Game 22: Follow-Up

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

The best and worst thing about baseball is that they play every single day. The Yankees mounted a huge comeback for a fun and memorable win last night, and roughly 14 hours later, they’re back at it this afternoon with another game. Baseball never lets you enjoy the highs long, eh?

Anyway, the Yankees have a chance to do something today they haven’t done since August 22, 2015: have sole possession of first place in the AL East. The Yankees and Orioles are both 14-7 right now — the Yankees have a huge edge in run differential, for what it’s worth (+38 to +6) — so a win today means first place. That’d be cool. Just keep winning series though. Win series and everything will work out. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Aaron Judge
  8. 1B Greg Bird
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Michael Pineda

We had some pretty serious thunderstorms overnight here in New York, but it’s cleared up and the weather is fine for the game. Hot, humid, and a little cloudy. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 1pm ET. YES will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Gary Sanchez (biceps) threw to the bases for the first time today and everything went well. He’s on track to start his rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Scranton.

Game 21: Didi’s Return

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees are getting closer to being whole. Didi Gregorius, who has not played at all this season thanks to a shoulder strain suffered during the World Baseball Classic, returns tonight and is in the starting lineup. Hooray. I’ve missed Didi. Let’s not forget Ronald Torreyes though. Dude stepped in and hit .308/.308/.431 (106 wRC+) as the starting shortstop while Gregorius was out. He was pretty rad.

Anyway, the Yankees are back home for a quick little six-game homestand, and this weekend they’ll play the Orioles, the team they’re chasing for first place in the AL East. Hey, it’s never too early to start thinking about the division title, right? The Yankees have won 12 of their last 15 games. If you’re not going to look at their current situation in terms of the postseason race, when will you? Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Aaron Judge
  8. 1B Greg Bird
  9. C Austin Romine
    LHP CC Sabathia

Perfect baseball weather in New York today. Not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the 80s pretty much all afternoon. It’ll be a little cooler tonight though. Tonight’s game will begin a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: As expected, Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Gregorius. That leaves the Yankees with an open 40-man roster spot, which will likely go to Tyler Austin whenever he’s activated off the 60-day disabled list.

Game 20: Sale vs. Tanaka

(Maddie Meyer/Getty)
(Maddie Meyer/Getty)

The Yankees have alternated wins and losses since the eight-game winning streak was snapped last week, and if they’re going to put together their first set of back-to-back wins since the streak, they’ll need to beat the best tonight. Chris Sale, Boston’s prized offseason pickup, will face the Yankees for the first time as a Red Sox this evening. He’s been phenomenal in the early going, as usual. This’ll be tough.

On the bright side, the Yankees will counter Boston’s ace with their ace tonight, at least in theory. Masahiro Tanaka has gotten progressively better each time out this season, though he doesn’t seem to be all the way back to his 2016 form just yet. The Yankees will need Tanaka to be on top of his game tonight against Sale. It’s the old Pedro Martinez approach. Match zeroes with Sale then beat the bullpen. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Aaron Hicks
  3. 3B Chase Headley
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. RF Aaron Judge
  7. 1B Chris Carter
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Better weather tonight than last night in Boston. It’s still cold and cloudy, but it shouldn’t be foggy or wet. Tonight’s game will begin shortly after 7pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Didi Gregorius (shoulder) will be activated off the disabled list tomorrow. Hooray for that … Gary Sanchez (biceps) will begin a minor league rehab assignment next week, likely with Triple-A Scranton next Tuesday, Brian Cashman said. Hooray for that too. Hoorays all around.

Game 19: Measuring Stick?

(Justin K. Aller/Getty)
(Justin K. Aller/Getty)

The Yankees are off to a nice little 11-7 start to the season — their +30 run differential is still the best in baseball — and they’ve done it while getting basically nothing from Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Didi Gregorius. I’m excited to see this team at full strength. I don’t know if they’re good enough to make the postseason, but at least they’re far more interesting to watch nowadays.

Anyway, rain turned this three-game series at Fenway Park into a two-game series, and because this is Yankees-Red Sox, everything is overblown. I’ve seen this series called a measuring stick for the Yankees. These two games against the AL East favorite will tell us whether they’re for real or not! I mean, no? One series doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but still, it sure would be nice to pick up a pair of wins in Boston. One game at a time though. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. RF Aaron Judgehow about a couple homers to celebrate his 25th birthday?
  7. 1B Greg Bird
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

The weather still isn’t great in Beantown. It was raining on and off all day, though it looks as though there will be a big enough window to get the game in. It’ll be cold and cloudy in the meantime. This evening’s game will begin a little after 7pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Didi Gregorius (shoulder) is on track to return this coming weekend, Joe Girardi said. He could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday. I’m guessing the Yankees want to see how he makes it through his rehab games tonight and tomorrow before making any decisions … Gary Sanchez (biceps) is throwing from a distance of 120 feet and has started hitting in the batting cage, so his rehab is coming along well.

Game 18: Nova vs. Nova’s replacement

Me at the start of 2016 vs. me at the end of 2016. (Presswire)
Me at the start of 2016 vs. me at the end of 2016. (Presswire)

This afternoon’s series finale against the Pirates features a matchup of last year’s fifth starter and this year’s fifth starter. Well, technically Ivan Nova opened last season in the bullpen, but it didn’t take long for him to return to the rotation. Jordan Montgomery started this season in the minors, and like Nova last year, it didn’t take long for him to wind up in the big league rotation. Nice little bit of pitching matchup symmetry.

Anyway, thanks to yesterday’s come-from-behind win, the Yankees are again in position to win a series this afternoon. That’s the name of the game. Win series. When the eight-game winning streak ended Tuesday, the Yankees rebounded with a blowout win Wednesday. After dropping the series opener to the Pirates on Friday, the Yankees hung eleven on them Saturday. This is fun, is it not? Here is the Pirates’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. SS Ronald Torreyes
  8. C Kyle Higashioka
  9. LHP Jordan Montgomery

Much better weather in Pittsburgh today than the last two days. It’s a little cloudy and on the warm side, and there’s a cool breeze. This afternoon’s series finale will begin at 1:35pm ET. YES will have the game locally and MLB Network will have it nationally. Enjoy.

Game 17: Still no DH

(Justin K. Aller/Getty)
(Justin K. Aller/Getty)

Four days ago the Yankees lost to the White Sox to snap their eight-game winning streak. They rebounded the next day with a blowout win. Last night the Yankees dropped the series opener to the Pirates due in part to some sloppy defense. How will they rebound today? Hopefully with another blowout win. That’ll be tough with no designated hitter, but whatever. It’s doable.

Anyway, the point is the Yankees have played well the last two weeks or so, and losses happen. Making sure a loss is just a loss and not the start of the losing streak is pretty damn important if the Yankees, who currently have the fifth best postseason odds in the AL, are going to sneak into the playoffs. Just keep winning series. Keep winning series and good things will happen. Here is the Pirates’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Aaron Hicks
  3. 3B Chase Headley
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. SS Ronald Torreyes
  9. RHP Michael Pineda

Not a great weather day in Pittsburgh. It’s cold and cloudy, and there might be some on and off rain throughout the game. Today’s game will begin at 4:05pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Gary Sanchez (biceps) continues to make progress with his rehab. He made 25 throws from 60 feet and another 25 from 90 feet today. Sanchez was also scheduled to hit off a tee for the first time at some point today. He’s been taking dry swings. Now he’ll hit an actual baseball.

Game 16: The Joy Of Watching Pitchers Try To Hit

(Justin K. Aller/Getty)
(Justin K. Aller/Getty)

The Yankees are on the road for their first interleague series in a National League park this season. They’ll play the first of three games against the Pirates tonight. The Pirates, weirdly, have either swept or been swept in every series so far this season. I guess that makes tonight’s game super important? Win tonight and the Yankees are guaranteed a sweep! A loss and they’re guaranteed to get swept. It has been decided.

Anyway, CC Sabathia is starting tonight’s opener and that’s kinda noteworthy because he’s going to have to hit and run the bases with his balky knee. Well, I should say “hit” and “run the bases,” right? Something tells me we won’t see Sabathia do much more than take a few swings, maybe square around to bunt, and take a step or two toward first base. Maybe he’ll sock a dinger instead. Just don’t get hurt, CC. Here is the Pirates’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. SS Ronald Torreyes
  9. LHP CC Sabathia

It is cold and cloudy in Pittsburgh tonight, and there’s a tiny little bit of rain in the forecast later. Doesn’t look like anything they won’t be able to play through. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 7pm ET. You can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.