The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Astros (101-61) @ Yankees (91-71), Tuesday, 10/17/2017, 05:08p ET

Astros: Lance McCullers Jr. (R): (118.2 IP, 4.25 ERA, 1.4 RA9 WAR) vs. Yankees: Sonny Gray (R): (162.1 IP, 3.55 ERA, 2.6 RA9 WAR)

1. George Springer (R) CF .283/.367/.522, 4.5 fWAR
2. Josh Reddick (L) RF .314/.363/.484, 3.5 fWAR
3. Jose Altuve (R) 2B .346/.410/.547, 7.5 fWAR
4. Carlos Correa (R) SS .315/.391/.550, 5.2 fWAR
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B .299/.332/.486, 1.8 fWAR
6. Alex Bregman (R) 3B .284/.352/.475, 3.8 fWAR
7. Carlos Beltran (S) DH .231/.283/.383, -1.1 fWAR
8. Marwin Gonzalez (S) LF .303/.377/.530, 4.1 fWAR
9. Brian McCann (L) C .241/.323/.436, 1.6 fWAR
Team Total: 30.9 fWAR

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF .264/.350/.428, 3.8 fWAR
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF .284/.422/.627, 8.2 fWAR
3. Didi Gregorius (L) SS .287/.318/.478, 3.9 fWAR
4. Gary Sanchez (R) DH .278/.345/.531, 4.4 fWAR
5. Greg Bird (L) 1B .190/.288/.422, -0.4 fWAR
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B .300/.338/.454, 1.9 fWAR
7. Aaron Hicks (S) CF .266/.372/.475, 3.3 fWAR
8. Todd Frazier (R) 3B .213/.344/.428, 3 fWAR
9. Austin Romine (R) C .218/.272/.293, -0.6 fWAR
Team Total: 27.5 fWAR

I was thinking the Yankees need more Austin Romine in the lineup.  Just not in the FREAKING ALCS.  I’d assume this means pinch-hitting at some point and losing the DH and severly hindering how long the team can deploy their relievers since they’ll have to keep pinch-hitting for them.

The good news is that Lance Mucullers is no Dallas Keuchel or Justin Verlander.  The bad news is Sonny Gray is no Masahiro Tanaka or Luis Severino or CC Sabathia.  With tomorrow’s game a guaranteed loss, the Yankees have to win today to at least prevent Houston from celebrating in Yankee Stadium when they wrap up the ALCS. 

The fact that the Yankees won a game in the ALCS is cool, but it would be even cooler if they won a second one.

--Posted at 12:59 pm by SG / 434 Comments | - (0)


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The bad news is that we have seen the Yankees offense stumble numerous times when facing a Lance McCullers type.

That’s clearly why the Astros chose to go with a McCullers-type over the better pitcher in Peacock, so hopefully that move backfires.

And while I wouldn’t go with Romine here, if you ever where going to go with him, now would be the time.

1. Fragile starting pitcher psyche
2. Clear need to throw breaking balls more than fastballs.
3. Obvious concern over throwing breaking balls to Sanchez and, most importantly,
4. DH spot was already automatic out, so downgrading it to an automatic out not really a huge deal. Plus, to a certain extent…
5. Hopefully just concentrating on hitting can help Sanchez get out of his mini-slump.

[3] Yeah, but if Girardi had this idea anywhere in his head, there really should be a 3rd catcher on the roster.  There’s no need for 12 pitchers in a series with two off days.

If Romine is up in a big spot in the first 5 innings, it’s going to suck not being able to pinch hit for him.

4 Headley has looked OK last two days.
5 The offense has not been good despite last night’s somewhat illusory eight run outbreak so you don’t add by subtraction.

Yeah, but if Girardi had this idea anywhere in his head, there really should be a 3rd catcher on the roster.  There’s no need for 12 pitchers in a series with two off days.

That’s fair. I imagine that if the DHs had done anything in Games 1-3, though, this move would never have occurred. So it wasn’t like he was going in thinking, “I’m definitely going Romine in Game 4.” It was just “Okay, the DHs have all been bad, so I can afford to do it now.”

Maybe a relaxing day at DH will help Gary become the Sanchino again.

[6]  Counterpoint: Jaime Garcia.

Under what scenario is he pitching where you couldn’t just put the 3rd catcher on the mound?

Garcia pitched really well in his one game in Cleveland. That likely locked in his roster spot for this series.

[7] And yes, that’s also certainly a factor in this decision, as well. I’ll edit that into [3]!

I was presuming [7] was the point of this.

So the obvious solution would just have been to teach Garcia to catch. How hard can it be?

Its funny that Sanchez had one of the better games I can recall behind the plate and today he has a day off.  Funny like a clown with a gun.  Meaning not funny.

“Meaning not funny.”

You could have stopped at “like a clown.”

I don’t think Girardo likes Sanchez. If the feeling is mutual then that is reason enough to let Girardo go.

I assume betances won’t be on the WS roster if by some miracle the Yankees win 3 of the next 4?

“I assume betances won’t be on the WS roster if by some miracle the Yankees win 3 of the next 4?”

Can’t someone just break his non-pitching hand now, so we can get a replacement?

An astonishing number of calls to Francessa about Romine starting the rest of the series.  Some even go so far as to say Romine is a good hitter.

So they’re carrying two pitchers that they don’t want to use and a DH that they won’t use.

Apparently, roster spots aren’t that valuable.

[13] I don’t get that at all. I think he expects a lot from Sanchez and is hard on him when he fails to live up to his potential (especially when he seems to lose focus).

Given how Sanchez has bounced back from his bad games, something is working.

And Sanchez hasn’t even hinted at having a problem with Girardi. Girardi also hasn’t expressed any dislike of Sanchez. He HAS been hard on him, but only in a strict teacher type way.

(17) or maybe Sanchez bounces back because he is just a good player? I don’t know how they really feel about each other but the GM does and if there is a problem clearly one is more valuable than the other and it is the star hitter and not the manager.

If Romine actually gets a big hit tonight Girardo will be lauded as a genius. If he goes 0 for 3/4 but Sanchez gets a big hit as DH he will be lauded as a genius. If they both stink no one will say much of anything bad - so this is actually a pretty good move if He wants to be lauded as a genius!

[14] No need to go breaking hands if he catches some of that appendicitis that’s going around.

When Justin Turner offers to spin straw into gold, which one of the Dodgers do you think he demands their first-born from?

[20]  But they can’t claim you’re faking a broken hand.  You’ve got X-rays.

It would also eliminate any temptation to bring him back for the WS.

Honestly, I never want to see Betances in a Yankee uniform again.  Sell low.  I don’t care.  He’s completely surplus to their 2018 bullpen, and saving his $5-6M will really help towards the luxury tax threshhold.

Snapper, I’m puzzled by this.

If he got over his problems this year and was as fantastic as he was before that, you still wouldn’t want to see him in a Yankee uniform? Why would you prefer his absence to his excellence?

He hasn’t lost velocity, he’s a home-grown product, he won’t be crazy expensive, and he has the talent to be a special player. If he continues to fail, obviously we don’t want to see that. But we’ve seen him succeed, here, and impressively. I’ll take that, please.

Yeah, I’d gladly try to get him fixed during Spring Training. Hell, I don’t even mind him pitching in blowout situations THIS postseason. He’s way too talented to give up on. Dude was literally an All-Star THIS SEASON, his third straight year in which he made the All-Star team.

He just needs to get his head out of his ass with the walks.

Yeah, this rush to dump Betances is bizarre.  He was an elite pitcher a few months ago.  Hell, he was elite for two straight innings in the ALDS.

[16] Betances, Headley, Holliday, Elfsberry.

[23] I just don’t think he’s ever coming back.  Relief pitchers have short shelf lives, and I’m not confident he can fix this.  The history of guys who mysteriously lose all ability to thow strikes is not great.

I mean, he came in with an 8-0 lead and walked two guys.  Is he too dumb to just throw a 96 MPH fastball down the middle?  Or is this full blown Steve Blass disease?

He’s already 29, has been pitched hard, and I don’t think $5-6 M is that cheap when we have 4 better relievers under contract.  I have a gut feeling it’s trade him for 50 cents on the dollar now, or non-tender him in 2019.

Have we completely ruled out some kind of Randy Levine voodoo hex, or that he paid a witch in the woods to steal Betances’ talent in the playoffs?

Yeah, this rush to dump Betances is bizarre.  He was an elite pitcher a few months ago.  Hell, he was elite for two straight innings in the ALDS.

Three straight, counting his 1-2-3 all strikeout appearance in Game 1.

The issue with him is just whether he walks the lead-off batter. If he does, then just pull him. If he doesn’t, he’ll probably be good.

Obviously, in a close game, you don’t want to give him the opportunity to suck, but with a little leeway (and the desire to rest other guys), he’s worth a look. Using him in Game 3 made perfect sense, for instance. He just sucked.

If you can’t trust Betances with an 8-run lead then he shouldn’t be on the PS roster.

Of course you bring him back in 2018, that salary isn’t a problem as ~$50 million is off the books with Alex and CC.

If he gets back to being what he is capable of being then you also have a solid trading chip. He has pitched quite poorly three straight seasons late in the year so there’s that to ponder.

[25] He walked like 8 batters per 9 IP in the first half.  How is that elite?

If Girardi wanted to be “lauded as a genius” I think he would just put the team in the best position to win.

[31] Wasn’t that mostly in June?

Ground ball good. 2-1 bad.

Walking Altuve is pretty stupid.

Altuve’s strike zone is the size of a hummingbird. How can you not?

Good result, but holy crap, Gray looks overmatched. Like it’s lucky when he gets outs.

GD has every pitch in that last at-bat out of the strike zone.

Romine saving the game with magicaltuval pitch framing!

Given how regularly they were hitting the precise corner of the strike zone against Judge, hitting a hummingbird 9 times out of 10 seems well within an MLB pitcher’s abilities.

Why do our batters look like such lonely hunters?

McCullers is the type of pitcher that they really struggle with. Ugh.

[41] See @1.  Numerous occasions.

I’m reminded a bit of Carlos Marmol when I think of Betances. Obviously Marmol never solved his control problems, and so he had much less room for decline, but essentially Betances is a pitcher with latent control issues and when they rear their ugly head there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get the genie back in the bottle, so to speak.

Gray not missing bats. Bregman picked number 2 in first round 2015 draft and was in majors next summer. Contrast to yankees is interesting . Reward for Astros deciding to tank it for several yrs.

Does Sonny have a swing and miss yet?

What happened to Gray these last few weeks? His stuff has been garbage. Luckily, he’s still hanging in there. Monty should be up soon it if remains scoreless.

By the way, anyone else here find Altuve eminently likable?

Does Sonny have a swing and miss yet?

One from Bregman.

No one dislikes Altuve. How could they? He’s adorable.

Castro hits a jack here.

40 No heart.

They’re barely making McCullers work while Gray is scrapping and clawing his way for every out.

50 pitches through 3 seems ... not ideal.

That said, he’s at least GETTING the outs via his scrapping and clawing. That’s something.

Yankee hitters have looked terrible the whole series.  Even yesterday what did the Yankees have two hard hit balls the whole game?

[54]  Doesn’t matter.  Bullpen after the 5th no matter what.

This seems like as good a time as any for lots o’ runs.

Nice DP.

Wake up bats.

If Otani were pitching could they skip Romine and use a DH in his spot instead?

Sometimes you just face 7-time Cy Young Award winner, Lance McCullers. What can you do?

Aw yeah, McClutch Romine up!  Grounder that moves the runner, bet on it.

Weak base hits are the Yankees bread and butter.

Mccullers is throwing a lot of first pitch strikes down the middle. Maybe start hammering those?

Productive out Romine plays the game the right way.

If Otani were pitching could they skip Romine and use a DH in his spot instead?

I don’t believe they’re actually allowed to skip the DH spot to start a game.

65 You can’t seriously expect that.

[68] But Otani could be his own DH, right ? He could stay in the game after being pulled off the mound.

[61] No.

The DH may only be used for the pitcher (and not any other position player), as stated in Rule 5.11. Use of the DH is optional, but must be determined prior to the start of the game. If a team does not begin a game with a DH, the pitcher (or a pinch-hitter) must bat for the entire game.

68:They’re allowed to skip the DH if the pitcher hits but on this lineup if Otani were pitching you’d like to skip the catchers spot. That’s probably against the rule but not against the spirit of the rule.

Oh hey. Altuve up again. Because Houston is made of 9 altuves

DH can only hit for a pitcher.

Missed a bat there. A magical bat.

Flailin’ Starlin’  Failin’

Raise your hand if you are surprised at struggling against a guy who has barely pitched the past two plus months. If you do raise your hand, you don’t follow this ballclub.

Castro. Ugh.

Can Betances play 2B ?

Aha, I know the rule that I was thinking of. You can give the DH spot up, but if you DO use the DH, the player in the DH spot has to have at least one at-bat in a game before you replace them as DH. This was done to avoid just having a placeholder DH start the game (like a pitcher on his off day) and then picking which batter to hit depending on the situation.

I don’t want Castro on the team next year.

[78] he can pick em but the throw to first will be an adventure

Modamnit, Gary !!!

Can Betances C ?

Eh tu Austin?

It’s OK guys, I’m here and watching now.  Also, ROMINE ?!?!?

Romine not so great behind the plate. He’ll make up for it with his bat though…

Missed a bat there.

Sanchez has such a problem with blocking balls.

Ball 2 right down the middle per GD.

GD has that second pitch down the pipe

[88] knock it off

I cannot believe that they got a good result there. Wow.

[90] And I almost wrote “down the pipe.”  Are you me?

No more than three more batters for Gray.  Please.

[90] I hope not, for your sake.

Dassit. Already not bad, considering.

Lots o[donated to Toms River] runs?

No reason Didi can’t learn to slap it oppo.

Stupidest Yankee team EVER.

At least they run the bases awesomely. Ugh.

Just tuning in, Gray at 4 IP, 1 H, why are people desperate to yank him?

Again I will ask why Posado was hired to be the baserunning instructor

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