6/19 to 6/21 Series Preview: Detroit Tigers


The homestand continues this weekend with a three-game series against the Tigers. The Yankees played a four-game set in Detroit earlier this year, winning three of four and coming very close to sweeping the four games. Too bad whatever happened in April won’t help them this weekend.

What Have The Tigers Done Lately?

The Tigers dropped two of three to the Reds earlier this week before yesterday’s series finale was rained out. Todd Frazier hit an extra-innings walk-off grand slam on Wednesday and the Tigers had to deal with that bad taste in their mouth for one extra day thanks to the rain. Yuck. Detroit is 34-32 with a +3 run differential overall. They’re in third place in the AL Central.

Offense & Defense

Depending on which measure you prefer, the Tigers are either an average offense (4.18 runs per game) or a comfortably above-average offense (106 wRC+). They’ve done well with runners in scoring position (117 wRC+), so I guess the problem is not enough solo homers. Too few homers!? Anyway, the Tigers are without C Alex Avila (knee) but will get DH Victor Martinez (51 wRC+) back off the DL today. V-Mart has been out the last few weeks with a knee problem.

Miggy. (Presswire)
Miggy. (Presswire)

As always, manager Brad Ausmus’ lineup is anchored by 1B Miguel Cabrera (186 wRC+), who is firmly in “historically great” territory now. He’s going to go down as one of the best right-handed hitters ever. OF Yoenis Cespedes (127 wRC+) and OF J.D. Martinez (122 wRC+) are provided some nice complementary corner outfield thump, and SS Jose Iglesias (122 wRC+) just keeps piling up hits. The OF Anthony Gose (97 wRC+) and OF Rajai Davis (116 wRC+) platoon in center field has been productive.

2B Ian Kinsler (98 wRC+) is having a down year and 3B Nick Castellanos (63 wRC+) has been dreadful, which I’m sure has the Tigers disappointed. The kid was billed as a big time hitter coming up through the minors yet it hasn’t worked out. He’s still only 23 though. C James McCann (82 wRC+) and C Bryan Holaday (101 wRC+) are the catching tandem with Avila out. No, James is not related to Brian. IF Josh Wilson (164 wRC+ in very limited time) and UTIL Andrew Romine (79 wRC+) fill out the bench.

The Tigers have really improved their defense the last two years and they’re very strong up the middle with McCann/Holaday, Kinsler, Iglesias, and Gose/Davis. Cespedes is good in left — more for his arm than his range — but Martinez and Castellanos are defensive disasters. Miggy’s fine at first. He’s good around the bag scooping throws in the dirt but won’t win any games with his range or arm.

Pitching Matchups

Friday (7pm ET): RHP Adam Warren (vs. DET) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (vs. NYY)
The Yankees were supposed to miss both Verlander and David Price this series — is missing Price a good thing at this point? the Yankees always seem to crush him — but yesterday’s rainout pushes Verlander back to tonight. He has made just one start this year after spending the first few weeks on the DL with a triceps injury. Verlander held the Indians to two runs on three hits and two walks in five innings last weekend. He struck out two and will probably be allowed to throw 100 or so pitches tonight after throwing 87 against Cleveland. Verlander’s trademark fastball is more low-to-mid-90s than high-90s these days, and he uses the heater to set up his mid-80s changeup and low-80s curveball. Like CC Sabathia, Verlander is no longer the pitcher he was a few years ago, but he’s still capable of tossing a gem every now and then.

Saturday (7pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. DET) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (vs. NYY)
The Simon trade was a bit of a head-scratcher in the offseason but it’s worked out well — Big Pasta has a 2.58 ERA (3.47 FIP) in 12 starts and 76.2 innings. Neither his strikeout (18.0%) nor his walk (7.7%) rate are anything special, and his ground ball (42.2%) and homer (0.59 HR/9) rates don’t really match up, so who knows how long his current effectiveness will last. He’s been better against righties (.244 wOBA) than lefties (.310 wOBA). Simon, 34, is a four-pitch pitcher but it’s not the usual fastball/slider/changeup/curveball mix. He throws a low-90s two-seamer, a mid-80s cutter, a low-80s splitter, and a mid-70s curve. Simon held the Yankees to one run in 7.1 innings back in April.

Anibal. (Presswire)
Anibal. (Presswire)

Sunday (1pm ET): RHP Masahiro Tanaka (vs. DET) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (vs. NYY)
The 31-year-old Sanchez has had a bad year by his standards, pitching to a 4.65 ERA (3.99 FIP) in 14 starts and 91 innings. Home runs (1.29 HR/9) and a lack of ground balls (39.3%) have been the main culprits, ditto his ineffectiveness against righties (.339 wOBA). Sanchez has done well against lefties (.279 wOBA) — he’s had a reverse split for a few years now, so this isn’t uncommon — and both his strikeout (22.3%) and walk (6.7%) numbers are in line with recent years. Sanchez is a kitchen sink guy with six pitches and I don’t mean that in a bad way. He just has a lot of weapons. Four-seamers, cutters, and sinkers in the low-90s set up his mid-80s splitter, mid-80s slider, and upper-70s curveball. Sanchez will throw just about anything in any count too. He’s really tough when he’s on, but that hasn’t been the case all that often this season. The Yankees didn’t face Sanchez when they played the Tigers in April. scored one run in 6.1 innings when they faced Sanchez in April.

Bullpen Status
You’re not going to believe this, but the Tigers have some bullpen problems this year. Crazy, I know. They come into the weekend with a 3.36 ERA (3.90 FIP) overall, ranking in the middle of the pack. It’s a top heavy bullpen though — RHP Alex Wilson (2.81 FIP), LHP Blaine Hardy (2.49 FIP), and RHP Joba Chamberlain (3.10 FIP) have been good. The rest of the ‘pen? Not so much.

Closer RHP Joakim Soria (4.55 FIP) is having major home run problems (1.75 HR/9) while RHP Al Aburquerque (4.46 FIP), LHP Tom Gorzelanny (4.66 FIP), and LHP Ian Krol (6.98 FIP) have been mediocre to bad. The Tigers were rained out yesterday, so their bullpen is mostly fresh. Head over to our Bullpen Workload page to check out the status of Joe Girardi‘s bullpen, then head over to Bless You Boys for the latest and very greatest on the Tigers.

Yankeemetrics: Gone fishin’ (June 15-18)

Pineda's new dance move. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Pineda’s new dance move. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Al from Miami, the almost-hero
It was set up to be a perfect Hollywood moment — the prodigal son comes home and steps to the plate with the tying run on base and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and a chance to be the hero.

But there would be no storybook ending this time for Alex Rodriguez, who flied out to right field and sealed the Yankees 2-1 loss on Monday. A-Rod has homered in 31 different parks in his major-league career, but never in a stadium located in his hometown of Miami.

Mark Teixeira drove in the Yankees only run with a solo homer in the second inning. The only other Yankee besides Teixeira to get a hit was Didi Gregorius, who had a double and single; the rest of the Yankees were 0-for-23. Booooo. The three hits were the fewest for the Yankees in a game at an NL park since June 22, 2002 at San Diego.

E-oh no!-valdi
So it turns out that this little road trip to the land of sunshine and beaches was really bad for Yankee homecomings.

One day after Al From Miami made the final out in a one-run loss, Nathan Eovaldi, pitching in South Florida for the first time since being traded from the Marlins to the Yankees this winter, had the worst start of his career — and perhaps one of the worst by any pitcher in franchise history.

Eovaldi — who was tagged for eight runs and nine hits in 2/3 of an inning — became the first Yankee pitcher to give up eight runs and fail to get three outs since Bartolo Colon on July 14, 2011 against the Blue Jays. His nine hits allowed are the most for any Yankee that pitched fewer than one inning in a game over the last 100 seasons.

Somehow, this wasn’t the first time the Yankees were blown out by the Marlins. The 10-run loss matched the worst Interleague defeat suffered by a Yankee team — they lost 11-1 to the Florida Marlins on July 13, 2001 and 12-2 to the Mets on June 9, 2000.

Michael Pineda flirted with history on Wednesday night, but ultimately had to settle for just another dominating performance. Pineda threw six no-hit innings in the Yankees 2-1 win, before Christian Yelich homered to leadoff the seventh frame, the only hit that Big Mike would allow on the night.

It was his second start as a Yankee with at least eight strikeouts and no more than one hit allowed, a feat he also achieved Sept. 22 last year. The only other pitchers in franchise history with two starts like that are Bob Turley, CC Sabathia, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.

A-Rod was on base four times with two walks and two hits, including an RBI single that gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first inning. He’s the oldest Yankee with multiple hits and multiple walks plus an RBI in a game since a 42-year-old Enos Slaughter did it in June 1958.

Hook, line and sinker
The Yankees are streaking again … and this time it’s in the win column. After losing five of their previous six games, the Bronx Bombers have won two in a row. Muy bueno!

Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran had the big hits for the Yankees in the 9-4 win over the Marlins on Thursday night. Gardner’s two run homer tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning, and in the next frame, Beltran’s two-run blast gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

The Yankees are now 34-11 (.756) when Gardner homers in his career, and have a .577 win percentage in all other games. For Beltran, it was his 378th career homer, tying Matt Williams for 70th place all-time.

CC Sabathia turned in a quality start and struck out seven batters, but got a no-decision. The Marlins remain the only team that Sabathia has not beaten in his career. He was trying to become the third active pitcher (A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren) and 14th in major-league history to beat all 30 current MLB franchises.

Mailbag: Tex, Gee, Closer, Warren, Home Field Advantage

Got a dozen questions in this week’s mailbag. If you want to send us a mailbag question(s), use the “For The Mailbag” form in the sidebar. If you want to send us links or tips or anything like that, email us directly at riveraveblues (at) gmail (dot) com, especially if you want a reply. We can’t reply through the mailbag form. Thanks.

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

Dan asks: With Mark Teixeira’s resurgence this season, any chance the Yankees are able to trade him in the offseason with a year left on his contract, maybe even getting a decent prospect in return? With his defense, plenty of teams would be willing to take a one year flier on him.

I’m guessing a few teams would be willing to take on one year of Teixeira (Mariners? Padres? Tigers with Miguel Cabrera back at third? Athletics? Angels? etc.) but there are two problems with this. One, Teixeira has full no-trade protection thanks to his 10-and-5 rights, so that’s an obstacle. Two, does trading Teixeira benefit the Yankees? Maybe they get a decent prospect in return but probably not given his contract. They’d be out their first baseman and best power hitter to save $22.5M, which is not an amount that will hamstring this team. Teixeira has shown he’s still a pretty good hitter with a healthy wrist. I’m not sure the trade return would be enough to make it worthwhile. Teixeira seems more valuable to the Yankees in the lineup than as part of a trade, which is not something I thought I would be saying before the season.

Kip asks: Would you actually want all your team playing in the All-Star Game like how the Royals are currently set up or would you want most of your players getting a chance to relax at home and get ready for the second half of the season?

When I was younger I wanted to see every Yankee in the All-Star Game. Even the bench players. Now I want them all home and resting. I mean, yeah, I would have loved to have seen Dellin Betances pitch in the All-Star Game last year, but, in the grand scheme of things, the rest was better for Dellin and the Yankees. I still consider the All-Star Game a fun novelty and yes, I do watch every year, but I’m the point where I don’t mind if a Yankee doesn’t play. I guess it’s a win-win. It’s cool if a Yankee gets into the game and cool if they don’t.

George asks: Since the AL starting team for the ASG has so many Royals, do they still have to have one player from each team? Maybe we should have a maximum number any one team can send if everyone has to send one? Any minor league player from the Royals going?

Oh yeah, of course they still need at least one player from each team. Each roster is 34 players deep, so even if those eight Royals win the voting and start at their positions, that leaves 26 other roster spots for the remaining 14 AL teams. Close to two per team. And that doesn’t even count the guys who are named to the team but replaced on the roster later — pitchers who start the prior Sunday, guys who have to bow out to the injury, etc. Joe Torre used to always take a ton of Yankees to the All-Star Game each year simply because he could. I don’t like the idea of putting a limit on the number of players from one team but I could see the argument. Royals fans are voting like crazy. Let ’em have their fun.

Gannon asks: I’m sure they don’t keep stats for this, but can you remember an instance when a left handed batter hit a home run off the left field foul pole?

There are no stats for this as far as I know but I do remember this happening once. Well, sorta. Carlos Delgado hit a home run off the very bottom of the left field foul pole at Yankee Stadium back in 2008, but that was before the days of instant replay, and it was incorrectly ruled a foul ball. Here’s the video:

After the game home plate umpire Bob Davidson told Christian Red: “I —-ed it up. I’m the one who thought it was a —- foul ball. I saw it on the replay. I’m the one who —-ed it up so you can put that in your paper … No one feels worse about it than I do.” The Mets went on to win 11-2 (box score), so the non-homer call didn’t matter. I’m sure there have been other left-handed batters who have homered off the left field foul pole, but I can’t remember any.

Tom asks: If Betances does well closing while Andrew Miller is hurt (no reason to think he won’t obviously), will Joe Girardi revisit the co-closer idea when Miller comes back? Should he?

I hadn’t thought of that and I hope Girardi would revisit the idea. I like the co-closers plan. It seems like a good way to create some bullpen flexibility and get more platoon advantages. At the same time, both Betances and Miller are so insanely good that I’m not sure it would matter much. They both dominate righties and lefties. There is a financial incentive to letting Miller close — more saves for Dellin means larger salaries in his arbitration years, that’s just how the system works — and those savings might actually be more valuable than any platoon advantage gained with these two. They’re just so good.

Ethan asks: In your opinion, which Yankee starter (including Ivan Nova) has the most trade value?

I’d say Michael Pineda over Masahiro Tanaka for two reasons. One, fair or not, Tanaka’s elbow is viewed as a ticking time bomb. Two, Tanaka’s got a huge contract that hurts his value even if it is more than fair for a 26-year-old ace. Not many teams can afford him and that would limit his trade market. Pineda is not as good as healthy Tanaka but he is pretty great himself, and he’s both substantially cheaper and somewhat less of an injury concern. (I think?) I’d rank the trade value of the starters this way: Pineda, Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren, Nova, CC Sabathia. Warren’s only been a full-time starter for less than three months and Nova will be a free agent after next season.

Kevin asks: Now, the last time the Yankees drafted a defense-first shortstop in the first round it did not turn out very well. What makes Kyle Holder different than Cito Culver?

Holder is both a way better hitter and defender than Culver. Outside of the position and the reputation for being glove-first players, there’s not much of a comparison here. Holder did hit .348/.418/.482 at San Diego this spring and I’m not sure Culver could even do that. He hit .269/.320/.363 in rookie ball, remember. Cito is a really good defensive shortstop but Holder is on another level entirely. He’s just several grades better than Culver both at the plate and in the field. I understand why the comparison is being made and I get the skepticism surrounding Holder, but he and Cito aren’t all that similar.

Gee. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)
Gee. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)

Scott asks: Any reason for the Yanks to take a flier on Dillon Gee?

Other than stashing him in Triple-A for depth — Gee does have at least one minor league option remaining, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said their plan was to send Gee to Triple-A if he clears waivers and they can’t work out a trade — not really. Gee has a little more than $3M left on his contract this year but that’s not a backbreaking amount to the Yankees. Gee is not very good (5.90 ERA and 4.39 FIP) but on a straight waiver claim, sure, stash him in Triple-A. That said, teams usually don’t spend $3M or so for seventh or eighth starters in Triple-A. It’s just not realistic.

Dustin asks: How about piggy-backing Warren after Nova for Nova’s first few starts back, as he ramps up his innings? That would keep Warren pitching while he’s hot and then ease him back into a late-inning pen role, while helping limit the pen usage for Nova’s first few starts and not putting too much pressure on stretching him out too soon.

I like the idea. It would keep Warren stretched out so he could easily slot back into the rotation if necessary, and it would effectively be a scheduled off-day for the rest of the bullpen. That said, Girardi would be working with a six-man bullpen the other four days, and you know he’d be itching to bring in Betances and Miller (once healthy) if he as a late lead in a Nova/Warren start. Who could blame him? I’d want to use Betances and Miller whenever possible too. I like the idea of piggybacking Nova and Warren, I just don’t think it’ll actually happen.

Jim asks: In last week’s mailbag you were asked how James Kaprielian compared with Mike Mussina; my question is what is your opinion on how Kaprielian compares with Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain, who were both 1st round college pitching selections by the Y’s?

Joba and Kaprielian aren’t really comparable. Joba had injury issues in college and his stock was down at the time of the draft — had he been fully healthy at Nebraska he probably would have been a top ten pick. He had nasty stuff, a mid-to-high-90s fastball and that wicked slider to go along with a curveball and a changeup. Joba’s stuff was better than Kaprielian’s but his command and health lagged. He developed into a top prospect, but, on draft day, Kaprielian was better than Joba.

The Kennedy comparison is much more appropriate but still not perfect. I mean, no comp is going to be perfect, but you catch my drift. Kennedy was a candidate to go first overall heading into the spring of 2006 before he had a subpar junior year. I think their secondary pitches are comparable but Kaprielian had more fastball — he was sitting 93-95 come April this year — while Kennedy had more command. Kennedy had (and still has, really) tremendous command and that’s why he was a considered a first overall pick candidate for a while. He’s the most appropriate comp for Kaprielian almost by default. I’d take 2006 Kennedy over 2015 Kaprielian. That’s just me.

Home field advantage. (Jamie Squire/Getty)
Home field advantage. (Jamie Squire/Getty)

Tamir asks: How can baseball decide which team in the World Series gets home field advantage in a better way? Clearly the current way is not ideal.

I agree. I don’t like the All-Star Game determining home field advantage in the World Series at all. The league can either have fans voting for the All-Star Game starters or having the All-Star Game decide home field advantage. Having both doesn’t really work. Years ago the AL and NL used to alternate home field advantage in the World Series which was equally dumb, if not worse.

I don’t understand why the team with the better regular season record doesn’t get home field advantage. Doesn’t that make the most sense? If they had the same record, the tiebreaker is head-to-head record during interleague play. If they didn’t play during the regular season, the next tiebreaker is run differential. Is that so hard? The team that had the better record in the regular season should get home field advantage in the World Series. That’s my take. Problem solved.

Joe asks: What pitcher had the highest game score for the Yankees in 2014? So far this year?

Game Score is a really simple stat created by Bill James that attempts to quantify the quality of a start in a single number. I’m not going to explain the entire calculation — here’s the Wikipedia page — but, in a nutshell, it’s a points system. Start with 50, add X points for good events (strikeouts, etc.) and subtract Y points for bad events (walks, runs, etc.). The average Game Score is around 50.

Three starts tied for the highest Game Score by a Yankee last season. Here’s the full list and here’s the top four, via Baseball Reference:

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
Brandon McCarthy 2014-08-21 NYY HOU W 3-0 9.0 4 0 0 0 8 0 107 79 87
Masahiro Tanaka 2014-05-14 NYY NYM W 4-0 9.0 4 0 0 0 8 0 114 76 87
Masahiro Tanaka 2014-04-16 (1) NYY CHC W 3-0 8.0 2 0 0 1 10 0 107 76 87
Michael Pineda 2014-09-22 NYY BAL W 5-0 7.1 1 0 0 1 8 0 106 73 83

Those were the team’s only 80+ Game Scores last year. Only the Nationals (five), Indians (five), Dodgers (four), and Red Sox (four) had more starts with an 87+ Game Score last season. The single best Game Score in 2014 was Clayton Kershaw’s 15-strikeout no-hitter at 102. Here’s the full list. That would have been a perfect game if not for a Hanley Ramirez error. Womp womp.

As for this season, the Yankees’ best start by Game Score is not Pineda’s 16-strikeout masterpiece because he did allow a run, and runs are bad. Here’s the full list and here are the top five:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 Masahiro Tanaka 2015-04-18 NYY TBR W 9-0 7.0 2 0 0 0 8 0 85 58 81
2 Michael Pineda 2015-05-10 NYY BAL W 6-2 7.0 6 1 1 0 16 1 111 81 77
3 Michael Pineda 2015-05-05 NYY TOR W 6-3 8.0 5 0 0 1 6 0 101 70 77
4 Masahiro Tanaka 2015-06-03 NYY SEA W 3-1 7.0 3 1 1 0 9 0 78 58 76
5 Michael Pineda 2015-06-17 NYY MIA W 2-1 6.2 1 1 1 2 9 1 100 63 75

The best start by someone other than Tanaka and Pineda this year was Chase Whitley‘s gem against the Blue Jays — that registered a 72 Game Score. The best start in baseball this season was Max Scherzer’s recent 16-strikeout one-hitter, which came in at an even 100 Game Score. Chris Heston’s no-hitter and Corey Kluber’s 18-strikeout game both check in at a 98 Game Score. I don’t think Game Score has a ton of analytical value, but I do think it’s useful for something like this, trying to decipher which start was better than another. It’s a “for fun” stat.

Offense breaks out, A-Rod inches closer to 3,000th hit in 9-4 win over Marlins

That was a tale of two games. The first five and a half innings were kinda crummy, then the last three and a half innings were fantastic. A-Rod is now just one away from his 3,000th hit, but, more importantly, the Yankees beat the Marlins 9-4 on Thursday night. They’ve won two straight.

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

Score Early, Score Often … No Wait, Nevermind
Three batters and nine pitches into the game, the Yankees had three hits and a 1-0 lead. That’s always fun. Brett Gardner slapped a single to left, Chase Headley squibbed a single through something resembling the shift, and American Hero Alex Rodriguez drove in the run with a single back up to the middle. Bang bang bang, Yankees lead. They’ve now scored 62 first inning runs this year, 15 more than any other team.

The Yankees didn’t add any more runs in the first inning, however. Mark Teixeira followed A-Rod’s single with a deep fly ball, then Brian McCann drew a walk to load the bases (that’s good!) for Carlos Beltran (that’s bad!). Beltran swung at four identical pitches in the dirt — he fouled one off — and struck out for the second out. Didi Gregorius then popped up on the first pitch to end the inning. Golden opportunity wasted. They also stranded one runner in the second, two in the third, and two in the fifth for good measure.

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

Mistake Pitches
CC Sabathia opened the game with three perfect innings but you could see it was only a matter of time until he got into trouble. He was missing the glove consistently and got away with many mistake pitches. The Marlins really bailed him out with some terrible swings, both on pitches and in and out of the zone. Nine up, nine down was wonderful. But yeah, Sabathia’s location was ominous.

The fourth inning started with Dee Gordon’s Beltran-aided triple — how in the world do you let someone hit a triple on a soft line drive to right field in this ballpark? — and, two batters later, Christian Yelich tied the game with a run-scoring ground out. A single, a hit-by-pitch, and two fly balls created Miami’s second run in the fifth inning. Mason Williams was able to show off his arm on the two fly balls, but he was unable to cut Jeff Baker down at third or at home. Alas.

Following those three perfect innings to start the game, six of 14 Marlins reached base against Sabathia (.429 OBP). One of those six was a Giancarlo Stanton solo homer that wasn’t even a bad pitch — it was at Stanton’s shins and he golfed it out. Doesn’t hurt any less, but Sabathia didn’t leave him a meatball down the middle. Stanton’s just that good. The final line was three runs on five hits and no walks in six innings. He struck out seven. At this point of his career the Yankees will take that from Sabathia.

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

Tie The Game, Take The Lead
The comeback from the 3-1 deficit started with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Williams ripped a double into the right-center field gap with two outs to extend the inning, then Gardner unloaded on a center cut Mat Latos fastball for a game-tying two-run home run into the bullpen. It was a line drive that just barely cleared the wall. Latos was one out away from completing six innings of one-run ball, but he didn’t finish the sixth.

In the seventh, Teixeira sliced a one-out single to left, setting up the rally. Well, it wasn’t so much a rally as it was two swings. Ex-Yankee Mike Dunn left a pitch up to Beltran, who hammered a no-doubt two-run go-ahead homer to left field. Beltran has not been good this year and especially of late, and I’ve been hard on him, but he came through big time right there. The Yankees were #RISPFAILing all over the place earlier in the game and he finally provided the big hit. Good work.

Rather than sit on the two-run lead, the offense broke out in the eighth and hung a four-spot on reliever Sam Dyson. Leadoff walks to Headley and A-Rod put the wheels in motion. McCann singled in one run, A-Rod scored on a wild pitch, Chris Young doubled in another run — he took over as a defensive replacement for Beltran — and Stephen Drew got the fourth run in with a sac fly. That was a fun inning. The 5-3 lead became a 9-3 lead pretty quick.

All A-Rod, All The Time
Boy, did Dyson hear some boos after walking A-Rod in the eighth. Alex singled in the first inning and again in the fifth to get to within one hit of 3,000. He flew out on the first pitch in the sixth, his first shot at the milestone, then walked on four pitches in the eighth. None of Dyson’s pitches were close and the Yankee Stadium crowd gave him an earful. Ton of boos. A ton. The kind A-Rod used to hear. Rodriguez will look to pick up his 3,000th hit on Friday night.

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

Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson each allowed one hit in a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, respectively. Chris Martin allowed a run and almost made a real mess of things in the ninth — Gregorius saved his bacon with a great diving stop to get the force out at second — before nailing down the win. The middle relief is not very reliable right now. Shreve, Wilson, and hold on to your butts.

Gardner (single, homer), Headley (two singles), A-Rod (two singles), McCann (three singles), and Williams (two doubles) all had multiple hits. Headley, A-Rod, McCann, Beltran, Drew, and Williams drew walks. The Yankees pounded out season-high 15 hits. They had 17 hits total in the first three games of the series.

And finally, Sabathia did not get the win, but if he had, he would have become the 14th pitcher in history to record a win over all 30 teams. I heard that on the YES broadcast and thought it was neat. Pretty good chance Sabathia never pitches against the Marlins again, so this was probably his last chance to join the club.

Box Score, WPA Graph &  Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights as well as the updated standings. Also make sure you check out out Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Here is the win probability graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
This four-game home-and-home series with the Marlins is finally over. The Tigers are coming to the Bronx next for a three-game weekend series. Adam Warren and Justin Verlander will be the pitching matchup in Friday night’s opener. Head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game or one of the many other upcoming home games live.

DotF: Judge goes deep again in Trenton’s shutout win

3B Eric Jagielo‘s knee injury is not serious and he will only miss a few days, reports Nick Peruffo. 1B Matt Snyder isn’t so lucky — his ankle injury is serious and may require surgery. Snyder got hurt last night, Jagielo a day or two ago.

Also, as a reminder, the Short Season Staten Island season begins tomorrow night with their annual home-and-home series with Brooklyn. Rookie Pulaski and the two Rookie GCL Yanks affiliates start their seasons next week.

Triple-A Scranton (10-7 win over Rochester)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-6, 1 R, 2 K
  • LF Jose Pirela: 1-5
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP
  • RF Ramon Flores: 1-5, 2 R
  • 3B Gregorio Petit: 3-4, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 10-for-18 (.556) in five games at this level
  • C Austin Romine: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 K — first game back from the pitch to the head and he hits a grand slam against the team that plunked him
  • RHP Esmil Rogers: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GB/FB — 37 of 56 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 31 of 52 pitches were strikes (60%)

[Read more…]

Game 66: 3,000?


We are now firmly in “it could happen any day now” territory as Alex Rodriguez pursues his 3,000th career hit. A-Rod is only three hits away and he’s had two three-hit games already this season. Both came immediately following off-days too, which might not be a coincidence. “I felt like my body was charged up and got some good energy,” he said to Chad Jennings last night, his first start after two days out of the lineup in the NL park.

A-Rod did play yesterday, so he’s not coming off an off-day, and believe it or not he’s never faced tonight’s Marlins starter Mat Latos before, so who knows what will happen. Most importantly, the Yankees need to build off last night’s win, regardless of whether Alex makes history. The top four teams in the AL East came into the day separated by two games in the standings. Here is the Marlins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. CF Mason Williams
    LHP CC Sabathia

Another cloudy and cool day in the New York, but this time there is rain in the forecast. It’s not supposed to start until much later tonight though, so it shouldn’t interrupt the game unless they go to extra innings or something. Tonight’s series finale will begin just after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Rotation Update: Nathan Eovaldi will start Saturday and Masahiro Tanaka will start Sunday. The Yankees want to give Tanaka extra rest and Eovaldi is able to start on three days’ rest because he only threw 36 pitches in Tuesday’s disaster.

Injury Update: Teixeira has been nursing a stiff neck since the Orioles series, which is why he was unavailable last night. Apparently he’s well enough to start tonight … Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) continues to run the bases as part of his rehab.