Thursday, May 24, 2018

Offensive Game - Wednesday night

When you score 10 runs in the first 5 innings of a game you should win! 

However, when your pitcher walks two batters with a lead and the surrenders hit 2nd HR on a terrible 2 strike pitch you allow the other team back into a game.  In fact, we blew a 4 run lead to be down 5-4.  This team came back from that and posted a 6 spot in the 5th inning to go up 10-5.  CC still struggled and was correctly taken out for Holder who allowed a single but got the next 2 batters to get out of the inning at 10-7 going into the 6th.

For some reason, Boone took out Holder (who has been pitching very well) and brought in Shreve.  Chasen allowed a single, a strikeout and a single and was about to face the lefty Shoo.  Shoo is MUCH better against righties (.811 OPS against righties and .562 lefties).  But Boone decided to pull Shreve for the righty the 6th inning???  Shreve looked OK, but surely I would have left him in against the lefty in the 6th inning...but nope.  While I have faith in Robertson, and I would not have expected what happened, I thought a bad decision to take Holder out was exacerbated by taking Shreve out.  Robertson was awful!  He walked Shoo to load the bases and then walked the next batter before getting a strikeout for the 2nd out.  Then Robertson allowed a double to clear the bases...that was all they needed, even though they added a run against Betances, who looked good but did throw a ball away on a pickoff and then allowed him to steal 3rd and score on a single.

My only other complaint was how bad the umps called the check swings.  Shoo should have struck out against Robertson as he sort of checked his swing on the 3-2 pitch.  This was a HUGE play in the game.  Later another Texas player swung (I thought) and then I was pissed when they said Sanchez swung when it wasn't even close to a swing.  UGH... 

Robertson has 4 blown saves already and has not been good.  I am not sure why he doesn't throw his cutter up and in to the lefties...or even in as he used to?

Holder threw 14 pitches and Shreve 8...Bad job by Boone.

Texas' bullpen pitched the final 4 innings allowing only 1 and no walks as we must have gotten tired from running around the bases.

On the positive side, Didi homered and Gardner hit 2 doubles. 

On the negative side, Didi may be showing signs but he still has not been lining up the ball well...and Gardner got caught going to 3rd on a grounder in front of him after one of his doubles.  CC was simply bad.  None of his pitches were good and one could argue he should have come out after 4, but being up 10-5 I would have left him in as well.  he got the first out and then a soft single to CF was followed by a pop up that just landed fair down the RF line and then took an odd bounce for a triple.  It was questionable to leave him in here, but I wasn't upset leaving him in because a lefty was up and CC has been good against them.  The next grounder could have been fielded by CC but he deflected it and Didi couldn't barehand it and that was his night.

Boston lost to TB tonight so we are 1 game back.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Bronx Bombers!

I wrote this in the morning but got into work and forgot until I was getting lunch...

These are the real Bronx Bombers!  At least 4 HR’s in 3 straight games for the first time in Yankee history.  Also, at least 8 extra base hits in the 3 consecutive games (also a Yankee record) which had only been done 3 other times by other teams.

The power surge overshadowed a poor performance by Tanaka.  As he said, "I did not have my split tonight.”  For some reason, he threw it more than he should have including a time where a fastball seemed to be the pitch where he surrendered a 3 run HR as he hung it.  I understand trying to get a pitch to work, but if the pitch is not working well, you need to throw something else when you are behind in the count.  What was even more frustrating was that he walked two guys before surrendering the HR.  With a 3 run lead, I really hate walks.

The same situation happened with Robertson in the 8th with a 3 run lead, he walked the leadoff guy.  That really drives me crazy.  He did get out of the inning, but make them earn their way on.

Other Notes:

Torres made a really smooth play in the 1st inning.  I know he had a rough game the other day, but he can play 2nd base and his offense has been spectacular so far (.960 OPS).  I was impressed with the HR he hit to CF; he is a huge asset; even if he most likely will not keep his OPS this high.

Didi hit a solid double the other way, so hopefully, he starts to see some progress.  His other AB’s were not that good and he still seemed off balance to me, but he will get it straightened out.  Didi also made an outstanding defensive play with full-out dive and then quickly threw from his knees to get the batter.

Judge broke an 0-17 with a HR and a double!

Gary Sanchez had an excellent defensive game even though he threw a ball into CF on a delayed steal.  He moved much better behind the plate and more importantly started to use his chest protector instead of trying to glove everything.  While using the protector he made it look easy (or how most catchers do) on many balls in the dirt.  He also got a lot of glove on a really wild pitch and then took off after it stopping the runner from advancing.  His receiving skills still may be weak, but if he blocks balls even average and combine that with his well above avg throwing skills (release/popup time, arm strength and accuracy) and his excellent offense for a catcher, he will be a huge advantage; much like Posada was.  Sanchez’ OPS is .876, even with a batting avg of .231.  That is 2nd best in baseball…ironically behind Francisco Cervelli.  Yeah, I was shocked to see that as well; his OPS is .920 in 115 AB’s.  I would bet money Sanchez catches Francisco even if Cervelli is not a bad hitting catcher.  His career OPS is .744

KC was down 5-4 somewhere around the 4th inning and had their number 3 hitter up with a runner on 1st and nobody out…and he bunted a sacrifice type of bunt.  It wasn’t a late try for a hit type of bunt.  That is just dumb.

There was a fly ball to medium deep CF where a runner on 2nd was tagging up and Hicks got himself in position but took exactly 5 steps before he threw it.  They were quick steps so it isn’t the same as 5 runner’s steps, but get rid of the ball quickly and you have a better chance of throwing a runner out.  Think about if a catcher took that long to throw; he would never throw someone out.  I used to have an issue with Ichiro and people would talk about how great his arm was, but I don’t think he was as effective as a lot of guys who get rid of the ball quickly even if the sacrifice a little accuracy and strength.  Just before I get emails from some of you, I do know the OF throw is longer than the catcher throw so you have more time in the air and a stronger throw matters more, but it is not enough to make up for the longer release time.

First place by ourselves as Boston was off!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Padding our stats!

Talk about getting a lot of hittable pitches...and doing damage with them.  9 HR's 5 doubles and 2 triples in the last two games!  Romine even got his first HR in over a year.  Austin hit 2 HR's and knocked in his 23rd run in only 92 AB's.  KC has a weak bullpen in the middle of the game.

As good as the offense was, Sonny Gray had a one-hitter and no walks going into the 8th inning where he centered a few too many, but still went 8 innings allowing 4 hits and a walk and only 1 run.  He only threw 92 pitches.

Torres made a very nice play displaying his excellent range.  His key is the great jump he gets as he is ready to move at impact every play.

Red Sox won 5-0

In other news...The Braves scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to win 10-9

Through Saturday

Severino struggled with fastball control and was trying to throw inside and was outside at times.  He struggled with command and the Royals took advantage scoring 3 runs in 6 innings (not terrible) which is a lot for our Ace!  

I agreed with Boone to take out Severino after 6 even though he had thrown only 77 pitches.  It was time and the bullpen hadn't worked much.  Of course, after a leadoff double against Green on a bad 2 strike pitch, I was a little concerned with the score only 5-3.   Green was able to get by with fastballs pretty much down the middle and get out of the inning.  

On a double in the gap, Stanton relayed the ball into Torreyes who made a really good play to catch the ball which was to his right and then had to turn quickly with his momentum going away from him and he made a very accurate and strong throw to barely get the runner...In fact, he was called out and the replay was not conclusive.  If I had to make my call just form the replay I would have said safe, but I agreed it should not have been overturned.

While on instant replay, on a grounder to Andujar down the line, he threw to first and gave a long hop to Austin at first and the runner was called safe.  On another close play, the Yankees reviewed it and he was just out and they correctly overturned it (but very close).  Austin should have stretch more for the ball as he let the ball get close to his body and to the right; if he would have received the ball a little more in front there would have been no question.  The hop was long enough but the inexperienced Austin made it closer than it should have been.  Austin did make a nice catch and tag earlier coming off the bag to do so.

I was slightly critical of Judge for taking too long to get rid of balls on throws, but on a tag play to 3rd, Judge got himself in position and release the ball very quickly and made a play a little closer than anyone thought.  The negative was that his accuracy was a little off, but hopefully, he can work on that because it would make a big difference.

Ump was not very good behind the plate, especially on balls where the pitcher missed the catcher's spot by a lot.  If the catcher reached it was almost always a ball even if it was a strike.

Two more Andujar comments:  He slowed up to slide into home and ended up being called out.  Not sure what was going through his mind, but it reminded me of O’Neill who didn't know how to slide.

Andujar got 1 hit last night but he is pulling off the ball as his front hip is leaking and his front shoulder is following.  This is why he isn’t squaring through the ball with authority like he was earlier in the year.

Torres had a tough game 2 nights again but his a big 3 run shot last night taking advantage of a hanging breaking ball.

Sanchez hit 2 HR's and made a heads-up play on a wild pitch way over his head that bounced back to him and threw to 2nd and while late Torres sort of kept the tag on the runner and the runner barely came off and Torres possibly kept the tag on long enough to get a cheap (very cheap) overturned call by IR.  I have to say, I really don’t like that call as it was very close and I wasn't clear it was an out and because it is so ticky tack, I wouldn't have overturned it.  I understand if a guy over slides a bag, but this was barely just wasn't right if you ask me.

Hicks has had 2 good games in a row and now has his OPS up to .757, He got his 2nd inside the park HR on a ball that hit off the top of the wall and the CF'r didn’t follow the ball (kind of lazy for a professional to not run over on a ball in the corner "just in case."  In this case, not running over allowed Hicks to easily have an inside the park HR.

Betances has had 3 solid outings in a row allowing only 1 walk in 3 innings.  Hopefully, he can keep it up as he can be critical for us.  His fastball control has been good.

Boston won so we are still tied in games out but Boston has played 4 more games (they went 2-2)

Saturday, May 19, 2018


We looked like a team that has not played many games recently.  The defense was weak and mostly from Torres who had a rough game in the field.  Misdiagnosing a grounder with the bases loaded and then flubbing the throw was a difference maker in the game.  Not only did we end up letting up 2 runs we shouldn't have, it overworked CC who was not that sharp anyway.  Torres also dropped a popup he was running back on, and while he got an out on the play, a run scored that probably would not have if he caught it.  Of course, I think he dropped it because he was gearing up to stop and throw home.  regardless, it was a rough game in the field.  We should not be worried about his defense though; it happens.

What we should be a little concerned about is that we have a lot of guys not hitting that well at the same time.  This lineup will be pretty good about not having extended slumps because someone can pick us up.  However, in the month of May, Hicks has an OPS of .603, Andujar has an OPS of .546 and including the very nice opposite field HR last night, Austin has an OPS of .369 (2-21).  the sad part is that Didi is even worse than Austin's .369, having a slump for the ages with a .301 OPS in 55 AB's...and over the past 42 AB's he has ONE single, 1 RBI and 4 walks.  It is time for the batting coach to earn his money because while I agree with the saying, "nobody is as ever as good as when they are on a hot streak, or as bad during a slump," this is a terribly long slump.  I thought he would be dropped in the lineup already and it needs to happen asap.  Most of it is mental so I am a fan of changing the mindset.  I say mostly because the hitting coach should be able to spot something Didi is doing differently.  It looks to me like he is not the same aggressive player he has been and not in terms of swinging at pitches, but how he swings at the pitches.  He isn't attacking the ball with aggression, he seems to be off balance and just trying to make contact and in doing so not squaring anything up.  BTW, players have had bad slumps before but not usually players that are solid hitters like Didi.  In their rookie years, Robin Ventura and Jose Canseco each had 0-40 slumps; so it can happen (man and for a rookie that is rough).

A couple of quick notes:

CC was not sharp in the game.  While better defense would have helped him a ton, if KC swung the bats better, it could have been worse.

Interesting stat - The Yankees hadn't lost in a CC start for 15 starts until last night.

The Yankees didn't swing the bats well either as the KC starter (Junis) missed a lot of spots frequently.  Sometimes, he was lucky in that he would paint the outside corner when the catcher called for an inside pitch but other times he left pitches right over the heart of the plate and the Yankees either missed them or took them.  There were a lot of sliders over the heart of the plate.  Bonne said Junis was really good, but this was a weak hitting effort.

Frazier is back up on the team and I expect him to start playing more with Hicks being more like he has always been (go back and read my preseason blog). 

I would not be surprised to see Drury come up as well, but that leaves a lot of infielders.  I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a trade,  Torreyes may make the most sense as his numbers are a little inflated even with his recent 2-12 slump.  The issue is that I don't think anyone else can play SS except Torres and we may not want to mess with him.  That being said, I would play Torres at SS once in awhile when you want to rest Didi.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Final Oakland Game

We took another series!

Severino was not sharp but his 3 excellent pitches were not hit hard even though he put them in non-preferred locations.  His location was not good, but his stuff was good enough for him to get through 6 innings of 1 run baseball.  Oakland really didn't swing the bats well, but the 3 pitches were mixed well.

Judge tried to throw a runner out and made a great strong throw, but he may need to speed up his release in the future.  He seems to be in no rush to get rid of the ball.  He also should come forward toward home more (but I am being picky)

Great 4 hit game by Stanton.  His first hit was odd in that his back foot went back and away from the plate on the swing (that is something a little leaguer would do); he still hit it hard.
Stanton is faster than I thought he was; he gets out of the box and down the line pretty well.  He has also played a good OF when given the chance.

Didi still can't center a ball well now and could use a day off.  Contrast that with Gardner, who was in the same boat most of the year, but now that he is going well, he has been hitting the same pitches he missed previously on the nose!

We are about 25% through the season and on a pace to win 113 games; I am good with that!

Happy Mother's Day!

The pitcher for Oakland (Triggs) is a finesse pitcher with a lot of movement on his pitches.  The Yankees got off to an early lead as he fell behind 2-0 to Sanchez and then came in with an 89 MPH fastball that Sanchez turned on for a dinger.  The next batter was Hicks and the exact same scenario happened.  With German mixing in his 3 good pitches and mowing down Oakland for the first 3 innings (9 up and 9 down), the game looked positive.  The Yankees got two more on in the 3rd inning but couldn’t score as Hicks got out.

The 4th inning saw a different pitcher as German could not control his pitches.  Not sure what happened in between innings, but German kept throwing his change in the dirt and lost his command of the strike zone.  After a single and a walk, German threw a changeup down the middle of the plate and all of a sudden we were losing 3-2.  9 pitches later German had walked 2 more batters and with one out he got a groundout that moved both runners up.   It is hard to discuss pitch selection when your pitcher can’t locate what you want as a fastball inside may be the perfect call, but if the pitcher has it leak out over the plate, that may be a worse call then just asking for a breaking ball.  That being said, Mark Canha had just swung at a curve in the dirt and I thought the same pitch should have been called for.  Instead, they threw a fastball and Canha ripped it for a huge 2 out single knocking in 2 runs and we were down 5-2.  The inning ended as we threw out the runner going to 2nd.
The Yankees were mowed down and then German continued struggling allowing 2 more singles and got out of the inning allowing one run. 6-2.

Soapbox comment:  People throw around the word momentum too frequently in sports and while there are times where momentum can “keep going,” it can just as easily be changed.  Regardless, The Yankees had early “momentum” and then Oakland had “momentum” and then in the bottom of the 6th, the Yankees mounted their own excellent inning scoring 4 runs (including Didi’s first hit after going 0-30 – yeah, 0-30 is terrible).  Now the Yankees have “momentum!”  The point is that you have momentum until you don’t…and while the word is not wrong, I think it is used far too frequently as the reason why an outcome happened rather than as the word used to describe what happened.
For example, saying, The Yankees kept the momentum going getting the bases loaded in the 6th inning, but momentum ended when Hicks grounded out with 2 outs, on a 3-2 count and the runners going.  J

Stepping down from the soapbox!

Hicks grounding out was a big opportunity lost, but 1/3 of the game was still left.

With the score tied at 6, Holder pitched a perfect 6th and I was surprised he was taken out, but I would have had a quick hook on him because he is Jonathan Holder and I don’t have great confidence in him.  Chad Green struck out all 3 batters in the 7th and threw only 12 pitches in doing so.  I clearly expected him to pitch to start the 8th but no, Boone took him out and brought in Betances.  Betances looked razor sharp as well and threw only 11 pitches to retire Oakland in order.  While the Yankees didn’t score, we are now in a tie game entering the 9th.  Betances has to start the 9th right?  Nope, Chapman was in.  I have a big problem with this.  In a tie game, you can’t assume the game will only go 9 innings and what happened to the comments made that we are trying to extend guys out to be able to throw multiple innings?  In a tie game and your pitcher looked sharp and didn’t throw a lot of pitches you have to try and get through a few more batters.  Even if they pitch to one or two batters in the next inning and you can get 3 innings out of (in this case) Green and Betances instead of 2.  This was a very bad decision in my book. 

It looked even worse when Chapman was throwing 96 MPH (5 or 6 MPH under what he threw the other night.  Making it worse was that he couldn’t find the strike zone and even his slider had no bite.  After walking the first two batters I was really concerned because weak stuff and no control equals trouble.  We had a mound visit because I think there was concern Chapman might be hurt but they left him in and with the bunt on Chapman bounced a ball moving both runners up with nobody out.  Oakland then removed the bunt and brought in a pinch hitter and Chapman walked him.  After the walk, the Yankees visited the mound again as they were looking at a possible blister on his throwing hand.  The Yankees left him in the game.  With not much left in the bullpen as Robertson was awful the night before, I could understand leaving him, but I would have taken him out because I didn’t want the blister to get worse (marathon not a sprint).  Plus, he was pretty ineffective (bases loaded and nobody out), but Chapman wanted to stay in and with the score tied the options in the pen weren’t exciting (because we got the minimum out of 3 relievers in a tie game – which shows you how bad not extending them was.  After the next pitch was bounced and Sanchez gloved it (fortunately it found his glove, but it was a huge play), it looked like we were going to allow some runs.  Chapman was able to get a few more MPH’s on his fastball and struck out Canha for the 1st out.  What followed was a huge play where Chapman got Lucroy to hit a fly ball to slightly shallow LF.  Gardner got momentum behind his throw him and got rid of it reasonably fast and made an accurate throw but had a little less velocity than normal; the play was very close as Sanchez did everything he could, but the ump called the runner safe as the swipe tag appeared to miss the runner.  In review, Sanchez barely touched the runner and we got the call overturned for a huge DP to get out of a bases loaded nobody out jam in the 9th inning.

Two things on this.  1) Sanchez started in the baseline and then, because he didn’t have the ball, came out just slightly (as he is supposed to) and caught and swiped very quickly and just caught (up to) the runner on the back of his jersey.  Yet another exciting play for an exciting team!  The second comment is that this is one of those times where you have to give credit to the manager.  If runs scored there, everyone would have abused him for staying with an injured player who clearly didn’t have his stuff.  But Boone stuck with him and Chapman stepped up as did Gardner and Sanchez.  Of course, if Boone would have managed the bullpen better in the 6-8th innings the issue might not have happened.

Sometimes, the wrong moves work and sometimes the right moves don’t; you just have to make a lot more correct ones to give the team its best chance to win now and in the future.

We were all set for the walk-off win in the 9th, but Sanchez Hicks and Walker went down 1,2,3
Now we had to use AJ Cole to pitch (which makes you realize the poor job of getting only one inning out of each pitcher.)  Cole was picked up from the Nationals after they cut him as he got off to a horrific start allowing 15 runs in 10 innings pitched and has not done anything in the majors at 26.  Here we were hoping he could give us something and he walked the first two batters and this had the makings of a bad ending.  But instead of continuing his terrible pitching, he was able to strike out the next two batters and get a pop out to give us a chance.  We didn’t score in the 10th and Cole pitched a scoreless 11th to keep our chances alive.  After Didi flew out Stanton walked and after a groundout FC by Sanchez Hicks walked Sanchez to 2nd base with 2 outs.  Walker then hit a soft line drive to LC that scored Sanchez for yet another exciting win!

Some other notes:
Sonny Gray pitched poorly Friday night and what was interesting is that Dustin Fowler was in the A’s lineup and they were traded for each other.  Gray has been a pretty solid pitcher and while he is off to a Bad start (5.15 ERA), he will turn it around.  His stuff wasn’t bad, his control has been as he is walking too many people and not locating his strikes well.   He has 24 walks in 38 innings; that is simply not acceptable and about double the amount he should have.

Our record is good and while the starting pitching overall has been good, the bullpen and hitting hasn’t been all that good.  Our hitting has been timely and it seems like someone different is the hero on wins, we have more underperforming than over performing.

Neil Walker and Gardner have been getting it going in May.  Walker, in his 35 plate appearances, has a line of: .346/.514/462 (OPS-.976).    Gardner has a .404 OBP in May and a .765 OPS mostly because he hasn’t hit with power.  In fact, as these guys get going, their HR production would really help.  Taking their averages over the past 4 years based on their AB’s this year, they should have 7 HR’s at this point and combined they have ONE!

Aaron Hicks has been slumping and his OPS is just above his career number at .712. 

Andjuar has been struggling as well as he has not had an extra base hit in his last 13 games and only has 1 walk and 2 RBI’s in those 13 games.  His overall OPS is at .747.  Both he and Torres are going to have to adjust to the pitchers who have made adjustments.

Oakland had score 9 runs in their previous 5 games and in our 2 games have scored 16 runs.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Game 3 Against Boston

Here we are down 4-0 in the 7th inning, after a rain delay, and we still are clawing back with bases loaded and one out.  With one good hit, some walks, a grounder that found the hole and some good base running by Gardner to score on a wild pitch where the catcher Sanchez'd it (it was not an easy block but he was late) the Yankees tied it at 4.  You have to admire the grit of this team. 

A cheap HR that just cleared the RF porch and missed Judge's glove by inches (to the right, not behind) as the ball kept fading away from him, was the one run that broke our streak.  We still fought again in the 8th but a borderline low pitch (close) got Walker with 2 men on.

Outside of the call on Walker (which was close and we didn't see a side angle, the ump behind home plate was awful and 95% of the bad calls favored the Red Sox.  The same spot for CC was a ball that was called a strike for Rodriguez on many occasions.  In a close game like this, it was a huge factor in the game.  In contrast, I thought the ump Wednesday night was great.  He called it consistent both ways and was spot on.  He was so good that I actually looked up to see who it was (Cory Blaser).  Good job Cory.  Stu Scheurwater was the bad ump Thursday night FWIW.  You could see one situation where Boone gave him a mouthful saying "that was ball 5, wasn't even close."  He also had an "F" bomb in there, but Boone was right.  These things even out over time, but a bad performance even by the umps needs to be called out.

From the Yankees standpoint, I think a huge AB was from Tyler Austin.  He was up with bases loaded and 1 out and had a 2-0 count on him.  He was in swing-no-matter-what mode and waved at a change in the dirt.  He followed it by swinging at a slider so inside that might have hit him if he turned into it (a lefty was on the mound).  He was then called out on a fastball that was inside that the ump (Stu) called a strike; it was a bad call during an awful AB.  In this AB (different than the one Boone yelled at the ump for), the pitcher threw 5 straight balls and our outcome was a strikeout with the bases loaded.  Bad job by the slumping Austin

Didi is 0 for his last 23.

Great run and the game last night was exciting again! 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Game two against the Red Sox

This will be written a little bit more as a dialogue to myself in this game:

Through one inning, it is good to see that Porcello doesn’t look anything like that great outing he had against us last time.  Good to see Gardner getting into the action on offense with a solid double

Ugh, Tanaka is not sharp either.  The 2 run HR to Moreland was terrible, missing his spot badly.  Can’t do that to a hot hitter.

Down 2-1 we didn’t score as Torres swung at a lot of bad pitches, but it is good that Porcello isn’t sharp because Tanaka will allow some runs.  We need to be ready with a quick hook
2 walks with a DP and Tanaka worked his way out of it, but he is not sharp.

Gardner with another double and after a walk to Judge we got a break that Didi squibbed one to 1st that allowed both runners to move up on the productive out.  Stanton, who looks to have widened his stance a week or so ago, did a great job of driving an away fastball down the line for a 2 run double.  What was interesting was that on the 2-1 pitch he took a FB right down the middle of the plate.  I believe that Porcello felt Stanton was looking for the breaking ball or he wouldn't have that hittable pitch go by and decided to come back with a fastball.  I would have come inside with that thinking (and would have done that), but Porcello, threw the fastball outside and Stanton went with it and ripped it.

With a 4-2 lead we can be a little more lenient with Tanaka, but I would be careful

Hard liner and a single and I am seriously thinking of making a move to Holder (if he is our long man now as I don’t know who we have in the pen?)  I would not be upset if Boone makes a move.  

What do I know?  Leon grounded into a DP where Torres made a very quick pivot and throw and Didi made an acrobatic one legged throw to first

Top 5: Ugh, hanging breaking ball by Tanaka and Benintendi launched a long HR.  Taking him out would not have been such a bad move.   He is not sharp at all.  Next pitch Ramirez gets another hanging breaking ball and just missed it for a long out.  I thought it was gone but he got it off the end of the bat a little.  Tanaka has nothing today.  Got the last out on a very nice running/diving catch by Judge.  I would take Tanaka out before he allows another HR that could be a 2 run type that puts us in jeopardy.

Both pitchers when they miss are missing by a lot so the batters aren’t chasing anything.  Bases loaded nobody out Sanchez who terribly chased 2 balls in the other box got a hanging slider on 3-2 and ripped a hard line drive for a sac fly.  Hicks and Walker couldn’t get anyone else home.
5-3 good guys into the 6th

Why is Tanaka still in?  Bogaerts rips a double and this has to be it for Tanaka…nope letting him face Moreland as nobody was ready; hope this doesn’t bite us.  

On a 2-1 count he chased a splitter so Bogaerts moved to 3rd with 1 out.  Green in now…he let up the sac fly but struck out Devers to end the inning. 

5-4 into the top of the 7th.

After 2 outs, Green walks Benintendi.  He then hangs a slider to Ramirez who crushes it for a long HR to LF.  Very bad pitch selection in my book as he just had thrown a slider well off the plate and then came back with one that just hung.  Green is a fastball pitcher and while you need to mix in the slider a little, he was not able to control it on any of his previous ones.  Ramirez is a good hitter but he is really good on off speed mistakes.
Shoot down 6-5, bad job by Green.  Still have 9 outs to score some runs

Top 8: Shreve walks the leadoff guy (drives me nuts) and then allows a double down the line.  With 2nd and 3rd nobody out Shreve is able to get Devers swinging for a huge out.  Boone correctly takes Shreve out now (after his great start to teh year, Shreve has had 2 bad outings in a row).  In comes Holder and he gets a huge strikeout.  

Have to walk Betts here 

..and Boone does!  OK holder now get the job done…got him; very nice work by Holder (haven’t said that often).

Bottom 8:  Walker does it again with a leadoff double being down by 1!  It has that feeling again…this team is fun!  

2-0 count on Andujar and he was very intent on hitting it to the right side.  While you want to try and do that; on a 2-0 pitch I would be trying to do some damage.  He basically gave himself up.  Torres did a great job of laying off the curves he swung at last time and walked (Barnes actually threw Torres a 3-0 breaking ball; that was surprising).  So with Gardner up the Red Sox brought in their closer (I call him the scarecrow because he stands on the mound with both elbows up – looking stupid).  

I like this matchup for Gardner as he has hit the ball hard all 4 times and Kimbrel comes from the right side a little.  Oh Baby, a huge triple by Gardner just scoring Torres who held up a little to ensure that the ball wasn’t caught.  Betts was playing very shallow and Gardner drove it for his 3rd extra base hit.  One run lead and Chapman will be in.  Boom, Judge crushed a line drive HR…Man, this is exciting to watch.  9-6!

Chapman throwing 102 and 103 strikes out the side (allowing a hit in between)!

AWESOME!!!  We have 10 come from behind wins already; we have had a lot of exciting games for 22% of the season!

Other notes:

Can someone please tell Gardner to stop sliding headfirst into 1st and home?  Torres got injured for the year sliding into home headfirst and on Gardner’s triple did it again.  WHY?

On a Judge squibber, the pitcher got the ball in between the catcher and pitcher slightly on the 3rd base side.  When he threw to first, the 1st baseman was standing with his foot on the bag and his right foot on the line toward 2nd base.  Veterans to this blog no that this is another one of my pet peeves.  This does not allow them to stretch for a close play, but it also does not allow them to field a ball when it is thrown into the bag where the 1st baseman can get his arm hurt by reaching in to catch the ball and hitting the runner.  However, if you stretch toward the throw you can actually get to the ball before it is in a dangerous spot.  Instead, Moreland started to reach and just stopped with no effort…not only is Judge safe (he would have been out) the throw got away and he went to 2nd.  I don’t get it and I am not sure why this is taught as it is ineffective.

If O’Neill says that the player just needs to “stay within himself” one more time…

Last comment:  I don’t usually get to hear much of the announcers, but Cone told what I thought was a funny story about his first major league spring training game.  He was nervous and came into a game where there were a lot of hit batters.  His coach told him to throw directly behind the hitters head (again in his first ML game in Spring Training).  Cone said he was so nervous he threw one so high it went up on the screen and he got tossed on his first ML pitch in ST.   LOL

Hopefully, we can get the sweep!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Game 1 of 3 for the Rivalry in May

The rivalry game lived up to the hype!  My thoughts:
·         Severino pitched great again, he is working all 3 pitches really effectively and he had his best slider of the year. 

·         Sanchez once again had a bad play allowing a swinging strike to get under his glove for what they rules was a wild pitch, but he should have had it.   It made Severino work harder and that led to the 7th inning where the team felt they had to take him out because of his pitch count was at 109.  This turned into Robertson allowing Severino’s tying run to score.  Also, with Sanchez not hitting that well, we may see Romine more than just for Gray.  I am not giving up on Sanchez as he has had some very big hits, but his ability to receive and block the ball is simply bad.

·         Stanton was our offense with a line bullet HR to left on a fastball and then another to right when he took an outside fastball about 5 rows back in RF.  He also hit a laser to 3rd so it is good to see him going as others have cooled off (Austin, Judge, Didi, Hicks and Andujar)

·         That being said, Walker pinch hit a double and then came around to score the go ahead run on Judge’s bullet single to LF

·         On this single the Yankees had bases loaded with 1 out and Torres was at 2nd and he hesitated as the line drive went through the infield, but the 3rd base coach made his first blunder of the year sending him home.  Live (well on tape but at first glance watching at normal speed), I noticed Torres slow up and because the ball was hit hard I assume he would stop but they kept him running and he was dead at home on a throw that was slow and a two hopper but it was accurate.  This was a terrible decision with Didi and Stanton coming up and with 1 out.  With 2 outs it was probably a bad call…one out was awful.  I hate when people say, he was just being aggressive; that is a bad excuse.  There is a difference between being aggressive and being reckless.  Sending him with 2 outs may be aggressive; sending him with one is reckless.

·         Judge made a perfect throw from right to catch Vazquez trying to stretch a single into a double.  He sure doesn’t rush his throws but this one was caught in perfect tagging position…or as my brother calls it, “a self-tagging throw.”  Judge is a complete player

·         Up 1-0 earlier in the 2nd inning, The Yankees had 1st and 2nd with nobody out and I thought it was a great time to bunt Andjuar.  While I am not a big sacrifice guy unless one run wins a game and your batter sacrificing doesn’t have a good matchup, when you can move 2 runners over it is more advantageous to give up an out to do so.  There have been many of them and Boone has yet to sacrifice, even in these good situations. 

       Andujar made a very nice play on a tough hopper to his left with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd.  It was kind of an in-between hop but he played it perfectly and then threw the runner out!  Torres made an error, but he continues to show a very quick first step and he turns the DP pivot from 2nd to SS very well.

·         Good job by Chapman on a tough 1 run save!

·         16-1 over the last 17 is something we haven’t done since the 60’s.  We are also tied for 1st!