Tag: Aaron Hicks

Mets 7, Yankees 5: RISPfails Mar Start of Second Half

Another loss to a sub-.500 team.

NEW YORK – The Yankees went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and it doomed them to a 7-to-5 loss in the second-half opener Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees collected 14 hits, and left 14 men on base in a loss that proved beyond frustrating. Gary Sánchez collected one hit in his debut off of the disabled list, but left six men on base. Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andújar each left five men on base. It seemed like the right hits just would never come.

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First-inning Domingo Germán buried the Yanks early. Asdrúbal Cabrera doubled in a leadoff walk to Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto later doubled to score Cabrera. José Bautista then doubled to score Conforto. The Mets recorded 10 hits, and did not record their first single until Conforto singled to score run No. 5 in the fifth inning.

The Yankees scored one in the third on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly, and two in the sixth on an RBI double by Neil Walker. Two more came across in the eighth on a Didi Gregorius double and Stanton groundout. Noah Syndergaard, the Mets starter, bent multiple times but did not break in his five innings of work. The Mets ran with Robert Gsellman in the ninth inning as reports trickled out that the Mets were close to a deal with an unknown team for closer Jeurys Familia. Gsellman worked around a two-out walk to retire the Yankees. Per multiple sources, the Mets are close to dealing Familia to the Oakland Athletics. At the time of publication, a deal was not confirmed.

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After the game, the Yankees announced Domingo Germán had been optioned and that Luis Cessa will take over his spot in the rotation. Cessa is on turn to start July 25 in Tampa Bay. No word on who replaces Germán tomorrow, though the likely option is a 40-man reliever like Giovanny Gallegos or Tommy Kahnle.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray looks to build on a promising last start in Baltimore against Steven Matz in a Saturday matinée in the Bronx.

Yankees 7, Cleveland 4: Heroic Hicks 2B Fuels Win

CLEVELAND – What was billed as the ultimate pitchers dual ended up being a battle of bullpen decision making ultimately won by Aaron Boone and the Yankees.

Knowing that his bullpen is his team’s weakest point, Cleveland manager Terry Francona pushes his ace Corey Kluber to throw 114 pitches, while Boone had Luis Severino removed after just 94. The pivotal moment of the game was a clutch double by Aaron Hicks that gave the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish in the eighth inning.

Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a walk, and was in motion on a 3-2 count when Hicks smoked the ball over the head of Cleveland center fielder Greg Allen. Kluber was lifted, and ex-Yankee Óliver Pérez came into face Greg Bird. Hicks barely, and I mean BARELY, stole third and then scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Bird.

Cleveland greeted Severino rudely in the first inning. Francisco Lindor singled, moved to second on a groundout and then scored on a José Ramírez RBI single. Ramírez was then throw out trying to steal second base, but more trouble followed. Edwin Encarnación smacked his 21st homer of the year.

A two-run homer for Brett Gardner tied the game at two in the third, but Cleveland rallied to get another run on a Yonder Alonso single. That lead held for another half inning, when Gregorius yet another home run off Kluber. Bird doubled to score Hicks later in the inning. Gardy homered again in the top of the ninth to ice the game, giving the Yankees a decisive 7-to-4 advantage.


What’s Next

Domingo Germán faces off against Shane Bieber.

Yankees 9, Orioles 0: Stellar Sonny, Big Bats Push Yanks to Split

Six scoreless from Sonny, big hits for Bird and Wade. What could be better?

BALTIMORE – It’s an odd feeling to be celebrating a four-game series split with the worst team in the American League.

And yet, it’s worth celebrating the game for the Yankees where so many positives happen to players that have been mired in bad streaks for so long. Sonny Gray pitched six scoreless innings, and looked as sharp as ever. His velocity hit 95+ mph 13 times, the highest number of times he’s hit that this season. It looked like Austin Romine had him focus solely on sinkers and curveballs, and that might just be what Gray needs.

Greg Bird launched his first career grand slam, as his bat continues to heat up just in time for the All-Star Break. His .250/.407/.550 line over his past six games shows just how good he can be. I’m glad he could bounce back after having the game-winning hit clank off his glove.

Tyler Wade, who began his 2018 season with a 3-for-35 in 13 games, clocked three hits including his first big league homer. The silent treatment he got in the dugout was absolutely priceless. Wade is hitting .444/.444/.889 in six games since being recalled to replace Gleyber Torres.

Giancarlo Stanton collected RBI singles in the first and ninth innings, while Romine cranked home run No. 6 on the season in the seventh inning. Aaron Hicks should’ve been given an RBI infield single, but the Orioles official scorer decided to rule it a fielder’s choice + E1 instead (It was ruled a missed catch error on the pitcher fielding a chopper; something I’ve never seen before).

What’s Next

The battle of the aces. Luis Severino (14-2, 2.12 ERA) faces Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.49 ERA) in a marquee matchup in Cleveland. This is the opener of a four-game set from Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Game 91: Happy Flight

The words are written in huge letters on the whiteboard in the visiting clubhouse in Baltimore:

After last night’s incredibly frustrating walk-off loss to the Orioles, they aim to turn it around and split the series with a win today. Sonny Gray takes the mound tasked with pitching the Yankees to that victory, in what could be the most important outing of his pinstriped tenure. It’s no secret Gray has been awful, and a good start tonight could save him from being traded away as a salary dump before the July 31 deadline. Gray has a 9.00 ERA in his last five starts and needs a good outing against a bad team to make himself look better. In his career, Gray is 4-4 with a 4.64 ERA against the Orioles, and 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in five career starts at Camden Yards.

On the other side of the pitching matchup is Orioles ace Dylan Bundy. The 25-year-old right-hander carries a 4.08 ERA in 17 starts heading into tonight. Despite all their matchups already this season, the Yankees have yet to face Bundy in 2018. In his career, Bundy is 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA in seven games (five starts) against the Yankees. He got roughed up his last time out July 6 against Minnesota, allowing six runs (five earned) in 3⅓ innings.

Nothing super crazy being done with the Yankees lineup tonight. Didi Gregorius moves back into the No. 3 slot, while Aaron Hicks slides down to No. 5 in the order. Greg Bird, on the heels of a four-RBI night, gets back into the No. 6 slot. Miguel Andújar goes down to No. 7, while Tyler Wade gets the start at second base and bats ninth.


Pre-Game Notes

  • Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres are continuing to progress in their respective rehab processes. The Yankees are sending head athletic trainer Steve Donohue to Washington with Torres during the All-Star break so he can keep his rehab regimen up.
  • Lots of trade rumors connecting the Yankees to Orioles INF Manny Machado, with Jon Morosi of MLB.com reporting the Orioles would trade Machado to the Bronx if LHP Justus Sheffield is included in the deal. It’s unclear if Brian Cashman would move Sheffield exclusively for Machado, especially since the team has been linked to LHP Zach Britton as well.

Baltimore Orioles Lineup

  1. Tim Beckham – 3B
  2. Adam Jones – CF
  3. Manny Machado – SS
  4. Mark Trumbo – DH
  5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  6. Chris Davis – 1B
  7. Danny Valencia – RF
  8. Joey Rickard – LF
  9. Caleb Joseph – C

Game 90: Tanaka Time Once More

A pivotal piece of the Yankees rotation is back.

Wow, 90 games in already. The All-Star break is next week, and the trade rumors are going crazy. Outside of October, July might be my favorite baseball month.

July gets better for the Yankees today as they welcome Masahiro Tanaka back from the disabled list. The righty will make his first start since straining both hamstrings June 8 scoring on a sacrifice fly against the Mets. Tanaka’s two June starts saw him give up five earned runs across 10⅓ innings pitched. He has definitely benefitted from the Yankees prodigious offense, as evidenced by his 10 wins and 4.58 ERA. Through his 13 starts this season, they score 6.71 runs on average behind him.

Tanaka’s counterpart on the hill will be veteran righty Andrew Cashner. The 31-year-old has a very similar ERA (4.39) but has just two wins on his ledger. That’s because the Orioles average just 2.61 runs behind him on the season. His last outing July 5 was quite respectable, where he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits through six innings. The O’s only scored two that day, so Cashner was saddled with the loss. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season, and 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA against the Bombers overall.

The starting lineup goes back to normal with yesterday’s doubleheader madness out of the way. Neil Walker gets a second consecutive start at second base, and will likely get most of the playing time there now that Brandon Drury has been optioned to Triple-A. Aaron Hicks bats third for the fifth time this season, where he’s hitting .308/.438/.538 coming into tonight’s game.


Pre-game Notes:

  • Miguel Andújar is simply ignoring the swirling Manny Machado trade rumors, which are magnified given that the Yankees are playing in Baltimore currently. “Those are things I have no control of. To me it’s about doing what I can, worrying about what I need to do here,” Andújar said to Erik Boland. “I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”
  • Gary Sánchez ran the bases on the field at Oriole Park under the watchful eyes of first base coach Reggie Willits and strength and conditioning director Matthew Krause. If he doesn’t encounter any setbacks, he could go on a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.
  • Aaron Boone told Boland that Tanaka would have a pitch count “in the range of 80 tonight”.
  • Gleyber Torres (right hip strain) was seen throwing on the field while Sánchez did his baserunning drills. MLB announced today that he would be replaced on the American League All-Star roster by Oakland Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, right-hander David Hale, who was designated for assignment July 7, elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment to the minors. He did this in May as well, but wound up re-signing with the Yankees on a minor league contract four days later.

Baltimore Orioles Lineup:

  1. Tim Beckham – 3B
  2. Adam Jones – CF
  3. Manny Machado – SS
  4. Mark Trumbo – DH
  5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  6. Chris Davis – 1B
  7. Trey Mancini – LF
  8. Joey Rickard – RF
  9. Caleb Joseph – C

Game 87: Domingo on Domingo

Domingo Germán fittingly gets the Sunday start in today’s rubber game with the Toronto Blue Jays.

It’s been a mixed bag for Domingo Germán since he became a starter. He has an impressive 10.5 strikeouts-per-9 as a starter, but his 1.9 home-runs-per-9 obviously leaves something to be desired. He lasted just 4⅓ innings in his last time out against Atlanta and it felt like he lost focus once the fifth inning began because he had been given a huge lead. His pitches became flat and he simply let the Braves back into the game. Ideally, he gives the team decent length so that the bullpen isn’t taxed heading into tomorrow’s doubleheader in Baltimore.

Ryan Borucki is the man on the mound for the Blue Jays this afternoon. Ranked as the No. 8 prospect in their system by MLB Pipeline, he’s off to a promising start through two outings against Houston and Detroit. He’s allowed two earned runs each time out, pitching six and seven innings against the Astros and Tigers, respectively. Impressively, he has struck out 11 batters compared to just four walks (all in MLB debut vs. Astros). We’ll see how he fares in outing No. 3 against the Yankees offense today.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton flip roles today, as the former gets the half-day-off while the latter patrols right field. Miguel Andújar gets his first career start in the cleanup spot. Clint Frazier starts in left field, which slides Brett Gardner to center field. Brandon Drury gets another start at second base, while Greg Bird continues his exile to the bottom of the order. Austin Romine catches Germán.


Some pre-game notes:

  • Aaron Hicks (left leg cramps) is available off the bench today, Aaron Boone told reporters. Hicks had left yesterday’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
  • Aroldis Chapman is “feeling better” today after being removed after six pitches because of soreness in his left knee. Chapman has been dealing with tendonitis in that knee all season, so it’s unlikely the lefty pitches this afternoon.

Blue Jays Lineup

  1. Teoscar Hernández – LF
  2. Yangervis Solarte – 3B
  3. Justin Smoak – 1B
  4. Kendrys Morales – DH
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Russell Martin – C
  7. Randal Grichuk – RF
  8. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – SS
  9. Devon Travis – 2B

Yankees 8, Blue Jays 5: Happ Fails Audition

In what was billed by many to be a trade audition for Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ for the Yankees, the offense ended up starring.

Happ surrendered back-to-back home runs to the game’s first batters, as Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge greeted him rudely to give the Yankees a quick 2-to-0 advantage. Happ then walked Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks. He managed to strike out Didi Gregorius and Miguel Andújar before allowing a 2-run double to Brandon Drury that just squirted over the head of a leaping Kevin Pillar.

Pillar would exact his revenge in the bottom the second off Luis Severino. After Justin Smoak led off the inning with a single, Pillar ripped a hanging slider over the left field wall for a two-run home run.

The Yankees got back into the scoring column in the following frame. Didi led off with a walk, but the next two hitters failed to advance him into scoring position. The second of which was Kyle Higashioka, who was called out on strikes with an absolutely glacial call by home-plate umpire Lance Barrett. CC Sabathia began to chirp from the dugout, and Barrett was having none of it. He warned Sabathia but gave him approximately three more words before tossing him from the dugout. Aaron Boone came out and attempted to smooth things over but it was clear Sabathia was the victim of a quick trigger.

With the ejection dealt with, Happ then walked Greg Bird. On his way to remove Happ, Jays manager John Gibbons had some words with Barrett. As Jake Petricka began his warmups, Gibbons himself took exception to some of Barrett’s decisions with the strike zone and got himself run as well. The second pitch Petricka threw ended up being rocked into the gap for a two-run triple by Gardner. The Yankee left fielder then scored on a passed ball by Luke Maile, which came on a 97 mph two-seam fastball.

In the bottom of the fourth, Randal Grichuk tagged Severino for a solo shot, marking the first time this season that the Yankees right-hander allowed more than one home run in a single game. The Jays scored again on a sacrifice fly by Pillar in the sixth, and on a garbage time Aledmys Díaz home run in the ninth off Chasen Shreve (more on this debacle later).

The Yankees became concerned in the fifth inning as center fielder Aaron Hicks was replaced in the outfield by Clint Frazier in left, with Gardner moving over to center field. The cause of this was revealed after the game as cramping in his left leg. Hicks should not have any lingering injury but will sit Sunday’s game as a precaution.

In the Yankees’ half of the ninth, Andújar smoked a double (measured at 109.6 mph) to leadoff the inning. Gregorius then followed by poking a single to left to push Andújar across as the final insurance run.

Aroldis Chapman was brought in to record the final three outs of the game, though it was a non-save situation. He only made it through six pitches, when he pulled up lame on his left leg after striking out Grichuk. Boone removed Chapman, who felt soreness in his left knee because of tendinitis that he has been dealing with all season. Shreve, who would have entered the game had the Yankees created a bigger advantage, was summoned to the mound. He worked a ground out from Maile and allowed Díaz’s eighth home run of the season before striking out pinch-hitter Teoscar Hernández to end the game.

Severino was due for an outing where he did not have his best stuff, but luckily the Yankees’ offense was ready to bail him out. The team is now hoping the injury scares for Chapman and Hicks prove to be minor. They now must play nine games in eight days in three cities before the All-Star Break arrives July 16.

What’s Next

Domingo Germán gets the nod in the series finale against the Jays and lefty Ryan Borucki.

This game was the subject of a conflict between the Yankees organization and ESPN, as the latter wanted to televise the game at 8:05 p.m. as their Sunday Night Baseball game of the week. With a doubleheader scheduled the following day in Baltimore, the Yankees cried foul, and even threatened to strip ESPN reporters of their clubhouse credentials. The network later relented, and moved the game into a 1:05 p.m. start time. The national spotlight will now be on the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels Sunday night at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.