Tag: Aaron Judge

Game 92: Battle of the Aces

The Yankees somehow manage to play better against higher-quality teams, and that will be put to the test tonight in Cleveland. Luis Severino meets his match as he takes on Corey Kluber.

Sevy has been unreal this season. His 2.12 ERA on the season is good for third in all of Major League Baseball. He hasn’t lost since June 10, and in that span (five starts), he owns a 1.67 ERA and has struck out 34 batters compared to just eight walks. He is 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland.

Facing Kluber does not feel as intimidating after watching Didi Gregorius take him deep twice in Game 5 of the 2017 American League Division Series. The stats, however, show he is still one of the most dominant pitchers in the league. He enters 12-4 with a 2.49 ERA. He pitched well his last time out July 7 against Oakland, but got the no-decision. He pitched seven innings allowing no runs on five hits. He has great career stats against the Yankees: 5-1, 1.80 ERA in seven starts.

Same lineup as last night but swap Neil Walker in for Tyler Wade. Aaron Judge is back in right field, while Giancarlo Stanton is the designated hitter.


Pre-Game Notes

  • Unless you live under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the swirling trade rumors connecting the Yankees and Orioles INF Manny Machado. The Yanks apparently have made a “strong” offer to the O’s that does not include OF Clint Frazier or LHP Justus Sheffield. The Orioles reportedly want close to MLB-ready talent, and either Frazier or Sheffield would represent that. The Yankees are vying with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers for Machado, and are also in on LHP Zach Britton, per sources.
  • Gleyber Torres was seen taking ground balls before the game, so he’s continuing to progress back from a hip strain. Gary Sánchez ran the bases  and is expected to be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment before the end of the four-game set in Cleveland.

Cleveland Lineup

  1. Francisco Lindor – SS
  2. Michael Brantley – LF
  3. José Ramírez – 3B
  4. Edwin Encarnación – DH
  5. Yonder Alonso – 1B
  6. Jason Kipnis – 2B
  7. Tyler Naquin – RF
  8. Yan Gomes – C
  9. Greg Allen CF

 

Yankees 10, Orioles 2: That’s More Like It

Of course, Cessa throws six scoreless when the Yankees score 10 behind him.

After an incredibly frustrating opener to the doubleheader Monday in Baltimore, the Yankees made sure to not make the same mistake twice. They clobbered Orioles’ pitching in game two to take a decisive 10-to-2 victory in the nightcap.

Seventeen hits provided 10 runs of offense to back a surprisingly effective Luis Cessa, who pitched six scoreless innings while scattering three hits. The Yankees got homers and RBI doubles from Brett Gardner and Austin Romine, as part of a four-hit night for Gardy and a two-hit evening for Romine. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton and Neil Walker all picked up two hits. Every other Yankees starter recorded at least one hit (Tyler Wade pinch-ran for Gregorius in the eighth inning and flew out in his only plate appearance).

The second game Monday night was a beautiful example of every player doing their job. The hitters produced plenty of offense, Cessa gave the team a quality start in a pinch and 26th man Giovanny Gallegos made sure the Yankee bullpen didn’t get overtaxed. Gallegos’ performance is of paramount importance given the next two starters’ possibility of struggling. Masahiro Tanaka is returning from injury, while Sonny Gray has proven time and again that he simply can’t give the team length.

Postgame, both Cessa and Gallegos were optioned and “returned,” respectively, back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Coincidentally, they were sent down right in time for the International League All-Star break.

What’s Next

Masahiro Tanaka comes off of the disabled list and returns to the rotation to face Andrew Cashner of the Orioles.

Yankees 4, Orioles 5: Or Not…

CC Sabathia ended up staying for a few batters too many, as Danny Valencia‘s three-run home run proved fatal in the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader in Baltimore.

In the bottom of the sixth, the veteran lefty walked Mark Trumbo, allowed a “double” to Jonathan Schoop (hard ground ball right at Neil Walker that should have been at least a 3-6 force) and then Valencia took CC 415 feet to dead central.

The Yanks scored first as Giancarlo Stanton ripped his 22nd homer of the year in the second inning. In the third, Kyle Higashioka doubled, Tyler Wade singled and then two consecutive singles from Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees two more runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, Trumbo (who came into the game .282/.300/.462 lifetime against Sabathia) smoked a two-run shot to make it 3-2. A Stanton single, Clint Frazier groundout and single from Walker gave the Yankees their fourth run.

It’s pretty clear that Aaron Boone could not use his usual pitching strategy because today is a doubleheader. He left Sabathia in after the leadoff walk to Trumbo, which should have spelt the end for him. He definitely should have been lifted after the Schoop double. It felt like Jonathan Holder was too little too late. Also, I find it quite odd that he went to the long-man, A.J. Cole, in the first game of the doubleheader, when Luis Cessa is scheduled to start the second game. I guess that’s why they recalled Giovanny Gallegos, though.

Wow. That was one of the most frustrating experiences for the 2018 Yankees. I hope the bats can break out to back Cessa because their inability to beat the Orioles is downright ridiculous.

What’s Next

More baseball. Luis Cessa has been recalled to face former farmhand Yefry Ramírez in the nightcap. Ramírez was traded to the Orioles for international bonus pool space (and a 40-man roster spot) minutes before the Sonny Gray acquistion at last year’s trade deadline.

Brandon Drury was optioned to Triple-A to create an active roster spot for Cessa.

Four (Could Be Five) Yankees Named to All-Star Team

The Yankees will have four representatives on the American League squad for this year’s All-Star Game in Washington on July 17.

They are:

  • RF Aaron Judge (starting)
  • LHP Aroldis Chapman
  • RHP Luis Severino
  • 2B Gleyber Torres

Each of the Yankees voted in as a reserve was selected by the player vote.

Giancarlo Stanton is eligible to be voted in as part of the “Final Vote” campaign. The Yankees have partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers in an attempt to get Stanton and breakout infielder Max Muncy voted as the National League final vote candidate.

Yankees 2, Blue Jays 1: Small Ball Wins It

Fans of the sacrifice bunt, rejoice!

With a doubleheader lurking in Baltimore, the last thing the Yankees wanted was an extended extra innings contest in Toronto.

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They managed to limit things to one extra frame in their final game north of the border, thanks to some well-timed small ball in the 10th inning. Jays manager John Gibbons went with setup-man Seung-hwan Oh for two innings in relief of his starter Ryan Borucki, so he switched to closer Tyler Clippard (yes, THAT Tyler Clippard) to pitch the 10th inning.

Clippard’s 2-2 pitch to leadoff hitter Greg Bird hit the Yankee first baseman to start the rally. Aaron Boone immediately subbed Bird out for the speedy Tyler Wade. Austin Romine executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Wade into scoring position. Two pitches later, Brett Gardner lined a single to left field that scored Wade just ahead of the throw from Teoscar Hernández. David Robertson pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th to put another Yankees series victory on ice.

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Both starters performed quite well today, as Domingo Germán recovered from his last start against the Braves. He allowed just one run on a Kendrys Morales solo home run, and struck out five Blue Jays. Borucki showed his skills too, scattering seven hits and allowing just one earned run (Miguel Andújar RBI ground out) through seven innings of work.

Boone was able to squeeze two scoreless innings out of Adam Warren, and one out of Chad Green. Warren almost gave the game to the Blue Jays when Justin Smoak came within mere feet of giving the Blue Jays the lead with a third-deck home run. But, it was just foul and Smoak eventually grounded out to first base.

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Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each racked up two hits, while Didi Gregorius, Bird and Romine each picked up one.

What’s Next

Two games in Baltimore!  Today’s game going into extra innings was the precise reason the team made a huge fuss about it being originally scheduled for Sunday Night Baseball.

Things get underway at 4:05 p.m. ET tomorrow at Oriole Park, with CC Sabathia (6-3, 3.02 ERA) going up against a yet-to-be-named Baltimore Orioles pitcher. I believe Game 2 is scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1, and will feature Luis Cessa (0-1, 5.00 ERA) against former Yankees farmhand Yefry Ramírez (0-2, 2.51 ERA).

The Orioles (24-65) enter into this series 36.5 games out of first place in the American League East and on a six-game losing streak.

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.