Friday, May 12, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 5/12

Here we go again, game time in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. Let’s get to it inside Yankee Stadium as a pair of young and exciting pitchers take the mound in the contest tonight. The Yankees will send rookie Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off with Lance McCullers Jr. of the Houston Astros. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV while you can also follow along on the radio and in your car by tuning into WFAN.

Follow us on twitter and interact with us all season long by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Giovanny Gallegos

The New York Yankees youth movement continues and it is not only for positional players but for some of the young arms down on the farm as well. During the Yankees off-day yesterday rumor had it that the team would be sending down Chad Green to Triple-A, which they did, only to call up a fresh arm in Giovanny Gallegos. Gallegos is set to make his debut in the Bronx this week against the Houston Astros so since it’s his first weekend in the bigs we may as well meet him, right? This is Meet a Prospect: The Giovanny Gallegos Edition.

Gallegos was added to the team’s 40 man roster this winter in order to find protection from the Rule 5 Draft after posting impressive numbers at every stop during his minor league tenure. The 25-year old pitcher is currently pitching to a 3.86 ERA in Triple-A at the time of this writing along with a 16.7 K/9 ratio with Scranton. Batters are slashing just .189/.271/.358 off him this season after impressive numbers in High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2016. At both stops last season Gallegos posted sub-2.00 ERA’s and struck out nearly 15 batters per nine innings.

Gallegos sports a 92 MPH fastball that can touch 95 MPH when he needs it to along with three different off-speed pitches including a high-70 MPH slider, a low 80 MPH curveball and a changeup. Gallegos has four pitches he can get you out with and has solid command to go along with it making him an intriguing part of the Yankees future either as a reliever or as a starter.

I’m not exactly sure how long Gallegos will be here as the Yankees are running with a short bench right now so enjoy him while you can. Welcome to the big leagues Giovanny and more importantly, welcome to the family.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 5/12

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros are back at it again with the second game of their four-game extended weekend set in the Bronx. TGIF and Happy Friday everyone. In tonight’s contest the Yankees will send rookie Jordan Montgomery to the mound looking to slow down a Houston Astros offense that has pushed the team to their best start in their franchise’s history while the Astros will counter with Lance McCullers Jr., another young pitcher and son of former Yankees pitcher Lance McCullers. This should be a good one and has all the makings and potential of being a glimpse into the future of this rivalry. Enjoy.

Jordan Montgomery will make his sixth start of the young 2017 season and of his career after posting quality starts in three of his first five starts. In his last start against the Chicago Cubs the Yankees young lefty went a career-long 6.2 innings allowing just two runs in a victory for New York. Montgomery is getting stronger, better and more comfortable with every start it seems and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue tonight in the Bronx against the Houston Astros.

Lance McCullers Jr. has been a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. McCullers Jr. all season long, especially when you look at his home and away splits. McCullers has posted a 2-0 record with a 2.08 ERA at home inside Minute Maid Park this season while on the road the right has posted an 0-1 record with a 5.51 ERA.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 in New York and MLB TV wherever you and your device are. You can also follow along with the game inside your cars or on the radio by tuning into Mr. and Mrs. Baseball, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, on WFAN. Enjoy the game and as always, Go Yankees!

Guilty of Playing Favorites...

There have been better Yankees than Derek Jeter.  
Yes, I said it...

I know I should not say any disparaging words about Jeter but for as many fans as he had during his playing days, he was just not one of my favorites.  Sorry guys and more importantly, gals.  I liked the player and enjoyed his time, but probably more so in the earlier part of his career.  When everyone was wearing #2 jerseys, I was just not feeling it.  Throughout the last Yankees dynasty, my favorite player was Mariano Rivera.  So, basically from the time he started until he walked off the field for the final time, Mo was my favorite Yankee.  Well, I guess I should say that he didn’t technically become my favorite until 1996 when he zinging bullets in front of closer John Wetteland.  Up to 1995, my favorite was Donnie Baseball.  

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed watching Jeter’s final days and the memorable last game at Yankee Stadium.  I’ll watch on Sunday with interest as the Yankees retire #2 to Monument Park.  I’ll be thankful for his time in pinstripes, and he’ll not be forgotten.  He just wasn’t one of my favorites, that’s all.  Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte…loved those guys when they wore pinstripes.  I can’t put a finger on it but I’ve never  felt the same way about Jeter.  For all his faults, I even loved Darryl Strawberry.  His home run swing is still one of my all-time favorites.  Maybe this is why it is easier for me to accept the fact that Jeter might be part of the ownership and management team for the Miami Marlins.  At that point, he’ll just be another dude.  No different than Brian Sabean, Dick Tidrow and Dave Righetti in San Francisco except that he’ll have an ownership stake in his team.  I am sure that Jeter will pull for the Yankees as long as they are not playing the Marlins but you know if they do meet, Jeter will be pulling out every stop to beat Baseball’s most storied franchise.  

I was glad when Jeter was finally out of the way and we were able to upgrade, first defensively and later offensively, with Didi Gregorius.  It was time for change.  I am sure the day will come when I’ll be glad to see Didi’s replacement. Unfortunately, all of us are adversely afflicted with aging.  Well, except for maybe Betty White.

I am not trying to offend anyone.  It's simply a case that all of us are entitled to our own opinions.  I do not intend to demean Jeter or take away from his accomplishments, including membership in the 3,000 Hit Club.

I've been aware of Jeter since he was an 18-year-old from Kalamazoo, Michigan, picked 6th overall in the 1992 MLB Draft.  It was a great long successful career.  But there is nothing in the Yankees Fan Rule Book that says he had to be one of my favorites.  I always thought the crowds Jeter would draw at baseball games were somewhat humorous.  Women swooned in his presence and maybe a few guys.  He now lives a life in a mansion in Florida and is married to one of the most beautiful women in the world.  He obviously has excess cash to spend as part of the ownership group seeking to purchase the Marlins.  He lives in a world that I'll never know or understand.  Pardon me, but I'd rather cheer for Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez on Sunday.  Enjoy your day, Derek.  Lou Gehrig had it wrong.  You're the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

Since I seem to be on a negative roll today, I’ll go ahead and include Carlos Beltran.  Despite Beltran’s interest in returning to the Yankees in the off-season, I am thankful that he opted to grab the one-year, $16 million deal from the Houston Astros.  Beltran did a fine job as a Yankee and he was arguably our best hitter the first part of last year, but I strongly prefer Aaron Judge in right field (the obvious no-brainer) and Matt Holliday at DH.  I have absolutely no issue with the Yankees for not engaging Beltran in talks during his free agency period last November-December.  His present team might be one of our biggest roadblocks to October but I had/have no interest in a reunion tour with Beltran.

The Yankees fell to the Houston Astros 3-2 last night in the first game of a four game set.  This series is one of the major tests to determine if the Yankees are for real.  I knew, looking at the pitching matchup, this was going to be the hardest one with Yankee killer Dallas Keuchel on the mound.  In picking up his sixth win of the year, Keuchel dominated the Yankees as he always does.  In 50 2/3 innings, he has only allowed seven Yankees to cross home plate.  CC Sabathia would let teams do that every game if Joe Girardi allowed him to go deeper into games.  For the game, Keuchel went six innings.  He only gave up 5 hits and allowed an unearned run.  He walked one and struck out nine.  As tough as Keuchel was, the Yankees had their chances.

It didn't help that the Astros jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning before many people had even gotten to their seats.  The first hit of the game was a double by Josh Reddick that fell between Didi Gregorius and Jacoby Ellsbury.  It was a play that Ellsbury should have called but didn't, leading Didi to attempt a failed catch with his back turned.  With two outs, Carlos Correa homered to center, scoring Reddick.  The Yankees were never able to recover.

I certainly do not place any blame with Michael Pineda.  He did his job.  He gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk.  He struck out seven.  

With the bases loaded in the fifth and two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury was credited with an RBI on catcher's interference (his bat hit Brian McCann's glove).  It was the 28th catcher's inference that Ellsbury has accumulated over his career, trailing Pete Rose by one.  Gary Sanchez grounded out to end the threat, leaving the bases loaded (one of the game's missed opportunities).

The Yankees couldn't get anything going against Chris Devenski, who replaced Keuchel in the seventh inning.  Devenski has been one of Baseball's best setup men so far this young season.  But opportunity presented itself in the bottom of the ninth inning with the Yankees trailing 3-1.  With two outs, the Yankees had runners at second (Ellsbury) and third (Aaron Hicks) against Astros closer Ken Giles.  Gary Sanchez hit a single to left, scoring Hicks.  Third base coach Joe Espada also sent Ellsbury, but a perfect strike from left fielder Jake Marisnick to Brian McCann nailed Ells at the plate to end the game.

Credit:  Kathy Willens/AP

The Yankees fell to 21-11, allowing the Baltimore Orioles to re-take sole possession of first place in the AL East by a half-game (the O's were off).  On the bright side, we won't be seeing Keuchel again this series.  Tonight's matchup will be tough as young Lance McCullers, Jr has performed well so far this year (2-1, 3.40 ERA).  The Yankees counter with Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 3.81 ERA).  

Have a great Friday!  Time to show the Astros that we are for real!

Continue the Youth Movement, Call up Mike Ford

Newsflash for those who have been living under a rock for the past six-or-seven months, the New York Yankees are in the midst of a rebuild. The Yankees aren’t just rebuilding though and are not content with their fan base watching a subpar team for the next two-or-three seasons though, this team is built to at least compete and win games now while they rebuild which is pretty unique if you ask me. With the youth movement in mind and with the continuation of the youth movement in my intentions I have one suggestion to make to the New York Yankees organization right now, stop playing Chris Carter and Matt Holliday at first base and call up a member of the farm system in Mike Ford.

Ford does not bring the notability of a Gary Sanchez or an Aaron Judge with him to the ballpark every single night but he may bring just as big of a bat with him. Ford is currently with the Double-A affiliate the Trenton Thunder but don’t let his lack of Triple-A experience scare you away from the fact that he is an absolute big bopper with the bat who can hold his own at the first base position. In his first 103 at-bats this season Ford, the Thunder’s cleanup hitter, is hitting .320 with an OPS of .907 and two home runs protecting the likes of Gleyber Torres and others on the team.

Ford has a left-handed swing, like any left-handed swing in the Bronx, that is tailor made for Yankee Stadium and he has an impressive 6’0” and 225-pound build that I could totally see knocking a few over the fence in the Bronx while Greg Bird’s ankle mends. Ford is also a patient hitter that will take his walks which always helps on any team, he has more walks (193) than strikeouts (192) in his minor league career.

Ford isn’t a baby BOMBER but he’s a Yankees prospect that could far exceed the production of Chris Carter right now so make the move, score some more runs and let’s win some more games. Shall we?

So it Seems the Weekend is Back!

Good morning everyone and Happy Friday! It is finally the weekend, we made it. The New York Yankees continue their four-game set in the Bronx this weekend with the Houston Astros while also welcoming Derek Jeter back to the Bronx for Derek Jeter Day on Sunday. It’s also Mother’s Day on Sunday so be sure to wish that special someone in your life a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday. Do something nice if you can because if it weren’t for you mother you wouldn’t be reading this today. Remember all those “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it” threats? Maybe those were just for me, LOL.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and if we don’t speak between now and then I hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day. Thank you to all the mothers out there, the Aunts or grandmothers picking up and being mothers and a huge thank you to all the single dads out there that are having to be both on this day. You are truly appreciated.

Love you guys, especially you. Hey you. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/12: Yankees Almost No-Hit

On this day in 1956 Don Ferrarese got his first major league victory when he shut out the Yankees at Yankee Stadium 1-0. The Orioles rookie lefty loses his no hitter when Andy Carey leads off the ninth inning with a single.