Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Home Stretch

We're officially in September.  The Yankees stand 4 games out of that 2nd wild card spot, and 8.5 games behind the Orioles for the division.  It's been an odd year.  4 out of our 5 opening day starters have hit the DL, and yet our pitching has been one of the strengths this year.  Our lineup, which was loaded during the off season with guys like McCann, Beltran, and Ellsbury, has been a real weak point.  As a fan, I hope that the Yankees make the playoffs in Jeter's final year, but the practical side of me just doesn't want to see a team that has played this poorly in October.  A turn around is possible, and would be very welcome.  The Yankees have a 9 game home stretch against the historical rival Boston Red Sox, the first place Royals, and the second to last Tampa Bay Rays.  If magic is going to happen, what better time to start than with a September home stretch kicked off by a series with Boston?  Just a few years ago, being 8.5 games out of first in September, with 7 games left to play against the first place team, was not at all insurmountable.  This year, we are desperately trying to hold onto an ever vanishing hope that we can over come a 4 game deficit for a second wild card spot.

That being said, I have been working on being more optimistic these days, so here's my baseless prediction: the Yankees will win the division starting with a home stand that takes 7-9 including a sweep of the Red Sox.  Remember that you heard it here first!

Monday, August 25, 2014

3 Wins Are 3 Wins

The Good

A weekend sweep of the White Sox places us a mere 3.5 games behind the second wild card spot.  You know, the wild card spot that didn't exist until last year, or in other words, the spot that formerly meant missing the playoffs.  But this is 2014, and perhaps a second wild card will help us see Jeter in one final playoff before he retires!

The Bad

It's been an easy season to be down on the Yankees, but mostly because they've been down on winning.  That being said, I am not going to complain about this 3-game sweep of the White Sox.  Our starters weren't the sharpest, but they got it done, and although the games were close, we managed to pull the wins out in late innings.  No complaints here.

The Ugly

I will complain however about a series loss to the Houston Astro's.  With the exception of McCarthy's stellar 9 inning shutout, the Yankees were hopeless against a team of players who were in Double A not that long ago. 

Mad Money

McCann's been getting hot of late.  I'll take a positive hitting trend at this point.

Brett Gardner 15hr = $30
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 15hr = $30
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 15hr = $30
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 20hr = $40
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 10hr = $20
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 2hr = $4
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 3hr = $6
Stephen Drew 1hr = $2

Total 115hr = $230

Monday, August 18, 2014

State of The Yankees

The Good

Since we last posted a game recap, a lot has happened.  At first, we went on a winning streak, taking 2-3 from Boston, 3-4 from Detroit, and carrying that momentum into game 1 against Cleveland where we scored 10 runs to take the first game of the series.  Within this time, Yankee pitching has mostly been good, pieced together as it is by children's dreams and Disney movie magic.

The Bad

After starting August with a quick winning stretch, the Yankees reverted to old ways, losing 5 games straight, mostly by not hitting.  They recently took a series from the Rays, but I'm placing that in the bad section.  The reason being that beating the second to last place team really shouldn't be the positive sign that we're seemingly taking it to be. 

The Ugly

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner recently told the Yankees to "Step it up".  It was good advice, but advice that shouldn't be coming from the man who pays you millions of dollars to play a game. 

Catch Up

Here's a month worth of homerun updates: we hit 16.


Brett Gardner 15hr = $30
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 14hr = $28
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 13hr = $26
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 20hr = $40
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 10hr = $20
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 2hr = $4
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 2hr = $4

Total 110hr = $220

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yankees Do Stuff!

Oh. You're still here? Well Yankees have indeed done stuff since we last spoke. Mostly losing. Otherwise things have been well. The summer's been temperate, giving us a reprieve from the harsh heat we experienced in June. Sorry we haven't kept up as faithfully as in years past, but like the Yankees, we've given up during Jeter's last year. Zing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bats Come to Life Against Rangers

The Good

After taking a loss against Darvish on Monday, the Yankees responded by scoring 12 runs in yesterday's game.  For those who are counting, those 12 runs matches the total runs the Yankees have scored all season.  Incredibly, Gardner hit his third homerun in 2 days, and Teixeira got in on the action with a 2-run shot of his own. 

The Bad

It's tough seeing Brendan Ryan and Zoilo Almonte in the lineup back to back. They both played well, each driving in a pair of runs, so I'm not complaining about their performance, but it just goes to show that our options off the bench for bats are not great.

The Ugly

Our pitching was abysmal.  We scored 12 runs, and came very close to losing the lead and the game with Robertson on the mound.  It was an off night for the bullpen altogether.  Even Betances gave up a grandslam, though Whitley suffered the brunt of that on his ERA since he had loaded the bases.  Our bullpen has been a real area of strength so I'm not worried, but man, leave it to the Yankees to make a 12-run game a real nail biter.

Homeruns for Days

At least from Gardner, 3 total in the last 2 days plus 1 from Teixeira.  Not a bad addition to the Children's Health Fund.


Brett Gardner 13hr = $26
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 12hr = $24
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 11hr = $22
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 18hr = $36
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 1hr = $2
Francisco Cervelli 1hr = $2

Total 94hr = $188

Monday, July 28, 2014

Missed Opportunities

The Good

The Yankees jumped out on Friday and despite a not so sharp outing by Kuroda, were able to get the bats swinging and took the first game of the series 6-4 against the Blue Jays.  This was helped quite a bit by Ichiro Suzuki's first homerun of the year, as well as a homerun by Beltran.  Headley went 3-4 that game, and scored 2 runs. 

Also good, Capuano made his Yankees debut on Saturday and went a respectable 6 innings allowing just 2 runs. 

The Bad

The first game of the series made me have hope that the recent Yankee success was not just a matter of beating up on weaker teams.  But then the rest of the weekend happened, and I'm back to not being so sure.  Somehow the Yankees weren't able to capitalize on a recent power surge (we hit 6 homeruns this weekend), and we ended up losing games that were entirely winnable.

The Ugly

A pair of defensive lapses on Saturday made the difference for the Yankees loss.  One of them was understandable.  McCann was playing first base, a position he's not entirely accustomed to, and in his attempt to stop someone from going home from third, he forgot to get the out at first base.  Roberts misplayed a pop up and couldn't field it cleanly afterwards.  This is apart of what has been frustrating about watching this team this season: when we pitch we don't hit, when we hit we don't pitch, and when we hit and pitch we can't field.

Homeruns Make the Difference for the Children

Even if they don't make the difference for the team. Beltran (2), Ichiro, McCann, Headley, and Cervelli made sure the kids went home satisfied. 

Brett Gardner 10hr = $20
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 12hr = $24
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 11hr = $22
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 17hr = $34
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 1hr = $2
Francisco Cervelli 1hr = $2

Total 91hr = $182

Friday, July 25, 2014

Yankees Take Series From Rangers

The Good

The Yankees have now won 6 out of 7 games since the All-Star break, and last night continued some positive trends for the Yankees in the second half.  McCarthy went 6 innings allowing just 1 run, continuing the trend of our pitchers outperforming their stats.  Headley, McCann, Gardner and Cervelli each drove in a run, and the bullpen locked down the lead. 

The Bad

Despite the wins, the Yankees kind of look like a weak team bullying teams even weaker than they are.  The Rangers are in rough shape, and frankly we made them look tougher than they really were.  With the exception of Darvish, we faced 3 starters who came into this series with ERA's of 10.05, 5.10, and 6.37 respectively, and we barely managed to score runs off of them.  I will feel better about our mini-win streak if and when we can carry it through a series with a contending team. 

The Ugly

Recently, former bash brother Mark McGwire declined Jose Canseco's apology and attempt to make amends for outing him as a steroid user back in 2004.  McGwire said: "It's too late. I don't care to ever speak to him again,...What he did was wrong."  Sure, Canseco outing McGwire could be considered wrong, but so was using steroids and illegitimately breaking records of players who were clearly far better than he was, and whom he had no business being mentioned in the same conversation with.  McGwire clearly had no intention of coming clean about it on his own, and only came clean after he was outed.  So you'll have to excuse me if I see his refusal of Canseco's apology as hypocritical.  What does this have to do with the Yankees?  Absolutely nothing.  But it's baseball.

Get Used To It

We're winning games, but not with homeruns.  Good for the team, bad for the children.

Brett Gardner 10hr = $20
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 10hr = $20
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 10hr = $20
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 17hr = $34
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4

Total 85hr = $158

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yankees Learn Rain Dance For The Win

The Good

It was a rain-shortened game, but we have to give credit where credit is due.  David Phelps went 5 innings against Yu Darvish, one of the best pitchers in the game, and came out on top.  The Yankees etched out a 2-1 victory with a Brett Gardner homerun giving us the go ahead.  It wasn't the most inspiring way to win a game, but we'll take it.  Considering that we just played a 14 inning game where every reliever was used, going 5 innings and giving the bullpen a rest is just what we needed.  Also good, Cervelli hit a pair of doubles, and Headley got his second hit as a Yankee.

The Bad

We beat Yu Darvish, gave the bullpen a rest, and did enough to win a game.  No complaints here.  If only we had more 5 inning games.

The Ugly

We got the win because the grounds crew couldn't get the tarp to cover the infield on time, and then there was no salvaging the field after the fact.  Ron Washington and Joe Girardi both felt it was too dangerous to play on.  They always say that winning is a team effort, so I'm chalking this one up to the part of the team that rarely gets acknowledged: the Yankee Stadium grounds crew.

One is Better Than None

And Gardner's career high 10th homerun of the season is enough to add $2 to the Children's Health Fund coffers.

Brett Gardner 10hr = $20
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 10hr = $20
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 10hr = $20
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 17hr = $34
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4

Total 85hr = $158

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walk Off Win For Yankees

The Good

Chase Whitley pitched a gem of a game, going 6 scoreless innings with 6 strikeouts without issuing a single walk.  The bullpen continues to look strong for the Yankees delivering 8 innings of relief while allowing just one run.  Ellsbury had the game tying hit in the 13th, and newly acquired Chase Headley won the game for us with a walk off single in the 14th. 

The Bad

I don't know if this season is just leaving me pessimistic, but I don't really see this as a good game for the Yankees.  If anything it further exemplifies just how awful this offense is, and how much of a burden we place on our bullpen.  First, we made Rangers starter Nick Martinez, who came into the game with a 5.10 ERA, look like Nolan Ryan.  After having him shut us out for 5.1 innings, we then continued our contest of offensive futility with the Rangers to see which team would be able to hit less than the other.  Chase Headley, who is unfamiliar with the team strategy, went in and got the hit to win the game.

The Ugly

Our bullpen is taxed, and we no longer have a work horse like Tanaka to spare our bullpen for us.  We may have to rely on our offense to win games, and we know how that goes.

Not Last Night Children

No homeruns for the kids. 

Brett Gardner 9hr = $18
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 10hr = $20
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 10hr = $20
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 17hr = $34
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4

Total 84hr = $156

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Momentum Killers

The Good

Throughout this game, it seemed conceivable that we would win it.  That's a level of hope that hasn't existed all season long.

The Bad

At the end of the day, the Yankee offense couldn't score more than two runs to over come the deficit created by a number of on field errors.  A good offensive team can erase errors easily, but outside of Ellsbury, no one seemed interested in hitting yesterday.

The Ugly

Shane Greene didn't pitch poorly.  But he did make three errors on the field to bloat his pitch count.  His infield made 2 additional errors, and although none of them directly led to a run, they directly led to this team looking whipped and incompetent on the field.  In a time where we really can't afford a momentum killer, this loss is a punch in the gut.

I'll Take It

Ellsbury's been hitting the long ball of late, and the children rejoice!  That's $2 for the babies.

Brett Gardner 9hr = $18
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 10hr = $20
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 10hr = $20
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 17hr = $34
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4

Total 84hr = $156