Record Last Week: 3-3 (20 RS, 22 RA)
Season Record: 3-3 (20 RS, 22 RA, 3-3 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: vs. Orioles (three games, Mon. to Weds.), vs. Red Sox (four games, Thurs. to Sun.)
Top stories from last week:
- The Yankees opened the regular season with three games in Houston. CC Sabathia got roughed up in the season opening loss, then the Yankees fell just short in the second game on Wednesday. The Bombers took the series finale behind a shaky Ivan Nova.
- Following the series against the Astros, the Yankees traveled up to Toronto for a three-game weekend series against the Blue Jays. Masahiro Tanaka pitched well in his debut and helped the club win the first game, but they were shut out in Michael Pineda‘s debut on Saturday. The Yankees won the final game of the road trip yesterday.
- Injury Updates: Mark Teixeira (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day DL with a strain. He will have an MRI today to determine the severity.
- Austin Romine was called up to replace Teixeira on the roster. The Yankees do not have interest in Ike Davis despite needing a first baseman. The Nationals do not have interest in Romine or John Ryan Murphy.
- To make room on the roster for Yangervis Solarte, the Yankees designated Eduardo Nunez for assignment. Both the Astros and Mariners have some interest in acquiring him.
- The Yankees ranked 13th in Baseball America’s farm system rankings. They are slotted for $3.2M and $2.2M for the draft and international free agency this summer.
Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
What started out as a laugher turned into a bit of a nail-biter. The Yankees had a five-run lead at one point on Sunday afternoon, but by the time the 27th out was recorded, the Blue Jays had the tying run on base. Let’s recap the 6-4 win, bullet points style (it’s Sunday, give me a break):
- Three Runs, One Hit: The first inning three-run rally was not an inning the 2013 team could have put together. The Yankees took advantage of Drew Hutchison’s wildness, turning two walks and a hit batsman into three runs with only one base hit. Jacoby Ellsbury drove in Brett Gardner with a ground ball, then Kelly Johnson clubbed a two-run double off the wall. Last year’s offense would have hacked at everything. This team will take the walks.
- All With Two Outs: For the first 5.2 innings of this game, CC Sabathia was excellent. Sure, he allowed the leadoff homer to Melky Cabrera, but he retired 16 of the next 17 batters after that. In the sixth, the Blue Jays pushed across three runs — all with two outs too, yuck — on a bloop single and three ground ball hits. That uglified Sabathia’s line, but I thought his start was very encouraging. He looked like he did from innings three through six against the Astros. That two-out rally was a killer. Brooks Baseball has his pitch breakdown.
- A Homer!: The Yankees finally hit their first home run of the season on Sunday, in their 49th offensive inning. Brett Gardner did the honors, naturally. It looked like some meaningless tack-on runs at the time, but it ended up being a huge homer after Toronto scored those three runs in the sixth.
- Bullpen: For the first time this year, David Robertson made things interesting in the ninth. He put two runners on base (single and a walk) with one out, but otherwise escaped the jam with a pop-up and a fly ball. Shawn Kelley allowed a hit in the eighth and Adam Warren retired all three men he faced in the seventh. He’s looked very good in his two outings.
- Leftovers: Derek Jeter went 2-for-5, moving him ahead of Paul Molitor and into eighth place on the all-time hits list (ninth if you count pre-1900s Cap Anson) … in his 19th plate appearance of the season, Alfonso Soriano blooped a single for his first hit of 2014 … every starter had a hit except for Brian Roberts, who drew a walk … Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts, only the 18th three-strikeout game of his career … Sabathia threw a first pitch strike to 22 of 25 batters faced, including 20 in a row to close out his day (!).
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are done with their six-game road trip and will head home for the first time this season. Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada will all be involved in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony in the home opener matinee on Monday afternoon.
The season-opening six-game road trip did not go great, but it wasn’t a disaster either. I would have loved to see the Yankees come home with four or five wins in the bank, but three will do. Considering how Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda looked, it’s tough to complain about the results. I’m exciting to see what this club can do whenever Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano start hitting.
Here is your open thread for the night. Dodgers-Giants is the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Greinke vs. Cain), plus the Islanders are playing. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.
Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-0 loss to Syracuse in seven innings) make up of Friday’s rainout
- RF Ramon Flores, LF Zoilo Almonte & DH Russ Canzler: all 0-3, 1 K
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 K — three weeks and four days until he can opt-out
- 1B Corban Joseph & C John Ryan Murphy: both 0-3
- RHP Chase Whitley: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 31 of 47 pitches were strikes (66%)
- RHP David Herndon: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB – nine of 12 pitches were strikes … I guess he didn’t opt out of his contract last Sunday
- RHP Graham Stoneburner: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GB/FB – 25 of 37 pitches were strikes (68%)
For the fourth time in the last six years, the Yankees opened the season on the road. Their season-opening six-game road trip comes to end this afternoon, in the rubber game against the Blue Jays. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda were both impressive these last two days, but now the rotation turns back over to CC Sabathia. His first start was awful early and great late. Hopefully he continues that roll he was on from innings three through six against the Astros.
I was hoping the Yankees would walk away from this trip with four or even five wins in the bank. It is the Astros and Blue Jays, not for nothing. Instead, they need to win today just to split the six games and go home with minor league signee Yangervis Solarte as arguably their hottest hitter. Grab a win this afternoon, fly home on the heels of a series win, then enjoy the home opener tomorrow afternoon. Maybe even hit a homer. Sounds like a plan. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- C Brian McCann
- DH Alfonso Soriano
- 1B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
LHP CC Sabathia
It’s sunny and warm in Toronto today, so the Rogers Centre roof might actually be open for the game. Either way, the Yankees will definitely play outdoors tomorrow, when they return to Yankee Stadium for the first time since saying goodbye to Mariano Rivera last season. I can’t wait. Anyway, you can watch this game live on YES and, depending on where you live, MLB Network. Enjoy.
If you’re looking for some Sunday morning reading, here is a harrowing story from Greg Hanlon about former Yankees outfielder Chad Curtis, who was recently sentenced to 7-15 years in prison for molesting students at the Michigan high school where he worked. Curtis is completely insane and delusion, blaming the victims and using religion to justify his actions. It’s a long and somewhat terrifying read that details the incidents, the court cases, his troubles in MLB clubhouses, and much more. Check it out. Scary, scary stuff. · (54) ·
Following Friday night’s seven-run outburst, the Mark Teixeira-less lineup went right back to sleep. The Yankees were shut out by R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon by the score of 4-0. It was 1-0 until the bottom of the eighth.
Big Mike Is Here To Stay
The Yankees have been waiting a long time for this. Michael Pineda finally made his first start for the club on Saturday, two years and one shoulder surgery after being originally acquired from the Mariners. He looked very good in Spring Training but that only means so much. The regular season is a different animal, as is the Blue Jays lineup and their hitter-friendly ballpark. The Yankees were probably hoping he would be their ace by now, but instead he is the fifth starter and an unknown.
In his first big league start since September 2011, Pineda held that Blue Jays lineup to one run in six innings of work. A well-struck double and a bloop single led to the run in the second inning, but not after he threw the first scoreless first inning (!) of the team’s season. The other four starters allowed at least one run in the first inning in their starts. Crazy. Pineda struck out five, walked zero, and got six ground ball outs and six air ball outs. He threw 58 of 83 pitches for strikes (70%), including eleven swings and misses. Here is the breakdown, courtesy of Brooks Baseball:
- 31 fastballs, 17 strikes, two swings and misses, averaged 94.4 mph, topped out at 96.1 mph
- 33 sliders, 27 strikes (!), seven swings and misses, averaged 84.2 mph, topped out at 86.8 mph
- 18 cutters, 13 strikes, two swings and misses, averaged 94.3 mph, topped out at 96.1 mph
- one changeup, one strike, 88.4 mph
The first time through the order, left-handed batters went 4-for-5 with two doubles against Pineda while righties went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He came to the Yankees in a need of a changeup to better combat batters of the opposite hand, and he still needs that two years later. Changeups don’t magically develop while on the DL, apparently. After that first time through the order though, Pineda retired 12 of the final 13 batters faced, including all six lefties. Like Masahiro Tanaka on Friday, he shook off a slow start to the game and finished very strong.
Pineda topped out at 75 pitches or so in Spring Training, so it was no surprise Joe Girardi lifted him when he did. They need to take it easy on him following the shoulder surgery, especially early in the season. This is no time to push things. Pineda always stood out from other live-armed youngsters because of his control, and that is evident in all those strikes he threw. Thirteen of 22 batters faced got a first pitch strike and seven saw an 0-2 count. Four batters saw a three-ball count and only two saw a two-ball count after the second inning. Pineda was very, very good. This was a fantastic and tremendously encouraging start.
Middle of the LOLineup
What an ugly game for the rebuilt middle of the order. Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Alfonso Soriano each went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and they combined to kill a pair of rallies. With two on and no outs in the sixth, Beltran bounced into a 6-4-3 double play and McCann lined out softly to short. In the same situation in the eighth, Beltran and Soriano sandwiched strikeouts around a McCann ground out. Soriano struck out on a pitch that bounced about five feet in front of the plate. Why Girardi didn’t pinch-hit Brett Gardner for Soriano against the fresh out of the bullpen righty in the eighth, I’ll never know.
McCann came into the game with four hits in 13 at-bats (.308), but neither Beltran (now 3-for-19) nor Soriano (0-for-16!) have yet to get going. Those guys have to start hitting and soon. The Yankees can’t rely on Yangervis Solarte and Ichiro Suzuki spot starts to drive the offense, especially with Teixeira injured and no bonafide superstar like Robinson Cano to anchor the lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury did his part again (3-for-4) and Derek Jeter was on base twice, but no one was able to bring them home. Ugly.
The Yankees blew two on, two out rallies in the fifth and seventh thanks to a Dean Anna strikeout and a Brian Roberts pinch-hit pop-up, respectively. The score was still close then. Ellsbury struck out to end in the game with two on in the ninth inning, but by then the score had gotten out of hand. So, if you’re keeping score at home, the Yankees had two runners on base in each of the last five innings, but scored zero runs. This lineup is partying like it’s 2013.
So yeah, David Phelps is not right. Either not right or just not very good. After getting roughed up in his first appearance the other day, Phelps allowed three runs on three hits in two innings on Saturday, putting a winnable game completely out of reach. The three hits all came in a row: Melky Cabrera homer, Colby Rasmus ground-rule double, Jose Bautista homer. That’s three homers allowed in 3.1 innings. At this rate the Yankees offense won’t be able to out-homer Phelps. Unless they’re going to send him to Triple-A Scranton in favor of someone like Cesar Cabral or Preston Claiborne, they have to keep him out of close games. Mop-up duty only.
Weird moment to end the third inning, when Frankie Cervelli was thrown out at the plate on Ellsbury’s single. It appeared as though catcher Josh Thole blocked the plate before he had the ball, which is not allowed under the new rules. He had to stand there to catch the throw, however. Girardi argued, the umpires reviewed the play — Girardi did not challenge, it was the umpire’s call to review — and they determined he did not block the plate. Of course, replays showed Cervelli probably slid under the tag anyway. Girardi didn’t challenge the safe/out call within the designated time because he was arguing the block. Surprisingly, not everyone has the new plate blocking rules down pat five games into the new season.
Solarte took a 92 mph Aaron Loup fastball to the side of his right knee in the seventh inning and was in quite a bit of pain. He stayed on the ground and was looked at by the trainer for a little while, but eventually limped down to first and remained in the game. Seems to be fine even though it looked quite painful. He went 2-for-3 at the plate. Cervelli went 2-for-3 with a double. Like Solarte, he was also hit by a pitch. Kelly Johnson went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and the Anna/Roberts mash-up went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Between Pineda and Phelps, Vidal Nuno walked Adam Lind on six pitches. If you’re the second lefty in the bullpen, walking the only left-handed batter you face probably isn’t a good way to climb up the depth chart. It didn’t come back to hurt them, but still. throw strikes, Vidal.
The Yankees still have not hit a homerun this season, hence the Phelps joke earlier. It’s their fifth streak of 5+ homerless games this century; they did it once in 2006 and three times last year. The Royals are the only other team without a homer this season. Where have you gone, Bronx Bombers?
The Yankees and Blue Jays will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon. The rotation turns back over, so CC Sabathia will get the ball against Drew Hutchison. It’s the last game of their six-game, season-opening road trip. Baseball will be back in the Bronx on Monday.
OF Tyler Austin left Extended Spring Training in Tampa and is on his way to Double-A Trenton, according to his mother’s Twitter feed. Yes, his mother’s Twitter feed. Austin’s missed a chunk of last season with a wrist problem and it slowed him down again in camp. He was behind the other position players, so he stayed back in ExST to prepare. Glad he’s back so soon.
Triple-A Scranton‘s doubleheader was rained out. They will make up one game as part of a doubleheader tomorrow and the other as part of a doubleheader on June 26th.
Double-A Trenton (6-5 win over New Hampshire, walk-off style)
- CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — walk-off single … he’s off to a nice start
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — still looking for his first hit of the year
- 3B Rob Segedin: 2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI
- C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — has two hits this year, and they’re both doubles
- DH Ben Gamel: 1-4, 2 K
- RHP Zach Nuding: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 9/1 GB/FB — 60 of 95 pitches were strikes (63%)
- SwP Pat Venditte: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K — 18 of 29 pitches were strikes (62%)
Yes, it is only two games, but man these last two games were a lot of fun. The Yankees got their first looks at Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, two 25-year-old right-handers who are expected to anchor their rotation for the next few years. Both pitched well, especially after rocky second innings. Their combined pitching line: 13 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 13 K against a good Blue Jays lineup. The outcomes of the two games are almost secondary. Tanaka and Pineda look like legit rotation building blocks.
Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. MLB Network will air a game, though who you see depends on where you live. The Final Four is on plus the Nets, Devils, and (hockey) Rangers are all playing tonight as well. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s loss, Tanaka, Pineda, or anything else right here. Have at it.
(Video of Pineda’s start is not embeddable for whatever reason. Here’s the link.)
Via Jack Curry: The Yankees do not appear to have any interest in Ike Davis. The Mets have made it no secret they are open to trading their first baseman, but they have turned down a bunch of offers these last few months according to Andy Martino. The Yankees lost Mark Teixeira to a right hamstring strain and the 15-day DL on Friday.
Davis, 27, is currently riding the bench as Lucas Duda gets an extended audition at first. He hit .205/.326/.334 (90 wRC+) with nine homer in 103 games last year, and was so bad in the first half that he was shipped to Triple-A for a month. Davis hit .227/.308/.462 (111 wRC+) with 32 homers as recently as 2012. He has big lefty power and patience, two things the Yankees love, plus he has at least one option left and can go to Triple-A. Davis would made sense as a depth player and reclamation project for the Yankees. · (14) ·