Game 86: End the Half on a High Note

Welcome to the Bronx, Clint. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Bronx, Clint. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Within a span of thirty seconds yesterday, Clint Frazier made much of the annoyance and consternation of the last four weeks feel, at the very least, a bit less severe. Yes, the Yankees are still 3.5 games out of first; and, yes, one moment does not erase one of the most disappointing stretches in recent memory. However, watching Frazier round the bases as the team crowded home plate reminded us of two things – one, this team is capable of greatness, and, two, the Yankees are still fun.

Let’s see more of that today.

The pitching match-up could be described as a battle of aces, with the recently resurgent Masahiro Tanaka squaring-off against Jimmy Nelson. Here’s the Brewers lineup that Tanaka will face. The Yankees will trot out:

  1. Brett Gardner, LF
  2. Aaron Judge, RF
  3. Didi Gregorius, SS
  4. Gary Sanchez, C
  5. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  6. Chase Headley, 3B
  7. Clint Frazier, DH
  8. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  9. Tyler Wade, 2B

The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM, and you can catch it on the YES Network.

Game 85: Stand perfectly still, the bullpen’s vision is based on movement

Still here. (Mike Stobe/Getty)
Still here. (Mike Stobe/Getty)

So. Another tough loss last night. The Yankees have had a bunch of those lately. Too many. Maybe their fortunate is turning. Prior to last night, the Yankees won their previous four series openers yet failed to win the series. Maybe losing last night’s series opener means they’ll win this series? A man can hope.

Today’s mission is simple: avoid the bullpen at all costs. A crisp complete game from Luis Severino would be lovely. I’m not counting on it, but again, a man can hope. Hopefully the offense can give the pitching staff some breathing room. They’re going to need it. Here is the Brewers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. DH Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. LF Clint Frazier
  8. 1B Austin Romine
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

It is cloudy, hot, and humid in New York today, otherwise the weather is perfect. The bullpen is a disaster, the offense struggles to score when Judge doesn’t homer, and the rotation has been hit or miss, otherwise the Yankees are perfect. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES and MLB Network. Try to enjoy.

Roster Moves: The Yankees have called up both Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder, the team announced. Luis Cessa and Jordan Montgomery were sent down. Montgomery will be back in ten days and won’t even miss a start thanks to the All-Star break. Also, assuming he comes up the first day he’s eligible, he’ll still be credited with service time during his stint in the minors because it is the minimum ten days.

Game 84: The Final Series of the First Half

Maybe the Yankees can find a win up there. (Rich Schultz/Getty)
Maybe the Yankees can find a win up there. (Rich Schultz/Getty)

A fun fact: the Yankees have won the first game in each of their last four series. A not-so-fun fact: the Yankees have failed to win each of those four series. Yuck. This weekend’s interleague series with the Brewers is the final series before the All-Star break, and given how poorly things have gone these last few weeks, you know the Yankees want to do well this weekend and head into the break feeling good about things. That’s what I’m hoping.

The first place Brewers (!) are visiting the Bronx for the first time since May 2011. Milwaukee is 0-10 in their last ten games at Yankee Stadium and 1-14 in their last 15 games. Their last win in the Bronx came back in July 1997. Ken Rogers started that game for the Yankees. It’s been a while. Of course, that means nothing. What happened in 2011 and 1997 or any other year as no bearing on what happens tonight, in 2017. Just win, please. Here is the Brewers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Gary Sanchez
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. LF Clint Frazier
  7. 1B Ji-Man Choi
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. 2B Tyler Wade
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

The morning rain has cleared out and it’s turned into a nice day here in New York. Blue sky and some clouds. Not a bad night for a ballgame. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Both Starlin Castro (hamstring) and Matt Holliday (illness) will not rejoin the Yankees this weekend. They’re going to play in minor league rehab games before returning, and both could be back in time for the first series after the All-Star break.

All-Star Update: Earlier today MLB announced a series of All-Star replacements and, no, Gregorius is not replacing the injured Castro on the AL roster. Castro’s spot is going to … Robbie Cano. Baseball is a flat circle.

Game 83: The 16th Day

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

Today marks the end of a 16 games in 16 days stretch for the Yankees, their longest stretch without an off-day this season. (They had their 20 games in 20 days stretch interrupted by a rainout halfway through.) And boy, the first 15 games of this stretch did not go well. The Yankees are 6-9 in those games even though they’ve only been outscored 80-76. A few bullpen meltdowns have changed everything.

Anyway, this afternoon is yet another chance for the Yankees to win a series for the first time in three weeks. They haven’t won a series since decimating the Orioles at Yankee Stadium last month. The Yankees have gone from having a four-game division lead to facing a four-game deficit in 22 days. Pretty terrible. Win a stupid series for once and go into the off-day feeling kinda sorta good. Can we do that? Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. DH Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. 1B Ji-Man Choi
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. 2B Tyler Wade
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s a lovely day for baseball in the Bronx. A little cloudy, but there’s no rain in the forecast and it’s not oppressively hot either. Not a bad afternoon to sit in the ballpark. Anyway, this afternoon’s series finale will begin at 1:05pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Matt Holliday (illness) is feeling better and he hopes to return to the lineup Friday. He ran and took some batting practice today. Holliday said tests found a virus, and I guess they knocked it out with some medication.

Game 82: Independence Day

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Happy birthday, America. What better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than by beating the one MLB team not stationed in the good ol’ US-of-A? The Yankees beat the Blue Jays in last night’s series opener and now they’re trying to win back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks. It’s been far too long.

Anyway, the Yankees are starting to get healthier, folks. CC Sabathia and Adam Warren are both back from the disabled list. Sabathia is starting this afternoon’s game and Warren is available in the bullpen. The Yankees could really use the pitching help. Getting Warren back will be particularly helpful given the recent bullpen issues. Beat the Blue Jays. It’s the American way. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. 1B Chris Carter
  8. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  9. RF Clint Frazier
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s a lovely day for baseball in New York. Nice and sunny with only a few clouds in the sky. Not exceedingly hot either. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 1pm ET and YES will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Starlin Castro (hamstring) took ground balls and hit in the cage today. He is making progress but is unlikely to return before the All-Star break … Matt Holliday (illness) is feeling better.

Roster Moves: To make room for Sabathia and Warren, the Yankees sent Domingo German and Bryan Mitchell down to Triple-A Scranton. Luis Cessa remains as with the team as the stretched out long man. German needs to pitch. He hasn’t been doing much of that the last few weeks.

Final Vote Update: Gregorius is currently third in the Final Vote voting, MLB announced this morning. Mike Moustakas is the leader (duh) and Xander Bogaerts is in second. Here’s the ballot. Voting ends Thursday afternoon.

Game 81: Halfway There

(Bob Levey/Getty)
(Bob Levey/Getty)

Today marks the midway point of the 2017 season for the Yankees. Or, technically, the end of tonight’s game will. The first half has been a mixed bag. The Yankees started great and have crashed hard the last few weeks. They come into tonight at 43-37 with a +104 run differential. That’s the fourth best record and the second best run differential in the league. Pretty good! But it feels worse than it is given the last three weeks or so.

The All-Star break is a week away and the Yankees start a six-game homestand tonight. It sure would be swell to close out the first half on a high note, wouldn’t it? Grab some wins at home and spend the four-day All-Star break feeling pretty good about where things stand. That’d be nice. The last few weeks have been pretty frustrating. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. DH Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. LF Clint Frazier
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It rained briefly this afternoon, though the wet stuff cleared out and they should have no trouble getting the game in tonight. Tonight’s series opener with Toronto will begin a little after 7pm ET. You can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Greg Bird (ankle) still isn’t feeling right. He’s going to see more doctors after the holiday, and Brian Cashman even mentioned Bird may need exploratory surgery to figure out what the hell is wrong. Sounds promising.

Awards!: Judge is your AL Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month. He’s the first player to win three straight Rookies of the Month since Mike Trout in 2012. He’s also the first player to win both awards in the same month since … Sanchez last August.

All-Star Update: In case you missed it earlier, both Judge and Sanchez will participate in the Home Run Derby next week. Awesome.

Game 80: Win the series, please

(Bob Levey/Getty)
(Bob Levey/Getty)

Just imagine. If not for a pair of Dellin Betances meltdowns, the Yankees would be coming into today’s road trip finale with a 5-1 record in the first six games, and they’d be trying for a sweep of the first place Astros. Alas. The bullpen has been a mess for a solid month now, and now even Betances is having problems.

Last night’s loss stunk, though the Yankees still have a chance to clinch a series win today, and they have their best pitcher on the mound. The Yankees haven’t won a series — or back-to-back games! — since annihilating the Orioles at Yankee Stadium three weeks ago. It’s been far too long. Gotta start picking up those series wins to get anywhere. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. DH Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 1B Chris Carter
  8. 2B Tyler Wade
  9. LF Clint Frazier
    RHP Luis Severino

It’s a hot one in Houston and that means the Minute Maid Park roof will be closed yet again. This afternoon’s series finale will begin at 2:10pm ET. YES and MLB Network will have the broadcast. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Adam Warren (shoulder) threw a simulated game today and everything went well. He could be activated Tuesday. Hopefully that means Domingo German will go to the minors and actually pitch once in a while.