Tag: Aroldis Chapman

Rays 1, Yankees 4: Happ Dominates in Third Pinstriped Win

Happ delivers another gem.

THE BRONX – J.A. Happ pitched like an ace Tuesday night, allowing just one hit (but four walks) over seven stellar innings to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Those four walks came in the first four innings of work for Happ, who did not allow a hit until C.J. Cron singled in the fourth. Happ struckout four Rays hitters, and got that many both of groundouts and flyouts. He has a 1.89 ERA since joining the Yankees.

In the first inning, the Yanks were able to post a run on opener Hunter Wood. Giancarlo Stanton flipped a double into the right-field gap, then moved to third when shortstop Willy Adames could not handle a pickoff throw from Jesús Sucre. Sucre tried to catch Stanton napping but only caught Adames in that state. After the E6, Aaron Hicks blooped a single between Adames, Joey Wendle and Carlos Gómez for an RBI single.

The Yankees were then flummoxed by Jalen Beeks, whom the Rays acquired from the Red Sox for Nathan Eovaldi, until the fifth inning. Neil Walker led off with a walk, then Austin Romine ambushed a first-pitch fastball for a two-run home run that just stayed fair inside the right-field line. It was the eighth homer of the year for Romine, whose 111 wRC+ makes him a top-5 catcher in the American League (minimum 150 plate appearances).

The Rays got their one run on the first pitch by a Yankee reliever, as Happ exited in favor of Dellin Betances to begin the eighth inning. Adames atoned for his error by ambushing a first-pitch fastball for the first homered allowed by Betances since May 10.

That run was won back by the Yanks in their next set of at-bats. Miguel Andújar doubled with two outs, and Greg Bird doubled next to score pinch-runner Shane Robinson. Aroldis Chapman pitched a nine-pitch ninth for his 31st save, working around a two-out single by Wendle for a simple save.

Rangers 3, Yankees 5: Andújar Saves the Day

THE BRONX – Miguel Andújar‘s clutch two-run home run in the seventh inning off Chris Martin proved to be an important differencemaker Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

The 23-year-old cracked his 17th homer on the first pitch he saw from Martin, sending a 94-mph fastball into the right field seats. That proved to be the difference as the Yankees claimed a 5-to-3 victory. Giancarlo Stanton singled ahead of Andújar before the rookie connected.

Stanton got the scoring going for the Yankees in the first inning, driving a 3-0 fastball from Drew Hutchison into the left field seats for his 29th homer of the year. Andújar singled one batter later, and Greg Bird lined a double that scored him from first base.

Lance Lynn allowed his first (and only) run as a Yankee in the third inning. Shin-Soo Choo led off with a double to center field, then moved to third on a Rougned Odor ground out to the over-shifted shortstop Didi Gregorius. Elvis Andrus then lined a single to right field that allowed Choo to score.

That lead held until the seventh, when Zach Britton entered. With two outs, Choo and Odor singled, then Andrus walked. Next batter Adrián Beltré worked a walk with the bases loaded, and another run came into score when new reliever Dellin Betances balked in the tying run.

That set the stage for Andújar’s homer, and the rookie came into the game batting .293/.348/.483 in high-leverage situations (per Baseball-Reference). David Robertson and Betances each did not allow a run, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless (yet eventful) top of the ninth.


What’s Next:

The series finishes off with a battle of lefties. CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.49 ERA) will look to reprise his 12-strikeout performance from August 7 against the White Sox. Martin Pérez (2-4, 6.15 ERA) is coming off a no-decision where he allowed three runs in seven innings August 6 against Seattle.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 5: Chapman’s Meltdown & More Sloppy Defense Lead to Benintendi Walkoff

BOSTON – Well, let’s hope this is rock bottom.

After Aroldis Chapman walked three batters in a ninth-inning that also featured a low throw from Miguel Andújar that Greg Bird could not handle, Jonathan Holder allowed a game-winning RBI single through the shift to Andrew Benintendi that officially sunk the Yankees in Beantown on Sunday.

The hard-throwing lefty issued free passes in the ninth to Sandy León, Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce after the Yankees gained a 4-to-1 advantage over their rivals in the seventh inning. J.D. Martinez singled to make it 4-to-3, and then Andújar did not step into his throw on a Xander Bogaerts grounder down the line. Bird could not dig it out, and pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the tying run.

Holder was assigned the 10th inning. After recording the first two outs, León poked a pitch about five inches off the outside corner into left for an opposite-field single. The first pitch to Betts, the next batter, got past Austin Romine (ruled a wild pitch, and he had a passed ball earlier in the game) to get León into scoring position. Betts was intentionally walked and León replaced with pinch-runner Tony Renda. Four pitches later, Benintendi’s grounder beat the shift and Fenway Park erupted into pandamonium.

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It seemed like things would finally break the Yankees way as they scored four runs in the seventh inning. Brett Gardner led off with a single and then Romine worked a walk. That drove David Price from the game, who had an uncharacteristically strong start against the Yankees. Heath Hembree came on, and proceeded to throw three pitches around the head of Shane Robinson, provoking a stare from the Yankees reserve outfielder and some shouts from the Yankee bench. Robinson was looking to move up the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but ended up walking on a 3-2 slider that missed high.

Five pitches later, Aaron Hicks hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that ate up shortstop Xander Bogaerts and wound up in center field. Both Gardner and Romine came around to score. Next, Giancarlo Stanton gave the Yanks a 3-1 lead with a single to score Robinson. After a Didi Gregorius strikeout, Gleyber Torres lined a sacrifice fly to center field for their fourth and final run.

Before Chapman imploded and Holder gave up the game-winning hit, Yankees pitching largely did their job Sunday night. Masahiro Tanaka had to grind through 4⅔ innings, leaving with 97 pitches on his ledger and his lone mistake being a solo home run allowed to Betts. Sans-high-socks David Robertson pitched a scoreless 1⅓ innings, while Zach Britton and Dellin Betances each battled command issues to throw scoreless frames of their own.

Alex Rodriguez said on the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast that a three-run lead at Fenway Park is like a one-run lead at any other ballpark. That rang painfully true for a Yankees team that desperately needed to win before getting on a plane to Chicago. They now sit 9.5 games back of Boston in the American League East race, and just 2.5 games ahead of the surging Oakland Athletics for the first Wild Card spot.


What’s Next:

The Yankees turn to Lance Lynn to make his first start (but second appearance) in the place of Sonny Gray, whose consistently subpar performance saw him demoted to the bullpen. Lynn threw 4⅓ scoreless innings of mop-up relief August 1 against Baltimore after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo.

The Yanks will face righty Dylan Covey in Chi-Town, who will be making his 15th start. So far, he has a 4-7 record and 5.57 ERA. He has faced the Yankees once, and gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits through five innings of work last season.

Orioles 3, Yankees 6: Andújar’s Lucky 13th Homer Backs Tanaka’s Outing

THE BRONX – Masahiro Tanaka was not as sharp as his complete game shutout in his previous start, but his six shutout innings certainly did the job Tuesday night against Baltimore.

Miguel Andújar homered in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach after the Yankees loaded the bases. Giancarlo Stanton was drilled, Didi Gregorius singled and Aaron Hicks walked. After Gleyber Torres popped out to second base, Greg Bird lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. The next batter was Andújar, who drilled a 2-1 fastball 410 feet out to left field.

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The Yankees got their scoring started in the first off Yefry Ramírez. Brett Gardner and Gregorius walked, then Torres adjusted well on a 3-2 slider to ground it up the middle for an RBI single. In the third, Gardner singled, Stanton reached on a fielding error by Tim Beckham after Gardner stole second. On a 1-1 fastball, Gregorius dumped a bloop single into left that scored Gardner.

After a hairy first inning where he drilled Jace Peterson and walked Adam Jones, Tanaka pitched quite well. He scattered a few hits and one more walk while collecting eight strikeouts. A great start against a bad team, but a win is a win so you know the Yankees will take it. Especially on a night where the Phillies beat the Red Sox.

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A.J. Cole had a bit of a hiccup, allowing three runs (two earned) in 1⅓ innings. He made a 6-0 game into a 6-3 game, which isn’t great if you’re trying to rest the high-leverage guys. Austin Wynns singled, Beckham walked and then Peterson doubled to score both. Dellin Betances entered next, and a fastball of his clanked off the glove of Kyle Higashioka for a passed ball. Things got worse as Higgy’s throw got away and allowed Peterson to score. It was originally ruled a throwing error by the catcher but a check of the box score today shows it to be a missed catch error by Andújar.

Things calmed down in the ninth inning, as Aroldis Chapman struck out the side on 13 pitches.

What’s Next

Sonny Gray (8-7, 5.08 ERA) looks to put together a third consecutive strong start against counterpart Alex Cobb (2-14, 6.08 ERA), who is clearly not living up to his 4-year, $57 million offseason deal so far.

Yankees 4, Rays 0: Tanaka’s Gem Shuts Out Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Masahiro Tanaka needed 105 pitches to turn in the best start of his 2018 season, as he pitched a complete game shutout of the Rays on Tuesday.

A single and a double to C.J. Cron, a single for Jesús Sucre and a walk to Ji-Man Choi were the only blemishes on Tanaka’s line. Tanaka did not allow a baserunner until the fifth inning, and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings. He struck out nine and recorded 14 groundouts (compared to zero flyouts).

The Yankees got on the board in the first inning when Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge led off the game with singles. They moved to third on Giancarlo Stanton‘s strikeout-wild pitch. Didi Gregorius then scored Gardner on an RBI groundout to shortstop.

In the fifth, Brandon Drury got drilled on the hand by a 2-2 fastball with one out. Neil Walker singled him over to third. Another RBI groundout, this time by Austin Romine, scored Tyler Wade (pinch-running for Drury).

In the seventh, Miguel Andújar singled, Greg Bird doubled and Romine came through again, this time with a sacrifice fly to score the Yankees’ third run. In the ninth, Andújar doubled and scored on a single by Walker.

Aroldis Chapman threw a few warmup pitches in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately was not needed because of Tanaka’s mastery. More of this would be great from Tanaka, of course.


Trade Alert 🚨

Of course, the Yankees garnered headlines during the game as they closed in on a trade for Orioles lefty Zach Britton. That trade was announced after the game ended in St. Petersburg, as well as in Baltimore. The Orioles acquired minor-league pitchers Cody Carroll, Josh Rogers and Dillon Tate.


What’s Next

Luis Cessa (1-1, 3.00 ERA) comes up from Triple-A to take Domingo Germán‘s rotation spot. He’ll face old friend Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.26 ERA).

Yankees “Heavy” on Zach Britton; Other Teams Still In On Lefty

It seems there’s no dominant starting pitcher available on the market, so the Yankees are looking to shore up an already dominant bullpen.

Multiple MLB insiders reported today that the Yankees are “heavy” in their pursuit of Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, with that adjective coming from SNY’s Andy Martino. MLB Network’s Jim Bowden said the Yankees are in the lead along with the Houston Astros, and stated “negotiations are rounding third and heading for home.”

Bowden also noted that the Astros and Yankees were not alone, and his MLB Network colleague Ken Rosenthal reported that he heard the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox are also involved.

Britton would fill the role of the non-Aroldis Chapman lefty out of the Yankees bullpen. Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2014, lefties hit just .182/.242/.232 off of him in a 290-batter sample size. Plus, his experience in high-leverage situations would be valuable down the stretch.

The Yankees have been linked to Britton at various points this trade season, as well as now-Cleveland lefty Brad Hand. Rosenthal reported the Yankees had been in touch with the Padres about Hand, but that the Friars wanted Miguel Andújar in any trade for Hand. They ended up accepting one prospect (albeit a good one – Francisco Mejía) for Hand and Adam Cimber, who combined have like eight more years of control. Another example of teams demanding an overpay from the Yankees, but I digress.

Adding Britton to the Yankees bullpen would be an obvious upgrade not just over Chasen Shreve, but would also add another formidable arm to an already-scary bullpen down the stretch.

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.