Castro’s home run rescues the Yankees from no-no, leads to a 2-1 win over the Rays

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

As Drake said, that went from 0 to 100 real quick. The Yankees were no-hit for 6.1 innings by Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, but Starlin Castro‘s two-run homer gave them a lead for good. Nathan Eovaldi was awarded with a win for his good outing and the Yankee bullpen arms did their thing to shut the game down. It’s the weekend so let’s do this bullet-style.

  • Rays Strike First: With two outs and Brandon Guyer at third, Eovaldi surrendered an RBI single to Evan Longoria on a 88 mph splitter in the third. He got into more trouble in the fifth. With one out, Curt Casali reached to first on a bobble by Castro and a call overturned by replay. Guyer followed it up by hitting a hanging curve into the left field warning track for a double. With runners on second and third however, Nate induced a harmless foul territory fly out from Brad Miller for the second out. Longoria gave it a ride to right field but the ball fell into Aaron Hicks‘ glove right in front of the wall to end the inning. Imagine if that was hit a smidge better, we could be talking about a 4-0 Rays lead.
  • Nasty Nate: Okay, enough talking about the bad parts of Eovaldi’s start; he actually pitched pretty well overall. In 6 IP, he struck out 7, allowed 2 walks and 1 ER. His ERA is now at 3.71 and his FIP and xFIP don’t look shabby either (3.53 and 3.37 respectively). He had a shaky start to this season but Eovaldi’s settled down pretty well in the month of May. For awhile though, it looked like he was being outmatched by Odorizzi, who was perfect through the first 5.1 innings. Until…
  • No More Perfecto: The Yankees broke up the perfecto in the sixth … or, really, the Rays let it go. Dustin Ackley hit a grounder to SS Brad Miller and he double clutched the ball before throwing. Umpires declared Ackley safe on the initial call. The Rays challenged it and after review, the  umpsstood by it. That’s one way to get a baserunner on, right? The play was ruled an error, not a hit. Ronald Torreyes followed with a double play to end the sixth.
  • Taking The Lead: The Yankees were still being no hit heading into the seventh. With one out, Brett Gardner worked a seven-pitch walk to get on base. On a 1-0 count, Castro got a 91 mph fastball right down the middle and didn’t miss any of it. Upon contact, both him and Odorizzi knew it was out – and they weren’t wrong. 2-1 Yankees. That was also the Yankees’ only hit of the day. As our Katie Sharp noted, this was the team’s first win with only one hit in a nine-inning game since at least 1913.
  • Shutdown Bullpen: As soon as the Yanks took the lead in the seventh (with Eovaldi already having thrown 105 pitches), you knew this was going to happen: the Dellin BetancesAndrew MillerAroldis Chapman formula. The three relievers threw three perfect innings with seven K’s. Each of them threw less than 15 pitches too. Simply dominant. Also, as Mike noted, the Yankees had pitchers with insane velocity readings all day.

Here’s today’s box score, video highlights, WPA and updated standings. The Yankees are going to Toronto for a three-game series with the Blue Jays next. Ivan Nova and Marco Estrada will be on the mound Monday.


Source: FanGraphs

DotF: Luis Severino throws three scoreless innings in first rehab game

Two quick notes:

  • IF Deibinson Romero has been released, according to Shane Hennigan. The move clears a roster spot for RHP Brady Lail, who was technically called up from Double-A Trenton. Lail never actually left Scranton though. He was between starts and it was a paper move to temporarily clear a roster spot for LHP Phil Coke last week.
  • 3B Miguel Andujar whacked two home runs yesterday and that landed him in today’s Prospect Report. As always, the Prospect Report is free. It’s not behind the Baseball America paywall. Make sure you check it out.

High-A Tampa (6-4 win over Brevard County)

  • 2B Jorge Mateo: 0-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • SS Abi Avelino: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-5, 2 K
  • DH Austin Aune: 1-5, 1 RBI, 3 K — leads the farm system with 59 strikeouts (33.1 K%)
  • RF Jake Skole: 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — five homers in 34 games for the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft … his career high is nine homers in 124 games back in 2011
  • RHP Luis Severino: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 27 of 43 pitches were strikes (63%) … Joe Girardi told reporters Severino was scheduled for 45-50 pitches or so, which indicates he’ll be making more than one rehab start … we know Severino can dominate at this level, so I wouldn’t focus on the numbers much … the important thing is that he’s healthy
  • RHP Gabe Encinas: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 1/0 GB/FB — 24 of 45 pitches were strikes (53%) … 8/18 K/BB in 14.1 innings this year
  • RHP Jordan Foley: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 of 22 pitches were strikes (55%) … 32/15 K/BB in 24.2 innings

[Read more…]

Sunday Open Thread

Here’s the open thread for the rest of the weekend. The Mets and Dodgers are the ESPN Sunday Night game (Colon vs. Kershaw), and that’s pretty much it tonight. Talk about that game, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Game 49: Rubber Game

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

By my quick count, the Yankees have played 12 three-game series this season, and even with that recent 13-7 stretch, they’ve won only four of those 12 series. Yikes. Today’s rubber game with the Rays is a chance for series win No. 5, and also a chance to get back within a game of .500. Baby steps, I guess. Getting a little tired of writing that. Anyway, here is the Rays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. RF Aaron Hicks
  8. 1B Dustin Ackley
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

Another hot and humid day in St. Pete, and there’s some rain in the forecast too. The dome will come in handy this afternoon. Today’s series finale will begin at 1:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX locally and MLB Network nationally. Yep, another WPIX game. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Carlos Beltran left yesterday’s game with a stiff back and is available today. Joe Girardi said before the series he wasn’t going to play Beltran on the turf all three games anyway … Mark Teixeira (neck) feels much better and will take batting practice today with an eye on playing tomorrow.

Looking Ahead

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

There comes a day when you rectify the team you are with the team you want to be; the Yankees can’t seem to make the two things coexist.

On the good side of things, the Yankees lead the American League in both strikeout percentage and walk rate from the mound. They’ve also got a respectable 91 FIP- and a 100 ERA-, suggesting their pitching may still have some room to grow. On the bad side of things, the Yankees have scored the second fewest runs in the AL, just eight more than the lowly Twins. Their 88 wRC+ is also the second worst in the Junior Circuit, just two points ahead of the trailing Twins.

(Stephen Lam/Getty)
(Stephen Lam/Getty)

As Memorial Day is generally the first ‘mile marker’ of the year, today’s as good a time as any to look at the road ahead by reflecting on the road behind. One way of doing that is heading over to FanGraphs and checking out the playoff odds section, which lets you sort by a few things. In the spirit of looking back, here are the Yankees’ playoff odds based on their season to date stats. A 3.9% chance to win the division. An 8.7% chance to win the wild card. Those don’t look good, obviously, thanks to the poor performances the Yankees have turned in at the plate. Bounce backs from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez would help those numbers creep up, but they’re still fairly low.

If we decide to be more fair to the team and acknowledge the uncharacteristically bad performance at the plate, we can go peek at the playoff odds using rest of season projections instead. Those numbers look a little better–4.5% for the division and 16.4% for the wild card–but they still aren’t anything spectacular.

Their deficits in both the AL East and wild card standings–5.5 and 4.5 games respectively–are not insurmountable, especially considering it’s not quite yet June. But in the AL East, the Yankees have three teams to brush aside, including the first place Red Sox. In the wild card, it’s six teams, including the leading Orioles and Rangers. Allowing for some dramatics, the day of reckoning is fast approaching for the Yankees.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

At some point soon–maybe by mid-June–they need to make a decision, and an honest one at that. This is something the Yankees have struggled with in recent years, but hopefully it’s something they put some earnest reflection into over the next few weeks. Their playoff odds are bad. The team is flawed in multiple ways. Fighting or a five hundred record or to be ‘in it’ in the last week of the season with some vague, outside, puncher’s chance at the second wild card is not worth it. There are still enough valid pieces on this team that can contribute to next year which can be properly bolstered by jettisoning the right assets.

A smart man who used to comment ’round these parts used to say that the Yankees are a win now and win later team and the Yankees need to focus on the latter at this point in the season. Trade some of the present for some of the future and be honest about it with the fans. Trusting that the fans can handle an honest to goodness rebuild is something the Yankee brass has been reluctant to do, but there’s no better time to start than now. It’s not likely this team is going anywhere in 2016 and preparing for 2017 is the responsible thing to do.

Pineda pounded yet again, Yankees fall 9-5 to Rays


Source: FanGraphs

Man I hope this season doesn’t turn into a series of “the Yankees are trying to get back to .500″ games, but I fear that’s where they’re heading. They lost Saturday afternoon’s game 9-5 to the Rays to fall to 23-25 on the season. It’s a Saturday, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • Pineda Pounded: After allowing six runs in 3.2 innings Saturday afternoon, Michael Pineda now ranks 102nd out of 102 qualified starters with a 6.92 ERA. Dead last. He’s 83rd with a 4.62 FIP. Pineda has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season if not the worst, and he should not make his next start. But he will. Joe Girardi confirmed the Yankees haven’t discussed pulling Pineda from the rotation even though they were down 5-0 after two innings Saturday. Pineda’s been miserable. Stick him in the bullpen for a while and hope something clicks in mop-up duty.
  • Five Runs Should Be Enough: The Yankees did not go quietly Saturday. They scratched out a run in the fourth (Carlos Beltran solo homer) and rallied for two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Nine of the 15 batters they sent to the plate those two innings reached base, and Austin Romine had a pair of run-scoring singles. Alex Rodriguez struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh, and really, that was the end of the comeback. It was their best chance to get back into the game down 9-3. Five runs should be enough to win most days. They weren’t Saturday.
  • Cessa Impresses: Thanks to Pineda’s short start, Luis Cessa got his first extended outing at the big league level, and he looked pretty good. He did miss terribly with a 3-1 fastball that Hank Conger hit out of the park, but overall Cessa allowed one run on three hits and a walk in four innings. He fanned three, got six swings and misses out of 53 total pitches (11.3%), and ran his fastball up to 97.8 mph per PitchFX. I’d like to see some more.
  • Leftovers: Starlin Castro went 0-for-5 and is down to .251/.286/.410 (88 wRC+) on the season. He’s been sneaky bad since the Astros series … Chase Headley, meanwhile, went 3-for-3 with a walk and is up to .235/.321/.316 (78 wRC+) on the season. He hit .150/.268/.150 (23 wRC+) in April, remember … Austin Romine went 3-for-4 in the spot start to continue his productive season … Nick Goody allowed two runs in one-third of an inning … the Yankees have hit a homer in six straight games, easily their longest such streak of the season. They had a few three-gamers.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you head on over to our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Rays wrap up this three-game series with the rubber game Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1pm ET start. No more of this 4pm nonsense. Nathan Eovaldi and Jake Odorizzi will be on the bump.

Minor League Update: I don’t have time for a bullpen DotF tonight, folks. Sorry. Here are the box scores. Tyler Wade and Jorge Mateo each had two hits, Miguel Andujar hit two homers, Ian Clarkin tossed six scoreless innings, and Kyle Holder extended his hitting streak to 16 games.