The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Game 17: Mets at Yankees

Alex RodriguezYANKEES (9-7)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00)
Pineda vs. Mets

METS (13-3)
Curtis Granderson RF
Juan Lagares CF
Lucas Duda 1B
Michael Cuddyer DH
Daniel Murphy 2B
Eric Campbell 3B
Wilmer Flores SS
Kevin Plawecki C
Kirk Nieuwenhuis LF

RHP Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93)
deGrom vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: This is certainly not baseball weather. My fingers can’t take much more of this.

UMPIRES: HP Doug Eddings, 1B Adrian Johnson, 2B Jim Wolf, 3B Adam Hamari

ROAD WARRIORS: The Yankees went 7-3 on their 10-game road trip, which marked their best road trip of 10-or-more games since going 7-3 in August of 2009.

TIGER BEAT: Yankee pitchers did not allow a homer in the Detroit series, marking the first time the Tigers have been held homerless in a four-game series since July of 2010.

BERN BABY BERN: Bernie Williams is here tonight to throw out the ceremonial first pitch after officially retiring as a Yankee a pregame press conference.

NOTE: I’ll update here after run-scoring plays and such, but to join the conversation throughout the game, follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano.

UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: deGrom’s scoreless streak didn’t last long tonight. Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the first, Ellsbury led off the third with a solo shot and now Tex added his second two-run shot of the game. Just like that, the Yankees are up 5-0 and the Mets bullpen is stirring.


Posted by:vmercoglianoon Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 7:11 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “People are pretty excited about it”

Brett Gardner

Vin Mercogliano in for Chad tonight. Last time I was here, the bats broke out for 14 runs against Boston, so you can expect good things… 

Some of you may have heard, but that team from Queens is in town. And they currently have the best record in baseball.

Both managers stressed that it’s way to early to make too much of the first Subway Series of 2015, but the fact that both teams are playing well has certainly added to the public intrigue.

“I think it’s great for the city,” Joe Girardi said. “You look at the Mets, they’ve won 11 in a row, had a perfect homestand. Obviously it’s very exciting over there and the way we played the last seven games on this road trip, we’re excited about what we’re doing. So I think it’s really good for the city.”

The Mets present several challenges, most notably an exciting pitching staff, and the Yankees will see their two most promising young guns in Jacob deGrom tonight and Matt Harvey tomorrow. They certainly have Girardi’s attention.

“They pitch very well,” Girardi said. “They’ve not given up a lot of runs in their first 16 games and they’ve had a lot of clutch hitting in their games. Look at Curtis (Granderson). He’s been extremely patient at the plate and they have guys who can hit the ball out of the ballpark, and (Jeurys) Familia has done a really good job probably in a role he wasn’t expected to do going into spring training, but he’s really stepped up and done a nice job for them.”

Mets manager Terry Collins also heaped some praise on the Yankees, but his focus seems to be keeping the good mojo that his team has going intact and not getting caught up in winning the back pages.

“I think it’s something to write about, but it’s still April,” Collins said. “If we play them in September, if that’s the case, it’ll be huge. It’s great to be where we are. We’re very, very excited about it, and it’s fun to come in here. It’s always fun to play the Yankees, but we can’t get caught up in that. Let’s just keep playing.”

• As many of you are aware of, there are three New York teams that are involved in the playoffs right now in the Rangers, the Islanders and the Nets. Still, this series is garnering a ton of attention. “I think it’s probably because of the way the two teams are playing,” Girardi said. “The Mets have played well all year and we have played well the last 11 games. Obviously, hockey’s very important in this town and basketball is very important in this town, and we have that going on. But right now when you have two teams that are in first place, I think people are pretty excited about it.”

Jacob deGrom• deGrom has been great through his first three starts of the year, pitching at least six innings in each with a 0.93 ERA. I was at his debut last year when he shutdown the Yankees at Citi Field. What kind of growth has Collins seen in him? “First of all, his confidence is off the charts,” he said. “He knows what he has to do, and now his execution is better. He knows the league, he knows what it takes to be successful and what it takes to win at the major league level. When you first get here, you’re in awe of and afraid to make a mistake. He’s not afraid to make a mistake anymore. He knows he can pitch over (the plate) and pitch through it, and his got a big challenge ahead. These guys are playing great and it’s a very good lineup. It should be fun to watch him.”

• deGrom and Harvey will present problems for the Yankees, but Girardi said he feels confident because the Yankees hit some good pitchers on their road trip. “We know they’ve very good, but we feel very good about our offense the way it’s been swinging the bats,” he said. “We ran into some good pitchers on this road trip. We had some success and we’ve got to keep it going.”

• With three of the Mets first five hitters being lefties, Girardi was asked about how he’ll use Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in the later innings. Even though he’s been doing most of the closing recently, Miller could be the choice if the top of the lineup is coming up in the seventh or eighth. “It’s something that I might think about doing a little bit differently depending on where we are, just because you look at their first five hitters the way it sets up,” Girardi said. “You kind of have to think about it a little bit different.”

• Chris Young is out of the lineup after starting in each of the previous three games. It makes sense against a tough righty like deGrom, but he’s leading the Yankees in several offensive categories. Carlos Beltran is starting in right field and batting sixth. “He’s given us a lot,” Girardi said of Young. “Obviously, he’s swung the bat extremely well. He’s had clutch hits for us. I’ve been able to play him every outfield position, which is important as well because you can give guys a day off. In the absence of Carlos being sick, I thought he stepped up and did a nice job. He’s been important for our team.”

Andrew Miller• It’s no secret that the Yankees lineup is lefty-heavy, and with top left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins on the DL, it could present some issues for the Mets late in games. They’re currently carrying two lefties out of the bullpen in Alex Torres and Sean Gilmartin, and Collins said he expects to use at least one of them in every game. “It’s going to take some maneuvering,” he said. “You could definitely see that.”

• I thought it was interesting to hear Collins talk about former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long. Long has taken over as the Mets hitting coach, and the results so far have been promising. “One of the things that Kevin has done is he’s able to hold these guys accountable,” Collins said. “So, when they’re doing certain drills or they’re talking about a certain phase of the offensive side of the game, and then when the game starts and they don’t do what they’ve been working on, he approaches them. ‘Hey, look. You need to apply what we’ve worked on.’ And for the most part, we’re seeing success because guys are trying. It’s in-game stuff.”

• Bernie Williams is signing his contract today to officially retire as a member of the Yankees. We’ll have more on that later, but here’s what Girardi had to say about Bernie. “I think he was as important as anyone in the success that the Yankees had just because of his presence in our lineup being a switch-hitter, breaking up the left-handers, his ability to run and his ability to play defense,” Girardi said. “He was important as any of those guys and the only reason there wasn’t a core five was because he was here a couple of years earlier than the other guys.”

Associated Press photos


Posted by:vmercoglianoon Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 6:00 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Lineup regulars (with Beltran batting sixth) open Subway Series

EllsburyJacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Michael Pineda



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 4:19 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Subway Series pitching matchups

Michael Pineda

RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00)
RHP Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

LHP CC Sabathia (0-3, 4.35)
RHP Matt Harvey (3-0, 3.50)
4:05 p.m., WPIX and FOX Sports 1

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.12)
LHP Jon Niese (2-0, 1.50)
8:05 p.m., ESPN

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 12:10 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Thoughts after a strong road trip, heading into a tough home stand

A few thoughts leading into what could be an excellent Subway Series at Yankee Stadium:

Alex Rodriguez• When the Yankees got to Detroit, the Tigers had the best record in baseball. Now the Yankees have beaten the Tigers, and they next get to play the Mets, who now have the best record in baseball. The Yankees just might be the hottest team in the American League — no team in the A.L. has won more in a row than the Yankees, and the Yankees have also won six of their past seven — but there’s no team in baseball hotter than the Mets who have won 11 straight. “They’re sizzling hot,” Alex Rodriguez said. “I don’t know if we’re playing that well. … It’s going to be awesome. The stadium should be rocking. Our fans are ready and their fans are ready, too. It’s fun for the players and even more fun for the fans.”

• You might have heard about this: Rodriguez is heading home with 658 career home runs, putting him two away from tying Willie Mays for fourth-most all-time. We basically already know the Yankees front office plans to ignore the milestone in an attempt to avoid paying a $6 million marketing agreement, but it will be fascinating to see how the Yankees players react. Will they come out of the dugout to celebrate a milestone the organization wants to keep quiet? “It’s hard to choreograph moments and what’s going to happen,” Joe Girardi said. “… We’ll just see what happens, and I’ll let the guys do what they want to do.” To the front office’s credit, they seem to have basically kept Girardi out of all their fights with A-Rod.

• Speaking of the upcoming milestone, Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff wrote yesterday about how exactly this process is going to work, with the Yankees refusing to declare 660 a marketable milestone, and Rodriguez inevitably filing a grievance. Sherman and Davidoff report that neither the Yankees nor A-Rod will be in a rush to reach a conclusion because “neither the Yankees nor A-Rod seem anxious to mess with the positive vibe around the controversial slugger.”

Chase Headley• Early this season, the Yankees really were kind of one-dimensional on offense. They needed to hit home runs to score. One thing they’ve done in the past week is find other ways to score. They’ve run the bases well, taken advantage of their speed, and gotten some timely hits. They’ve been able to win high-scoring games, and they’ve been able to win tight, low-scoring games. “That’s what good teams do,” Chase Headley said. “You’re not going to be able to go out there and out-slug everybody every game, and you’re not going to be able to go out there and win a 2-1 game every time.”

• Right now, Mark Teixeira is hitting just .196, but his .569 slugging percentage is one of the best in the American League. If the Yankees continue to get guys on base in front of him, I wonder if that might be good enough for the Yankees’ cleanup hitter. Obviously he needs to hit better than .200, but I’m not sure Teixeira has to hit much better than that if he’s going to keep hitting for power when he does hit. The days of Teixeira being an MVP-type hitter are over. If he’s hitting the ball out of the ballpark and having goodTo at-bats with some walks, that might be all the Yankees can ask.

• It’s completely unfair to judge Didi Gregorius after 16 games — especially after he played pretty well in spring training — but right now, he’s thoroughly unimpressive. He’s made physical mistakes, mental mistakes and hasn’t hit. The Yankees have to keep giving Gregorius opportunities because he’s their only hope for an immediate, long-term shortstop solution, but the early returns aren’t good. Maybe it’s about pressure. Maybe it’s about environment. Maybe it’s about youth and development. The Yankees just have to hope it’s not about Gregorius being this type of player, because the player they’ve seen so far isn’t very good.

Stephen Drew• Staying in the middle of the infield, I really think Stephen Drew is going to have a decent year. He’s among many Yankees who haven’t hit for average this season, but the home runs are a good sign, and he’s looked alright in the field. Second base is a tough spot to fill with legitimate production, but Drew could do it. Even so, the best-case scenario remains Rob Refsnyder getting some defensive issues sorted out and forcing his way into the big league lineup before the end of the summer.

• Even when the Yankees got off to a horrible start, I think it was always reasonable to assume the defense would get better, and the rotation would improve barring an injury. But I’m not sure it was a given that Dellin Betances would return to last year’s form. He really didn’t look sharp in spring training, and his track record wasn’t much, but in the past week and a half he’s been basically the same guy we all saw last season. That’s one of the biggest developments of this past road trip. Betances became a multi-inning monster again. He got big outs in key spots, pitched more than three outs at a time, and stopped missing spots every time he went to the mound. With Andrew Miller having clearly found some comfort in the ninth inning, Betances looks like the same sort of weapon he was last season, and that’s huge for this bullpen.

Chasen Shreve• Speaking of the bullpen, this group of relievers looks awfully good. Chris Martin might be a real nice find, and David Carpenter seems capable of handling the seventh, and Chasen Shreve could be really valuable if he’s able to give three innings when necessary. Having a strong bullpen is great, obviously, but the Yankees do have some young relievers close to forcing their way into the conversation. Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow and Jose Ramirez are all putting up strong numbers in Triple-A. It’s still very early, but how long would the Yankees wait before adding at least one of them to the big league roster? Would they do it without a current major league reliever getting hurt at some point during the season? To be fair, things like this seem to have a way of working themselves out.

• I’s going to be really interesting to see what happens if Chris Young keeps hitting and Carlos Beltran continues to struggle. For the moment, I think the Yankees have to give Beltran a chance to turn things around — he was too good of a hitter only two years ago for them to dismiss him right now — but Young has also been a pretty good hitter in the past, and Young’s a lot closer to his prime than Beltran is. At the very least, Young has to play against left-handed starters, and if that’s not in place of Beltran, then who sits when Young plays?

Associated Press photos


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 9:00 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “I was planning on going”

Jacoby Ellsbury

From his spot at third base, Jacoby Ellsbury wasn’t sure what just happened. He knew something looked wrong about Anibal Sanchez’s throw to the plate, but he couldn’t analyze the particulars. He was concentrating on something else.

“I was planning on going if he had continued to roll through his motion,” Ellsbury said. “I haven’t looked at the replay, but I think they said maybe because he stepped off in the middle of his motion. Something just didn’t look quite right, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure.”

It was a balk, an awkward one at that as Sanchez started his delivery and then seemed to notice Ellsbury farther off third base than usual.

“When you’re in those shifts, sometimes it’s not what a pitcher’s used to seeing, a guy so far down the line,” Joe Girardi said. “You have to prepare for it.”

Phil CuzziEllsbury was prepared, all right. He was set on trying on steal home. Or at least, as set on the idea as he ever is.

“You can’t really say, ‘I’m going to go,’ because if you don’t get a big-enough lead (it won’t work),” Ellsbury said. “In the past, I didn’t know until I went that I was going to go. It’s not predetermined. There are a lot of variables. … I was getting ready to go. I initially took off, then he stepped off and I stopped. I was like, ‘Whoa!’”

There was no call initially, but third-base coach Rob Thomson and hitter Chase Headley immediately signaled for some sort of call – “I was like, ‘You can’t do that!’” Headley said — and Girardi said the Yankees were screaming from the bench.

“(Sanchez) started his delivery and then stepped off the rubber to throw home,” umpire Gerry Davis explained. “I took a couple seconds to process what I saw. I wanted to be sure he had started his delivery before I made the call.”

It was a balk that brought in the Yankees’ tying run, a run they needed to finish off a wildly successful week in Tampa Bay and Detroit. And while the balk itself scored that run, it was Ellsbury who set up the situation with his speed and ability to get one base. The Yankees had only three hits today, but Ellsbury was on base three times and turned two of those opportunities into runs. He got into scoring position once with a stolen base and once with a hustle double.

“That’s what he can do,” Girardi said. “He creates and puts a lot of pressure on the defense. He’s going to take advantage of the extra base when he can. He did it today, and it paid off a lot.”


Masahiro Tanaka, Phil Cuzzi• Five days after his seven shutout innings against Tampa Bay, Masahiro Tanaka was terrific again this afternoon. And this time he did it against one of the best lineups in the American League. “I’m really satisfied with the way I was pitching today,” Tanaka said. “To put it in perspective, I’m as satisfied as I was pitching against Tampa.”

• What made Tanaka good today? “Location,” Brian McCann said. “That’s it. I feel like when he’s hitting the mitt, he’s really hard to hit. He had everything going. He had the cutter going, the sinker in, he had the split obviously – I feel like it’s always there. He got a lot of early count outs, which I think is a big deal for him to pitch deep into ballgames.”

• It was really cold today, and last night we saw what cold can do to a pitcher, but Tanaka was sharp. “Actually, I spent my high school years in a really cold area,” Tanaka said. “So as I was pitching I was remembering about those days.

• The Yankees had three hits today. Ellsbury obviously had one of them. Petit, believe it or not, had one of them. And Chris Young, of course, had one of them. Young is hitting .357. He struck out twice, so this clearly wasn’t one of his better games, but he still did what most guys couldn’t.

• Good defensive game by Headley at third, and a nice play by Gregorio Petit to get a force out on a low throw from Headley to second. “When you get late in the game, you know every run’s a premium,” Headley said. “Obviously I was able to stop it and Gregorio made an unbelievable pick. I threw it straight into the ground. I thought we were going to have a chance to turn the double play, and Cespedes really got down the line, so I hurried the throw and he picked us up over there.”

Chase Headley•Why did Dellin Betances go with nothing but breaking balls in that key at-bat in the seventh? “In that situation, first and third with two outs, I’m trying to go with the best pitch I can throw right there,” Betances said. “I rely on my breaking ball to get big outs. I’m going off McCann, whatever he calls.”

• Girardi said there was no thought of leaving Betances in to face the middle of the Tigers’ lineup in the ninth. “I just think we were able to do it last year, but we had to give him two days off, three days off,” Girardi said. “I’d like to have him available as much as possible, and with all the other strong arms we have down there, I feel we can do that.”

• Another strong save by Andrew Miller, who sent down the heart of the order, starting with a strikeout against Miguel Cabrera. And Cabrera didn’t look good in that at-bat either. “I hate to say overmatched,” Headley said. “But you don’t see him take a lot of bad swings and swing at bad pitches. He’s the best for a reason. That just shows what Andrew’s capable of.”

• Is this the best bullpen Girardi’s ever had? “We have as much power as I’ve ever had in this bullpen,” Girardi said. “And it has a chance to be really special. I’m trying to think of the bullpens that I’ve been a part of. As a player I was with some pretty good ones here, and as a manager, but we have as much power as we’ve ever had.”

• Final word goes to Girardi answering the question, were the Yankees as bad as they looked the first week? “I didn’t think so,” Girardi said. “Did we play bad? Yeah. I mean, we played very poorly, and I said that I think this team is much better than what we played. And (the team) came out on this road trip and showed that we can play baseball, and we can win different types of games. We won one-run games. We had a couple of big offensive explosions on certain days. So we won a lot of different types of games. But we weren’t too good the first week.”

Associated Press photos



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at 8:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Betances looking like a force again out of the Yankees bullpen

Dellin Betances

Throughout spring training and into the first week or so of the regular season, Dellin Betances simply was not very good. His velocity was not what anyone had come to expect last season, his command of the strike zone was erratic at best, and he remained in a late-inning role largely on the faith of manager Joe Girardi.

Now, Betances looks like his old self again.

“He’s really starting to,” Girardi said. “And I even think it’s going to get better. I do. But it was really good today.”

Called in to protect a one-run lead with two outs and two on in the seventh, Betances fired six straight breaking balls before Nick Castellanos popped out in foul territory. Sent back out for the eighth, Betances got two strikeouts and a ground out to the mound. His fastball was consistently in the mid-to-upper 90s.

“I mean, it’s always good when you can go out there and get outs,” Betances said. “I feel like I did it even when I was struggling. Obviously you don’t want to put guys on, especially out of the bullpen that hurts you. I’ve been able to make pitches when I got myself in trouble. But these last few games I feel a lot better, and I’m ready to keep it rolling.”

Among the most important developments during this Yankees hot streak has been the return of Betances. He never went away, but he wasn’t in last year’s form when the season started. He was wild and underwhelming, and although he was never charged with an earned run, he put the Yankees in some tough spots and had trouble closing out innings. Those weren’t problems last year, and they haven’t been problems in the past week or so, either.

He’s now allowed two hits and one walk in his past five outings, and two of those outings have been for more than one inning.

“I think it’s just rhythm,” Betances said. “I feel in a better rhythm, the more times I go out there, the better I feel. That’s the thing with me: I feel better the more I pitch, and I’m starting to get in a rhythm. … I made small adjustments all through spring training. And I’ll keep trying to make adjustments. I felt good man, I keep telling you guys I feel good, and everything will come. I’m just happy that we’re winning, no matter what.”

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at 6:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees on a roll after third straight win in Detroit

Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury

Another strong start by Masahiro Tanaka, and another big win for the suddenly surging Yankees. On another cold day in Detroit, the Yankees got a 2-1 win in this series finale and have now won six of their past seven games. Three days ago, the Tigers had baseball’s best record with only two losses in 13 games. The Yankees, though, took three in a row to win this series and build some momentum heading into the Subway Series against a surprisingly good Mets team. Tanaka delivered his second excellent start in a row. He allowed a double to the first batter he faced, and he allowed a run in the first inning. After that, though, Tanaka allowed just one base runner from the start of the second inning through a one-out double in the seventh. Dellin Betances got the Yankees out of a jam in the seventh and Andrew Miller picked up his sixth save in as many chances. After an offensive outburst yesterday, the Yankees had just three hits today, but Jacoby Ellsbury reached base three times and set the stage for each of the Yankees runs. He walked, stole second and ultimately scored on a balk in the sixth inning. Then he doubled and scored on a ground ball in the eighth.

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at 4:11 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 16: Yankees at Tigers

Masahiro TanakaYANKEES (8-7)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Chris Young RF
Garrett Jones 1B
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2-1, 3.94)
Tanaka vs. Tigers

TIGERS (11-4)
Anthony Gose CF
Ian Kinsler 2B
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Alex Avila C
Nick Castellanos 3B
Hernan Perez SS

RHP Anibal Sanchez
Sanchez vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:08 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Cold. It’s just cold.

UMPIRES: HP Phil Cuzzi, 1B Tony Randazzo, 2B Will Little, 3B Gerry Davis

YOUNG GUN: Among players with 40 or more plate appearances this season, Chris Young leads the American League in slugging (.816) and OPS (1.258) and is third in the Majors in OPS behind Adrian Gonzalez and Joey Votto. He?leads the Yankees in batting average, total bases, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.

FIRST TIMERS: Only two Tigers have ever faced Masahiro Tanaka. Yoenis Cespedes is 3-for-5 and Anthony Gose is 0-for-3.

BAT OFF THE BENCH: Mark Teixeira has recorded an RBI in five straight games, 10 of his last 12, and 10 of his 14 games played this season. He is the only Major Leaguer with an RBI in at least 10 games this season. Since 1993, the only other Yankees hitter with at least one RBI in 10 or more of the club’s first 15 games was Alex Rodriguez (13 games) in 2007.

ON THIS DATE: On April 23, 1903, the New York Highlanders got the first win in franchise history with a 7-2 victory at Washington. Harry Howell was the winning pitcher.

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Sac fly gives the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the first.

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: Best-case scenario, Gardner thought there was a chance of a bad throw to first and was trying to avoid a possible tag at the bag. Worst case scenario, he still believes sliding head-first is the quickest way to reach first base. Either way, the Yankees left two stranded in the third and it’s still a 1-0 Tigers lead.

UPDATE, 2:13 p.m.: Yankee scored too many runs last night. Didn’t save any for today.

UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: Well, the Yankees are on the board with a two-out balk in the sixth inning. It was strange even by balk standards, but the Yankees capitalize to tie the game at 1.

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: I assume Girardi’s thinking the Tigers would walk either Teixeira or Rodriguez if one of them pinch hit against Gorzelanny.

UPDATE, 3:18 p.m.: Yankees catch a break with Drew drawing a walk. They get to hit Teixeira for Gregorius with two on and two outs here in the seventh.

UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: Teixeira flies to deep right field to leave the two runners stranded. Yankees still have just one hit (a Chris Young single). Tigers have just two hits.

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: Another really good start for Tanaka. He had retired 18 of 19 before allowing a one-out double here in the seventh. Now a walk has chased him from the game and Justin Wilson is coming in from the bullpen. Still tied at 1.

UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: Wilson and Betances got the Yankees out of the seventh, now Ellsbury has started the eighth with a double and the yankees are in business.

UPDATE, 3:49 p.m.: Yankees cash in with a sac bunt and an RBI grounder to first. Tigers might have been able to turn two on the ground ball, but it was hit hard and Cabrera couldn’t make the initial play. It’s a 2-1 game with Betances heading back to the mound.



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at 1:02 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: Tanaka tested with cold weather and normal rest

Masahiro Tanaka

This afternoon, Masahiro Tanaka will start on normal rest for the first time this season. But in terms of evaluation, that’s not the only factor in play.

“I think you’re going to look at command today,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know if you’re going to know if it’s because of the cold or if it’s because it’s on the fifth day. I think that’s going to be hard to predict. We saw command issues yesterday in two guys that really have good command. That’s what I’ll look for.”

Girardi said he’s heard a projected game-time temperature of 43 degrees. I doubt it will be snowing like it was in last night’s first inning, when both David Price and Adam Warren had a hard time. Girardi said there’s no heightened concern about Tanaka’s health in these conditions. The concern is more about simply holding and releasing the baseball.

“I don’t worry so much about his elbow as I worry about his grip on the baseball when it’s this cold,” Girardi said. “I think it can be very slippery on days like today, and I think around game time it’s going to be 43 (degrees), so we’ll just have to see how it goes. … You just try to keep your hands warm and rub up the baseball as much as you can to try to get some heat in the ball. That’s the best idea I have.”

It’s not just the breaking pitches. Girardi said a fastball can also be harder to control in these conditions. It’s just not a great day for baseball, but it’s late April, so there’s a game to be played.

“I have been in games that have been colded out, but it’s been below 30 degrees,” Girardi said. “You’re going to have to go through a few a year. It’s tough conditions, and sometimes you can avoid them some years, and sometimes you can’t. You have to play the games. The only way to avoid it would be not to start the season until May, and we know that’s not going to happen.”

Kyle Davies, Brian McCann• Little bit strange to see a catcher handle a day game after a night game, but Girardi said he planned coming into this series to have Brian McCann behind the plate this afternoon. “He’s playing extremely well,” Girardi said. “We talked about it, how we were going to do this week, and he feels good so I’m going to run him back out there.”

• No injury concerns with Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira, just giving them a day off in this long stretch. He wasn’t planning to play either one 13 days in a row. “I just felt this was probably the best day to do it,” Girardi said.

• By sitting Rodriguez today, Girardi said he thinks he can play all six games of the upcoming home stand before getting a rest on the next scheduled off day.

• Bench coach Rob Thomson will coach third base again today. Joe Espada’s wife had a baby girl yesterday, so he’s away from the team.

• Brutal news for a nice guy: Joe Nathan needs Tommy John surgery. “He’s been really good, on really good teams,” Girardi said. “The thing you can say about Joe Nathan is that he was really tested, because he was on a ton of playoff teams and had a ton of success. It’s unfortunate what he’s going through and I don’t think any player really wants to go out that way. I’m not sure what he’ll do, being 40 years old, I’m sure there’s a lot of thought that maybe it’s his last pitch. Maybe he’ll try to come back, and god bless him if he does. But Joe Nathan’s a winner, and he’s used to winning, and it’s got to be extremely frustrating.”

• If the Yankees win today, they’ll wrap up a tremendous week on the road against Tampa Bay and Detroit. If they hadn’t blown a game in Baltimore, it would be an awfully success trip regardless of today’s result. “It would be a tremendous road trip to go 7-3 in these three cities that we went to,” Girardi said. “Good baseball teams, so obviously it would be a tremendous road trip.”

Associated Press photos


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at 11:58 am. InNotes with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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