New York Yankees Finally Put Together Some Offense in Win Over Baltimore

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Just four days ago, the New York Yankees finished dropping a three game series against the Orioles at home. Now on the road, the Yankees finally pieced together some offense and beat the Orioles by a score of 8-4.

Gleyber Torres led the way

Gleyber Torres put together a game he won’t forget. Torres went 4-for-4 with two dingers and four ribbies.

His first time up, he roped a 1-1 splitter to left field and gone for a solo homer. His next time up, he cracked a double.

The third time he came to the plate, the Yankees were trailing 4-2 in the sixth inning, shortly after catcher Gary Sanchez had a homer himself. Torres took an 0-2 fastball to left for a three run home run to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Torres also had a single in the eighth, and if he had another plate appearance, he would need just a triple for the cycle.

In the ninth inning, first baseman Luke Voit popped a 1-2 sinker into the seats for a three-run bomb, putting the Yankees up 8-4 to seal the deal.

Something that is worrisome about the game is the fact that Aaron Judge went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He isn’t getting a ton of friendly calls behind the plate, but nonetheless he shouldn’t be striking out as much as he has been. Like we said yesterday, it’s all about situational hitting.

Big Maple’s first Yankee win

Getting a no decision in his first Yankee game, James “Big Maple” Paxton picked up his first Yankee win on Thursday against the Orioles.

Paxton pitched 5 1/3 innings while giving up four runs on eight hits while striking out nine and walking two. Paxton threw 99 pitches and threw first pitch strikes to 14 of his 25 batters. He got eight of his nine strikeouts on variations of his fastball, and was hitting 96 MPH consistently on the radar gun with the four-seam.

Once Paxton was finished, Tommy Kahnle came in for 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, followed by Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman with scoreless innings to close it out.

Reminder: We’re only seven games into the season. The Yankees are 3-4, but the Astros (who we play next) are 2-5 and the Red Sox are 2-6. Plus, the Cubs are also off to a 1-4 start. Those four teams area handful of the World Series favorites.

Fans just need to patient. The Yankees will heal, and they will win games.

The Yankees actually have Friday off with the whole home opener, next day off thingy. So the Yankees and the O’s finish off this three game series on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s game will be at 7:05PM on YES Network and Fox Sports Go. MASN may be available dependent on where you live and which TV provider you have, and that is another way to watch.

JA Happ gets the ball for the Yankees against the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy. That will be a rematch of this past Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

 

New York Yankees Strike Out a Franchise-Record 18 Times in Loss to Detroit

The New York Yankees struck out a total of 18 times, a franchise record for a nine inning game, and only amassed five hits as they dropped the rubber match of the three game series against Detroit 2-1. The Yankees were an ugly 2-4 during their six game homestand, and also lost Troy Tulowitzki to an injury on Wednesday.

Not getting runners on

The New York Yankees had a 2-for-5 completion rate with runners in scoring position. Judge had an RBI single and Torres had a single that didn’t score a run. LeMahieu, Bird, and Frazier each had singles, making it a total of just five hits for the Yanks. Luke Voit got hits in the three games against the Orioles, but went hitless against the Tigers in three games.

The team did draw four walks, but they aren’t getting runners in scoring position. Judge did have a stolen base, but Brett Gardner was caught stealing.

They may be able to get on base more and have more success at the plate if they improved their situational hitting. Every single guy goes up to the plate hoping to smack one into Poughkeepsie. That mindset doesn’t work at all. Through six games they have just five home runs, and if they just try to put it in play, good things could happen.

Maybe Aaron Boone needs to try some small ball, like in the bottom of the order. Get a guy on then have someone like Mike Tauchman or Tyler Wade bunt or do a hit and run to try to get runners in a better position, even if it may cause an out for the batter.

Loaisiga and Sanchez

Jonathan Loaisiga started the game on the mound for the Yankees, and despite the fact he only pitched four innings he did well. The Yankees had no intentions to stretch him out, and was removed after just 70 pitches. He struck out four but issued three walks and only gave up one hit. He gave first pitch strikes to nine of his 16 batters while getting three groundouts and five flyouts.

Gary Sanchez already has four errors, and has played just five games. He had another bad throw on a steal attempt, allowing Nick Castellanos to move to third. He really needs to get those throws down and on target.

Another one bites the dust

Troy Tulowitzki was injured in Wednesday’s game against the Tigers with a calf strain and will hit the IL. The team is down another position player, forcing them to call up Thairo Estrada to take Tulo’s place. Estrada has been on the 40 man roster for some time, but hasn’t made his MLB debut.

They need guys like Estrada to step it up during these injuries. It may be early on and generally a low-stress time, but we don’t want these losses to pile up too much.

The Yankees will play the Orioles starting on Thursday at 3:05PM. James Paxton will get the ball for the Yankees against the Orioles’ Alex Cobb.

The New York Yankees Beat The Tigers as Gardner and Sanchez Homer

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

In a low scoring affair, New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German threw five solid innings and Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner each hit solo home runs to beat the Detroit Tigers by a score of 3-1.

Seven combined hits

The Tigers and the Yankees combined for just seven hits all game, and just two came from the Tigers. Both of them happened to come off the bat of Jordy Mercer, who went 2-of-4.

The Yankees had five hits, two of which left the yard. Sanchez and Gardner each had solo shots, and Gardner also added a single in the first.

Greg Bird had a single to left field, but Tigers outfielder Christin Stewart bobbled it and Luke Voit put the wheels on and scored from first after a walk in the third inning.

Judge doubled in the seventh inning, but was stranded there, unable to build on the lead.

Aroldis Chapman came in to lock it down in the ninth, pitching a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout to end it.

The Yankees four big relievers that are healthy right now pitched on Monday, and each did a great job. Chad Green, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Aroldis Chapman were each scoreless in one inning of work, and Britton was the only one that allowed a hit.

German did what was asked of him

Domingo German went out there on Monday with relatively low expectations, but pitched a solid game. In five innings, he only gave up a hit and a run, the run being charged on another Gary Sanchez throwing error. It did look like Gleyber Torres just missed the catch and Sanchez was just stuck with the error, so it’s not really his fault.

German only threw 77 pitches, but struck out seven while throwing first-pitch strikes 62 percent of the time. He got three of his seven strikeouts on curveballs, two of his seven on sliders, and two of his seven on fastballs. So basically, there was a lot that was working for German.

Though his pitches worked well, his accuracy and composure were poor. He walked five batters on Monday, and a 7:5 strikeout to walk ratio is really bad. He needs to keep practicing his accuracy and find more strategies with Gary Sanchez to get the ball to spots he can hit and the batters can’t.

Game two of the series against the Tigers continues on Tuesday at 6:35PM on YES Network and Fox Sports Go.

Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to make his second start of the season, while Jordan Zimmerman will do the same for Detroit. Zimmerman was dominant last time out against the Blue Jays, allowing just one hit in seven innings.

 

 

Yankees can’t recover from Happ’s poor start in another loss to Orioles

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

JA Happ gave up a three run homerun to Orioles third baseman Renato Nunez in the first inning, and the Yankees weren’t able to recover as they dropped the rubber match to the Orioles, 7-5.

Happ’s struggles

In his first start of the season, JA Happ did not come out with his best stuff. After more than a three hour rain delay, Happ opened the game by striking out Jonathan Villar. It spiraled downward after that.

Dwight Smith Jr. hit a double to right-center field, then Trey Mancini hit a dumb little chopper down the third base line that Andujar couldn’t get to in time, putting runners on the corners.

Then, Nunez crushed a 2-2 fastball into the bleachers in left field, giving the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

After a 1-2-3 second inning, Trey Mancini launched another fastball, this time into monument park to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead.

Happ worked a 1-2-3 fourth, but the Yankees decided to pull him and put in long reliever Luis Cessa, who gave up one earned run in 3 1/3 innings.

Happ just couldn’t throw the fastball well on Sunday. Both home runs came from it, as well as the double in the first inning by Smith Jr. Happ struck out three while issuing just one walk in his four innings of work, throwing 75 pitches.

Hitting like it’s still 2018

It may be a new season, but the Yankees offensive tendencies are just the same. Too many chased pitches while having a poor average with runners in scoring position. The Yankees were 2-of-12 with runners in scoring position on Sunday, Judge knocking in two on a single in the fourth, and a LeMahieu RBI single in the ninth.

The Yankees were down 7-4 going to the bottom of the ninth after Tommy Kahnle walked the bases loaded, but managed to work out of it.

Bird walked and then Gleyber Torres just inched out an infield single before LeMahieu had his RBI single. Troy Tulowitzki pinch-hit for Brett Gardner, but struck out on a 1-2 slider that he check-swung at.

14 of the Yankees 27 outs were strikeouts, but four of them came from Judge and three came from Sanchez. However, in addition to Judge’s RBI single, Sanchez went yard for the first time in 2019, lining a 1-2 change-up down the left field line in the seventh.

The Yankees will now take on the Detroit Tigers in a three game series to wrap-up a six game homestand. The Tigers split a four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays to open their season. Tyson Ross is expected to start for the Tigers, while the Yankees are expected to have a “bullpen game”. Domingo German is expected to pitch a few innings for the Yankees, but it is unknown if he will be the starter.

Game time is at 6:35PM on YES Network and Fox Sports Go.

Andujar with missed opportunities as Yankees drop first game of season

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

In his first start as a Yankee, southpaw James Paxton pitched well, giving up two runs (one earned) off of four hits with five strikeouts. However, he was credited with a loss as the Yankees couldn’t get much going on offense, dropping the second game against the Orioles by a score of 5 to 3.

Despite having 10 hits, the Yankees only managed to score three runs while going 3-of-9 with runners in scoring position. Their defense sure didn’t help any, having three errors on the game.

The little offense they had:

In the fourth inning, DJ LeMahieu punched one up the middle, barely strong enough to get through, scoring Gleyber Torres.

In the sixth inning, the Orioles put up two runs off a single by Dwight Smith and a throwing error by Gary Sanchez on a double steal attempt. With runners on first and second, Sanchez threw to second on the steal attempt. The throw was in plenty of time, just off target. This would knock Paxton out of the game.

An inning later, Baltimore got one more, this time off of Chad Green. Rio Ruiz doubled, then later scored off a single by Jesus Sucre. Sucre led the Orioles, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

In the ninth inning, Yankee reliever Jonathan Holder made a mess, starting after an error by DJ LeMahieu. With runners on the corners with one out, Sucre knocked one down the left field line, stopping at second and clearing the bases while making the score 5 to 1.

The Yankees sure tried to come back in the bottom of the ninth. Troy Tulowitzki led off with an opposite field home run, then LeMahieu followed with a double. Gardner hit a hard liner to center that was caught for the first out, however Aaron Judge kept it going with a hard single. After a full count strikeout by Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit hit a high fly ball that barely dropped in with the outfield playing back. That scored a run making it 5 to 3, but Miguel Andujar struck out on a 1-2 slider to end the game.

Andujar ruined their two biggest opportunities

Way back in the first inning, Baltimore starting pitcher Nate Karns was in no mood to deal with the big boys. After Gardner was retired to start the inning, Karns walked Judge, Stanton, and Voit to load the bases. After taking a low fastball for a ball, Andujar hit it back to Karns who threw it to Sucre behind the plate, then Trey Mancini at first for a 1-2-3 double-play.

Now in the ninth inning, the Yankees had Judge on third and Voit on first with Andujar up to bat. After swinging at a 95 MPH fastball for strike one, Oriole reliever Mike Wright threw three straight sliders. Andujar laid off the first one but swung at the next two to end the game.

Andujar finished 1-for-5 with two strikeouts on the afternoon.

The Yankees finish the series with the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at 1:05PM in the Bronx. The game will be televised on YES Network and Fox Sports Go.

 

Three run first inning powers New York Yankees to Opening Day Win

New York Yankees, Yankees, Luke voit

It didn’t take very long for New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit to prove haters wrong.

After back-to-back singles by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Voit cranked a low slider on a 3-1 count into Monument Park for the Yankees first three runs of the game and season, and it led them to a 7-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

That home run was Voit’s only official at-bat, he took walks in two other plate appearances and was also hit by a pitch. His hit-by-pitch actually resulted in an RBI, as the bases were loaded. Aaron Judge was the only Yankee with multiple hits, a single to right and an infield single. All Yankee batters besides leadoff hitter Brett Gardner had a hit, but Gardner did have a walk.

Greg Bird went 1-for-4 on the game, with three strikeouts and a home run into the Yankee bullpen. Miguel Andujar had a single to CF in the seventh and an RBI sacrifice fly early on. Andujar, however, did have a throwing error in the fourth inning.

A quality start for Tanaka:

Masahiro Tanaka got his 2019 season off to a good start, giving up six hits, two runs (one earned), and fired five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work. Only throwing 83 pitches, the Yankees didn’t want to stretch it with him as the team doesn’t play again until Saturday.

Tanaka was throwing his slider and splitter well and for strikes. All five strikeouts were swinging, including him striking out the side in the second inning using mainly offspeed pitches. Most outs came from his slider or splitter, and he only threw a few curveballs all game.

Tanaka faced 22 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of them.

Ottavino showed out in his first game:

Adam Ottavino had no New York jitters. He came out to relieve Tanaka in the sixth inning with two outs to strike out Rio Ruiz, then came back for the seventh inning getting two more strikeouts and a lineout to Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, who got a hit in his first game as a Yankee.

Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman came in for the eighth and ninth innings, and each pitched scoreless innings despite both giving up a hit.

The two teams don’t play on Friday but will continue the series on Saturday at 1:05PM on YES Network, ESPN+, or FOX Sports Go. The probable starters for the game are Nate Karns and James Paxton.

 

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge Tweaks Batting Stance And It’s Paying Dividends

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

New York Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge is no foreigner to the outfield fence, whether it’s defensively or offensively. He regularly sends probes over 400 feet from home plate to investigate the bleachers. In 2018, he completed 27 expeditions, also known as home runs, into outer space.

The expectation for Judge is to continue smacking homers while racking up a ton of strikeouts, and that’s justified, but the Yanks were one of the worst offenders when it came to leaving runners in scoring position last year. Moving forward, improving contact rate and lowering strikeouts will be the priority for the big hitters.

Sacrificing homers for strikeouts has been supported in recent years, but improving upon fundamentals and practicing can help balance the scale.

New York Yankees: Aaron Judge has been forced to sacrifice…but no longer:

Judge missed nearly nine-weeks of baseball last season in what was another dominant year at the plate. Despite his strikeout totals (152), he finished with a .278 batting average. When factoring the games he missed, he was on pace for 201 strikeouts (compared to the number of at-bats he had in 2017 – 542).

Essentially, he would have struck out seven fewer times last season than in 2017, a very marginal number that can be considered flat. Lowering the number is the focus in 2019, and Judge has begun taking the steps to improve his contact rate which in terms will increase base-hit efficiency.

What has Aaron Judge done to improve his contact efficiency?

The Yankees’ right fielder has changed his swing, or specifically his front-foot when going through the motion. In the past, Judge would lift his front-foot to add more power to his swing. This spring, he has experimented with keeping his front-foot planted on the ground to activate his core to maintain balance.

During Grapefruit League play, Aaron is hitting .333 in 30 at-bats with six homers and eight strikeouts. If you take that small sample size and compare it to his 2018 numbers, we can see that his strikeout rate dropped from .38 to .26. That’s a significant margin that would have seen him strike out 107 times instead of 152 times.

While we can’t take spring numbers and convert them to regular season stats that easily, there’s a clear improvement here that we should be excited about. Judge could have his most dominant season yet in 2019.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Aaron Judge Is Primed For A Monstrous 2019 Season

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

In 22 at-bats, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has hit three, doubles, four homers, and recorded 7 RBIs. Now, he has also struck out six times this spring. If you factor out Judge’s 2018 stats, you can see that he averages a homer every 15 at-bats. Additionally, he struck out every 2.7 at-bats.

By look at Judge’s Grapefruit league numbers, we can see that he is hitting a homer every 5.5 at-bats and striking out every 3.6 at-bats. What does this tell us? He’s seeing the ball extremely well and his injury is clearly not bothering him anymore.

On Tuesday afternoon, Yankees’ Judge hit a two-run homer with ease:

An opposite-field homer from the big man. Just watch his stance – he’s locked in, legs stuck into the ground like tree trunks prepared to swivel and send the ball flying the other direction. This was impressive, a quick twist of the hips and the glorious sound of a perfectly hit ball. His fundamentals look impeccable, and if he can lower his strikeout rate this season, Judge could be a front-runner for MVP.

Reggie Jackson and Ken Singleton made an observation on Judge’s swing:

“Aaron has been working in the cage and behind the scenes, if you will, by trying to take a no-stride swing to not have too much going on with two strikes.”

If you look at his current motion, Judge’s front foot stays firmly in the ground, not moving except for the natural twist. In previous years, his front foot would hop off the ground to deliver more power, but it would throw him off balance and cause him to swing at more pitches. Now, he’s more concentrated and balanced in the box.

This small tweak could be the difference in an MPV caliber season or not. Barring injury, he certainly looks the part this spring. But, as we know, taking spring stats too literally is never a good idea, and predicting he’s going to replicate the same production would be ignorant. Despite those factors, his stance has clearly changed, and hopefully, it’s for the better.

New York Yankees Bold Prediction For The 2019 Season

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

We’re a week into New York Yankees baseball, how about some bold predictions – which will only turn out to be way off base later, but what the heck:

Troy Tulowitzki hits .250 with 15 homers and gives you solid defense until Didi gets back.  He was one of the top shortstops during his tenure with the Rockies.  He’s going to be a good fit he he stays healthy and with that attitude-he wanted to replace Jeter when he retired-he yelled into the Blue Jays dugout as he rounded the bases for his homerun-an attitude that demands respect and gets it.

Tulowitzki’s homer off Marcus Stroman was a good one, not a batting practice homer off of a AAA relief pitcher. He had a double and a walk in Saturday’s matchup with the Pirates and made his signature moves at shortstop -the off-balance throw to first to catch the runner.

The first base competition for the Yankees takes a turn:

Greg Bird makes the opening day roster and Luke Voit starts the season in AAA along with Clint Frazier.  The reason I make this prediction is because Bird is raking, he had a double in Saturday’s loss to the Pirates to continue his hitting streak. Bird is six for 11 with four extra-base hits so far this spring.  If he keeps up this torrid pace, his lefty bat makes its way into the lineup.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hit 100 homers. The Yankees hit 266 home runs in 2018, setting a Major League Baseball record.  The lineup was fraught with injuries to key players, such as Judge (wrist) and Stanton (hamstrings) who played through injury because Judge was out.  

A pair of healthy sluggers make the world go round:

In 2019, both Judge and Stanton are healthy to start the season and fans are excited to see the power bats in action again gearing up for what will undoubtedly be a big season for this pair of sluggers.  Judge, who hit 27 homers in 112 games in ’18 is projected by ZiPS to perhaps hit 35 homers in 128 games in ’19.

Stanton, on the other hand, hit 38 homers in 150 games in ’19 and ZiPS projects him for a big year in ’19 with 47 home runs in 150 games.  The resulting combined projected homers, according to ZiPS, for Judge and Stanton would be 82, but I’m predicting that Judge has a better year that ZiPS projects and we see him claim the power throne from Stanton.

-Judge will hit over 50 homers this season and be in the MVP conversation-

Yankees win 103 games. While the Yankees fans were ecstatic that the team won 100 games in 2018, losing to the Red Sox to end the season was no cause for celebration.  It took a while to appreciate the 100 wins, especially with the seasons that Bird and Gary Sanchez had and the injuries to Judge, Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman that they had to overcome.

2019 feels like an improved team, with the addition of James Paxton, Adam Ottaviano and infielders, DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki – fans are expecting nothing less than a World Series this season.  Are these the players that can deliver – or, in the case of Tulowitzki, can he deliver until Gregorius is ready to return to the team in July or perhaps, even August?

A clean bill of health is necessary if No. 28 is to be realistic:

The 2019 Yankees have the opportunity to outpace the 2018 team and win number 28 on paper, but as always, the health of the team, and sometimes even luck, have a lot to say about how a season pans out.

Last bold prediction is my opening day roster – this is the best team I believe we can field behind the ace Severino on Opening Day – what changes would you make?

Opening Day Roster:

  • Gardner LF
  • Judge RF
  • Stanton DH
  • Sanchez C
  • Hicks CF
  • Bird 1B
  • Torres SS
  • Andujar 3B
  • LeMahieu 2B

New York Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka Dominant in Spring Debut

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had is spring debut on Sunday at home against the Tigers, and boy he sure looked good.

In the first inning, Tigers centerfielder Daz Cameron rocketed a double deep into center field, but Tanaka stranded him on third by striking out the next two batters and forcing a fly out to center for the third out.

Tanaka’s second inning was flawless, working three groundouts to the left side, two of them to Miguel Andujar at third. The first one, Andujar took a few steps right to field a backhanded, hard-hit ground ball, and threw a two-hopper to first. The second was a routine ground ball that he put away with ease.

The third inning was just as good for Tanaka, getting the leadoff hitter to groundout to Kyle Holder at short, then two easy flyouts to Estevan Florial in center.

His final stat line: three innings, one hit, two strikeouts, and one runner stranded at third.

He also got a little run support in the first two innings, Brett Gardner hit two homeruns to right field for his first two hits of the spring, Aaron Judge lined his first homerun of the spring to right, and Gary Sanchez hit a screamer down the left field line that barely stayed fair.

Yankees feature two squads in two-game Sunday:

The Yankees are actually playing as a split squad today, the other team is playing the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Luke Voit is leading the way down there with a solo homerun, making the fight for first base even more interesting.