Here is tonight’s open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Tigers at Red Sox (Rodriguez vs. Greene) because apparently ESPN still thinks it’s 2013. Talk about that game, this afternoon’s win, or anything else here.
Still amped up from that game last night? I know I am. What a win. I love love love that we can talk about Alex Rodriguez as a serious MVP candidate this season. Who would have guessed that coming into Spring Training? This season is just the best I tell ya.
Anyway, yesterday is yesterday and today is today. The Yankees will try to win the series against the Twins this afternoon behind Nathan Eovaldi, who has not allowed an extra-base hit this month and has allowed just one home run in his last 61.1 innings. I can write that because I don’t believe in jinxes. Here is Minnesota’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- LF Brett Gardner
- DH Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 1B Garrett Jones
- 3B Chase Headley
- SS Didi Gregorius
- 2B Stephen Drew
RHP Nathan Eovaldi
It is cloudy, hot, and humid in Minneapolis today, which means rain is on the way. The forecast says the showers are not unexpected until later this afternoon though, so they shouldn’t be a problem unless the game goes long. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Royals are set to acquire ace right-hander Johnny Cueto from the Reds. The two sides were close to a deal yesterday before things fell apart when Cincinnati got scared by something they found in the medicals of another player involved in the deal. Apparently the two sides were able to work out a trade anyway.
The Yankees had reportedly been scouting Cueto for weeks, which makes total sense. He’s both a great pitcher and also a rental, making him a perfect fit for a team in need of rotation help and wary of taking on long-term deals. It’s unclear if the Yankees ever had serious talks with the Reds about Cueto. We also don’t know who the Royals are sending to Cincy, so I can’t offer up a comparable Yankees package.
Even with Cueto and Scott Kazmir (traded to the Astros) off the board, there are still plenty of pitchers on the trade market. Cole Hamels is the big name, but he comes with a hefty contract. Jeff Samardzija, Mike Leake, Ian Kennedy, and Mat Latos are other rental options. The Tigers remain undecided about whether to trade David Price. The package for Cueto will give us an idea of what it would take to acquire Price, who would look might fine in pinstripes.
Update: Cueto was traded for left-handers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed, both clubs announced. I’m not sure there’s a good Yankees equivalent. Jacob Lindgren, Manny Banuelos if they still had him, and Brady Lail? That doesn’t really work. Eh, whatever.
OF Aaron Judge took batting practice today, according to Shane Hennigan. Judge said he isn’t injured, just “tight.” Okay then. He was reportedly walking around the clubhouse with his lower back wrapped last night.
Triple-A Scranton (10-2 win over Toledo)
- CF Ben Gamel: 2-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K — back-to-back two-hit games with a triple
- 3B Jose Pirela: 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB — back at third base now
- LF Ramon Flores: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
- 1B Greg Bird: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 K
- RF Tyler Austin: 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 5/3 GB/FB — 47 of 65 pitches were strikes (72%) … efficient! (not exactly his trademark!)
- RHP Johnny Barbato: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 18 of 32 pitches were strikes (57%)
- RHP Wilking Rodriguez: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 14 of 22 pitches were strikes (64%)
Holy smokes. I need a cigarette after that game. The Yankees battled back from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Twins 8-5 on Saturday night thanks to the oldest player on the roster and the second youngest player on the roster. What a win. It’s Saturday night, so let’s recap with bullet points:
- Ten More Years!: Alex Rodriguez had had enough. The Yankees fell behind 5-0 (more on that in a bit), so he put the team on his back and carried them back into the game. Solo homer into the third deck in the fourth inning, two-run homer into the bullpen in the seventh, then a game-tying solo homer to center off Glen Perkins in the ninth. Three homers to lead the comeback. And they say he ain’t clutch.
- Serial Killed: A-Rod merely tied the game in the ninth. His teammates took care of the rest. Mark Teixeira singled but was erased on Carlos Beltran‘s fielder’s choice. Beltran moved to third on Chase Headley‘s single to put the go ahead run at third with one out. Backup catcher/serial killer John Ryan Murphy just needed to hit a ball to the outfield, and he did that and then some. Murphy hit a three-run homer over the high wall in right-center field (oppo blast!) to give the Yankees the 8-5 lead. It was in a two-strike count too. What a stud. What a moment.
- No No CC: The Yankees shouldn’t allow CC Sabathia to make another start, but you and I both know they will. He allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in 5.2 innings on Saturday, against a Twins lineup loaded with righties and switch-hitters. It was easy to foresee a rough night. Sabathia hasn’t gotten righties out at all this year. As long as Sabathia is in the rotation, the Yankees are not giving themselves the best chance to win. Simple as that.
- Unsung Hero: A-Rod hit the three homers and Murphy gave them the lead, but Adam Warren is the unsung hero of the game. He replaced Sabathia in the fifth, escaping his bases loaded jam with a strikeout, then tossed two more scoreless innings to give the Yankees a chance to get back in the game. Warren stopped the bleeding and deserves the win. Andrew Miller tossed a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 23 chances.
- Leftovers: The three-homer game was the fifth of A-Rod’s career and his third with the Yankees. He last did it against the Royals in 2010. The other was the three-homer, 10 RBI game against Bartolo Colon in 2005. You remember that, right? … Teixeira had two hits and then Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Young, Stephen Drew, Headley, and Murphy had one each … Brian McCann struck out with Ellsbury at second representing the tying run in the eighth, but who cares after that ninth inning.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, postseason odds, Bullpen Workload page, and Announcer Standings page. That’s a lot of stuff. The Yankees and Twins will wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi and Kyle Gibson will be the pitching matchup in the matinee.
The Yankees got their brains beat in by the Twins last night and it was just one of those games. Happens to every team a few times each season. It was another road loss however, the team’s 22nd loss in their last 35 road games. That’s not very good! The Yankees are 23-25 with a a -21 run differential on the road this year and I was surprised to see their record was that good.
Obviously this Yankees team is built for Yankee Stadium, but it’s not like they are completely helpless without the short porch. They rank middle of the pack with an average of 3.81 runs per game away from home. The real problem is the pitching staff — the Yankees have a 4.14 ERA on the road and a 3.76 ERA at home, which makes no sense. They’ve allowed four more earned runs on the road in 32.1 fewer innings.
The Yankees have built themselves a nice little lead in the AL East — emphasis on little, it is still only July — but they’re going to have to solve their road woes at some point to really run away with this thing. Last night was a clunker, just forget about it. Move on and try to win today. Here’s is Minnesota’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- LF Chris Young
- DH Alex Rodriguez
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- C John Ryan Murphy
- SS Brendan Ryan
- 2B Stephen Drew
LHP CC Sabathia
The weather in Minneapolis has been great for most of the day, but there have been some on and off showers this afternoon. The forecast says things will dry up right around game time, however, so it shouldn’t be a problem. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy.
Roster Move: Welcome to the big leagues, Nick Goody. Enjoy the affordable health care for life. The Yankees have called Goody up to give them a fresh arm in the bullpen, the team announced. Branden Pinder was sent down and Gregorio Petit was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster. Goody, the team’s sixth round pick in 2012, has a 1.68 ERA (1.86 FIP) with 35.5 K% and 7.1 BB% in 48.1 relief innings split between Double-A and Triple-A this year. He’ll be the 12th (!) Yankee to make his MLB debut this season whenever he gets into a game.
Rotation Update: Joe Girardi announced the Yankees will use a spot sixth starter on Tuesday to give everyone an extra day of rest. Right now Tuesday’s starter is TBA and Girardi said they could piggyback Adam Warren and Chris Capuano. Luis Severino started for Triple-A Scranton last night and Bryan Mitchell is starting tonight, so they aren’t options. The most likely minor league candidate is (gulp) Esmil Rogers. He threw 91 pitches last time out and lines up to start Tuesday if the team wants to go that way.
The Yankees and Twins do not continue their three-game series until later tonight, so here are some links to help you pass the time.
Gardner Warned, Not Fined For White Cleats
Last weekend, Brett Gardner wore a set of white cleats during a game against the Mariners, which is against the league’s uniform rules. Apparently the Yankees have to wear cleats that are at least 51% black. Gardner had the cleats left over from the All-Star Game and CC Sabathia urged him to wear them in the game. Bryan Hoch says Gardner was warned by both MLB and the Yankees, but he wasn’t fined for the uniform infraction.
“I don’t think anyone came to my locker and took them, but I won’t be wearing them again. That was a one-time thing. I definitely got several warnings on that already — unofficial and official from the bottom all the way to the top,” said Gardner. Sabathia said he would have paid the fine since he talked Gardner into it. It’s silly, but the rules are the rules. Kinda funny to see Brett rebel like that.
Gardner Wins Heart & Hustle Award, Again
For the fourth time in the last six years, Brett Gardner has won the Yankees’ Heart & Hustle Award. Each team gives out the award annually to a “current player who not only excels on the field, but also best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.” All 30 winners can be seen right here. Gardner also won the award in 2010, 2013, and 2014. He is now eligible for the league-wide Heart & Hustle Award. The winner will be announced after the season.
MLB Will Consider Pushing Back Trade Deadline
Earlier this week, commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters MLB will consider pushing the trade deadline back from July 31st. The second wildcard has created a ton of parity and not every team is ready to sell at the end of July. Pushing the deadline back to, say, August 15th or 30th could beef up the market. Here’s what Manfred said, via Brendan Kuty:
“I think the July 31 deadline is something that we may want to revisit in the context of the revised playoff format,” Manfred said during an appearance at the Beyond Sports United symposium at Prudential Center. “Obviously when you have two additional opportunities to be in the playoffs, you have more teams in the hunt and they may want to wait a little longer before they make decisions.
“On the other hand, we want teams, the core of which have been together for the year, playing in the postseason so you have to just balance those two issues, I think.”
While I understand pushing the trade deadline back may be beneficial, I don’t love the idea. For starters, you’d be acquiring even less of a player if you make a deadline deal. Acquire a starter on July 31st and you get about 12 starts out of him. Push the deadline back a few weeks and you get what, eight starts? Maybe ten? Also, this could potentially hurt the bad teams legitimately looking to sell because clubs could wait longer to see who becomes available. I dunno, July 31st seems to work well. It’s basically the two-thirds point of the season. Heaven forbid teams have to decide whether to go for it by then.
Rugger Ardizoia, Oldest Living Yankee, Passes Away
Rinaldo “Rugger” Ardizoia, the oldest living Yankee, recently passed away at age 95 following a stroke, reports John Shea. Ardizoia was born in Italy, immigrated to San Francisco with his family when he was an infant, and played for the Yankees in 1947 after spending three years in the army. He appeared in just one MLB game, throwing two mop-up innings in a 15-5 loss to the St. Louis Browns. Here’s the box score. Ardizoia spoke to Louie Lazar about his playing career earlier this year. Condolences to his family and friends.
Eddie Robinson, 94, is now the oldest living Yankee according to the best available research. Robinson played most of his 13-year career with the Indians but did wear pinstripes from 1954-56. He was the team’s primary first baseman during that time.
Believe it or not, Joe Girardi has an app coming out next month, reports Dan Barbarisi. Girardi had a hand in designing the game and wanted something family friendly he could share with his kids. “It was just an idea that we could do with families. Kids connect on phones, and they connect with parents on phones. I know I text my kids a lot, and they respond quickly. It’s just another way to have connection with family,” he said. Here are the details from Barbarisi:
In Portalball, which appears to be set against the backdrop of an alien invasion of Earth, players compete in one of three phases of the game—hitting, pitching, and fielding—to deal with the portal invaders. As in the promotional video featuring Girardi and his fiery bat, players will bat, pitch, and field their way to success against their friends using balls flying in from portals all around them.
The game uses augmented reality technology, meaning that it takes over the phone or tablet’s camera and projects the image that the phone sees onto the phone’s screen. Users then play Portalball against that constantly shifting background, with portals opening seemingly out of the walls, ceilings, and floors of the room around them.
Alrighty then. Barbarisi says the original plan was to create a more traditional baseball game, but the app developer and Girardi tossed around a bunch of ideas and eventually decided on the sci-fi theme. Sounds neat, though I never play games on my phone, so I doubt I’ll be downloading Portalball. Just not my thing. The app will be available next month.