Tuesday, October 2, 2018

My Thoughts Heading Into the 2018 Postseason

Yes, the American League and National League Wild Card Games are postseason games. Major League Baseball says so and so does Baseball Reference. It doesn’t matter if you say so or think so, so keep that in mind before leaving the smart-ass comments in the comments section, on Twitter, and in my email. Thanks in advance.

The New York Yankees postseason push begins tomorrow night in the Bronx when the team plays host to the Oakland Athletics in a one-game playoff. The loser goes home and the winner travels to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox, the owners of the best record in the American League here in 2018. What are my thoughts heading into the postseason? I am confident. In fact, I am as confident as one can be who roots for a team that is about to have to play in a one-game do-or-die playoff game. Why?

The Yankees are built for a one-game playoff better than most, if not all, teams across Major League Baseball. The Yankees starters don’t have to give the team much length with such a deep, talented and now rested bullpen behind them. That’s why I never stressed much on whether it would be JA Happ, Masahiro Tanaka or Luis Severino starting in the game, because it didn’t matter. At the first sign of trouble the Yankees would/could bring in a battery of David Robertson, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman to potentially close out any game they need to. In a perfect world that is five or more shutout innings if every arm listed goes one inning. Green can go multiple innings, as can Robertson and Betances, while Britton and Chapman have as well in the past. That’s a whole lot of zeroes for the opposing team in my opinion.

The Yankees offense, albeit home run reliant sometimes, is explosive and it has been firing on all cylinders since the returns of Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius. With the aforementioned bullpen and pitching situation across a one-game playoff the Yankees may only need one run to win, or they may go out there and score 15 runs for all we know. No lead for Oakland will be safe, especially in the Bronx, and it will be the Athletics, not the Yankees, who feel like they are further behind than they truly are with every run that the Bronx Bombers score.

The Yankees have been here before, much of the core from last season is here with a few new veterans thrown into the mix, while the Athletics have not been. The A’s are a great team, but there is a different intensity playing in August and September than there is in October, and Oakland has yet to experience that as a whole. One mistake can win or lose your season for you.

Assuming the Yankees get past the Athletics in the Wild Card round of the playoffs the team would travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox. Boston won the season series 10-9 here in 2018, but the Yankees recently took 2-of-3 from the Red Sox in Fenway Park over the final weekend of the season. Sure, the Red Sox had nothing left to play for except to maybe keep the Yankees from hosting a Wild Card game or from winning 100 games on the season, but New York held their own for much of the season regardless, both at home and in Boston. Truth be told I think the Yankees could beat the Red Sox in a seven-game series, but the five-game series benefits New York much more than it would the Red Sox. Having a reliable arm like JA Happ or Masahiro Tanaka potentially pitching twice in the series with Luis Severino and CC Sabathia pitching once each in the potential series I can’t say that I don’t feel confident about being able to win every single night in the series. Especially with that offense and especially with that bullpen. Speaking of bullpen’s, Boston’s bullpen sucks, so that can only help.

If the Yankees go further than the ALDS I will have much more to say, so I won’t get too far ahead of myself now just in case. I feel confident in this team as I have all season long, and I will remain confident in this team no matter where the playoffs and the schedule may take them. I love this team, and I don’t think any team in the American League wants to face the New York Yankees right now… and that is a great feeling as a fan.

Severino Starts the AL Wild Card Game for the Yankees

Aaron Boone has made the decision on who will start the American League Wild Card Game for the New York Yankees and it will be Luis Severino. Severino finished his 2018 season with a 19-8 record and a 3.39 ERA with 220 strikeouts and will get the nod despite being knocked out in the first inning of the Wild Card Game last year inside Yankee Stadium against the Minnesota Twins. Severino will look to rebound from a terrible second half and from a terrible AL Wild Card Game start in 2017 tomorrow night in the Bronx.

JA Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and Lance Lynn will join a nine-man Yankees bullpen for tomorrow night's game.

Yankees Statistical Leaders Through 162 Games

The Yankees Offense

At Bats:

Giancarlo Stanton – 617


Giancarlo Stanton – 158


Miguel Andujar – 170


Miguel Andujar - 47

Home Runs:

Giancarlo Stanton - 38


Giancarlo Stanton - 100

Batting Average:

Miguel Andujar - .297
Aaron Judge - .278

The Yankees Pitching


Luis Severino – 19


Sonny Gray – 9 


Starters:  JA Happ – 2.69 ERA
Bullpen:  Aroldis Chapman – 2.45 ERA


Starters: Luis Severino – 220 K’s
Bullpen: Dellin Betances – 115 K’s


Aroldis Chapman – 32


Luis Severino – 1
Masahiro Tanaka - 1

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

My Thoughts on the 2018 Yankees So Far…

The New York Yankees have finished their 2018 campaign with an impressive 100-62 record. While many Yankees fans scoffed at anything positive pertaining to the team this year, which sounds crazy when you look at their final win/loss record, I have to say that I have been extremely impressed with the club this year, and here is why.

The Yankees had a rookie manager with a rookie bench coach this season in Aaron Boone and Josh Bard. Now while I do tend to agree that Boone and Bard had very little to do with the day-to-day outcome of the games, I cannot argue that the pair influenced more games than they probably should have. And no, I don’t believe it was always Boone who was making the pitching change choices, not with veterans like Larry Rothschild and Mike Harkey on the club’s payroll. Talent wins over all things in most cases, and they did for the most part here in 2018 as well. 

Anyone who expected Giancarlo Stanton to replicate his MVP season from 2017 lives in a delusional world that probably revolves around MLB The Show. Any free agent that comes from a smaller market team to the Bronx always struggles to find their own in New York the first season. Alex Rodriguez did, Jason Giambi did, and so many others. The fact that Giancarlo did what he did in New York this season makes me all the more excited for the 2019 version of the team. 

Injuries decimated this team. Sure, injuries can decimate any team and it is on the GM to have the reinforcements to survive, but the Yankees had many impactful injuries this season. Losing a consistent starter like Jordan Montgomery early on in the season forced months of Jonathan Loaisiga, Domingo German and others to take the mound while the losses of key contributors on and off the field like Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and others certainly didn’t help in the standings. The fact that the Yankees won 100 games and the first Wild Card slot despite them all is impressive to me, and it should be to you as well. 

Before the season started many fans and writers were clamoring for a big pickup because the “Yankees couldn’t win with two rookies in the infield.” Not only did the team win with Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres in the infield, they excelled with both in the lineup. Both have been major contributors and have been at the core of the Yankees success here in 2018… just as they were supposed to. 

We all must remember that the team was still supposed to be rebuilding here in 2018, not competing for a World Series. The team is way ahead of schedule and that is due to the fact that Brian Cashman built from within, made major trades to bring in prospects and key pieces along the way without sacrificing the farm, and the team has gelled together over the past two seasons. The “win or it’s a disappointment” year is 2019, so anything we get here in 2018 we should be grateful for. I know I am grateful for this team, what about you?

Hello… 162 Games For Nothing

Good morning Yankees family and welcome back to the blog. Yes, the title of the post is accurate. The New York Yankees just played in 162 games for nothing. Well, not for nothing. The fact that the team is hosting the AL Wild Card Game and not traveling to Oakland for tomorrow night’s game means something, and the fact that they could have avoided this one-game playoff game scenario altogether is also something worth mentioning, but those things cannot be changed now. The outcome of the last 162 games cannot be altered. Aaron Boone’s questionable pitching change decisions and his favorable use of AJ Cole is now all water under the bridge. All the griping, complaining, and frustrations now mean nothing. The last 162 games mean nothing as the postseason is now a new season.

Every slate is clean. Everyone goes back to 0-0. Everyone still standing has a shot at glory. Win tonight and this game means nothing. Win three more and the ALDS means nothing. Just keep winning until there are no more games left to win. Then the only thing that will matter is the Canyon of Heroes parade.

Oh, and baby. I love you! We get to watch playoff baseball together again tomorrow!! That was so exciting last year and will be equally as exciting this year. I just know it. I loves you!!

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/2: Don Mattingly The Hit Man

Don Mattingly was the one bright spot for the New York Yankees in the 1980's and early 1990's and on this day in 1986 set a new team record for hits in a season with 232. Mattingly passed Earl Combs team record which was set in 1927 and would finish the season with a league leading 238 hits.

The reigning and defending World Series champion New York Yankees played the Boston Red Sox in a one game playoff on this day in 1978 in Fenway Park. We all know what happened, Bucky F'in Dent happened.

The Yankees are known for winning World Series championships but many fans forget that New York had plenty of years where things didn’t exactly go as planned. On this day in 1966 the Yankees would beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 but would still finish a half game behind the Boston Red Sox for last place in the American League. New York finished with a 70-89 record and fell 26.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. This was the first Yankees club to finish in last place in the American League since 1912.

Speaking of winning World Series on this day in 1936 the Yankees would beat the Giants in Game 2 of the World Series by the score of 18-4. That was then and still is now the largest lopsided victory in the history of the Fall Classic.

Finally on this day in 1932 and on this day in Yankees World Series history the team won their 12th consecutive World Series game as they swept the Chicago Cubs. This would mark the third consecutive World Series sweep the Bombers would achieve.