Game 148: CC in the Subway Series

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Barring a World Series matchup, the 2015 Subway Series ends tonight, and the Yankees have already clinched at least a tie of the season series. They won two of three in Yankee Stadium back in April and have split the first two games of this series in Citi Field. Of course, the focus is on getting to the postseason right now, not specifically beating the Mets. They just happen to be the Yankees’ opponent this weekend.

CC Sabathia will be on the mound tonight and his first two starts off the DL have been encouraging. He allowed one unearned run in 4.2 innings in his first start back and tossed 6.2 shutout innings last time out. Sabathia has stepped up these last two starts when the Yankees really needed him. With a win tonight, the Yankees will go to Toronto just two games back in the loss column. That’s a big pretty big deal. Just win, baby. Here is the Mets’ lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 1B Greg Bird
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Dustin Ackley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. LHP CC Sabathia

Very nice night for a ballgame in New York. Clear skies and on the cool side. It definitely has a postseason feel to it. Tonight’s game will begin at 8pm ET and you can watch on ESPN. Enjoy.

Injury Update: In case you missed it earlier, Masahiro Tanaka will miss his next start with a Grade I right hamstring strain. The hope is he will miss only one start.

Rotation Update: Adam Warren, Luis Severino, and Ivan Nova will start the next three games up in Toronto in that order.

Game 147: Big Mike or Small Mike?

BIG MIKE IS HERE

Last night’s loss stunk, and winning the AL East seems like a pipe dream now, but the Yankees are still very much in the postseason race. That’s pretty cool. They’re four games up on the Astros for the first wildcard spot and five games up on the Twins for a wildcard spot in general. The AL East title is not impossible, just unlikely, so the wildcard is the focus now.

Anyway, this afternoon is a pretty big start for Michael Pineda. He hasn’t pitched well since coming back from his forearm injury — 14 runs in 21.2 innings across four starts! — and owns a 5.01 ERA in 16 starts and 93.1 innings since his 16-strikeout game. That is not good at all. AL East title, wildcard spot, whatever. The Yankees need Pineda to be better to help get them to October. Here is the Mets’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 1B Greg Bird
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Dustin Ackley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. RHP Michael Pineda

It’s a little cloudy in New York this afternoon but there is no rain in the forecast, which is most important. Today’s game will begin just after 1pm ET and you can watch on FOX. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) said he hopes to start his throwing program Monday. He pretty much conceded that if he does return this season, it will be as a reliever. There simply isn’t enough time to get him stretched out to start.

Game 146: Beat the Mets

Subway Series

It’s Subway Series time. That’s always a big deal, especially now that the Mets are good. Bragging rights are on the line — apparently Mets fans are trying to “take back” the city? What’s that about? — and all that fun stuff. These series are always fun. I have a lot of Mets fans in my family. I enjoyed rubbing it in when the Yankees won two of three back in April.

Anyway, these games are extremely important for the Yankees. Moreso than the Mets, who have a huge lead on the Nationals. The Yankee are still trying to catch the Blue Jays while also maintaining their lead on the first wildcard spot. Mets, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Mariners, Padres … these games are huge regardless who the Yankees are playing this weekend. They need all the wins they can get. Here is the Mets’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. LF Chris Young
  5. 1B Greg Bird
  6. C John Ryan Murphy
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Brendan Ryan
  9. RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Very nice day in New York. Sunny, few clouds, and on the cool side. Nice night for a ballpark. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on both YES and WPIX locally as well as MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Game 145: Escape from Tampa

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees and Rays wrap up their season series tonight, and the final game of the season at Tropicana Field is always something to celebrate. It is, hands down, the worst ballpark I’ve ever visited. I appreciated the effort the ownership group has put into making the place fan friendly, but man, it just isn’t happening. It is a D+ baseball experience at best.

Anyway, the Yankees have already won the season series over the Rays, but tonight’s game has big picture importance. There are only 18 games left in the season and that three-game deficit in the AL East won’t erase itself. Too many winnable games have turned into losses of late. That needs to stop. Here is Tampa Bay’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

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

It’s raining again in St. Petersburg, so good thing the Trop has a roof, I guess. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy.

Rotation Update: Joe Girardi announced Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia will start against the Mets this weekend, in that order. He did not commit to starting Tanaka against the Blue Jays next Wednesday, however. “We’ll have to see how he feels,” said Girardi … in case you missed it earlier, Ivan Nova has been moved to the bullpen.

Schedule Update: The Yankees announced the start time for game against the White Sox on Saturday, September 26th will be 4pm ET. The start time had previously been listed at TBA.

Game 144: Warren’s Return to the Rotation

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

I woke up this morning still pumped up about last night’s win. That was a pretty awesome moment considering everything Slade Heathcott has been through all the years, between his injuries and alcoholism. The Yankees needed a big hit and the homegrown guy came through. So great. So, so great.

Today is another day though. The Yankee and Heathcott have to turn the page and focus on tonight, another important game — they’re all important games now — in both the AL East and wildcard races. Adam Warren is making his first start since late-June. He’s only scheduled to throw 60-65 pitches, which means we’re in for a lot of bullpen work tonight. That is … unsettling. Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

Good thing Tropicana Field has a dome, because it’s been raining in St. Petersburg and will rain again later tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Update: According to George King, A-Rod was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee Tuesday after going for an MRI. He hurt himself on the slide into home plate Sunday afternoon. It can’t be too bad if Alex played yesterday and is in the lineup tonight.

Game 143: Half-Game

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Following that nightmare series over the weekend, the Yankees sit 3.5 games behind the Blue Jays in the AL East. That annoying extra 0.5 goes away tonight. The Blue Jays have an off-day today, so both clubs will have played 143 games by the end of the night.

It goes without saying the Yankees are in “win every damn game” mode right now. There are only 20 games left in the season counting tonight. That’s not much time! Winning the AL East isn’t impossible, it’s just unlikely. Tonight’s game against the Rays is just as important as those games against Toronto. Crunch time. Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Brendan Ryan
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s hot and humid in St. Petersburg and a climate controlled 72 degrees inside Tropicana Field. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Game 142: Save Us, Masahiro

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

This series has been a disaster. The entire homestand has been a disaster, really. The Yankees are 3-6 in the first nine games of this ten-game homestand — they’re 8-14 in their last 22 home games, embarrassingly — and they’ve been thoroughly dismantled by the Blue Jays over the last 36 hours or so. The Yankees are officially closer to falling out of a wildcard spot (four games) than they are to catching the Blue Jays (4.5 games).

There’s nothing they can do about this series and homestand now though. It’s already a lost cause. They can save face with a win this afternoon behind their ace Masahiro Tanaka, who was both brilliant last time out and able to shut these same Blue Jays down in Toronto a few weeks ago. Scoring runs hasn’t been much of a problem this series — they’ve scored 17 runs in the first three games, that should have been enough — but geez, they can’t keep the Jays hitters in check. Let’s hope Tanaka can. Here is Toronto’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

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

It is surprisingly nice in New York today. Every weather report I checked the last few days said it was supposed to rain today, but the sky is blue and there’s only a smattering of clouds. No rain in the forecast either. This afternoon’s series finale will begin a bit after 1pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy. Or at least try to.