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The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

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Yankees (72-57) @ Red Sox (60-70) , Monday August 31, 2015 , 7:10 PM
(127 Comments - 8/31/2015 11:55:43 pm)

NYDN: Yankees 2B Stephen Drew finally hitting .200 this season
(14 Comments - 8/31/2015 5:31:04 pm) Yankees’ quench offensive thirst in Atlanta
(12 Comments - 8/31/2015 12:20:57 am)

Yankees (71-57) @ Braves (54-75) , Sunday August 30, 2015 , 1:35 PM
(74 Comments - 8/30/2015 7:09:39 pm) Severino, late runs carry Yanks past Braves
(8 Comments - 8/30/2015 11:00:00 am)

Yankees (70-57) @ Braves (54-74) , Saturday August 29, 2015 , 7:35 PM
(86 Comments - 8/29/2015 11:16:08 pm) Yankees erupt for 15 runs to rout Braves
(11 Comments - 8/29/2015 3:42:00 pm)

Yankees (69-57) @ Braves (54-73) , Friday August 28, 2015 , 7:35 PM
(61 Comments - 8/28/2015 11:18:17 pm) Yankees’ Andrew Bailey, of N.J., close to returning to majors
(17 Comments - 8/28/2015 6:42:53 pm)

NY Post: This is what it looks like when Yankees’ spring fears come to life
(28 Comments - 8/28/2015 11:06:35 am)

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Astros (69-57) @ Yankees (69-55) , Tuesday August 25, 2015 , 7:05 PM

Astros: Dallas Keuchel (L) (178.2 IP, 2.37 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 5.9 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Ivan Nova (R) (58 IP, 3.72 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 1.2 bWAR)

1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B: (.308/.352/.422), 3.1 bWAR
2. Jed Lowrie (S) 3B: (.246/.351/.437), 0.8 bWAR
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS: (.282/.347/.517), 3.0 bWAR
4. Colby Rasmus (L) RF: (.226/.299/.446), 2.0 bWAR
5. Evan Gattis (R) DH: (.238/.269/.443), -0.3 bWAR
6. Carlos Gomez (R) CF: (.244/.304/.382), 1.1 bWAR
7. Luis Valbuena (L) 1B: (.210/.293/.422), 1.5 bWAR
8. Marwin Gonzalez (S) LF: (.259/.296/.417), 1.2 bWAR
9. Jason Castro (L) C: (.209/.272/.380), 1.4 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.8

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.275/.335/.373), 1.8 bWAR
2. Chris Young (R) LF: (.250/.309/.466), 1.0 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.259/.366/.496), 2.8 bWAR
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B: (.257/.359/.553), 3.9 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.272/.331/.474), 0.3 bWAR
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.272/.331/.388), 0.9 bWAR
7. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.271/.305/.373), 0.3 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.253/.301/.336), 1.6 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B: (.237/.286/.373), 0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 12.7

Keuchel absolutely dominated the Yankees in his only start against them this season, firing a complete game shutout with one walk and 12 strikeouts.

I’m not expecting much different tonight.

--Posted at 3:53 pm by SG / 50 Comments | - (0) Yankees’ CC Sabathia gives grim self-diagnosis

NEW YORK — CC Sabathia doesn’t know what’s ahead, but he remembers the pain. He remembers it for how remarkable it was. He remembers it because it’s back.

Sabathia said after the Yankees’ 1-0 win over the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on Monday that the stabbing he feels in his right knee is “about the same as last year” when the degenerative condition in it limited him to just eight starts.

If that’s true, it doesn’t bode well for his return.

The Yankees placed Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday’s contest, a day after he removed himself after just 2 2/3 innings of a start.

Sabathia said he’s scheduled to get a second opinion from a doctor in New York Tuesday. He’s already been examined by Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Sabathia said he doesn’t know whether he’ll pitch again this season.

“But that’s the plan,” he said. “To try to get me back out on the field. But we’ll have to see what happens.”

This doesn’t seem like something that’s going to ever go away, which makes it unlikely that Sabathia will be able to return to being an effective starter.  I hate to see this happen to him, but I also didn’t particularly enjoy watching a limited Sabathia getting lit up in just about every start he made this season.

We’ll have to see what happens, but I’d be surprised to see him pitching again in 2015, and cruelly that is probably not a bad thing for the Yankees.

--Posted at 8:16 am by SG / 51 Comments | - (0)

Monday, August 24, 2015 Yanks walk off past Astros for division-lead tie

NEW YORK—Carlos Beltran lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field off Chad Qualls in the bottom of the ninth inning, driving home Brett Gardner with the only run of the game as the Yankees defeated the Astros, 1-0, on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

Nathan Eovaldi started for New York and blanked the Astros over eight innings of four-hit ball, striking out seven around three walks. The win was credited to left-hander Andrew Miller, who pitched around a leadoff hit in the ninth to complete the shutout, moving the Yankees back into a tie for first place in the American League East with the idle Blue Jays.

Somewhere in the last few months, Eovaldi morphed from a guy I couldn’t stand to watch pitch to someone I am finding myself liking more.  According to this Fangraphs article, a new grip on his splitter may be part of the reason.

Whatever it is, let’s hope he can keep it up.  It’s pretty cool to see your starting pitcher hitting 100 mph more than once in the 8th inning, isn’t it?

--Posted at 9:15 pm by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)

Astros (69-56) @ Yankees (68-55) , Monday August 24, 2015 , 7:05 PM

Astros: Scott Feldman (R) (97.2 IP, 4.05 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 0.9 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (R) (136 IP, 4.24 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 2.1 bWAR)

1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B: (.310/.353/.425), 3.1 bWAR
2. Marwin Gonzalez (S) LF: (.263/.301/.424), 1.3 bWAR
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS: (.278/.345/.518), 3.0 bWAR
4. Colby Rasmus (L) RF: (.228/.299/.451), 2.1 bWAR
5. Carlos Gomez (R) CF: (.246/.307/.385), 0.9 bWAR
6. Evan Gattis (R) DH: (.236/.267/.442), -0.4 bWAR
7. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B: (.209/.291/.423), 1.5 bWAR
8. Chris Carter (R) 1B: (.183/.297/.375), -0.9 bWAR
9. Hank Conger (S) C: (.223/.327/.446), 0.6 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 11.2

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.279/.339/.378), 1.8 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.278/.365/.428), 3.7 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.261/.367/.500), 2.9 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.242/.310/.469), 2.0 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.271/.332/.475), 0.3 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.273/.314/.485), 0.2 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.274/.333/.391), 1.0 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.252/.300/.336), 1.6 bWAR
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.198/.268/.383), 0.4 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.9

At least they’re not playing Cleveland again.

--Posted at 3:11 pm by SG / 69 Comments | - (0) Yanks can’t finish comeback on Pettitte’s Day

Francisco Lindor homered in the eighth inning off Dellin Betances to lift the Indians to a 4-3 victory over the Yankees on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Battling from behind, the Yanks had tied the game in the seventh. The Indians leave New York having taken three of the four-game set, and the Yankees fell a half-game behind the Blue Jays in the American League East after Toronto’s 12-5 victory over the Angels.

“He’s a good hitter,” Indians manager Terry Francona said of Lindor. “Especially against that guy, [when] lefties’ OPS was like .330 or something absurd. He has bat speed from both sides of the plate and he doesn’t stop playing. That was obviously a huge lift for us.”

Entering Sunday’s game, Betances held left-handed batters to a .342 OPS with no home runs.

“Every once in a while, it’s going to happen. We’re so used to seeing him be so good that we’re always shocked when things just don’t go boom, boom, boom,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “And today, it didn’t. He got the 3-2 count and he left the fastball up and Lindor jumped on it.”

A couple of things…

1. Brandon Pinder annoyingly walked in a run on five pitches. However, besides that, he and Nick Rumbelow were excellent bailing the Yankee out from losing CC Sabathia to an injury early in the game. The Yankees were able to not use Adam Warren or Andrew Miller today. When you lose your starter that early, not having to use all of your good relievers is a big help. Sadly, their best reliever blew the game, as Betances allowed a run for his second straight appearance. He might be tiring. Or Lindor might just be a good hitter who got a big hit. I am leaning towards the latter.

2. Toronto gave up five runs to Los Angeles today in the first inning. They then scored 11 unanswered runs to win the game. They destroyed a decent Angels team (admittedly, the Angels’ pitching is not amazing) in three straight games. Destroyed them. In other words, with Toronto playing like this, it seems hard to believe that the Yankees are going to win the division even if they play well, as Toronto looks downright unbeatable at the moment. They look like the best team in baseball. But if they were going to have any chance outpacing Toronto, they really can’t afford to lose this many games against Cleveland. Losing three out of four at HOME against Cleveland? That’s cuckoo bananas. The offense has been horrendous.

The Yankees pull three poor pitching matchups against Houston next. They could easily be three back in the loss column by their next off day. Oh well, they’re at least still in the Wild Card hunt! Oh, and Baltimore was swept by Minnesota. That was fun.

--Posted at 12:30 am by Brian Cronin / 16 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, August 22, 2015 Severino proving he belongs in big leagues

It was a day of firsts for Luis Severino—statistically and emotionally.

On Saturday, the 21-year-old earned his first Major League win, a six-inning, one-run performance to help the Yankees beat the Indians, 6-2, on Jorge Posada Day. After two losses and a no decision, Severino officially inked his name into the win column. But the Yankees’ top prospect, according to, gained something else on Saturday, too—a feeling.

“For the first time,” he said, “I feel like I belong here.”

Severino has made four big league starts and has pitched well in each of them, but there was something about Saturday that solidified in his mind that he’s capable of competing at the Major League level. Perhaps it was the win, perhaps it was how he got it.

First off, Severino was fantastic. FANtastic. His fastball was electric.

Secondly, the Yankees actually scored runs, which was amazing. They even added in the rare insurance run after Dellin Betances gave up his first run in over a month in the eighth.

However, the Yankees were also very fortunate today, as the umpires blew a call at second base where they gave the Yankees the force even though Didi was off the bag when he caught the throw. The umpires determined that Didi was avoiding the runner, in which case the play is now reviewable. Didi was not avoiding the runner. Greg Bird’s throw pulled him away from the bag. So the Indians should have had the bases loaded and one out in a 5-1 game. Instead, they had runners on the corners with two outs and Carlos Santana then struck out to end the inning (I was astonished that Jason Kipnis didn’t try to score when Bird threw to second).

Anyhow, the Yankees go for the split tomorrow. Let’s hope that the Angels come through tonight against Toronto.

--Posted at 8:41 pm by Brian Cronin / 118 Comments | - (0)

Friday, August 21, 2015 Yanks put pressure on Tribe, but turned away

Carlos Carrasco torched the Yankees with a dominant performance, giving up five hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings Friday as the Indians beat the Yankees, 7-3, at Yankee Stadium. Carrasco struck out 11, throwing 81 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Carrasco’s performance laid the groundwork for the bullpen, which was able to hold off an eighth-inning rally by the Yankees, who pulled within one run by the ninth. But the Indians added three more runs in the final frame off of Justin Wilson to put the game out of reach.

Carlos Santana, who homered, and Michael Brantley each drove in two runs for the Indians.

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka pitched six-plus innings, charged with three earned runs and seven hits to pick up his sixth loss of the season.

Simply put, with the offense in the doldrums like this, the Yankees can sort of kind of afford to have only a decent performance from their starter, but they need the bullpen to be lights out and Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson were anything but that. Wilson had his worst outing in quite some time. That was painful to watch.

The offense scored just two earned runs. I can’t wait until they finish playing Cleveland. Cleveland just has their number for some weird reason.

--Posted at 10:26 pm by Brian Cronin / 73 Comments | - (0)

Indians (56-64) @ Yankees (67-53) , Friday August 21, 2015 , 7:05 PM

Indians: Carlos Carrasco (R) (151.1 IP, 3.63 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 3.0 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (R) (108.2 IP, 3.56 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 2.0 bWAR)

1. Jason Kipnis (L) DH: (.325/.399/.472), 4.8 bWAR
2. Francisco Lindor (S) SS: (.284/.319/.388), 1.7 bWAR
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF: (.319/.391/.476), 3.1 bWAR
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B: (.226/.352/.380), 0.4 bWAR
5. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) RF: (.249/.287/.393), 1.8 bWAR
6. Yan Gomes (R) C: (.227/.264/.377), 0.5 bWAR
7. Abraham Almonte (S) CF: (.225/.279/.373), 0.0 bWAR
8. Giovanny Urshela (R) 3B: (.230/.276/.338), 0.1 bWAR
9. Jose Ramirez (S) 2B: (.200/.273/.273), 0.2 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 12.6
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF: (.277/.361/.424), 3.4 bWAR
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.275/.335/.396), 1.1 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.262/.369/.504), 2.9 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.244/.315/.471), 2.0 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.271/.334/.476), 0.6 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.286/.348/.619), 0.3 bWAR
7. Chris Young (R) LF: (.253/.312/.471), 0.1 bWAR
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.194/.263/.386), 0.2 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS: (.246/.295/.386), 0.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 10.9

You know what would be nice?  If the Yankees would stop losing to Cleveland.

--Posted at 3:35 pm by SG / 75 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, August 20, 2015 Yanks can’t produce equalizer in 9th, fall to Tribe

Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez each collected run-scoring hits to back a strong start from Josh Tomlin, and the Indians escaped a ninth-inning threat to beat the Yankees, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium to open a four-game set.

Chisenhall sent a double to center field in the second to score Carlos Santana, while Brantley’s RBI single in the third drove home Jason Kipnis and Ramirez’s RBI single in the fourth scored Abraham Almonte.

Alex Rodriguez homered in the fourth inning, but by then the Indians had already picked up their trio of runs off Yankees starter Ivan Nova. The Yankees put together a rally in the ninth after Rodriguez led off with a single, stole second and then scored on a Carlos Beltran single. That made it 3-2. Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected with one out for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna. After Greg Bird walked to put two runners on, Chase Headley grounded out. Didi Gregorius’ flyout to left field ended the game with the tying and winning runs in scoring position.

Well, that wasn’t good. It’s funny how certain things stick in your mind, because I still remember being pissed at how Josh Tomlin dominated the Yankees way back in 2010 during his Major League debut. So them losing to him tonight didn’t surprise me, despite them handling him pretty well in the times they’ve seen him since (he does have a winning record against the Yankees overall, though, 3-2).

Ivan Nova wasn’t good, but nor was he terrible. And Adam Warren and Chris Capuano pitched very well in relief. This game is on the offense. They even came up with a serious CT in the ninth inning, just to make the loss more painful. Oh well. The Twins are at least kicking the Orioles’ ass. And honestly, who here seriously thought that the Blue Jays were going to lose to the Phillies last night? So this is almost like a make-up for that game. At least that’s what I will be telling myself to cope with this.

On an semi-related tangent, the Dodgers’ payroll is now at $298 million. The Yankees is somewhere around $217 million (depends on how much they spent on various call-ups). I certainly don’t expect the Yankees to have a payroll near $300 million, but come on, Steinbrenners, you better spend some money this offseason.

--Posted at 10:31 pm by Brian Cronin / 39 Comments | - (0)

Indians (55-64) @ Yankees (67-52) , Thursday August 20, 2015 , 7:05 PM

Indians: Josh Tomlin (R) (6.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 5.63 FIP) vs. Yankees: Ivan Nova (R) (53 IP, 3.57 ERA, 4.24 FIP)

1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B: (.321/.396/.470)
2. Francisco Lindor (S) SS: (.289/.324/.395)
3. Michael Brantley (L) DH: (.317/.390/.473)
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B: (.227/.351/.382)
5. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) RF: (.248/.286/.389)
6. Yan Gomes (R) C: (.230/.268/.383)
7. Abraham Almonte (S) CF: (.232/.280/.384)
8. Giovanny Urshela (R) 3B: (.230/.277/.340)
9. Jose Ramirez (S) LF: (—-/—-/—-)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.276/.337/.377)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.280/.364/.428)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.259/.367/.496)
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.247/.318/.477)
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.272/.335/.478)
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.333/.368/.722)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.276/.336/.395)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.255/.303/.337)
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.192/.257/.384)

For some reason I thought this was an off day.  Joined in progress with the Yankees trailing 3-1.

--Posted at 7:38 pm by SG / 36 Comments | - (0) How CC Sabathia’s private July meeting with Yankees great Andy Pettitte made him better

NEW YORK — Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia were in Houston’s visitors bullpen in late July when Sabathia handed his old friend a baseball.

Pettitte has been one of Sabathia’s biggest supporters — and closest confidants — as the Yankees’ veteran lefty has tried to convert himself from a power pitcher to one who survives on finesse the last few seasons, much the way Pettitte did late in his career.

At Sabathia’s request, Pettitte showed him the grip for the cut fastball that kept him effective, and the pair talked about “how it feels, how it’s supposed to come out of your hand,” Sabathia told NJ Advance Media Wednesday.

Since then, Sabathia’s pitched to an ERA a run lower than it’d been before the meeting, and the 35-year-old said the cutter grip Pettitte taught him that day is a big reason why.

“It’s not an easy pitch to learn, but when you have somebody that’s kind of mastered it and you can talk to about it all the time, it makes it easier,” Sabathia said. “I’m comfortable throwing it.”

Just before Sabathia and Pettitte talked in Pettitte’s hometown, Sabathia appeared he might be at his closest to losing his spot in the Yankees’ rotation, though manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have each repeatedly said that’s never been discussed.

In 15 starts, Sabathia was 3-7 with a 5.65 ERA. Hitters had a .306 batting average against him.

But Sabathia showed signs of life in his next start in Anaheim on July 29, lasting lasting 7 1/3 innings while giving up four runs. After that start, Sabathia talked about meeting with Pettitte, but didn’t spill the beans.

I think the article means to reference June, not July since Sabathia started the game against Los Anaheim on June 29.  I want to believe that something has clicked for Sabathia, but the underlying statistics don’t really agree.

Start End GS IP BF ERA FIP xFIP FBv bb/bf k/bf hr/fb gb% fb% ld% iffb% babip
4/9/2015 6/23/2015 15 87.7 382 5.65 4.50 3.54 89.5 4.5% 20.4% 17.7% 43.1% 33.3% 20.8% 2.8% .343
6/29/2015 8/18/2015 8 48.0 206 4.50 4.98 4.09 91.0 7.8% 16.5% 18.6% 47.7% 28.1% 21.6% 2.6% .295

FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
xFIP: Expected fielding-independent pitching
FBv: Average fastball velocity
bb/bf: Walks per batters faced
k/bf: Strike outs per batters faced
hr/fb: home runs per fly ball (league average is around 10-11%)
gb%: ground ball percentage
fb%: fly ball percentage
ld%: line drive percentage
iffb%: infield fly ball percentage
babip: batting average against on balls in play

His velocity is up, which is good.

His walk rate is up, which is not good.

His strikeout rate is down, which is not good.

His FIP and xFIP are up.  His LD% against is up.  His HR/FB rate is up.  Those are also not good.

How about if we go a little deeper into his numbers?

Start End O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact% Zone% F-Strike% SwStr%
4/1/2014 5/4/2014 20.7% 40.7% 29.8% 39.7% 57.7% 51.5% 30.3% 43.6% 6.2%
4/1/2013 4/27/2013 33.4% 66.8% 46.7% 70.5% 90.7% 82.5% 39.5% 59.2% 8.2%

O-Swing%: The percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone.
Z-Swing%:  The percentage of pitches a batter swings at inside the strike zone.
Swing%:  The overall percentage of pitches a batter swings at.
O-Contact%:  The percentage of pitches a batter makes contact with outside the strike zone when swinging the bat.
Z-Contact%:  The percentage of pitches a batter makes contact with inside the strike zone when swinging the bat.
Contact%:  The overall percentage of a batter makes contact with when swinging the bat.
Zone%:  The overall percentage of pitches a batter sees inside the strike zone.
F-Strike%: The percentage of first pitch strikes.
SwStr%:  The percentage of total pitches a batter swings and misses on.

These are slightly more encouraging.  He’s getting more swings in general, and more swinging strikes.  I assume the fact that he’s getting more contact on pitches out of the zone is actually a good thing, as it means he’s getting batters to swing at pitches that are more difficult to hit solidly, but batters are making more contact in general.  I don’t think that’s really a good thing. 

He’s throwing more first pitch strikes and more strikes in general, but his pitchers per batters faced are about the same (3.63 through June 23, and 3.68 since).

The jump in velocity may just mean he’s got a bit more of a margin of error to work with now.  So maybe he can pitch to a 4.5 ERA going forward, which is around where his peripherals say he should be.

I’d take it.

--Posted at 8:59 am by SG / 53 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Bye-bye, Birdie: Two-HR day carries Yanks

It was the biggest day of Greg Bird’s six-day-old Major League career Wednesday, when he notched his first Major League homer in the third inning, only to follow it up with another two-run shot in the sixth, lifting the Yankees to a 4-3 win over the Twins.

The Yankees took a 2-0 lead when Bird homered to right field to score himself and Carlos Beltran. The Twins rallied back and took the lead in the sixth with a three-run frame that featured every Twins batter heading to the plate. Joe Mauer picked up two RBIs and Trevor Plouffe chipped in one, but the lead was already gone by the end of the inning.

Bird’s second homer of his career—and of the day—put the Yankees ahead for good, allowing them to complete the sweep. Of the Yanks’ four runs, Bird was responsible for all of them.

Oh man, John Sterling-isms are spreading like plagues! First Michael Kay said that Greg Bird was “flying around the bases” after his home run and now is making musical theater references in their headlines!

Anyhow, this was obviously yet another really great win for the Yankees, as they received the sort of unexpected run production that they used to get in the “good ol’ days” of the late 1990s, only here, Greg Bird might be a realistic part of the Yankees future. Awkwardly, he plays two positions where the Yankees are sort of set right now, but when a guy is hitting like this, you find a way to get his bat into the lineup.

Nathan Eovaldi started the game amazingly well, but he throws a ton of pitches and he ran into trouble in the sixth inning, putting the Yankees into a one-run hole that Greg Bird had to dig them out of. Eovaldi came into the game having thrown 39 pitches of 99 MPH or more this season and then threw forty pitches today at 99 MPH or better. So either the Yankees had a juiced radar gun today or Eovaldi was really bringing it. Eovaldi continues to have the “will to win,” as he knows how to give up just enough runs for the Yankees to score at least one more than the other team. Him and Jack Morris. wink

The Yankees get the Cleveland Indians next. They had a little trouble with the Tribe the other week, so hopefully they’ll do better against them at home.

--Posted at 4:50 pm by Brian Cronin / 41 Comments | - (0)

Twins (59-60) @ Yankees (66-52) , Wednesday August 19, 2015 , 1:05 PM

Twins: Ervin Santana (R) (47.2 IP, 5.66 ERA, 5.58 FIP, -0.2 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (R) (129 IP, 4.26 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 2.0 bWAR)

1. Aaron Hicks (S) CF: (.272/.322/.416), 1.0 bWAR
2. Brian Dozier (R) 2B: (.246/.316/.489), 2.5 bWAR
3. Joe Mauer (L) DH: (.264/.331/.377), 1.0 bWAR
4. Miguel Sano (R) 3B: (.291/.398/.567), 1.3 bWAR
5. Trevor Plouffe (R) 1B: (.249/.306/.458), 2.2 bWAR
6. Eddie Rosario (L) RF: (.279/.301/.455), 1.8 bWAR
7. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS: (.246/.289/.383), 0.1 bWAR
8. Chris Herrmann (L) C: (.162/.235/.324), 0.1 bWAR
9. Shane Robinson (R) LF: (.259/.313/.340), 0.6 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 10.6

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.276/.338/.379), 1.6 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.283/.367/.432), 3.6 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.261/.368/.500), 2.8 bWAR
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.271/.333/.480), 0.6 bWAR
5. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.286/.333/.357), -0.1 bWAR
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.272/.332/.390), 0.9 bWAR
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.257/.306/.340), 1.6 bWAR
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.190/.256/.384), 0.0 bWAR
9. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.282/.319/.391), 0.4 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 11.4

The Yankees could win today, but it’s a stone cold lead pipe cinch that Toronto will win today. So a Yankee win today would really just be delaying the inevitable ascension of the Blue Jays’ rightful spot atop the AL East.  Ergo, meaningless.

Players are generally paid based on how good they are, which makes sense.  Ervin Santana is earning more than four times what Nathan Eovaldi is earning this year.

Advantage, Minnesota.

--Posted at 10:29 am by SG / 134 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 A-Rod’s grand slam lifts Yanks, stuns Twins

Alex Rodriguez has hit more grand slams than anyone in the history of the game, and the slugger extended that record with his 25th career grand slam on Tuesday, helping to lift the Yankees to an 8-4 victory over the Twins at Yankee Stadium.

Rodriguez’s seventh-inning shot came off reliever J.R. Graham, who inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam from Ryan O’Rourke. Rodriguez received a curtain call from the Stadium crowd after circling the bases, celebrating his first homer in 72 at-bats and his first grand slam in nearly two years.

“I certainly have felt a lot more comfortable in those situations, especially this year,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been through a lot, you know? I’ve been in those situations many, many times. The formula never changes. You want to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.”

Miguel Sano homered for the second consecutive game, highlighting the Twins’ output against CC Sabathia, who held Minnesota hitless into the fifth but permitted four runs over 6 2/3 innings. Nick Rumbelow picked up his first Major League victory in relief. Twins starter Mike Pelfrey worked 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a no-decision.

You have to give the Yankees this much. Even if this season ends poorly, they sure have given us some tremendous wins to watch. A-Rod had not hit a home run since his birthday, which was eighteen games ago. He was mired in something that seemed to be more than a slump - he just looked like all of his energy was gone. He still had a good approach at the plate, he just couldn’t DO anything. So when he came to the plate with the Yankees trailing 4-1 in the seventh and the bases loaded, I don’t think anyone could have truly imagined that he would hit a go-ahead grand slam, and yet that’s exactly what he did.

The Yankees were trailing 4-1 because, due to the bullpen being wiped out covering for Bryan Mitchell yesterday, CC Sabathia had to start the seventh, and CC pitching to MIguel Sano three times was clearly not a good idea (CC had pitched well, but come on, in a normal game with a full bullpen, you take your six innings of one run ball from CC and say, “Thank you for the six innings of one-run ball, CC” and get him the heck out of there) and it was made even clearer when Sano hit a home run to put the Twins up 3-1. After CC put two more men on base, Nick Rumbelow came in and gave up another run before getting a final out (Nick Rumbelow got the win, and it was one of the least deserving wins you can get - come in, pitch 1/3 of an inning, allow an inherited runner to score and you get a win). Things got even crazier when Justin Wilson, who was supposedly unavailable tonight, came in to pitch the 8th inning. Andrew Miller came with two outs to face Sano and he struck him out easily. The Yankees then added three insurance runs in the ninth and Miller closed the game out for his 27th save.

A-Rod still “only” went 1-5 and Mark Teixeira is not responding well to his bruised shin (although a CT scan confirmed that there was no break in the bone), so there is still some unease with those two spots in the lineup, but Carlos Beltran is swinging the bat well, Ellsbury and Gardner are showing some life, Greg Bird looks like a Major League hitter and Brian McCann is doing some good things with the bat. The Yankees go for the sweep tomorrow with Nathan Eovaldi versus Ervin Santana (who I still hate for the 2005 ALDS). Let’s go, Eo!

--Posted at 11:44 pm by Brian Cronin / 15 Comments | - (0)

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