Tag: Aaron Judge

Red Sox 2, Yankees 3: Walker’s 10th Homer the Difference-Maker

No clinch for Boston.

THE BRONX – Neil Walker crushed his 10th homer of the year off Ryan Brasier to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning Tuesday, en route to the first Yankee win over Boston since July 1.

The bridge to dominant closer Craig Kimbrel has been sketchy all year for Alex Cora‘s Red Sox, though their 103 wins would say otherwise. Nathan Eovaldi was masterful for six innings, allowing two hits in six shutout innings before being pulled with just 83 pitches. Brandon Workman entered to start the seventh and walked both Aaron Hicks and Gary Sánchez (with Miguel Andújar popping up on a likely ball 4 in between).

Cora went to Brasier, and Aaron Boone elected to stick with Walker at the plate and Sánchez on first. This time, Boone won. Walker smoked a 3-2 slider into the second deck at Yankee Stadium, and he knew it. As he left the batter’s box, he pointed to the Yankees dugout. The Yankee offense finally got a jolt.

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David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning, which included some uncharacteristically lackadaisical defense from Aaron Hicks. J.D. Martinez doubled into the gap, and the ball got past Hicks. The center-fielder jogged after the ball, and simply tossed it to the cut-off man while Martinez motored into third. Robertson induced two fly balls to render the issue moot.

But, bad defense was the theme of the ninth inning as Zach Britton was brought in to close. Brandon Phillips was thrown out 2-3 on a strikeout to start the frame, and then things got frustrating. Adeiny Hechavarría, who replaced Andújar for defense, threw a 5-4-3 double-play ball away by throwing it to the arm side of Gleyber Torres (which was unfairly ruled an E4). Sam Travis then hit a tapper back to Britton, and he threw a sinker on a potential 1-4-3 double-play ball into center field. That allowed Brock Holt, who walked, to score. But, two pitches later, they finally got it right. Ian Kinsler hit a ground ball back to Britton, and they finally got the 1-4-3 needed to push a Red Sox clinch celebration back at least another 24 hours.

Britton understood the magnitude of the situation, as he was given an opportunity to atone for the mistake he committed. One play after throwing the ball into center field, he was able to throw a strike to Torres that allowed him to record his sixth save on the season. The difference? A return to the fundamentals of throwing a baseball:

“The balls were wet,” Britton said. “So after the error that I made, I just thought, if I find the other one, I’ve really got to find the four seams and make a good throw to second and make sure we got one out.”

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Not to be lost in Tuesday’s big win was the performance of J.A. Happ. The veteran delivered another quality start, allowing an unearned run (because of a Sánchez passed ball) on four hits and three walks. He recorded six strikeouts, and 65% of his 102 pitches were strikes. In the third inning, Kinsler singled, moved to second on a phantom balk call (seriously, it’s hard to see), and scored on a Martinez sacrifice fly after moving to third on the passed ball.


Aaron Judge got through his first full game since July 26 without a setback. He went 0-for-4, hitting the ball hard three times before getting rung up on a questionable check-swing call in his final at-bat.

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Judge, of course, was not originally supposed to start Tuesday. But, the six-hour delay in start time allowed him to hit in another simulated game, and convince the Yankees decision-makers that he was ready to go.

“I just voiced my opinion. A lot,” Judge said after the game. “I think they got tired of me telling them I wanted to be playing. So they finally said let’s put him in there and see what happens.”

Game 144: Trio in the Twin Cities

The Yankees kick off a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins tonight, sending lefty J.A. Happ to the hill.

Happ got a no-decision his last time out, but pitched quite well. He allowed just one run on two hits Tuesday in Oakland. He’s the owner of a 5-0 record and 3.10 ERA since his trade from Toronto to the Yankees.

Happ’s opponent is Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. Gibson has been the Twins’ best qualified starter this season in terms of ERA (3.74), though his 7-12 record is nowhere near as pretty. The righty gave up four runs (two earned) his last time out a week ago against Houston on four hits, one walk and five strikeouts.


Pregame Notes:

  • NOT A DRILL: Aaron Judge took five rounds of batting practice on the field today, “without the hint of pain,” per George A. King III of the New York Post. It’s a huge step to see the big fella taking live BP, and here’s to hoping he can sneak into the RailRiders lineup as they chase the Governor’s Cup.
  • Speaking of the Triple-A playoffs, ex-Yankees righty Giovanny Gallegos (traded to St. Louis) had a pinch-hit walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning after the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds ran out of position players. You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.
  • Luke Voit has some back stiffness, and will sit in favor of Greg Bird tonight. Aaron Boone said Voit’s issue is not serious and that he’ll be available off the bench.
  • Sonny Gray gets the spot-start tomorrow as the Yankees push everyone back a day. The October 3 Wild Card game looms large as the season starts to wrap up, and this is a move to have either Luis Severino or Masahiro Tanaka lined up for that evening.

Twins Lineup:

(italics denotes ex-Yankees)
  1. Joe Mauer – 1B
  2. Jorge Polanco – SS
  3. Logan Forsythe – 2B
  4. Robbie Grossman – RF
  5. Mitch Garver – C
  6. Willians Astudillo – DH
  7. Jake Cave – CF
  8. Johnny Field – LF
  9. Gregorio Petit – 3B

Yankees Acquire McCutchen from Giants for Avelino, De Paula

With Aaron Judge‘s wrist injury taking far longer than the original three-week recovery timetable, Brian Cashman has got the Yankees some badly needed outfield help. After clearing waivers August 22, the Bronx Bombers have acquired right fielder Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants for a package of Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported the deal was gaining moment him, and Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the deal was done. McCutchen is a clear offensive upgrade over Shane Robinson in right field, and allows Neil Walker to return to his usual role as an infielder for the Yankees.

In his first (and only) season in San Francisco, the 2013 NL MVP was batting .255/.357/.415 (115 wRC+) with 15 homers and 55 RBI. Those numbers are, undoubtedly, affected by him playing his home games at AT&T Park, which is more pitcher friendly than PNC Park.  He’s been hot of late, batting .277/.404/.468 (140 wRC+) since August 15.

After a few seasons too many in center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Giants converted McCutchen to right field full-time in 2018. He’s made just two errors in right this season, and is worth +2 defensive runs saved. Ultimate Zone Rating has him at -0.9, which is just barely below average.

The Yankees are sending two prospects to San Francisco as they will be splitting the remaining financial commitment to McCutchen. It’s unclear when McCutchen will be activated by the Yankees, but I would guess he debuts in pinstripes after the September 1 roster expansion date.


Part of the group headed to San Francisco will be infield prospect Abiatal Avelino, ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the Yankees system. The 23-year-old enjoyed a breakout early in the season with Double-A Trenton, but has slowed down offensively with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

His overall .287/.333/.446 line is quite impressive in 123 total games, but it is buoyed by a .337/.392/.553 line in 49 games for Double-A Trenton. His power and on-base skills have sort of vanished in the International League, where he’s hitting .252/.291/.372. He does have 25 stolen bases, and can play third, shortstop and second base. Avelino will be a minor league free agent after the season if he is not added to the 40-man roster, and is eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

The other piece in the deal is righty Juan De Paula, whom the Yankees acquired from Seattle in the Ben Gamel trade two years ago today. The 20-year-old was in his second straight season with Short-A Staten Island, pitching to a 1.71 ERA in 10 games (nine starts). De Paula was ranked as the team’s No. 26 prospect.

Game 126: Mini-Sweep in Miami

Lance Lynn makes his fourth start as a Yankee as he looks to pitch his new team to a two-game sweep in Miami.

Lynn has been a revelation since coming over from the Minnesota Twins. He has a 2.61 ERA in his five appearances, with a 3.31 mark in his last three outings. He got a no-decision his last time out August 17 against the Blue Jays, allowing five runs on six hits and throwing 99 pitches in just four innings of work. He has made eight appearances (six starts) against the Marlins in his career, with a 4-1 record and 3.75 ERA.

The Marlins send Trevor Richards to the hill to face the Yanks. The 25-year-old debuted April 2, and has a 4.28 ERA in 18 starts for Miami. He got knocked around in his last outing, allowing five runs on 10 hits August 14 in a start against the Atlanta Braves. He threw 95 pitches in 4⅓ innings in an eventual 10-to-6 loss.

Aaron Boone sends out a lineup virtually identical to last night, with a flipping of Greg Bird and Neil Walker.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Prior to the game, the Yankees placed Aroldis Chapman on the 10-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis and recalled Chance Adams from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In a separate move, they claimed catcher Chris Rabago from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Double-A Trenton.
  • Gary Sánchez should get into a Gulf Coast League game either tomorrow or Friday.
  • Aaron Judge did conditioning work in the outfield at Marlins Park this afternoon but still has yet to pickup a bat.
  • Miguel Andújar worked pregame at third base with Alex Rodriguez, who was seen chatting with Andújar and Gleyber Torres around the batting cage.

Marlins Lineup:

  1. Rafael Ortega – RF
  2. J.T. Realmuto – C
  3. Brian Anderson – 3B
  4. Starlin Castro – 2B
  5. Derek Dietrich – 1B
  6. Austin Dean – LF
  7. Miguel Rojas – SS
  8. Magneuris Sierra – CF
  9. Austin Richards – RHP

Game 123: Win It for the ’98 Team

Today, the Yankees welcome back the 1998 World Series Champions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of going 114-48 and winning a 24th title. First pitch has been pushed back to 1:25 p.m. as a result.

Luis Severino gets the ball as he looks to stabilize a shaky second half. In five starts after the All-Star break, the Yanks have gone just 1-4 and the 24-year-old righty has a 7.96 ERA in that time. The team is opting to keep Sevy on his normal schedule so that he can work through whatever is causing him to stay in the middle of the zone. Hitters are slashing .345/.377/.621 off him in those five starts where his ERA has gone from 2.31 to 3.27.

Sean Reid-Foley, born in Guam because of his father’s US Coast Guard assignment, gets the start for Toronto this afternoon. He made his MLB debut August 13 in Kansas City, allowing three earned runs on six hits and taking a loss against the Royals. He was the Blue Jays’ second round pick in the 2014 draft, and owned a 2.98 ERA in 23 starts between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Gary Sánchez will head to Tampa on Sunday to continue his rehab. He went through a variety of baseball activities at Yankee Stadium yesterday and did not report any setbacks with his right groin injury. He could start his rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League so that he can be closely monitored by the staff in Tampa before being transferred higher in the system to face better pitching.
  • Aaron Judge is still not swinging a bat, but has been working in the outfield and running the bases. The All-Star expressed frustration “with being out,” but emphasized he did not want to rush back from the chip fracture in his right wrist and risk a setback that would cause him to miss even more time.
  • The Blue Jays placed last night’s starter, Marcus Stroman, on the 10-day disabled list as he continues to battle a blister.

Blue Jays Lineup:

  1. Billy McKinney – LF (old friend alert – McKinney makes his Blue Jays debut)
  2. Devon Travis – 2B
  3. Curtis Granderson – DH
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Teoscar Hernández – RF
  7. Danny Jansen – C
  8. Aledmys Díaz – 3B
  9. Richard Ureña – SS

Game 120: Toe-Night Show Returns

Big Toe returns for Game 2.

Ronald Torreyes has returned to the starting lineup for the first time since June 14 as the Yankees face off with the Rays in the second game of a three-game set.

Luis Cessa will get the start in the place of CC Sabathia, who was placed on the disabled list and will miss one start. Cessa has been, well, Cessa. He has a 4.50 ERA in eight games (three starts) on the 2018 season. In his starts, the Yankees are 1-2 though the righty has a 3.14 ERA in 14⅓ rotation innings.

Jake Faria gets the ball for the Rays. His 10 starts are good for third best on a Rays team that has 15 pitchers credited with starts, though many have since been traded elsewhere. The 25-year-old has not started since May 22, though he has a 1.35 ERA in 6⅔ relief innings in the month of August. He has a 6.43 ERA in seven innings and two starts against the Yankees in his career.

Like I mentioned before, Torreyes is playing second and batting ninth to give Gleyber Torres a break. He’s “pressing,” per Aaron Boone, so he’s getting a breather. The rest of the lineup is fairly standard, that is, if you’re used to Neil Walker as a right fielder.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Yankees designated George Kontos for assignment to clear an active roster spot for Luis Cessa tonight.
  • Gary Sánchez could begin a rehab assignment as soon as “August 23-24,” per Brian Cashman on WFAN. He has been in the Bronx working with the Yankees.
  • Aaron Judge had an MRI and cortisone shot in his right wrist. Still no timeline on him picking up a bat, though he was seen working in the outfield today.
  • Something to watch: Ryan McBroom, who is hitting .385/.442/.564 with two homers and 10 RBI in his last 10 games, was a (presumably) healthy, but late, scratch from Game One of Triple-A Scranton’s doubleheader. Could be resting him for Game Two but something else could be afoot.

Rays Lineup:

  1. Mallex Smith – RF
  2. Matt Duffy – 3B
  3. Jake Bauers – 1B
  4. Joey Wendle – 2B
  5. Ji-Man Choi – DH
  6. Kevin Kiermaier – CF
  7. Willy Adames – SS
  8. Brandon Lowe – LF
  9. Michael Pérez – C

Game 112: Make It Two

After snapping a five-game losing streak last night against the White Sox, CC Sabathia looks to keep the momentum going in the right direction.

Sabathia gets the ball after needing 77 pitches to get just nine outs August 2 in Boston. He allowed just two runs, but the Yankees wound up getting clobbered. He walked four and gave up three hits. The Yankees went 3-1 in his starts in July, though he managed to put up an unwieldy 5.48 ERA in those 21⅓ innings.

Reynaldo López gets the ball for the South-Siders. Signed in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic, López came to the White Sox with Dane Dunning and Lucas Giolito in the deal that sent Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals. In 22 starts this season, he has a 4-9 record and a 4.47 ERA. His 5.16 FIP indicates he’s been hit hard, and a 4.0 walks-per-9 shows the command isn’t there yet for the 24-year-old.

Brett Gardner gets the night off, having started 12 of the last 13 games. Shane Robinson spells him in left field. Miguel Andújar once again serves as the designated hitter with Neil Walker suiting up at the hot corner. Kyle Higashioka gets another start behind the dish.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Yankees caught a break in their trade of Brandon Drury, whom the Blue Jays placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hand fracture today. It turns out the injury was sustained July 24 against the Rays, which ended up being his final game as a Yankee before being dealt with Billy McKinney for J.A. Happ.
  • Speaking of Happ: the team hasn’t decided whether Chance Adams will start Thursday or if Happ will return to pitch then. Adams will stick around with the big league club until that decision is made because of the 10-day rule.
  • There is nothing wrong with Austin Romine. Just sitting again because he caught five days in a row.
  • Aaron Judge has yet to start swinging a bat.
  • Clint Frazier and Michael Kay appear to have figured out their weird squabble over Kay’s comments regarding Frazier’s concussion. Boone said the two talked on the phone and it was now “water under the bridge”.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Tim Anderson – SS
  2. Avisail García – RF
  3. José Abreu – 1B
  4. Matt Davidson – DH
  5. Yoan Moncada – 2B
  6. Ryan LaMarre – LF
  7. Yolmer Sánchez – 3B
  8. Adam Engel – CF
  9. Omar Narváez – C