Game 58: Tanaka Tuesday

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

Oh man, there is a lot going on tonight. For starters, Masahiro Tanaka is making just his third home start of the season and his first in almost exactly two months due to his wrist/forearm injury. Secondly, Tanaka is squaring off against Max Scherzer in what will probably be the best pitching matchup of the season. Third, the Yankees have a six-game winning streak and need to keep that sucker going.

And finally, future Yankee Bryce Harper is playing his first game in his future home ballpark, Yankee Stadium. He’ll get to take aim at that short right field porch and then go to bed tonight dreaming about all those future home runs he’ll hit. Harper’s not as stupidly hot as he was the last time these two teams played, but he can still flick his wrists and hit the ball into the second deck. Hopefully it doesn’t happen these next two days. Here’s Washington’s lineup and here’s 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 Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It has been cloudy and kinda rainy most of the day, but the sun came out not too long ago and it’s turned into a nice night. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Ivan Nova (elbow) is going to travel to New York to throw a bullpen session for pitching coach Larry Rothschild, then he’ll make a rehab start with Triple-A Scranton. The Yankees will then determine if he’s ready or needs another rehab outing.

All-Star Voting Update: MLB released their weekly All-Star Game voting update yesterday, and no Yankees are close to leading their respective positions. A-Rod is third among DHs and he’s closest. Fans in Kansas City are stuffing the ballot box, so unless MLB steps in or there’s a sudden shift in the voting, the All-Star Game will be Mike Trout and the Royals against the NL.

Game 57: Finish the Sweep

(Adam Hunger/Getty)
(Adam Hunger/Getty)

The streaky 2015 Yankees are hot again, having won five straight and nine of their last 12 games overall. They swept the Royals a week and a half ago, swept the Mariners a few days ago, and today they have a chance to sweep the Angels. Those are three teams many people expected to contend coming into the season. The Yankees? Many counted them out.

Michael Pineda is not on the mound this afternoon. Instead, it’ll be CC Sabathia, who is starting on normal rest thanks to Thursday’s off-day. The Yankees are skipping Pineda’s start this weekend to control his workload. Regardless of who is on the mound, let’s hope the offense keeps up what they’ve been doing. They scored eight runs in each of the first two games of this series, the first time they’ve scored 8+ runs in consecutive games since September 2013, when they did it in three straight games. (They lost all three games!) Here is the Angels’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

It’s a very lovely day in New York. Nice and sunny, not too hot … pretty much a perfect afternoon for baseball. This afternoon’s series finale will begin at 1:05pm ET, and you can watch live on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) continues to run sprints and stuff like that. He’s increasing the intensity a little each day … Gregorio Petit (hand) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday.

Game 56: Bounce Back From The Win

"That was a really tough win last night." (Rich Schultz/Getty)
“That was a really tough win last night.” (Rich Schultz/Getty)

Last night’s win was one of those wins that felt like a loss. That ninth inning was such a near-catastrophe that it almost feels like the Yankees need to bounce back today despite picking up the W. That’s messed up, man. Wins aren’t supposed to feel like that.

But, on the bright side, the Yankees have won four in a row and eight of their last eleven games. They’re a streaky team these 2015 Yankees, and right now they’re on a hot streak. Adam Warren is on a hot streak as well, having run off four very good starts his last four times out. He’ll look to make it five straight tonight, and so will the Yankees. Here is the Anaheim’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 Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    RHP Adam Warren

It’s a little cloudy tonight but otherwise it’s a nice night for baseball in the Bronx. Tonight’s game will start at 7:15pm ET and can be seen nationally on FOX. Enjoy the broadcast!

Injury Updates: Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) did some more light baseball activities today, running sprints and playing catch, that sorta stuff.

Game 55: Back from the West Coast

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)
(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

That was a really uneven seven-game trip to the West Coast. The Yankees played poorly in losing two of three to the Athletics then had basically the best series ever while sweeping the Mariners. They pounded Felix Hernandez in the first game, had a dramatic ninth inning comeback in the second game, and watched Masahiro Tanaka dominate in his return from the DL in the third game. How could it get any better?

Thankfully, the Yankees are back home in the Bronx for a quick five-game homestand, starting tonight with the first of three against the Angels. The Halos had the best record in baseball a year ago but are kinda scuffling along this year. In fact, they have almost the same record as the Yankees. The Yankees are 29-25 and the Angels are 28-26. Anyway, here is Anaheim’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. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

The weather is kinda crummy in New York. It’s been raining on and off all day, though there’s nothing more than some drizzle in the forecast tonight. That’s good. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending where you live. Enjoy the game.

Rotation Update: The Yankees are skipping Michael Pineda‘s next start to control his workload. He isn’t hurt and will start next Friday. CC Sabathia will start on normal rest Sunday in Pineda’s place. The Yankees had an off-day yesterday and have off-days coming up on Monday and Thursday, so they can skip Pineda without needing a spot starter. Big Mike has already thrown 70.1 innings this year and is on pace for about 220 innings. He threw 76.1 innings last year and a career-high 171 innings back in 2011, before shoulder surgery.

Injury Updates: Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) ran some sprints, took dry swings, and played catch today, the first time he’s performed any baseball activity since getting hurt … Ivan Nova (elbow) will make his first official minor league rehab start with High-A Tampa on Monday, the team announced. He is scheduled for 80-85 pitches and will make at least one more start after that before returning to the team … Carlos Beltran (foot) is still day-to-day after fouling that pitch off his foot in Seattle. He may be available to pinch-hit tonight … McCann (foot) got some new orthotics and tested his foot in the bullpen this afternoon. He’s fine and back in the lineup.

Game 54: Tanaka Returns

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

After 35 days on the shelf with wrist tendinitis and a minor forearm strain, Masahiro Tanaka makes his hopefully triumph return to the rotation this afternoon. The team insisted the injury was minor — Tanaka was reportedly upset he was placed on the DL — but the Yankees were understandably cautious with their high-priced ace. Tanaka made two Triple-A rehab starts and will be limited to about 80 pitches this afternoon.

That’s the big story on a micro level. On a macro level, the Yankees have a chance to finish off a sweep of the Mariners this afternoon thanks to last night’s thrilling come from behind extra innings win. The team has been scuffling overall the last few weeks but they’ve actually won six of their last nine games and are still somehow atop the AL East. Now they’re getting Tanaka back. Things are looking up. Here is Seattle’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. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It’s another cool and cloudy day in Seattle, but there’s no rain in the forecast, so the Safeco Field roof should be open. This afternoon’s series finale will begin at 3:40pm ET, and you can watch live on YES. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: If you missed it earlier, David Carpenter was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the roster for Tanaka. I’m pleasantly surprised they didn’t simply send down Jacob Lindgren.

Injury Update: Carlos Beltran is still sore after fouling a pitch off his right foot last night. He can play today in an emergency though. Beltran went for x-rays after the game last night and they showed no fracture.

Game 53: CC For The Series Win

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)
(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

Fun Fact: The Yankees have won just one of their last six series. That was the sweep of the Royals last week. Their last series win before that came against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium back in early-May. It’s been a while. Last night’s series opening win against Felix Hernandez gives them two chance to win this series with the Mariners, but I hope they take care of business tonight.

Rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery will be on making him MLB debut for the Mariners, and although it seems like the Yankees stink against pitchers they’ve never seen before, they’re actual 7-1 against pitchers making their MLB debut dating back to 2011. The whole “they can’t hit pitchers they’ve never seen” thing stems from way back, like 2007-08. Anyway, just go win tonight. Two wins a row would be cool. Here is Seattle’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. LF Chris Young
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 2B Jose Pirela
  8. C John Ryan Murphy
  9. SS Stephen Drew
    LHP CC Sabathia

Typical Seattle weather tonight, so it’s cloudy and rainy. Looks like the Safeco Field roof will be open for at least the first few innings. Tonight’s game will begin at 10:10pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Ivan Nova threw five innings — three outside then two inside because it started raining — in an Extended Spring Training game today. His next start will be an official minor league rehab start with one of the affiliates, starting his 30-day clock.

Game 52: Big Mike Back In Seattle

BIG MIKE IS HERE

For the first time since being traded to the Yankees in January 2012, Michael Pineda will face his former team tonight. He’s never pitched against the Mariners, either at Yankee Stadium or Safeco Field, so I have to think he’ll be a little amped up tonight. You know, one of those “here’s what you’re missing out on, suckers” kinda starts. That would be cool.

Regardless of who is pitching tonight, the Yankees really need to figure out a way to scratch some runs across against Felix Hernandez. Or at least wait him out and go to town on the bullpen. The Yankees just lost three of four to the Athletics and they’ve lost 13 of their last 18 games overall and that needs to end. It’s annoying. I don’t think I’m crazy when I say the Yankees are too good for that to continue. Anyway, here is Seattle’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 Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s cloudy and cool with a chance of rain tonight in Seattle (shocking, I know), so I’m guessing the Safeco Field roof will be closed for at least part of the game. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10pm ET tonight and can be seen on YES. Try to enjoy.

Roster Update: Adam Warren will remain in the rotation and Chris Capuano will shift to the bullpen when Masahiro Tanaka returns on Wednesday, Joe Girardi told reporters. They’ll still have to send a reliever down to clear a 40-man spot for Tanaka when the time comes. Not surprising. Warren has pitched too well of late to go back to the bullpen.

All-Star Voting Update: MLB released the second AL All-Star Game fan voting update today, and no Yankees lead at their positions. Royals fans are stuffing the ballot box — five Royals are on pace to start and three others are second in the voting at their positions. A-Rod is third at DH, McCann and Teixeira are fourth at catcher and first base, respectively, and Jacoby Ellsbury, Beltran, and Gardner rank 6th, 12th, and 13th among outfielders, also respectively.