DotF: Foley, Palladino, Acevedo all dominate on the mound

Bad news for an ex-Yankees farmhand: OF Ramon Flores suffered a compound fracture in his ankle and is done for the year, reports Greg Johns. He missed a big chunk of time with ankle problems last year, but not a fracture. Flores had been raking in Triple-A (216 wRC+ in 14 games) since being traded for Dustin Ackley and was in line for a September call-up. Sucks. That’s an opportunity (and a month of big league pay) lost. Get well soon, Ramon.

Also, Brian Cashman told Billy Witz the Yankees recently held RHP Andrew Bailey back from an appearance at Triple-A Scranton in case they needed to call him up. That didn’t happen, but I bet Bailey comes up when rosters expand in September. The team has an open 40-man roster spot after designating Chris Capuano for assignment earlier today. Capuano, by the way, told George King he’ll rejoin the Triple-A rotation if he clears waivers.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Rochester)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — 43 extra-base hits on the year, which is a career-high … he had 40 back in 2013
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder & C Gary Sanchez: both 0-4, 1 K
  • 3B Jose Pirela: 1-4
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 R, 3 K
  • LF Slade Heathcott: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — also robbed a homer, which you can see in the video above … came into the game in a 2-for-33 (.061) slump
  • 1B Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K — guess he’s going to see most of his time at first base the rest of the season
  • RHP Kyle Davies: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 6/5 GB/FB — 57 of 86 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 Balk, 1/1 GB/FB — 14 of 21 pitches were strikes (67%) … 35/10 K/BB in 33.1 innings at Triple-A this year

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Saturday Night Open Thread

ESPN recently ran an E:60 piece on Chase That Golden Thunder, the late Double-A Trenton bat dog, his son Derby and grandson Rookie, who have carried on the family business. If you’ve never been to a game in Trenton, the bat dogs are such a blast. The crowd loves ’em. The E:60 piece is pretty neat and heartwarming. Check it out. The video is embedded above.

Here is tonight’s open thread. The Mets are playing and FOX Sports 1 will show some games as well. Lots of baseball tonight. There are also some preseason NFL games on, if that’s your thing. Talk about those games, the bat dog video, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Masahiro comes up masterful, Yankees take two straight from the Blue Jays with a 4-1 victory

That shadow (Source: Getty)

Can’t overstate how big of a win this is — the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 4-1 to gain another game on their first place lead in the AL East. The bats delivered some pop while Masahiro Tanaka pitched one of the finest games of his ML career. New York also took the series in enemy’s territory, so that’s pretty cool too.

Early offense attempts

Carlos Beltran did it again – in the first inning, against Marco Estrada, Beltran drove a high fastball over the right field fence for a 1-0 lead. Estrada, by the way, has a 31.9% ground ball rate, which is really, really low. He’s just done a much better job at keeping the ball in the park (0.95 HR/9) than he used to (1.73 HR/9 last year, for instance).

(Source: Getty)

Top third, with one out, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a deep triple to right to set up a scoring situation for Brett Gardner. Gardner, however, struck out after being fooled badly by Estrada’s three straight changeups (that at-bat looked like a clinic for “how to make hitters look really bad with your changeup”). Beltran walked on four pitches but Teixeira bloop-lined out softly to end the inning. Up until the top of sixth, the Yankee offense didn’t have that much going against Estrada.

Maestro Masahiro

Meanwhile on the pitching side, this was probably the biggest Yankee start to date for Tanaka and boy, he showed up. The righty delivered a one-run CG, striking out eight and allowing only five hits. This was a truly ace-like performance, especially with the bullpen quite spent after the past few games.

His start wasn’t without a dent or two; Tanaka started the fifth by walking Ryan Goins on four pitches. He then allowed a slap single to Ben Revere and another four-pitch walk to Troy Tulowitzki to load the bases with no out. This is the definition of not what you want, especially with Josh Donaldson coming up.

After falling behind 2-0 to an MVP candidate in Josh Donaldson, Tanaka threw a 88 mph slider that he just got under – had Donaldson swung a bit more level and squared it up, it could have been out to the seats in a hurry. But instead of a grand slam, Donaldson hit a towering sac fly to tie the game 1-1. Tanaka managed to get out of the inning without further damage by striking out Jose Bautista and inducing a soft line out from Edwin Encarnacion. That outcome, especially considering the Jays lineup, is just tremendous.

Besides that fifth inning, boy, Tanaka was fantastic today. I will take many more starts like that. Especially with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller not being available, a complete game from a starter was just what the doctor ordered.

Gluten free forearms (Source: Getty)

Retaking and extending the lead

In the sixth, with two outs, Teixeira pulled a changeup into the second deck for a massive solo home run, 2-1. Chase Headley worked a walk against Estrada and Greg Bird stepped up to the plate, looking for his first ML hit.

On a 1-0 pitch, Bird hit a massive fly ball that hit the top of the second deck seats … that was initially called a foul, just outside the pole. Joe Girardi encouraged the umpires to review the foul, and after replay the call remained. It was foul. Oh well. Bird ended up striking out swinging to end the inning.

In the eighth, Beltran struck again – with one out, he hit a deep double that just missed a homer by inches. Teixeira followed it up with an RBI single to bring in Chris Young (pinch-running for Beltran), making it 3-1.

The Yankees got another insurance in the ninth. John Ryan Murphy led off the inning with a double and Stephden Drew sent him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Ellsbury, who seems to be hitting balls harder lately, lined an RBI single to center to make it 4-1. There’s never an enough insurance runs against the Blue Jays.


Man, how big has Beltran been? Not only did he hit a homer in the first, he also made two not-so-easy inning-ending catches that would’ve scored runs for Toronto. After today’s game, Beltran has a 122 wRC+ and .203 ISO in 2015, which are great – especially for a 38-year old who had a very, very abysmal start to the season.

Greg Bird had his first ML hit in the eighth inning! After starting his career 0-for-8, Bird grounded a pitch from LaTroy Hawkins for a single to opposite field. It also happened to be one of the weaker contacts he’s made in ML, so of course.

“And our long national slow-down is over,” quipped Michael Kay in the ninth as Brett Gardner finally stole a base with two outs. That is his first stolen base since June 12, more than two months ago.

Box score, standings, highlights and WPA

Here’s today’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees will go for the series sweep tomorrow with 21-year old Luis Severino on the mound against Drew Hutchinson. This weekend has gone exorbitantly better than the previous weekend so bask in it, readers!

Game 115: The Day After


My heart is still pumping after that game last night. That was something else. Been a while since a baseball game made me feel that way. But today is a new day, and what happened yesterday is in past. The Yankees have another game this afternoon and a chance to win the series over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. I’d like that, especially after last weekend.

The Yankees have the right guy on the mound this afternoon in Masahiro Tanaka, who has been really homer prone of late, but also pretty good. Last weekend he held the Jays to three hits — two solo homers — in six innings and could have gone out for the seventh because he’d only thrown 80 pitches. Hopefully Tanaka goes deeper into the game today and keeps the ball in the park. Here is Toronto’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. DH Mark Teixeira
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. SS Didi Gregorus
  8. C John Ryan Murphy
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is cloudy, cool, and humid in Toronto this afternoon, and there is some rain in the forecast, so I’m guessing the Rogers Centre roof will be closed. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:07pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Roster Move: The Yankees have recalled Caleb Cotham and designated Chris Capuano for assignment, the team announced. I guess that means Bryan Mitchell is available for long relief work again.

Injury Update: Forgot to mention this in the recap last night, but x-rays on Ivan Nova‘s finger came back negative following last night’s game. He took that hard-hit grounder to the hand in the third inning. It got him in the ring finger. Nova stayed in the game and didn’t seem to have any problems afterward … Diego Moreno will have bone chips removed from his elbow, Brian Cashman announced. Moreno had been pitching when them for years, but they didn’t become a problem until recently.

Saturday Links: A-Rod, Best Tools, 810 River Ave., CLEAR

(Tom Pennington/Getty)
(Tom Pennington/Getty)

The Yankees and Blue Jays resume their three-game series early this afternoon. Until then, check out these stray links and news items to help you pass the time.

Pre-game ceremony for A-Rod‘s 3,000th hit

This is rich. The Yankees will hold a special on-field pre-game ceremony for Alex Rodriguez‘s 3,000th career hit later this season, the team announced. It’ll be held Sunday, September 13th, before the team’s 1pm ET game against the Blue Jays. They ask you to be in your seats by 12:30pm ET. So just a few weeks after refusing to pay A-Rod his $6M home run milestone bonus because they claimed it was unmarketable, the Yankees are honoring Alex for his 3,000th hit. Guess they’re hoping for a late-season attendance bump.’s farm system rankings

Jim Callis posted his updated ranking of the top ten farm systems this week, and the Yankees placed tenth. I’m not sure where Callis had the Yankees coming into the season, but most other publications had them in the 18-25 range. “New York has position prospects at every spot on the diamond, including speedy shortstop Jorge Mateo (No. 99), sweet-swinging second baseman Robert Refsnyder and slugging catcher Gary Sanchez,” wrote Callis. I don’t know if the Yankees truly have a top ten system yet — this is just one person’s rankings, of course — but the system is clearly on the rise, even if Severino graduates to the big leagues before the end of the season.

Baseball America’s Best Tools

Baseball America published their annual Best Tools survey this week, in which they poll managers, coaches, scouts … basically everyone about the best players and best tools in their individual leagues. Several Yankees players and prospects appeared throughout the survey, so here’s a quick rundown:

All of the surveys are free, you don’t need a subscription, so click the links and you can read through each category and each league. Obviously this is all very subjective — I can’t imagine there are many Yankee fans who consider Gardner the best bunter in the AL — but I’ve always found it interesting and fun to see who coaches and scouts feel have the best skills.


New apartment tower being built next old Yankee Stadium site

According to Ondel Hylton, a new 17-story apartment building is being built on River Ave. between 157th and 158th Streets, on the old Ball Park Lanes site. (The bowling alley closed years ago.) The 134-unit building at 810 River Ave. is right across the street from the old Yankee Stadium site and is a few blocks away from the new Stadium. The neighborhood was re-zoned for buildings up to 30 stories back in 2009, and this is the first new high-rise going up in the area. Construction started in May.

CLEAR comes to Yankee Stadium

As you know, MLB mandated all 30 ballparks must have metal detectors at the entrances this season, which is a total pain. Couldn’t be any less convenient and, frankly, it doesn’t make me feel any safer. (Not that I’ve ever felt unsafe at a game, but that’s besides the point.) The Yankees recently partnered up with CLEAR to expedite the process, the team announced. It’s the same biometrics technology they use at airports for TSA pre-check. You can sign up at Gate 4, and, if approved, you’ll be able to simply scan your finger at a designated fast access lane and skip the whole metal detector process. Yankee Stadium is the third stadium with CLEAR technology, joining AT&T Park and Coors Field. So if you’ve ever wanted that airport experience at a ball park, this is your lucky day!

Beltran’s clutch homer gives Yankees come from behind 4-3 win over Blue Jays

Man, it has been a long time since a baseball game made my heart race like that. I’ve missed you, meaningful baseball. Carlos Beltran‘s ultra-clutch three-run pinch-hit home run gave the Yankees a 4-3 come from behind win over the Blue Jays on Friday, ending Toronto’s eleven-game winning streak. Never in doubt. (There was a lot of doubt.)

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Battlin’ & Grindin’
Usually reserved for CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova fell victim to the One Bad Inning on Friday night. It would have been worse if not for a miraculous Jacoby Ellsbury diving catch — the camera work made it look like Ellsbury came out of nowhere — to save a run and end the second inning, but Ellsbury made the catch, so no harm no foul. The One Bad Inning was the third.

It all started with a hit batsman. Nova plunked No. 8 hitter Kevin Pillar with a hanging curveball, allowed a single to No. 9 hitter Ben Revere, then Troy Tulowitzki literally hit Nova with a hard-hit grounder. Nova reached out with his barehand and the ball deflected to Didi Gregorius at short, who was able to get the force out at second. It was a pretty great play by Didi. Nova stayed in the game after getting checked out by the trainer and throwing some test pitches.

Tulowitzki’s grounder drove in the first run of the night, then Josh Donaldson parked a double into the left field corner to score the second run. Edwin Encarnacion plated the third run with a sacrifice fly. That was not a fun inning. Nova settled down though, retiring 12 of the next 13 batters he faced, including nine on ground balls.

Nova pitched out of a little jam in the seventh — he got Josh Donaldson to ground out with runners at first and second — to end his night with the three runs allowed on five hits and one walk in seven innings. Nova struck out three and got 14 outs on the ground compared to four in the air. That third inning was ugly, but the Blue Jays have a great offense, and Nova did a great job battling. Completing seven full innings is especially appreciated this year.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Scattered Hits
The Yankees managed eleven hits (eleven hits!) off David Price in 7.1 innings of work. The problem? Eight of them were singles and they weren’t really bunched together — the Yankees had multiple hits in just three innings. It was the very definition of scattering hits. Price deserves credit for bending and not breaking, but, after watching this offense scuffle for more than a week now, it was frustrating to see so many hits and no runs.

That all changed in the eighth inning. The Yankees were still down 3-0, though Price was approaching 100 pitches and the lineup had just turned over yet again. The hitters were getting a fourth look at him. The rally started with a one-out ground ball single back up the middle by Mark Teixeira, then continued with Brian McCann‘s bloop to shallow left. At this point Price was at 109 pitches.

Right-hander Aaron Sanchez was warming in the bullpen, but manager John Gibbons decided to stick with Price against Chase Headley, who already had two hits on the night. Headley leaned into a 1-1 changeup and yanked it into the left-center field gap for a run-scoring ground-rule double. It’s easy to say the hop over the wall was a bad break, but I’m not sure McCann scores all the way from first base anyway. Regardless, the Yankees had runners at second and third with one out. They were in business.

Headley’s double ended Price’s night and Gibbons brought in Sanchez to face Chris Young, who was predictably lifted for pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran. I thought Beltran should have hit for Brendan Ryan following Didi’s leadoff single in the seventh, but that didn’t happen, and thank goodness it didn’t. Sanchez blew two upper-90s heaters by Carlos for swings and misses, threw the third high for a ball, then threw the fourth for … well … look:

Oh baby. Sanchez didn’t get the fourth fastball by Beltran. I know the Yankees have been sitting in first place most of the season and have gotten some pretty big hits along the way, but yeah, that’s the biggest hit of the season. Hands down, right? It checked in at +0.45 WPA, making it fourth biggest hit of the year by WPA, behind McCann’s walk-off home run against the Rays (+0.68), Stephen Drew‘s grand slam in Baltimore (+0.57), and Headley’s game-tying ninth inning homer against the Red Sox in April (+0.49). WPA lacks context though. It doesn’t know first place was on the line, or that the Rogers Centre crowd was raucous, or that the Yankees have been struggling to score runs. Beltran’s hit was the biggest of the year. I am pronouncing it so by the power vested in me by the BBWAA. So there.

Andrew Miller Brian McCann

Never Easy In The Ninth
Once Beltran gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead, Joe Girardi went to his two-headed bullpen monster, and Dellin Betances responded by cutting through Jose Bautista, Encarnacion, and Justin Smoak in the eighth. Smoak hit a ball hard to the warning track in dead center, but a) he hit it to the wrong part of the park, and b) replays showed it was closer to the handle of the bat and away from the sweet spot. An out’s and out, right? Right.

Andrew Miller got the ball in the ninth inning and he’s been shaky of late. Very shaky, really. He got Russell Martin to pop-up for the first out, then walked Chris Colabello to put the tying run on base. To be fair, home plate umpire Andy Fletcher squeezed Miller and called his 2-2 fastball ball three when it should have been strike three:

Andrew Miller Chris Colabello

That’s a pretty big non-call! It should have been two outs with the bases empty, but instead the at-bat continued and Miller walked Colabello to put a man on base with one out. Yuck. Kevin Pillar followed that with a single to center to put the tying run on base, then a wild pitch moved the runners up. Not good! The tying run was on third and the winning run was on second with one out.

Miller was able to get the second out by striking out the left-handed Ben Revere, who is pretty much un-strikeout-able. He came into the game with a 9.2% strikeout rate, the fifth lowest in baseball among the 155 qualified hitters. Putting the ball in play is his game, but Miller got him to take a pitch for a called strike one and swing over two sliders for strikes two and three. That brought Tulowitzki to the plate and holy smokes, what a battle. Twelve pitches, three fastballs, nine sliders, seven fouls. Look:

Andrew Miller Troy Tulowitzki

McCann deserves a ton of credit here. He’s had some issues blocking balls in the dirt this year, and there was already one wild pitch in the inning, but he kept calling the slider and trusting he would block it. Very gutsy with the tying run at third. Tulowitzki put up one hell of a fight, spoiling some good pitches, but Miller eventually got a slider in far enough to get the swing-and-miss he needed. Game over. Ex-friggin-hale. What a battle. The game and that at-bat.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

The Blue Jays had shut the Yankees out for 33 consecutive innings before Headley’s double. Their last run against the Toronto before that was Teixeira’s solo homer in the second inning of last Friday’s game, the one they had to review to make sure it actually cleared the wall. Teixeira, by the way, went 1-for-4 and struck out looking at a center cut fastball with two on and two outs in the third. Slightly frustrating.

Everyone in the starting lineup had a hit except Young, who went 0-for-3. He’s been quite streaky this year and seems to be in another funk. Headley had three hits, Gardner and Gregorius had two hits, and everyone else had one hit each. The Yankees didn’t draw a walk for only the fifth time this season, second fewest in baseball behind the Cubs (four).

The defense was rock solid this game. Ellsbury made that spectacular diving catch and Gregorius made a great play to convert the chopper off Nova’s hand into an out, but that wasn’t all. Ellsbury and Gardner each did a good job cutting a ball off and holding the hitter to single, Headley made a few nice snags on short hop grounders, and Teixeira made at least one nice scoop at first. Sound defense.

And finally, the Yankees have now snapped two eleven-game winning streaks this year. They ended Toronto’s in this game and they did it to the Mets back in April. YES said the Yankees have snapped an 11-game winning streak in each of their last four opportunities. I have no idea how far back that dates, however. It’s not exactly a common occurrence.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights for Friday’s game, and here are the updated standings and postseason odds for the season. Also head over and check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Here’s the win probability graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
That was just game one of this three-game series. Great googly moogly. The Yankees and Blue Jays will play again Saturday afternoon, when Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball against Marco Estrada.

DotF: Refsnyder and Judge homer in Scranton’s win

Triple-A Scranton (5-3 win over Rochester)

  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 3 K — first not great game in a while
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — broke up the no-hitter with the homer in the seventh inning
  • DH Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 R, 1 K
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K — three-run go-ahead homer in the seventh
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • 1B Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Brady Lail: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/5 GB/FB — 63 of 99 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 0.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K — four pitches, three strikes … he’s been used as a true lefty specialist lately
  • RHP Andrew Bailey: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 20 of 31 pitches were strikes (665%)

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