Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins 9/12

And just like that it is game time here inside Target Field as the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins finish up their three-game set. In the finale of the series tonight the Yankees will send Luis Severino out to the mound to face off with Jake Odorizzi for the Twins. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Target Field in Minnesota and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app, and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the team all season long. Enjoy the game, head into the off day with a victory, and go Yankees!!

Second Guessing My Hypothetical Wild Card Game Starter

The thing about predictions, hypotheticals, and fandom in general is that everything is subject to change. Remember when Giancarlo Stanton “sucked” and everyone (most “fans” anyway) wanted him traded after just a month? Where were those fans in August? Silent. Also, remember when everyone wanted Austin Romine to start every day over Gary Sanchez? Where were those fans on Monday night when he launched an 800 ft (exaggeration) home run against the Minnesota Twins in a victory? Also, silent. My point is that fans and opinions can change, and I have changed my mind concerning the Yankees potential and hypothetical Wild Card Playoff Game starter. 

In my initial post I listed JA Happ as my Wild Card Game starter followed by Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia in that order, but on second thought I think I changed my mind just a bit. Looking ahead a bit, which I understand can be dangerous, I think if I were making the calls I would have Masahiro Tanaka start the AL Wild Card Game and not Happ. My reasoning? Well, that’s where it gets tricky. 

Masahiro Tanaka has playoff experience, specifically AL Wild Card Game experience, and has proven that he can pitch under the bright lights in the Bronx in October. Tanaka started the AL Wild Card Game for the Yankees in 2015 against the Houston Astros and Dallas Keuchel slinging five innings of work while allowing two runs, both solo home runs, with three strikeouts. Happ has playoff experience with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 in the NLCS, again in 2009 when the Phillies matched the New York Yankees in the World Series, and during the 2016 ALDS and ALCS with the Toronto Blue Jays, pitching to varying degrees of success. While Happ has pitched in the postseason and the World Series with Philadelphia he has done so as a relief pitcher with the exception of one start (that lasted just three innings) in the 2009 NLDS against the Colorado Rockies. Happ’s two starts for the Blue Jays both lasted five innings each and resulted in a combined 1.50 WHIP and over 11 hits per nine innings. In the immortal words of former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, that’s not what you want. 

The past is the past though and we cannot focus solely on the past when making this decision. Let’s look at the present. Who would you want starting two games and a decisive Game Five for the Yankees, assuming they make it that far? You have to think, especially against the Boston Red Sox,
that that’s Happ. I mean, sure, we would love to see Tanaka make two starts as well, but the team has to get their first and right now Severino just isn’t an arm that can be relied on in a one-game playoff scenario. Having Tanaka start the Wild Card Game, Happ starting Game One of the presumed ALDS, followed by Severino, Sabathia and Tanaka gives the Yankees at least a fighting chance. If the series goes five games I don’t think I’d want anyone else on the mound AS WE STAND TODAY in that decisive Game Five than JA Happ.

Happ has been the most consistent Yankees starter and has great numbers career against the Red Sox. It just makes logistical sense to me, even if it is looking ahead and subject to second guessing a bit. Having Tanaka start the AL Wild Card Game is not exactly throwing in the towel by any means, but if the Yankees can win that game with Masahiro on the mound the team would be ideally set up to take down the big, bad “best team to walk the planet” Boston Red Sox, in my opinion.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins 9/12

The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins will finish off their three-game set and their season set tonight inside Target Field with the finale of the series. In the finale the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound on an extra day of rest to face off with Jake Odorizzi for the Twins. Must win for the Yankees with the A’s nipping at their feet, so let’s get to it here inside Target Field.

Severino heads into the start tonight fresh off his shortest outing of the season last time out against the Oakland Athletics. In the start Severino lasted just 2.2 innings while allowing six runs in the Yankees 8-2 loss out in Oakland. Since July 7th Severino has posted a 4-5 record with a 6.83 ERA in 11 starts and the Yankees hope an extra day of rest can help the right-hander turn things around.

Odorizzi also struggled in his last start against the Houston Astros where the right-hander gave up five runs in 4.2 innings pitched in a loss. Odorizzi was strong early, but it all came apart in the fifth innings, which has been an issue for him all season long.

The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Target Field in Minnesota and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app, and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Enjoy the game, gain some breathing room in the Wild Card chase, and go Yankees!!

Hello… Chapter 1 of Book 2

Good morning Yankees family and welcome back to the blog. As many of you know earlier this year I wrote a book, well I wrote another. Here is Chapter 1. Enjoy. And baby, I hope you especially enjoy because these books are for you. They are our love story!! I love you.

From Defiance to Undefeated, available for purchase on Amazon.  


Standing in a room called the Hygge House are the last known remaining members of the Valkyries regime, the faction of men and women that once ran and owned the Land of Bartow. Dan, the former Valkyries council member and Territories expert that was in charge of not only keeping the Valkyries safe, but was also in charge of keeping tabs on the numerous splinter cells of resistance that popped up across the region, namely the group called Defiance. Andy, the former leader of the Valkyries after one of their own, a Defiance spy and operative working undercover, assassinated the former leader, Poke. Andy’s first decision as leader of the Valkyries ended up being his last after his orders to send the entire Valkyries military out to attack in response to the assassination kicked off the plan for Defiance to take over not only their compound, but all of Bartow. Jax, another leader of the Valkyries council and the man in charge of recruitment for the entire Valkyries regime. Jax had brought in many heavy hitters during his time with the Valkyries and his charm and skills as a recruiter were unmatched until Defiance came along. Jax could see things in people that many others couldn’t or wouldn’t. Jax saw potential in people that no one else did, and for that he was special.

Zero, the leader of the Valkyries military and war machine. Zero could have been the leader of the Valkyries, or in their council in the very least, but he always decided to simply stay where he was atop the Valkyries war list. If the towers needed taken, the opposing generals needed to be blown up, or if the final blow of the war needed to be handed down Zero was the man to do it. Zero led the Valkyries military with pride, precision and a heavy hand that you didn’t want to get in the way of when he was on a mission. Adam, a member of the Valkyries military that worked under Zero. Adam preferred to stay quiet and out of the limelight with his head down doing his job. Adam didn’t speak much but when he did his commanding presence and authoritative voice to match demanded the attention of the room. Phil, a member of the Valkyries military that also worked under Zero and with Adam. Phil was small in stature and his voice did not command the attention of a room, but there must have been a reason he was in the Valkyries military. Whether it be his brains, his brawn, or the fact that he had a wild streak that didn’t mix well with adrenaline remained to be seen, but there was certainly a reason he was picked by Zero to work under him.

These were the six remaining Valkyries, at least to the best of their knowledge, and they were all huddled up in a place north of their former compound in a house known as the Hygge House. After their battle with Defiance had come to an end with devastating losses and casualties for the Valkyries their remaining members and soldiers were left to pick up the pieces. Now the crew was left with the decision of what to do next. Do they run and hide? Do they try to rebuild and bring the fight back to Defiance? Or do they sell their souls in exchange for security, peace, food and a home to join Defiance?

No one knew right now, but they were all about to figure it out rather quickly.

Chapter 1 Six Remain

“So, what are we going to do now?”

In the Hygge House stood the six remaining Valkyries left after their brutal war with Defiance. The Valkyries took heavy losses and had lost control not only of their compound, but of Bartow as well. Like the Valkyries had done to Scopely all those years ago Defiance showed off their might and seized control over the region. The Valkyries as everyone knew them were gone, they had fallen, but if anything, the war with the Defiance gave the remaining Valkyries members something they never would have had before, a clean slate. As far as anyone knew all the remaining members of the Valkyries were dead, and with the amount of revolutionary leaders that Dan had seen die before his eyes there were fewer and fewer people that could even identify these six men even if they wanted to. They could run, but where would they run to? They could hide, but no one really knew who they would be hiding from. The group could try to blend in, but Nacho, the leader of Defiance, had seen Dan’s face as well as many others including the Phoenix Rises members that joined Defiance along with Dan’s girlfriend, Kari Ann. Tee, Gee and Darth could all identify Dan. So, what would they do? The group of six sat in the empty room surrounded by nothing but glass panes and brainstormed.

“I think we have to run, bro!” Jax exclaimed to the group.

“Where the hell are we running to, Jax?” Andy questioned.

“Hell, I don’t know, but we can’t stay here” Jax replied, sounding almost annoyed.

“Why can’t we stay here?” Zero was speaking up now. “Nobody knows where this place is but Daizie, who is dead, and the Valkyries, which are all in this room as far as we know.”

“As far as we know!” Adam was speaking up now. “We don’t know who the hell is alive out there. None of us thought that Dan was alive. None of us saw Phil lying there besides the Ultra-Rare Gear shop. There could be Valkyries still out there!”

“Yeah, and we don’t who was working with Defiance from within. This wasn’t just a coincidence that they knew just when to hit, and where. Someone was spying for them from within the Valkyries, I just know it.” Andy didn’t know about Jessica apparently, not yet anyway.

“Jessica…” was all that Dan was able to mutter amidst all the talking that was going on. Dan knew he was going to have to tell the story that Jessica told him, and he knew that he was about to break at least five more people’s hearts by doing so.

“Yeah, did anyone see Jessica when all this shit started?” Jax asked the question that Dan was waiting for someone to ask. The question that would jump start his story.

“I saw Jessica, yeah. I saw Jessica in her house right before I jumped the wall, and she was meeting with the leader of Defiance. His name is Nacho.” Dan began to tell his story as the jaws of the Valkyries members collected in the room seemingly dropped all at once. Dan revealed every detail to the men that stood in that room beside him. Dan told them how she was abducted by a man named Fox and he told them how they held medical treatments over her head in exchange for her cooperation. Dan explained to the Valkyries how Jessica infiltrated the Valkyries council, and Poke specifically, with the intent of bringing down the Valkyries after spending time with the rebel group named Kill All and Dan explained how she was the one that ordered Dan to be abducted, much like she was however many years before. Dan explained to them that it was Jessica, or “Light” which was apparently her code name with Defiance, that came over the wall and set off the alarms, seemingly on purpose, the night that Dan was abducted, and it was Jessica that sent Fox to his home with orders to burn it down and to kill Dan if he resisted.

The room was silent, and all eyes were on Dan. He had their full attentions as he continued to recant his story of what happened just a few hours prior within the home that Jessica and Dan shared. Dan explained how it was Jessica who pulled the trigger, killing Poke the fallen leader of the Valkyries and he explained how it was her who tipped off Defiance that the military was on its way in full force outside the walls of the compound and headed towards Phoenix Rises. Dan told them everything, even down to the smallest of details. Dan especially told them about when her story was just about over how Nacho busted into the room and put a bullet through her head as if she was no longer useful to Defiance or to their leader any longer, discarding her like yesterday’s trash.

“… and before I knew it Nacho was gone from the room, and from the house, and I was left there watching who I thought was my friend bleed out. I knew I couldn’t stay there and I knew I had to get out, so I took off running from the house and I jumped the wall closest to the armory. I didn’t know where else to go, so I came here hoping that a few of us made it and would follow.” Dan was done telling his story, but he knew he left out many key pieces of information. Dan never mentioned Kari, not even once, or the fact that he had been outside the walls and inside the Phoenix base strapped to a table as a prisoner as the assault began from the Valkyries military. Dan also left out that he had a choice whether to join Revolution or not after he was abducted. Sure, declining meant death but how could Dan justify his decision in that way when Ellie, his partner within the Valkyries territories room, was given the same choice and declined. Ellie sacrificed her life to die as a Valkyrie rather than live as a traitor to the regime, a decision that Dan would have to live with for the remainder of his days here in Bartow.

“There was one thing I remember from Jessica’s story that may be able to help us though, if we do it right. Maybe it can give us a starting point anyway.” Dan had the attention of the room as a glimmer of hope came across many of the eyes of the remaining Valkyries members. “When Jessica was talking to Nacho in the kitchen I overheard her talking about a man named ABB, and a place called ‘The Peach.’ Does anyone know a place like that? Or a man named ABB?” Silence overtook the room as the remaining members of the Valkyries all racked their brains trying to think if they ever heard of ABB or The Peach until finally Phil spoke up.

“I know what The Peach is… it is a bar maybe 30 miles or so from here. I know exactly where it is. You think if we went there we would be able to find other Valks?” Phil now had the attention of the room, but he really had the attention of Dan. Members of the Valkyries never referred to themselves as “Valks.” In fact, most members of the Valkyries hated being called Valks, it was almost like a condescending term to them. Poke would never allow a member of his Valkyries to call one another Valks, so it was weird when Dan heard that word come out of Phil’s mouth. Dan never mentioned this in front of the group, he knew he could just paranoid at this point after everything that has gone down and he knew that he may be looking to deeply into it. For all Dan knew, Phil could be a new Valkyrie and he just didn’t have that rule cemented into his head yet like the rest of the Valkyries did. Jax was in charge of recruiting, not Dan, and he didn’t bat an eye when Phil said it. Dan quickly put the idea out of his head and chalked it up to just being paranoid, although that didn’t mean he was going to forget it completely.

“Well, going to The Peach is a better lead than anything else we have to go on. Let’s go!” Andy was still leading the Valkyries, even from the dirt and no longer from the throne, and his Valkyries followed. No one questioned Andy, everyone simply gathered their things and they began shuffling out the door of the Hygge House and back into the unknown. No one knew what they would find when they got to The Peach, but each one of them knew that the five men they stood with was all that they had at that moment, with the exception of Dan who had Kari still in his life. As Dan packed his bags and began walking towards the door thoughts of his beautiful blue-eyed vixen came to his mind. He wished he had time to call her back on his laptop. Even more so he wished that she didn’t have to be such a secret, a feeling that I am sure she reciprocated for Dan. She was patient though and never said a word, but Dan knew that she would grow tired of this secretive world eventually. “Cross that bridge when you get there Dan, if we even get there” he thought to himself as he walked out the door and began his march towards The Peach. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/12: Bernie Williams Has a Week of a Game

Not much has happened on this day in New York Yankees history surprisingly but Bernie Williams did have a week of it on this day in 1996. Bernie had two home runs and a single as he went on to knock in eight RBI helping the Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers by the score of 12-3.

Other notable happenings on this day in Major League Baseball history was on this day in 1979 the Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski collected his 3,000th hit of his career in a victory over the Yankees in Fenway Park. Also Sammy Sosa became the fourth player in major league history to hit 60 home runs in a single season on this day in 1998 as he joined Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, and Mark McGwire as McGwire and Sosa attacked Maris' single season home run record.