Saturday, September 26, 2015

Recap: Yankees 2, White Sox 1

Adam Warren tossed six innings of one-run ball and the Yankees uneventfully beat the White Sox, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

It's How You Finish: Warren surrendered three hits and an earned run in the first, but bounced back from there for a much-needed quality start. In fact, his three walks in the fifth were the lone baserunners Chicago had in the last eight frames -- Warren having retired the side in order four times. 

Turning the Tides: The Yankees took their slim lead in the sixth on RBI doubles by Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez, their only two hits with RISP on the day. The Yanks had reached second base just once in the first five innings, but after a Jacoby Ellsbury single and steal, were able to finally rally against John Danks.

Pure Dominance: The Yankees' relief core of Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller sat down nine consecutive White Sox from the seventh through ninth, sealing the win for Warren on just 32 combined pitches. Of that sum, 12 were thrown by Wilson and Miller and eight by Betances -- easy workloads that could affect the group's availability Sunday.

Rewarded for Their Efforts: The four strikeouts Wilson and Miller recorded brought the bullpen's total for the year to 573, the most by any pen in American League history. The unit can tie the 2012 Rockies for the all-time mark with 16 more, a seemingly achievable goal considering there's still eight games left in the season.

Should've Played Him in April: Surging prospect Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, one on a line drive to left and another on a grounder to right. Refsnyder also made a nice backhanded stop on a hotshot up the middle in the third, perhaps showing improvement on his shaky defense. 

Next Up: The series concludes with an early finale on Sunday, New York sending Luis Severino (4-3, 3.10 ERA) to the hill versus right-hander Erik Johnson (3-0, 3.52 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET, airing live on YES and WFAN.

Taking My Wife Out to Dinner Open Thread

So as many of you saw on Thursday I wished my wife a very happy birthday this week but until now I haven't been able to take her out to dinner. We went out on Thursday but it wasn't the birthday dinner I wanted to take her out to nor the birthday dinner that she deserved. We had inventory at work on Friday (which means early to work and LATE to leave) and inventory reconciliation on Saturday (rinse and repeat the early and late departures) so we're just now getting to do it right.

So while we eat, celebrate and be merry I leave you with an open thread for the night with one of my wife's favorite artists right now as the musical recommendation. The name of the song is Animals by Maroon 5. Enjoy.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 9/26

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox will face off tonight for the third time in the team’s four-game series this weekend. The Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound this evening to face off against the White Sox starter John Danks. The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You know nobody wants to watch a 4:05 pm ET start when the YES Network won’t even pick up the game at the end of September. Oh well.

These two teams face off one more time tomorrow afternoon before New York welcomes David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox to town for the final four home games in this season’s regular season. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to see any of these remaining five home games or the AL Wild Card Game at home inside Yankee Stadium. Also be sure to jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the home team all the way until Rob Manfred says the Yankees have to leave the field, take their things and go home for the winter.

Warren is ready and so are the New York Yankees. Let’s get it, Go Yankees!

My Letter to Yogi Berra If He Were Still Alive


Mr. Berra, thank you for taking the time to read this letter from a fan that has only heard about your greatest accomplishments not only in the game of Major League Baseball but in your life. I wasn't alive when you were fighting for our freedom in World War II on the beach of Normandy, I wasn't alive when you were winning MVP Award and 10 World Series rings and I wasn't alive when you were managing teams to the World Series after your playing career. I've never been to the Yogi Berra Museum, the New Jersey Hall of Fame or Cooperstown, New York but I have been a Yankees fan all my life and I think I know enough.

While I fit the time frame I am the polar opposite of a bandwagon fan or a dynasty fan. I began watching full time in 1994, I was 9-years old, and was disappointed when the season ended in a strike. I watched as the Yankees won the first ever Wild Card in 1995, the World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009 and I watched as George Steinbrenner built and reinforced a bridge between your home and Yankee Stadium.

When I was dragged into the blogging world kicking and screaming the first widget I placed on the bare bones website was a widget that cycled through your best "Yogi-isms." When Major League Baseball announced every team's Mount Rushmore I pleaded your case over Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. When you needed signatures and votes for the Medal of Freedom award from President Obama I voted with every email address I had access to. When your World Series rings were stolen a part of me died and when you die I'll cry.

You hear the stories of how you were such a great ball player but even a better person and it bothers me that I will likely never meet you in person. Never get to show my admiration for you and never get to show the ultimate respect and appreciation for you. Instead I'll model my life after yours, especially the kindness and sincerity part of your character, and I'll never expect or ask for praise for it. I'll never go to the most popular places in town because nobody does, it's always too crowded. When I see a fork in the road, I'll take it. When I'm lost I'll look on the bright side because at least I'll be making good time. If I can 't imitate you I'm not going to copy you, but I can.

Thank you for everything you do and everything you have done. You are an ambassador to the game and a vision of success to the world. We love you Yogi, get well soon and we'll see you at Old Timer's Day.

Daniel Burch

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 9/26

Who comes up with these start times and such? I really need to know so I can write a very detailed letter or email to this person asking why they though a 4:05 pm ET start would be a good idea. The game is right there in the middle of the day and it basically consumes the day, why? Anyway, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox will continue their four-game set this afternoon in the third matchup of the weekend between these two clubs. The Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound looking to turn his recent string of bad starts around against the White Sox lefty John Danks. The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11, MLB Network and MLB TV.

  • Warren will be making his third start tonight since re-entering the starting rotation from the bullpen and will look to vastly improve his performance. In his two starts against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays Warren has compiled a 0-1 record with a 6.14 ERA. Warren should be able to give the Yankees 100+ pitches tonight as he will officially be fully stretched out.

  • Danks has looked good for Chicago in the second half of this season posting a 3.72 ERA in 12 starts since the All-Star break and will look to keep that going tonight against a team he’s had his struggles with, the New York Yankees. Danks has made two starts inside Yankee Stadium and owns a 0-0 record.

The Yankees and White Sox have one more meeting tomorrow afternoon in the Bronx before the Yankees begin preparations for the playoffs and the White Sox begin preparations for the 2016 season. This is really a great feeling to have right now as we prep for at least a Wild Card playoff game in the Bronx rather than a long winter of shoveling snow and free agency trade rumors and hot stove watching beginning in October. Keep winning and you play until November! Go Yankees!

Looking Back at my 2015 Standings & Playoff Predictions

We are under two weeks away from the start of the 2015 playoffs for Major League Baseball which seems like a good time to check back on my pre-season predictions again. Like the major awards we have been going over this week I also took a shot at predicting the records and standings for all 30 MLB teams while also predicting the playoff teams in 2015. Those predictions are below, how did I do?

American League East:

Boston Red Sox - 96- 66 *
New York Yankees - 90-72
Baltimore Orioles - 88-74
Toronto Blue Jays – 85 -77
Tampa Bay Rays – 70 - 92

American League Central:

Detroit Tigers - 93 -69 *
Cleveland Indians – 92- 70 **
Chicago White Sox – 89 - 75
Kansas City Royals – 83 - 79
Minnesota Twins – 79 - 83

American League West:

Seattle Mariners – 95-67 *
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 93 -69 **
Oakland Athletics – 90 -72
Texas Rangers - 88 -76
Houston Astros - 82-82

National League East:

Washington Nationals -101-61 *
Miami Marlins – 93-69 **
New York Mets – 89 - 73
Atlanta Braves – 82-82
Philadelphia Phillies – 65- 97

National League Central:

Pittsburgh Pirates - 91- 71 *
St. Louis Cardinals – 90-72 **
Chicago Cubs – 88 -74
Milwaukee Brewers – 79- 83
Cincinnati Reds – 70 - 92

National League West:

Los Angeles Dodgers – 99-63 *
San Diego Padres – 89- 73
San Francisco Giants – 85-77
Colorado Rockies – 78-84
Arizona Diamondbacks – 75-87

Well I kind of whiffed on the Boston Red Sox prediction but I was relatively close on the Yankees prediction I think. I pretty much whiffed on the Detroit Tigers prediction as well as most of the AL Central and AL West Divisions. Why even bother anymore?

The National League East wasn't much better but I feel like I did well in the NL Central. The win/loss numbers may not be accurate but the Pirates could absolutely take the Cardinals over by the end of the season thus predicting the top three teams in the division. I think everyone had the Dodgers winning the NL West Division although I had higher hopes for AJ Preller's San Diego Padres team.

Quick Hit: Being Cautiously Optimistic for 2016

After the New York Yankees have seemingly snapped their two consecutive postseason-less season drought in 2015 should the fans be confident about a return trip in 2016?I hate to be looking ahead right now with a potential one-game series being played inside Yankee Stadium while the AL East Division race is still not mathematically over but I can't help it, I'm always looking ahead. Should we all start making plans to be in the Bronx in October of 2016? Maybe.

Looking at the 2016 roster the fans will likely see more of the same from the team that we've all watched in 2015. Mark Teixeira will be in a contract season, the second base position seems to be a relative unknown(although it seems like Dustin Ackley's position to lose in Spring Training) and Didi Gregorius will spend his second straight Opening Day at the shortstop position inside Yankee Stadium. Chase Headley seems to have a lock at third base, Brian McCann is your everyday catcher, the outfield consists of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran and barring a shocking retirement Alex Rodriguez will try and chase down Babe Ruth in 2016 as the team's DH. That doesn't leave much room for change, especially considering that Greg Bird has all but worked his way into some sort of rotation with A Rod and Teixeira while John Ryan Murphy and Brendan Ryan will be with the team in some capacity. Essentially, assuming Ackley wins the second base job, New York has room for a fourth outfielder and one more infielder for the bench. That's it.

The pitching is even more of a log jam with, again barring a trade from the MLB talent, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren, CC Sabathia and Bryan Mitchell fighting for one of the five starting rotation spots. The bullpen will consist of Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson and some combination of the Scranton Shuffle (the plethora of names that bounced back from Triple-A to the MLB bullpen including Caleb Cotham, Nick Goody, Nick Rumbelow, Branden Pinder and Jacob Lindgren) to fill out the bullpen.

In a normal season I would mention the team getting one year older, one year more injury prone and one year away from their primes thus becoming one year less effective but the youth movement seems to be all in for 2016. No one really expected to see the Greg Bird's and the Luis Severino's in 2015 and there will likely be a new list of players for 2016. This alone, along with multiple contract years mixed with a hungry veteran team, makes me at least cautiously optimistic about the 2016 season. Of course, a lot can change between now and then.

Scoreboard Watching: September 26, 2015

Saturday, Saturday is just one day before Sunday, Sunday, Sunday and another great day for a pennant chase around Major League Baseball. While many will be tuning in to watch their favorite college football teams take on their division rivals or latest games in their schedule I personally will be watching as much as the wife will allow. Here are the games that directly or indirectly affect the New York Yankees for the remainder of the 2015 regular season.

Saturday, September 26

New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros

Minnesota Twins @ Detroit Tigers

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Seattle Mariners

Cleveland Indians @ Kansas City Royals

BA: Top 20 Prospects in Gulf Coast League

Baseball America is at it again releasing their Top 20 Prospects list for the Gulf Coast League where the New York Yankees have two affiliates, the Yankees GCL1 and GCL2. The Yankees had one of their own represented on Baseball America's Top 20 List and his name, although you may not know it now, is Wilkerman Garcia.

Garcia finished ranked 6th. The Boston Red Sox right-handed starting pitcher Anderson Espinoza took home the top spot. To see the entire list for free CLICK HERE. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 9/26: Roger Maris #60 in '61

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.