Source: FanGraphs

Two wins in a row! That’s always fun. The Yankees should do it more often. They took Sunday afternoon’s series finale from the Rays by the score of 4-2. Let’s recap the win:

  • All With Two Outs: For the first 4.2 innings, Jeremy Hellickson kept the Yankees completely off balance with a mix of changeups and sneaky fastballs. They didn’t even hit the ball hard. That all changed in the fifth with a two-out walk by Stephen Drew. Martin Prado picked up his team’s first hit with a double into the left field corner (hard hit!), putting men at second and third with two outs. Brett Gardner plated both runners with a single back up the middle, then Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury strung together two more singles to score the third run. Two-out rallies are so great.
  • Return of HIROK: Hiroki Kuroda allowed a first inning run(s) for the fifth straight start. Thankfully it was just one run (on two singles and a ground ball) on Sunday. He settled right down and retired 17 straight after that, getting the ball into the seventh inning. Matt Joyce’s leadoff double in the seventh ended the consecutive outs streak, and he eventually scored on Evan Longoria’s single. Kuroda did not make it out of the inning — Shawn Kelley bailed him out with a strikeout — but holding Tampa to two runs in 6.2 innings is plenty good enough. He only struck out one but did limit the Rays to four hits and a walk. The extra rest seemed to do Kuroda some good.
  • Late Innings: Like I said, Kelley bailed out Kuroda in the seventh, striking out Brandon Guyer with runners on the corners to end the inning. Mark Teixeira whacked a solo homer in the top of the eighth to give the Yankees a much-appreciated insurance run right after the Rays cut their deficit to one. It was his 20th homer of the year. Dellin Betances pitched around an infield single in the eighth and David Robertson retired the side in order in the ninth for his 33rd save in 35 chances. He has successfully converted 21 straight saves, the longest active streak in MLB.
  • Leftovers: Prado had himself a great day both at the plate (single, double) and in the field. He made several stellar stops at second base … Chase Headley also had two hits (singles) and several great defensive plays … every starter reached base safely at least once except for the just off the disabled list Brian McCann, though he reached on an error … the run-scoring single in the fifth was Ellsbury’s first hit in a week, since his solo homer against the Indians last Sunday.

For the box score and video highlights, head over to FanGraphs is where you can find some more stats and ESPN is where you can find the updated standings. The Yankees are now seven games back in the AL East — they are back in second place, percentage points ahead of the Blue Jays — and 3.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 10.3%. The Yankees are off on Monday — third off-day in the last week — and will welcome the Astros to the Bronx for three games starting Tuesday. Lefties Chris Capuano and Brett Oberholtzer are scheduled to start the opener. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game live.

Categories : Game Stories
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(Scott Iskowitz/Getty)

(Scott Iskowitz/Getty)

The Yankees have played 15 series against AL East opponents this year and so far they’ve won five. Five! They split one and lost the other nine. They’ve only won one of their last eight AL East series as well. That explains why they are closer to last place (6.5 games) than first place (seven games).

Yesterday’s win snapped a five-game losing streak and gives the Yankees a chance to clinch a rare series win over an AL East rival this afternoon. Hiroki Kuroda is starting on extra rest after showing clear signs of fatigue in his last two or three starts, particularly once his pitch count gets up to around 80. Hopefully the extra rest does him some good. Here is the Rays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. C Brian McCann
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Stephen Drew
  9. 2B Martin Prado
    RHP Hiroki Kuroda

It’s another rainy day in St. Pete. The Tropicana Field dome was definitely a big help this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

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Categories : Game Threads
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  • Yankees activate Brian McCann, send down Austin Romine

    As expected, the Yankees have activated Brian McCann off the 7-day concussion disabled list. Austin Romine was sent back to Triple-A Scranton in a corresponding move. McCann missed one week plus a day after taking a foul tip to the face mask. Good to see it was a relatively minor concussion and not something that lingered for an extended period of time. · (18) ·

  • Andrew Bailey will not pitch this year, has suffered a “few setbacks”

    Rehabbing right-hander Andrew Bailey will not pitch for the Yankees this season, Joe Girardi confirmed to Chad Jennings. Girardi said the two-time All-Star and 2009 AL Rookie of the Year has suffered a “few setbacks” this summer as he works his way back from a torn shoulder capsule. Bailey had been throwing bullpen sessions in Tampa, last we heard.

    The Yankees signed Bailey to a minor league contract over the winter knowing he was unlikely to pitch before September, if at all. The contract includes a club option and was always geared towards 2015. Bailey, 30, has thrown only 44 innings from 2012-14 (4.91 ERA and 4.68 FIP) due to a series of injuries, including the torn capsule and a torn thumb ligament. Torn capsules are very serious. No pitcher has ever returned from one and pitched like they did before getting hurt. The Yankees took a low-risk flier on Bailey and, given the nature of the injury, it’s no surprise he won’t be able to pitch this year.
    · (13) ·

Source: FanGraphs

After the Rays rallied to the tie Saturday afternoon’s game in the seventh inning, it sure felt like the Yankees were headed for another ugly come-from-ahead loss. Instead, Derek Jeter came through with a huge hit in the ninth inning and the Bombers snapped their five-game losing streak. They beat the Rays by the score of 3-2 in the second game of the series. Let’s recap the sorely needed win:

  • Two Strikes, Two Outs, Two Runs: The Yankees scored a total of seven runs during the five-game losing streak, so going up 2-0 in the second inning felt like a minor miracle. Drew Smyly got two quick outs in the second before walking Chase Headley, allowing him to steal second base, then catching way too much of the plate with an 0-2 pitch to Martin Prado. Prado yanked it out to left for a two-run homer, his second dinger in pinstripes.
  • Greene Machine: Once again, Shane Greene was outstanding. He didn’t get a decision because of defensive funny business and spotty bullpen work, but he struck out ten and held the Rays to two runs in six innings. At one point he retired nine in a row. Greene threw 102 pitches and got 18 swings and misses, which is awesome. Had Headley taken the out at first on Kevin Kiermaier’s bunt in the seventh (no outs were recorded), maybe Greene escapes with only one run allowed. Either way, he was excellent, much better than the pitching line indicates.
  • Late Innings: I’m not quite sure why Joe Girardi went to Shawn Kelley two on and no outs (and a one-run lead) in the seventh instead of Dellin Betances, who threw the eighth once the score was tied, but it happened and it helped the Rays tie the game. The Yankees retook the lead in the top of the ninth thanks to a big error by Logan Forsythe, who threw a ball into the stands on Brett Gardner‘s infield single. Gardner would have been safe anyway, but the error allowed him to advance to second. Jeter tried to bunt him to third, failed, then laced a two-strike single to right against the hard-throwing and awesome Jake McGee to score the go-ahead run. Huge hit. Game-winning hit.
  • Leftovers: David Robertson, who has not pitched in nine days, retired the side in order in the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances … Mark Teixeira had two singles while Gardner (single), Jeter (single), Prado (homer), Frankie Cervelli (double), and Brendan Ryan (single) had one hit apiece … Headley drew the only walk. He’s reached base in 20 of his 22 games as a Yankee … technically, the bullpen was perfect, nine up and nine down. Kelley did allow an inherited runner to score with two ground outs though. has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles lost and the Tigers won, so the Yankees are seven games back in the AL East and four games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 8.6%. The Yankees and Rays will wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon, when Hiroki Kuroda and Jeremy Hellickson get the ball.

Categories : Game Stories
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OF Tyler Austin made the In The Team Photo section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. In other news, Chris Cotillo says RHP Chris Leroux cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A. He was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the roster for Michael Pineda the other day.

Triple-A Scranton (9-4 win over Pawtucket)

  • LF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 R, 2 BB
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — 13-for-38 (.342) in his last nine games
  • CF Zoilo Almonte: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 3B Zelous Wheeler: 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • LHP Nik Turley: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 3/5 GB/FB — 52 of 99 pitches were strikes … 39/36 K/BB in 50.1 innings
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/0 GB/FB – 31 of 46 pitches were strikes (67%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Here is your open thread for the rest of the night. The Mets are playing, the Little League World Series is on, and both the (football) Giants and Jets are playing preseason games. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

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Categories : Open Thread
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After a throwing program, a setback, and another throwing program, Carlos Beltran returns to right field today for the first time since May 11th. A bone spur in his throwing elbow limited him to DH duties over the last three months.

I’m not sure playing the defensively challenged Beltran in the outfield actually helps the Yankees, but this is year one of a three-year deal, so if they can avoid sticking him at DH full-time, they should do it. You can bet the Rays will test his arm this afternoon. Here is Tampa’s lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Martin Prado
  8. C Frankie Cervelli
  9. SS Brendan Ryan
    RHP Shane Greene

The Tropicana Field roof is coming in handy this series because it’s raining again in St. Petersburg. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 4pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and Fox Sports1 nationally. Here are the Fox Sports1 channel listings. Try to enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Brian McCann (concussion) is expected to be activated off the 7-day disabled list and play in tomorrow’s series finale. He is not active today.

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Categories : Game Threads
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  • Tanaka “felt very good” throwing off mound for first time since injury

    As expected, Masahiro Tanaka threw 25 fastballs in the bullpen this afternoon, his first time throwing off a mound since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament in early-July. “Today I was able to throw the way I wanted to,” he said to Marly Rivera. “I felt very good and all is headed in the right direction.”

    According to Rivera, pitching coach Larry Rothschild cautioned they have to “see how he feels in a few days” before deciding on the next step. Tanaka indicated he would like to throw breaking balls next time out. Rothschild also said the “way the team plays has no impact on his rehab, cause it’s not worth it,” and he’s right. The Yankees have to do what’s best for Tanaka long-term and not grasp at the last straws of contention by rushing him back.
    · (33) ·

RAB Shop

What’s this? We’re plugging our shop again? (And it’s still not done?) Yep. Blame the lack of afternoon baseball. Again, you can click the banner to check out the bare bones store, or use the links below to buy Yanks gear at the following shops:

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