Game 96: Make it Three in a Row

(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Yankees have won the last two games in convincing fashion, with strong performances from the starting pitching, the bullpen, and the lineup (for the most part, at least). A win tonight would give them their first three-game winning streak since they won six in a row from June 7 through 12, and their first series victory since that same stretch (they swept the Orioles). They’ll look to do so with a reasonable approximation of their ‘A’ lineup, and the maddeningly inconsistent Masahiro Tanaka on the mound.

I say “reasonable approximation,” because Starlin Castro is back on the disabled list, meaning we’ll be treated to more Ronald Torreyes. Tyler Wade has been recalled to take his spot on the roster for the time being.

If you care about such things, it might be worth noting that Tanaka has dominated the Mariners in five starts, pitching to the following line – 37 IP, 26 H, 4 BB, 38 H, 1.95 ERA. Here’s the lineup that he’ll face tonight; the Yankees will counter with this:

  1. Brett Gardner, CF
  2. Clint Frazier, LF
  3. Aaron Judge, RF
  4. Matt Holliday, DH
  5. Gary Sanchez, C
  6. Didi Gregorius, SS
  7. Todd Frazier, 3B
  8. Garrett Cooper, 1B
  9. Ronald Torreyes, 2B

Tonight’s game is slated to start at 9:10 PM EST, and it’ll be broadcast on YES.

Game 95: CC’s Birthday

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
(Adam Glanzman/Getty)

The Yankees opened this four-game series with the Mariners with a nice win last night. Luis Severino outpitched Felix Hernandez and the offense put just enough runs on the board. The Yankees are 4-4 so far on this eleven-game road trip, so they still need two more wins to clinch a winning trip. That would also clinch their first series win in more than a month. Remember series wins?

Anyway, CC Sabathia will be on the mound tonight, and today is his 37th birthday. Happy birthday, big guy. It really snuck up, huh? Seems like just yesterday the Yankees were trying to sign 28-year-old Sabathia as a free agent. Sabathia pitched very well last time out and he’s been pretty darn good all season. I’m so glad he’s reinvented himself late in his career. Those three bad years from 2013-15 were no fun. Here is the Mariners’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. 1B Chase Headley
  9. LF Clint Frazier
    LHP CC Sabathia

It is cool and cloudy again in Seattle tonight. I’m not sure whether the Safeco Field roof is open. Tonight’s game will begin at 10:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Game 94: Back West

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees are out on the West Coast for the first time since the start of this ridiculous collapse. They haven’t won a series since arriving in Anaheim in the middle of last month. The Yankees are 11-22 in the start of their last West Coast trip. Good grief. The season when south the last time the Yankees were in the Pacific Time Zone and hopefully things straight out this trip.

Anyway, for the first time in what feels like forever, the Yankees are playing their regular lineup tonight. Well, Clint Frazier isn’t playing, but eight out of nine ain’t bad. Better than what the Yankees have been trotting out there the last few days. You knew Joe Girardi was going to spend a week resting guys after the 16-inning game and doubleheader on back-to-back days. Please just win, dudes. Here is the Mariners’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. 1B Chase Headley
    RHP Luis Severino

It is cool and cloudy in Seattle tonight. I’m not sure whether the Safeco Field roof will be open. Doesn’t really matter. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 10:10pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Update: Girardi said Frazier will be the regular third baseman from here on out with Headley moving over to first. Given Headley’s inability to hit southpaws this season, I assume he’ll platoon with Garrett Cooper.

Game 93: The New Guys

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The Yankees and Twins are wrapping up their three-game series this afternoon, and the Yankees will have three new players in uniform. Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle are all available today even though their flight from Chicago was held up by bad weather and they’re not expected to arrive at the park until around first pitch. The Yankees are a much better team right now than they were 24 hours ago. No doubt about it.

As for this afternoon’s game, the Yankees have a chance to do something they haven’t done in more than a month now: win a damn series. They’re 0-7-2 in their last nine series dating back to that massacre weekend against the Orioles. It’s about time for this extended run of crappiness to end. The front office went out and got the Yankees some help. Now it’s up to the players to turn things around. Here is the Twins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. DH Gary Sanchez
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. RF Clint Frazier
  7. 1B Garrett Cooper
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

It is a lovely afternoon for baseball in the Twin Cities. Nice and sunny with temperatures in the 80s. Good day to play hooky and sit in the bleachers. This afternoon’s series finale will begin at 1:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Roster Moves: Even with Tyler Clippard going the other way in the trade, the Yankees still needed to clear two 25-man and two 40-man roster spots following the trade. Ji-Man Choi was designated for assignment to clear one of each. Chasen Shreve was sent down to clear the other 25-man spot and Rob Refsnyder was designated for assignment to clear the other 40-man spot. Choi will likely clear waivers and go to Triple-A Scranton. I bet Refsnyder ends up getting traded for nothing in particular. Either that or they’ll lose him on waivers.

Uniform Numbers: Clint Frazier has switched from No. 30 to No. 77, which is an expert troll move. He said it has nothing to do with Mickey Mantle though. He thought it would look cool with No. 77 and No. 99 in the outfield. Robertson is wearing his old No. 30. The other Frazier, Todd, is wearing No. 29. He wore No. 21 with the Reds and White Sox. I guess the Yankees are just never going to put that number back in circulation, huh? Kahnle is wearing No. 48.

Game 92: Stay in Postseason Position

The last 30 games in picture form. (Hannah Foslien/Getty)
The last 30 games in picture form. (Hannah Foslien/Getty)

Here is the very simple math: with a loss tonight, the Yankees will fall out of postseason position for the first time since April 13th, the day of the ninth game of the season. The Yankees are 9-21 in their last 30 games — that’s their worst 30-game stretch since going 8-22 in late-May/early-June of 1995 — and the Twins are a half-game back of the second wildcard spot. A loss tonight means the Twins will be a half-game up.

The Yankees are in the middle of a collapse. It would feel a heck of a lot worse if it were happening in September, but it’s a collapse. Over the last 30 games they’ve gone from four games up in the division to barely hanging on to the second wild card spot. Every day it seems something new goes wrong. One day it’s the offense. The next day the bullpen melts down. The day after that the starter gets rocked. This is as ugly a stretch of baseball as I can remember. Find a way to squeeze out a win tonight and go from there. Here is the Twins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. LF Clint Frazier
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Garrett Cooper
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Cessa

It rained in Minneapolis for much of the afternoon, though it’s supposed to stop in time for the game. There is no more wet stuff coming tonight either, so once they get this one started, they should have no trouble finishing it. Tonight’s game will begin at 8:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and ESPN nationally. Try to enjoy the game.

Roster Move: Bryan Mitchell was sent down to get Cessa on the roster, the Yankees announced. I thought maybe they’d send down Caleb Smith instead, but nope. Smith remains. The middle innings lefty role is a land of opportunity right now.

Injury Updates: As expected, Michael Pineda (Tommy John surgery) and Greg Bird (ankle) had their surgeries today. Everything went fine. Bird released a statement saying he intends to play again this year. You can read it here.

Game 91: Spot Starter

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Tonight is day four of an eleven games in ten days road trip through three different time zones. Not the most fun way to begin the second half, huh? The Yankees managed to split four games with the Red Sox over the weekend, which is fine but also kinda disappointing because they blew a ninth inning lead in the first game. Tonight they open a three-game set with the Twins, one of the teams chasing them for a wildcard spot.

Thanks to Saturday’s marathon game and Sunday’s doubleheader (and Michael Pineda‘s injury), the Yankees have to turn to spot starter Bryan Mitchell tonight. He was excellent in his last Triple-A start (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K) plus he picked up a three-inning save in his last big league appearance, so maybe he’s figuring some things out. If not, well, the offense is going to have to pick him up. This is a pretty important series. It would be nice to start with a win. Here is the Twins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Clint Frazier
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Garrett Cooper
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

It is a lovely night for baseball in the Twin Cities. Clear skies with temperatures in the mid-80s. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 8:10pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: In case you missed it earlier, both Pineda and Greg Bird will have surgery tomorrow. Pineda is having Tommy Pineda surgery after getting a second opinion today, and Bird will have ankle surgery after seeing yet another specialist. Sucks. Bird could return in September.

Roster Move: The Yankees returned Domingo German to Triple-A Scranton following yesterday’s doubleheader, the team announced. Mitchell was technically the 26th man for the doubleheader, but he remains on the roster and German goes back down. Caleb Smith is still around as a long man.

Protest Update: Remember that weird play Saturday when Holliday slid back into first base on a potential 3-6-3 double play? Here’s the play if you don’t. The Red Sox protested the game over that play, and earlier today MLB announced the protest has been denied. No surprise there. The play had no impact on the final outcome of the game and the interference rule is too (intentionally) vague to say Holliday clearly broke the rule. Red Sox skipper John Farrell said he went forward with the protest because he doesn’t want the Yankees to try that again. Hah.

Game 90: Let’s Win Two

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Things are looking up. The Yankees already have one win today and they’ve won back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month. They’ve also held the Red Sox scoreless in their last 22 innings. In fact, the Yankees have already shut the BoSox out three times this season, and that doesn’t include nine shutout innings from the bullpen in last night’s 16-inning affair. The Yankees had shut the Red Sox out only twice in the previous seven years and 130 games. Geez.

Anyway, it’s time to get greedy. The Yankees have already secured a split of this four-game series, which was basically the bare minimum coming in, and now they have a chance to win three of four. A win tonight keeps the AL East title very much in reach. A loss … keeps the AL East title within reach. But still, the closer the better. You know what I mean. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup for Game Two:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. LF Clint Frazier
  8. 1B Garrett Cooper
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

No change in the weather from this afternoon other than the fact the sun has gone down. It’s a nice clear night in Boston. Tonight’s game will begin a little after 8pm and ESPN will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.