Game 35: Derek Jeter Day

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

I’m not going to lie, Derek Jeter was never my favorite member of the Core Four Five. I certainly appreciate his greatness and status as an all-time great player and Yankee, but I was always partial to Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. That’s just me. Posada and Rivera (and Andy Pettitte) had their days the last few years. Today is Jeter’s day.

It was never a question of “if” the Yankees would retire Jeter’s number, of course. It was only a matter of “when.” Jeter is the greatest Yankee of my lifetime and he’s on the short list of the best shortstops in baseball history. He’s sixth all-time in hits. That blows my damn mind. Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Tris Speaker. The only players in the history of the universe with more MLB hits than Jeter. Amazing.

A who’s who of Yankees greats are expected to be in the ballpark for tonight’s Jeter ceremony. Here’s the full roster of attendees. The Yankees say the ceremony itself will begin at 6:40pm ET, and I do believe you’ll be able to watch it on both YES and ESPN. Definitely on YES. I know that much. I’m pretty sure I remember reading somewhere that ESPN will carry it too. Should be fun.

After the ceremony, the Yankees will wrap-up their four-game series with the Astros with the second game of today’s doubleheader. The Yankees won the first game this afternoon. I haven’t seen the Astros’ lineup anywhere, but here are the players the Yankees will run out there tonight:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. CF Aaron Hicks
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

The Yankees and Astros played through some showers this afternoon and they might have to do the same again tonight. Looks like the rain is far enough away that it won’t interfere with the Jeter ceremony though. Also, it shouldn’t be enough to delay or postpone the game or anything. First pitch is scheduled for 7:38pm ET, though who knows. The ceremony may run long. Either way, enjoy the ceremony and the game.

Game 34: Let’s Win Two

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

The Yankees have a pair of games today, and I suppose it’s fitting they’re going to play two on Derek Jeter day. Jeter’s No. 2 will be retired later tonight, prior to the second game of today’s doubleheader. But first, the Yankees have Astros have to play the first game, and the Yankees will have to do it without Aroldis Chapman. He was placed on the disabled list earlier this morning.

Anyway, the Yankees come into today having lost three straight games for the first time since the first week of the season. Annoying! The Yankees are still in first place though — shout out to the Royals for taking care of business against the Orioles these last few days — and their +51 run differential remains best in the AL. A little bump in the road, this is. You’ve got to win one before you can win two, so let’s do that this afternoon. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Luis Severino

Perfect baseball weather in New York today. Bright blue sky, only a few clouds, and temperatures in the 80s with a cool breeze. Love it. This afternoon’s game will begin at 2:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Roster Updates: As I said, Chapman has been placed on the disabled list. Chad Green is up to take his roster spot. Also, Rob Refsnyder has been called up to serve as the 26th man for the doubleheader, but apparently the rules say he is only available for the second game, not the first. Weird.

Game 33: Better Luck This Time?

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

The Yankees have had some rotten ninth inning luck the last two games. Tuesday night Gary Sanchez smashed a line drive right at the third baseman for a game-ending double play with the tying run on base. Then, last night, Jacoby Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate to end game while representing the tying run. Blah. Sometimes you do everything right and lose anyway. At least the Yankees don’t go down quietly.

Anyway, it would be cool to see the Yankees get some better luck tonight rather than hit line drives at people and get thrown out at the plate. Or, even better, they could get an early lead and not play from behind. The Yankees haven’t lost three straight games since the first week of the regular season. It would be cool to avoid that tonight. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

It is cool and cloudy in New York this evening, and there is rain in the forecast later on, but not until the wee hours of the morning. Shouldn’t interfere with the game at all. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Not YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Greg Bird (ankle) is still not pain-free. He won’t resume baseball activities until everything feels good. There’s no firm timetable for his return.

Game 32: The Best vs. The Best

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees are back home this weekend, but only briefly. They have a four-game weekend series with the Astros before heading back out on the road. At this very moment, the Yankees and Astros are the two best teams in baseball in terms of winning percentage. The Yankees are first at .677. The Astros are right behind them at .676. They’re also first and second in the AL in run differential. Should be a fun series.

Tonight the Yankees will face old nemesis Dallas Keuchel, who crushed the Yankees Kevin Gausman style back in 2015, including in the AL Wildcard Game. He was on short rest that day too. This is a different Yankees team though. Only two players from the 2015 Wildcard Game starting lineup are in tonight’s starting lineup, and they’ll be on the left side of the infield. Everyone else is a new face. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. LF Aaron Hicks
  9. 1B Chris Carter
    RHP Michael Pineda

It is cool and cloudy in New York today, though there’s no rain in the forecast, so that’s good. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: As rumored, Gio Gallegos was called up today, the Yankees announced. Chad Green was send down yesterday to clear the roster spot.

Game 30: Day After The Doubleheader

(Kirk Irwin/Getty)
(Kirk Irwin/Getty)

For all intents and purposes, the Yankees played four games in three days this weekend. They beat the Cubs on Friday, beat them again Saturday, then tied the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader before winning the second. That 18-inning game was a grind, huh? It took a lot out of me just watching it. Imagine playing in it? The Yankees must be gassed.

Anyway, the Yankees are back at it today in a new city. They’re in Cincinnati for a quick two-game series with the first place (!) Reds. Are they tired? Yeah, probably. But that’s baseball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you play 18 innings. Hopefully there’s no hangover and the Yankees keep playing well. Here is the Reds’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Hicks
  3. 1B Matt Holliday
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. C Gary Sanchez
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  9. RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is cloudy and cool in the Queen City, and there are some sprinkles in the forecast. Nothing that should delay the game or anything. They might have to play through some drizzle. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game, which I hope will last only nine innings.

Roster Move: As expected, the Yankees called up a fresh arm for the bullpen. Chad Green was called up and Rob Refsnyder was sent down, the team announced. Jonathan Holder and Chasen Shreve get to stick around after their kick ass performances last night. This is more evidence the bullpen shuttle is dead. In the post, those two would be halfway to Scranton already.  Green was scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton yesterday before their rainout. He’s good for super long relief tonight, which I pray will not be necessary.

Game 29: Blast from the Past

(Stacy Revere/Getty)
(Stacy Revere/Getty)

I’m not sure the first two games of this series could have gone any better. The Yankees won Friday’s game in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, then won a stress-free laugher last night. The series win is already in the bag. Tonight’s game is a chance for the sweep and gosh, it sure would be a fun to walk into Wrigley Field and take all three from the defending World Series champs, wouldn’t it?

To get the sweep tonight, the Yankees will have to beat Jon Lester, who they haven’t seen in a few years now after facing him nonstop for nearly a decade. A Sunday night game against Jon Lester? Been there, done that. Baseball is a flat circle. Tonight will be like the good ol’ days, I guess. Here is the Cubs’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Aaron Hicks
  3. 1B Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. RHP Luis Severino

Same weather as last night in Chicago. Clear skies but cold. Not that windy though. Tonight’s game will start at 8:05pm ET and you can watch on ESPN. Enjoy the game.

Game 28: A Big Test for Montgomery

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

I can’t imagine many pitchers have made starts at Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field within the first five games of their MLB career, yet Jordan Montgomery will join the club tonight. This will be Montgomery’s biggest challenge as a big leaguer. He’ll face the defending World Series champion Cubs and their great lineup on the road in an intimidating classic ballpark. Can’t simulate outings like this in the minors.

Anyway, the Yankees stunned the Cubs yesterday afternoon with their latest come-from-behind win. It would be cool to get a lead and not play from behind tonight, you know? Comeback wins are fun! But I could use an easy win one of these days. Jump out to an early lead and protect it the rest of the way. That sort of thing. Just win the series though. That’s the most important thing. Do that and everything will take care of itself. Here is the Cubs’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. RF Aaron Judge
  5. C Gary Sanchez
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. LHP Jordan Montgomery

It has been sunny in Chicago all day and it’ll be clear tonight. Very cold though. Temperatures in the 40s, but at least there isn’t as much wind as yesterday. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:15pm ET and you can watch on regular old FOX. Not FOX Sports 1. There is no YES broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Jacoby Ellsbury (elbow) is still receiving treatment and hopes to play tomorrow. Right now throwing is the problem more than anything. I assume he’s available to pinch-hit and run today.