The Yankees’ pitching staff continued, in August, to do more than enough to keep the team in the game on most days. After the signings of Jaime Garcia and Sonny Gray, they had given themselves 6 regular starting options – most of whom are more than holding their own. The bullpen has been more than solid with the exception of Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is perhaps the reliever that the Yankees expected most from but who is delivering least.
Aaron Judge was hot and untouchable in the first half of the season. Now either the opposition pitchers have caught up to him or something else is wrong. Fortunately, Gary Sanchez who was very much in his shadow before the All-Star break, has exploded offensively in the last month. The Yankees are clearly concerned about some defensive kinks he has behind the plate but it is thanks to him and guys like Didi Gregorius that the Yankees’ ship is still afloat and in a promising position to take the first wildcard spot -although they are looking increasingly less likely to catch Boston for the division lead.
In July, the Yankees strengthened their bullpen by adding David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle although these moves meant they had to subtract Tyler Clippard. Then right on the deadline they strengthened their starting rotation with the addition of Sonny Gray from Oakland and Jaime Garcia from the Minnesota Twins.
Whilst it would be in August that we will see whether Gray and Garcia provide an upgrade, the arrival of Robertson and Kahnle was evidently a master-stroke especially since Clippard’s season was falling apart at the seams.
The second half of June was a disaster for New York. After the twelfth of the month they suffered a huge slide which saw them go 8-17 between then and the 14th of July. However, in the second half of July they turned that around with a sequence of 12 wins out of 17 games which saw them return to the head of their division. A lot of the success was led by the pitchers but which of the batters were also at the forefront of the turnaround?
Rock and Roll meets the Kids From Fame in the West End
What: Bat Out of Hell – The Musical
Who: Jim Steinman et al
Where: The Coliseum, London
When: July 2017
I remember everything! I remember everything as if it happened only yesterday…
About a life time ago I was playing football on the front lawn of my friend, Richard Chipchase. During a break in the game, he mentioned that his brother had seen a new band on “The Old Grey Whistle Test” the night before. He said that their name was “Meatloaf” and his brother said we ought to look out for them. Neither of us realised that Meat Loaf wasn’t a band but the singer.
Not long after, I picked up “Bat Out of Hell”. Then “Bad For Good” (composer Jim Steinman’s own album). Then “Dead Ringer” (remember buying that one in Casa Disco on the day it came out, assistant grumbling that she was fed up with taking the empty album sleeve back to the rack).
After that you realised that Meat relied on Steinman to come up with the songs to be at his peak. There was a long wait until “Bat Out of Hell II” and then another falling out between Steinman and Mr Loaf which surrounded “Bat Out of Hell III”.
There was a general deterioration in Meat Loaf’s health and voice and then another Meat Loaf / Steinman disc, “Braver Than We Are”.
And then there was “Bat Out of Hell – The musical” in Manchester and then it moved to London, the city where I live.
Musicals are not my thing – although I was in a touring musical once (that was years ago when I was young and foolish) so I decided to give this one a wide berth.
But then I was asked to go along and see the show and offer some comments prior to a possible transfer. So with some trepidation I decided to do just that.
(This is not a typical discography. It does not relate to any one country’s releases for the band but where there has been a UK copy, it favours that. It is primarily a listener’s discography, rather than a collector’s discography. It will tell you where to get all the releases, in the most modern formats.)
What: The Incorruptibles Soiree
When: 7th July 2017
Who: Louise Kleboe and her Society of Imaginary Friends; Darren Hirst; The Astronauts; Martin Wakefield and more
Where: The Karamel Music Club and Restaurant, Wood Green, London
The band who opened Glastonbury
A kind of punky-folky rock band
A poet talking about creation
And the ghost of the white-faced clown holding a teddy and reciting Shakespearean monologues and soliloquies.
In a vegan restaurant and bar.
What could be more everyday? What could go wrong?