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.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.256/.345/.364, 2.2 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.261/.317/.367, 2.0 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.398/.465/.864, 2.3 bWAR)
4. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.288/.317/.468, 2.2 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.267/.300/.428, 0.9 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) DH (.234/.334/.403, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.329/.395, 1.9 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.196/.283/.370, 0.2 bWAR)
9. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.188/.188/.281, -0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.264/.325/.418, 12.3 bWAR
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF (.239/.315/.338, 1.7 bWAR)
2. Lorenzo Cain (R) RF (.287/.335/.408, 2.6 bWAR)
3. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B (.274/.336/.433, 1.3 bWAR)
4. Kendrys Morales (S) DH (.250/.318/.430, -0.2 bWAR)
5. Salvador Perez (R) C (.260/.295/.468, 2.7 bWAR)
6. Alex Gordon (L) LF (.227/.325/.394, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Alcides Escobar (R) SS (.265/.296/.341, 0.4 bWAR)
8. Christian Colon (R) 3B (.236/.304/.276, 0.4 bWAR)
9. Raul Mondesi (S) 2B (.191/.232/.298, -0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.257/.314/.397, 9.7 bWAR
It has been years—decades?—since the Royals and Yankees squared off this late in the season with serious postseason hopes on the line for both teams.
And the surging Royals came out swinging first in the three-game set at Kauffman Stadium, punching across three runs in the first and then riding the strong pitching of right-hander Dillon Gee in an 8-5 win on Monday night.
The defending World Series champion Royals have won 18 of 22, and crept to just two games back of the Orioles in the American League Wild Card standings. The Yankees stayed 3 1/2 behind Baltimore.
Man, the middle of the Yankees’ bullpen suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. You can almost see how Swarzak looked like an option.
At least they somehow got the tying run to the plate in both the 8th and the 9th inning, which is impressive considering they were down 8-1 going into the 8th.
Monday, August 29, 2016
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.263/.318/.370, 2.1 bWAR)
2. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.218/.274/.338, -0.1 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.405/.468/.893, 2.4 bWAR)
4. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.284/.314/.462, 2.2 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.267/.301/.427, 0.9 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) DH (.234/.335/.405, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.330/.396, 1.9 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.209/.300/.395, 0.3 bWAR)
9. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.138/.138/.241, -0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.260/.316/.419, 10.4 bWAR
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF (.239/.316/.340, 1.6 bWAR)
2. Cheslor Cuthbert (R) 3B (.291/.327/.440, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Lorenzo Cain (R) RF (.287/.333/.408, 2.5 bWAR)
4. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B (.274/.337/.435, 1.3 bWAR)
5. Kendrys Morales (S) DH (.248/.316/.429, -0.2 bWAR)
6. Salvador Perez (R) C (.257/.292/.467, 2.6 bWAR)
7. Alex Gordon (L) LF (.226/.323/.394, 1.0 bWAR)
8. Alcides Escobar (R) SS (.265/.297/.336, 0.4 bWAR)
9. Raul Mondesi (S) 2B (.189/.232/.300, -0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.261/.315/.406, 9.5 bWAR
Is today the day Aaron Hicks breaks out of his negative bWAR?
Sunday, August 28, 2016
1. Steve Pearce (R) RF (.294/.375/.494, 2.0 bWAR)
2. J.J. Hardy (R) SS (.265/.304/.405, 1.6 bWAR)
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B (.306/.358/.564, 6.1 bWAR)
4. Mark Trumbo (R) DH (.257/.317/.537, 1.3 bWAR)
5. Chris Davis (L) 1B (.227/.340/.482, 2.9 bWAR)
6. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B (.279/.312/.472, 1.8 bWAR)
7. Matt Wieters (S) C (.242/.295/.391, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Nolan Reimold (R) CF (.225/.298/.371, -0.5 bWAR)
9. Hyun Soo Kim (L) LF (.321/.396/.436, 0.6 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.269/.332/.477, 16.1 bWAR
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.259/.346/.367, 2.3 bWAR)
2. Aaron Hicks (S) CF (.218/.275/.339, -0.1 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) DH (.400/.467/.900, 2.4 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.204/.288/.346, -0.4 bWAR)
5. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.285/.314/.464, 2.1 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.269/.303/.431, 1.1 bWAR)
7. Brian McCann (L) C (.234/.336/.406, 1.2 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.225/.319/.425, 0.3 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B (.287/.336/.436, 0.6 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.255/.319/.417, 9.5 bWAR
Yes, Gary Sanchez and his 90 PA leads the 2016 New York Yankee position players in bWAR.
- Gary Sanchez made history as he slugged the 11th home run of a blistering rookie month to remember, while Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks also launched deep drives in powering the Yankees past the Orioles, 13-5, on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees posted a double-digit run total for the second consecutive game, thumping right-hander Dylan Bundy for five runs and seven hits over four innings.
Castro and Hicks each collected three RBIs to pace the squad, slugging a pair of two-run homers in the fifth inning off T.J. McFarland. The victory moved New York (67-61) a season-high six games over .500, and within 2 1/2 games of the O’s (70-58) for the second American League Wild Card slot.
Gary freakin’ Sanchez. Wow.
Sanchez is doing things you just don’t see ballplayers do. This reminds me of A-Rod in 2007, except it’s a 23 year old catcher! Amazing.
The rest of the offense wasn’t too shabby themselves…
Saturday, August 27, 2016
1. Manny Machado (R) 3B (.305/.358/.564, 5.8 bWAR)
2. Hyun Soo Kim (L) LF (.319/.396/.437, 0.6 bWAR)
3. Mark Trumbo (R) RF (.256/.314/.531, 1.2 bWAR)
4. Chris Davis (L) 1B (.224/.337/.468, 2.6 bWAR)
5. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B (.282/.315/.477, 2.1 bWAR)
6. Pedro Alvarez (L) DH (.257/.317/.518, 0.5 bWAR)
7. Matt Wieters (S) C (.242/.296/.393, 0.5 bWAR)
8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS (.265/.304/.404, 1.6 bWAR)
9. Julio Borbon (L) CF (.222/.222/.222, -0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.268/.329/.483, 14.7 bWAR
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.260/.348/.369, 2.3 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.264/.318/.369, 2.2 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.403/.459/.883, 2.1 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.201/.287/.342, -0.3 bWAR)
5. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.283/.310/.464, 2.0 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.264/.299/.421, 0.8 bWAR)
7. Brian McCann (L) DH (.228/.330/.399, 0.9 bWAR)
8. Aaron Hicks (S) RF (.214/.269/.326, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B (.286/.324/.439, 0.8 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.255/.316/.405, 10.6 bWAR
Does Sanchez have a chance at Rookie of the Year?
Gary Sanchez continued a sensational opening act to his big league career on Friday, homering among his three hits and driving in four runs to help the Yankees trounce the Orioles, 14-4, at Yankee Stadium.
Sanchez’s two-run homer in the fifth inning marked his 10th in his first 22 Major League games, having been recalled from the Minors earlier this month. The slugging 23-year-old also contributed a two-run double as part of a six-run second inning, in which the Yankees sent 12 men to the plate and knocked right-hander Yovani Gallardo out of the game.
“Yeah, [I’m surprising myself] a little bit, but at the same time there’s a lot of hard work before every game,” Sanchez said. “That’s giving me good results right now.”
Gallardo was charged with eight runs (seven earned) in just 1 1/3 innings. Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley also hit two-run homers for New York, while Baltimore’s Manny Machado homered twice off Yankees starter Luis Cessa, who worked six innings of three-run ball to earn his second victory in as many Major League starts.
“Just up and wild in the strike zone and up,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gallardo. “Never really got any sequences going. He had a chance to make a pitch in some counts and couldn’t make it, and he paid the price. He wasn’t the only one. We didn’t pitch well tonight on a lot of fronts.”
Gary freakin’ Sanchez. Wow.
While Sanchez is obviously THE story, there were a couple of other notable performances in the game, specifically Luis Cessa having another good start and Ben Heller making a great debut in the 8th inning (despite making an error).
It’s always fun watching young players doing well. Five games over .500 for the first time all season. That’s just hilarious.
Friday, August 26, 2016
1. Adam Jones (R) CF (.276/.317/.457, 1.1 bWAR)
2. Hyun Soo Kim (L) LF (.321/.398/.440, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B (.303/.357/.552, 5.6 bWAR)
4. Chris Davis (L) 1B (.223/.337/.468, 2.7 bWAR)
5. Mark Trumbo (R) RF (.257/.315/.535, 1.4 bWAR)
6. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B (.282/.315/.479, 2.1 bWAR)
7. Pedro Alvarez (L) DH (.257/.318/.518, 0.5 bWAR)
8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS (.267/.306/.407, 1.6 bWAR)
9. Francisco Pena (R) C (.222/.263/.306, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.271/.330/.486, 15.4 bWAR
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.258/.347/.369, 2.3 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.262/.315/.368, 2.1 bWAR)
3. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.389/.450/.847, 1.9 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.197/.285/.330, -0.7 bWAR)
5. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.283/.310/.466, 2.0 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.261/.296/.419, 0.6 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) DH (.253/.329/.388, 1.9 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.222/.310/.417, 0.1 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B (.277/.317/.426, 0.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.318/.408, 10.7 bWAR
Cessa better fix that FIP or he’s got no chance at a career in MLB.
But with opportunity come challenges.
Chief among them is the fact that because the Yankees are facing several of the teams they need to pass in order to make an unlikely postseason bid, they’re going to have to beat some pretty good teams.
As play began Thursday, all but six of the games they have left are against teams with a winning record.
That fact, coupled with the games within their division, doesn’t bode well for the Yankees.
Because they are 38-39 against teams over .500 and are just 19-27 versus the rest of the AL East, which is why Baseball Prospectus has the Yankees’ odds of making the playoffs at just 4.3 percent.