Sunday, June 19, 2016
This was “a good character win” for the Yankees, in Alex Rodriguez’s eyes, as his team hit a pair of late homers that allowed them to withstand a shaky outing by closer Aroldis Chapman. It remains to be seen if this is the series that will finally vault them over .500 for good.
The Yankees returned to the break-even mark on Saturday with their third straight victory over the Twins, posting a 7-6 victory that put them back in the middle of the road after 68 games. They’ve seen their past win streaks followed by dips, but Rodriguez wants to believe this time will be different.
“I think it’s important for us to stay consistent,” Rodriguez said. “The one thing that for us is very important as an offense is to get runs early. The numbers when we get ahead early, when we score four runs; we’re 27-5 when we score four or more runs. As an offense, that should be a goal for us every night.”
Rodriguez clearly has done his research; he was thumping a similar objective of five-runs-or-better earlier in the season. That didn’t materialize, but maybe that’s because they hadn’t seen the Twins yet. Rodriguez hit his 695th career homer off Ricky Nolasco in the seventh inning, halving New York’s deficit to 4-2 at the time.
First off. how amazing is it that A-Rod can tell a reporter those numbers off the top of his head?
Anyhow, once again, a pathetic performance for most of the game turned into something special in the late innings. Ricky Nolasco, who isn’t that good, dominated the Yankees. Luckily, the Twins’ bullpen is pretty, pretty bad. A-Rod hit a two-run home run, Carlos Beltran hit a game-tying home run (now putting Beltran two homers off of the Major League lead in dingers!!!) and then the Yankees scored three runs in the ninth on a big two-run single by Jacoby Ellsbury and then a sacrifice fly by Gardner.
So the Yankees entered the bottom of the ninth up by three runs. Aroldis Chapman got the first two outs by strikeouts and then gave up his first home run since last August to Eduardo Escobar!! Just the fourth home run Chapman had given up since 2014!! Then Kurt Suzuki came up and had a hell of a battle with Chapman, a battle that ended up with ANOTHER home run! I am sure John Sterling noted that you can’t predict baseball. Then Chapman closed the victory out.
The Yankees are back to .500. Let’s see if they can get over .500 with a sweep of the Twins tomorrow. Eovaldi has been awful in June, though, so it’s not likely.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.282/.337/.414, 1.8 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.248/.363/.357, 1.2 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.281/.316/.563, 1.1 bWAR)
4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.218/.268/.401, -0.3 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.211/.320/.383, 0.5 bWAR)
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.259/.333/.355, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.279/.312/.406, 0.7 bWAR)
8. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B (.279/.319/.395, 0.2 bWAR)
9. Ike Davis (L) 1B (.250/.333/.250, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.258/.324/.414, 6.1 bWAR
1. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B (.314/.346/.485, 1.2 bWAR)
2. Danny Santana (S) LF (.256/.288/.344, -0.5 bWAR)
3. Joe Mauer (L) 1B (.285/.384/.414, 1.9 bWAR)
4. Brian Dozier (R) 2B (.227/.325/.369, 0.7 bWAR)
5. Max Kepler (L) RF (.209/.293/.343, 0.3 bWAR)
6. Byung Ho Park (R) DH
7. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS (.266/.298/.336, -0.2 bWAR)
8. Juan Centeno (L) C (.246/.259/.351, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Byron Buxton (R) CF (.200/.234/.352, 0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.260/.322/.390, 3.6 bWAR
he first three Yankees to hit all came around to score against Minnesota left-hander Pat Dean as part of a four-run first inning, and New York never looked back en route to an 8-2 rout at Target Field on Friday night that secured the Yanks at least a split of the four-game series.
Carlos Beltran led the way offensively for the Yankees with three hits, including a two-run home run—his team-leading 17th of the season—before being lifted for a pinch-runner in the sixth. Didi Gregorius and Austin Romine also drove in two runs apiece in support of right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (4-2), who allowed one run through eight strong innings to bounce back from a rough start against the Tigers and secure his fifth quality start in his last six outings.
Minnesota scored its first run in the second inning after Trevor Plouffe singled, moved to third on Eduardo Escobar’s double and came home on a groundout by Max Kepler. After missing a homer on that double by a matter of feet, Escobar later drilled a no-doubter into the right-field bleachers in the ninth for his first long ball of the season.
Are the Twins awful? Of course. But come on, what more can you ask for but for the Yankees to beat up on a team that they should beat up? So yes, it is not impressive, but it is more impressive than losing! I can’t believe Beltran has 17 home runs. His Yankee season high is 19.
Friday, June 17, 2016
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.284/.340/.419, 1.8 bWAR)
2. Rob Refsnyder (R) 1B (.256/.286/.359, 0.1 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.273/.309/.546, 0.9 bWAR)
4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.217/.264/.406, -0.3 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.254/.288/.415, 0.1 bWAR)
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.251/.321/.344, 0.7 bWAR)
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.280/.314/.411, 0.6 bWAR)
8. Austin Romine (R) C (.276/.291/.434, 0.0 bWAR)
9. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.220/.274/.318, -0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.304/.416, 3.5 bWAR
1. Eduardo Nunez (R) DH (.316/.347/.489, 1.2 bWAR)
2. Joe Mauer (L) 1B (.285/.386/.417, 1.9 bWAR)
3. Robbie Grossman (S) LF (.303/.441/.573, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Brian Dozier (R) 2B (.227/.326/.371, 0.7 bWAR)
5. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B (.240/.266/.369, -0.5 bWAR)
6. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS (.252/.286/.295, -0.5 bWAR)
7. Max Kepler (L) RF (.206/.296/.349, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Kurt Suzuki (R) C (.248/.291/.343, 0.0 bWAR)
9. Byron Buxton (R) CF (.204/.239/.359, 0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.326/.398, 3.9 bWAR
Nothing like seeing your starting lineup has fewer bWAR than that of a team that’s 20-46. But hey, keep pretending you’re contenders…
CC Sabathia tossed six strong innings and Didi Gregorius hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh to help the Yankees snap their four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field.
The three-run blast from Gregorius came on the first pitch from lefty reliever Fernando Abad, who entered with a 0.79 ERA and hadn’t allowed a homer all year. It helped Sabathia pick up his second straight win, as he limited Minnesota to one run on six hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts.
“He threw me a fastball right down the middle, and I hit a home run,” Gregorius said. “I’m not looking to hit a home run, but it happened. You can at least drive one run in, that’s what you always look for in those situations.”
Even when they win, they’re pathetic. Kyle Gibson, who is awful, dominated them for six innings. Granted, that Didi home run was awesome. And CC was great again. But man, this offense is so, so bad.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.284/.342/.422, 1.7 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.252/.369/.364, 1.4 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.277/.313/.554, 1.0 bWAR)
4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.209/.257/.403, -0.4 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.215/.322/.390, 0.6 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.257/.292/.420, 0.2 bWAR)
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.275/.309/.393, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.245/.316/.333, 0.6 bWAR)
9. Ike Davis (L) 1B (.200/.200/.200, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.255/.317/.413, 5.3 bWAR
1. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B (.317/.346/.493, 1.2 bWAR)
2. Robbie Grossman (S) LF (.318/.453/.600, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Brian Dozier (R) 2B (.230/.327/.376, 0.7 bWAR)
4. Trevor Plouffe (R) DH (.234/.261/.366, -0.6 bWAR)
5. Byung Ho Park (R) 1B (.203/.290/.432, 0.6 bWAR)
6. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS (.259/.294/.304, -0.4 bWAR)
7. Max Kepler (L) RF (.200/.284/.333, 0.2 bWAR)
8. Kurt Suzuki (R) C (.241/.285/.331, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Byron Buxton (R) CF (.212/.248/.374, 0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.248/.310/.403, 2.2 bWAR
I knew Nun-E would be a star. Maybe the Yankees should sign him for 7 years and $153M.
After last season, the Yankees — returning virtually the same roster — thought there would be no reason they wouldn’t end up competitive. But that’s what’s happened. And because the Rays beat the Mariners on Wednesday, the Yankees fell into last place in the American League East for the first time since May 19.
His pitching staff has been incredibly uneven. For a handful of starts, Nathan Eovaldi looked like the rotation ace, but now he’s lost his splitter. Ivan Nova started out so well when he joined the rotation in early May, but he’s allowed at least five runs in two of his last three starts. CC Sabathia has been outstanding, but can he keep it up? And after being so bad for so long, Michael Pineda has saved himself from a minor-league demotion over his last three starts.
And the offense? Girardi isn’t getting much production from designated hitter Alex Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira has alternated between bad on the field and hurt off it. They were supposed to anchor the lineup. Several other Yankees have underperformed, too, but because of either a lack of depth or a committed contract, the Girardi hasn’t had much wiggle room.
“At times we haven’t hit,” Girardi said. “At times we haven’t pitched.”
So, everything’s going wrong, and it’s a surprise Girardi took so long to get so tense.
I’m not particularly vexed that a team that needed everything to go more than perfectly to win games isn’t winning games.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Right-hander Chad Bettis shook off a four-start slump and Nolan Arenado homered for the 20th time as the Rockies beat the Yankees, 6-3, on Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field to win their fourth straight and eighth in the last 10 games.
Bettis, who had gone 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in his previous four outings, held the Yankees to three runs (two earned) on seven hits, with five strikeouts in six innings. Arenado’s two-run homer off Yankees starter Ivan Nova was part of a four-run fifth that helped the Rockies gain a sweep of the two-game set. DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs, falling a homer shy of the cycle.
Nova gave up five runs on 10 hits as the Yankees dropped their fourth straight to fall into the American League East basement.
Great googly moogly, they were awful today.
Thank goodness it was just a two-game series.
Not that they won’t be awful against other teams, but at least it isn’t in Colorado.
Trevor Story homered and drove in three runs and Carlos Gonzalez had four hits—including his 15th home run of the season—as the Rockies beat the Yankees, 13-10, at Coors Field on Tuesday to win for the seventh time in the last nine games.
The Yankees were unable to figure out Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, who earned his third win of the season by pitching five scoreless innings. Shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a three-run home run off Gonzalez Germen in the sixth, starting an attack on the Rockies’ bullpen. New York added seven more runs on eight hits in the eighth off Justin Miller and Miguel Castro as the Rockies saw their nine-run cushion dissolve into one that required rookie Carlos Estevez to earn his second career save.
The Rockies broke the game open with back-to-back home runs by Story and Ryan Raburn off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi in the fourth. DJ LeMahieu drove in a pair on a fifth inning single and seventh inning sacrifice fly. Gonzalez scored three times, most notably on his home run to lead off the ninth, giving the Rockies a three-run cushion.
Getting shut out for five innings by one of the shittiest pitchers in the National League in Colorado, while giving up a gazillion runs themselves, makes this one of the very worst losses of the season for the Yankees.
Cutting the lead to 12-10 was kind of cool, though.
Thank goodness this is just a two-game series.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.284/.343/.428, 1.8 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.258/.374/.374, 1.6 bWAR)
3. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.253/.286/.418, 0.1 bWAR)
4. Brian McCann (L) C (.222/.326/.401, 0.7 bWAR)
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.240/.316/.333, 0.5 bWAR)
6. Rob Refsnyder (R) 1B (.212/.250/.333, 0.0 bWAR)
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.266/.299/.374, 0.1 bWAR)
8. Aaron Hicks (S) RF (.205/.265/.311, -0.4 bWAR)
9. Nathan Eovaldi (R) P (.000/.000/.000, 0.0 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.249/.317/.380, 4.4 bWAR
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF (.295/.361/.487, 0.9 bWAR)
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B (.314/.381/.481, 1.3 bWAR)
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B (.289/.367/.586, 3.5 bWAR)
4. Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF (.298/.345/.538, 1.3 bWAR)
5. Trevor Story (R) SS (.261/.312/.542, 1.6 bWAR)
6. Gerardo Parra (L) LF (.264/.275/.426, -1.2 bWAR)
7. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B (.293/.362/.429, 0.7 bWAR)
8. Nick Hundley (R) C (.250/.363/.426, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Jorge De La Rosa (L) P (.375/.444/.375, 0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.286/.344/.498, 8.1 bWAR
ENVER — It’s unlikely the Yankees will emerge as top bidders for the services of Cuban star Yulieski Gourriel now that Major League Baseball has declared the 32-year-old infielder a free agent, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told NJ Advance Media.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez first reported Gourriel’s free agent status Monday.
The hangup? Money, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely.
Gourriel’s middle-of-the-order ready bat would be a welcomed addition to the Yankees’ offense, which has severely underperformed and was ranked No. 24 in the league in runs scored on Monday night.
Over 15 seasons, Gourriel owns some sterling numbers, including a .335 batting average, a .417 on-base percentage and 308 doubles to go with 250 homers.
But the team, as currently constructed, doesn’t appear to have a ton of wiggle room financially or within its roster for Gourriel, who escaped Cuba with his younger brother, Lourdes Gourriel Jr., 22, in February, and has professed his affection for the Yankees. The elder Gourriel is also friends with Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and has said designated hitter Alex Rodriguez is his favorite player.
Hat tip to ChrisS.
To be fair, Gourriel is 32 and probably past his peak. He is also primarily a 3B who has played some 2B, both positions where the Yankees are already paying a fair amount of money, even if the production they are getting there isn’t all that impressive.
I’m not saying Hal Steinbrenner isn’t cheap. But if a rebuild is possibly on the table, signing Gourriel doesn’t make much sense.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Is Sabathia’s Success Sustainable?
After three straight poor seasons, I had very little hope of CC Sabathia figuring out how to deal with his diminished stuff and his balky knee. Instead, Sabathia has been one of the biggest surprises on the 2016 Yankees, with the best ERA and FIP in the starting rotation. He’s been particularly effective of late, with a 0.87 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list on May 20.
He’s doing this despite an average fastball that has been sitting around 88 mph, the lowest it’s ever been.
Let’s look at a few sets of data.
First, here are Sabathia’s numbers for 2016, split between his five starts prior to going on the DL and the five starts since.
FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
xFIP: Expected fielding-independent pitching
FBv: Average fastball velocity
bb/bf: Walks per batters faced
k/bf: Strike outs per batters faced
hr/fb: home runs per fly ball (league average is around 10-11%)
gb%: ground ball percentage
fb%: fly ball percentage
ld%: line drive percentage
iffb%: infield fly ball percentage
babip: batting average against on balls in play
Sabathia has picked up almost 1 mph on his fastball, and he’s allowing fewer line drives and getting more infield fly balls. His walk rate and strikeout rates are both improved as well, but everything else says he’s more likely to pitch how he did in the first five starts than he did in the last five.
These are the full season numbers for Sabathia since his last good season in 2012.
You can see that his velocity has declined and his effectiveness along with it until this year. What is interesting here is he’s walking more hitters this year than he has in any of the prior four seasons. My guess is this is by design, and that he’d rather miss off the plate at the expense of a few more walks instead of trying to throw strikes with diminished stuff that will get tattooed. Even if that is the case, I find it hard to believe he can continue to limit home runs as well as he has, and think he’s likely due for some regression soon.
Lastly, let’s just look at his line since he started pitching with a knee brace on September 9 of last season.
I don’t think we can count on Sabathia limiting home runs like he has recently. A more realistic scenario for CC going forward is an ERA in the low 4s, I would say. On most teams that would be a solid fourth starter. On the Yankees, that essentially guarantees a loss most of the time.
If I had to “project” Sabathia for the rest of the season, I think something like his line since the start of 2015 is fairly realistic.
Those peripherals seem realistic and would make him a slightly better than league average starter.
Even if it doesn’t last, it’s nice to see Sabathia’s persistence being rewarded, and I hope he can continue to defy the odds long enough that the Yankees can trade him and he can contribute to a team with real postseason aspirations. The Giants look like they could use a fourth starter, right?
It cannot be lost on general manager Brian Cashman and the organizational hierarchy that the Yankees were shut down for six innings on Sunday by a young power pitcher the Tigers obtained in a rental deal last July only after the Detroit front office yielded to the reality that their team wasn’t good enough to win anything of significance.
The pitcher’s name is Michael Fulmer, the rental property was Yoenis Cespedes, and that provides just one example of the road map the Yankees must follow as this season morphs into the trading season.
The first five games of this homestand that the Yankees swept by scoring 33 runs in defeating the Angels four times and the Tigers on Friday provided an oasis of sorts for the offense-parched Pinstripes.
But then the Yankees were limited to one run on six hits in Saturday’s 6-1 defeat, in which Justin Verlander was dominant through 6 ²/₃ innings, before Sunday’s 4-1 loss, in which they got two hits in six innings off Fulmer, who extended his shutout streak to 28 ¹/₃ innings.
Ah, the baseball adage of good pitching beating bad hitting was never more in evidence.
For better or worse, these are the Yankees 63 games through a season in which they’re one under .500. Which means, for better against bad teams with questionable pitching staffs and for worse against the good ones.
Being mediocre on the field isn’t a baseball crime, even in The Bronx where winning — and in this borough, that means championships, not wild-card game losses — is the thread that binds generations.
But being in denial in the front office is a felony.
The Yankees won’t sell, and we can blame the Angels.