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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yankees Kick Off Second Half With A Sweep

The Good

It appears the Yankees listened to all those first half critiques, and did something about it.  This weekend, they did something they haven't been able to do all season: they pitched AND hit in the same game.  Ellsbury has seemingly taken the criticisms of not being Cano to heart.  He went 4-4 yesterday, and 2-4 on Friday with a homerun. 

Through two starts, Brendan McCarthy is looking to prove Cashman a genius again.  He went 6 innings of one run ball with 9 strikeouts and this out of a guy who allegedly pitches to contact.  Kuroda went 6.2 innings with 1 unearned run, and Phelps went 6.1 innings with 3 runs (2 earned).  All told, the Yankees pitched well, and hit well enough to take the win.

The Bad

McCann's walk off single yesterday was a popup that fell between two fielders.  It wasn't the heroic hit you dream of, but we'll take it.

The Ugly

Betances gave up a tying homerun yesterday in the 8th inning.  The homerun bloated his ERA to a whopping 1.54.  If the Yankees use the same approach they did with Nova while Phil Hughes was here, then Betances will be sent to Triple A to work on his stuff.

Not Bronx Bombing Yet

Beltran and Ellsbury hit homeruns, but just two over a weekend isn't quite Yankee-like.  For now however, we'll take the wins.

Brett Gardner 8hr = $16
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 10hr = $20
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 9hr = $18
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 15hr = $30
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 6hr = $12
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 1hr = $2

Total 77hr = $154

Friday, July 18, 2014

Today We Resume Baseball

Today the Yankees begin the second half of the season against Cincinnati.  The All-Star break was nice, and seeing Jeter honored at the game was really nice.  I could only sigh with longing any time I saw Jeter and Cano hanging out together, a manly sigh mind you, but a sigh nonetheless.  The lack of offense has been a real issue with the Yankees, and it's hard not to look at Cano's .334 average and wonder what could have been.  I never thought the Yankees should have come close to that $240 million deal, but the Yankees played hardball at $175 million, when the economics of the game placed a guy like Cano in the $200 million contract range.  Now the Yankees are looking at an offense, restocked with players like McCann, Ellsbury and Beltran, that has been incapable of hitting themselves into a win.  We lose games when our pitchers pitch well, and we lose games when they don't. So for the second half of the season, we can try to restock our rotation, but what we really need is for the offense we already have to start hitting to their norms. 

In the meantime, in case you missed it, check out this clubhouse survey of the Yankees done by the Wall Street Journal.  Some of the answers are pretty comical!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yankees Stumble Into All-Star Break

The Good

The biggest piece of good news from this weekend has to be the dominant performance of Shane Greene.  In his second major league start, Greene pitched 7.1 shutout innings, and recorded 9 strikeouts in the process against a team that has some solid hitters on it.  Of course, we've seen young pitchers look dominant before, only to have the league figure them out in due time.  The difference here is that Greene seems to have some versatility in his pitching.  In his first start, he seemed to be a sinkerballer who got a lot of ground outs.  Against Baltimore, his slider was recording regular strikeouts while still inducing the ground balls.  It'll be interesting to see if he can continue that trend.

Also good, Kuroda had a good start, going 7 strong innings and allowing 2 runs, while McCann has started hitting, and that can only be good news for this lackluster offense.

The Bad

The bad is that we lost the series against Baltimore, which would have been a great series to win going into the All-Star break. 

The Ugly

The ugly is that the biggest positive development on this team going into the All-Star break is the emergence of Shane Greene as a possible big league rotation contender.  After restocking the team over the off season we really haven't seen the results that our nearly half a billion dollars in commitments had inspired. 

Somehow the Yankees sit a mere 5 games out of first, so they remain in striking distance.  However, I really have no desire to see this team, as they now stand, in the postseason.  They look embarrassing, and against good teams, losing is a foregone conclusion.  This team lacks heart, and play whipped.  The Yankees need to use the second half to reinvent themselves.  Particularly the offense.  We are not hitting to the numbers on the baseball cards.  We have too many guys hitting under what we can normally expect from these guys.  It's really too late to salvage our rotation, so we're going to have to rely on our offense, which hasn't been showing up in the last few months.  If we can start hitting, maybe we can take advantage of our triple A rotation that has actually performed much better than we could have hoped for all things considered.

At Least There Were Some Homers

Johnson, Roberts and Gardner hit some long balls to put the Yankees on the charity board.  That's $6 more for the babies.

Brett Gardner 8hr = $16
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 9hr = $18
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 9hr = $18
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 15hr = $30
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 5hr = $10
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 1hr = $2

Total 75hr = $150

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yankees Go Greene

The Good

The Yankees called up Shane Greene to make a spot start for our otherwise depleted rotation, and Greene seized the opportunity throwing 6 innings of 2 run ball, and carrying a no-hitter into the 5th.  The offense scored 5 runs, continuing a trend of hitting that is often times associated with major league caliber ball clubs.  Don't look now but McCann and Roberts have been slowly climbing out of their first half slumps, and continued that trend yesterday with 3 hits for McCann and 2 for Roberts.

The Bad

Former Yankee Nick Swisher hit a homerun yesterday to break up the no-hitter.  With his batting average at .198 right now, I can only imagine that the homerun was hit out of spite.

The Ugly


Apparently a fan is looking to sue ESPN, MLB, announcers John Kruk and Dan Shulman, and the Yankees for $10 million.  The charge is defamation of character and "intentional infliction of emotional distress", when the networks caught the fan sleeping during a game and made disparaging comments about the fan.  The only problem is that none of the disparaging comments that the fan alleges were used against him during the broadcast were actually used.  We'll see how far this one goes!

Power Outage

Apart of going Greene means using less power, and the Yankees took that to heart last night.

Brett Gardner 7hr = $14
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 5hr = $10
Carlos Beltran 9hr = $18
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 9hr = $18
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 15hr = $30
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 5hr = $10
Brian Roberts 4hr = $8
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 1hr = $2

Total 72hr = $144  


Monday, July 7, 2014

Twins Always Make Us Look Good

The Good

The Yankees took 3 of 4 from the Twins, including a win for Tanaka in his worst start of his MLB career.  Of course, his worse start was still better than most of the pitching we've seen out of the Yankees this year.  Phelps also pitched a good game for us giving up just 1 run over 7 innings, good enough for a win, or at least would have been if we weren't the 2014 Yankees.  But at least the offense came to life in the 3 other games, and despite the Yankees inability to hit that game they still scored 23 runs throughout this series.  Hopefully this will get the bats woken up.

The Bad

I'm happy with taking 3 of 4, but losing 2-1 on Phelps start on Saturday is tough.  We really need to find a way to win those close games.

The Ugly

The first heads have rolled!  Vidal Nuno was traded for Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy who is allegedly a major league veteran.  Nuno struggled with a 5.42 ERA this season, though this really is just his second season on the big league level.  The Yankees saw something in McCarthy however.  Something others missed.  Because what I saw in McCarthy, was a 5.01 ERA, but clearly there is something gleaming underneath that bloated ERA that the Yankees saw as valuable.  Soriano was also DFA'd, to make room for some relief pitching.

Homeruns Galore!

Well kind of.  We hit three of them throughout this series.  Many thanks to Beltran, Ellsbury, and new addition Zelous Wheeler.

Brett Gardner 7hr = $14
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 5hr = $10
Carlos Beltran 9hr = $18
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 9hr = $18
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 15hr = $30
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 5hr = $10
Brian Roberts 4hr = $8
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 1hr = $2

Total 72hr = $144

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

:(

The Good

Kuroda pitched a great game.  He gave 8 innings of 2-run ball, while Jeter got the only extra base hit, and scored the only run.

The Bad

Jeter's two hits accounted for half of the total Yankee hits, and his double accounted for all of the power.  This offense is really bad.

The Ugly

It's really challenging to watch the Yankees lose great starts out of their rotation.  A lot of attention has been given to the fact that the rotation is riddled with injuries, and we need pitching, but at this stage, our offense is the worst performing part of this team.  We've dropped two Tanaka starts that were winnable, and now a solid 8 inning effort by Kuroda.

:'(

That's what the children look like after yesterday's power outage.  No money for the Children's Health Fund.

Brett Gardner 7hr = $14
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 5hr = $10
Carlos Beltran 8hr = $16
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 9hr = $18
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 15hr = $30
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 4hr = $8
Brian Roberts 4hr = $8
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2

Total 69hr = $138