The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Misc’

Yanks make it two straight with another win over the Royals05.26.15

Mark Teixeira

Coming off of one of the worst stretches of baseball that they’ve had in recent memory, the Yankees now have a mini-winning streak going.

Tuesday’s 5-1 win over the Kansas City Royals made it two straight after the Yanks had lost 10 of their previous 11 coming into the series.

Adam Warren turned in his third consecutive strong start, allowing just two hits and no walks over 6 1/3 innings while striking out five. With Masahiro Tanaka getting closer to a return from his forearm strain, Warren has been making his case to remain in the rotation.

The Yankees (24-22) gave Warren some early cushion, plating two runs in the first after Alex Rodriguez drew a two-out walk and Mark Teixeira hit his team-leading 14th homer. The Yanks lead the majors with 50 first-inning runs this season.

They tacked on three more in the fifth thanks to a two-run double from Teixeira and a sac fly from Chase Headley, which extended the lead to 5-0.

Paulo Orlando was responsible for the only Kansas City (28-17) run, his first career homer in the sixth.

Teixeira finished with four RBI to improve his season-total to 35, while Rodriguez was the only other Yankee with a multi-hit game. Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup after missing two games with “flu-like symptoms” and extended his hitting streak to 14 games, but he was replaced in the sixth inning for undisclosed reasons.

The win ensured that the Yankees would finish the day no more than a half-game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East. A Rays’ loss would have moved the Yankees back into first.

Associated Press photo

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Game 46: Royals at Yankees05.26.15

Adam WarrenYANKEES (23-22)
Brett Gardner LF
Chris Young CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Stephen Drew 2B
John Ryan Murphy C
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Adam Warren (2-3, 4.26)
Warren vs. Royals

ROYALS (28-16)
Alcides Escobar SS
Mike Moustakas 3B
Lorenzo Cain CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Alex Gordon LF
Salvador Perez C
Omar Infante 2B
Paulo Orlando RF

LHP Jason Vargas (3-1, 5.26)
Vargas vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., WPIX

WEATHER: It was hot and humid all day, but it’s perfect right now. Great night for baseball.

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

FIRST PLACE YANKS? Even after losing 10 out of 11, with the Yankees 14-1 win on Monday and a Tampa Bay Rays loss, they now sit just a half game out of first place. Another win tonight and a loss for the Rays would give the Yanks sole possession of first again.

LEFTIES FOR DAYS: Five different Yankees homered on Monday — all batting left-handed — which marked the third time over the last 102 years that at least five Yankees have homered from the left side in one game.

THE BIG INNING: The Yankees scored eight runs in the first inning on Monday and now lead the Majors with 48 first-inning runs this season.

UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.: Good start for the Yanks. After Warren worked a 1-2-3 first inning, A-Rod walked with two outs and Teixeira blasted a two-run homer, his 14th of the season. Yankees lead 2-0.

UPDATE, 8:37 p.m.: The Yanks tack on three more in the fifth on Tex’s two-run double and a sac fly from Headley. Meanwhile, Warren has been outstanding. He’s through five innings on 66 pitches and has only allowed one infield hit. 5-0 Yankees.

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Pregame notes: “Hitters know that pitchers are all using something”05.26.15

Michael Pineda

Several topics were discussed during Joe Girardi’s pregame presser this afternoon, but perhaps the most interesting wasn’t as much about the Yankees as it was all of Major League Baseball.

MLB announced on Monday that Baltimore Orioles reliever Brian Matusz has been suspended eight games for having a foreign substance on his arm during Saturday’s game against the Marlins. Just a few days prior, Milwaukee Brewers reliever Will Smith received an eight-game suspension for the same offense.

Of course, the Yankees are familiar with the process after watching Michael Pineda receive a similar suspension last season.

“I really believe that there should be a substance behind the mound that every pitcher is allowed to use,” Girardi said bluntly. “You want to check the pitchers before they go out to make sure there is nothing else on them? Go ahead, but you don’t want to get in a situation where you’re having players suspended for eight days. The balls are slippery in some places, and when it’s cold, they’re extremely slippery. I don’t care what you do.”

It was a fairly candid remark from Girardi, who usually steers clear of any controversy. But he made some legitimate points about this being an issue that MLB should look at.

And he was very honest about how often substances are currently being used by pitchers.

“Hitters know that pitchers are all using something,” Girardi said. “We know that. C’mon. There’s a lot of pitchers that do and I think that a hitter wants to know that a pitcher knows where the ball is going, and that it’s not slippery. That’s the bottom line, so I don’t think hitters would care. And I think that they’d like to know that there is one substance they use to help them with the tackiness of the ball, and that’s it.”

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost sided with Girardi.

“I agree,” Yost said. “What it does it helps with the grip on the ball. It doesn’t change the trajectory with the ball. It just helps you grip the ball a little bit better and I think most teams use it. Let’s be honest, most teams find ways to use it. Unless it’s blatantly obvious, most guys do a good job of putting a little bit here and it’s not like it was with Vaseline or sandpaper. It doesn’t alter the trajectory of the ball. It doesn’t make it dive. It doesn’t make it sink. It doesn’t make it do funny things. It just improves your grip. So I’m with Joe on that.”

With everything that MLB has been through when it comes to perceived cheating in baseball, I tend to doubt that they would ever consider something like Girardi is proposing. But I’m not sure if that means that he’s wrong.

“I said to one of the umpires when it’s a cold game, why don’t they heat the ball bags and try to keep the balls warm?” he said. “There are some things that they can do. I know in Japan, the ball has a texture. I don’t know if you need to do that, but I’d like to see them come up with something that everyone can use when they go out there.”

• Getting to tonight’s game, Adam Warren will be taking the ball after a couple of solid outings in his last two starts. He pitched into the seventh in both and did not allow more than three runs. After spending last season entirely as a reliever, it’s possible that it took him some time to make the adjustment back to being a starter. With Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova working their way back from injuries (more on that further down), you’d have to think that the next couple starts will be very important for Warren and Chris Capuano. Assuming that Pineda, CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi are staying put, Warren and/or Capuano could have their rotation spots at risk. “I think it’s just maturing in that role and understanding what he has to do,” Girardi said of what he’s seen lately from Warren. “He has not been in that role for awhile, so we didn’t expect him to necessarily come back and be a starter like he was before in the minor leagues. It takes some time, and it also takes some time at this level, as well. I think you’re seeing him mature. He’s gotten deep into games and pitched well. When he’s given up a few runs early, he’s been able to shutdown the other club and find the stuff.”

Carlos Beltran• Carlos Beltran is back in the lineup today after missing a couple of games with “flu-like symptoms,” which means that rookie Slade Heathcott is out. Girardi said that he’s playing Chris Young over Heathcott because the Yanks are facing a lefty, which will likely be the platoon in center field until Jacoby Ellsbury comes back. Heathcott should play against most righties and Young will start against lefties. “Obviously you’re going to go day-by-day, and if you feel that a young player needs a day, you give him a day,” Girardi said. “But I think it’s just adjustments. The thing about Slade, too, when you’re facing all of these pitchers is that you’ve never seen them before. He’s been patient and he’s swung at good pitches.”

• Young is hitting in the two-hole today, which has been a revolving door since Ellsbury’s injury forced Gardner to move up to the leadoff spot. Girardi has also used Beltran and Chase Headley there. “It could depend on right-hander or left-hander, and it also kind of depends on someone’s health the last couple of days,” Girardi said. “You try to find something that you like and stick with it.”

• Girardi said that Ellsbury is still receiving treatment on his right knee and has yet to resume baseball activities. He’s hoping that he returns “within a month,” but he still sounds very unsure about a timetable. What are the Yankees missing without their leadoff hitter? “It’s another speed element,” Girardi said. “It’s a guy that was on-base 40 percent of the time, and that’s not easy to replace. Slade has done a good job in games that he’s been in, Chris has done a pretty good job in the games that he’s been in, but the other thing is the rotation, and how it affects the rotation and giving a guy off here and there. Gardy might be pushed a little bit more in the absence of Ellsbury.”

Yankees Tanaka Baseball• Tanaka is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tomorrow, and if all goes well, his next appearance could be with the Yankees. What does Tanaka need to do to convince the Yanks that he’s ready to rejoin the rotation? “You want to hear that the stuff was sharp, that he was able to locate his pitches, he was able to use all of his pitches, and that he feels comfortable the next day,” Girardi said.

• The timetable for Nova isn’t quite as clear — in fact, Girardi couldn’t remember if Nova is scheduled to throw another extended spring training outing on Wednesday or Thursday — but he did say that whenever he does, he should throw about 70 pitches. “I would expect that he would pitch in the minors pretty soon,” Girardi said.

• I’ll leave you with this quote from Girardi about how streaky the Yankees have been this season. After losing 10 of 11, they busted out with most lopsided win of the season on Monday. “Streaks are part of baseball, and what you try to do is you try to shorten them, the bad streaks,” Girardi said. “That’s what you need to do. The first (losing streak) was a week long and this one was a little bit longer, but the big thing is how they respond to it — making sure that we keep our guys healthy and confident in what they’re doing, but there’s no real secret. Like I said the other day when you asked me if I was going to make any changes: The same guys that went 3-6 or 1-10 are also the same guys that went 20-10. The ability is there. It’s just as the season goes on, too, I think players become more consistent. There’s more ups and downs early on in the year. Part of it has do with guys just don’t have a ton of at-bats, or a ton of reps as a pitcher. Some of it has to do with weather and the struggles that you find in some conditions. They usually become more consistent as time goes on.”

Associated Press photos

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Yankees lineup: Beltran returns, Heathcott out05.26.15

Vin Mercogliano back in the Bronx for Chad today. I hope everyone is staying cool cause it’s a scorcher. Here is tonight’s lineup:

Brett Gardner LF

Chris Young CF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Chase Headley 3B

Carlos Beltran RF

Stephen Drew 2B

John Ryan Murphy C

Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Adam Warren

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No Yankees among early All-Star vote leaders05.26.15

Alex Rodriguez, Wilson Ramos

Major League Baseball just released it’s first All-Star voting update, and it’s heavy on Royals.

Right now, five Kansas City players are in line to start the All-Star Game, including two of their three outfielders. Lorenzo Cain even has more votes than Mike Trout at this point, and catcher Salvador Perez has more votes than anyone.

No Yankees are in position to start the All-Star Game, which surely comes as no surprise. Mark Teixeira is currently third among first basemen, and Alex Rodriguez is third among designated hitters, but neither is particularly close to the leader at each position. Jacoby Ellsbury is seventh among outfielders, and vaguely in that mix. Brett Gardner barely has more votes than Carlos Beltran. Make of that what you will.

Here are the early leaders for the American League:




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Mid-day notes: Royals’ rotation, division standings, Long’s Triple-A gem05.26.15

Royals Yankees Baseball

A few things worth having on your radar this afternoon:

• Change of plans in the Royals’ rotation. Instead of starting Danny Duffy tonight, Kansas City is bringing Jason Vargas back from the disabled list. It’s a lefty-for-lefty swap, so the matchup is basically the same for the Yankees (wonder if Slade Heathcott will stay in the lineup). Duffy’s been struggling, and Vargas had a 5.26 ERA before going on the disabled list. Andy McCullough reports Vargas will have a 75-pitch limit.

• The Yankees might have an opportunity to move back into first place tonight. The Rays lost last night, putting the Yankees a half-game out of the division lead. Injuries could be catching up to Tampa Bay, especially now that they’ve lost first baseman James Loney. If the Yankees beat the Royals tonight, and the Rays lose to the Mariners, the Yankees will be back in first place.

• A few game times were announced this afternoon. The Yankees announced that June 21 against Detroit, August 23 against Cleveland and September 27 against the White Sox will all be 1:05 p.m. games. All three were previously listed as a TBA first pitch.

• Hasn’t been a particularly good Triple-A debut for pitching prospect Jaron Long, but he was dominant last night. Easily his finest start since getting to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Long went 7.2 scoreless innings last night. It cut his season ERA to 4.38, the first time this year that it’s been below 5.00. Really, his past four starts have been pretty solid. It would really help that RailRiders team to get some rotation consistency beyond Bryan Mitchell.

• And up top is a picture of Jacob Lindgren after his big league debut, just because … why not?

Associated Press photo

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Heathcott off and running with Yankees05.26.15

Royals Yankees Baseball

His first big league hit was a hustle double with a head-first slide into second base. His first big league homer was a two-run shot, the finishing touch on a 14-run outburst yesterday.

Slade Heathcott’s been in the big leagues less than a week, but already the Yankees are getting a good look at the tools they’ve heard so much about for such a long time.

“When I step across those lines, I just want it to be the same game I’ve played my entire life,” Heathcott said. “Obviously on a higher scale, and at a higher level — a lot more fans, a lot more energy — but I want to keep this the same game I’ve been playing. Don’t stress. Don’t try to do too much. That’s something I have to remind myself every AB, to make sure I’m playing the same game I’ve been playing.”

Royals Yankees BaseballWhen Heathcott arrived, Joe Girardi wouldn’t commit to a specific role or planned amount of playing time. He said only that Heathcott would get an opportunity to play.

At this point, he seems to be the regular center fielder until Jacoby Ellsbury returns. Chris Young might get platoon starts against lefties, but Heathcott’s hit the ground running. He’s certainly done nothing to lose playing time.

“You want to see your young players come up and have success and feel like they’re contributing,” Girardi said. “Not put a ton of pressure on themselves and not looking over their shoulder and wondering if they’re going to play the next day, or that sort of thing.”

There’s an obvious confidence in the way Heathcott handles himself. But there’s also a fresh maturity.

Life has humbled the former first-round pick. He’s admitted as much. Staying on the field has been a struggle. He’s been hurt. He’s been disappointed. He’s been left behind.

After all that, playing at this level has been amount more than having a good time.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s been awesome being up here,” he said. “And it’s been an amazing blessing. But we’re here to win. Everyone in here is here to win. We want to play together; we want to play as a team. Just in my short time here I can tell the chemistry we have, and how much everyone in here wants to win. We play this game to win, not to go out and have fun.”

There must be something to that — something to the idea of balancing the fun with the work, and it’s surely something that comes with time and experience.

Heathcott“I’ve known Slade for a while,” Brett Gardner said. “Since he got drafted. And he’s been through his share of injuries. He’s put a lot of work in in the training room the last couple of years to get back on the field, and he was a completely different person this year in spring training. Just from Day 1. On the field, off the field, just his attitude and work ethic. It’s been a lot of fun to see, and I’m very, very happy for him.”

Big league careers are not made in one week. A double, a home run and a nice slash line after a few games don’t make Heathcott a finished product. They don’t make him a success.

But yesterday the Yankees finally played a good game, and their rookie center fielder was right in the middle of it, doing his part and carrying his weight.

He certainly seemed to belong.

“Awesome, awesome,” Heathcott said. “Seeing guys hit the ball hard, I love seeing guys succeed. I love seeing teammates that are playing well, I love being up and having energy throughout the dugout. That’s part of the game and how I play.”

Associated Press photos

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Postgame notes: “Hopefully this was a first step”05.25.15

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

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Yankees snap losing streak with five-homer win at Yankee Stadium05.25.15

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

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Pregame notes: “The opportunity is still there for us”05.25.15

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 Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

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