Archive for the ‘Misc’
The Yankees — and Ichiro Suzuki — just own Mark Buehrle. Actually the Yankees own the Blue Jays here at Yankee Stadium.
This 6-4 win marked their 17th straight against the Jays in the Bronx, the fourth-longest home winning streak by one team against another since divisional play began in 1969. The Yankees have 26 of the last 28 here against Toronto since May 24, 2011.
And then there’s Buehrle. The 35-year-old lefty is 0-10 with a 7.34 ERA in his last 15 starts against the Yankees. He’s 1-12 overall in 19 starts against them. He hasn’t beaten them since April 10, 2004, and that was at the old Yankee Stadium.
Asked the reason for the dominance, Joe Girardi said, “It’s hard to say. He’s a really good pitcher.”
Ichiro, who’s now 25 for 60 lifetime vs. Buehrle, hit a three-run shot in the third to snap his 294 at-bat homerless streak dating to last August 30. Derek Jeter had been on his case with some friendly teasing.
“During batting practice, he always tells me, ‘Can’t leave. Can’t leave,’ which means the ball doesn’t leave the ballpark,” Ichiro said through his interpreter.
“For a Japanese person, it’s hard to hear the ‘t’ at the end. I think he said, ‘Can leave,’ ” Ichiro added jokingly.
Hiroki Kuroda struggled some, but he earned the win, allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3. Girardi said he had trouble with command of his sinker.
“He just fought all night,” Girardi said.
Chase Headley went 3 for 4, so he’s at .429 (6 for 14) after four games with his new team.
Mark Teixeira didn’t do any baseball activity, according to Girardi, just ran and did rotational exercises. Girardi said he’s expected to do the same Saturday, and that it wasn’t “probably realistic” that Teixeira could return to the lineup Sunday.
The Yankees are 7-1 since the break, having won four in a row. Their last five wins have been of the comeback variety. They own the second wild card at the moment.
“It beats the alternative,” Girardi said. “But it really doesn’t mean a whole lot with 60 games to go.”
Photo by The Associated Press.
1. Brett Gardner LF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
4. Carlos Beltran DH
5. Brian McCann 1B
6. Chase Headley 3B
7. Ichiro Suzuki RF
8. Brian Roberts 2B
9. Francisco Cervelli C
Hiroki Kuroda RHP
Blue Jays lineup
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Munenori Kawasaki 3B
3. Melky Cabrera LF
4. Jose Bautista RF
5. Dioner Navarro C
6. Juan Francisco 1B
7. Colby Rasmus DH
8. Ryan Goins 2B
9. Anthony Gose CF
Mark Buehrle LHP
Umpires: Rob Drake HP, Alan Porter 1B, Joe West 2B, Marty Foster 3B
Weather: partly cloudy, comfortable, 80 degrees
TV/Radio: Ch. 9, MLB Network/WFAN 660, 101.9
Flying high/flying low in the Bronx: The Yankees have beaten the Blue Jays 16 straight times at Yankee Stadium dating to Sept. 19, 2012. It’s the longest home winning streak by one major-league team against another since Toronto beat the Orioles 16 straight times from Aug. 8, 2009 to June 15, 2011. It’s the Yankees’ longest home winning streak against one opponent since they defeated the Indians 19 straight times from June 10, 1960 to April 21, 1962.
Flying low II: Mark Buehrle has never won a game in the Bronx in seven starts and has beaten the Yankees just once in 18 career starts, dropping his last nine decisions over 14 starts.
Update, 7:13: Not going to see a no-hitter from Kuroda tonight. Jose Reyes bloop single to open the game. Not expecting one by Buehrle here, either.
Update, 7:21: Not going to see a shutout from Kuroda, either. Three-run homer for Jose Bautista to left, 3-0 Jays, just like that.
Update, 7:32: Derek Jeter singles in the first, but that was it.
Update, 7:39: Kuroda settles down, three straight grounders to second in the second.
Update, 7:46: Bases loaded, nobody out for the Yankees.
Update, 7:48: RBI infield hit for Roberts, 3-1.
Update, 7:51: Sac fly for Gardner, 3-2.
Update, 8:02: Bautista does it again, homer to left, 4-2 in the third. His 23rd career multi-homer game.
Update, 8:06: Beltran solo shot to left, 4-3. No. 11. McCann follows with his second single in two at-bats. So does Headley.
Update, 8:10: Ichiro snaps 294 at-bat homerless streak, three-run shot to the right-field seats. His first of the season. Yankees up 6-4.
Update, 8:25: Kuroda isn’t too sharp, but he got out of a first-and-second, two-out problem in the fourth.
Update, 8:30: Todd Redmond replaced Buehrle for the fourth. Buehrle allowed six runs and nine hits. Redmond retired the side in order.
Update, 8:38: Kuroda finally gets Bautista out to finish a 1-2-3 fifth.
Update, 8:47: Headley doubles and is 3 for 3. But then it looked like he forgot the number of outs when Ichiro fanned, caught trying to get back to second to end the inning.
Update, 8:56: Kuroda is done after 5 2/3, runner on first. He allowed eight hits. David Huff is on.
Update, 8:58: Huff, moving up in status, needs one pitch to end the inning.
Update, 9:08: Cervelli doubled for his second hit, but Gardner and Jeter stranded him at second.
Update, 9:13: Huff leaves with two outs and nobody on in the seventh. Shawn Kelley gets the ball.
Update, 9:18: Kelley retires Dan Johnson, 6-4 after 6 1/2. Brett Cecil on for the Jays.
Update, 9:25: The Yankees go down in order. Betances on for the eighth.
Update, 9:34: Betances strands a runner at second. Dustin McGowan on for the bottom of the eighth.
Update, 9:42: Robertson on for the ninth.
Update, 9:50: Yankees win 6-4.
Yankees pregame: Capuano moves right in • 07.25.14
Joe Girardi announced that Chris Capuano is moving right into the rotation in the wake of yesterday’s deal with the Rockies. He will be starting tomorrow against the Blue Jays. Shane Greene will be pushed back a day. Chase Whitley is headed for the bullpen.
“That’s why we went and got Cap, to be a starter for us,” Girardi said. “And we’re obviously hopeful that he’ll do good things.”
Capuano did good things in April in relief for the Red Sox — he owned a 0.00 ERA in 11 outings — and then it started to go bad. The 35-year-old lefty had a 22.50 ERA across five June outings and got released on July 1, ultimately with a 1-1 record and 4.55 ERA. He signed with the Rockies organization three days later and made four starts combined in Double-A and Triple-A, going 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA.
Asked what he likes about Capuano, Girardi said, “Just the experience that he has, used to being a starter, used to logging a lot of innings, gives us a left-hander at our ballpark, which you like. It also allows to — Chase is really built up — put him in the bullpen to help us out there as a real long guy. It gives you more flexibility with (David) Huff. So it does a lot of things for us, actually.”
Capuano has a career record of 74-84 with a 4.28 ERA over 10 seasons and 266 games, 209 of them starts. He was also with the Diamondbacks in 2003, the Brewers from 2004-07 and again in 2010, the Mets in 2011 and the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013. He won 18 games in 2005, was an All-Star in 2006 and went 11-12 with the Mets in 2011. He has also been through Tommy John surgeries, the last one in 2008.
The Yankees designated righty Chris Leroux for assignment to make room. Mark Teixeira remains on the roster, at least for now, although he has been unavailable since Monday due to the strained lat in his back.
“I hope to be back in a few days,” Teixeira said. “… The spasms have really felt better. The actual strain itself is feeling better.”
But baseball activity will be more of a test.
“I would hate to put Tex on the DL and he’s ready after seven days or eight days or six,” Girardi said. “That’s what I don’t want to do. So as he does some activity over the next two days, we’ll have a much better idea where he’s at.”
Photo by The Associated Press.
Yankees lineup • 07.25.14
Pitching matchups vs. Blue Jays • 07.25.14
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 3.88)
LHP Mark Buehrle (10-6, 2.86)
7:05 p.m., MY9 and MLB Network
RHP Shane Greene (2-1, 2.79)
RHP Drew Hutchison (6-9, 4.54)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
RHP Chase Whitley (4-3, 4.60)
LHP J.A. Happ (8-5, 4.55)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and TBS
Associated Press photo
Yankees add Capuano to big league roster • 07.25.14
Well, right now they have four.
The Yankees have added Chris Capuano to the big league roster and designated Chris Leroux for assignment. That gives the Yankees the following bullpen:*
Right handers: Dave Robertson, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley
Left handers: Matt Thornton, David Huff, Jeff Francisc, Chris Capuano
Of course, that’s with the Yankees still carrying an eight-man bullpen, which won’t be the case much longer. Really wouldn’t be stunned to see another player move before first pitch. The Yankees are supposed to reevaluate Mark Teixeira today, and his situation could be a determining factor in which position player (or players) the Yankees bring up when they go back to a full four-man bench.
* To be fair, I’m just assuming Capuano is going into the bullpen and not the rotation. Chase Whitley pitched well last time out, and Shane Greene has been pretty good since coming up, so I’m assuming Capuano’s role is in the bullpen.
The day Masahiro Tanaka went for an MRI on his elbow, Brandon McCarthy made his first start with the Yankees. He pitched into the seventh inning, allowed one earned run and the Yankees got a win. Since then, Tanaka’s been shutdown with a torn elbow ligament, and McCarthy has continued to pitch well.
Which means, there’s no problem at all! McCarthy will just fill Tanaka’s shoes, and the Yankees rotation will be fine.
“I hope (that)’s not a thought,” McCarthy said. “It’s not a thought for me because I’ve done things like that in the past where you realize it’s the wrong mindset. You’re trying to control something that’s out of your control. I don’t care who it is, for any of us, you just want to throw as well as you can and give the team a chance. If that replaces a really good pitcher or makes up for a bunch of injuries, then great. You can’t do anything more than what you can do, and trying to control that is a quick way to go backwards, I think.”
Maybe Brian Cashman will pull off some sort of massive trade in the next week before the trade deadline, but asking prices seem awfully high, and the Yankees might have to keep going the route of incremental upgrades. David Huff is better than Alfredo Aceves. McCarthy is better than Vidal Nuno. Chase Headley is better than Yangervis Solarte. Chris Capuano is better than whoever the next long reliever/spot starter might have been. That’s the basic idea of the Yankees moves so far.
And so far, the moves seem to have helped. McCarthy and Headley — the headliners of the new additions — have been particularly helpful in their first three games with the Yankees.
“Most important are the three wins,” Headley said. “I feel pretty comfortable. It’s a little bit of a learning experience not knowing any of the pitchers really. But, for the most part, swings have felt good. I just missed a couple balls and squared some up too. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.”
And the Yankees have to be happy with that as well. There’s no true Tanaka replacement on the market — guys like that just aren’t available, especially if you assume the Rays aren’t trading David Price within the division — so the Yankees are going to need good swings from Headley and chances to win from McCarthy. That’s all they could ask for, and they’ve gotten both so far.
“It’s a nice feeling,” McCarthy said. “It’s the opposite of how I felt earlier this year, where I was a burden on my team. … To come here and feel good about myself again, to contribute to a playoff race, it’s a good feeling.”
Associated Press photo
Postgame notes: “Ramped up all the way” • 07.24.14
I realize this is the sort of predictable, unavoidable comment that always comes from a player who’s just been traded from a losing team to a second-place team, but for whatever reason, Chase Headley’s cliche words seemed to provide a little bit of outsider perspective this afternoon.
“From the beginning of spring training, it’s about giving yourself a chance in the postseason,” he said. “We’re right in the thick of it, and I couldn’t be happier to go from the situation I was in to being right in the middle of it.”
The lesson: If you’ve only been with the Yankees for three days, and each of those days has ended with a narrow win full of good pitching and timely hits, you’d have no problem realizing the Yankees are “right in the middle of it.” In fact, today’s win put the Yankees into a tie for the second wild card spot. Later tonight, when the Orioles and Mariners finish playing a West Coast game, the Yankees will be either still in line for the second wild card or only two games out of the division lead.
And speaking of perspective, here’s Joe Girardi on whether he’ll watch that Orioles-Mariners game to find of where his team stands.
“I’m sure I’ll put it on, and it will help me go to sleep,” he said. “… Look, it’s baseball, we’re baseball people, we know where we’re at. But we know there’s a long ways to go.”
The Yankees still have plenty of questions about their health and their offense and the long-term viability of their rotation, but winning six of seven games in the first week after the All-Star break has provided at least a few answers. Or at least it’s suggested that the Yankees might have found some answers. Their new third baseman had key hits in two of those wins, and their new starting pitcher looks like a potential difference maker.
Brandon McCarthy has a 1.45 ERA with the Yankees. He had a 5.01 ERA with Arizona.
“I was at a point where I really felt like I wanted more pressure, more something,” McCarthy said. “Kind of the fight or flight thing. I’ve always responded well to it. To get into a situation now where that’s the case – especially doing it for a team like the Yankees – it’s ramped up all the way.”
If you’ve watched the Yankees all year, then one week of good but not great baseball is probably not enough to wipe out all of those lingering, well-earned concerns. But in this first week after the All-Star break, the Yankees have played well, taken advantage of a long home stand, and given themselves a boost in the standings. Long way to go, it’s true. But it’s also true that the Yankees are right in the middle of it.
“We’ve pitched extremely well, and we’ve had some timely hitting is the big thing,” Girardi said. “You put those two together, and you’re going to win games.”
• The Yankees have won all three of McCarthy’s starts. He’s gone at least six innings each time, and he’s allowed just one earned run each time. The biggest difference after leaving Arizona? “Mostly not giving up runs, which is the opposite of what I had done earlier this year,” McCarthy said. “Sequence-wise, some of the things that we’ve talked about here, some of the things me and Mac talked about and now with Cervelli, sequences that are a little bit different and things we can do to keep some hitters off my pitches. I feel like I’ve executed pretty well and hit most of my spots. I’m throwing with a lot of conviction. It’s one of those runs where things kind of go in your favor.”
• Early in the game, the Rangers did a pretty good job of fouling off pitches. McCarthy had four strikeouts in the first two innings, but his pitch count got up pretty quickly, which held him to six innings on 109 pitches. “You could look at the first at-bat Rios put on him,” Girardi said. “It was probably a 10-pitch at-bat, and they fouled off a lot of pitches, but he just kept at it. He kept throwing strikes with his sinker and his cutter and his breaking ball, and he just found a way to get through it.”
• McCarthy has spoken highly of pitching to McCann, so was it different pitching to Cervelli? “Not different at all,” he said. “I’ve heard good things about Cervy. I know Cervy and Mac talked before, and we’re all kind of the same page now. It was a pretty comfortable transition. It looks like a little bit different target, that’s the only thing. They wear different gear. Other than that, in terms of game-calling, they’re very similar. They put in their preparation ad they know what we’re going to do going in.”
• The Yankees have won each of McCarthy’s first three starts. The Diamondbacks won just one of his first 16 starts earlier this season.
• Not only has McCarthy allowed just one earned run in each of his three starts, the Yankees pitching staff has now allowed four runs or less in each of their past 10 games dating back to July 11 in Baltimore. Yankees starters have a 2.12 ERA in the past 12 games.
• Francisco Cervelli had the go-ahead double, which was his third double in two days — basically a game and a half. He’s hit safely in eight of his past nine starts. “I appreciate every moment because of all the things I’ve been through,” he said. “At the same time, I’ve got to be ready for every opportunity. I just want to win. That’s what I like to do. I’ve been here for 12 years, and that’s been the philosophy on the Yankees. Win win win win. That’s all I know.”
• Hasn’t Cervelli felt at least a little drained by playing an extra-inning game and then a day game after a night game. “I’m good,” he said. “My season started the other day, so I’m fresh.”
• Girardi on whether he’s worried about Cervelli’s recent workload: “No. Not at all. Not with Cervy. Probably as energetic as any player I got. He loves to play, so I’m not surprised. I’ll probably have to pick a day somewhere here to spell him a day, but he’s done a really, really good job.”
• Headley was 1-for-4 and has a hit in 14 of his past 16 games (including all three with the Yankees). “Most important are the three wins,” he said. “I feel pretty comfortable. It’s a little bit of a learning experience not knowing any of the pitchers really. But, for the most part, swings have felt good. I just missed a couple balls and squared some up too. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.”
• Dave Robertson got his 25th save. Adam Warren allowed a solo homer, but that was the only hit allowed in three innings by the Yankees bullpen.
• The Yankees have come from behind in each of their past four wins, and they improved to a Major-League-best 32-20 in games decided by two runs of less.
• Final word goes to Girardi, talking about this weird but ultimately successful series: “Like you said, the days were strange. This series started out really strange with five errors in one game. Then to be able to win the next two and beat Yu Darvish 2-1 — I know it was rain-shortened, but we beat Yu Darvish 2-1 — and then to come out today, we were behind and came back and won the game. It was nice.”
Associated Press photos
Yankees acquire Chris Capuano • 07.24.14
I would guess this is bad news for Jeff Francis, but who knows? Here’s the announcement from the Yankees.
Capuano, 35, was signed as a free agent by the Rockies on July 4, and made four combined starts with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.79 ERA (19.1IP, 16H, 6ER, 5BB, 21K, 2HR). Earlier this year, he went 1-1 with a 4.55 ERA (31.2IP, 34H, 16ER, 15BB, 29K, 3HR) in 28 relief appearances with Boston before being released on July 1.
The 6-foot, 3-inch, Springfield, Mass., native is 74-84 with a 4.28 ERA (1,299.1IP, 1,339H, 618ER, 407BB, 1,079K) in 266 games (209 starts) over 10 Major League seasons with Arizona (2003), Milwaukee (2004-07, ‘10), New York-NL (2011), Los Angeles-NL (2012-13) and Boston (2014). Originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, he went 18-12 with a 3.99 ERA (219.0IP, 212H, 97ER, 91BB, 176K) in 35 starts in 2005, setting career highs in wins, starts and strikeouts. In 2006, he was named to the National League All-Star team but did not appear in the game.
Another strong start by Brandon McCarthy. Another key RBI from Chase Headley. Another second-half win for the Yankees. Sure, the offense is still not scoring a ton of run, and one good week doesn’t undo a first half’s worth of damage, but today’s 4-2 win against the Rangers did give the Yankees another series victory and a strong first week after the All-Star break. Rotation upgrade McCarthy allowed one run on three third-inning singles, but otherwise delivered six good innings for his second straight win. Down 1-0 in the fourth, it was infield upgrade Headley who delivered the game-tying RBI single, his third hit in as many games with the Yankees. Francisco Cervelli had the go-ahead double and scored a run in the fifth before Brian McCann — staying hot after a late surge before the break — doubled in an insurance run in the ninth. The go-to relievers kept the Rangers off the board, and the Yankees had their sixth win in the past seven days. Still far from a perfect team, but it’s been a good week — if sometimes a bizarre week — back at Yankee Stadium.
Associated Press photo