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


Archive for the ‘Misc’

Postgame notes: “You can score a lot of runs that way”08.02.15

Andrew Miller, Jacoby Ellsbury

After 10 days on the road, the Yankees are flying back to New York in an even better position than when they left. They left with a 5.5-game lead in the division, and they’re now six games in front of Baltimore and Toronto. They’ve increased their division lead slightly while taking a fairly substantial chunk out of the schedule.

This was a long, hot trip with six of the games coming against teams still vaguely in the playoff hunt, yet the Yankees more or less made the most of it.

“I thought it was pretty good,” Joe Girardi said. “You go three cities, you win two series and tie another series. Some late nights, some really long games, a lot of heat. I thought our guys did a really good job.”

Of course, the Yankees also did little to bolster their roster during this road trip. They watched the Blue Jays get considerably better at the trade deadline, and watched the Royals gear up for another World Series run, but the Yankees’ only trade was for a player who hasn’t even started any of his first three games with the team. They’ve also put Michael Pineda on the disabled list, and done the same with Diego Moreno (just a few days after Moreno emerged as a young pitcher who just might be able to help in a long relief role).

So it wasn’t all good news, but if you focus only on the final scores — with a 21-run game, a 13-run game and today’s 12-run game — the Yankees’ offense looks sharp, maybe the best it’s looked all season. Mark Teixeira has hit five home runs in the past four days, Didi Greogorius hit over .400 during the trip, and Chase Headley is riding an 11-game hitting streak.

“When the bottom of the order is as productive as it’s been the last week or so, it just makes our entire team better,” Mark Teixeira said. “And you can score a lot of runs that way.”

Offense isn’t much of a concern these days. The Yankees’ lineup is still prone to a few duds now and then — scored just two runs yesterday — but in this series alone, the Yankees have gotten three-hit games out of even Brendan Ryan and Stephen Drew. The bottom of the order was the driving force behind today’s five-run fourth.

“That’s what I tell everybody; it’s a whole team,” Gregorius said. “Sometimes the top wasn’t doing anything, and then the bottom wasn’t doing (anything), but this whole road trip, it was top to bottom, everybody was doing the job, everybody was getting on base, everybody was scoring so, that’s what we want. Just keep it up.”

As for the pitching, well, Ivan Nova looked better today, and the Yankees are going to try to supplement their rotation from within by calling up Luis Severino on Wednesday. They’ve done what they needed to do on this road trip, now there are 58 games left to maintain that division lead.

“It was a good road trip for us,” Alex Rodriguez said. “We have a long ways to go, but we haven’t played particularly well on the road this year, so it was nice to be 6-4.”

Ivan Nova• Last time out, Nova was worried about fatigue. This time, his biggest problem might have been a foul ball. When Brian McCann sent a ball into the Yankees’ dugout in the top of the fifth inning, it actually caught Nova on right hand near the thumb. “Masahiro should catch the ball because he’s there to protect me,” Nova joked. “I didn’t know it was that close to me. I just protected my head and the ball hit me.”

• Girardi said there was some concern initially, but Nova shook it off and said he was fine. He wound up pitching two more innings. “We’re thinking, what are the chances?” Girardi said. “On a day your pen is a little thin. This is not what we need.”

• Nova said there were no fatigue issues today. Because of the lopsided score, Girardi pulled him after just 90 pitches, but Nova could have pitched through the seventh. “Feeling good was something I was expecting after the fatigue I had last time out,” Nova said. “I had to get out because I was a little bit tired (last time). To be able to go six innings and feel good, that was important for me.”

• Girardi on Nova’s fatigue issues: “Guys go through it. In a sense, you’ve got to pitch through it. That’s a part of the game. You’re going to play sometimes with some fatigue, whether it’s your legs, your arm, whatever it is. You’ve got to fight your way through it and that’s what he did today.”

• Even with only a so-so start last time, Nova is 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA in his past three starts. He is 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA lifetime against the White Sox. “Everything was working fine,” he said. “Everything was working the way it’s supposed to. We called the right pitch at the right time and the sinker was doing a good job, good movement. I was able to work on both in and out of the plate with the hitters and keep them off-balance.”

• After going deep for the fifth time in four days, Mark Teixeira now has 29 home runs for the season. He said in spring training that he’d like to reach 30 homers and 100 RBI this season. He’s already only one away from the home run mark. He has 74 RBI. “I’ll take it,” Teixeira said. “Just been swinging the bat pretty well the last couple of weeks, and just try to keep it up.”

Stephen Drew, Adam Eaton• Stephen Drew was a home run away from the cycle, and with the game well out of reach in the ninth inning, he decided to go for it. He swung at the only two fastballs he saw that at-bat, but he wound up striking out. “It did (cross my mind),” Drew said. “I’ve done it before in my career, and it was a good day. Just trying not to do too much early on, then the last at-bat, it is what it is. The first two pitches, I would have liked trying (to hit a homer), then just trying to battle.”

• Didi Gregorius went 14-for-32 with 12 RBI on this trip. He scored three times today, the first time he’d done that since June 4 of last year. “Just even the way he carries himself, his demeanor (is better),” Rodriguez said. “He just very comfortable on both sides of the ball. He’s hitting the ball line-to-line, but the one thing he’s putting together now is great at-bats with men on base. That’s a big key for our team.”

• Chase Headley has an 11-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .439 with three doubles in that stretch.

• This was Drew’s first three-hit game since July 27, 2013. His batting average is up to .199, almost cracking .200.

• Carlos Beltran’s foot was still sore today, so once the Yankees got an early lead, Girardi went ahead and took him out of the game to rest. “Hopefully it’s all gone by Tuesday,” Girardi said.

• Final word goes to Drew: “It’s incredible. We’ve got a great group of guys here. The chemistry is (good), and you put in Nova throwing the ball well for us today, and everybody seems to be locked in hitting. It makes for a tough combination on the other side. Like I said, we got to (Samardzija) early, and I think that was a big key for us. With the kind of arm he has over there, it can be a tough day.”

Associated Press photos

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Yankees finish road trip with another lopsided win08.02.15

Mark Teixeria

Another home run for Mark Teixeira, another lopsided win for the Yankees. Scoring in double digits for the third time in six days, the Yankees hammered the White Sox for a 12-3 win in the final game of this 10-game road trip. The Yankees went 6-4 on the trip, winning series in Chicago and Minnesota while splitting four games in Texas. They averaged more than 11 runs per games in their six wins; fewer than 3 runs in their four losses. Teixeira’s 29th home run of the year started the fifth inning, and by that point, the Yankees were already in control. Jacoby Ellsbury had homered in the first inning, and the Yankees had scored five runs in the fourth. They added three more in the seventh to finish off the blowout. Stephen Drew finished a home run short of the cycle and very nearly got his batting average above .200. Yankees starter Ivan Nova got through the first five innings without allowing a run. He finally coughed one up in the sixth, then Chasen Shreve allowed a couple of home runs in the seventh.

Associated Press photo

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Game 104: Yankees at White Sox08.02.15

Ivan NovaYANKEES (58-45)
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 Ivan Nova (3-3, 3.38)
Nova vs. White Sox

WHITE SOX (50-52)
Adam Eaton CF
Tyler Saladino 3B
Jose Abreu DH
Melky Cabrera LF
Avisail Garcia RF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Alexi Ramirez SS
Carlos Sanchez 2B
Geovany Soto C

RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-5, 3.94)
Samardzija vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 2:10 p.m., YES Network and TBS

WEATHER: Another bright, sunny day here in Chicago. Picked a good weekend for Lollapalooza.

UMPIRES: HP Adam Hamari, 1B Brian Knight, 2B Larry Vanover, 3B Ron Kulpa

BACK IN THE LINEUP: Not a bad day for Carlos Beltran to be back in the lineup. He’s a career .357/.438/.643 in 14 career at-bats against Samardzija. No other Yankees player has as many at-bats against today’s White Sox starter.

BULLISH PEN: The Yankees’ relievers have struck out 365 batters in the team’s 103 games this season and are on pace to collect 574 strikeouts in 2015. The Yankees established a franchise record with 571 bullpen strikeouts in 2014, the second-highest single-season total by any team’s bullpen in baseball history behind only the 2012 Rockies (589).”

YANKEES HOPE WEEK T-SHIRTS: For the first time, HOPE Week t-shirts will be available for fans to purchase at Yankee Stadium, with 100 percent of the net proceeds going directly to the Yankees Foundation. A limited supply of the shirts will go on sale this Tuesday with a full launch of the shirts taking place at the start of HOPE Week on Monday, August, 17.

UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: First inning homer for Jacoby Ellsbury, and the Yankees hand Nova a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Nice little play by Didi to get a double play in the second inning. Yankees still up 1-0.

UPDATE, 3:16 p.m.: The White Sox let a little popup drop, and that’s opened the door to a couple of runs (maybe more) here in the fourth inning. Didi Gregorius has a two-run single so far (two runs only because Beltran made a nice slide to avoid a tag). Yankees are up 3-0.

UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: Sac fly by Ellsbury. Two-run single by Gardner. It’s a 6-0 Yankees lead. Fourth inning is still going.

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: My goodness, there’s another home run for Teixeira. That’s No. 29 for him this season.

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.: Couldn’t see it happen live, but Jack Curry just tweeted that a foul ball actually seems to have hit Ivan Nova in the right hand. The ball went into the Yankees’ dugout. So far no action in the Yankees’ dugout.

UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: Young out to play right field in the bottom of the fifth. Could be strictly a defensive move. Could be to get Beltran off his sore foot in a blowout. Could be some sort of issue with the foot. Kind of surprised it’s not Ackley, though, right? Wanted to play him today, so why not go ahead and get him in there for roughly half the game? Oh well.

UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: Two-out RBI single by Cabrera puts the White Sox on the board. It’s a 9-1 Yankees lead in the sixth inning.

UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.: Two-run triple by Drew and it’s an 11-1 game.

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Pregame notes: “Hopefully that fatigue is not an issue today”08.02.15

Orioles Yankees Baseball

Last time out, Ivan Nova lasted just 75 pitches and complained of arm fatigue. He’s since been assure that fatigue is a pretty standard part of Tommy John recovery, and it should go away, but this will be his first start since going through it.

“I feel comfortable, pretty good with where he’s at,” Girardi said. “I think the extra days rest probably helped him. We’ll keep an eye on him as we do any of our other starters, but hopefully that fatigue is not an issue today.”

The Yankees don’t necessarily have a true long man behind Nova this afternoon. Diego Moreno is on the disabled list, Bryan Mitchell isn’t available, and Chris Capuano’s no longer around to give as many innings as necessary. If the Yankees have to get a bunch of innings out of the bullpen, I assume Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve and Branden Pinder will have to carry the bulk of the load.

Ultimately, the Yankees believe Nova will be able to pitch fairly deep in the game.

“We could really use it because our bullpen’s pretty spent right now,” Girardi said. “Obviously the guys on our back end have not thrown in the last couple of days, (but) we could use some length out of him.”

Nick Goody• Moreno has some soreness on the back side of his elbow. “It’s not the ligament, it’s not the forearm,” Girardi said. “He’ll see Dr. Ahmad tomorrow. It’s unfortunate. Hopefully it’s not long.”

• Did the elbow bother Moreno during last night’s game? “It could have,” Girardi said. “He didn’t say anything during the game. He said in the middle of the night it kinda started aching and it was sore today so we decided to DL him right away.”

• Original plan was to have Dustin Ackley in the lineup today in place of Carlos Beltran, but Beltran wound up getting a day off yesterday because of a sore foot. With an off day tomorrow, the Yankees decided not to give Beltran three days off in a row, so Beltran’s back in the lineup and Ackley’s back on the bench.

• Girardi said he will keep an eye on Beltran throughout today’s game, but the expectation is that his foot is fine. It was sore yesterday after a few foul balls off the foot.

• CC Sabathia is going to throw either today or tomorrow — Girardi wasn’t sure which — and remains on schedule to start on Thursday. “To me he looked a lot better yesterday,” Girardi said. “He was pretty tired on Friday when he got here.”

• With a win this afternoon, the Yankees will have a 6-4 record on this five-game road trip, which is their last trip outside the Eastern Time Zone this season. “I think if you could get a win today it would be a pretty good road trip considering we’ve been out for a long time,” Girardi said. “We played in some really hot games, some tough games, some come-from-behind games. I think it would be a pretty good road trip.”

Associated Press photos

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Moreno to DL, Pinder recalled, regular lineup08.02.15

Diego Moreno has been put on the disabled list with soreness in the back of his elbow (the Yankees do not believe it’s related to the ligament). Branden Pinder has been recalled.

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 Ivan Nova

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Game 103: Yankees at White Sox08.01.15

Bryan MitchellYANKEES (58-44)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
John Ryan Murphy C
Brendan Ryan 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-0, 2.89)
Mitchell has never faced any of the White Sox

WHITE SOX (49-52)
Adam Eaton CF
Tyler Saladino 3B
Jose Abreu 1B
Melky Cabrera LF
Avisail Garcia RF
Adam LaRoche DH
Alexi Ramirez SS
Carlos Sanchez 2B
Tyler Flowers C

LHP John Danks (5-8, 4.97)
Danks vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., WPIX

WEATHER: It’s really a pretty nice day out.

UMPIRES: HP Ron Kulpa, 1B Adam Hamari, 2B Brian Knight, 3B Larry Vanover

RAISING THE AVERAGE: Chase Headley batted .370 (30-for-81) with 15 RBI in 21 games in July, raising his season batting average from .246 to .273. Headley had 31 hits last July, but hadn’t reached 30 in any month since. His .370 batting average was his highest ever in a calendar month in his career (min. 15AB).

GOING DEEP: Mark Teixeira hit .333 (29-for-87) with nine home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games in July. It was his highest home run total in a calendar month since June 2011 (also nine).

DRIVING THEM IN: Didi Gregorius (.317, 26-for-82) had 13 RBI in 24 July games, his most in a calendar month in his career (previous high was 10 RBI in May 2013). Gregorius has raised his batting average each month this season (.206 in April, .232 in May, .258 in June and .317 in July).

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Severino to make Major League debut on Wednesday08.01.15

Luis Severino, Austin Romine

One day after announcing that Luis Severino’s next start will be in the big leagues, the Yankees have given an exact date for that highly anticipated debut. Severino will pitch on Wednesday, the second game of next week’s series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Tuesday: Masahiro Tanaka
Wednesday: Luis Severino
Thursday: CC Sabathia

As for tonight’s starter, Joe Girardi said he expects 75-80 pitches out of Bryan Mitchell.

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Rumbelow recalled; Goody optioned back to Triple-A08.01.15

RumbelowThe bullpen revolving door keeps spinning.

After pitching the past two games in a row, Nick Goody has been optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Nick Rumbelow has been recalled to take his place. Rumbelow pitched pretty well during his previous stint with the Yankees, but it’s been almost a month since he last got in a big league game.

Down in Triple-A, Joel De La Cruz and Kyle Haynes have been promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from Trenton. Wilking Rodriguez was placed on the minor league disabled list and spot starter Chaz Hebert has been sent from Scranton back down to Tampa.

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Murphy gets second straight start at catcher08.01.15

John Ryan Murphy is making a second straight start at catcher. I assume that’s because he’s familiar with Bryan Mitchell, and because the Yankees are facing a lefty. Also, I’m not actually at the ballpark today. I woke up sick and haven’t gotten any better. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m going to try to get better and be back out there tomorrow. I’ll still have notes and such on the blog as they come in from the other beat guys.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Chris Young RF
Chase Headley 3B
John Ryan Murphy C
Brendan Ryan 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

RHP Bryan Mitchell

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With a fresh look, Dustin Ackley looks for a fresh start08.01.15

Dustin AckleyThrough the rainy days in Seattle, Dustin Ackley spent the better part of two years growing a long, thick beard. It was the kind of facial hair that defines a man’s appearance, and most certainly the kind that’s not allowed in the Yankees’ clubhouse.

So when he was traded to the Yankees on Thursday, Ackley gathered with some Mariners teammates — former teammates, I guess — and finally shaved.

“I couldn’t take the first swipe,” he said. “I had to let somebody else do it.”

With a new look for a new team, Ackley is looking for a fresh start. He was the second overall draft pick in 2009, and he’s still just 27 years old, but Ackley’s never come close to meeting the lofty expectations he set at the University of North Carolina. There, he hit .417/.517/.763 as a junior. Even as a freshman, he hit .402/.448/.591.

“Extremely talented,” college teammate Adam Warren said. “He’s a good guy, works hard. It’s just one of those things where you hope he can fit in with the club, and I think he will. He’s super quiet. I think he plays hard, and just going off what I know at Carolina playing with him, he’s super-talented and a gamer. I’m hoping to see him do that over here.”

Essentially, Ackley is a more versatile version of the player he’s replacing. Like Garrett Jones, Ackley will be a left-handed power bat off the bench and the primary backup at first base. Unlike Jones, Ackley can also play second base and center field. Also unlike Jones, he’s under team control for two more seasons.

He’s also a carer .296/.397/.481 hitter at Yankee Stadium.

“Obviously the short porch in right is huge,” Ackley said. “But I feel like it’s a place where the ball carries really well. We never went in there and thought, ‘This is a graveyard,’ or anything. It’s definitely favorable in all manners. I see the ball really well there. To me, the backdrop is important behind the pitcher and Yankee Stadium had a good one where you can see the ball well. All those things are really positive things.”

In explaining the trade, Cashman pointed primarily to Ackley’s versatility. Essentially, the Yankees think they’re getting a bat similar to Jones — Ackley and Jones have season slash lines that are nearly identical — except Ackley is younger and more versatile. It’s one of Cashman’s marginal upgrades in the short-term. But Cashman also mentioned the possibility of some upside going forward. The Yankees think Ackley can be better than he was for all those years in Seattle.

Ackley seems like a candidate for a change-of-scenery boost. Fresh look. Fresh start.

“It’s definitely something that won’t hurt,” Ackley said. “Coming to this team, a team that’s in first right now and playing really well. Going to a park that’s favorable to hitters, that doesn’t hurt as well. All these things add up for guys to succeed. I’m just excited to be here and to be a part of it.”

Associated Press photo

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