Game 51: A Rare Sabathia Start in Toronto

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

Here’s a weird stat I stumbled across today: CC Sabathia has started only two games at Rogers Centre since 2011. Part of that is just luck of the draw. If he’s not scheduled to pitch in the series, he’s not scheduled to pitch. Some of it is by design though. Last year the Yankees went out of their way to shuffle their rotation so Sabathia would avoid the Blue Jays. Given his ineffectiveness and their powerhouse offense, it made sense.

Now? Now Sabathia is pitching better than he has at any point since 2012 thanks to his new cutter/sinker approach, among other things. It’s only seven starts, but a 2.83 ERA (2.99 FIP) in 41.1 innings is best case scenario stuff from the big man. Hopefully the offense gives him more support tonight than they did last time out, when they wasted his gem against these same Blue Jays. Here is Toronto’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. RF Rob Refsnyder
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. DH Carlos Beltran
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. LF Aaron Hicks
    LHP CC Sabathia

Pleasant weather in Toronto this afternoon, so I imagine the Rogers Centre roof will be open. This evening’s game will begin at 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Dustin Ackley (shoulder) will indeed have season-ending labrum surgery. Sucks. That most likely ends his time with the Yankees. He was a non-tender candidate before the injury and the torn labrum makes it a lock. Ackley will be transferred to the 60-day DL the next time the team needs a 40-man roster spot.

All-Star Voting Update: MLB released the first fan voting update for the AL All-Star Game starters this afternoon. Here are the results. Brian McCann is second among catchers — it’s a distant second, he’s nearly 800,000 votes behind Salvador Perez — and Beltran is 11th among outfielders. No other Yankees are among the top five vote getters at their positions. Spoiler alert: the Yankees will not have an All-Star Game starter for the second straight year after having at least one every year from 2000-14. Here’s the ballot if you want to vote anyway.

Game 50: Memorial Day

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Global Voyager)
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Global Voyager)

I don’t know about you, but a night game on Memorial Day just feels wrong. Blame Canada, I guess. The Yankees are in Toronto for three games this week, the first of which they’ll play tonight. The Blue Jays won two of three in the first two series of the season between these clubs. It would be nice if the Yankees could reverse that this time around. Here’s the Jays’ lineup and here’s the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. RF Aaron Hicks
    RHP Ivan Nova

It’s warm and sunny in Toronto, so the Rogers Centre roof figures to open. Imagine playing a night game in Canada with the roof closed on Memorial Day. How un-American. Anyway, tonight’s game will begin a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Game 49: Rubber Game

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

By my quick count, the Yankees have played 12 three-game series this season, and even with that recent 13-7 stretch, they’ve won only four of those 12 series. Yikes. Today’s rubber game with the Rays is a chance for series win No. 5, and also a chance to get back within a game of .500. Baby steps, I guess. Getting a little tired of writing that. Anyway, here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Aaron Hicks
  8. 1B Dustin Ackley
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

Another hot and humid day in St. Pete, and there’s some rain in the forecast too. The dome will come in handy this afternoon. Today’s series finale will begin at 1:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and MLB Network nationally. Yep, another WPIX game. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Carlos Beltran left yesterday’s game with a stiff back and is available today. Joe Girardi said before the series he wasn’t going to play Beltran on the turf all three games anyway … Mark Teixeira (neck) feels much better and will take batting practice today with an eye on playing tomorrow.

Game 48: Start A New Winning Streak

(Brian Blanco/Getty)
(Brian Blanco/Getty)

Last week, the Yankees dropped two straight games to the Diamondbacks and it turned out to be nothing more than a hiccup. They won six straight games after that. The Yankees are trying to do that again. They dropped two straight to the Blue Jays but rebounded to win last night. Time to keep winning and get back to .500 yet again. Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

It is still hot and humid in St. Petersburg. The weather is great in the dome though. This afternoon’s game will begin a bit after 4pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Game 47: On The Road Again

Can't sleep, mascot will eat me. (Presswire)
Can’t sleep, mascot will eat me. (Presswire)

The Yankees just got done with a long road trip, didn’t they? They played seven games on the West Coast, played three games at home, and now they’re back out on the road for another ten-game trip. Lame. At least they’re in Tampa this weekend. That’s kinda like home.

Anyway, the Yankees have dropped their last two games and that’s annoying. They were playing well for a good three weeks there before falling short against the Blue Jays. The Rays have lost five of their last six games, so it seems the Yankees are catching them at the right time. Hopefully it translates to a win. Here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

It is hot and humid in St. Petersburg and a cool 72 degrees or so inside Tropicana Field. Isn’t air conditioning the best? Tonight’s game will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Mark Teixeira (neck) is aiming to return to the lineup Sunday. Joe Girardi said he’s looking at Monday. The manager usually wins these battles.

Game 46: A-Rod Returns

(Brian Bahr/Getty)
(Brian Bahr/Getty)

After three weeks on the shelf with a hamstring injury, Alex Rodriguez is back in the lineup this afternoon. I wouldn’t say the Yankees have missed him — they went 13-7 during his absence and both Carlos Beltran and Aaron Hicks hit well — but it’s good to have A-Rod back nonetheless. He hit three homers in the six games before the injury and he went deep in a rehab game last night. Hopefully Alex picks up where he left off.

As for the Yankees, their six-game winning streak came to an end last night, but that was bound to happen at some point. The important thing is that it doesn’t snowball into a losing streak. The Yankees start a ten-game, four-city road trip tomorrow, so a win today to close out the homestand and clinch the series would be pretty great. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. RF Carlos Beltran
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. C Brian McCann
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 1B Austin Romine
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s a very nice day in New York. Warm and sunny with no clouds in the sky. Pretty great weather for a ballgame. This afternoon’s game will start at 4:05pm ET for some reason. You can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Chasen Shreve has been placed on the 15-day DL with a shoulder problem. That’s not good. He’s currently being evaluated He’s been diagnosed with an AC joint sprain. Shreve received a cortisone shot and will not pick up a baseball for seven days … Mark Teixeira (neck) received a cortisone shot and will miss three more games. Yesterday’s MRI did not show anything different from the MRI he took last month.

Roster Moves: The Yankees called up lefty Richard Bleier to replace Shreve in the bullpen. Shreve was placed on the DL and Rob Refsnyder was sent to Triple-A Scranton to clear 25-man roster spots for A-Rod and Bleier. The team has not yet announced a 40-man roster move to accommodate Bleier.

Game 45: Going for No. 7

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees are back at .500 thanks to their six-game winning streak. Getting to .500 was the easy part though. Building the record up and winning more games than you lose going forward is where it gets difficult. The Yankees can begin that process with a win tonight to stretch that winning streak to seven games. It would be their longest since last June. The good news is they’re 85.7% of the way there already. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. 1B Dustin Ackley
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. RF Aaron Hicks
    RHP Ivan Nova

It is legitimately hot in New York. The temperature has been hanging around 90 degrees all day, though it’ll be a bit cooler tonight. No clouds in the sky and no rain in the forecast. Nice night for a game. Tonight’s contest will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Alex Rodriguez (hamstring) is playing another rehab game with Double-A Trenton tonight and is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow … Mark Teixeira is out after his neck “locked up.” He’s been having on and off neck issues all season and ia going for an MRI. Joe Girardi admitted to being concerned … Brian Cashman reiterated to Shane Hennigan that Luis Severino (triceps) could be sent to Triple-A once healthy. “First, finish him off his rehab. We expect it to be a (one and done) situation there and then we’ll make a decision whether he gets placed back on the 25(-man roster) in New York or if we send him here to Scranton,” said the GM.

Blue Jays Roster Update: The Blue Jays activated second baseman Devon Travis off the DL today. Manager John Gibbons said that wasn’t the plan coming into the series. I guess they’re looking for ways to boost their offense.