Tanaka throws 7+ strong innings as the Yankees beat the A’s 6-2 and take the series

Back in late May, the Yankees lost three out of four at Oakland against the lowly Athletics. They were shut down by the likes of Sonny Gray and Jesse Chavez and, by the end of the series, their record was hanging just barely over .500 at 26-25. This time around, New York took two out of three at home. Today’s game was particularly satisfying — Masahiro Tanaka pitched like an ace, the lineup was able to solve Jesse Chavez and, of course, the game win meant the series win. Oh, and The Yankees lengthened the AL East lead to three games.

Sensei (Source: Getty)

He’s Back!

In the second inning, it seemed like nothing was going right for Tanaka. With 2-0 count, Josh Reddick got on first base on catcher’s interference. Billy Butler followed it up with a RBI double to left and Ike Davis walked. That just seemed like a familiar storyline with Tanaka’s recent struggles. He did, however, get Brett Lawrie to GIDP to ease the situation to two outs and runner at third. However, Mark Canha took a fastball up in the zone for another RBI double. Womp. 2-1 Athletics.

Well, that turned out to be the only major jam for Tanaka. From the third inning and on, he allowed ZERO hits and only one baserunner, when Billy Butler reached first after the strikeout pitch escaped McCann’s glove in the fourth. That was more dominant than Tanaka has been in his past few starts and hopefully he’s figured something out. Yankees have a need for an upgrade for the rotation and Tanaka stepping up to his ace form would be huge.

When it was all said and done, Tanaka threw 7.2 innings, allowed only two hits, one earned run and struck out six. Another important thing — no homers! Home runs had been killing him a bit this year (1.52 HR/9 prior to this game) and keeping balls in park — especially at the Yankee Stadium — is a pretty good sight.

The bats

Prior to today’s game, Yankees didn’t do well against the journeyman RHP Jesse Chavez — he had held the current Yankee position players to a cumulative .235/.279/.370 line. There was a good news though: Chavez himself had been in a funk. After tossing eight scoreless versus the Yanks in May 31, the righty had been 2-4 with 5.00 ERA in 6 starts.

Chavez didn’t have a horrible outing but it was still not great. The righty tossed 5.0 innings, allowed seven hits, four runs, three walks and struck out three. That’s really mediocre and given on how brilliant Tanaka was, and the bats did a more-than-an-adequate job.

How about Cole Figueroa? He went 2-for-4 in his Yankee debut. It could have been a 3-for-4 performance too — in the second inning, he hit a hard grounder that went right to first baseman Ike Davis to end the frame, but, off the bat, I thought he could have had himself a single. He, however, catalyzed the rally in the fourth with a double to right, setting up a one-out, runners on second and third situation for Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury ended up driving both in with an RBI-single for a 4-2 Yankee lead.

Figueroa contributed to another rally in the eighth, hitting a ground-rule double to set up another situation with runners on second and third. Ellsbury followed it up with what seemed to be an inning-ending ground out … but Marcus Semien threw offline and Ike Davis couldn’t handle it. Both runners scored and Semien was charged with his 28th (!!!) error of the season.

Back to Figueroa — he will probably be sent down as soon as Chase Headley is ready to play again but I would guess he’ll be up again later this season if he keeps up the 130 wRC+ he had down in the minors.

(Source: Getty)

Hey Now, You’re An All Star

It’s been quite a past few days for Brett Gardner. Hot streak? Check. Being talked about as a possible All-Star? Check. Teammates campaigning for him? Check. Making it as an All Star? Check.

In his the first at-bat of the day, Gardner took a Chavez fastball deep to right field to give a 1-0 Yankee lead. That was also his tenth homer of the year — the most in his career prior to the All Star Game. At the age 31 season, Gardner is simply having his best offensive season — .303/.381/.490 line with an isolated power at .188. If you go with isolated power stat alone, he’s having a better power season power season than Adam Jones (.187), Prince Fielder (.178), Justin Upton (.175) and Troy Tulowitzki (.163). How about that?

Well, besides the homer, Gardner added two more hits later in the game for a 3-for-5 performance. To put a cherry on top, he was also announced to be injured Alex Gordon’s replacement for the All Star Game. Well, no more bald caps for other Yankee players I guess. Congrats, Brett!

Box score, standing, highlights, WPA

Here’s today’s box score, updated standing, video highlights and, of course, WPA

Source: FanGraphs

Yankees head to Boston to play their final series before the All-Star break. Enjoy the rest of Thursday! Maybe watch more baseball coming up later if you feel like it because that’s what I’ll probably do.

Teixeira’s two homers carry Yankees to 5-4 win over A’s

Gosh it’s never easy with this team. At least not of late. The Yankees took a three-run lead into the ninth inning on Wednesday night, and by time the final out was recorded, it was a one-run game with the tying run in scoring position. Not ideal! Thankfully that tying run never scored and the Yankees walked away with a 5-4 win.


Two Times For Tex
The Athletics scored two quick runs in the top of second inning but the Yankees answered right back in the bottom half thanks to the best of Didi, and the worst of Didi. Chris Young reached base leading off the inning when Brett Lawrie booted his ground ball, then Didi Gregorius hammered a Scott Kazmir offering off the scoreboard on the right field wall. He hasn’t hit a ball that hard against a lefty all season. Probably. Seems that way.

Young scored easily on the double, and Gregorius tried to take third on the throw home, but catcher Stephen Vogt Josh Phegley was able to gun him down at the hot corner. Replays showed Didi hesitated at second to make sure the throw wasn’t cut off before taking off for third, though that’s what he’s supposed to do. He couldn’t pick up third base coach Joe Espada because he was all the way down near home plate waving Young in. Gregorius just didn’t outrun Vogt’s Phegley’s throw. Low baseball IQ, I tell ya. Something like that.

The Yankees caught a break when triceps tightness bounced Kazmir out of the game after three innings, forcing Athletics skipper Bob Melvin to go to his shaky middle relief. Mark Teixeira greeted Evan Scribner by sending his fourth pitch of the night over the right field wall for a game-tying solo homer. In the sixth inning, Teixeira took Scribner deep again for a solo homer, this one plating an insurance run. Both homers came on high fastballs:

Mark Teixeira home runs

Really, really similar. Same pitch, pretty much the same location, and they even landed in the same section. Those seats right above the scoreboard and below the bleachers in right-center. Where Didi hit his double. The Yankees peppered that part of the field Wednesday night. Teixeira now has 22 home runs on the season, equaling last year’s total. It’s not even the All-Star break yet! It’s so nice to have a middle of the order again, isn’t it?

Between Teixeira’s two home runs, the Yankees took the lead on Jose Pirela‘s fourth inning sacrifice fly. Young walked, John Ryan Murphy beat out an infield single, Young stole third, Murphy moved up on a wild pitch, and Pirela lifted the ball to deep right field to score the run. The first three batters reached base against Scribner, leading to two runs that turned an early 2-1 hole into a 3-2 lead.


CC Sabathia pitched just well enough to avoid lots of talk about being removed from the rotation during the All-Star break. For a while this one looked headed for disaster territory — Sabathia allowed two runs in the second and seven of the first eight batters he faced hit rockets — but, to his credit, Sabathia was able to settle down and give the Yankees 5.1 innings of two-run ball. That’s what he is at this point. I’ll take two runs in 5.1 innings from Sabathia every time out from now on.

Joe Girardi was smart to pull CC after Jake Smolinski singled with one out in the sixth — Smolinski hit a foul pop-up earlier in the at-bat that Young overran, otherwise it would have been the second out of the inning — because three of the last six A’s to face Sabathia reached base. Two runs on seven hits and two walks. One strikeout. Only four swings and misses out of 88 total pitches too. But, two runs in 5.1 innings. Who cares how he gets there at this point.

Even if he had gotten smacked around — Bryan Mitchell was warming up in the second inning, so Girardi doesn’t have much faith in Sabathia — there’s no indication the Yankees would have yanked Sabathia from the rotation. So this is the best case. Get a winnable start, get him out of there as soon as possible, and hope for the same in five or six days. The game could have really gotten out of hand with all those line drives in the second inning, but it didn’t, and for that we thank the baseball gods.


The Returns
Both Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) and Andrew Miller (forearm) returned from the DL on Wednesday after missing several weeks. Ellsbury went 1-for-4 with an infield single and a strikeout — he really had to bust it down the line on the single — and he wasn’t tested with anything tough in the field. Knee looked fine based on this one game.

Miller, on the other hand, looked all sorts of rusty. His fastball location was particularly bad, and he paid for it when Marcus Semien clubbed a two-run home run. Luckily the Yankees had built a three-run lead by that point. The tying run made it to second base with two outs on Gregorio Petit‘s throwing error, though he atoned for the mistake with a nice play to get the final out. Teixeira gets an assist for his stretch at first. Miller struck out one and needed 30 pitches to get his 18th save.


Stephen Drew was due for a “keep me on the roster for another two weeks” home run and hit it in the eighth, a solo shot off lefty Fernando Abad. That wound up being the winning run! Drew replaced Pirela for defense late. Everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least once other than Alex Rodriguez and Petit. Gardner (single, two walks), Teixeira (two homers, intentional walk), and Murphy (two singles) each reached base multiple times.

Teixeira’s glove was just as good as his bat. He snagged a line drive and turned it into a double play in the first, made a great diving grab on a hard-hit ground ball in the eighth, then stretched to get Petit’s throw for the final out in the ninth. Great first base defense is so underappreciated. Teixeira is a game-changer in the field even at such a non-premium position.

Mitchell walked a batter in the sixth but otherwise pitched out of the jam with the lead intact after replacing Sabathia. Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances tossed flawless seventh and eighth innings before Miller took over in the ninth. I’m guessing Chasen Shreve and Adam Warren will be the setup man/closer tandem Thursday.

And finally, Sabathia revealed after the game that he had his surgically repaired knee drained between starts, as soon as the team returned from Anaheim. He probably wouldn’t have been able to start Sunday anyway had the team not pushed him back. It’s the second time Sabathia has had his knee drained this season.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages because it would be a lot of wasted effort on my part if you didn’t. Here’s the win probability graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees and Athletics wrap up this three-game series on Thursday afternoon, in the final home game before the All-Star break. Masahiro Tanaka and Jesse Chavez will be the pitching matchup. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game live.

Yankees fall 4-3 to A’s on a Brett Lawrie homer in extras

The Yankees offense actually managed to score three run off of Sonny Gray tonight and Nathan Eovaldi pitched a solid game as well. However, in the end, the result did not favor New York — a pair of solo homers allowed by Yankee relievers doomed the team into an annoying 4-3 loss in ten innings. Less of these in the future, please.

Look at them veins on elbow (Source: Getty)

The Splitters

In the first inning, the A’s drew first blood when Josh Reddick drove in Stephen Vogt from second base on a 2-out RBI single. Eovaldi allowed another run in the third after giving up three straight singles to start the inning. He did, however, manage to get out of that inning without further damage by inducing a strikeout from Ben Zobrist and a double play from Reddick, which was neat.

I thought Eovaldi was not great but he showed some promise with his work-in-progress pitch: the splitter. He continued to utilize his new weapon tonight, which ranged from 88-90 mph and got some swings-and-misses. Also importantly, Eovaldi generated 62.5% ground ball rate, much higher than a 45.3% career rate.

After that disastrous 0.2 IP, 8 ER performance in Miami, Eovaldi has gone 3-0, 2.38 ERA in 22.2 IP with 17 strikeouts. The righty is far from the finished product we’d like to see, but using more splitters and getting better outcomes than the first few months of the season is welcome progress.

(Source: Getty)

The All-Star

In the bottom of the first, Brett Gardner singled and Chase Headley worked a walk against the All-Star RHP Sonny Gray. A-Rod flied out (and looked quite displeased doing so because it looked like a meatball) and Mark Teixeira followed it with a strikeout.

Brian McCann, however, fisted an inside fastball towards left field for a bloop single, driving in Gardner. Garrett Jones also joined in on the fun with an RBI single to right. 2-1 Yankees.

This was Gray’s first game back after missing a start due to salmonella. His velocity was fine but his command was missing just slightly. He showed a little rust but not too much, going 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 ER and striking out 5. Yes, that would be a more than acceptable outcome for most pitchers but this is Sonny Gray we’re talking about – a top 5 starter in the AL. It’s still a fine, serviceable line but not his best effort.

The Hanging Breaking Ball

The All-Star Dellin Betances came into the game in the ninth inning with the game tied at three. In his first inning of work, Dellin was dominant – three up, three down with two K’s. In the tenth inning, he entered the game again for possibly another inning of work. During the Brett Lawrie at-bat, the YES broadcast showed Chris Capuano warming in the bullpen and I thought “the offense better score a run in the bottom tenth before he comes into the game.”

Just a moment later, however, Betances threw an absolute hanger to Brett Lawrie. The A’s infielder didn’t miss a beat – Lawrie drove it over the left field fence for a tie-breaking homer. 4-3 A’s lead. I mean, boy, that was as hanging as Dellin’s breaking ball could be. After not allowing a homer in 54 straight appearances, Betances allows one each in back-to-back games. Go figure.

The Changeup

With one out in bottom tenth, Gardner worked a walk to get the tying run on base. Headley followed it up with a pop out and A-Rod walked after not biting on Tyler Clippard’s series of changeups.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Mark Teixeira came up to bat. He managed to lay off the first three pitches (all changeups) to make it a 3-0 count. Clippard then threw a fastball right down the middle for a strike, 3-1. Next pitch, the righty threw another fastball one down the middle and Teixeira was clearly timing his swing as if Clippard was throwing a changeup. The ball hit the bat as Teixeira’s hands were going through the zone and it fouled off. 3-2.

On the next pitch, it seemed like Teixeira was fully anticipating a fastball – he swung and only thing his bat hit was thin air. Clippard struck Teixeira out on a 80 mph changeup to end the game. 4-3 Athletics. Womp.


Yeah, so Chasen Shreve has been absolutely lights out for the Yankee bullpen this season but he can’t be great all the time. It was unfortunate that he put a 90 mph fastball right down the middle for Billy Butler to drive it over the left field fence – it was one of those pitches that big league hitters just should not miss. It was also unfortunate that it only took that one moment to tie the game for the A’s and erased Eovaldi’s win. Oh well.

Two of the biggest hitters of the team – A-Rod and Teixeira – went for a combined 0-for-9 with 5 strikeouts. Ouch. Imagine the game outcome if the cleanup guys actually cleaned it up.

The Box Score, the Standings, the Highlights, the WPA

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

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees will send C.C. Sabathia against Scott Kazmir tomorrow. If you somehow don’t know, Kazmir has been one of the better lefties in the Major League while Sabathia, well, has not been good this season at all. This definitely does not inspire much confidence but… excuse me while I try to stay optimistic here but… strange things have happened in baseball before numerous times.

Yankees can’t finish sweep, get blown out 8-1 by Rays

Man, a sweep would have been so nice, but it was not meant to be. The Yankees dropped the series finale to the Rays on Sunday afternoon, getting blown out 8-1 thanks to an ineffective Ivan Nova and some hilaribad defense. Two out of three in the series ain’t bad. Just kinda disappointing.


No Command
This was definitely not Nova’s day and it was clear from the get go. Nova allowed two runs on three hits to the first four batters he faced — David DeJesus and James Loney singled around an Evan Longoria double — and he threw a first pitch strike to just three of the first ten Rays to bat. Loney’s single drove in two runs and Tampa scored their third run thanks to a Brett Gardner mistake — he misread a line drive and let it sail over his head for a triple. It should have been an error but was scored a triple.

Nova put men on base in the third and fourth innings but escaped unscathed. The fifth inning started with a double and continued with an error. Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a bunt, Nova threw to third — Brian McCann told him to go to third — and the ball sailed wide of the bag and into foul territory, allowing the run to score. The throw to third was ill-advised in hindsight but I thought it was the right play. The catcher was running and it appears Chase Headley would have had plenty of time to apply the tag had the throw been on the money:

Ivan Nova error

The throw wasn’t on the money though, so Curt Casali scored the fourth run for the Rays. Nova got out of the inning without allowing any more damage. His afternoon ended with four runs (three earned) allowed on six hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out just one and threw only 45 of his 81 pitches for strikes (56%). Too few strikes. Too few first pitch strikes too — Nova went to a 1-0 count on 14 of 23 batters faced. Egads.

The road back from Tommy John surgery is rarely smooth and this was one of he bumps. Nova couldn’t locate consistently, was behind in the count all afternoon, and simply had to grind each at-bat. The misplay by Gardner and the error on the throw to third didn’t help either, though Ivan’s problems extended beyond that. Just one of those days. It happens, especially after elbow surgery. Shake it off, get ready to start again in later this week.


Blown Chances
You could see it coming a mile away. The Yankees had Erasmo Ramirez on the ropes in the first and second innings, never delivered the knockout blow, then Ramirez settled in. A double by Headley and walks by Mark Teixeira and McCann loaded the bases in the first before Garrett Jones grounded out. He swung at the first pitch after the back-to-back walks, which is always annoying, though the line of thinking is the pitcher wants to get one over and the most hittable pitch of the at-bat is the first. Didn’t work.

In the second, Didi Gregorius reached base on an error and Gardner drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Headley popped up in foul territory to end the threat. The Yankees had just one base-runner from the third through fifth innings and that was a hit-by-pitch. Ramirez started to tire in the sixth — Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer and Teixeira hit a ball to the wall — but was able to strand a runner at second to end the inning. The solo homer cut the deficit from 4-0 to 4-1. Too little, too late.

Defense Optional
The Rays tacked on four runs in the eighth inning — after the Yankees brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh only to have Headley bang into a double play, womp womp — because lol infield defense. Gregorius bobbled a slow chopper he tried to barehand (but didn’t need too because Longoria was running) and Jose Pirela managed to turn a double play ball into second and third with no outs. He booted the grounder, took his time retrieving the ball, then threw it into the dugout. Two errors on one play. That’s always a treat. A bloop drove in both runs. The Yankees were charged with three errors on the day (Nova, two on Pirela) but it could have easily been five because of the Gardner and Didi plays. The second base situation has become untenable. They need to fix this and fast.


Bryan Mitchell was charged with four totally undeserved runs (two earned) in two innings. He threw fire in his scoreless sixth and seventh innings, then allowed four runs on two soft ground balls, a bloop, and a hit batsman in the eighth thanks largely to the Didi and Pirela miscues. It didn’t help that Chris Capuano walked in a run and allowed a sac fly either. I’m digging Mitchell in short relief. He’s been impressive when the defense is Major League caliber behind him.

Oh by the way, the Yankees had just three hits on the day. A-Rod homered and both Headley and Jones doubled. They did drew five walks though, two by Gardner and one each by A-Rod, Teixeira, and McCann. Chris Young was also hit by a pitch but just barely. Same number of doubles plays as hits. Not good!

And finally, rumblin’ Nick Rumbelow tossed a perfect ninth inning, striking out two. He’s been impressive in his very limited big league time like Mitchell. Those two plus not a starter Adam Warren‘s return to the bullpen have settled down the righty reliever revolving door.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights. Also check out the updated standings as well as our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Here’s the LPA graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees have an off-day Monday and will open a three-game set against the Athletics at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Nathan Eovaldi will be on the mound against … someone. Oakland’s starter is officially TBA right now. They’re hoping it will be Sonny Gray, who’s been battling an illness of late. It’s the last home series before the All-Star break, so head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch one of those three games live.

Yankees pick up Betances, walk-off with 3-2 win over Rays

Source: FanGraphs

Dellin Betances and the bullpen have been picking up the rest of the Yankees just about all season, but, on Saturday, it was time for the rest of the roster to pick up Betances. They did that with their second straight walk-off win, this one a 3-2 Independence Day victory over the Rays. That’s the fighting spirit. New York has won three straight. Love this team, you guys. Let’s recap with bullet points, for America:

  • Grande Miguel: Michael Pineda steps it up on holidays, huh? He struck out 16 on Mother’s Day and then chucked seven shutout innings with ten strike ’em outs on the Fourth of July. Pineda’s afternoon ended on an eighth inning leadoff double, but before that he retired 12 straight and 18 of 19. Five hits, one walk. The Rays swung at 19 of his sliders and missed 14 (!!!) times. Pineda has now turned in back-to-back strong starts after about a month of mediocrity following the 16-strikeout game.
  • Dinks & Dunks: Last night’s heroics notwithstanding, the offense hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire of late. The Yankees scored two first inning runs against Nathan Karns thanks to three soft singles — Brett Gardner hit a ground ball with eyes and then Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez found grass with bloops. Mark Teixeira had the hardest hit ball of the inning and it was a sacrifice fly to center. A-Rod singled in Gardner, Teixeira brought in Headley. Quick 2-0 lead.
  • Blown Save: Following the leadoff double in the eighth, Justin Wilson came in, struck out the two batters he faced, then Betances came in to face Evan Longoria as the tying run. He got him to ground out harmlessly to third. Then, in the ninth, Betances allowed a leadoff single to the un-get-out-able James Loney before leaving a breaking ball on a tee for Steven Souza. Souza crushed it for a no-doubt game-tying two-run homer. That was unfortunate. First ninth inning blown save of the season for New York.
  • Walk-Off: Friday’s walk-off was a good ol’ fashioned dinger. Saturday’s was less conventional. In the bottom of the ninth, Rays relief ace Brad Boxberger got ahead in the count 0-2 on Teixeira, who then pulled a seeing-eye double through the shift and into the right field corner. A seeing-eye double! Boxberger then got ahead 0-2 on Chris Young, who managed to work a walk. Ramon Flores squared around to bunt, got it down, and Boxberger’s throw to first was in the dirt. Jake Elmore couldn’t make a clean scoop and Jose Pirela, who pinch-ran for Teixeira, hustled around third to score. Great hustle by him. And great two-strike hitting by Teixeira and Young.
  • Leftovers: In addition to those three first inning hits and Teixeira’s ninth inning double, Garrett Jones doubled into the left-center field corner and Didi Gregorius singled to left. Headley, Young, and Stephen Drew drew the walks … prior to Teixeira’s leadoff double in the ninth, 14 of the previous 16 Yankees to bat made outs … for the record, it was a walk-off error charged to Boxberger … the Yankees didn’t have a walk-off win coming into this series but now have two in the span of 17 hours or so … this is their first set of back-to-back walk-off wins since September 2012 against the A’s.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Rays wrap up this three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Ivan Nova and Erasmo Ramirez will be the starting pitchers.

Minor League Update: It’s a holiday, so I’m taking the day off from the regular minor league update. All the box scores are right here, so check ’em out at your convenience. Most of the games don’t start until 6:30-7pm ET.

Yanks come from behind twice, beat Rays 7-5 on McCann’s three-run walk-off homer

Love this team. Love. This. Team. Best game of the season? Yup. Not even close. The Yankees battled back not once, but twice to beat the Rays 7-5 in 12 innings on Friday night. Brian McCann‘s walk-off three-run homer sent everyone home happy. It’s Friday night and a holiday weekend, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • Rally II: Let’s recap this one backwards. The Yankees were down 5-3 going into the bottom of the 12th, but they did have the top of the order coming up. Brett Gardner started the rally with a leadoff walk and Alex Rodriguez reached base as the tying run on a dinky little ground ball single through the right side. The Rays had the shift on, playing him to pull, and Alex slapped the ball the other way. Look at this hit. Mark Teixeira singled in Gardner to make it a one-run game, and, well, you know what McCann did next. The walk-off was the team’s first of the season.
  • Bullpen on Parade: Six relievers held the Rays to two runs in six innings, and the value of not a starter Adam Warren was on full display. He got the final out of the 10th, tossed a scoreless 11th, then started the 12th. Chasen Shreve had his first rough outing in a while, walking two and allowing two hits, both driving in runs for the Rays. That turned a 3-3 game into a 5-3 game and what looked like a sure loss. Can’t expect perfection every time. Shreve’s allowed to have an off-night once in a while. At least a pigeon attacked Kevin Kiermaier following his RBI single.
  • The Save: Underrated moment of the game: Nick Rumbelow stranding two runners in the eighth. Chris Capuano allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning, then Rumbelow got two pop-ups and a ground ball to end the threat and prevent the Rays from increasing their 3-0 lead. One extra run there would have been huge in hindsight. Nick job by the kid in his third career appearance. That was a save situation even though he won’t get credited with one.
  • Rally I: Chris Archer has been excellent this season, and while he kept the Yankees off the board for 6.2 innings, he wasn’t overwhelmingly dominant. The Yankees had men on base against him in every inning but the second, so they had chances, they could couldn’t capitalize. They did get to the bullpen though, specifically Kevin Jepsen in the eighth. Chase Headley and A-Rod hit one-out singles, and Teixeira unloaded on a hanging changeup for a game-tying three-run homer. Another sluggish night by the bats was forgiven with one swing.
  • TANAK: The first inning was more of the same for Masahiro Tanaka — he was leaving splitters up in the zone, and the result was two runs on a walk and two doubles. He settled down after that though, holding Tampa to one run on four hits in the next five innings with five strikeouts. Tanaka got 15 swings and misses out of 96 total pitches, so his three highest swing-and-miss totals have come in his last three games, which have hardly been his three best starts of the season. The first inning stunk, but Tanaka was really good after that. Hopefully something clicked.
  • Leftovers: Didi Gregorius went 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, and, for the first time since the third game of the season, he has a .300 OBP. Progress! … Headley, A-Rod, and Teixeira each had two hits as well … Gardner went 0-for-4 but did draw two walks. Rodriguez drew three … Capuano, Warren, Dellin Betances, and Justin Wilson each struck out two in relief … McCann threw out two runners trying to steal and both Gardner and Chris Young had outfield assists.

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, Bullpen Workload, and Announcer Standings pages. The win probability graph is below. The Yankees and Rays continue this series Saturday afternoon in an Fourth of July matinee. Michael Pineda and Nathan Karns will be the pitching matchup. Love this team, you guys.

Source: FanGraphs

Offense breaks out for three runs, Yankees salvage series with 3-1 win over Angels

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees matched their run total from the previous three games combined on Wednesday night, and while that usually means a big game, this time it meant only three runs. Those three runs were enough for a 3-1 win over the Angels, salvaging the series finale for New York and halting their three-game losing streak. They went 3-4 on their seven-game road trip. Blah.

I only caught the first three innings or so on television before shifting to the radio for the rest of the night, so I didn’t actually see much of the game and can’t talk about it intelligently (which makes this no different than every other recap, I suppose). I did see Chase Headley come up with a clutch two-out single to drive in the game’s first run after Didi Gregorius singled and Stephen Drew bunted him up into scoring position. That felt like the token run of the day.

The Yankees tacked on two runs in the later innings, thankfully. Garrett Jones took the amazingly homer prone Matt Shoemaker deep for a solo home run in the sixth, then Gregorius singled in another run in the eighth. The Yankees had the bases loaded with one out that inning and got just the one run. Argh. Better than no runs, I guess. The offense did pile up a dozen hits (three by Headley and two each by Didi and Chris Young), equaling their hit total from the last three games combined.

Nathan Eovaldi had another strong start until things unraveled a bit in the sixth, though I can’t really blame him for walking Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Gotta be careful with those guys and ball four to Trout could have easily been strike three. Eovaldi allowed five singles and three walks in 5.1 scoreless frames. He has a 4.28 ERA in his last eight starts including the disaster in Miami. It’s a 2.61 ERA excluding that start, though stats don’t work like that. The disaster start counts. Either way, seven of his last eight outings have been very good.

The three-headed bullpen monster of Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson, and Dellin Betances recorded the final eleven outs. The only blemish was a Trout homer off Wilson, which … whatever. Trout’s just awesome. He’s going to hit dingers. Just be happy it was a solo shot. Betances walked two in the ninth before nailing down the save. Dellin’s walked 18 batters in 39.2 innings this year after walking 24 in 90 innings last year. His location just hasn’t been there this year, though it hasn’t really mattered.

How about Shreve though? He retired all five men he faced, including four righties. Righties have reached base just 15 times in 74 plate appearances against him (.203 OBP), and one of those 15 was an intentional walk. Over his last 18 appearances, Shreve has allowed two runs on six hits and five walks in 19.2 innings with 22 strikeouts. He’s retired 57 of the last 68 batters he’s faced overall. What a pickup he’s been. Shreve and Adam Warren setting up Betances and Andrew Miller is going to be a hell of a thing once Miller gets back.

Here are the box score and video highlights, and here are the updated standings. We also have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages, so check those out. The Yankees have an off-day Thursday and then open a three-game series with the Rays on Friday night. Masahiro Tanaka and Chris Archer will be the pitching matchup. Fun! Check out RAB Tickets if you wanna catch that game or any of the six games on the homestand live and in person. Last homestand before the All-Star break, you know.