Alex Rodriguez has dropped his malpractice suit against Yankees team doctor Dr. Christopher Ahmad, according to Ken Davidoff. The suit had been pending since October, when he sued pretty much everyone as part of the appeal of his record 211-game suspension. “All legal matters have been resolved. Alex looks forward to taking the field in 2015,” said spokesman Ron Berkowitz.
A-Rod dropped his lawsuits against MLB, MLBPA, and Bud Selig back in February. It seems like he’s trying to un-burn some bridges at this point. Alex is still under contract through 2017 and he continues to say he wants to play once his suspension is over, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens next year. The Yankees pretty clearly don’t want him around, but they’re stuck with him and may try to bleed whatever attendance and ratings boost they can out of him. Whether he can be an effective player is another matter. · (38) ·
That WPA graph says it all, doesn’t it? The Yankees blew opportunity after opportunity on Friday night — they loaded the bases three times and scored a total of zero runs in those situations — and looked to be heading towards a frustrating and disappointing loss. All the air was about to be let out of the Blue Jays sweep balloon.
Instead, Carlos Beltran came out of his offensive slumber to club a two-out, three-run, walk-off homer against Zach Britton, turning an ugly loss into the unquestioned best win of the season. At +0.83 WPA, it was the Yankees’ biggest hit since Jason Giambi hit a walk-off two-run homer against B.J. Ryan back in June 2008 (+0.89). I remember that game well and I will remember this one well as … well.
Pretty much everything before the homer is an afterthought. Hiroki Kuroda took a no-hitter into the sixth, Mark Teixeira doubled in Brett Gardner for the game’s first run in the first inning, and Brian McCann singled in a run ahead of Beltran’s dinger to extend the inning. It was a really good at-bat against the tough lefty. McCann’s at-bat and single in that ninth inning should not be forgotten.
I spent a good chunk of the game sitting in traffic and following on Gameday, so I can’t go into much more detail. I did see the ninth inning rally though, and that’s really all that matters. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Blue Jays rallied to win after being down 8-0, so thanks for nothing Reds. The Yankees remain 1.5 games back of first place in the AL East.
Anyway, Yankees and Orioles meet again on Saturday afternoon, when Vidal Nuno and Bud Norris meet. The Yankees will add a plaque to Monument Park in honor of Tino Martinez before the game.
The Yankees have released 1B Russ Canzler, according to Donnie Collins. There was some thought he could help as a righty platoon bat, but he didn’t hit in Triple-A and lost playing time once 1B Kyle Roller was promoted.
Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Pawtucket)
- LF Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
- C John Ryan Murphy: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K — first game back
- RF Zoilo Almonte & 3B Scott Sizemore: both 0-4, 1 K
- 1B Kyle Roller: 1-4, 1 K
- SS Zelous Wheeler: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB — 7-for-21 (.333) with two doubles and a triple
- CF Taylor Dugas: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB — Triple-A debut
- RHP Joel De La Cruz: 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 5/1 GB/FB — 28 of 47 pitches were strikes (60%) … left the game after being hit in the arm by a comebacker
- RHP Preston Claiborne: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 27 of 39 pitches were strikes (69%)
- RHP Heath Bell: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 31 of 46 pitches were strikes (67%) … hmm, efficient
This has trap game potential. The Yankees are coming off a big three-game sweep of the first place Blue Jays, and tonight they’ll face right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season. Not that I expect it to happen, but the Yankees can’t get caught up enjoying the sweep or underestimating Ubaldo. Those three wins mean nothing today and Jimenez can dominate if you let him get in a groove. Keep the foot on the gas against another division rival. Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- DH Carlos Beltran
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
It’s a lovely day in New York. Sunny, just the right amount of clouds, breezy but not windy. Perfect night for baseball. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and can be seen on My9 locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.
Via Jayson Stark: The Yankees are asking “almost exclusively” about starting pitchers in preliminary trade talks with other teams. Stark doesn’t mention any names or anything fun like that. The need for rotation help is clear at this point, same with infield help. A right fielder with some pop belongs on the shopping list as well.
The non-waiver trade deadline is six weeks from yesterday and I think we’re still in the posturing phase. Teams are just now starting to feel each other out — remember, so many clubs believe they are in contention and just about everyone is looking to add pitching — and I don’t think the Yankees are ignoring the infield just because they’re prioritizing a starter. Kelly Johnson, Rob Refsnyder, and Jose Pirela represent internal infield options, but the pitching well is dry due to injury. The sooner they upgrade the rotation, the better their chances of playing into October. · (47) ·
The Yankees just swept their biggest series of the season (to date), and now they begin their next biggest series of the season (to date!). The Orioles are in the Bronx for a three-game weekend set. The O’s took two of three at Yankee Stadium back in April, in the third series of the year.
What Have They Done Lately?
The Orioles were off yesterday, and before that they took two of three from the Rays in Tampa. Everyone takes two of three from the Rays these days. Baltimore has played .500 ball for about two months now, and they come into the series at 37-34, a one game back of the Yankees.
The O’s have hit the fourth most homers in baseball this season (78), by they are still no better than an average offense at 4.17 runs per game with a team 98 wRC+. No one gets on base in front of the power hitters. C Matt Wieters (129 wRC+) blew out his elbow and is done for the year following Tommy John surgery. OF Nolan Reimold has not played at all this year due to a back problem. That guy just can’t stay healthy.
Manager Buck Showalter has three legitimate 30+ homer guys in the middle of his lineup: OF Nelson Cruz (162 wRC+), 1B Chris Davis (110 wRC+), and OF Adam Jones (113 wRC+). Cruz leads all of baseball with 22 dingers. SS J.J. Hardy (84 wRC+), meanwhile, is still looking for his first homerun of the season. Isn’t that crazy? He’s hit 20+ in five of his seven MLB seasons. OF Nick Markakis (113 wRC+) is having a fine year.
3B Manny Machado (66 wRC+) has not yet started to hit and frankly he hasn’t hit for a while now (73 wRC+ over the last calendar year). 1B Steve Pearce (158 wRC+) and OF Delmon Young (107 wRC+) have done good work in platoon roles while OF David Lough (51 wRC+) is the defense-first fifth outfielder. IF Jonathan Schoop (65 wRC+) and IF Ryan Flaherty (65 wRC+) split time at second while C Nick Hundley (42 wRC+) and C Caleb Joseph (24 wRC+) split time behind the plate. Caleb is Corban Joseph‘s brother.
Friday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. BAL) vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. NYY)
Remember when Jimenez erased like two and a half years worth of mediocrity with two good months late last season? Good times. The 30-year-old has a 4.86 ERA (4.74 FIP) in 14 starts and 74 innings for the Orioles this year, and there was some talk about skipping his spot this weekend following yesterday’s off-day. The Orioles decided to remain on rotation though. Ubaldo has good strikeout (8.05 K/9 and 20.4 K%), homer (1.07 HR/9 and 13.4 HR/FB%), and ground ball (46.2%) rates, though his walk rate (5.33 BB/9 and 13.5 BB%) is a career high. That’s really saying something for him. Lefties (.346 wOBA) have hit him harder than righties (.316 wOBA). Jimenez’s velocity is down more than a mile an hour this year, so his four and two-seamers sit right around 90 these days. His splitter is now in the low-80s while his curveball and slider remain in the mid-70s and low-80s, respectively. The Yankees scored four runs in 4.2 innings against Ubaldo back in April. He walked five and struck out four. He’s capable of being a total mess or totally unhittable on a given night.
Saturday: LHP Vidal Nuno (vs. BAL) vs. RHP Bud Norris (vs. NYY)
Norris, 29, has been solid in his first full season with the Orioles, pitching to a 3.73 ERA (4.44 FIP) in 13 starts and 82 innings. His peripherals don’t necessarily jump out, however: 6.15 K/9 (16.6 K%), 2.85 BB/9 (7.7 BB%), 0.99 HR/9 (10.1 HR/FB%), and 42.2% grounders. He has literally no platoon split: both righties and lefties have a .309 wOBA against him this year. Norris is basically a two-pitch pitcher with two other pitches. He relies heavily on his low-90s four-seamer and mid-80s slider, throwing them roughly 80% of the time combined, but he’ll also throw a handful of mid-80s changeups and low-90s two-seamers per start. They are show me pitches though. The Yankees did not face Norris when these two teams met earlier this year.
Sunday: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (vs. BAL) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (vs. NYY)
This was supposed to be a breakout year for the 26-year-old Tillman, who seemed to come into his own in the middle of last season. Instead, he has a 4.82 ERA (4.62 FIP) in 15 starts and 84 innings. His strikeout rate (6.21 K/9 and 15.4 K%) is way down, his walk rate is way up (3.75 BB/9 and 9.3 BB%), and his ground ball rate (39.4%) has remained static. Tillman is still prone to the occasional long ball (1.07 HR/9 and 9.0 HR/FB%), but nothing like the last year few years. He was positively Hughesian for a little while there. Lefties (.359 wOBA) have hit Tillman harder than righties (.321 wOBA). Low-90s four-seamers and cutters set up Tillman’s mid-80s slider, low-80s changeup, and big breaking mid-70s curveball. He’s lost about one mile an hour off his fastball for the second straight year. Tillman did not face the Yankees back in April.
Because they were off yesterday, Showalter’s bullpen is nice and rested coming into the series. RHP Tommy Hunter (4.60 FIP) lost the closer’s job to LHP Zach Britton (2.91 FIP) while on the disabled list. RHP Darren O’Day (3.29 FIP) and LHP Brian Matusz (5.28 FIP) get most of the setup work, though RHP Ryan Webb (2.64 FIP) will see high-leverage duty as well.
LHP T.J. McFarland (3.76 FIP) is more of a long man than a lefty specialist, and right now RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4.74 FIP) is in a middle relief role. He had the Yankees’ number back in 2012, but the magic has worn off and he’s since lost his rotation spot. Check out our Bullpen Workload page to see the status of Joe Girardi‘s relievers, then check out Camden Chat for everything you need to know about the Orioles.
Michael Pineda is undergoing a precautionary MRI in Tampa today, RAB has confirmed. He is scheduled to begin a throwing program this weekend and the Yankees are having him looked over one more time to make sure he is completely healthy.
These precautionary tests are routine whenever a player is set to begin rehab, especially pitchers with arm problems. Pineda has already suffered one setback and the Yankees don’t want him have another, which could end his season. He is not expected to return until August as it is. · (9) ·
Got eight questions for you this week — one long one and seven short-ish ones. If you want to send us questions or comments or anything else throughout the week, use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar. We get a ton of questions each week, so don’t take it personally if we don’t answer yours.
Jeb asks: It’ll never happen, but what do you think Masahiro Tanaka would net in a trade?
Oh man. Ace-caliber pitchers almost never get traded, especially not 25-year-old ace-caliber pitchers signed for another three and a half years (I think you have to assume Tanaka will use the opt-out in his contract). Cliff Lee was 30 and he had a year and a half left on his deal when he went from the Indians to the Phillies. Roy Halladay was 32 with a year left on his deal when he went from the Blue Jays to the Phillies. Those are the most recent examples of ace trades.
You have to go back a few years, but I think there are three comparable trades we can reference when talking about a potential Tanaka trade. Allow me to reiterate this is all hypothetical and for fun. The Yankees aren’t trading Tanaka. Even if they did decide to sell, he’s someone they could keep and rebuild around. Here are those three comparable deals:
- Josh Beckett (Marlins to Red Sox): Beckett was 25 at the time of the trade and had three years of arbitration remaining. He landed the Fish two high-end, MLB ready prospects in Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez, plus two throw-ins. The Red Sox had to take Mike Lowell (77 OPS+ in 2014) and the $18M left on his contract to make it happen.
- Dan Haren (Athletics to Diamondbacks): Haren was 27 at the time of the trade and had two years plus an option left on his contract. He was dealt for six young players, most notably Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, and Chris Carter. Anderson and Carter were both very good prospects in High-A. CarGo was in Triple-A.
- Gio Gonzalez (Athletics to Nationals): Like Beckett, Gio was 25 at the time of the trade. Unlike Beckett, he was four years away from free agency. Washington gave up two good but not great MLB ready arms (Brad Peacock and Tom Milone), a top Single-A pitching prospect (A.J. Cole), and a good Triple-A catching prospect (Derek Norris) to get the lefty.
Based on these deals, any package for Tanaka would have to start with two very good prospects, including one who could step right onto the MLB roster in an everyday capacity like Hanley, CarGo, or Norris. There would also have to be two or three other lesser pieces involved, MLB ready or otherwise. Tanaka is far more expensive than those three at the time of their trades, which is an issue. Few teams can actually afford his contract. Let’s assume the Yankees will eat some money just to make life easy.
Okay, so let’s rosterbate. The Cubs had interest in signing Tanaka and could offer a top position player prospect like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, or Albert Almora as package headliner. (I assume Kris Bryant is off limits.). The Dodgers are always looking to add and Joc Pederson is a natural fit as a center piece. The Tigers as protection if Scherzer leaves? Unless they offer Nick Castellanos, I’m not sure there’s a fit. The Cardinals have a bunch of outfielders to offer, including Stephen Piscotty if they don’t want to move Oscar Taveras. A trade with the Red Sox would never happen but Mookie Betts would definitely make sense.
Keep in mind I mentioned those prospects as the start of a trade package. The Yankees would need to get one of those guys plus another very good piece (Zach Lee or Julio Urias from the Dodgers? Arismendy Alcantara from the Cubs?) and a few secondary pieces. If they aren’t going to get at least one potential star player plus several other young high-upside players close to the show, it’s not worth it. A Hanley/Anibal package would be the best case scenario given what we know about how things worked out for the Marlins.
Paul asks: Assuming #HIROK retires or otherwise leaves the Yankees after this year, do you think #TANAK will take number 18?
I think so. It seems likely Hiroki Kuroda will be gone after the season, either due to retirement or simply letting him walk, right? I guess he could come back at a discounted salary if he finishes strong. Anyway, the No. 18 is a big deal in Japan, it’s the ace number. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kuroda both wear it (Yu Darvish wears No. 11) and Tanaka wore it in Japan. It’s a very symbolic thing to them and I think Tanaka will jump at the chance to wear that number again.
Mike asks: For the last two months Justin Verlander has not been vintage Verlander. Is this a case of just plain old struggling or are the innings catching up to him?
Verlander has been terrible — 7.83 ERA and 5.56 FIP in his last seven starts and 43.2 innings — but he isn’t the only former ace to fall off a cliff recently. Obviously the Yankees have CC Sabathia going through the same thing, and the Giants have seen both Tim Lincecum and now Matt Cain slip in recent years. It happened to Haren not too long ago as well. These guys aren’t breaking down like Josh Johnson, they just stink all of a sudden. It’s kinda scary, no? I don’t know what’s wrong with Verlander and neither do the Tigers fans who have been trying to figure it out like we’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong with Sabathia. I recommend this Grant Brisbee post for coping with Ace Sucking Syndrome (ASS).
A different Mike asks: Jim Bowden claims that the Rays may be willing to trade Price within the division. He thinks the trade could get done if the Yankees “overpay” by including Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and Peter O’Brien in the package. Do you a) think the Rays would accept this offer and b) think this is an overpay?
No, I don’t think the Rays would accept that offer and no, I don’t think it’s an overpay. That’d be a steal for the Yankees. We’re talking about getting a legitimate, AL East proven left-handed ace in exchange for a Single-A pitching prospect, a power prospect without a position, and a catching prospect who hasn’t hit much in Double-A and is being benched for disciplinary reasons. You have to give up something to get something, and Sanchez and O’Brien are among the team’s most expendable prospects. Dealing Severino would sting, but again, he’s in A-ball. You deal him for a guy like Price every day of the week.
At this point I think Jeter and Tanaka will be the only Yankees elected to the All-Star Game. Jeter is still leading the fan voting at shortstop and Tanaka has been awesome. He’s a candidate to start the game. Keep in mind that Brian McCann is second in the catcher voting behind Matt Wieters, who is done for the season following elbow surgery. McCann might start at catcher by default. I think Betances deserves to go because he’s been one of the five best relievers in baseball this season, but deserving to go and actually going are two different things. Gardner’s been awesome (so have Jacoby Ellsbury for that matter) but I can’t see him going to the All-Star Game. There are too many great/more popular outfielders in the AL.
Ghost of Horace Clarke asks: Better manager, Joe Girardi or Joe Torre?
On the field, Girardi is clearly the better manager. He’s better with the bullpen and more open-minded to platoons and shifts and stuff like that. Torre was very old school and straight forward. We have no way of knowing who is better in the clubhouse, but Torre was a master at dealing with the media and that counts for something. It’s easy to drum up controversy in New York and that very rarely happened under his watch. Girardi has improved in that department but he’s no Torre. There’s no debate who the better on-field tactician is, however.
Ron asks: OK. Am I the only one who notices that whenever McCann has an at-bat, he squints so much that you can barely see his eyes. Does this not beg to ask if he has a vision problem?????
McCann’s facial expresses are pretty funny. They’re definitely one of my favorite sidebars of the season. Anyway, McCann has actually had vision problems in the past. He had LASIK surgery in 2007 but was dealing with blurred vision in 2009, so he wore custom-made prescription glasses for the remainder of the season. McCann has another LASIK procedure the following winter and has had no trouble since. I think the squinting and funny faces are just quirky mannerisms, but I suppose he could be having eye problems again. I think he would speak up if that were the case given his history though.
Yet another Mike asks: Taylor Dugas — How come nobody talks about this kid? He’s 24 and is stuck in Trenton. He has decent numbers especially his .422 OBP.
Dugas was just promoted to Triple-A Scranton yesterday, so he isn’t stuck in Double-A any longer. The Yankees selected him in the eighth round of the 2012 draft out of Alabama and he’s hit .293/.422/.368 (~138 wRC+) with more walks (138) than strikeouts (103) in 226 minor league games, including .294/.403/.424 (134 wRC+) in 54 games with Trenton.
Dugas is a left-handed hitter with no power and only okay defense, so his usefulness is limited. Keith Law (subs. req’d) said “he squares up all kinds of pitching and I would be very surprised if he didn’t hit his way to some kind of major league role, maybe even as the heavy side of a platoon” following the draft that year, though Baseball America (subs. req’d) basically said Dugas is Sam Fuld without the defense. Dugas obviously can control the strike zone, his performance has been great, and he is on the right side of the platoon. He doesn’t have the sexiest tools but he is putting himself in position to have some kind of big league role for the Yankees, maybe even as Ichiro Suzuki‘s replacement next year.
It took a while, but the Yankees finished off a huge three-game sweep of the Blue Jays on Thursday night. Huge by June standards, I mean. The Bombers now have 16 straight wins over the Jays in Yankee Stadium — the last time Toronto won a game in the Bronx, Cody Eppley allowed some late runs — which is pretty amazing. Thursday’s final score was 6-4.
The Yankees took a very slow and methodical approach to scoring runs in the early innings. Emphasis on slow. This game took forever. The Yankees scored their first run in the first inning, their second run in the second inning, their third run in the third inning, and their fourth run in the … fifth inning. You thought it was the fourth inning, didn’t you? Probably not. I’m guessing you saw the game.
Anyway, the duo of Brett Gardner (double) and Jacoby Ellsbury (sac fly) plated the first run with a Derek Jeter infield single mixed in. A walk (Brian McCann), a fielder’s choice (Carlos Beltran), a single (Ichiro Suzuki), another walk (Brian Roberts), and another sac fly (Kelly Johnson) created the second run. The Yankees left the bases loaded in the second inning, but they forced starter Drew Hutchison to throw 38 pitches. Ichiro, Roberts, Johnson, and Gardner combined to see 28 pitches themselves in that inning. Hutchison had nothing to put anyone away. They were fouling pitches off at will.
The third inning rally was pretty basic. Ellsbury singled and stole second, then moved to third on Mark Teixeira‘s single. Beltran drove in Ellsbury with yet another sacrifice fly. I didn’t think Ellsbury would run on Jose Bautista, but he did and catcher Erick Kratz couldn’t handle the throw. I didn’t think Beltran would test Bautista’s arm in the second inning either, but he did and the throw was a little up the line. The fourth run did not require a sac fly — Ellsbury scored on Beltran’s ground rule double after singling and stealing second. Teixeira likely would have scored from first had the ball not hopped over the fence. Tough break.
Seven hits, four walks, three sacrifice flies, and two steals equals four runs in five innings. I imagine everyone who enjoys manufacturing runs and extended rallies and stuff like that loved this game. The Yankees really worked Hutchison hard and just kept chipping away. It would have been nice if one of those sac flies had fallen in or found a gap for extra bases to really blow things open, but runs are runs and the Yankees need as many as they can get these days.
St. David of Phelps
This game did not start very well for David Phelps. Melky Cabrera singled and Bautista walked in the first inning, so he was in hot water right away. Then Melky got picked off second and the whole outlook of the inning changed. Phelps got out of the inning unscathed and went on to hold Toronto to just two runs in seven innings while throwing a career-high tying 115 pitches. The only blemish was Melky’s two-run homer in the third inning. It was a bomb. Phelps made a mistake and it got hammered. That’s baseball.
The bullpen was a little short after the first two games of the series, so Joe Girardi pushed Phelps a little longer than I think he normally would have, and David responded very well. He retired pinch-hitter Adam Lind with two on and two outs to end the sixth inning — Matt Thornton was unable to warm up in time, but it worked out — then retired the side in order in the seventh, including two via strikeouts. The finally tally was the two runs on six hits and two walks in those seven innings. He also struck out seven. Between his last start against the Athletics and this start against the Blue Jays, Phelps has had arguably his two best starts against the two best hitting teams in the league.
Interesting, Of Course
Dellin Betances and David Robertson were both unavailable due to their recent workloads, so it was much appreciated when the Yankees scored insurance runs in the sixth (Roberts scampered home on Jeter’s fielder’s choice) and seventh (Yangervis Solarte drew a bases loaded walk). Shawn Kelley got the ball in the eighth and served up a mammoth two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion, turning a four-run lead into a two-run lead. See? Always good to score those insurance runs.
In my totally amateur opinion, Kelley hasn’t looked 100% healthy since coming off the disabled list. It doesn’t seem like he is able to finish his pitches, particularly driving his slider down and away to righties. That makes sense after a back problem, right? He left a slider up to Bautista for ball four and left a fastball slightly less up to Encarnacion, and now it’s a souvenir. Kelley shouldn’t see any important innings for a little while.
Thornton recorded the final out of the eighth inning and the first out of the ninth inning before allowing a ground ball single to Colby Rasmus. That brought the tying run to the plate, which was rather annoying. The game looked to be in the bag an inning earlier. Closer du jour Adam Warren took over and retired pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki (fly out) and Jose Reyes (ground out) to end the game. Unnecessarily stressful at the end there, but a win is a win.
Solarte was in the game to draw that bases loaded walk in the seventh because Johnson bunted a pitch off his fingers and had to leave with bruises. Plural. X-rays came back negative and he is day-to-day. Johnson technically struck out twice (Solarte struck out for him in one of those at-bats) and had a sac fly before leaving. Jeter, Ellsbury, and Teixeira all had two hits while Gardner, Beltran, Ichiro, and Roberts had one each. McCann drew two of the team’s seven walks. The Yankees struck out only four times.
I have no idea what happened on the Dioner Navarro pop-up/Encarnacion interference play in the fourth inning. Navarro popped it up, Texeira ran into Encarnacion while trying to field the ball, then caught it anyway. For whatever reason the play ended with one out and Navarro at first. Shouldn’t Encarnacion be out on the interference and Navarro on the pop-up? The ball isn’t dead, is it? Whatever.
Thursday’s HOPE Week event honored Musicians on Call, an organization that sends volunteer singers and musicians to visit hospital patients, particularly those confined to their rooms. Here’s the Musicians on Call website, here’s more on the day, and here’s the HOPE Week video archive.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, head over to MLB.com. Some other stats are at FanGraphs and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees and Blue Jays are now tied atop the AL East in the loss column, though the Bombers are technically still 1.5 games back. These two teams play three games in Toronto next week. That’ll be fun.
The Orioles are coming to town for a three-game weekend series. They are right behind the Yankees in the standings, so that’s another big series. Hiroki Kuroda and Ubaldo Jimenez kick things off on Friday night. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch any of the games live. Tino Martinez is having his plaque unveiled in Monument Park on Saturday and Sunday is Old Timers’ Day, you know.