DotF: Hendrix & Estrada lead Trenton to championship series

Triple-A Scranton (6-1 win over Lehigh Valley) they lead the best-of-five first round postseason series two games to one

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 1 R — 5-for-13 (.385) in the series, and according to people at the games, he’s made a number of great defensive plays as well
  • 2B Donovan Solano: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 E (fielding) — 7-for-13 (.538) with two walks in the series
  • LF Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — second homer of the series, and he hit it against former big leaguer Henderson Alvarez
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 0-2, 1 RBI, 1 K — flashed his arm on a nice play going to his right (here’s video)
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB
  • RF Jake Cave: 0-3, 1 K
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 64 of 96 pitches were strikes (67%) … comes up big in his first postseason start after allowing 15 runs in his final 21.1 regular season innings

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Yankees 3, Rangers 1: Severino sensational, the offense rallies late to get the win


Source: FanGraphs

This game went from frustrating to gratifying in a matter of few innings. The Yankee bats couldn’t score a run against Andrew Cashner while Luis Severino was up there just straight-up dealin’. However, they rallied in the eighth and the ninth to tie it up and take the lead. It’s the weekend so let’s do it bullet-point style.

  • Sevvy great: It’s hard to choose Severino’s signature game from this season. He’s had a lot of great starts this season and this has to be up there as one of the best. He went 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB with 10 strikeouts. Really hard to ask any more from your starter. From 100 pitches thrown, Sevvy threw 18 changeups, which is not too many fewer than the amount of sliders (27) he threw – a big indicator of how far he has come with his pitch development. Although he did not get the win today, his ERA has decreased to 2.96. Also, he has 211 strikeouts in 176.1 IP. That’s really darn good, folks.
  • The lone mistake: It’s hard not to make at least a mistake or two during a start. Severino allowed his only run on the only hit that he (and the Yankees) allowed today. In the fifth inning, Sevy walked Joey Gallo to start the frame. Will Middlebrooks hit into a fielder’s choice groundout. Severino struck out Rougned Odor to get the second out but allowed an RBI double to Brett Nicholas, a September call-up catcher. 1-0 Rangers. Crappy way to lose a no-no and let the other team go ahead. On the other side, Cashner was simply dealing, holding the Yankee bats scoreless for the first seven innings while striking out four. However…
  • Tying it up: The Rangers pulled Cashner out in the eighth inning after he plunked Todd Frazier on the first pitch of the frame. He was in command all day and the Yankee hitters were probably glad to see him gone. Matt Holliday, pinch-hitting for Greg Bird to face the lefty Alex Claudio, lined a single to right to make it runners on corners with no out. Brett Gardner popped out for the first out but Chase Headley tied it up with a sac fly. A run! Gary Sanchez swung at 3-0 pitch for a single past Elvis Andrus and Yankees, once again, had a runner in the scoring position. However, Didi Gregorius grounded into the shift to end the inning.
  • The ninth-inning rally: Joe Girardi brought in David Robertson for the bottom of the eighth. D-Rob responded with an easy eight-pitch inning. In the top of the ninth, Starlin Castro led off with a single to right and Aaron Judge grounded into a fielder’s choice out. With one out and runner on first, Jacoby Ellsbury fought for an eight-pitch at-bat and lined a base hit to right to put runners on corners – huge at-bat, huge outcome. With Frazier coming up, Jeff Bannister put in the righty Ricky Rodriguez. On a 1-2 count, Rodriguez hit Frazier on the left triceps to load the bases. Tyler Austin, who took over for Bird at the first base, followed it up with an RBI single to left to finally give the Yankees a lead. Gardner popped out (again) for the second out, but Headley worked a walk to extend the lead to 3-1. That’ll do.
  • Leftovers: Aroldis Chapman was the closer for today. He had a solid past two outings and I assume that was enough to restore some faith in him. The lefty threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts to close it out and earn his first save since August 15.

Here are today’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA graph from Fangraphs. The Yankees will play the series finale at Arlington tomorrow. It’ll be a Jordan Montgomery vs. A.J. Griffin matchup for a 3:05 pm EST start.

Game 141: Sevy Saturday

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

Yet another tough loss last night. The Yankees have let a five-run lead and a four-run lead turn into losses within their last three games. Games like those are why the Yankees are unlikely to win the AL East — FanGraphs puts their division odds at 6.4% at the moment, for what it’s worth — and are instead fighting for a wildcard spot.

Fortunately, the Yankees have Luis Severino on the mound this afternoon, and he’s been their best starter all season. The Yankees could really use a dominant Sevy outing today. I’m pretty sure none of us want to see three innings worth of middle relievers again this afternoon. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

Lovely weather in Arlington today. Nice and sunny but not insanely hot either. Great day for a ballgame. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and FOX has the broadcast. Regular old FOX. Not FOX Sports 1. Enjoy the game.

Yankees waste away an early lead, drop the series opener to the Rangers 11-5

After Yankees took a 5-1 lead, the Rangers scored ten unanswered runs against Masahiro Tanaka and the bullpen to take the first game of the series. Early on, it seemed like the Yankees could win this game in a laugher but it totally turned around. Tanaka unraveled, the bullpen bled out more runs and the offense stopped hitting. Not a good formula.

(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The upward spiral

In the top of the second, against Martin Perez, the Yankees got a rally going. Matt Holliday reached with a single to lead off. Didi Gregorius hit a grounder to second that should have been turned as a GIDP but Rougned Odor’s throw to second pulled Elvis Andrus off the bag and both runners were safe. Chase Headley squared a single to right field to load the bases with no out. Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s been on fire lately, lined an RBI single to score Holliday to give Yankees a lead. Perez hit Todd Frazier on his second pitch to push another run across. Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge struck out back-to-back to alleviate things for Perez but Gary Sanchez hit a 2-run single to tack on more runs. 4-0 Yankees.

The Rangers got one back on the next frame. Leading off the inning, Nomar Mazara simply crushed – I mean 453 feet crushed – a solo homer to make it a three-run lead for New York. However, Gregorius added a run by hitting a solo homer into the right field seats – 5-1 Yankees. With the offense clicking so far and Tanaka looking solid, it should be a walk in the park for the Bombers, right? Nope. That’s why you play the game…

(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The downward spiral

Texas added more runs in the bottom of the third. Robinson Chirinos singled past Didi with one out and Delino DeShields Jr. followed it up with a double down the third base line to for an RBI. After a Shi-Soo Choo flyout, Andrus added an RBI double of his own to make it 5-3. All of sudden, the 5-1 early lead looked awful shaky.

The Rangers struck big time in the bottom of the fifth. Odor started it off with a single and Chirinos hit a doubled past Frazier to drive him in. 5-4. DeShields followed it up with a single to left to put the runners on corners with no outs. Facing Choo, Tanaka threw a wild pitch past Sanchez and it became a tie game. Things even got worse as Choo hit a flyball towards the deep left part of the ballpark and the ball bounced off Gardner’s glove. Ideally, Gardner would’ve made the catch, but it was not an easy one to get to in the first place.

That double by Choo would have scored DeShields had he not been held up. As a result, Tanaka left the game with two runners on scoring position with no outs. As Tommy Kahnle allowed the remaining two runners to score with an Andrus single, seven earned runs were charged to Tanaka’s final line – 4.0 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 1 HR, 7 K. His ERA rose to 4.82 and it was easily his worst start in awhile. Pitchers are allowed to have stinkers once in awhile. Right now, it’s just not an ideal timing with the Yankees trying to chase the Red Sox in the AL East standings.

Rangers threatened once again in the bottom of the seventh. Caleb Smith started the inning and allowed a base hit to Choo and a walk to Andrus. Mazara hit a big liner that hit the right field wall that should have drove a run in. However, Choo misjudged the fly and ended up third instead of home. With no out and bases loaded, Joe Girardi put in Ben Heller to remedy the situation. And it, uh, didn’t go well. Here’s how the rest of the inning went.

bandicam-2017-09-09-12-29-29-849

7-5 to 11-5 just like that. Ugly. And that’s how the score remained for good.

Leftovers

After Kahnle and Chasen Shreve, Girardi pretty much ran out the B-side portion of the ‘pen tonight – Heller, Smith and Bryan Mitchell. The three relievers combined for 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB and 2 K’s. The silver lining of this was that Mitchell looked pretty decent (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K) but Smith and Heller didn’t really inspire confidence.

Sanchez was back in the lineup after serving the 3-game suspension and did not seem to miss a beat, going 2-for-3 with a walk. He scorched the two base hits and the out that he made was a line out that went right towards 3B Joey Gallo.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA

Here are tonight’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA from Fangraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will have their staff ace Luis Severino on the mound to try to start a winning streak going on. The Rangers will have Andrew Cashner up. It’ll be a 1:05 pm EST start at the Globe Life Park in Arlington.

DotF: Trenton throws combined no-hitter in postseason win

A few quick notes to pass along:

  • Now that High-A Tampa’s season is over, OF Estevan Florial and SS Kyle Holder have joined Double-A Trenton, reports Kyle Franko. Both are working out with the team but are not on the active roster. They could be added if there’s an injury.
  • RHP Clarke Schmidt has resumed throwing following Tommy John surgery, according to his Twitter feed. The Yankees’ first round pick in this year’s draft had his elbow rebuilt in early May. He’s been throwing for two weeks now, so it seems his rehab is going well.
  • Baseball America released their end-of-season minor league All-Star Teams and two Yankees farmhands made it. RHP Chance Adams is on the First Team and Florial is on the Second Team.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Lehigh Valley) the best-of-five first round postseason series is now tied at one

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 SB — 3-for-8 with two walks in the two games so far
  • LF Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI — here’s video of the first double
  • 1B Mike Ford: 1-5, 1 RBI
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — back here after crushing the ball in a few rehab games at the lower levels
  • RF Jake Cave: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Chance Adams: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 2/5 GB/FB — 61 of 102 pitches were strikes (60%) … bit of a grind, but he got through five with a lead
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 22 of 35 pitches were strikes (63%) … bullpen got pretty taxed in extra innings yesterday, so he came up pretty big in a close game today

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Game 140: Gain More Ground

(Rob Carr/Getty)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

So things are going pretty well for the Yankees right now. The just won a series in Baltimore for the first time since September 2013, and they’ve won five of their last seven games. They’ve won seven of their last 12 games, and three of those five losses came against the molten hot Indians, who are 15-0 with a +81 run differential in their last 15 games. In hindsight, getting worked up about getting swept by the Tribe was silly. They’re unstoppable right now.

Anyway, the Yankees are in Texas this weekend for three games against one of the teams within earshot of a wildcard spot. The Yankees are in the first wildcard spot, 2.5 games up on the Twins, and the Rangers are 2.5 behind Minnesota. Surely Texas is looking to make up a lot of ground this weekend. The Yankees? They want to gain ground on the Red Sox. The division title is within reach. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. DH Matt Holliday
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 1B Chase Headley
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. 3B Todd Frazier
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Great weather in Arlington today and all weekend. Clear skies and not insanely hot. The Yankees get three games in the mid-80s this weekend. They managed to avoid that Texas heat. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 8pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network out-of-market. Enjoy the game.

Appeals Update: Sanchez’s suspension is over, obviously. He’s in the lineup. Austin Romine‘s two-game suspension has been reduced to one game, and he will serve it tonight. Same deal as Sanchez. He can work out with the team and all that, but he can’t be in the ballpark during the game.

9/8 to 9/10 Series Preview: Texas Rangers

Gallo. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Gallo. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The Last Time They Met

The Yankees played host to the Rangers from June 23 through June 25, and dropped two of three. That series was in the midst of the Yankees roughest stretch of the season, when they went 7-18 in their last 25 games of the first half. Some notes:

  • The first game was incredibly tense, with the teams trading zeroes for the first 8 innings. Elvis Andrus scored on a passed ball to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth, but Brett Gardner tied it up with a home run in the bottom of the frame. Ronald Torreyes was the next hero up, with a walk-off, two-out single in the bottom of the 10th.
  • Masahiro Tanaka‘s start in that game shouldn’t be understated, though – he went 8 scoreless, allowing just 3 runs and 2 walks, while striking out 9.
  • Texas won the second game 8-1, and the Yankees offense was shut down by Austin Bibens-Dirkx for 7 innings. That was also Tyler Clippard‘s third straight abomination of an appearance, in which he allowed 3 hits, 4 runs, and 2 walks in a single inning. Moving on…
  • Michael Pineda had an awful start in game three, allowing 7 runs in 4 innings. Two start later he would leave the game early, only to be diagnosed with a torn UCL shortly thereafter. The Yankees lost that game 7-6.

Check out Katie’s Yankeemetrics post for more fun facts.

Injury Report

Adrian Beltre, the latest entrant to the 3,000 hit club, was placed on the 10-day DL on September 3 with a hamstring strain, so he won’t be available for this series; there are some rumblings that he may be done for the season. Relievers Matt Bush and Keone Kela are on the disabled list, as well, and neither is expected to be back for this series.

Nomar Mazara left the team’s last game with quadriceps tightness. No announcement has been made, regarding a stint on the DL, but he’s questionable for tonight’s game.

Their Story So Far

The Rangers are currently 70-69, and within a couple of games of the second Wild Card spot. Their +42 run differential is good for 10th in the majors, which is something of a testament to how unlucky they’ve been this season. That run differential leads to a Pythagorean record of 73-66, which would have them in the driver’s seat right now. Of course, that ignores several mitigating factors – but they have been a bit snake-bitten this season.

Despite floating around .500 throughout the season and remaining within striking distance of the playoffs, the Rangers elected to sell at the trade deadline. They sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers and Jonathan Lucroy to the Rockies, and caught a bit of flack for the returns. Darvish yielded Willie Calhoun (a top-75ish prospect with a big bat and no position) and not much else, and Lucroy was essentially given away for a player to be named later.

The Lineup We Might See

The Rangers lineup has been in a state of flux for much of the season, due to both injuries and poor performance. They also utilize a couple of platoons. With a couple of righties starting today and tomorrow, though, this is what we’ll probably see:

  1. Delino DeShields, LF – .280/.357/.382, 4 HR, 28 SB
  2. Shin-Soo Choo, DH – .263/.365/.415, 18 HR, 12 SB
  3. Elvis Andrus, SS – .304/.345/.494, 20 HR, 24 SB
  4. Nomar Mazara, RF – .259/.334/.439, 18 HR, 2 SB
  5. Carlos Gomez, CF – .251/.339/.462, 17 HR, 13 SB
  6. Joey Gallo, 3B – .211/.336/.561, 37 HR, 7 SB
  7. Mike Napoli, 1B – .196/.290/.437, 29 HR, 1 SB
  8. Rougned Odor, 2B – .213/.255/.410, 28 HR, 14 SB
  9. Robinson Chirinos, C – .259/.367/.536, 16 HR, 1 SB

With CC Sabathia taking the mound on Sunday, Choo will likely be on the bench, with Napoli shifting to DH and Will Middlebrooks (.429/.429/1.000 in 7 PA) taking over at first.

The Starting Pitchers We Will See

Friday (8:05 PM EST): RHP Masahiro Tanaka vs. LHP Martin Perez

We are only seven years removed from Martin Perez being one of the most highly-touted pitching prospects in the game, when he peaked as Baseball America’s 17th overall prospect. He was only 19 then, and he was an ace in the making. He’s still only 26, but he has yet to look the part, posting a 4.43 ERA (99 ERA+) in parts of six seasons. Perez has made 27 starts of 4.87 ERA (96 ERA+) ball this year, with a well below-average 14.2% strikeout rate. And, as young as he is, it’s difficult to look at his lack of progress and expect much more going forward.

Perez is a four-pitch guy, featuring a low-to-mid 90s four-seamer, a low-to-mid 90s sinker, a low-80s slider, and a mid-80s change-up. He’ll sprinkle in a curveball every now and again, but he’s largely shelved it over the last few months.

Last Outing (vs. LAA on 9/3) – 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Saturday (1:05 PM EST): RHP Luis Severino vs. RHP Andrew Cashner

The Rangers signed Cashner to a 1-year, $10 MM deal fairly early in the off-season, which was viewed as a head-scratching move by some. It was a low-risk deal, to be sure, but he was a pitcher with a scary injury history coming off of a bad season, and the Rangers were looking to compete. That deal looks fantastic in hindsight, as Cashner is currently 5th in the AL with a 142 ERA+, and 6th with 4.4 bWAR. He missed a few starts with injuries, as per usual, but he has been quite good when he steps on the mound – and he now seems like a lock for a qualifying offer.

Cashner is a five-pitch guy, though he varies his arsenal from outing-to-outing. He throws a mid-90s four-seamer, a low-90s cutter, a high-80s cutter, a mid-80s change-up, and a low-80s curve.

Last Outing (vs. ATL on 9/4) – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Sunday (3:05 PM EST): LHP CC Sabathia vs. RHP A.J. Griffin

Reviewing Griffin’s stat line is a fine reminder of just how elevated offensive levels are this season. His 5.09 ERA is good for a 92 ERA+, whereas last year’s 5.07 ERA translated into an 89 ERA+; and he pitched for the Rangers in both seasons. Griffin is a flyball pitcher (just 27.5% grounders this year) with below-average strikeout numbers in a hitter’s park. That’s not a great recipe for success.

Griffin is a three-ish pitch junkballer. He mostly throws a high-80s four-seamer, a low-80s change-up, and a high-60s curveball. He’ll also flash a mid-80s cutter, but that’s more of a show-me pitch than anything else.

Last Outing (vs. LAA on 9/2) – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K

The Bullpen

Closer Matt Bush and set-up man Keone Kela are both on the DL as of this morning, so the bullpen isn’t in great shape right now. And the bullpen wasn’t particularly strong to begin with, checking-in within the bottom third of the majors in ERA, FIP, K%, BB%, bWAR, fWAR, and WPA.

Tony Barnette has served as the closer since those two went down, and he’s 2-for-2 in save opportunities. He has a 4.91 ERA (95 ERA+) in 51.1 IP. Jason Grilli (6.46 ERA in 39.0 IP) is the set-up man for the time being, with Jose Leclerc (4.32 ERA in 41.2 IP) and Alex Claudio (2.33 ERA in 69.2 IP) also chipping in in the late innings. Tyson Ross was moved to the bullpen at the end of August, as well – he allowed 3 hits and 2 runs in 0.2 IP in his first relief appearance.

Who (Or What) To Watch

The Rangers currently have two hitters with 25-plus home runs and a negative fWAR, in Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor. That’s not necessarily something to watch, but it’s endlessly fascinating to me. They’ve combined to hit .205/.270/.422 in 1050 PA thus far.

I compared Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge last time around, and they’ve trended in opposite directions since then. Gallo is batting .236/.402/.649 (168 wRC+) with 18 HR since they last met; Judge, on the other hand, is at .209/.380/.412 (112 wRC+) and 12 HR. Perhaps Judge can take this opportunity to get his mojo back…