Friday, September 30, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 9/30

Here we go ladies and gentleman, the final countdown. Three game and counting including tonight’s first matchup between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. Three games to decide it all and end a season. The Orioles will be heading to the postseason as a Wild Card team by all accounts and measures while the New York Yankees will be going home for a long, long winter unfortunately. In the first matchup between the two clubs the Yankees will send --- to the mound to square off with Yovani Gallardo for the Orioles. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. And MASN if you’re one of those Orioles fans and traitor types. I’m just saying.

It’s a sad feeling that I’m only going to be able to say GO YANKEES two more times after tonight. I’m not ready for the offseason. Not by a long shot. Make the best of these three games and let’s all go home.

Robert Refsnyder. I said his name three times today. Free him. 

Was Starlin Castro Better Than Stephen Drew (Sucks)?

You guys know me, you read my stuff and you follow us @GreedyStripes on Twitter, so you know that I was never a fan of Stephen Drew. I clamored for what felt like years to get the Yankees to let go of Stephen Drew and to plug Robert Refsnyder in at the position to no avail so you can understand how ecstatic I was when New York acquired Starlin Castro in the offseason from the Chicago Cubs. I was skimming through other Yankees blogs and new publications lately like I always do when I ran across a post that boggled my mind, the post was explaining how the Yankees got nothing from Castro this year that they didn’t get from Stephen Drew last year. Their basis for the post? One stat. Albeit one pretty heavily weighted stat in the sabermetric community but still just one stat. No stat, however liked or heavily used across the board, tells the whole story so I will look to tell the whole story here for you today in hopes of seeing whether Castro was better than Drew in 2016. 

In 146 games Starlin Castro has played an awesome second base committing just 11 errors while posting a .981 fielding percentage. Castro was a part of 68 double plays this season along with Didi Gregorius and while these were all career bests for the Yankees second baseman there is no reason not to think he cannot keep up this pace defensively. Drew on the other hand? In his final season in pinstripes in 2015 Drew posted 131 games played with seven errors and a .984 fielding percentage. The numbers are comparable yet no one gushes over Castro’s defense like they did for Drew. No one is using Castro’s defense as a reason to keep Robert Refsnyder out of the discussion for the second base job either. Two Robert Refsnyder references in one day. One more and you have to free him. 

In those same 146 games Castro hit 21 home runs, seven more than his career high, with a .273/.301/.434 triple slash, 69 RBI and a 1.2 WAR. Drew on the other hand? .201/.271/.381 with 44 RBI, 17 home runs and a 0.4 WAR. Castro gets the slight edge. 

One thing that was definitely not suggested or mentioned in the article that I will not link because it doesn’t deserve the attention and the views is age. Castro is 26-years old and entering the beginning of his prime while putting up these numbers. This was also Castro’s first season in the American League and the first year in front of the bright lights of Yankee Stadium. The pressure, the fan scrutiny, the media questions, etc. This is all something that Drew was used to by 2015 after heading to the World Series with the Boston Red Sox and playing with the Bronx Bombers the season prior after coming over in a trade. These are things you can’t put a stat on and this is what, in my opinion of course, sets Castro apart from Drew across the board in every category. 

Castro is the man and will continue to be the man while Stephen Drew still sucks! And you can tell him I said that too. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 9/30

The final series of the regular season and it’s back at home in the Bronx when the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium open their doors to welcome Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles to town for a three-game set. The Yankees are left with nothing to play for other than maybe some positioning spoiling for the Orioles while Baltimore is trying to get their roster and pitching rested up for the AL Wild Card Game. Let’s spoil the fun and in the first match the Yankees will send Michael Pineda looking to do just that while Baltimore counters with Yovani Gallardo.

Pineda will look to finish the season much stronger than he started it, especially after back-to-back solid outings in his last two starts against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays. Pineda has allowed just one run in his last 11 innings and comes into his final start 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the Orioles this season.

Gallardo heads into his final start of the regular season fresh off a pretty good start last time out against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gallardo threw a quality start against the Diamondbacks hurling six innings while allowing two runs in a Baltimore 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. Damn I’m going to miss Michael Kay here is a few weeks and damn I am really going to miss seeing these Baby Bombers and this team claw and fight every single night. Who came up with this silly rule that baseball had to end for the winter? Not me. Go Yankees!

Yankees Youth Movement Only Needs One More Thing….

Get your pitchforks out Yankees family, we’re about to have a bonfire and a pig roast because the New York Yankees and their newfound youth movement need just one more thing. A new manager. I know, I know, I’ve been one of the bigger Joe Girardi supporters during his tenure here in New York and while the binder, now turned iPad, has frustrated the hell out of me his bullpen management has been and remains to be one of the better bullpen management in Major League Baseball. The Yankees have the kids up now and nothing to play for yet players like Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Austin and others remain on the bench in big games. Why? Because Girardi needs to go, that’s why. 

Before you bring up his Manager of the Year Award with like 17 players who couldn’t even legally buy beer yet in Miami let me stop you. First of all that was a long time ago and secondly that’s all he had at his disposal. Girardi does great with managing and managing young kids but he only does so when his hand is forced and the New York Yankees will never force his hand in my opinion. They will always have that veteran option either down in Triple-A or on the MLB roster “just in case.” The problem here is Girardi uses his “just in case” options far more than he should and it’s really, really annoying and frustrating to watch as a fan who is devoted to this rebuild. 

I mean look at it this way. Brian Cashman traded away Carlos Beltran and that is the ONLY reason we saw Aaron Judge. Aaron Hicks got injured and that is the ONLY reason we saw Mason Williams. Ben Gamel was great for us yet the sample size is too small to really jump up and down about because he was hardly ever used leading to him being traded to the Seattle Mariners. He wasn’t even good enough in the Yankees eyes to use as a stolen base guy off the bench despite having comparable numbers to the guy they traded for, Eric Young Jr. of the Milwaukee Brewers, and gave his roster spot to in less at bats and opportunities. But Young is a veteran. 

You know what the biggest problem is? Talent bails out Girardi more times than not and Wednesday night was the perfect example of that. On Tuesday night Tyler Austin has a three-hit game including a game winning home run so what does Girardi do in his infinite wisdom? Sits him the next day in lieu of Mark Teixeira. Sure, Teixeira hit the game winning walk-off grand slam in the game which stopped all the questions from the media after the game but what if he didn’t? What if that’s never an issue if Austin starts the game and the Yankees offense actually scores before the 9th inning? 

Joe Girardi is just frustrating me right now and I just don’t think he is the right fit for this team anymore. Does that mean he’s a bad manager? No, hell no in fact, but I also don’t think he is going to be able to get out of his own way with the veterans still on this club. He may not be the manager for the youth movement, at least in my opinion.

Oh, and FREE REFSNYDER! You almost made it a prospects post without hearing about him. 

Scoreboard Watching for September 30th

Three more games… three games to decide it all. Let’s get to it.

AL Wild Card Race: 

Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox

Detroit Tigers @ Atlanta Braves
Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles

National League Wild Card: 

New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates @ St. Louis Cardinals

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/30: Yankees Win 100 Games

On this day in 2004 the Yankees won their 100th game, something they have done in three straight seasons, and their seventh consecutive American League Eastern Division championship. The Yankees join only the Braves from 1997-1999, the Orioles from 1969-1971, and the A's from 1929-1931 as the fourth team to win 100 games in three straight seasons.

Also on this day in 1973 the Yankees played, and lost, their final game played at the old Yankees Stadium before George Steinbrenner had the field renovated. The 50 year old Cathedral of Baseball would take two years to renovate while the Yankees played their home games at Shea Stadium.

Also on this day in 1966 Roger Maris blasted a two run home run in his final at bat as a member of the New York Yankees. Maris would be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals after the season for utility man Charley Smith.

Also on this day in 1962 Mickey Mantle belted his 30th home run of the season off of the White Sox's Ray Herbet. This would be the Mick's eight consecutive season of hitting at least 30 home runs in a season. This was amazing considering Mantle missed a month of the season with a leg injury.

Finally on this day in 1927 Babe Ruth would break his own record for home runs in a single season when he hit his 60th of the season off of Senators starter Tom Zachary. In a side note Hall of Famer Walter Johnson would make his final appearance of his major league career when he pinch hit in this game.