Friday, August 18, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/18

Friday night baseball inside historic Fenway Park between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, let’s get this thing started. In the opener of this big three-game weekend set the Yankees will send lefty Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off with fellow lefty Drew Pomeranz for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, NESN and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast. Enjoy the game!!

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Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/18

Well now that I got Jerry Remy, NESN and Red Sox nation all fired up let’s get to this game preview for the weekend. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will spend their second consecutive weekend facing off head-to-head with this particular series coming inside historic Fenway Park. The Yankees lost two-of-three last weekend in the Bronx and will look to turn their fortunes around in this series as they inch closer to the top of the American League East Division. The Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off with Drew Pomeranz for the Red Sox in the opener which should be an entertaining one to watch as a fan.

Montgomery will make his second consecutive start against the Boston Red Sox after dueling Chris Sale inning for inning on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball last time out. Montgomery matches sale over 5.1 innings allowing just one run on two hits in a no-decision and eventual Yankees loss.

Pomeranz faced and beat the Yankees in his last start despite giving up seven hits and three runs in 6.2 innings of work. That start marked the 10th time in his last 11 starts that Pomeranz has given up three runs or fewer in a start.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, NESN and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN. At least they aren’t openly racist and yes, Red Sox fans, if he had to apologize then yes it was racist. Deal with it and Go Yankees!!

The Mitchell Report: An A+ for Dellin!...

Credit:  Rich Schultz-Associated Press
Yankees 7, Mets 5...

Bryan Mitchell tried to give the game away, loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th and then allowing a grand salami by former Yank Curtis Granderson, but Dellin Betances came in ("it's not really what you want to do" --Joe Girardi) to restore order and give the Yankees the series sweep over the New York Mets.

This should have been an easy win with the dominance of Luis Severino and the power of Gary Sanchez but it was a nail-bitter at the end.  If the Mets had gotten a runner on base against Betances, they would have brought the potential game-tying run to the plate.  But Dellin is no Aroldis Chapman (of late) and he shut the door. 

This game should have been all about the Kraken.  Gary Sanchez is rapidly becoming Mr August although I'd be okay with Mr August through October.  He owned August last year and he owns it again this season.  Brett Gardner led off with a bouncer back to Mets pitcher Steven Matz and reached second when Matz's throw sailed over first baseman Dominic Smith's head.  Aaron Hicks walked.  After Aaron Judge struck out (record extended), El Gary came to the plate and sent a Matz pitch into the left center stands as a souvenir.  The Yankees led 3-0 to give Luis Severino some backing before he had even thrown a pitch.

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-Associated Press
The Yankees got to Matz again in the fourth inning.  Tyler Austin singled to right, his second hit of the game.  Ronald Torreyes followed with a single to left, a roller through the hole at short.  The best hit of the night, sorry Gary, came when Luis Severino popped a bunt that fell in for a single to load the bases.  The Yankees bench went nuts over Sevy's first Major League hit.  Brett Gardner, showing the professional hitter that he is, lined a double into the left field corner.  Both Austin and Torreyes scored.  Sevy stopped at third, huffing and puffing (not seriously).  After Aaron Hicks grounded out, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded again.  The Mets pulled Steven Matz and replaced him with reliever Chasen Bradford.  Gary Sanchez greeted Bradford with a single to left (through the hole between third and short), which scored Severino and Gardner.  Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud was unable to hold Yoenis Cespedes' throw, otherwise, he might have had a play on Gardner at the plate.  The Yankees had scored 4 runs and now led 7-0.  

Credit:  Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Luis Severino was dominant after his collapse against Boston last weekend.  He pitched into the seventh inning.  He got the first out...a ground out by Amed Rosario, but from there, the inning deteriorated.  A fly ball to right by Travis d'Arnaud was dropped by Aaron Judge and d'Arnaud was able to reach second on the two-base error.  With Matt Reynolds batting, a wild pitch by Severino allowed d'Arnaud to move to third. It was another case where Gary Sanchez didn't have his glove low enough to stop the pitch. Matt Reynolds looped a single to center to score d'Arnaud and the Mets had their first run of the game.  Brandon Nimmo also singled to center, and Sevy's day was done. He could only watch from the dugout as both runners were his responsibility.  The Yankees brought in lefty Chasen Shreve, causing Tweeter to blow up with the "Chasen History" references due to the appearance of two Chasens (Shreve and the Mets' Bradford) in the game.  Shreve struck out Curtis Granderson for the second out, but walked Asdrubal Cabrera to load the bases.  In perhaps what would prove to be one of the game's biggest moments, Shreve struck out Michael Conforto to end the threat.  

Shreve easily set down the Mets in the 8th, but Bryan Mitchell was brought in for the 9th to close it out.  Sadly, he was ill equipped for the job on this night.  Travis d'Arnaud led off with a double to the wall in left.  Matt Reynolds singled to right while d'Arnaud was held at third. Following a coaching visit by pitching coach Larry Rothschild (it didn't work), Mitchell walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases with no outs.  Curtis Granderson came up and jumped all over the first pitch from Mitchell for a grand slam to right.  Manager Joe Girardi was visibly unhappy (along with Yankees fans), and finally pulled Mitchell.  Enter Dellin Betances.  1-2-3, game over.  Yankees win!

The Boston Red Sox had the day off so the Yankees (65-55) picked up a 1/2 game and now trail the Sox by 4 games as they head to Boston for the weekend.  The Tampa Bay Rays continue to slide, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3.  The loss, combined with the Blue Jays win, created a three-way tie for the AL East Cellar (the Baltimore Orioles were idle). All three teams trail the Yankees by 6 1/2 games. 

Excellent pitching performance by Luis Severino (10-5).  After giving up 10 runs (8 earned) in his last start, Sevy bounced back to allow only four hits and one run (none earned) over 6 1/3 innings.  If not for Judge's error, he probably could have gone deeper into the game.  He walked three batters, but struck out nine in lowering his season ERA to 3.18.  

Credit:  Mike Stobe-Getty Images
Also, you can't say enough about the huge bullpen performances by Chasen Shreve and Dellin Betances, who picked up his eighth save.  Both pitchers had the outcome of the game in their hands and they triumphed.

As for Mitchell, I know that he is capable of providing long relief but I'd probably send him down to Triple A and recall hot reliever Ben Heller with Caleb Smith, also capable of going long, in the pen.   

Gary Sanchez...The Kraken...El Gary...The Sanchino.  Two hits, including the homer and five RBI's.  Jump on his back and hold on...the man is on fire.  

Credit:  Mike Stobe-Getty Images 
The streak continues.  Aaron Judge extended his own Major League record for strikeouts (by a non-pitcher) to 34 games.  I'd like to see a nice clean 4-for-4 day to put this one in the history books.  For this game, Judge went hitless in four at-bats and was punched out three times.  

The Yankees had a sense of humor with their Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) reference after the game:

We could probably use Dany's dragons as the Yankees head north to Massachusetts.

Credit:  HBO

Next Up:  Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston, MA...

The Red Sox come into the latest series well rested as they had the day off on Thursday following their walk-off win over the St Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.  The Yankees meanwhile had to toil in Queens last night before hopping a plane for the short flight to Beantown.

Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups:

Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 3.94 ERA)
Red Sox:  Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.39 ERA)

Yankees: CC Sabathia (9-5, 4.05 ERA)
Red Sox:  Chris Sale (14-4, 2.51 ERA)

Yankees:  Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.37 ERA)
Red Sox:  Doug Fister (2-6, 5.56 ERA) / TBA

It's unfortunate we won't have Luis Severino for this series, but at least we have Sonny Gray.  Gray will be making his first start in the Yankees-Red Sox wars.  He'll really find out that he no longer resides in Oakland (if watching last weekend's series wasn't enough).  I am not sure if Boston has fully decided its starter for Sunday.  Fister is a strong possibility but not a certainty.

Odds & Ends...

The Yankees have recalled 1B/OF Tyler Austin from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  He takes the place of 1B Garrett Cooper.  Cooper has been placed on the 10-day DL with left hamstring tendonitis.  

Greg Bird was in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup last night at DH.  He was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the RailRiders' 5-4 win over the Gwinnett Braves (a team that will soon be called something like the Buttons or the Sweet Teas). 

Have a great Friday!  May the Baseball Gods favor the Yankees this weekend.  Go Yankees!

RANT: Hey NESN … So What if Aaron Judge Strikes Out A Lot?

So the New York Yankees and New York Mets executives and front office personnel keep firing pot shots back and forth at each other which reminds me of the good ole days of the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry. With the Yankees making the trip to Boston this weekend for their second consecutive weekend series head-to-head I wanted to take this opportunity on this beautiful Friday morning to take a cheap shot of my own, not at the Boston Red Sox themselves but at NESN released an article, and if you don’t know who NESN is they are basically the Red Sox equivalent of the YES Network here in the Bronx, stating that Aaron Judge set an “embarrassing” Major League record on Wednesday night against the New York Mets when he struck out in a 33rd straight game. My question is, so what? And while we are on the subject, don’t worry I have plenty of embarrassments to talk about this morning.

First of all it seems like the crew over at NESN never watched or paid much attention to the whole sabermetrics and Moneyball craze. Does NESN and their writer Joshua Schrock not understand that striking out counts just the same in the sabermetrics world as a 400 foot fly out or a ball hit on the screws right at a positional player? Sure, if you want to get more in-depth with it you can bring up sacrifice flies, moving runners over etc.  but in the grand scheme of things one thing is certain in Major League Baseball… A great player is going to make an out seven times out of ten and even the best player will make an out six times out of every ten at-bats. Baseball is failure. What in the hell does it matter if he’s striking out, grounding out, flying out, popping out or whatever? The team is going to make 27 outs on any given night regardless.

Those of us who pay attention to baseball and specifically to Yankees prospects know that Aaron Judge always battled the strikeout and always will. Some reporters, who needs views and clicks I’d assume, are talking about Judge’s strikeout problems like this is new news, or news at all. Judge was never the .300 - .400 hitter he portrayed himself to be in a small sample size in the first half and he never will be. That’s not his game. His game is giving it all in the field and hitting mammoth home runs. Judge can’t and won’t be something that he’s not and he shouldn’t be embarrassed for being the player that the Yankees drafted, developed and called up to lead the youth movement and the potential charge into the 2017 postseason.

Does NESN want to know what is embarrassing though? What is embarrassing is having Jerry Remy rip a Japanese-born player, Masahiro Tanaka, for needing a translator. What is embarrassing is having a blatant racist on your payroll that will be celebrated in a pregame ceremony this season if he hasn’t been already. I don’t know because (insert four letter word) the Red Sox. Especially when it was okay, or nothing was said by Remy anyway, when Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima (to name a few) had translators of their own. Be consistent or stfu. 

So it Seems… TODAY!!!

Good morning everyone and Happy Friday. TGIF, we made it through another week. This is a very special week for me and a very special day, indeed, as today is my big move. I am moving today. Today is the beginning of everything. Chapter one of my life has been written, the introduction, and Chapter Two starts tonight. I couldn’t be more excited. I couldn’t be happier. It’s our time baby. It’s finally our time. I love you and HEY YOU! It is today!

Have a great day Yankees family and a great weekend. The Yankees are in Boston this weekend in another big series for both clubs. Here’s to hoping the Yankees do some major damage tonight in Boston and begin their ascension towards the top of the American League East Division.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/18: Longest Nine Inning Game In MLB History

In the early to mid 2000's the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played some of the most bitter, the most entertaining, and some of the longest games in the history of the game of baseball. The Yankees and the Red Sox played the longest nine inning game in Major League history on this day in 2006 when the Yankees would beat the Red Sox 14-11. The Yankees completed a day and night double header sweep in Fenway Park and the second game took a cool four hours and 45 minutes to play. A team scored in nine of the 18 half innings and combined for 34 hits.

Also on this day in 1989 Bucky Dent replaced Dallas Green as the Yankees manager. This would mark the 17th time the Yankees had changed managers during George Steinbrenner's 17 year tenure as the Yankees owner. The Yankees were in 5th place at the time with a 56-65 record.

Finally on this day in 1940 Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig and roommate Bill Dickey filed a suit against the New York Daily News. Jimmy Powers, the sports editor for the Sunday New York Daily News, suggested the Yankees poor play this season was to blame for a mass polio epidemic that the team contracted from Gehrig. In the end the newspaper retracted its statement and apologized to the Iron Horse.