Game Eight: Rubber Game

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The six-game turned five-game road trip ends tonight with the rubber game against the Blue Jays. A win to clinch the series victory would be awfully sweet. A 3-2 road trip is always better than a 2-3 road trip, especially when you get that last win over a division rival.

Nathan Eovaldi is on the mound and he did something in his last start he usually doesn’t do a whole lot: give up homers. He gave up two of them in five innings after allowing ten homers in 154.1 innings last year. Hopefully Eovaldi fares a little better tonight with the game inside and not in the freezing cold. Here is the Blue Jays’ 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. 2B Starlin Castro
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

It’s another really cold day in Toronto, so the Rogers Centre roof will be closed. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07pm ET. You can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: McCann (toe) is back in the lineup, obviously. He is wearing some sort of extra padding to protect his toe after taking that foul tip the other night.

Game Seven: Big Mike in Toronto

BIG MIKE IS HERE

The Yankees picked up a big win — big by mid-April standards, anyway — in last night’s series opener against the Blue Jays, and it was the kind of game they’re built to win. The score was close, they scratched out the go-ahead run, then turned it over to the bullpen. They’ve already won a few high-scoring games this season. Last night was a grind-it-out win.

Michael Pineda is on the mound tonight, and he’s going to have to do a much better job locating his slider tonight if he wants to navigate that devastating Toronto lineup. Big Mike gave up three home runs to the Astros last week and all three were on spinners right out over the plate. Can’t do that. He needs to be better tonight. Six innings would be cool. Maybe even (gasp!) seven. Here is the Jays’ lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Aaron Hicks
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Ronald Torreyes
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s another cold and cloudy day in Toronto, so expect the Rogers Centre roof to be closed again. Tonight’s game will begin a touch after 7pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy the game, nerds.

Injury Update: Brian McCann (toe) is still sore, but he is available to pinch-hit and catch in an emergency. He took a foul tip off the foot last night … Luis Cessa suffered some kind of allergic reaction yesterday and his right eye was swollen shut, according to Marly Rivera. He was available to pitch, but only in an emergency. Cessa is on medication and doing fine now. He’s available tonight.

Chapman Update: Aroldis Chapman pitched in his first Extended Spring Training game this afternoon, according to Erik Boland and Bryan Hoch. He threw 15 pitches in a perfect inning, striking out two, and his fastball was up to 98 mph. OF Carlos Vidal, OF Jared Mitchell, and OF Estevan Florial were the unlucky minor leaguers who had to face him. Chapman is eligible to return May 9th.

Blue Jays Roster Update: Earlier today the Blue Jays called up ex-Yankees farmhand Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher. Maybe we’ll get to see him tonight or tomorrow. That should be fun. Righty Arnold Leon was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot.

Game Six: Tanaka Tuesday

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Last year, when the Blue Jays went 9-4 against the Yankees in the second half, Masahiro Tanaka was the only starter to put up much of a fight against the Toronto offense. He made three starts against the Blue Jays after the All-Star break. The result: 22 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 20 K. The Jays wrecked all sorts of pitching late last year, but they couldn’t touch Tanaka.

Tanaka and the Blue Jays will meet tonight for the first this season, and unfortunately nothing that happened last year matters now. Tanaka’s second half success against Toronto doesn’t mean anything today. It’s a new season. The Yankees and Blue Jays are going to beat up on each other all summer — hopefully the fight isn’t so one-sided this year — and these head-to-head games are going to play a huge role in deciding the AL East. Here is the Jays’ lineup and here is the Yanks’ 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. 2B Starlin Castro
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is cloudy and cold in Toronto, so I assume the Rogers Centre roof is closed. I’m sure the Yankees don’t mind. They’ve played in nothing but temperatures near freezing so far this year. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch live on YES. Enjoy the game, y’all.

Injury Update: Nick Rumbelow will have his Tommy John surgery this Friday. We heard yesterday Rumbelow needs his elbow rebuilt. He hurt himself over the weekend. Sucks.

Game Five: Sabathia’s Season Debut

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees said all throughout Spring Training the fifth starter’s spot was up for grabs, but when it was all said and done, the job went to the guy I think most of expected it would go to: CC Sabathia. The veteran southpaw beat out Ivan Nova despite inferior numbers because he finished the Grapefruit League season well, and also because he’s CC Sabathia and making $25M a year. Money talks, yo.

This afternoon the Yankees will have their normal middle of the lineup back in there, which is good because the offense looked pretty helpless yesterday. That’s usually what happens when you sit three of your best hitters. Even with that shutout loss yesterday, the Yankees currently lead in the AL in runs scored and are fifth in MLB overall. The offense is quite good when everyone’s on the field. Here is the Tigers’ 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. 2B Starlin Castro
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    LHP CC Sabathia

This is going to be another cold one. Temperatures in Detroit are in the 30s and the wind is going to make it feel like it’s in the 20s. There is snow in the forecast later today, though it doesn’t look like anything that will impact the game. At least as long as it doesn’t go to extra innings. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin at 1pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Game Four: Severino Friday

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

For the first time this season, the Yankees are on the road away from Yankee Stadium. They begin a six-game road trip this afternoon in Detroit — today is the Tigers’ home opener — against a Tigers team that is looking to go back to the postseason after finishing in last place a year ago. The Tigers had basically the opposite offseason of the Yankees. They spent big on free agents to plug their roster holes.

Enough about the Tigers though. Young Luis Severino is on the mound this afternoon, and based on his limited work last season, you could argue he is the Yankees’ best starting pitcher. I’m not sure I’d go that far just yet, but the point is he’s in the conversation. Soon it could be crystal clear. Severino’s importance to the Yankees both in the short and long-term can not be overstated. He’s a hugely critical piece of the puzzle. Here is the Tigers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup, which looks very much like the lineup you’d expect to see for a day game following a night of travel:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. DH Mark Teixeira
  5. 1B Dustin Ackley
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. RF Aaron Hicks
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Luis Severino

It’s sunny — cold, but sunny — in Detroit right now, and there is some rain and snow in the forecast later tonight. It looks like the wet stuff will stay away long enough for them to get the game in, thankfully. Could be a problem if they go to extra innings though. Today’s game will begin just after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Bullpen Update: Joe Girardi said Ivan Nova, who threw 56 pitches Wednesday night, will not be available today or tomorrow. He should be good to go by Sunday though.

Lineup Update: Girardi said everyone is healthy, he’s just resting his veterans. “I’m trying to stay ahead of it … I’m not running out a bunch of 25 and 26-year-old kids,” said the skipper to Erik Boland. The Yankees have been talking about giving their regulars more rest since the end of last season.

Game Three: Rain, Rain, Go Away

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The good news: the Yankees have a baseball game today! The bad news: it’s raining in New York. The other good news: it’s supposed to stop raining at some point! There are going to be on and off showers the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, but the forecast does make it seem there will be a large enough window for today’s game to be played. The field may be sloppy, but so it goes.

The Astros are not scheduled to return to Yankee Stadium this year, so expect the two teams to wait this one out as long as necessary. If the game does indeed have to be postponed, the good news is the Astros have to come to New York. The travel wouldn’t be tough for the Yankees. The two clubs have eight mutual off-days this summer. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Here is the ‘Stros lineup — as expected, Michael Feliz was send down for a fresh arm following last night’s 107-pitch relief outing (!) — and here is the Yanks’ 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. 2B Starlin Castro
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

Like I said, the weather is pretty yucky in the Boogie Down. It’s been raining most of the afternoon and there will be occasional showers throughout the rest of the day. Hopefully they can squeeze in nine innings, or at least four and a half if the Yankees have the lead. Today’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 4pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Update: The Yankees say they intend to begin today’s game at 4:15pm ET. Hopefully that’s the only delay.

Game Two: Big Mike and the Astros

BIG MIKE IS HERE

Now that the Yankees have gotten their annual Opening Day loss out of the way, I feel like the real season is about to begin. Michael Pineda is on the mound making his 2016 debut tonight, and I know I’m not the only one expecting big things from Big Mike. It’s time to take that next step towards the front of the rotation. The raw ability is there. It’s obvious. Some things need to be fine-tuned, however.

The Yankees scored three runs on Opening Day and really, that makes the offense seem better than it really was. They had one only base-runner following Brian McCann‘s leadoff single in the fourth inning, and that was Didi Gregorius‘ eighth inning homer. Homers are cool. I’d like to see more than one solo shot in the span of six innings, however. Here is the Astros’ 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. 2B Starlin Castro
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Michael Pineda

It is cold and windy in New York tonight. Not quite as cold as yesterday, but, you know, cold. There’s no rain in the forecast thankfully. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Those of you in-market can stream the game online with FOX Sports Go, assuming you subscribe to YES through your cable provider. Enjoy the game, everyone.

Protest Update: Joe Girardi said the Yankees never bothered to officially file a protest with the league following yesterday’s game. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. The umpires weren’t wrong.