Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 9/27

Another one. ANOTHER ONE. Another game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays as these two teams continue their three-game set this week. In the middle game of the series the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to make one last start before the postseason, unless of course the Yankees need him at the end of the season with the hopes of winning the American League East Division of course, while the Rays will counter with Matt Andriese. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX channel 11, Fox Sun Sports 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. Need a win, get a win and keep the hot streak and the good times rolling here in the Bronx. Go Yankees!!

Prediction: Yankees win 8-1

My Thoughts on the Presumed Yankees Postseason Pitching Order

As we alluded to earlier here on the blog the New York Yankees tipped their pitching hand a bit as far as the 2017 postseason goes here during this series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees had Jordan Montgomery take the start last night against the Rays with Luis Severino going tonight here in the Bronx. Masahiro Tanaka would pitch Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays while Sonny Gray pitches tomorrow night in the finale with the Rays leaving CC Sabathia to pitch Saturday. Thoroughly confused now? Me too, so let’s dissect it together.

If everything lines up the way it is set to line up the Yankees would still have Luis Severino set to pitch in next Tuesday’s Wild Card Playoff Game against the Minnesota Twins in the Bronx. If the Yankees were to beat Minnesota, and despite recent dominance that is still a big “if” as anything can happen in a one-game playoff, the Yankees potential ALDS pitching matchup would look as so: 

Game 1 ALDS: Sonny Gray vs. TBA
Game 2 ALDS: Masahiro Tanaka vs. TBA
Game 3 ALDS: Luis Severino vs. TBA
Game 4 ALDS: CC Sabathia vs. TBA
Game 5 ALDS: Sonny Gray vs. TBA 

Ladies and gentleman this is why I don’t worry as much about facing any of the Cleveland Indians, the Houston Astros or the Boston Red Sox in a potential ALDS matchup. Look at that pitching matchup and lineup for New York, all five of those games are winnable games with a little help from the offense in my opinion. Game 5 looks especially winnable for New York as the Yankees would have Gray and Tanaka both on full rest for the deciding game. Gray, Tanaka and a well-rested bullpen might mean one run is enough against presumably Corey Kluber for the Indians, Chris Sale for the Red Sox or Dallas Keuchel/Justin Verlander for the Astros.

I still don’t like the one-game playoff scenario for the Wild Card Round and I truly think the league could go to a best-of-three series and still not drag too deep into November. Until or unless that gets changed though the team will not only have to deal with it but make the best of it as well so here’s to either winning the division or spanking the Minnesota Twins at home in the Wild Card Round before moving back to the ALDS. The ALDS, a short series where anything can happen. That’s just up[ the Yankees alley right now if you ask me and they are perfectly positioned pitching wise to make some noise and spoil some fun here around the league. Stay tuned to see how it all unfolds. #Take17

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 9/27

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will continue their three-game set tonight in the Bronx with the middle game of the series. The Yankees tipped their hand a bit with the pitching matchups tonight and in this series as far as the playoffs go, more on that later, allowing Jordan Montgomery to make the start last night saving Luis Severino tonight for the Rays and Matt Andriese. The Yankees have very little to play for here as the AL East Division crown seems out of reach, although I won’t stop believing until someone a lot better at math than I am tells me that I need to, but that does not mean it’s time to take your foot off the gas.

Severino has been just what the doctor has ordered for the Yankees this season and the right-hander has come through time-and-time again as New York’s go-to pitcher. The Yankees even adjusted their starting rotation last time through to get Severino an extra start as the team attempts to chase down the Boston Red Sox in the AL East division, one of those extra starts comes tonight in the Bronx.

Andriese has three losses in his last four starts and will look to avoid a fourth loss tonight in the Bronx against the Yankees. In those four starts Andriese has posted a 8.47 ERA which has helped the Rays fall out of the AL Wild Card race after being in the thick of the race for much of the 2017 campaign.

Image result for yankees vs rays

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11, Fox Sun Sports 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. Until Game 162 the Yankees will need a win, so get a win so we can start the “need a win, get a win” campaign over again in the postseason. Until then, Go Yankees!!!

I Get My Hicks Above The Fenceline, Sunshine...

Credit:  Jim McIsaac-Getty Images
Yankees 6, Rays 1...

Tuesday night, Aaron Hicks found himself back in the starting lineup after his latest stint on the disabled list. Not a moment too soon as A-A-Ron sparked the Yankees to victory with his superior catch in the first inning.

The game didn't start so well for young Mr Jordan Montgomery. Kevin Kiermaier got the game started with a single up the middle to center field. Stephen Souza, Jr singled through the hole at short into shallow left field. Montgomery had Evan Longoria on a full count but lost him with Ball Four. The bases were loaded full of Rays with no outs. Monty finally struck out Logan Morrison to secure the first out. Wilson Ramos was up next and he blasted a shot over the center field wall for a grand, wait...Aaron Hicks with the spectacular over the fence catch for the second out!  Kiermaier tagged and scored on the play. I am not a math major but I'll take a 1-0 deficit over 4-0 any day. Montgomery struck out Adeiny Hechavarria, who has seemed to feast on Yankees pitching this year, to end the inning. Whew! Monty and the Yankees dodged a major bullet.

The Yankees had two runners on base in the bottom of the 1st inning, courtesy of walks by Rays starter Blake Snell, but they were unable to score.  

The top of the 2nd went more smoothly for Montgomery as he set down the Rays in order...three up, three down.  No drama...just the way I like it.

In the bottom of the inning, Starlin Castro led off with a home run into the  left field bleachers to tie the game.  Star-light, Star-bright!

Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The inning continued as consecutive singles by Todd Frazier, Clint Frazier and Ronald Torreyes loaded the bases. Aaron Hicks picked up the go-ahead RBI when he took a walk to bring the Toddfather home. Next up, Aaron Judge walked on four pitches to bring Red Thunder home. The Yankees were up, 3-1. The Rays pulled Snell, who hadn't lost a game since late July, and replaced him with Chaz Roe. Gary Sanchez lined out to first, with Judge staying put, but the Rays caught Hicks off second (he couldn't get back in time) to complete the double play. With Matt Holliday batting, Judge stole second so the Yankees had runners at second and third. Roe uncorked a wild pitch that got by Wilson Ramos all the way to the backstop, and Torreyes ran home with the fourth run of the inning. Judge moved to third but he was left stranded when Holliday flied out to center.

Jordan Montgomery kept the Rays off the board through the 6th inning and turned the game over to the bullpen in the 7th. Tommy Kahnle was up first and he retired the Rays in order, including the last two by strikeout. David Robertson took over in the 8th. He walked the first batter, Stephen Souza, Jr, but the runner did not advance past first base as D-Rob retired the next three Rays.

Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

In the bottom of the 8th, with Rays reliever Austin Pruitt on the mound, Ronald Torreyes drew a one-out walk. While Brett Gardner was at bat, a wild pitch allowed Toe to move to second. Gardy grounded out to second, advancing Toe  to third. Aaron Judge walked to put runners at the corners. After a brief delay that saw Home Plate Umpire Dan Bellino toss a fan for tipping pitches, Gary Sanchez singled on a fly that dropped in front of center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (to my surprise) which brought Toe home to score. Matt Holliday reached on an infield single to short that Adeiny Hechavarria wasn't able to field cleanly (made a running stop on the grounder in shallow left but the ball dropped out of his glove) allowing Sanchez to slide safely into second just ahead of the throw. Judge scored on the play and the Yankees had increased their lead to 6-1. Chase Headley grounded out, back to the pitcher, but the Yankees took the five run lead to the 9th.

Dellin Betances, who I thought should have pitched in Monday's win over the Royals, entered the game in the non-save situation. A ground out and two fly outs on seven pitches, Game over. I was very glad to see a clean (and short) outing by Betances. The Yankees win!

Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees (88-69) picked up another game on the Boston Red Sox with the win. The Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays for the second consecutive day. The Blue Jays won the game, 9-4, behind J.A. Happ. The loser for the Sox was Chris Sale, a loss that might tilt the AL Cy Young Award toward Cleveland's Corey Kluber. The Yankees trail the Sox by three games with five to play. The Yankees secured home-field advantage for the Wild Card game with the win although they have not given up on the AL East championship. The Minnesota Twins won yesterday, 8-6 over the Cleveland Indians, and lead the second Wild Card spot by five games over the Los Angeles Angels.  

It was a great rebound by Jordan Montgomery (9-7). Lately, it has seemed like most of his struggles happen early. The Rays could have changed the complexion of the game with a first inning grand slam but Monty persevered after the incredible catch by Aaron Hicks. In six innings of work, he scattered six hits to hold the Rays to the single first inning run. He walked only one batter (the first inning walk of Evan Longoria), and struck out five.  The dude looks to be a strong piece for the rotation in 2018.

Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Hats off, again, to the Bullpen with three hitless innings of relief.  

Starlin Castro was 3-for-3, including the second inning home run. It's great to see him hitting again and just in time! No home runs for Aaron Judge after two consecutive multi-homer days, but he was in the mix with a run batted in, his 109th, thanks to the bases loaded walk and a run scored.  

Credit:  Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Odds & Ends...

I attended a few games at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN several years ago so, apparently, I am still on the Minnesota Twins mailing list. I received the notice that the Twins' American League Division Series tickets go on sale on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. CT. A bit of wishful thinking of their part. Hopefully, the Yankees can ensure those tickets are never used.

The Rays have made a pitching change for the series finale on Thursday. Alex Cobb had been the scheduled starter. With their season nearing its end, Rays manager Kevin Cash decided that Cobb had reached his season innings limit (179 innings in 2017 after only 22 in 2016). Jacob Faria (5-4, 3.33 ERA) will get the start versus Sonny Gray.

Have a great Wednesday! I'd like a win and maybe a couple of Aaron Judge home runs today, please. Go Yankees!

The Minnesota Twins vs. the New York Yankees: 2017 Edition

The American League Wild Card Round of the 2017 MLB playoffs is all but set as the New York Yankees will play host to the Minnesota Twins in a one-game playoffs. Winner takes all and gets the consolation prize of facing off with the Cleveland Indians, the best team in baseball right now, while the loser goes home to pick up the pieces and begin work on their 2018 rosters. You can’t predict baseball and anything can happen in a one-game playoff scenario but that shouldn’t stop us from taking a look at what each team has done this season against one-another, especially the starting pitchers for each respective side Luis Severino and Ervin Santana. While these stats and this analysis won’t tell the story on what will happen next Tuesday in the Bronx it might at least give us an idea if the past is any indicator of the future.

The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins have faced off six times this season with the Yankees winning four of those six including sweeping all three at Yankee Stadium recently in impressive fashion. Here are all the particulars on those games:

Team Game-by-Game Schedule
Gm# Date Tm Opp W/L R RA Win Loss Save Attendance
91Monday, Jul 17NYY@MINL24RogersSmithKintzler27,566
92Tuesday, Jul 18NYY@MINW63ShreveColonChapman33,114
93Wednesday, Jul 19NYY@MINL16BerriosMontgomery33,380
150Monday, Sep 18NYYMINW21RobertsonSantanaChapman30,425
151Tuesday, Sep 19NYYMINW52SabathiaBerriosChapman30,218
152Wednesday, Sep 20NYYMINW113ShreveColon30,099

The presumed starting pitchers for the contest will be Luis Severino for the Yankees and Ervin Santana for the Twins. Let’s take a quick moment to check in with what each team has done against the other this season as well as how these pitchers have fared against the other team’s respective offense throughout their careers.

Severino vs. Minnesota in 2017

2017 Pitching Gamelog
Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
30Sep 20NYYMINW,11-33.05331303.03

Severino vs. Minnesota Batters Career

Santana vs. New York in 2017

2017 Pitching Gamelog
Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
31Sep 18MINNYYL,1-25.27221313.34

Santana vs. Yankees Batters Career

The New York Yankees have had the Minnesota Twins number more times than not here in 2017 as well as during the Yankees recent string of success but all of that and $15 bucks will buy you a beer at Yankee Stadium next Tuesday in the playoff game. You can’t predict baseball, you just can’t, but hopefully these numbers will bring a little less doubt as to what to expect next Tuesday here in the Bronx. Or maybe they will just mean that I was crazy for even discussing them when we talk again next Wednesday morning after the AL Wild Card Playoff Round. Stay tuned.

Pitcher vs. team stats via Head-to-head matchups and team stats via Baseball Reference. Big shout outs to those guys for making posts like this for the little bloggers possible. Thank you from TGP!!

So it Seems… Five Yankees and 50 Homers

On Monday afternoon we all watched as Aaron Judge launched a home run to right field for his 49th home run tying Mark McGwire for the single-season home run record for a rookie. We all also watched as a couple innings later Judge launched another to left-center field to break the record which was an absolutely awesome sight to see. To put what Judge has done into perspective would likely take pages upon pages of writing and I’m not sure I could still convey what exactly the Yankees right fielder has done, but that doesn’t mean I won’t attempt to anyway.

Instead of writing you page after page with stat after stat and reason after reason I will leave you with one line. Before I drop that one line I want everyone to think about the New York Yankees franchise and organization. I want you to think about all the teams that have donned the Yankees pinstripes, all the players that have been Yankees, all the legends, all the feats, all the history. Then I want you think about Aaron Judge and just how many Yankees have ever hit 50 home runs in a single season. Not as a rookie, ever.

Aaron Judge, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. That’s it.

HEY YOU. I loves you Kari!! Have a great day everyone. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/27: 4 Million Fans

The New York Yankees continued to sell tickets and smash records in the 2000’s and on this day in 2006 the stadium in the Bronx saw its 4,000,000th fan enter the ballpark. This marked the second consecutive season that New York surpassed 4,000,000 fans in one season. The Yankees and the 1991-1993 Toronto Blue Jays are the only teams in major league history with 4,000,000 plus fans in more than one season.

Also on this day in 1998 the Yankees won their seventh straight game to end the 1998 season 114-48. The Yankees .704 winning percentage marked the first time a team finished a season with over a .700 winning percentage since the 1954 Indians who went 111-43.

Finally on this day in 1938 we finish on a somber note as Lou Gehrig would hit his 493rd and final home run of his career. Gehrig’s home run came off Dutch Leonard of the Washington Senators. It is also worth mentioning that one this day 15 years earlier Gehrig hit his first home run of his major league career off the Red Sox Bill Piercy.