Game 117: Home … For A While

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees are back home in the Bronx and they’re going to be here for a while. They start a ten-game homestand tonight and 20 of their next 26 games (!) will be played at Yankee Stadium. We all know the Yankees play much better at home, so these next 26 games are a huge opportunity to create some distance in the AL East. (The Blue Jays also play much better at home, and they play 17 of their next 26 on the road.)

I figure the Yankees will probably have to win at least 12 or 13 of these upcoming 20 home games to give themselves a really good chance to win the division. That seems like a decent number, no? It’s not set in stone or anything, but 12-8 feels like an okay record in those 20 home games. 11-9? Eh, not so much. Take it one game at a time though. Win today, worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Here is the Twins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

Gosh is it hot in New York. It’s been in the mid-90s all day with enough humidity to make you stick to everything. Yuck. It rained for a little while this afternoon and there’s a small chance of rain tonight. Nothing major though. The game is scheduled to begin just after 7pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy.

HOPE Week: This is week is HOPE Week, when the Yankees reach out to various individuals, families, and organizations doing some wonderful things. HOPE Week begins tonight with Chris Singleton, a college baseball player who lost his mother in the Charleston church shooting a few weeks ago. Chad Jennings has the details. Also, as part of HOPE Week the Yankees are holding a back-to-school supplies drive on Wednesday. Here are the details.

Schedule Update: The Subway Series game at Citi Field on Sunday, September 20th, has been bumped from 1pm ET to 8pm ET, MLB announced. I guess ESPN deemed the Yankees and Mets worthy of a late-season Sunday night broadcast.

Game 116: Severino’s Biggest Test

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

This series has gone quite well for the Yankees so far. They won Friday’s game in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, then won Saturday’s game because their ace pitched like a damn ace. They go for the sweep of the suddenly quiet Blue Jays — where’d all the Jose Bautista sound bites go? — this afternoon.

On the mound is rookie righty Luis Severino, who will be making his third career start. This will be his first major test. Yeah, the Red Sox and Indians have okay offenses, but the Blue Jays are on a different level entirely. They’re the best offense in the game, especially at home, where they average 5.52 runs per game. Here is Toronto’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Luis Severino

It is nice and sunny in Toronto this afternoon, so the Rogers Centre roof should be open. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:07pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Ivan Nova (finger) threw in the bullpen today and everything went well. The swelling has gone down significantly after he was hit by the hard-hit grounder the other night. Nova expects to make his next start.

Game 114: Payback

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

This is a Big Series. The Blue Jays came to Yankees Stadium last week and straight up embarrassed the Yankees. They didn’t just sweep them, they held them to one run total in three games and outplayed them in every phase of the game. It was brutal. The scene now shifts to Rogers Centre and the Yankees are looking for payback. Or at least a win. Maybe some runs. Those have been hard to come by of late.

Ivan Nova is on the mound tonight and he held his own against this powerful Blue Jays lineup last weekend, at least until Joe Girardi left him in a little too long, leading to a Justin Smoak grand slam. Hopefully Girardi won’t ignore any obvious signs of fatigue tonight, like throwing eleven balls in the span of 14 pitches. (I’m over it, I swear.) Ugly, pretty, who cares. Just win, baby. Here is Toronto’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. RF Chris Young
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Brendan Ryan
    RHP Ivan Nova

It has been raining in Toronto for much of the afternoon, so assume the Rogers Centre roof will be closed. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:07pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Dustin Ackley (back) is rehabbing and feeling better, but he’s yet to start baseball activities, so his return is not imminent.

Game 113: If Greg Bird Can’t Save Them, No One Can

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees have lost five straight games and they’ve scored six runs in those five games. Four of the six came in one game. The Blue Jays already won today — it was their 11th straight win — so the Yankees have to snap their losing streak tonight just to keep pace in the AL East. They’re in chase mode now.

Earlier today the Yankees called up first base prospect Greg Bird, and it sure seems like the team is acknowledging they are worried Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira may wear down (or are wearing down) in the second half. Bird is here to back up both guys and it seems likely he will play more than Garrett Jones did. That’s a pretty safe bet. Here is the Indians’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. RF Carlos Beltran
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 1B Greg Bird
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

It’s cloudy and cool again in Cleveland with only a tiny bit of rain in the forecast. Nothing that will cause a postponement or anything. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Moves: Bird was called up, obviously. Nick Goody was sent down to clear a 25-man roster spot and Diego Moreno was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot, the Yankees announced. Goody pitched in each of the last two games and would have been unavailable tonight. The Yankees are back to a four-man bench and seven-man bullpen.

Injury Update: Michael Pineda (forearm) threw his first bullpen session since landing on the DL and everything went fine. He said he “felt 100%.” Pineda will make his first minor league rehab start with Double-A Trenton on Sunday. He’s scheduled to throw 45 pitches. Looking at the calendar, Pineda could make three rehab starts and then be activated to start on September 1st, the day rosters expand. It lines up perfectly.

Game 112: Cling to First

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Remember that seven-game lead in the AL East? It’s gone. In 15 days no less. The lead is down to a half-game and the Yankees’ odds of winning the division are down to 46.8%, according to FanGraphs. They were 78.0% the day of the trade deadline. The Blue Jays have increased their AL East odds from 16.3% to 48.1% during that same time. (The Jays have better division odds than the Yankees because the projection systems like their roster more.)

But the Yankees can’t worry about the Blue Jays right now. They’ll be time for that this weekend. Right now the Yankees just need to figure out how to score some runs and get basically every hitter on the team other than Carlos Beltran and Didi Gregorius back on track. The bullpen is spent — it’s almost like they could have used an innings eating starter at the deadline, right? weird — and their margin of error figures to be tiny. Not a good combination. Here is the Indians’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. LF Chris Young
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    LHP CC Sabathia

It is cloudy and cool in Cleveland today, and there is no rain in the forecast either. Hooray for that. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Try to enjoy.

Roster Moves: In case you missed it earlier, Chris Capuano and Nick Goody have been called up to give the team some fresh arms. Garrett Jones and Branden Pinder were dropped from the roster in the corresponding moves.

Game 111: Score Runs This Isn’t Funny Anymore

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Okay, that series over the weekend was a nightmare. No positives to be taken from it. The offense was miserable, they had the off-day yesterday to clear their heads, and now it’s time to get back to scoring a boatload of runs. I mean, I’ll be happy with like four tonight, that could be enough to win, but I really want to see a crooked number. Big inning, everyone involved, the works. No runs is no fun.

Oh, and tonight is Luis Severino‘s second career start. Stupid offense kinda stole the spotlight away. Severino was good in his first start — he looked ridiculous at times and also looked like a 21-year-old rookie at times, that’s usually how it goes — but hopefully the first start jitters are out of the way so he can go out and shove against a depleted Indians lineup. They’ve traded some veteran bats in the last two weeks or so. Here is Cleveland’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. 3B Brendan Ryan
    RHP Luis Severino

It has been raining in New York most of the day but not in Cleveland. It’s just cloudy and humid there. No wet stuff in the forecast. Tonight’s game will begin at 7pm ET — the Yankees have no more games outside the Eastern Time Zone, you know — and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Michael Pineda (forearm) threw 25 pitches off a mound yesterday and had no problems. He’ll throw a full bullpen session Thursday … Chase Headley acknowledged his legs are a little banged up from foul balls and stuff. He is available tonight but they want to give him two days off.

Game 110: Runs Required

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

The Yankees have scored four (4) runs in their last four (4) games. We can bitch and moan for hours about bullpen usage and all that, but ultimately it hasn’t really mattered because the Yankees aren’t scoring at all. It happens! Offenses slump. But, you know, it is annoying. And it’s costing them games in the standings.

So today’s secondary goal is score a bunch of a run. The primary goal is not getting swept by a Blue Jays team that sure looks like a powerhouse now that they have the pitching to match the hitting. I don’t care if the Yankees win 1-0 or 24-22 this afternoon. Just win. Can’t get swept at home by the Blue Jays. That would be Very Bad. Here is Toronto’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It’s a lovely day for baseball in the Bronx. A little cloudy but the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it’s not overwhelmingly hot. Good afternoon to spend at the ol’ ball yard. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Try to enjoy.

Rotation Update: The Yankees have 16 games in 16 days starting Tuesday and Joe Girardi said they will likely insert a spot sixth starter at some point to give everyone in the rotation extra rest. My guess is Bryan Mitchell would make that start unless all hell breaks loose and he’s needed in long relief a few times. We’ll see.