New York Yankees: Buckle up buttercup, it’s going to be a tough weekend, here’s the preview

yankees, gerrit cole

Tonight, the New York Yankees open a three-game weekend series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. This series not only revisits the oldest rivalry in sports, but it is against a team the has won seven straight games and holds the number one berth in the wild-card race. Unfortunately, the Yankees this season have won only 7 of 16 against the Red Sox.

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the last few weeks, the Yankees have slipped in and out of holding one of those berths in a winner take all game, that either ends the season or propels them into the divisional series. Presently they hold the number two spot with the Toronto Blue Jays nipping at their heels.

The Yankees have a gargantuan job holding onto that spot as they play the last nine games of the season with teams that are statistically equal or better than they are. The Seattle Mariners are still in the mix as well, just one game behind the Blue Jays. The Yankees have to do well this weekend, at least taking two games from the Red Sox. Tonight toward that goal, they are pitting Yankee ace, Gerrit Cole against Nathan Eovaldi in that park with the famous green monster.

Tonight, September 24, 7:10 pm EDT:

Tonight the Yankees will put their best foot forward with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Cole is the Yankee ace and has won more games than any other Yankee starter. He is 15-8 with an ERA of 3.03 and an incredible 231 strikeouts on the season. Unfortunately, he is coming off his worst start of the season, a loss to the Cleveland Indians when he gave up seven runs in 5.2 innings of work with two home runs allowed. However, Cole will hope to bounce back and prop up the Yankees for a game one win. Cole is going to have to keep Rafael Devers in check. He has two homers off Cole and five RBIs this season.

Cole will face one of the best Red Sox pitchers in Nathan Eovaldi, a righty that is 10-8 with an ERA of 3.58 and 188 strikeouts. The edge in this game goes to Cole but only for a minimal margin. Eovaldi has faced the Yankees twice this season. On June 5th, he earned the 5-2 win over the Yankees. The flame thrower’s changeups mystified the Yankee hitters. On July 24th, he threw 100 pitches and left the game with a 3-0 advantage, but the Sox bullpen blew it when the Yankees came roaring back in the 8th led by Brett Gardner to win it over the Sox 4-3. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have had Eovaldis number all season long. Both with batting averages over .368.

Tonight’s game will be televised in the New York area in WPIX and its affiliates, NESN, and nationally on ESPN.

Saturday, September 25, 4:10 pm EDT

Saturday will be another tough matchup when relief pitcher turned starter Nestor Cortes Jr. takes the mound for the Yankees. For the most part, other than a few hiccups along the way, Cortes has been brilliant for the Yankees, much more than his stats would suggest. He is a lefty that is 2-2 with a low 2.79 ERA and 94 strikeouts. He has faced the Red Sox twice this season, both no-decisions. He is coming off three of his best outings in a row also for no-decisions. He achieved a season-high 11 strikeouts in a September 15 game.

Cortez will battle for the win against righty Nick Pivetta who is 9-7 with a 4.63 ERA and 159 strikeouts. His sixth loss of the season was against the New York Yankees on August 18th. Anthony Rizzo has six RBI’s off him, and Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez have been Pivetta killers. Saturday’s game will be on the YES Network, NESN, and MLBN out of the market.

Sunday, September 26, 7:08 pm EDT

The Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound for the series finale, and the last time the two teams will meet up in the regular season. “Monty” is 6-6 with an ERA of 3.55 and 155 strikeouts. Montgomery is one of two Yankees pitchers that have gotten the least run support in his starts stunting his record. Montgomery is coming off a win against the Rangers and had a season-high 12 strikeouts against the Orioles. Monty will have to be careful with Xander Bogaerts; he has a .438 average off him in 24 at-bats.

Montgomery will face the Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez who is 11-8 with an ERA of 4.97 and 170 strikeouts. E-Rod has not had the best of seasons due to heart problems that kept him off the field in 2020. He is a force to be dealt with, however. He started the season gangbusters, winning his first 5 games in a row, but he has not been as dependable since then, winning only 5 more games in the next three months. Gleyber Torres has hit 3 homers off him, while Joey Gallo generated two long balls in just six at-bats.

The Sunday evening game will be broadcast nationally only on ESPN.

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.

The New York Yankees’ train has left the station, but in the wrong direction

The New York Yankees are trying to get to the postseason, but that would be a surprise to any casual observer that has seen them lose six consecutive games while their rivals are rising to the occasion. The Yankees have had possession of the first wild card slot for nearly three weeks, have let that slip away as they are desperate to win a game, any game.

Even for a good team, it’s tough to sweep a four-game series; conversely, it is just as difficult to be swept in that many games, yet the New York Yankees have done it easily. They have committed errors, their bats have been silent, and their starting pitching and relievers have been deficient. It appears to be a team that is injured and just plain tired out.

In the four games against the Blue Jays, the Yankees never led in a single inning. The Blue Jays outscored the Yankees 25-8 over the span. Since 1908 the Yankees have never lost a four-game series while not leading at any point in those games at Yankee Stadium. According to CBSSports, the year is 1926, but the point is that the Yankees haven’t been this embarrassed in 100 years.

The Baltimore Orioles will lose over 100 games this season, but the New York Yankees have played worse than that team over the last 10 games going just 2-8. Meanwhile, the hot as fire Toronto Blue Jays have gone 9-1. The Yankees have now slipped to 10 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. With only 22 games left to the season, the Yankees would have to win all of those games to have any hope of winning the east.

The Yankees train has left the station, but it’s going in the wrong direction. The Yankees teased its fans by winning 13 consecutive games, only to let them down by losing six in a row and wiping any gains they got during the winning spurt. If the Yankees continue to play as they have over the last week, they will drop out of any wild card contention in the next week, leading to another failed New York Yankee season and a very long offseason of reflection.

Today the Yankees start a three-game weekend series with the crosstown New York Mets at Citi Field. It should be an interesting series because both teams are desperate to win as they are sinking in the standings. This evening at 7:10 pm EDT, Jordan Montgomery, one of the few healthy Yankee pitchers, will face Tylor Megill in the contest.

New York Yankees: 3 takeaways from Yankees nail-biter win over the Rays

luis cessa, yankees

The New York Yankees entered last night’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays with a certain urgency to get a win so they would have a chance to win a series, after losing one to their other rival the Boston Red Sox. Although it was a nail-biter late, the Yankees came away with the 4-3 win.

Montgomery pitches a gem

As he has so many times before, although having early game struggles, Jordan Montgomery kept the Yankees in the game. The Tampa Bay Rays hitters made Monty work hard through the first two innings. He used 51 pitches to get through the two innings. But from then on through the fifth inning, he pretty much breezed through the Rays lineup using 102 pitches. In the end, Monty didn’t give up a run and finally got a run of support.

Montgomery got his first win since June 2nd. Although the Yankee lineup has let down most of their pitchers, Monty has been the poster boy for no run support. He has given up an average of just 1.8 runs per game in his past seven starts while getting absolutely no run support. His command and control seem to be getting better with each start.

Concerning takeaway from Yankee win

After a devasting loss to the Boston Red Sox in the last game of that series, the Yankees needed to get a good start to this Tampa Bay series so they could have a chance to take the series. They did that with a 4-3 win last night. But, make no mistake about it, Monty won that game, not the Yankee lineup. The Yankees did get 10 hits in the game but went 3 for 16 with men in scoring position, leaving 11 Yankees on base. Twice they hit into double plays and lead all of baseball in that stat. The Yankees blew several opportunities to blow the game wide open.

Another concern was the Yankee bullpen

At the start of the season, industry sources said that the New York Yankees had one of the best bullpens in baseball, but in July, that has been disproven. Several relievers had pitiful outings. Last night after Montgomery pitched a solid five innings, the usually efficient Chad Green entered in the sixth inning, gave up two runs, and took 32 pitches to get through one inning. Zack Britton game up another run in the eighth.

In the ninth inning and Montgomery’s win almost blown, Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch the ninth. Although he got the win, it was another nail-biting inning for the pitcher and fans. Chapman has struggled since the end of June, and last night was no different. First, he gave up a walk, and it took him 19 pitches to get out of the inning.

Yankees trade away long time reliever

In a puzzling move, the New York Yankee front office announced that they had traded long-time long-haul reliever Luis Cessa to the Cincinnati Reds at the end of last night’s game. Also included in the trade was Justin Wilson, and they got back nothing except a player to be named later.

Cessa has been the go-to long reliever for the last two New York Yankee managers. In his eleven seasons, he has a 55-54 record and an ERA of 3.74, which is very good for a reliever that usually enters the game with runners on base and has to give the team several innings of long relief.

This season has been his best with the Yankees. The 29-year-old is inducing ground balls at a massive 56.8% clip this year. Statcast shows he’s been among the top twenty percent of pitchers in suppressing opponents’ average exit velocity, hard contact, and barrels. In 38 1/3 innings, this season he has earned a career-best 2.82 ERA.

The only explanation I can come up with to get rid of Cessa involves Justin Wilson, who has not pitched well for the Yankees; he has an ERA of 7.50 in 18 innings of work and a contract that costs the Yankees close to $3 million. This amounts to a Yankees salary dump; unfortunately, the Yankees lose Cessa in the deal. Yankee fans can only hope that the salary dump brings something good to the team later this week.

It must have been quite a shock to Cessa, who has spent his last six years in the majors with the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees Recap: Cole falls short in Yankees second loss to the Red Sox

yankees, gerrit cole

Last night after a devastating 10 inning loss, the New York Yankees faced the Boston Red Sox in game two of the four-game weekend set. Ace Gerrit Cole faced the Boston Red Sox ace, Eduardo Rodriguez, in a near must-win situation for the New York Yankees if they wished to advance in the AL East against their first-place rival. However, Cole fell short in the end, and the Yankees lost the game 6-2.

DJ LeMahieu faced Rodgriguez in the first inning and lined out to left field. Giancarlo Stanton struck out on an outside change. Rougie Odor ground out, and the Yankees went down in order. In the bottom, Enrique Hernandez led off against Gerrit Cole and ground out to second. Jerran Duran went down on strikes. Xander Bogaerts singled to right. Rafael Devers went down looking for the final out of the scoreless inning.

In the second, Gary Sanchez led off by walking. Gleyber Torres got a single off the diving Bogaerts in left, moving Sanchez to second base. Brett Gardner got an RBI double with two on and no outs, scoring Sanchez and Torres moving to third. Chris Gittens faced new pitcher Phillips Valdez after E-Rod left the game with some type of injury. Gittens with a run in, two on, and no outs went down on strikes. Ryan LaMarre was plunked in the shoulder to load the bases. Greg Allen, with the bases loaded and one out he went down on strikes. DJ LeMahieu, with the bases still loaded with Yankees, struck out, leaving the bases loaded, but the Yankees took the lead in the game. New York 1 Boston 0.

At the bottom of the second, JT Martinez went down on strikes from Cole. Alex Verdugo went down swinging. Hunter Renfroe fighting off pitches singled to short. Christian Vazquez flew out to LaMarre in left-center. New York Yankees 1 Boston Red Sox 0.

The third inning was scoreless, as was the fourth inning. Then, finally, the fifth inning saw the Boston Red Sox score three runs, including a homer by Rafael Devers off Gerrit Cole to take the lead for the Red Sox. Bogaerts and Devers combined for the other two runs. Boston Red Sox 3 New York Yankees 1.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Nestor Cortes Jr., fresh off the Covid list, pitched a clean sixth inning, striking out one and not allowing a hit. Gerrit Cole went only five innings giving up the three Boston runs in an unusually short outing while striking out eight and walking two. The Sox wore down Cole, who used 100 pitches to get through the fifth inning.

At the top of the seventh, Gerret Whitlock took over the pitching for the Boston Red Sox. Estevan Florial went down swinging. Greg Allen was hit in the shin and took first base. LeMahieu singled. Stanton, with a chance to tie up the game, ground out to third. With two on and two outs, Odor flew out to right-center to end the threat from the Yankees. At the bottom, Dalbec against Cortes Jr. went down swinging. Hernandez singled to right. Duran also singled to right for two on and one out. Bogaerts struck out. Devers got another home run just over the left-center wall to make it 6-1 Red Sox. It was announced that Sanchez left the game with back spasms.

In the eighth inning, with the Yankees behind five runs, Brantly, who took over for Sanchez, lined out to first. Torres advanced on a hit by pitch. Gardner went down on strikes. Gittens, who got a hit earlier, walked. Florial, who pinch-hit for LaMarre in the seventh and with two on and two outs, made the final out of the half, leaving two Yankees stranded. At the bottom, Verdugo, against the new Yankee pitcher Justin Wilson flew out to Gardner. Renfroe went down looking. Vazquez walked, but Dalbec ground out to end the inning. Red Sox 6 the Yankees 1.

With last licks on the line for the Yankees at the top of the ninth inning against Brandon, Workman flew out to center. LeMahieu tapped right back to Workman. Giancarlo Stanton, who walked twice on the night, got an infield hit. Rougie Odor doubled to far left field right in front of the green monster. Stanton scored. Rob Brantley flew out to foul territory at first to end the game.

The final score was the Boston Red Sox 6 and the New York Yankees 2. The winning pitcher was Yacksel Rios, and the loser was Gerrit Cole.

New York Yankees Recap: 4 home runs power Yankees to win over the Phillies

The New York Yankees entered the series with the Philadelphia Phillies tonight with a rag-tag team the had a higher positivity rate than any time in the season after winning a series against the Boston Red Sox. Even with their beleaguered team with several players on the IL, they were hoping to take their second series in a row. The Yankees won the game via the home run 6-4 for their third win in a row.

Jean Segura led off the first inning and walked against Domingo German. J.T. Realmuto ground out. Bryce Harper struck out. Former Yankee Andrew McCutchen struck out to end the half. At the bottom, Brett Gardner led off for the Yankees and struck out. Giancarlo Stanton went down looking. Rougie Odor struck out for a scoreless inning for both teams.

In the second, Rhys Hoskings, the Phillies’ home run leader, led off by hitting a homer to center field. Didi Gregorius recorded the first out with a fly out to center. Brad Miller walked. Ronald Toreyes struck out. Travis Jankowski struck out to end the inning, but the Phillies picked up a run. Gary Sanchez led off the Phillies at the bottom and flew out to right-center. Gleyber Torres flew out to the same place. Rob Brantly tapped back to the pitcher to end the inning. Phillies 1 Yankees 0.

Jean Segura led off the third by grounding out. JT Realmuto hit sharply to Tyler Wade at third for the second out. Bryce Harper singled to the center. McCutchen lined out directly to Wade at third to end the half. At the bottom, Greg Allen led off by getting a lead-off triple over the head of Harper. Estevan Florial sac flew for the tie of the game. Tyler Wade recorded the second out with a fly ball to McCutchen in left. Gardner flew out. New York Yankees 1 Phillies 1.

Hoskins led off the fourth by walking. Gregorius flew out for the first out. Miller flew out to shallow short. Toreyes hit a double over the head of Gardner, driving in a run for the Phillies.  Jankowski struck out, but the Phillies added another run. At the bottom, Stanton struck out. Odor got a bunt single for the Yankees. Sanchez hit the left-field wall so hard that he was limited to a single, but Odor went to third. Torres went down on strikes. Brantly, with two on and two outs, popped out to end the inning. Phillies 2 Yankees 1.

In the fifth inning, the Yankees picked up two runs, partly because of Brett Gardner’s home run to centerfield off of Nola. It would end up that the Yankees won this game via the long ball. Gary Sanchez hit a long ball in the sixth inning also off of Nola. In the seventh inning, Giancarlo Stanton hit a monster home run. New York Yankees 5 Philadelphia Phillies 2.

At the top of the eighth inning, the Phillies picked up a run off of Zack Britton. Britton gave up 3 hits in the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Greg Allen struck out. Estevan Florial, who walked in the sixth, had a solo shot to the short right-field porch to make it 6-3 New York Yankees. It was Florials first Major League home run. Tyler Wade gound out for the second out of the inning. Brett Gardner, with two outs, ground out to second to end the inning, but the Yankees picked up another run in the inning. New York Yankees 6 Phillies 3.

At the top of the ninth inning, the Yankees sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the mound to close it out for the Yankees with the three-run led. Chapman has been shakey, to say the least trying to close games for the Yankees recently. Bryce Harper struck out on a Chapman slider. Andrew McCutchen homer to the left-field stands as the Phillies tacked on another run as Chapman’s late-inning woes continued. Rhys Hoskins struck out swinging. Didi Gregorius, who was 0-4 on the night, also struck out against his old teammate. The Yankees held onto the 6-4 lead to take the first game of the Phillies series and their third win in a row.

The final score was the New York Yankees 6 and the Philadelphia Phillies 4. The winning pitcher was Luis Cessa, and the loser was Aaron Nola. The save went to Aroldis Chapman, his 17th of the season.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees pitching completely implodes in Yankee’s second loss to the Mets

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees met up with the New York Mets for a day-night doubleheader caused by a Friday night rainout. The Mets bowled over the Yankees 8-3 in the opening game yesterday. The day game today pit the Yankee ace Gerrit Cole against the Met’s Marcus Stroman. Both games were to go seven innings. The night game was slated to start reliever Nestor Cortes Jr. in his first major league start for the Yankees. The Yankees lost the game 10-5.

Cole, in the first game, faced the Met’s Brandon Nimmo, who struck out. Francisco Lindor flew out to center. Dominic Smith homered to center field as the Mets struck first. Pete Alonso flew out to Gardner to end the half, but the Mets picked up a one-run lead. DJ LeMahieu led off for the Yankees and flew out to right. Aaron Judge lined out to left. Luke Voit ground out to short for a 1-2-3 inning for Stroman. Mets 1 Yankees 0.

The top of the second was led off by Michael Conforto who struck out. Jeff McNeil reached on a reviewed call. Billy McKinney went down swinging. Tomas Nido flew out to Judge in the right to end the half and a scoreless inning for Cole. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton led off by singling to center. Gio Urshela singled to second, but Lindor bobbled the ball, and Stanton was safe at second. Gleyber Torres reached on the fielder’s choice, Stanton to third. Brett Gardner advanced on a hit by pitch. Kyle Higashioka, with the bases loaded and only one out, doubled down the left-field line to bring in two Yankee runs. With two still on, Tim Locastro (fastest major league runner) hit a sac fly to score Gardner. LeMahieu few out to end the inning, but the Yankees took the lead. New York Yankees 3 Mets 1.

The third inning was led off by Luis Guillorme, who doubled on a slow roller that Urshela airmailed into the camera well. Nimmo was out on a reviewed play, with Guillorme moving to third. Lindor walked. With men on the corners and one out, Smith struck out on a perfect change-up from Cole as Higashio didn’t have to move his glove. Lindor stole second. Alonso struck out on a 100mph fastball. At the bottom, Aaron Judge singled on a line drive to left. Voit singled on a liner, with Judge reaching third. Stanton hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Judge scored. Urshela tapped out to first. Yankees 4 Mets 1.

Michael Conforto led off the fourth inning and walked. McNeil singled, and Conforto held at second as Judge fired in. With two on and no outs, McKinney walked to load the bases prompting a mound visit from Yankee pitching coach Matt Blake. Nido singled driving in Conforto. Guillorme, with the bases, still loaded, and no outs, struck out for the first out of the inning. Nimmo got an RBI single, and that was the end of the day for Cole.

Jonathan Loaisiga entered the game with the bases loaded and only one out, facing Lindor, who singled in front of Judge. Judge fired in and got the Nimmo returning to second, but McKinney scored. Smith walked to reload the bases. Alonso hit back to Loaisiga for the last out, leaving the bases loaded, but the Mets tied the game at 4 apiece. The Yankees failed to score at the bottom, with the Yankees making another base running mistake.

The top of the fifth was led off by Conforto, who flew out to left. McNeil struck out. McKinney also struck out for a quick inning for Loaisiga. Locastro led off the bottom by grounding out. LeMahieu singled to center. Judge had a soft ground ball single with LeMahieu moving to third base. Voit with men on the corners and one out, Stroman had a wild ball allowing LeMahieu to get the Yankees back to the lead. Voit flew out to center. Stanton flew out to right, but the Yankees regained the lead. New York Yankees 5 Mets 4.

The sixth inning was led off by Nido, who struck out. Guillorme singled on a line drive to left. Nimmo was called out on strikes. Lindor was hit by a pitch, and Loaisgia was replaced by Chad Green, who faced Smith, who flew out to Gardner in center. Gio Urshela led off the bottom of the inning by singling to center with Jeurys Familia on the mound. Torres went down swinging. Gardner popped out to shallow center for out number two. Higashioka struck out swinging. Yankees 5 Mets 4.

With last licks on the line for the Mets in the top of the seventh, Pete Alonso with closer, Aroldis Chapman on the mound hit a home run to the visitor’s bullpen, tying the game. That was followed by Chapman hitting Conforto in the shoulder. McNeil walked, and Chapman was pulled from the game. Luetge replaced him, trying to right the ship facing Keven Pillar singled loading the bases. James McCann, pinch-hitting, stuck out for the first out of the inning. Peraza pinch-hitting for Guillorme hit a two-run double that looked like a Grand Slam, but a fan interfered. Nimmo singled, driving in another run. Lindor singled, driving in another run. Smith, still with only one out and one on, popped out to Torres, who dropped the ball, but the infield fly rule was called. Alonso went down on strikes to finally end the inning. Yankee pitching gave up five runs in the half. New York Mets 10 Yankees 5.

After the Mets turned the tables on the New York Yankees at the top of the inning, the Yankees were five runs behind. Seth Lugo took the mound for the Mets, facing pinch hitter Rougie Odor who ground out. LeMahieu struck out. Aaron Judge lined out to Alonso for the final out of the game and one of the Yankee’s worst games of the already disappointing season.

The final score was the New York Mets 10 and the Yankees 5. The winning pitcher was Juerys Familia and the loser Aroldis Chapman.

 

New York Yankee Breaking News: Yankees add center field depth with Locastro

The New York Yankees, without Aaron Hicks, have been rotating Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, and even Tyler Wade to cover center field. Today Linsay Adler of The Atlantic announced this afternoon that the Yankees are acquiring right-handed outfielder Tim Locastro from the Diamondbacks for AA pitcher Keegan Curtis. Adds speed and a center field defensive option to the Yankees’ roster.

Tim Locastro is a good defender and adds depth to the outfield. He, like Tyler Wade, is not a great offensive addition. He has been in the minor leagues since 2013 when the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 38th round. Most recently, with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he was hitting .178, making this a low-level trade. Like Tyler Wade, he is a speedster.

Locastro boasts an elite sprint speed of 30.9 feet per second. He broke the MLB record, and back in April, he was given second base as a memento of the feat. He grew up two hours from the Hall of Fame in Auburn, New York. In recognition, his spikes will be on display in the Hall of Fame museum.

Curtis began the 2021 campaign with Double-A Somerset, and he recorded a 3.94 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 16 innings across 12 relief appearances. The 25-year-old will likely head to the Double-A level to begin his time with the Diamondbacks.

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from Yankees 6/18 loss to the A’s

aaron judge, yankees

The New York Yankees back at Yankees Stadium last night and, after a sweep of the Blue Jays, took another step back, losing 5-3 against the Oakland Athletics. Luckily for the Yankees, they didn’t lose ground in the East, the Rays lost to the Mariners, and the Red Sox lost to Kansas City. Tonight Domingo German will face another excellent A’s pitcher in Chris Bissitt, who is 7-2. German imploded in his last start giving up seven runs into the fifth inning. The Yankees hope the German of old shows up on the mound tonight.

James Taillon pitched better

The New York Yankees knew going into a new season that they had taken a chance on both Corey Kluber and James Taillon. To some degree, they were prepared for a slow start for these two pitchers who hadn’t pitched in nearly two years. For the most part, the Yankees were somewhat surprised the two got off to a pretty good start. But now, almost halfway through the season, things have turned ugly. Kluber has missed five starts and will miss at least another five rehabbing from a shoulder problem. Taillon, for his part, hasn’t won a game in over six weeks since his only win over the Tigers on May 1.

The Yankees have lost Taillon’s last four starts, and the few wins before that were because the Yankees hitting came alive, and the bullpen shut down the opponents. Taillon has mostly struggled, having trouble with his command and suffering for not finding that put-away pitch after two strikes. Last night something was different. Taillon seemed to have better command and used different pitches that seemed to throw the A’s batters off balance. He threw twice as many sinkers and used his change more effectively. In 4 2/3 innings, he gave up only 4 hits and 2 earned runs. The Yankees hope this is a sign that Taillon still can return to the form the Yankees hoped for.

The big story, however, last night on the pitching front was James Kaprielian. He came back big at Yankee Stadium last night to bite the Yankees in the butt. He held the Yankees to just 3 hits. Since being a starter with the Athletics, he had pitched to a 2.84 ERA, something the Yankees would love to have. The zinger is that they could have. The Yankees drafted Kaprielian number 1 in the 2015 draft but traded him aways in the Sonny Gray trade.

Judge and Torres go quietly into the night

It’s no secret that the New York Yankees have had hitting problems all season long, save a few games. But when no one else was hitting Aaron Judge particularly and to a degree, Gleyber Torres was helping carry the team. At one point, Judge was one of the hottest hitters in baseball. By the first of June, he was one of the home run leaders. Back a month ago, he was hitting home runs at will.  But that was then, and this is now, both Judge and Torres are batting just over .200 during the last 10 days. Judge hasn’t hit a home run in the last six games, and Torres hasn’t hit one for two weeks. Since the beginning of the month, both players’ OPS has slipped 100 points.

Hitting still an issue for the Yankees

With the New York Yankees pitching becoming more of an issue after a great start, the lack of hitting still dogs the team. We talked about Judge and Torres’ lack of hitting during the last ten days, but the rest of the lineup is mostly silent. It seems whenever the Yankees face a quality pitcher, they can’t rise to the occasion and hit the ball. Most absent is elevating the ball and hitting home runs. The Yankees are built around the home run, and when they don’t hit them, they don’t win, which has put them six games behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees haven’t solved the problem; every time they take a step forward, they seem to take two steps back. Last night, they could only garner 3 hits off the Athletic’s starter and only 1 off the A’s sub-par bullpen. All three runs last night were via the home run (LeMahieu/Odor). The Yankees continually fail to play small ball to make those home runs more significant. For the rest of this series, they will face even better pitchers than they faced last night. Hopefully, the Yankees can turn it around; they will get swept in this series if they don’t.

 

 

New York Yankee Legends: Tough love Joe Girardi, Mr. determination

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

The New York Yankees had Joe Girardi both as a player and a manager. Joe’s middle name is Elliot, but it should be determined. Joe Girardi was a pretty average player and a catcher with little hitting ability, and often as a catcher let runners run on him, but he was determined to get better. He was determined to call the best game he could in handling pitchers, and that he did.

He was determined to take a young inexperienced Florida Marlins club, a club with the lowest payroll in baseball, to heights it had not seen, and he did, almost to the wild card game and was named the Manager of the Year. He was determined to take the Yankees to another World Series, and he did that too. After not having his Yankee contract renewed, he was determined to get back as a manager; he did that, in 2020, he was named the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.  They ended the season third in the NL East; this year, they are number one.

Joe Girardi’s style was to be strict but not any more demanding of others than himself. Born on October 14, 1964, the fourth of five children, he grew up in Peoria, Illinois. His Dad Jerry was a salesman but did a variety of other jobs. His Mom Angela was full-time as a child psychologist. His mother and father died early in life, his father of early-onset Alzheimer’s, and his mother of ovarian cancer.

Joe credits his father with his determination and the many things he taught the young Joseph. At the age of 12, he would play with his older brothers and their friends; Joe liked playing shortstop but caught because no one else would do it. He later in life would credit his brothers for helping him improve his game. He would say when you play with those older than you, you are forced to get better.

Joe’s sports history

The young Girardi was multi-talented, playing basketball, football and baseball through high school. In 1983 he would enroll in Northwestern University. He played for the Northwestern Wildcats baseball team, where he was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-American. At the end of the 1986 semester, he would earn his bachelor’s degree in engineering. Girardi was a popular student at Northwestern; he was the first-ever freshman to be elected president of a fraternity at Northwestern.

The Chicago Cubs drafted him in 1986 and sent him to Single-A Peoria. He got off to a hot start hitting near .330. He ended the season batting .309 with Peoria, .280 with Carolina in 1987, and .272 with Double-A Pittsfield in 1988. In 1989 he would meet Don Zimmer, who was then the Cubs manager. He would make his major league debut on April 4th. He hit a single and scored the first run of the season for the Cubs. In his rookie year with the Cubs, Girardi batted .248 with a home run and 14 runs batted in (RBIs) in 59 games. In 1990, he played in 133 games, batting .270 with a home run and 38 RBIs. In 1991, he played in only 21 games, batting .191 with 6 RBIs. In 1992, he played in 91 games, batting .270 with a home run and 12 RBIs.

After the 92 season, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies. Joe loved playing at Mile High Stadium. In his first year with the Rockies in 1993, he played in 86 games, batting .290 with five triples, three home runs, and 31 RBIs. In 1994, he played in 93 games, batting .276 with four triples, four home runs, and 34 RBIs. In 1995, he played in 125 games batting .262 with a career-high 8 home runs and 55 RBIs. At the end of the season he would be traded to the New York Yankees.

Joe Girardi becomes a New York Yankee

Joe would become the New York Yankee’s catcher. On May 14, 1996, Girardi caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter. Girardi played in 124 games during the 1996 season, batting .294 with two home runs and 45 RBIs. During the World Series against the Braves, Girardi would hit a triple that helped the Yankees win that game, and ultimately the World Series. In 1997 Girardi would get a new backup catcher in the 25-year-old Jorge Posada; the pair would share the backstop position for the next 3 years when Posada would become the primary catcher. In 1999 his last year with the Yankees, Girardi would call his second perfect game, this one for David Cone. There are very few catchers that have ever caught two perfect games.

In 2000 Joe would be back with his debut team, the Chicago Cubs. He would be named to the All-Star team that year. But in 2002, he would be called upon to speak to the Cub crowd at Wrigley Field. The game that day was nationally televised between the Cubs and the Cardinals. The Cardinal pitcher was to be Darryl Kile, but Kile had been found dead at his home. Girardi approached the mic before stands filled with fans and announced “due to a tragedy in the Cardinal family” that there would be no game that day. He asked all fans to be respectful of the matter as they found out about it on their own and to pray. After the season, Joe would play in 16 games with the Cardinals. With his hitting declining, he would retire as a player after the season. He would become a YES Network commentator in 2004.

Joe’s coaching and managerial career

Joe Girardi became Joe Torres bench coach in 2005, while still holding down some of his YES work in the “Kids on Deck” program. Girardi was a broadcaster for the third, fourth, and fifth games of the 2006 World Series on the Fox Network. During the offseason in 2005, Girardi would be named the new manager of the Florida Marlins. He had a young inexperienced team that had the lowest player salary in the majors.

He often had fights with owner Jeff Loria. In 2006 Girardi brought his hapless team almost to the Wild Card game and was named Manager of the Year, but he would be fired due to conflicts with Lori. After being considered as the manager for the Cubs and Nationals, he returned to the YES booth in 2007. Joe Torres winning ways would come to an end when Torre and the Yankees couldn’t agree to a contract. The Yankees considered Don Mattingly, Tony Pena and Girardi, they ultimately gave Joe the job, and he signed a 3-year contract.

In 2008 Joe would appear on the field with the number 27 on his back, signaling that he was bound and determined to get the New York Yankees to their 27th World Championship. In 2008 the Yankees would miss the playoffs for the first time in fourteen years, and fans would say they should never have gotten rid of Joe Torre. But the fact was they won 89 games with a flawed team that was poorly caught and ineffectively pitched. In 2009 the New York Yankees management brought on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira. In his second year, Joe Girardi would take the Yankees to their 27 World Series win defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.

Although the 2008 team through the 2010 team appreciated Girardi’s tough-love approach to managing, future teams would not be as accepting of it, and it would eventually lead to his contract not being renewed. In 2017 Girardi managed aggressively, and they won the AL East. With the new “Baby Bombers” Aaron Judge and Luis Severino leading the team in the battle for the East, Girardi would yank Severino in favor of reliever Chad Green and the Yankees would win 8-4 and advance to the ALDS.

In the ALDS against the Twins the New York Yankees would lose game one. In game two, Joe would mismanage horribly, yanking the starter CC Sabathia early in favor of Green. Green would load the bases, and Francisco Lindor would hit a grand slam for the Yankee loss. The Yankees would go on to win all of the elimination games and win the ALDS. The Astros would take the ALCS in seven games and, Joe’s time as the manager would be over. Several of the youngest players would express their disdain for Girardi, some saying it’s a long season; he wears you down.  Had the Astros not cheated in the 2017 ALCS,  Girardi may not have been fired, something we may never know.

Since Joe’s departure, there has been an ongoing conversation on social media about the approach Girardi took to managing and that of Aaron Boone. The basic difference is that Boone is everybody’s friend, where Joe was the tough love father to the players. In an interesting piece today, EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Nathan Solomon made a Girardi/Sanchez comparison:

“Ever since Joe Girardi was fired by the New York Yankees, Sanchez hasn’t been the same. His average since the beginning of 2018 is just .199 with a .741 OPS. One of the main reasons why Girardi was fired had to do with his relationship between him and the catcher before Sanchez’s struggles began. But now, looking in hindsight, it may not also be just a coincidence that Sanchez has struggled since Girardi’s departure.”

Joe the broadcaster and Phillies manager

After the season Girardi would again go into broadcasting with several outlets, including the MLB Network. From the time he left the Yankees at the end of this season, Joe Girardi’s name came up several times as managerial openings came up. After two years in broadcasting, Joe Girardi is now the newly hired manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Joe is still young (56), and it is too early to evaluate his managerial career. Joe is still loved by the Yankee faithful and several of the players. The Phillies will meet the Yankees at the Stadium on July 20th.

Personals

One thing that has never changed is that Joe carries his emotions on his sleeve. Things and events deeply touch him, never shy about showing his anger toward an umpire that he thought had made a bad call against the Yankees.  Tears ran down his face when he spoke about Yogi Berra’s death.  He visibly cried when both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera left the field for the last time.  Joe Girardi is a good man, a very good man.

In 1990, he married his lovely wife, Kim Innocenzi-Girardi. The couple is also blessed with three children that are all now adults, named Lena Yvonne, Serena, and Dante. He is leading a blissful and happy family life. Her husband understands her profession and gives her the freedom to do her work the way she wants. The couple is enjoying their life a lot at their home that Joe purchased when with the Yankees, in Purchase, New York. In summer 2019, Wilson Premier League Joe coached his son, that looks remarkably like him.