Saturday afternoon started with a wonderful ceremony retiring No. 20 in honor of Jorge Posada, and it ended with a much-needed 6-2 win over the Indians . The Yankees scored early and often and coasted to a stress-free win. This was good. Let’s do it again Sunday.
A Good Start
For the third time in three games this series, the Indians scored first. The ultra-impressive Francisco Lindor did the honors with a first inning solo homer. The quick 1-0 deficit was a bit of a bummer but the Yankees answered right back. Jacoby Ellsbury blooped a single to left and Brett Gardner lined a cheap Yankee Stadium home run to right field for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. It hit off the top of the wall and hopped over. Total cheapie. Still counts though.
Later in the inning, Brian McCann and his weird new batting stance laid into an 0-1 fastball from Danny Salazar for another homer, this one a solo shot. That gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Then, in the second, back-to-back singles from Stephen Drew and John Ryan Murphy helped set up a two-run rally. Ellsbury hit a weak tapper back to Salazar and while it would have been tough to complete the 1-6-3 double play because of Ellsbury’s speed, the Indians got zero outs because Salazar threw the ball away. Pitchers, man. Throwing to bases is always an adventure.
Drew scored on the error by Salazar and Murphy later scored on Carlos Beltran‘s sac fly. He’d moved up to third on Gardner’s long fly ball. The Yankees really made Salazar work — six of the first nine batters he faced reached base, and he threw 55 pitches in the first two innings. Six hits, a sac fly, and Salazar’s error gave the Yankees five runs in the first two innings. After Lindor’s first inning homer, it was nice to see the offense answer back in a huge way.
Also A Good Start
Lindor’s home run was ominous — to be fair, it was a really impressive piece of hitting, he got on top of a 96 mph 0-2 pitch and drove it out to right — but Luis Severino quickly settled down and gave the Yankees six innings of one-run ball. He did get some help from the umpires and shoddy base-running. Cleveland had runners at the corners with one out in the third when Michael Brantley hit a hard-hit grounder to first. Greg Bird went down to his knees to field the ball, threw to second for the force, but Brantley beat out the return throw to first to keep the inning alive.
Now, a lot happened here. First and foremost, Jason Kipnis did not score from third for some reason. Bird glanced at Kipnis quickly after fielding the grounder, so he did a good job looking the runner back, but Kipnis is supposed to take off for home as soon as the first baseman makes the throw to second. Weird. Also, replays showed Bird’s throw pulled Didi Gregorius off the bag at second base. It wasn’t all that close either:
The neighborhood play can not be challenged but that’s not really the neighborhood play. For starters, the runner wasn’t close to second base. Secondly, the throw pulled Didi off the bag. He wasn’t coming off the bag to avoid the slide. It’s a bit of a gray area. Indians manager Terry Francona argued, the umpires discussed the play, upheld the call, and Francona was ejected because he continued to argue.
That play should have resulted in a run for the Indians and runners on first and second with one out. Instead, no run scored and the Indians had runners on the corners with two outs. Severino struck out the next batter to end the threat. Bad base-running, bad umpiring. The Yankees and Severino benefited from both.
Following Brantley’s fielder’s choice, Severino retired nine of the next ten batters he faced before walking Lonnie Chisenhall and Abe Almonte with two outs in the sixth. He got Roberto Perez to ground out to end the inning, but those two walks killed his pitch count. Severino threw 19 pitches to those last three batters and was ahead in the count 1-2 on both Chisenhall and Almonte. Blah. That’s a 21-year-old pitcher for ya.
Severino threw 107 pitches in six innings and allowed the one run on three hits and four walks. He struck out six. Like his previous start against the Indians, the first few innings of Severino’s afternoon were a little shaky, though he later settled down. He continues to pitch very well though. The next challenge is pitching deeper into games, but that’s a lot to ask for a kid at this stage of his career.
The offense did a whole bunch of nothing after the second inning. Salazar retired nine of the final eleven batters he faced — one of the base-runners was a pop-up Mike Aviles lost in the sun in left field — and it wasn’t until the bottom of the lineup scratched across a run in the ninth that the offense made more noise. Gregorius doubled, Drew singled, and Murphy got the run in with a sac fly. Drew was later thrown out at home on Ellsbury’s single.
Everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit. Ellsbury, McCann, Gregorius, and Drew had two hits each. Drew went 2-for-4 and has his average up to .19878. A hit in his next at-bat will get him up to .20122. Didi had two doubles, one sun-aided (Aviles) and one legitimate. The Yankees did not draw a walk for only the sixth time all season. Only the Cubs (four) and Blue Jays (five) have fewer no-walk games.
Adam Warren tossed a perfect seventh inning, Dellin Betances allowed a meaningless run in the eighth, and Andrew Miller closed things out with a scoreless ninth. He pitched around a leadoff single. Betances allowed the run on a BABIP double — Lindor hit a grounder literally off the third base bag — a ground out, and a single. He’ll live.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights for the game, and here are the updated standings and postseason odds for the season. We also have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages to check out. Here’s the win probability graph:
The Yankees will look to earn a split of this four-game series Sunday afternoon. Trevor Bauer and CC Sabathia will be the pitching matchup. Also, that pregame ceremony? We’re going to do it all again Sunday. Andy Pettitte will be honored and the No. 46 will be retired. What a fun weekend.
I don’t know if Posada will ever get into the Hall of Fame, he’s a borderline candidate, but he is going into Monument Park this afternoon. The Yankees are retiring his uniform No. 20 and will also honor Posada with a plaque. He helped the team to five World Series titles — he was a key contributor to four of them — and holds several franchise records, including games caught (1,518). Simply put, he is one of the best catchers in both Yankees and baseball history.
The Yankees want fans in their seats by noon for the pre-game ceremony, but, knowing how these things go, the ceremony itself probably won’t start until 12:15pm or 12:30pm ET. Will Derek Jeter make his second appearance at Yankee Stadium since retiring? I have to think so. The whole gang will probably be there. The weather’s great and it should be a really fun day.
As for the regularly scheduled afternoon game, here is the Indians’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- LF Brett Gardner
- RF Carlos Beltran
- DH Brian McCann
- 1B Greg Bird
- 3B Chase Headley
- SS Didi Gregorius
- 2B Stephen Drew
- C John Ryan Murphy
RHP Luis Severino
This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. The Posada ceremony will only be on YES, I believe. MLB Network usually doesn’t carry that stuff. For shame. Enjoy the ceremony and the game, folks.
Injury Updates: Michael Pineda (forearm) will rejoin the rotation Wednesday, Joe Girardi announced. Barring something unexpected, the team will do with a six-man rotation. Predictable … Bryan Mitchell (face) has passed all concussion tests and will throw a bullpen session tomorrow. Geez, sounds like he might be back fairly soon, huh?
Roster Moves: The Yankees have called up Branden Pinder and designated Chris Capuano for assignment, the team announced. Pinder was sent down ten days ago, so the Yankees brought him back as soon as possible.
The Yankees and Indians continue their four-game series later this afternoon. Here are a few links worth checking out while you wait for first pitch.
Postseason schedule announced
MLB announced the 2015 postseason scheduled this week. Unlike the last two years, I can post this information and not feel like I am wasting a bunch of time. The full schedule can be found right here. Here are the dates potentially relevant to the Yankees:
- Tiebreaker Game: Monday, October 5th (if necessary to determine division winner, second wildcard spot, etc.)
- AL Wildcard Game: Tuesday, October 6th
- ALDS: Thursday, October 8th through Wednesday, October 14th (best of five)
- ALCS: Friday, October 16th through Saturday, October 24th (best of seven)
- World Series: Tuesday, October 27th through Wednesday, November 4th (best of seven)
As always, the best-of-three LDS round includes off-days between Games Two and Three and between Games Four and Five. The best-of-seven LCS round and World Series have off-days between Games Two and Three and between Games Five and Six. The World Series will bleed into November unless there is a four-game sweep. There hasn’t been a World Series game in November since 2010. The Yankees won the 2009 World Series on November 4th, as you surely remember.
Cashman preferred Tulowitzki to Jeter
Here’s a fun anecdote. According to Sports Illustrated, Brian Cashman told Derek Jeter he would rather have Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop while in contract talks during the 2010-11 offseason. Here’s the full blurb:
“Who would you rather have playing shortstop this year than me?” Jeter asked Cashman.
“Do you really want me to answer that?” Cashman replied. Jeter told him to go ahead, and he listed Tulowitzki, then the Rockies’ shortstop who was in the midst of his first All-Star campaign. “We’re not paying extra money for popularity,” he added, “We’re paying for performance.”
Jeter was 36 at the time and coming off the worst season of his career. He and the Yankees eventually agreed to a new three-year contract with $51M, though reportedly ownership stepped in to wrap things up. SI has a profile of Cashman in this week’s issue that has yet to make its way online.
Hey, as far as I’m concerned, Cashman did nothing wrong. He asked Jeter if wanted an answer, Jeter said yes, and Cashman gave him an honest answer. There needed to be a bad guy in those contract negotiations just to give the Yankees some sort of leverage. They couldn’t go in there kissing Jeter’s behind and willing to pay anything. I would have rather had Tulo instead of Jeter too.
FanGraphs’ midseason prospect update
Over at FanGraphs, Kiley McDaniel posted an updated look at the top prospects in baseball. Dodgers 3B Corey Seager sits in the top spot and is followed by Twins OF Byron Buxton and Phillies SS J.P. Crawford. The Yankee shave three players among McDaniel’s top 26 prospects: RHP Luis Severino (9th), OF Aaron Judge (22nd), and SS Jorge Mateo (25th). I doubt you’ll see Mateo ranked that highly anywhere else this year or heading into next year. McDaniel seems to really believe in him.
Posada & Pettitte Day patches
Later today, the Yankees will honor Jorge Posada by retiring his No. 20. Then tomorrow they’ll do the same for Andy Pettitte and retire No. 46. Both are very deserving in my opinion. It blows my mind anyone would try to argue otherwise. Anyway, in honor of their special days, the Yankees will wear Posada and Pettitte patches on their hats. Here they are:
The Pettitte patch is A+ work. Posada … I’ll give it a C. Good idea, not the best execution. Pettitte’s stare was kinda his trademark and it makes for a good patch. Posada doesn’t have that signature pose or image or whatever. (Maybe it’s this?) Still pretty cool. I’m really looking forward to seeing the ceremonies the next two days.
MLB, MLBPA announce new domestic violence policy
MLB and the MLBPA announced their new domestic violence policy yesterday. The press release is right here (PDF link). It covers domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. In a nutshell, the Commissioner’s Office will investigate, the player will be placed on leave for up to seven days, and commissioner Rob Manfred can impose any discipline he chooses. There is no minimum or maximum suspension, and discipline is not dependent on whether there are charges or a conviction. After the Ray Rice situation and everything else going on in the NFL, MLB and the MLBPA did a good job getting an agreement worked out. Manfred has the ability to be heavy-handed from the start.
Some online streaming to start next season
According to John Ourand and Eric Fisher, MLB and FOX have agreed to a deal making games available for in-market online streaming. There’s a catch: it only covers FOX affiliates. So Yankees fans in New York won’t be able to watch YES online just yet. FOX holds local broadcast rights to 15 teams, so this does cover half the league. That’s a start.
Part of the hold up with other broadcast networks is MLB’s requirement that MLBAM’s operation be in control to ensure the video security and quality, as well as a 4% rights fee. It’ll end up costing regional networks like YES and SNY a couple million bucks to make games available online in-market, say Ourand and Fisher. Hopefully the other networks hammer out a deal soon. It’s 2015. I’d like to be able to watch the Yankees on something other than my TV.
Update: Turns out the Yankees are covered by the FOX streaming deal. How about that? FOX owns a big stake in YES, remember. They bought in a few years ago.
The Yankees are now 13-14 against last place teams this season. Thank goodness for that 8-4 record against the Red Sox, huh? This team really knows how to play down to the competition. The Yankees looked bad in all phases of the game Friday night, losing 7-3 to the Indians. It’s Friday night, so let’s recap with bullet points:
- Almost Out Of The Inning: Masahiro Tanaka allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings and it could have easily been two runs in six innings. He got the soft ground ball to end the fifth with runners on the corners, but Brendan Ryan bobbled it, and the run scored. Very routine play that gets made like 999 times out of a 1,000. This was the one. Joe Girardi also sent Tanaka back out for the seventh, watched him put the leadoff runner on, then yanked him. Batter-to-batter is easily my least favorite managerial move. The bullpen allowed the runner to score. Tanaka wasn’t great by any means, but he didn’t much help from the rest of the team either.
- Just Short: The Yankees scored just one run against the dominant Carlos Carrasco — he joined Dallas Keuchel as the only pitchers to strike out 11+ Yankees this year — and that run came with two outs in the fourth. Carlos Beltran doubled and Greg Bird singled him in. Nice and easy. The Yankees rallied against the bullpen in the eighth, getting two run on three singles (Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez) and an error (Jose Ramirez). That got them to within 4-3. A walk loaded the bases with two outs, bringing Stephen Drew to the plate. Shockingly, the guy with a .263 OBP made an out. It would have been a letdown had it not been so predictable.
- Blown Open: Not a great night for the usually reliable bullpen. Chasen Shreve allowed Tanaka’s inherited runner to score on a Michael Brantley single, then Justin Wilson allowed three runs on four hits in the top of the ninth. The inning would have ended with just one run on the board had Drew been able to complete the 5-4-3 double play, but alas. Wilson’s been awesome. A bad inning was bound to happen at some point.
- Leftovers: Gardner had two hits while Headley, A-Rod, Beltran, Bird, pinch-hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, and Drew had one hit each … Ellsbury and Gardner drew walks, and Gardner stole a base … Brian McCann is clearly favoring his left leg, the one he hurt a few weeks ago, because he’s changed his batting stance drastically (video) … and finally, Ramirez, the Indians nine-hole hitter, went 3-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .455 against the Yankees this year and .184 against everyone else.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees have already lost the season series to the Indians but will try to salvage this four-game series starting Saturday afternoon. It’ll be Luis Severino and Danny Salazar on the bump. Oh, and by the way, it’s Jorge Posada day! No. 20 will be retired in a pre-game ceremony. Fun fun fun.
Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Rochester in 14 innings, walk-off style)
- CF Ben Gamel: 2-6, 3 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
- RF Jose Pirela: 2-5, 1 BB
- C Gary Sanchez: 1-6, 1 RBI, 1 K — in a 6-for-43 (.140) slump
- DH Aaron Judge: 0-6, 2 K — really limping to the finish line this year
- LF Slade Heathcott: 2-4, 2 K — left the game after running the bases in the ninth for an unknown reason
- 1B Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 CS — walk-off single
- RHP Michael Pineda: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HB, 6/1 GB/FB — 45 of 62 pitches were strikes (73%) … he was scheduled to throw 65 pitches or so in his second rehab start … Pineda told Billy Witz he felt good and declared “Big Mike is back”
- RHP Caleb Cotham: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 3/0 GB/FB — eleven of 18 pitches were strikes (61%)
- RHP Chris Martin: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K — 13 of 20 pitches were strikes (65%) … first outing in a month … Martin told Witz he developed a staph infection from a bug bite in his hand, and it spread to his elbow … yikes
- RHP Nick Goody: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 18 of 32 pitches were strikes (56%)
- RHP Johnny Barbato: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 25 of 44 pitches were strikes (57%)
- LHP James Pazos: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GB/FB – 18 of 28 pitches were strikes (64%)
The Yankees dropped last night’s series opener against the Indians and, until that ninth inning rally, it was the most nondescript game of the year. Nothing interesting happened whatsoever. What can you do. Can’t win ’em all. The Yankees have still won six of their last eight games and that’s a pretty good pace. I’ll take more of that going forward. Here is the Cleveland lineup and here is the New York lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- 3B Chase Headley
- DH Alex Rodriguez
- C Brian McCann
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 1B Greg Bird
- LF Chris Young
- 2B Stephen Drew
- SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Masahiro Tanaka
Very nice day in New York today. Blue sky, nice breeze, and a few clouds. Good day for a game. Tonight’s contest will begin just after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Injury Updates: Mark Teixeira (leg) is getting better but is unlikely to play this weekend … Bryan Mitchell (face) played catch today … Dustin Ackley (back) went through fielding drills and could begin a minor league rehab assignment next week … Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius are fine. Just getting the night off during this long stretch of games.