Red Sox 10, Yankees 5: Severino’s worst start of the season comes at a bad time


Source: FanGraphs

Well that was an ugly follow up to Friday night’s thrilling comeback win. The Yankees jumped out to an early lead Saturday afternoon and everything was looking great … and then it all came crashing down. Luis Severino had his worst start of the season and that was that. The final score was 10-5. It’s Saturday and I haven’t taken the easy way out in a while now, so let’s recap this one with bullet points:

  • An Early Lead: Gary Sanchez hit one of the silliest home runs I’ve ever seen. It looked like a late defensive swing on a fastball, and off the bat, I thought it was going way foul. Instead, Sanchez managed to keep it fair and into the short porch for a two-run home run. I have no idea how he kept it fair. The official measurement on that home run was 364 feet. It wasn’t a cheapie. Gary got it good. The Yankees took a quick 2-0 lead in the first.
  • Sevy’s Dud: Did Severino get hurt by some bad defense behind him? Yes. But he also walked the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in the second inning, and put two pitches on a tee for Andrew Benintendi, who hit a pair of three-run home runs. Severino started great too. Seven quick outs and he was dominant. Then he couldn’t put Christian Vazquez or Jackie Bradley Jr. away in the third inning, and it snowballed. His final line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Yeesh. It happens, so shake it off and do better in five days.
  • Too Little, Too Late: After the Red Sox took a 5-2 lead in the third, the Yankees had a golden opportunity in the fourth inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs! Jacoby Ellsbury got a run in with a weak ground ball to cut the deficit to 5-3. And that was it. Ronald Torreyes popped up in foul territory on the first pitch, and Brett Gardner flew out. Chase Headley and Ellsbury hit back-to-back homers in the ninth, but by then the game was out of hand.
  • Leftovers: Good afternoon for the bullpen, at least. Gio Gallegos chewed up 2.2 innings and Bryan Mitchell threw two. No runs allowed. I guess this means Mitchell isn’t starting in place of Masahiro Tanaka on Monday? … Todd Frazier went 0-for-3 with a walk and made a crucial error in that third inning. I didn’t think he had a chance to turn a double play with Eduardo Nunez running, but he should’ve gotten at least one out. Instead, he bobbled the transfer and got zero outs, loading the bases … Sanchez, Headley, and Didi Gregorius each went 2-for-4. The rest of the Yankees went 3-for-24 (.185).

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload page either. The Yankees and Red Sox will wrap up this three-game series Sunday night, during the ESPN Sunday Night Game. Chris Sale and Jordan Montgomery will be on the mound. Montgomery will indeed make that start after taking a line drive to the head during batting practice.

Game 115: Severino Saturday

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Good win last night. Fun win. Now the Yankees have to do it again. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that dramatic — I would like an easy win one of these days, guys — but the goal is another win. The Yankees need to make up ground in the AL East race — they’re 3.5 games back coming into today — and there’s no better way to do it than by beating the Red Sox head-to-head.

Fortunately, the Yankees have their best starting pitcher on the mound this afternoon. Luis Severino is not just the best starter on his team. He’s one of the best in baseball. Severino currently ranks fourth among all pitchers in fWAR (+4.3) and sixth in bWAR (+4.5). He’s top ten in basically every pitching stat that matters. What a great season. Go get another win, Sevy. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Hicks
  3. DH Aaron Judge
  4. C Gary Sanchez
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. 3B Todd Frazier
  7. 1B Chase Headley
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

Not a great day for baseball in New York. It’s cloudy and humid, and that means rain’s coming. The internet tells me the thunderstorms are due to arrive around 7pm ET and last for an hour or two. Hopefully they don’t interfere with the game. This afternoon’s contest will begin at 4:05pm ET, and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and Fox Sports 1 nationally. Enjoy the game.

Rotation Update: In case you missed it earlier, Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation and Jordan Montgomery was hit in the head by a line drive during batting practice. Montgomery is scheduled to start tomorrow and Tanaka was scheduled to start Monday. The Yankees will definitely need a spot starter for Monday. They might need one tomorrow too.

Update: Montgomery appears to be okay after getting hit in head by line drive during batting practice

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

4:16pm ET: The Yankees announced that Montgomery was evaluated and cleared to start tomorrow’s game. Phew. That was scary.

3:44pm ET: Ken Rosenthal hears from a Yankees official that “it appears” Montgomery will be okay. Good news. The Yankees have not yet announced an official update on Montgomery or their pitching plan for tomorrow’s game.

3:34pm ET: According to multiple reports, Jordan Montgomery was hit in the right side of the head by a line drive while signing autographs during batting practice this afternoon. He was helped off the field and reportedly held a towel up to his head in the dugout for a few minutes before exiting back into the clubhouse.

The Yankees have not yet released an update on Montgomery, so stay tuned. I imagine he’ll go through MLB’s concussion protocol, and also go for an x-rays and other tests. A line drive to the head is no joke. Hopefully Montgomery comes out of it with a bruise and nothing more. Head injuries are scary stuff.

Montgomery is currently scheduled to start tomorrow night’s game, though the Yankees might have to call an audible. Bryan Mitchell, who threw 67 pitches in relief Tuesday, could get the ball instead. Caleb Smith is scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton tomorrow and could be another option. We’ll see.

The Yankees placed Masahiro Tanaka on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation earlier today. They’re also without CC Sabathia (knee) and Michael Pineda (Tommy John surgery). Montgomery was recalled yesterday to take Sabathia’s spot in the rotation.

Shoulder inflammation sends Masahiro Tanaka to 10-day DL

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

1:03pm ET: Joe Girardi described the injury as fatigue, or a dead arm. There’s no structural damage and the Yankees are essentially planning to give Tanaka a ten-day break. He won’t throw for five days before getting back to it. That’s not so bad, as long as that’s all it really is.

12:24pm ET: The Yankees are down another starting pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation, the Yankees announced. Gio Gallegos was called up to fill the roster spot for the time being. The Yankees are already without CC Sabathia (knee) and Michael Pineda (elbow). Pineda is done for the season with Tommy John surgery.

Perhaps the shoulder issue explains Tanaka’s rough start in Toronto three days ago, when he allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings plus two batters. Overall, this has been a poor season for Tanaka (4.92 ERA and 4.65 FIP), though he’s been much better over the last two months or so. He has a 3.33 ERA (3.64 FIP) in his last eleven starts after pitching to a 6.55 ERA (5.68 FIP) in his first 12 starts.

Tanaka’s next start was scheduled for Monday against the Mets, and the Yankees do have plenty of options to replace him. Bryan Mitchell is already stretched out and on the 25-man roster. Caleb Smith and Luis Cessa are sitting in Triple-A, as is Domingo German. All three of those guys are on the 40-man roster and eligible to be called up. None are within the ten-day send down window.

Chance Adams is a possibility as well, though he just started for Triple-A Scranton last night, so he’s not an option for Monday. The Yankees have an open 40-man roster spot. Adding Adams and calling him up at some point in the future would be a piece of cake. For what it’s worth, Smith is lined up to start tomorrow for the RailRiders and Cessa is lined up for Monday. That’s convenient.

There’s no word on how long Tanaka will be sidelined yet. I imagine he’s already had an MRI and all that. Sabathia received cortisone and lubrication injections in his troublesome right knee yesterday, and he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. It’s possible he could be activated as soon as his ten days on the DL are up, meaning the Yankees would only need someone to make one spot start to fill in for Tanaka before Sabathia returns.

The Yankees called Jordan Montgomery back up yesterday and he’s going to replace Sabathia. Montgomery is on a 180-ish innings limit this year, giving him roughly 60 more innings to go this year. That seems like plenty to get through the season, no? Hopefully. For now, the Yankees are down yet another starting pitching. Good thing they got two at the trade deadline, huh?

Saturday Links: Jeter, Postseason Schedule, Players Weekend

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

The Yankees and Red Sox continue their three-game weekend series with the middle game later today. It’s a 4pm ET start. Here are some links and notes to check out until game time.

Jeter agrees to purchase the Marlins (again)

A few weeks after his agreement to purchase the Marlins with Jeb Bush fell through, Derek Jeter has another deal in place to buy the team, reports Barry Jackson. Jeter teamed up with rich dude Bruce Sherman and several other minority investors (including Michael Jordan) to buy the team. The sale price is $1.2 billion — that’s the second most ever paid for an MLB franchise, behind the $2 billion the Dodgers sold for a few years back — and Jeter is kicking in $25M.

Jackson says Sherman will be the “control person” while Jeter will run the business and baseball sides of the organization, so he’s going to have a lot of responsibility. The sale is not yet final — two other potential Marlins sales have already fallen through this year, so this isn’t a formality — but Jeter and Sherman do have all the money in place and everything else is order. Now MLB needs to give their approval and the other 29 owners have to vote. That’s going to happen at the quarterly owners meetings in October, apparently.

2017 postseason schedule announced

It’s getting to be that time of year. Earlier this week MLB announced the 2017 postseason schedule, and since the Yankees are in the race this year, this information is pretty damn relevant. Much better than being on the outside looking in like three of the last four years. Here is the full postseason schedule and here are the dates potentially relevant to the Yankees:

  • AL Wild Card Game: Tuesday, October 3rd
  • ALDS (both of ’em): Thursday, October 5th through Wednesday, October 11th
  • ALCS: Friday, October 13th through Saturday, October 21st
  • World Series: Tuesday, October 24th through Wednesday, November 1st

The regular season ends Sunday, October 1st, so there’s only one off-day between the end of the regular season and the AL Wild Card Game this year. That could cause some headaches for teams trying to line up their ace for that winner-take-all game. The NL has two off-days between the end of the regular season and the Wild Card Game this year.

Also, homefield advantage in the World Series is no longer decided by the All-Star Game. That’s good. I hated that. (Even though the AL won this year.) Now homefield advantage will go to the pennant-winner with the best regular season record. That’s how it should be, I think.

MLB releases Players Weekend jerseys

A few weeks ago MLB announced that, later this month, the first (annual?) Players Weekend will be held from August 25th to the 27th. The Yankees will be home playing the Mariners that weekend. Teams will wear unique uniforms (hats, jerseys, socks, etc.) and the players will be allowed to wear nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. It’s pretty awesome. Here are the Yankees:

yankees-jerseys

This is so great. All-Starlin! A-A-Ron! Head and Toe! Aaron Judge told Erik Boland he was originally planning to put “AJ” or “Judge” on his jersey, but Todd Frazier talked him into All Rise, so here we are. Love Judge, but he could use a little more personality. Maybe pimp a homer every once in a while. (Looking at you too, Brett Gardner. “Gardner” on the jersey? Really?)

Anyway, as someone who may or may not have already purchased KRAKEN 24 and SIR DIDI 18 shirts, I love this whole Players Weekend idea. It’s fun. Baseball’s supposed to be fun. I couldn’t be any more tired of hearing about tradition and the way things have always been. Give me Players Weekend, The Judge’s Chambers, Clint Frazier‘s bright red hair, finger points into the dugout, give me all of it.

Yankees have not pursued Granderson

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have not pursued Curtis Granderson this month. He cleared trade waivers last week. The Yankees did try to acquire Jay Bruce from the Mets a few days ago, though that didn’t work out because the Mets wanted full salary relief. Granderson, like Bruce, is a left-handed power hitter, but he can only play the outfield. Bruce has some first base experience.

Granderson, 36, is in the final season of his four-year, $60M contract. He’s making $15M this year and it stands to reason the Mets will look to unload his salary at some point. Granderson is hitting .221/.327/.452 (105 wRC+) with 16 home runs overall this season, but since May 1st, he’s put up a .261/.384/.548 (143 wRC+) batting line with 15 of those 16 homers. The Yankees have an opening at designated hitter and could really use another lefty power bat, which Granderson would provide. Doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen though.

Hicksie to the rescue: Yankees come back late for 5-4 win over Red Sox in series opener

Best win of the season? Best win of the season. If not the best, then certainly the biggest. Led by Aaron Hicks and his healthy oblique, the Yankees mounted a remarkable eighth inning comeback against the Red Sox to earn a 5-4 win Friday night. See? Baseball is actually extremely good.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Five In The Eighth
For the first seven innings Friday night, the offense was completely lifeless. They couldn’t muster much of anything against Eduardo Rodriguez through his six innings. The Yankees scattered three walks and two doubles through the first seven innings of the game. That’s all. Their best chance to score came right in the first inning, when Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge drew one out walks. Two fly outs later, the inning was over.

Everything changed in the eighth inning. The Red Sox went to trade deadline pickup and new Eighth Inning Guy™ Addison Reed to protect what was then a 3-0 lead. Six straight Yankees reached base to start the inning and eventually that 3-0 deficit turned into a 5-3 lead. He really Mets’d it up. A lot happened that inning, so let’s annotate the play-by-play:

yankees-red-sox-play-by-play

(1) It all started with a hit-by-pitch. Reed nicked Brett Gardner in the toe, and because home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth missed it, the Yankees had to challenge. The review took about 15 seconds and that was that. The Yankees were in business with a leadoff baserunner. That was Reed’s first hit batsman since Opening Day 2014, if you can believe that. He’d gone 1,003 consecutive batters between hit batters. Huh.

(2) HICKSIE. So good to have Aaron Hicks back. He dominated Friday’s game on both sides of the ball. Hicks held Mookie Betts to a single in the third inning on a ball that had double written all over it. It was hit toward the line, Hicks rushed over, picked it up, and fired to second to hold Betts at first. Great play that likely saved a run since the next batter, Andrew Benintendi, ripped a single.

Hicks also doubled for his team’s first hit of the game in the third inning, and in the eighth inning, he made Reed pay for hitting Gardner in the toe with a two-run home run into the short porch that brought Yankee Stadium to life. The offense lulled the ballpark to sleep over the first seven innings. Hicks brought the Stadium to its feet. It was LOUD. Here’s the homer:

A Yankee Stadium cheapie? You bet. The Red Sox have hit their fair share of cheap homers in their home ballpark over the years, so it all evens out. Hicks got the Yankees on the board and cut the deficit to 3-2. He wasn’t done having an impact on the game. More on that in a bit.

(3) It’s too bad the play was scored a wild pitch and not a passed ball, because I wanted to make a “it’s about time Gary Sanchez was the one advancing on a passed wall” joke. Alas. Anyway, good walk by Judge. Reed came after him with nasty sliders and Judge spit on ’em for the walk. He’s been chasing sliders a little too much of late. Okay, a lot too much.

(4) Man, how great is Didi Gregorius? He’s everything the Yankees hoped he would become. Gregorius put an end to the ugly RISPFAIL streak with a line drive single to left-center field to score Sanchez and tie the game. Didi is a heart and soul player for the Yankees. He’s such an important part of the team, both on and off the field. The Yankees need more guys like him. Gregorius went 1-for-4 in the game and is hitting .310/.334/.511 (122 wRC+) on the season.

(5) Welcome to the Yankees, Todd Frazier. He’s been with the team for nearly a month now, but a big hit against the Red Sox makes it official. Todd’s a True Yankee™. He muscled a 99.8 mph two-strike fastball from Joe Kelly into center field to score Judge and give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. One of the biggest hits of the season considering the situation, the standings, and all that. It wasn’t a screaming liner of anything (74.8 mph exit velocity), but it did the job.

(6) Getting that insurance run felt huge and boy did the Yankees need it. I was surprised Torreyes, a big time first pitch swinger, didn’t take a big ol’ hack expecting a first pitch fastball from Kelly. He got a slider inside and let it go for a ball. Neat. Torreyes got the run home with a two-strike sacrifice fly. Hooray for contact. The Yankees have had enough problems simply getting the bat on the ball with men on base lately.

(7) I really hoping Hicks would hit a home run from each side of the plate in same inning. He had a chance. He took the righty Reed deep to open the scoring and then faced the lefty Fernando Abad later in the inning. Alas, Hicks popped up to end the inning. That’s okay. You done good, A-A-Ron. A homer from each side of the plate in the same inning would’ve been cool as hell. When it was all said and done, the Yankees led 5-3.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

The Stressful Ninth
The Yankees broke out and scored five runs in the eighth to take the lead! Hooray! Aroldis Chapman then came in and immediately walked the bases loaded on 15 pitches. With no outs too. Sigh. Larry Rothschild went out to the mound to talk to Chapman after the third walk — “Pitch better,” was the message, I assume — and it wasn’t until after the mound visit that Dellin Betances started warming up. Oy vey.

Okay, so bases loaded with no outs and a two-run lead. Good thing Torreyes got that insurance run in, huh? Benintendi fought off a two-strike pitch and lifted a sacrifice fly to deep left field, plenty deep enough to score Jackie Bradley Jr. from third base, to cut New York’s lead to 5-4. But wait! Eduardo Nunez attempted to tag up on the play and get the tying run to third with one out. Hicks put an end to that nonsense. To the action footage:

Great throw by Hicks. Great, great throw. Don’t sleep on the pick and tag by Frazier at third though. He made a great play too. Nunez was clearly out but the Red Sox challenged anyway because hey, why not? That’s the 26th out in a one-run game and a potentially huge play. Maybe you get lucky with the replay. Here’s how huge that play was:

  • Red Sox win probability if Nunez is safe: 31.3%
  • Red Sox win probability if Nunez doesn’t tag up and stays at second: 28.1%
  • Red Sox win probability when Nunez was thrown out: 6.4%

Huge swing in win probability. From 31.3% to 6.4%. I don’t blame Nunez for trying to tag up there — it took a perfect throw by Hicks and a perfect pick-and-tag by Frazier to get him, and even then the play was close enough to be reviewed — but yeah, a terrible decision in hindsight. Chapman got Mitch Moreland to fly out harmlessly to center field for the 27th out and that was that. Game over. Stressful ninth inning for sure, but a win is a win, and the Yankees needed this win like crazy.

I love this stupid team so much. (Mike Stobe/Getty)
I love this stupid team so much. (Mike Stobe/Getty)

Leftovers
Acceptable-ish start from Jaime Garcia. He allowed a two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez in the first inning — he tried to bust him inside with a 3-1 fastball but didn’t get the ball in far enough — and a solo homer to Benintendi in the fifth. Garcia wiggled out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the third inning with a strikeout (Chris Young) and a ground out (Xander Bogaerts). His final line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K on 103 pitches.

The unsung hero: Adam Warren. He replaced Garcia, recorded the final out of the sixth inning, then tossed perfect seventh and eighth innings as well. Huge. Warren shut the Red Sox down and gave the offense a chance to get back in the game. He needed 35 pitches to record those seven outs and now has a 1.80 ERA (2.65 FIP) in 50 innings this year. Only 27 hits and 13 walks allowed too (0.80 WHIP).

Every starter reached base at least once except Garrett Cooper and Austin Romine, both of whom went 0-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Gardner pinch-hit for Romine to leadoff that eighth inning, so the Yankees gave up the DH and had to move Sanchez behind the plate for the ninth inning. Zero problems with that. Even if it didn’t work out. The Yankees needed offense and Romine wasn’t going to provide it.

Two hits for Hicks (double, homer) and one each for Sanchez (single), Gregorius (single), Frazier (single), Jacoby Ellsbury (single), and Torreyes (double). Judge drew two walks. Sanchez, Frazier, and Gardner drew one each. Gardner also got hit by a pitch. He batted twice, both times in the same inning, and reached base twice without putting the ball in play. Classic Gardy.

And finally, with the win the Yankees are back to within 3.5 games of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. They were six outs away from being 5.5 games back. Pretty big swing in the standings, this game was.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has both the box score and updated standings, and MLB.com has the video highlights. We have a Bullpen Workload page. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams Saturday afternoon in the second game of this three-game series. That’s a 4pm ET start. Luis Severino and Drew Pomeranz are the scheduled starting pitchers. RAB Tickets can get you into Yankee Stadium if you want to catch that game in person.

DotF: Sensley homers twice in Charleston’s win

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 win over Durham)

  • LF Mason Williams: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K — 8-for-23 (.348) during his little five-game hitting streak
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • DH Tyler Austin: 3-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — in case you missed it earlier, he was activated off the disabled list and optioned down earlier today, so his rehab assignment is over
  • RF Billy McKinney: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI — career high 16 homers in 104 games this year after hitting eleven in 229 games in 2015 and 2016 combined
  • CF Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 2B, 3 K
  • RHP Chance Adams: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 4/4 GB/FB — 69 of 101 pitches were strikes … 11/2 K/BB in his last two starts after a weird little stretch in which he walked more batters than he struck out three times in the span of four starts
  • Nick Rumbelow: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 26 of 39 pitches were strikes (67%) … 35/8 K/BB in 31.2 innings back from Tommy John surgery

[Read more…]