New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from the sweep of the Rangers

corey kluber, new york yankees

Last night the New York Yankees completed a job they urgently needed to do; they swept the Texas Rangers with a game three win of 7-3. The sweeping need was caused by the Yankees slipping out of a wild card berth and only playing teams statistically better than them in the remaining games of the dwindling regular season.

Kluber is still a work in progress

Last night stater Corey Kluber proved he is still a work in progress to return to the form he had before a 3 month IL stint when he pitched the Yankees only no-hitter since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999. Kluber didn’t pitch badly and did keep the Yankees in the game, but with only one more likely start, it appears he is not postseason ready.

He pitched into the fifth inning using 84 pitches. He gave up three earned runs while walking no one and striking out 4 Rangers. But the problem that beset him as he allowed an average of two hits an inning, which could have put the game out of reach for the Yankees. But, somehow, he located some pitches well, keeping out of huge trouble.

In the fifth inning, Hernandez led off by doubling to center. Kiner-Falefa singled, with Hernandez scoring from second. Ibanez lined out to a diving Urshela. Lowe coming up knocked Kluber out of the game. Wandy Peralta came into the game and prevented further damage. In the 7th, 8th, and 9th, Clay Holmes, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman kept the Rangers scoreless.

Gleyber Torres rises to the occasion

Gleyber Torres has been oft-criticized for his poor defense and lack of power that allowed him to lead the team in home runs in 2019. In 2020  he hit only three and only seven this season. But last night, he came up big for the Yankees; it wasn’t a homer but a timely double when the game was tied at three. Torres’s double led to a four-run inning that put the Yankees over the top in the eighth inning.

At the bottom of the eighth, Judge popped out. Stanton struck out swinging. Gallo doubled. Torres doubled to score Gallo and the Yankee lead in the game. Urshela singled with Torres safe at home for the Yankee two-run lead. Sanchez homered, driving in two more runs. Gardner walked. LeMahieu grounded out to third. New York Yankees 7 Rangers 3.

Aroldis Chapman looked really good

Aroldis Chapman, who was so good in the first half when the New York Yankees were playing poorly, became shakey at best during the second half when the Yankees finally started to win more games than lose. It was so bad at one point that manager Boone was afraid to insert him into close games.

But more recently, Chapman seems to be making a turn to being more predictable. In his last two outings, he actually seems to have both his confidence and swagger returning. In Monday night’s game with only a one-run lead, Boone sent Chapman to the mound, he struck out two and got his 28th save. He almost gave his signature stare in upon the save. Last night that same swagger was on display in a non save situation. He again struck out two, allowing no runs, no hits, and no walks.

New York Yankees: Coming alive in the eighth the Yankees sweep the Rangers

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Tonight after taking the series from the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees looked for the sweep of the Texas team as they continually looked for a place in the wild card series. With the win last night and Toronto’s loss, they are tied for that second spot. So, the Yankees sent Corey Kluber to the mound with great urgency to face the Ranger’s Taylor Hearn looking for their third must-win in a row. The Yankees won the game 7-3.

Yonny Hernandez opened the game facing Kluber and struck out looking. Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to no man’s land in left-center. Falefa stole second. Andy Ibanez struck out looking. Nat Lowe struck out, tapping into catcher Higashioka’s glove. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu led off for the Yankees and flew out to left. Luke Voit ground out to third. Aaron Judge struck out in order. No score.

The second inning was led off by Adolis Garcia, who reached on a hit to short. Willie Calhoun singled with Garcia scoring on the play. DJ Peters reached on a fielder’s choice. Brock Holt reached on another fielder’s choice. Jose Trevino singled. Hernandez ground out to first, leaving two on base. At the bottom Giancarlo Stanton singled off the right-field wall; he hit it so hard he had to stay at first. Joey Gallo walked. Gleyber Torres, with two on and no outs, ground out to third with the runners advancing. Gio Urshela had a broken-bat out to left-center. Kyle Higashioka flew out to the right-field wall. New York Rangers 1 Yankees 0.

.Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the third inning by flying out. Ibanez flew out. Lowe flew out to Gardner, going 1-2-3 for Kluber. Brett Gardner led off the bottom by singling to left. LeMahieu flew out to right. Voit ground into a double play to end the inning. Rangers 1 Yankees 0.

Adolis Garcia led off the fourth ground out. Calhoun ground out to first. Peters doubled. Holt singled to left on a ball that LeMahieu couldn’t corral it, scoring another Rangers run. Trevino ground out to end the inning. At the bottom, Judge struck out swinging. Stanton ground out to short. Gallo popped out to third to end the inning. Rangers 1 Yankees 0.

In the fifth inning, Hernandez led off by doubling to center. Kiner-Falefa singled, with Hernandez scoring from second. Ibanez lined out to a diving Urshela. Lowe coming up knocked Kluber out of the game. Lowe faced new Yankee pitcher Wandy Peralta and reached on a fielder’s choice, Falefa reached third on a bad throw. Garcia popped out, and Calhoun ground out to first to end the half. At the bottom, Torres walked. Urshela singled. Higashioka doubled to left field, scoring Torres and Urshela. Gardner ground out. LeMahieu hit into a double play. Higashioka was called out as he tried to reach home. Texas Rangers 3 New York Yankees 2.

Peters led off the sixth inning flew out to center. Holt tapped back to Peralta for the second out. Trevino ground out. Luke Voit led off the bottom by striking out. Judge walked. Stanton walked and knocked Hearn out of the game. Gallo faced the new pitcher Dennis Santana and walked to load the bases with only one out. Torres went down on strikes. A ball got away from the catcher, and Judge scored to tie the game. Urshela went down looking but stranding two; the Yankees tied the game. New York Yankees 3 Rangers 3.

Hernandez led off the seventh inning against new pitcher Clay Holmes and struck out looking. Kiner-Falefa struck out looking. Ibanez ground out. At the bottom, Higashioka singled to center. Speedy Tyler Wade replaced him as a pinch-runner. Gardner at the plate, Wade stole second. Gardner struck out. Wade stole third. LeMahieu struck out. Anthony Rizzo flew out to center, stranding Wade at third. Yankees 3 Rangers 3.

The eighth inning was lead off by Lowe facing new pitcher Chad Green and flew out to short. Garcia singled on an E6. Garcia tried to steal but was called out at second. Calhoun lined out directly to LeMahieu. At the bottom, Judge popped out. Stanton struck out swinging. Gallo doubled. Torres doubled to score Gallo and the Yankee lead in the game. Urshela singled with Torres safe at home for the Yankee two-run lead. Sanchez homered, driving in two more runs. Gardner walked. LeMahieu grounded out to third. New York Yankees 7 Rangers 3.

With last licks on the line for the Rangers, DJ Peters came to the plate in the top of the ninth against closer Aroldis Chapman and popped out to third. Culberson pinch-hitting struck out.  Trevino stuck out swinging.  The final score was the New York Yankees 7 and the Texas Rangers 3. The winning pitcher was Chad Green, and the loser was Spencer Patton.




New York Yankees: Preview of a Yankee must sweep series

Tonight, the New York Yankees enter a near must sweep series with the lowly Texas Rangers. The Rangers are playing .369 baseball, with the Yankees still trying to get a berth in a one-game wild-card playoff; they must dominate starting right now. Of the Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees have the most difficult schedule remaining. After this Texas series, the Yankees play the Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, and finally, the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

Editorially speaking, after the last two really embarrassing losses, the Boo Birds are out in full force; they actually booed off the field their best starting pitcher of the season. Social media is packed with advice on who should be fired. This is not the time for boos. This is the time to root on the New York Yankees; they still have a chance at a wild-card berth and a 28th World Championship.

The Yankees unexplainably have played some of their best baseball of the season and their worst recently. The Yankee pitching is in shambles, they have been playing sloppy baseball, and the hitters have been inconsistent at best. But this is still a team that can show power and win games. This team has turned it around before and can do it again.

The Texas Rangers have had a dreadful season. Before the season, they lost some key players, including Corey Kluber. As a result, they sit at the bottom of the AL West, losing 94 games and winning only 55. Going into this series, the Yankees will have the ERA advantage against each Texas Ranger starter. The Yankees should dominate and sweep the Rangers, but at least they must take the series to have any hope of advancing.

Tonight, September 20, 7:05 pm EDT

Tonight, Nestor Cortes Jr., who has been a Godsend for the Yankees, will take the mound in the first game of the series. Cortes is a lefty that is 2-2 with an ERA of 2.60 and 87 strikeouts. The Yankees have won 6 of his last nine starts, and he is coming off of one of his best starts of the year. He went into the seventh inning, striking out a season-high 11 Orioles batters. First baseman Nathaniel Lowe is the only Ranger that has been successful off Cortes.

Cortes will face the Texas Rangers’ A. J. Alexy, a righty that is 2-0 with an ERA of 3.68 and 14 strikeouts in three starts. The Rangers needed a starter, and Alexy was promoted from the minors to the Rangers on August 30. He is coming off a 15-1 loss to the Houston Astros when he gave up 6 earned runs in 3.2 innings of work. No Yankee has ever faced Alexy.

Tuesday, September 21, 7:05 pm EDT

Tuesday night, the Yankees will bring Jordan Montgomery to the mound in the second game of the series. “Monty” is a lefty that is 5-6 with an ERA of 3.63 with 149 strikeouts. Montgomery has pitched much better than the record would suggest; he has gotten little run support in his games. He was the Yankees winningest pitcher for a time but seemed to have tired adjusting to a 162 game season. The Yankees have lost his last three starts, although he got a season-high 12 strikeouts in his last outing against the Orioles.

Montgomery will face Dane Dunning, a righty that is 5-8 with a 4.28 ERA and 103 strikeouts. This will be Dunning’s 22 start of the season, and he is coming off a loss to the Boston Red Sox. He gave up 5 earned runs in 4.2 innings of work. Dunning is a sinkerball pitcher that throws in three other pitches. He relies on getting ground-outs. Few Yankees have had much experience with him.

Wednesday, September 22, 7:05 pm EDT

Wednesday night’s starter for the Yankees will be Corey Kluber, building since his return from a three-month stint on the IL with a sore shoulder. He is 5-3 with an ERA of 3.68 and 76 strikeouts in 14 starts. He got the Yankees only no-hitter earlier in the season since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999. He is coming off his best start since that no-hitter when he shut out the Cleveland Indians 8-0. This will be the second time Kluber has faced his former team. In the first game, Kluber pitched a complete-game win.

Kluber will face the Rangers, Taylor Hearn. Hearn is a lefty that is 6-5 with an ERA of 4.52 and 87 strikeouts. Hearn had won two games in September but is coming off his worst game of the season when he gave up 7 earned runs in just 3.1 innings against the Chicago White Sox. Few Yankees have seen Hearn pitch.

Notes: The Yankees have sent down to Scranton both Luis Gil and Clarke Schmidt. But the Yankees could get some reinforcements as early as today. Joey Gallo is expected back from his sore neck, and 2018 pitching ace Luis Severino is expected to rejoin the team during this series, most likely working out of the bullpen.

All of the Texas Rangers games will be televised on the YES Network and Bally Sports Southwest. Tonight’s game will also be on the MLBN out of market.

New York Yankees Report Card: A look at players that could be impactful in the postseason

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees have certainly had a roller coaster 2021 season. It’s actually a tale of two different teams when you look at the first half and the last half. If the Yankees don’t make the postseason, they can look back on the first half of the season as the primary reason why.

The Yankees starting pitching other than ace Gerrit Cole was average, although the bullpen was stellar in the first half. The real culprit was the Yankees’ lineup itself. Outside of Aaron Judge trying to carry the team on his back, the rest of the lineup was awol for the most part. The games were boring as the Yankees seemed just to be going through the motions. Fans looked for who to blame, as no one seemed to be able to motivate the team.

Then in two series between the Red Sox and the Phillies in late July when they won four games in a row, a new team seemed to be emerging. So much so that in August, the Yankees were the winningest team in baseball. Since then, they have put themselves in jeopardy, possibly losing a place in the playoffs. But in the past week, the Yankees may be turning things around. But yet their last two games are a microcosm of the whole season; a shut out of the Indians only to be annihilated by them the following night. So here’s a look at how some of the Yankees are playing.

Gerrit Cole: A

Without question, Gerrit Cole has been the best Yankee starting pitcher all season long. He is actually much better than his 15-7 record would suggest. His ERA or 2.75 and 224 strikeouts show that. But suffering from only 3.81 runs of support in his games, he has lost or had no-decisions in games that could have been won.

Corey Kluber: B

After not pitching for nearly two years, Corey Kluber got off to a slow start with the Yankees but gradually got better to the point he had a no-hitter.  But then Kluber went to the IL with a shoulder strain that would keep him out for three months. Since his return, he struggled. . Last night, he showed a huge improvement. He looked like an ace, pitching six full innings only allowing 4 hits in his scoreless outing.

Jordan Montgomery: B

Montgomery is not Gerrit Cole, and because of that, his lack of run support has been more impactful on his record. He has pitched better than his 5-6 record would suggest. He has a respectable 3.63 ERA with 149 strikeouts.

Nestor Cortes Jr.:  B+

Cortes Jr. has been a Godsend for the Yankees; taking over for Kluber when he was on the IL, Cortes did nothing but impress.  The Yankees have won 5 of his 8 starts since August. He has a 2.00 ERA for September.

Luis Gil: B-

The Yankee prospect Gil has been beneficial starting games that the Yankees had no one to start. In his first three starts, he was magnificent, not allowing a single run. But in his last two starts, he has stumbled. First, in a start against Toronto, he lasted only 3.1 innings giving up three runs. Then, against the Twins, he gave up 5 runs, but the Yankees won in extra innings. As Aaron Boone said, Gil may have a bright future, but right now he is not the finished product.

Chad Green: C –

Most recently, the wear and tear of a 162 game season and being overused Green has become undependable in the late going. The transition from a 60 game season to a 162 game season and being overused has been unkind to him through no fault of his own. (see Wandy Peralta).

Lucas Luetge: B

After not pitching in the bigs for nearly six years, the Yankees bet on Luetge to help the bullpen. He has done that and more. The Yankees hit gold in employing him. He has been one of the Yankees’ most dependable relievers, even finishing 13 games for them with one save. He has a .667 winning percentage.

Wandy Peralta: B+

On April 27, 2021, the Giants traded Peralta to the Yankees for outfielder Mike Tauctman. Peralta has been an asset replacing Justin Wilson and Zack Britton. He is the guy Boone goes to most frequently when Chapman fails. He has pitched in 51 games and has five saves. One has to wonder how much better he and Chad Green could have been had the Yankees not traded Luis Cessa away. Cessa was a workhorse and doing marvelously with the Reds with a 2.35 ERA in 48 games.

Aroldis Chapman: C

Aroldis Chapman has been one of the Yankee’s greatest disappointments this season, somewhat of an enigma for the Yankees. After starting the season stellar, his second half has been anything but. Fans cringe when he has to enter a close game. He has lost control of his firebrand fastball. C is not a very good rating for a supposed championship team’s closer.

Aaron Judge: A+

Aaron Judge, for the most part, has carried the team on his shoulders, he has been the best performer in the lineup all season with consistent hitting. He has a .288 batting average, is second in home runs, and leads with 85 RBIs.

Joey Gallo: A-

After being acquired before the trade deadline, Joey Gallo got off to a slow and spotty start with the Yankees. But, most recently, he has really heated up, leading the Yankees with 37 home runs. Last night he hit two home runs; it was the second time he managed the feat this month. He has 7 home runs in 13 games during September.

Giancarlo Stanton: A-

Outside of Aaron Judge, Stanton has been the most dependable hitter this season. He had a .327 average in August and .281 this month. He is third in home runs with 30 and, for a change, doesn’t lead the team in strikeouts. In addition, his excellent play in the outfield has given manager Boone more options.

Brett Gardner: B+

Gardner’s first half was disappointing, to say the least, making the Yankees wonder if resigning him was a wise decision. But his second half has been significantly better. More recently, he, as in past years, has really heated up in the postseason run. This month he has hit two multi-run homers. In addition, his baserunning and excellent defense have made him an everyday player.

Gleyber Torres: D-

Torres has been a disappointment all season long. He has never regained the power that he showed off in 2018 and 2019. But the biggest disappointment is his team-leading number of errors. The Yankees even rearranged the infield for him so he could return to second base. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked out well either, and he has had two significant errors at second base.

Anthony Rizzo: B-

Anthony Rizzo has been hot and cold since joining the Yankees. He started gangbusters but then cooled off. He has had two home runs during September, but his biggest asset to the Yankees is his excellent defense at first base.

Gary Sanchez: C+

Gary Sanchez has had a somewhat better season than last year. Other than Gleyber Torres, Sanchez is the team’s most controversial player. Although he shows hints of greatness with the fireball arm and powerful home runs far into the stands, he also makes bone head plays, running mistakes, and passed balls. Sanchez has trouble staying focused at some critical times.

I hesitate to rate Luke Voit, mostly because he had had so many injuries that he could never regain the form he had in 2020 when he led all of baseball in home runs. Last night he hit a two-run homer in a failed effort to sustain a rally when the Yankees lost to the Indians. I also have not rated DJ LeMahieu mostly because I don’t know what to make of the second baseman that will be a Yankee for the next five years. His performance this year is certainly average but not close to what Yankee fans expected of him.

There are also several pitchers and relievers that have not been rated, mostly because their injuries have not allowed them to be impactful this season, one way or the other.


Yankees News: Great injury news for Luis Severino, Corey Kluber dominates in slug-fest

corey kluber, new york yankees

The New York Yankees executed a dominant performance against the Cleveland Indians on Friday evening. It was a home run festival for the Bombers, who saw Joey Gallo hit two, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, and Giancarlo Stanton all go deep to tie their season-high with five home runs in a single game.

However, the most impressive performance of the evening was starting pitcher Corey Kluber, who lasted 6.0 innings, allowing just four hits and zero runs. He struck out for batters and walked two over 95 pitches, lowering his ERA to 3.68 on the season.

Great injury news for the Yankees:

There is primarily good news for the Yankees in their most recent victory over Cleveland, as Kluber displayed one of his best performances of the year aside from his no-hitter before suffering a shoulder strain several months ago. The offense was on point as well, collecting 11 hits and striking out just eight times.

Aside from the win, the Yankees are nearly ready to call up Luis Severino for the first time this year after suffering an injury setback with a groin issue a few weeks back. Severino has missed extensive time trying to re-join the team, pitching just 12 innings over the past two seasons.

“Not being able to help the team for a couple of years has been really bad,” Severino said. “I’m looking forward to joining the team. If they want me to hit, throw, catch, whatever. I don’t really care right now.”

With just a few more rehabilitation sessions left to execute, the Yankees are excited about the prospect of adding him to the rotation, especially with Domingo German still fighting his way back and inconsistencies plaguing the team at times.

“We’re not going to get him built up to start or anything like that, but I can [see Severino pitching in the Majors],” Boone said. “We’ll see what the next step is, getting him into a game in a couple of days, but I could envision him being with us pretty soon if everything goes well.”

New York Yankees 9/18: 3 Major takeaways from a powerful win over the Indians

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

Last night after a disappointing loss to the Baltimore Orioles and falling out of a wild-card berth, the New York Yankees entered a new series with the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees had a new urgency and a mission to get back into wild-card contention; they did that and, in a big way, shutting out the Indians 8-0. The Yankees can take away several positives in the win.

Corey Kluber returning to form?

After not pitching for nearly two years, Corey Kluber got off to a slow start with the Yankees, but gradually got better and better to the point he had a no-hitter, the Yankees first since David Cone’s perfect game 22 years ago. But then Kluber went in the IL with a shoulder strain.

Kluber ended up nursing that shoulder for three months before he returned to the team, missing half of the season. Since his return, he struggled. In his second to the last start, he showed some early improvement. Last night he showed a huge improvement. He looked like an ace, pitching six full innings only allowing 4 hits in his scoreless outing. Last night Kluber showed he could be impactful as a number two starter should the Yankees reach the postseason.

Michael King for two innings and Lucas Luetge were masterful in relief.

The nail-biting disappeared for once

The New York Yankees have been winning games all season long by just a run or two, creating nail-biting win after nail-biting, many not decided until the ninth inning or beyond. The Yankees have won 84 games this season, 72 of them by 1 or two runs.

Last night that changed in a big way; the Yankees shut out the Indians, hitting five home runs in the game; it was the second time in a week that they beat their opponent by five or more runs. This is encouraging as the Yankees are starting to look like the Bronx Bombers again. Last night the hot Brett Gardner homered. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hit homers. However, Joey Gallo topped them by hitting two long balls. For Gallo, it was his fifth homer in as many games.

Yankees looking forward to the postseason

Last night the Yankees got back a wild card berth as they won big over the Cleveland Indians while the surging Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Minnesota Twins. This is good news but make no mistake about it; the Yankees have much more to do. The first step is getting back the home-field advantage in the wild card. To do that, they must keep winning games. With only fourteen games left in the regular season, they have to win all of their remaining series at least.

The Yankees have reasons to believe this can happen. First, they have found that ace Gerrit Cole is not injured, and the second starter in the rotation, Corey Kluber, seems to be returning to form. Although still inconsistent, there are signs that the Yankee’s powerful lineup is again becoming powerful. Also, on the pitching front, it appears that ex-ace Luis Severino will be ready to be supportive in the bullpen by the postseason. There are also pitching arms Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt who could help shore up a fatigued bullpen. Jonathan Loaisiga is still a question mark.


New York Yankees Recap: Bronx Bombers shut out the Indians 8-0

joey gallo, yankees

The New York Yankees had fallen out of a walk card berth and, tonight, entered a new series, with a new urgency to get back into one of those postseason spots. Tonight the Yankees took on the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium with that goal in mind. Corey Kluber took the mound for the Yankees facing the Indians’ Zach Plesac.

In the first inning, Kluber faced Myles Straw; he flew out to Gallo in left. Brad Zimmer struck out when he couldn’t hold up. Jose Ramirez singled and immediately stole second. Franmil Reyes tapped back to Kluber to end the half. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu led off with a single up the middle. Anthony Rizzo flew out to right. Aaron Judge singled to left, moving DJ to second base. Giancarlo Stanton hit into a 4-3-6 double play to strand two batters. No score.

Bobby Bradley led the second inning, who reached on an E3 when the hit tipped off Rizzo’s glove. Harold Ramirez flew out to Judge, and Judge fired in getting Bradley out at first. Two outs. Owen Miller flew out to center to end the half. In the bottom, Joey Gallo led off by hitting his 36th home run of the season into the second deck in right. Gleyber Torres ground out to second. Gio Urshela ground out to first. Brett Gardner ground out to third base. New York Yankees 1 Indians 0.

Leading off the third inning was Robert Perez, who singled to center field. A pitch hit Andres Gimenez. Straw with two on and no outs struck out. Zimmer flew out to Judge in right with the runners, not challenging Judge. Jose Ramirez lined out to second, assisted by Kluber to end the half. At the bottom, Kyle Higashioka led off by going down on strikes. LeMahieu popped out to second. Rizzo flew out to right to end the inning. Yankees 1 Indians 0.

Franmil Reyes led off the fourth by striking out. Bradley struck out. H. Ramirez singled up the middle. Miller popped out to Rizzo to end the half. Aaron Judge led off the bottom and homered the other way for his 35th of the season. Stanton went down on strikes. Gallo, who homered in the second, flew out to left. Torres stuck out swinging, but the Yankees picked up another run off of Judge’s home run. New York Yankees 2 Indians 0.

The fifth inning was led off by Perez, who worked a walk. Gimenez singled up the middle. Straw with two on and no outs hit into a double play with Perez moving to third. Zimmer ground out to second to end the half stranding Perez at third. Urshela led off the bottom of the fifth by singling up the middle. Gardner went down on three pitches. Higashioka gave one a ride, but it was caught at the right-centerfield wall. LeMahieu ground to first to end the inning. Yankees 2 Indians 0.

Jose Ramirez was at the plate for the sixth inning with Kluber still on the mound and walked. Reyes hit into a double play. Bradley flew out to Gallo to end the half. At the bottom, Rizzo ground out to first. Judge struck out. Stanton tipped back into the catcher’s glove, and that was it for the sixth. Yankees 2 Indians 0.

Harold Ramirez led off the seventh by facing new Yankee pitcher Michael King and went down on strikes. Miller ground out to third. Perez lined out directly to Torres at second. At the bottom, Gallo led off by singling to first. Torres walked. Urshela singled to center field, scoring Joey Gallo for the Yankee’s three run lead. With one in, two on, and no outs, Gardner hit a two-run homer to the short porch at the stadium. Higashioka struck out. LeMahieu ground out to center. Rizzo was out on a slow roller to second. New York Yankees 6 Indians 0.

The eighth inning was led off by Gimenez going down looking. Straw struck out. Zimmer flew out to Gardner, almost having a collision with Gallo. At the bottom, Judge led off by flying out to the warning track in right. Stanton homered into the left-field stands. Then Gallo had a back-to-back home run to right-center into the bullpen. Torres singled to center. Urshela, with still only one out, flew out to center. Gardner walked. Higashioka went down on strikes. New York Yankees 8 and the Cleveland Indians 0.

With the last licks on the line for the Indians in the top of the ninth, the Indian’s best player took to the plate and ground out to Urshela. Reyes flew out to Gallo in left. Yu Chang pinch-hitting for Bradley struck out to give the Yankees the shut out.

The final score was the New York Yankees 8 and the Cleveland Indians 0. The winning pitcher was Corey Kluber, and the loser was Zach Plesac.




New York Yankees meet the Cleveland Indians in weekend series, here’s the preview

corey kluber, new york yankees

The New York Yankees start a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians tonight at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees, with a loss to the Orioles last night, have fallen out of a wild card berth; every game is so crucial to the Yankees while Cleveland’s postseason hopes have been dashed.

The Indians started their road trip by taking two out of three from the Twins but have lost seven of their last ten games. But that doesn’t mean the Yankees will have an easy time of it with the Indians. Jose Ramirez leads the Indians with 33 homers, and this season has gone 5 for 13 against the Yankees. Still, the Yankees lead their season play against the Indians, winning 3 of 4 games back in April.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, they are not playing as they did during their 13 game winning streak. The Yankees are 4-6 in their last ten games and are coming off a loss to the lowly Baltimore Orioles. For Giancarlo Stanton’s part, he is an Indians killer with a .308 average off of them. This series will be the second time that the Indians will face their ex-two-time Cy Young winner Kluber. In their matchup in April, Kluber struck out 11 Indians in his win. Luckily for the Yankees, they will not be facing Shane Bieber, who is out with a bad shoulder.

Tonight, September 17, 7:05 pm EDT

In the first game, the Indians will have to face their old Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. Kluber was with the Indians for nine years, racking up a record of 98-58 and an ERA of 3.06. This will be Kluber’s fourth start since coming off the IL for a strained shoulder. Unfortunately for the Yankees, in his first three starts, he gave up 11 earned runs. However, he does have the Yankee’s only no-hitter this season. He is 4-3 with an ERA of 4.02 and 72 strikeouts.

Kluber will be facing the Indian’s Zach Plesac, who is 10-5 with an ERA of 4.45 and 88 strikeouts. The Yankees did not face Plesac when they faced them in April. He is coming off a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers when he gave up three runs over six innings. Both DJ LeMahieu and Gary Sanchez have batting averages of .333 against him in the past.

Saturday, September 18, 1:05 pm EDT

In the Saturday matinee, the Indians will face pitching sensation Luis Gil, a righty with a 1-0 record, an ERA of 2.88, and 32 strikeouts in 5 games. In his first three starts in August, he didn’t give up an earned run. But there have been a few cracks in the armor in his last two starts giving up eight runs over the two games. He is coming off a win against the Twins in his previous outing. However, none of the Indians have seen him pitch.

Gil will ace Aaron Civale, a righty that is 10-4 with an ERA of 3.76 and 85 strikeouts in 17 starts. He is coming off two losses in a row, one to Milwaukee and one against Minnesota. He also lost his game with the Yankees back in April when he gave up three runs. Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres have Civale’s number hitting .400 and .333 off of him, respectively. But don’t sell Kye Higashioka short; he has one hit off of him in 2 at-bats.

Sunday, September 19, 1:05 pm EDT

The New York Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will take the mound in the matinee game on Sunday. Cole is 15-7 with an ERA of 2.75 and 224 strikeouts, the 3rd most in baseball, but with two fewer games pitched than the two leaders.  He is coming off his 15th win of the season against the Orioles when he gave up one run in five innings of work. None of the Indians have hit well off of Cole. Jose Ramirez, in 10 at-bats, has a .200 average. Cole won his first outing over the Indians, going seven innings of 3 hit ball.

Cole will face the Indians’ Eli Morgan, a righty that is 2-7 with an elevated 6.03 ERA with 70 strikeouts. Morgan has lost his last two starts against the Brewers and Red Sox, giving up eight runs. Not a single Yankee player has seen him pitch, except in videos.

Notes: Tonight’s game will be on WPIX and its affiliates in the New York area and Bally Sports Great Lakes. Saturday will be on the YES Network in addition to Bally Sports Great Lakes and MLBN out of market. Sunday will be on the YES Network and Bally.

After this three-game series with the Indians, the Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins for a three-game series at Yankee Stadium before going on their last road trip of the season with the Red Sox at Fenway and the Blue Jays at Rogers Center.

New York Yankees: 3 Takeaways from the Yankee’s return to winning

New York Yankees, Kyle Higashioka

It’s just one game, but last night the New York Yankees returned to their winning ways, giving glimpses of the 13 game winning streak. From July 4th to the end of August, the Yankees won more games than any baseball team. But then, unexplainably, they just as quickly returned to the team that played the first half of the season, losing 8 games and playing and pitching poorly. But last night, with new urgency, the team rose to the occasion and started what may be another winning streak. It wasn’t easy, but the Yankees pulled out an 8-7 win over their crosstown rival New York Mets.

It was a bit of a roller coaster event in a day and night that baseball, particularly in New York, remembering those lost in the 9/11 attacks on our country. There were ceremonies at Citi Field, and the players of both teams wore FDNY ball caps. In the second inning, the Yankees burst out of the doldrums scoring five runs and looking like they were going to have a laugher. But the Mets clawed back to lead at one point, but the Yankees answered with 3 runs in the eighth for a lead that would hold.

Corey Kluber continues to build for the postseason

Corey Kluber, who had been on the IL for three months, had his third start since his return. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was one more step to him returning to form that saw him pitch the Yankee’s only no-hitter this season.

Kluber went four innings striking out six Mets hitters but giving up four earned runs. However, he showed signs of better control and poise on the mound. Kluber pitched a scoreless first. After the Yankees put five runs on the board in the second. At the bottom, Kluber issued a walk to Javier Baez walked. Jeff McNeil struck out, but Baez stole second. Kevin Pillar got an RBI double driving in the lead-off walk. James McCann tripled driving in Pillar. Taijuan Walker singled, driving Pillar. Villar struck out swinging. Lindor ground out to second. New York Yankees 5 New York Mets 3. Kluber gave up another run in the third inning, a Baez homer.

Lucas Luetge, Chad Green, and Clay Holmes in relief of Kluber, all gave up a run in their inning. Albert Abreu although waking two, didn’t give up a run in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman walked one, gave up a hit, but preserved the Yankee win, getting his 26th save of the season.

The home run is again king

It is often said that when the New York Yankees homer, they win games. It certainly was true last night. Of the 8 runs scored, 7 were scored off the home run. Kyle Higashioka homered driving in two. Brett Gardner homered driving in two. Aaron Judge hit two homers in the game, scoring three.

A tail of two catchers

There are glaring differences in the Yankees’ two catchers. Last night Kyle Higashioka made some excellent plays and called a good game. He also hit a 2 run homer in the second inning. Unfortunately, this was in comparison to Gary Sanchez’s passed balls and boneheaded play at home plate. In the first game that the Yankees lost Sanchez backed off the home plate to allow a run scored instead of blocking the plate.

Higashioka often doesn’t get the praise he deserves. “Higgy” is a professional behind the plate that calls great games and seldom makes errors. He, for the most part, is Gerrit Cole and Cory Kluber’s personal catcher. But still, he doesn’t get a lot of playing time.

Those who support the idea that Sanchez is the Yankees’ catcher of the future always say that, yes, Higashioka is a good catcher, but he is not the power hitter that Sanchez is. If you look a little deeper, that is not true; the fact is that Higashioka is right up there with the best Yankee home run hitters considering at-bats this season. He has 10 long balls in 58 games. Sanchez has 21 in 101 games. Kyle’s drive-in rate is almost identical to Sanchez.  Higgy leads the AL in range factor (putouts + assist per games played).

Except for a few, catchers are notoriously poor hitters with low batting averages and don’t run the bases well. The whole point of this conversation is that Kyle Higasioka is well-focused and is a much better player than many fans would think.  He could be even better if he had more playing time.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees get a big win in the 9th to end the skid

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Tonight was the second game of a three-game set between the New York Yankees and the crosstown New York Mets. After losing seven consecutive games, the Yankees hoped to preserve their first series win with a win tonight after losing four in a row. The Yankees sent Corey Kluber to the mound to face Taijuan Walker, hoping to finally right the ship. Putting sloppy play and lack of urgency behind them, they hoped to turn a new leaf and show they still hoped for a wild card berth. It was a squeaker but the Yankees pulled off the 8-7 win.

Taijuan Walker, who was once a Yankee consideration, took to the mound against DJ LeMahieu, who had a leadoff walk. Brett Gardner flew out to center. Aaron Judge struck out swinging. Then, Giancarlo Stanton singled up the middle. Anthony Rizzo tapped back to Walker for the final out. At the bottom, Jonathan Villar against Corey Kluber struck out. Francisco Lindor flew out to Stanton in left field. Michael Conforto singled in front of Judge in right field. Pete Alonso struck out to end the inning. No score.

Gleyber Torres led off the second inning by singling to left field. Gio Urshela was retired on a line drive to first. Kyle Higashioka got a two-run homer to the left-field stands for his 10th of the season. Corey Kluber ground out to first. LeMahieu singled to right. Brett Gardner got a two-run homer to center. Aaron Judge got the third homer of the inning. Giancarlo Stanton ground out to short to end the half, but the Yankees picked up five runs. At the bottom, Javier Baez walked. Jeff McNeil struck out, but Baez stole second. Kevin Pillar got an RBI double driving in the lead-off walk. James McCann tripled driving in Pillar. Taijuan Walker singled, driving Pillar. Villar struck out swinging. Lindor ground out to second. New York Yankees 5 New York Mets 3.

The third inning was led off by Rizzo, who ground out to first. Torres struck out looking. Gio Urshela struck out to end the half. At the bottom, Conforto struck out swinging. Alonso ground out to short. Baez homered to the left-field stands. McNeil ground out to second, but the Mets got another run. New York Yankees 5 New York Mets 4.

Kyle Higashioka led off the fourth inning by striking out. Kluber struck out. LeMahieu struck out to strike out the side. At the bottom, Pillar led off by striking out swinging. McCann walked. Walker bunted and was out, but the runner moved up. Villar hit a long one, but it was coraled by Judge to end the inning. Yankees 5 Mets 4.

The fifth inning was led off by Brett Gardner, who struck out. Judge ground out, and Stanton struck out. In the bottom, Lindor, against new Yankee pitcher Lucas Luetge struck out. Conforto singled to left. Alonso flew out to Judge in right. Baez lined out to third. Yankees 5 Mets 4.

Anthony Rizzo led off the sixth inning by grounding out for the eleventh put down by Walker. Torres flew out to the right-field wall. Urshela struck out. At the bottom, Mc Neil walked, with Pillar coming up, Boone brought in Chad Green. Pillar, after a delay due to balls on the field, struck out. McCann hit a homer to left, giving the Mets the one-run lead. Dominic Smith pinch-hitting for the pitcher walked.  Villar struck out. Lindor flew out to Rizzo in foul territory. Mets 6 Yankees 5.

Higashioka led off the seventh inning and lined out to short. Tyler Wade pinch-hitting struck out upstairs. LeMahieu ground out. In remembrance of 9-11, the Mets had a moving rendition of “‘God Bless American.” At the bottom, Conforto went down against Clay Holmes. Alonso fouled one off his foot, delaying the game a bit, but then struck out. Baez singled on review. McNeil singled to left with Baez going to third. Pillar got a base hit to left driving in Baez. McCann ground out to short to end the inning, but the Mets tacked on another run. Mets 7 Yankees 5.

Brett Gardner led off the eighth by singling to center. Judge hit a two-run homer into the left-field stands to tie the game, his second long ball of the game. Stanton singled to right. Velazquez replaced Stanton as a pinch-runner. Rizzo faced the new Met’s pitcher Aaron Loup and flew out to right. Torres sent a rocket to Lindor that he couldn’t handle. Urshela was pinch-hit by Luke Voit, who singled to left on a failed double play by Baez as he airmailed one past first with Velazquez scoring. Higgy struck out, but the Yankees took the lead in the game. At the bottom, Guillaume pinch-hitting with Albert Abreu on the mound ground out to second. Villar ground out to Rizzo. Lindor walked. Conforto walked. Alonso flew out to Gardner in center to preserve the Yankee lead. New York Yankees 8 the Mets 7.

The ninth inning was led off by Tyler Wade, who ground out to second. LeMahieu ground out to second. Gardner struck out. At the bottom of the ninth Yankee closer, Aroldis Chapman came to the mound to face Javier Baez, who lined out on a Judge diving catch. JD Davis pinch-hitting for  McNeil hit a ground-rule double that bounced into the right-field stands. Pillar was out at first with a magnificent play by Higashioka. Davis went to third. McCann flew out to Judge in right field to end the Yankees slide.

The final score was the New York Yankees 8 and the New York Mets 7. The winning pitcher was Clay Holmes the loser was Trevor May. The save went to Aroldis Chapman (26).