New York Yankees: All the Yankees news in one place

anthony rizzo, yankees

The New York Yankees lost the wild card game to the rival Boston Red Sox and are sitting back watching other teams reach for their dreams, while they are still licking the wounds of another failed season, not advancing in the postseason. But baseball goes on for four teams. The Atlanta Braves lead the Lost Angeles Dodgers two games to none as they travel back to Los Angeles to play the next three games if necessary. The Houston Astros travel to Fenway Park where they are 1-1 in their seven-game contest with the Red Sox.

Even with all this on-field action still going on, don’t think for a minute that the Yankee front office is dormant, it’s not. Although many of the players are back home watching games from their couches the front office is full steam ahead planning improvements for the upcoming 2022 season.

The Yankees make coaching changes

The New York Yankees, even before the end of the World Series have already made some major changes to the staff. Hitting coach Marcus Thames will not be returning in 2022. Also highly thought off third base coach Phil Nevin, will also not have his contract renewed, after a very bad mistake ushering Aaron Judge home and being called out by at least twelve feet. ESPN has also reported that Assitant Hitting Coach P. J. Pilittere’s contract will not have his contract renewed either.

It’s no secret that the Yankee players hitting was darn right awful this year, except for Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Everyone wondered what was going on with one of the most powerful lineups in baseball, that went through long periods of lackluster hitting. At the end of the season, fans wondered who would be held responsible, Cashman, Boone, or Thames; it appears the hitting department is paying the price.

The Yankees may trade some major players

Since the end of the Yankee season, several names have come up as being possibly traded including Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, and Joey Gallo, mostly due to not performing as expected. The Torres and Sanchez situation has gone on for more than one season. Neither has grown as a Yankee and their performance is still suspect. Voit is a different situation, he can’t stay healthy, and now with the addition of Anthony Rizzo is more of a loose end than anything else. Joey Gallo is still a different scenario. He has batted under the interstate and many fans want to see him go.

Will the Yankees re-sign Anthony Rizzo?

When the Yankees acquired Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline, they did so knowing that he was a free agent at the end of the season. Now the question is, did he play well enough for the Yankees to be re-signed. Two things are evident, Rizzo wants to play for the Yankees, but the question is; if the Yankees want to pay him enough to stay around.

Few players play for one historic franchise to play for yet another. Rizzo thought he would play out his career in Chicago, after all, he played for the Cubs for a decade and won a World Series ring with them, as he blossomed into one of the best players to play the game. But, then he came to the Yankees. Upon his arrival, he played better than anyone would have guessed, but as the season wore on he wasn’t as good. Nevertheless, he is an elite first baseman with some pop that the Yankees haven’t seen since Mark Teixeira. Now the Yankees have to decide if they want that defense and production that they have been missing for years.

To keep Rizzo on the team, it will probably cost the Yankees in the neighborhood of $12-20 million a year, according to the length of the contract. Rizzo is 32 years old. He has made it clear in interviews that he would like to end his career in the Bronx.

Yankee minor leaguers to get major upgrade

Anyone that follows baseball knows that there have been some big changes in the minor leagues. A complete re-aligning of the teams themselves, drastically reducing the number of affiliates, and upgrades to remaining locations. Minor leaguers also got a pay raise from $290 a week to $500 a week for the most junior players. This is far from a living wage causing six or more players to rent one apartment with many of them sleeping on mattresses on the floor, and sharing expenses. For some that run out of money they find themselves sleeping in their cars while they juggle second jobs just to get by.

Living in situations like this causes both physical and mental problems that could also cause problems with their on-field performance. Luckily, this problem will mostly go away for the 2022 season. MLB, with the agreement of all 30 major league owners will now provide either lodging or stipends to cover housing expenses for most minor leaguers. The Houston Astros on their own rewarded their minor league players during the 2021 season. Over the years obtaining affordable housing has been the major problem facing these young players while they pursue their dreams of playing in the majors.

Some abritation eligible players will make big money in 2022

The New York Yankees have a boatload of players that are now abritation eligible, some are going to bring in the big bucks. According to MLBTradeRumors.com; 19 Yankees are eligible for raises after this season. They have also provided the project amounts of those new raises. Here are some of the most notible:

  • Aaron Judge: $17.1 million
  • Joey Gallo $10.2 million
  • Gary Sanchez $7.9 million
  • Gio Urshela $6.2 million
  • Gleyber Torres $5.9 million
  • Luke Voit $5.4 million
  • Jordan Montgomery $4.8 millon
  • Chad Green $4.7 million
  • The other 11 are less, all the way down to Tyler Wade @ $700K.

Yankees: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton silenced the critics in 2021

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For years, New York Yankees’ fans have recognized Aaron Judge’s talent to play baseball, but always complain that he is incapable of staying healthy for a full season. Before this year, the last time he played something close to a full campaign was in his breakthrough year, in 2017, with 155 participations.

Likewise, Yankees’ fans were even rougher on Giancarlo Stanton. Not only they ridiculed him for being injury-prone, but a portion of fans were critical on his production and his ability to provide big, timely hits.

It’s safe to say that those concerns have been erased somewhat. Perhaps not fully erased, but both men showed that they can stay healthy and be productive for a full year.

Judge played 148 of 162 games with the Yankees in 2021, or 91 percent; and Stanton took part in 139 contests this season, or 85 percent. Having both men playing most of the games is huge for the Bombers’ chances in 2022, because those two were the ones who carried the team all year long.

By weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+, three Yankees regulars were above-average performers (a wRC+ over 100) on offense: Anthony Rizzo, with 113, Stanton, at 137, and Judge, with 148.

The Yankees’ top two producers by far

Judge and Stanton were a tier and a half above everybody else, and this is something the Yankees will need to fix during the offseason. But having those two sluggers healthy and producing is a very good start.

Judge slashed .287/.373/.544 with 39 homers and 98 RBI. Perhaps more importantly, he improved his strikeout rate to 25 percent, and provided some huge hits, like the game-winning single against Tampa Bay in Game 162 to force a Wild Card game against the Red Sox.

Stanton hit .273/.354/.516 with 35 blasts and 97 RBI, and had a huge series against the Red Sox in the next-to-last weekend of the season. He was also the one bat to show up for the Yankees in the Wild Card game, with two balls hit to the Green Monster and a late homer.

As long as both men are healthy, they should be the top two offensive producer for the Yankees for the foreseeable future, provided that the team is able to extend Judge’s stay beyond 2022.

Yankees’ third base coach explains controversial decision to send Aaron Judge home

New York Yankees, Phil Nevins

The New York Yankees were eliminated in Tuesday’s Wild Card game at the hands of their biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox. They lost 6-2 at Fenway Park, in a game in which the Yankees’ offense went missing yet again. Gerrit Cole couldn’t complete three innings, and besides Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo, the bats couldn’t get much going.

There was a pivotal play in the sixth inning, though. With one out, Rizzo belted a solo home run that brought the score closer, 3-1. Aaron Judge got on base via infield single, and that’s when Red Sox manager Alex Cora took out Nate Eovaldi, his starter, who had been dealing.

Stanton came to the plate and hit one off the Green Monster. With Judge’s sprint speed only slightly above-average, Boston outfielders’ knowledge of their home park and how the ball bounces off the Monster, and the 114.9-mph blast, it made sense to hold Judge at third.

Yankees’ third base coach Phil Nevin waited a long time, perhaps too much, and sent him home when he was almost at third base. He was called out on a beautiful defensive play by the Red Sox that included quickness and precision from Kike Hernandez and Xander Bogaerts.

A costly mistake by the Yankees’ coach

Had Nevin held Judge, the Yankees would have had men on the corners and one out, down two runs. The outlook could have been different.

Former Yankees’ star Alex Rodriguez said on ESPN: “You don’t have to overthink that one. I’m surprised of the magnitude of that mistake [by Nevin] in this situation.”

Nevin talked to the New York Post and fought back: “The guy has never been in that situation, but thinks he has a good idea of what baseball is in that spot and he’s wrong. He’s never been in that position.”

Nevin then explained his thought process: “I know what it looks like. I know what the situation is. I know what kind of third-base coach I am. I made a play to win the game. It didn’t work out. It was a great baseball play on their side. In a big moment, it didn’t go our way. … I was in the right position, made the right read [and] had conviction in my send. But I get it. I get why people are upset and people are mad.”

Joey Gallo popped out to end the threat and the Yankees could only score again in the ninth on a Stanton’s solo homer. That was it.

New York Yankees: Aaron Judge: “We didn’t complete our mission”

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Today out of habit, I went to the New York Yankees pitching probables; nothing was there. It’s still sinking in that the Yankees 2021 baseball season is over. What seemed like a season that would last forever because it was a 162 game season, not a 60 game one, now is over too quickly. Yankee fans yearned to be the postseason, beat the Tampa Bay Rays, go on to a Championship series and win it all for our 28th World Championship now, face disappointment and a long offseason of discontent. Yet, Yankee faithful are still hopeful we can win it all next year.

If you’re a true Yankee fan, that’s what you do; you put it all behind you and yearn for baseball to start again in the spring with new hopes, dreams, and aspirations. After the loss to the Red Sox in the wild card, slugger Aaron Judge said it best: “We didn’t complete our mission.” The somber Judge said he rests a lot of that on his shoulders, examining what he could have done better and why the season didn’t go as expected. Several other players like Brett Gardner echoed the same.

Judge, for his part, is accepting too much of the blame; he and fellow slugger Giancarlo Stanton both carried this team on their shoulders for much of the season and are the only reason they got to the winner take all wild card game in the first place. But even they failed to get the Yankees into the divisional series and beyond.

Many things went wrong this past season, some from lack of player and pitching performance, yet others caused by injuries and the ugly Covid virus. How much blame to attribute to each of those situations is hard to quantify. However, we can all agree that the 2021 New York Yankees had no consistency to the season, with playing really well at times, but more than often, not playing well.

The Yankees now have until spring training to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. There will be many questions to be answered as detailed here. For true fans, the season may be over, but there will be much to discuss over the next several months, including a new MLB/MLBPA collective bargaining agreement, which surely will be a bunch of fun unless it delays the new season or there is a strike.

Meanwhile, this sportswriter will cover all the essential upcoming games in the remainder of the postseason, but folks, it isn’t fun for a lifelong New York Yankee fan. Last night was a reminder of how long and tedious baseball is when you have no team to root for. Thanks for following me this season and every season. Thanks for the compliments, and even the disagreements, I take them all to heart. It’s undoubtedly been a roller coaster ride. Worth it? Of course, I’m a Yankee fan just like you.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

 

New York Yankee Analysis: Big questions the Yankees must answer by March 31, 2022

The New York Yankee season is over, falling short of another World Series win. The “Boss” George Steinbrenner, if alive, would say it’s another failed season. If you consider not winning the World Series failing, then he is correct. But there is a lot to be said about getting to a wild card berth, win or not. Many other AL teams can’t say that. But the one with the biggest payroll; more is expected of them. The Yankees have not had a losing season since 1992. But the last World Series they won was in 2009.

Manager Joe Girardi won the 2009 World Series. But after not repeating for the next eight years and amongst complaints about being too strict, the Yankees moved on from Girardi and hired Aaron Boone.  Boone has been mostly successful in bringing the team to 100 wins, 103 wins, 33 wins in a short season, and 92 wins this year. But, regardless of that success, he has never gotten the team beyond late-season failures.

With each passing year, New York Yankee fans, even the most ardent fans, have become less patient waiting for the Yankees to win. Some fans have given up and moved on to other teams and even other sports. This isn’t good for business and baseball, although a game is a business. Principle owner Hal Steinbrenner and company have to figure out how to turn this team around. Yankee stadium never had a sell-out crowd this season. That is lost dollars, lots of them.

After a very inconsistent season that certainly cost them a trip to the World Series, the New York Yankees have many questions that must be answered before they try this all over again. And this year, there are more questions to be addressed than usual. So let’s have at it.

Renew Aaron Boone’s contract?

In 2018 Aaron Boone was hired as the new Yankee manager on a four-year contract that was over last night. So the Yankee organization has to decide whether to renew his contract or move on from the one-time manager.

When Boone was hired, many Yankee fans said, “Aaron who?”. Boone was never a great baseball player and had never managed even a minor league team. Others have learned to dislike him; still, others think he has done a good job. Most managers in baseball were catchers who seemed to have a better understanding of all baseball operations—Boone, who spent most of his career with the Cincinnati Reds primarily as a third baseman.

Boone will receive most of the blame for this poor season, although much of that blame can be placed on the hitters themselves, as Boone can’t hit for the hitters or pitch for the pitchers. Many fans question his decisions and his lack of holding bad players responsible for their play. Boone, with his style, constantly praises the team when they lose. An excellent example of that is his praise of Gerrit Cole after last night’s wild-card loss saying he threw some good pitches.

However, one must be cautious in blaming Boone. Many believe that Boone was hired to be a mouthpiece for Brian Cashman, the Yankee front office, making the significant decisions and Boone following them, only to be allowed to make minor decisions on the field during games. However, even those skeptical of that theory admit that the Yankee office and analytics department have too much influence over how the games are played.

Examine the organizational philosophy?

With so many questions unanswered about why this team can’t win big year after year, is it time to examine how the whole organization is run? Under the present philosophy, whether Boone is brought back or not, they would only hire another yes man that would be subject to the highly analytics-based front office.

All baseball teams receive the same analytics; it differs in how they are communicated and how they are executed. A manager who uses those stats exclusively and ignores what he sees on the field or who is hot and who is not will lose a lot of games. Analytics are a guide, not a user manual.

Should the Yankees hire a Bruce Bochi, Buck Showalter, or the like, it would require an entire shakeup of how the organization runs. Neither of these guys are yes men and would be challenging to work with under the present makeup. But it’s fair to mention that Bochi’s management style has brought the San Francisco Giants to win 107 games this season for the most in baseball and with less talent than the Yankees.

Brian Cashman will have much to do with if the Yankees are willing to examine themselves. Cashman is the driving force for how the Yankees perform. But many times in the past, Cashman has been slow to act. Lingering questions with Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are examples of that. Last season he failed to act to improve the team. This year got two lefties to balance the lineup that fans have been screaming about for years.

Exceed the luxury tax threshold?

Do the Yankees need to exceed the luxury tax threshold to win finally. No!. Spending a lot of money has not helped them much. Better run and better-managed teams have gone further season after season. The Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays have done it on about 30% of the Yankees payroll.

Extend Aaron Judge’s contract?

This may be the most challenging question to address in this off-season. If the Yankees offer Judge a contract, it will be huge. The question is do the Yankees want to spend that much, and if they do, how badly will it tie their hands on solving the other team’s needs.

Judge turns 30 next year, and based on his injury record, signing a long-term contract with him is risky at best. This season is the first season he has been healthy since 2017. Between 2018 and 2020, he played in only 243 games.  So the question remains how much and for how long. It is doubtful that the Yankees will go more than six years, even though Judge has said he wants to retire a Yankee, according to Bryan Hock.

Aaron Judge’s value is at its highest and could draw the most if the Yankees were willing to trade him. The Yankees could get a quality pitcher, a shortstop, and a few choice prospects for him. However, whether an extension could be agreed upon would most likely be a Derek Jeter-like situation, taking less than he is worth.

How to fix the Yankee outfield?

During this season, the Yankees have had either a drought or glut in the outfield. Aaron Judge is a solid right fielder, and Joey Gallo will be with the team in left field through 2022. However, the Yankees don’t have a true centerfielder with any kind of future. Brett Gardner has been adequate in the position, but it becomes more doubtful that the 38-year-old will return each year. In addition, Aaron Hicks (yes, remember him?) has yet to prove he can stay healthy.

If they fix that, they still have Tyler Wade and Giancarlo Stanton options to add to the mix and give days off.

Obtain a real shortstop?

There is still the ongoing question about Gleybe Torre’s worth to the team. Late this season, the Yankees finally realized they made a mistake trying to make Gleyber Torres a shortstop. Torres is no longer a 22-year-old with a bright future; he has become tarnished goods. He will turn 25 in December and is coming off of two back-to-back poor seasons on defense and offense. The Yankees, to a degree, have overlooked his poor defense because he led the team in 2019 with 38 home runs, but since then, he has only 12 long balls.  What the Yankees should be most concerned about is his lack of growth.

The Yankees have moved Torres to second, where he has played better but not by much. That pushed a Gold Glove second baseman DJ LeMahieu, into being a utility player. Unfortunately, LeMahieu’s performance has not been as good since the move.  While the Yankees have one of baseball’s top prospects, Anthony Volpe, he probably won’t be big team ready for another year or two. With Torre’s continued poor play, the Yankees should at least inquire about options in free agency this offseason.

What to do with the catcher situation?

Oh boy, this question yet again. Gary Sanchez has been one of the most controversial Yankee players since he became the Yankees lead catcher in 2017. That was a year that was pretty good for the young man. But since then, he has not duplicated that performance and has often been criticized for his performance behind at backstop. He continues to be a less-than-average defender and has had a poor batting average.

Last year, he had a disastrous season, hitting only .147 and losing his starting status in favor of backup catcher Kyle Higashioka, a better defender. Sanchez is still around because when he is hot, he can hit the long ball and has a rocket of an arm preventing many stolen bases. He has hit more this year with an average of .204 but still strikes out too much. With the other questions facing the Yankees, it is doubtful they will move Sanchez.

What to do with the loose ends?

The Yankees have two obvious loose ends. One is whether to renew a contract with first baseman Anthony Rizzo and, if they do, what they will do with Luke Voit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Luke Voit is not with the Yankees next season. He could be used in a trade. With the glut at DH, his use to the club is limited. He also has not been able to stay healthy while with the Yankees.  If the Yankees choose to replace Gleyber Torres at short, he too will become a trading piece.

How to reinforce the pitching staff?

The New York Yankees certainly need to beef up the pitching staff. Jameson Taillon is under contract through 2022 and is arbitration-eligible as of today. Also, as of today, Corey Kluber is a free agent.  That leaves Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery as the Yankees starting rotation. The organization will have to examine what place Luis Severino and Domingo German have going forward and if they need to replace Kluber if he doesn’t sign with the Yankees.

At the beginning of the season, the Yankees had one of the strongest bullpens in baseball. Unfortunately, as the season progressed, they lost much of their strength. Set up man Zack Britton underwent Tommy John surgery to keep him out until at least the end of the 2022 season. Justin Wilson and the Yankee’s best long reliever Luis Cessa went to the Reds in a salary dump. Darren O’Day, the sidearmer, had a shoulder injury followed by a hamstring strain that kept him away from the team for the rest of the season.

In a major disappointment this season for the bullpen, on July 31st Tommy Kahnle revealed that had a partially torn UCL and required Tommy John surgery. The Yankees outrighted him and he choose free agency. Just days afterward he signed a new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Yankees picked up a few arms at the trade deadline, Andrew Heaney proved useless. These losses and moves left the bullpen short of components and overworked.

Not knowing if Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, or Clarke Schmidt will be ready for the big time in 2022, the Yankees may have to go shopping to bolster the starting rotation and the bullpen. Unfortunately, any moves they make may have to wait until the end of spring training, when they can further evaluate their options.

 

New York Yankees: Tonight is the night, win or go home, the Wild Card

The New York Yankees have won many games this season, but they also have lost a lot, winning 92 and losing 70. It’s been the worst season since Aaron Boone has taken over as manager. Discarding the shortened season, they haven’t lost this many games since 2017. Regardless of the up and down season, they had this year, in the end, they managed to scratch and claw their way to the postseason. Tonight a few hours after 8:08 pm EDT, the Yankees will know if they will go to the divisional series and continue in the postseason.

The Yankees are in this winner take all game tonight because they have not gotten season wins over any of their division rivals except the lowly Baltimore Orioles and only by a few games. However, they dominated the National League teams they played and had a winning record over all the remaining teams in the AL, except the Angels with a record of 3-4.

The New York Yankees have a lot of work to do. To advance in the postseason and win a 28th World Championship, they will have to win over teams that haven’t been able to win over, all season. First, tonight the Yankees will face the age-old rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. It came down to the last week of the season to find out if they would have the desired home-field advantage, but when they lost a game, and the Sox won they ended up with identical records. Under the rules, when that happens, the team with the best season record against the opponent gets that home-field advantage. If the Yankees can win the wild card game, they will then fight the Tampa Bay Rays for the division win. Superstar slugger Aaron Judge has this to say about the wild card game:

“That’s going to be a fun game right there. It’s going to be action-packed,” Judge said. “They’re going to bring their A-Game. We’re going to bring our A-Game. It’s just going to be another great game in this big rivalry that we have and we’re looking forward to it. We love playing at home, but we’re excited anywhere we went. Getting a chance to go to Boston to play it is an exciting matchup for sure. We have a great starting rotation, our bullpen is fantastic. Even our offense… a lot of tough outs,” Judge said. “If you’re able to do that in the postseason and wear teams down, you can go far.”

The only thing Aaron Judge didn’t really touch on is that the Yankees have had long droughts of not hitting. The Yankees had only 13 hits in their last three games played and a total of six runs combined.

Getting back to tonight, the Yankees will send their best pitcher to the mound, Gerrit Cole, the Yankee ace, to face a former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi. Cole is 16-8 record, an ERA of 3.23, and an incredible 243 strikeouts. So far, with the Yankees, he is 23-11 with a 3.11 ERA in two seasons. Cole has pitched to the Red Sox four times this season, with the Yankees losing two of those games. Cole is coming off a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays when he gave up five runs in six innings of work.

On paper, the New York Yankees have an excellent chance of winning this game, but there is a concern. Although Cole has won a lot of games, his winning percentage was best earlier in the season. It got to the point that when Cole took the mound, the Yankees were nearly assured of a win. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. Cole had struggled at times during September when he lost as many games as he has won. His innings pitched is down, as is his strikeout rate. In addition, he seemed to have tired as the season progressed.

The Boston Red Sox will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to hold down the Yankees. Eovaldi is a former Yankee pitcher (2015-16, 23-11). With the Red, Sox Eovaldi has been 20-15 with an ERA of 4.11. This season he is 11-9 with an ERA of 3.75. The Yankees and Eovaldi have met in the postseason once before. In 2018 in game three of the divisional series, he pitched seven innings in the 16-1 Yankee loss, the Yankees’ most lopsided loss in their postseason history.

Eovaldi is coming off a September 29th win over the Baltimore Orioles when he gave up only four hits in a scoreless effort, striking out 7. Still, on the 24th, he lasted only 2.2 innings against the Yankees giving up seven earned runs in the Yankee win. Over the 2021 season, Eovaldi has a 2-4 record against the Yankees.

The New York Yankees hope that Cole will be at his best tonight and go deep into the game. If he doesn’t, the Yankee bullpen is rested and ready. The Yankees have more options in the bullpen than the Red Sox. The Yankees will pull out all the stops to get into the divisional series with the Tampa Bay Rays in a winner-take-all game.

Tonight’s wild-card game will be televised nationally at 8:08 pm EDT on ESPN. So tune in; there will be no shortage of excitement or nail-biting for either team’s fans in this winner take all event. The loser goes home to lick their wounds.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees get to the wild card in dramatic fashion

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees entered today’s last game of the season at Yankee Stadium with the hope of salvaging a game from the Tampa Bay Rays and holding onto a berth in the wild card one game winner takes all. But, unfortunately, the Yankees lost the first two games of the series and had a really embarrassing loss yesterday. So, in this final game of the regular season, the Yankees sent out Jameson Taillon to win against the Rays’ Michael Wacha. In a non-scoring game, the Yankees won it in the bottom of the ninth on a Judge hit that scored Tyler Wade from third for the 1 to nothing score putting them into the postseason.

Brandon Lowe led off yesterday’s game with a home run, another in the 3rd, and yet another in the seventh lead off today’s game against Taillon and flew out to second. Randy Arozarena popped out to Urshela in short. Wander Franco ground out to end the half. At the bottom, Gleyber Torres against Wacha ground out up the middle. Anthony Rizzo got hit by a pitch. Aaron Judge ground out into a double play to end the scoreless inning.

The second inning was led off by Austin Meadows ground out. Ji-Man Choi ground out to the right side. Mike Zunino popped out to the infield to end the half. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton led off by grounding out. Joey Gallo flew out to left field. Gio Urshela ground out to complete a quick inning for both pitchers. No score.

At the top of the third, Joey Wendle struck out looking. Kevin Kiermaier walked. Lowe singled to left, with Keirmaier making it to third base. Arozarena, with two on and one out, struck out when he couldn’t hold up. Franco flew out to Gallo in left for three shut-out innings for Taillon. The bottom was led off by Gardner, who ground out to second. Sanchez struck off swinging. Odor lined out to first. No score.

Nelson Cruz led the fourth inning with Taillon still on the ground out, but Taillon was taken out in favor of Wandy Peralta facing Meadows, who doubled down the left-field line. Choi walked. With two on and one out, Zunino singled to third, but the lead runner was called out at third. Then with two on and two outs, Wendle at the plate runners advanced on a wild pitch. Wendle ground out to Torres for the final out. Torres led off the bottom by singling up the middle. Rizzo flew out to a sliding Meadows. Judge with one on and one out struck out swinging. Stanton flew out to right to end the inning. No score after four.

Kevin Kiermaier led off the fifth by striking out swinging. Then, Lowe struck out swinging, and that was the day for Peralta. Clay Holmes came in to face Arozarena, who with two out and no one on base struck out as Yankee pitching struck out the side. At the bottom, Joey Gallo led off and walked for his 111th walk of the season. Urshela ground into a double play wasting Gallo’s walk. Gardner flew out to left field, making it five scoreless innings.

The sixth inning was led off by Franco against Holmes and popped out to Torres at second. Cruz ground out to third and spun and got the out. Austin Meadows faced the new Yankee pitcher Chad Green and popped up, in a long run by Urshela, he caught the ball going headfirst into the Rays dugout with no regard for his body, it was a spectacular play; he was injured, he slowly made his way to the Yankee dugout on his own power, and Yankee fans showered him with applause. At the bottom, Sanchez struck out swinging. Odor struck out. Torres, with no one on and two outs, battled through nine pitches for a walk. Rizzo flew out for a blank scoreboard after six.

Amazingly at the top of the seventh, Urshela was back out on the field after crashing into the dugout in the sixth. Ji-Man Choi led off and doubled in front of Judge in right. Zunino struck out. Wendle lined out to Judge. Kiermaier walked. Lowe faced new pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga and popped out to Odor to end the half. At the bottom, Aaron Judge led off and hit a soft ground ball out to second. Stanton popped out to the infield. Gallo struck out for yet another scoreless inning.

The eighth Arozarena got an infield single when Sanchez couldn’t get the ball. Arozarena stole second. Franco flew out to Gallo, but Arozarena got to third, avoiding the tag out. Cruz struck out swinging. Meadows flew out to Judge in right. Urshela led off the bottom by grounding out against former Yankee David Robertson. Gardner popped out to short center. Sanchez flew out to left. No score after eitght.

Still, with no score, Ji-Man Choi led off and struck out on a Chapman slider. Zunino lined out to Gallo in left. Wendle walked. Wendle stole second. Manuel Magot pinch hit for Kiermaier and struck out swinging. At the bottom of the ninth, Odor led off and singled up the middle. He was pinch-run by Tyler Wade. Gleyber Torres flew out to right with Wade going to second. Anthony Rizzo singled with Wade going to third and Rizzo going to second on the throw. With Aaron Judge coming up, the Rays went to Kittredge. Judge hit with two on and one out, scoring Wade as the Yankees go to the wild card game.

The winning pitcher was Aroldis Chapman, and the loser was Josh Fleming. The final score was the New York Yankees 1 and the Tampa Bay Rays 0.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Yankees strengthen hold on the wild card with win over the Jays (video)

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

With new urgency, last night, the New York Yankees entered the last game of the Toronto Blue Jays series at Roger’s Center in Toronto with a need to win the rubber game of the series. The Yankees won the first game  7-2 but lost the second game in a 6-5 squeaker. The must-win would allow the Yankees to keep the wild card home field advantage even if the Red Sox won their game with the Orioles. Which they didn’t; they lost to the Baltimore Orioles, including the series.

The Yankees relied on Corey Kluber to get the win over the likely Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray. Kluber managed to keep the Yankees in the game at the night’s end as the Jay’s best pitcher Ray failed miserably. Five Yankee homers powered the way to a 6-2 win in the game, giving them even more cushion in the wild card race.

Corey Kluber got the job done

The still building up after coming off the IL, and after not pitching for three months, the New York Yankees sent righty Corey Kluber to the mound to at least keep the Yankees in the game against arguably the best AL pitcher Robbie Ray.  Even though Corey Kluber wasn’t at his best, he kept the Yankees in the game; he limited the Jays to just two runs against the energetic young Jays team. He pitched into the fifth inning, giving up seven hits and the two runs.

When Kluber was taken out of the game after 4.2 innings of work, Michael King entered. King finished off the fifth and pitched the sixth, giving up just one hit. Luis Severino, who has been lights out since his return from Tommy John surgery, pitched a hitless seventh. Chad Green, who has been returning to form lately, struck out three in the eighth. Chapman came in for the ninth in a non save situation and allowed one hit while striking out two and securing the 6-2 lead for the Yankees.

Bronx Bombers power their way to another win

The Toronto Blue Jays sent their best pitcher, the likely 2021 Cy Young award-winner, to shut down the Yankees and give them the series win. But the Bronx Bombers were not going to take any of that silliness; they pummeled the lefty with five home runs in the game. All the Yankee runs were via the home run, including the one other hit in the game.

It started in the first inning after DJ LeMahieu struck out and Anthony Rizzo ground out into the shift. Then, Aaron Judge came to the plate and hit a monster 455′ homer into the Roger’s Center left-field stands. He wouldn’t be denied as he hit his second home run in the sixth inning back to back after Anthony Rizzo hit the 250th homer of his career. Then, Gleyber Torres hit his own home run driving Robbie Ray out of the game. Finally, Brett Gardner tacked on an insurance homer in the top of the ninth inning for a 6-2 win that the Jays couldn’t recover from.

Questions with DJ Lemahieu

The New York Yankees are not done with injuries this year. Shortly before last night’s game, it was announced that the first baseman and DH Luke Voit was put on the 10 day IL with a knee injury. After a strikeout Wednesday night, Voit was seen limping off the field. Possibly of even greater consequence Tyler Wade entered the game to take DJ LeMahieu’s last two at-bats. LeMahieu has been suffering from hip and groin problems. The Yankees, in their usual vagueness, wouldn’t comment on how serious it is, other than he would work through it. Being taken out early last night questions that.

Yankees wild card standing

The New York Yankees strengthened their grip on a wild card berth by holding on to the home-field advantage. The Red Sox, who are behind the Yankees, lost their game against the Baltimore Orioles. Next in line was the Seattle Mariners, who were idle yesterday. The situation caused the Mariners and the Red Sox to have identical records two games out. With the loss last night, the Toronto Blue Jays are one game out for a wild card appearance with only three games left in the season.

In other standings, Dusty Bakers’ Houston Astros clinched the AL West for the fourth time in five years and will face the Chicago White Sox. When the Yankees win the wild card game, they will face the Tampa Bay Rays. The winners of those series will play each other in the AL Championship to determine who goes on to play in the World Series.

Notes: I can’t finish this article without giving a shout-out to Bo Bichette who played his heart out in this series. The little guy did everything he could to make the Blue Jays victorious. He had seven hits including two home runs in the series while striking out only twice.

Tonight at 7:05 pm EDT, the New York Yankees start out their final series of the season at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Nasty Nestor Cortes Jr. will be on the mound for the Yankees. The game will be televised on the YES Network, Bally Sports Sun, and on MLBN out of market.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankee homers win a hard fought game against the Blue Jays

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

With new urgency, tonight, the New York Yankees entered the last game of the Toronto Blue Jays series at Roger’s Center in Toronto with a need to win the rubber game of the series. The Yankees won the first game  7-2 but lost the second game in a 6-5 squeaker. The must-win would allow the Yankees to keep the wild card home field advantage even if the Red Sox win their game with the Orioles. The Yankees relied on Corey Kluber to get the win over the likely Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray. At the end of the night, the Yankee homers powered the way to a 6-2 win in the game.

DJ LeMahieu led off the first inning against Ray and went down on strikes. Anthony Rizzo ground out into the shift. Then, Aaron Judge had a monster home run 455′ into the Roger’s restaurant. Giancarlo Stanton walked. Gleyber Torres flew out to the warning track in  center as the Yankees got on the board first. At the bottom, George Springer led off and singled to no man’s land in center. Marcus Semien hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Vlad Guerrero ground out to short. New York Yankees 1 Blue Jays 0.

Gary Sanchez led off the second by walking. Brett Gardner ground out to second. Gio Urshela was called out on strikes. Kyle Higashioka flew out to the warning track in right. At the bottom, the bothersome Bo Bichette that homered twice last night singled up the middle. Bichette stole second. Teoscar Hernandez flew out to Stanton in left field. Corey Dickerson hit a long one for a double scoring Bichette to tie the game at one. Alejandro Kirk ground out to third. Santiago Espinal flew out to a diving Judge in right, but the Jays tied the game. New York Yankees 1 Toronto Blue Jays 1.

The third inning was led off by LeMahieu, who popped out to shallow center. Rizzo launched one to right for a fly-out. Judge flew out to right-center for three flyouts for Robbie Ray. At the bottom of the inning, Randel Grichuk flew out for the first out. Springer popped out to Torres. Semien singled on a soft line drive. Guerrero struck out on an excellent curveball from Kluber. Game tied at 1.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the fourth inning by grounding out to third Torres ground out up the middle. Sanchez went down swinging. At the bottom, the dangerous Bo Bichette led off by popping out to Urshela. Hernandez went down on strikes. Dickerson got a single on a hit cut-off by Judge. Dickerson stole second. Kirk walked. Espinal with two outs and two on ground out to short to end the inning and leave two on base. The game tied at 1 in the fourth.

The fifth inning was led off by Brett Gardner, who flew out to second. Urshela flew out to right-center. Higahioka struck out to end the half scoreless for the New York Yankees. At the bottom, Randal Grichuk led off by striking out. Springer ground to short for a single. Semiem struck out. Dickerson doubled driving in Springer for a Blue Jays run. Corey Kluber left the game in the fifth, giving up two earned runs, walking one, and striking out 2. Micheal King replaced him to finish out the fifth. Toronto Blue Jays 2 New York Yankees 1.

The sixth inning was huge for the New York Yankees. The inning produced four runs for the Yankees. First, Anthony Rizzo hit the 250th homer of his career. Then, Aaron Judge got his second homer of the game. Then, Gleybor Torres homered. Those homers led to the end of the night for Jay’s pitcher Robbie Ray. Luis Severino pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning. New York Yankees 5 the Toronto Blue Jays 2.

The seventh inning was scoreless for both teams. Anthoney Rizzo led off the eighth inning and struck out swinging. Judge walked. Stanton struck out. Gleyber Torres flew out to center to end the half. At the bottom Bichette against Chad Green singled. Hernandez stuck out swinging. Dickerson struck out swinging. Kirk also struck out with one-on and two outs, giving Green three strikeouts in the inning. New York Yankees 5 Blue Jays 2.

Gary Sanchez led off the ninth inning against Julian Merryweather by striking out looking. Brett Gardner homed for the New York Yankees’ fifth homer of the night. Gio Urshela singled up the middle. Higashioka, with one run in and one on with one out, struck out for the second out of the inning. Tyler Wade struck out to end the half. At the bottom, with last licks on the line for the Toronto Blue Jays Santiago Espinal against closer, Aroldis Chapman singled beyond short. Breyvic Valera pinch-hitting for Randal Crichuk with one on and no outs went down looking on a 99 mph fastball. George Springer, with one out, struck out for Chapman’s 1,000th strikeout. Marcus Semien, with two outs, ground out to Tyler Wade for the final out for the Blue Jays.

The New York Yankees won the rubber game and the series from the Blue Jays, keeping their number one berth in the wild card. The final score was the New York Yankees 6 and the Toronto Blue Jays 2. The winning pitcher was Michael King, and the loser was Robbie Ray.

 

 

 

 

Yankees News, 9/29: One player who has brought the Bombers back to life, Judge, Taillon injuries

yankees, giancarlo stanton

The New York Yankees are making waves in the Wild Card ever since adopting a pet turtle named Bronxie. With the turtle roaming the clubhouse and sparking confidence within the Yankee players, they have been unstoppable as of late. With the post-season in mind, the Yankees have taken a healthy two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox for the first place spot in the WC. Just last week, they were sitting below the Wild Card, and now they lead with a cushion as the Red Sox fell to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

The Yankees have five games left in the regular season, but they aren’t out of the woods yet as Boston or Seattle could go on a winning streak. Boston is finishing up a series against Baltimore with two more games, having lost their last four contests; Boston is playing themselves right out of the playoffs.

However, a big reason the Yankees are playing well is slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has been an absolute menace at the plate lately. Over his last five games, Stanton has recorded 10 hits over 28 bats, including four homers and 13 RBIs. His performance hasn’t been against lowly teams either, taking on Boston, Toronto, and Texas.

“We’re playing for keeps, we’re playing for a lot, and I think G is embodying that right now,” manager Aaron Boone said.

“Like I say all the time, he’s a unicorn,” Boone said of Stanton. “We just kind of shake our heads sometimes.”

Even Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoya was taken aback by Stanton’s three-run blast in the 7-2 victory over Toronto on Tuesday.

“I don’t know how you can hit a ball like that,” Montoyo said. “That ball was almost in the dirt, and he went and hit it out.”

The Yankees have also relied on another slugger, Aaron Judge, who hosts a .287 average this season. He recorded two hits and two RBIs in the victory but has been dealing with a slight injury, dislocating his pinky over the weekend.

“I felt like it was going to be OK,” Boone said, “but to see him go out and have immediate success and hit the ball like he did, that was certainly encouraging.”

Aside from Judge, starting pitcher, Jameson Taillon re-aggravated his ankle injury after pitching just 2.1 innings on Tuesday. He was replaced by Michael King, who gave up two hits and one run over 2.2 innings pitched. The bullpen was solid, helping get the Bombers out of any trouble, but Taillon leaving the game is undoubtedly a big problem with the postseason just around the bend.

“I could tell right away that he had re-aggaravated it,” Boone said of Taillon. “It was a quick decision for me to get him out of there.”

Hopefully, the Yankees can get some of the more prominent players healthy in the coming days, as Luis Severino has been working his way back diligently from consistent injuries over the past two years. He pitched one inning in the win, striking out one batter and not allowing a hit. Severino has looked solid so far, so if he continues to impress, he could earn a start down the road.