The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Postgame notes: “Hopefully this was a first step”

Royals Yankees Baseball

One good game can’t change two weeks of disappointment, but if the Yankees are going to end this recent spiral and get their season back on track, this was certainly a giant step in the right direction.

The Yankees actually looked like a good team, again. So good that Nathan Eovaldi shut down one of the highest-scoring lineups in baseball, and it was a secondary storyline at best.

Chase Headley made a nice leaping catch on a line drive, Brian McCann threw out a speedy base runner and Jacob Lindgren delivered a dominant debut. But five home runs — four of them before the team had made its fourth out — thoroughly stole the show. After two weeks of stumbling in every aspect of the game, the Yankees looked like they could hit, pitch and field.

Royals Yankees BaseballAnd they looked that way against a legitimately good team that went to the World Series last year and has control of the American League Central this year.

“There was some urgency and a little irritability about how we were playing,” Headley said. “But there was no panic. Guys were (saying), ‘We’re going to come out of this and we’re going to be better for it. We’re going to come together over this.’ Hopefully this was a first step to that.”

Make no mistake, there was no one in the Yankees’ clubhouse claiming one win changes everything, but there was certainly a sense that the Yankees had finally played like they had during that hot streak that lasted from the middle of April through the early part of May.

And it all started with that eight-run first inning, their highest-scoring inning at home since 2013.

“We’ve been on the other side of that for the last week or so it seems like,” Brett Gardner said. “… We haven’t been swinging the bats particularly well the last couple of weeks. When we have given up big innings and gotten in a hole, it’s been tough for us to battle back. Today we were able to jump out in front and Nathan was pretty dominant from the get go.”

Eovaldi didn’t need much help today. The only Royals run came on a little bloop single in the fifth inning. Otherwise, he was thoroughly in control, and the Yankees tacked on after that first-inning outburst. It was their largest margin of victory in more than two years, and it came just when it seemed the team couldn’t get any worse.

“It was nice because we’ve been through some tough losses, we’ve been through some ugly losses,” manager Joe Girardi said. “To be able to get that type of lead was very nice. … Our game is probably as unpredictable as any game in professional sports, just because it really depends on one guy, in a sense: your starting pitcher that day. And you can have you ace going, and he may not have his stuff that day and he might get hammered and give up a lot of runs, so it’s really unpredictable. We’ve been on both sides. And we’ve played really well, and we’ve struggled. Probably like most of the teams in major league baseball right now. We’re over .500 again, we just beat a really good team, and you try to carry that over and carry a good streak again.”

Royals Yankees Baseball• With first-inning home runs from Headley, Gardner and Brian McCann, the Yankees had their most home runs in an inning since hitting four in the second innings of an October 1, 2012 game against the Red Sox (Cano, Teixeira, Granderson and Martin went deep that time).

• Last time the Yankees scored at least 11 runs off a single pitcher — like they did against Jeremy Guthrie today — it was against Rick Reed on April 21, 2003. Reed also allowed exactly 11 runs (10 earned), but he did it in 4.1 innings. Guthrie’s runs came in an inning plus, jumping his early nearly two runs in the process.

• Gardner, Headley and Alex Rodriguez each reached base twice in the first inning. Gardner, Headley, Rodriguez, Garrett Jones and Slade Heathcott each had multi-hit games. Every home run came with at least one runner on base.

• Pretty aggressive approach by a lot of Yankees hitters today: “When we’re swinging the bats well, that’s what we do as a team,” Headley said. “We can’t go out and work counts. We’re going to be aggressive and hit the pitches we’re supposed to hit. When they make mistakes, you do your damage. When they make their pitches it’s a take. We got back to what we do well and obviously it was a relief for a lot of guys.”

• Slade Heathcott’s thought when he hit his first major league home run? “Is hit real?” he said. “… (Been dreaming about this) ever since I was about 6. It’s just surreal. It’s an awesome opportunity, and I’m just thankful for God, the Yankees, and everyone in my life that’s helped me to get to where I am, had patience to deal with me in the past, and watched me mature and be here now. It’s just been awesome.”

• Heathcott traded some signed baseballs and t-shirts to get the home run ball. “I’ll frame it and put it up in my son’s room, probably,” Heathcott said.

Royals Yankees Baseball• It’s hard to focus on it after a game like this, but Eovaldi had perhaps his best start of the year against a really dangerous Royals lineup. He allowed one run through seven innings, and although he didn’t strikeout man guys — only four Ks — he did pitch deep into the game without getting his pitch count much above 100. “(Early run support) allows you to attack hitters a lot more,” he said. “You don’t have to be as perfect. Guys were swinging the bat well, playing good defense. It was a good win for us, get us back on track.”

• Eovaldi singled out his slider as the key pitch this afternoon, but Girardi thought it was more about his offspeed pitches in general. “I thought he used his curveball effectively, I thought he got some strikeouts with his split, I just thought he mixed his pitches really well today,” Girardi said. “You know, we’ve talked about Evo a lot, in a sense, when he has his offspeed, he can throw it for strikes, he’s really effective.”

• Terrific big league debut for Jacob Lindgren, who struck out two and got a double play while pitching two scoreless innings. He can miss bats, and he can get ground balls, each of which he did today. “I’d say after the double play ball, was able to lock it in there,” he said.

• This time last year, Lindgren was still pitching in college. He’s the first Yankees prospect since Deion Sanders in 1989 to make his big league debut less than a year after being drafted. “Maybe I should try and play football,” Lindgren said. He later said he’d been a smaller, faster cornerback when he was in high school. Probably picked the right sport.

• Headley has hit .561 with five home runs in seven career games on Memorial Day. He’s had at least one hit in each of those games. That’s according to Elias. Also from Elias: Gardner has a hit in each of his six Memorial Day games hitting .438 in those contests. The Yankees are now 32-11 in games when Gardner hits a home run.

• Interesting to think back to the first inning, which Gardner started with a double. Before the Headley home run that started the scoring, Gardner was very nearly picked off at second. “If I’m two or three tenths of a second slower getting back to the bag, I’m out,” Gardner said. “Maybe he takes the next pitch and before you know it, we’re out of the inning and it’s 0-0. You never know. I always hate to look back and say ‘what if’ because baseball is one of those games where, if something was a little bit different, maybe the same pitch wouldn’t have been made. You never know how it would have turned out, but yeah, it was a close play. I don’t want to say I was ready for it, but thank goodness he didn’t catch me off guard too much.”

• Final word goes to Headley: “We were due. Obviously it’s been a tough couple weeks for us, but you’re going to go through that during the course of a season. Considering how bad it’s gone recently, to be where we are? We’re pretty fortunate. We’re going to take the positive side of that and do what we can to keep playing hard.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 6:28 pm. InMisc, Notes with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees snap losing streak with five-homer win at Yankee Stadium

Royals Yankees Baseball

Hard to remember after all that transpired the past two weeks, but at their very best, the Yankees have actually been a pretty good baseball team this season. And they were a pretty good team again this afternoon, clobbering the defending A.L. champion Royals in a 14-1 win at Yankee Stadium. It matched the Yankees’ highest-scoring game of the season and snapped a season-worst six-game losing streak. Five hitters in to the game, the Yankees were up 5-0. By the end of the first inning, the lead was 8-0. Before they’d made an out in the second inning, it was 11-0. Of the Yankees’ first 16 batters, 13 reached base and 11 scored. Chase Headley, Brian McCann, Brett Gardner and Stephen Drew each hit home runs. All four were batting left-handed, all four went to right field, and those home runs accounted for every run on the board. By the time Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was replaced in the second inning, his ERA had climbed from 4.75 to 6.70. Headley later added an RBI double, and Slade Heathcott — another left-handed hitter going to right field — had his first career home run in the seventh. Nathan Eovaldi allowed one run through seven innings, his finest start since the middle of last month. A half inning after Heathcott’s first career home run, Jacob Lindgren made his major league debut. Lindgren finished with two scoreless innings, striking out two in the process.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 4:21 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 45: Yankees vs. Royals

Brett GardnerYANKEES (22-22)
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Garrett Jones RF
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS
Slade Heathcott CF

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.73)
Eovaldi vs. Royals

ROYALS (28-15)
Alcides Escobar SS
Mike Moustakas 3B
Lorenzo Cain CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Alex Gordon LF
Omar Infante 2B
Paulo Orlando RF
Drew Butera C

RHP Jeremy Guthrie (4-2, 4.75)
Guthrie  vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

WEATHER: Perfectly nice day for a holiday. Hope you’re able to spend some of it outdoors.

UMPIRES: HP Mark Wegner, 1B Marty Foster, 2B Mike Muchlinski, 3B Mike Winters

MEMORIAL DAY: The Yankees are 23-19 on Memorial Day since 1971 (when the holiday was first celebrated on the last Monday in May following the National Holiday Act of 1971)They did not play on Memorial Day in 1973, 2004 or 2005, and they are 8-5 on Memorial Day since 2000. The Yankees are playing at home on Memorial Day for the first time since 2010 and the second time in the past 10 seasons.

TITLE DEFENSE: The Yankees are 1-2 against Kansas City this season. They went 12-7 vs. Boston in 2014, 3-3 vs. Detroit in 2013, 4-3 vs. Texas in 2012 and 7-2 vs. Texas in 2011. The last time the Yankees had a losing record to a team the year following that team’s A.L. pennant was in 1994, when they went 3-4 against the 1993 World Series champion Blue Jays. The Yankees are 87-58 (.600) vs. defending AL champions since 1996.

DELLIN IS DEALIN: Dellin Betances ?has pitched 24 innings without allowing an earned run. He has not allowed a hit in his opponents’ last 28 plate appearances (dating to his final batter faced on May 4), allowing just two walks — including one intentional — over the stretch. He has struck out 24 of his last 51 batters faced and 27 of his last 56. His 35 strikeouts are the most strikeouts by a pitcher prior to allowing his first earned run of the season in Yankees history (since the AL’s inception of earned runs in 1913).

UPDATE, 1:19 p.m.: Eovaldi put a couple of guys on base in the first, but he got through it with a fly to center. Scoreless after a half inning.

UPDATE, 1:23 p.m.: Two-run homer by Headley. The Yankees have a lead, and they have yet to make an out. Greatest offense ever.

UPDATE, 1:29 p.m.: Five batters into the game: Double, home run, single, walk, home run. Yankees up 5-0 without making an out.

UPDATE, 1:39 p.m.: Yankees have sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning. Three have homered. Eight have scored.

UPDATE, 1:44 p.m.: Thirteen hitters to the plate in the first inning. Eovaldi has an 8-0 lead.

UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: Even in an 8-0 game, a shutdown inning seems like a good sign. Eovaldi delivers a 1-2-3 second.

UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: Three-run homer by Stephen Drew in the second inning. Still no outs this inning. Guthrie is out of the game. Yankees up 11-0. They’ve scored 11 runs and made three outs.

UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: End of the fourth. Still an 11-0 game. Each team kind of going through the motions at this point. Yankees seem a little more inspired on defense, actually.

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Two-out bloop single has the Royals on the board in the fifth.

UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: RBI double for Headley pushes the Yankees lead to 12-1. Biggest offensive game for the Yankees since April 22.

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.: There’s the Yankees’ fifth home run of the game, and the first of Slade Heathcott’s career. All five homers today have been hit by lefties. It’s 14-1, matching the Yankees’ highest-scoring game of the year.

UPDATE, 3:58 p.m.: Lindgren’s big league debut comes a half inning after Heathcott’s first big league homer.

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 1:00 pm. InGameday Thread with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “The opportunity is still there for us”

Rangers Yankees Baseball

Remarkably or ridiculously, the Yankees are still only a game and a half out of first place in the American League East. In the grand scheme of things, division standings don’t mean much on May 25, but being still in the mix is certainly a sign that this horrific stretch has not doomed the Yankees’ season.

They started out horribly, got on a roll, and now they stink again. Yet, somehow, no team in the division has pulled away. And the current division leader is Tampa Bay, which looked like the division’s worst team heading into the season.

“We’re in a division that has had some difficulties,” Joe Girardi said. “You look at a couple of streaks that we’ve had, it’s amazing that we’re .500, actually. I think you can look at that, and you can look at the glass half empty or half full. For me, the opportunity is still there for us. You go through a couple of stretches like we have and you can say, boy, they’re lucky to be only a game and a half out. Yeah, that is true, but we’ve played well in our division, and we’re part of the reason the division is what it is. And we have a chance to turn it around.”

Girardi is, by nature, a glass-half-full kind of guy. He believes in his players, and with very few exceptions, I think it’s a genuine belief. Some of it is surely just standing up for his guys, but for the most part, I think Girardi really is an optimist with this roster.

“The same guys that went through the bad stretch in the beginning of the year turned in a great stretch where we were 20-10,” he said. “We’re going through another bad stretch. So the ability is in there to turn it around, and we need to do it. … When you get into a stretch of 10 or 12 games, it’s more than one aspect. On different days, it can be different things. As I talked about yesterday, at times it’s been the defense. At times it’s been our pitching. At times it’s been our offense. Some days when we’ve gotten runs early, and we don’t get any more. We just have to play complete games.”

At some point, though, surely that optimistic view is replaced by anger and frustration.

“When there’s not effort,” Girardi said. “And that I have not seen. There has been effort. There has been preparation. These guys are hitting early. These guys are taking extra ground balls, trying to do the things they need to do. They’re working in the bullpen. That’s the important thing. That’s how you get out of things is becoming more consistent in your trade and working on it. There’s no quit. We were down, what, 9-0 the other day? We lost 10-9. So there was no quit. We had chances last night. So, the effort has to be there, and that’s what crosses the line for me.”

Brian McCann, Caleb Joseph• Brian McCann left last night’s game with cramping in his calf. He showed up today feeling fine. “Just cramped up (last night),” he said. “When I was in my catcher’s squat, it just kept cramping. It went away a little bit after the game.”

• Girardi said he wasn’t sure he’d have McCann in the lineup today, but McCann arrived expecting to play. “I was a little bit concerned about it last night,” Girardi said. “He came in today, and even an hour after the game, he was OK. He came in today, and I checked with him, and he expected to play today and I put him in there.”

• Carlos Beltran is still sick. That’s why he’s out of the lineup again, opening the door for Garrett Jones to get a rare start in right field. I get that people have given up hope on Beltran, but he’s hitting .301/.316/.521 this month. He’s hit .293 with two homers in his past 10 games. He might not be the least of the Yankees’ problems, but he’s near the bottom of the list.

• Obviously Jacoby Ellsbury is still on the disabled list and not particularly close to being activated. Girardi said he hasn’t been given a date when Ellsbury will get checked out again. “That date has not been given to me yet,” Girardi said. “He’s walking around in a brace every day and doing treatment. We have not progressed past that point.”

• It’s Memorial Day, so I’ll say a special hello and thank you to two of my oldest friends, Zac and Todd, who served in the Air Force and Army and have spent parts of the past 15 years in situations I can’t even imagine. Thank you to all who have served. “I think you have to be grateful for what the men and women have done for this country to allow us to live here and be free, and to be able to worship the way that we want to worship, to have the democracy that we have, to feel safe at night when you go home,” Girardi said. “My father served in the Korean War, and I’m grateful for what our soldiers have done, and how great of a country we live in.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 11:57 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

McCann back in the lineup; no Beltran

Brett Gardner LF 

Chase Headley 3B 

Alex Rodriguez DH 

Mark Teixeira 1B 

Brian McCann C

Garrett Jones RF

Stephen Drew 2B 

Didi Gregorius SS 

Slade Heathcott CF

RHP Nathan Eovaldi

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 11:03 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pitching matchups vs. Royals

Nathan Eovaldi

Today
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.73)
vs.
RHP Jeremy Guthrie (4-2, 4.75)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

Tuesday
RHP Adam Warren (2-3, 4.26)
vs.
LHP Danny Duff y (2-3, 5.87)
7:05 p.m., WPIX

Wednesday
RHP Michael Pineda (5-2, 3.59)
vs.
RHP Chris Young (4-0, 0.78)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

Associated Press photo

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 8:27 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “We’re making way too many mental errors”

Alex Rodriguez

Finding new ways to say that the Yankees aren’t playing well is becoming more difficult by the day, and the players are also at a loss for words.

The clubhouse was especially quiet after Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, which dropped the Yankees to .500 for the first time since April 21. It was their tenth loss in the last 11 games and the first time that Texas left the Bronx with a sweep since 2003.

“It’s easy to say, but play better, Mark Teixeira said. “We need to play better baseball. Teams are going to go through streaks where they’re not hitting or not pitching, but we’re making way too many mental errors. We’re playing way too sloppy out there, and that’s tough to see.”

The losses also appear to be weighing Joe Girardi, who saw his team go being one of the hotter teams in baseball to one of the coldest in a matter of a week or two.

“I just walked in here. What do you want me to do?” Girardi said when asked if he feels the need to address anything with his team. “These guys have to get it done, that’s the bottom line. These are our players and they have to get it done.”

The recent skid has been a cumulative result of shaky defense, inconsistent offense and a lack of length from the starting pitchers. Chris Capuano failed to get out of the fifth inning tonight, marking the fourth time in the last six games that the Yankees’ starter hasn’t made it through five.

“My No. 1 goal going out there was to get deep into this game — take a little pressure off of the bullpen and keep our team in the game,” Capuano said. “Going 4 1/3 innings, I’m not happy with that. I’ve got to be better.”

• Jose Pirela continues to be a bit of an adventure at second base, and he didn’t do Capuano any favors in the first inning. After nearly costing the Yankees an out on the first play of the game — a throw to first that had to be challenged due to a lack of urgency on his part — he made an error on the second play. Defense, which was supposed to be a strength for the Yanks, has been more of an issue than expected. “One mental error every now-and-then is O.K., but we seem to be having two or three a night, and that’s really tough to see,” Teixeira said. “Everyone needs to step it up mentally and figure out how to play the game again.”

Chris Capuano, Joe Girardi• With that being said, Capuano gave up eight hits in less than five innings, so it’s not exactly like he was lights out. If Masahiro Tanaka is able to return within the next week or so, Capuano’s spot in the rotation could be in jeopardy. Adam Warren would probably be the other candidate to be removed,  but he’s been the better pitcher of late. “Cap has to be really fine and I think (Adam) Rosales hit a changeup out, but we made an error in the first that led to the run and Prince (Fielder) got a fastball that he hit in the gap,” Girardi said. “Then he battled pretty good after that, but his pitch count got pretty high and I decided to make a change.”

• Capuano was at 84 pitches when Girardi pulled him, a move that came right after Capuano gave up singles to Fielder and Adrian Beltre. “I felt like it was a little quick, but I’m not going to second-guess Joe,” Capuano said. “He’s got to do what he thinks he needs to do to win the game. I just need to pitch better, bottom line.”

• Capuano was asked if the pitching staff is feeling pressure to go deeper into games because of how much the bullpen has been used lately. “We absolutely do,” he said. “When you have a tough inning, like Michael (Pineda) did the other night, he did a great job of bouncing back and putting up three quick zeros. We’ve been bitten by the big inning lately and we just need to continue to battle and try to avoid those big innings.”

• Girardi went to Chasen Shreve in the fifth, who stranded the runners that he inherited and recorded two outs in the sixth before being walking Rosales and being replaced by Justin Wilson. Wilson got out of the sixth, but then gave up two runs in the seventh to give Texas some cushion. “(Wilson) is really supposed to be the guy who pitches later in the game, and I like Willy in that situation,” Girardi said. “He got out of the sixth, which I wanted him to do, and then they hit him hard in the seventh. But Willy is supposed to get those outs.”

Mark Teixeira• The Yankees scored in the first inning on Brian McCann’s two-run single, but mustered only three hits in the final eight innings. “Again tonight we scored two runs in the first and we didn’t score anymore,” Girardi said. “They said (Yovani) Gallardo started locating his cutter, which is his big pitch. It seemed like he started getting in on our lefties. He threw some curveballs early in the count that kind of kept our guys off balance, but his location got a lot better.”

• McCann was replaced in the ninth, which Girardi said was due to cramping in his foot and calf. He didn’t give much more information, but I’d be surprised if McCann plays on Monday. “He had a cramp in his foot to start out, and then it moved to his calf, and that concerns me more than the foot,” Girardi said.

• Teixeira was open about his frustration, but he also made the point that they still only trail Tampa by a game and a half. It’s true, but they’ll only continue to lose ground if they keep playing this way. “Considering where we were, yeah, you always want to be above .500,” Tex said. “But we’re still well within striking distance of first place. That’s the only thing we can take solace in, is that we haven’t dug ourselves into too big of a hole versus, if there was a really good team out there in the AL East that was lighting the standings on fire, we’d be in a big hole. So that’s the one thing we can take away from this is that if we keep fighting, we’ll be right back where we want to be.”

• Final word goes to Girardi: “Of course there is frustration in the room, but there better be frustration,” Girardi said. “We play this game to win, that’s the bottom line. But we’ve been frustrated before and guys have responded. And they need to respond.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:vmercoglianoon Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yanks swept by Texas on Bernie Williams night

Chris Capuano, Adam Rosales, Tony Beasley

On a night when the Yankees honored Bernie Williams and had several former players and coaches who were responsible for four championships in five years from 1996-2000 in attendance, the current Yankees reminded fans that those glory years are drifting further into the rearview mirror.

The Texas Rangers completed a sweep of the Yanks with a 5-2 win on Sunday, their first sweep of the Yankees in New York since May of 2003. It was the Yankees’ tenth loss in their last 11 games, dropping them to .500 for the first time since April 21.

The Yankee bullpen was taxed once again, with starter Chris Capuano unable to get through five innings. The left-hander gave up an RBI double to Prince Fielder in the first inning and a two-run homer to Adam Rosales in the second. He was pulled with one out in the fifth after giving up back-to-back singles to Fielder and Adrian Beltre.

Capuano allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and no walks while striking out four in his second start of the season.

He was replaced by Chasen Shreve, who escaped the fifth without allowing a run to score, but the Rangers (21-23) would tack on in the seventh with an RBI double from Shin-Soo Choo and RBI single from Fielder that hit off of the top of the wall in right field.

The Yankees’ only runs came in the first inning on a two-run single from Brian McCann, as the offense continued to sputter and mustered only six hits.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:vmercoglianoon Sunday, May 24th, 2015 at 11:36 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 44: Rangers at Yankees

Brett GardnerYANKEES (22-21)
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Garrett Jones RF
Chris Young CF
Didi Gregorius SS
Jose Pirela 2B

LHP Chris Capuano (0-1, 12.00)
Capuano vs. Rangers

RANGERS (20-23)
Delino DeShields CF
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Prince Fielder DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Mitch Moreland 1B
Elvis Andrus SS
Leonys Martin CF
Robinson Chirinos C
Adam Rosales 2B

RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-6, 4.26)
Gallardo vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 8:05 p.m., ESPN

WEATHER: Lovely.

UMPIRES: HP Toby Basner, 1B Larry Vanover, 2B Ron Kulpa, 3B Brian Knight

BERN BABY BERN: Prior tonight’s game, the Yankees retired legendary center fielder Bernie Williams’ No. 51 and dedicated a plaque in Monument Park to the four-time World Series champion.

MORE MILESTONES FOR A-ROD: Alex Rodriguez recorded his 1,992nd RBI on Friday, tying Babe Ruth for fourth on MLB’s all-time list. He’s now one shy of Lou Gehrig’s AL record of 1,993.

TEX MESSAGES: Mark Teixeira is third in the Majors with 13 homers and tied for third in the AL with 31 RBI.

Follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano to join in the conversation during the game!

UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: After a two-run single from McCann gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, Rosales hit a two-run homer in the second to put the Rangers back up 3-2.

UPDATE, 9:52 p.m.: Capuano was pulled with one out in the fifth after giving up singles to Fielder and Beltre, but Chasen Shreve came in and prevent the Rangers from adding to their lead. Capuano’s final line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 K, 84 pitches (61 strikes). Yanks still trail, 3-2.

 
 

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Posted by:vmercoglianoon Sunday, May 24th, 2015 at 8:09 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “We’re always going to be held up to those standards”

Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams

Those of you who watched the Yankees during the dynasty years in the late ’90s and early 2000s are fully aware of what Bernie Williams meant to the club. But as instrumental as he was during that run of four championships in five years, he rarely seems to get mention when the best players from that generation are discussed.

He’ll probably never make the Hall of Fame, but tonight, he’ll be enshrined into Monument Park with the greatest ever to play for the Yankees.

“I think Bernie ranks among the great Yankee center fielders, the people that were before him,” Joe Girardi said. “Obviously, he was so important to our lineup, so important to our defense, great in the clubhouse. You know, Bernie was a very unassuming star. There was no entourage. There was just a quiet guy that liked to string his guitar and was a good teammate, and made people laugh around him and entertained us. But you would have never guessed that Bernie was a star, and that’s who he was.”

With the retirement of Derek Jeter last season, the final link to those great Yankee teams is gone. Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and crew will be in attendance tonight, as they will be for a handful of similar ceremonies in the coming months and years. But the closest that they’ll come to putting on the pinstripes will be if they’re wearing a pinstriped suit.

Williams’ No. 51 being retired will serve as yet another reminder of those past glory years, but can this Yankee team — or any Yankee teams in the near future — ever reclaim that magic?

“I think we’re always going to be held up to those standards. And I think it’s important that we are,” Girardi said.

“I think it kind of went to pasture when Derek left, in a sense, because now it’s a whole new group of guys in reality. The expectations are obviously still there. There are guys in that clubhouse who were part of the 2009 championship, but when the Yankees were talked about, they would talk about the late 90s and early 2000s. That group of players is gone, so this group needs to start something themselves.”

Bernie Williams• Part of what made Williams, Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera and Posada so beloved was the fact that they were homegrown. Fans saw them come up and develop into stars, but the Yankees haven’t had much success in that department in the last decade. There have been glimmers of hope this season, and the latest prospect who will be looking to make an impact is Jacob Lindgren. He said that he thought his Triple-A manager was joking with him when he was informed of the call-up, but he’s here and will have an opportunity to stick if his success from the minors translates. “Oh man, it’s been a crazy ride,” Lindgren said. “I met a lot of guys on the way up and learned a lot of things, just how to be a professional. From the college game to the professional game is a little different. It’s a different routine. They’re playing on the weekends and we’re playing every day. So you try to add on to your routine and learn different things.”

• Girardi spoke about the importance of players coming up from the minors and contributing. “I think it’s really essential going forward,” he said. “With the price of free agency and the length of years that free agent contracts are, I think it’s extremely important that you’re able to call on your minor leaguers and get production. You think about the long run that took place here, there was kids that came up from the minor leagues that could really be successful and filled in with other players – free agents that came over or trades – and it was a great mixture. I think you have to have that.”

• What are the keys to moving through the system as quickly as Lindgren did? “I think first of all, you have to have the stuff, first and foremost,” Girardi said. “You’re not going to advance unless you have the ability. But No. 2, usually those guys are pretty mentally strong to be able to move up and take on a new challenge. The big thing is, when they take on a new challenge and if there is some failure, they’re able to get right back up. That, to me, is the only way that you advance in a quick way, because you’re going to have some failure in the minor leagues. But you have to be able to say, ‘O.K., that’s just one day. Let it go.’ And it doesn’t become another appearance and another appearance, or another start. You have to be mentally strong.”

Lindgren• Really, the reason that Lindgren is here is because he’s been mowing guys down in the minors. Through 22 innings at Triple-A this season, he has a 1.23 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and 29 strikeouts. He has the potential to become a late-inning option, and Girardi sounds open to using him in multiple roles. “In a perfect world where you have a rested bullpen, you might use him a little bit different than you would today – use him early in a game against left-handers, that sort of thing I could see doing,” Girardi said. “Today, you kind of have to watch how you use your bullpen, because you’re not going to have a (Esmil) Rogers and some of the guys that worked a lot lately. But this is a guy that I’m not going to be afraid to pitch at any time. I’m going to try and let him get his feet wet and not put him in too overwhelming of a situation the first time, but we liked what we saw in Spring Training and he’s done well at Triple-A and he’s moved quickly and he’s going to get in.”

• What stood out about Lindgren in Spring Training? “The amount of groundballs that he gets,” Girardi said. “When you see it from my perspective, you don’t really see a heavy sinker that you see with some of the other guys that sometimes you can see. But there’s late movement, and you hear the catchers talk about how if you’re not used to him, it’s kind of uncomfortable because the ball moves so late. You saw a ton of groundballs and you didn’t see guys square the ball up on him. It was pretty impressive.”

• Pretty funny story about Lindgren’s first day as a Yankee. He’s never been to New York, let alone Yankee Stadium, and he had a bit of an adventure getting into the ballpark. “I didn’t know how to get in, so I was waiting outside of the clubhouse knocking,” Lindgren said. “The guy who let me in said, ‘Who are you?’ ” The SEC tournament was on in the clubhouse, and Lindgren also mentioned that’s right where he was at this time a year ago. Pretty crazy.

• Normal day off for Stephen Drew, says Girardi, but Carlos Beltran is sick with “flu-like symptoms.” He could miss a few days.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:vmercoglianoon Sunday, May 24th, 2015 at 6:07 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


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