Friday, April 29, 2016

Yanks Drop Series Opener to Red Sox, 4-2

   Tonight, the Yankees began their three-game series with storied-rival Boston Red Sox. New York sent their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound in hopes of taking the all-important game one of a series on the road, even more so important in Fenway Park. The Red Sox sent lefty Henry Owens to the mound to oppose New York, bringing along with him a not so aesthetically pleasing 8.10 ERA. If the Yankees were to win tonight, they would have to do something that they have not done a lot of this season; beat a starting left-handed pitcher.
     After going scoreless in the first inning, Alex Rodriguez broke the scoring open by launching a ball into the seats atop the Green Monster, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They attempted to score a second run in the same inning after Starlin Castro tripled, but came up short as Castro was gunned down at home plate on a failed sacrifice fly by Chase Headley. Then, finally, the Yankees got a hit with a runner in scoring position in the top of the fifth. Didi Gregorius was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was followed up with a Jacoby Ellsbury single, his third time being on base at that point in the game. Brett Gardner lined a single through the right side of the infield, scoring Gregorius, making the score 2-0 Yankees. Over the last 14 games, the Yanks had been an abysmal .128 with runners in scoring position, which is why it was so nice to see the breakthrough tonight.
     Tanaka was phenomenal tonight, although, he would ultimately be hit with a no decision. Until the seventh, Tanaka had given up just three hits and had not allowed more than one runner on base at a time in the prior six innings. However, that changed in the bottom of the seventh when he allowed two singles to Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. With two outs, and seemingly one out away from the two headed monster in the bullpen, Tanaka served up a double to Jackie Bradley Jr., scoring both Shaw and Holt, tying the game at two.  The ace was lifted after the game tying shot, leaving with a final line of 6.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H and 5 K's.  The Yankees cannot expect to win many ballgames if they continue to force their starting pitchers to throw near perfect ballgames every single outing.
     Then, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Xander Bogarts singled up the middle, representing the go-ahead run for the perennial Yankee killer, David Ortiz. In typical Ortiz fashion, the DH launched a ball off of Dellin Betances over the left-field wall, giving the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. This is the last year of baseball for Ortiz, and I am pretty sure that the Yankees will not be sad to see him go.
     New York was unable to score in the top of the ninth inning, losing the contest 4-2. Being unable to score more than two runs in any game, the Yankees futility continues and will continue if they cannot figure it out soon.
     Let's hope they can snap out of it in game two tomorrow, beginning at 7:10PM ET.

Live Game Updates: Yankees at Red Sox - 4/29

7:48 p.m., End 2nd: The Yankees are 0-for-3 with RISP so far, but they lead nonetheless thanks to a solo shot by A-Rod.

8:17 p.m., Mid 4th: Yankees offense struggling to make contact against Henry Owens. Still 1-0 thanks to a strong start by Tanaka.

8:27 p.m., End 4th: Another scoreless frame for Tanaka. Let's see if the bottom of the Yankees order can get something going.

8:47 p.m., Mid 5th: Yanks get another run after an HBP and the softest singles you'll ever see from Ellsbury and Gardner. They're now up 2-0.

8:54 p.m., End 5th: Tanaka cruises through the bottom of Boston's order in the fifth. Yankees starting to take control at Fenway.

9:19 p.m., Mid 7th: Neither team looking too excited out there right now, but I guess that's good for the Yankees. They're still up by a pair.

9:34 p.m., End 7th: Girardi takes a pretty useless gamble in the seventh, and it comes back to hurt him and the Yankees. With two on, two out and Tanaka at 98 pitches, Girardi lets him stay in rather than bring in Dellin Betances -- and Jackie Bradley Jr. promptly ties the score with a two-run double. 

9:53 p.m., End 8th: Welp. Ortiz takes Betances deep for a two-run shot in the eighth, and the Red Sox now lead it 4-2.

10:02 p.m.: Ballgame. Red Sox win 4-2 after Kimbrel closes it out in the ninth.

You're A Tool, Joe Girardi!

For years I've heard from many Yankees fans that want to see the team replace Joe Girardi, and for just as long I've defended the guy.

Joe does not hit the ball, does not throw the ball, and does not catch the ball. Girardi did not offer the extension to CC Sabathia after the 2011 season*, he did not sign Chase Headley, nor did he sign Jacoby Ellsbury through at least 2020. For the most part Joe Girardi takes what he's given, and he tries to make a winner out of it.

*Just thought I'd remind everybody that if CC didn't sign that extension or opt-out of his original contract with the Yankees, he'd probably be pitching for somebody else today.

If you don't think Girardi's job as the Yankees' manager since 2007 has been tougher than Joe Torre's was from 1996 to 2007 you're crazy. Yet Torre was a God to Yankees fans, while Girardi... for the most part... is a pariah.

But at least for the time being I'm not going to defend Joe. Not because I don't think he's unfairly criticized, but because when asked what he thought of Dee Gordon being suspended for a positive PED test, Girardi said it's because he and other users are "ultra-competive".

No... wrong... uh-uh.

Watching more game tape to try and find flaws in your swing, or ways to bat against certain pitchers is being competitive. Taking extra swings in batting practice is being competitive. Showing up to practice or Spring Training early to get more work is being competitive. Taking a performance enhancing drug is cheating.

Whether the player is taking the drug to get stronger or quicker, or taking the drug to recover faster from injury, it's still cheating.

This isn't to say I don't understand why a professional athlete, regardless of the sport, would take a PED. With that much money at stake I totally get it. I don't like it, but I get it. And heck, even if it's not for the money, I understand wanting to get back on the field/court as soon as possible. But that player is still cheating.

Dee Gordon is a very talented baseball player, and I'm willing to bet he didn't need to take anything to be successful at the pro level. Just like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, and so many others didn't need to take something to succeed. But he did, and for that Dee Gordon is a cheater.

Stop giving these guys excuses! Especially an excuse that makes it sound like Dee Gordon and other PED users/cheaters are just "ultra competitive". Just... stop.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/29

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are ready to write the next chapter in one of the most storied books in Major League Baseball history tonight as the rivalry is finally renewed here in 2016. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will make the trip to historic Fenway Park this evening to face off in the first of a three game weekend set between the two clubs. Tonight the Yankees will send their ace to the mound Masahiro Tanaka to face off with the man replacing the Red Sox “ace” (well you know, before they had David Price) in Henry Owens. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET and can be seen on YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees are out on the road for this weekend giving you every opportunity to have your Yankees Tickets in hand for Yankee Stadium when they do. Click the Yankee Tickets link at the top of the blog to visit Ticket Monster and grab your seats without having to pay those bulky fees or annoying shipping costs. Until then though we expect to be awfully busy on Twitter all weekend long live tweeting all three games so join us and follow us by shooting a tweet to @GreedyStripes.

Game face time ladies and gents. Go Yankees!

Yankees Pitching vs. Red Sox Hitting

Yesterday we took advantage of the Yankees off day to take a look at what the Yankees lineup has done against the Boston Red Sox trio of pitchers so why not look at both sides and see how well the Yankees pitchers have done in their careers against the current crop of Boston hitters. Sounds fair enough, right?

Masahiro Tanaka:

Michael Pineda:

Nathan Eovaldi:

All images and stats courtesy of

It Has Begun, Chase Headley Sucks

Ladies and gentleman it has begun. I thought we could go a whole season without donning a new Stephen Drew, which used to be a Sergio Mitre and used to be a Chris Stewart and used to be an Andruw Jones and used to be a whole plethora of people, but we were not that fortunate. Ladies and gentleman, Chase Headley sucks.

When the New York Yankees acquired him at the trading deadline in 2014 I have to admit that a big part of me was ecstatic. Yangervis Solarte had ridden his hot streak and wave and had been at the low point in the tide for the better part of a month at the time of the trade while Chase brought a clutch switch-hitting bat and some stellar defense with him. His defense was immediately compared to that of the great Graig Nettles and after some research I salivated over his clutch hits and huge seasons he had in an even huger ballpark in San Diego. What New York got in return though was a shell of that man with throwing problems and a bad back.

I’m not making this personal and I’m trying not to be down on the guy but something has got to give. New York gave him a huge contract over four seasons and the first year the Yankees got in return was littered with throwing errors and a total zap of any sort of power. This season, and yes I am still preaching the small sample size, he has somehow found new ways to get worse with the bat. The defense has been solid, maybe even great, but he’s making Stephen Drew look like a .300 hitter right now, hence the honor of my “Chase Headley Sucks” tweets.

I’m rooting for Headley, I truly am and I truly mean that, and I’m borderline hoping that this can be used as motivation to get better or do whatever it is you have to do to get better. I don’t want to tweet four or five times a night that he sucks, I don’t I want Headley to have the monster seasons he had inside Petco Park and I want him to lead the Yankees back to the promised land but as a fan that not only supports the Yankees from afar but a fan that buys the merchandise, purchases tickets when they are close, purchases this television subscription and that television subscription to see them etc. I feel like I have the right to at least say something.

And this is what I say. Chase Headley Sucks. Prove me wrong. I like being wrong.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/29

Rivalry Renewed! We hope so anyway as the New York Yankees make the trip north to Fenway Park to face off against the Boston Red Sox in a three-game weekend set. The Yankees bats have gone cold and the pitching is being held on by the thread, or the bullpen, but these big series with their biggest rivals usually tend to bring out the best in both teams. The Yankees need a shot in the arm right now and me personally I’ll take it from any direction I can get it from including this series this weekend. In the first game of the set the Yankees will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off against the Red Sox starter Henry Owens.

Tanaka will head into Fenway Park tonight to make his fifth start of the young 2016 season and will look to continue the trend of looking better and stronger in each start he makes. Tanaka has allowed just two earned runs in each of his previous four starts and you have to think two runs against this Boston lineup tonight would be good enough to get the Yankees a victory, especially with the lanky left-hander Henry Owens on the mound for the Red Sox.

Owens is making his second start of the season tonight in the absence of Joe Kelly and will look to turn around his misfortune against the Yankees as well. Owens made two starts against New York last season going 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA. Owens will also look to improve on his Fenway Park record that sits at just 2-2 with a 5.00 ERA.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside of Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. The Yankees went almost two full months before they lost their first series in 2015 but they are singing a much different tune here thus far in 2016. It’s never too early nor is it too late to turn things around but it needs to happen now. I know I keep saying that but I am going to hold onto hope as long as I mathematically can.

Yankees Stat Leaders Through 20 Games


Games Played:

Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Starlin Castro and Jacoby Ellsbury have all played in each of the first 20 games this season.

At Bats:

Makes sense that the leadoff man, Ellsbury, has 79 at bats to lead the team.

Runs Scored:

Brian McCann has scored 14 times to lead the team.

Starlin Castro leads the team with 22. Robert Refsnyder who?

You can't play "no doubles" defense against Ellsbury and Castro apparently, they have four each.

Home Runs:

Carlos Beltran with four? Really?

A dozen RBI for the Yankees new second baseman Starlin Castro.


Qualifying: Starlin Castro .289
Non Qualifying: Ronald Torreyes .400


Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda all have four each.

Dellin Betances has already been in 10 games.

Eight different Yankees all have one win each. This has to change.

Luis Severino's three losses are "not what you want."


Bullpen: Andrew Miller 0.00

Rotation: Masahiro Tanaka 2.92


Rotation: Nathan Eovaldi - 28

Bullpen: Dellin Betances - 23

Weekly Check In: Jorge Mateo

The New York Yankees top prospect is not stealing bases like a man possessed thus far in 2016 but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily having a bad season. Mateo has now played in over 40 games for the Tampa Yankees between his late season call up in 2015 and his start to the season in 2016 leaving many to wonder how long he will be in the Yankees High-A affiliate.

I know no more than you but I can use the past as an indicator, and these stats, to guess that Mateo will likely be in Trenton by or around the June time frame. That gives Mateo another month to fine tune his game and beat up on A-Ball pitching before taking what many believe to be the biggest step in a prospects path to the Major Leagues.

Mateo, we’re rooting for you because we want to see you in some capacity in 2017. Keep up the good work. 


The Yankees “Evil Empire” Strikes Again

We're going to rant this morning about Chase Headley, spoiler alert, so how about a feel good story to jump start the weekend before the game starts tonight inside Fenway Park. It’s convenient that the Yankees would release this news on the eve of facing off with the team whose president called them the Evil Empire but that’s only if you believe in coincidences. I do not. What the Yankees did this week though is they let a 13-year old boy named Tracen Visage mark one of his items off his bucket list at the young man got to meet with his favorite team, the Yankees.

Tracen is battling kidney failure and his body is currently in the end-stage of renal failure. Before Tuesday night’s game the young man, who was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2009 and who has been on dialysis treatments ever since, got to meet the Yankees while hanging out with the team in the dugout and on the field. Tracen is a huge Yankees fan living in Texas and thanks to a Yankees scout, Ron Brand, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman the young man met with many Yankees including Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Tony Pena, Ken Singleton, David Cone, Rob Thomson, Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Starlin Castro and manager Joe Girardi.

The Yankees not only made a kids day but they may have made his life. The reports all said that Cashman and the Yankees were very open to the idea of Tracen meeting the team and hanging out with the players and I couldn’t be more proud to be a fan of this organization. There is no other organization better or more giving then this one in my very bias, yet very humble, opinion.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/29: Blue Jays, Thumbs Down

On this day in 2006 the Yankees rout the Toronto Blue Jays 17-4 to become the sixth American League team to score in all eight innings that the team came to bat. The only other time a New York Yankees team scored in every inning of a full game was in July of 1939 when they beat the Browns 14-1 in Yankee Stadium.

On this day in 1939 Lou Gehrig came up to plate at Yankee Stadium in the fourth inning and laced a single off of Washington Senators pitcher Ken Chase for his 2,721st and last hit of his Major League career. Gehrig would finish with the Yankees franchise record for most in history, recently passed by Derek Jeter. The Iron Horse and the Yankee captain's record would stand for 70 seasons until another 35 year old captain passes him in 2009.