Friday, September 21, 2018

HEY YANKEES, JUST KEEP FIGHTING!

Photo: Getty Images
I had a hunch it would be 2-3 against the Sox.  Not too shabby and really quite a great display by the Yankees in this past series.  Last night they were continuing to fight. Giancarlo Stanton's grand slam happened right at the right time, but you always knew the Sox would come back because that's how it works when we are talking about this amazing rivalry.

Photo: Getty Images
What hurts the most was to see the Sox celebration on the field in the Bronx.  Their way of rubbing it in just as much as it is them celebrating a great season. Look, I cannot stand the Red Sox, but this is baseball, and respect is a major part of it.  When team's play good, at least for me, I tip my cap.  They ran away with the division.  It wasn't close.  That speaks volumes.  I'd love to credit Alex Cora or Aaron Boone for good season's for the Sox and Yanks, but I don't think it's them as much it is about the teams themselves. These organizations were building these teams for a few years now and having these young managers in place is just a way to get them acquainted with the role and allow the GM's to pull strings on many occasions.

Photo: Getty Images
Plus, Boone doesn't have much of a strategy other than the be friends with his team.  The Yankees won a ton of games on their own, not because of Aaron Boone, let's get that straight. It's clear he's the puppet in this scenario. And in the end, it's just that the Sox were better... that's it.

But the Yankees just need to keep fighting.  They have at this point won 93 games.  That's a symbol of a great ball club believe it or not.  AND... not only that, they did it young. Now they just need to keep going.  We still have games to play and it would be ideal to push the A's back a bit in the wild card.

Photo: USA Today
But think about the Yankees and all they accomplished this season.  Aaron Judge out for a while, Jakob Junis has been getting threats every since.  Mainly because Judge was on his way to the MVP.  But no matter, it's a good possibility it could go to Miguel Andujar.

Photo: Getty Images
Luke Voit is literally the Yankees first baseman now.  Greg Bird is pretty much benched. You gotta wonder what they do with Bird after this season, although, truth be told, I don't think Bird is done, I just think Bird had a terrible season full of inconsistency.

Photo: Getty Images
You have a guy like JA Happ who came to the Bronx and became a superstar.  I had doubts, but I ain't a hater either.  I am thrilled for this guy, and dare I say... I want him to be that Wild Card starter.  The dude earned it.

Photo: Getty Images
Severino had a break out year.  Tanaka's arm didn't fall off and he plugged away and CC Sabathia… one of my favorite Yankees ever just keeps going like a Duracell battery.

The point is this team has had plenty of setbacks.  Have I mentioned Gary Sanchez? Yet, we keep fighting no matter what.  93 wins is nothing to spit at... it's gold.  We just need to keep going... keep fight and keep winning. And then... we have to turn it up a notch and win in the playoffs.

Photo: Getty Images
For this team that's been handed a whole lot of issues along the way... I have no doubt they can do it.  Big Picture says so.

Let's go Yanks!


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BROWNS WIN!


OK, it's not a Yankee post, but damn it's a good story! And there was Bud Light for everyone in Cleveland!


Ad Age writes:

"...the Browns, playing against the New York Jets, finally pulled off a victory, at home, and the resulting celebrations had a bit of a Super Bowl atmosphere about them—plus, well, the people of Cleveland got all the free Bud Light they wanted."

Now Jets fans will get on me for posting this, but hey, this is a good sports story.  The Browns were bound to win sooner or later.... the Jets were the victims this time.

Congrats to the Browns. Well done.


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Thursday, September 20, 2018

THE GREAT WILD CARD STARTER DEBATE

Photo: Getty Images
The Wild Card game is two weeks away, and I don't want to believe it. This season has gone by far too fast. We aren't in the Wild Card game yet but, barring a complete and epic disastrous collapse we will be. It's not too early to start thinking about this....so who should the Yankees trust to start this one game win or go home game?

The A's don't have the hard choice that we do. I feel like their choice of starting pitcher is reasonably already made. Now that Sean Manaea is out for shoulder surgery, I assume the A's will likely start Mike Fiers. He has the experience and he's probably the best guy for the job. The Yankees though? You can probably make a case or two for all of them.....except Lance Lynn. I think it's safe to assume his performance has pitched his way out of that consideration. So, what about the others?

Photo: Getty Images
1. CC Sabathia

Why he is deserving: Seriously, I don't think CC has been given enough credit because he has been good this year. Some people I have talked to disagree but it is hard to argue against his 3.80 ERA in 142 innings with a bad knee! I think that says a lot about him. The last three years he has put up very similar numbers and even better ones than years previous. He is a pitcher that is adapting well as he ages. He still fools hitters. His experience in the postseason will continue to be huge for the Yankees. He's pitched in A LOT of big games, if anyone can handle the pressure....he can.

Why he may not be the best choice: CC hasn't been as effective since returning from the disabled list. Not to mention the A's roughed him up pretty good earlier this month. I'd say the A's got a really good look at him so that might not be the best move.

Photo: Getty Images
2. Masahiro Tanaka

Why he is deserving: Tanaka has been on fire lately! He looks completely different then the start of the season. He's been the Yankees best starter now for the last couple of months and been consistent while others have struggled. I also can't forget what he accomplished last year in the postseason, he was unstoppable. Also something to consider....the A's haven't faced Tanaka this season so they haven't had a good look at him. So, advantage Yankees?

Why he may not be the best choice: Tanaka is very home run prone. If the Yankees win home field advantage this could be a problem since the A's can hit the long ball. They are second in home runs hit this season, just after the Yankees. Tanaka excels by getting hitters to chase out of the zone. He's very good at using his sliders and splitters to expand the zone and the A's do not chase after pitches. If Tanaka uses that approach the A's could lay off those pitches and back Tanaka into some really bad counts. His approach has been very successful against other teams....but it probably wouldn't work against the A's thanks to their plate discipline.

Photo: Getty Images
3. Luis Severino

Why he is deserving: He is crazy talented and had a dominant first half. For a while his name was in early talks for Cy Young. When he is on, batters can't catch up to him. He limits balls put in play and he throws hard. He put up good numbers last season and has the experience.

Why he may not be the best choice: He's been inconsistent and ineffective since the All-Star break. It's hard to ignore the past couple of months. His command is off, he has lost his slider completely. It's not unreasonable to say that Severino has been one of the worst pitchers in the second half and his downward spiral couldn't have come at a worse time considering how poorly the Yankees have played for awhile now. The most concerning point for me, his worst appearance of the season came against the A's. He wasn't fooling the A's at all. Why should the Yankees expect a different result? Would it be wise to play him again in a one game playoff? I'm having a hard time saying yes.

Photo: Getty Images
4. J.A. Happ

Why he is deserving: Let's face it....the Yankees got everything they could have asked from him. He's been reliable and he's put up some damn good numbers. He faced the A's earlier this month and only allowed one run in six innings. He's proven he can handle the A's and our toughest division rivals. He's been great in the regular season, I don't see him cracking under postseason pressure.

Why he may not be deserving: I really can't think of a lot of negatives. I guess my biggest concerns would be playing the A's again. They would see him twice in less than a month which motivates them to prepare for round two and study. The more often hitters get to look at a pitcher, the more advantages it gives them. Maybe more concerning, Happ is a fly ball pitcher. The A's are among league leaders in runs scored and home runs as mentioned before and that could be a dangerous combination, especially if the game is home.

I'm not sure who Aaron Boone is going to trust with the ball here. It's a tough choice that will be highly scrutinized in a one game playoff. I don't think I could pick just yet. Do you have a favorite to start the wild card game? Comment and tell us why.




--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @Nyprincessj




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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

IT'S AN ALL OR NOTHING KIND OF TEAM

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

The Yankees offense is either hot or it's not.  There is no in between for this 2018 Yankee team.  They are either smashing the ball with chart topping exit velocities or they are hitting dribbles or nothing at all.  It's an all or nothing kind of team and we are in the middle of it.

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

Through six and half innings in the Bronx last night, the Yankees had no runs on the board, while the Red Sox chipped away at J.A. Happ.  Sure it's September baseball where the game elevates to new heights and anxiety levels make you jittery.  We as fans have hung in there with this team but it's has been laborious and down right torturous at times; enough to make you crazy. It was that way last night until Neil Walker smashed one to right field giving the team a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 7th.


Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

As WFAN said Tuesday afternoon during the Carlin, Maggie and Bart show, we need the team to "show a little fight." I couldn't agree more.  The performance of this team is simply lackluster, falling to teams that are weaker than them and showing no sense of urgency to score runs or protect against them.  The only way the Yankees know how to do it is through the long ball.  Grateful for that last night but we need more from this team.

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

If it's not the offense it's the defense particularly behind the plate with Gary Sanchez the usual suspect. Sanchez continues drop the ball literally, putting the Yankees at a serious disadvantage behind the plate.  His passed ball gave the Red Sox an early lead in the game, a lead that they carried into the late innings last night.  Many say that if you take the bat out of Sanchez's hands and sit him for better defensive catcher Austin Romine, we lose something offensively.  I don't agree.  I don't think Sanchez has earned his spot back behind the plate or in the line up.  He hasn't done much for the Yankees in either position.  He's an all or nothing player and right now, he's nothing.

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

I'm grateful for the Yankee win, but truthfully speaking, shallow performances and low energy from this Yankee team brings everyone down, even us here at BYB.  I wish the Yankees had more fight in them, and I am hopeful the Walker home run ignited some, but the errors in the 9th inning say otherwise.  This all or nothing kind of team needs to turn their bus around and go back to the depot to refuel.  The deadline is approaching; it's time to face it head on.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

SIMULATION GAMES COMPLETE FOR CHAPMAN & JUDGE

Now it's time to beat the Red Sox.


We really need Aroldis Chapman and Aaron Judge, like... right now. Like in this series coming up, one of the most important series in our season.  We need to win all, but if we can get 2 of 3, I would very much like that.  Plus you have a Red hot A's team that wants our spot. Forget catching up the mighty Red Sox, they are too good and will probably celebrate in our home if they win. It's the way it is... tip your cap.

Anyway...Daniel Kramer of MLB.com writes:

"The Yankees are off on Monday, but both Aaron Judge and Aroldis Chapman made strides toward their respective comebacks with simulated games at Yankee Stadium. Judge, who was activated off the 10-day disabled list on Friday, took live at-bats against right-handers A.J. Cole and Chance Adams and Minor League lefty Phillip Diehl, and Chapman threw a 22-pitch session to Tyler Wade and Kyle Higashioka


Both Judge and Chapman completed their workloads without issues, the Yankees announced."

And so now we really need to get moving with our top shelf players.  Let's go Yanks. Big month here... we need wins, like, a lot.


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YELICH IS A GOD!


The best thing Christian Yelich did was get the hell out of Miami.  That's one thing Derek Jeter did right. He was able to free Yelich and ship him off to Milwaukee and now Yelich is a superstar.

My kid and I saw Yelich play a few times with Miami and always thought he was underrated and needed more exposure. Well, he did that all by himself.  He hit for the cycle twice in the past several weeks and literally is a front runner for NL MVP.


MLB.com writes:

"Yelich went 4-for-4 and hit for the cycle as the Brewers blanked the Reds 8-0. If that sounds familiar it's because Yelich hit for the cycle earlier this season against the Reds, making him the fifth player with two cycles in one season and the first player with two against the same team....

Yelich has hit .355/.417/.733 since the All-Star break. In the second half, he's second in the majors to Justin Turner in OPS, second to Khris Davis with 20 home runs (Davis has 22), second to Davis in RBIs (51 to 50), first in hits, fourth in runs and second in extra-base hits."

And I say that title again, loud and proud... Yelich is a god.

Congrats, Christian. You da man.

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