After the Rays rallied to the tie Saturday afternoon’s game in the seventh inning, it sure felt like the Yankees were headed for another ugly come-from-ahead loss. Instead, Derek Jeter came through with a huge hit in the ninth inning and the Bombers snapped their five-game losing streak. They beat the Rays by the score of 3-2 in the second game of the series. Let’s recap the sorely needed win:
- Two Strikes, Two Outs, Two Runs: The Yankees scored a total of seven runs during the five-game losing streak, so going up 2-0 in the second inning felt like a minor miracle. Drew Smyly got two quick outs in the second before walking Chase Headley, allowing him to steal second base, then catching way too much of the plate with an 0-2 pitch to Martin Prado. Prado yanked it out to left for a two-run homer, his second dinger in pinstripes.
- Greene Machine: Once again, Shane Greene was outstanding. He didn’t get a decision because of defensive funny business and spotty bullpen work, but he struck out ten and held the Rays to two runs in six innings. At one point he retired nine in a row. Greene threw 102 pitches and got 18 swings and misses, which is awesome. Had Headley taken the out at first on Kevin Kiermaier’s bunt in the seventh (no outs were recorded), maybe Greene escapes with only one run allowed. Either way, he was excellent, much better than the pitching line indicates.
- Late Innings: I’m not quite sure why Joe Girardi went to Shawn Kelley two on and no outs (and a one-run lead) in the seventh instead of Dellin Betances, who threw the eighth once the score was tied, but it happened and it helped the Rays tie the game. The Yankees retook the lead in the top of the ninth thanks to a big error by Logan Forsythe, who threw a ball into the stands on Brett Gardner‘s infield single. Gardner would have been safe anyway, but the error allowed him to advance to second. Jeter tried to bunt him to third, failed, then laced a two-strike single to right against the hard-throwing and awesome Jake McGee to score the go-ahead run. Huge hit. Game-winning hit.
- Leftovers: David Robertson, who has not pitched in nine days, retired the side in order in the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances … Mark Teixeira had two singles while Gardner (single), Jeter (single), Prado (homer), Frankie Cervelli (double), and Brendan Ryan (single) had one hit apiece … Headley drew the only walk. He’s reached base in 20 of his 22 games as a Yankee … technically, the bullpen was perfect, nine up and nine down. Kelley did allow an inherited runner to score with two ground outs though.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles lost and the Tigers won, so the Yankees are seven games back in the AL East and four games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 8.6%. The Yankees and Rays will wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon, when Hiroki Kuroda and Jeremy Hellickson get the ball.
OF Tyler Austin made the In The Team Photo section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. In other news, Chris Cotillo says RHP Chris Leroux cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A. He was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the roster for Michael Pineda the other day.
Triple-A Scranton (9-4 win over Pawtucket)
- LF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 R, 2 BB
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — 13-for-38 (.342) in his last nine games
- CF Zoilo Almonte: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
- 1B Kyle Roller: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
- 3B Zelous Wheeler: 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
- LHP Nik Turley: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 3/5 GB/FB — 52 of 99 pitches were strikes … 39/36 K/BB in 50.1 innings
- SwP Pat Venditte: 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/0 GB/FB – 31 of 46 pitches were strikes (67%)
After a throwing program, a setback, and another throwing program, Carlos Beltran returns to right field today for the first time since May 11th. A bone spur in his throwing elbow limited him to DH duties over the last three months.
I’m not sure playing the defensively challenged Beltran in the outfield actually helps the Yankees, but this is year one of a three-year deal, so if they can avoid sticking him at DH full-time, they should do it. You can bet the Rays will test his arm this afternoon. Here is Tampa’s lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- DH Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- 2B Martin Prado
- C Frankie Cervelli
- SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Shane Greene
The Tropicana Field roof is coming in handy this series because it’s raining again in St. Petersburg. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 4pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and Fox Sports1 nationally. Here are the Fox Sports1 channel listings. Try to enjoy the game.
Injury Update: Brian McCann (concussion) is expected to be activated off the 7-day disabled list and play in tomorrow’s series finale. He is not active today.
As expected, Masahiro Tanaka threw 25 fastballs in the bullpen this afternoon, his first time throwing off a mound since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament in early-July. “Today I was able to throw the way I wanted to,” he said to Marly Rivera. “I felt very good and all is headed in the right direction.”
According to Rivera, pitching coach Larry Rothschild cautioned they have to “see how he feels in a few days” before deciding on the next step. Tanaka indicated he would like to throw breaking balls next time out. Rothschild also said the “way the team plays has no impact on his rehab, cause it’s not worth it,” and he’s right. The Yankees have to do what’s best for Tanaka long-term and not grasp at the last straws of contention by rushing him back. · (33) ·
What’s this? We’re plugging our shop again? (And it’s still not done?) Yep. Blame the lack of afternoon baseball. Again, you can click the banner to check out the bare bones store, or use the links below to buy Yanks gear at the following shops:
Thank you again for all of your support.
Via Joel Sherman: The Yankees are viewed as “major players” for Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo. They are said to like him more as a second baseman while most teams view him as an outfielder. The 27-year-old Castillo is finished with private workouts and is currently sorting through contract offers. He could sign as soon as next week.
According to Sherman, teams have a lot of urgency to get Castillo signed quickly for a few reasons. One, needs a work visa and they want to start that process as soon as possible. Two, he has to be in the organization by August 31st to be postseason eligible. Three, there is a little more than two weeks left in the minor league season and teams want Castillo to get in as many games as possible before considering him for a September call-up. The Yankees should be focused on 2015 at this point, so if they’re going to sign Castillo, the sooner they get him into the organization the better. · (269) ·
Make it five straight losses to both the Rays and all teams in general. The Yankees were shut out 5-0 by Tampa in their series opener on Friday night as the offense continues to fold like a lawn chair during what was an important stretch of the season. Now it doesn’t look like there will be many important games left this year.
I missed tonight’s game and I ain’t mad about it. I’ve been told Brandon McCarthy was once again solid, falling victim to some shaky defense early and broken bat bloopers late. He was around the plate all night, throwing 84 of his 110 pitches for strikes (76%) and a first pitch strike to 23 of 28 batters faced. Seven strikeouts, ten ground ball outs, and two fly ball outs. That’s work just fine. McCarthy isn’t part of the problem.
The offense put one runner at third base all night, and that came with one out in the eighth inning, after they were already down four runs. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira, aka the three-four hitters, both struck out with the bases loaded to squash that rally. The Yankees actually had the leadoff man reach base in five innings, so I guess that means they made Alex Cobb work hard? Based on his pitching line, it doesn’t look like it.
Derek Jeter and Teixeira both had two hits while Chase Headley, Frankie Cervelli, and Drew had one each. Brett Gardner drew the only walk. Esmil Rogers came out of the bullpen and served up a solo homer to James Loney — apparently he tried to quick-pitch him — for the Rays’ totally unnecessary fifth run. The Yankees have scored seven runs during the five-game losing streak, two of which scored when Manny Machado hit Carlos Beltran in the head with a throw.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are now eight games back in the AL East and 4.5 games back to Robinson Cano‘s Mariners for the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 5.8% and shrinking. They’ll try to score a run or two against lefty Drew Smyly during Saturday afternoon’s probable loss. Shane Greene will be on the bump for the Yankees.
Minor League Update: All of the night’s box scores can be seen in one place at MLB Farm. RHP Bryan Mitchell struck out three in five shutout innings, OF Tyler Austin had two doubles and a single, LHP Jacob Lindgren struck out five in two scoreless innings, and C Luis Torrens doubled. Not much else to see there.
The last four days for the Yankees have gone heart-breaking loss, off-day, heart-breaking loss, off-day. That pattern needs to change tonight. I’m not really in the mood for another soul-crushing loss to a division rival. Besides, the Yankees do still have a chance to win the second wildcard spot, albeit a small one. It would be nice to see them stay in the hunt a little longer to keep things interesting. Here is the Rays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- 2B Stephen Drew
- RF Martin Prado
- C Frankie Cervelli
RHP Brandon McCarthy
It’s humid as hell and pouring in St. Petersburg, so good thing Tropicana Field has a roof. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Metal detectors will be in place and operation at the various Yankee Stadium entrances starting August 19th, the Yankees announced. There will be MLB-mandated metal detectors at every ballpark starting next season. Fans who opt not to go through the walk-through metal detector can be checked manually with a wand. Here is the full press release. We’re all going to have to start getting to the ballpark a little earlier than usual. Not a fan of this, but it is what it is. · (45) ·