This second half opening ten-game homestand is coming to an end today. The Yankees have won five of the first nine games, and boy, a 6-4 homestand looks so much better than a 5-5 homestand. Of course, the Yankees were going to have to go something like 7-3 or even 8-2 to really get back into the postseason race. They’re still treading water, which is bad for #TeamBuy and good for #TeamSell.
I’m not going to have time to add the lineup to the post, so I’ll instead direct you to the Yankees PR folks on Twitter. They should have the lineup posted there. It’s another really hot day in the New York, though at least there are some more clouds in the sky to provide shade. Today’s series finale is set to begin at 1:05pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy the game.
What’s worse than a loss? A loss that completely decimates your bullpen. The Yankees did exactly that in Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 loss to the Giants. The game went 12 innings. Let’s recap with bullet points, because it’s a Saturday night:
- Just One Run: Like Madison Bumgarner on Friday, the Yankees had some chances to get to Johnny Cueto early on the Sunday, but they couldn’t capitalize. They scored their one run in the fourth inning, when Mark Teixeira pulled a single to right field that Mac Williamson bobbled. The bobble was just enough to allow Didi Gregorius to race around all the way from first. He slid in just ahead of the tag. And thus concludes the run scoring for the day.
- Alright Ivan: Props to Ivan Nova for a strong start. The first few innings were pretty shaky, but he settled down in the middle innings and gave the Yankees seven innings of one-run ball. He struck out seven and allowed the run on six hits and two walks. Nova has now allowed no more than one run in three of his last four starts. Nice little showcase before the trade deadline, I’d say.
- The Blown Chance: The Yankees were gift-wrapped a golden opportunity in the tenth. Lefty Josh Osich started the frame by walking Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner, then, for whatever reason, Jacoby Ellsbury bunted the runners up. Why? Hicks is scoring on pretty much any single, and the bunt meant Carlos Beltran wouldn’t get to hit. Sure enough, Beltran was intentionally walked. Brian McCann popped up on the first pitch with the bases loaded, then Starlin Castro flew out to end the inning. What a waste.
- The Bullpen: Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman have now combined to throw 132 pitches the last two days. Chapman threw two innings Saturday, and Betances tossed an inning as well. He was pitching for the fifth time in the last seven days, plus he warmed up on one of the days he didn’t pitch. Yikes. Those guys are running on fumes. Anthony Swarzak allowed the losing run on a double and a single. Womp womp.
- Leftovers: The Yankees had nine hits and still managed to go 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. I’m not even mad. I’m amazed … every starter had a hit except Castro. Gardner, Beltran, Hicks, and Chase Headley drew the walks … Gardner, Gregorius, and McCann teammate up for a brilliant play at the plate. Here’s the video. Watch it.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Giants wrap up this three-game series on Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1pm ET start. Jeff Samardzija and Nathan Eovaldi are the scheduled starters in a matchup of hard-throwing righty enigmas.
Triple-A Scranton manager Al Pedrique told Sweeny Murti that OF Aaron Judge should return to the lineup in 4-5 days. Shane Hennigan says Judge hit against soft toss and did some long toss throwing today, so he’s working his way back. Good news.
Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Durham)
- CF Ben Gamel: 1-3, 1 R, 3 K
- RF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
- C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB — that’s his sixth steal of the season, and no, it’s not a career high … he stole 15 bases (!) back in 2012
- DH Ike Davis: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
- 1B Tyler Austin: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
- LF Cesar Puello: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HBP, 3 SB — that’s hit-by-pitch No. 14 … no one else in the system has more than seven
- LHP Dietrich Enns: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1/4 GB/FB — 55 of 97 pitches were strikes (57%)
- LHP Tyler Webb: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 20 of 37 pitches were strikes (54%)
- RHP Johnny Barbato: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB — ten of 19 pitches were strikes (53%) … he’s been really good of late, but this wasn’t his best outing
- RHP Jonathan Holder: 2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 20 of 29 pitches were strikes … two-inning save in a one-run game in his second Triple-A outing
Goodness gracious is it hot outside here in New York. The temperature has been in the mid-90s all day and there’s not a cloud in the sky, so it feels even hotter because the sun has been beating down on the sidewalk all day. This little heat wave is supposed to last right through the end of next week too. Thanks goodness for air conditioning, man’s greatest invention.
Also hot: the Yankees. They’ve won five of their last six games and eight of their last 12 games. Were they all textbook wins? Hardly. They needed some lucky breaks along the way, but that’s fine, a win is a win. The question now is how will this recent hot streak impact the team’s trade deadline activity? Do they see this as a chance to get back into the race, or just a mirage? The answer to that question might be the most important decision the Yankees have made in years, if not decades. Here is the Giants’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- DH Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- 2B Starlin Castro
- SS Didi Gregorius
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- 3B Chase Headley
- RF Aaron Hicks
RHP Ivan Nova
The Giants changed up their pitching plan. Johnny Cueto is starting today and Jeff Samardzija is starting tomorrow. I’m not exactly sure why they made the change, but they did. There’s no injury or anything. They just flipped the two.
Anyway, like I said, it’s crazy hot outside. Not the most comfortable afternoon to be sitting out in the stands. Today’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 4pm ET. You can watch on YES or Fox Sports 1. Enjoy the game.
The trade deadline is now only nine days away, and according to FanGraphs, the Yankees have a 9.6% chance to make the postseason. That’s not very good. Buster Olney (video link) said yesterday Aroldis Chapman could be dealt as soon as this weekend, though I’m not sure I buy that. “The Yankees are playing it smart and will likely take it to the end to get the most,” said an official with another team to George King. Here are the latest trade rumblings.
Nats make top prospects off-limits
Despite their interest in Chapman, Barry Svrluga reports the Nationals will not trade top prospects Lucas Giolito, Trea Turner, Victor Robles, or Reynaldo Lopez for the hard-throwing lefty. Every team says they’re unwilling to trade their top prospects this time of year, so I wouldn’t make too much of this. It’s just posturing.
If the Nationals are serious about getting Chapman (or Andrew Miller), they’ll have to put one of those guys on the table. Lopez seems most likely, mostly because he’s the lowest rated prospect of the bunch. He’s not bad — Baseball America had him 48th in their midseason top 100 — the other guys are just really, really good. Based on what Miller fetched two years ago, I think Lopez would be a fair return for Chapman.
Blue Jays scouted Sabathia
The Blue Jays had a scout watching CC Sabathia‘s most recent start, reports Jon Heyman. George King says the Astros, Mets, Marlins, and Cubs also had scouts on hand Thursday. It’s worth noting Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro was in the Indians’ front office all those years Sabathia was in Cleveland, including most as GM. There’s a bit of a connection there.
We heard Sabathia has been drawing some interest the other day, though I have a hard time believing it’s serious interest. I’m guessing it’s more “if you eat a ton of money we’ll take him off your hands” interest. Also, an intradivision trade with the Blue Jays probably isn’t happening, even though you could argue trading Sabathia to an AL East rival would be good for the Yankees.
Giants, Astros, Cubs among teams to scout Pineda
The Giants, Astros, Cubs, and “a ton” of others were on hand to see Michael Pineda‘s most recent start, report Jon Morosi and Chris Cotillo. Pineda had his first scoreless start of the season Wednesday, and he had maybe his nastiest slider of the season too. As Katie pointed out in Yankeemetrics, Pineda generated 18 swings and misses with his slider that game, the most by any pitcher in baseball in 2016.
The Yankees are at the point where they have to figure out what they want to do with Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi. Do they want to keep them long-term? If so, they should start thinking about extensions. If they don’t want them long-term, then they should trade them soon to get as much back as possible. I understand waiting and hoping they rebuild value in the second half, but I think it’s more likely they’ll lose value going forward between the injury risk and being closer to free agency.