Game 85: All-Out

(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Yankees looked like a team playing their third game in 28 hours last night, botching routine plays and making lots of foolish mistakes. Hopefully that won’t be the case tonight after some rest earlier today. New York has a chance to win the series, putting the Red Sox in a ten-game hole heading into the All-Star break. With all that rest on tap next week, Joe Girardi can work David Robertson and Rafael Soriano a little harder than usual and the players can just go all-out without having to worry about tomorrow. Here’s the lineup…

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
DH Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
LF Andruw Jones
2B Jayson Nix
C  Chris Stewart

RHP Ivan Nova

The game is scheduled to start a little after 8pm ET and can be seen on ESPN and ESPN3.com. Enjoy.

CC Sabathia Update: Sabathia (groin) had no problems during today’s bullpen session. He’ll throw another bullpen on Tuesday and will follow up with a simulated game on Friday. Hooray for that.

Brett Gardner Update: Gardner (elbow) hit off a tee today but still has a long way to go in his rehab. Hitting in the cage and then on the field in batting practice are the next two steps before a minor league rehab stint becomes realistic.

Rotation Update: Joe Girardi announced that Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game after the All-Star break and be followed in order by Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, and Phil Hughes. If all goes well during Sabathia’s simulated game, he’ll return to the rotation and start the fifth game.

Sanchez homers in Tampa loss

Make sure you check out Mike Ashmore’s talk with Double-A Trenton pitching coach Tommy Phelps, who spoke about RHP Dellin Betances, RHP David Phelps, and LHP Vidal Nuno.

Triple-A Empire State (10-3 loss to Buffalo)
CF Chris Dickerson & C Frankie Cervelli: both 0-4 — Dickerson drove in a run, Cervelli struck out
2B Corban Joseph & LF Ronnie Mustelier: both 1-4, 1 BB — CoJo struck out … Mustelier scored a run
DH Jack Cust: 1-5
1B Brandon Laird: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
RF Cole Garner: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Ramiro Pena: 2-4, 1 R — three straight two-hit games
3B Doug Bernier: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP John Maine: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 4/2 GB/FB — 53 of 94 pitches were strikes (56.4%) … was sitting anywhere from 86-90 and giving up lots of rockets
RHP Preston Claiborne: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GB/FB — 22 of 36 pitches were strikes (61.1%)
LHP Justin Thomas: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 20 of 36 pitches were strikes (55.6%) … back after taking a broken bat to the shin about a week ago
RHP Manny Delcarmen: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 11 of 15 pitches were strikes (73.3%)

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2012 Futures Game Thread

The Homerun Derby and All-Star Game have gotten a little blah over the years, but the Futures Game remains exciting and the best way to see all of baseball’s best prospects in one place. I unofficially count 21 players from last year’s game who have since made their big league debuts, including 2012 All-Stars Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Jose Altuve. Someone from this year’s game will be an All-Star next year, it’s almost guaranteed.

Unfortunately, outfielder Tyler Austin suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a pitch earlier this week and has since been placed on the High-A DL. Not only will he not participate in the game, but the Yankees won’t even have a representative because Austin’s injury happened on such short notice. Needless to say, that is a major disappointment and this game will have little appeal to the Yankees faithful. Feel free to use this thread to talk about the game anyway, it’s still a blast to watch. Here are the lineups…

USA Team (roster)
SS Billy Hamilton (Reds)
2B Kolten Wong (Cardinals)
RF Wil Myers (Royals)
2B Mike Olt (Rangers)
1B Jonathan Singleton (Astros)
LF Michael Choice (Athletics)
DH Nick Castellanos (Tigers)
C Tommy Joseph (Giants)
CF Anthony Gose (Blue Jays)

RHP Jake Odorizzi (Royals)

World Team (roster)
2B Jean Segura (Angels)
SS Jurickson Profar (Rangers)
RF Oscar Taveras (Cardinals)
LF Alfredo Marte (Diamondbacks)
DH Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
3B Wilmer Flores (Mets)
1B Jesus Aguilar (Indians)
CF Jae-Hoon Ha (Cubs)
C Christian Bethancourt (Braves)

RHP Yordano Ventura (Royals)

The game will begin a little after 5pm ET and can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. Enjoy.

The Final Game*

(Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

* Before the All-Star break, I mean.

The Yankees played their 81st game of the season a few days ago, but the first half unofficially comes to an end later tonight. Regardless of what happens in the series finale against the Red Sox, the Bombers will head into the All-Star break at least five games up in the division — seven up on the Rays, eight up on the Sox — and with no worse than the second best record in baseball. It’s a pretty great spot to be in.

Obviously the Yankees have their warts, just like every other team. The runners in scoring position stuff is starting to work itself out, but the bullpen is overworked and some significant players — specifically CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Brett Gardner — are on the disabled list. Top prospects Manny Banuelos and Jose Campos are hurt while Dellin Betances has imploded, so they don’t have that high-end prospect to auction off in a midseason trade if needed.

We could spend all day picking the team apart and coming up with reasons to worry, but you can do about every sports team ever. For some reason sports fans tend to focus on shortcomings rather than just appreciate what things are. The Yankees have room to improve like everyone else but are already one of the best teams in the game, not like everyone else. They’re heading into the All-Star break with a relatively big lead despite all the RISPFAILs and injuries. They’re not perfect but they’re still great, and that’s pretty awesome.

Yankees beat themselves with errors, drop nightcap to Red Sox


Source: FanGraphs

It really doesn’t matter how good your offense and pitching staff is when you commit five four (!) errors like the Yankees did Saturday night. Three of them directly led to runs for the Red Sox, allowing them to both come back from a three-run deficit and blow things open late. Such is life. Maybe this loss would sting more if not for the standings. Let’s recap…

  • Early Lead: The Yankees have been scoring a ton of first inning runs this past week and they did it again in this one, all courtesy of a three-run homer by Mark Teixeira. It’s just too bad they did next to nothing after that. Felix Doubront settled down nicely and allowed just one more run the rest of the way.
  • Philbert: Phil Hughes did not have his best stuff but he did a pretty good job gutting it out I thought. A few years (weeks?) ago this would have snowballed into something really ugly, not that five runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings is anything special. Obviously his defense didn’t help him any. Phil now gets a nice 7-10 day rest with the All-Star break after a first half that was solid overall.
  • Broken: Both Cory Wade and (especially) Boone Logan are running on fumes after such a heavy workload while David Robertson was on the shelf in May. Wade’s been brutal for six weeks now and Logan’s effectiveness has slipped as well. He needs the All-Star break in the worst way. Wade got knocked around big time in the seventh (three runs, two outs) and Boston blew the game open. He’ll be back in Triple-A tomorrow.
  • Leftovers: Have yourself a day Andruw Jones. He hit a solo homer — his third of the day — and made a great diving catch in the second … I fail to see the logic behind pinch-hitting Raul Ibanez ahead of Alex Rodriguez in the eighth, you gotta go with your best hitter in that spot regardless of the platoon matchup … Russell Martin ended his 0-for-30 skid with a page out of the Chris Stewart playbook, he hit it off the infielder’s glove … a day after scoring ten runs with zero homers, the Yankees scored all 11 runs on Saturday via the long ball.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are still nine games up on the Sox in the loss column and have a chance to get it back to double-digits in the series finale on Sunday. Ivan Nova gets the ball against Jon Lester in ESPN night game, which also happens to be the final game before the All-Star break.

Williams homers in Tampa win

OF Tyler Austin has been placed on the DL following the pitch to his head earlier this week, which stinks. RHP Conor Mullee was placed on the 60-day DL and based on his Twitter feed, he got some bad news. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and left a game earlier this week after one pitch. As for the good news, C Peter O’Brien was promoted to Short Season Staten Island.

Here are the abbreviated recaps…

  • Triple-A Empire State (loss): 2B Corban Joseph doubled, LF Ronnie Mustelier doubled and homered, DH Jack Cust singled and doubled, and RF Cole Garner doubled. RHP Ramon Ortiz allowed four runs (three earned) and RHP Chase Whitley really gave it up by allowing three runs and getting just four outs.
  • Double-A Trenton (win): 2B Jose Pirela and 3B Addison Maruszak both doubled while RF Zoilo Almonte and 1B Luke Murton both doubled and homered. Murton chipped in a single as well. CF Melky Mesa singled twice. RHP Brett Marshall allowed one run in four innings, an abbreviated start that gets him ready for the All-Star Game next week. RHP Kevin Perez was the highlight of the bullpen with two perfect innings.
  • High-A Tampa (win): CF Mason Williams had two hits, including his first homer at this level. LF Ramon Flores had a single and double, ditto 1B Kyle Roller and 3B Zach Wilson. C Gary Sanchez walked twice, DH Slade Heathcott once (plus a single for him). RHP Shane Greene struck out six and allowed just one run in six innings.
  • Low-A Charleston Game One (win): CF Ben Gamel drove in four runs and was a homer away from the cycle. 3B Dante Bichette Jr. had a pair of knocks, including his second homer of the season. Hard to believe he only has two. Nothing interesting happened on the mound.
  • Low-A Charleston Game Two (loss): They had just two hits as a team, singles by C Francisco Arcia and LF Cody Grice. RHP Brett Gerritse allowed one run and struck out five in five innings.
  • Short Season Staten Island (win): O’Brien doubled in his debut with the team while both LF Taylor Dugas and 3B Fu-Lin Kuo each drew three walks. Dugas is up to 17 walks against just six strikeouts in 15 games. RHP Corey Black allowed two unearned runs in two innings while LHP Tim Flight allowed the same two unearned runs across four innings.
  • Rookie GCL Yankees (loss): Only three hits as a team, singles from CF Mikeson Oliberto, 1B Bubba Jones, and SS Austin Aune. RHP Joey Maher allowed one run in 4.2 IP.

Game 84: Get Greedy

(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

The Yankees have met their minimum requirement. Realistically, they had to come into this four-game series and manage at least a split to make sure the Red Sox would gain no ground on them in the standings this weekend. Two games in, they already have their split. It’s time for the Bombers to get greedy and create even more separation with Boston. They’re already ten games up in the loss column, time to make it eleven. Here’s the lineup…

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
DH Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
1B Nick Swisher
LF Andruw Jones
3B Jayson Nix
Russell Martin
RF Darnell McDonald

RHP Phil Hughes

Tonight’s game starts a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Yuck. Try to enjoy anyway.