Orioles pound Nova as Yanks lose fourth straight

I suppose the good news is that the Yankees didn’t lose by one run. All those close losses were getting to be a little too infuriating. Instead they lost by six runs after blowing a five-run first inning lead. Hey, if you’re going to stink, you might as well go all out and get booed off the field.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Remember A Friend

One of Ivan Nova‘s best friends on the team last year was A.J. Burnett, and apparently he’s decided to honor his traded friend by pitching just like him. Not the good Pirates version of Burnett, the bad version that polluted the Yankee Stadium mound for the last two years. After allowing a career-high nine runs in five innings to the Orioles — he said after the game that this start was a product of bad luck — Nova owns a 4.53 ERA (4.44 FIP) that is far too close to the 5.20 ERA (4.80 FIP) that A.J. posted from 2010-2011 for my liking. Ivan has allowed at least six runs for the third time in his last six starts and raised his July ERA to 5.97. June is the only month of the season in which he’s had a sub-5.00 ERA (1.26).

The worst part of it all is that all seven runs in that second inning scored with two outs. Nova had noted whiffed machine Mark Reynolds in an 0-2 hole with men on the corners and a chance to escape the inning unscathed when he hung a slider that was ripped just fair for a ground rule double. It just snowballed into a disaster inning from that. That “hung a slider” part was a common theme all night — Nova consistently made mistakes out over the plate…

Nova looks nothing like the pitcher we saw in the second half last season and really hasn’t for most of the season. He’s kinda lucky that Andy Pettitte is injured and David Phelps has been shoe-horned into a relief role — in part because the Yankees never bothered to add a non-matchup reliever over these last few weeks — because otherwise he’d be back in Triple-A. The trip to the minors did him a world of good last year, but now he’s got to figure it out at the big league level where the hitters are less forgiving. The sooner Nova stops pitching like crap, the better.

Cheap Suit

The Yankees exploded for those five runs in the first inning and it was glorious. They hit homers, had regular old base hits with runners in scoring position, they scored on an out, the defense made an error, there was something for everyone in that inning. New York’s offense folded right up after that, recording just five hits — including two infield singles by Derek Jeter — the rest of the way. Only two Yankees made it as far as second base after that first inning. I really don’t have the motivation to write about this, they’ve been stinking the place up with the bats since the start of the West Coast trip.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)


Since the start of the Red Sox series, the Yankees’ cleanup hitters are a combined 1-for-20. This lineup is just so much different without Alex Rodriguez, he changes everything. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson have a combined two hits in their last 33 at-bats, both of which came in that first inning (single by Grandy, homer by Robbie)

The Yankees have drawn one walk in these two games, which is very un-Yankee-like. You can tell when this offense is in a funk because they aren’t racking up big pitch counts and drawing those base-on-balls. They’re all trying to force something that isn’t there. On the other hand, every starter had at least one hit, but most of them came in that first inning. Jeter had three and was the only guy with multiple knocks.

For a guy with a great arm, it sure seems like a lot of base-runners have taken the extra-base on Ichiro Suzuki since he came to New York, no? Maybe my expectations were too high. Either way, he slapped a ground ball single back up the middle to extend his streak of exactly one hit in every game with the Yankees to eight.

Clay Rapada allowed a two-run homer to Nick Markakis, pretty much a no-no for a left-handed specialist. Boone Logan and Cody Eppley otherwise pitched well after Nova bit the bullet for five innings. The bullpen was short with Chad Qualls on his way to Pittsburgh and David Phelps unavailable after throwing nearly 40 pitches on Monday.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are still six games up in the loss column in the division.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees will look to salvage this pathetic excuse of the series on Wednesday afternoon, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against Zach Britton. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the matinee.

Austin has big night in Tampa win

Two minor health updates: C Austin Romine is out with the flu and LHP Shaeffer Hall has been placed on the DL with a toe problem. Nothing major, but how the hell do you get the flu in July?

Triple-A Empire State (4-2 loss to Pawtucket)
CF Chris Dickerson: 2-5, 1 2B, 3 K
2B Corban Joseph: 0-5
SS Eduardo Nunez & RF Darnell McDonald: both 1-4, 1 R — Nunez doubled and struck out three times … McDonald hit a solo homer
DH Jack Cust: 0-4, 4 K
LF Ronnie Mustelier: 2-3, 1 HBP
3B Brandon Laird & C Frankie Cervelli: both 1-3, 1 K, 1 HBP — Cervelli doubled
1B Doug Bernier: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Ramon Ortiz: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 9/3 GB/FB — 51 of 79 pitches were strikes (65%)
LHP Justin Thomas: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 19 of 26 pitches were strikes (73%)
RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — eleven pitches, nine strikes

[Read more…]

Marlins hoped to send Carlos Lee to Yankees

Via Jayson Stark and Buster Olney, the Marlins approached Carlos Lee about waiving his no-trade clause to accept a trade to the Yankees, but he declined. The two sides were not close to agreeing to a deal or anything, talks didn’t advance after Lee said no. I have no idea what the Bombers would have done with the (former) slugger; I suppose use him for spot starts at first base and at DH against left-handed pitchers. Anything more would have really been pushing it. Casey McGehee makes much more sense given his ability to actually play the field without being a hazard to himself and those around him.

Game 103: The Return of Joba

(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

The Yankees swung just one trade before this afternoon’s deadline, but they ultimately upgraded two roster spots. Casey McGehee will replace Ramiro Pena when he joins the team tomorrow, and Joba Chamberlain officially returns from the DL to replace the departed Chad Qualls tonight. It’s been 208 regular season games and 421 days since Joba last pitched in a big league game, and his return tonight isn’t just a feel-good story. The Yankees need another non-matchup late-inning arm and since they didn’t acquire anyone like that the deadline, Joba’s the guy. Here’s the starting nine…

DH Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
1B Nick Swisher
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Eric Chavez
RF Ichiro Suzuki
Russell Martin
SS Ramiro Pena

RHP Ivan Nova

Tonight’s game is schedule to start at 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Yankees will activate Joba in time for tonight’s game

In the wake of the Chad Qualls-Casey McGehee trade, the Yankees will activate Joba Chamberlain off the DL in time for tonight’s game. He was scheduled to make what was likely his final minor league rehab appearance with Double-A tonight. The Yankees need another non-matchup reliever in the worst way, and Joba certainly fits the bill. Welcome back, big guy.

Yankees acquire Casey McGehee

(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Yankees needed to add some infield depth following Alex Rodriguez‘s hand injury, and they did so by acquiring Casey McGehee from the Pirates in exchange for Chad Qualls before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Joel Sherman broke the news and reports that New York will receive $250k in the deal as well. McGehee will almost certainly take Ramiro Pena‘s roster spot.

A 29-year-old right-handed hitter, McGehee owns a career 100 wRC+ against left-handers (95 vs. RHP). The split is much more pronounced this year (119 vs. 67 wRC+), however. He has some power (career .159 ISO) and is basically league average in the strikeout (17.2%) and walk (7.7%) departments. The various defensive metrics says he’s about average at the hot corner and you can forget about speed on the bases. Not happening.

McGehee’s an upgrade over Pena and he gives the Yankees another right-handed bat. They could use him at third, Jayson Nix in left field, and Andruw Jones at DH against southpaws with Ichiro Suzuki glued to the bench. He’ll also provide some depth in the short-term as Mark Teixeira deals with his wrist issue. McGehee started to get exposed when the Brewers and Pirates tried playing him everyday, but he’s a useful role player and won’t see that much playing time with the Yankees. As an added bonus, he’s under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2014.

Qualls, 33, pitched to a 6.14 ERA (3.76 FIP) during his brief time in pinstripes. The Yankees acquired him from the Phillies earlier this month, but he was clearly going to be the odd man out once Joba Chamberlain was ready to come off the DL. The fact that Brian Cashman was able to turn him into a useful piece is a minor miracle, frankly. McGehee is not expected to join the team in time for tonight’s game.

Tuesday Trade Deadline Open Thread

(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The trade deadline is 4pm ET today, and the Yankees will definitely be in the market for a fill-in third baseman with Alex Rodriguez on the DL with a broken bone in his hand. Mark Teixeira‘s wrist problem could spring them into further action as well, and pitching help — both rotation and bullpen — is always on the agenda. The Bombers are almost certainly done with the outfield market following the Ichiro Suzuki pickup, however. We’re going to keep track of any Yankees-related trade deadline rumors right here throughout the day, so check back often for updates. The latest will be on the bottom. Here are Sunday’s and Monday’s rumors if you missed them…

  • 10:00am: Teixeira’s injury should have no impact the team’s deadline plans, and the Yankees are still trying to acquire a defense-first type player for third base. Things are pretty quiet right now. [Ken Rosenthal]
  • The Yankees are focused on acquiring 40-man roster depth pieces, guys they can stash in Triple-A to cover for any injuries that pop-up down the stretch. [Joel Sherman]
  • Reports indicate that the Yankees have stepped up their pursuit of Ryan Dempster in the last 48 hours — lines up with when we learned about Andy Pettitte‘s setback, no? — but that has since been shot down. Dempster has 10-and-5 no-trade protection and seems hellbent on joining the Dodgers. [David Kaplan, Jon Heyman & Jayson Stark]
  • 12:34pm: There is still a “distinct possibility” the Yankees will acquire Ty Wigginton before the deadline. The Phillies are selling off all their movable pieces, with Shane Victorino headed to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence headed to the Giants. [Matt Gelb]
  • 12:56pm: The Yankees don’t believe Wigginton can handle third and are valuing defense at the position. A deal is said to be “highly unlikely.” Guys like him will get through waivers in August. [Sherman]
  • 2:03pm: The Yankees are “engaged in heavy discussions” with the Cubs about Dempster. I think this might be a case of the Cubbies trying to drive up the price for the Dodgers, but who knows. It’s worth mentioning that pitching coach Larry Rothschild knows the right-hander from his time in Chicago. [Bob Nightengale, Sherman & Rosenthal]
  • 2:14pm: The Dempster stuff is basically due diligence, the Yankees did their homework and expressed some level of interest yesterday. [Marc Carig]
  • 2:25pm: Dempster has told the Cubs that he will waive his 10-and-5 rights to join the Yankees because of his relationship with Rothschild and special advisor/former Cubs GM Jim Hendry. Chicago would have to kick in some money to facilitate a deal. [Heyman, Sherman & Sherman]
  • 2:29pm: The Cubs are said to like Angelo Gumbs and Dante Bichette Jr., but the Yankees are unlikely to part with them for a fifth starter upgrade. [Sherman & Sherman]
  • 3:12pm: Ownership has not been presented with any kind of financial information for a potential Dempster deal yet, so it doesn’t sound like anything is close as of right now. The commissioner’s office has to approve any trade involving more than $1M exchanging hands. [Sherman & Sherman]
  • 3:31pm: With less than a half-hour to go, the Dempster talks are still “nothing serious.” Either they’re going to scramble to beat the clock or the deal isn’t happening. [Carig]
  • 3:53pm: The Yankees “may” have acquired Dempster. No confirmation yet, however. [Jim Bowden]
  • 3:58pm: Scratch that, Dempster has been traded to the Rangers. [Buster Olney]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.