Fan Confidence Poll: September 22nd, 2014

Record Last Week: 4-3 (20 RS, 22 RA)
Season Record: 80-75 (597 RS, 628 RA, 74-81 pyth. record) 13.0 GB in ALE, 4.5 GB of WC
Opponents This Week: vs. Orioles (four games, Mon. to Thurs.), @ Red Sox (three games, Weds. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

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?

Sunday Night Open Thread

Six years ago today, the final game at the old Yankee Stadium was played. The Yankees won that game 7-3 over the Orioles. Here’s the box score. Jason Giambi had the last hit and Jose Molina had the last homer at the old ballpark. Andy Pettitte started and Mariano Rivera recorded the final three outs. Derek Jeter gave a memorable speech (video above) and the team made a trip around the warning track after the game. I remember watching it and feeling like they had just won the World Series. It was that kind of ceremony. Never gonna forget that night.

Here is your open thread for the last few hours of the weekend. The ESPN Sunday Night Game kinda stinks, it’s the Reds at the Cardinals (Simon vs. Lynn). The late NFL game is the Steelers and Panthers. Talk about those games, the final game at Yankee Stadium, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Tanaka rusty yet effective in return; Yankees beat Blue Jays 5-2

Source: FanGraphs

All things considered, Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Blue Jays might have been the most important game of the Yankees’ season as Masahiro Tanaka returned to the rotation after more than three months on the shelf. He and his right elbow are mighty important to the team going forward. Let’s recap series-winning win:

  • The Return: Tanaka’s return went as well as we could have reasonably expected. He was rusty, particularly with his location, but he didn’t shy away from his splitter or slider (or curveball) and it didn’t look like he was holding anything back, so to speak. Didn’t seem tentative at all. Tanaka ended the day right at 70 pitches (48 strikes, six swings and misses) and his pitching line was fine (5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K), though the performance is secondary to his health. With the caveat that they have to see how he feels in the coming days, Sunday’s return was overwhelmingly positive for the Yankees and Tanaka.
  • Three Taters: The Blue Jays scored a quick first inning run on two singles and a double play, but the Yankees answered right back with a Brian McCann solo homer in the bottom half of the inning. The score remained 1-1 until the fifth inning, when Brett Gardner unloaded on a Drew Hutchison pitch for a solo homer. It was his 17th (!) of the season. Back-to-back doubles in the seventh by Gardner and Derek Jeter created New York’s third run, then the fourth and fifth came off the bat of McCann, who hit his second homer of the game as the next batter. I declare it the most aesthetically pleasing homer of the 2014 season. Here, watch. All three homers were bombs. No doubters.
  • Bullpen: Weirdly, the Yankees’ least effective reliever on the afternoon was Dellin Betances. He allowed a run on a single (Jose Reyes), two stolen bases, and another single (Edwin Encarnacion). Encarnacion’s was off the wall, one of those “he hit it so hard it was a single” jobs. Adam Warren replaced Tanaka in the sixth and stranded a runner with two strikeouts, then threw a perfect seventh as well. His last two outings have been very good. David Robertson pitched around a two-out walk to close out his 38th save. Really hope he gets to 40 for no reason in particular.
  • Leftovers: Gardner made #toomanyhomers history. His solo shot was the 15,000th homerun in Yankees history, easily the most among the 30 clubs (Giants are second with 13,984) … the Yankees hit three homers as a team for the first time in nearly a month, since the makeup game in Kansas City. It’s only their eighth 3+ homer game of the season … Gardner, Jeter, McCann, and Ichiro Suzuki all had two hits apiece. The rest of the lineup went 0-for-16. McCann, Chris Young, Chase Headley, and Frankie Cervelli (two) had the walks.

The box score and video highlights are at FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. At this very moment, the Yankees are four games back of the second wildcard spot with seven games to play. Their elimination number is five and FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 0.2%. Big Mike Pineda and Wei-Yin Chen will be on the bump for Monday night’s series opener against the Orioles. There are only four home games left in the season/Jeter’s career, so head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch any of them live.

Game 155: Tanaka Returns

(Brian Blanco/Getty)
(Brian Blanco/Getty)

After more than three months on the shelf, Masahiro Tanaka returns to the rotation this afternoon. The treatment for his partially torn ligament is complete, so the elbow is as healthy as it’s going to get. This afternoon’s start — as well as his next start in five days — is about testing the ligament in game action. It still might blow out and require Tommy John surgery. If it does, the Yankees want it to happen now rather than next April.

The Yankees are out of the postseason race — they are still mathematically alive, but they’re an extreme long shot — so results don’t matter this afternoon. If Tanaka gets rocked, fine. It’ll suck, but whatever. The healthy of his elbow is the most important thing. If he comes through the start feeling strong and the ligament holds up, then it’s a major win in the grand scheme of things. The Yankees could certainly use some good injury news after these last two seasons. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. LF Chris Young
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. 1B Francisco Cervelli
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. SS Brendan Ryan
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Not the best weather for Tanaka’s return — it’s overcast and humid as hell, plus there is some scattered rain in the forecast throughout the day. Hopefully nothing that causes any kind of delay. The last thing the Yankees need is Tanaka’s first game back to be cut short by the weather. This afternoon’s game will start at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Updates: Joe Girardi said Derek Jeter will play every game the rest of the season, even if he only starts as the DH … Carlos Beltran (elbow) will not have his surgery until after the season, though it remains unclear if he will be healthy enough to play this last week … Jacoby Ellsbury (hamstring) wants to play again this season, even if the team is eliminated … Chaz Roe was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Tanaka, who was activated off the 60-day DL.

Sabathia nominated for Roberto Clemente Award, Beltran nominated for Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award

CC Sabathia has been selected as the Yankees’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, MLB announced. It is given annually to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Here are the 30 nominees. Derek Jeter won the award in 2009 and Carlos Beltran won it last year.

In other news, Beltran is one of six players nominated for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, the MLBPA announced. The award is given annually to the player “whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.” Mariano Rivera won it last year. Beltran is up against Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Hamilton, Adam LaRoche, and Anthony Rizzo. Congrats to both Sabathia and Beltran. It’s a honor just to be nominated for awards like this.