Archive for Game Threads

BIG MIKE IS HERE

Masahiro Tanaka and the offense set the tone last night. Tonight, Michael Pineda is charged with keeping it going and helping the Yankees to a third straight win. He is facing the Red Sox for the second time in less than two weeks, the first time a team will get a second look at him this year. How much will that matter? The element of surprise is a very real thing, but it’s not like Pineda relies on tricking hitters to succeed. The element of surprise means a little less to him, I think.

Anyway, Brett Gardner returns to the starting lineup tonight at a new position: right field. He has never played the position in his career (minors or Majors) aside from a handful of innings in Spring Training. This allows the Yankees to play their weakest outfield defender in tiny left field while their two strongest cover the bigger parts of the park. I like it. Given all the shifts the Yankees have employed this year, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised the team is thinking outside the box defensively. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. LF Alfonso Soriano
  7. RF Brett Gardner
  8. 2B Brian Roberts
  9. 3B Kelly Johnson
    RHP Michael Pineda

Remember all that talk about rain last night? Forget it. It’s not raining in Boston but it is chilly and very windy. The balls might be flying out of the park tonight. Either that or being held in. We’ll find out soon enough. Tonight’s game will start at 7pm ET and will be broadcast on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy the game.

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Apr
22

Game 20: Tanaka takes Fenway

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(Presswire)

(Presswire)

This game is a Very Big Deal. Or at least that’s what we’ll hear all night (and all series, really) because it is Masahiro Tanaka‘s first career start in Fenway Park. Everything is bigger when it comes to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and acting like mid-April games are more meaningful than they really are is part of it. It’s kind of annoying but whatever. Annoying if the Yankees lose, anyway.

David Robertson is back off the 15-day DL and he will be a huge boost to a bullpen that was started to get a little exposed late last week. Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren did fine jobs as the interim closer and setup man, respectively, but now they’ll be pitching one inning earlier. It’s not necessarily the ninth inning that improves with Robertson back, it’s the middle innings, the sixth and seventh. Re-adding an elite reliever the roster has a trickle-down effect. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. C Brian McCann
  7. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 2B Brian Roberts
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is cloudy and warm in Boston, plus it’s supposed to start raining later tonight and continue right through to tomorrow night. Doesn’t looking like it will be a problem for tonight’s game unless it goes to extra innings. Tomorrow is another matter, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET, and you can watch the game on My9 and MLB Network. Enjoy.

Rotation Update: As expected, Joe Girardi announced Vidal Nuno will get another start following Ivan Nova‘s elbow injury. He’s scheduled to start Saturday against the Angels.

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Apr
20

Game 19: Win it for Ivan

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(Brian Blanco/Getty)

(Brian Blanco/Getty)

These last two days have been really rough on the Yankees. The Rays blew them out twice and decimated their bullpen in the process, all leading up to today’s spot start by Vidal Nuno. He hasn’t pitched in 12 days. Joe Girardi said he will be happy if they get 75 pitches out of him this afternoon, so the bullpen will be pressed into duty again.

Thankfully, the Yankees are off tomorrow and they will have a chance to catch their breath. These last two days have been pretty rough. Grabbing a win to earn a series split and halt the little losing streak before the off-day would make for a pretty good Sunday afternoon. Things are pretty hectic right now but they aren’t as bad as it seems. Here is the Rays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. DH Alfonso Soriano
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  7. LF Brett Gardner
  8. 2B Brian Roberts
  9. C John Ryan Murphy
    LHP Vidal Nuno

It’s hot and humid in the Tampa area, but there’s no rain. Doesn’t really matter though. Tropicana Field has a dome. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40pm ET and you can watch live on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Roster Moves: As expected, Mark Teixeira (hamstring) was activated off the 15-day DL while both Preston Claiborne and Bryan Mitchell were called up. To make room on the roster, Ivan Nova (elbow) was placed on the 15-day DL, Scott Sizemore was optioned to Triple-A, and Matt Daley was designated for assignment.

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Apr
19

Game 18: Start A New Streak

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(Scott Iskowitz/Getty)

(Scott Iskowitz/Getty)

The five-game winning streak came to an end last night thanks to a rather spectacular bullpen meltdown. Oh well. That’s going to happen from time to time. The Yankees have lost consecutive games just twice this season — first two games to the Astros then two games to the Orioles — and to avoid their third set tonight they will have to overcome what feels like a pitching disadvantage.

Ivan Nova has been New York’s worst starter this season — it feels like he has not had a single easy inning yet — but his last start was his best, so hopefully he’s heading the right direction. Rays righty Chris Archer has been good this year but his last start was his worst, a seven-run beatdown. He crushed the Yankees in three starts last season, though that was completely different lineup. I’m not sure his history against the Bombers means much of anything. Here is the Rays lineup and here is Joe Girardi‘s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. RF Alfonso Soriano
  6. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  7. 1B Kelly Johnson
  8. 2B Brian Roberts
  9. SS Dean Anna
    RHP Ivan Nova

It is warm, humid and raining in St. Petersburg. The Tropicana Field roof will take care of all that though. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Mark Teixeira Update: Teixeira (hamstring) played seven innings in an Extended Spring Training game this morning, his third straight day of game action. He is eligible to be activated off the 15-day DL tomorrow and he insists he is ready.

David Robertson Update: Robertson (groin) threw 16 pitches and faced five batters in an ExST game. He is eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Tuesday and the expectation is that he will indeed be activated.

Rotation Update: As expected, Joe Girardi confirmed Vidal Nuno will start tomorrow’s game. There’s a pretty good chance he will then be shipped to Triple-A Scranton before the team’s next game to clear a rotation spot for Robertson.

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Apr
18

Game 17: Go For Six

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(Brian Blanco/Getty)

(Brian Blanco/Getty)

The Yankees have won five games in a row (six of their last seven!) and they’ve done it with offense, with pitching, and with defense. One phase of the game is not carrying them, it’s all three. Unlike last April, when the team played well but it felt like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop for certain players (Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner, specifically), this year’s success feels far more sustainable. I can’t be the only who feels like that, right?

Anyway, Carlos Beltran is not in tonight’s lineup after tumbling over the right field wall in foul territory last night. According to the various beat writers on the scene, Beltran had an MRI on both his wrist and shoulder and everything came back clean. He is sore though, and he will skip batting practice today and instead receive treatment. Beltran hopes to play tomorrow but Joe Girardi is fond of giving players that one extra day when they’re banged up. We’ll see. Here is the Rays lineup and here’s the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. DH Alfonso Soriano
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 2B Yangervis Solarte
  7. 1B Kelly Johnson
  8. 3B Scott Sizemore
  9. RF Ichiro Suzuki
    RHP Hiroki Kuroda

It is hot, humid, and pouring in St. Pete tonight, but none of that matters because of Tropicana Field. It’ll be a climate-controlled 72 degrees (or thereabouts) for tonight’s game whether you like it or not. First pitch is scheduled for just after 7pm ET and you can watch live on YES and, depending on where you live, MLB Network. Enjoy the game.

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Apr
16

Game 15: Two of Two

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BIG MIKE IS HERE

The Yankees shut out the Cubs in the first game of today’s doubleheader earlier this afternoon, and now they will try to finish off the quick two-game sweep before hitting the road for a seven-game, eight-day road trip through Tampa and Boston. The Yankees have played seven doubleheaders at the new Yankee Stadium and they’ve swept five, splitting the other two.

Derek Jeter and his sore quad return to the lineup tonight, and Michael Pineda returns to the mound for the first time since his whole pine tar incident. It’s a no-win situation. If he pitches well, it’s because he’s hiding the pine tar somewhere else. If he pitches poorly, it’s because he wasn’t able to use the pine tar. The columns and blog posts practically write themselves. Once again, here is the Cubs lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. 2B Yangervis Solarte
  6. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  7. 3B Scott Sizemore
  8. 1B Kelly Johnson
  9. C John Ryan Murphy
    RHP Michael Pineda

It was sunny but cold for this afternoon’s game and it’ll be even colder tonight. Clear skies, otherwise. Both the Yankees and Cubs will wear #42 jerseys in honor of Jackie Robinson tonight since yesterday’s game (when everyone else wore #42) was rained out. There will be a little pregame ceremony honoring Robinson and Nelson Mandela as well. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and you can watch on My9 locally and MLB Network nationally. First My9 game of 2014. It’s officially baseball season. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: The Yankees have recalled right-hander Shane Greene as the 26th man for today’s doubleheader, the team announced. I didn’t think they were allowed to call anyone up because the doubleheader was not scheduled 48 hours in advance. Whatever. By rule, Greene has to go back to Triple-A following the game.

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Apr
16

Game 14: One of Two

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(Presswire)

(Presswire)

The Yankees and Cubs were rained out last night, so they will play both games of their two-game series today. There’s something about these little two-game interleague series getting rained out, it seems. Remember last season when the first game against the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium was rained out and they played a doubleheader the next day? Weird. The Yankees will be visiting Wrigley Field later this summer, if you’re wondering.

Derek Jeter is not in this afternoon’s lineup, but don’t worry. He and his sore quad are fine. Joe Girardi confirmed the Cap’n will play the second game of the doubleheader against left-hander Travis Wood. They weren’t going to play Jeter in both games today, so playing him against the southpaw makes sense. Both Girardi and Jeter said the quad is a non-issue at this point. I guess four straight days off really helped. Here is the Cubs lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Carlos Beltran
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. DH Alfonso Soriano
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 2B Yangervis Solarte
  7. 1B Kelly Johnson
  8. SS Dean Anna
  9. 3B Scott Sizemore
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

With Tanaka starting today and Michael Pineda starting tonight, I’m not sure we’re going to see a more exciting pitching day all season. It’s like baseball Christmas morning.

It rained all day yesterday and I even saw some snow flurries last night, but it is sunny out today. Just really cold. There is no threat of rain or anything, so they’ll get both games in without a problem. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

David Robertson Update: Robertson (groin) is scheduled to throw off a mound on Thursday, his first time doing so since getting hurt. He still plans on being activated when eligible next Tuesday. [Sweeny Murti]

Mark Teixeira Update: Teixeira (hamstring) has left the team and is rehabbing in Tampa. Girardi said he isn’t sure when he will get into minor league rehab games, however. [Anthony McCarron]

Brian Roberts Update: Roberts has a lower back strain and is on medication. He feels better and could play today if needed, but Girardi said he will try to stay away from him. [Bryan Hoch]

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Apr
13

Game 13: Win, Then Rest

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(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees have assured themselves of at least a split of this four-game series with the Red Sox. Tonight they have a chance to win three of four and feel really, really good about themselves during tomorrow’s off-day. Picking up seven wins while starting the year with 13 games in 13 days would be pretty good, especially since Mark Teixeira, David Robertson, and now Derek Jeter are all hurt. Doesn’t sound like Jeter’s injury is serious, however.

Though the first two turns of the rotation, Ivan Nova has been the team’s worst starter. He was able to battle through his first start despite big time control problems, but he had no such luck last time out, surrendering seven runs on ten hits in 3.2 innings. This game is as good as any to turn things around. The only reason the Yankees don’t have one of the best rotations in baseball right now is Nova’s rough start and CC Sabathia‘s one bad inning syndrome.

Adam Warren has pitched each of the last two days, three times in the last four days, and five times in the last seven days, so I’m pretty sure he won’t be available tonight. David Phelps and Vidal Nuno, who had extended outings in recent days, should be good to go by now. So yeah, would be nice if Nova pitches deep into the game and the offense puts up a crooked number or two. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Carlos Beltran
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. DH Alfonso Soriano
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 2B Yangervis Solarte
  7. 3B Kelly Johnson
  8. 1B Frankie Cervelli
  9. SS Dean Anna
    RHP Ivan Nova

It is cloudy and cool in New York tonight, so a lovely night for baseball. No potential rain or anything like that. First pitch is scheduled for 8pm ET and you’ll be able to watch this one on ESPN. Enjoy.

Teixeira Update: Teixeira (hamstring) hit on the field for the first time today. Joe Girardi said he is unsure when his first baseman will begin a minor league rehab assignment, however. [Meredith Marakovits]

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Apr
12

Game 12: Turn The Page

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(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees lost a disappointing game to the Red Sox last night, but the quick turn-around means they can turn the page right away and focus on today’s game. I suspect these guys don’t have any problems turning the page anyway. Veteran team, been there, done that, yadda yadda yadda. There’s no time to dwell on anything in this sport.

The one thing I enjoy about this current Yankees team is that just about every day, they’re sending a quality starting pitcher to the mound. That hasn’t always been the case the last few years and really the last ten or twelve years. Hiroki Kuroda gets the nod this afternoon and, despite being the team’s best pitcher the last two seasons, he might only be their third best starter right now. That’s kinda cool. Kuroda has been excellent at Yankee Stadium and I sure would like that to continue this afternoon. Here is the Red Sox lineup he’ll face and the Yankees lineup that will back him up:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 2B Brian Roberts
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. DH Carlos Beltran
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Alfonso Soriano
  7. 1B Kelly Johnson
  8. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  9. SS Dean Anna
    RHP Hiroki Kuroda

It rained a little bit this morning but not much, and the forecast for this afternoon is gorgeous. Sunny with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Temperatures approaching 70 too. That’s awesome. This afternoon’s game will air on YES (not FOX) and begin shortly after 1pm ET. Enjoy.

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Apr
11

Game 11: Before the Rain

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(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees started this long, four-game weekend series against the Red Sox well with last night’s win, and tonight they have a chance to guarantee at least a split. Once you do that, you can start to get greedy. CC Sabathia is on the mound and the Red Sox have not been kind to him over the years, especially last season, when their MLB-best offense contributed to his career-worst season with 56 base-runners and 23 runs in 28.2 innings. Yikes.

The weather in New York has been pretty nice all day, but some clouds started to roll in this afternoon and the forecast calls for rain later this evening. It might be an issue in the later innings. This could be one of those “get the lead early and hope you have it when the rain shows up” games, because once it does show up, it isn’t supposed to stop until tomorrow morning. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. SS Derek Jeter
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. DH Alfonso Soriano
  5. C Frankie Cervelli
  6. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  7. LF Ichiro Suzuki
  8. 2B Brian Roberts
  9. 1B Kelly Johnson
    LHP CC Sabathia

Like I said, there is some rain in the forecast later tonight. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET and you can watch the game live on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Depending on where you live, of course.

Injury Updates: The Yankees expect to have Mark Teixeira (hamstring) back sometime before May 1st. It is doubtful Brendan Ryan will make it back that soon, however. [Bryan Hoch]

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