Pineda doesn’t fool anyone, Yankee pitchers allow 18 hits in an 11-8 loss to the Phillies

Boy, that was ugly. The Yankees’ pitching staff allowed 18 hits tonight against a poor Phillies lineup. Eighteen! The Yankees’ offense did manage to score eight runs and made a late run, but, as the final score indicates, they fell short. If one had told me the Yankees were going to score eight runs, I would have predicted an easy Yankee win but alas, you can’t predict baseball.

(Relative) calm before the storm

With two outs in the first inning, Big Mike hung a slider in a 1-2 count to Maikel Franco, who is one of the few on the Philadelphia Phillies who is good at baseball. The 22-year old Dominican didn’t miss any of that pitch and put it beyond the left field fence. 1-0 Phils.

Luckily for New York, Kevin Correia (at least on paper) is much more hittable. Yankees started the bottom of the first with two straight singles. A-Rod went on to strike out but Brian McCann hit a sac fly to tie it up at 1.

With two outs, Carlos Beltran worked Correia into a 3-2 count and drove an RBI double to left to score Chase Headley from first. 2-1 Yankees. Garrett Jones singled but Beltran got thrown out at home. New York still got out of the inning with a lead. You would think that Yankees would end up score more and Michael Pineda settles down nicely for an easy win, right? Well …

Le Sigh (Source: Getty)

Michael Pine-d’oh!

Pineda’s velocity was good tonight. His command was less than ideal. But luckily, the Phillies lineup isn’t exactly a Murderer’s Row … or so you would think.

In the top third, Pineda allowed three straight baserunners (two singles and a walk) to loaded the bases with no outs. Ryan Howard followed that with a two-RBI single to retake the lead for Philadelphia and Domonic Brown’s GIDP scored another run for a 4-2 Phillies lead.

Things didn’t seem to be any better in the fourth. In fact, it got a whole lot worse. Pineda allowed two straight singles to start the inning. Freddy Galvis attempted a push bunt and the ball went down the line … and it just managed to stay fair. Oof. It was that kind of night for Pineda.

With bases loaded and no outs, Ben Revere grounded into force out to home. The next hitter, Cesar Fernandez, hit a double to right to drive in two more. That was a hanger of a slider that not many big leaguers would miss and Pineda paid for it. Maikel Franco, who had already homered this game, added a two-RBI single to knock Pineda out of the game. 8-2 Phillies.

Tonight was a culmination of not a lot of things working for the big guy. Sure, there were a good amount of soft/unlucky singles for Pineda but he also wasn’t getting swings-and-misses to strike guys out. In fact, he struck out no one in 3.1 innings pitched. Pitchers have bad games and Pineda just happened to have one of his worse ones against one of the worst lineups in the league. Oh well.

By the way, after tonight’s game, Pineda’s ERA is at 4.25 and he’s allowed 96 hits in 84.2 IP. He definitely has shown ability to keep the walks down (12) and strike out hitters (87) for a solid 2.89 FIP but, well, he’s been allowing too many hits recently. I think he will rebound – he’s got too much talent not to be better than his ERA – but it’s not ideal to see him go through this while every win is so important for the Yankees right now.

Extra note: tonight was only the second time Pineda recorded zero strikeout in an ML start – the first after the pine tar game.

Comeback attempt/RISPFail

In the bottom fourth, after two outs, Chris Young singled to right and Stephen Drew reached on an infield hit. Brett Gardner followed it up with a three-RBI home run to tighten the gap at 8-5 Phillies lead. Progress!

Come bottom fifth, the Phillies took out Correia and brought in fireballing LHP Jake Diekman. Diekman walked A-Rod in four pitches but took care of McCann with a pop-up. Beltran, who has been hitting much better lately, hit a double to the gap to get the runners on second and third with one out. If it were A-Rod ten years ago, he would have scored easily, but remember, we are talking about a guy almost at 40 who came off hip surgeries in last few years.

Garrett Jones, who is capable of hitting balls to outfield, hit a pop up that A-Rod would have no chance scoring on. Blah. Two outs and Didi Gregorius had to face a flame-throwing lefty to drive runs in … and  that didn’t work out well for New York. Gregorius struck out to end the trouble for Diekman and the Phillies. That was painful to watch.

When you get beat by a 99 mph fastball (Source: Getty)

New York had another opportunity in the sixth when Drew and Gardner walked with one out. Diekman, bringing his A-game fastball on, struck out both Headley and A-Rod swinging to get out of the trouble. Again, painful.

The lesser evil

Chris Capuano came in relief for Pineda in the fourth inning. After Pineda failed to strike out anyone, Capuano struck out the first batter (Ryan Howard) he faced, because of course.

In the fifth, Capuano tossed a (relatively) clean inning for the Yanks. After plunking Chase Utley, the lefty struck out Cameron Rupp and Cody Asche and got Galvis to line out to left.

Welcome to New York, it may have not been waiting for you that eagerly (Source: Getty)

In the sixth, with one out, Cesar Hernandez hit a single to right. Maikel Franco then came to bat and, on a 3-0 count, the Dominican swung as confident as anyone could and boy, he did show what he can can. He hit a homer way up in the left field bleachers for a two-RBI home run. 10-5 Phillies.

Another pitching debut!

Remember the A.J. Burnett trade after the 2011 season? Well, the Yankees got RHP prospect Diego Moreno out of it. New York also got the minor leaguer with an awesome name Exicardo Cayones but he later became a part of the package to the Angels when the Yankees traded for Vernon Wells in March 2013.

After pitching in the minors for a bit more than five seasons, Moreno displayed a solid showing for the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders in 2015: 2.27 ERA in 35.2 IP with 26 hits and 8 walks allowed and 29 strikeouts.

As advertised, Moreno threw pretty hard. His fastball sat around 95~97 mph. On the first hitter faced in ML level, Moreno plunked Rupp in the ribs. Ouch, that’s gonna hurt for awhile.

Moreno also had a changeup around 88~90 mph that garnered him his first ML strikeout from Cody Asche. The righty went on to allow a consecutive singles to Galvis and Revere but got Cesar Hernandez to force ground out to home. Moreno then accomplish something Pineda or Capuano couldn’t – he actually got Maikel Franco out – on a swinging strikeout nonetheless.

All in all, not a bad debut for the righty – a full inning of work with two hits allowed but no runs and two punch outs.

Late inning attempts

The Phillies brought in another LHP (Elvis Araujo) for the bottom of seventh. McCann hit a fastball right in the screws for a homer to the second deck in right field to lessen the gap at 10-6. The offense failed to come up with much in the rest of the seventh and the eighth.

In the bottom of ninth, the Phillies turned to their closer and our old fiend, Jonathan Papelbon. A-Rod greeted him with a deep double to left to lead off. McCann flew out but Beltran reached on an infield single to second to get the runners in corners with one out.

Garrett Jones, who was earlier denied of an RBI in the first and failed to capitalize on a big RISP situation in the fifth, hit a deep double to left to drive in both Rodriguez and Beltran. 11-8 Yankees. Unfortunately for New York, Papelbon got both Gregorius and Young to pop out to end the game. Bleh.

Leftovers

Chasen Shreve came in the top of eighth and tossed his eleventh consecutive scoreless outing. How about that? Meanwhile Manny Banuelos threw a shutout for the Braves Triple-A team tonight. So that’s also that.

Buried by this loss was a big night from Brett Gardner – the gritty guy went 4-for-4 with three RBI’s and a walk. His line is up to .290/.361/.472 and that’s more than what you could ask for from a leadoff guy.

Box score, standing, video highlights, WPA

Here’s the box score, updated standings, highlights and WPA – if you do so dare to revisit the game.


Source: FanGraphs


Yankees have the big lefty CC Sabathia take the mound against Sean O’Sullivan. On the paper, Yankees should have an edge but then again, the team had a huge edge in the Pineda vs. Correia matchup… on the paper. We’ll see how the next one goes.

Tigers’ offense explodes on Tanaka and bullpen as Yanks fall 12-4 on Father’s Day

After taking two very satisfactory games from Detroit this weekend, the Yankees lost today’s game because, well, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Burawa and Jose DePaula gave up twelve runs and the offense didn’t score as many. Tanaka gave up three homers and seven runs in five innings and when you have your ace go down like that, it becomes mighty tough to win. The Yankees’ offense did hit three homers but they were far from enough. But hey, New York still got the series win!

Same (Source: Getty)

The early case of multiple dingers

Coming into the game, Tanaka had only allowed four homers this season. The Detroit Tigers, on the paper, are a very powerful team. Sure, they have not performed as expected this season but the talent is there, and boy, they showed it today.

After getting the two first hitters out – Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler – pretty quickly, Tanaka gave up an opposite field single to Miguel Cabrera. Okay, far from the worst case scenario with one of the best hitters today. Next up was Victor Martinez, who is just not having a great year. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Tanaka threw a splitter that just hung in the strike zone that Martinez hit out for a 2-0 Tigers lead.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard grounder to Didi Gregorius and Gregorius couldn’t handle it. J.D. Martinez, who’s become one of the best hitters of AL, got a 90 mph fastball right down the middle and missed none of it. 4-0 Tigers lead. Not nice.

Rest of the start

Tanaka also was shaky in the second inning – he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs. Victor Martinez, who previously got to Tanaka in first with a homer, hit a 0-2 splitter for a grounder that snuck through the middle for a 6-0 Tigers lead.

Flash forward to the top fifth, J.D. Martinez hit a slider down the middle and … just absolutely tattooed it. The ball reached to the Monument Park over the center field fence. 7-2 Tigers. It was on the first pitch of the inning so the damage was limited to a run but, still, not one of Tanaka’s finest days. 

Some amount of runs

In the second inning, with one out, Brian McCann took a 85 mph change from Anibal Sanchez into the right field seats for a solo homer. Sanchez, up to that point, hadn’t been making as mistakes as Tanaka but boy, that looked like a meatball in the zone. 6-1 Tigers.

With two outs, Chris Young lined a single to left. Stephen Drew followed it up with a four-pitch walk. Runners on first and second, Brendan Ryan came up to bat and hit a 0-2 pitch through the middle for an RBI single. 6-2.

Stephen Drew went deep again so we can make more Robinson Cano jokes. In the bottom seventh, Drew turned on a fastball inside and put the ball up in the second deck for his tenth of the year.

… You thought he was going to stop, were you? Well, in the bottom of the ninth, against Joakim Soria, Drew drove a fastball just over the right field fence for his third two-homer game of the year. Eleven home runs this season for Stephen, which is more than Buster Posey, Carlos Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Yoenis Cespedes and Andrew McCutchen have hit this year. Drew’s second homer made it 12-4 and it would stay that will till the end of the game.

Debut no. 1: The Local Kid 

Danny Burawa, only two months younger than Tanaka, was called up to the majors today. Back in 2010, the righty was a 12th rounder from St. John’s University in Queens. Prior to the call-up, Burawa was in Triple-A and has had a pretty nice season: 1.75 ERA in 36.0 IP with 30 strikeouts and 17 walks. He was known for his strong arm.

On the first pitch to Kinsler, the righty threw a 97 mph strike — there’s that big arm that had been advertised for few years. Kinsler hit a grounder to short and Didi’s offline throw was caught by Mark Teixeira and the Yankee first baseman managed to tag out the runner.

Against the next two hitters, Burawa wasn’t as lucky (or effective). Miguel Cabrera walked and Victor Martinez followed it up with a single to right. Cespedes hit an elevated fastball up to the middle for an RBI single, making it an 8-2 game for Detroit. It was pretty evident that Burawa had roughly a million butterflies. It didn’t help much that he was facing the explosive Tigers middle of the order.

(Source: Getty)

Did I say Tigers middle of the order? Well, J.D. Martinez struck again. Burawa threw a 93 mph fastball – it wasn’t a horrible pitch; definitely on the lower part of strike zone but tailed into the center. Martinez made a very solid contact and the ball sailed over the right field fence for a 3-RBI home run, 11-2 Detroit. A three-homer game for J.D.!

Debut no. 2: a first-year Yankee from Villa Mella

After Burawa allowed four earned runs and got only two outs, Joe Girardi subbed in another pitcher making his ML debut: Jose DePaula. Yankees had signed DePaula to a Major League deal in last November. The lefty had pitched with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants systems earlier in his career and after signing with New York, DePaula’s had a 1.53 ERA in 3 starts in Triple-A.

And, on his very first pitch, DePaula allowed a homer to Andrew Romine for his third career homer and first of the season. Ooof. Welcome to Major Leagues, Jose.

That home run would be the only run that DePaula allowed this afternoon. He went 3.1 IP, allowed two hits, struck out two and walked four. He didn’t get things too out of hand and managed to get enough outs to finish through the ninth inning, which, I guess, was all Girardi could have asked from De Paula.

Box Score, standings, video highlights, WPA

Here’s the box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees have Phillies visiting Yankee Stadium for a three-game series. I’m not saying the Phillies are a bad team but … well, actually, they are pretty terrible this year. Feel free to look forward to the next series in order to forget today’s game and Happy Father’s Day!

Pineda flirts with no-no, Betances nails a five-out save to defeat Miami 2-1

After dropping two in the Marlins Park, Yankees took the first game in the Yankee Stadium portion of the four-game series on Wednesday night. Michael Pineda pitched one of the best games of the year and Dellin Betances recorded a save, and, believe it or not, the game was actually more stressful to watch than that information would lead you to believe.

(Source: Getty)

Colossal Mike

In his previous outing, we saw one of Pineda’s worst starts in pinstripes. Tonight, we saw one of his best. It was also one of the best Yankee starter efforts of the season – only a day after one of the worst (or probably just the worst). So many recent ups and downs!

As you know, Pineda flirted with no-hitter for most of the time he pitched. In fact, for the first four innings, he was perfect. By the end of fourth, he had struck out six and the only real hard hit ball he gave up was a liner hit by Ichiro Suzuki that went right into Didi Gregorius‘s glove.

He allowed his first baserunner on a walk to Christian Yelich in the fourth inning. The next inning, Pineda walked Justin Bour. Both walks came on a 3-2 count so it wasn’t like he was wildly missing the glove. But, going into the seventh inning, he still had not allowed any hits.

On the pitch No. 95, the first pitch of the seventh inning, Christian Yelich drove a pitch right down the middle to right-center for a home run, breaking the no-hitter. It was a cutter that broke towards middle of the plate and Yelich didn’t miss it. No-No Mike was no more but he was still the same ol’ Big Mike.

Pineda got the next two hitters – Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna – out and his pitch count reached 100. Joe Girardi pulled him out and Big Mike was obviously not too happy with it, but what can you do. Pineda went 6.2 IP, allowed only a hit and an earned run and two walks while striking out nine, good for a solid 75 game score.

Inching towards it (Source: Getty)

2,996 and 2,997

In the first inning, Yankees had a RISP chance with two outs when Chase Headley got on second base after being hit by a pitch. A-Rod came up and hit the fourth pitch of the at-bat to the center for an RBI single. 1-0 Yankees and hit number 2,996 for A-Rod.

A-Rod did not stop there. In the fifth, with two outs and runner on first, he turned it loose on a 3-0 count and looped a single to center field. Hit number 2,997! With bases loaded, Carlos Beltran hit a single to center, scoring Chase Headley to make it 2-0. A-Rod also tried to make it to home plate but Ozuna’s strong throw got him.

Besides those two hits, Rodriguez also had a walk and an intentional walk. Given that the Yankees will play next seven games in Bronx, I guess he’ll be hitting No. 3,000 at home.

Five-out save

Yankees brought in Justin Wilson to start the eighth. He got Jeff Mathis to fly out. Adeiny Hechavarria walked and Ichiro followed it up with a single, setting the Marlins up with one out and runners in the corners. Girardi then brought in Betances to get out of the situation. Dellin had to face one of the best contact hitters in baseball for the first assignment: Dee Gordon.

On the second pitch, Gordon grounded one to first base. Garrett Jones, instead of trying for a double play, threw home to get the lead runner out. But his throw to Brian McCann was high and it seemed like Hechavarria just slid under the tag to be safe – well, at least that’s what it initially seemed like to the umpires.

The replays showed that Hechavarria was probably out but was it enough to overturn the call? Yes. It became two outs with runners on first and second … and the Yankees still leading 2-1. Huge. Betances worked out of a jam when Derek Dietrich lined out to Beltran on a first pitch swing.

Betances retired Yelich to start the ninth. And then, it was a matchup versus Stanton. Betances versus Stanton! Power versus power! Dellin threw three nasty curves/slurves/whatever thing that drops like death to strike out the Marlins outfielder.

Marcell Ozuna hit a 2-out single to keep the Marlins alive and Justin Bour made things a bit tense by working a walk. However, Betances struck out Jeff Mathis to end the game. Things didn’t have to be on the edge so many times in the game! But it was. At least the Yankees and Big Mike got the win and Betances got the save.

Leftovers

Just like the past few days, there were some RISPFails going on tonight. The offense was 2-for-8 in RISP situations and the most painful moment of all was purely by lack of luck.

In the bottom seventh, the Yankees had runners on second and third with two outs. Garrett Jones, facing the lefty Brad Hand, hit one in the screws to right but got robbed by a diving 1B Justin Bour. That would have made the game 4-1 to Yankees’ favor. Oh well.

Box score, standings, highlights and WPA

Here’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


One thing is clear, Yankees are not being swept by the Marlins. Tomorrow, New York looks to even up the series with C.C. Sabathia taking the mound versus Mat Latos.

Yankees lose a pitchers’ duel in Miami 2-1 as the offense can’t support Tanaka

For the third consecutive starts after coming off the DL, Masahiro Tanaka pitched pretty well. He had another seven-inning outing, limiting the Marlins to two runs despite not having his best command. But the New York offense went quiet against Tom Koehler and their bullpen – the Yankees fell tonight 2-1  and lost for the third time in last four games. Oh well. This one does hurt.

Eyes on target (Source: Getty)

Tanak Tanak Tun

Tanaka has been very, very good since coming off the DL. Tonight, while he did allow nine hits in seven innings, you can’t complain too much about the way he pitched – he didn’t allow any walks (again) and struck out six.

In the second inning, Tanaka allowed a one-out double to Derek Dietrich and Adeiny Hechavarria followed it up with an RBI-single on a hanging splitter.

In the third, Masahiro allowed two consecutive singles to Ichiro Suzuki and Christian Yelich. Luckily, Giancarlo Stanton hit a hard grounder right at Did Gregorius for a 6-4-3 double play. Boy, that was a break, especially against a guy like Stanton.

In the seventh, after retiring eleven consecutive batters, Tanaka allowed a homer to right to Dietrich. It was a fastball right down the middle and yeah, it was a goner off the bat. In a 1-1 game like this, especially after being on such a roll, that hurt quite much. For shame. The score remained 2-1 for rest of the game and Tanaka took a hard loss.

Despite the loss, his numbers are still quite elite. In seven starts, Tanaka has a 2.49 ERA and 2.71 FIP – doing it well on both conventional and sabermetric numbers. By the way, if you don’t “get” the title of the section, check this out.

The sole offensive triumph (Source: Getty)

Quiet bats

Tom Koehler is from New York City and grew up a big Yankee fan. Tonight, he earned a win against the team he rooted for.

Now, Koehler is not a bad pitcher. Before tonight, the righty had a 4.13 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) with a 4-4 record, which is not that shabby. But then again, if you put him in a matchup against Masahiro Tanaka, who would have a better chance to be victorious? Probably Tanaka. Didn’t really work out that way for New York tonight.

Leading off the second inning, Mark Teixeira hit a big solo fly to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. That was his 18th of the year and the gluten-free triumph continued! After that, Yankees didn’t get too much going on. I blame the Marlins infield for robbing at least three hard hits though – Hechavarria robbed Chase Headley twice (two at-bats in a row actually) and Dee Gordon robbed Brett Gardner of one. And, of course, Koehler reached first base safe because Mark Teixeira botched picking up a slow roller down the first base line. BABIP gods weren’t that great for New York tonight.

The head-scratcher

Joe Girardi put in Jose Ramirez to relieve Tanaka to begin the eighth. Now, Ramirez is no Chasen Shreve – the righty has a decent minor league track record but he’s yet to show a sustainable ML success. In fact, he has close to none – 5.40 ERA in 10 IP last year and 36.00 ERA in 1 IP in 2015 prior to tonight’s game. It came to no surprise when he got the bases loaded pretty quickly without getting an out. He just looked really, really bad out there not being able to throw strikes.

Now, the Yankees were trailing 2-1 in the bottom of eighth. The goal there is to keep it a 2-1 game and hope for a rally in the ninth. To increase the chance of keeping the same score, Girardi would have probably put a better pitcher – or at least a reliever with better track record – in.

Fortunately for the Yankees, Sergio Santos managed to get out of that situation unscathed. That was another head-scratching decision but it worked out in the end. The end does not always justify the means but I’m glad (or I was at the time) that the righty got out of it somehow.

Leftover

Yankees faced Ichiro for the first time he signed with the Marlins in the offseason. The Japanese veteran went 2-for-4 with a strikeout tonight, getting closer to the 3,000th hit. The 41-year old is doing eh this season – he does have a .288 batting average but that’s just about the only positive. He has a 89 wRC+ and a -0.3 fWAR. I do admire that he’s still out there and grinding in the Major Leagues though. (Also happens to be one of my idols since he started to play for the Mariners in 2001)

If you watched the ninth inning, you saw that Alex Rodriguez got a standing ovation on a road game. That was a weird yet pretty cool moment. Al from Miami got some love there. Also there were a lot of Yankee fans in the game – the “Let’s go Yankees” chants tonight were one of the loudest I’ve heard in Yankee road games, if not the loudest.

Box Score, standings, highlights, WPA

Here is the box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA. Rays have already won tonight so Yankees are no longer in the first place of division anymore. Oh well. I have a feeling that it won’t stay that way for too long though.


Source: FanGraphs


How about the matchup for tomorrow – David Phelps vs. Nathan Eovaldi! Will it determine who #wonthetrade? We’ll see.

Yankees grind out a 5-3 win to avoid being swept in Baltimore

This game started 1:35 pm EST and ended at 5:08. It did not reach the long-awaited four-hour mark (see what I did there) but at least earlier in the game, it was quite tense — jams after jams and #RISPFail after #RISPfail. New York, however, broke through in the three-run fifth to take a 5-3 lead and would not look back, snapping their three-game losing streak.

(Source: Getty)

Farewell (out of rotation)? 

This was definitely not a banner series for Yankee starters. Adam Warren pitched 4.2 IP, allowed six hits, three earned runs, three walks and struck out five. The only positives from that line are that he struck out five in 4.2 IP and that he didn’t allow any more runs, keeping the Yanks in the game. His outing was the best that a Yankee starter tossed this weekend, so, how about that.

Also the thing about Warren is that he is probably the odd man out of the rotation if they go with a five-man rotation when Ivan Nova returns. I would honestly prefer having Warren stay and CC Sabathia be the odd man out because, well, Sabathia honestly hasn’t been a good pitcher. But because of the obvious reasons – a lot of which that has to do with the contract – I don’t see Girardi placing Sabathia out for Nova. Oh well.

Nova recently threw a nice outing at Triple-A and it seems like a matter of time before he comes back. If this was indeed Warren’s last start, he’ll head to bullpen with 64.1 IP, 55 hits allowed, 22 walks, 38 strikeouts and a 3.78 ERA. Not too shabby numbers for a starter, really – especially considering the slow start he had.

#RISPFails

Yankees were 2-for-12 in RISP today. That is not good. A 5-3 win is a win but if the Yankees capitalized on earlier opportunities, not only they would have had a less stressful win but also Warren would probably have had the opportunity to go at least five full innings to pitch for a win.

In the second inning, Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs – Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and John Ryan Murphy had all reached with singles. Mason Williams came to bat and squibbed a ball down to 1B Chris Davis. Davis threw to make a force out at home. Welp. Brett Gardner came up next – after a torturous nine-pitch battle, Brett managed to line one to the outfield … right at Adam Jones. The run did score on a sac fly but it was far from the worst case scenario for the Orioles. 2-2 tie. Moreover, Chase Headley struck out swinging to end the inning. That was one of the most stressful one-run-scoring innings I’ve ever seen.

The Yankees had another golden opportunity on third inning. With one out, Mike Wright plunked Mark Teixeira. Garrett Jones followed it up with a single to make it runners in corners with one out. And, without fail, the next two hitters – Drew and Gregorius, popped out to end the threat. Ugh.

By the way, Mike Wright had a lot of trouble throwing strikes and putting hitters away. He was leaving pitches up and some of his arm actions on changeup pitches were obviously slowed-down – yet the team didn’t break through until after he left in the fifth (with whopping 104 pitches thrown in 4.0 IP !) and speaking of which…

#NotRISPFail

Top of the fifth, Wright loaded the bases for the Yanks with no outs … with three walks. Buck Showalter sub’d in Brian Matusz, who hadn’t pitched since May 31, and he was a bit rusty with the first batter, Garrett Jones. Yankees tied the game when he walked with the bases full. 3-3.

Things seemed like it was heading towards another #RISPFail outcome when Matsuz went on to strike out both Drew and Gregorius. But John Ryan Murphy refused to go down quietly – on the third pitch of the at-bat, Murphy drilled a liner past Manny Machado’s glove for a 2-RBI double. Finally! That gave Yanks a 5-3 lead and the score would never change.

Actually winning a game! (Source: Getty)

Bullpen

In the fifth inning, with New York leading 5-3, Adam Warren allowed a single to Jimmy Paredes and, later, walked Chris Davis to put two runners on with one out. While he did strike out Nolan Reimold to make it two outs, Joe Girardi decided not to take the chance letting generally-ineffective righty Warren to face a lefty Travis Snider. Chasen Shreve came into relief and went on to induce a fly out to get out of the inning. The lefty went on to toss a 1-2-3 sixth as well, which was a big stress reliever after a slow-paced drama it was for the first five innings.

You know who was really impressive today? Justin Wilson. He tossed two perfect winnings, striking out three along the way. In the seventh inning, coming in to relieve Chasen Shreve, the Orioles had Delmon Young pinch-hit to face the lefty. Wilson fired three straight fastballs down the middle – and Young swung and missed at all of them! Wow, I mean, that was some kind of statement the lefty made right there. When he can put the pitches in the zone, he’s very hard to hit. Some of us wondered if Dellin Betances will come in during the eighth to try for a four or five-out save. Instead, Wilson had a very clean eighth to reduce Betances’ workload to just an inning.

And, of course, Betances came into pitch in the ninth. And, again of course, he earned a save. He did allow a five-pitch walk to Machado and had to face Matt Wieters as the game-tying run … but the Oriole catcher didn’t have much of a chance. Dellin struck Wieters out in four pitches to seal the Yankee victory.

Leftovers

A-Rod went 0-for-4 today. He’s still five hits away from 3,000th hits so unless if he goes 0fer for a long while, I assume he’ll get that milestone either in Miami or in Bronx. That’s just me saying it with fingers crossed, by the way.

Teixeira drove in a run in the first with Gardner on first for his 47th RBI of the season, which leads the AL and good for fifth in the entire ML (behind Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado). I say this again and again: I enjoy Tex’s age-35 season revival. All hail gluten-free diet.

Box score, WPA, standings, highlights

Here’s today’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will head to Miami to face the Marlins on their own field for two games. If you, like me, have somehow managed to sit through the whole three-and-half of this game, take a break from staring at screens (or not) and have a less stressful rest of Sunday!

Yankees can’t hold on to a 4-2 lead, lose in extras against the Nationals 5-4

Last weekend I saw my alma mater University of Maryland lose two in a row to University of Virginia in the NCAA Super Regionals – both losses came in heartbreaking bullpen blown saves. All I could really tell myself was “that’s baseball.” The game can make you happy and it can make you incredibly disappointed. A lot of us have learned to deal with it, hopefully.

And that was what I uttered myself in top of 11th when Nationals took a 5-4 lead on Wednesday. Yankees had a 4-2 lead going into the top of the 8th. It seemed like another victory for New York, but alas, things don’t always work out ideally. Washington tied it in that inning, the game went to extras and New York fell on the short side of the stick. The seven-game winning streak has been snapped and the fans can now look forward to the Yankee starting another one. On the plus side, Eovaldi pitched one of the better starts of the season and, well, A-Rod had a hit so that’s eight away from number 3,000.

If I were Nate, I’d make this my Facebook profile picture (Source: Getty)

Not-so-shabby Nate

It’s pretty fun looking at the radar gun reading while Nathan Eovaldi is pitching on a warm day. 96! 97! 98! Velocity isn’t everything in pitching but it certainly helps.

In the third inning, after getting two outs, Eovaldi surrendered two consecutive doubles to allow a run. The second double to Denard Span was annoying – it was down the third base line and just inside the bad, but because Chase Headley was situated a little close to shortstop, the grounder went towards the left field corner and the Nationals took a 1-0 lead.

In the fifth, Danny Espinosa jumped on a first-pitch hanging curveball to drive it out of the park. Boy, that was crushed. Looks like Eovaldi threw it to get ahead of the count and setup other pitches – but it didn’t fool the Nats infielder. 2-0 Nationals.

Besides from that, Eovaldi was pretty solid. He pitched seven innings, allowed eight hits and three earned runs, a walk and struck out four. His ERA shaved down just a bit to 4.13 and FIP is at 4.07 – pretty nice no. 4 starter numbers.

Bottom of seventh, again

As Drake would rap, things went from 0 to 100 real quick this inning. Yankees looked hapless against Gio Gonzalez for the first six innings. In the bottom of sixth, New York had two runners on but failed to score.

In the next inning however, Yankees were luckier. Chris Young led off with single. Gonzalez retired Jose Pirela on a flyout to Bryce Harper. Up came Brendan Ryan. On his third plate appearance of the season, Ryan hit a big fly to center field that just got out of Denard Span’s reach for an RBI triple. 2-1 Yankees. How’s that for a comeback game?

Nationals went to the bullpen and brought up LHP Felipe Rivero. Brett Gardner hit a double just out first baseman’s reach to tie the game at 2-2. Two batters later, with RHP Aaron Barrett on mound, A-Rod hit his 2,992nd career hit for an RBI double to center to give the Yanks lead. Barrett then hit Mark Teixeira and allowed an RBI single to Brian McCann. 4-2 Yankees. New York has been quite deadly with a lead going into the late innings but today’s storyline turned … a bit darker.

Baby’s first blown save

(Source: Getty)

In the eighth inning, Jacob Lindgren came in relief of Eovaldi and faced Harper. That, by the way, was the first time ever Harper faced a pitcher younger than him. Lindgren, who was drafted just last year, was born 8 months after the Nats outfielder. Lindgren won the matchup by getting Harper to fly out to left, so that’s that.

Now, Lindgren is a young guy and he’s gonna see some growing pains being in ML roster- that’s pretty much what happened today. With two outs, a runner on and with a 1-2 count, Lindgren left a fastball up high the zone and Michael Taylor didn’t miss it – he drove it over the right field fence for a two-run homer. 4-4 game.

Giving up the lead and the game

A lot of us collectively held our breath when Chris Capuano came in for relief in the tenth and faced Harper as the first batter. The lefty somehow got Harper out on a grounder to first and two other batters – Ian Desmond and Taylor – grounded out as well. Not bad.

In the 11th, Capuano allowed a single to Tyler Moore to begin the inning. It was not a horribly-placed pitch – a changeup that was veering towards the outside the strike zone. Moore did a good job reaching and lining it to left field. Jose Lobaton hit a sac bunt to advance Moore to second and Espinosa grounded out to Capuano to move the runner to third.

Next batter, Denard Span, is always a threat with bat. He’s got a pretty good contact skills with leadoff hitter speed. With two outs and runner on third, Span hit a breaking ball for a chopper up the middle that Stephen Drew fielded and could not get the runner at first. Moore scored from third. 5-4 Nats. It was a really tough play for Drew to execute and as soon as it bounced over Capuano’s head, I didn’t think Yanks would have a chance to go to the next inning all tied up.

Mustaches aren’t really a thing anymore, Brendan (Source: Getty)

Leftovers

In the bottom 10th, with one out, Didi Gregorius took off from first on a 3-2 count on a hit-and-run move. Carlos Beltran struck out and it seemed like Lobaton threw Didi out at second … but maybe not? Didi signaled the dugout immediately for replay. The broadcast replay (and the broadcasters) made us pretty sure that Didi was safe – it seemed like he got around the initial tag attempt towards his shoulder and his hand got on the bag. But, for whatever reason, the umpires did not change the call. I guess it wasn’t conclusive enough for them to overturn it.

How about Brendan Ryan? Not a lot of people were fans of sending down Ramon Flores for the shortstop but boy, he did what he could do today. He hit the first Yankee hit of the afternoon, he got the offense going in the bottom seventh with an RBI triple and he made some really, really slick plays. Didi’s been showing off defensive prowess lately but Ryan’s glove is still there.

I was going to write a little section about today’s bullpen usage but turns out that Andrew Miller was placed in the disabled list for strained forearm muscle. Ugh. Also, it would have been pretty nice to get Dellin Betances to guarantee a non-loss but then again, he leads the American League in appearances (29) and pitched in three of the past five games. I really don’t want to defend not using him but Capuano was a better-placed chopper in the 11th inning away from getting out of the trouble. Sometimes a skipper’s gotta show faith in other arms in bullpen and that’s what he did – sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

Box score, highlights, standings, WPA

Here’s the box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA chart.


Source: FanGraphs


Yankees get a day off tomorrow. They will face another team in the mid-Atlantic region – the Baltimore Orioles. On Friday night, Michael Pineda will take a mound in the Camden Yards against Ubaldo Jimenez. Here’s to starting another lengthy winning streak.

Tanaka outduels Scherzer in a Yankees 6-1 win over the Nationals

This game was an absolute nail-biter for the first six and a half innings. First off, the Max Scherzer vs. Masahiro Tanaka matchup lived up to its billing. Heck, even Bryce Harper’s home run power lived up to its billing. Tet Tanaka still threw a heck of an outing. Scherzer also lived up to his name value but unfortunately for him and the Nationals, a defensive miscue proved costly in the seventh inning as the game went from a 1-1 drama to a 5-1 laughter in few batters. The Yankees added another run in the 8th for a 6-1 victory. Oh yeah, also it’s their seventh straight victory.

Ma-kun

Webster definition of “mid-delivery” (Source: Getty)

Man, isn’t it more fun when Tanaka is back and is actually really, really good? Tanaka went on mound, did what he does when healthy and effective, and earned a win. I could easily end this section that way but nah, I’ll get more into it.

The only real mistake the righty made was on that 93-mph fastball to Bryce Harper in the fourth inning. McCann wanted the pitch outside but it caught too much of the plate. And well, as you know, the 2015 version of Harper punishes mistakes. That mistake also has better chance to end up in seats in the Yankee Stadium than Nationals Park and that’s exactly what happened. Thankfully, that was the only run Tanaka allowed all night. I feel like there’s no shame allowing a dinger to a monster like Harper, but then again, that ball went pretty far.

Besides that, Tanaka only allowed four baserunners for the entire game. His stuff was the usual – fastball, slider and splitter all working and being spotted well. The former Rakuten Golden Eagle pitched seven complete innings, allowed five hits, no walks and struck out six. His ERA is down to 2.48 and FIP is at a rock-solid 2.63. I think he’s not afraid of his elbow compromising the effectiveness.

Oh yeah, also, on June 9, Tanaka earned the game score of 69. Nice. 

One big missed opportunity

This is still a bit of an infuriating inning to look back on. In the bottom sixth, Mark Teixeira hit a double with one out. The game was then tied 1-1 so it would have been quite golden to scratch out a run in any way possible, especially against an ace like Scherzer. After fouling off several pitches, Brian McCann managed a single to left and it became one out with runners on first and third.

Then came the weird game moment. Carlos Beltran hit a liner to center that Nats CF Michael Taylor seeeeemed to make a diving/sliding play for it but didn’t. Teixeira seemed like he had enough time to score, but, for whatever reason, he didn’t charge in and Taylor got the ball just in time to get McCann for a force out in second. That should have been a 2-1 lead right there. Teixeira has to tag up.

Open the floodgates

The embedded Yankee Matt Thornton (Source: Getty)

After missing out on a run in the sixth, Yankees almost missed out on another in seventh. With one out, Ramon Flores singled and Brett Gardner added another. Chase Headley then hit a bullet to right but it just went right to Harper. Welp, BABIP will do that for you some times. With two outs and two runners on, it was up to A-Rod to see if the Yankee offense could muster anything.

Yankees got way luckier this time. A-Rod grounded one to short. Ian Desmond got the ball and it looked like an easy force out to first at a glance but he went third to get Flores out … and it hit the Yankee outfielder and got past Anthony Rendon. That allowed the run to score. Oh my. 2-1 Yankees. If you are Scherzer and had a heck of a game like that and that’s how it ends … I wouldn’t feel great.

Nationals went to former Yankee LHP Matt Thornton to stop the bleeding. Oddly, the first thing Thornton and the Nats did was intentionally walk Teixeira. Okay. That loaded the bases with two outs and McCann was up. The Yankee catcher hit a high inside fastball for a two-run single and Beltran followed it up with another RBI-single. 5-1 Yankees. Thornton’s embedded Yankee status confirmed? Maybe. In a matter of few batters, a nailbiter became a laugher. Strange but I’ll take it. I definitely did not think the game would end 6-1.

Sluggin’ Stephen (Source: Getty)

Leftovers

How about Stephen Drew? The man now has four homers in last four Yankee Stadium games. Yeah his batting average is still really like, not good (.175) and his 2015 overall run production ain’t great either (66 wRC+). But I do have to admit – that .198 isolated power does pop out.

With nine home runs after today’s game, the man has a legitimate chance to reach 20 home runs for the season – provided he continues to get consistent playing time, of course. The past few games probably lengthened his leash for several more games but if his hitting continues to improve to help the club, it wouldn’t be horrible.

Box Score, Highlights, Standings, WPA:

Here’s tonight’s box score, highlights, updated standings and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


Tomorrow, the Yankees take on the field against the Nats on 1:05 ET. “(Sometimes) Nasty” Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound and hopefully, he’ll help deliver a two-game sweep.