Here’s the open thread for the night. The Dodgers and Giants are the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Lincecum vs. Anderson), so talk about that game, this afternoon’s beatdown, or anything else right here.
Following this afternoon’s game, the Yankees announced they have optioned righty Danny Burawa and lefty Jose DePaula to Triple-A Scranton. Both made their MLB debuts this afternoon and, uh, they did not go well. The team says they anticipate calling up righties Diego Moreno and Nick Rumbelow on Monday.
Moreno, 28, was originally acquired in the A.J. Burnett trade with the Pirates a few years ago. He has a 2.27 ERA (2.61 FIP) with decent strikeout (21.2%) and walk (5.8%) rates in 35.2 innings with the RailRiders this season. Moreno is a classic fastball/slider reliever and the Yankees seem to like him. Brian Cashman has mentioned him as a call-up candidate a few times the last two years.
The 23-year-old Rumbelow was New York’s seventh round pick in 2013 — he’ll be the first player from their 2013 draft class to reach MLB — and he has a 3.31 ERA (2.58 FIP) in 35.1 Triple-A innings this year. His strikeout (28.7%) and walk (4.9%) rates are good, though he fanned more batters (34.1%) while climbing from Low-A to Triple-A last year. Rumbelow is a fastball/curveball guy.
Neither Moreno nor Rumbelow is on the 40-man roster but that’s not much of a problem. The Yankees currently have one open 40-man spot and they say they’ll transfer Sergio Santos (elbow) to the 60-day DL to clear the other spot. They can can slide Jacob Lindgren (elbow) to the 60-day DL when Ivan Nova is ready to return, whenever that is. Probably sometime within the next few days.
After taking two very satisfactory games from Detroit this weekend, the Yankees lost today’s game because, well, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Burawa and Jose DePaula gave up twelve runs and the offense didn’t score as many. Tanaka gave up three homers and seven runs in five innings and when you have your ace go down like that, it becomes mighty tough to win. The Yankees’ offense did hit three homers but they were far from enough. But hey, New York still got the series win!
The early case of multiple dingers
Coming into the game, Tanaka had only allowed four homers this season. The Detroit Tigers, on the paper, are a very powerful team. Sure, they have not performed as expected this season but the talent is there, and boy, they showed it today.
After getting the two first hitters out – Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler – pretty quickly, Tanaka gave up an opposite field single to Miguel Cabrera. Okay, far from the worst case scenario with one of the best hitters today. Next up was Victor Martinez, who is just not having a great year. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Tanaka threw a splitter that just hung in the strike zone that Martinez hit out for a 2-0 Tigers lead.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard grounder to Didi Gregorius and Gregorius couldn’t handle it. J.D. Martinez, who’s become one of the best hitters of AL, got a 90 mph fastball right down the middle and missed none of it. 4-0 Tigers lead. Not nice.
Rest of the start
Tanaka also was shaky in the second inning – he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs. Victor Martinez, who previously got to Tanaka in first with a homer, hit a 0-2 splitter for a grounder that snuck through the middle for a 6-0 Tigers lead.
Flash forward to the top fifth, J.D. Martinez hit a slider down the middle and … just absolutely tattooed it. The ball reached to the Monument Park over the center field fence. 7-2 Tigers. It was on the first pitch of the inning so the damage was limited to a run but, still, not one of Tanaka’s finest days.
Some amount of runs
In the second inning, with one out, Brian McCann took a 85 mph change from Anibal Sanchez into the right field seats for a solo homer. Sanchez, up to that point, hadn’t been making as mistakes as Tanaka but boy, that looked like a meatball in the zone. 6-1 Tigers.
With two outs, Chris Young lined a single to left. Stephen Drew followed it up with a four-pitch walk. Runners on first and second, Brendan Ryan came up to bat and hit a 0-2 pitch through the middle for an RBI single. 6-2.
Stephen Drew went deep again so we can make more Robinson Cano jokes. In the bottom seventh, Drew turned on a fastball inside and put the ball up in the second deck for his tenth of the year.
… You thought he was going to stop, were you? Well, in the bottom of the ninth, against Joakim Soria, Drew drove a fastball just over the right field fence for his third two-homer game of the year. Eleven home runs this season for Stephen, which is more than Buster Posey, Carlos Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Yoenis Cespedes and Andrew McCutchen have hit this year. Drew’s second homer made it 12-4 and it would stay that will till the end of the game.
Debut no. 1: The Local Kid
Danny Burawa, only two months younger than Tanaka, was called up to the majors today. Back in 2010, the righty was a 12th rounder from St. John’s University in Queens. Prior to the call-up, Burawa was in Triple-A and has had a pretty nice season: 1.75 ERA in 36.0 IP with 30 strikeouts and 17 walks. He was known for his strong arm.
On the first pitch to Kinsler, the righty threw a 97 mph strike — there’s that big arm that had been advertised for few years. Kinsler hit a grounder to short and Didi’s offline throw was caught by Mark Teixeira and the Yankee first baseman managed to tag out the runner.
Against the next two hitters, Burawa wasn’t as lucky (or effective). Miguel Cabrera walked and Victor Martinez followed it up with a single to right. Cespedes hit an elevated fastball up to the middle for an RBI single, making it an 8-2 game for Detroit. It was pretty evident that Burawa had roughly a million butterflies. It didn’t help much that he was facing the explosive Tigers middle of the order.
Did I say Tigers middle of the order? Well, J.D. Martinez struck again. Burawa threw a 93 mph fastball – it wasn’t a horrible pitch; definitely on the lower part of strike zone but tailed into the center. Martinez made a very solid contact and the ball sailed over the right field fence for a 3-RBI home run, 11-2 Detroit. A three-homer game for J.D.!
Debut no. 2: a first-year Yankee from Villa Mella
After Burawa allowed four earned runs and got only two outs, Joe Girardi subbed in another pitcher making his ML debut: Jose DePaula. Yankees had signed DePaula to a Major League deal in last November. The lefty had pitched with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants systems earlier in his career and after signing with New York, DePaula’s had a 1.53 ERA in 3 starts in Triple-A.
And, on his very first pitch, DePaula allowed a homer to Andrew Romine for his third career homer and first of the season. Ooof. Welcome to Major Leagues, Jose.
That home run would be the only run that DePaula allowed this afternoon. He went 3.1 IP, allowed two hits, struck out two and walked four. He didn’t get things too out of hand and managed to get enough outs to finish through the ninth inning, which, I guess, was all Girardi could have asked from De Paula.
Box Score, standings, video highlights, WPA
The Yankees have Phillies visiting Yankee Stadium for a three-game series. I’m not saying the Phillies are a bad team but … well, actually, they are pretty terrible this year. Feel free to look forward to the next series in order to forget today’s game and Happy Father’s Day!
Rookie left-hander Jacob Lindgren will have surgery on Monday to remove a bone spur from his elbow, the Yankees announced. Team doctor Dr. Ahmad will perform the procedure and the Yankees say the rehab timetable is “expected to be no more than 12 weeks.”
Lindgren, 22, allowed four runs in seven innings with the Yankees after pitching to a 1.23 ERA (1.93 FIP) in 22 innings with Triple-A Scranton. He allowed three homers in his seven innings with New York and left a lot of pitches up, which could have had something to do with the elbow problem. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows.
I’m not sure how the timing of all this works. I was under the impression the Yankees would have had to call Lindgren back up and place him on the big league DL if he suffered the injury in MLB, allowing him to accrue service time and get big league salary. He was optioned down a few days ago and placed on the Triple-A DL though, and it sounds like that’s where he’s staying. Like I said, I’m not sure how this works.
The 12-week timetable comes close to ending Lindgren’s season — it puts him on target to return in the middle of September. I think the injury makes Lindgren a prime candidate for the Arizona Fall League, which would allow him to make up for some lost innings.
This homestand is going really well so far. The Yankees have own all four games by the combined scored of 32-10. They’ve allowed three runs or fewer in five of their last seven games, which is sorta flying under the radar. In one of the other games they allowed just four runs. They’re pitching well and hitting well right. Times are good.
Masahiro Tanaka is on the mound with an extra day of rest this afternoon and he has been simply outstanding of late. Four runs in 21 innings since coming off the DL and five runs in his last 34.1 innings overall. Thirty-five strikeouts and two walks too. No better guy to have on the mound when you’re looking for a sweep. Here is the Tigers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Didi Gregorius
- DH Alex Rodriguez
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- RF Garrett Jones
- LF Chris Young
- 2B Stephen Drew
- 3B Brendan Ryan
RHP Masahiro Tanaka
It’s a lovely afternoon in New York. Great day for baseball. Today’s game will begin a little after 1pm ET and will air on YES locally and MLB Network regionally. Enjoy the game.
Injury Updates: Mason Williams (shoulder) has been placed on the 15-day DL. An MRI showed no structural damage, just inflammation. Joe Girardi said they don’t want to rush him … Sergio Santos (elbow) needs Tommy John surgery. Womp womp. Thanks for getting out of that bases loaded jam the other day, Serg.
Roster Moves: Bryan Mitchell was send down to Triple-A Scranton and both Danny Burawa and Ramon Flores were called up, the Yankees announced. Whenever he gets into a game, Burawa will be the seventh Yankee to make his MLB debut. It’s not even July yet!
Excuse me for starting out on a philosophical note, but one slightly ironic certainty in life is that we have no idea why some things happen. That’s even truer in baseball, and a clear example of that is Brett Gardner. His success as an outfielder for the Yankees is one of the more pleasant surprises I’ve experienced in the last decade or so as fan. When he first came up, I liked his batting eye and I liked his defense, as did everyone else. However, I thought that his lack of power at the beginning would come back to bite him eventually; pitchers would challenge him in the zone, thus negating his good eye and patience, exploiting his lack of power. I’m glad I was wrong.
Taking the more micro view of things, I thought there would be a difference in performance from Gardner after Jacoby Ellsbury went down with an injury, but there really hasn’t been. Ellsbury last appeared in a game for the Yankees on May 19; at that time, Gardner was hitting .291/.366/.433, mostly out of the second spot of the lineup. Since then, through Friday’s game against the Tigers, Gardner has hit .259/.331/.454. There’s been a drop off in average and OBP, but nothing too significant, and that drop is balanced out by a boost in power.
Again borrowing from cliche philosophy, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Gardner moved up a spot in the order to the leadoff spot, a role he’s more than suited for; after all, he and Taco Bellsbury are fairly similar hitters. Going into writing this piece, I was expecting to find some differences in the way pitchers approached Gardner thanks to the new lineup spot, specifically the fact that there’d be no one on in front of him for his first time up which would be a change from the Ellsbury/Gardner configuration. During the opening stretch of the season before Gardner got hurt, Ellsbury was on base quite a bit–his OBP before going down was .412. In turn, Gardner came up to the plate with men on base in 55 of 127 at bats, 43%. Moving to the leadoff position lowered that to 33.33%, which is expected; you’ll always be starting with no men on in your first trip to the plate. Given that difference, though, and the move to the higher lineup spot, pitchers haven’t treated Gardner much differently than they did when he was a two hitter.
He has seen more ‘hard’ stuff since moving up in the order than he did to start the year, but the differences in results aren’t all that drastic, except for the increase in power on breaking pitches, moving from an ISO of .057 to an ISO of .333. His increased power against both hard and offspeed stuff as well just mirrors the overall increase in power noted earlier.
While the Yankees have struggled in Ellsbury’s absence, Gardner’s been a more consistent presence than realized. The team’s been up and down all year, but he’s been steady, which is exactly what a team needs at the top of the lineup.
The day started with a wonderful celebration of Willie Randolph’s career and the usual Old Timers’ Day fun, not to mention a surprise Monument Park plaque for Mel Stottlemyre, and it ended with a blowout 14-3 win over the Tigers. Pretty awesome day all around. The Yankees have won four straight and are now 20-11 with a +46 run differential at Yankee Stadium in 2015. Home sweet home.
Simon Says: Score Runs
Games like this are the toughest to recap because I don’t even know where to start. We all know what happened. The Yankees scored a ton of runs and they did it in every way possible. With singles, with homers, with sac flies … even with a hit-by-pitch. Six different Yankees drove in a run and eight different Yankees scored a run. The end result: 14 runs on a season-high 18 hits. They also drew six walks and struck out just five times. Pretty great game. Here are some points I want to highlight:
(1) Brett Gardner hit for the cycle. Well, sorta. He hit for the cycle in four at-bats spanning Friday to Saturday. Gardner homered in his last at-bat Friday, then on Saturday he tripled in his first-bat, doubled in his second at-bat, and singled in his third at-bat. That’s a cycle in four at-bats across two games. Doesn’t count in the record books but it’s still pretty cool. Gardner went 3-for-6 in the game overall. He is 10-for-20 on the homestand. Scorching hot.
(2) Carlos Beltran hit two home runs and they couldn’t have been any more different. The first was a moonshot he pulled over the home bullpen and into the right field bleachers as a left-handed batter. The second was an opposite field Yankee Stadium cheapie he reached out and poked to right field as a right-handed batter. It was the 12th time Beltran homered from both sides of the plate in one game in his career. That’s one shy of the all-time record held by … wait for it … Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher. How about that?
(3) The biggest at-bat of the game was Alex Rodriguez‘s three-run home run in the third inning, I think. At least that was the biggest at-bat in hindsight. The Yankees worked Alfredo Simon really hard — he threw 85 pitches to get eight outs — and they had five runs on the board already, but A-Rod‘s monster homer off Ian Krol turned this one into a true laugher. Five runs is a nice lead. Eight runs? That feels like game over. And it was a bomb too. A-Rod crushed the ball deep into the left field seats. Zero doubter. He drove in five runs in the game.
(4) The two-run fourth inning rally was the stupidest rally ever. Not one, but two check swing bloops fell in for base hits. Didi Gregorius, who homered earlier in the game, tried to check his swing, made contact, and the ball fell in. Chris Young did almost the exact same thing two batters later. In between, Stephen Drew hit a weak grounder to short and Gregorius managed to beat the flip to second. It was scored a hit for whatever reason. (Fielder’s choice, no?) It was that kind of night. Everything went right, even the check swings.
(5) The top and bottom of the order did a lot of damage. The top three hitters went a combined 7-for-13 (.538) while the bottom three hitters went 6-for-14 (.429). The middle of the lineup did well too (3-for-10) but the top and bottom really stood out. The Yankees scored in each of the first five innings and went 4-for-13 (.308) with runners in scoring position. (I thought the RISP numbers would be better than that.) Utility infielder Josh Wilson pitched the eighth inning for Detroit — Young took him deep — and he forgot to cover first base on a ground ball, giving Brendan Ryan an infield single. The Yankees could do no wrong offensively.
Obviously the offense is the story of the game, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that Nathan Eovaldi rebounded from his disaster start earlier this week to hold the Tigers to two runs in six innings, and he wasn’t even on the mound for the two runs. (Bryan Mitchell allowed a pair of inherited runners to score.) Eovaldi struck out four and held Detroit to two base-runners in the first five innings. They didn’t have a runner reach second base until Rajai Davis’ leadoff double in the seventh. I’m sure all the offense made life easy. Still nice to see Eovaldi rebound so well.
Mitchell made his season debut and wasn’t great, though it doesn’t really matter. In addition to the two inherited runners he allowed to score, Mitchell surrendered one run of his own on four hits in three innings. He gets a save for throwing the final three innings in the blowout. This was the definition of mop-up duty for Mitchell. Throw strikes and get the game over with. It was nice to see the regular late-inning relievers get a second straight day off. The Yankees needed a laugher like this for more reason than one.
Kinda covered everything already, right? Here are all the Old Timers’ Day videos if you missed any of it. Also make sure you check out the Mel Stottlemyre plaque surprise if you haven’t. What a tremendous moment.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights, and here are the updated standings. The AL East is so tight, geez. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Now here’s the win probability graph:
The Yankees and Tigers will wrap up this three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka and Anibal Sanchez will be on the bump. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch that game or any of the other upcoming home games live and in person.