Archive for Game Threads

Sep
09

Game 142: Last Gasp

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(Elsa/Getty)

(Elsa/Getty)

Including tonight, there are only 21 games left in the season. The Yankees are five games back of the second wildcard spot with three teams ahead of them, so sneaking into the postseason will be a daunting task. After dropping three of their last four series, winning this one against the Rays is a must if they want to play meaningful games beyond this coming weekend. Here is the Rays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. DH Carlos Beltran
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. LF Chris Young
    RHP Hiroki Kuroda

It is cool, humid, and cloudy in New York, but there is not rain in the forecast tonight. Well, no substantial rain. Maybe some drizzle but nothing more. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on My9. Enjoy the game.

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Sep
07

Game 141: Derek Jeter Day

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(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

It’s hard to believe today is Derek Jeter‘s retirement ceremony. I still remember when he just came up as a rookie. It feels like … not that long ago, really. But man, it has been a long time since then. A long time with lots of hits, lots of championships, and lots of awesome moments. I think my all-time favorite Jeter moment is the Flip Play because it was so unexpected — what in the world was he doing there? You never see a shortstop on that part of the field. What a tremendously heads up play in a season-saving game.

I don’t think the Yankees will retire No. 2 this afternoon — they haven’t said anything about the ceremony, it’s all a secret — and will instead save it for sometime in the future. Just a hunch. Retiring No. 42 for Mariano Rivera last year was a special case because it was already retired. I’m sure the team will give him some amazing gifts and there will be a few great speeches, and I’m sure there will be something unexpectedly awesome as well. Like Metallica showing up for Mo’s ceremony. Something like that but obviously not exactly that.

Today’s ceremony will begin at 12:30pm ET, according to the Yankees. You’ll be able to watch on YES locally and TBS nationally, plus I believe it will be streamed online at MLB.com. Maybe even MLB.tv too. Joe Torre, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Hideki Matsui, Gerald Williams, and Tim Raines are among the confirmed special guests, plus there are a bunch of others who have not been announced. Rumor has it Michael Jordan will be in the house. He was at the U.S. Open yesterday, so if nothing else, he is in town at the moment.

As for this afternoon’s game, it is scheduled to begin at 1:35pm ET and, again, you can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. It is also the free MLB.tv game of the day. Here is the Royals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

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

It was overcast all morning but the weather cleared up wonderfully for the afternoon — temperatures in the upper-70s and lots of sunshine. Perfect weather for the ceremony. Enjoy the day.

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Sep
06

Game 140: Crunch Time

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(Presswire)

(Presswire)

So this is it. If the Yankees are going to make a run at the second wildcard spot –they are 4.5 games back with three teams ahead of them — it has to start today. There are 23 games remaining and I’d say they need to go at least 17-6 to have a shot at the postseason. Does this team have a 17-6 run in it? It’s hard to believe having watched them all year but stranger things have happened. The 1995 Yankees went 19-4 in their last 23 games to sneak into the postseason, remember. Here is the Royals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. 2B Martin Prado
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. LF Zelous Wheeler
  8. SS Brendan Ryan
  9. C John Ryan Murphy
    RHP Brandon McCarthy

It’s hot and cloudy in New York, and there are scattered storms in the forecast just about all afternoon and evening. Who really knows with the weather, but it sure looks like it could impact the game at some point today. First pitch is scheduled for a bit after 4pm ET and you can watch only on Fox Sports1. There is no YES broadcast. Here are the Fox Sports1 television listings. Enjoy the game.

Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) threw his bullpen session as scheduled and everything went fineJoe Girardi said Frankie Cervelli is dealing with migraines unrelated to his concussion history. Austin Romine was officially called up.

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BIG MIKE IS HERE

Am I the only one who finds myself looking forward to Michael Pineda starts more than anything right now? I can’t be, right? I mean, Shane Greene and Brandon McCarthy are cool, so is Hiroki Kuroda, but Big Mike is the star of the pitching show. He’s been awesome just about every time out this year. Hoping to see more of the same tonight. Here is the Royals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

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

It’s warm and humid in New York this evening, but the sky is clear and there is no rain in the forecast. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Martin Prado (hamstring) did some more running and baseball activities but obviously is not back in the lineup just yet. He said he hopes to be available to pinch-hit tonight.

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Sep
04

Game 138: Rubber Game

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(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

For the third straight series, the Yankees have split the first two games with their opponent. They then lost the third game of the series to both the Tigers and Blue Jays last week. Tonight the Yankees have a chance to win their first series in more than a week if they can manage to beat the Red Sox in tonight’s rubber game. Boston has all but checked out for the season already, but that doesn’t make them a push-over. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

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

It’s another great night for baseball in New York. Clear sky and warm but not too hot or humid. Nice night to spend at the park. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending on where you live. Enjoy the game.

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Sep
03

Game 137: Back At It

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(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Last night did not go well for the Yankees at all. They didn’t pitch well and they couldn’t get out of their own way offensively. But this is baseball, and they’re back at it tonight with a chance to win. Both my favorite and least favorite thing about baseball is that they play every single day. Forget about last night and get back in the win column tonight. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

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

It’s much nicer in New York today than it has been the last few days. Cooler and not nearly as humid, with just a few clouds. Nice night for baseball. Tonight’s game will start a little after 7pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy the game.

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Sep
02

Game 136: Rivalry

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(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

Yay, Yankees-Red Sox. Yay. The rivalry has definitely lost some luster through the years and that has been especially true this season, with the Red Sox quickly falling out of the contention and the Yankees slowly fading in the standings. Is it better to burn out or fade away? I’m thinking fade away. I prefer to have a September baseball game make me feel something other than complete indifference.

Anyway, the Yankees start a nice nine-game, ten-day homestand tonight, and they’re going to need to win about seven of the nine games to have a chance at the second wildcard spot. That probably won’t happen, but that’s okay. It’s worth a try though. Boston is out of it and they’ve been playing terribly of late, so let’s start the homestand off on the right foot. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

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

It is crazy hot and humid in New York. The sky is nice and blue, but I wouldn’t exactly call this weather comfortable. It’s like standing in soup. This evening’s game will begin at 7:05 pm ET, and you can watch on either YES locally or MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game, everyone.

Updates: In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees called up eight players now that rosters have expanded in September … tests came back clean on Masahiro Tanaka‘s sore arm and he has been diagnosed with fatigue … Ellsbury’s big week earned him AL Player of the Week honors.

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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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