Yankees pile on for 14 runs in a Memorial Day matinee victory against the Royals

Remember the olden times when the Yankees got swept by the Rangers and saw their record fall to 22-22? That was actually last night. Maybe it’s just me, but after watching today’s game, that feels like quite awhile ago. The Yankee offense came alive and Nathan Eovaldi pitched quite alright to give the Yanks an easy 14-1 win over the Royals in a Memorial Day matchup.

(Source: Getty)

Too. Many. Homers.

The Yankees hit three homers in the first inning. Three! Two of them came before Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals could record an out. After Brett Gardner doubled to start it off, Chase Headley hit one towards the bleachers for a 2-0 lead. Headley added two more hits for the rest of the day and his line is up to .255/.309/.416, good for an even 100 wRC+. His bat seems to be coming around as of late.

A-Rod followed it up with a single and Guthrie walked Mark Teixeira. Brian McCann then hit a screaming line drive towards the right field seats that was *almost* caught by leaping Paulo Orlando. It would have been a very pretty-looking Sportscenter highlight had he caught it, but the ball was just over his glove and found the seats. 5-0 Yankees in the first inning, no outs.

Guthrie had better luck against Garrett Jones (flyout) and Stephen Drew (bunt ground out). The righty the plunked Didi Gregorius and allowed a single to Slade Heathcott. Gardner, on a 2-2 count, squared up against a hanging breaking ball into the right field seats for a 8-0 lead. Man, it just seemed like Yankees were incapable of scoring when they really needed it for the past week (well, hence, the losing streak). An inning like this really makes you feel good and wonder “where has this been?”

When a pitcher is off, he can be very off. Royals manager Ned Yost did not take Guthrie out of the game to start the second inning and unfortunately for him, things got even worse. Guthrie walked McCann and Jones followed it up with a single. Drew, on a 0-2 count, hit a 93 mph fastball up and inside into the second deck. That was crushed and just summarized Guthrie’s day: he just didn’t have it, even on a 0-2 count.

You always remember the first one (Source: Getty)

Oh, and the Yanks weren’t done with dingers just yet. In the bottom seventh, Slade Heathcott took Greg Holland deep for the first homer of his young career. Almost six years after being drafted in the first round, the outfielder overcame a lot to fulfill the major league dream and hit one off one of the best relievers in baseball (granted, Holland looked really off today, but still). Heathcott is a talented guy and I hope he can stay healthy and learn his way around the bigs to fulfill his potential. Oh, and after the homer, Yankees were up 14-1. The score did not change for the rest of the game.

(Source: Getty)

Acceptable Nate

I don’t know how to feel about the “Nasty Nate” moniker. Sure, he throws hard and can overpower hitters, but his results does not really match up to that kind of hype (yet).

Nonetheless, Eovaldi had one of the better outings of 2015 today. The righty went 7 innings, struck out four, allowed only an earned run while also allowing 8 hits. It’s not an eye-popping line but that’ll do well. He had control for sure – throwing 76 pitches out of 103 total for strike, good for a 73.8 % rate. At times, however, I felt that his fastball went way too much the middle and Royals hitters did not miss it. Sometimes the hitters punish it for a big hit, but today, there weren’t much damage, which is nice. But I do hope he shows improvement in command sooner or later. Today’s game showed what he can give to the Yankees despite the imperfections.

JaKKob Lindgren! (Source: Getty)

(A seemingly-long awaited) Lindgren debut

We got what some of us have been waiting for since the end of last season – 2014 second-rounder LHP Jacob Lindgren made his ML debut, relieving Eovaldi in the eighth inning. Lindgren showed what he was advertised for – a fastball in low-90’s, a nasty slider that gets hitters chasing, and well, not the best command (two walks) but overall, he made a solid impression. With his high-draft pick pedigree and a nice 2-inning, no-run performance to close out the game, he definitely earned at least several more ML looks.

The YES broadcast compared Lindgren to Sparky Lyle, which is a huge compliment and a hard ceiling to reach (if we are talking about 1977 Lyle, that is). If Lindgren turns out as a high-leverage lefty reliever with swing-and-a-miss breaking ball and a passable command – I’m thinking B.J. Ryan – I’d be really, really happy. Also B.J. Ryan in prime is also a very high ceiling to ask for. I’m probably being tad optimistic here. But let’s not forget that Lindgren is projected to be a valuable ML reliever so that’s that. We’ll see how far he can go.

Leftovers

A-Rod added two hits – he now has 2,977 total hits and 23 away from his 3,000th. He’s now hitting a healthy .262/.363/.545 for the season, good for a 148 wRC+.

Jeremy Guthrie’s start today was awful – 1 inning, 9 hits, 11 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout and 4 homers allowed. He didn’t look like the guy who was called to start the Game 7 of the World Series just this past October. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, he is the second SP ever to allow 11 earned runs in 1 inning or fewer. Good lord.


Source: FanGraphs

Here’s the box score, video highlights, win probability chart and updated standings. As of this moment, the Rays have yet to play the Mariners, but it’s kind of mind-boggling to think that the Yankees are only a game back from the first place. The AL East as a whole has been very meh this season. Tomorrow, Yankees are facing the Royals again. Adam Warren is up on the hill against Jason Vargas. Is today’s win a start of something? We shall see.

D.C. chilled: Yankees suffer first walk-off loss of the season, 8-6

Well, eventually one of those guys was going to give up a run. Ryan Zimmerman hit an opposite-field walk-off homer against Andrew Miller in the 10th inning to deliver a crushing 8-6 loss to New York. What’s even worse is that the Yankees had a 6-2 lead going into bottom of the fifth and they failed to hold it. A win against one of the hottest teams in baseball would have been huge for the Yankees. Instead, they now have dropped six of the last seven.

Please don’t be Nathan Burnett (Source: Getty)

Nate “Eh”valdi

He’s a young guy and he has makings of being a better pitcher. Tonight, he once proved again that he can please and be infuriating in a same outing.

In the first inning, Nathan Eovaldi allowed two bombs – one to Ian Desmond and another to Bryce “overrated” Harper. For both pitches, however, it wasn’t like Eovaldi served up an absolute meatball – Desmond’s homer came from a veering fastball on the lower outside corner and Harper lifted a low slider that somehow carried out of the right center wall. What power that 22-year old has.

But after that, Eovaldi seemed to have settled in. From second to fourth inning, the righty allowed only one baserunner – a walk to Harper – and struck out four. That was probably three of the best innings from Eovaldi we’ve seen this season.

In the fifth inning, however, the Nats’ bat barraged Eovaldi with four consecutive hits that scored three runs. The 6-2 Yankee lead became a 6-5 lead, and Joe Girardi pulled him out as Harper came up to bat. See, this was just like watching the eighth inning Nate’s previous start – cruising along only to allow baserunners bit by bit. It’s annoying, especially considering the velocity he has.

Same (Source: Getty)

All good things must end
We are definitely used to seeing Miller and Dellin Betances throw scoreless frames. In fact, that’s literally all they had done so far this season. With the game tied at 6 in the eighth inning, Betances came in and threw two scoreless innings – striking out three, walking one and allowing zero hits.

Girardi turned to Miller to pitch the tenth inning. When he came in, a lot of eyes turned to the eventual Miller vs. Harper battle, a matchup of two of the hottest performers in baseball. With runner on first, Miller struck out Harper after going into a full count. Because Miller was being Miller and the biggest offensive threat was out of the way, I assumed that Yankees would get out of the inning unscathed…

…then Ryan Zimmerman happened. The Nats first baseman hit the outside fastball on the screws and the flyball hit the right field foul pole for a walk-off homer. Miller finally has an ERA – 0.98 – and quite frankly, it’s a bit disheartening to see that. Let’s hope Dellin’s stretch goes quite further.

Let’s talk about Carpenter

I was quite excited when Yankees turned Manny Banuelos into David Carpenter in the offseason. The righty was one of the best eighth inning guys for the playoff-bound Braves in 2013 and had a good 2014 season. In 2015, as a Yankee, Carpenter has just not been good. After allowing a game-tying homer to Wilson Ramos tonight in the sixth inning, he has a 5.28 ERA with a 5.56 FIP. That’s pretty bad, especially for someone who was seen as the seventh inning guy in the offseason. That was probably the spot Chris Martin would have pitched had he not gone down with an injury. Martin is by no means a thoroughly reliable reliever but he does have a 3.55 ERA and a stellar 2.04 FIP.

But then again, I was hoping that Carpenter would figure things out sooner or later – and I still do feel that. But with the team in a 1-6 funk, the last thing the Yanks needed was blowing a close lead against a very good and hot team. Urgh.

Leftovers

Mark Teixeira is one of the players that shaved off the mustache prior to tonight’s game but that did not affect his bat at all. He went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and two walks. His line has bumped up to .258/.380/.602, good for a 161 wRC+. Hoo man. Imagine if his wrist still hasn’t healed.

Losing Jacoby Ellsbury hurts. He had a 126 wRC+ coming into tonight’s game with the team-best 1.3 fWAR. The team is not doing well and one of the last things Yankees needed was losing their speedy leadoff man. Here’s to hoping that Heathcott can do a decent job patching up the lost production. That would be awesome. Get well soon, Jacoby.

Stephen Drew had a rare multi-hit game. He went 2-for-4 and hit a go-ahead 2-run single in the fourth inning. I feel like every time Drew has a performance like this, Rob Refsnyder‘s ML debut gets delayed by… I dunno, two or three weeks or so.

Box Score, WPA, Standing

As always, here’s the box score, WPA and updated standings. Yankees are still in the first place but they share the spot with the Rays now.


Source: FanGraphs


Tomorrow, the Yankees will face off the Nationals again in Washington. RHP Adam Parish Warren will be on the hill. If he can repeat the 7-inning 3ER performance from the previous start against the Rays, that would be dandy – provided that the offense can score more than three, of course. Also, I will be at the game. It will be my last night as a college student. Time to live it up.

Yankee pitching implodes in a 12-1 loss to the Royals

It’s not often you see a game where Chris Young (the pitcher) is more unhittable than Michael Pineda. Well, that’s just baseball. It’s also not often you see a game where Yankee pitching seemed to have imploded despite starting their staff ace. It wasn’t just the pitching though – the bats went pretty quiet, collecting only five hits and a run. Overall, this was a match that made me want to fall asleep early to forget.

Oh yea, they’ve also lost four in a row. That’s not pleasant either.

Tonight’s start was not as cool as the pose. (Source: Getty)

5.1 IP, 10 hits allowed, 1 K,

If I told you before the game that Big Mike was going to pitch this poorly, would you have believed it? Probably not. Well, the Royals are very contact-oriented team. Entering tonight’s game, their hitters have the lowest strikeout rate with a 14.6% – the next lowest in the list is the Braves at 16.7%. I didn’t think he was going to strike out 16 hitters again but not gonna lie, it was just weird to see him not punch out anyone until the fifth inning.

Well, no strikeouts aside, up to five innings, Pineda was throwing a decent start – he had allowed only 2 runs and the score was a close (2-1). In the sixth inning, however, all heck broke loose. Alex Gordon doubled to lead off the inning and Pineda induced a grounder from Salvador Perez, which advanced the runner to third.

With one out and a runner on third, the Yankees hoped to prevent a run by playing infield and outfield in, but Omar Infante drove a meatball into way deep outfield for a RBI triple. 3-1 Royals. You’d think that allowing a booming XBH to a hitter with 68 wRC+ would get Pineda out of the game, but Joe Girardi let him face Paulo Orlando. The outfielder hit a single to drive in another run and then Pineda was out. Engh.

I’m not too worried about Big Mike after this start. He’s a good pitcher and good pitchers do go through rough patches because they are human. His velocity wasn’t outrageously low or anything. Sometimes hitting beats good pitchers and that’s pretty much how I see it happened tonight.

Bullpen Implosion

So we have Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, great! But Yankees didn’t really get to use either tonight. I was hoping that David Carpenter would somehow get the Yankees out of the jam at 4-1, but, alas, life isn’t perfect. He induced a grounder that Stephen Drew fielded, but the second baseman botched the toss to Didi Gregorius – all runners were safe. Girardi didn’t waste any time and pulled the right-hander out for Justin Wilson. Welp.

The lefty faced five hitters and got only one out. It took three singles and a walk for Joe to pull him out and put in… Jose Ramirez. Mercifully, the young righty got New York out of the inning but he allowed three more runs in the next inning before getting substituted for Branden Pinder. So when it was all said and done, it was seven earned runs allowed by the Yankee bullpen in 2.2 IP. They also allowed three walks and struck out only one. As Pusha T would say, yuck.

Several more of these would’ve been great (Source: Getty)

Leftovers:

Yea this was a pretty forgettable game offense-wise. Mark Teixeira did go 2-for-3, A-Rod hit that booming double to lead off the fourth inning and scored the lone Yankee run and… besides that, meh.

Box Score, WPA, Standings:

Here’s the box score and updated standings. And, of course, WPA.

Source: FanGraphs


Yankees have a 7:10 PM EST start tomorrow. The big lefty Sabathia goes against Danny Duffy. First win since Monday or a five-game losing streak? We shall see.

A-Rod hits No. 661, Yankees hang on to take the series opener 4-3 against the O’s

So we not only witnessed A-Rod move up the all-time home run ranks, the Yankees also defeated one of their division rivals to start off the home series. When you look at results, not much to complain about, right? Well, it was a stressful one to watch but the bottom line is, New York won using some power hitting and a  shutdown bullpen, which seems to be a formula that’s worked well enough to lead the division.

661 (Source: Getty)

No. 661

The inevitable has happened and it could have happened few innings earlier. First inning, with two runners on, Alex Rodriguez hit a towering fly ball to the opposite field. For a moment, it looked like Rodriguez was going to get a Yankee Stadium-aided homer … but none other than Delmon Young timed the jump right to rob it. Granted, it looked like a fly ball that a lot of outfielders would have been able to catch, but what if?

But you know what, A-Rod got another big fly two innings later. It was hit quite deep and no one had a chance to catch it. In fact, it landed left to the Monument Park, so yeah. If you want to hit a milestone homer, might as well as hit it big. And of course, that dinger put A-Rod ahead of Willie Mays for the No. 4 spot on the all-time home run list. Next up? Babe Ruth (714) for No. 3 spot.

Look at that chin (Source: Getty)

One of those outings:

Here is Nathan Eovaldi‘s line from tonight:

5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

First off, I wish he was able to finish the sixth inning just so the line looks neater (6, 6, 3, 3, 3, 3. Eh? Eh?) but Joe Girardi doesn’t care about that. Secondly, tonight’s start illustrated what keeps Eovaldi from taking his skills to the next level — making mistake pitches that result in hard contacts and the inability to finish off a hitter with a strikeout, which is frustrating given his gifted arm strength. But he’s still young and it’s up to him to learn and adapt.

I should also note that Eovaldi gave up two homers tonight — one to former Yankee minor leaguer Jimmy Paredes (who is hitting for a torrid 178 wRC+ in 65 PA this season) and Caleb Joseph. His 2015 HR/9 rate is now at 1.32, which is double his career figure of 0.66.  Oh well. It’s one of the drawbacks of moving to a hitter-friendly ballpark. It was nice seeing him pump up mid-to-late-90’s heat (just for the sake of aesthetics, I must admit), but there’s a lot to work on for Nate. If he is able to develop, I have a feeling that we’ll have the pleasure of watching a special pitcher grow in front of our eyes for the next few years. Yes, I’m optimistic.

Bullpen again:

You know, Justin Wilson has a solid 2.79 ERA, but when he comes in, I feel like a pitcher with a 4.79 ERA is on the hill — probably because of his 5.59 BB/9. Thank goodness for his power stuff, which makes it easy to forgive his less-than-ideal command. Tonight, by the way, Wilson had a relatively easy outing after inheriting a 4-3 lead with two runners on. While he did not strike out any, he induced three grounders and a fly ball, retiring all four hitters faced. That’s all the Yankees needed from tonight’s 7th inning guy.

After Wilson, Dellin Betances game in and well … he did what Betances does the best — get hitters out. He got Adam Jones to ground out, Delmon Young to line out to Stephen Drew, and made Chris Davis look foolish with a swinging strikeout. Every time Dellin has a good outing, I always praise Yeezus that he took the $1 million bonus from the Yankees instead of going to Vanderbilt or playing basketball back in 2006.

With the score still at 4-3, the unofficial closer Andrew Miller came in for the save. Baltimore, by the way, is not a light-hitting team and there’s always a chance for a dicey situation whenever a runner gets on. So when Miller walked Steve Pearce to start the ninth … well … it felt dicey. But that feeling did not last long. J.J. Hardy popped out and the next two hitters struck out swinging to end the game. Boom. Save no. 12.

Fail (Source: Getty)

Leftovers:

Overshadowed by A-Rod’s HR milestone was Mark Teixeira‘s performance. Tex went 2-for-3 and both hits drove in runs — one of them a double to drive in the go-ahead run in the bottom of fifth. His 2015 line is at .223/.345/.606, good for a 148 wRC+ and .383 ISO. If only his BABIP could be higher than .153.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner also proved themselves as two of the hottest ML bats again. Both combined for 4-for-7 with a walk and scored three out of four runs for New York. Tonight was basically a Ells-Gardy-A-Rod-Tex show for the offense as the rest of lineup combined for a meager 3-for-19.

Box Score, WPA, Standings, etc.:

Here’s the box score, WPA and updated standings.  Also, check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages.


Source: FanGraphs


Tomorrow, Yankees take on the Orioles again. Adam Warren goes against Miguel Gonzalez. Here’s to hoping that the bats do something against this Orioles righty this time around. It would be sweet if the Yankees take the series as well especially because I live in Maryland.

Whitley brilliant but unfortunate series of events dooms the Yankees in a 3-1 loss to Blue Jays

So, let’s start with the good news: Chase Whitley looked like an ace out there. He’s definitely earned more trust with that gem. Okay, time for bad news: pretty much everything else that happened after he left. The Yankees had a chance to extend the winning streak to four and nail the first game of the series in the Rogers Centre, but the painful eighth inning got in the way and New York lost 3-1. For now, just be happy that we are still in the first place. Can’t win them all.

Ace (Source: Getty)

Chase the ace:

Whitley tossed seven scoreless innings, gave up six hits, no walks and struck out six. That’s a great line and yet it still doesn’t feel like it doesn’t do justice on how well he pitched tonight. He hit corners, lured hitters, changed speeds and made some great hitters look silly.

Only major blunder from Chase tonight came from the third inning. With one out, Ezequiel Carrera tried to bunt for a base hit. Whitley picked up the ball but did not get a complete grip and threw it way off target. Carrera advanced to third. Fortunately, Whitley got Devon Travis to strike out swinging and Josh Donaldson to ground out to end the inning. Phew.

It’s only been two ML starts for Whitley this season but he’s shown the ability to strike out hitters (11 K’s in 12 IP) and throw strikes (only 1 walk allowed). Definitely don’t expect him to maintain this sub-1.00 ERA but two sharp outings against division rivals is encouraging.

Roger Centre is no paradise (Source: Getty)

The eighth inning of doom:

Chase Whitley was mostly a reliever in minors. He did not adapt to a regular starting role until last year and needless to say, I don’t think it was a horrible decision to pull him after 90 pitches thrown, especially with the caliber of bullpen the Yankees have. Joe Girardi put in Chris Martin, who has essentially put himself into the Circle of Trust this season.

Martin got the reigning AL Rookie of the Month Devon Travis to ground out. Josh Donaldson followed that up with a single and so did Jose Bautista. With the cleanup hitter Edwin Encarnacion coming up, Girardi sub’d in Dellin Betances. On the first pitch curveball that the slugger did not particularly hit well … the ball dropped in front of Brett Gardner by the left field line for a fair ball and a run scored. Just last night, a David Ortiz line drive with bases loaded sucked right into the center fielder’s glove, and tonight, a blooper by Encarnacion falls right by the line and becomes a game-tying double. Go figure.

Former Yankee Russell Martin came in to pinch hit. With the count full, the catcher hit a hard grounder down the line that Chase Headley somehow caught. Headley’s throw, however, eluded Garrett Jones‘s glove as the first baseman couldn’t handle the hard bouncer in front of him. Two more Jays runs scored. 3-1 Toronto. Sigh. Mark Teixeira definitely would have handled that throw better but I don’t think it was an easy throw to cleanly scoop.

Leftovers:

Carlos Beltran went 1-for-3 but he did hit the ball hard on all three at-bats. He also hit a leadoff double in the seventh inning that got the only Yankee scoring going. I do have to mention that the only pitcher he faced tonight was R.A. Dickey, who is not exactly an overpowering guy, but Beltran’s bat seemed to show some life since the Red Sox series, which is good.

Brett Gardner walked twice but his six-game hitting streak came to an end as he also went 0-for-2. Jacoby Ellsbury did not go 4-for-4 tonight but he did get a hit so it’s 1-for-4 instead. Unlike last night, tonight’s game went by quite quickly but then again, I would definitely trade the faster pace of game for some more Yankee runs.

Box Scores, WPA, Standings:

Here is the box score and updated standings. Oh, and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


What’s next:

The series continues at Toronto tomorrow. #BigMike goes against Marco Estrada, who gave up tons of homers last year (1.73 HR/9). Hope there’s another winning streak starting soon.

Yanks take the series with a 4-2 win over the Rays behind Whitley’s arm and McCann’s bat

Make it three in a row for the Yankees. New York beat Tampa 4-2 to improve their record to 13-8. Chase Whitley threw five solid innings and the bullpen, not led by the usual cast, held on pretty well to win it. Yankees have won four series in a row and ten games out of last twelve. This is pretty enjoyable, guys. Winning!

Chase, the pitcher (Source: Getty)

Ace Whitley:
Chase Whitley was called up to make a spot start. Even though he had been throwing well in Triple-A, having to face a division rival and facing opponent’s best starter (Jake Odorizzi) is not an easy task.

However, the right-hander prevailed. In 5 innings, Whitley allowed six hits but allowed only one run and struck out five. His location and secondary pitches looked sharp. His only run allowed came on the third, when Asdrubal Cabrera hit an RBI double to drive in the runner from first. Unfazed, Whitley struck out the next two hitters – Evan Longoria and James Loney – to get out of the jam.

Just like Adam Warren last night, Whitley pitched well and gave the Yanks a good chance to win. Some spot starter, huh? I wonder if he’ll be making more ML starts now that Masahiro Tanaka is on the 15-day DL.

Call me Esmil:

In the sixth inning, Chasen Shreve came in after Chase to begin the bullpen relay. Tonight was definitely not one of Shreve’s strong showings, however. The lefty walked Loney to start the inning and allowed a long RBI triple to Logan Forsythe. Lead trimmed to 4-2. Shreve did strike out Kevin Kiermaier but Joe Girardi brought in Esmil Rogers to face Tim Beckham. With a runner on third and one out, Rogers struck out Beckham and Rene Rivera grounded out to avoid further damage.

But wait, he wasn’t done! Esmil went on to pitch two more scoreless innings, in which he struck out four and only allowed two baserunners. Big arms like Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller had a heavy workload lately and Rogers came up big with this solid 2.2 innings of work. Memorable moment? That 90-mph slider/cutter to get Longoria to strike out swinging was pretty nasty.

(Source: Getty)

Leftovers:

Brian McCann is a fine catcher. He didn’t get off the the best offensive start (.250/.299/.417 before tonight’s game) but tonight, he drove in three of the four Yankee runs with two doubles. After tonight’s game, his line bumped up to .266/.310/.453, which is good for a 108 wRC+. Solid.

Speaking of a big free agent acquired after the 2013 season, Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-4, upping his season slash to .308/.400/.372. You know, I’d like to see a bit more power output from him but I can’t complain too much on how he’s been seeing the ball. Hopefully, more doubles and homers come along. So far, Ellsbury has 24 hits this season and only three are extra base hits. So basically, he’s the anti-Mark Teixeira.

Carlos Beltran went 0-for-3 and his season slash is now a dreadful .159/.217/.270. He’s also struck out 29.0% of the time, which is much higher than his 16.1% career rate. What’s the deal with that? Even when he struggled with injuries last year, he struck out around 17.8 % rate.

Instead of the unofficial 9th inning guy Andrew Miller, Chris Martin came into pitch for the save in the ninth inning. Martin had 14 saves in minor leagues but none in the majors before tonight. He pitched a scoreless inning — two lineouts, a single and a strikeout. Congrats on the first one, Chris!

Box Score, WPA, Standings:

Here is the box score, WPA, and updated standings. Spoiler: Yankees are still in the first place.


Source: FanGraphs


Yankees will have #BIGMIKE taking the mound tomorrow afternoon against Drew Smyly. Let’s get greedy and hope for a sweep. 14-8 is better than 13-9.

Warren and bullpen down the Rays 4-1 to take the series opener

Before tonight’s game, New York and Tampa were tied at the top of the division with 11-8 records. Well, one of those two won and it happened to be the Yankees. New York now sits on the top of the division and it’s a very good feeling. Adam Warren delivered his best start of the season and the offense benefited from a few miscues from the Rays pitching to win this one 4-1.

A Warren-ted Compliment

(Source: Getty)

The fifth starter looked much better today than on his other starts. From early on, Adam Warren’s fastball sat around 94 and he located his secondary pitches well. In the first inning, he got into a bit of trouble with runners on second and third and one out — he struck out the dangerous Evan Longoria swinging with a changeup inside and James Loney grounded out. In the second inning, Warren struck out all three batters he faced — Brandon Guyer, Kevin Kiermaier and Tim Beckham — and it was quite impressive. I mean, if Warren can bring on well-located fastballs around 93~94 miles per hour and can throw slider or changeup in any count, I think he’d be a pretty darn good number five starter.

Only noticeable blemish Warren left was the sixth inning. David DeJesus singled to start the inning and Warren uncorked a wild pitch to Steven Souza Jr. to let the runner advance to second. Souza flew out deep to center, advancing DeJesus to third. With the infield in, Warren induced a grounder from Asdrubal Cabrera … and Stephen Drew threw a cricket-pitch-like bouncer to Brian McCann — DeJesus was safe at home and the game tied up, 1-1. Warren took care of one more batter and Joe Girardi sub’d him out for Justin Wilson.

Man, if it weren’t for the Drew’s faulty throw, Warren probably would have been the winning pitcher. But what is more valuable is that he went out, showed some really good stuff and dominated the division rival lineup to give New York a chance to win. Warren’s final line: 5.2 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 0 walk and 6 strikeouts. The last two figures look awesome given that he had allowed 8 walks and struck out only 6 in the previous 15 innings he logged before tonight. So yea, more of this please, Adam.

You just threw a football into the strikezone (Source: Getty)

Scoring… more than the opponent

I don’t think tonight’s game will go down as especially memorable or anything but the team did what it could do to get a win — sometimes, it takes mistakes from the opponent. The game was in a 0-0 tie in the bottom of fifth. Rays starter, Nate Karns, had been cruising through the Yankee lineup and his command fizzled a bit that inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, the Rays manager Kevin Cash, not wanting to take any more chance, sub’d him out for a fresh bullpen arm Brandon Gomes. However, Gomes showed even worse command and walked Brett Gardner with bases loaded. Oops.

The Yanks’ next run was way more exciting. With the game tied at one, McCann unloaded a bunch of power into a Brandon Gomes meatball and sent the ball towards the second deck in the right field. It was one of those shots that you knew was gone right off the bat. 2-1 Yanks. The ghost of Carlos Beltran followed it up with a line drive double to the center field wall. After Chris Young struck out, manager Kevin Cash brought in the lefty Everett Teaford to face Stephen Drew. I thought it was an interesting choice. Teaford had not pitched in the bigs since July 14, 2013 and he was mediocre in Korea last year (5-6, 5.24 ERA in 99.2 innings pitched with the LG Twins). Well, I guess they liked what they saw of him so far this year. He did not do his immediate job though — Drew doubled to right field corner to score Beltran. 3-1 Yankees lead.

Yankees scored again in the bottom of the eighth. McCann singled to begin the inning. Beltran and Young followed that up by striking out swinging (welp) but Drew singled and Didi walked to get the bases loaded. I thought it was quite odd that Cash did not substitute out Teaford by then. Instead, he stuck the lefty in to face Jacoby Ellsbury. On the third pitch, Jacoby took a 88-mph pitch to the right arm. 4-1 Yankees. Not the prettiest way to score but it’s a scoring nonetheless.

Leftovers: 

Warren pitched very well tonight but bullpen was flat-out awesome. Four pitchers — Wilson, David Carpenter, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller — combined for 3.1 innings pitched, allowed only one hit and one walk and struck out 4. So good. So good. We all could get used to this. The unofficial 8th inning guy Betances dropped an especially nasty curve/slurve to strike out Asdrubal Cabrera to end the eighth and that was just unfair. Cabrera knew that he was gone as soon as the ball got to the mitt. Dellin just looks like an unstoppable force at this point.

Box Score, WPA, Standings: 

Here is the box score, win probability chart  and updated standings. First place, guys, first place!


Source: FanGraphs


Tomorrow, the Yankees will have Chase Whitley making the first 2015 ML start of the year as a spot starter. He will face the current Rays ace, Jake Odorizzi. Will the winning streak continue tomorrow at YSIII? We shall see. Would be sweet to extend the division lead and take the series at home.