Sunday, May 31, 2015
Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning and added an RBI single in the eighth, guiding the Yankees to a 5-3 victory over the A’s at the Coliseum on Saturday night and putting New York in position to split the four-game series in Sunday’s matinee.
Beltran’s one-out shot to straightaway center field off A’s starter Jesse Hahn was his fourth of the year, and just the third home run allowed by Hahn in 59 2/3 innings.
“It’s great. At the end of the day, it’s about wins,” Beltran said. “It feels good every time we’re capable of helping the team to win a ballgame. Today was a good day for me, at the same time it was a good day for the ballclub. We needed this one. Tomorrow we have a chance to leave this place with an even series.”
Oh boy, they can possibly split a series with the team with the worst record in baseball! I kid, I kid, the Yankees are mediocre enough that if you told me they’d split this series beforehand, I’d totally take it, especially with the Capuano/Gray match-up in Game 2.
The men of the hour are Carlos Beltran, slowly turning his season around (offensively, at least - he’s still a statue out there in right field), who effectively won the game with a go-ahead home run and Chasen Shreve, giving Joe Girardi someone he can rely on other than Betances and Miller in the bullpen (those two guys were excellent, as well, but that’s not as surprising). Justin Wilson is actually pretty decent, too, but only in a LOOGY sense. We give Cashman guff for the Banuelos trade, but at least Shreve is pitching well and he’s young.
Shane Greene (they guy the Yankees needed to get Eovaldi to replace) got his ass kicked tonight and Martin Prado (the guy the Yankees gave up to acquire Eovaldi) is OPSing below .700 (although obviously still well ahead of Stephen Drew), so the Nathan Eovaldi trade isn’t a total disaster, all said and done. But boy, he sure doesn’t seem that impressive.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
A four-run third inning backed A’s ace Sonny Gray, who did his part by completing eight solid innings in a 6-2 victory over the Yankees at the Coliseum on Friday night, securing Oakland its second straight win.
Gray fired four no-hit innings, before Yankees catcher Brian McCann hit his fourth home run in as many games to lead off the fifth. Shortstop Didi Gregorius doubled off Gray and scored in the sixth, but that’s all the right-hander would allow, while maintaining the American League’s best ERA, at 1.82.
Yankees lefty Chris Capuano was on the hook for four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. A’s first baseman Stephen Vogt collected two of those hits, including a two-run double to highlight the pivotal four-run fourth, and third baseman Brett Lawrie notched his second home run of the series with a two-run shot in the eighth off lefty Jacob Lindgren to make it 6-2.
I think this game was always likely to be a loss, which makes the previous night’s efforts stand out more in terms of importance, which is why it was a shame that it came down to a choice of David Carpenter and CC Sabathia in the 7th inning of a tie game. That said, the player I would have chosen to pitch the 7th was Jacob Lindgren, and he pitched tonight in a 4-2 game and was pretty terrible, giving up three hits and a walk in surrendering two runs. That said, even in the midst of his awful inning, he did show some sharp stuff, getting a big strikeout with runners on first and third. But yeah, I think the main thing to note is that outside their dominant eighth and ninth inning guys, the Yankees bullpen is quite suspect. Hell, it is so poor that I honestly wouldn’t blame them if they went out and signed Rafael Soriano, and he’s pretty darn mediocre.
You’d like to think that the Yankees can do better in the next two games, but, well, they’re just not that good of a team, so predicting anything is difficult.
In other bad news, Slade Heathcott is out for at least a month due to a severe quad sprain. Very sad. Ramon Flores will be up tomorrow. He’s no great shakes, but he is probably better than either Chris Young or Garrett Jones at this point. The bigger issue is that Stephen Drew just cannot stay in the starting lineup anymore. He’s on a one-year deal, he offers very little upside, you don’t even need to cut him, just send Jose Pirela to the minors and call up Robert Refsnyder and give him second base duties and have Drew be a defensive replacement and occasional starter at shortstop with Didi Gregorius, who looks like Rod Carew out there compared to Drew. The Yankees even have an open spot on the 40-man roster (Domingo German is out for the year but hasn’t been placed on the 60-Day DL yet)! It just doesn’t make any sense. Tonight, down four runs in the ninth, the Yankees had two men on with two out and Mark Teixeira ready to pinch-hit for Gregorius if a man got on - but Drew’s spot was up and Drew was the only real option to bat there and, of course, he made out to end the game. Just call up Refsnyder!
Friday, May 29, 2015
One of these pitchers is not like the other.
Billy Burns and Brett Lawrie homered, and the A’s posted a pair of runs in the seventh inning to break ahead and claim a 5-4 series-opening victory over the Yankees at the Coliseum on Thursday evening.
Lawrie wiped away a two-run Yankees lead in the sixth with a two-run home run off left-hander CC Sabathia, who allowed eight hits in six-plus innings and was charged with all five runs, and the A’s went ahead in the seventh when Ben Zobrist drew a bases-loaded walk against right-hander David Carpenter.
Yankees catcher Brian McCann notched his seventh homer of the season and third in as many days with a solo shot against A’s starter Kendall Graveman in the second, one of McCann’s three hits on the night. Alex Rodriguez’s fifth-inning sacrifice fly gave him 1,996 career RBIs, tying him with Barry Bonds for second on the all-time list, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Brett Gardner drove in Garrett Jones with a two-out RBI double in the ninth off A’s closer Tyler Clippard to make it 5-4, but Chase Headley flew out to center for the final out.
Definitely an ugly loss. The seventh inning was a mess. I get that CC and David Carpenter seemed like equally shitty options to Girardi, so I can sort of kind of see why he would start the seventh with CC, but the leash has got to be microscopic, he should have been pulled after the first guy got on. By the way, okay, if you don’t trust Lindgren, what about Shreve over Carpenter for now?
Once again the offense really couldn’t do much after the early innings, although there was a tease in the ninth with a ribbie double by Gardner.
Oh well, at least tomorrow is an automatic win with Capuano vs. Gray.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Alex Rodriguez belted a go-ahead three-run homer and right-hander Michael Pineda delivered 6 2/3 superb innings as the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Royals with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Royals lost their fourth straight, their longest losing streak since late August, and dropped into a tie for first place in the American League Central with surging Minnesota.
Brian McCann homered for the Yankees in the second inning before Rodriguez lined a laser just over the wall in left field in the third.
Pineda gave up six hits and one run while walking one and striking out eight.
Chris Young took the loss for the Royals, going six innings and giving up four runs. He walked two and struck out seven. Young had given up just one earned run total in his previous four starts.
Well, that was a pleasant surprise. The amount of power A-Rod has is ridiculous. He barely looked like he exerted himself on the three-run home run.
It was great to see Pineda return to form. He’s going to have to perform well for the next month if he wants to be the Yankees’ token All-Star representative.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Right-hander Adam Warren threw 6 1/3 strong innings, while Mark Teixeira drove in four runs with a double and a homer as the Yankees rolled to a 5-1 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Royals dropped their third straight, the first time they have lost three straight games in nearly eight months. Kansas City dropped four straight over the final four days in August.
Warren gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out five. He retired the first 10 hitters he faced until Mike Moustakas beat out a hit into short right field against the shift.
Alex Rodriguez reached base three times for the Yankees and scored twice.
Adam Warren has really come into his own recently. Here’s the tricky thing, when/if Tanaka returns, who goes to the bullpen? The issue is that Warren is the better pitcher, but he’s also the better reliever while Capuano is not all that helpful as a reliever, so who do you pull from the rotation - the better starter who can be used as a high leverage reliever or the worse starter who would only become a long man if pulled from the rotation?
Monday, May 25, 2015
The Yankees snapped their six-game losing streak in grand fashion on Monday, cruising to a 14-1 victory over the Royals in the series opener at Yankee Stadium.
Losers of six straight and 10 of their past 11, the Yankees wasted no time in jumping all over Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, knocking the veteran right-hander out of the game before he could record an out in the second inning. In the second-shortest start of his career, Guthrie allowed a career-worst 11 earned runs. He gave up four homers and allowed 13 of the 16 batters he faced to reach base.
Eight of those 11 runs—and three of the homers—came in the first inning as the Yankees staked right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to an 8-0 lead. New York continued to pour it on in the second inning, as the first two batters reached before Stephen Drew ended Guthrie’s day with another home run, a three-run shot that pushed the lead to 11-0.
On the one hand, obviously it is very good to see the Yankees have a rare laugher. On the other hand, boy, where the hell was this run support the last 11 games?!
Still, better to get a win than not! I think the Yankees should keep Headley in the #2 hole. He is an interesting guy there. Meanwhile, Slade Heathcott. Holy crap, right?
Lost in the offense is the fact that Nathan Eovaldi was excellent today. One of his best starts of the season. Jacob Lindgren got to make his Major League debut today and he was shockingly good. Oh wait, did I say shockingly? I meant “predictably.” Hopefully he gets some higher leverage innings soon (or rather, hopefully the Yankees keep winning big and there is no need for high leverage innings - hey, if I’m going to dream, I might as well dream big, right?).
KCR: TBA vs. NYY: TBA
Memorial Day is a good time to say thank you to all who served our country and particularly those who made the supreme sacrifice. Thank you to all vets and their families.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Yovani Gallardo pitched six strong innings and Adam Rosales hit a two-run homer, leading the Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Yankees on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, completing a sweep of the three-game series.
Prince Fielder also drove in a pair of runs as Texas won its fifth straight contest, sending the skidding Yanks to their sixth straight defeat. Gallardo limited New York’s bats to two runs and four hits over six innings, walking one and striking out six.
The Kansas City Royals come to town tomorrow and, well, yeah, the Yankees are kind of screwed. After already being screwed due to losing their last six games. Not good times.
TEX: Yovani Gallardo, RHP vs. NYY: Chris Capuano, LHP