Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yanks Fall to A's, 5-2

     On a night after the Yankees lost an extra-inning affair to the Oakland Athletics, the Pinstripers took the field to face the green & gold for game two of the three game series. On the mound for the A's was Kemdal Graveman, who, outside of Sonny Grey, is their best starter, with an ERA under 3.  Nathan Eovaldi, who may have the best "stuff" on the staff, but always seems to have that one meltdown inning, and tonight was no different. The Yankees still have been unable to put together a well-rounded offensive attack, with their lone brightspot continuing to be Carlos Beltran. Outside of two solo homeruns by Beltran and Gregorious, New York's offensive woes continue.
      The game started out with some promise, seeing Jacoby Elsbury lead off the game with a hit followed by a Starlin Castro walk. But, once again, Yankees left multiple runners on base and ended up scoreless at the end of one. Eovaldi cruised through the first three innings and looked as though he was in complete control of the ball game. In the bottom of the second, Gregorius hit his second homerun of the season on a line drive over the right-field wall, giving the Yankees a one-zero lead. However, the fourth inning was the come-to-be-expected melt down inning for the Yankees right-hander. Allowing two doubles to begin the inning, first to the red hot Billy Burns, who was eventually driven in by the next batter Chris Coghlan. Eovaldi would go on to allow an RBI Single to Josh Reddick, scoring Coghlan. Reddick would eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Vogt. The inning could've been a lot worse, had it not been for the unbelievable double-play made by Aaron Hicks, launching a 105.5 MPH fastball from left field to throw out Danny Valencia trying to score on a sac fly. That play would end Valencia's night, as he pulled his hamstring sliding into home. Since the designated hitter, Jed Lowery, was the only remaining  middle infielder for the A's, he was forced to give up his DH role and move to second base, forcing the A's to give up their right to a designated hitter and forcing their starting pitcher to hit in the 4-spot  in the batting order. This is the fourth such incident that this is happened for the A's this season
     After the fourth inning, it just looked like the wind was taken out of the sales of the Yankees players. The most recent victim of the Scranton express, Brandon Pinder, got touched up for two more runs in the eighth on a bases loaded Single by Kris Davis, making it 5-1, A's. Carlos Beltran eventually hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull the Yankees within three, 5-2, which ended up being the final score.
     Look for the Yankees and Luis Severino to attempt to improve upon their 5-8 record when they finalize the series against Oakland tomorrow, with first pitch at 7:05 PM.

Live Game Updates: A's at Yankees - 4/20

7:31 p.m., End First: Yankees get a lead-off double from Ellsbury in the first, but leave the bases loaded. Another day, another #RISPFail.

7:47 p.m., End 2nd: Didi Gregorius lines a solo shot to right off Kendall Graveman, and the Yankees have a 1-0 lead after two innings.

7:53 p.m., Mid 3rd: Another 1-2-3 inning for Eovaldi in the third. He has retired eight consecutive and faced the minimum so far. 

8:02 p.m., End 3rd: Nothing happens in the bottom of the third. Still 1-0 Yankees.

8:26 p.m., Mid 4th: It should probably not be this bad right now, but the Yankees' defense just looks helpless. Tough to explain, but it's 3-1 A's and there's no reason it shouldn't be 2-1 or better.

8:32 p.m., End 4th: Yankees' offense back to its make-as-many-outs-as-possible-in-as-little-amount-of-time-as possible mode. Still 3-1 A's as the Yankees look awful.

8:48 p.m., End 5th: Different inning, same story. Yanks go down 1-2-3 in the fifth.

9:34 p.m., End 7th: Lack of baseball IQ by Didi costs the Yankees a run in the seventh. With runners on second and third and one out, Hicks bounces one to third, and Didi, coming from second, gets tagged out en route to a deflating 5-3 double play.

9:46 p.m., Mid 8th: Brander Pinder, remember that guy? Well, he's back and pretty much the same as usual. He enters in the eighth and gives up two more runs. Oakland now running away with it; it's 5-1.

10:02 p.m., Mid 9th: Beltran launches a solo homer in the eighth and Nova tossed a scoreless top of the ninth. Last chance for the Yankees coming up. 

10: 08 p.m., End 9th: That's your ballgame. A's win 5-2.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics 4/20

Another night spent at home in front of a computer screen watching my favorite sports team in all the land, the New York Yankees. As much as I get frustrated with this team I love them and I continue to support them and will do so tonight when the club plays host to the Oakland Athletics. In the pitching matchup for the evening the Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to face off against a tough righty in Kendall Graveman for the A’s. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

See the series finale tomorrow night in the Bronx or any game home or away for the Yankees this season by clicking the Yankees tickets link at the top of the blog. This, through our partnership with Ticket Monster, can get you into the game with a little extra spending cash for a two-foot-long cheesesteak or for however much the beer is these days in the Bronx. Ticket Monster does not charge shipping or add on any fees to their tickets like others do, what you see is what you get. That’s not unlike what you see and what you get from us if you follow us on Twitter (@GreedyStripes). What you see is true Yankees fandom and passion and what you get is our opinions, our articles and us following along with each and every Yankees game this season.

Without further ado, the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. Go Yankees!

Randy Levine & Donald Trump

Randy Levine and Donald Trump, what a combo. Very rarely do we mix politics and sports here on the blog, they usually don’t mix well, but today we will because someone in the Yankees front office is talking about it. Randy Levine, the President of the New York Yankees, is accusing GOP party insiders of “foul” play as they attempt to keep Trump from winning the presidential nomination. Dirty play in politics, say it ain’t so. Randy Levine complaining, say it ain’t so.

I’m not a big fan of Levine’s, you guys reading this probably already know that, but I am a fan of Trump. I don’t necessarily agree with or even like a lot of the things that Trump says for a plethora of reasons but there is one thing I like about Trump, he tells it like it is. He is not a politician and I truly believe that he will not be bought out if he wins the election. I think this country needs some radical change and I think the country needs someone who isn’t a politician, whether that be Bernie Sanders or Trump (or my original favorite Dr. Ben Carson). No president is going to get everything they promise to get done accomplished and a president with these radical ideas likely won’t get far but it will set the precedence and the tone for years to come. I’m thinking long term picture here but anyway I’m getting away from the point, here is the quote from Levine on the GOP and Trump:
"If a candidate garners the greatest number of votes, he or she should get the majority of delegates. That's the way elections are supposed to work," Levine wrote. "You win or lose on the field or at the ballot box. It is OK to play as a spoiler, as many teams do to affect the final standings, but if that is your goal you should acknowledge it."

This is going to go down to the wire, Game 162 if you will, and it’s going to get dirty. Watch it as it all unfolds because this is going to be one of the biggest elections of our lifetime’s folks. Oh and Randy Levine, shhhhhhhh. And everyone reading, please be nice in the comments section and on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) as my intention was not to incite a riot here. This post will likely decide whether more posts like it come on the blog. 

Yankees Should Trade One of Big Three, Yes or No?

The New York Yankees are a team full of expectations and talent but at least at the start of the 2016 campaign the team is not full of players meeting expectations or exceeding expectations. This is especially true in the Yankees starting rotation where outside of a great start from Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday the crew has struggled collectively. Now the Yankees are left with a few options, the first option being to wait it out and hope that the world of sample sizes and history even themselves out leading the Yankees to go on a roll. The second option is to call up a James Kaprielian or equivalent to try and spark the rotation and get some innings out of and the third option is to make a trade to bring in some talent. Not many teams are presumably open for business unless the deal is too sweet to pass up, could one such deal too sweet to pass up include one of the Yankees three-headed monster in the bullpen? 

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances have both lived up to the hype thus far this season recording outs and strikeouts like the zombie apocalypse is coming and their lives depend on it while Aroldis Chapman is staying fresh and stretched out down in minor league camps. Chapman is serving a 30 game suspension currently leaving his trade value low until he comes back but you would have to think the Yankees could move one of these three, not skip a beat, and still improve on the team. Look at the offer the team received for Andrew Miller from the Houston Astros before the season began. In case you missed it the deal was headlined by former first overall draft pick Mark Appel and dominant young stud Vincent Velasquez, could the Yankees pull a similar deal out of their hat or maybe even a better deal as the season goes along? 

The Yankees bullpen could handle the loss of one of these men, especially if Chasen Shreve who also sports a 0.00 ERA at the time of this writing and especially if Johnny Barbato continues to be dominant, and the rotation as it stands today could use a punch in the arm. I’m truly on the fence about it though, sure the Yankees could survive a loss but I’m not sure that they should or not. The perfect recipe for a mediocre starting rotation is a strong bullpen that can take the ball after five or six innings and close things down with a lead. The 1996 Yankees did that and many teams before and since have as well and the 2016 version of the Yankees have done that. Sure they are going to burn out their arms at this torrid pace but one must remember that the warmer it gets and the longer we stretch into the season the longer these starters will go. One must also remember that Chapman will be back early next month taking some of the innings and some of the stress off of everyone else. 

With all that said I pose the question to you. Should the Yankees trade one of their big three out of the bullpen to improve the starting pitching and go for it in 2016? Or should they trade one or more of them and build towards the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons? Or should they simply stand pat and see the plan and the course to fruition? Leave it below in the comments section or drop us a line on twitter by following @GreedyStripes.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics 4/20

The New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics are preparing for Round Two tonight in their three game set this week in the Bronx. Tonight is going to be a tough matchup for the Yankees much like last night was but for an entirely different set of reasons. Last night the A’s sent a lefty to the mound which always seems to give New York trouble and tonight they send a tough pitcher in Kendall Graveman to the mound. Opposing him tonight will be Nathan Eovaldi for the Yankees.

Eovaldi had a great start going last time out against the powerful Toronto Blue Jays before falling victim to the home run ball late in the start. Eovaldi held onto a shutout before a pair of home runs by Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki buried the Yankees right-hander. Eovaldi is striking out more batters than ever, 43% of his outs are now coming via the strikeout this season, but he is still allowing too many hits consistently.
 Graveman heads into this start fresh off a strong start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Graveman took a no-decision in the start despite allowing just one run on four hits in six innings of work. Graveman has allowed just seven hits all season so the Yankees will have to be selective and swing at good pitches tonight if they want a victory.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. These are games that the Yankees must win if they want to be in contention in September and October but it always seems like these games and series where New York is considered by many to be the heavy favorites that things just fall apart. Reverse the trend, win the game and take the series too.

Go Yankees!

Yankees Rotation, You’re Killing Me Smalls

To borrow a now famous line from a now famous movie, The Sandlot, “you’re killing me Smalls!” In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past 20-or-so years Smalls was one of the main characters in the movie and a new member to the group of kids who played baseball in their sandlot. Smalls didn’t know much about the game but he knew he wanted to be accepted, remember he thought Babe Ruth was a female and not that big of a deal, and this frustrated the other boys. This quickly caught on and whenever someone was making something you deemed simple more trouble than it was worth you always threw out a “you’re killing me Smalls” as a joke and for emphasis. Well you know what? The Yankees starting rotation, you’re killing me Smalls!

Sure there have been encouraging moments this season to speak of and I am the last one to conveniently mis-remember them. Luis Severino has looked much better than his 0-2 start would suggest and it’s okay if he hasn’t because he’s only set to make his 14th career MLB start tomorrow in the series finale with Oakland. Masahiro Tanaka had the best start of the season for the Yankees staff on Sunday out-dueling former teammate Hisashi Iwakuma and Michael Pineda has seen starts where his control has been impeccable walking none. The good is far being out shadowed by the bad though right now and that needs to change.

Heading into yesterday’s series opener the Yankees ranked dead last, or more commonly known as 15th place, in the American League in innings pitched out of their starting rotation after the starters had thrown just 61.2 innings pitched. That looks more impressive after Tanaka’s seven inning performance on Sunday and it made the average start last 5.2 innings for the team and the team starting ERA drop to 5.25, also the worst in the American League.

There is some encouraging news though for the Bombers. Severino is not going to give up twice as many hits as he has innings pitched for the entire season like he has thus far and I can’t see Nathan Eovaldi allowing a home run every three innings pitched like he has thus far this year. Bryan Mitchell should be back eventually and Ivan Nova can always slide into the rotation if need be at some point this season. Tanaka should be better and Michael Pineda should be a hell of a lot better. The Yankees staff will be better, until then though they are killing me. Smalls. 

Weekly Check In: Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez, the Yankees catcher that took the minor leagues and the Arizona Fall League by storm only to fall short in a spring training competition. Gary Sanchez, the man that made Yankees GM Brian Cashman confident about trading backup catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Minnesota Twins for backup outfielder Aaron Hicks. Gary Sanchez, the subject of our latest weekly check in post here on the blog.

Gary Sanchez had a solid season in Double-A last season which led New York to call him up to Triple-A towards the end of the 2015 campaign. Sanchez was called up after an injury to Austin Romine occurred and he was thought to simply be a warm body in Scranton until his bat took off and took off in a big way. Sanchez earned a September call up last season and picked up his first MLB hit before heading to Arizona with the Surprise Saguaros to continue his torrid hitting.

Sanchez started spring slow and headed back down to Triple-A to begin the season but he will be back, he has a reserved front seat in the Scranton Shuttle, but until then we will check in with him every Wednesday morning. Starting now, enjoy. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 4/20: Ivan Nova Makes Yankees History

On this day in 2012 Yankees RHP Ivan Nova passed a few notable starting pitchers in Yankees history when he won his 15th straight decision of the season. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on this day in 2012 and moved Nova ahead of Whitey Ford (1961) and Steve Sundra (1938-1939). This win set Nova one behind Roger Clemens for the franchise record in consecutive decisions won.

On this day in 1988 Claudell Washington hit the Yankees 10,000th home run in franchise history as a pinch hitter. This total was the most in the major leagues and came off Minnesota's pitcher Jeff Reardon in the top of the ninth inning in a Yankees victory.

On this day in 1912, after two days of rain, the first ever game is finally played at Fenway Park in Boston. Of course the first game in the historic stadium was with the New York Highlanders, soon to be the Yankees, and a Red Sox victory 7-6 in 11 innings.