Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Yanks Struggling, Cole’s Streak Ends

Yanks Struggling, Cole’s Streak Ends

Bombers Reeling

The Yankees had just gotten beat up in a three-game sweep by their divisional rivals from Tampa Bay when they turned their lonely eyes to their $324 million ace, Gerrit Cole, to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, their prized free-agent acquisition was not up to the task and had an uncharacteristically poor outing. When the dust settled, Cole had worked five full innings and surrendered five earned runs on five hits, three of which were home run shots, and the Yankees dropped a 5-1 decision to the Braves, their   fourth consecutive loss.

“I just sort of liked to have pitched better,” said Cole, whose 20-game winning streak, dating to last May, came to a close. “It seemed to be a little bit feast-or-famine in terms of good command for a period of time and some bad command in some bad spots.”

“Times when I thought that they were going to be aggressive, they were patient. And times when I thought maybe I could grab some more of the zone in some situations, I made a poor pitch and they were being aggressive. It just didn't match up and they stayed about one step ahead of me too many times.”

New York is now 1 ½ games behind the Rays in the AL East standings and is a sub .500 road team as of this writing. While their performances at Yankee Stadium have reaped stellar results, they are not a serious championship contender unless they can win on the highway. Despite a somewhat disappointing first half to this truncated season,   they are certainly not considered MLB underdogs by any stretch of the imagination as their roster is loaded with talent and many believe it’s only a matter of time before this 2020 Yankees edition puts it all together. 

Happ Not Happy

J.A. Happ has 17 million reasons to be unhappy about the way he has been used by manager Aaron Boone this season. You see, the 37-year-old hurler has a $17 million vesting option for next season if he makes either 27 starts or pitches 165 innings, which is prorated to 10 starts or 61 ¹/₃ innings in this abbreviated season. MLB rules prohibit purposefully manipulating a player’s usage to keep said player from his vesting option.

Happ is coming off of his best outing of the season when he held the Red Sox to one run over five-plus innings in a   4-2 Yankees victory on August 16th. But he has yet to get a start over the last 10 days and believes there might be a conspiracy afloat.

“I know I’m healthy and have been healthy and ready to pitch since what would have been [the beginning of] the regular season and since summer camp and the start of the abbreviated season,’’ Happ said. “I’ve been ready to go in all those cases with no issues.”

While ace Gerrit Cole, leads the team in starts with seven on the young season, Happ has only three starts on his 2020 resume and he’s not shy about showing his dismay. When asked about the brewing controversy, Happ stated, “You guys [in the media] are pretty smart. It doesn’t take too much to figure out, sort of, what could be going on.”

But Boone rebutted that contention when he explained, “After a four-day break, we reshuffled to prioritize getting Gerrit going and [Tanaka] after him, then the off day and then [Montgomery] and J.A. There’s a chance we even pitch Gerrit and [Tanaka] on the sixth day out of this. … With only four starters right now, you’re gonna need to make up those slots.”

In fairness to Boone, Happ has not been setting the world on fire and could be pitching himself right out of the rotation. After three starts he has logged only 12.2 innings of work and has 10 walks to six strikeouts with a bloated 6.39 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Probably not the best time to start complaining as a member of a championship-caliber team. 

Happ was posed with the question about the situation becoming a distraction for him on and off the field, “It’s hard to quantify an answer for that. It weighs on me to some extent, but when I come in here, I try to continue to be a good teammate and prepare to be ready and be professional and that stuff. But when I’m away [from the park], it certainly can creep in and has taken a lot of thought. … At this point, I need to leave that on the back burner and let that play out how it might.”

Sunday, June 28, 2020


PLAY IN 2020

* 60-Game Season
* Spring Training Camp to be held at Yankee Stadium
* Players Report July 1
* Opening Day is July 23
* Yankees Open Season at Nationals Park
* 10 Games Each Againts Division Foes Blue Jays,
Orioles, Rays, and Red Sox
* 20 Games -vs- Braves, Phillies, Nationals,
Mets, and the Marlins
* Opening Rosters will be 30 players, which
will be reduced over time to 26.
* Many obstacles still to overcome and
questions to be answered about safety!!!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Babe Ruth’s best performances from 1920

Babe Ruth’s best performances from 1920
It’s been 100 years since Ruth’s first season as a Yankee, so let’s look back at what he did in his first go around in New York.
by: Matt Ferenchick - January 2, 2020 - 
The 2020 season will mark exactly 100 years since Babe Ruth first doned the pinstripes to play for the Yankees. It was January 6, 1920 when the sale that brought Ruth from the Red Sox was officially announced.
You probably don’t need much of a refresher on what happened next, but here goes: Ruth went on to set countless records, establishing himself as the greatest player of all time. He helped lead the Yankees to seven World Series titles. That set the tone for the franchise going forward, as they’ve won a further 20 championships and become the most famous brand in the sport.
Before all that, Ruth was still in the midst of making his transition from pitcher to full-time outfielder when the Yankees acquired him. However once he made the move, it became clear pretty quickly just how good he was.
Ruth’s 1920 season was among his best in a career that isn’t short of options for that honor. He put up his career highs in slugging percentage and OBP. His home runs and fWAR are the third highest totals for any season. It would take one more year for him to lead the Yankees to a World Series appearance, but his 1920 was truly incredible.
One hundred years on from Babe Ruth’s first season as a Yankee, let’s look back at some of his best performances from that year as he began his transformation into baseball legend.
Despite how incredibly good his 1920 was, Ruth actually really struggled in his first month with the Yankees. His .508 OPS in April 1920 was the worst he put up in any month in his Yankee career. It was likely due to injury more than anything else, and it didn’t take long for him to get past it.
Everything started to change with his performance on May 1st. In a fairly straight-forward 6-0 win over the Red Sox, Ruth recorded his eighth and ninth hits of the season. One of which was a home run, his first as a Yankee, and the other was a double. They were just his second and third extra-base hits of the season.
He went into this game hitting just .226/.250/.258. By the end of May, he had already shot those numbers up to .299/.409/.729.
The Yankees beat the White Sox 6-5, and Ruth was not solely responsible, but he was pretty close. He went 3-for-3 with a walk in the win. Two of his hits were home runs, and the other was a triple. He finished with four RBI and three runs scored. Considering that the Yankees won by just one run, if he did something just slightly less good in any of his bats, it’s entirely possible the Yankees lose that day.
Considering some of this other statlines on this list, the St. Louis Browns holding Ruth to just one hit in nine innings isn’t terrible. However, this game did not end after nine innings. St. Louis rallied in the top of the ninth, scoring a run to make the score 10-10 and eventually send it to extra innings. After a scoreless tenth, Ruth came up with two on in the bottom of the 11th. He proceeded to hit a walk-off three-run home run. It was his 29th of the season, tying the single-season record that he had just set the season before. Again, it was July 15th.
Towards the end of a season where he had crushed them up to the tune of a .318/.545/.879 triple slash line and 26 RBI in 22 games, the Tigers probably decided to be a little bit more careful with Ruth on September 12th. So, they ended up walking him. Four times. It worked in the sense that he didn’t pick up a hit in either of his non-walk PAs, but the Yankees still won 13-6.

Ruth’s season high in hits came in this game against the Senators. He recorded four hits with one RBI in the Yankees’ 2-1 win. The RBI came on a home run, while he picked up one other extra-base hit on a double. The Yankees got their win on a walk-off hit by Del Pratt. Who did it score? Babe Ruth, of course. In total, Ruth was responsible for four of the seven hits, one of the two RBI, and both of the runs scored put up by the Yankees that day. He could’ve ended up doing even more, but was caught stealing twice.