Archive for Game Threads

Aug
31

Game 135: Win the Series

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(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

The Yankees were one-hit for the first time in five years yesterday, but they still have a chance to take this series from the Blue Jays this afternoon. There’s an off-day tomorrow and then rosters expand, so grab this win, get some rest, then add some new players. Nice and easy. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. 2B Martin Prado
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. C Frankie Cervelli
  8. SS Stephen Drew
  9. LF Zelous Wheeler
    RHP Brandon McCarthy

It’s cool and sunny in Toronto, so the Rogers Centre roof will probably be open. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 1:07pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

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Aug
29

Game 133: Beat the Jays

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(Presswire)

(Presswire)

The Yankees just suffered a pretty rough walk-off loss and they can’t let the series loss to the Tigers spiral into some kind of extended losing skid. The Blue Jays are in bad shape right now — they’ve lost ten of their last 14 games and are 7-16 in August — so everything is set up for the Yankees to bank some wins. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. 3B Martin Prado
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. DH Carlos Beltran
  7. LF Brett Gardner
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    LHP Chris Capuano

It’s nice and sunny in Toronto, so the Rogers Centre roof should be open. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

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Another winnable game slips through their fingers. The Yankees lost Thursday afternoon’s series finale to the Tigers by the score of 3-2, mostly because the offense didn’t bother to show up for the final five innings of the game. Two runs won’t win you much in this league.

(Presswire)

(Presswire)

One Run At A Time
The Yankees and Tigers traded runs each inning from the second through fifth. A single (Nick Castellanos), a hit-and-run (Don Kelly), and a sacrifice fly (Alex Avila) gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Yankees responded with an infield single and an advance on an error (Zelous Wheeler) plus another single (Jacoby Ellsbury) to score a run in the next half-inning, all with two outs. The hardest hit ball in those two rallies was probably Avila’s sac fly. They didn’t exactly knock the cover off the ball.

A more traditional rally gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Martin Prado led off the inning with a single, then moved to third on Carlos Beltran‘s one-out line drive double to left. It took a weird carom off the side wall and deflected right to Kelly, the left fielder, otherwise I’m pretty sure Prado would have scored from first on the hit. It ultimately did not matter because Brian McCann pulled a two-strike pitch on the ground to the right side of the infield to score the runner from third. A productive out, as they say. I prefer to call it a less bad out.

Anyway, the Tigers tied the game at two in the bottom of the fifth thanks a leadoff walk (Kelly) and a wild pitch. Hiroki Kuroda gift-wrapped that rally for them. Kelly moved to third on Andrew Romine’s ground out and scored on Rajai Davis’ two-out single. Again, I’m pretty sure the hardest hit ball against Kuroda was Avila’s sacrifice fly. Well, Victor Martinez lifted two long fly balls to left field, but that’s pretty much it. The Tigers didn’t square him up at all. But still, the score was knotted at two through five innings.

No More Offense
Somehow the Yankees only managed the two runs (one earned) in six innings against rookie left-hander Kyle Lobstein even though he gave up a ton of long fly balls and did not strike out a batter (one swing-and-miss out of 83 pitches). Here is the team’s spray chart against Lobstein (taken from Gameday), just in case you don’t believe me about the long fly balls:

Kyle Lobstein spray chart1

No, the Yankees didn’t hit any homers off Lobstein, so those two data points over the left field fence give you an idea of just how unreliable batted ball data is. But yeah, they hit four balls very deep to left field another deep to center, all for outs. The Yankees had some well-struck balls against Lobstein, just not well-struck enough. Blah.

Anyway, after Beltran doubled to left in the fourth inning, Lobstein and relievers Blaine Hardy and ex-Yankee Joba Chamberlain combined to retire 16 straight Yankees before Mark Teixeira drew a two-out walk in the ninth. Beltran followed that with a single to shallow center, moving Teixeira to third, but McCann struck out to end the inning. He just missed a three-run homer by a few feet earlier in the at-bat. It had plenty of distance but hooked just foul. The Yankees have just seven hits in 15 innings since recording nine straight hits off David Price in the third inning on Thursday.

(Leon Halip/Getty)

(Leon Halip/Getty)

Walked Off
For the second time this year, the Yankees were beaten by the fading bat of Alex Avila. He hit an extra-innings go-ahead solo homer in New York a few weeks ago, and on Thursday he clubbed a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Shawn Kelley pitched into the mess by allowing a leadoff double to Victor Martinez and a walk to J.D. Martinez, but he rebounded to strike out both Castellanos and pinch-hitter Torii Hunter. He recorded both strikeouts with fastballs because his slider just wasn’t working. Naturally, Avila hit the slider.

The game-winning hit looked to be gone off the bat, but it ended up hitting off the wall in right field. Ichiro Suzuki either alligator-armed it or simply timed his jump poorly and completely whiffed on the ball. It certainly wasn’t a routine play, but it was catchable based on the fact that he was right there when it hit the wall. Not exactly the most graceful defensive play you’ll see. I know the slider is Kelley’s trademark pitch, but it was clearly his less effective offering on Thursday and that’s what he got beat on. If you’re not going to bring in David Robertson in situations like this, maybe at least have a lefty ready for Avila?

(Leon Halip/Getty)

(Leon Halip/Getty)

Leftovers
Kuroda’s biggest mistake of the afternoon was probably the leadoff walk to Kelly in the fifth inning. He held the Tigers to those two runs on just four singles and a walk in seven innings, striking out four and recording 15 of his 21 outs on the infield. Kuroda looked very good considering he was making a late-August start on normal rest. Usually he hits a wall around 80 pitches this time of year — he threw 91 in this game, 58 for strikes (64%) — but that was not the case Thursday. Just another strong start in a recent string of them for the rotation.

The offense had five hits all afternoon: a single and a double by Beltran, and singles by Ellsbury, Prado, and Wheeler. Teixeira drew two walks. Derek Jeter went 0-for-4 with three ground outs and is down to .265/.313/.317 (76 wRC+) on the season. It’s amazing the Yankees continue to shoot themselves in the foot by batting him second.

Dellin Betances threw a scoreless eighth inning but did walk Ian Kinsler — who immediately stole second — to bring Miguel Cabrera to the plate with a chance to drive in the go-ahead run. He struck out Miggy on four pitches and got the two-time defending AL MVP to take one of the silliest swings you’ll ever see for strike three.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Head on over to MLB.com for the box score and video highlights. FanGraphs has some additional game stats. The updated standings are at ESPN. The Mariners are off Thursday, so the Yankees are three games back of the second wildcard spot at the moment. Depending on the outcome of the night game, they’ll be either six games (Orioles lose) or seven games (Orioles win) back of the top spot in the AL East. FanGraphs puts New York’s postseason odds at 12.9% at the moment.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are off to Toronto for a three-game weekend set against the struggling Blue Jays. Finesse lefties Chris Capuano and Mark Buehrle will open the series on Friday night.

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Aug
27

Game 131: Bounce Back

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(Duane Burleson/Getty)

(Duane Burleson/Getty)

The Yankees lost last night because every late-August winning streak is bound to end at some point. The key is getting right back up and starting a new streak, not letting the losses pile up, something they’ve been unable to do this year. Examples:

  • Five straight wins in April followed with two straight losses and three losses in the next five games.
  • Four straight wins in May followed by four losses in the next five games.
  • Eight wins in ten games in June followed immediately by nine losses in eleven games.
  • Seven wins in eight games after the All-Star break, then five losses in the next six games.
  • Six wins in seven games earlier those month followed by a five-game losing streak.

If the Yankees are going to make a serious run at a postseason spot — and make no mistake, their chances are very small right now — one loss can’t turn into a mini-two-game losing streak tonight. Bounce back, pick up a win, and keep moving forward. That’s the only way they’ll have a chance. Here is the Tigers lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. 2B Martin Prado
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. DH Brian McCann
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. LF Brett Gardner
  9. C Frankie Cervelli
    RHP Shane Greene

It’s cool and cloudy in Detroit, but there is no rain in the forecast. We’re definitely starting to see more late-season baseball weather. You know what I mean. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:080pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy the game.

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Aug
26

Game 130: New Heights

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(AP)

(AP)

The Yankees have won five straight games and are seven games over .500. Those both tie their high-water marks of the season. Tonight the Yankees will look to set new season highs by stretching their winning streak to six games and moving to eight games over .500. They’ve been stymied a few times before.

More importantly, the Yankees are chasing the Tigers in the second wildcard race. They’re two games back of Detroit and cutting that deficit in half this week is the bare minimum, in my opinion. There aren’t many games left, so these head-to-head meetings are incredibly important. The Yankees won’t get a chance to control what they and their second wildcard competitors do on a given night for the rest of the year after this series. Here is the Tigers lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. 3B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltranback in the field just a few days after receiving a third cortisone shot in his elbow
  6. 2B Martin Prado
  7. SS Stephen Drew
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. LF Ichiro Suzuki
    RHP Brandon McCarthy

Bad news: there is rain in the forecast tonight. Not all night, but three or four hours worth, supposedly starting right around 7pm ET. Hopefully they rain isn’t as bad as it is supposed to be, otherwise they’ll be waiting all night to play this game. First pitch is scheduled for just after 7pm ET and you can watch on My9. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Brett Gardner (ankle) will try to run on the field before the game. If that goes well, he’ll be available off the bench.

Update (6:38pm): The game is already in the delay, it has been announced. No word on a start time just yet, but it might be a while given the forecast.

Update (7:30pm): The game is tentatively scheduled to begin at 8:15pm ET.

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BIG MIKE IS HERE

For one night only, the Yankees are in Kansas City to play a makeup game against the Royals. The two teams were rained out back in June. The Yankees have Michael Pineda on the mound making his third start since coming back off the disabled list. He is still getting stretched out, and, given the state of the bullpen, the Yankees need about seven innings out of him tonight. Hopefully the offense can give them some breathing room. Here is the Royals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. DH Carlos Beltran
  5. 2B Stephen Drew
  6. LF Martin Prado
  7. 1B Chase Headley
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 3B Zelous Wheeler
    RHP Michael Pineda

It is hot and humid in Kansas City, with temperatures in the mid-90s. Yuck. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on My9 locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Brett Gardner (ankle) feels better and hopes to be in the lineup tomorrow. He did not take batting practice today but did go through a light workout … Mark Teixeira has been dealing with a tight left hamstring the last few days but he is available off the bench tonight.

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Aug
24

Game 128: Chris vs. Chris

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(David Banks/Getty)

(David Banks/Getty)

The share a first name and they both throw with their left arm, but otherwise this afternoon’s starting pitchers could not be any more different. Yankees starter Chris Capuano is a classic veteran finesse lefty, mixing speeds and using an array of soft stuff to keep hitters off balance. White Sox starter Chris Sale is a pure power pitcher who will make hitters look foolish by both throwing fastballs by them and getting silly hacks at filthy offspeed pitches. Sale really is outstanding. One of the two or three best pitchers in the world on a rate basis.

The Yankees have won their last three games and five of their last seven overall, climbing to within 3.5 games of the second wildcard spot. Every time I’m ready to count them out, they go on a run and reel me back in. They head out on an important road trip that will pit them against the Royals and wildcard competitors Tigers this week, and it sure would be nice to go out on the trip following a sweep. Find a way to beat Sale today and move on to the super important games this coming week. Here is the White Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. SS Derek Jeter
  2. LF Martin Prado
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. DH Carlos Beltran
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. C Frankie Cervelli
  7. RF Zelous Wheeler
  8. CF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 2B Brendan Ryan
    LHP Chris Capuano

Just a few clouds in New York on an otherwise perfect afternoon for baseball. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start a bit after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Brett Gardner has a sore ankle and Jacoby Ellsbury is “pretty beat up,” so Joe Girardi is giving them both the day off against the tough lefty … Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) will throw his next simulated game on Thursday.

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Aug
22

Game 126: Almost

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(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

Three weeks ago, it looked like John Danks — tonight’s starter for the White Sox — would be wearing Yankees pinstripes in the near future. The team was connected to the left-hander in the days leading up the trade deadline but ultimately nothing came of it.

That’s not the worst thing in the world, really. Danks has not been all that good since tearing his shoulder capsule a few years ago and there’s a ton of money left on his contract. The Yankees will need some pitching for next year, but grabbing Danks just because he was available wouldn’t have been the smartest move in the world. Here is the White Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. 2B Martin Prado
  6. DH Brian McCann
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. C Frankie Cervelli
  9. RF Zelous Wheeler
    RHP Shane Greene

It’s cool and cloudy in New York, but there is no rain in the forecast tonight. For a while it looked like the weather might be a problem. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on My9. Enjoy the game.

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(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

The Yankees and Astros wrap up their three-game series this afternoon and, amazingly, the Yankees are trying to avoid getting swept. They’ve lost four of five games to Houston this year, including these last two games at home. The Yankees have lost seven of their last nine games overall and their postseason hopes are fading, but avoiding a sweep at the hands of the terrible Astros (at home!) is all about preserving some dignity, you know? I can live with missing the playoffs, but getting swept by the Astros at home is a whole other level of shame. Here is the Houston lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. 2B Martin Prado
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. C Frankie Cervelli
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. DH Zelous Wheeler
    RHP Brandon McCarthy

It’s an okay afternoon for baseball here in New York. On the cool side and overcast, and there is rain in the forecast later this afternoon. Looks like it will hold off long enough to get a full nine innings in though. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and, depending on where you live, MLB Network nationally. Try to enjoy.

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BIG MIKE IS HERE

For the first time since April 16th, 109 games ago, Michael Pineda will start for the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. He last start before hurting his back/shoulder came in Fenway Park and his first start off the disabled list came in Camden Yards. This will be his third career start in the Bronx. He’s only been a Yankee for 2.765 seasons, but who’s counting? Here is the Astros lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. SS Stephen Drew
  8. 2B Martin Prado
  9. RF Ichiro Suzuki
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s a little cloudy in New York but there is no rain in the forecast, so that’s good. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 7pm ET and you can watch live on YES. Enjoy.

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