Sonny has been terrific on the hill lately for the New York Yankees. On Saturday, July, 21st, his first start after the All Star Break and against the Mets, Sonny pitched 5.1 innings, allowed 3 hits, 3 runs, only 2 of which were earned, he walked 3 and struck out 6. It was solid. Sonny threw 94 pitches with 54 for strikes against 40 balls. Sonny throws a lot of pitches, curve balls in particular, that go in the dirt and get swung at quite a bit. His curve is his go to strike out pitch along with his fastball. Sonny hit 93-94 consistently and his curve at 80-82 was outstanding. He came out in the sixth after getting an out and then walking 2, but the Yanks survived 7-6 over the Mets and Sonny earned the victory.
Last Thursday in Sonny's second outing since the break, he went 5, gave up 3 hits, 0 runs, with 2 walks and 5 K's. He had to come out after the fifth because a hard hit grounder at the mound and behind him hit Sonny on the hand as he tried to stop it, but it glanced off his hand and Didi Gregorious threw out the runner. Sonny had to come out after that inning, but he was OK and good to go going forward, The Yanks won again 7-2 and Sonny, with the victory, moved to 8-7 with a 5.08 ERA. The ERA is not ideal, but Sonny just keeps getting better and better this season. I like where he's at now. He had really been struggling at Yankee Stadium before his Mets start, but he's been victorious both times since the break and looks to be hitting his stride. The Yankees are 67-37 and 5 1/2 games behind the awesome Red Sox in the AL East. The Sox are 74-33, playing .692 ball. They can pitch, they can field and they wear out the baseball at the plate. So great race coming up in the AL East the last 2 months of the season.
Sonny gets the ball again Wednesday @ Yankee Stadium vs right hander Alex Cobb and the Baltimore Orioles at 12:05 PM CT. The O's have struggled mightily this season and look to be in a rebuilding mode as they have already traded Manny Machado to the Dodgers and sent key reliever Zack Britton to the Yanks. The O's may make some more moves before the trade deadline tomorrow afternoon. Cobb, who was a very good pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays, has struggled this season with a 2-14 record and a 6.08 ERA. He's on a team that should be a lot better than their record, but their pitching has been terrible quite honestly. Still, another test for Sonny as he keeps working hard to get the Yankees fans in his corner. Sonny handles the intense scrutiny of the New York media and fans well though, so they like him. They sure like him right now. How could you not like the man anyway. Hard worker, super guy. Sonny is performing up to Sonny Gray standards and he expects to get better and better as the season keeps progressing into August and September.
Mike helped the Rangers clinch a sweep of the defending Houston Astros yesterday by pitching a gem. Mike pitched 6 innings, gave up 4 hits, 2 earned runs, with 1 walk and 8 K's in the Texas Rangers' 4-3 victory over the mighty Astros that enabled his team to sweep the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston over the weekend. MIke threw 90 pitches with 55 for strikes against 35 balls. His fastball was constantly clipping 94 and hit 95, 4 or so times. His changeup was super with a ton of movement. He pitched fantastically well. Mike moved to 7-6 on the season with a 4.73 ERA. He's had 4 quality starts in a row. It seems like whenever Mike gets into a jam, bases loaded 1 out for example, he gets out of it. Really like where Mike is right now. Mike pitches next at home in Globe Life Park against right hander Dylan Bundy and the Orioles on Saturday at 7:05 PM.
David's last start was against the Orioles last Wednesday, but it only lasted an inning and it was a shame it did. David had struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in the bottom of the 1st, and Andrew Benintendi crushed a homer, and Mookie Betts added a 3 run shot, and the BoSox looked to be cruising with a 5-0 lead. But it started raining hard and wouldn't quit. So the game was rained out and will be made up at a later date, so that was a bummer. But David did pitch very well the Friday before , three days after the All Star break against the Detroit Tigers, winning 1-0. David went 6.1, gave up only 4 hits, 0 runs, with 1 walk and 5 K's. He threw 96 pitches with 65 for strikes against 31 balls, an over 2:1 ratio, which is solid. David moved to 11-6 with a 4.17 ERA. He's pitching extremely well. His fastball was hitting 94-95 and his changeup was also outstanding against the Tigers. He had great command out there. Today, David faces a tough test at Fenway at 6 PM CT versus the Philadelphia Phillies, which are 58-47 and lead the Braves in the NL East by a game and a half. Aaron Nola, who was a star at LSU, is also a star for the Phillies with a 12-3 record and a 2.42 ERA. His WHIP (Walks plus hits per inning a good analytic) is 0.99, which is exceptional. He's walked 37 and struck out 138. David's WHIP is 1.22, he's walked 35 and struck out 114. David was on the DL for a while this season and missed some starts, but he's on fire now, and David and the BoSox are looking to make a deep run into October if they can keep playing like this.
Walker came off the DL last Wednesday for the LA Dodgers to start against the Phillies and pitched well for 4 innings, but was hit pretty hard in the 5th. Walker threw 4.2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 5 earned runs, with 1 walk and 5 K's. His fastball was hitting 96-98, so there was nothing wrong with his arm after returning from the DL with a fractured rib sustained on a line drive that hit him a month and a half ago, which he pitched through for a couple of games. He was just getting back into the flow of the game, and he was a little rusty, but he put together 4 very good innings from innings 1-4. He's now 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA. Walker's WHIP is 1.10, he's walked only 14 and struck out 64 in 62 innings of work. Walker takes the hill again tomorrow at Dodger Stadium versus right hander Wade MIley and the Milwaukee Brewers. Game time is 9:10 PM. Miley has been hurt a lot of the year and has only started 5 games, but he's 1-1 with a 2.01 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, 13 walks and 12 K's. The Brewers are 61-47 and a game and a half behind the Cubs in the NL Central, so they're a very good team. Walk has his work cut out for him tomorrow night. The Dodgers took 3 of 4 from the Braves over the weekend but almost got no hit yesterday by Braves starter Sean Newcomb. Chris Taylor singled through the left side with 2 outs in the top of the 9th to break up the no hitter. The Braves won 4-1. The Dodgers are currently 59-47 and lead the Arizona Diamondbacks (59-48) by a half game and the Colorado Rockies (57-47) by a game in the NL West. So quite a battle going on in the NL West.
Dans is pretty firmly entrenched as the Braves shortstop. He is currently hitting .247 with 8 homers and 38 Ribeyes, but went only 1 for 8 over the weekend against the Dodgers. The Dodgers threw lefty Rich Hill Thursday, lefty Clayton Kershaw on Friday and lefty Alex Wood on Saturday, all of whom are spectacular pitchers. So they were tough on the whole Braves lineup. Would like to see Dans gets his bat going a little more. He's had a lot of good games lately. Former Braves highly successful manager Bobby Cox told manager Brian Snitker in the spring that Dans would have fit in perfectly with his outstanding teams in the 90's. That's a good stamp of approval for Dans. The Braves are a high character organization and Dans fits that mold perfectly. Want to see him get his bat going more though and he committed an error on Saturday Night. But he's been solid on defense overall. The Braves host the Marlins tonight at Sun Trust. Julio Teheran faces Wei-Yin Chen for the Marlins. Julio has been up and down this season, but certainly has the talent to have a good outing. Game time is 6:35 PM on Fox Sports Southeast. The Bravos are 55-47 and 1 1/2 games back of the Phillies. It was good for them to get a victory yesterday at home and get such a good pitching performance from Newcomb.
Tony has been outstanding for the Astros since coming up from the minors a month and a half ago. Tony is hitting .296 with 3 homers and 20 Ribbies. He's stolen 7 bases, and is playing superb left field for the Stros. Yesterday against Mike Minor and the Rangers, Tony was 2 for 4, including a 9th inning line drive RBI single that cut the Rangers lead to 4-3. The Rangers got center fielder George Springer out to end the game, but Tony has been a spectacular player for the Astros. The Stros brought up one of their prized minor leaguers, Kirk Tucker, and he's been in left field some too, but he's only hitting a buck 40, so Tony is very much outplaying him. Tony helps the Stros win games. Tucker doesn't do a thing. It's pretty easy thing to decide who should be the every day left fielder. The Astros are 67-40 and lead a competitive AL West with Seattle 4 back at 62-43 and the surprising and impressive Oakland A's at 61-46 and 6 back. Oakland did get swept by the Rockies over the weekend at Denver.
Curt continues to impress the Cincinnati Reds' brass as he doubled and walked twice yesterday in a Reds' 4-0 victory over the Phillies. The Reds, along with the Rangers, look to be teams to watch in 2019. The Reds are now 48-58, but have really gotten better since promoting Jim Riggleman, a veteran manager, to manage the club in late May. The Reds took 2 of 3 from the Phillies over the weekend and have a great core of young players, much like the Rangers, which are 45-62, but have a super nucleus of young players. Curt, in 135 at bats, is hitting .296 with 3 homers and 21 Ribeyes. His slugging percentage is .415 and his OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) is .807, very solid numbers. Anything over .400 is very good in slugging and an OPS over .800 is solid in the majors. Curt doesn't get to start a lot as there is another Reds catcher who is pretty good, but he's not better than Curt. Hoping Curt can keep getting more playing time on this exciting young Reds club.
Kyle went 8 the last time out allowing 4 hits, 1 run with 2 walks and 4 K's for the Mississippi Braves, the AA team for the Atlanta Braves. He took a regrettable 1-0 loss, but he's 6-8 with a 3.70 ERA, and keeps putting together good start after good start lately. He's hitting 95-96 and sometimes 97 and his stuff is electric. I see Kyle getting up to the Braves maybe in September and becoming a key part of their plans as a starter in the future, possibly even next season. Kyle is 22. He turns 23 in October.
Zander has been knocking the cover off the ball for the Chattanooga Lookouts, the AA team for the Minnesota Twins. Zander is hitting .312 with 7 home runs and 45 Ribbies. He has a slugging percentage of .470 and an OPS of .851. On July 20th, he hit 2 home runs and drove in 5 against the Mobile Bay Bears. Saturday against the Tennessee Smokies, Zander was 3 for 4, with 2 doubles (25 on the season) and 2 runs scored. He's playing solid left field for the Lookouts as well. He was a first baseman at VU, but he's a great athlete and is versatile. Zander is 25. He turned 25 in January.
Bryan is hitting .276 with 4 homers and 31 driven in for the Altoona Curve, the double A club for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bryan was 2 for 4 last night against Binhampton with an RBI. Bryan is playing solid outfield for Altoona also. Bryan has a shot to make it to the big club in the future, either at the beginning of 2019 or in the middle of next summer. Bryan is 23. He turned 23 in January.
Will was recently traded to the New York Mets from the Oakland A's and he's found his new club, the BInghampton Rumble Ponies, much to his liking. The 23 year old, who'll be 24 in December, is hitting .320 for the Rumble Ponies, with a homer and 4 Ribbies, in AA ball. He was hitting .244 for Stockton (CA) with 5 homers and 29 Ribbies in Advanced A ball for the A's organization. But the A's wanted a top reliever from the Mets, Jeurys Familia, so Will and another player were sent to the Mets for Familia. Will has found a good place for himself, and hopefully he can keep climbing the minor league ladder and get to the big club in the next year or 2.
The 25 year old (Sept. 24, 1992), has been playing very well for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the AA team for the Miami Marlins. John is hitting .246 with 5 homers and 29 Ribbies. John will forever be remembered by the Vanderbilt family for his epic 8th inning solo homer against Virginia in the 2014 clinching victory over the Cavs to capture the national championship for Tim Corbin and our Vanderbilt Commodores. I know I'll never forget it. It was a surreal feeling that night. And one that will live on forever throughout Commodore country. Hopefully, John can be doing some of that for the Miami Marlins in the near future and we can win another national championship next season. With the talent we have returning and coming in, we could repeat what John and the 2014 team did.
Another key member of the 2014 squad who made play after play on offense and defense in the postseason that year, Rhett is hitting .256 for the Potomac Nationals, the Washington Nationals Class A Advanced team. Rhett has 19 homers and 52 Ribeyes with a .500 slugging percentage and .858 OPS. Rhett could very well find himself moving up the ladder soon. He plays an excellent outfield as well. Rhett is 24, which he turned on June 22nd.
Carson has been coming out of the bullpen for the Charlotte Knights recently and has done a superb job. His last outing, he pitched 1.2 innings gave up 1 hit, 0 runs with 2 walks and 2 ring ups. Carson was struggling as a starter, but may be back in the starting rotation for the White Sox triple A club soon, or he may become a top reliever for the Triple A club and move up to the big leagues that way. Would love to see him be a starter again, but any way Carson can make it to Chicago and be an impact player I'll take. Carson was the starter in the clinching victory over Virginia in 2014 and did an excellent job. He was something like 15-1 that year. It was impossibly good. Like to see the man get back to being the type of pitcher he's capable of. Carson is 24 and turns 25 in December. The White Sox sure haven't given up on him. They still believe he can be a stellar pitcher for their big league club.
Tyler, 25 (May 23, 1993), was our game 1 starter against Virginia in 2014 and had a stellar career for us. He is with the Triple A Sacramento River Cats of the San Francisco Giants organization. Tyler, after getting up to the big club like Carson did early in the season, had his struggles there and has been struggling for the River Cats as a starter, but looks to be getting it back coming out of the bullpen. Saturday, he pitched 1.2 innings against the Iowa Cubs and allowed 1 hit, 0 runs, with 0 walks and 2 K's. His ERA is high right now at 6.48, like Carson's, which is 5.50, but he also had a good appearance out of the pen against the Omaha Storm Chasers last week, going 1 inning, giving up 1 hit, 0 runs with 0 walks and a K. So, both Tyler and Carson are working their way back to the big league clubs. Pulling for both as both guys are extremely hard workers like all of our guys.
Will have some VU football coming up this week as well.