Tag: Brett Gardner

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

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.

Aaron Hicks Exits With Left Leg Cramps

Aaron Hicks was removed from this afternoon’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning with left leg cramps.

Hicks had been 0-for-1 with two walks and a strikeout prior to being lifted. Clint Frazier entered the game in Hicks’ lineup spot, playing left field. Brett Gardner slid from left field to center field.

Hopefully, the cramping is just the result of dehydration and nothing else. It’s unclear if the cramps will keep him out of tomorrow’s game, though we’re likely to see Frazier in some form tomorrow afternoon.

Hicks is hitting .259/.359/.523 (140 wRC+) in 69 games so far in 2018.

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 70: A Second Helping of Lasagna

More Lasagna, please!

Jonathan Loáisiga will make his second MLB start Wednesday night in the Bronx as the Yankees take on Félix Hernández and the Seattle Mariners in the second game of a three-game set.

Johnny Lasagna, as the Internet calls him (which he approves of, by the way), impressed many with his five scoreless innings in his first start. Loáisiga showed great poise as he struck out six, walked four and allowed three hits in his first five innings above Double-A ball. He managed to equal his MiLB walk total in one start, though that can easily be attributed to MLB-debut jitters and more disciplined MLB hitters.

Facing the Yankees and Loáisiga will be Félix Hernández, Gleyber Torres‘ workout partner and the “pitcher that [he] … would like the opportunity to face him and have some fun” against. The Venezuelan has certainly fallen from the “King Félix” that won the Cy Young Award in 2010. Through six starts this season, Hernández has an unsightly 5.34 ERA and has already allowed 12 home runs. The most he’s ever given up in a season was 23 in 2006 and 2015. He lost his last time out against Boston, allowing just two runs over seven innings. Before that, he lasted just three innings against Tampa Bay allowing six runs (five earned). The Yankees look to make it three straight losses against an American League East club.

Brett Gardner is out of the lineup yet again with a sore right knee, though Gardner did tell reporters he expected to start Wednesday and that he would go through his full pre-game routine. Clint Frazier gets his second consecutive start in left field. Aaron Hicks remains the leadoff hitter against a righty, though his usual job is to leadoff against lefties. Gleyber Torres might just be permanently living in the No. 5 spot until the likes of Gary Sánchez (hitting 6th) and Greg Bird (hitting 7th) show some life.

Some other notes floating around before this middle game against Seattle:

  • Aaron Boone provided a nice non-update about Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s had approximately four different injuries since the end of Spring Training. “I think he’s getting close to getting back into baseball activities. But he’s doing pretty well and progressing,” Boone told Randy Miller of NJ Advanced Media on Wednesday. He visited a back specialist and got a good diagnosis, but the Yankees have no place for him realistically until the September 1 roster expansion date.
  • Both Frazier and Ronald Torreyes have had fantastic attitudes regarding their recent MiLB demotions that were dictated by need at the MLB level. Both players bring MLB-ready talent to the table, but it just depends on who the Yankees need to round out their bench. Frazier was recalled with Gardner’s knee issues, and Torreyes took his demotion in stride: “[Torreyes] wanted to know where Scranton was right away so he could get going. I told him I want him back here sooner than later,” per Boone. The Yankees manager similarly had praised Frazier for continuing to hone his craft at Triple-A: “One of the conversations I’ve had with him, both times I sent him back, is, ‘Keep on working, keep on getting better, taking your craft seriously every day,'” Boone said. “I think he’s done a really good job of that. He’s gone back down each time and played really well and produced and all the reports are what you want to hear. So it’s not a player going down there and frustrating and sulking and that kind of stuff. That gets me excited.”

Mariners Lineup:

  1. Dee Gordon – 2B
  2. Jean Segura – SS
  3. Mitch Haniger – CF
  4. Nelson Cruz – DH
  5. Kyle Seager – 3B
  6. Denard Span – LF
  7. Ryon Healy – 1B
  8. Ben Gamel – RF
  9. Mike Zunino – C