Tag: Giancarlo Stanton

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.

Yankees 10, Orioles 3: Andújar Helps Slug Yanks to DH-Opening Win

BALTIMORE – The Yankees clocked four home runs Saturday afternoon as they hung a 10-spot on the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of their doubleheader.

The biggest of those four came from Miguel Andújar, who hit No. 21 on his fantastic season with two runners on to cap a four-run third inning. Brett Gardner hit a solo shot in the fourth, Gleyber Torres hit one in the eighth and Aaron Hicks hit his home run in the ninth inning.

J.A. Happ delivered another quality start for the Yankees, going six innings and allowing just two earned runs. He recorded nine strikeouts to just one walk, and also got five ground ball outs. Luckily for the Yankees and Aaron Boone, the Yankees only had to use 26th man Luis Cessa to finish the game. The righty allowed a run on three hits in three innings to earn his first career save.

The only Yankees not to record hits were Giancarlo Stanton, Neil Walker and Kyle HigashiokaAaron Hicks went 3-for-5 with two runs driven in, while Luke Voit collected his 10th RBI on the season with a run-scoring single. Andújar led the team with four RBI on the afternoon.

What’s Next:

More baseball tonight. Sonny Gray (9-8, 5.34 ERA) returns from bullpen exile for a spot start against Andrew Cashner (4-11, 4.84 ERA) in Game Two.

Yankees 3, Marlins 9: Boone Waves White Flag in Blowout

We’re all feeling what Aaron Hicks is feeling in this picture.

MIAMI – Lance Lynn cruised until the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday evening in Miami, before crumbling after being forced past 100 pitches and eventually allowing five earned runs.

After five scoreless frames, three singles and a three-run home run spelt doom for the clearly laboring Lynn, who was given the hook after 110 pitches and four runs allowed. Tommy Kahnle entered with one out and promptly allowed an RBI double to score the fifth run of the inning, which was charged to Lynn.

An RBI infield single by Giancarlo Stanton brought the Yankees to within two runs, but that’s all they got in the top of the seventh-inning off of Marlins relievers Adam Conley and Tayron Guerrero. This slight deficit led to one of the most confusing decisions made by Aaron Boone all season.

Boone called upon Chance Adams as a long-reliever in the bottom of the seventh, forcing a 24-year-old rookie into a role he has not filled in close to two full seasons. Adams had been called up earlier Wednesday to replace the injured Aroldis Chapman, who had gone on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left knee. Things didn’t go great for Adams in his 1⅔ innings, where he allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks. He did not record a single strike out, and his ERA in the major leagues skyrocketed to 8.10. By the time A.J. Cole was called in to rescue the Yanks, they were already down by six.

What Boone said after the game was frustrating to many Yankee fans: he would’ve gone to Chad Green if the Yankees were only down by one. That’s right, the Yankees manager decided to wave the white flag to the Miami Marlins down by two. It might’ve been the product of scoreboard watching, since both of the teams competing for the lead in the wildcard standings (Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners) both lost Wednesday night. Still, the decision to go from one of your better high-leverage relievers in favor of the guy who was supposed to start for your Triple-A affiliate just hours earlier is kind of baffling.

Oh, well. It feels incredibly frustrating but the reality is that the Yankees didn’t gain or lose ground in the wild-card race anyway.

What’s Next:

The Yankees head to Baltimore for a four-game series (of course it includes a doubleheader) starting Friday night with the return of CC Sabathia from the disabled list, who was inactive for 11 days because of right knee inflammation. He’ll face off against right-hander Alex Cobb in the series opener, who has a 1.55 ERA in his last four starts (which includes his August 1 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium).

It’s Players’ Weekend when the Yanks are in Baltimore, so expect those uniforms with nicknames on the back as well as some flashy equipment since MLB is holding their uniform and equipment rules in abeyance for now.

Game 125: Stanton Returns to The 305

Giancarlo Stanton will play his first game in Miami since being traded to the Yankees in December 2017 as the Yanks head south for a two-game series.

Masahiro Tanaka hopes to avenge his April 17 start against the Marlins, an outing where he allowed seven runs on seven hits through just five innings of work. He got a tough-luck loss his last time out August 16, pitching six innings of two-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays. August hasn’t been particularly kind to him, as he currently owns a 5.17 ERA and .323 batting average against through three starts against the Red Sox, Rangers and Rays.

Pablo López gets the ball for the Marlins, making his ninth start of the 2018 season. He debuted and got the win June 30 behind six innings of two run ball against the Mets. In his last start August 13, he gave up six runs in 5.1 innings in the first game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.

Giancarlo Stanton is back in Miami, but more importantly for the Yankees, he is back in right field. He had been limited to serving as the designated hitter for weeks because of a tight left hamstring. Before the game, the Yankees placed Didi Gregorius on the 10-day disabled list with a left heel bruise. Gleyber Torres will start tonight at shortstop, with Neil Walker at second base. Luke Voit was recalled to take Gregorius’ roster spot.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Gary Sánchez will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow in the Gulf Coast League, and then head to Triple-A for “about a week,” per Aaron Boone. That timeline puts him back with the Yankees around the September 1 roster expansion date.
  • CC Sabathia is set to be activated off the disabled list Friday to start the first game of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Yanks hope Didi Gregorius‘ time on the disabled list is short, obviously, but the team will have a better sense of his prognosis after a few more days of evaluation in New York.
  • No. 1 prospect Justus Sheffield was originally scheduled to start tonight in Triple-A, but has been replaced by Nestor Cortes. SWB’s game notes list Sheffield as a reliever, so it’s not an injury. The Yanks might be grooming the 22-year-old for a David Price-like role as a reliever in 2018 to prepare him as a starter for 2019.

Marlins Lineup:

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

Blue Jays 2, Yankees 10: Yanks Secure Sweep, Shift Concern to Didi

Bird’s second slam of 2018 powers Yanks to sweep.

THE BRONX – For the second consecutive day, the Yankees put 10 runs on the board as they swept the Toronto Blue Jays with a win Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of people contributing, and really, I felt like our hunger was good coming in,” Aaron Boone said. “Really pleased with how the guys came out today from a focus, energy standpoint, to finish this homestand that was kind of up-and-down on a really good note.”

The Yankees got their runs in two bunches, with a six-run first inning and four-run sixth inning. The Blue Jays actually scored first since J.A. Happ allowed a solo home run with two outs in the top of the first inning to Randal Grichuk on a 3-0 fastball.

But, the offense backed their starter in the bottom of the frame, thanks to some shoddy command from Jays starter Ryan Borucki. Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton each walked to lead off the game, then moved up a base on a double steal. Miguel Andújar followed with a single to left that scored Hicks.

Didi Gregorius came to the plate next, and he hit a ground ball to second base that ate up Devon Travis. Travis’s throw to first was late, and pulled first baseman Kendrys Morales into the baseline. Gregorius and Morales collided, leaving Gregorius worse for the wear. It was scored an RBI single as Stanton scored. Gregorius would stay in the game to run the bases, moving to second on an infield single hit by Gleyber Torres.

Greg Bird came to the plate next, entering fresh off a garbage-time solo shot in the eighth inning the day before but hitting just .140/.222/.246 in August. With the bases loaded, he crushed a 2-1 sinker on the inside corner into the second deck in right field for his second career grand slam.

“It’s a product of keeping your head up,” Bird said. “I felt like I did a better job of using my legs today … I just keep playing. I keep going. The biggest thing is not getting caught up and chasing results, and just doing what you can when you get the opportunity.”

Morales homered off Happ for the Blue Jays in the sixth, but the Yankees more than made up for it in the bottom of the inning. Brett Gardner singled, Hicks worked another walk and Stanton smacked an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Gardner. Andújar followed by juuuuust beating out a double play ball hit up the middle. The Blue Jays challenged, and lost.

Ronald Torreyes* doubled, and Torres was intentionally walked to face Bird. Bird grounded into a 3-2 force at home plate, but the return throw to first was late, according to first base umpire Jansen Visconti. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was out of challenges (having already lost one), and wanted a crew chief review of the play at first. Visconti wanted no part of that, and handed Gibbons his sixth ejection of the season.

With runners on second and third, Kyle Higashioka ripped a two-run single to score Torreyes and Torres. That capped the scoring for both teams. Happ pitched 5⅓ innings, giving up the solo homers to Grichuk and Morales. Jonathan Holder pitched 1⅔ and Sonny Gray got the final six outs to lockdown the sweep.

“It was strange, I can admit that,” Happ said. “I think I’d probably prefer not knowing the opposition the way I know those guys. But we got through it, had a big first inning and got a good win.”

The only Yankee without a hit was Shane Robinson. Torreyes managed to go 3-for-4 with two singles and a double despite not starting the game.

* I put an asterisk next to Torreyes’s name because he entered as a defensive replacement for Gregorius after the latter played an inning after the collision. The Yankees announced later that Didi had a “bruised left heel” and was headed to a local hospital for further testing. After the game, Aaron Boone said that the injury was “pretty significant” and that he could spend some time on the disabled list.


What’s Next:

The first off-day since July 30. Then, the team heads south to Miami to take on the Marlins in a short two-game series. Masahiro Tanaka starts game one and Lance Lynn starts game two.

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

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 7: Walker, Stanton Homer in Rain-Shortened Win

The rain finally gives the Yanks a break.

THE BRONX – Last night’s game ended 11 outs earlier than usual, which benefitted the Yankees as they grabbed a 7-to-5 win over Toronto in Friday’s series opener.

Just seconds after Aaron Hicks struck out in the bottom of the seventh, the grounds crew rushed to get the tarp to cover the infield. That was the last bit of baseball we’d see, as the game was called after a delay of one hour and 25 minutes.

“We got a heads-up from the umpires right before it was coming that it was going to get real windy and nasty,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It finally started to blow in, you could see it coming, obviously. The original thought was the delay would be about an hour and a half, but there was some uncertainty there, so we just didn’t really know.”

The first inning saw six runs scored collectively as neither Lance Lynn nor Marcus Stroman had their best stuff. Lynn walked Curtis Granderson and Justin Smoak in the first, then RBI singles from Kendrys Morales and Kevin Pillar scored them both. After a walk to Randal Grichuk, Aledmys Díaz singled to score both Morales and Pillar.

In the bottom of the frame, Aaron Hicks walked with two outs and then scored on Didi Gregorius‘ fourth triple of the 2018 campaign. Three pitches later, Miguel Andújar ripped a double into the right-center field gap to score Didi. It was Andújar’s 35th double of the season, which leads all MLB rookies and is nine ahead of second place (Brian Anderson, Marlins; Niko Goodrum, Tigers).

The Yanks took a short-lived lead in the fourth inning as Stroman made some costly mistakes. Gleyber Torres, who is working through a tough slump since returning from the disabled list, doubled with one out. Greg Bird battled through a 10-pitch plate appearance to walk. Two pitches later, Neil Walker cranked a three-run homer on a 90-mph cutter that sat over the middle of the plate.

With a 5-to-4 lead, Aaron Boone tried to squeeze another inning from Lynn. He lasted just two more batters, as Granderson doubled to lead off the inning and Devon Travis singled to right to tie the game. Chad Green entered and cleaned things up, allowing a harmless two-out single to Russell Martin.

The Yanks took the lead for good in the bottom of that frame, with Joe Biagini relieving Stroman. Hicks walked, and moved to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run by Andújar. Two pitches later, Torres beat out a 6-4-almost-3 double play ball for an RBI fielder’s choice. The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, as Giancarlo Stanton deposited a pitch from Luis Santos 431 feet out to right field.

“Not an ideal start, but to fight back and get this win was really huge for us,” said Stanton. “A good test for us. Get punched, and punch right back.”

The rain hasn’t been kind to the Yankees for most of 2018, but it allowed them to save Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman for another day. And, most importantly, they got win No. 76.