Friday, September 16, 2016
Hanley Ramirez created a wild walk-off finish for the Red Sox on Thursday night with a towering three-run homer off closer Dellin Betances to cap a stunning 7-5 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Ramirez’s second career game-winning homer came with two outs and capped a five-run bottom of the ninth. Ramirez’s homer, projected at 426 feet by Statcast™, was the longest that Betances has allowed this season. The drive came on a 99.3-mph pitch; just five homers in the Majors this year have been hit on faster pitches.
“I was trying to go to the moon,” said Ramirez. “That’s why I was sitting on a fastball the whole time. Just stay back and let it rip.”
While that was terrible, we shouldn’t let the awful end to the season distract from how enjoyable this last month and a half has been. These guys have made it so that next season actually looks like it might be fun to watch, which is a good thing.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.259/.348/.359, 2.6 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.268/.324/.388, 2.5 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.321/.396/.686, 2.4 bWAR)
4. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.270/.302/.436, 1.1 bWAR)
5. Billy Butler (R) DH (.276/.331/.403, 0.0 bWAR)
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.272/.301/.447, 1.8 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.331/.393, 2.3 bWAR)
8. Rob Refsnyder (R) RF (.264/.335/.329, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.200/.246/.369, -0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.267/.324/.414, 12.1 bWAR)
1. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B (.329/.389/.462, 5.6 bWAR)
2. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS (.297/.354/.443, 2.6 bWAR)
3. David Ortiz (L) DH (.314/.400/.619, 4.4 bWAR)
4. Mookie Betts (R) RF (.311/.352/.540, 8.4 bWAR)
5. Hanley Ramirez (R) 1B (.285/.357/.489, 2.0 bWAR)
6. Travis Shaw (L) 3B (.255/.320/.447, 2.5 bWAR)
7. Sandy Leon (S) C (.349/.407/.542, 2.9 bWAR)
8. Jackie Bradley (L) CF (.272/.350/.497, 4.9 bWAR)
9. Andrew Benintendi (L) LF (.324/.365/.485, 0.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.300/.364/.501, 33.8 bWAR)
It’s just unfortunate Billy Butler won’t be on the postseason roster this year.
Clayton Kershaw fired five sharp innings in the first Yankee Stadium start of his career and Justin Turner belted a ninth-inning double off a shaky Dellin Betances as the Dodgers edged the Yankees, 2-0, on Wednesday.
Turner’s deciding hit down the left-field line chased home Corey Seager, who had reached on an error charged to second baseman Starlin Castro. Betances then threw wildly past catcher Gary Sanchez on a Yasmani Grandal tapper, allowing Turner to score Los Angeles’ second run.
“It was a breaking ball. That’s his bread and butter and he likes to go to it,” said Turner, who has five go-ahead RBIs in the ninth inning or later this season. “Corey did a good job on the 2-2 pitch of getting a good jump and stealing second to get in scoring position. [Betances] just left that one over the plate a little bit and I kept it fair.”
The win was credited to Luis Avilan, who recorded four outs as the Dodgers took two of three games in the Interleague set. Kenley Jansen set the Yankees down in the ninth inning for his 44th save in 50 chances. Los Angeles pushed its National League West lead to five games over the Giants, while the Yankees missed out on a chance to gain in the Wild Card race.
New York now takes its pursuit of a postseason berth to Boston, where the rivalry will be heightened with so much at stake. The Yankees trail the Red Sox by four games in the AL East and are two behind the Blue Jays for the second AL Wild Card, with the Orioles holding the first Wild Card slot, a game ahead of Toronto.
We knew that this was going to be a difficult series, but boy, it was a lot more painful than just that. WOE was in full effect. Not against Kershaw, as come on, that guy’s just otherworldly, but also against the Dodgers bullpen.
The Yankees are hanging on by a slim thread, solely because Toronto shit the bed against Tampa Bay. The Yankees honestly probably need to take three out of four against the Red Sox this weekend, and the odds of that happening are not particularly good. Oh well.
Dellin Betances, by the way, is still a very good closer. We’ve just been spoiled by top of the line closers for twenty years now. Remember John Wetteland? Steve Howe? (Howe was great in 1994, but it seemed like they were playing with fire there - he was awful in 1995 and his career was over in mid-1996)? Those were very good closers, as well, and they all had their scary moments for the Yankees. Steve Farr was the last time the Yankees had a flat out mediocre closer. So moments like tonight will probably continue as long as Betances remains the closer. He can’t hold runners on and he can’t throw to first. Some pretty embarrassing faults for a guy to have. I hope that the Yankees manage to sign a top closer and return Betances to the eighth inning next year. Clippard/Betances/Top Closer would be a lethal back end of the bullpen.
In other news, the Yankees signed Billy Butler to try to help them against the string of lefties that they’re about to be facing over the next eleven games. He’ll probably suck, but I at least appreciate the attempt to try something. Butler’s OPS is sadly higher than a goodly chunk of the Yankee lineup (Headley, Gardner, Ellsbury, Teixeira, Austin, Romine and Refsnyder).
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
1. Chase Utley (L) 2B (.248/.314/.380, 1.4 bWAR)
2. Corey Seager (L) SS (.319/.377/.534, 5.9 bWAR)
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B (.269/.335/.499, 4.6 bWAR)
4. Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B (.289/.351/.442, 1.9 bWAR)
5. Yasmani Grandal (S) C (.225/.334/.479, 2.5 bWAR)
6. Josh Reddick (L) RF (.274/.338/.397, 2.0 bWAR)
7. Andre Ethier (L) DH (.000/.000/.000, -0.1 bWAR)
8. Joc Pederson (L) CF (.247/.344/.491, 3.0 bWAR)
9. Andrew Toles (L) LF (.347/.405/.587, 0.9 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.272/.344/.465, 22.1 bWAR)
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.261/.348/.361, 2.7 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.270/.326/.391, 2.6 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.331/.406/.706, 2.5 bWAR)
4. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.268/.300/.436, 1.1 bWAR)
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.330/.394, 2.3 bWAR)
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.274/.302/.450, 1.8 bWAR)
7. Rob Refsnyder (R) RF (.268/.340/.333, 0.0 bWAR)
8. Austin Romine (R) DH (.240/.269/.390, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.210/.258/.387, -0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.267/.322/.417, 12.6 bWAR)
They were the guys who weren’t supposed to play on Tuesday night, but they ended up winning the game for the Yankees.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius, both out of the starting lineup against the Dodgers, hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh as New York scored a 3-0 victory before 32,615 at Yankee Stadium. With the win, the Yanks ended a two-game losing streak and moved to four back of Boston in the American League East. New York is two back of the Orioles and Blue Jays in the Wild Card race.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had Ellsbury on the bench to keep him from wearing down. Gregorius was out with a bruised rib cage and forearm.
Ellsbury entered the game after the fourth inning when Aaron Judge had to exit with a right oblique strain. He didn’t come to bat until the seventh and won a nine-pitch battle with Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling by hitting a 3-2 pitch into the second deck in right field.
If Jacoby Ellsbury can keep up this recent power surge, that would be swell.
What an amazing victory. Especially with the practically unhittable Clayton Kershaw pitching Wednesday afternoon.
For at least a night, we can still tell ourselves that the Yankees are right there in the playoff race. Two back of a wild card spot! Hell, the first place Red Sox are “only” four games ahead.
One bit of bad news is that Aaron Judge is likely out for the rest of the season. That has more to do with the season not being much longer, as his injury doesn’t look DEVASTATING, but probably enough to keep him out for the rest of the month. I suppose Robert Refsnyder now becomes the everyday rightfielder on days that Tyler Austin plays first base and Austin plays right when Teix plays first. I guess Eric Young Jr. could be called up as a backup outfielder. Young Jr. and Mason Williams (is he an option at all?) are the only other official outfielders on the Yankees’ 40-man roster right now, as Aaron Hicks, Dustin Ackley and Judge are now all out.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
1. Howie Kendrick (R) 3B (.267/.340/.385, 0.9 bWAR)
2. Justin Turner (R) DH (.269/.335/.501, 4.6 bWAR)
3. Corey Seager (L) SS (.319/.378/.536, 5.9 bWAR)
4. Yasiel Puig (R) LF (.265/.329/.416, 1.4 bWAR)
5. Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B (.291/.353/.445, 2.1 bWAR)
6. Carlos Ruiz (R) C (.256/.367/.341, 1.4 bWAR)
7. Enrique Hernandez (R) CF (.195/.290/.330, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Rob Segedin (R) RF (.241/.283/.370, 0.0 bWAR)
9. Chase Utley (L) 2B (.250/.316/.383, 1.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.272/.341/.436, 18.1 bWAR)
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF (.263/.351/.364, 2.8 bWAR)
2. Rob Refsnyder (R) LF (.269/.342/.336, 0.0 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) DH (.333/.411/.697, 2.4 bWAR)
4. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.265/.297/.433, 0.9 bWAR)
5. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.200/.287/.343, -0.7 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) C (.237/.330/.411, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.331/.395, 2.2 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.181/.258/.349, -0.3 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS (.282/.331/.419, 0.7 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.252/.324/.405, 9.0 bWAR)
A large contingent of Dodgers fans made the Bronx feel like Chavez Ravine East as Jose De Leon fired five solid innings and Chase Utley’s deep drive in the second found outfield grass for a key two-run error in an 8-2 victory over the Yankees on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
Backed by the group of banner-waving fans in Dodger blue, who did a Bleacher Creature-style roll call when Los Angeles took the field in the bottom of the first inning and cheered throughout the night, De Leon picked up his second win in as many outings as he limited the Yankees to two runs and three hits, helping the National League West leaders to their seventh victory in nine games.
Wow, that was awful.
Good for the Dodger fans, though, taking advantage of the sketchy crowds that the Yankees have been getting this season, despite their recent fun play. Pathetic display by the hometown fans.
Anyhow, things look bleak for the possibility of the Yankees making the playoffs, but I still am impressed with this team. If they could win 85 games, that’d be amazing still.
Monday, September 12, 2016
1. Chase Utley (L) 2B (.250/.315/.384, 1.4 bWAR)
2. Corey Seager (L) SS (.319/.377/.537, 5.9 bWAR)
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B (.270/.336/.498, 4.5 bWAR)
4. Adrian Gonzalez (L) DH (.292/.355/.448, 2.1 bWAR)
5. Yasmani Grandal (S) C (.226/.337/.484, 2.6 bWAR)
6. Josh Reddick (L) RF (.274/.338/.395, 2.0 bWAR)
7. Howie Kendrick (R) 1B (.264/.336/.383, 0.8 bWAR)
8. Joc Pederson (L) CF (.250/.348/.497, 3.0 bWAR)
9. Andrew Toles (L) LF (.352/.413/.606, 0.8 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.273/.346/.459, 23.1 bWAR
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.265/.352/.367, 2.8 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.268/.325/.385, 2.5 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.341/.415/.713, 2.4 bWAR)
4. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.263/.296/.425, 0.6 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) DH (.238/.330/.415, 1.0 bWAR)
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.257/.331/.398, 2.3 bWAR)
7. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.224/.274/.414, -0.2 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.177/.258/.316, -0.5 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS (.283/.333/.425, 0.7 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.261/.328/.412, 11.6 bWAR
Remember when Smellsbury passed TPBG™ in OPS? It took five months to do it, and how long did it last, one PA? Great job Smelly.
Only four more years and a couple of weeks left, thankfully.
Anyway, I don’t really like the Yankees’ chances in this one.
The Yankees’ run at an American League postseason spot stalled on Sunday, at least for a day. Tampa Bay homered three times to snap New York’s seven-game win streak with a 4-2 victory in the Bronx in front of 33,087 at Yankee Stadium.
Corey Dickerson opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the second, and Logan Forsythe and Brad Miller added solo shots in the sixth off Luis Cessa, who suffered his first Major League loss.
The Yankees are now two games back of an AL Wild Card spot, tied with the Tigers and trailing the Blue Jays and the Orioles, who have both AL spots with identical records. New York trails Boston by four games in the AL East.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Now they host the Los Angeles Dodgers for three games and, well, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees even get to play against Clayton Kershaw. Blech.
Oh well, hopefully they’ll still surprise us! Even if they don’t pull out of a postseason spot, this last month and a half has been an absolute blast regardless!
Sunday, September 11, 2016
1. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B (.281/.352/.473, 3.5 bWAR)
2. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF (.252/.333/.435, 4.2 bWAR)
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B (.277/.325/.521, 3.6 bWAR)
4. Brad Miller (L) SS (.249/.306/.485, 1.5 bWAR)
5. Logan Morrison (L) 1B (.239/.320/.415, 0.5 bWAR)
6. Nick Franklin (S) LF (.283/.349/.493, 0.5 bWAR)
7. Corey Dickerson (L) DH (.235/.283/.444, 0.7 bWAR)
8. Steven Souza (R) RF (.238/.290/.402, 0.4 bWAR)
9. Luke Maile (R) C (.247/.280/.404, 0.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.255/.316/.459, 15.4 bWAR
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.261/.349/.361, 2.6 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.271/.328/.388, 2.5 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.344/.420/.728, 2.5 bWAR)
4. Brian McCann (L) DH (.238/.331/.416, 1.0 bWAR)
5. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.202/.290/.347, -0.6 bWAR)
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.275/.303/.446, 1.8 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.256/.330/.391, 2.1 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.173/.259/.320, -0.4 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 2B (.288/.339/.432, 0.7 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.257/.326/.408, 12.2 bWAR
This looks like a total mismatch.
The Baby Bombers deserve plenty of credit for powering the Yankees back into the postseason chase, but Masahiro Tanaka’s late-season surge might just be the most meaningful development taking place in the Bronx.
Tanaka stepped into the ace role again on Saturday as he recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts without a walk as the Yankees grabbed their seventh straight win with a 5-1 victory over the Rays.
“I feel that we’re on a really good roll,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I think we have younger guys up, and the new guys are providing positive energy into the clubhouse and the team. I think that has a lot to do with it.”
The 27-year-old Tanaka saved his best work for the second half, helping a Yankees club that remains one game off the pace for the second American League Wild Card spot. Tanaka scattered five hits over 7 1/3 innings, improving to 5-0 in his past six starts as the Yankees moved to three games behind the Red Sox in the AL East.
“We’re not thinking too far ahead,” said Gary Sanchez, who hit his 13th homer in the sixth inning and nearly slugged another one in the eighth, lifting a sacrifice fly as the Rays tried to intentionally walk him. “We come here and work hard. Every time, we want to win on that day, and that’s the focus right now.”
This is how ridiculous things are getting, Gary Sanchez nearly hit a three-run home run off of an intentional ball, as the Tampa Bay reliever got nervous and missed his spot with his pitch and it ended up close enough to the plate for Sanchez to crush it, but it died just short of the wall. The look on Kevin Cash’s face was priceless. I know a lot of it is having a shitty team to manage, but boy, Cash has not looked too good this series. It’s like he’s just checked out.
Anyhow, an outstanding performance by Masahiro Tanaka and great games from Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez. Adam Warren came in in the 8th inning with the game 3-1 and a runner on first due to a Tanaka HBP and then promptly plunked the first batter he faced, which is just ludicrous. He then got out of the inning by getting Evan Longoria to ground into an inning-ending double play, so all is forgiven, Adam! Joe Girardi tried to give Tyler Clippard a day off, but couldn’t help but bring him in with a four-run lead and a runner on first with two outs in the ninth. In all seriousness, it wasn’t a big deal, as it was just one out, but Girardi probably should have given it one more batter.
The Yankees are now tied with the Detroit Tigers at one game behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild card and are now three games back of the Boston Red Sox for the AL East itself. The problem, of course, remains that there are just too many teams involved, including teams with some easy schedules like the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers. This is still an uphill battle, but hey, seven straight wins should be celebrated no matter what else happens in the future. Luis Cessa goes Sunday afternoon as the Yankees attempt a sweep of the Rays.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
TBR: Chris Archer (#22, 27, RHP, 8-17, 4.06) vs. NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 27, RHP, 12-4, 3.11)
1. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
2. Nick Franklin (S) SS
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
4. Brad Miller (L) 1B
5. Logan Morrison (L) DH
6. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
7. Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF
8. Mikie Mahtook (R) CF
9. Bobby Wilson (R) C
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C
4. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
6. Brian McCann (L) DH
7. Rob Refsnyder (R) RF
8. Tyler Austin (R) 1B
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B
This looks like a total mismatch.
Mark Teixeira hit his 11th career grand slam as the Yankees outlasted both the Rays and three rain delays to post their sixth straight win on Friday, a 7-5 victory at Yankee Stadium that moved them just one game off the pace for a postseason berth.
Teixeira was summoned for a curtain call following his fourth-inning blast off Kevin Jepsen, which landed in the right-field bullpen. Slugging rookie Gary Sanchez also hit his 12th home run as the Yankees (75-65) improved to a season-high 10 games over .500, trailing the Orioles and Tigers by just a game for the second American League Wild Card.
“I hope there’s a lot more, but to me, it was a big home run,” Teixeira said. “I didn’t know how many more grand slams I had left in me, so it was nice to get one tonight.”
Dellin Betances recorded the final three outs despite a 51-minute delay in the top of the ninth. The Yankees now sit two games behind the Blue Jays for the first Wild Card spot, and are four games in back of the division-leading Red Sox in the AL East.
“We’ve got to keep it going,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I said it all along: Everything was right in front of us because of the teams we were playing.”
This is truly amazing, but Girardi is absolutely correct. As awesome as this is, they pretty much have to keep winning or they’re sunk. Over at FiveThirtyEight, they have the Yankees all the way up to a 24% chance of making the playoffs, which is great on one hand but it also kind of sucks on the other hand. They’ve put themselves into a position where they can’t afford to lose games to teams like the Rays, and that’s asking a lot of any team. “Good luck! If you lose at all, we’re fucked!”
Still, the long odds shouldn’t take away from how amazing these wins are. Ten games over .500! That’s unreal! One game back of the second Wild Card! Also unreal!
It was great to see Gary Sanchez hit another home run, but that was probably not even his coolest play. His throw to second base to double off Corey Dickerson was amazing. He threw the ball so damned fast.
No Betances tomorrow because of another unlucky rain delay, but Tyler Clippard has been so good, he is fine as a back-up closer, if necessary. Tanaka Day on Saturday, which is important since they’re going up against the league-leader in strikeouts, Chris Archer.