The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Archive for August 16th, 2014

Postgame notes: “I always like to be in those situations”08.16.14

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter actually has the second-highest batting average among Yankees regulars. When the team needs only a single with a left-handed pitcher on the mound, Jeter’s about as likely as anyone to come through with the big hit.

But neither he nor Joe Girardi had any thought of swinging away when Jeter walked to the plate in the ninth inning. Jeter said he didn’t even need to look for a sign, he knew he was bunting. His job, he said, was to get the runner to third base with less than two outs; make the RBI opportunity that much easier for the next guy.

Derek Jeter“(Jacoby) Ellsbury has had a lot of success off (Jake) McGee as well,” Girardi said. “You’ve got speed, so there are a lot of different things (that can score the run. A chopper, Gardy is going to score. There are just so many ways Gardy can score (from third).”

But things don’t always go according to plan, and when Jeter fell into a two-strike count, he was swinging away. Hit a ground ball just past the second baseman for a game-winning single. It wasn’t much, but for a team starved for offense, it was just enough.

“I always like to be in those situations,” Jeter said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to succeed — I’ve failed quite a bit as well — but I like those situations. I’m lucky it found a hole there.”

It felt lucky. The Yankees got that two-run home run from Martin Prado in the second inning, and then their offense went as silent as ever until catching a break on that throwing error in the ninth. They nearly wasted a great start from Shane Greene, and we might have been talking a lot about Brendan Ryan failing to cover second base in the seventh inning. Instead, this game came down to Jeter swinging away at a 2-2 pitch and getting the tiny little hit the Yankees needed to snap a losing streak.

“Every at-bat, every pitch, you have to try to find a way to do your job,” Jeter said. “No one is thinking about how many games we’ve lost in a row when we’re taking the field; at least, I’m not. It’s just basically let’s try to win this game. That’s the approach you have to have. This game is a game of up and downs. It’s a game of failure. It’s not easy. When you’re scuffling a little bit, that’s when you find out a lot about teams. You find out a lot about players. You’ve just got to try to stay optimistic.”

Martin Prado, Francisco Cervelli• Shane Greene might very well be pitching his way into a rotation job next season. In games like this, he looks like something far more than a fifth starter who can simply give the Yankees a chance. He throws hard, he throws strikes, and he gets a bunch of ground balls and strikeouts. “He had everything today,” Girardi said. “His sinker was really good, his cutter was good, his slider was good and his changeup was good. He used them really effectively, he and Cervy did an outstanding job in reading swings and doing what they had to do to get hitters out.”

• Greene rarely says much, but he seemed early on to know he had especially good stuff tonight. He gave a fist pump when he got out of the first inning, and he really pitched like a guy who fully expected to plow through hitters. “I felt really good when I was long tossing, and then in the bullpen, and in the game as well,” Greene said. “I think it led me to overthrow a little bit some pitches, but I felt really good.”

• Ten strikeouts was a career-high for Greene, and he got all of those strikeouts in his first 20 hitters. That’s his most at any level since he had 12 strikeouts with High-A Tampa on May 8 of last season.

• Greene became the 11th pitcher in Yankees history to have a double-digit strikeout game within his first eight career games. Masahiro Tanaka did it three times to start this season. Prior to Tanaka, the last Yankees pitcher to do it was Mariano Rivera when he had 11 strikeouts in his fifth career appearance.

• When Desmond Jennings led off the first inning with a double, it was only the second time this season that Greene allowed an extra-base hit to a right-handed hitter.

• Martin Prado had one hit in his previous 19 at-bats before hitting that two-run homer in the second inning. He seemed especially excited after crossing home plate. “You get excited in every game,” Prado said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go the way you actually want it to. But when you contribute for the team, you’re always excited, you know, and even better when we win the game, because we know that it’s a team effort.”

• Here’s Prado breaking down that home run at-bat, in which he fell behind 0-2 before going deep: “He threw a fastball middle-in, and I took it for a strike. Then I saw Chase taking off (stealing second). He threw me a pretty good breaking ball. I laid off. I didn’t know it was a strike. I was down in the count, so I was just hoping that he could make a mistake. He actually threw a fastball and he left it up. I put the best swing I could probably put.”

• Prado’s two home runs with the Yankees have come off Drew Smyly and David Price, two guys who were traded for one another at the deadline. So that’s something.

Dave Robertson• Jeter’s game-winner was his 12th career go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later, and his first since October 2, 2010 at Boston against Jonathan Papelbon. Jeter has 20 career game-winning RBI against the Rays, second-most all-time behind David Ortiz, who has 26.

• Dave Robertson has converted his past 20 save opportunities, the longest active streak in the majors. Robertson hadn’t pitched since August 7. “I felt really comfortable throwing my fastball,” Robertson said. “My breaking ball felt a little short. That’s something I’ll have to work on, that way I can get a little more distance on it and get it to Cervelli so he’s not having to block every 50-foot curveball I throw.”

• That last fly ball out seemed crushed off the bat. “I sure did (think it was trouble),” Robertson said. “It was really loud off the bat. I know he hit it hard, but he just barreled it straight up and thank goodness it didn’t go in the seats. That’s a pitch I wanted back, but it turned out to be an out.”

• What happened on that chopper in the seventh when no one covered second base? “I think at first, for a second, (Brendan Ryan) reacted to the ball the way it was hit,” Girardi said. “His responsibility is at second base. He has to get back to second base. Chase thought he had a play at second, but once he didn’t see Ryan there, Kiermaier is too fast and he was safe.” Actually looked to me as if Ryan went to second initially, then thought Prado was going to cover and so changed direction to cover third for some reason. Just a bad play that helped setup the tying run.

• Why not go straight to Dellin Betances with one out and runners at second and third in the seventh? “I was going to stick with Shawn (Kelley),” Girardi said. “He’s a strikeout guy, too.” Kelley ultimately allowed only weak contact, but it was enough to drive in that tying run.

• Brian McCann said he felt much better going through drills today. He’s hoping to be in the lineup tomorrow.

• Final word goes to Jeter: “We need all of them. I mean, we’re getting down to crunch time. What do we have, 40-something games left? So every game we play is important. This was a big one for us, but we have to come back tomorrow and play well tomorrow.”

Associated Press photos

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Ninth-inning run gives Yankees a much-needed win08.16.14

Shane Greene

With their offense non-existent on most nights, the Yankees meant to play it conservative tonight. A throwing error had put their go-ahead run at second base with no outs in the ninth, and so Derek Jeter went to the plate to sacrifice. He instead won the game. The bunt was called off with two strikes, and that’s when Jeter knocked a game-winning, groundball single through the right side of the infield for a much-needed 3-2 Yankees win at Tropicana Field. The win snapped a five-game losing streak. Dellin Betances got the win, and Dave Robertson got the save, but it was Shane Greene who delivered the performance of the night with 10 strikeouts and one walk through six-plus innings. The Yankees took a lead in the second inning when Chase Headley drew a two-out walk, and Martin Prado homered on an 0-2 pitch. For a while, that seemed to be more than enough for Greene, who was at times completely dominant. He struck out 10 of the first 20 batters he faced, but when the Yankees couldn’t build on their early lead, Greene was left with very little margin for error. Three Rays singles in the sixth inning cut the lead to 2-1, and when the Yankees failed to cover second base on a slow roller in the seventh, the Rays turned that mistake into the tying run. It seemed the Yankees might be on the verge of letting another one get away before Jeter came through with his game-winner.

Associated Press photo

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Game 121: Yankees at Rays08.16.14

Yankees Rays BaseballYANKEES (61-59)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Martin Prado 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89)
Greene has never faced the Rays

RAYS (61-61)
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Vince Belnome DH
Curt Casali C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

LHP Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73)
Smyly vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 4:10 p.m., YES Network and FS1

WEATHER: Not great outside. Again, thankful for the dome.

UMPIRES: HP Kerwin Danley, 1B Mark Ripperger, 2B Lance Barksdale, 3B Gary Cederstrom

ONE AT A TIME: The Yankees were shut out last night, but they have have not been shut out in consecutive games since May 12-13, 1999 against Anaheim. They have played 2,515 games since then, marking the longest streak of not being shut out in consecutive games in MLB history according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

NICE ROUND NUMBER: With today’s game, the Yankees have started a rookie pitcher 50 times this season, marking the highest such total in MLB and the fourth-highest total in franchise history since “rookie” rules were made in 1958. That’s according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Yankees are 31-19 in games started by rookie pitchers this year, including 20-7 on the road.

ON THIS DATE: It was on August 16, 1948 that Babe Ruth died at the age of 53. His death came just over two months after his final visit to Yankee Stadium on June 13 when his number was retired. Ruth’s body was laid in state at the entrance to Yankee Stadium for the next two days.

UPDATE, 4:26 p.m.: Look at that! A little show of emotion from Greene after striking out Longoria to get out of the first inning. Allowed a leadoff double, but then got a couple of strikeouts and a foul popup.

UPDATE, 4:34 p.m.: Chase Headley works a two-out walk, then Martin Prado clobbers a two-run homer on an 0-2 pitch. That’s his second homer with the Yankees, and it’s now a 2-0 game.

UPDATE, 5:03 p.m.: Ryan might have made that play had Headley not crossed in front of him. As it is, it’s a one-out infield single for the Rays here in the third inning. Greene’s had some runners on base, but he’s looked pretty sharp so far.

UPDATE, 5:14 p.m.: Two more strikeouts for Greene. The kid looks good today. He’s struck out Longoria twice, each time to end an inning with a runner on base.

UPDATE, 5:34 p.m.: Ryan singles and is promptly picked off at first base. Not great. But here’s more Greene, who seems to have things pretty much under control so far.

UPDATE, 6:13 p.m.: Well that’s just awful. Neither Ryan nor Prado covered second base, and when Headley looked to get the lead runner, there was no one to take his throw. He then went to first, but there was no longer enough time to get the out there. Just a bad situation. Now there are two on with no outs and Kelley is in to face the top of the order.

UPDATE, 6:46 p.m.: Game tied here in the ninth, the Yankees wanted Derek Jeter to sacrifice Brett Gardner to third base. With two strikes, though, the bunt was called off and Jeter singled through the right side for a go-ahead RBI. Robertson, obviously, getting loose in the bullpen. Yankees up 3-2.

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Pregame notes: “I just feel like it’s time”08.16.14

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran last played right field on May 11. It was one day later, on May 12, that Beltran felt sudden pain in his right elbow, which led to the discovery of a bone spur, which led to the Yankees decision to keep him out of the field for several months.

But he’s been playing catch for a while now, and the tightness that had developed in his forearm has subsided, and so the Yankees feel ready to get him back into right field. Beltran prefers playing out there, he feels confident that he’s healthy, and getting Beltran in the field opens the DH spot for other regulars to get a bit of a rest from time to time.

“I just feel like it’s time,” Beltran said. “Right now I’ve been throwing and I don’t feel nothing. It’s good.”

There’s some risk here — Beltran has been a productive hitter since the All-Star break, and a setback would be a real blow to an offense that can’t afford to lose much — but Beltran said he’s convinced his elbow is up to making throws, and Joe Girardi said he doesn’t feel much need to pay extra attention to Beltran on defense.

“I feel that he’s healthy, and that it shouldn’t be an issue,” Girardi said. “They can test him (on the bases). His arm’s fine. He’s thrown. This an aggressive club anyway, so I don’t think they’re going to play any different.”

The Yankees have several long stretches late in the season, and the DH spot will surely be used to give players a half day off from time to time. Girardi wouldn’t commit to whether he considers Beltran to be the everyday right fielder or still a regular DH going forward. Surely he’ll get at least some DH days.

“Just wait to see how it goes,” Girardi said. “Let’s go day by day. I don’t want to make a decision too quickly here. Let’s just go day by day.”

Beltran is hitting .299 with five home runs and 17 RBI since the All-Star break. It seems little coincidence that his improved production has come as he’s grown more confident that the elbow and forearm are healthy.

“I guess in the back of my mind sometimes I get caught up a little bit protecting it,” Beltran said. “Especially, I don’t know, (when) it’s kind of sore a little bit, my forearm. But at the end of the day, I just have to come and prepare myself and try to do the best I can. Once the game starts, I try not to think about it, but during batting practice and cage work and things like that I try to be smart and try not to do much.”

Brian McCann• Brian McCann has not been activated. There’s no medical concern, the Yankees just want him to go through at least one more day of baseball drills. “I just felt that he was kind of lethargic (during drills yesterday),” Girardi said. “I think what happens is that when you are used to doing something every day for five, six months, and then you’re not able to do anything for five days, we’ve got to make sure because I don’t want to put him in there too soon and you get the foul tip and lose him for a long period of time.”

• It’s possible McCann will come off the disabled list tomorrow, but Girardi said that’s not a sure thing. Could wait until Tuesday.

• Worth noting that the Yankees wanted to play a bunch of right-handers against Drew Smyly anyway, and Francisco Cervelli has been catching Shane Greene regularly. Even so, Girardi said the determining factor on McCann had much more to do with wanting to get him more swings and work on the field. “It was more our feeling that he wasn’t quite ready to go,” Girardi said.

• Going right-handed is part of the reason today is Beltran’s return to right field. Putting him out there lets the Yankees sit both Stephen Drew and Ichiro Suzuki. “Try to get as many right-handed hitters in there against Smyly as possible,” Girardi said. “He’s been very tough against left-handers this year – and the last couple of years – and it’s one way of doing it.”

• After today’s bullpen, Masahiro Tanaka will stay with the Yankees when they leave Tampa. He’s not going to stay behind to do work at the complex. No word yet on when exactly he’ll throw his next bullpen, but he’s expected to throw some real breaking balls at that point. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow and then design the next few days,” Larry Rothschild said. “I don’t like to get ahead in the schedule with the rehabs. We have an idea of what he’ll do, but first we’ll see how he comes in.”

• What was Rothschild watching for in the bullpen today? “More facial expressions to see if he’s trying to hide something, which I don’t think he’s going to, but you never know,” Rothschild said. “You watch his delivery to make sure he’s not forcing anything. The most important part early in this is that he stays smooth and finishes his pitches so we don’t tweak anything. He’s had some time off, so it’s not only going to be the elbow. You have to watch everything.”

• Everyone involved indicates the Yankees are planning to bring Tanaka back this season regardless of where they are in the standings. Even if they’re out of it by the time Tanaka’s ready to pitch again, it’s still likely he’ll come off the disabled list to make a few starts. “I think it’s important that we know that he’s healthy,” Girardi said. “And I think the only way you’re going to find out is if you get him in games.”

• Tanaka on the possibility of coming back to a team that’s no longer in the race: “I think it’s important for the team to fight until the end of the season, so for me, if it would be possible, I’d like to contribute until the end of the season.”

• By the way, David Phelps is scheduled to be re-examined on Monday, which will be two weeks since his upper elbow/lower triceps issue. It’s entirely possible he’ll start playing catch that day as well.

• As Mark Newman said in this morning’s blog post, indications are that Andrew Bailey is not going to pitch at all for the Yankees this season. Girardi said Bailey’s had a few setbacks in his recovery from shoulder surgery, and he doesn’t expect to see him this season. Maybe next season.

• Girardi responding to last night’s Kevin Long comment about morale being low: “You’re always going to look down when you don’t score runs,” Girardi said. “That’s the nature of the game. Guys are frustrated. I’ve said that guys are frustrated because they know that they’re capable of doing more. We want to play in October, and when you lose, you should be frustrated. You shouldn’t just blow it off. Every day is a new day, and things can change very quickly in a clubhouse. You can get on a roll, and that’s what we need to do.”

Associated Press photos

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Tanaka happy with first bullpen session08.16.14

Masahiro Tanaka said he’s encouraged and still pain-free after today’s bullpen session. He’s hoping to start throwing off speed pitches next time around.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Tanaka said. “So I feel really good about it.”

Tanaka said he wasn’t throwing at 100 percent effort, but he also said this felt like a better session than his first bullpen of spring training.

“I felt that I was able to throw the way that wanted to,” he said. “… I was able to get through it without any pain.”

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Beltran in right; Jeter at DH08.16.14

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Martin Prado 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS

RHP Shane Greene

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Injuries on the 40-man could impact September call-ups08.16.14

Matt Daley

Absolutely nothing new to say about the state of the Yankees offense, so we’ll start this Saturday with a quick update on some guys who might — or might not — become big league options when rosters expand on September 1.

We’ll start with Matt Daley, who just went on the disabled list down in Triple-A. That might not seem like a big deal — certainly Daley’s not a big name or considered a typical prospect — but the Yankees have brought him up several times this season, and it’s not like there are a ton of pitching options knocking down the door in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Daley seems to be a solid bet for a September call-up as long as he’s healthy.

But he might not be healthy.

That’s a familiar situation for several potential September call-ups. Of the Yankees 12 minor league players who have spots on the 40-man roster — the guys who would be the easiest call-ups — seven are currently on the disabled list.

The five who are both healthy and on the 40-man are Zoilo Almonte (a good bet for call-up), Bryan Mitchell (another good bet), Manny Banuelos (making a strong case), Gary Sanchez (seems unlikely) and Zelous Wheeler (who will surely get one unless the Yankees decide to swap him out for another hitter).

A few quick updates on the six 40-man players — aside from Daley — who are currently no the minor league disabled list:

Preston ClaiborneRHP Jose Campos – Lost for the year because of Tommy John surgery. Probably too low-level to be a real September candidate anyway.

RHP Preston Claiborne – Shut down in late June, but he’s been pitching in rookie ball, and vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman says he’s about a week away from rejoining the Triple-A bullpen. He’s spent a decent about of time in the big leagues each of the past two seasons, so he could be a solid call-up candidate.

OF Ramon Flores – Hurt at the very beginning of June, Flores has been very slowly working his way back from an ankle injury. That said, he’s started playing rehab games in rookie ball, and Newman said Flores could be back with Scranton/Wilkes-Barer in “about a week.” That’s a pretty rough estimate. Flores was playing pretty well before he got hurt, but it’s been so long since he played regularly that I wonder if he’ll be a realistic call-up candidate.

OF Slade Heathcott – Lost for the year because of yet another surgery. Won’t be called up.

C John Ryan Murphy – Went on the disabled list a week ago, and Newman said there’s a chance — not at all set in stone, though — that he could be back next week. Certainly could make him a strong candidate for a September call-up. Actually, I wonder if the Yankees might carry four catchers in September with Murphy and Austin Romine both coming up.

RHP Jose Ramirez – Spent about a month in the big leagues and surely would have been a lock for a September call-up, but he’s been on the disabled list for more than a month now and Newman says he’s not close to coming back. Seems safe to rule him out as a September candidate.

And one more name that’s not on the 40-man…

RHP Andrew Bailey – The veteran closer has been working his way back from shoulder surgery all season. When they signed him in spring training, the Yankees indicated a chance that Bailey could be in the big leagues before the end of the season, but he has yet to get in a game. Newman said that Bailey’s “not close enough to make a good estimate” of when he might be ready. That certainly sounds as if he won’t be in New York this season, but I suppose the possibility still exists.

Associated Press photo

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Postgame notes: “We’re running out of time”08.16.14

Jacoby Ellsbury, Curt Casali

One week ago, there was some actual optimism around this Yankees team. Maybe not enough evidence to think the team was out of the woods and on its way, but certainly reason to think they just might be ready to at least make it interesting. As of last Friday, the Yankees had won three of four against the Tigers, six of seven overall, and they’d just scored 10 runs against the Indians. They were seven games above .500 and had generally played pretty well since the All-Star break.

They haven’t won a game since. And the offense – even with its new additions filling the bottom of the order – has scored just seven runs in its past five games.

Mark Teixeira“Morale’s down a little bit,” hitting coach Kevin Long said. “But it’s our job to try to keep it up and keep guys as positive as we can during a time like this. That’s one of our biggest challenges. We’ll stay at it, come ready to work tomorrow. We need something to turn. And we need it to turn in a hurry.”

As of tonight, the calendar is crossing into the second half of August. There’s a month and a half remaining, there are three teams between the Yankees and the second wild card, and it could be five teams if the Yankees are swept this weekend at Tropicana Field.

“We’re running out of time,” Brett Gardner said. “Every day that goes by and we don’t win, it makes us one step closer to being home at the end of September.”

Alex Cobb pitched well tonight. A few days ago, the Yankees were beaten by Cory Kluber, who’s been terrific. But at some point, tipping a cap is a pretty empty gesture. At some point, the Yankees are simply a team that other pitchers see as an opportunity to pad their own stats.

“You want to score four or five runs a game,” Long said. “That’s what you set out to do. Sometimes the pitching doesn’t allow you do that. Sometimes there’s days when I feel like we really should, and we don’t do it. Against a Corey Kluber, or this guy tonight, it’s understandable that the runs are going to be down. But you’re going to have some days where — not to throw Chris Tillman under the bus, but he didn’t have his best stuff the other night. That’s a guy where you want to capitalize and take advantage of it. Again, when you have a couple guys like tonight, and Kluber, and before that we faced the three Cy Young guys, there’s going to be tough days. But some of those other guys, we should be able to get to.”

Joe Girardi seems to have settled into a stance of absolute confidence. That’s his approach — really, it’s his personality — and it’s honestly hard to imagine this veteran roster responding to some sort of fiery speech from the skipper. Girardi is trying to show confidence that veteran hitters will eventually hit. Maybe he believes in them, they’ll believe in themselves. While Mark Teixeira said he thought morale was just fine, there’s a definite sense in the clubhouse of players who realize the margin for error has worn extremely thin. And everyone is well aware that the offense is the biggest culprit.

“It’s not really baffling,” Teixeira said. “We’re just not getting the job done. You win and lose as a team, and we definitely haven’t been winning as a team lately because up and down the lineup, we just can’t get it done. We all need to step it up.”

It has to happen soon, because just one week after things seemed to be coming together, it’s all falling apart again. And there’s not much time left to pick up the pieces.

Chase Headley• Quick injury update: Brian McCann said he doesn’t really expect to be activated tomorrow. He said he’s really shooting for Sunday. Today was the first time he’d done any on-field drills since the concussion.

• Leadoff man reached base five times for the Yankees, and at no point did that runner advance past first base. But the best run-scoring opportunity was the eighth, when both Jacoby Ellsbury and Teixeira struck out with the bases loaded. Those are the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, in case you’d forgotten. “And we weren’t able to do it,” Girardi said. “You’re where you want to be in the order, but we weren’t able to come through with a hit.”

• Here’s Teixeira on the idea of hitters trying to do too much in those situations: “That’s natural,” Teixeira said. “If you’re not scoring runs as a team and you get up there and there’s a man on first (you think), ‘If I hit a home run here, we’re back in the game.’ Or, bases loaded, ‘I have to get a hit here.’ Yeah, that’s natural. That’s baseball. That’s why you win and lose as a team because if you’re relying on one guy to get the job done, or you yourself think ‘I’m the only one that’s going to get the job done,’ you’re not going to score runs. Good teams feed off each other. Unfortunately, hitting’s contagious, but not hitting is contagious as well.”

• Of course, here’s the line everyone will love: “I felt like we had a chance (in the eighth) until that guy came out and just made quality pitches,” Teixeira said. “Ells and I were talking about, we didn’t feel that we got a pitch to hit. The guy throws 96 with a good changeup, and we just couldn’t get it done.”

• Quite often guys like Long or Girardi will say that at-bats are good even if results aren’t. Long wasn’t saying that tonight. “At-bats, the last five days, they haven’t been as good as they probably should be,” Long said. “That tells me guys are probably trying a little too hard. There’s not a lot of laughter, there’s not a lot of at-ease at bats, and that makes this game even more difficult.”

Yankees Rays Baseball• Brandon McCarthy wasn’t hit hard tonight, but he got no run support and took his second loss. Not a lot of ease for the pitching staff, either, when the offense is struggling like this. “It puts pressure on all of us,” McCarthy said. “I know the hitters are feeling it. Anytime you go through this, it affects as a team. You feel it. It’s not a me situation of woe-is-me, they’re not scoring runs. We’re not scoring runs. That’s something I’m sure that weighs on everyone, and everyone is doing what they can to correct it. It’s not a time to have your own personal feelings hurt and worry about yourself.”

• Bad first inning for McCarthy, which he said was all about not feeling quite right in the bullpen during warm-ups, and carrying that feeling into the game. “First inning, I didn’t really have a feel for anything. Warming up, I felt really weird. Same in the first inning. I went out for the second and everything kind of felt normal again, and I was able to get back in a groove and throw strikes. First inning was just kind of weird.”

• Twice the Yankees had a chance to turn a double play in the first inning, and each time they couldn’t do it. Neither was a routine double play, but each seemed to have at least a chance. Girardi didn’t seem to have a problem with the Yankees not turning them, and neither did McCarthy. “I know one kind of ate Stephen up, and Chase has to reach for that other one,” McCarthy said. “Some days those might turn into double plays. Some days they’re tougher plays. I’ve got to do a better job of not getting into that jam where you’re relying on something happening behind you.”

• Headley snapped a streak of 62 straight games without an error at third base. His career-high errorless streak at third is 67 games.

• Derek Jeter actually reached another obscure milestone tonight. It was his 1,007th multi-hit game with the Yankees. According to Elias, that’s the third-most since 1900 for a player with one team, passing Hank Aaron who had 1,006 with the Braves. Stan Musial had 1,59 with the Cardinals and Ty Cobb had 1,211 with the Tigers.

• Final word to Teixeira: “It’s definitely getting late. I said it when we were in Baltimore, or before that series, every game is kind of must-win at this point. We really need to win some games. There’s definitely a sense of urgency in here. We just haven’t been scoring runs.”

Associated Press photos

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