Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com Bronx Pinstripes - A New York Yankees Community for the Fans, by the Fans Tue, 25 Sep 2018 18:32:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wild Card Game: making the case for Luis Severino http://bronxpinstripes.com/featured-column/wild-card-game-making-the-case-for-severino/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/featured-column/wild-card-game-making-the-case-for-severino/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 18:31:09 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63822 Note: The Yankees have yet to make a decision on who will start the AL Wild Card game next Wednesday. We will be making the case for each of the three possibilities: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ.   Luis Severino came into this season as the unquestioned ace of the Yankees. He had […]

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Note: The Yankees have yet to make a decision on who will start the AL Wild Card game next Wednesday. We will be making the case for each of the three possibilities: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ.

 

Luis Severino came into this season as the unquestioned ace of the Yankees. He had a phenomenal year last season, finishing third in the AL Cy Young race. And through the first half of this season, Sevy was one of the best pitchers in baseball. At the all-star break, he had a 2.31 ERA to go along with stellar strikeout and walk numbers. Since then? Well, it has been a struggle.

In the second half, Sevy has pitched to a 5.74 ERA and given up nine home runs in just 58 innings. That works out to 1.40 HR/9 which is not good at all. His batting average allowed has gone up from .209 all the way to .298. His fastball has been getting hit harder, but the real issue has been his slider.

Last month, Mike Petriello of MLB.com took a thorough look at what has been going on with Severino’s slider. To sum it up, batters slugged .508 on the slider in Severino’s seven starts following the all-star break after slugging a mere .217 before the break. That is the effect, and the cause is likely because the slider is dropping less, getting less break, and spinning less. The charts below show what has been going on:

All of those changes make the slider less effective, and in turn make it easier to hit Severino’s fastball.

So how do you fix it?

Last month, I wrote about how Chad Green’s slider was less effective than last year and how he started using a changeup to compensate. The same idea can apply to Severino. The changeup gives batters a different look and makes it harder to key in on the fastball. And, to his credit, Severino has started to use the changeup more, as you can see in this chart from Brooks Baseball.

The chart shows pitch usage by start for this season. You can see how in the past month Severino has increased his changeup usage while simultaneously lowering his slider usage. That adjustment may be what has helped him be more effective in his last few starts, including his gem last week against the Red Sox.

On the R2C2 podcast, CC always talks about how Severino is comfortable throwing his changeup to both sides of the plate which makes it an incredibly useful pitch. Hopefully this increased usage of late is indicative of more confidence in the pitch.

Making the case

All of that lead-up is why I think Severino is back to being himself and ready to dominate for the rest of the season. Moreover, I think Severino’s batted-ball profile is better against the A’s than the starters in consideration. Even with his struggles in the second half, Severino’s HR/FB% is still 11.6%. Compare that to Masahiro Tanaka’s 17.5% and J.A. Happ’s 13.3%. The reason that is so important is because the A’s have the highest launch angle in baseball, fly-ball percentage, and hard hit percentage. Those stats indicate that the A’s try to hit the ball in the air, succeed at lifting the ball, and when they do, hit it hard. Against pitchers with a home run problem like Tanaka or a pitcher without dominant stuff like Happ, that can be a recipe for disaster. Home runs are the name of the game today, and limiting those could be the difference in the wild card game.

There is also the intangible aspect to consider. I started this article by calling Severino the “unquestioned ace of the staff,” and in a win-or-go-home situation, that is the guy you want on the mound. He also has a demonstrative bulldog presence on the mound that other players will feed off of. Severino will get pumped up on the mound and that can lead everyone else to get excited and ready to go.

The last consideration is talent, and I saved it for last because I think in this situation it is most important. All of these starters had a bad stretch this year. Tanaka was bad in the first half before turning it around, Happ had a large swoon right in the middle of the season, and Severino had those awful seven starts after the all-star break. None of these guys has had an unquestioned great year, and because of that, I want the most talented guy out there. Severino has by far the best stuff out of these three and the best strikeout numbers. When he is pitching well, few can dominate a game like he can.

In June, Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs wrote about Severino’s elite fastball-slider combination. In that post, there is a table of the best pitches by run value. Severino’s slider was the second best pitch in all of baseball and his fastball was the seventh bst. Can you guess how many other pitchers are featured twice on that list? None. Luis Severino is one of the best pitchers in baseball, he has made adjustments this year, he is still the ace of this staff, and that is why he should start the wild card game.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20

 

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Which umpires are the best for pitchers? http://bronxpinstripes.com/across-mlb/which-umpires-are-the-best-for-pitchers/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/across-mlb/which-umpires-are-the-best-for-pitchers/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 18:20:41 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63796 Major League Baseball has taken steps towards trying to becoming as accurate as possible when it comes to calls. They first implemented instant replay during the 2008 season in a limited capacity. Since then, the replay system has grown, but some people believe that with all of today’s advanced technological capabilities, even aspects of the […]

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Major League Baseball has taken steps towards trying to becoming as accurate as possible when it comes to calls. They first implemented instant replay during the 2008 season in a limited capacity. Since then, the replay system has grown, but some people believe that with all of today’s advanced technological capabilities, even aspects of the game such as calling balls and strikes should be done automatically, eradicating the need for human umpires. In polls, most players do not want this. Yet there are clearly times when an umpire’s strike zone frustrates batters and pitchers alike, and the Yankees are no stranger to this.

For example, the Yankees have two large sluggers in Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. They sometimes get low strike calls and because of their stature, they are not able to cover those pitches. As the team prepares for the do-or-die Wild Card game next Wednesday, a simple aspect such as the home plate umpire could play a role in the outcome of the game. The reason is that some home plate umps tend to have wider strike zones while others have smaller ones.

Among active umpires going back to 2008, the most games behind the dish belong to Joe West with 360 games. The least belongs to A.J. Johnson with only one, and he has the highest strikeout rate of any umpire at 28.6 percent (albeit it was only one game). Jeff Gosney has the lowest at 12.7 percent, but he has only called balls and strikes twice.

Other stats include boost stats, which looks at how much a stat relates to umpire relative to the league average. Of the umpires who have done at least 50 games dating back to 2008, D.J. Reyburn (240 games) has the highest K boost at 1.19. This means that in games where he is the home-plate umpire, there are 1.45 times more strikeouts than average. Bill Miller has the same K boost in 357 games. Other notable umpires who are above 1.00 include Dan Iassogna, Phil Cuzzi, Chris Guccione, Jim Reynolds, and more. Umpires such as Brian Knight, Alfonso Marquez, Mark Wegner, and Ted Barrett have K boosts under 1.00, meaning they are less likely to strike out hitters on average.

Conversely, there is BB boost. A high-BB boost umpire would seemingly favor hitters. Notables above 1.00 include Andy Fletcher, Derryl Cousins, Mike Winters, Adrian Johnson, and Tim Timmons. Doug Eddings, Bill Miller, CB Bucknor, and Jeff Nelson are on the other side.

The more experienced umps typically are used in the playoffs. The home plate umpire definitely has the most influence on the game out of the six that will be on the field. Ideally, the game will not come down to a ball or strike call, but there are some instances which could give an advantage to the pitcher or the hitter.

 

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Gardner’s late entry ignites Yankees win http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/gardners-late-entry-ignites-yankees-win/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/gardners-late-entry-ignites-yankees-win/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 05:28:32 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63813 TAMPA — Since the return of Aaron Judge from the Disabled List, Brett Gardner has seen his playing time greatly diminished, as Andrew McCutchen has taken over in left field and in the leadoff spot of the Yankee order. Today, however, New York’s longest tenured player showed that he remained ready throughout as he drove […]

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TAMPA — Since the return of Aaron Judge from the Disabled List, Brett Gardner has seen his playing time greatly diminished, as Andrew McCutchen has taken over in left field and in the leadoff spot of the Yankee order.

Today, however, New York’s longest tenured player showed that he remained ready throughout as he drove in the game’s go-ahead run and made a tremendous catch, all after entering in the fifth inning for the injured Aaron Hicks. All in all, that led to a 4-1 win for the boys in grey, and clinched a matchup with the Oakland A’s in the AL Wild Card game.

In tonight’s game, Aaron Boone and the Bombers gave the Rays a taste, going with eight pitchers, with Jonathan Holder earning the spot as “starter.”

It did work as the Rays were limited to just two runs and struckout 13 times against New York pitching.

Notably, Aroldis Chapman pitched a clean seventh inning, striking out two while walking a batter.

Zach Britton then closed it out for his seventh save of the season, as Sonny Gray was also credited with the win, his eleventh of the year.

The offense did not go off, but they did more than enough to get the victory tonight.

Andrew McCutchen started the scoring with a solo shot in the third, while RBIs from Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton in the third gave the Yankees back the lead for good.

Aaron Judge, who also had two walks, hit an RBI-double in the seventh as the final insurance run for the Yankees.

Luis Severino faces Jake Faria in the second game of this four-game set tomorrow.

Current Yankees Record: 96-60

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show Weekly Stats Roundup 9/24 http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/the-bronx-pinstripes-show-weekly-stats-roundup-9-24/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/the-bronx-pinstripes-show-weekly-stats-roundup-9-24/#respond Mon, 24 Sep 2018 19:39:36 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63795 It got better, but then it got worse. The Yankees had an opportunity to sweep both of their series’ at home this week against the Red Sox and O’s, but lost the final game of both. While the Red Sox ended up clinching the AL East, the Yankees clinched a playoff spot for themselves after […]

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It got better, but then it got worse.

The Yankees had an opportunity to sweep both of their series’ at home this week against the Red Sox and O’s, but lost the final game of both. While the Red Sox ended up clinching the AL East, the Yankees clinched a playoff spot for themselves after a walk-off double from the bat of Aaron Hicks.

All was well, that is until Boone announced Sunday that Didi Gregorious could miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury he suffered on that playoff-clinching slide home. That news leads us right into this week’s stats roundup:

Life (possibly) without Didi

As much as it hurts to even think about, there’s no choice but to imagine what the Yankees are going to be if they don’t have Didi going forward.

When Didi is in the starting lineup this season, the Yankees are 80-48 (.625 winning percentage). Without him in the starting lineup, they are 15-12 (.555 winning percentage). Not a huge sample size, but big enough.

Didi is a do-it-all type of player who has been a heavy contributor for the Yankees this season. While he doesn’t lead the team in any major statistical categories at the plate, he ranks top five on the team in runs (4th), hits (3rd), doubles (3rd), triples (T-1), home runs (2nd), RBI (2nd), and total bases (3rd).

Even more notably, Didi ranks third on the team in OWAR with a 4.2 rating. Only four players on the team have a rating above a three.

It’s clear that losing Didi would be a huge loss to the team as they approach the most important part of the season.

Happ-y Days

J.A. Happ has only been in a Yankee uniform for about two months, but boy has he made his presence felt.

Since being traded to the Yanks on July 26th, Happ is 6-0 with a 2.34 ERA and averaging 5.6 strikeouts per game. Happ has allowed more than two earned runs in a game just twice in his 10 starts with the team, and has held opponents to five hits or less seven times.

Happ’s been obviously great, but his September has been spectacular. In four starts, Happ has a 0.78 ERA and has yet to give up more than one earned run in a game. Oh yeah, and opponents are batting .210 against him. Keep in mind that those four starts were against the A’s, Twins, Red Sox, and Orioles.

If the Yankees run into those Red Sox in the postseason, Happ could play a huge role. He has a 0.54 ERA against the Red Sox this season (including his time with the Blue Jays).

The numbers don’t lie – Happ has been excellent so far with the Yankees.

My name is Luke Voit and I hit dingers

There’s no other way to say it – Luke Voit is a freaking animal.

Voit continued his hot home run hitting streak this week, with four dingers in five games on 20 plate appearances.

Since Voit’s first HR as a Yankee on August 24th, he leads all of MLB in home runs with eleven. On a 162 game scale, that would be 69 home runs. The dude is feeling it.

Looking ahead

It’s the final week of the regular season, and the Yanks will take on two divisional opponents again – the Rays and the Red Sox. They’ll look to cling on to the 1.5 game lead that they hold over the A’s for the top Wild Card spot.

The Yankees actually have a losing record to both teams this season, as they’re 7-8 against the Rays and 7-9 against the Red Sox.

It’s not exactly certain how the Yankees will line up pitching-wise this week with the Wild Card game a week from Wednesday. All we know is that tonight Jonathan Holder will start as the “Opener” – which indicates that Boone could be pushing Luis Severino back to load him up for the Wild Card.

Thursday’s starter would have six days rest for the Wild Card, while the Friday starter would have five. Those are two days to pay close attention to as it is very likely that the Wild Card starter will pitch for the final time before that game on one of those days.

YES Network Research Team Tweet of the Week

Obviously Sweeny doesn’t work at YES, but this stats tweet was too good to go unnoticed.

I find that quite impressive as well.

It’s the final week of the regular season, and by next Monday we’ll all be mentally and physically preparing for the do-or-die Wild Card game.

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Yankees clinch Wild Card spot, but might’ve lost Didi for season – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-clinch-wild-card-spot-but-mightve-lost-didi-for-season-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-clinch-wild-card-spot-but-mightve-lost-didi-for-season-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:55:10 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63792 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #270 The Yankees wrapped-up their regular season home schedule by winning 2 of 3 vs Baltimore. We discuss the late-breaking news that Didi Gregorius might be out for the rest of the season, the Yankees clinching a Wild Card spot and the ensuing celebration, why Aaron Boone is saying one thing […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #270

The Yankees wrapped-up their regular season home schedule by winning 2 of 3 vs Baltimore. We discuss the late-breaking news that Didi Gregorius might be out for the rest of the season, the Yankees clinching a Wild Card spot and the ensuing celebration, why Aaron Boone is saying one thing and doing the other when it comes to trying to win home field advantage, the Yankees’ plans to line up either JA Happ, Luis Severino, or Masahiro Tanaka for October 3, the Boston series finale, and mailbag questions about the bullpen, the Wild Card format, and first base production.

Today’s sponsors are SeatGeek and Sleep Number. For $20 off your first ticket purchase, download the SeatGeek app and enter code BRONX. Go to SleepNumber.com/BRONX to find the nearest store location to you.

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Series Recap: Yankees dial up playoffs in costly series against Orioles http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-recap/series-recap-yankees-dial-up-playoffs-in-costly-series-against-orioles/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-recap/series-recap-yankees-dial-up-playoffs-in-costly-series-against-orioles/#respond Sun, 23 Sep 2018 21:30:38 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63769 Let’s begin with the positive. The New York Yankees closed out their final homestand of the regular season by taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles and sealing a postseason berth for the second consecutive season. The bad news is Didi Gregorius is out with torn cartilage in his right wrist and the Yankees […]

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Let’s begin with the positive. The New York Yankees closed out their final homestand of the regular season by taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles and sealing a postseason berth for the second consecutive season. The bad news is Didi Gregorius is out with torn cartilage in his right wrist and the Yankees lost a game they needed to win with home-field advantage still outstanding. Finishing out the season on the road, the Yankees need to string together some more victories or buy some ear plugs for those drums in Oakland.

GAME 1

The 10-8 final was closer than it should’ve been but fortunately, the Yankees had a response for every time the Orioles inched closer, keeping them at arm’s length.

CC COMEBACK

If this was the last start in pinstripes at Yankee Stadium for CC Sabathia, “Dub” made the most of his opportunity. Sabathia more than did his job and handed the bullpen a lead. In six frames Sabathia whiffed five, yielded two runs on six hits and three walks. A two-run single by Adam Jones in the fifth frame would be the only major damage incurred by the veteran southpaw. The victory marked the 20th of Sabathia’s career against the O’s, a feat which he’d accomplished against the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers.

BRONX KNIGHT RISES

During the first frame, the Bronx Bombers didn’t waste any time jumping on Yefry Ramirez. Aaron Hicks coaxed a leadoff walk and Aaron Judge followed with a single to left. While a double-play by Andrew McCutchen would erase a pair, Didi Gregorius wouldn’t let the early rally go for naught.

Gregorius clocked a 3-1 slider into the second deck in right. The two-run tater marked No. 27 on the season for Sir Didi.

HICKS TO THE STICKS

In the fourth frame, the pinstripes took advantage of some Baltimore miscues. Neil Walker lined a one-out double to right, followed by a Gleyber Torres RBI-single to center. Torres would steal second and advance to third on a passed ball by Austin Wynns. The passed ball would be pivotal, as Torres would score on an Austin Romine groundout.

Ensuing batter Brett Gardner would draw a walk, setting the stage for Hicks.

Hicks blasted a 3-1 slider from Ramirez into the bleachers in right for home run No. 25 on his season, sending Ramirez to the showers.

PEN PROBLEMS

What felt fairly innocuous at the time with Jonathan Loaisiga entering the contest in the seventh inning, took a sharper turn off the tracks faster than you can say MTA. Loaisiga surrendered a home run to left to Wynns and a single to Cedric Mullins. After a strikeout of DJ Stewart, Mullins stole second and advanced to third on a Romine throwing error.

With Zach Britton on, Jonathan Villar plated Mullins on a single to right but Britton would hold the damage there.

PUSHING BACK

In the home half of the seventh, the Yankees would strike back. A McCutchen RBI-single to center off Cody Carroll and a two-run single to left by Luke Voit pushed the New York advantage to 9-4.

MORE PEN PROBLEMS

The bullpen got the yips again in the eighth. After Stephen Tarpley did his job with a strikeout of Chris Davis, A.J. Cole and David Robertson got knocked around. Cole walked Tim Beckham and allowed a two-run homer to right to Renato Nunez. With two down and Mullins reaching on a bunt, Robertson entered and surrendered a two-run home run to right to Stewart.

AARON ADDS INSURANCE

Once again in the home half, the Yankees lineup countered. With two down in the eighth inning, Hicks coaxed a walk against Paul Fry. Judge followed with an RBI-double to right.

BETANCES BOLTS IT DOWN

Dellin Betances provided the Yankees with a solid ninth inning, stopping the bleeding. Betances extended his strikeout streak and worked a scoreless frame for the save.

GAME 2

It was much more difficult than it should’ve been but the 3-2 walk-off win in 12 innings was worth the wait. Earning the victory, the Yankees locked up their second consecutive postseason berth.

BOMBERS BLAST OFF

During the second stanza, the Bronx Bombers busted out the heavy-duty lumber against David Hess. Hicks staked New York to a 1-0 lead with a homer to right off a 0-2 slider. After Miguel Andujar was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, Voit connected on a first-pitch fastball to right-center, doubling the pinstripes advantage to 2-0 with a home run.

HEADS DOWN, HEADS UP DEFENSE

In the third inning, the Yankees were let down and picked up on defense. Breyvic Valera and Steve Wilkerson connected on consecutive singles against Lance Lynn. With Caleb Joseph batting, a passed ball by Sanchez enabled Valera to advance to third base. After Joseph struck out, Mullins reached on a throwing error by Sanchez, which overshot Voit at first base, allowing Valera to score but an alert Torres backing up the play, threw home to a covering Lynn, who tagged out Wilkerson at the dish, preserving the 2-1 edge.

Fast forward to the fifth and the Yankees defense prevented what could’ve been a bigger inning for the O’s. Judge cut down Wilkerson at the plate and Sanchez made a nice block to prevent him from scoring on a Joseph single to right. Baltimore would square the contest at two apiece following consecutive singles by Mullins and Stewart.

PLAYING WITH FIRE

With virtually all of their top-flight relievers used up, the Yankees defense helped bail out Jonathan Holder from a jam in the tenth. With runners at second and third and the infield in, a nice pick by Gregorius held the runners and made for an out at first. After an intentional walk to Trey Mancini, Voit stabbed a liner from Davis for the second out. Holder got Valera to pop out to Torres to end the threat unscathed.

HICKS GETS LAST LICKS

In the eleventh inning, Gregorius led off with a single against Fry. With one out, Hicks fouled a ball off his leg but would rebound and wouldn’t have to run much with a walk-off, RBI-double to left, wrapping up a postseason berth for the Yankees.

GAME 3

Playing their final game of the regular season home slate, the Yankees made some dubious moves considering they still needed to lock down home-field advantage in the AL Wild Card game. Judge, Hicks and Gregorius were out of the lineup and for some reason with a 3-1 lead in the sixth and 8,000 relievers, A.J. Cole was allowed to pitch. As we would learn after the game, Gregorius tore cartilage in his right wrist while sliding into home the night before on the winning run. Hicks was also banged up after fouling the ball off his leg. In any event, a 6-3 loss wasn’t the way the Yankees wanted to end the homestand.

NO EARLY HANGOVER

After O’s starter, Alex Cobb went down fast with a blister injury on his hand, the Yankees lineup pounced on reliever Mike Wright Jr. Following three consecutive free passes, a sacrifice fly RBI to right by Torres made it 1-0. RBI singles to center by Andujar and Sanchez provided New York with a 3-0 advantage.

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HAPP’S TUNE-UP

J.A. Happ was sharp in the first frame, fanning the side. Although the long delay in the bottom half of the first might’ve thrown off Happ’s rhythm a bit, he still managed to toss five frames of one-run ball, a home run to Beckham, fanning seven and allowing five hits and a pair of walks.

WHY A.J. COLE EVER?

Were Justus Sheffield or Chance Adams or anyone not named Cole not available among the 8,000 arms in the expanded Yankees bullpen in a two-run game in the sixth inning? Yes, it’s the Orioles. Yes, the Yankees lineup stalled after the first inning but still, no reason to pitch Cole here or any other spot.

Cole allowed a two-run homer to left to Beckham and a home run to Nunez and that was the end of his disastrous day. Tommy Kahnle and Luis Cessa each allowed another run along the way on an ugly day for the bullpen.

ON DECK

At 95-60, the Yankees travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. to play the Tampa Bay Rays in a four-game series starting Monday night.

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Yankees reveal Didi Gregorius could miss rest of season with wrist injury http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-reveal-didi-gregorius-could-miss-rest-of-season-with-wrist-injury/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-reveal-didi-gregorius-could-miss-rest-of-season-with-wrist-injury/#respond Sun, 23 Sep 2018 21:17:25 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63783   Update – Aaron Boone spoke with the media Monday at The Trop (before Mother Nature tried to rid the world of the sad excuse for a ballpark by striking it with lightning) and provided an update on Gregorius. The skipper reports Gregorius feels “significantly better” and there are “signs of optimism.” Watch the full […]

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Update – Aaron Boone spoke with the media Monday at The Trop (before Mother Nature tried to rid the world of the sad excuse for a ballpark by striking it with lightning) and provided an update on Gregorius. The skipper reports Gregorius feels “significantly better” and there are “signs of optimism.” Watch the full interview below:

 

9/23 – The Yankees’ champagne celebration was short-lived. 

Following the team’s 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, manager Aaron Boone announced that shortstop Didi Gregorius tore cartilage in his right wrist while sliding headfirst into home plate as the Yankees’ game-winning run on Saturday.  With that run, New York clinched a spot in the AL Wild Card game, which will be played on October 3.

According to Boone, Gregorius underwent an MRI and cortisone injection on Sunday, and he’ll be re-evaluated in a few days.

“I think there’s a real possibility [we get Gregorius back].  There’s also a possibility that we don’t,” Boone told the YES Network.  “We’ll see in a few days and see how the wrist responds to the cortisone shot.  Didi’s a great player, and I think everyone in this room understands how important he is to our team.  Kind of an anchor for us defensively in the infield, obviously what he brings from the left side of the plate. 

“So, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  But hopefully we’ll get some good news here in a few days that it responds how we hope.”

In 132 games this season, Gregorius has slashed .268/.336/.498 with a career-high 27 home runs, 23 doubles, five triples, 86 RBI, and 120 OPS-plus.

“I have some movement in there,” Gregorius told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.  “They say things like this happen to other players.  Some of them have played through it.  We’re going to see how it goes.  If it feels better, I’ll be back in there so we can still make that playoff decision.”

 

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Yankees walk-off in 11th, clinch playoff berth http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-walk-off-in-11th-clinch-playoff-berth/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-walk-off-in-11th-clinch-playoff-berth/#respond Sun, 23 Sep 2018 09:43:31 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63778 NEW YORK — It may not have been what they envisioned at the start of the season, but the Yankees celebrated as they clinched a Wild Card spot after defeating the Orioles, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium. Surely, New York would’ve loved to win the division but after the amount of injuries they have faced throughout […]

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NEW YORK — It may not have been what they envisioned at the start of the season, but the Yankees celebrated as they clinched a Wild Card spot after defeating the Orioles, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium.

Surely, New York would’ve loved to win the division but after the amount of injuries they have faced throughout the year and the historic winning pace Boston is on, making the Wild Card game is not at all something to be ignored. And now that they’re in the October dance, anything can happen.

Things were looking good early when the Bombers took a quick 2-0 lead in the second inning, thanks to solo shots by Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit. For the former, it was his 26th of the season, while it was the 12th round tripper for the first baseman.

In the third, the O’s got a run back after a throwing error by Gary Sanchez allowed Breyvic Valera to score. Thankfully for New York, Gleyber Torres threw out Steve Wilkerson at home to keep the Yankees in front.

Dj Stewart, though, hit an RBI-single in the fifth to tie the game at two. That was the only earned run scored off Lance Lynn, who pitched decently, giving up seven hits in five innings.

While New York was not able to score again till the 11th, they were lucky to get some dominant performances from their bullpen. In the six innings they pitched, six relievers combined to strike out nine batters, while giving no runs and just five hits.

This was not without any drama, however, as Jonathan Holder masterfully escaped a one-out bases loaded jam in the 10th to keep the game tied at two. A great play from Voit robbed Chris Davis off a likely RBI-double to save two runs and the game for New York.

Riding on the momentum, Aaron Hicks hooked a double down the left field line, to score the sprinting Didi Gregorius all the way from first base.

A celebration on the field ensued as the Yankees celebrated the accomplishment of making it back to the postseason. New York, though, needs to keep winning to ensure that the Wild Card game is played at Yankee Stadium.

J.A. Happ faces Alex Cobb tomorrow, as the Yankees go for the series sweep.

Current Yankees Record: 95-59

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Brian Cashman discusses state of the Yankees with wild card game nearby http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/brian-cashman-discusses-state-of-the-yankees-with-wild-card-game-nearby/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/brian-cashman-discusses-state-of-the-yankees-with-wild-card-game-nearby/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 19:18:36 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63771   Brian Cashman doesn’t want the Yankees to lay the groundwork for a potential ALDS matchup with the Red Sox.  They just haven’t reached that checkpoint yet. With nine regular season games remaining, the Yankees’ general manager enjoins his staff and players to focus solely on preserving and securing home-field advantage for the American League Wild […]

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Brian Cashman doesn’t want the Yankees to lay the groundwork for a potential ALDS matchup with the Red Sox.  They just haven’t reached that checkpoint yet.

With nine regular season games remaining, the Yankees’ general manager enjoins his staff and players to focus solely on preserving and securing home-field advantage for the American League Wild Card game on October 3.  After all, the Oakland Athletics will stand in their way before Boston can.

“We’d like to put ourselves in the best position possible to fight through anything that comes our way,” Cashman told reporters on Friday at Yankee Stadium.  “Limiting travel would be a benefit, but we’ll see how it plays out.  Got a lot of good teams we have to play, and Oakland obviously has been resurgent for quite some time now.  They’re certainly taking a good shot at it…

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Who should start the Wild Card game for the Yankees? Poll results say… http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/who-should-start-the-wild-card-game-for-the-yankees-poll-results-say/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/who-should-start-the-wild-card-game-for-the-yankees-poll-results-say/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:35:36 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63741   Like the champagne and beer that was doused inside the visitor’s clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees’ plans of securing an AL East title in 2018 were put on ice Thursday night, as the 104-win Boston Red Sox clinched their third consecutive division banner via an 11-6 win in the Bronx. The celebration and […]

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Like the champagne and beer that was doused inside the visitor’s clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees’ plans of securing an AL East title in 2018 were put on ice Thursday night, as the 104-win Boston Red Sox clinched their third consecutive division banner via an 11-6 win in the Bronx.

The celebration and ceremony was inevitable — Boston’s four-game sweep over the Yankees at Fenway Park in early August, which marked their first place lead at a commanding 9.5 games seven weeks ago, reaffirmed that only the Red Sox had the speed and stamina to cross the finish line first.  Despite the Yankees’ strengths, their shortcomings were accentuated.  Boston’s prowess was patent.  The writing was on the wall for quite some time.

What the Yankees didn’t anticipate last month, however, was the slight sting of witnessing the Red Sox cap off a historic regular season campaign on their home turf.  In fact, it had been 14 years since Boston last celebrated a postseason accomplishment by winning before a dejected Yankee Stadium crowd (Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS).

But this is where the Yankees were destined to stand in September, and entering Friday, their focus will shift toward preserving a 1.5-game lead over the Oakland Athletics for home field advantage in the AL Wild Card game on October 3.

So, which starting pitcher should the Yankees appoint for the one-game playoff?  That’s the million dollar question.

In a recent poll of 2,449 Bronx Pinstripes subscribers on Twitter, 52-percent voted for Masahiro Tanaka, while 35-percent voted for J.A. Happ and 13-percent voted for Luis Severino.

Within the past week, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone and his staff have dropped a few hints as to which starter could take the mound in two weeks.  But what matters the most in a decision like this?  How much weight should be placed on recent performance, versus postseason experience and history?  There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Fortunately for the Yankees, they have options.  Three, to be exact.

 

The case for Masahiro Tanaka (52-percent vote)

 

Entering Thursday, Masahiro Tanaka had been the Yankees’ most reliable starter since the All-Star break.  His second-half ERA sat at 2.09, and he had allowed just one run in his previous 21 innings of work.  Last October, Tanaka went on a similar run, allowing two runs in 20 total innings (three starts) during the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians and ALCS against the Houston Astros.  Tanaka was undoubtedly the backbone, the mainstay.

However, he encountered a roadblock on Thursday, as he failed to make it out of the fifth inning (allowed five runs on eight hits) in the Yankees’ 11-6 loss to Boston.  

Did this poor outing hurt Tanaka’s chances of starting the wild card game?  The answer is no, according to Boone. 

“We have so much confidence in Masa, especially in the big spots so our decision will be one made from strength,’’ Boone told the New York Post after the game.  “We are deciding from a lot of good options.  Masa is right in that consideration.  This doesn’t make me think he’s not going to deliver in a big spot in a play-in game.’’

Although Tanaka’s regular season mood swings have been underlined, he’s earned the reputation as a big-time pitcher in a postseason setting.  In two of his October outings last year — one with the Yankees trailing 2-0 to the Indians and one tied 2-2 with the Astros — Tanaka tossed seven shutout innings at Yankee Stadium.  

And don’t forget Tanaka has experience pitching in the wild card game, too.  Granted, he wasn’t his sharpest against Houston back in 2015 (5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, L), but Tanaka can grasp the moment.  He can rise to the occasion.  The numbers and highlights are proof.  

Tanaka should also be considered if the wild card game is played in Oakland.  In seven road starts this season, Tanaka owns a 7-0 record, 3.31 ERA, and 0.94 WHIP.

The way the Yankees’ rotation is currently aligned, Tanaka would have to pitch the game on short rest.  If this isn’t an issue to Boone or Tanaka, more of a reason to consider him for this must-win game.

Was Tanaka’s start on Thursday a simple hiccup, or an omen?  Wouldn’t lean toward the latter. 

 

The case for J.A. Happ (35-percent vote)

 

Where would the Yankees be without J.A. Happ?  Since the 35-year-old southpaw came over in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays back on July 26, Happ has been nothing short of dominant in pinstripes.  In nine starts with the Yankees, he’s 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 184 ERA-plus.  It’s also worth noting he hasn’t lost a start at Yankee Stadium since 2014. 

Happ is always calm, cool, and collected on the mound.  He’s consistent, unflappable, less prone to sporadic performances.  And those are valuable traits to have in a winner-take-all, loser-go-home scenario.  Those traits cater to the Yankees’ needs.

But is Happ better suited for two starts against the Red Sox in the ALDS than one start against the Athletics?  The numbers suggest so.

In three starts against Boston this season, Happ owns a 0.54 ERA (16.2 IP, ER, 22 SO).  His most recent appearance came on Tuesday, and in six innings, Happ allowed four hits and struck out six en route to a no-decision.  In 20 career games (19 starts) against the Red Sox, Happ is 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA and .225 batting average-against.  

“I try to rely on experience and try to stay positive out there, at least in my head,” Happ told the YES Network on Tuesday.  “And tell myself I’m a pitch away at times… That stuff has helped.”

So, if the Yankees beat the Athletics, wouldn’t it make sense for Happ to pitch at least one game against Boston in the ALDS?  Start Game 1 at Fenway Park, and potentially Game 4 at Yankee Stadium?  This argument holds up. 

On the flip side, the Yankees can’t ignore Happ’s history against the Athletics.  Earlier this month, Happ completed six innings of one-run, two-hit ball at Oakland Coliseum.  Overall, Happ is 4-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 11 career games against the Athletics. 

Happ has appeared in 10 postseason games since 2007.  He started in two games (one ALDS, one ALCS) for Toronto back in 2016. 

And if rotation alignment means anything at the moment, Happ’s slated to pitch on normal rest on October 3.  That’s something to pay attention to.

 

The case for Luis Severino (13-percent vote)

 

What a tale of two halves it’s been for the Yankees’ troubled ace.  In Luis Severino’s first 18 starts, he went 16-2 with a 1.98 ERA, and he was a midseason All-Star and front runner for Cy Young honors.  But through early July, Severino had posted a 3-6 record and bloated 5.72 ERA (43 earned runs across 58 innings) entering his start against Boston on Wednesday. 

Fortunately for Severino and the Yankees, he’s re-entered the wild card conversation.  On Wednesday, he allowed just one run in seven innings against the Red Sox, recording his career-high 18th win of the year.  Severino became the first Yankees pitcher since CC Sabathia in 2011 to reach 18 or more wins in a season. 

Although he ran into an early first-inning jam, Severino found command rather quickly, which was an encouraging sign.  His old confidence and poise returned.  It was a far cry from Severino’s September 6th outing in Oakland, when communication trouble with catcher Gary Sanchez resulted in two passed balls and two wild pitches in the very first inning. 

Severino has expressed his desire to pitch under the bright lights on several occasions.  And through his ups and downs, through the thick and thin, Boone has stood by Severino. 

“We need to play well and he’s a big part of that,” Boone told the YES Network.  “It’s just good to see him go out and pitch the way he’s capable of, because I think everyone in this room understands when he’s on top of his game, he’s special.  So, to have him go out and pitch the way he did, to see the confidence build as the night continued to unfold, I’m just really excited for him.  And hopefully he can take off from there and be the guy we know he can be.”

Although Tanaka and Happ have pitched better in the second half, there’s no question that Severino is the x-factor here.  If he can return to old form, it would give the Yankees a huge edge against any opponent.  

The Yankees hope Severino will be the ace of their rotation for years and years to come. He definitely has the makeup and arsenal to live up to the franchise’s expectations.  But how would Severino react toward Tanaka or Happ starting the wild card game?  Would it alter his self-confidence?

Regardless, Severino’s next two starts will truly determine if he’s fit to pitch this game for a second straight season.  And remember: Severino only recorded one out against the Twins at Yankee Stadium last year (he also allowed three runs and four hits).  The Yankees were forced to implement the “Opener” strategy very early on, and not by choice. 

Could the Yankees survive one game with 26 outs recorded by the bullpen again?  Sure, it’s possible.  They’re well-equipped to face that challenge, should it arise.  But the Yankees haven’t really passed the “Bullpenning” tests this season.  They want length from their starters, and Severino is no exception.  So, if the Yankees pass on Severino for the wild card, it’s not like he was never given a chance.  

Again, these final two regular season starts mean everything to Severino.  A lot is on the line. 

 

So… who gets the ball?

Based on Tanaka’s past success in October and Happ’s long-established reliability against the Red Sox, it might make the most sense for Tanaka to start the wild card game against the Athletics.  This would allow Happ to pitch twice against Boston in the ALDS, should the Yankees advance.

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees vs Orioles series preview http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-preview/yankees-vs-orioles/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-preview/yankees-vs-orioles/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:26:51 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63737 The Yankees begin their last series at home on Friday as they host the 108-loss Orioles. Hopefully, Sunday will not be the last home game of the season for the Yanks, as they look to secure a definitive playoff spot and open a comfortable lead for the top spot in the Wild Card. Although they […]

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The Yankees begin their last series at home on Friday as they host the 108-loss Orioles. Hopefully, Sunday will not be the last home game of the season for the Yanks, as they look to secure a definitive playoff spot and open a comfortable lead for the top spot in the Wild Card.

Although they were unable to complete the sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday night, this team was much more enjoyable to watch in this series than it has been recently. Still, it was not fun to watch Boston celebrate their third straight division title right in the Stadium.

With all that said, the Yankees get another shot at Boston in a week to end the season, which will potentially be a preview of the American League Division Series if all goes well. For now, the focus is Baltimore and taking care of business against the worst team in baseball.

Game 1: CC Sabathia vs Yefry Ramirez

Sabathia (7-7, 3.80 ERA) got roughed up in his last start against Toronto, going just 2.1 innings and allowing five runs on seven hits, including three home runs. His ERA has been on a steady rise to the tune of a half a run since August 24.

Fatigue is obviously kicking in for the 38-year-old. He is not as reliable as he once was earlier in the year, but he can still keep the Yankees in the game. Against the Orioles this year, CC has not been so good, posting a 6.00 ERA in three starts. Although, he owns a respectable 3.69 ERA against them in his career, so maybe he can alleviate the struggles he has been facing in his final start against the O’s this season.

On August 24, the last time Sabathia threw against the Orioles, he went six innings of two-run ball. If he can produce a similar outing this time around, the Yankees will be in good shape.

Ramirez (1-6, 5.50 ERA) has been underwhelming to say the least ever since making his Major League debut back in June. He has faced the Yankees three times this season, two starts. In 12 innings, Ramirez has allowed 10 runs in 16 hits.

The last time he started against the Yankees, it did not end well (6 ER in 5 IP). Although, the last time he threw at Yankee Stadium was an excellent performance out of the bullpen (3.0 IP, 1 H, o R).

Game 2: Lance Lynn vs Alex Cobb

Lynn (9-10, 4.90 ERA) has put together a couple of nice starts ever since getting tagged by Detroit. After holding Seattle to two runs over six innings, he allowed just one run in five innings while striking out seven to the Blue Jays his last time out. His traditional stat line may indicate he is not pitching too good ever since being acquired by the Yankees, but his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) tells a whole different story.

It currently sits at 2.13, making a difference of over two runs in relation to his actual ERA (4.47) for the Yankees. This suggests that Lynn is pitching much better than his ERA indicates, as defensive factors and bullpen pitchers allowing his inherited runners to score could be factors in why his ERA is higher than it should be.

Nonetheless, he has pitched well against Baltimore between the Twins and Yankees this season (1 ER in 10.1 IP).

Aside from one bad start, Cobb (5-15, 4.90 ERA) has been overpowering since August. From August 1 until now, he owns a 2.40 ERA in eight starts; and if you take out one start where he allowed 5 ER, his ERA shrinks to 1.49 in seven starts.

Two of those eight starts were against the Yankees, where he went six innings and permitted one run, and then six innings allowing two runs three weeks later. It’ll take something big to get Cobb out of the rhythm he is in right now.

Game 3: JA Happ vs TBD

Happ (16-6, 3.62 ERA) was spectacular in his most recent start against the Red Sox. He took one of the best offenses in baseball for six innings and held them to four hits and one unearned run. It is incredible to witness the success he has had ever since joining the Yankees, and some fans now think he should even be brought back for next season.

A couple more shutdown starts from him and he will turn into last year’s Justin Verlander. Anyways, Happ has thrown pretty well against the Orioles in both his career (3.03 ERA) and this season (1.50 ERA in 24.0 IP)

It is looking pretty bright for the Yankees this series, as they look to keep the pressure on the Athletics to win by taking this series.

 

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Series Recap: Yankees give reason for hope against Bosox http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-recap/series-recap-yankees-give-reason-for-hope-against-bosox/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-recap/series-recap-yankees-give-reason-for-hope-against-bosox/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:50:18 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63721 While it wasn’t perfect, the New York Yankees gave their fans a glimmer of the potential this team still has when its premier players are clicking. Taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees held off the AL East clincher for as long as possible. There were some frustrating moments with defensive […]

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While it wasn’t perfect, the New York Yankees gave their fans a glimmer of the potential this team still has when its premier players are clicking. Taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees held off the AL East clincher for as long as possible. There were some frustrating moments with defensive miscues but the return of Aaron Judge and an elite outing by Luis Severino stabilized things from the standpoint of fans worrying about having to go to Oakland and losing in the AL Wild Card game to possibly vaulting right back to the ALCS for a second consecutive season.

GAME 1

While they nearly did their darndest to throw it away, the Yankees held on and otherwise made the Red Sox look rather pedestrian in their 3-2 victory.

ALL RISE, FOR REAL THIS TIME

A morning simulated game and a six-hour postponement were all it took to insert Aaron Judge back into the starting lineup for the first time since July 26. While Judge took a 0-for-4, he did have a couple of solid drive to right, nearly homering in the sixth.

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J.A. RULE

It was about a month later than they initially planned but J.A. Happ paid direct dividends against Boston. Happ, who’s pitching to a 2.39 ERA since joining New York, lowered his season ERA to 0.54 against the Bosox. In six frames Happ only yielded one run on four hits and three walks, fanning six. Only shoddy defense via a passed ball by Gary Sanchez in the third inning, which enabled J.D. Martinez to plate Ian Kinsler on a sacrifice fly, would place a blemish on his outing.

Happ pitched his guts out, exiting a first and third, one-out situation unscathed during the sixth to close out his evening.

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NEIL WALKER, DIRTY TALKER

I’ll gladly eat my words after Sunday, manager Aaron Boone made the correct call by starting Neil Walker at first base Tuesday evening. Following walks from Aaron Hicks and Sanchez, Walker slugged a one-out, full count slider from Ryan Brasier, into the second deck in right-field, providing the Bronx Bombers with a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. Walker’s tenth home run of the campaign gave the Yankees a record-tying 11 players with double-digit home runs on the season.

NO DEFENSE FOR THAT DEFENSE

While a well-rested bullpen between Chad Green, David Robertson and Zach Britton looked sharp, the defense was baffling.

Robertson was able to pitch around a hit to center by Martinez, which Hicks took a bad route to and nonchalantly turned a double into a triple.

The ninth was all kinds of fun as well. Adeiny Hechavarria entered on defense for Miguel Andujar at third base and Britton was on the bump.

Britton recorded a strikeout of Brandon Phillips for the first out but not before the ball got by Sanchez before he eventually recovered and threw to first to register the out. After a walk to Brock Holt, Christian Vazquez reached on a potential double-play ball, canceled out by a not perfect but good enough to catch a throw from Hechavarria, which Gleyber Torres couldn’t glove and second and was charged with an error.

With Sam Travis pinch-hitting for Jackie Bradley Jr. and Tzu-Wei Lin pinch-running for Vazquez, Travis hit a ball back to Britton, which could’ve been another game-ending double-play, was yanked into the outfield by Britton, enabling the runners to reach and Holt to score.

Britton would get another chance, getting Kinsler to tap back to him for a double-play, which was also helped by a nice pick by Walker at first base.

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GAME 2

If Tuesday was the real return of Judge, Wednesday marked the return of the real Luis Severino. Power pitching and plenty of power to the porch all added up to a 10-1 Yankees victory.

PARTY ON THE PORCH

How quickly some bellyaching Red Sox fans forget how earlier in the season Martinez hit an eventual game-winning home run off Dellin Betances, into the short porch in right.

In this game, it was the Bronx Bomber bats taking full advantage of the friendly confines. During the second stanza, Andujar launched a solo shot to right off David Price, home run No. 25 staked the Yankees to a 1-0 advantage. It also brought out sprinkled chants of “who’s your daddy?”

Later in the frame, with the bases loaded and two outs, Judge found Eduardo Nunez’ five-hole and the Yankees plated a pair on the E-5.

In the fourth frame, Boone was proven correct for the second time in as many games. Luke Voit, smacked a solo shot to right. Voit would boast an impressive evening with a 4-for-4 performance, including a second home run, a wall scraper to right in the sixth.

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After McCutchen and Judge kept the sixth inning going with a pair of two-out singles off Joe Kelly, Hicks lashed a two-run triple to right. So, we also witnessed Judge hitting and running with full authority again.

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A Greg Bird groundout and an RBI-single by Hicks in the eighth would cap off the New York offensive onslaught.

LUIS LUIS, OH BABY!

Severino looked like the guy who’s going to take the Yankees to where they gotta go. Displaying an ace performance, Sevy tossed his hat back into the ring for a potential Wild Card starter or a guy you’d certainly be confident in marching out twice if need be in an ALDS. Severino sparkled, firing seven innings of one-run ball, fanning six and allowing six hits. It was definitely a statement start by Severino.

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JUSTUS IS SERVED

Justus Sheffield made his long-anticipated MLB debut, taking over for Jonathan Holder in the ninth inning. Sheffield had the adrenaline pumping but would eventually settle down, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam with a game-ending 6-4-3 double-play.

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GAME 3

It certainly felt like there were three games played in one, from a standpoint of time and the twists and turns this game took. While the Yankees battled with the bats a sloppy ending made for an 11-6 defeat.

SLOW STARTERS

It was literally a slow and laborious pair of outings from each respective starter. Neither Eduardo Rodriguez nor Masahiro Tanaka went five innings.

Tanaka, who was pegged as the Wild Card game starter just a couple of days ago, struggled, giving up a quick run in the first and inexplicably served Betts a fastball on a 0-2 count and paid for it with a two-run single in the second.

Even when the Yankees pulled within striking distance, Tanaka served up a solo home run on a fastball to Brock Holt during the third inning. Tanaka was grinding through the fourth but couldn’t record as they pushed him into the fifth.

WILLIE, MICKEY AND THE LUKE

The Yankees were able to pull within one run during the second stanza, as Voit riled up the Stadium with a historic home run. Voit’s two-run tater to center off Rodriguez gave the Yankees an MLB-record with 12 players having double-digit home runs and it broke the single-season franchise mark with 245 team home runs.

GI-RAND-CARLO SLAM-TON

After two quick outs in the fourth frame, the Yankees went to work on Rodriguez and the Boston bullpen. McCutchen, Judge and Hicks coaxed three consecutive free passes, sending Rodriguez to the showers. With Heath Hembree on, Stanton drilled a 0-1 slider into the right-field stands. Stanton’s grand slam provided the Bronx Bombers with a 6-4 advantage. Another cool thing about the home run was the fact that John Sterling’s call made it on the air as he was broadcasting from the WEEI booth.

BOSTON WRIGHT’S THE SHIP

Unfortunately, the Stanton slam would be the final salvo for New York, as Steven Wright and his knuckleball threw off the Bomber bats, setting down eight straight in one stretch of his three scoreless frames. By the time the Red Sox sped it up, the Yankees were in too big of a hole to recalibrate.

SLOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

From the fifth frame, there was some brutal baseball by the pinstripes. I agreed with trying to push Tanaka another inning but he got tagged again by Betts for a double and a single by Andrew Benintendi chased him out.

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Robertson was able to get a big double-play and a strikeout, preserving the Yankees lead at 6-5.

After whiffing the side in the sixth, Green got burned on his third-best pitch in the seventh, surrendering a game-tying solo home run to right to Jackie Bradley Jr. Following a single by Christian Vazquez, Green’s evening was over.

Betances was brought on and finally retired Betts with a strikeout. Yet, a Benintendi double to right made it second and third with one out and an intentional walk to Martinez loaded the bases.

With Lin pinch-running for Vazquez, the “real fun” started. Xander Bogaerts lifted a sacrifice fly to center, which Hicks camped under and proceeded to rocket to third base. The throw took a bad hop in front of Andujar and bounced into the netting behind the Red Sox dugout, enabling another run to score. Hicks looked like he was revving up to throw home and changed his mind at the last second but there was no reason to make the throw to third or even if he had opted to go home.

The eighth inning was the crowning exclamation point. Aroldis Chapman was brought on because it would’ve made too much sense to have eased him back into the mix during a 10-1 blowout in the ninth the previous night and was creamed for a three-run homer to left by Betts.

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ON DECK

At 93-59, the Yankees play their final home series of the regular season, hosting the Baltimore Orioles for a three-game set starting Friday.

Pitching probables, Yefry Ramirez vs. CC Sabathia, David Hess vs. TBD, TBA vs. TBA.

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Justus Sheffield on his debut: ‘my legs felt like Jell-O’ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/justus-sheffield-my-legs-felt-like-jello/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/justus-sheffield-my-legs-felt-like-jello/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:16:24 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63743 The Yankees’ top prospect Justus Sheffield made his long-awaited Major League debut last night in the Bronx. The Bombers had a 10-1 lead over rival Boston in the top of the ninth, and out came the 22-year-old who was acquired from Cleveland in the Andrew Miller trade. The game was already won, but the atmosphere […]

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The Yankees’ top prospect Justus Sheffield made his long-awaited Major League debut last night in the Bronx. The Bombers had a 10-1 lead over rival Boston in the top of the ninth, and out came the 22-year-old who was acquired from Cleveland in the Andrew Miller trade. The game was already won, but the atmosphere in the stadium was electric as everyone wanted to see what the kid had.

The rookie hurler made it a memorable appearance that’s for sure. The bases were loaded with just one out and the .334 hitting Mookie Betts at the plate. Betts launched one deep, which luckily hooked foul, before Sheffield got him to hit into a double play to seal the W.

When YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits asked the southpaw after the game what it was like to come into the game, he said:

“My legs felt like Jell-O. I mean, the first thing I was thinking was, you know, don’t trip running to the mound. Just don’t trip. Just get out there. And once I got out there I felt like, you know, when I got on the mound, everything was going to settle down a little bit. But you know, the nerves, and you know just the adrenaline was pumping, it was pumping heaviest. But, you know, I’m glad I got to go out there and get my first one in.”

Watch Sheffield’s full postgame interview below.

 

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Judge Back! Severino Back! Yankees Back? + Brian Fischler, Comedian/ Laugh For Sight – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/judge-back-severino-back-yankees-back-brian-fischler-comedian-laugh-for-sight-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/judge-back-severino-back-yankees-back-brian-fischler-comedian-laugh-for-sight-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 13:51:00 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63733 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #269 The Yankees have taken the first two games from Boston, and on Wednesday started to look like their old self. We discuss the juxtaposition between Tuesday and Wednesday’s wins, Luis Severino getting his swagger back, Luke Voit’s 2 HRs off Price and Red Sox fans crying about the short porch, […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #269

The Yankees have taken the first two games from Boston, and on Wednesday started to look like their old self. We discuss the juxtaposition between Tuesday and Wednesday’s wins, Luis Severino getting his swagger back, Luke Voit’s 2 HRs off Price and Red Sox fans crying about the short porch, Neil Walker’s clutch HR, Justus Sheffield’s MLB debut, JA Happ’s success against Boston, and the Yankees trying to give the game away on Tuesday.

Brian Fischler, stand up comedian and founder of Laugh For Sight (@LaughForSight), joined the show to talk about being a blind comic, how he has followed the Yankees over the years, some of his favorite people he’s met in comedy, and much more!

The Laugh For Sight benefit is November 12 at Gotham Comedy Club. Tickets are just $40. To purchase, go to: http://gothamcomedyclub.com/event.cfm?id=515151&cart

More information about Laugh For Sight: www.laughforsight.com

 

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Walker’s homer gives Yankees 3-2 win over Boston http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/walkers-homer-gives-yankees-3-1-win-over-boston/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/walkers-homer-gives-yankees-3-1-win-over-boston/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:00:03 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63724 NEW YORK — While it seems almost certain that the Yankees will not catch the Red Sox for the AL East title, the Bombers were able to postpone Boston’s celebration by at least a day, after New York defeated their rivals, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium. As usual, the Yankee offense once again started slow against […]

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NEW YORK — While it seems almost certain that the Yankees will not catch the Red Sox for the AL East title, the Bombers were able to postpone Boston’s celebration by at least a day, after New York defeated their rivals, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium.

As usual, the Yankee offense once again started slow against Nate Eovalidi, who pitched six scoreless innings for the Red Sox.

In the seventh, however, when Boston’s bullpen was put in to relieve the righty, New York’s offense went to work.

First, against Brandon Workman, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez worked walks before Ryan Brasier was inserted to face Neil Walker.

Walker then immediately greeted the Boston right-hander with a three-run shot to deep in right field to fire up the crowd and give his team a 3-1 lead.

For Boston, they themselves had trouble against J.A. Happ, who also went six innings, giving up just four hits and an unearned run. He also struckout six.

The one run game on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly in the third.

In the ninth, New York made the game interesting with sloppy infield defense.

With Zach Britton on the mound, Gleyber Torres misplayed two double-play balls, allowing Boston to extend the inning and cut the lead to just a run.

On a third try, though, the Yankees were finally able to execute the double-play and bring home the much needed victory.

Still 10.5 games behind Boston, it seems almost impossible for the Yankees to catch up now. Wins are still important, however, as New York is just 2.5 games up on Oakland for the first Wild Card spot.

Aaron Judge, though, did make his first start at right field since July 26 in tonight’s game. While he went 0-4, Judge had good at-bats and put some good contact on most of his swings.

Luis Severino faces David Price tomorrow at 7:05.

Current Yankees Record: 92-58

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Aaron Judge back in Yankees’ lineup for first time since late July http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-judge-back-in-yankees-lineup-for-first-time-since-late-july/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-judge-back-in-yankees-lineup-for-first-time-since-late-july/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 21:04:42 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63713   If the image of the Boston Red Sox celebrating a third consecutive AL East title in the Bronx wasn’t motivation enough for the Yankees, perhaps the complete return of Aaron Judge will be. The Yankees’ behemoth slugger, who participated in a simulated game Tuesday morning, will play right field and hit second in the […]

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If the image of the Boston Red Sox celebrating a third consecutive AL East title in the Bronx wasn’t motivation enough for the Yankees, perhaps the complete return of Aaron Judge will be.

The Yankees’ behemoth slugger, who participated in a simulated game Tuesday morning, will play right field and hit second in the lineup against Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi in Tuesday night’s rain-delayed game at Yankee Stadium.  This decision was unexpected, as first-pitch time was originally scheduled for 1:05 p.m (game pushed back six hours to 7:05 p.m.).  

“Over the last week, [Judge] has been ready to go.  It’s just kind of checking the boxes and making sure he’s done everything,” Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone told reporters Tuesday.  “We just felt like after [today’s simulated game], we want to start that clock of getting him in there and playing and getting him those at-bats so he can find that timing sooner rather than later.  Physically, he’s good to go.  So, the decision was made that we’ll go with it today.”

Judge, who suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist on July 26, was activated from the disabled list on September 14 to serve as a temporary pinch runner and defensive replacement. 

On Monday, Judge reportedly saw 11 at-bats in a simulated game, and during Tuesday’s scheduled plate appearances, he hit an opposite field home run before Yankees personnel, including Boone, general manager Brian Cashman, and trainer Steve Donohue.  This past weekend, Boone hinted at the possibility of Judge returning to the lineup sometime during the Red Sox series. 

In 99 games this season (372 at-bats), Judge has hit .285 with 26 homers, 61 RBI, 68 walks, 137 strikeouts, and a .947 OPS.

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees vs. Red Sox series preview http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-preview/yankees-vs-red-sox-series-preview-2/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-preview/yankees-vs-red-sox-series-preview-2/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 17:08:32 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63699 The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry returns to the Bronx as the Yankees continue their last homestand of the season on Tuesday. The Yankees have lost four of their last six, taking consecutive series losses to the Twins and Blue Jays. Even worse, the Red Sox could clinch the division as early as Tuesday night at Yankee […]

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The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry returns to the Bronx as the Yankees continue their last homestand of the season on Tuesday.

The Yankees have lost four of their last six, taking consecutive series losses to the Twins and Blue Jays. Even worse, the Red Sox could clinch the division as early as Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Something needs to spark for the Yankees. After a pure blowout of the Blue Jays in game one of last weekend’s series, it seemed like that was it, but the Yankees could not get it done the next two games and are back to square one. Maybe Boston splashing champagne all over the locker room sometime this week will ignite a fire into the team.

The lead for the top Wild Card spot remains unchanged at 1.5 games. After being swept by Boston in their last meeting, a series win in this series is crucial to at least gain some confidence for a potential American League Division Series opponent.

Game 1: J.A. Happ vs. Nathan Eovaldi

This matchup was supposed to happen in the last series at Fenway, but Happ (16-6, 3.75 ERA) suffered from hand, foot and mouth disease and was scratched from the start. Nonetheless, this will be the true pitching duel of the trade deadline acquisitions. For now, Happ has been the obvious better pitcher between the two. He is 6-0 with a 2.70 ERA ever since coming to the Yanks, whereas Eovaldi (5-7, 4.22 ERA overall) is 2-3 with a 4.17 ERA with the Red Sox.

The last time Eovaldi went over 5.1 innings in a start was when he shut out the Yankees for eight innings in Boston when the Red Sox initially acquired him. Since then, he has not made a start since Sept. 3 and has a 6.92 ERA in his past four outings.

Happ, on the other hand, has allowed one run in his last two starts and has really only had one bad start for the Yankees up to this point. He is a candidate to start the Wild Card game but given his track record against the Red Sox (2.98 career ERA), Aaron Boone may save him for a potential ALDS matchup.

Game 2: Luis Severino vs. David Price

Severino (17-8, 3.46 ERA) bounced back well from getting thrashed by the Athletics and pitched 5.2 quality innings against the Twins. He allowed one run on four hits, and was reluctant to leave the game when Boone pulled the plug. He still hasn’t returned to his dominant form, but any progress in the right direction is good news at this point.

In the span of two months, Price (15-6, 3.42 ERA) has shaven his ERA a full run from 4.42 to 3.42. In that stretch, he’s posted a ridiculous 1.82 ERA in 10 starts, allowing just 13 earned runs and striking out 68 batters over 64.1 innings pitched. It’s been a monumental run for a pitcher that came into this season with a ton of question marks.

Despite his atrocious track record against the Yankees, Price pitched well last time he faced them (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER).

Game 3: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

It is crazy to think that Tanaka (12-5, 3.47 ERA) is now practically matching Severino’s ERA given the starts these two pitchers had to their seasons. Tanaka has been the undisputed ace of the second half, and there it is believed that he is a strong candidate to start the Wild Card game.

He has delivered six or more innings in each of his last six starts, while posting a 1.80 ERA in that span. Tanaka has also allowed just one home run in the last month and has accumulated 41 strikeouts in his last 41 innings pitched.

Rodriguez (12-4, 3.54 ERA) spent some time on the disabled list with an ankle injury and just recently returned at the start of the month. He has made three mediocre starts, pitching to a 4.20 ERA in the month of September so far. He threw twice against the Yankees this season.

On May 10, he allowed one hit in five shutout innings. On June 29 at the Stadium, he allowed five runs in six innings, including a pair of home runs.

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Examining the Yankees’ schedule http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/examining-the-yankees-schedule/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/examining-the-yankees-schedule/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:53:31 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63704 The Yankees have been mediocre since the calendar has turned to September, compiling a 6-8 record. In fact, they have been rather mediocre since the All-Star break, with a record of 91-58. However, they still have already matched last year’s win total at 91 when they clinched the first Wild Card spot by six games […]

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The Yankees have been mediocre since the calendar has turned to September, compiling a 6-8 record. In fact, they have been rather mediocre since the All-Star break, with a record of 91-58. However, they still have already matched last year’s win total at 91 when they clinched the first Wild Card spot by six games over the Minnesota Twins.

Last year was not supposed to go as well as it did for the Yankees. It was supposed to be their “rebuilding year.” However, their 91 wins placed them eighth overall in the entire league, and much of it was due to a strong 21-9 start as well as a 20-8 September.

YEAR

ONE-RUN GAMES

BLOWOUTS (5+ RUNS)

2017

18-26 (.409)

37-13 (.740)

2018

21-15 (.583)

28-12 (.700)

As seen above, one thing the team has improved on this season has been one-run games, winning a majority of them. However, they’ve blown-out teams less.

2017

In 2017, the Yankees went 91-71, but their Pythagorean win-loss record was 100-62. This takes into account runs scored and runs allowed, and the Yankees outscored their opponents by 1.2 runs on average per game (5.3 to 4.1).

Another metric used to examine a team’s season is the strength of schedule. This is the number of runs per game that their opponents are better or worse than the average team. This factor ranged from +0.3 to -0.3 in 2017. Putting the two together yields the Simple Rating System (SRS) which sums a team’s run differential and their strength of schedule.

The Yankees ranked second in the league with a 1.3 SRS right behind Cleveland’s 1.5.

2018

How about this year’s team? As of Sept. 17, their record is 91-58. They have outscored opponents on average by 1.05 runs (5.12 to 4.07) leading to a Pythagorean win-loss record of 90-58. Thus, they are actually projected to be doing slightly worse than they currently.

However, run differential doesn’t necessarily paint the whole picture. A team could be 81-81 and all 81 wins could be 20-0 blowouts and all 81 losses could be 10-0 routs. That translates to a +810 run differential – does that mean the team has been unlucky to be 81-81? Perhaps not.

But if we are to look at run differential, here’s how it has broken down each month this year for the Yankees:

MONTH

RUN DIFFERENTIAL AVERAGE RUNS SCORED PER GAME AVERAGE RUNS ALLOWED PER GAME AVERAGE RUN DIFFERENTIAL WINNING %

March/April

+46

5.857 4.214 +1.643 .643

May

+24 5.400 4.440 +0.960

.680

June

+31 3.963 2.815 +1.148

.667

July

+38 5.600 4.080 +1.520

.600

August

+14

5.167

4.700

+0.467

.567

September +4 4.429 4.143 +0.286

.429

As one can see, August and September have been months where the average run differential has dwindled. They are still positive, but look at the winning percentages for those months – the Yankees are playing under .500 ball in September. This is a time when they are trying to hold onto the first Wild Card spot over the Athletics, who have essentially been the Yankees in reverse in the fact they have had a very strong second half.

Overall, there are some rough inverses that can be seen between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

For example, the 2017 team started out hot, swooned in the middle, and finished strong. The 2018 Yankees started slow, got hot in the middle, and have fallen off at the end. Last year we saw a large slugger in Aaron Judge absolutely rake in the first half of the season. Then he fell off a cliff before coming back with a strong September.

This year, it is Giancarlo Stanton doing exactly the opposite: starting slowly, getting hot in the dog days of summer, and now not being able to hit his weight (which, to be fair, is higher than most).

Can they turn it around? Hopefully, the imminent returns of Judge and Aroldis Chapman are enough to re-spark this team and carry them through the playoffs.

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show Weekly Stats Roundup 9/17 http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/the-bronx-pinstripes-show-weekly-stats-roundup-9-17/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/the-bronx-pinstripes-show-weekly-stats-roundup-9-17/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:03:21 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63677 Unfortunately, it’s not getting better. Not yet, at least. The Yankees had a brutal week, going 2-4 and losing both series’ against the mediocre Twins and Blue Jays. In their last six series’, the Yankees are 1-4-1. Not something you want to hear in the middle of September. Here’s a roundup of the rest of […]

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Unfortunately, it’s not getting better. Not yet, at least.

The Yankees had a brutal week, going 2-4 and losing both series’ against the mediocre Twins and Blue Jays. In their last six series’, the Yankees are 1-4-1. Not something you want to hear in the middle of September.

Here’s a roundup of the rest of the week in stats:

Tanaka’s continued brilliance

If there’s a bright spot on the Yankees right now, it’s undoubtedly Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka time has been lights out – literally. He’s pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings and has given up only one run in all of September (three starts).

In his past 10 starts, Tanaka leads the Yankees with a 2.09 ERA. On a season-long scale, that would be 4th-best in the majors. Plus, in one of those 10 starts, Tanaka gave up six runs in five innings. Take that game away and Tanaka’s ERA from the other nine is a 1.51. Regardless, in that 10-start span, he’s given up two earned runs or less EIGHT times. Eight!

Could all this lead to Tanaka being the Wild Card game starter? Hard to make the argument otherwise.

Stanton’s September struggles

It’s hard to knock on a player who has been one of the best on the team all season, but man is Giancarlo Stanton having a bad September.

In 13 games this month, Stanton is batting .160 with only one home run in 57 plate appearances. Over a full season, that would be just a 13 home run pace.

Stanton has also struck out 21 times in those 57 plates appearances – which is a strikeout rate of 36.8 percent. In fact, in those 13 games, Stanton has stuck out at least once in every game but two – and he’s struck out multiple times in a game eight times.

Stanton had been solid all season, but it’s been a September to forget for him.

A rough patch for Betances

Here’s another guy who’s had a phenomenal season but has been struggling as of late.

In his past seven appearances, Dellin Betances is 0-3 with two blown saves. His ERA in those appearances is a 7.71. To put that in perspective, his ERA in his 54 games prior was a 2.14.

Betances has given up two runs or more twice in those seven games. He didn’t do that once in his 40 games prior (May 6th was the last time).

Betances has certainly had some strong appearances in those seven games – but those few outliers are very unlike what we’ve seen so far this season from Betances.

Looking ahead

The Yankees will face two very different teams this week – the Red Sox, who own the best record in MLB, and Orioles, who sport the worst. I think it’s safe to say we all remember the last time the Yanks faced off with the Sox. They were swept in the most brutal fashion, blowing a lead in the 9th inning of the final game in Boston.

Since that game, the Yankees are 23-16 and find themselves sitting 11.5 game behind the Red Sox, making a division title almost mathematically impossible. However, these games will mean something with the Yankees only 1.5 games up on the A’s for the top Wild Card spot. The Yanks are 4-2 against the Red Sox at home this season, so hopefully they can light a spark against them this week.

The Yanks will then travel to Baltimore to take on the awful O’s, who the Yankees are 10-6 against this season. The last time they were in Baltimore, they swept the O’s in four games.

YES Network Research Team Tweet of the Week

Let’s end this week’s roundup on a positive note. Pretty cool stat on Tanaka here.

It hasn’t been a great month for the Yanks, but it’s certainly not too late to turn it around. Things are about to start getting really interesting really fast.

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Aaron Judge and Aroldis Chapman nearing return to action http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/judge-chapman-nearing-return-to-action/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/judge-chapman-nearing-return-to-action/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 19:23:20 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=63682 It seems that the Yankees could be very close to getting their all-star right fielder back. Earlier this afternoon, Aaron Judge completed a simulated game at Yankee stadium, where he had 11 live at-bats. The Yankee slugger hit against A.J. Cole, Chance Adams, and left handed minor-leaguer Phillip Diehl. Earlier today at Yankee Stadium, RF […]

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It seems that the Yankees could be very close to getting their all-star right fielder back. Earlier this afternoon, Aaron Judge completed a simulated game at Yankee stadium, where he had 11 live at-bats. The Yankee slugger hit against A.J. Cole, Chance Adams, and left handed minor-leaguer Phillip Diehl.

Judge is hitting .285 this year, with 26 home runs and 61 RBIs. He hasn’t played since July 26, when he suffered a wrist fracture after being hit by a pitch.

Additionally, Aroldis Chapman threw a simulated game consisting of 22 pitches to Tyler Wade and Kyle Higashioka. Both Chapman and Judge successfully completed their simulated games without any issues.

 

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