Yankees blow three-run lead, give away winnable game in 5-4 loss to Athletics

Source: FanGraphs

That was a Bad Loss. Three-run lead against the team with the worst record in the league? That’s a win you have to take to the bank. Instead, the Yankees gave the game away in the sixth and seventh innings and the Athletics walked away with the 5-4 series-opening win. This was a West Coast night game, and West Coast night games get bullet point recaps:

  • Two Bad Pitches: For the most part, CC Sabathia pitched well on Thursday night, except for those two bad pitches. He left a changeup out over the plate for Billy Burns and another for Brett Lawrie, and both were hit out of the park. Burns hit a solo homer and Lawrie a game-tying two-run shot in the sixth. Sabathia was doing just fine until that pitch to Lawrie ruined everything. The end result: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. I feel that’s worse than Sabathia actually pitched. Blame David Carpenter for predictably allowing two inherited runners to score.
  • Gas On The Fire: I can’t imagine Carpenter will be around much longer. Joe Girardi sent Sabathia out for the top of the seventh, he put the first two runners on, then Carpenter made a mess of everything. He got one out on a bunt (he made a nice play to get the force at third), loaded the bases on a single, walked in the go-ahead run (!), then allowed an insurance run on a sac fly. Awful. Carpenter’s allowed at least one run in seven of his last ten outings. The Yanks have too many good arms in Triple-A to keep running him out there. The game was lost when he came in.
  • Four Runs Ain’t Enough: The Yankees scored four runs because the top of the order did damage. They didn’t score more than four runs because the bottom order is a series of black holes. Brian McCann hit a solo homer and had a run-scoring single, Alex Rodriguez drove in a run with a sac fly, and Brett Gardner doubled in a run in the ninth. That’s the good. Stephen Drew popped up and Chris Young struck out with runners on second and third in the fourth, and Didi Gregorius flew out with runners on first and second in the sixth. That’s the bad. The Yankees went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Top of the order can’t do everything every game, fellas.
  • Leftovers: Chasen Shreve got the final out of the seventh and tossed a perfect eighth. I’m pretty sure he’s the team’s third best reliever right now … McCann went 3-for-4 while the rest of the lineup went 5-for-30. Gardner had three of the other hits … A-Rod made a nice little “slide” to score on McCann’s single. He narrowly avoided Josh Phegley’s tag and was able to juuust touch the plate. Replay confirmed he was safe … Beltran’s 15-game hit streak came to an end … Chase Headley flew out to the warning track to end the game with Gardner on second. Blah.

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, Bullpen Workload page, and Announcer Standings page. The Yankees and A’s will continue this series with the second game on Friday night. Chris Capuano and Sonny Gray is the lopsided pitching matchup.

DotF: Judge and Jagielo double, Sanchez homers in AA win

RHP Luis Severino has been promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton, reports Josh Norris. The Yankees continue to be very aggressive with their top pitching prospect. Severino threw 67.2 innings at Low-A, 20.2 innings at High-A, and 63 innings at Double-A. That’s all. He had a 3.32 ERA (2.45 FIP) with a 30.6 K% and 6.4 BB% in eight starts and 38 innings for Trenton this year.

Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off-day.

Double-A Trenton Game One (4-3 win over Akron in eight innings) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain in the third inning

  • DH Jake Cave: 0-3, 1 BB
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 2B — the double came yesterday, before the rain
  • 3B Eric Jagielo: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B — doubled yesterday as well
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 1 R 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — homered today … fifth homer in his last 12 games
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 21 of 35 pitches were strikes (60%) … he started yesterday because they knew it was going to rain, and they didn’t want to lose their starter after only an inning or two
  • RHP Brady Lail: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 14 of 23 pitches were strikes (61%) … replaced Haynes yesterday and then it started raining, naturally
  • RHP Nick Goody: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 21 of 30 pitches were strikes (70%)

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Game 48: Oaktown

See? The Coliseum wasn't so bad before Mount Davis. (Baseball Feelings)
See? The Coliseum wasn’t so bad before Mount Davis. (Baseball Feelings)

Fresh off their three-game sweep of the Royals, the Yankees are back out on the road, this time traveling across the country for a seven-game West Coast trip. It starts tonight in Oakland, not far from CC Sabathia‘s hometown, and Sabathia happens to be on the mound tonight. Neat.

The A’s have the worst record in the league (17-32) but their run differential (-5) says they’re better than that. Their bullpen has really sabotaged their season. I wouldn’t assume this will be an easy series — is any series an easy series for these Yankees? — just because Oakland has such an awful record. They could sneak up on you. Here is the A’s lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. CF Chris Young
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s sunny yet cool in the Bay Area tonight. Temperatures are down in the 50s. No rain in the forecast though. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin just after 10pm ET (argh) and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Slade Heathcott was originally in tonight’s lineup but was a late scratch due to a sore quad … Ivan Nova (elbow) made another Extended Spring Training start today. He’ll make one more in a few days then head out on an official minor league rehab assignment … Chris Martin (elbow) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton on Saturday … in case you missed it earlier, Masahiro Tanaka is en route to join the Yankees. He’s expected to start early next week.

Tanaka joining Yankees out west, expected to return to rotation next week

(Scranton Times-Tribune)
(Scranton Times-Tribune)

Earlier today, Joe Girardi told reporters Masahiro Tanaka is flying west today to meet the Yankees in California, and he is expected to return to the rotation early next week. “In a perfect world he would start sometime in Seattle,” said Girardi, referring to the team’s three-game series with the Mariners from Monday through Wednesday.

Tanaka, 26, has been out exactly one month now with wrist tendinitis and a minor forearm strain. He’s made two Triple-A rehab starts — one good, one not so good — and was able to get his pitch count up to 62 yesterday, in his second start. Girardi said Tanaka will be limited to 80 pitches in his return next week.

First off all, hooray Tanaka! The Yankees have played it very safe with their ace and they’ve insisted the injury was minor the entire time. Tanaka was reportedly upset at being placed on the DL too. There’s no reason to think they’re rushing him back or that they’re being too aggressive. He’s healthy. He’s just not stretched out.

Secondly, I’m interested to see how they get Tanaka on the roster. Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia will start Monday and Tuesday, and they’re not coming out of the rotation, but Chris Capuano is starting Wednesday and the Yankees are off Thursday. Will Tanaka replace Capuano in the rotation? Or just push him back?

As far as the 25-man roster spot, the easy move would be sending Jacob Lindgren back to Triple-A, but I hope that doesn’t happen. Chasen Shreve could (undeservingly) get sent out, or Esmil Rogers or David Carpenter could be cut loose with Capuano or Adam Warren sliding into the bullpen. Intrigue! We’ll find out soon enough.

Thursday Night Open Thread

The Yankees are out on the West Coast, which means they don’t play until 10pm ET tonight. We’ll have a regular game thread a little closer to first pitch, so, until then, use this open thread to keep yourself busy. The baseball schedule is pretty light tonight — there are no 7pm ET games and the only 8pm ET game is the Red Sox and Rangers. That game will be on MLB Network. There’s no NHL or NBA postseason action tonight either. Weird. Anyway, talk about whatever here.

2015 Draft: Jacob Nix

Jacob Nix | RHP

Nix, 19, was the Astros’ fifth round pick last year out of a California high school, and he agreed to sign for an above slot $1.5M. When Houston’s deal with first overall pick Brady Aiken fell apart, they backed out of the agreement with Nix because they no longer had the bonus pool savings from the Aiken pick. Nix filed a grievance and the two sides settled for $1.5M six figures before going to a hearing. He is now doing a post-graduate year at IMG Academy in Florida and is draft-eligible again this summer.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-4 and 205 lbs., Nix has the model pitcher’s frame, and depending on the day you’ll see either a future ace or a future fifth starter. His fastball jumped this spring and he now sits in the 92-95 mph range with some run back in on righties. Nix’s curveball is inconsistent but is a true put-away pitch at its best. His changeup is more consistent but doesn’t show the same out pitch potential. Command is an issue but Nix has worked hard to spring to tighten up his mechanics. He’s still pretty raw, though Nix has made some nice strides since the Astros left him at the altar last year.

In their latest rankings, Keith Law (subs. req’d), Baseball America, and MLB.com ranked Nix as the 30th, 37th, and 45th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. Law said he heard the Yankees were in on Nix in his most recent mock draft. Nix is going to go much higher this year — he was more of a third rounder who fell to the fifth round due to bonus demands last summer — but he isn’t a slam dunk first rounder. He’s definitely not a quick to MLB prospect either. The Yankees pick 16th, 30th, and 57th this year. Nix won’t be around for 57th overall, so it would have to be 16th or 30th, likely 30th.

2015 Draft: Keith Law’s Mock Draft v2.0

Allard. (USA Baseball)
Allard. (USA Baseball)

Earlier today Keith Law posted his second mock draft of the season (subs. req’d), and this time he has the Diamondbacks taking Vanderbilt SS Dansby Swanson with the first overall pick. We’ve seen Swanson connected to Arizona in other mock drafts too. I’ve lost track of how many players have been considered for that spot though. There’s no consensus No. 1 pick this year.

Law has the Yankees selecting California HS LHP Kolby Allard with their top pick, the 16th overall selection. He had them taking Pennsylvania HS RHP Mike Nikorak in his first mock draft. Allard came into the spring as arguably the best left-handed pitcher in the draft before missing two months with a stress reaction in his back. He was unable to return before the end of his team’s season, though there was talk Allard would schedule some showcase events for scouts this month to show he’s healthy.

Here’s a snippet of Allard’s free MLB.com scouting report:

A UCLA recruit, he has two plus pitches in his 92-94 mph fastball that tops out at 96 and a tight curveball. Allard’s third pitch is a changeup that needs more work. He has an easy delivery that enhances his ability to command his pitches and his chances to remain a starter despite his smaller build.

Allard’s listed at 6-foot-0 and 170 lbs., so he’s not a big kid, but he has stuff and command. Law (subs. req’d) called him the best left-handed pitcher in the draft “in terms of ceiling and floor,” for what it’s worth. Obviously the back injury is a concern. Those tend to never go away. At least it’s not his arm though. If he’s healthy, Allard would be as close to the best case scenario as it gets for that 16th pick.

Also in the mock draft, Law says he hears the Yankees are in California HS C Chris Betts, New York HS OF Garrett Whitley, and Tennessee HS RHP Donny Everett as well. Nothing new, we’ve heard that before. Here are my profiles on Betts, Whitley, and Everett. The Yankees could conceivably end up with two of those guys because they have the 30th pick as well (compensation for David Robertson), plus a ton of draft pool space ($7.885M).