Tag: Jonathan Holder

Yankees 4, Red Sox 5: Chapman’s Meltdown & More Sloppy Defense Lead to Benintendi Walkoff

BOSTON – Well, let’s hope this is rock bottom.

After Aroldis Chapman walked three batters in a ninth-inning that also featured a low throw from Miguel Andújar that Greg Bird could not handle, Jonathan Holder allowed a game-winning RBI single through the shift to Andrew Benintendi that officially sunk the Yankees in Beantown on Sunday.

The hard-throwing lefty issued free passes in the ninth to Sandy León, Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce after the Yankees gained a 4-to-1 advantage over their rivals in the seventh inning. J.D. Martinez singled to make it 4-to-3, and then Andújar did not step into his throw on a Xander Bogaerts grounder down the line. Bird could not dig it out, and pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the tying run.

Holder was assigned the 10th inning. After recording the first two outs, León poked a pitch about five inches off the outside corner into left for an opposite-field single. The first pitch to Betts, the next batter, got past Austin Romine (ruled a wild pitch, and he had a passed ball earlier in the game) to get León into scoring position. Betts was intentionally walked and León replaced with pinch-runner Tony Renda. Four pitches later, Benintendi’s grounder beat the shift and Fenway Park erupted into pandamonium.

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It seemed like things would finally break the Yankees way as they scored four runs in the seventh inning. Brett Gardner led off with a single and then Romine worked a walk. That drove David Price from the game, who had an uncharacteristically strong start against the Yankees. Heath Hembree came on, and proceeded to throw three pitches around the head of Shane Robinson, provoking a stare from the Yankees reserve outfielder and some shouts from the Yankee bench. Robinson was looking to move up the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but ended up walking on a 3-2 slider that missed high.

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Five pitches later, Aaron Hicks hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that ate up shortstop Xander Bogaerts and wound up in center field. Both Gardner and Romine came around to score. Next, Giancarlo Stanton gave the Yanks a 3-1 lead with a single to score Robinson. After a Didi Gregorius strikeout, Gleyber Torres lined a sacrifice fly to center field for their fourth and final run.

Before Chapman imploded and Holder gave up the game-winning hit, Yankees pitching largely did their job Sunday night. Masahiro Tanaka had to grind through 4⅔ innings, leaving with 97 pitches on his ledger and his lone mistake being a solo home run allowed to Betts. Sans-high-socks David Robertson pitched a scoreless 1⅓ innings, while Zach Britton and Dellin Betances each battled command issues to throw scoreless frames of their own.

Alex Rodriguez said on the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast that a three-run lead at Fenway Park is like a one-run lead at any other ballpark. That rang painfully true for a Yankees team that desperately needed to win before getting on a plane to Chicago. They now sit 9.5 games back of Boston in the American League East race, and just 2.5 games ahead of the surging Oakland Athletics for the first Wild Card spot.


What’s Next:

The Yankees turn to Lance Lynn to make his first start (but second appearance) in the place of Sonny Gray, whose consistently subpar performance saw him demoted to the bullpen. Lynn threw 4⅓ scoreless innings of mop-up relief August 1 against Baltimore after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo.

The Yanks will face righty Dylan Covey in Chi-Town, who will be making his 15th start. So far, he has a 4-7 record and 5.57 ERA. He has faced the Yankees once, and gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits through five innings of work last season.

Yankees 2, Rays 3: Mistake Pitches, Silenced Bats Doom Yankees in Rubber Game

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Luis Cessa and Jonathan Holder each made one huge mistake in Wednesday’s loss in Tampa Bay, and the Yankees offense showed no interest in bailing them out either.

After cruising through his first 5⅓ innings, Cessa left a changeup over the plate to Kevin Kiermaier. The speedy centerfielder launched it for his third homer of the year, a two-run home run that gave the Rays a 2-1 lead.

Jonathan Holder entered one batter later, and, after getting the second out, left a fastball up to C.J. Cron for a solo home run. The Yankees were down 3-to-1 there, and could not come back from it.

They scored first in the second inning on a Neil Walker sacrifice fly, which was setup by a Gleyber Torres walk and Greg Bird bunt single. Another sacrifice fly, this time by Giancarlo Stanton, scored the Yankees’ second and final run in the eighth inning.

Yankees 4, Orioles 5: Or Not…

CC Sabathia ended up staying for a few batters too many, as Danny Valencia‘s three-run home run proved fatal in the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader in Baltimore.

In the bottom of the sixth, the veteran lefty walked Mark Trumbo, allowed a “double” to Jonathan Schoop (hard ground ball right at Neil Walker that should have been at least a 3-6 force) and then Valencia took CC 415 feet to dead central.

The Yanks scored first as Giancarlo Stanton ripped his 22nd homer of the year in the second inning. In the third, Kyle Higashioka doubled, Tyler Wade singled and then two consecutive singles from Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees two more runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, Trumbo (who came into the game .282/.300/.462 lifetime against Sabathia) smoked a two-run shot to make it 3-2. A Stanton single, Clint Frazier groundout and single from Walker gave the Yankees their fourth run.

It’s pretty clear that Aaron Boone could not use his usual pitching strategy because today is a doubleheader. He left Sabathia in after the leadoff walk to Trumbo, which should have spelt the end for him. He definitely should have been lifted after the Schoop double. It felt like Jonathan Holder was too little too late. Also, I find it quite odd that he went to the long-man, A.J. Cole, in the first game of the doubleheader, when Luis Cessa is scheduled to start the second game. I guess that’s why they recalled Giovanny Gallegos, though.

Wow. That was one of the most frustrating experiences for the 2018 Yankees. I hope the bats can break out to back Cessa because their inability to beat the Orioles is downright ridiculous.

What’s Next

More baseball. Luis Cessa has been recalled to face former farmhand Yefry Ramírez in the nightcap. Ramírez was traded to the Orioles for international bonus pool space (and a 40-man roster spot) minutes before the Sonny Gray acquistion at last year’s trade deadline.

Brandon Drury was optioned to Triple-A to create an active roster spot for Cessa.

Yankees 10, Rangers 5: Torres Leads Bombers Past Bartolo

21-year-old vs. 44-year-old – Advantage: Gleyber

Gleyber Torres showed off his power stroke Monday in Texas, smacking two home runs for the first time in his career en route to a 10-to-5 Yankees victory over the Rangers.

The 21-year-old second baseman, who was just three months old when Bartolo Colón made his MLB debut, drove in three as he hit homer No. 5 off the righty in the second and No. 6 in the sixth. That second home run chased Colón from the game. In between the two homers, Colón plunked Torres. Whether intentional or not, Torres got the best possible revenge.

The Yankees scored six on Colón in his 6⅓ innings, with the scoring starting in the second inning. Gary Sánchez led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a Tyler Austin ground out and then came around to score on a Neil Walker double. Torres followed with a 418-foot bomb to left that scored Walker.

In the bottom of the second, the master of the three true outcomes, Joey Gallo, got the best of Tanaka as he smacked his 14th home run of the year to right-center field.

Walker got in on the home run party in the fourth inning, smacking a solo shot into the right field seats for his first home run as a member of the Yankees. In 44 plate appearances in May, Walker is slashing .343/.477/.543 while appearing at first and third base. Neither is his natural position, yet he is still contributing on both sides of the ball. Worth the $4 million investment without question.

Tanaka could not avoid the big hit in the fourth inning in a jam he created for himself. He walked Jurickson Profar and Gallo back-to-back, and then allowed a three-run game-tying home run to Rougned Odor. Odor had not homered since September 20 last season.

Aaron Judge snapped himself out of an 0-for-15 funk with a towering solo home run in the fifth inning, which was his 12th of the season and also gave the Yankees a 5-to-4 lead. Torres’ second home run ushered Colón out of the game and recently recalled righty Matt Bush in from the bullpen. Brett Gardner walked, Judge doubled him over to third and Giancarlo Stanton scored Gardner on a sacrifice fly to right. Didi Gregorius, who could not buy a hit, then roped a double to left to score Judge.

After Tanaka got out of the fifth, Aaron Boone turned the game over to the bullpen. Chad Green, David Robertson and Jonathan Holder handled the last four innings, and the only blemish was a Ronald Guzmán homer. Green allowed the dinger in his second inning of work. Otherwise, not much happened offensively for the Rangers after Odor’s fourth inning home run.

In the top of the ninth, Sánchez roped a double to left, and then Aaron Hicks followed with his fifth home run of the year to ice the game for New York. Since May 15, when Clint Frazier was recalled in Washington, Hicks has caught fire: 8-for-19 (.421/.500/.842, 257 wRC+).

Tanaka’s outing left a lot to be desired. He has a 5.91 ERA in his four May starts, and has allowed 20 hits in 21⅓ innings in that same timeframe. Of course, the Yankees have scored an average of just over seven runs behind him in those outings. He had no command of his splitter, which is a key to his success.

Too many left out over the plate, and too many that are too low to even entice hitters. Fixing his splitter will allow him to miss more bats and induce more ground balls.


Rehab Update:

  • Greg Bird: 1-for-4, HR, 1 BB, 2 K – second home run of his rehab assignment.
  • Billy McKinney: 0-for-4 – he seems close, and will likely be activated and optioned to Triple-A sooner than later
  • Tommy Kahnle: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K – got the loss in his first professional start and first rehab appearance for Low-A Charleston. Likely makes one more appearance before returning Friday in the Bronx.

What’s Next:

Domingo Germán, who has not pitched in 10 days, gets the start against Cole Hamels. Hamels had some interesting things to say to the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan the other day:

“It’s kind of the nature of what happens,’’ [Hamels] said. “You get traded once and you understand the possibilities are there. … The Yankees have a tremendous team. I feel like I have a lot left and I’ve been able to add more pitches and I haven’t had a serious injury.’’

The Yankees are reportedly on Hamels’ no-trade clause list, though it seems likely he would waive that agreement if given the opportunity.

Yankees 2, Royals 5: Yanks Out-Hit KC, But Drop Series Opener

The Yankees racked up eight hits compared to the Royals’ six, but ultimately the Bombers fell 5-to-2 behind shoddy defense in Kansas City.

The Royals jumped out to an early 1-to-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Whit Merrifield doubled, stole third and then came around to score on a fielders choice pop-up to Gleyber Torres.

Torres’ defense cost the Yankees two runs in the third too, as a fielding error allowed Merrifield to score. Starter CC Sabathia then walked Hunter Dozier with the bases loaded to force in another run. Salvador Pérez hit a solo home run off Sabathia in the fifth.

The Yankees got two runs back in the sixth, as Giancarlo Stanton led off the inning with a single, followed by a single from Aaron Hicks. Neil Walker, normally a zero against lefty pitchers, rapped a clutch RBI single to center to score Stanton. Miguel Andújar then lifted a deep sacrifice fly to score Hicks. That was all the scoring the Yankees would get.

In the seventh, David Robertson walked Mike Moustakas before allowing a double to Pérez that put the game on ice for the Royals.

Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder each threw one inning of scoreless relief.


Rehab Update:

  • Billy McKinney: 2-for-4, 2B
  • Greg Bird: 1-for-3, HR, BB

Each played nine innings in Double-A Trenton’s 2-to-0 victory over the Bowie Baysox.


What’s Next:

Luis Severino gets the ball for the Yankees in the middle game of the series. Lefty Danny Duffy is his counterpart. Severino has not lost in his past six starts, while Duffy yielded nine runs in 3⅓ innings against the Cleveland Indians in his last start.

Yankees Option Austin, Gallegos, Heller, McKinney

It’s down to Cessa, Germán and Holder.

The battle for the Yankees 25-man roster has come down to its final participants, with the Yankees announcing that 1B/OFs Tyler Austin, Billy McKinney and RHPs Giovanny Gallegos and Ben Heller to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That leaves Luis Cessa (who can’t get optioned mid-start, I guess), Domingo Germán and Jonathan Holder for the final spot on the Yankees roster.

Austin showed his power this spring. He tied with Miguel Andújar and McKinney for the team’s home run lead with four. Outside of the dingers, Austin slashed .235/.333/.618 in 16 games. His lifetime .361/.432/.722 line in 44 at-bats against left-handed pitchers will be his calling card this season, as he will likely get promoted to face teams like the lefty-heavy Red Sox.

McKinney came out strong this spring, but finished in a little bit of a lull. The former first-rounder slashed .161/.381/.548 with the aforementioned four home runs in 18 games. The corner outfielder continued the work at first base that he started in the Arizona Fall League. McKinney likely gets a chance in the majors if there’s an injury to one of the outfielders.

The situation for the two pitchers optioned is a bit of a different story. The Yankees will cycle through their pitchers with minor league options remaining to keep them fresh.

Gallegos appeared in eight games, pitching a total of 7⅓ innings. He allowed three runs in that span (3.68 ERA) and struck out 12 batters to six walks. He’s going to form a part of the RailRiders bullpen, and will cycle up to the bigs when a long reliever is needed.

Heller appeared in seven games, pitching 10⅔ innings. He gave up eight runs, but only five of them were earned. That gave him a less-than-stellar 4.22 ERA, which was inflated by allowing three earned runs in his last outing against the Tigers March 20. Heller, like Gallegos, will be going up and down all season.

Jacoby Ellsbury Will Begin Season on Disabled List

The 34-year-old has missed 128 games since signing prior to the 2014 season.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Jacoby Ellsbury is injured. Reported March 2 as a “mild oblique strain,” the 34-year-old outfielder has not played since March 1 at the Philadelphia Phillies because of the nagging injury.

Ellsbury was 1-for-10 in four Spring Training games before suffering the injury. He missed 29 games in 2017 because of a concussion suffered May 24 at Yankee Stadium. He was hitting .281/.349/.422 at the time of the injury, but finished the season with a .264/.348/.402 line.

With the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton and the ascendance of Aaron Hicks in the eyes of the Yankees, Ellsbury looked to be the team’s fifth outfielder in 2018.


The Yankees have not decided whether to fill Ellsbury’s roster spot with another bench player or a 13th pitcher. Aaron Boone mentioned Luis Cessa, Domingo Germán, Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder as potential candidates if the Yankees decided to go with a 13th pitcher.

The additional bench spot could go to someone like Tyler Austin, who has had a fantastic spring but has no clear path to playing time. Austin was looking to break camp as the team’s backup first baseman, but the signing of Neil Walker cut those chances significantly.

Boone mentioned that the Yankees would not necessarily take another outfielder if Ellsbury is on the disabled list, which would also harm Billy McKinney‘s chances of heading north with the Yankees.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported Monday that Boone will have the team’s 25-man roster for the opening series against the Blue Jays in Toronto set for the team’s March 26 exhibition game against the Braves in Atlanta.