Game 162: So long, Tex

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Today is the final day of the 2016 regular season. The Yankees have already been eliminated from postseason contention, though they’ve also clinched their 24th straight winning season, and that tells you they were good but not good enough. The offense was the main culprit. The pitching certainly wasn’t without flaws either.

Prior to today’s season finale, the Yankees will honor Mark Teixeira, who has decided to call it a career because his body simply can handle the 162-game grind anymore. He’s got neck and knee issues, on top of who knows what else. I still remember the day the Yankees signed Teixeira. The day they pulled the rug out from under the Red Sox to sign him was one of the most exciting days in RAB history.

Teixeira’s eight years in pinstripes have been, well, complicated. Mostly productive. He’s put up a .248/.344/.479 (119 OPS+) batting line with 206 home runs with the Yankees, which works out to 18.3 fWAR and 20.6 bWAR. WAR underrates his defense too. It doesn’t handle first basemen well. Teixeira was second in the MVP voting in 2009 and he hit in the middle of the order for the team’s most recent World Championship squad.

At the same time, the last few years of Teixeira’s career have featured a lot of injuries and a lot of balls hit into the shift, and both of those things are disappointing. Even still, Teixeira was a really good player for the Yankees for a long time, plus he was a bit of a goof and always good for a laugh. It’s too bad we won’t get to enjoy BLOWN SAVE a little longer. That was a hoot. At least we got a full season of Foul Territory.

A year ago Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez carried the Yankees offensively. After today, they’ll both be gone. A-Rod was released back in August and now Teixeira is walking away. This is kind of sad. Sad and exciting at the same time. Those two were key members of some really good teams. At the same time, the Yankees are making room for younger players who we hope will one day form the next great Yankees team.

This afternoon’s series finale is scheduled to begin at 3:05pm ET — every game on the final day of the season starts at the same time for maximum drama — and the Yankees say the Teixeira ceremony will begin at 2:45pm ET. I’m certain the YES Network will carry it. As for today’s game, here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. DH Brian McCann
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Aaron Hicks
  8. 3B Ronald Torreyes
  9. 2B Donovan Solano
    RHP Luis Cessa

Today’s game is important for the Orioles. A win will clinch a wildcard spot. A loss won’t automatically eliminate them — the Blue Jays and Tigers both need to win — but it would put their backs up against the well. Here are the tiebreaker scenarios. Let’s make life miserable for them. Enjoy the final game of the season and Teixeira’s career, everyone.

Game 161: Severino Saturday

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

So I came to a realization last night: I want the Blue Jays to miss the postseason more than I want the Orioles to miss the postseason. In a perfect world both would miss the postseason, but that doesn’t seem to be an option at this point. After that benches clearing nonsense and the general mouthiness of the Blue Jays, I’m all for seeing them stay home. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, Luis Severino is making the start this afternoon — his first start since that benches clearing incident in Toronto — in place of Masahiro Tanaka, who is healthy, but is being shut down. The Yankees don’t want to push their ace in a meaningless game so soon after a forearm issue. I don’t blame them one bit. Here is today’s Orioles’ lineup and Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. DH Billy Butler
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. RF Tyler Austin
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

It is really cloudy and cool in New York today, but there’s only a tiny little bit of rain in the forecast, so it looks like they should be able to get this game in. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05pm ET. The game will be on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Chad Green (forearm) played catch for the second straight day. Everything is going well and he should have a reasonably normal offseason.

Game 160: Spoilers

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Well folks, the Yankees have nothing left but three meaningless games this season. Meaningless to them, that is. The Yankees were eliminated from postseason contention last night, but their opponent this weekend, the Orioles, is still very much alive in the wildcard race. These three games mean everything to them.

Buck Showalter has been taking shots at the Yankees since they parted ways following the 1995 ALDS. He goes out of the way to needle the Yankees every chance he gets. Now the Bombers have a chance to keep Showalter’s team out of the postseason, and gosh, that would be sweet as hell. The Yankees already created some headaches for the Blue Jays and Red Sox this week. Time to do the same for the O’s. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. DH Brian McCann
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Aaron Hicks
  8. LF Mason Williams
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Michael Pineda

It is cold and windy and rainy in New York. Not exactly baseball weather. There’s rain in the forecast pretty much all night too. Seems like it’s going to be more mist than outright downpour. We’ll see. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. MLB.tv is free this weekend, by the way. Blackouts still apply, however. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: It’s still undecided whether Masahiro Tanaka (forearm) will make his scheduled start tomorrow. He feels fine, but the Yankees may decide not to risk anything since they’re out of the race … Brett Gardner is a bit banged up but is expected to play again before the end of the season … Starlin Castro is out of the lineup essentially as a precaution. The don’t want him on the wet field so soon after his hamstring injury.

News: Luis Severino has been fined for his role in Monday’s benches clearing brawl(s) with the Blue Jays, but he wasn’t suspended. Weird. A.J. Cole just got five games for throwing behind Jung-Ho Kang. Didn’t even hit him. Severino threw behind Justin Smoak then hit him with the next pitch, after benches were warned, yet no suspension. I do not understand. Whatever.

Game 159: Alive, But Barely

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

Thanks to last night’s dramatic walk-off grand slam (!), the Yankees remain mathematically alive in the postseason race. They have to win out and the Orioles have to lose out, among other things, but having a chance is better than not having a chance. The Yankees have pulled off some miraculous wins these last few days. Why not a miraculous run to the playoffs?

Also, tonight is David Ortiz’s last ever game against the Yankees — barring a postseason matchup, of course — and thank goodness for that. I’m sick of seeing that guy torment the Yankees. The Yankees are going to have a pregame ceremony for Ortiz tonight, and my guess is it’ll be mostly boos with a smattering of cheers. We’ll see. Here is the Red Sox’s hangover 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. 3B Chase Headley
  7. C Brian McCann
  8. RF Aaron Hicks
  9. 1B Tyler Austin
    LHP CC Sabathia

It is cold and rainy in New York today. It is pretty much everywhere east of the Rockies, it seems. The heaviest rain isn’t coming until the early morning hours though. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Masahiro Tanaka (forearm) threw a bullpen session and everything went fine. He wants to make his scheduled start Saturday, though the Yankees may not let him if they’ve already been eliminated from the postseason race.

Game 158: Looking for No. 82

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

There are five games left this season and the Yankees are currently 81-76, so we know they won’t have a losing record this season. With one more win, No. 82 of the season, the Yankees will clinch a winning record for the 24th (!) straight season. That would be the second longest streak in history, behind the 1926-64 Yankees, who did it in 39 straight seasons. Crazy.

Of course, the Yankees also need a win to keep their faint postseason hopes alive. Things broke their way last night — they won and the Orioles lost — and they need that to happen again tonight. Any combination of Yankees wins and Orioles losses totaling three these next two nights will make this weekend’s series against the O’s meaningful. Could be cool. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. DH Brian McCann
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 1B Mark Teixeira
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. RF Mason Williams
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

It’s very cool and cloudy in New York today. Windy too. Fall weather, but not the good kind. There’s a little bit of rain in the forecast later tonight, but it doesn’t look like anything that will impact the game. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy the game.

Roster Update: Nick Goody has left the team and returned home to attend to a family issue, according to Chad Jennings. His locker is cleaned out, so it seems like he’s done for the year. Hope everything’s okay at home.

Game 156: The Final Road Game

(Vaughn Ridley/Getty)
(Vaughn Ridley/Getty)

After six months of red-eye flights and swanky hotels, the Yankees are playing their final road game of the 2016 season tonight. They’re an awful 35-45 on the road, which is their worst record away from Yankee Stadium since going 35-46 in 1992. Things aren’t so bad at home. The Yankees are 44-31 with a +21 run differential in the Bronx.

Anyway, Luis Severino returns to the rotation tonight because someone had to replace the injured Masahiro Tanaka, and the Yankees consider him the best man for the job. Severino hasn’t thrown more than 52 pitches in a game in a month now, and his changeup remains non-existent, so we’ll see how this goes. Good thing there are 13 pitchers in the bullpen tonight. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. DH Billy Butler
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. 1B Mark Teixeira
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. RF Aaron Hicks
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

I have been informed by the internet that it is a cold and rainy day in Toronto, so chances are the Rogers’ Centre roof will be closed. Tonight’s road schedule finale will begin at 7:07pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Try to enjoy the game.

Roster Move: The Yankees have outrighted J.R. Graham off the 40-man roster, the team announced. He is still with the organization, and I’m pretty sure Graham isn’t eligible for minor league free agency this offseason, so he’ll be back next year too.

Game 155: Okay, fine, how about just one run?

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Twenty-seven innings without a run. Even worse, the Yankees have only had 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position in those 27 innings, so they aren’t even getting chances to score. We’ve sat through some putrid offensive slumps the last four seasons, but nothing like this. The Yankees haven’t scored a run since Wednesday. Wednesday!

In case you’re wondering — I know I was — yes, the Yankees have been shut out in four consecutive games before, back in 1932. They did that despite having six Hall of Famers in the lineup: Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Sewell, Earle Combs, and Babe Ruth. Also, the 1932 Yankees won the World Series. So yeah. The last team to be shut out in four straight games? The 2012 Giants. They won the World Series too. Freaky. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. DH Brian McCann
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. RF Mason Williams
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s cool and cloudy in Toronto today. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:07pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy the game.