Tuesday, September 6, 2016
1. Jose Bautista (R) RF (.227/.348/.445, 0.3 bWAR)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B (.294/.408/.572, 7.0 bWAR)
3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH (.268/.359/.542, 3.3 bWAR)
4. Russell Martin (R) C (.246/.342/.421, 1.8 bWAR)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.251/.320/.451, 2.4 bWAR)
6. Michael Saunders (L) LF (.267/.350/.509, 2.3 bWAR)
7. Kevin Pillar (R) CF (.262/.294/.381, 2.8 bWAR)
8. Justin Smoak (S) 1B (.228/.315/.413, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Devon Travis (R) 2B (.293/.324/.459, 2.6 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.262/.344/.472, 22.4 bWAR)
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.257/.348/.361, 2.4 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.268/.322/.377, 2.2 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.351/.429/.730, 2.3 bWAR)
4. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.279/.308/.452, 2.0 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.265/.297/.426, 0.8 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) DH (.234/.329/.394, 0.7 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.259/.335/.392, 2.1 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.169/.247/.338, -0.4 bWAR)
9. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.205/.222/.318, -0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.262/.323/.411, 11.8 bWAR)
This looks like a total mismatch.
The Yankees don’t intend to go down without a fight, and they certainly aren’t going to make things easy for the division leaders in the American League East.
New York issued an early statement on Labor Day by delivering a blow to the Blue Jays with a 5-3 victory at Yankee Stadium. The win allowed the Yankees to remain 3 1/2 games back of Baltimore for the second Wild Card while at the same time making things even tougher on the suddenly struggling Blue Jays.
Toronto’s lead atop the division remains at one game over the Red Sox due to Boston’s 2-1 loss to the Padres. The loss did allow the Orioles to pull within two games of first place in the division after Baltimore pulled out a 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay.
They really just keep on keeping on, don’t they? I mean, again, the chances of them making the playoffs are practically non-existent, but who knows? If they keep winning, that could change.
It was great to see Tyler Austin having such a good game. Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t great, but he was pretty good. His season has actually been excellent so far. I could almost see him getting back of the ballot Cy Young consideration.
Monday, September 5, 2016
In a game Yankees manager Joe Girardi deemed their “most important of the season,” New York jumped out to an early lead and pitched around trouble to avoid a series sweep with a 5-2 win over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.
A loss would have dropped the Yankees 5 1/2 games out of the second American League Wild Card spot. Instead, they moved to 3 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the final playoff spot, while the O’s fell to three games back of the AL East lead and slipped back into a tie with the Tigers for the second AL Wild Card, two ahead of Houston.
“I think everybody here knows what’s going on,” Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said. “We came in with a goal of trying to win the series at least, but that didn’t happen. If you drop three, you’re really putting yourself behind the eight-ball; I’m not going to say it’s over, but it’s going to be tough. We’re still in it, so it was important.”
It’s still pretty much over, but hey, at least there’s still a chance now. If they had lost this one, there probably would be no chance.
Luis Severino continues his “Awesome as a reliever, shitty as a starter” season with two big innings of relief, making him 2-0 as a reliever to go with 0-8 as a starter. Interestingly, Severino was going to get the start on Wednesday against Toronto if he didn’t start today. That surprises me. I would have thought they would want to keep Severino in the pen in the Majors. I think Bryan Mitchell makes more sense on Wednesday.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
After Zach Britton recorded his 40th save Saturday night at Camden Yards, the Orioles had shut out New York for the second consecutive night, and third straight game overall—going back to the finale of last weekend’s series—and made significant moves in both of their postseason races.
Kevin Gausman gave the O’s their fourth quality start in five games, firing six masterful innings, and Adam Jones belted his 25th homer, to lead Baltimore a 2-0 win and a series victory. It is the Orioles’ first series win in their last six against the American League East, and it pulled them within two games of the division lead.
The O’s also broke their tie with the Tigers for the second Wild Card spot, while the Yankees slipped to 4 1/2 games back in that race.
Well, that should just about do that. Four and a half games back? That’s pretty close to being out of things.
Chad Green, meanwhile, is out for the rest of the season, but doesn’t need Tommy John Surgery….yet. It sure sounds scary, though. I would give Bryan Mitchell a shot first instead of Luis Severino.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
The Orioles’ home run-happy lineup showed up in a big way Friday night, mashing four homers en route to an 8-0 series-opening romp over the Yankees.
The American League East matchup at Camden Yards, which features two teams fighting for the playoffs, saw the Yankees—who won two of three against the Orioles last weekend at home—get off to a rough start as starter Chad Green exited after five outs with tightness and soreness in his right elbow. Green was charged with four runs, including a homer, as part of a six-run second inning for Baltimore.
“They must’ve had a tough time picking player of the game, because there was a lot of guys you could make a case for,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Just a reminder what guys have been doing most of the year and what we’re capable of.”
The Orioles remained in a tie with the Tigers for the second AL Wild Card spot and expanded their lead over the Astros to two games, while pushing the Yankees 3 1/2 games back.
Worrisome times now for Green, as his elbow injury is in that great unknown where it could be nothing or it could be Tommy John Surgery. Even Green, after the game, noted that he had no idea which direction it was going to be going. Scary for him.
Anyhow, that was an ass kicking. At least Severino and Holder pitched well.
Friday, September 2, 2016
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.260/.350/.367, 2.6 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.267/.321/.372, 2.3 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.374/.441/.798, 2.3 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.203/.285/.340, -0.7 bWAR)
5. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.286/.314/.462, 2.1 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.269/.301/.434, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Brian McCann (L) DH (.236/.333/.400, 0.9 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.257/.330/.393, 2.0 bWAR)
9. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.189/.267/.396, 0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.323/.411, 12.6 bWAR)
1. Adam Jones (R) CF (.275/.316/.456, 1.2 bWAR)
2. Pedro Alvarez (L) DH (.256/.315/.509, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B (.305/.356/.560, 6.2 bWAR)
4. Chris Davis (L) 1B (.220/.336/.469, 2.7 bWAR)
5. Mark Trumbo (R) RF (.253/.314/.531, 1.0 bWAR)
6. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B (.282/.315/.477, 2.1 bWAR)
7. Matt Wieters (S) C (.241/.294/.392, 0.4 bWAR)
8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS (.257/.295/.401, 1.7 bWAR)
9. Hyun Soo Kim (L) LF (.315/.392/.425, 0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.267/.325/.477, 16.2 bWAR)
Will tonight be the night Gary Sanchez passes Ellsbury and moves into sole possession of second-best Yankee position-player bWAR?
Thursday, September 1, 2016
It was a battle of tired and depleted bullpens.
And the Yankees’ bullpen survived the longest. Brian McCann lifted a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run in the 13th inning as New York overcame an early four-run deficit for a 5-4 win over Kansas City in the rubber game on Wednesday night.
Both teams went to their bullpens early in a 10-inning game on Tuesday when rain delayed that game 59 minutes. The Yankees’ bullpen held the Royals to no hits and no runs over the final seven innings on Wednesday. Ben Heller got his first Major League win, while Dellin Betances recorded his seventh save.
As I was saying to my completely non-interested-about-the-game wife sometime around the 12th inning, this is one of those reasons that I love sports. They’re so darned unscripted. After both teams depleted their bullpens on Tuesday night, the last thing either team wanted to get involved in was an extra-innings game, and what happens? They play thirteen innings!!
The Yankees bullpen remarkably went SEVEN innings without giving up a single hit. Ben Heller recovered from his blown save opportunity (he didn’t get an ACTUAL blown save, but you know what I mean) the previous night to pitch well tonight and Chasen Shreve continued his “Hey, remember when I was awesome?” reunion tour with the Yankees (let’s hope that he keeps it up).
With this win, the Yankees are remarkably just 2.5 games out of the second wild card and are traveling to play three games against the team currently leading in the second wild card race. Of course, there are major complications, primarily that the aforementioned team, the Orioles, are actually now tied with the Detroit Tigers. And the Houston Astros are a game back of them. And the Royals are only a half game back of the Yankees and the Mariners only a game and a half. So, well, the odds are still very long for the Yankees making the playoffs, but they enter September just 2.5 games back, and that’s remarkable as hell.
As we enter September (as I said yesterday, I always say “if the Yankees are just within five games of a playoff spot by September 1st, I at least feel like I have a reason to keep watching” - they’ve given me a reason to keep watching for over twenty years straight now), we also get to see the return of Luis Severino, who will hopefully help as a new short man at the back of the bullpen, presumably taking the 7th inning over from Adam Warren, while Warren and Chasen Shreve handle the sixth (with Ben Heller perhaps pushing himself into the mix). Joe Girardi was complaining about how silly expanded rosters are, and he’s correct. I like his idea - you have to designate 26 or 27 guys who are eligible each game. It’s such a simple idea. Why not just do that, MLB?! Oh, speaking of expanded rosters, the Yankees added Eric Young Jr. as their designated pinch runner of the year. They always seem to add a fast guy around this time. The Red Sox did the same. Theirs just happened to be named Yoan Moncada. Eh, Moncada/Young, same difference.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.259/.351/.368, 2.6 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.267/.321/.373, 2.3 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.383/.448/.819, 2.2 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.204/.287/.343, -0.7 bWAR)
5. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.287/.315/.465, 2.2 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.266/.299/.425, 0.8 bWAR)
7. Brian McCann (L) DH (.239/.337/.406, 1.1 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.328/.393, 2.0 bWAR)
9. Aaron Hicks (S) RF (.215/.273/.333, -0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.257/.320/.405, 12.3 bWAR
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF (.248/.321/.353, 1.9 bWAR)
2. Cheslor Cuthbert (R) 3B (.290/.326/.438, 0.4 bWAR)
3. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B (.272/.335/.430, 1.1 bWAR)
4. Kendrys Morales (S) DH (.251/.318/.436, -0.1 bWAR)
5. Salvador Perez (R) C (.257/.292/.463, 2.6 bWAR)
6. Alex Gordon (L) LF (.225/.324/.390, 0.9 bWAR)
7. Paulo Orlando (R) RF (.307/.333/.409, 2.3 bWAR)
8. Alcides Escobar (R) SS (.265/.296/.340, 0.4 bWAR)
9. Raul Mondesi (S) 2B (.196/.243/.299, 0.0 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.263/.315/.406, 9.5 bWAR
And Round two goes to the Yankees.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who had four hits, clanked a bases-loaded ground ball off reliever Joakim Soria that went for an infield hit and drove in the go-ahead run as the Yankees grabbed a 5-4 win over the Royals in 10 innings on Tuesday night to even series at one game apiece. The game was delayed 59 minutes by rain after the fifth inning.
Ellsbury’s comebacker hit off Soria’s glove and caromed toward third baseman Christian Colon, whose throw to first wasn’t nearly in time, and pinch-runner Aaron Hicks scored from third.
The Royals had runners on second and third with none out in the bottom of the 10th, but reliever Ben Heller struck out Lorenzo Cain. The Royals then had the bases loaded and one out, but Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve struck out Kendrys Morales, and got Salvador Perez to fly out to end the game.
Wow, that was not a pretty win, but it was still a hell of a win! It’s impressive for them to win any game where Gary Sanchez was not a heroic star (in fact, he even had a costly error that led to a blown save for Dellin Betances despite Betances retiring every batter that he faced).
Old friend Ian Kennedy has turned his season around the last couple of months. It’ll be interesting to see how he does against the Yankees tomorrow.