Sabathia can’t protect lead as Yankees drop second straight to Rays


Source: FanGraphs

I’m out of town this weekend and am doing everything possible to avoid baseball, Yankees or otherwise. So I didn’t see any of Saturday night’s game and I’m glad I didn’t. Two runs wasn’t going to be enough against the high-powered Rays, but, yet again, CC Sabathia was a letdown and unable to preserve the lead. It would help if Joe Girardi stopped treating him like a true ace and had a quicker leash, but what can you do. The Rays have done a real nice job of humbling the Yankees these last two games after their five-game winning streak.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Athletics beat the Orioles, so the Yankees are five games back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column. Cool Standings gives them an 8.3% chance to make that postseason. They can’t really afford to lose games like this anymore; there are only 33 games left in the season. Ivan Nova will look to salvage the series on Sunday afternoon against certified Yankees killer Alex Cobb.

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Derek Jeter Update: As planned, Derek Jeter played another seven innings at shortstop for Triple-A Scranton on Saturday. He went 1-for-3 with a single to left, a ground out to short, and a ground out to second. The Cap’n made a throwing error on the only ball that came his way defensively. Jeter will take Sunday off and rejoin the Yankees on Monday for their series opener in Toronto.

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Minor League Update: The day’s box scores are right here. C Gary Sanchez homered, RHP Rafael DePaula walked seven (!) in 4.1 innings, and LHP Ian Clarkin allowed a homer in his second career outing. Not a whole lot happened otherwise.

Game 129: Rebound

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The Yankees’ five-game winning streak came to a screeching halt last night as the Rays roughed up Hiroki Kuroda, and now it’s up to CC Sabathia to stop the bleeding. The Bombers can’t afford any kind of prolonged longing streak, even two losses in a row at this point. Sabathia has to be stopper he was as recently as last year. This year’s CC won’t suffice. Here’s the lineup Joe Girardi is running out there against reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price:

  1. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  2. SS Eduardo Nunez
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. 3B Alex Rodriguez
  6. DH Vernon Wells
  7. CF Curtis Granderson
  8. 1B Mark Reynolds
  9. C Austin Romine

And on mound is Sabathia, who never seemed to pitch well at Tropicana Field even when he was at his best these last few years.

I don’t know what the weather is like in St. Petersburg but it doesn’t really matter because of the roof. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Update: X-rays comes back negative on Gardner’s hand

Saturday: An x-ray on Gardner’s hand came back negative, though it is still a little swollen. He is not in tonight’s lineup because of lefty David Price but is likely available of the bench. Phew.

Friday: The Yankees want Brett Gardner to have an MRI tomorrow after being hit by a pitch on the top of his right hand in tonight’s game, says Andy McCullough. If the team wants it, they’ll probably get it. Gardner remained in the game but was seen flexing his hand and fingers, plus it was a little swollen after the game. He hit a triple on a fly ball to the left-center field wall in his next at-bat, so it can’t be hurting that bad. Brett has been the team’s second best player all year and losing him for any length of time would be devastating.

Jeter confirms he will rejoin Yankees on Monday

Via Donnie Collins: Derek Jeter confirmed he will rejoin the Yankees on Monday for their series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto. “I’m not concerned about running,” said the Cap’n regarding his strained calf (via Chad Jennings). “Not at all. Everything felt good … For me, it’s just playing in games. For them it’s probably check to make sure I’m alright. But I get it.”

Jeter, 39, is scheduled to play shortstop for the third straight day with Triple-A Scranton tonight before resting tomorrow and meeting the club on Monday. He has actually played more minor league rehab games (six) than big league games (five) this year, but the Yankees aren’t taking an overly conservative approach as Jeter returns from his third leg injury. Another three rehab games, that’s it. The team is playing without a backup infielder at the moment following Jayson Nix’s injury, which perhaps upped the urgency to get Jeter back. Either way, the Bombers need their captain to get back on the field and stay there for the final five weeks of the season. It’s imperative.

Rays crush Kuroda as winning streak comes to an end


Source: FanGraphs

It really stinks when things don’t go according to plan. The Yankees had won five straight heading into Friday’s series opener against the Rays and they had Hiroki Kuroda on the mound, their best pitcher and one of the very best in baseball this year. Instead of continuing to roll, they hit a speed bump and were overmatched by Tampa. Let’s recap the 7-2 loss:

  • HRiok: After going almost 60 innings without allowing a homer, Kuroda surrendered four (!) in six innings on Friday night. The Rays punished him for seven runs on nine hits and one walk in six innings. He should have been out of the game in the fifth innings or so, but Joe Girardi opted to run his best pitcher into the ground rather than overwork the sixth and seventh relievers in the bullpen. Yuck. Fouling back-to-back rough outings, I wonder if Kuroda might be hitting the same late-season wall he hit late last year. I hope not, the Yankees can’t afford it.
  • Sterling: For the second time in about a month, Chris Archer shut New York down. He didn’t throw another complete-game shutout on Friday, but he did limit them to two runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings. Six of the 27 batters he faced managed to hit the ball out of the infield on the fly. Brett Gardner created both runs by using his speed to get to third base — single, stolen base, moved up on a fly ball, then a triple — before someone (Alfonso Soriano single, Robinson Cano ground out) drove him in. Archer’s night ended when new Ray David DeJesus made a nice running grab at the wall on a Chris Stewart line drive with two on in the seventh.
  • Leftovers: Joba Chamberlain retired all six (!) batters he faced after Girardi mercifully pulled Kuroda … Gardner had two hits and a walk while Eduardo Nunez had two hits, otherwise no one reached base more than once … Gardner was picked off first and doubled off first on a Curtis Granderson fly ball. Making two outs at first after safely reaching base really sucks … Kuroda tied a career-high with four homers allowed.

MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles beat the Athletics, so the Yankees remain four games back of Oakland for the second wildcard spot. Cool Standings has New York’s postseason odds at 12.2%. CC Sabathia and David Price square off in battle of Cy Young winning southpaws in game two of this three-game series on Saturday night.

Betances strikes out six in SWB win

Some quick notes:

  • 3B Eric Jagielo placed third on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet following his recent hot stretch. Click through for some video. LHP Nik Turley, on the other hand, made the Not-So-Hot section.
  • RHP Taylor Morton has retired, he announced on his Twitter feed. The team’s ninth round pick in the 2010 draft had a 4.32 ERA in 82.2 career innings while battling a shoulder problems.
  • It also sounds like RHP Hayden Sharp has retired based on his Twitter feed. He was the club’s 18th round pick in 2011. Sharp pitched to a 4.75 ERA in 55 career innings.

Triple-A Scranton (4-1 win over Pawtucket)

  • SS Derek Jeter: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — had a little more on him earlier
  • RF Ronnie Mustelier: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B
  • C J.R. Murphy: 1-4, 2 RBI
  • RHP Dellin Betances: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 24 of 42 pitches were strikes (57%) … 12/4 K/BB in 6.2 innings since being sent down

[Read more…]

Jeter draws a walk in second minor league rehab game

In his second minor league rehab game with Triple-A Scranton, Derek Jeter went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. He grounded into a 6-3 double play and what would have been a 6-4-3 double play had the first baseman not whiffed on the relay throw in the other two at-bats. Jeter played seven innings at shortstop, fielding five ground balls and one line drive. One of the ground balls went for an infield single.

Joe Girardi told Andy McCullough that Jeter will play with the RailRiders again on Saturday night, though it’s unclear if he’ll play shortstop or DH. Hard not to think that if that goes well, the Cap’n will get Sunday off and rejoin the team for their series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Nothing official yet.