can. New York shouldn’t let him slip away simply because Alex Rodriguez is returning because this guy can play all over the field and may be the glue that holds this aging team together in 2015 given the opportunity. 

Looking Back: My Predictions For the 2014 World Series

Earlier in the season I predicted all the major award winners, the standings, the playoff teams, and who would win the World Series. All this week we have been looking back at those predictions and with this post we conclude that look back by looking at the World Series winning predictions I made back in March. I am a Yankees fan and I refuse to pick against my team so of course I had the team in the World Series against the Washington Nationals. I had the Yankees ultimately beating the Nats in seven games on paper even if I didn't believe it in my heart. While the Nationals have a real shot at the World Series this season the Yankees, not so much.

Here is the post we made back in March: 

Here are your playoff teams, bolded teams win their series:

Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox in Wild Card game

Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

When the Yankees won the 2009 World Series they had to go through the best teams in the league that season including a team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, that have given them fits in the playoffs in recent years. The same can be said with the Detroit Tigers who have given the Yankees a heck of a time in the postseason recently and it's about time the Yankees reversed this run and made yet another trip to the World Series.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals in Wild Card game

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals

The Dodgers do not know how to spend billions of dollars and actually win, not yet anyway, and will run into a buzz saw with a hot, young, and fresh Washington Nationals team. The Nats have Natitude and the power pitching, the young power pitching at that, to succeed in the postseason. Mix in some Jayson Werth timely hitting and the speed at the top of their order and the Nationals will be too good to lose this season, even against the Dodgers.

Not that kind of homer...
The homer in me wanted to go for the Atlanta Braves and the Yankees again in the 2014 World Series because being a Yankees fan in exile living in Atlanta Georgia I would be able to go to a few games but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I know this will not be a popular pick but the Washington Nationals have too much pitching and too much hitting for the National League to compete. The Yankees did the most this offseason, had a decent core to begin with, and I am a homer with a Yankees site, sue me, so they are my American League representative. And the winner is...

The New York Yankees in seven games, I refuse to pick against my team ever. The Yankees have the pieces to compete and the minor league depth to either make a trade or fill in holes and a lot of the rest of the league have taken small steps back. It's time for the Commissioners Trophy to come back to the Bronx and I think it will in 2014.

2015 and Being Cautiously Optimistic

There are three more games during the 2014 season left to play out but as far as I am concerned the season is over. Derek Jeter will never play another game at home in Yankee Stadium unless it’s Old Timer’s Day. The Yankees will once again miss the postseason for the second consecutive season, which is unheard of during my generation. The 2014 season is over, the Boston series or not, and it’s time to start thinking towards and building towards the 2015 season.

There is the potential to be a lot change in the Bronx once again this offseason. Brian Cashman’s contract runs out at the end of the season and while I am almost certain he will be retained for next season I am cautiously optimistic that the Yankees will jump on Frank Wren for the GM job. The news that Cashman’s job was safe was announced before the Wren firing and before the team missed the postseason once again. We discussed yesterday here on the blog why Wren would be a good fit for the Yankees so I will refrain from getting into that again, look it up.

I’m cautiously optimistic that Alex Rodriguez will return to the game and be a healthy and effective part of the Yankees offense. Gone are the days of him hitting .300 and knocking 50 home runs but I would be more than happy with .265 and 25 home runs from the right hander. I know many think that’s out of the realm of possibility with his age, missing basically two seasons, and the hip surgery but I believe Alex could do it. He showed no ill effects last season in his limited playing time and even showed an enormous amount of power to the opposite field. That’s encouraging to me, but maybe it’s just me.

I am also optimistic that the Yankees will somehow someway find a position for Jacob Lindgren and Robert Refsnyder to play out of spring training next year. With Josh Outman designated for assignment and Rich Hill a free agent at the end of the season the time seems to be now for Lindgren. Refsnyder may be a tougher sell with Martin Prado likely to spend a bulk of his playing time at second base next season. Unless the Yankees can move either Prado or Refsnyder to shortstop for 2015 though I am not holding my breath.

The 2015 season will be here before you know it and I refuse to be negative about it. I don’t want to get in the habit of saying “there’s always next year” so hopefully the Yankees can do something this winter to change that. 

Mad Respect For Phil Hughes

In the offseason I was perfectly okay with letting Phil Hughes walk. From 2012 through 2013, his final two seasons with the Yankees, Phil had an ERA of 4.62 to go along with a record of 20-27. I saw no reason to keep him with CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka (hopefully, at least, as Tanaka was a month away from signing when Hughes and the Twins agreed to their deal), Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, and Hiroki Kuroda. Not to mention guys like David Phelps that could fill in if/when needed.

But what I read today makes me think the Yankees should have taken another look at Phil. No, it's not because of the 3.52 ERA, along with 16 wins, he had this season. It's not even because of his record setting K/BB ratio of 0.7. The reason comes down to one word... loyalty.
I owe too much to this organization for the next two years to risk getting hurt for an incentive," Hughes said. "For whatever reason it wasn't meant to be. There's a lot bigger problems out there. I'm proud of my season.
Phil Hughes last start of the season was cut short due to a rain delay. Now, having your start cut short sucks in and of itself, but Phil was one out away from triggering an incentive that would have gotten him an extra $500,000. And Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, along with general manager Terry Ryan, were willing to put Hughes into another game for a shot at that half million dollars. But Phil turned it down.

Mind you, it's not like Hughes would be hurting for money without that $500,000. He was guaranteed $8 million this season, along with another $16 million the next two seasons, to go along with already getting another $500,000 for getting to 180 and 195 innings. But it's just one more out we're talking about. And the chances of Phil getting hurt in that short outing are slim to none. But Hughes would rather be safe than sorry, and make sure he's healthy.

That's a great mindset, and the Twins should count themselves very lucky to have somebody like that.

Looking Back: My Predictions For the Standings in 2014

This may be the hardest of all the predictions to make but I took a shot at predicting all 30 MLB teams records, the standings, the division winners, the Wild Card winners, etc. I can tell you I had the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox as the top two teams in the AL East and the Baltimore Orioles finishing last, whoops. I had the Kansas City Royals in fourth place, the Texas Rangers winning the AL West, the Atlanta Braves winning the NL East, the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the NL Central, and the Arizona Diamondbacks almost making the postseason. Again, whoops.

See below for the original post made back in March:


New York Yankees (99- 63)
Boston Red Sox (94-68)
Tampa Bay Rays (90-72)
Toronto Blue Jays (81-81)
Baltimore Orioles (80-82)


Detroit Tigers (100-62)
Cleveland Indians (92-70)
Minnesota Twins (89-73)
Kansas City Royals (82-80)
Chicago White Sox (75-87)


Texas Rangers (95-67)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (91-71)
Seattle Mariners (88-74)
Oakland Athletics (86-76)
Houston Astros (70-92)


Atlanta Braves (97-65)
Washington Nationals (95-67)
Philadelphia Phillies (84-78)
New York Mets (80-82)
Miami Marlins (72-90)


Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68)
St. Louis Cardinals (92-70)
Cincinnati Reds (86-76)
Chicago Cubs (83-81)
Milwaukee Brewers (80-84)


Los Angeles Dodgers (100-62)
Arizona Diamondbacks (91-71)
San Francisco Giants (84-78)
San Diego Padres (81-81)
Colorado Rockies (69- 93)

Looks like the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians will win the two Wild Cards in the American League and the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals will make it for the National League. The playoffs would be stacked this season with really all the best teams making the cut.

TGP Daily Poll: Jeter Pulled In Last Inning By His Parents

Last year the New York Yankees and manager Joe Girardi sent out Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte to take Mariano Rivera out of the game for the final time of his career. Many around the league have speculated on how the Yankees would pull Jeter out of his final game and I truly think that New York, the class act that they are, will send out his parents, family, and nephew out to the mound to remove the legendary shortstop in Boston.

Vote in our poll. 

Coupon Clipping Hal Will Bring Back Ichiro Suzuki

Hal Steinbrenner and his brother Hank Steinbrenner were apples that fell far, far away from the tree when they were born. Their father, the Boss George Steinbrenner, cared about nothing other than winning with this team while the brothers seem to be more focused on staying in the background and watching the cash roll in. The Yankees signed Ichiro Suzuki to a two year deal two years back in the hopes of him reaching the 3,000 hit club in New York for the media exposure and the paying fans in the seats. With Ichiro still in playing shape and now comfortable with his reduced role I could see the Yankees and Hal Steinbrenner signing Ichiro to another two year deal for another shot at history and 3,000 hits in the Bronx.

We all witnessed how much the Yankees benefited, financially speaking, from Derek Jeter day, the return to Yankee Stadium for Masahiro Tanaka, Jeter’s last game in the Bronx, etc. and the Yankees know that Hall of Fame players and milestones put butts into the seats. Ichiro is conceivably two seasons away, even as a part time player, from reaching the 3,000 hit plateau in America and has remained healthy and surprisingly effective in the last two seasons on the bench for New York.

Ichiro may not have the power stroke he once had and he may never hit for .300 ever again but his legs are still there and that counts for something. His ability to play all three outfield positions also helps with the Yankees flexibility and game plan to give everyone as many days off as they can throughout the season. I’m not saying I necessarily want Ichiro back in the Bronx for the 2015 season but I think Hal Steinbrenner does and I think he will when it’s all said and done. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/26: Roger Maris Hits #60

Also on this day in 1961 Roger Maris tied Babe Ruth for the single season home run record with his 60th home run of the season. Maris accomplished the feat in his 159th game of the season. Ruth’s record came in his 154th game of the season which was the reason for the asterisk that was behind the record for so many years.

Finally on this day in 1954 Yankees manager Casey Stengel fielded a new look lineup on the final game of the season as New York was eight games behind Cleveland for the pennant. Yogi Berra played third base without an error, Mickey Mantle played shortstop with any miscues, and Moose Skowron made one error at second base.