Tag: Gary Sánchez

Red Sox 2, Yankees 3: Walker’s 10th Homer the Difference-Maker

No clinch for Boston.

THE BRONX – Neil Walker crushed his 10th homer of the year off Ryan Brasier to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning Tuesday, en route to the first Yankee win over Boston since July 1.

The bridge to dominant closer Craig Kimbrel has been sketchy all year for Alex Cora‘s Red Sox, though their 103 wins would say otherwise. Nathan Eovaldi was masterful for six innings, allowing two hits in six shutout innings before being pulled with just 83 pitches. Brandon Workman entered to start the seventh and walked both Aaron Hicks and Gary Sánchez (with Miguel Andújar popping up on a likely ball 4 in between).

Cora went to Brasier, and Aaron Boone elected to stick with Walker at the plate and Sánchez on first. This time, Boone won. Walker smoked a 3-2 slider into the second deck at Yankee Stadium, and he knew it. As he left the batter’s box, he pointed to the Yankees dugout. The Yankee offense finally got a jolt.

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David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning, which included some uncharacteristically lackadaisical defense from Aaron Hicks. J.D. Martinez doubled into the gap, and the ball got past Hicks. The center-fielder jogged after the ball, and simply tossed it to the cut-off man while Martinez motored into third. Robertson induced two fly balls to render the issue moot.

But, bad defense was the theme of the ninth inning as Zach Britton was brought in to close. Brandon Phillips was thrown out 2-3 on a strikeout to start the frame, and then things got frustrating. Adeiny Hechavarría, who replaced Andújar for defense, threw a 5-4-3 double-play ball away by throwing it to the arm side of Gleyber Torres (which was unfairly ruled an E4). Sam Travis then hit a tapper back to Britton, and he threw a sinker on a potential 1-4-3 double-play ball into center field. That allowed Brock Holt, who walked, to score. But, two pitches later, they finally got it right. Ian Kinsler hit a ground ball back to Britton, and they finally got the 1-4-3 needed to push a Red Sox clinch celebration back at least another 24 hours.

Britton understood the magnitude of the situation, as he was given an opportunity to atone for the mistake he committed. One play after throwing the ball into center field, he was able to throw a strike to Torres that allowed him to record his sixth save on the season. The difference? A return to the fundamentals of throwing a baseball:

“The balls were wet,” Britton said. “So after the error that I made, I just thought, if I find the other one, I’ve really got to find the four seams and make a good throw to second and make sure we got one out.”

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Not to be lost in Tuesday’s big win was the performance of J.A. Happ. The veteran delivered another quality start, allowing an unearned run (because of a Sánchez passed ball) on four hits and three walks. He recorded six strikeouts, and 65% of his 102 pitches were strikes. In the third inning, Kinsler singled, moved to second on a phantom balk call (seriously, it’s hard to see), and scored on a Martinez sacrifice fly after moving to third on the passed ball.


Aaron Judge got through his first full game since July 26 without a setback. He went 0-for-4, hitting the ball hard three times before getting rung up on a questionable check-swing call in his final at-bat.

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Judge, of course, was not originally supposed to start Tuesday. But, the six-hour delay in start time allowed him to hit in another simulated game, and convince the Yankees decision-makers that he was ready to go.

“I just voiced my opinion. A lot,” Judge said after the game. “I think they got tired of me telling them I wanted to be playing. So they finally said let’s put him in there and see what happens.”

Yankees 7, Twins 2: Kraken Awakes in Series-Opening Win

The Yankee backstop collects three of the Yanks’ 11 hits in a big win.

MINNEAPOLIS, MI – Gary Sánchez‘s bat got going in a big way Monday night in Minnesota, as he collected three hits and scored two runs in a big 7-to-2 Yankee win.

The Oakland Athletics sat idle, so the Yankee lead in the Wild Card grew to three games. The game was a pitching duel through the sixth inning, with J.A. Happ and Kyle Gibson matching zeroes until El Gary stepped to the dish with two outs. Sánchez was robbed in his previous at-bat, thanks to a fantastic play by Twins third baseman Gregorio Petit.

Sánchez fouled off a few tough pitches down in the zone, and then crushed a 2-2 sinker that was out of the zone 460 feet into the third deck at Target Field. It was his second homer since returning from rehab September 1, and his 16th overall on the 2018 season.

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In a nightmare season, Sánchez’s bat showed a sign of life that could be crucial down the stretch. His three hits were the most he’d had in one game since he had four against the Royals on May 19. The Yankee lineup becomes so much stronger if he can maintain something like the .263/.333/.632 (156 wRC+) line of his past five games.

The Yankee offense got a big boost in the top of the seventh, where they scored six runs. That allowed Aaron Boone and Co. to lift Happ after just 91 pitches and six shutout innings. Luis Cessa allowed the two runs in two mop-up innings, and Jonathan Holder pitched a perfect ninth to nail down the win.

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Brett Gardner contributed a multi-hit game from the No. 9 slot, and he’s been a bit hotter of late – .280/.333/.320 (81 wRC+) since September 3. The Yankees worked 10 walks, with three going to Andrew McCutchen and two-a-piece for Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird. Bird was the only starter who did not record a hit. Miguel Andújar, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, and McCutchen each recorded RBIs as well.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray, who owns a 1.83 ERA in 19⅔ innings (six games, one start) since his bullpen demotion, returns to the rotation for a spot-start. The Twins will employ the “opener” tactic, sending Tyler Duffey to the mound.

Game 126: Mini-Sweep in Miami

Lance Lynn makes his fourth start as a Yankee as he looks to pitch his new team to a two-game sweep in Miami.

Lynn has been a revelation since coming over from the Minnesota Twins. He has a 2.61 ERA in his five appearances, with a 3.31 mark in his last three outings. He got a no-decision his last time out August 17 against the Blue Jays, allowing five runs on six hits and throwing 99 pitches in just four innings of work. He has made eight appearances (six starts) against the Marlins in his career, with a 4-1 record and 3.75 ERA.

The Marlins send Trevor Richards to the hill to face the Yanks. The 25-year-old debuted April 2, and has a 4.28 ERA in 18 starts for Miami. He got knocked around in his last outing, allowing five runs on 10 hits August 14 in a start against the Atlanta Braves. He threw 95 pitches in 4⅓ innings in an eventual 10-to-6 loss.

Aaron Boone sends out a lineup virtually identical to last night, with a flipping of Greg Bird and Neil Walker.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Prior to the game, the Yankees placed Aroldis Chapman on the 10-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis and recalled Chance Adams from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In a separate move, they claimed catcher Chris Rabago from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Double-A Trenton.
  • Gary Sánchez should get into a Gulf Coast League game either tomorrow or Friday.
  • Aaron Judge did conditioning work in the outfield at Marlins Park this afternoon but still has yet to pickup a bat.
  • Miguel Andújar worked pregame at third base with Alex Rodriguez, who was seen chatting with Andújar and Gleyber Torres around the batting cage.

Marlins Lineup:

  1. Rafael Ortega – RF
  2. J.T. Realmuto – C
  3. Brian Anderson – 3B
  4. Starlin Castro – 2B
  5. Derek Dietrich – 1B
  6. Austin Dean – LF
  7. Miguel Rojas – SS
  8. Magneuris Sierra – CF
  9. Austin Richards – RHP

Chapman Placed on DL; Adams Recalled; Rabago Claimed

The Yankees placed closer Aroldis Chapman on the 10-day disabled list today, and recalled righty Chance Adams from Triple-A to take his roster spot. The Yanks claimed catcher Chris Rabago from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Double-A Trenton.

Chapman had been pitching through tendinitis in his left knee all season, but had been able to manage it himself. He told reporters after the game Tuesday that the pain he felt was worse than usual. He threw just six pitches in his appearance in the 12th inning before summoning the trainer from the dugout. He was relieved by Tommy Kahnle, who got the save 17 pitches later. Chapman is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 50 appearances. He is 31-for-33 in save attempts.

Adams will serve as a long-relief option for the Yankees tonight in Miami, and will be one of the options (along with Luis Cessa and Sonny Gray) to start in Saturday’s doubleheader in Baltimore. The Yanks No. 13 prospect, he made his MLB debut August 4 in Boston, allowing three runs on three hits in five innings of work.

Rabago was the Rockies’ 13th round pick in the 2014 draft. In 66 games for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, he was hitting .213/.292/.361 with four home runs and 23 RBI. The Yankees will likely recall Rabago to be the third catcher September 1 until Gary Sánchez returns from his rehab assignment.

Game 124: Sweep Your Old Friends, Happ

With the first two games of the series already in their back pocket, the Yankees look to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays out of town behind an old friend of their’s.

J.A. Happ gets the ball, making his first start against the Blue Jays since July 25, 2015, as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Happ has been better than advertised since coming to the Yankees for a package of Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney. He has won all three of his starts, and sports a stingy 1.89 ERA in 19 total innings as a Yankee.

His counterpart will be 24-year-old lefty Ryan Borucki, whom the Yankees are familiar with already. He held the Yankees to one run through seven innings July 8, in a game the Yanks eventually won in the 10th inning off old friend Tyler Clippard. In six starts since then, Borucki has a 2-1 record and 3.94 ERA. The Blue Jays are 5-1 in those starts.

Neil Walker, who had some, err, adventures in right field yesterday, gets the afternoon off in favor of Shane Robinson. Kyle Higashioka, who took over as precaution after Austin Romine took a brutal foul-tip to the catcher’s mask yesterday, gets the start behind the plate this afternoon as planned. Aaron Hicks slides into the leadoff spot, where he’s hitting .269/.357/.593 in 127 plate appearances. Miguel Andújar bats third for the third time this season, though he’s yet to register a hit in that position. He’s slashing .361/.378/.667 in 111 plate appearances since the All-Star break. Brett Gardner slides to ninth against the lefty, a spot where he’s slashed .250/.304/.400 in 23 plate appearances.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Romine told reporters that he feels “great” and that he “can play today,” though I’d imagine the Yankees will avoid that scenario at all costs.
  • Aaron Boone told reporters that he is “confident” Giancarlo Stanton, who has been playing through a tight left hamstring that has limited him to designated hitter duty, will be able to play the outfield Tuesday in Miami. He said that would be determined before that game.
  • Gary Sánchez will begin playing rehab games in Tampa on Wednesday or Thursday, though it’s unclear whether he will start in the Gulf Coast League or with A-Adv. Tampa. He was scheduled to head to Tampa today, but instead, took batting practice on the field in the Bronx today. He’ll head south tomorrow.

Blue Jays Lineup:

  1. Russell Martin – 3B (Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is hitting .345/.448/.600 in Triple-A… service time!)
  2. Devon Travis – 2B
  3. Randal Grichuk – RF
  4. Kendrys Morales – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Teoscar Hernández – DH
  7. Danny Jansen – C
  8. Aledmys Díaz – SS
  9. Billy McKinney – LF

Game 123: Win It for the ’98 Team

Today, the Yankees welcome back the 1998 World Series Champions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of going 114-48 and winning a 24th title. First pitch has been pushed back to 1:25 p.m. as a result.

Luis Severino gets the ball as he looks to stabilize a shaky second half. In five starts after the All-Star break, the Yanks have gone just 1-4 and the 24-year-old righty has a 7.96 ERA in that time. The team is opting to keep Sevy on his normal schedule so that he can work through whatever is causing him to stay in the middle of the zone. Hitters are slashing .345/.377/.621 off him in those five starts where his ERA has gone from 2.31 to 3.27.

Sean Reid-Foley, born in Guam because of his father’s US Coast Guard assignment, gets the start for Toronto this afternoon. He made his MLB debut August 13 in Kansas City, allowing three earned runs on six hits and taking a loss against the Royals. He was the Blue Jays’ second round pick in the 2014 draft, and owned a 2.98 ERA in 23 starts between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Gary Sánchez will head to Tampa on Sunday to continue his rehab. He went through a variety of baseball activities at Yankee Stadium yesterday and did not report any setbacks with his right groin injury. He could start his rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League so that he can be closely monitored by the staff in Tampa before being transferred higher in the system to face better pitching.
  • Aaron Judge is still not swinging a bat, but has been working in the outfield and running the bases. The All-Star expressed frustration “with being out,” but emphasized he did not want to rush back from the chip fracture in his right wrist and risk a setback that would cause him to miss even more time.
  • The Blue Jays placed last night’s starter, Marcus Stroman, on the 10-day disabled list as he continues to battle a blister.

Blue Jays Lineup:

  1. Billy McKinney – LF (old friend alert – McKinney makes his Blue Jays debut)
  2. Devon Travis – 2B
  3. Curtis Granderson – DH
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Teoscar Hernández – RF
  7. Danny Jansen – C
  8. Aledmys Díaz – 3B
  9. Richard Ureña – SS

Game 120: Toe-Night Show Returns

Big Toe returns for Game 2.

Ronald Torreyes has returned to the starting lineup for the first time since June 14 as the Yankees face off with the Rays in the second game of a three-game set.

Luis Cessa will get the start in the place of CC Sabathia, who was placed on the disabled list and will miss one start. Cessa has been, well, Cessa. He has a 4.50 ERA in eight games (three starts) on the 2018 season. In his starts, the Yankees are 1-2 though the righty has a 3.14 ERA in 14⅓ rotation innings.

Jake Faria gets the ball for the Rays. His 10 starts are good for third best on a Rays team that has 15 pitchers credited with starts, though many have since been traded elsewhere. The 25-year-old has not started since May 22, though he has a 1.35 ERA in 6⅔ relief innings in the month of August. He has a 6.43 ERA in seven innings and two starts against the Yankees in his career.

Like I mentioned before, Torreyes is playing second and batting ninth to give Gleyber Torres a break. He’s “pressing,” per Aaron Boone, so he’s getting a breather. The rest of the lineup is fairly standard, that is, if you’re used to Neil Walker as a right fielder.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Yankees designated George Kontos for assignment to clear an active roster spot for Luis Cessa tonight.
  • Gary Sánchez could begin a rehab assignment as soon as “August 23-24,” per Brian Cashman on WFAN. He has been in the Bronx working with the Yankees.
  • Aaron Judge had an MRI and cortisone shot in his right wrist. Still no timeline on him picking up a bat, though he was seen working in the outfield today.
  • Something to watch: Ryan McBroom, who is hitting .385/.442/.564 with two homers and 10 RBI in his last 10 games, was a (presumably) healthy, but late, scratch from Game One of Triple-A Scranton’s doubleheader. Could be resting him for Game Two but something else could be afoot.

Rays Lineup:

  1. Mallex Smith – RF
  2. Matt Duffy – 3B
  3. Jake Bauers – 1B
  4. Joey Wendle – 2B
  5. Ji-Man Choi – DH
  6. Kevin Kiermaier – CF
  7. Willy Adames – SS
  8. Brandon Lowe – LF
  9. Michael Pérez – C