Mr. Miagi, “IL on, IL off”Read More
There is little question but that the 2019 Yankees would be in the basement of the AL East without the play of all of the depth players that began the year at AAA Scranton. As good as all of those guys have been, one has stood above the rest: Gio Urshela. Prior to this season, Urshela was considered to be little more than a depth infielder. This season has largely changed that perception. In addition to playing good defense at the hot corner (I know that the metrics are mixed - defensive metrics take larger sample sizes to trust, so I am trusting my eyes on this one), Urshela has hit .341/.396/.505 with a .902 OPS, 140 OPS+, and 143 wRC+. Were Urshela to keep up this level of performance over a full season, he would finish with 5-ish WAR, or All-Star caliber production from 3B. Urshela’s current offensive performance is easy to comprehend, but the aforementioned statistics only tell us how Urshela has performed to this point; they say nothing about what we can expect from him moving forward. The question remains: who is Gio Urshela long-term?
(Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP)Read More
On Mother’s Day, the Yankees managed to get a win and took the rubber match from the Tampa Bay Rays. Donned in the now traditional breast cancer awareness pink that has come to signify Mother’s Day at the ballpark, the bombers were able to beat a phenomenal performance by Blake Snell and send the Yankee moms at the stadium home with a smile.
For the first 4 innings however, smiles on those from New York were scarce as Snell breezed through the Yankee lineup, fanning an astounding 10 batters. He was pin pointing almost every pitch he threw and the boys in pinstripes seemed a bit caught off guard by the reigning Cy Young winner’s ability. Snell made nearly the entire line up look off balance creating many late swings on his 96mph fastball and lunging flails at his low 80s off speeds. However in the 5th, Snell began leaving some pitches over the plate and the Yankees capitalized. Romine and Tauchman clubbed back to back doubles and LeMahieu platted another on a single to right field to give the team a 2 run lead. That’s all Masahiro Tanaka would need, but the bats would come alive in the 9th after a 45 minute power outage at Tropicana Field. Thairo Estrada started things off with a solo shot to right, increasing the Yankees lead 4-1. Romine and Tauchman again teamed up for back to back singles. Then after an intentional walk to Voit, Urshela smoked a double to deep right field scoring two more runs. Gardner would finish off the inning with a sac fly that would score the final run.
On the mound, Tanaka was “lights out” as he once again masterfully disposed of another team. He had all his pitches working for him today and racked up 7 Ks and no walks in his 7 innings of work. Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier called Tanaka “a wizard” in his post game comments. A very good description of Tanaka when he is on point as his pitches seem to divert at the very last second as if by some magic string. Britton came on in relief in the 8th inning and, while he made things a little too exciting for Yankee fans, managed to preserve the 3-1 lead with clutch back to back strike outs to end his inning. With a comfortable 7-1 lead in the 9th, Boone handed to the ball to Chad Green. This was Green’s first appearance since being demoted on April 23 due to a couple of major meltdowns and a 16.43 ERA as a result. To say the least, Green responded. He looked like he was out there to prove that he belonged. He pounded his fastball in the zone for strikes and located his slider effectively to strike out all three batters he faced. This is a very positive sign for the pitching staff as Green will need to be a key component throughout this season.
Overall I think the moms of these Baby Bombers were proud on Sunday with the performance they saw. The Yankees continue to roll as the young talent that has been growing in the farm system continues to shine on the big stage. By taking 2/3 from the division leading Rays, the Yankees sit just 0.5 games back of first in the AL East. Next week, the team returns home to host the Orioles before taking on the Rays once again, but this time in Yankee Stadium.
Each Sunday night, at least when the Yankees aren’t the Sunday Night Game of the Week, we plan to share a video that looks at baseball (most often with a Yankees focus, but not always) in a fun, unique, or memorable way. This feature will be different than the Wednesday Night Classics (where we show great Yankees moments or classic footage of players).
The Sunday Night Special will dive into the trivial, memorable, or bizarre. Many of these videos will show interesting analysis into baseball statistics. Others, though, might just feature a scene from a movie, or serve as a highlight film of a player, the team, or…well, you’ll have to stop by each week to see!
You will never quite know what will turn up on the Sunday Night Special, but we can promise it’ll be worth your time to watch.
TONIGHT WE WILL FEATURE A FEATURE ON WHO MIGHT BE BASEBALL’S NEW STRIKEOUT KING…
Yankees and Rays in 9th Inning delay due to a power outage at Tropicana Field…
(This is NOT an actual picture of the game.)