Game 85: Last Home Game Before The All-Star Break

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

It’s the last home game of the first half. The Yankees are 24-16 with a +34 run differential at Yankee Stadium this season and only 21-23 with a -16 run differential on the road. The offense hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders the last few games, but the Yankees are clearly a much better team in their home ballpark this season. That short porch sure is friendly.

Masahiro Tanaka is making his last start before the All-Star break today and it has been an uneven first half for him. There were times he looked absolutely dominant, times he got smacked around, and off course the month long DL stint. Tanaka’s second half is going to have to be better than his first half for the Yankees to stay in the postseason hunt, I reckon. Hopefully he can finish the first half on a high note today. Here’s the A’s lineup and here’s the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Mark Teixeira
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 1B Garrett Jones
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Chris Young
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. 3B Cole Figueroa
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Not the greatest weather day for baseball. It was raining this morning and it’s supposed to rain again this afternoon, but not for another few hours. Shouldn’t be a problem unless the game goes into extra innings or something. This afternoon’s game will begin just after 1pm ET and you can watch live on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy!

Injury Updates: Chase Headley (calf) had an MRI last night and it showed inflammation close to his knee. He feels much better but remains day-to-day … Brendan Ryan (back) will start a minor league rehab assignment today. It was supposed to start Friday but has been pushed up, I guess because the Yankees want to get Ryan back as soon as possible in case Headley’s injury lingers … If you missed it last night, CC Sabathia had his knee drained before the start of the homestand. Second time he’s had it drained since Spring Training.

Roster Move: So, based on the lineup, Figueroa is with the team now. Jose Pirela was sent down and Taylor Dugas was designated for assignment in corresponding moves, the Yankees announced. Figueroa, a left-handed batter, is having a great season with Triple-A Scranton (.317/.372/.415 and 130 wRC+ with 5.0 K% and 7.5 BB%) and he can play all over the infield. Makes more sense for the roster than Pirela with Headley banged up.

Game 84: The Return of Ellsbury and Miller

Yay good players. (Presswire)
Yay good players. (Presswire)

The Yankees made two big trades today! Well, no, not really. People just like to say getting someone back from the DL is like making a trade for whatever reason. Both Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) and Andrew Miller (forearm) have rejoined the team today, so they’re whole again. Or at least closer to being whole. They still have some dudes out with injury.

Miller and especially Ellsbury will be asked to contribute right away because the offense has had trouble scoring more than three runs a game lately and because CC Sabathia is back on the mound tonight. Sabathia has not pitched well at all this year — he’s made 16 starts and allowed fewer than four runs only six times — but he’s staying in the rotation, so the Yankees are hoping he turns in a surprisingly strong performance tonight. Hopefully Ellsbury and Miller can help pick up the slack. Here is the A’s lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Chris Young
  6. C John Ryan Murphy
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Jose Pirela
  9. 3B Gregorio Petit
    LHP CC Sabathia

Now, the bad news: It’s raining. Has been for most of the afternoon but it’s just light rain at the moment. There’s more rain in the forecast later tonight, though it appears there’s a big enough window to get the game in. We’ll find out soon enough, I suppose. First pitch is scheduled for a bit after 7pm ET. The game will be on YES. Enjoy.

Roster Moves: Both Ramon Flores and Nick Rumbelow were sent down to Triple-A Scranton to make room for Ellsbury and Miller, the Yankees announced. Not unexpected.

Injury Updates: Chase Headley is day-to-day with a sore calf … Brendan Ryan (back) has resumed baseball activities and could begin a minor league rehab assignment soon … Mason Williams (shoulder) has renewed soreness after throwing, so his rehab has been slowed down. Surgery is not being considered at this time … Slade Heathcott (quad) is still shut down. He’s not close to returning.

All-Star Update: According to MLB’s update, Brett Gardner is currently fourth in the AL Final Vote voting. There is basically no chance anyone other than Mike Moustakas wins based on the way Royals fans stuffed the ballots for the starters. Here’s the ballot anyway … No Yankees will be in the Home Run Derby, unsurprisingly. Here are the participants.

Game 83: No Easy A’s

A-Rod liked by headline pun. (Presswire)
A-Rod liked my headline pun. (Presswire)

The Yankees open a three-game series tonight with the Athletics, the deceptively good Athletics. Their record is ugly (38-47), yet they’ve outscored their opponents by 49 runs this year. Only four teams in the big leagues have a better run differential. Blame a shaky early-season bullpen and a hideous 6-21 record in one-run games. They don’t have TWTW, I guess.

Point is, the A’s are better than their record indicates. They’re 18-14 since June 1st and their rotation has the second best ERA (3.00) and fifth best FIP (3.37) in baseball. The Yankees dropped three of four in Oakland a few weeks ago, so we saw how good this team is firsthand. Last place? Yeah, that’s where they are in the standings. But the A’s don’t have last place talent. Here is Bob Melvin’s lineup and here is Joe Girardi‘s lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Garrett Jones
  7. LF Chris Young
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

It has been pretty gross in New York today. Hot as hell and really humid too. Sticky. There is some rain in the forecast for the late-afternoon/early-evening, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be enough to cause a postponement. Maybe a slight delay. We’ll see. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: In case you missed it, both Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) and Andrew Miller (forearm) will be activated off the 15-day DL tomorrow … Mason Williams (shoulder) has resumed baseball activities. Throwing, hitting, that sorta stuff.

Game 82: Finish the Sweep

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Another walk-off win? Probably not, but I’ll be happy with any kind of win this afternoon. The Yankees have taken care of business the first two games of this series against a division rival, though there’s still one more game to be played, one more win on the table. Today’s game will determine if this was a good series or a great series.

The bullpen has been worked hard the last few days, specifically Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson, who each pitched the last two days and three of the last four. Even with the off-day tomorrow, I’m guessing Joe Girardi will stay away from those two today. That means not a starter Adam Warren might pull double duty today — he might throw the eighth and ninth, with a little Chasen Shreve mixed in. We’ll see. Here is Tampa Bay’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

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

It’s a lovely day in New York. Warm but not too hot, some clouds but not too many. Nice day for a ballgame. Today’s series finale will begin at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Andrew Miller (forearm) will throw one inning or 25 pitches for Triple-A Scranton tomorrow. It’s possible he will be activated after that. Depends whether he feels sharp.

Game 81: Halfway Point

Today is the halfway point of the season. Game 81. What have we learned about the 2015 Yankees so far? We’ve learned they look damn near unbeatable at their best and a cellar-dweller at their worst. I suppose that’s true of every team, but these Yankees seem to take it to the extreme. If you’d have told me back in Spring Training they’d be in first place in the AL East heading into the 81st game, even by just one game, I’d have taken it. That’s where they are right now.

This afternoon the Yankees are looking to build on last night’s thrilling come from behind walk-off win. They’re 43-37 right now and will hopefully be 44-37 in a few hours. After 81 games last year they were 41-40. The year before that they were 42-39. Hooray for being better than the 2013-14 Yanks. Here is the Tampa Bay lineup and here is the New York Yankees of America lineup on this Independence Day:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Garrett Jones
  6. LF Ramon Flores
  7. C John Ryan Murphy
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Michael Pineda

The weather isn’t great in New York. It’s cloudy and overcast, but there’s no rain in the forecast and the sun is supposed to make an appearance at some point. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on FOX Sports 1 only. No YES, no WPIX, nothing. Just FS1. Enjoy the game everyone.

Injury Update: Andrew Miller (forearm) threw 30 pitches in the bullpen and everything went well. He wants to make a minor league rehab appearance before rejoining the team. “I don’t want to come into a game unprepared,” he said. “I can’t come into a game and not be sharp. Can’t afford that.”

Game 80: Tanaka Time vs. Tampa

(Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty)
(Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty)

This weekend’s series with the Rays is pretty important. I mean, all games against AL East rivals will be important going forward because the division is so tight. Every single game matters. Each win in July is one less you need in September.

Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound tonight following two really shaky starts that featured six total home runs allowed. Three in each start. The Yankees might be tied for first today, but it’s hard to see them staying atop the division if Tanaka doesn’t straight himself out. Here is Tampa Bay’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

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

Absolutely flawless weather in New York today. Beautiful blue skies, just enough clouds, temperatures in the high-70s/low-80s, and a nice cool breeze. Just perfect. This is what I want the weather to be for the rest of my life. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB nationally. Enjoy the game, folks.

Rotation Update: Ivan Nova will start Sunday on normal rest, Joe Girardi told reporters. CC Sabathia is being pushed back to Wednesday to give him extra rest, and also extra time to work on things in the bullpen. Also, pushing him back means Sabathia will a) make just one start before the All-Star break instead of two, and b) not face the division rival Rays and Red Sox these next ten days.

Injury Update: Looking for a timetable for Jacoby Ellsbury‘s return? Well we’re not getting one. Girardi basically said he’ll be back when he’s back. Ellsbury (knee) has played two minor league rehab games this week but has had to sit out two others with fatigue. He is not playing for High-A Tampa tonight.

Roster Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Carlos Beltran was placed on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain. Taylor Dugas was sent down as well and both Ramon Flores and Gregorio Petit were called up.

Game 80: Runs, Plural

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees have scored one run in each of their last three games. It’s the first time they’ve scored one run or fewer in three straight games since 2013 and only the third time they’ve done it this century. The last time they scored one run or fewer in four straight games? You have to go back to 1990. Yikes. Trying avoid tying some dubious history tonight.

Because the non-Adam Warren bullpen is well-rested and there’s an off-day tomorrow, the Yankees only need about five good innings out of Nathan Eovaldi tonight. I’m guessing Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson, and Dellin Betances are all good for four or five outs to nail down a win if necessary. Of course, scoring runs would be nice. Plural. More than one. Here is the Halos’ 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 Garrett Jones
  7. LF Chris Young
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

You’re not going to believe this, but the weather is pretty much perfect in Anaheim time. Mid-80s, sunny, no humidity … a lovely day for baseball. Tonight’s game will start at 7pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Andrew Miller (forearm) threw 20 pitches off a mound this afternoon with no problems. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Miller could return before the All-Star break, which is only two weeks away now … Carlos Beltran (ribcage) is day-to-day for now and will undergo tests when the team returns to New York tomorrow.

Roster Move: In case you missed it earlier, Taylor Dugas has been called up from Double-A Trenton and Esmil Rogers was again outrighted to Triple-A Scranton. Dugas is Beltran insurance for the time being.