Tag: Austin Romine

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.

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 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

Game 86: Turn the Page, Sevy

The Yankees will look to put last night’s demoralizing loss behind them as they send their ace, Luis Severino, to the hill.

Severino has been fantastic this season no matter how you slice it. Since he took the loss June 10 to the Mets, Sevy is 4-0 with a stingy 0.99 ERA in victories over Tampa Bay, Seattle, Philadelphia and Boston. The three runs he gave up all came in his June 21 outing vs. Seattle. He’s 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA in his two starts against the Blue Jays. He has struck out 13 batters compared to allowing four hits and five walks. He has a 2.81 ERA in five career starts at Rogers Centre.

Believe it or not, more eyes might be on the Blue Jays’ starter today: lefty J.A. Happ. Happ is arguably the best rental pitcher available on the trade market this summer, and the Yankees have already been mentioned as a “main player” by FanCred’s Jon Heyman for his services. He got badly roughed up his last time out July 1 in Detroit, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 5⅔ innings. Scouts and fans alike will see how Happ fares this time around against the Yankees, to whom he took an Opening Day loss March 29. He gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits in 4⅔ innings.

This Yankees lineup is quite violently shaken up from last night. Greg Bird is batting ninth for the first time since he started five games there last season. Brandon Drury gets his first look at second base, where he played 114 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. Kyle Higashioka catches Severino, so Austin Romine‘s achy hamstring gets a bit more rest. Aaron Hicks, fresh off another home run, bats clean up for the third time this season. He has a .429/.600/1.143 slashline in that spot so let’s hope that continues.


A lot happened before this game so let’s get to some notes:

  • Clint Frazier is back, and David Hale has been designated for assignment. Aaron Boone said Frazier likely starts tomorrow and in one of the doubleheader games in Baltimore on Monday.
  • Jonathan Loáisiga has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with tightness in his right shoulder so he will not pitch in the doubleheader Monday. Loáisiga will see Dr. Chris Ahmad on Monday in New York. Boone said Luis Cessa will get the call to pitch in the nightcap Monday.
  • Gary Sánchez, who is traveling with the team currently, caught Masahiro Tanaka‘s most recent bullpen session and took two rounds of batting practice in Toronto. Per Boone, the “best case” scenario shows Sánchez starting minor league rehab games July 15 and rejoining the club post-All Star break. Tanaka will return from the disabled
  • Boone confirmed Sonny Gray will start as scheduled Wednesday in Baltimore, despite his string of awful outings. Gray has been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hopefully in an attempt to figure out what the hell has gone wrong. “Hopefully they can unlock some things here in the days before the next start. Hopefully we can see those results,” Boone said.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield (Yankees No. 2 prospect, No. 39 MLB) is “putting himself in a position to potentially at some point be an option” in the second half, Boone told reporters. Sheffield was just selected to represent the Yankees in the 2018 All-Star Futures Game, and owns a 2.61 ERA in 10 games for the RailRiders in the International League.

Blue Jays Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – LF
  2. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 2B
  3. Yangervis Solarte – 3B
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Kendrys Morales – DH
  6. Kevin Pillar – CF
  7. Randal Grichuk – RF
  8. Luke Maile – C
  9. Aledmys Díaz – SS

Yankees 2, Blue Jays 6: Sonny Stinks, Offense Disappears

Gray’s season ERA climbs to 5.85 after another clunker.

Sonny Gray allowed at least four runs for the fourth time in five starts Friday in Toronto, as he could barely make it through two innings allowing five runs.

The bulk of the scoring came early for the Blue Jays, as they scored five in the second and one in the eighth. Randal Grichuk led off with a double, then moved to third on an Aledmys Díaz ground out. Devon Travis then singled on a 2-0 pitch to score Díaz, then moved to second on a wild pitch during the following at-bat. With a runner now in scoring position, Curtis Granderson singled to right to score Travis. Gray struck out Teoscar Hernández, but allowed a single to Yangervis Solarte.

That set the stage for the big blow of the evening: Justin Smoak‘s three-run home run. Gray left an 86 mph slider over the middle of the plate and Smoak turned it around for a 106 mph exit velocity shot that landed 404 feet from home plate. Gray got out of the inning but would be replaced by David Hale.

Hale, who was selected again by the team July 1 after being designated for assignment multiple times, delivered much needed length out of the Yankees bullpen. He ended up pitching 5⅔ innings as he scattered five hits and allowed one earned run on a double by Hernández.

The Yankees offense can be summed up in one player: Aaron Hicks. The center fielder hit a career-high homer in the third inning, as No. 16 gave the Yankees a glimmer of hope as it cut a 5-to-0 deficit to 5-to-1. The best chance the Yankees got came when they score their second run in the fifth inning. Austin Romine singled, Brett Gardner singled and Aaron Judge reached on an error by Solarte to load the bases. Hicks then walked with the bases loaded to make it 5-to-2. Reliever Joe Biagini then ran the count to 3-0 on Giancarlo Stanton, who promptly chased two pitches out of the zone to make it 3-2. Stanton then took strike three over the outside corner for the second out. Didi Gregorius lined out to left to end the threat.

All in all, the Yankees offense went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. It was a rather pathetic showing alongside a great night for Hicks.

Aaron Boone said postgame that Gray will make his next scheduled start against Baltimore on Wednesday. I would think the only way he saved himself for another start is the good fortune to have it land against the last-place O’s. When the team’s long-man is able to throw a quality start out of the bullpen, it’s concerning. Boone voiced some confidence in Gray, though he mentioned the Yankees “feel like he’s our best option” and that’s just not true.

What’s Next?

Luis Severino looks to continue a string of four straight wins, during which time he as a 0.99 ERA. He’ll be facing off against J.A. Happ, the Blue Jays pitcher who Jon Heyman of FanCred remarked is a main trade target of the Yankees’.

Game 85: North of the Border Again

The last time Sonny Gray really dominated on the mound came in Toronto on June 6, where he pitched eight shutout innings and allowed just two hits.

The Yankees eventually won that game in 13 innings, and hope tonight that Gray can recover from one of the worst stretches in his career. Since that start, the righty has pitched to a 7.58 ERA and hitters have a .935 OPS against him in four starts against the Washington Nationals (twice), Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. The Yankees have only won one of those starts. Gray continues to be a weak point in the Yankees rotation, and it’s clear that Brian Cashman is searching for an upgrade.

The Blue Jays send Sam Gaviglio to the hill for his second start of the season against the Yankees. Gaviglio pitched equally well June 6, allowing just three hits across seven shutout innings. He, too, has struggled since then, with a 6.16 ERA and .850 OPS against in four starts against Tampa Bay, Washington, Los Angeles-AL and Detroit. However, the Blue Jays have managed to win three of those four starts.

Austin Romine returns to the lineup to catch Gray. He had not started a game since June 30, which he came out of after seven innings because of hamstring tightness. Neil Walker gets the start at second base as Gleyber Torres is in his second day of a minimum 10-day DL stint. Tyler Wade is up to replace Torres on the active roster.


Some notes:

  • CC Sabathia will start game one of the Yankees’ doubleheader July 9 in Baltimore, per Aaron Boone. It’s unclear at the moment who will start game two, with Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loáisiga in the mix. Masahiro Tanaka will start Tuesday.
  • Gary Sánchez is traveling with the team, and “appears on track to rejoin the MLB roster shortly after the All-Star break,” per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com
  • Torres’ hip strain is “mild,” per Boone, so hopefully his DL stint won’t be much longer than the 10 days.

Blue Jays Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – DH
  2. Teoscar Hernández – LF
  3. Yangervis Solarte – 3B
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Russell Martin – C
  7. Randall Grichuk – RF
  8. Aledmys Díaz – SS
  9. Devon Travis – 2B