For the second time in a week, the Yankees and first place Blue Jays will meet for three games, only the scene shifts from the Bronx to Toronto. Much like last week, this series is pretty important by late-June standards. The Yankees could leave Canada in first place if things go well. They swept the Jays at home last week but lost two of three at Rogers Centre back in April.
What Have They Done Lately?
The Blue Jays lost two of three to the Reds in Cincinnati over the weekend, and they had to rally back from eight runs down for the one win. Toronto has lost eleven of their last 15 games overall and they come into the series 42-35 with a +25 run differential. They lead the Yankees (and Orioles) by 1.5 games in the AL East.
Manager John Gibbons watches over one of the best offenses in baseball, which averages 4.67 runs per game with a team 111 wRC+. They did lose both 3B Brett Lawrie (98 wRC+) and OF Jose Bautista (168 wRC+) to injury on Sunday, however. Lawrie had a finger broken by a Johnny Cueto pitch while Bautista left the game with a hamstring problem. He is having an MRI today to determine the extent of the damage. SS Jose Reyes (94 wRC+) is day-to-day with sore knee and IF Maicer Izturis (78 wRC+) is done for an extended period of time with a torn knee ligament. They’re pretty banged up.
Even with all those injuries, Gibbons can still build his lineup around the trio of OF Melky Cabrera (128 wRC+), 1B Edwin Encarnacion (159 wRC+) and DH Adam Lind (157 wRC+). Melky has a 19-game hitting streak against the Yankees and is hitting .346/.378/.679 with six homers during that stretch. 3B Juan Francisco (135 wRC+) has been good in a platoon role and OF Colby Rasmus (118 OPS+) just came off the DL last week. Francisco figures to see more playing time with Lawrie hurt.
The Jays are currently carrying three catchers in former Yankee C Dioner Navarro (79 wRC+), C Erik Kratz (73 wRC+), and C Josh Thole (91 wRC+ in limited time). Thole is basically R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher. That’s all. IF Munenori Kawasaki (53 wRC+) and UTIL Steve Tolleson (99 wRC+ in limited time) round out the bench. Toronto’s going to have to make at least one roster move today to replace Lawrie and may need to make another depending on Bautista’s test results.
The Blue Jays are scheduled to start the same three pitchers this week that they started in New York last week thanks to a spot start over the weekend. Dickey had a minor groin injury, so they simply called up a sixth starter on Friday and pushed everyone back a day.
Monday: RHP Chase Whitley (vs. TOR) vs. RHP Marcus Stroman (vs. NYY)
Stroman, 23, has a 5.14 ERA (3.69 FIP) in 28 innings covering four starts and five relief appearances this season to start his MLB career, though his walk (1.93 BB/9 and 4.7 BB%) and ground ball (51.5%) rates are excellent. His strikeout (7.39 K/9 and 17.8 K%) and homer (0.96 HR/9 and 10.0 HR/FB%) numbers are closer to league average. Lefties (.419 wOBA) have hit him much harder than righties (.307 wOBA) so far. The Long Island raised Stroman uses a mid-90s four-seamer and a low-90s cutter to set up his mid-80s slider, mid-80s changeup, and low-80s curve. He held the Yankees to two runs last week, but they worked him hard and forced him to throw 98 pitches in only 3.2 innings.
Tuesday: RHP David Phelps (vs. TOR) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (vs. NYY)
The 35-year-old Buehrle is off to a fantastic start (2.32 ERA and 3.45 FIP) that is due almost entirely to his miniscule homerun rate (0.45 HR/9 and 4.6 HR/FB%). His strikeout (5.27 K/9 and 14.3 K%), walk (2.50 BB/9 and 6.8 BB%), and ground ball (42.0%) rates are right in line with his career averages through 15 starts and 100.2 innings. Buehrle has no left/right split but he has been better on the road (.270 wOBA) than at home (.338 wOBA) this year. As always, he works in the mid-80s with his four-seamer, two-seamer, and cutter, mixing in some upper-70s changeups and low-80s curves to keep hitters (even more) off balance. Buehrle allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings against the Bombers last week.
Wednesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. TOR) vs. RHP Drew Hutchison (vs. NYY)
Hutchison, 23, has been rock solid following his return from Tommy John surgery, posting a 3.86 ERA (3.90 FIP) in 15 starts and 86.1 innings. His strikeout (7.61 K/9 and 20.2 K%), walk (2.81 BB/9 and 7.5 BB%), homer (1.04 HR/9 and 9.3 HR/FB%), and ground ball (36.7%) numbers are all good. Not great but not awful either. Lefties (.328 wOBA) have been a bit more successful against the Hutchison than righties (.302 wOBA), though he’s been far better on the road (.266 wOBA) than at Rogers Centre (.439 wOBA). A low-90s fastball is his main pitch and he throws it a lot, more than 60% of the time. Sliders and changeups in the mid-80s round out the repertoire. The Yankees scored six runs in 3.1 innings off Hutchison back in April, then managed four runs in 4.1 innings against him last week.
Despite Dickey’s groin issue, he was able to give the team 7.2 innings in the losing effort yesterday. RHP Sergio Santos (5.04 FIP) was the only reliever used and he threw all of two pitches. Gibbons’ bullpen is pretty fresh. RHP Casey Janssen (1.68 FIP) is the closer, and with LHP Brett Cecil (2.28 FIP) on the disabled list, LHP Aaron Loup (3.31 FIP) is the primary late-inning lefty.
The rest of the bullpen includes RHP Chad Jenkins (4.77 FIP), RHP Dustin McGowan (4.65 FIP), RHP Todd Redmond (3.16 FIP), and LHP Rob Rasmussen (5.08 FIP in limited time). There really aren’t any clearly defined roles at this point outside of Janssen in the ninth. Gibbons just sorta rides the hot hand in the late innings. You can check up on the Yankees’ bullpen at our Bullpen Workload page, and for everything you need to know about the Blue Jays, head over to Drunk Jays Fans.
Update (2:15pm): The Blue Jays officially placed Lawrie on the 15-day DL and sent Kratz to Triple-A. OF Anthony Gose and OF Kevin Pillar were called up in corresponding moves. No word on Bautista’s test results just yet, but the fact that they called up two outfielders suggests he will miss a few games.
Record Last Week: 4-2 (22 RS, 25 RA)
Season Record: 39-35 (297 RS, 327 RA, 33-41 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: @ Blue Jays (three games, Mon. to Weds.), Thurs. OFF, vs. Red Sox (three games, Fri. to Sun.)
Top stories from last week:
- Following Monday’s off-day, the Blue Jays came to the Bronx for a three-game series. The Yankees took the opener thanks to Masahiro Tanaka and Brett Gardner, then won the second game behind Brian McCann‘s big night. David Phelps helped finish off the sweep on Wednesday.
- The Orioles came to town next, and the Yankees took the series opener thanks to Carlos Beltran‘s walk-off homer. Vidal Nuno got roughed up in Saturday’s loss and the offense scored zero runs in yesterday’s loss.
- Injury Updates: CC Sabathia (knee) is scheduled to throw live batting practice tomorrow and could pitch in a minor league rehab game next weekend. Michael Pineda (shoulder) had his throwing program pushed back a week due to a “trace” of inflammation. Mark Teixeira (foot) is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative. Kelly Johnson (fingers) was day-to-day after being hit by a pitch and has since returned to the lineup.
- Brian Cashman said he expects to make some moves before the trade deadline. The Yankees are asking “almost exclusively” about starting pitchers in trade talks, though they are reportedly scouting John Mayberry Jr. as well. Russ Canzler was released.
- The Yankees signed fourth round pick LHP Jordan Montgomery (slot $424k bonus) and sixth round pick RHP Jonathan Holder (below-slot $238k bonus).
- Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against team doctor Dr. Ahmad and reiterated his intent to play next season.
- Frankie Cervelli was activated off the 60-day DL and John Ryan Murphy was sent to Triple-A Scranton.
Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Pawtucket)
- 1B-LF Jose Pirela: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – first Triple-A homer
- CF Zoilo Almonte: 1-4, 1 RBI
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding, throwing)
- DH Kyle Roller: 0-4, 2 R, 1 K
- RF Zelous Wheeler: 2-4, 1 K
- C Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 PB — started the day game after a night game
- RHP Shane Greene: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 9/3 GB/FB — 63 of 97 pitches were strikes (65%) … hasn’t pitched well at all this year when there was plenty opportunity at the MLB level
- SwP Pat Venditte: 3 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 4/2 GB/FB — 20 of 30 pitches were strikes
- RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 17 of 26 pitches were strikes (65%)
Here is your open thread for the final few hours of the weekend. All of the video from Old Timers’ Day this afternoon is right here. Team USA is playing in the World Cup right now (on ESPN), and following that the Rangers and Angels will be the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Darvish vs. Shoemaker). Talk about those games, Old Timers’ Day, this afternoon’s loss, or anything else right here.
Well that was a disappointing weekend. The Yankees got blown out 8-0 on Sunday afternoon and were a Zach Britton disaster inning away from being swept by the Orioles in this three-game series. Let’s recap the loss:
- Deserved Better: Masahiro Tanaka gave the Yankees seven innings of three-run ball, and while that certainly isn’t his best game of the season, it’s a very winnable game. Instead he received his second loss of the year. Tanaka allowed a solo homer to Jonathan Schoop — Schoop is the first player to take Tanaka deep twice in MLB — before the O’s tacked on two runs with his pitch count over 100 in the seventh inning. He struck out six and walked one. There’s no way you could pin this loss on Tanaka.
- NOffense: Brett Gardner led the game off with a triple but over-slid the bag and was tagged out. The Yankees only had three more hits and two other runners reach third base the rest of the game. They did draw four walks, but big whoop. The four through eight hitters went a combined 0-for-17 and one of their best chances to score came in the fourth inning, when they had runners on the corners with two outs. Kelly Johnson lined right back to Chris Tillman. Bad hitting and bad luck on Sunday.
- Blown Open: Adam Warren had his first real disaster outing of the season, allowing four runs in the eighth thanks in part to Steve Pearce‘s illegal take-out slid on Johnson at third base. Replays showed Pearce clearly went out of his way to take out Johnson on the would-be 5-3 double play — he was nowhere close to being able to touch the base — but instead the throw sailed into the stands. Instead of there being a runner on second with two outs, there were runners on second and third with one out. J.J. Hardy cleared the bases with a double later in the inning.
- Leftovers: Ichiro Suzuki had two of the four hits and seems to be playing just well enough to get a new contract to be the fourth outfielder after the season … David Huff allowed a solo homer to Caleb Joseph in the ninth, the first homer of his career. Caleb is Corban Joseph‘s brother … Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury both had a hit and a walk … Yangervis Solarte went 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last 28 at-bats. The Solarte Partay’s over, folks … the Yankees have now been outscored 170-128 in 35 home games. lol
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are off to Toronto for another three-game set against the first place Blue Jays, which is pretty big for a late-June series. Chase Whitley and Marcus Stroman will be the pitching matchup in Monday night’s opener.
5:21pm: X-rays came back negative and Teixeira is sore but otherwise fine, Joe Girardi told reporters. The pitch got him right on the toes. Consider him day-to-day, but obviously this is very good news. Dodged a major bullet.
4:54pm: Mark Teixeira left this afternoon’s game after being hit by a pitch on the side of his left foot. He got up, walked down to first, talked to Joe Girardi and the trainer, slammed his helmet, and walked off the field. Teixeira is currently the team’s only consistent power hitter and losing him for any length of time would be devastating. Hoping the inevitable x-rays come back clean and it’s only a bruise. Stay tuned. · (1) ·
Speaking from experience, Old Timers’ Day is an event best experienced live and in person. Television doesn’t do it justice. There are so many great players — all-time greats in some cases, a few of the best players the game has ever seen — and fan favorites all in one place. It’s really amazing to watch from a seat in the ballpark.
Of course, the Yankees are pretty much the only franchise in sports that can pull off an event like this. Old Timers’ Day will be extra special this year because, following the baseline introductions, the Yankees will dedicate a plaque in honor of Goose Gossage to Monument Park. Tino Martinez’s plaque was unveiled yesterday and later this summer Paul O’Neill and Joe Torre will be honored.
The full roster of Old Timers can be seen right here. Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon will be among those making their debuts and I’m sure they’ll get huge ovations, especially Matsui. Jorge Posada is still holding out and will not make his Old Timers’ Day debut today. Bummer. Mike Mussina is skipping this year too. Another bummer. Still plenty of awesome players and favorites to go around though.
The ceremony and baseline introductions start at approximately 11:30pm ET. All of it can be seen on YES. The Yankees and Orioles are scheduled to play their game at 2:05pm ET. There is no lineup yet, so I’ll update the post once it’s made available. Enjoy the ceremonies and the game.
Update (11:53am): Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup for this afternoon’s game:
Saturday afternoon started with a great ceremony honoring Tino Martinez and ended with a 6-1 loss that snapped the four-game winning streak. Five homers accounted for all the offense. Let’s recap the Yankees’ loss to the Orioles:
- Kei Nuno (or Vidal Igawa?): Sometimes you can predict baseball. The O’s have one of the most powerful offenses in the game and they teed off against Vidal Nuno, taking him deep three times for five runs in 6.1 innings. Adam Jones (solo), Nelson Cruz (two-run), and Steve Pearce (two-run) did the damage. Nuno has now allowed 30 runs and 13 homers in 39.1 innings at home this season. The Yankees have the option of skipping his next start thanks to Thursday’s off-day, and even though Joe Girardi indicated they will remain on rotation, I don’t see how they can let him make another start. The have to find an alternative and soon.
- One & Done: Remember how the Yankees blew numerous opportunities and couldn’t score in general prior to Carlos Beltran‘s walk-off homer on Friday? That’s what the offense did all day on Saturday. The scored their only run on Mark Teixeira‘s fourth inning solo homer, otherwise going hitless in nine at-bats with men in scoring position. The Yankees had men on base in every inning but the second and sixth, yet still only managed to get two runners as far as third base (not including the homer). Barf.
- Leftovers: The only positive from Nuno’s day was that he threw 6.1 innings (107 pitches), so he didn’t tax the bullpen. Jose Ramirez threw 2.2 innings and 48 pitches in relief, allowing one run on J.J. Hardy’s first homer of the year … Kelly Johnson was the only starter who failed to reach base while only Jacoby Ellsbury (single and walk) and Brian Roberts (single and double) reached twice.
MLB.com has the box score, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees wrap up their already successful six-game homestand with Old Timers’ Day on Sunday afternoon. The ceremonies start at approximately 11:30am ET. After that, Masahiro Tanaka will look to give his team the series win over the O’s. Chris Tillman will be on the bump for Baltimore.
RHP Bryan Mitchell has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton, according to Chad Jennings. RHP Joel De La Cruz was sent down to Double-A Trenton in a corresponding move. Also, I’m a few days late on this, but Howard Megdal spoke to switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who is still trying to get to the show after right shoulder surgery and becoming a sidearmer from both sides. Check it out.
Triple-A Scranton (4-0 win over Pawtucket)
- LF Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 RBI
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-4, 1 K
- RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 1 K — in a little 1-for-17 (.059) slump
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K
- DH Kyle Roller: 0-4, 2 K
- SS Zelous Wheeler: 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB — 11-for-29 (.379) during his eight-game hitting streak
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B — 7-for-18 (.389) with four doubles, five walks, and no strikeouts in the last five games
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 3/5 GB/FB – 48 of 84 pitches were strikes (57%) … nice Triple-A debut despite more walks than strikeouts
- RHP Matt Daley: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K,0/1 GB/FB — 28 of 37 pitches were strikes (76%)
I thought giving Tino Martinez a plaque in Monument Park was questionable, but it was obvious this afternoon that it meant a lot to him. He seemed to be overwhelmed by the whole thing. That made me happy and I’m glad he enjoyed the day. The videos of the ceremony are above, in case you missed them. (Here’s the link to the videos in case the embed doesn’t work for whatever reason.)
Here is your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing, FOX is airing the Braves and Nationals, and there’s both the World Cup and College World Series going on. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s loss, Tino’s plaque, or anything else on your mind right here.