Game 50: St. Louie

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(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

For the first time since 2005, the Yankees are in St. Louis to play the Cardinals. Tanyon Sturtze took the loss the last time they played there (box score). The Yankees are visiting the new Busch Stadium for the first time, and, believe it or not, this is only the 35th time in history these two teams are playing. That includes interleague play and the postseason. Weird but also pretty cool.

The Yankees are coming off back-to-back wins over the White Sox, though they say momentum is only good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher. Chase Whitley is on the bump for the Bombers, and while he has been effective in his first two MLB starts, he has thrown only nine total innings. He has yet to complete five innings of work and it seems like Joe Girardi does not want him facing the lineup a third time. That makes sense considering Whitley is a recently converted reliever, but it’s also a drain on the bullpen. Six strong innings today would be awesome.

Here is the Cardinals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  6. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  7. 2B Brian Roberts
  8. 1B Kelly Johnson
  9. RHP Chase Whitley

It is very cloudy, very hot, and very humid in St. Louis. There are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast as well, so we could be in for a delay(s) or a sloppy game. Maybe even a postponement. We’ll see. First pitch is scheduled for 4pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy the game.

Update (4:01pm): The game is officially in a rain delay. It isn’t actually raining yet, but it will start any minute and the tarp is on the field. No word on when the game may begin, so check back for updates.

Update (4:47pm): First pitch is scheduled for 5:15pm ET, give or take.

Categories : Game Threads
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Got some injury updates leading up to this afternoon’s series opener against the Cardinals, courtesy of the various reporters with the team:

  • Carlos Beltran (elbow) took 15 swings with a fungo bat and everything went well, believe it or not. Didn’t see that coming. He will take swings with a regular bat tomorrow. Good first step, but obviously Beltran is not out of the woods yet.
  • Mark Teixeira (wrist) was scratched from this afternoon’s lineup with stiffness. Joe Girardi said it has been bugging him for a few days but it is considered minor and there are no tests scheduled. They are hopeful Teixeira will play tomorrow.
  • Shawn Kelley (back) played catch at 75 feet today and felt fine. Of course, he played catch last week and felt fine until he woke up with renewed soreness the next day. Kelley will play catch again in the coming days.
Categories : Injuries
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(Joe Robbins/Getty)

(Joe Robbins/Getty)

After a one series reprieve, the Yankees are right back in an NL park for another interleague series. Thankfully this is their final visit to the so-called Senior Circuit this year, at least until the World Series, of course. The Yankees are visiting the new Busch Stadium for the first time this week for three games against the defending NL champion Cardinals. It is their first trip to St. Louis in general since 2005.

What Have They Done Lately?
The Cards are coming off two straight wins over the Reds and they’ve won nine of their last eleven games overall. They were scuffling a bit earlier in the season, but they’ve definitely turned it around of late. St. Louis is 28-22 with a +24 run differential overall, which is the second best record in the NL Central and fourth best record in the NL overall.

At 3.84 runs per game with a team 96 wRC+, the Cardinals are a bit below average offensively. Unsurprisingly, their historic success with runners in scoring position last year (.330/.402/.463 (!!!)) has not carried over to this year (.242/.324/.334). That’s just not something a team will do year after year. OF Peter Bourjos (87 wRC+) has been sidelined by a stomach bug the last few days, but otherwise the Cardinals are perfectly healthy on the position player side.

Craig. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

Craig. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

Manager Mike Matheny’s lineup is anchored by C Yadier Molina (133 wRC+), who also happens to be the best defensive catcher in all the land. Life will not be easy for the Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner led running game this week. SS Jhonny Peralta (123 wRC+) and 1B Matt Adams (124 wRC+) are having very strong years while 3B Matt Carpenter (110 wRC+) and OF Matt Holliday (111 wRC+) have been good but not great. Certainly not as good as they were last season. OF Jon Jay (101 wRC+) has been solid.

The lack of production from RF Allen Craig (89 wRC+) has really hurt the Cardinals these first few weeks. He was expected to be one of their top middle of the order guys. 2B Kolten Wong (83 wRC+) and 2B Mark Ellis (32 wRC+) have more or less shared time at second, though Wong is getting more of the at-bats of late. OF Shane Robinson (24 wRC+), IF Daniel Descalso (10 wRC+), and C Tony Cruz (115 wRC+) round out the bench, which is surprisingly weak for an NL team. It was especially noticeable in the World Series last fall.

Pitching Matchups (Pitcher GIFs is still down for whatever reason)

Monday: RHP Chase Whitley (No vs. STL) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (vs. NYY)
Wacha, 22, shot from college to (near) the front of the Cardinals rotation in less than two full years, which is damn impressive. He has a 2.54 ERA (2.77 FIP) in ten starts and 60.1 innings this season thanks to excellent strikeout (9.58 K/9 and 26.4 K%), walk (2.54 BB/9 and 6.8 BB%), and homer (0.60 HR/9 and 7.5% HR/FB) rates. His ground ball rate (43.0%) isn’t great and he has a tiny platoon split. Wacha’s performance this year is almost exactly the same as last year, and it’s kinda freaky. After relying on his low-to-mid-90s four-seamer and knockout mid-to-high-80s changeup almost exclusively last season, Wacha is using his upper-80s cutter and mid-70s curveball much more often this year. It’s very hard to believe he won’t turn 23 until later this summer.

Lynn. (Mike McGinnis/Getty)

Lynn. (Mike McGinnis/Getty)

Tuesday: RHP David Phelps (vs. STL) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (vs. NYY)
At 27 years and 14 days, Lynn will be the oldest starting pitcher the Yankees see in this series by more than three full years. He comes into the series with a 3.60 ERA (3.10 FIP) in ten starts and 60 innings, and his peripherals — 8.85 K/9 (22.6 K%), 3.00 BB/9 (7.7 BB%), 0.60 HR/9 (7.0% HR/FB), and 44.5% grounders — are career bests as a starter across the board. Lefties (.348 wOBA) are hitting him much harder than righties (.273 wOBA). Lynn is something of a 4.5-pitch pitcher. He uses his low-90s two and four-seam fastballs to set up his mid-80s slider and upper-70s curveball, plus he’ll also throw a handful of mid-80s changeups per start. For whatever reason, Lynn has really scaled back his changeup usage the last two seasons. He’ll look like a legitimate ace on his best days.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out this will be a homecoming for Phelps, who was born and raised in the St. Louis suburbs. He told George King he was a die-hard Cardinals fan growing up. I’m sure he’s excited for this game.

Wednesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. STL) vs. RHP Shelby Miller (vs. NYY)
The Cardinals reportedly shopped the 23-year-old Miller heavily over the winter, which made me think his arm was about to explode. Especially after they avoided using him in the postseason (faced only four batters despite being on the roster all three rounds). You don’t try to trade former first round pick after he pitched to a 3.06 ERA (3.67 FIP) as a rookie. Sure enough, Miller has taken a big step back this year, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at his 3.18 ERA. His strikeout rate (7.15 K/9 and 18.7 K%) has dropped quite a bit, his walk rate (4.76 BB/9 and 7.5 BB%) has nearly doubled, and he’s been far more homer prone (1.43 HR/9 and 15.0% HR/FB) despite a relatively static ground ball rate (41.8%). Lefties (.381 wOBA) have pounded him as well (.310 wOBA for righties). His 5.22 FIP is no accident. Miller sits in the low-to-mid-90s with his fastball and will mix in the occasional upper-80s cutter. A sharp upper-70s curveball is his top secondary pitch, though he also has a mid-80s changeup. Based on how he’s pitching this year compared to last year, I have to think something is very wrong with Miller. Either he’s hurt or his mechanics are a total mess. He went from budding ace to replacement level in an offseason.

Rosenthal. (Andy Lyons/Getty)

Rosenthal. (Andy Lyons/Getty)

Bullpen Status
The Cardinals recently welcomed RHP Jason Motte (8.19 FIP in limited time) back from Tommy John surgery, which sidelined him all of last year. He is currently being eased back into things while RHP Trevor Rosenthal (2.96 FIP) continues to handle closing duties. He’s had some walk (13.3 BB%) problems this year. RHP Carlos Martinez (3.88) handles setup work.

LHP Kevin Siegrist just landed on the disabled list with a forearm problem, leaving former Yankee LHP Randy Choate (2.90 FIP) as Matheny’s top southpaw. RHP Seth Maness (3.70 FIP), RHP Pat Neshek (1.99 FIP), and LHP Sam Freeman (2.05 FIP in one whole inning) fill out the rest of the bullpen. The Cardinals don’t really have a true long man, though I’m not sure that’s a flaw. It’s just different. Only Choate and Neshek pitched last night, and they threw a combined 17 pitches. Their ‘pen is fresh.

Our Bullpen Workload page has everything you need to know about the Yankees’ bullpen heading into the series. For the latest and greatest on the Cardinals, check out Viva El Birdos.

Categories : Series Preview
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Record Last Week: 3-3 (23 RS, 21 RA)
Season Record: 26-23 (211 RS, 217 RA, 24-25 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: @ Cardinals (three games, Mon. to Weds.), vs. Twins (three games, Fri. 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?

Categories : Polls
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That video is of OF Aaron Judge during last night’s Low-A Charleston game and comes courtesy of Josh Norris. Judge went 2-for-4 with a homer and a strikeout.

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 loss to Rochester)

  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing) — 15-for-34 (.441) with four walks and three strikeouts in his last nine games
  • CF Ramon Flores: 1-4 — threw a runner out at first
  • DH Scott Sizemore: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller, 3B Zelous Wheeler & SS Dean Anna: all 0-3 — Roller walked and whiffed … Wheeler struck out … Anna committed a throwing error
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 10/3 GB/FB — 55 of 71 pitches were strikes (77%) … 77/26 GB/FB in 56.2 innings this year
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/4 GB/FB – 18 of 30 pitches were strikes (60%)

Read More→

Categories : Down on the Farm
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Happy Sunday everyone. Hope you’re enjoying the gorgeous weather in New York, if you’re in New York. This is definitely grilling weather. Use this thread to talk about whatever you like tonight — the Cardinals and Reds are the ESPN Sunday Night Game, plus there are NBA and NHL playoff games going on — and enjoy the rest of the second day of the holiday weekend.

Categories : Open Thread
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Source: FanGraphs

The week-long trip through Chicago is finally over. The Yankees walloped the White Sox by the score of 7-1 on Sunday afternoon, earning a split of the six games in the Windy City. They were a David Robertson blown save away from going 4-2 on the trip, and also blown saves by Hector Rondon and Ronald Belisario away from going 1-5. Blown saves for everyone! Let’s recap Sunday’s win:

  • Early Runs: After relying on late rallies the last few games, the Yankees broke the trend and scored some runs early on Sunday afternoon. They loaded the bases with one out in the second, then plated four total runs on a single plus an error (Brett Gardner), another single (Derek Jeter), and a sacrifice fly (Jacoby Ellsbury). Just like that, it was 4-0. Jeter tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the second inning, all with two outs, making it 5-0. Hooray for not playing from behind for once.
  • Cy Tanaka: Masahiro Tanaka didn’t look particularly comfortable all afternoon — he was really taking his time between pitches and he didn’t seem to be on the same page with Brian McCann — and yet he still held the White Sox it one run in 6.2 innings. That run was sun-aided as well, as Gardner appeared to lose a ball in the sky. A routine fly ball turned into a double and the runner eventually came around to score. Tanaka struck out six and did not allow a dinger for the fourth straight start. Remember when he was homer prone? He’s down to a 0.89 HR/9 on the year, which is exactly the AL average.
  • Late Innings: The Yankees were more or less running out the clock after scoring their fifth run. Jeter singled in their sixth run in the sixth inning, then Brian Roberts slugged a garbage time solo homer in the eighth. Adam Warren got four outs between the seventh and eighth before Matt Daley mopped things up in the ninth. Nice and easy. I feel like it’s been a while since the team’s last low-stress win.
  • Leftovers: Jeter had a whale of a game, going 4-for-5 and driving in two. It was his first four-hit game since 2012 … Alfonso Soriano doubled twice and the bottom four hitters in the lineup went a combined 5-for-15 (.333) … Ellsbury, Mark Teixeira, and McCann went a combined 0-for-11 with six strikeouts. You usually don’t win when the 3-4-5 hitters do that. has the box score and video highlights while FanGraphs has some other starts. The updated standards are at ESPN. The Yankees are off to St. Louis to wrap up this road trip with a three-game series against the Cardinals. Chase Whitley and Michael Wacha will be the pitching matchup in the Memorial Day matinee on Monday.

Categories : Game Stories
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(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The two-series, six-game stint in Chicago is finally over. Or at least it will be in a few hours. The Yankees have lost three of the first five games in the Windy City but were a David Robertson blown save from winning three of the first five. They have ace Masahiro Tanaka on the mound this afternoon, so their chances of starting a winning streak will never be better. Close out the week in Chicago with a win, then move on to the next series. Here is the White Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  7. RF Alfonso Soriano
  8. DH Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 2B Brian Roberts
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is sunny and on the cool side in Chicago. The sky is clear and there is no rain in the forecast. Lovely afternoon for baseball. This afternoon’s series finale is scheduled to begin at 2:10pm ET. You can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Michael Pineda Update: Pineda (back/shoulder) will throw two innings in an Extended Spring Training game on Tuesday, according to Bryan Hoch. It will be his first game action since landing on the disabled list earlier this month.

Categories : Game Threads
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Source: FanGraphs

Saturday afternoon’s game had all the look of another loss thanks to a lifeless offense. Didn’t matter who was on the mound for the White Sox, they Yankees weren’t hitting him. Then a late rally against the bullpen and a surprise extra innings homer gave the Bombers their first win in U.S. Cellular Field since 2012. Let’s belatedly recap the 4-3 win:

  • Nuno Recovers: Sixteen pitches into the game, Vidal Nuno allowed three hits and three runs to put the Yankees in an immediate hole. It looked like it would be another short day for the team’s nominal fourth starter, but, to Nuno’s credit, he rebounded very well and took the ball into the eighth (!) inning. He retired 20 of the final 25 men he faced, throwing a season-high 101 pitches. I think he was going to throw 100+ pitches no matter what given the state of the bullpen. Nuno rebounded nicely and held the ChiSox to just those three first inning runs. I’ll take seven innings and three runs from him every time out.
  • Danked: The Yankees somehow had more success against Chris Sale on Thursday than they did against John Danks on Saturday. Sure, they had three hits against Danks, but he chucked eight innings and got nothing but weak contact all afternoon. Mark Teixeira hit a ground rule double in the fourth and that was the only ball they really squared up. Getting dominated by Sale is one thing, but post-shoulder surgery Danks? Yuck.
  • Blownpen: It looked like the Yankees were ready to tease us in the ninth inning again. Jacoby Ellsbury singled against closer Ronald Belisario with one out to give us some hope, but it wasn’t until Alfonso Soriano doubled (driving in Ellsbury) and Yangervis Solarte singled (driving in Soriano) than the comeback really felt like it had some life. After an Ichiro Suzuki walk pushed Solarte into scoring position, pinch-hitter Brian McCann blooped the game-tying single into center field. After doing nothing against Danks, the Yankees scored three in the ninth to tie the game.
  • Extras: If Ellsbury had not hit the go-ahead homer in the tenth inning, I’m not sure how much longer New York could have held out. Adam Warren was unavailable after Friday’s long appearance and Dellin Betances had already pitched for the second day in a row, so Preston Claiborne and Alfredo Aceves were next in line. Thankfully, Ellsbury hit that homer, and David Robertson closed the door in the bottom of the tenth to seal the win. He’s been pitching in high-leverage spots for years now. You didn’t think Friday’s blown save would rattle him, did you? Robertson, Betances, and the Matts (Thornton and Daley) held the ChiSox to one base-runner in three innings, striking out six.
  • Leftovers: Ellsbury had two hits in his final two at-bats, which is hopefully a sign he is ready to break out of his slump. They need him to hit … Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter went a combined 0-for-10 from the one-two spots … the Yankees went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position and six of the final eleven men they sent to the plate reached base (three of the first 29 reached) … Betances struck out two in his perfect inning and now has 49 strikeouts in 28.1 innings. He leads all relievers in strikeouts (by nine) and has an outside shot at 100 strikeouts before the All-Star break. has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees and White Sox wrap up this four-game weekend series on Sunday afternoon, when Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball against rookie righty Andre Rienzo. How about a winning streak?

Minor League Update: Here are the box scores for Saturday’s games: Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa (G1), High-A Tampa (G2), Low-A Charleston. RHP Zach Nuding threw eight shutout innings, OF Ben Gamel and 2B Rob Refsnyder both had two hits, and homers were hit by SS Cito Culver, 1B Greg Bird, 3B Dante Bichette Jr., and OF Aaron Judge.

Comments (32)

The weather stinks in the Tri-State Area right now, but hopefully that won’t ruin your holiday weekend. It’s supposed to clear up tomorrow anyway. Use this thread to talk about whatever you like tonight. This afternoon’s win, other baseball games, NBA or NHL playoff games, whatever you want. Have at it.

Categories : Open Thread
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