Sunday afternoon started with a great ceremony honoring the soon-to-be retired Derek Jeter and ended with another sleepy loss, this one to the Royals by the score of 2-0. The Yankees have now lost three of their last four series, with the one series win needing that Koji Uehara meltdown on Thursday night. Let’s recap:
- Two Errors: The Yankees were charged with two errors on Sunday and both led to runs. First, Shane Greene fielded a weak grounder and threw the ball into right field, allowing Josh Willingham to chug in from second base. It would have been the third out of the second inning. Carlos Beltran dropped a fairly routine pop-up leading off the third inning — you can tell the sun was giving him some trouble, but the ball was in his glove at one point — and the run eventually came around to score on a stolen base and an Eric Hosmer single. Beltran’s throw home on Hosmer’s single was off-line, otherwise there would have been a play at the plate because Alex Gordon stumbled around third. Two defensive miscues, two runs. Par for the 2014 course.
- Punchless: Believe it or not, the Yankees had a man reach base in seven of nine innings. They never had a runner reach third base though, and they mustered just a ground ball single in three innings against Kansas City’s high-powered bullpen. Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, and Mark Teixeira had their four hits, all singles. Jeter’s was an infield single. Jeter, Beltran (two), and Stephen Drew drew walks. They went 0-for-16 with a walk with men on base. Not men in scoring position, just on base in general. This offense is: bad.
- Leftovers: Greene really had to battle, especially early on. He threw 54 pitches in the first two innings and 36 in the next three, allowing just the two unearned runs in five innings. It was a grind but Greene didn’t melt down … Adam Warren (two innings), Shawn Kelley (one inning), Josh Outman (one out), and Esmil Rogers (two outs) did fine work out of the bullpen, allowing only three base-runners (one was an intentional walk) in four scoreless innings … Friday was the first time the Yankees lost a game without allowing an earned run since May 1996. Naturally, they did it again on Sunday. Zero times in 18 years, then twice in one series. Baseball.
The box score and video highlights are on MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on what happens elsewhere in the league, the Yankees will be either 4.5 games (Mariners lose) or 5.5 games (Mariners win) back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 3.3% at the moment. The Yankees are off on Monday — final off-day of the season! — and will then open a three-game series with the Rays at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Archer is the scheduled pitching matchup. There are only eleven home games left in the season, so head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch any of them live.
It’s hard to believe today is Derek Jeter‘s retirement ceremony. I still remember when he just came up as a rookie. It feels like … not that long ago, really. But man, it has been a long time since then. A long time with lots of hits, lots of championships, and lots of awesome moments. I think my all-time favorite Jeter moment is the Flip Play because it was so unexpected — what in the world was he doing there? You never see a shortstop on that part of the field. What a tremendously heads up play in a season-saving game.
I don’t think the Yankees will retire No. 2 this afternoon — they haven’t said anything about the ceremony, it’s all a secret — and will instead save it for sometime in the future. Just a hunch. Retiring No. 42 for Mariano Rivera last year was a special case because it was already retired. I’m sure the team will give him some amazing gifts and there will be a few great speeches, and I’m sure there will be something unexpectedly awesome as well. Like Metallica showing up for Mo’s ceremony. Something like that but obviously not exactly that.
Today’s ceremony will begin at 12:30pm ET, according to the Yankees. You’ll be able to watch on YES locally and TBS nationally, plus I believe it will be streamed online at MLB.com. Maybe even MLB.tv too. Joe Torre, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Hideki Matsui, Gerald Williams, and Tim Raines are among the confirmed special guests, plus there are a bunch of others who have not been announced. Rumor has it Michael Jordan will be in the house. He was at the U.S. Open yesterday, so if nothing else, he is in town at the moment.
As for this afternoon’s game, it is scheduled to begin at 1:35pm ET and, again, you can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. It is also the free MLB.tv game of the day. Here is the Royals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- SS Derek Jeter
- 2B Martin Prado
- RF Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Stephen Drew
- 3B Chase Headley
- LF Ichiro Suzuki
RHP Shane Greene
It was overcast all morning but the weather cleared up wonderfully for the afternoon — temperatures in the upper-70s and lots of sunshine. Perfect weather for the ceremony. Enjoy the day.
The Royals lost starter Danny Duffy to injury after just one pitch on Saturday afternoon (sore shoulder) and the Yankees acted accordingly, beating up on some spare September call-up arms to win the game 6-2. They scored in four of the first five innings. Let’s recap:
- Six Runs: It wasn’t a picket fence (one run per inning) but it was close enough. The Yankees scored their first run on a double (Martin Prado) and a single (Mark Teixeira) in the first inning, their second and third runs on a double (John Ryan Murphy), a triple (Jacoby Ellsbury), and a sac fly (Derek Jeter) in the third inning, their fourth run on two singles (Chase Headley and Murphy) and an error (Salvador Perez) in the fourth inning, and their fifth and sixth runs on two doubles (Prado and Carlos Beltran), a walk (Headley), and a single (Ichiro Suzuki) in the fifth inning. Nice, diverse attack by the offense. No evil homers but they did go a sweet 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
- Loud Outs: The final line on Brandon McCarthy was two runs on six hits and a walk in 6.2 innings, but it seemed like he gave up a lot of loud outs, particularly on balls hit to the outfield. He uncharacteristically had seven outs on the ground compared to eight in the air. That’s fine though, McCarthy put his defense (particularly Ellsbury) to work and for the most part they helped him out. He struck out four and threw 75 of 105 pitches for strikes (71%), which was a ton. McCarthy didn’t miss many barrels on Saturday (eight swings and misses) but he kept KC off balance enough that the loud contact resulted in outs, not hits.
- Bullpen: The Yankees are in must win mode nowadays, which is why Joe Girardi went to his usual late game trio of Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson despite having a four-run lead. They retired all seven men they faced on 22 total pitches — Kelley got one out while the other guys threw full innings. Between McCarthy and the relievers, 14 of the final 15 Royals to bat made outs on the afternoon. There was nothing even close to the threat of a late-inning rally, which is exactly how it should be.
- Leftovers: Prado went 3-for-3 with two doubles and was still hobbling noticeably due to his hamstring issue. I was surprised he didn’t come out for defense late … Prado, Murphy, and Ichiro all had multiple hits — Ichiro came off the bench and only got two at-bats — while Ellsbury, Teixeira, Beltran, and Headley had one hit apiece. Jeter, Brendan Ryan, and Zelous Wheeler were the only starters who failed to reach base … Royals lefty Brandon Finnegan made his MLB debut with two perfect innings. He’s the first 2014 draftee (17th overall) to reach the show. Most assumed that would be Yankees lefty Jacob Lindgren.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on the outcome of the late game, the Yankees will be either 3.5 games (Mariners lose) or 4.5 games (Mariners win) back of the second wildcard spot. They’re 8.5 games back of the Orioles in the AL East, in case you’re wondering what’s going on there. FanGraphs has the team’s postseason odds at 3.7% at this moment. Shane Greene and Yordano Ventura will be the pitching matchup on Sunday afternoon, Derek Jeter day. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the ceremony.
Brett Gardner is day-to-day with some kind of stomach irritation, Joe Girardi told reporters. It sounds more like a muscle strain than an illness. He was not available for today’s game and might not be available tomorrow either. Apparently Gardner had the same problem earlier in the season, right before the All-Star break, so they’re confident he won’t be out very long. · (6) ·
Here is your open thread for the rest of the evening. MLB Network will air a regional game and I’m sure there’s college football on somewhere. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.
So this is it. If the Yankees are going to make a run at the second wildcard spot –they are 4.5 games back with three teams ahead of them — it has to start today. There are 23 games remaining and I’d say they need to go at least 17-6 to have a shot at the postseason. Does this team have a 17-6 run in it? It’s hard to believe having watched them all year but stranger things have happened. The 1995 Yankees went 19-4 in their last 23 games to sneak into the postseason, remember. Here is the Royals lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- DH Derek Jeter
- 2B Martin Prado
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- LF Zelous Wheeler
- SS Brendan Ryan
- C John Ryan Murphy
RHP Brandon McCarthy
It’s hot and cloudy in New York, and there are scattered storms in the forecast just about all afternoon and evening. Who really knows with the weather, but it sure looks like it could impact the game at some point today. First pitch is scheduled for a bit after 4pm ET and you can watch only on Fox Sports1. There is no YES broadcast. Here are the Fox Sports1 television listings. Enjoy the game.
Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) threw his bullpen session as scheduled and everything went fine … Joe Girardi said Frankie Cervelli is dealing with migraines unrelated to his concussion history. Austin Romine was officially called up.
As scheduled, right-hander Masahiro Tanaka threw in the bullpen this morning for the first time since dealing with fatigue in his arm late last week. He told reporters he felt fine following the 34-pitch session and reported no fatigue or soreness in his arm. Tanaka also reiterated that he still wants to pitch in a game this season to test out his elbow.
The Yankees have not yet announced the next step — I’m guessing they’ll wait a day or two to see how Tanaka feels before finalizing any plans — but reports indicate he could face hitters in a simulated game next. Although there only 22 games left in the season after today, there is still enough time for Tanaka to pitch in two simulated games and make two MLB starts with an extra day or two of rest mixed in at some point. The most important thing is that he feels good today. It seems this recent setback was nothing more than a little dead arm phase. · (64) ·
Yesterday morning, the Diamondbacks officially fired GM Kevin Towers in the wake of their massively disappointing season. (Towers spent 2010 working as a special advisor with the Yankees, so I suppose there’s a chance he could return to the team in some capacity. He and Brian Cashman are very close.) During a conference call with Nick Piecoro, D’Backs exec Tony La Russa named Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler as someone on their list of GM candidates.
Eppler was reportedly a finalist for the Padres GM job earlier this summer, though San Diego eventually went in a different direction. He was also the runner up to Jerry Dipoto for the Angels GM gig a few years ago. The Yankees gave Eppler permission to interview with the Padres and I have no reason to think they won’t allow him to speak with Arizona. He’s been with the Yankees since 2004 and was the director of pro scouting from 2005-11 before being promoted to assistant GM. It’s only a matter of time before Eppler becomes a GM, and with the Yankees likely to re-sign Cashman after the season, chances are that opportunity will come with another team. · (106) ·
Building off that awesome walk-off win over the Red Sox was a fun idea for a few hours. The Yankees had one of their worst offensive showings of the season on Friday night and dropped the series opener to the Royals by the score of 1-0. Let’s recap the loss:
- Big Mike: Considering he was fighting his command and leaving the ball up in the zone early on, Michael Pineda pitched very well on Friday. He only run he allowed came after the usually reliable Chase Headley whiffed on a hard-hit ground ball, allowing Alcides Escobar to hustle a single into a double and eventually score on Norichika Aoki’s single up the middle. Pineda held Kansas City to the one unearned run on three singles in seven innings, walking none and striking out four. He retired the final eleven men he faced. It was obvious Pineda was not on top of his game in the first few innings but he figured out how to pitch effectively anyway. Very nice to see.
- Shut Down: The Yankees grabbed their biggest win of the season on Thursday night and responded with three singles and a hit batsman on Friday. They did not have a runner reach third base all night and it wasn’t until Derek Jeter singled with one out in the ninth that they had a man reach base with fewer than two outs. The Yankees did put the tying man at second that inning — pinch-runner Antoan Richardson stole second — but Brett Gardner (swinging) and Carlos Beltran (looking) struck out to end the game. Thirteen of the final 14 men they sent to the plate made outs. James Shields was cruising and probably could have thrown ten innings if Ned Yost wasn’t so quick to go to his bullpen. The offense was completely overmatched.
- Leftovers: Dellin Betances struck out one in his perfect eighth inning, giving him 124 strikeouts in 82 innings. The franchise strikeout record for a reliever belongs to 1996 Mariano Rivera (130 in 107.2) … David Robertson struck out two in a perfect ninth. Between Pineda and the two relievers, the Yankees retired the final 17 men they faced … Jeter, Headley, and Gardner (double) had the three base hits. No one on either team drew a walk. Coincidentally, both clubs went 3-for-30 with eight strikeouts at the plate … Pineda has a 1.80 ERA and the Yankees have somehow lost six of his nine starts … the Bombers lost a game without allowing an earned run for the first time since May 1996.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on the outcome of the late games, the Yankees will end the night either four games (Tigers and Mariners lose) or five games (Tigers or Mariners win) back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 2.3% at this very moment. Brandon McCarthy and Danny Duffy will be the pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Francisco Cervelli is dealing with “severe headaches” and will not be available for the foreseeable future, according to Sweeny Murti. Insert joke about having to watch the offense here. Austin Romine will be called up to join the Yankees in the meantime. Cervelli has a history of concussions and, if I remember correctly, he did take a pretty hard foul tip to the face mask the last time he played. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. The brain is nothing to mess around with. · (25) ·