Game 134: Big Mike in Toronto

BIG MIKE IS HERE

Michael Pineda made his first start of the season (and as a Yankee!) in Toronto back in April, and today he’ll face the Blue Jays again, in his eighth start of the season. Pineda held the Jays to one run in six innings in his first start, though that was a really long time ago. I’m not sure how much seeing him once before will really help at this point. Either way, Toronto seems to have checked out on the season, so beat them again and inch closer in the second wildcard race. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. LF Martin Prado
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. RF Ichiro Suzuki
    RHP Michael Pineda

It’s cool and cloudy with a little bit of rain in Toronto today, so the Rogers Centre roof might be closed. This afternoon’s game will start a bit after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending on where you live. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Jacoby Ellsbury (ankle) is obviously not in the lineup and he was still limping in the clubhouse earlier today. With the off-day coming on Monday, my guess is he does not play tomorrow either and gets three straight days off.

Tests negative after Ellsbury injures left ankle sliding into home plate

Jacoby Ellsbury injured his left ankle sliding into home plate in the ninth inning of last night’s game. A fluoroscope exam — whatever that is — came back negative, but he was walking with a limp in the clubhouse after the game and received treatment. “I’m going to call them first thing in the morning when I wake up and let them know how it feels,” said Ellsbury to Brendan Kuty. “It’s not going to feel great, but hopefully it’s good enough for me to play tomorrow.”

Replacing Ellsbury in the outfield won’t be much of a problem for the Yankees — they could play Brett Gardner in center field and Martin Prado in left or right — but losing his bat this point of the season would be a big blow. He’s been the best hitter on the team over the last week or two, igniting the offense once he moved back into the leadoff spot. Hopefully the ankle is just a little sore and it’s not anything more serious. Ellsbury is one of the most indispensable players on the roster.

Yankees rally late to grab 6-3 win over Blue Jays


Source: FanGraphs

That was a good way to rebound from Thursday’s rough walk-off loss. After being shut down for the first six innings on Friday, the Yankees rallied late to walk away with a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays in the series opener. Let’s recap:

  • Five-Run Seventh: The Yankees managed four base-runners against Mark Buehrle in the first six innings, though they started to square him up better in the sixth and that carried over into the seventh. Brian McCann opened the inning with a double to right, then Carlos Beltran walked, then Brett Gardner doubled to almost the exact same spot as McCann. The relay man tried to throw Beltran out at third for whatever reason, and the throw sailed wide and into the stands, allowing the second run to score to make it 2-1 Yankees. Dioner Navarro’s attempted snap throw sailed in left field later in the inning to allow Gardner to score the team’s third run, then Jacoby Ellsbury swatted a two-run homer to make it 5-1. The Yankees have been able to put together some big innings of late. It’s nice to see.
  • Cap’d Off: When I looked at the box score, I was surprised to see Chris Capuano allowed eight hits and three runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings. It seemed like he pitched a lot better than that. A Jose Bautista solo homer and some really bad defense led to those runs. (Derek Jeter short-hopped a throw to first and McCann couldn’t handle a short-hop throw from Gardner.) Otherwise Capuano was solid. Not great, not terrible, but good enough to give the Yankees a chance to win, which is what he’s done since joining the team a few weeks ago. Given the news of Masahiro Tanaka‘s setback, the club will have to continue to rely on Capuano, and he’s given them no reason to think he won’t be up to the task.
  • Late Innings: The Blue Jays answered the five-run inning with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the seventh, thanks mostly to the poor defense. Adam Warren faced Bautista as the tying run and then Edwin Encarnacion as the go-ahead run in that inning, but he escaped with a hit-by-pitch (hey, better than another homer) and a fly out. He got two quick outs in the eighth, Josh Outman came on to allow a single to the lefty hitting Munenori Kawasaki in his Yankees debut, then David Robertson retired all four batters he faced for the four-out save. He is 35-for-38 in save chances now. The seventh and eighth innings are always iffy whenever Dellin Betances isn’t available, but Joe Girardi & Co. got through them successfully on Friday.
  • Leftovers: Chase Headley plated an insurance run with a long solo homer in the ninth … Ellsbury and Martin Prado had two hits apiece while Mark Teixeira and Beltran were the only starters without hits. Beltran did draw two walks … the Yankees had six extra-base hits for the first time in 22 games and only the ninth time this season … they scored 6+ runs for the fourth time in the last six games after doing it four times in their previous 25 games … there were two challenges on the same play in the ninth inning. The Jays challenged that Ellsbury had been tagged out at home on a fielder’s choice, and the play was overturned. Joe Girardi then challenged that Navarro was blocking the plate, but it was deemed he was not.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won, so the Yankees remain seven games back in the AL East. Assuming the Tigers hold on to their big lead over the White Sox, the Yankees will remain three games back of the second wildcard spot regardless of the what the Mariners do in the late game. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 10.8%. Michael Pineda and Drew Hutchison will square off in the second game of this series on Saturday afternoon.

DotF: Tampa eliminated from postseason race with loss

OF Jake Cave placed eighth on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet while 2B Gosuke Katoh made the No So Hot section.

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • SS Jose Pirela: 0-2, 1 K — left the game in the fourth for an unknown reason
  • RF Chris Young: 1-4, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 K
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 E (fielding) — left the game in the eighth, a few innings after getting hit by the pitch
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — second homer in his last six games
  • LHP Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/4 GB/FB — 48 of 73 pitches were strikes (66%) … finishes the minor league season with a 71/31 K/BB in 76.2 innings
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 14 of 19 pitches were strikes (74%)
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, zeroes, 0 K, 2/0 GB/FB — six pitches, three strikes

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Game 133: Beat the Jays

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees just suffered a pretty rough walk-off loss and they can’t let the series loss to the Tigers spiral into some kind of extended losing skid. The Blue Jays are in bad shape right now — they’ve lost ten of their last 14 games and are 7-16 in August — so everything is set up for the Yankees to bank some wins. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. 3B Martin Prado
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. DH Carlos Beltran
  7. LF Brett Gardner
  8. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    LHP Chris Capuano

It’s nice and sunny in Toronto, so the Rogers Centre roof should be open. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.