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.

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: 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.

New York Yankees: Highlighting the biggest position battles entering Spring Training

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

With Spring Training beginning and position players reporting just days from now, a lot of questions remain for the New York Yankees on how the 25 man roster may play out, and on who may start where. Today we dive into the four biggest position battles the Yankees face this spring.

Left field and the extra outfielder:

It remains very obvious that Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks will start in right field and center field, assuming Brian Cashman doesn’t sign Bryce Harper. After Brett Gardner had a rather poor season and Clint Frazier is healthy again, we have ourselves a rookie vs. veteran for a starting outfield position.

Clint Frazier reported on twitter a few weeks ago that he is “cleared to participate in spring training”. Red Thunder has overall had success in his time called-up from AAA, and had a walk-off home run in 2017. Frazier often served as the Yankees “26th man” on doubleheader days last year, without using a minor league option. Frazier bat .265 last season in the majors in 34 at-bats.

Brett Gardner bat just .236 last season, well below his .261 career average. By the end of last season, it seemed that he couldn’t really hit a thing, and with the acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, he saw his playing time go way down in September. In Game 1 of the ALDS, Aaron Hicks went down with a pulled hamstring, forcing Gardner to start games two and three. He ended up going 0-for-8.

You also have Jacoby Ellsbury. He would be more of an option to be the “extra outfielder”, but with him playing poorly over the years and him already having injury issues this season, he is already behind and prone to get hurt again and struggle.

First Base:

The Yankees have a two-man race for the first base position, and from what we saw last season, Yankees fans assume that it will be Luke Voit starting at first base over Greg Bird.

In all of 2018 (Cardinals and Yankees), Luke Voit bat .322 with 15 home runs in 143 at-bats. His incredible strength and power helped fill the slack of the injured Aaron Judge when he joined, but the success didn’t stop once Judge returned. Having Voit in the lineup gives the Yankees three players who can hit the ball all the way into downtown Manhattan.

Greg Bird has been, well……. playing rather poor in his MLB career. He is batting a career .214 in 576 at-bats, and bat just .199 last season. Voit had double the stats of Bird last season in about half as many at-bats. If Bird has a poor spring, could this finally be the end for Bird with the Yankees? Sending him down may be a bad option, the Yankees actually have two great first basemen at the AAA level in Mike Ford and Ryan McBroom, Ford being invited to the major league camp. It’s always possible that the super-underdog could steal the show.

DJ Lemahieu does remain a viable option, but he will focus more on the middle infield. Aaron Boone did say in his first press conference something along the lines of Andujar learning first base a bit, but it isn’t a focus for him or the team. Any way in which the Yankees choose to go; there will be depth.

The middle-infield cluster

The Yankees have four middle infielders for just two starting spots. Those players are Troy Tulowitzki, DJ Lemahieu, Gleybar Torres, and Tyler Wade.

The Yankees kinda shocked the baseball world and signed Troy Tulowitzki for a one year deal, to help fill-in for the injured Didi Gregorius, who appears to be making great progress in his recovery. But Tulo himself has had injury problems, and his stats have been on a decline over the last four years. His fielding, however, remains one of the best in the league. Could he maybe start at shortstop this season? Anything is possible.

Then there is last years starting second base sensation, Gleybar Torres. Remember, he came up as a shortstop and moved to second base due to Didi Gregorius. So with that, he may be the Yankees opening day shortstop with Lemahieu or possibly Wade at second.

Lemahieu remains the most likely option for the opening day second base spot, as that’s where he played with the Rockies for the most part. The only concern in the play of Lemahieu is his struggles away from Coors Field, where he hit so well it. But many Yankees players who can deal with the New York pressure hit well at Yankees Stadium with the short porches making the stadium extremely hitter-friendly.

Tyler Wade will likely not be a starter for the Yankees but should find his way onto the team and the field. He has a pretty solid glove, is a great base-runner, and his versatility can take him out of the infield and into the outfield when need be. His hitting has struggled big time in the majors, but he should be a solid non-offensive option.

A middle relief spot or two is still available

The Yankees have a lot of power guys that are known to help in the final innings but still lack a few middle relief options. Your power relievers are Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zack Britton, and Adam Ottavino. Chad Green and Jonathan holder are high leverage, middle relief guys. You have one or two spots available for low leverage situations, let’s see what they have:

In 2017, the Yankees acquired Tommy Kahnle in a trade with the White Sox. He was great in 2017, but an early-season injury in 2018 derailed his season. Once he returned, he never got his high 90s velocity back and spent most of the season in AAA. This season would be a perfect time for a comeback season.

Danny Farquhar missed most of the 2018 season with the White Sox with a brain aneurysm. The Yankees signed him to a minor league deal this Winter with an invite to camp. His career ERA is 3.93, and is pitching with a chip on his shoulder this season. He could be a valuable asset for the Yankees bullpen, too.

Chance Adams pitched just one game last season: an emergency start against the Red Sox, and struggled as presumed. He had ups and downs last season at AAA, but I don’t think he is MLB ready yet. He would be used however as a long reliever if he made the club.

Stephen Tarpley started last season in AA, but made it up all the way come September. Once he got adjusted, he was actually really good, especially against lefties. He would be a great lefty specialist option. If he pitched like he did last season, he should have a good shot at the MLB club.

My 25 man roster prediction:

SP: Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ, CC

RP: Chapman, Betances, Britton, Ottavino, Green, Holder, Tarpley

C: Sanchez, Romine

INF: Voit, Torres, DJ, Wade, Tulo, Andujar

OF/DH: Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Gardner, Frazier

26th man: Ellsbury? Kahnle?

New York Yankees: Highlighting Significant Spring Training Position Battles

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Spring Training for the New York Yankees will feature at least two significant position battles, at first base and left-field and possibly more depending on the configurations the infield takes.

First base remains a question mark:

Luke Voit and Greg Bird will both be vying for time at first base.  Simply put, when the season ended, Voit had the offensive firepower but Bird has the defensive prowess at first base.

Voit hit .333/.405/.689 with a 1.095 OPS in 39 games for the Yankees after being traded at the July deadline.  He provided a significant impetus for the push toward the playoffs for the Yankees.  Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said when the season ended that Voit had earned the job going into this season.  Voit has power and makes contact – will he continue his success in ’19?

Bird, on the other hand, had a poor offensive showing in ’18, hitting a painful .199/.286/.386 with a .672 OPS.  Cashman has said the job is his to win back and fans have been waiting for Bird to break out for several years, while he’s been hampered by one injury after another.  Last season, when he appeared healthy, he had little success putting that lefty bat to good use for the Yankees.  Fans would love to see Bird as Comeback Player of the Year this season.

Yankees have the choice of youth or experience in the outfield:

In left field, the Yankees can go with Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, or Clint Frazier.  Fans were either thrilled or dismayed with the resigning of Gardner because many fans hoped that the Yankees would pursue Bryce Harper for left field; however, it’s February 3rd and there’s little chance the Yankees opt to offer Harper the sort of long-term deal he appears to be seeking.

Gardner brings a veteran presence and elite defense to left field.  His offensive contribution last season was .236/.322./368 with a .690 OPS and 12 homers in 140 games.  Fans became frustrated watching Gardner hit out of the lead-off spot and garner a .322 on-base percentage.

Stanton performed admirably, despite some gaffs, in the 36 games he was patrolling left field.  Personally, I’d rather see him at DH, where he can hopefully stay healthy and have another MVP type of season.

Will Clint Frazier get an opportunity in spring training to show that he is healthy and to show that he belongs in left field?  Can he hit like he did for Scranton Wilkes-Barre last season when he was there for 48 games and hit .311 with 10 homers and a .963 OPS?  The Yankees would love to get more offensive production out of the left field spot.

Spring training is just ahead and these are just a few of the exciting position battles to keep an eye on – watch out for shortstop to be a hot spot on the field as well.

 

Just How Good Has Brett Gardner Been For The New York Yankees?

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

A two run home-run against Jacob deGrom in the New York Yankees‘ first win of the subway series on Friday, fueled a sweet victory that put the Yanks ahead of the Red Sox in the race for first-place.

While the Mets continue to struggle on offense, the Yankees continue to gain speed as they push forward in the season. But one of the most influential players during this current hot-streak is Brett Gardner. The heart and soul of the Bombers sent the go ahead runs with the home-run that just jumped over the outfield wall. deGrob has been one of the MLB’s most dominant pitchers, but Gardner was prepared for the challenge.

At 34 years-old, Gardner was thought to be on the last leg of his playing career, but he’s showing that he might just have some life left in those speedy legs.

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“He means so much to our team,” Boone said. “Kind of the heartbeat, what he brings every day. Just game-plan-wise today, really on it. Came up in a big spot there and snuck one out of there. Just quality at-bats all the time and for the better part of a month now, the results have followed those quality at-bats. He’s a savage for us up at the top.’’

The center-fielder comes to play every day, and he will lead his team into battle whether they’ve lost 10 in a row, or are on the most prolific hot streak in baseball. His hitting has been terrific, and for your lead-off hitter to be on fire, it ultimately fuels the rest of the team and compensates for the cold hitting of other players.

Heading into the final game of the subway series against the Mets, Gardner will return from a rest day and looking to continue his streak into Tuesday’s matchup against the Nationals.

 

Clint Frazier Promoted by the New York Yankees Ahead of Nationals Series

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

New York Yankees‘ Clint Frazier caused quite a frenzy on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon when Josh Norris of Baseball America sent this tweet out:

Fans have been clamoring for “Red Thunder” since he recovered from concussion symptoms suffered in spring training and started hitting .362 with 3 homers in AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Correspondingly, Aaron Hicks (.215) and Brett Gardner (.227) have gotten off to slow starts offensively and fans have been wondering how long until Frazier got his chance.

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The move to bring Frazier up during the Nationals series brings another hot right-handed bat into the lineup tonight against LHP Gio Gonzalez.

 

The New York Yankees Win Sole Possession Of The Lead In The AL East And Everyone Loves Brett Gardner Again

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees rallied from a 6-5 deficit in the seventh inning with a 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox to get Yankee Stadium rocking on a Wednesday night and Brett Gardner was the unlikely catalyst of the comeback win.

Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News summed up what this win means to the Yankees:

The Yankees broke a tie at the top of the division with the win over the Red Sox to give them eight straight victories and 17 wins in the last 18 games.

The Yankees at 26-10 have the best record in Major League Baseball ahead of the Red Sox, now 25-11.

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The Yankees had trailed the Red Sox in the American League East for the entirety of the young season until they went head to head on Tuesday night for the tie and went ahead on Wednesday night for the lead.

And the excitement of the crowd in the eight inning surprised even manager Aaron Boone, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

“It got my attention. I looked around a little bit in that inning. It’s May and it’s bedlam.” — Boone, on the crowd reaction in the eighth

Oh, and Gardner’s eighth inning two run triple was the spark and meant redemption for a player who that day had been the subject of reporters’ questions to manager Aaron Boone because of his slow start—Gardner was off to a .198 mark.  Should he be dropped in the batting order? Should he be benched in favor of Clint Frazier?

Gardner’s performance Wednesday night shows what an impact player he is for this team, coming through in a clutch situation where the Yankees were down 6-5. Gardner said to Billy Witz of the New York Times that:

“I try to take things one day at a time and learn from what happened from yesterday and today and apply that to tomorrow, and try to keep getting better.”

He raised his average to .214 after the 3-for-5, two RBI performance he put on Wednesday night.

Gardner’s veteran work ethic and glove work are irreplaceable, and so, too, are his gritty, gutsy battles at the plate, especially when they result in two run triples.

As Witz noted,

“Gardner may have delivered the crowning blow, but he also helped get the Yankees started, something he has rarely done this season.”

He is important as a catalyst at the top of the order, and getting him going could only make this lineup more challenging and fearsome for opposing pitchers.

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CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.39) is on the mound tonight against Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 5.29) for the Red Sox.  The Yankees will be fighting to hold onto the lead atop the division and there’s no better warrior than Sabathia to send out there to do the job.

New York Yankees: Bombs And Brawls In Fenway Win

Wednesday night’s display of bombs and brawn will be hard to top in Thursday’s action between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who are locked in a heated three game series tied at 1-1 at Fenway Park.

The game on Wednesday featured Gary Sanchez busting out of his slump with two homers and a double, a first inning drubbing of David Price, who left the game with “sensations” in his hand—-wonder if the Yankee bats (which put up 4 runs on 3 hits with a homer) had something to do with that—- and two, count ‘em two, bench-clearing brawls.

Apparently Aaron Judge was just waiting for Boston to get hot as he’s been on base six out of eight plate appearances in Fenway, with a home run off Chris Sale and a .348 batting average.

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Masahiro Tanaka continued to be plagued by the long ball and was the second Yankee pitcher in as many days to give up a grand slam to the Red Sox, this time from the bat of J.D. Martinez. Still, he was the winning pitcher at the end of the day, the beneficiary of the big bats igniting the offense: Judge was 2-4 with a walk, Giancarlo Stanton 2-5 with three RBIs and Sanchez was 3-5, with the two homers and a double.

What to expect from the rubber game of the series today?

First of all suspensions—at least of Tyler Austin and Boston’s Joe Kelly, but what about CC Sabathia and Aaron Judge?

Secondly, with Sonny Gray on the mound for the Yankees, expect to see Andrew Benintendi back in the lineup for the Red Sox as he’s batting .667 off Gray with a home run. J.D. Martinez, Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland have all homered off Gray in their careers.

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According to MLB.com, Gray is 1-4 with a 4.93 ERA in six career starts against Boston, and he is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts at Fenway Park.

While last season, Gray suffered from a lack of run support in his starts after coming over to the Yankees from the Oakland Athletics, Yankee fans can only hope today that the offensive juggernaut that was kick-started by Sanchez in last night’s game will be in full force again.

Rick Porcello matches up against Gray today. Porcello won his first two games of the season and is off to a hot start, but he is 8-8 in his career against the Yankees with a 3.27 ERA.

Porcello, the 2016 Cy Young Award winner, is a ground ball pitcher, relying on a sinking two-seam fastball (90 mph), a four seam fastball (91-93 mph), a circle change up (80 mph) and a curveball (upper 70s mph). Among current Yankees, Brett Gardner has had the most success in his career against Porcello, going 14-46 with two homers and a .304 average.

Look for the game to once again be a highly combustible affair with plenty of offensive fireworks, especially now that Judge, Stanton and Sanchez all appear to be swinging hot bats.