Yanks start second half with a whimper, fall 5-3 to BoSox

Source: FanGraphs

Good to see not a whole lot changed over the All-Star break. The Yankees were the second best team on the field in their second half opening 5-3 loss to the Red Sox, which dropped their postseason odds to a mere 5.0% as of this writing. Not-so-fun fact: at 44-45, the Yankees are under .500 in the second half for the first time since 1995.

I didn’t see one pitch of tonight’s game and I checked the score on my phone only three times: 1-0, 3-0, 5-0. Those are the scores I saw. I didn’t bother to check again after seeing 5-0. The box score tells me Michael Pineda gave up five runs in five innings, including three homers, so it seems he’s back to his early season antics. That’s a big development for #TeamSell.

The Yankees mustered four hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch in nine innings against Steven Wright and various relievers. Eleven of the final dozen batters they sent to the plate made outs, so there was no late rally in this one. The Yankees went out quietly. The Red Sox offense averaged 4.28 pitches per plate appearance. The Yankees averaged 3.39. Yup.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Red Sox resume this series Saturday afternoon. That’s a 4pm ET start. Lefties CC Sabathia and Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound.

Minor League Update: I have neither the time nor the energy for a full DotF tonight. Here are the box scores and here’s the short version: Ben Gamel had two hits, Luis Severino allowed three runs in 6.2 innings, Dustin Fowler had three hits, Vicente Campos tossed six scoreless, Domingo Acevedo struck out nine in six innings, Hoy Jun Park had three hits, Mandy Alvarez extended his hitting streak to 20 games, and Blake Rutherford had two doubles and a triple in Pulaski’s doubleheader.

DotF: Green dominates, Gamel stays hit in Scranton’s win

OF Blake Rutherford has been promoted to Rookie Pulaski, according to multiple reports. Those eight games in the Gulf Coast League were just a tune-up, apparently.

Triple-A Scranton (2-0 win over Gwinnett)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 K — 19-for-46 (.413) in his last ten games
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-4, 1 K — between the Futures Game and Triple-A All-Star Game, he’s traveled from Scranton to San Diego to Charlotte to Gwinnett in the last six days
  • DH Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Ike Davis: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — second homer with the RailRiders
  • RF Cesar Puello: 1-4, 1 K
  • LF Jake Cave: 0-3, 2 K, 1 CS, 1 HBP
  • RHP Chad Green: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 8/6 GB/FB — 77 of 102 pitches were strikes (75%) … we know he can dominate at this level
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GB/FB — ten of 19 pitches were strikes

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DotF: Mason Williams stays hot on rehab assignment

Triple-A Scranton is off until tomorrow for the All-Star break. The International League beat Pacific Coast League 4-2 in the All-Star Game tonight. Here’s the box score.

  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-2 — started the game and batted leadoff … he was replaced by ex-Yankees farmhand Ronnie Mustelier
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-1 — started the game and batted third
  • OF Aaron Judge (knee) and RHP Chad Green (pitching tomorrow) were both named to the IL All-Star team but did not play.

Double-A Trenton is off until tomorrow for the All-Star break. The Eastern Division clobbered the Western Division 10-2. Here’s the box score.

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K — batted second and played the entire game
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 2-5, , 1 R, 1 K — batted seventh and played the entire game as well
  • PH-DH-C Kyle Higashioka: 0-2 — he entered the game in the eighth inning
  • LHP Jordan Montgomery: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eleven of 14 pitches were strikes (79%) … he started the game for the Eastern Division team
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GB/FB — eleven pitches, nine strikes … he threw the fifth inning … he replaced LHP Dietrich Enns on the roster after Enns was promoted to Triple-A

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DotF: Rutherford hits first pro home run in GCL win

Triple-A Scranton is off until Thursday for the All-Star break. The All-Star Game itself is Wednesday night. It’ll be broadcast on MLB Network. OF Ben Gamel, RHP Chad Green, OF Aaron Judge, and C Gary Sanchez were selected to represent the Yankees. Judge won’t be playing because of his recent knee injury though.

Double-A Trenton is also off until Thursday for the All-Star break. Their All-Star Game is Wednesday as well. LHP Jordan Montgomery, LHP Dietrich Enns, SS Tyler Wade, OF Dustin Fowler, C Kyle Higashioka, and RHP Jonathan Holder were all selected to the All-Star Game. Enns is in Triple-A now and was replaced on the roster by Holder.

High-A Tampa had a scheduled off-day.

Low-A Charleston (9-0 win over Rome)

  • 2B Hoy Jun Park: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — fifth in the system with 40 walks
  • SS Kyle Holder: 0-5
  • CF Jeff Hendrix: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
  • 1B Chris Gittens: 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 HBP — 9-for-19 (.474) with three doubles and two homers in his last five games
  • 3B Mandy Alvarez: 2-5, 1 R — 13-for-28 (.464) with Charleston … this year’s 17th rounder has a hit in all but one of his 20 pro games
  • C Luis Torrens: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — bumped up here after hitting .311/.360/.400 (132 wRC+) in 50 plate appearances with Staten Island
  • DH Gosuke Katoh: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 HBP
  • RF Alex Palma: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • LHP Nestor Cortes: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 8/0 GB/FB — 61 of 86 pitches were strikes (71%), plus he picked a runner off first … he’s allowed three earned runs in his last 36.2 innings (0.74 ERA)

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DotF: Williams, Amburgey have big days in Tampa’s loss

Got some notes to pass along:

  • The Yankees have signed 11th round pick Georgia LHP Connor Jones, according to Matt Eddy. No word on his bonus, but it’s safe to assume it’s no more than the $100,000 slot. The Yankees don’t have the pool space to hand out any more over-slot bonuses. Here’s our Draft Pool Tracker.
  • Also from Eddy: the Yankees have released RHP Vinnie Pestano and OF Connor Oliver. Pestano threw only 10.2 innings with Triple-A innings before getting hurt. The Yankees picked up Oliver out an independent league to fill a roster spot a few weeks ago.
  • The Yankees have signed Tampa RHP Brett Morales as an undrafted free agent, the school announced. Here’s a photo of the contract signing. Morales redshirted and didn’t pitch this spring.
  • In his Futures Game write-up, Chris Crawford (subs. req’d) says C Gary Sanchez impressed with his improved receiving behind the plate. “He didn’t stab at the ball like he used to, and his hands appeared softer. This was just one look, but several scouts had mentioned similar things, so it’s good to see,” he wrote.
  • Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton will host the 2018 Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game, the team announced. That’s pretty cool. By then guys like C Luis Torrens and OF Blake Rutherford could be in Double-A.

Triple-A Scranton is off until Thursday for the All-Star break. The All-Star Game itself is Wednesday night. It’ll be broadcast on MLB Network. OF Ben Gamel, RHP Chad Green, OF Aaron Judge, and C Gary Sanchez were selected to represent the Yankees. Judge won’t be playing because of his recent knee injury though.

[Read more…]

Yankees survive Tanaka’s brutal start, beat Indians 11-7

Source: FanGraphs

The pre-All-Star break portion of the season is officially over. The Yankees beat the Indians 11-7 on Sunday — they took three of four from the first place Tribe, how about that? — and go into the break with a 44-44 record. They’re 7.5 games back in the AL East and 5.5 games back of the second wildcard spot with six teams ahead of them. The Yankees have given us no reason to believe they can play well enough for long enough to make a serious run at a postseason spot in the second half. Anyway, let’s recap with bullet points, because I’m short on time today:

  • Early Runs!: The turning point of this game was home plate umpire Ramon DeJesus calling Carlos Carrasco’s 3-1 pitch to Jacoby Ellsbury a strike in the second inning. It was a ball, here’s the strike zone plot, but DeJesus called it a strike and the at-bat continued. Ellsbury hit a three-run home run on the very next pitch to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead. Give DeJesus on assist on that one. Dingers are cooler than walks.
  • More Early Runs: The Yankees blew this game open — or saw we thought! — with a six-spot in the fifth inning. There was no big blow. They kept the line moving and strung together three straight two-out hits to drive in runs. The inning featured five singles, one double, one walk, one hit batsman, two sac flies, and a two-run throwing error by Francisco Lindor. The error really set that inning up for New York. The six-run outburst gave the Yankees an 11-1 lead.
  • Bad Tanaka: I guess Masahiro Tanaka picked a good time for his worst start of the season. Tanaka’s stuff was flat all game, though he was able to wiggle through the first four innings with just one run allowed. Then it all came apart in the fifth. Tanaka couldn’t get through the inning with a ten-run lead — a Didi Gregorius throwing error didn’t help matters — and allowed six runs in the frame, the last two on Tyler Naquin’s monster two-run homer. It was ugly. Maybe his worst inning as a Yankee. Tanaka finished the game with seven runs (three earned) allowed on ten hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. Yuck.
  • Nasty Nate: How about Nathan Eovaldi? With the big three relievers taxed and 13 outs to go with a four-run lead, Eovaldi took the ball the rest of the way. He held the Indians to one hit and three walks in the final 4.1 innings, striking out three. Eovaldi restored order to the game after Tanaka’s dreadful start. Huge performance given the state of the bullpen. Just huge. Nate gets the win, but if there was ever an outing that deserved a save, that’s it.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees had 13 hits total, including two each by Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, and Starlin Castro … every starter had a hit except Brett Gardner, who walked and make a number of nice running catches … Gregorius ripped an opposite field double. Castro, Chase Headley, and Austin Romine had two-baggers too … the Yankees went 5-for-16 (.313) with runners in scoring position … Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Danny Salazar all allowed a season-high in runs this series. Go figure.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also, don’t miss our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. What’s next? The All-Star break is next. The Yankees and every other team are off until Friday, then they’ll open the second half with a three-game set at home against the Red Sox. Michael Pineda and Eduardo Rodriguez is the scheduled pitching matchup.

Minor League Update: Sorry folks, busy weekend and I don’t have time for a full DotF again. Here are the box scores and here’s the short version: Ben Gamel and Tyler Austin each had two hits, Luis Severino allowed three runs in seven innings, Ian Clarkin allowed two earned runs in four innings, Mandy Alvarez had two more hits, Drew Bridges whacked a homer, Estevan Florial had a hit and two walks, and Wilkerman Garcia had two hits.

Yankees outlast Indians in come from behind 7-6 win

Source: FanGraphs

That was the type of game we’ve become accustomed to the Yankees losing this season. They fell behind early, battled back, then pushed their bullpen to the max. The result was a 7-6 win over the Indians in eleven innings Saturday afternoon. A good character win, no doubt. Let’s recap with bullet points, because it’s the weekend:

  • Sabathia Struggles Again: It seems CC Sabathia‘s renaissance is over. He struggled for the fourth straight start Saturday, and while he did not give up a homer, he was charged with five runs in 5.2 innings. The Indians were hitting everything hard, even the outs. Sabathia has now allowed at least five runs in each of his last four starts after allowing six runs total in his previous seven starts. You’re still cool with me, CC.
  • Two-Out Rally: The Yankees took a 3-1 lead on Didi Gregorius‘ third inning two-run homer — how good as Didi been? goodness — but Sabathia gave it back and then some. The Yanks were down 5-3 in the sixth when Danny Salazar got two quick ground outs. Then the Yankees went to work. They loaded the bases on a single (Chase Headley), an infield single (Rob Refsnyder), and a pinch-hit walk (Alex Rodriguez) before Brett Gardner dunked a bases-clearing triple into the left field corner. Perfectly placed for the 6-5 Yankees lead.
  • A Blown Lead: The Indians tied the game against Dellin Betances in the seventh on Jose Ramirez‘s two-strike, two-out single. Betances got him to chase curveballs earlier in the at-bat, but he hung one with two strikes and paid. Jason Kipnis’ leadoff double to right — it probably should have been a single, but Refsnyder took a funny route to the ball — set that rally up. Following that seventh inning, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman combined to throw scoreless eighth, ninth, and tenth innings. And they weren’t done there either.
  • What’s This, A Lead?: Give Joe Girardi props: every move he made worked Saturday. He pinch-hit A-Rod as part of that sixth inning rally, and he also replaced Carlos Beltran with pinch-runner Ronald Torreyes following Beltran’s two-out single in the 11th. Brian McCann capitalized with a booming double to right. Torreyes raced around to score all the way from first for the 7-6 lead. No chance Carlos scores on that play. Not even with a healthy hamstring.
  • Save, But Not A Save: You think Girardi wanted this game? Even though Chapman had thrown 1.1 innings and 19 pitches, Girardi sent him out for the bottom of the 11th to protect that 7-6 lead. He walked the leadoff man, which was ominous, but he picked him off later in the inning, so no harm was done. Chapman’s 32nd and final pitch of the night was his hardest, a 101.7 mph heater to strike out Mike Napoli. Betances, Miller, and Chapman combined for eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Saved by the Big Three.
  • Leftovers: Ho hum, another homer for Gregorius. He’s hit five dingers in his last ten games now … three hits each for Beltran and McCann, which is cool. Gardner had two hits and a walk … the top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 9-for-22 (.409) with two doubles, a triple, and two walks … Headley had two hits as well, including a double … McCann said Tony Pena called the pickoff play from the bench in the 11th. He saw something that indicated Kipnis was ready to run … the Yankees got a break when Francisco Lindor ran into Headley in the ninth. Lindor, who represented the winning run, was called out on the play.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Indians will wrap up this series and the first half of the season Sunday afternoon. That’s a regular 1pm ET start. Your pitching matchup is Masahiro Tanaka vs. Carlos Carrasco.

Minor League Update: Sorry folks, don’t have time for a full DotF tonight. Here are the box scores and here’s the short version: Ben Gamel had two more hits, Chance Adams threw six hitless innings, rehabbing Mason Williams had three hits, Mandy Alvarez and Nick Solak each had two hits, and Jeff Degano managed to not walk anyone in an inning of relief.