Tag: Didi Gregorius

Mets 7, Yankees 5: RISPfails Mar Start of Second Half

Another loss to a sub-.500 team.

NEW YORK – The Yankees went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and it doomed them to a 7-to-5 loss in the second-half opener Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees collected 14 hits, and left 14 men on base in a loss that proved beyond frustrating. Gary Sánchez collected one hit in his debut off of the disabled list, but left six men on base. Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andújar each left five men on base. It seemed like the right hits just would never come.

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First-inning Domingo Germán buried the Yanks early. Asdrúbal Cabrera doubled in a leadoff walk to Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto later doubled to score Cabrera. José Bautista then doubled to score Conforto. The Mets recorded 10 hits, and did not record their first single until Conforto singled to score run No. 5 in the fifth inning.

The Yankees scored one in the third on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly, and two in the sixth on an RBI double by Neil Walker. Two more came across in the eighth on a Didi Gregorius double and Stanton groundout. Noah Syndergaard, the Mets starter, bent multiple times but did not break in his five innings of work. The Mets ran with Robert Gsellman in the ninth inning as reports trickled out that the Mets were close to a deal with an unknown team for closer Jeurys Familia. Gsellman worked around a two-out walk to retire the Yankees. Per multiple sources, the Mets are close to dealing Familia to the Oakland Athletics. At the time of publication, a deal was not confirmed.

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After the game, the Yankees announced Domingo Germán had been optioned and that Luis Cessa will take over his spot in the rotation. Cessa is on turn to start July 25 in Tampa Bay. No word on who replaces Germán tomorrow, though the likely option is a 40-man reliever like Giovanny Gallegos or Tommy Kahnle.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray looks to build on a promising last start in Baltimore against Steven Matz in a Saturday matinée in the Bronx.

Yankees 7, Cleveland 4: Heroic Hicks 2B Fuels Win

CLEVELAND – What was billed as the ultimate pitchers dual ended up being a battle of bullpen decision making ultimately won by Aaron Boone and the Yankees.

Knowing that his bullpen is his team’s weakest point, Cleveland manager Terry Francona pushes his ace Corey Kluber to throw 114 pitches, while Boone had Luis Severino removed after just 94. The pivotal moment of the game was a clutch double by Aaron Hicks that gave the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish in the eighth inning.

Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a walk, and was in motion on a 3-2 count when Hicks smoked the ball over the head of Cleveland center fielder Greg Allen. Kluber was lifted, and ex-Yankee Óliver Pérez came into face Greg Bird. Hicks barely, and I mean BARELY, stole third and then scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Bird.

Cleveland greeted Severino rudely in the first inning. Francisco Lindor singled, moved to second on a groundout and then scored on a José Ramírez RBI single. Ramírez was then throw out trying to steal second base, but more trouble followed. Edwin Encarnación smacked his 21st homer of the year.

A two-run homer for Brett Gardner tied the game at two in the third, but Cleveland rallied to get another run on a Yonder Alonso single. That lead held for another half inning, when Gregorius yet another home run off Kluber. Bird doubled to score Hicks later in the inning. Gardy homered again in the top of the ninth to ice the game, giving the Yankees a decisive 7-to-4 advantage.


What’s Next

Domingo Germán faces off against Shane Bieber.

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

 

Game 91: Happy Flight

The words are written in huge letters on the whiteboard in the visiting clubhouse in Baltimore:

After last night’s incredibly frustrating walk-off loss to the Orioles, they aim to turn it around and split the series with a win today. Sonny Gray takes the mound tasked with pitching the Yankees to that victory, in what could be the most important outing of his pinstriped tenure. It’s no secret Gray has been awful, and a good start tonight could save him from being traded away as a salary dump before the July 31 deadline. Gray has a 9.00 ERA in his last five starts and needs a good outing against a bad team to make himself look better. In his career, Gray is 4-4 with a 4.64 ERA against the Orioles, and 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in five career starts at Camden Yards.

On the other side of the pitching matchup is Orioles ace Dylan Bundy. The 25-year-old right-hander carries a 4.08 ERA in 17 starts heading into tonight. Despite all their matchups already this season, the Yankees have yet to face Bundy in 2018. In his career, Bundy is 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA in seven games (five starts) against the Yankees. He got roughed up his last time out July 6 against Minnesota, allowing six runs (five earned) in 3⅓ innings.

Nothing super crazy being done with the Yankees lineup tonight. Didi Gregorius moves back into the No. 3 slot, while Aaron Hicks slides down to No. 5 in the order. Greg Bird, on the heels of a four-RBI night, gets back into the No. 6 slot. Miguel Andújar goes down to No. 7, while Tyler Wade gets the start at second base and bats ninth.


Pre-Game Notes

  • Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres are continuing to progress in their respective rehab processes. The Yankees are sending head athletic trainer Steve Donohue to Washington with Torres during the All-Star break so he can keep his rehab regimen up.
  • Lots of trade rumors connecting the Yankees to Orioles INF Manny Machado, with Jon Morosi of MLB.com reporting the Orioles would trade Machado to the Bronx if LHP Justus Sheffield is included in the deal. It’s unclear if Brian Cashman would move Sheffield exclusively for Machado, especially since the team has been linked to LHP Zach Britton as well.

Baltimore Orioles Lineup

  1. Tim Beckham – 3B
  2. Adam Jones – CF
  3. Manny Machado – SS
  4. Mark Trumbo – DH
  5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  6. Chris Davis – 1B
  7. Danny Valencia – RF
  8. Joey Rickard – LF
  9. Caleb Joseph – C

Yankees 5, Orioles 6: Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

Another frustrating loss in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE – Dellin Betances has been here before.

September 5, 2017: Manny Machado hits a walk-off home run on a hanging breaking ball from Betances to beat the Yankees.

July 10, 2018: Jonathan Schoop pokes a single off Betances to push the Orioles to a 6-to-5 walk-off win.

Losing twice in a four-game series to the last-place Orioles is beyond frustrating. Doing it while the Red Sox have lost just once in their last 10 games could be the difference between winning the division and suiting up in the Wild Card game.

Betances did not set himself up for success in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the game tied at 5, his 2-2 pitch hit .187-hitter Caleb Joseph to put the winning run the O’s needed on base. After retiring Tim Beckham, Adam Jones doubled into the gap to give them two runners in scoring position with one out. Machado, who already homered twice in the game, was intentionally walked in order to set up the double play with the slower Mark Trumbo due up. Once Trumbo struck out, that brought up Schoop.

On a 1-1 count, Schoop sent a ground ball toward first base that clanked off the glove of first baseman Greg Bird and into right field. That hit pushed the final run across and was the nail in the coffin for the Yankees. It was the first earned run allowed by Betances since a similarly frustrating loss May 23 against the Texas Rangers.

“It’s a play I want to make. That’s the way I classify it,” Bird said. “A big spot there. That’s a play I want to come up with. He put a decent swing on it. It rode up and I didn’t get [the glove] up in time. That’s it.”

The other five runs the Orioles scored came via the aforementioned Machado homers and a two-run double by Joey Rickard. The first Machado shot came on a get-me-over cutter at 89 mph from Masahiro Tanaka. The second blast, off Chad Green, came in a sequence of six consecutive fastballs to a hitter with a .311 batting average against heaters in 2018. For a team whose reputation is to not throw fastballs, they sure got burned by throwing fastballs in predictable situations.

Bird represented most of the Yankees offense, driving in four via a three-run home run in the fifth and sacrifice fly in the seventh. Neil Walker hit an RBI single in the seventh as well to give the Yankees a two-run lead that they ultimately could not hold. Each time they got a lead, Machado homered in the following half-inning to tie the game.

Didi Gregorius was the only Yankee with multiple hits in the game, as he went 3-for-4 with a double. His single in the fifth inning broke up O’s starter Andrew Cashner‘s perfect game.

Overall, Tanaka was disappointing in his return from the disabled list. He was limited to 80 pitches, and as a result, only made it through 4⅓ innings. In that time, he allowed three earned runs on six hits.

“As far as the fourth inning goes, maybe there was some bad luck there,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “What I’m most disappointed in was the fifth inning, that first pitch to Machado. I can’t do that. I have no excuse for that.”

The Yankees have now lost five out of their nine contests with the Orioles so far in 2018.


What’s Next:

Not exactly the most inspiring pitching matchup of all-time. Sonny Gray (5-7, 5.85 ERA), who has a 9.00 ERA in his last five starts, gets another opportunity against Dylan Bundy (6-8, 4.08 ERA).

This will be Gray’s final start of the first half, and if it goes badly, should be his last start in pinstripes. A team with World Series aspirations cannot be held down by a starting pitcher who has given up at least four runs in eight of his starts this season. As good as the Yankees offense is, they can’t be expected to bail Gray out every time he starts.

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.

Rosenthal: Yankees Emerging in Manny Machado Sweepstakes

Well, this was unexpected.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting via The Athletic  that “according to major-league sources, the Yankees are showing increased interest in [Manny] Machado,” the Orioles star infielder who was just named the starting shortstop for the American League All-Star team.

An acquisition of Machado would leave a lot to unpack. He’s said he wants to be a shortstop, so what happens to Didi Gregorius? Miguel Andújar has been impressive at third base: does he end up in the minors or shipped out for a top-line starting pitcher? What about Brandon Drury?

Machado has made it clear that he would like to be a shortstop in the future, but defensive metrics show that third base is where he’s truly elite on defense. At the plate, his skills continue to impress: .309/.379/.555 with 21 home runs in 2018.

Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports confirmed the Yankees have checked in with the Orioles on “Machado, starting pitching and relievers,” which would be congruent with reports from Rosenthal and Fancred’s Jon Heyman. Heyman linked the Yankees to Orioles closer Zach Britton.

Would the Yankees trade Andújar for an ace (think Jacob deGrom) if it meant landing Machado? Would they beef up the prospect package to an AL East rival if it meant the inclusion of Britton? It would certainly be a blockbuster, but there’s really only one way to find out.

If the Yankees can ensure Machado would willingly play third base, and can make the money work so that they can remain under the luxury tax threshold to add starting pitching, they should definitely make the Machado trade if the price is right.