Game 87: The Start of the Second Half

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Welcome to the first day of the rest of the season. The All-Star break is over and we’re officially into the dog days of summer. The Yankees begin a four-game set with the Red Sox in Fenway Park tonight. Best case scenario is they leave this series with a half-game lead in the AL East. Worst case scenario is they leave 7.5 games back. A few too many things have been playing out to the worst case scenario for my liking lately.

The Yankees return from the All-Star break with a 45-41 record and a healthy +98 run differential, though they’re also 7-18 in their last 25 games, which is pretty darn awful. They haven’t won a series or back-to-back games or more than a month now. Hopefully everyone got their heads clear during the break and the second half serves as a fresh start. The Yankees could really use one. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. 1B Garrett Cooper
  7. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

It is cloudy, cool, and humid in Boston this evening. There is rain in the forecast, though not until later tonight. It shouldn’t be a problem unless the game goes to extra innings or something. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Michael Pineda has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and Tommy John surgery has been recommended. He will get a second opinion first … Greg Bird (ankle) has been diagnosed with inflammation in his os trigonum, which is essentially an extra bone in his ankle. He received another cortisone shot, and if that doesn’t work, he may need surgery. The surgery comes with a 6-8 week rehab timetable, meaning he could be back for September … Starlin Castro (hamstring) will play another minor league rehab game tonight, and could return as soon as tomorrow depending how he feels.

Roster Moves: Welcome back, Matt Holliday and Jordan Montgomery. Holliday (illness) was activated off the disabled list and Montgomery was called back up. He didn’t even miss a start … Pineda was placed on the 10-day DL, allowing the Montgomery to return before his ten days in the minors were up … Rob Refsnyder was sent down to clear a roster spot for Holliday … welcome to the big leagues, Garrett Cooper. He’s been added to the roster following yesterday’s trade. He essentially takes Tyler Webb‘s 25-man and 40-man roster spots. This will be Cooper’s MLB debut. Next time the Yankees need a 40-man spot, they’ll slide Pineda to the 60-day DL.

2017 All-Star Game Thread

This is a good photo. (Presswire)
This is a good photo. (Presswire)

Tonight in Miami, the very best players in baseball will get together for the 88th annual All-Star Game at Marlins Park. Some non-Yankees will be there too. Aaron Judge won the Home Run Derby with hilarious ease last night — there was 1:53 still on the clock when he hit the winning home run in the finals — and now he’ll anchor the AL lineup tonight.

Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and Dellin Betances are all on the AL roster in addition to Judge, giving the Yankees four homegrown All-Stars this year. Three are no older than 25. Is that not cool? That is cool. Starlin Castro was selected to the All-Star Game as well this year, but he will not play because of his hamstring injury. Ex-Yankee Robinson Cano took his spot on the roster.

The All-Star Game is no longer tied to home field advantage in the World Series, thankfully, meaning tonight’s game is nothing more than a meaningless exhibition. The only thing on the line is bragging rights and, frankly, these guys don’t care nearly as much about bragging rights as players did way back in the day. The All-Star Game used to be super competitive. Not anymore.

Here are the All-Star Game starting lineups. Fans voted on the players, then managers lined them in the batting order and selected a starting pitcher:

American League
1. 2B Jose Altuve, Astros
2. 3B Jose Ramirez, Indians
3. RF Aaron Judge, Yankees
4. LF George Springer, Astros
5. SS Carlos Correa, Astros
6. 1B Justin Smoak, Blue Jays
7. DH Corey Dickerson, Rays
8. C Salvador Perez, Royals
9. CF Mookie Betts, Red Sox
LHP Chris Sale, Red Sox

National League
1. CF Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
2. DH Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
3. RF Bryce Harper, Nationals
4. C Buster Posey, Giants
5. 2B Daniel Murphy, Nationals
6. 3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies
7. 1B Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
8. LF Marcell Ozuna, Marlins
9. SS Zack Cozart, Reds
RHP Max Scherzer, Nationals

Acting AL manager Brad Mills — Terry Francona recently had a heart procedure, so his bench coach with the Indians is taking over All-Star managerial duty — was pretty adamant yesterday that his plan is to get all of his players into the game. Sanchez will play at some point and I guess chances are Severino will pitch too since this is his first All-Star Game. Betances is here for the fourth time, so he could be someone who gets the night off in deference to young players here for the first time. We’ll see. I’m cool with Dellin getting the night off anyway.

Tonight’s game will begin at 8pm ET and you can watch on FOX and also the FOX Sports Go app. The Marlins Park roof is going to be closed because it is approximately 110 degrees with 400% humidity in Miami today. Enjoy the game.

2017 Futures Game Thread

Acevedo. (Icon Sportswire)
Acevedo. (Icon Sportswire)

The Yankees are wrapping up their first half at home against the Brewers this afternoon, and, down in Miami, baseball’s best young players are being showcased at Marlins Park. It’s the Futures Game, in which the game’s top prospects are put together on one field for the express purpose of promoting baseball’s future.

OF Estevan Florial and RHP Domingo Acevedo are representing the Yankees in the Futures Game this year. SS Gleyber Torres almost certainly would have been there had he not blown out his elbow a few weeks ago. It’s possible the Yankees held RHP Chance Adams out of the Futures Game because they’re planning to call him up at some point soon. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Here are the lineups.

Team USA
1. SS Nick Gordon, Twins
2. CF Lewis Brinson, Brewers
3. LF Derek Fisher, Astros
4. 1B Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
5. 3B Nick Senzel, Reds
6. RF Kyle Tucker, Astros
7. DH Brian Anderson, Marlins
8. C Chance Sisco, Orioles
9. 2B Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
RHP Bent Honeywell, Rays

World Team
1. 2B Yoan Moncada, White Sox
2. LF Alex Verdugo, Dodgers
3. SS Amed Rosario, Mets
4. 3B Rafael Devers, Red Sox
5. CF Ronald Acuna, Braves
6. RF Eloy Jimenez, Cubs
7. DH Vlad Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
8. 1B Josh Naylor, Padres
9. C Francisco Mejia, Indians
RHP Yadier Alvarez, Dodgers

Acevedo is tentatively scheduled to pitch the fourth inning for the World Team. Florial is going to come off the bench at some point. Everybody plays in the Futures Game. It’s not like the All-Star Game where some guys stay on the bench. Acevedo, Florial, and every other Futures Gamer will play at some point this afternoon.

The Futures Game will begin at 4pm ET and you can watch on MLB Network and stream live on MLB.com. The Marlins Park roof is closed, so the weather isn’t an issue. Enjoy the game.

Game 86: End the Half on a High Note

Welcome to the Bronx, Clint. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Bronx, Clint. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Within a span of thirty seconds yesterday, Clint Frazier made much of the annoyance and consternation of the last four weeks feel, at the very least, a bit less severe. Yes, the Yankees are still 3.5 games out of first; and, yes, one moment does not erase one of the most disappointing stretches in recent memory. However, watching Frazier round the bases as the team crowded home plate reminded us of two things – one, this team is capable of greatness, and, two, the Yankees are still fun.

Let’s see more of that today.

The pitching match-up could be described as a battle of aces, with the recently resurgent Masahiro Tanaka squaring-off against Jimmy Nelson. Here’s the Brewers lineup that Tanaka will face. The Yankees will trot out:

  1. Brett Gardner, LF
  2. Aaron Judge, RF
  3. Didi Gregorius, SS
  4. Gary Sanchez, C
  5. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  6. Chase Headley, 3B
  7. Clint Frazier, DH
  8. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  9. Tyler Wade, 2B

The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM, and you can catch it on the YES Network.

Game 85: Stand perfectly still, the bullpen’s vision is based on movement

Still here. (Mike Stobe/Getty)
Still here. (Mike Stobe/Getty)

So. Another tough loss last night. The Yankees have had a bunch of those lately. Too many. Maybe their fortunate is turning. Prior to last night, the Yankees won their previous four series openers yet failed to win the series. Maybe losing last night’s series opener means they’ll win this series? A man can hope.

Today’s mission is simple: avoid the bullpen at all costs. A crisp complete game from Luis Severino would be lovely. I’m not counting on it, but again, a man can hope. Hopefully the offense can give the pitching staff some breathing room. They’re going to need it. Here is the Brewers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. DH Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. LF Clint Frazier
  8. 1B Austin Romine
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

It is cloudy, hot, and humid in New York today, otherwise the weather is perfect. The bullpen is a disaster, the offense struggles to score when Judge doesn’t homer, and the rotation has been hit or miss, otherwise the Yankees are perfect. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES and MLB Network. Try to enjoy.

Roster Moves: The Yankees have called up both Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder, the team announced. Luis Cessa and Jordan Montgomery were sent down. Montgomery will be back in ten days and won’t even miss a start thanks to the All-Star break. Also, assuming he comes up the first day he’s eligible, he’ll still be credited with service time during his stint in the minors because it is the minimum ten days.

Game 84: The Final Series of the First Half

Maybe the Yankees can find a win up there. (Rich Schultz/Getty)
Maybe the Yankees can find a win up there. (Rich Schultz/Getty)

A fun fact: the Yankees have won the first game in each of their last four series. A not-so-fun fact: the Yankees have failed to win each of those four series. Yuck. This weekend’s interleague series with the Brewers is the final series before the All-Star break, and given how poorly things have gone these last few weeks, you know the Yankees want to do well this weekend and head into the break feeling good about things. That’s what I’m hoping.

The first place Brewers (!) are visiting the Bronx for the first time since May 2011. Milwaukee is 0-10 in their last ten games at Yankee Stadium and 1-14 in their last 15 games. Their last win in the Bronx came back in July 1997. Ken Rogers started that game for the Yankees. It’s been a while. Of course, that means nothing. What happened in 2011 and 1997 or any other year as no bearing on what happens tonight, in 2017. Just win, please. Here is the Brewers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Gary Sanchez
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. LF Clint Frazier
  7. 1B Ji-Man Choi
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. 2B Tyler Wade
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

The morning rain has cleared out and it’s turned into a nice day here in New York. Blue sky and some clouds. Not a bad night for a ballgame. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Both Starlin Castro (hamstring) and Matt Holliday (illness) will not rejoin the Yankees this weekend. They’re going to play in minor league rehab games before returning, and both could be back in time for the first series after the All-Star break.

All-Star Update: Earlier today MLB announced a series of All-Star replacements and, no, Gregorius is not replacing the injured Castro on the AL roster. Castro’s spot is going to … Robbie Cano. Baseball is a flat circle.

Game 83: The 16th Day

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Today marks the end of a 16 games in 16 days stretch for the Yankees, their longest stretch without an off-day this season. (They had their 20 games in 20 days stretch interrupted by a rainout halfway through.) And boy, the first 15 games of this stretch did not go well. The Yankees are 6-9 in those games even though they’ve only been outscored 80-76. A few bullpen meltdowns have changed everything.

Anyway, this afternoon is yet another chance for the Yankees to win a series for the first time in three weeks. They haven’t won a series since decimating the Orioles at Yankee Stadium last month. The Yankees have gone from having a four-game division lead to facing a four-game deficit in 22 days. Pretty terrible. Win a stupid series for once and go into the off-day feeling kinda sorta good. Can we do that? Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. DH Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. 1B Ji-Man Choi
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. 2B Tyler Wade
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s a lovely day for baseball in the Bronx. A little cloudy, but there’s no rain in the forecast and it’s not oppressively hot either. Not a bad afternoon to sit in the ballpark. Anyway, this afternoon’s series finale will begin at 1:05pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Matt Holliday (illness) is feeling better and he hopes to return to the lineup Friday. He ran and took some batting practice today. Holliday said tests found a virus, and I guess they knocked it out with some medication.