Tag: Neil Walker

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

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

 

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.

Game 90: Tanaka Time Once More

A pivotal piece of the Yankees rotation is back.

Wow, 90 games in already. The All-Star break is next week, and the trade rumors are going crazy. Outside of October, July might be my favorite baseball month.

July gets better for the Yankees today as they welcome Masahiro Tanaka back from the disabled list. The righty will make his first start since straining both hamstrings June 8 scoring on a sacrifice fly against the Mets. Tanaka’s two June starts saw him give up five earned runs across 10⅓ innings pitched. He has definitely benefitted from the Yankees prodigious offense, as evidenced by his 10 wins and 4.58 ERA. Through his 13 starts this season, they score 6.71 runs on average behind him.

Tanaka’s counterpart on the hill will be veteran righty Andrew Cashner. The 31-year-old has a very similar ERA (4.39) but has just two wins on his ledger. That’s because the Orioles average just 2.61 runs behind him on the season. His last outing July 5 was quite respectable, where he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits through six innings. The O’s only scored two that day, so Cashner was saddled with the loss. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season, and 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA against the Bombers overall.

The starting lineup goes back to normal with yesterday’s doubleheader madness out of the way. Neil Walker gets a second consecutive start at second base, and will likely get most of the playing time there now that Brandon Drury has been optioned to Triple-A. Aaron Hicks bats third for the fifth time this season, where he’s hitting .308/.438/.538 coming into tonight’s game.


Pre-game Notes:

  • Miguel Andújar is simply ignoring the swirling Manny Machado trade rumors, which are magnified given that the Yankees are playing in Baltimore currently. “Those are things I have no control of. To me it’s about doing what I can, worrying about what I need to do here,” Andújar said to Erik Boland. “I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”
  • Gary Sánchez ran the bases on the field at Oriole Park under the watchful eyes of first base coach Reggie Willits and strength and conditioning director Matthew Krause. If he doesn’t encounter any setbacks, he could go on a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.
  • Aaron Boone told Boland that Tanaka would have a pitch count “in the range of 80 tonight”.
  • Gleyber Torres (right hip strain) was seen throwing on the field while Sánchez did his baserunning drills. MLB announced today that he would be replaced on the American League All-Star roster by Oakland Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, right-hander David Hale, who was designated for assignment July 7, elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment to the minors. He did this in May as well, but wound up re-signing with the Yankees on a minor league contract four days later.

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. Trey Mancini – LF
  8. Joey Rickard – RF
  9. Caleb Joseph – C

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.

Game 88: Let’s Play (and Win) Two!

Well, these games had to be made up at some point. Might as well win two in one day.

CC Sabathia gets the call in game one of today’s doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles. The veteran lefty continues to anchor the back of the Yankees’ rotation, pitching to a solid 3.02 ERA through 16 starts so far on the season. He has won each of his last two starts, pitching seven and six innings respectively against Boston and Atlanta. The Orioles roughed him up for three runs over four innings in a game the Yanks eventually lost in 14 innings.

The O’s send righty Jimmy Yacabonis to the hill for his second career appearance as a starter. He started June 28 against Seattle, pitching into the fifth inning and allowing two earned runs. Yacabonis was recalled by the team as the “26th Man” for the doubleheader, so it’s likely that he’s headed back down to Norfolk tomorrow.

This lineup embodies all of the craziness of a doubleheader. It seems there’s a B-team and an A-team, and the B-team is starting behind Sabathia. Clint Frazier is starting in left field. Neil Walker is back at first base, while Tyler Wade gets his first start at second since being recalled. That pushes Brandon Drury over to third base, where he makes his third consecutive start. Kyle Higashioka catches Sabathia.

Giovanny Gallegos has been recalled as the Yankees’ “26th Man” for the doubleheader. It’s worth noting that Luis Cessa is still scheduled as the starter for Game 2, so expect a roster move to be made between games.


Some injury updates:

  • Masahiro Tanaka will return from the disabled list to start tomorrow.
  • Jonathan Loáisiga (right shoulder inflammation) received a cortisone shot in that shoulder and will be shut down for a few weeks.
  • Gary Sánchez was seen participating in agility drills in the outfield today, and is scheduled for on-field batting practice tomorrow. Sánchez could be sent on a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, per Aaron Boone.

Baltimore Orioles Lineup

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

Game 85: North of the Border Again

The last time Sonny Gray really dominated on the mound came in Toronto on June 6, where he pitched eight shutout innings and allowed just two hits.

The Yankees eventually won that game in 13 innings, and hope tonight that Gray can recover from one of the worst stretches in his career. Since that start, the righty has pitched to a 7.58 ERA and hitters have a .935 OPS against him in four starts against the Washington Nationals (twice), Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. The Yankees have only won one of those starts. Gray continues to be a weak point in the Yankees rotation, and it’s clear that Brian Cashman is searching for an upgrade.

The Blue Jays send Sam Gaviglio to the hill for his second start of the season against the Yankees. Gaviglio pitched equally well June 6, allowing just three hits across seven shutout innings. He, too, has struggled since then, with a 6.16 ERA and .850 OPS against in four starts against Tampa Bay, Washington, Los Angeles-AL and Detroit. However, the Blue Jays have managed to win three of those four starts.

Austin Romine returns to the lineup to catch Gray. He had not started a game since June 30, which he came out of after seven innings because of hamstring tightness. Neil Walker gets the start at second base as Gleyber Torres is in his second day of a minimum 10-day DL stint. Tyler Wade is up to replace Torres on the active roster.


Some notes:

  • CC Sabathia will start game one of the Yankees’ doubleheader July 9 in Baltimore, per Aaron Boone. It’s unclear at the moment who will start game two, with Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loáisiga in the mix. Masahiro Tanaka will start Tuesday.
  • Gary Sánchez is traveling with the team, and “appears on track to rejoin the MLB roster shortly after the All-Star break,” per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com
  • Torres’ hip strain is “mild,” per Boone, so hopefully his DL stint won’t be much longer than the 10 days.

Blue Jays Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – DH
  2. Teoscar Hernández – LF
  3. Yangervis Solarte – 3B
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Russell Martin – C
  7. Randall Grichuk – RF
  8. Aledmys Díaz – SS
  9. Devon Travis – 2B