That was fun! And unexpected! The Yankees finished off the sweep of the White Sox — in a game started by all-world lefty Chris Sale, no less — on Sunday afternoon thanks to Brian McCann‘s biggest hit in pinstripes, a three-run walk-off bomb in the bottom of the tenth. So awesome. Let’s recap the team’s fourth straight win:
- The Other Chris: Two pitches into the game, the Yankees were down 1-0 — Chris Capuano left a pitch up and Alexei Ramirez swatted it out to left for leadoff homer. With Sale pitching, it kinda felt like game over right there. It definitely felt like game over when Conor Gillaspie whacked a two-run homer to right in the top of sixth, extended Chicago’s lead to 3-0. Capuano was pretty damn good between homers, retiring 16 of 21 batters faced. His final line was those three runs on six hits and no walks in six innings. He struck out five and didn’t walk anyone. The very definition of a quality start, three runs in six innings.
- Unearned Rally: It all started with an error. Dayan Viciedo dropped a Martin Prado fly ball with one out in the sixth — the sun probably played a role, but it was a play a big league outfielder has to make — opening the door for the Yankees’ go-ahead four-run rally. Mark Teixeira doubled in Prado, Carlos Beltran and Frankie Cervelli sandwiched walks around a Chase Headley strikeout, loading the bases with two outs. Pitching coach Don Cooper went out to talk to Sale, whose pitch count was at 96, but he remained in the game. His next pitch hit Zelous Wheeler in the leg to force in a run, and his next pitch after that dunked into right for Ichiro Suzuki‘s two-run single. The Yankees put nine men on base against Sale, including six in that inning. All four runs were unearned because of Viciedo’s error, but who cares? Only people who own Sale in fantasy, I guess.
- Makeshift Bullpen: Because of their recent workloads, neither Shawn Kelley nor Dellin Betances were available. That meant Esmil Rogers and Rich Hill got the seventh inning and Adam Warren got the eighth once the Yankees took their 4-3 lead. Rogers retired the two men he faced (grounder, strikeout), Hill retired the one lefty he faced (fly out), and Warren sat down the side in order (fly out, grounder, strikeout). Warren fell behind in the count 3-0 to Jose Abreu but rebounded to strike him out looking. Helluva job right there. Everything was all set up for David Robertson, and then …
- Blown Save: For the first time since June 1st, 22 consecutive saves ago, Robertson blew a save. Avisail Garcia hit a game-tying solo homer into the short porch on the very first pitch of the ninth inning. It was a Yankee Stadium cheapie, but it still counts and the save was blown. Two of his three blown saves this year have come against the ChiSox. Robertson retired the next three batters with ease to end the inning. What’s Wrong With Robertson Week™?
- Extra Innings: The Yankees blew a first and second, one-out situation in the ninth thanks to Derek Jeter‘s double play. David Huff navigated the tenth — he struck out Abreu looking for the third out with two men on base — and set up the offense for the walk-off win in the bottom half. It all happened with two outs too. One-time Yankees draftee Jake Petricka struck out both Prado and Teixeira to start the inning, but Beltran fileted a double to left and Headley was intentionally walked to get the right-on-right matchup against Cervelli. Girardi went to McCann off the bench, and Petricka left a full count changeup out over the plate. McCann yanked it down the line, just fair for a cheap Yankee Stadium walk-off. Like I said before, it still counts. That’s exactly the type of homer the Yankees were expecting out of McCann when they signed him.
- Leftovers: Beltran (double, walk), Headley (double, two walks) and Ichiro (two singles) were the only Yankees to reach base twice … everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least once except for the leadoff man (Jeter) and number nine hitter (Brendan Ryan) … Robertson pitched in back-to-back-to-back games for the second time this month and only the fifth time in his career … the Yankees scored 5+ runs in back-to-back games for the first time since August 2nd and 3rd and only the second time since early-July.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. As of right now, the Yankees are 6.5 games back in the AL East and three games back of the second wildcard spot. Those numbers will change pending the outcomes of the other games today. The Yankees are now off the Kansas City to play a makeup game against the red hot Royals. (They were rained out on June 9th.) Michael Pineda and James Shields will be the pitching matchup Monday night. After that, the Yankees head to Detroit for three important games against the Tigers.
The share a first name and they both throw with their left arm, but otherwise this afternoon’s starting pitchers could not be any more different. Yankees starter Chris Capuano is a classic veteran finesse lefty, mixing speeds and using an array of soft stuff to keep hitters off balance. White Sox starter Chris Sale is a pure power pitcher who will make hitters look foolish by both throwing fastballs by them and getting silly hacks at filthy offspeed pitches. Sale really is outstanding. One of the two or three best pitchers in the world on a rate basis.
The Yankees have won their last three games and five of their last seven overall, climbing to within 3.5 games of the second wildcard spot. Every time I’m ready to count them out, they go on a run and reel me back in. They head out on an important road trip that will pit them against the Royals and wildcard competitors Tigers this week, and it sure would be nice to go out on the trip following a sweep. Find a way to beat Sale today and move on to the super important games this coming week. Here is the White Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- SS Derek Jeter
- LF Martin Prado
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- C Frankie Cervelli
- RF Zelous Wheeler
- CF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Brendan Ryan
LHP Chris Capuano
Just a few clouds in New York on an otherwise perfect afternoon for baseball. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start a bit after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Injury Updates: Brett Gardner has a sore ankle and Jacoby Ellsbury is “pretty beat up,” so Joe Girardi is giving them both the day off against the tough lefty … Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) will throw his next simulated game on Thursday.
Via Dan Martin: Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda has not yet thought about whether he will retire or continue playing after the season. He hasn’t made the decision until well into the offseason the last two years. “I have not thought about next year,” he said. “Since I’ve signed one-year contracts, I always wait until the completion of the season before I decide what to do.”
Kuroda, 39, has a 3.94 ERA (3.83 FIP) in 26 starts and 160 innings this year, so while hasn’t been the same guy we saw from 2012-13, he has been solid overall. I’ve been assuming this would be Kuroda’s last year in New York one way or the other, but I don’t think that’s completely set in stone. The Yankees need pitching, so if he wants to continue playing and is willing to sign for something like $10M to $12M instead of $16M, he could be back in 2015. · (129) ·
Got some notes:
- Both RHP Preston Claiborne (shoulder) and OF Ramon Flores (ankle) have been activated off the Triple-A Scranton DL, according to Chad Jennings and Donnie Collins. Claiborne will certainly be up when rosters expand in nine days.
- RHP Branden Pinder was placed on the Triple-A DL with an unknown injury, reports Jennings. He missed a bunch of time with a groin problem earlier this year. Also, RHP Jim Miller has been released.
Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-2 loss to Rochester in seven innings) makeup of the July 13th rainout
- SS Jose Pirela: 2-4, 2 SB
- RF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-1, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 K — five walks and two strikeouts in his last three games
- 1B Kyle Roller: 0-3, 2 K
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – fifth homer in 72 games
- DH Zoilo Almonte: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI
- C John Ryan Murphy: 0-3
- LHP Manny Banuelos: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 5/1 GB/FB — 39 of 72 pitches were strikes (54%) … 32/19 K/BB in his last 37.1 innings
- SwP Pat Venditte: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GB/FB — 34 of 50 pitches were strikes (68%)
Here is your open thread for the rest of the night. The Mets are playing later tonight plus there’s an NFL preseason game on somewhere. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s Joe Torre number retirement ceremony (video above), this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.
Five runs! It’s a Joe Torre Day miracle. The Yankees retired Torre’s No. 6 on Saturday afternoon and then went out and beat the White Sox by the score of 5-3. It’s their third straight win and fifth in their last seven games. Let’s recap:
- Just Three Runs: The Yankees have a knack for wasting opportunities this year, so while they scored three runs from the second through fourth innings, base-running mistakes and double plays limited what could have been huge rallies. Chase Headley‘s double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the second drove in their first run but also snuffed out a potential big inning. Mark Teixeira didn’t see Brian McCann being held up on Carlos Beltran‘s fourth inning single, so he got caught in a rundown between second and third for the first out of the inning. Martin Prado bailed him out with a two-run double to left. Three runs is really good! But man this team can’t get out of its own way.
- Kuroda Grinds It Out: Much like Shane Greene on Friday, Hiroki Kuroda started Saturday’s game by giving up a lot of hard contact. Back-to-back doubles by Conor Gillaspie and Alexei Ramirez led to the game’s first run in the second, then Jose Abreu singled in Alejandro De Aza in the fourth after a walk and a wild pitch. Kuroda did not have a 1-2-3 until his final inning, so this was a grind. His final line — 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 6/6 GB/FB — was fine though. Not pretty, but effective. The White Sox made Kuroda work and he did a good job of limiting the damage.
- Tack-On Runs: The Yankees scored some insurance runs in the sixth inning, which was a nice change of pace. Beltran hit a cheap Yankee Stadium solo homer and Prado created another run with pure hustle, hustling a single into a double, moving up a ground ball, and scoring on Stephen Drew‘s sac fly despite a strong throw home by Avisail Garcia. The Yankees scored 5+ runs for the first time in eleven games. Eleven games! Sadly, that is only their second longest such streak of the season. They went 12 straight with four or fewer runs earlier this year.
- Bullpen Work: Shawn Kelley gave back one of those insurance runs in the top of seventh on a single (Jordan Danks), a double (De Aza), and a ground ball (Carlos Sanchez). Dellin Betances escaped Kelley’s jam by getting Adam Dunn to fly out with runners on the corners. The struggling Adam Warren got the eighth inning due to Betances’ recently workload, and he had his first clean inning in what feels like an eternity. Ten pitches, 1-2-3. Nice and easy. David Robertson pitched around a one-out walk for his 34th save in 36 chances.
- Leftovers: Beltran had two hits and Prado had three while the rest of the lineup had two total. They were Ichiro Suzuki‘s infield single and McCann’s sun-aided double. That makes 5-for-8 for the number five and six hitters and 2-for-20 for the other seven guys … Teixeira drew two walks and was hit by a pitch, so he reached base three times … the Yankees did not strike out for the first time since May 2011. It’s the first time they struck out zero times in a win since July 2009. Here’s the list of zero-strikeout Yankees games.
The box score and video highlights are at MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other game stats and the updated standing are at ESPN. The Yankees are currently 7.5 and three games back in the AL East and second wildcard races, respectively, though that will change pending the outcome of the day’s other games. They’ll wrap up this three-game series against the ChiSox on Sunday afternoon. A pair of polar opposite lefties named Chris will be on the mound (Capuano vs. Sale).
As expected, Masahiro Tanaka faced hitters today for the first time since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament right before the All-Star break. He threw 35 pitches — including breaking balls and splitters — across two simulated innings against Brendan Ryan and Zelous Wheeler. Tanaka said he felt good but rusty, which isn’t surprising. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild called the throwing session encouraging.
It’s unclear what the next step will be — I’m guessing they’ll wait to see how Tanaka feels in the coming days before setting anything in stone — but the minor league season ends in about ten days, so there might not be enough time to get him in minor league rehab games. All of his preparation may have to be done in simulated games. The most important thing is that Tanaka is healthy and making real progress as he attempts to rehab his injury. · (11) ·
Prior to this afternoon’s game against the White Sox, the Yankees will retire No. 6 in honor of Joe Torre. The team’s long-time manager was unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era committee last December, thanks mostly to his time running the Yankees. He was a damn fine player in his day, though.
Torre spent the 1996-2007 seasons with the Yankees, leading the team to ten AL East titles, six AL pennants, and four World Series championships. He is second on the franchise’s all-time games managed (1,942) and managerial wins (1,173) list, behind only Joe McCarthy. Say what you want about his managerial style and his book The Yankee Years, but Torre definitely deserves to have his number retired in my opinion. No brainer, really. Once Derek Jeter‘s No. 2 is inevitably retired, the Yankees will be out of single-digit numbers. Crazy.
This afternoon’s number retirement ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:15pm ET or so. It’s cool and cloudy in New York, but there is no rain in the forecast, so that’s good. The ceremony will be carried on YES but I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see it on MLB.tv. Usually they don’t show these pre-game ceremonies. Here is the White Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup for this afternoon’s game:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- LF Brett Gardner
- C Brian McCann
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 2B Martin Prado
- 3B Chase Headley
- SS Stephen Drew
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
First pitch is scheduled for a little after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.
Via Joel Sherman: The Yankees are “strongly considering” using a six-man rotation in September and are at least “talking about” doing the same next year, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Brian Cashman confirmed. “No doubt, you have to see how all the pieces fit, but I think it is something you have to take a look at,” said Rothschild.
There are several good reasons for employing a six-man rotation once rosters expand in September and I’m for it. Doing it next season is a different matter. The Yankees will have four starters with varying levels of injury concern in Masahiro Tanaka (elbow), Michael Pineda (shoulder), CC Sabathia (knee), and Ivan Nova (elbow), and giving them extra rest makes sense, but how do they pull that off? Do they go with a six-man bullpen/four-man bench or seven-man bullpen/three-man bench? Everything they’ve done with their roster the last few years points to the latter. Do it in September, sure, but they’d need to figure some stuff out before doing it in 2015. · (100) ·
The start of Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox was not so good, but the ending was arguably the best of the season. Thanks to Martin Prado‘s big night, the Yankees walked off with a much-needed 4-3 win over Chicago’s south-siders. That’s two straight wins and four in the last six games overall. It’s going to take a lot more than that to get the Bombers back into the postseason race, but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere.
Three batters into the game, the ChiSox had a 3-0 lead thanks to two singles and a Jose Abreu three-run homer. Shane Greene hung a slider — though not too badly — and Abreu went down and golfed it out to left field. Given the Yankees’ offensive struggles, there was definitely a feeling that the game was already over after the homer. Give Greene credit though, he settled down and was very good the rest of the way, striking out seven and allowing just those three runs in five innings. Impressive bounce back.
The comeback started in the third inning, when Prado whacked a hanging John Danks changeup out of the park for a two-run homer. The Yankees tied the game on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s double in the fifth, which also gave them runners at second and third with no outs. Mark Teixeira (ground out), Prado (strikeout), and Brian McCann (fly out) couldn’t get any more runs home. Shawn Kelley did the bullpen heavy lifting, inheriting a first and second with no outs jam from Greene and escaped the inning. He had help when Brett Gardner threw a runner out at the plate for the third out.
Kelley (four outs), Dellin Betances (five outs), and David Robertson (three outs) combined for four innings of work in relief of Greene, giving the offense a chance to win it. Ichiro Suzuki‘s leadoff single in the ninth set the winning rally up, and eventually the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs on Ichiro‘s single, Gardner’s bunt, Derek Jeter‘s line out, Ellsbury’s intentional walk, and Teixeira’s unintentional walk. Righty Daniel Webb got ahead in the count 0-2 to Prado, followed that with three straight balls to run the count full, then allowed the walk-off ground ball single back up the middle. It was the Yankees’ fourth walk-off win of the season.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Mariners won but both the Tigers and Orioles lost, so the Yankees are eight games back in the AL East and 3.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 6.5%. Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Carroll will meet in the middle game of this three-game series on Saturday afternoon, but first the Yankees will retire Joe Torre’s No. 6. The ceremony is scheduled to start a little after 12pm ET. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch it live.
Minor League Update: No time for a full recap tonight, folks. Here is the system wrap-up from MLB Farm instead. Every game in one place. Jose Pirela was a single short of the cycle, John Ryan Murphy and Dante Bichette Jr. both homered, Jacob Lindgren struck out three in two innings, and both Aaron Judge and Abi Avelino doubled.