Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets 8/15

Just like that it is baseball time in the Bronx as the Subway Series presents the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. In the second of this four-game set there’s more than just bragging rights on the line around the city, at least for the Yankees who are vying for a playoff spot in the American League. In the start tonight the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound hoping that it’s awfully sonny tonight in the Bronx while the Mets will counter with Jacob DeGrom. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Go Yankees and to hell with the Mets!!!

The Best August Trade the Yankees Can Make

The August 31st trade deadline is quickly approaching and while we have seen more than a few teams take advantage of this month’s waiver wire trade deadline deals the New York Yankees have not been one of them. New York was said to be interested in the New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker before the team sent him to the Milwaukee Brewers while the team also thought they had a deal for Jay Bruce in place, also with the Mets, before he was shipped to the Cleveland Indians to solidify their playoff push. The good news for the Yankees though after missing out on two key players for their own postseason run is that the team can still make the very best trade they can during this month of August and it won’t even cost them all that much.

What do I mean? Well I don’t mean the Yankees can acquire another player from another team because of the payroll freeze set in place by Hal Steinbrenner but I do mean the team can get healthy, get some players off the disabled list and hit their stride right at the perfect time of the season. Currently the Yankees have a lot of big guns on the disabled list and many of them are getting close to coming off the disabled list including second baseman Starlin Castro, first baseman Greg Bird, RHP Masahiro Tanaka and LHP CC Sabathia.

Bird’s struggles have been well documented this season across the Yankees blogosphere but what many of those posts fail to address is the fact that Bird was trying to play through an ankle injury which could have absolutely led to him slashing just .100/.250/.200 in 60 at-bats. Bird is set to begin his rehab assignment tomorrow with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders although his rehab could go the maximum time allowed since the left-hander has missed so much of the 2017 season already.

With Castro, a 2017 AL All-Star, and Bird the Yankees offense should be much better while having two veteran arms in Sabathia and Tanaka can only benefit a young team headed towards a potential playoff berth. This may be the best, and only, option for the Yankees this month to improve the team so let’s hope for the best and hope for the health and effectiveness of these four players.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets 8/15

The New York Yankees and New York Mets are back at it again tonight in the second game of the annual Subway Series. These games mean a little bit more to some than in years past after all the back-and-forth that has been going on regarding trades, failed trades, backed out of trades and the sort. Officials for both the Yankees and the Mets have been quite vocal against each other recently and while that likely means nothing to the players in the grand scheme of things it tends to just make it a little bit more fun for the fans. Especially when I can scream “to hell with the Mets” on twitter and get a ton of retweets and such, shameless plug of @GreedyStripes on Twitter. In the start tonight the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound to square off against Jacob DeGrom for the Mets. This is the final game in the Bronx before the series shifts to Queens for the next two nights so check it out live if you can make it.

Gray will make his third start for the Yankees tonight and his first start at home for the Bombers after losing his first two starts out on the road. Gray pitched well in both starts but errors and a lack of run support, literally zero run support actually as the Yankees have yet to score in a game that Gray started, has led to Gray taking the loss against the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays.

DeGrom makes his first start since suffering a right triceps contusion in his last start. DeGrom has been nasty since June 7 posting a 9-2 record with a 1.82 ERA in 79.1 innings so the Mets are hoping that the 99-MPH line drive off DeGrom’s right arm will not affect the way he pitches tonight in the Bronx.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. We as Yankees fans need to get this trending…. To Hell With the Mets!! Go Yankees!!

Recipe for Success: Just Add Hicks to the Mix...

Credit:  Paul J Bereswill-NY Post
Yankees 4, Mets 2...

A day after a disappointing one-run loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees bullpen backed homers by Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez to give the Yankees the victory over the New York Mets in the opener of their four-game series.  

Normally, I hate solo home runs.  Stronger preference (obviously) for round-trippers with men on base, but in this game, three solo shots were enough to power the Yankees to the win despite two home runs by the Mets (also of the solo variety).  

The Mets scored their runs in the third inning against Yankees starter Luis Cessa.  The Grandy Man, Curtis Granderson, showing how much he misses the right field porch, parked one there down the right field line.  One out later, Yoenis Cespedes sent one that bounced off the right field wall for a homer, just missed by Aaron Judge, and the Mets led 2-0.

The Yankees had a chance for a big inning in the 4th against Mets starter Rafael Montero.  Aaron Hicks singled to center, a soft liner, with one out.  Aaron Judge followed with a walk on four pitches.  A wild pitch by Montero advanced the runners to second and third, but it didn't really matter as the next batter, Didi Gregorius, walked on a full count to load the bases.  Gary Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Hicks (who came in just ahead of the tag), but that's all the Yankees would get as Chase Headley flied out to right.  The Mets still led, 2-1.  

While pitching to Rene Rivera to open the 5th, Luis Cessa apparently felt discomfort in his back which brought Manager Joe Girardi to the mound.  Cessa convinced Girardi to let him stay.  He was able to retire Rivera on a ground out, but the next batter, Juan Lagares, singled to center, a roller up the middle.  After making his second trip to the mound, Girardi pulled Cessa and replaced him with Chad Green.  After the game, Girardi said the medical staff does not believe the injury, a right rhomboid muscle issue, is serious, however, Cessa will undergo an MRI this morning.  

Credit:  Rich Schultz-The Associated Press
Back to the game, Lagares attempted to steal second but was erased on Gary Sanchez's brilliant throw to shortstop Tyler Wade.  Green then struck out Curtis Granderson to get out of the inning.

Aaron Judge, showing signs of breaking out of his recent extended slump, homered to open the 6th inning to tie the game at two.  The ball landed near the Modell's sign in right.  It was Judge's 36th of the season.

Credit:  Rich Schultz-The Associated Press
Outstanding pitching performance by Chad Green who continued to shut the Mets down through the seventh inning.  He kept the Mets off the board for 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief, walking one batter and striking out four.  

Credit:  Charles Wenzelberg-NY Post
David Robertson continued the bullpen mastery in the 8th when he struck out the side, with the only flaw a two-out walk to Asdrubal Cabrera.  

Aaron Hicks, leading off the bottom of the 8th inning, broke the tie when he belted a pitch from Mets reliever Hansel Robles deep into the right center stands.  

Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
After Robles struck out Aaron Judge, the Mets brought in lefty reliever Jerry Blevins to retire Didi Gregorius on a ground out, and then made another switch to bring in righty Erik Goeddel to face Gary Sanchez.  As Julia Roberts said in the movie Pretty Woman, "Big mistake".  A blast to right center by Sanchez, near where Judge had parked his shot, and it was 4-2 Yankees.  Unlike Sunday night, the Yankees had their insurance run although they wouldn't need it.

Dellin Betances entered the game in the 9th due to Aroldis Chapman's unavailability (he had thrown 26 pitches over nearly two innings of work during Sunday's loss).  Betances, unlike Chapman, got the job done.  He allowed a two-out single to Mets rookie Dominic Smith when Tyler Wade, at short, was unable to make an accurate throw after a bare-handed grab.  Smith moved to second on defensive indifference but was left stranded when Betances struck out Amed Rosario to end the game.  The Yankees win!

The Yankees (62-55) were able to pick up a game they had lost over the weekend to the Boston Red Sox with the victory.  The Red Sox, despite two home runs by Sunday night's hero...Rafael Devers, fell to the Cleveland Indians, 7-3, at Fenway Park.  So, the Yankees are back to 4 1/2 games behind the Sox.  The Baltimore Orioles took sole possession of third place in the AL East with their 11-3 victory over the sliding Seattle Mariners.  They are four games behind the Yankees.  The Tampa Bay Rays, dropping to fourth, lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1.  The Rays trail the Yankees by 4 1/2 games and are just a game away from the AL East cellar.  

I have to admit that it took me a minute to get Mike Axisa's tweet during the game about the great pitching performances of Luis Cessa and Chad Green.  One of the night's best tweets...

Aaron Judge extended his consecutive game streak with a strikeout (excluding pitchers) to 31 games.  He now trails Adam Dunn's record by only one game.  But to Judge's defense, he did hit his 40th career home run.  Gary Sanchez's shot was also his 40th career HR.  

David Robertson (6-2) was the beneficiary of the home run by Aaron Hicks as he took the victory.  The save was the seventh of the season for Dellin Betances.  

Odds & Ends...

To make yesterday's start, RHP Luis Cessa was recalled from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with LHP Caleb Smith, called up this past weekend, going the other way without tossing a pitch.  

I know that Aroldis Chapman's pitch on Sunday to Rafael Devers came in hot (103 mph) and Devers' swing was as perfect as it could be to make the home run the product of the hitter and not the pitcher, but count me among those who feel that Chapman is still not right.  It's going to take a few shutdown performances (Kenley Jansen-style) before I am going to believe that Chapman is the man for the 9th.  I like Chapman a lot and I was excited when the Yankees re-signed him, but at this moment in time, I feel that David Robertson and Dellin Betances represent stronger closing options.  That opinion dissipates when The Missile can show me he is once again the man for the job.  That's on him...not on me.

Credit:  Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Have a great Tuesday!  Last day at Yankee Stadium before the road trip.  Let's rock the house!  Go Yankees!

Remembering Game Two of the 2000 Subway World Series

The 2000 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the New York Mets facing off in the World Series for the first time in their history. This was the first Subway Series since 1956 when the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees faced off. Let's take the time to remember Game 2 of the 2000 World Series.

The New York Yankees would send Roger Clemens to the mound in Game 2 to face off with Mets pitcher Mike Hampton. Roger Clemens was already not a favorite in the Mets clubhouse after this seasons match up in Interleague play where Clemens hit Mets catcher Mike Piazza in the head with a fastball that gave him a concussion and landed him on the disabled list. The bad blood came back when in Mike Piazza's first at bat Roger Clemens sawed off Piazza's bat with a fastball that went foul. A large piece of the bat came flying towards Clemens and he would pick up the bat and throw it down the first base line in the general direction of Mike Piazza. Clemens said after the game that he did not see Piazza running down the base line when he threw the bat but that did not placate Mike Piazza. The Yankees would take a 6-0 lead into the 9th inning when Mike Piazza would get some sort of pay back when he hit a home run against Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson later in the game but the Yankees would ultimately win the game 6-5 to take a 2-0 lead in the Subway World Series. Roger Clemens would take the victory and Mike Hampton would take the loss.

This would be the Yankees 10th consecutive World Series game victory tying the longest American League winning streak in World Series history.

So it Seems the Countdown has Begun!

This weekend is a big weekend for me and for the people that matter in my life, I’m moving! Leading up to the weekend that may mean I am a bit quieter than normal here on the blog and in life but have no fear, I will be back and better than ever as soon as I possibly can. Truth be told, you may not even see a difference. I don’t know for sure either way but I know I didn’t just want to leave you guys hanging and wondering where I went again. Four more days. FOUR.

HEY YOU. Four more days my love. I love you Kari Ann. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/15: Mantle's Funeral

My apologies in advance for the somber beginning to your Monday morning but on this day in 1995 the New York Yankees and many around baseball attended the funeral services for Mickey Mantle. At the request of the Mantle family Bob Costas delivered the eulogy for Mickey. I can't say anymore, just watch below and get goosebumps like I did. Happy Friday everyone and RIP Mickey Mantle.