The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Roster decisions looming as Teixeira, Robertson and Ryan get closer

Mark Teixeira is scheduled for seven innings and seven at-bats in extended spring training today, Dave Robertson is scheduled to pitch on inning, and Brendan Ryan is scheduled for his first game action. Tomorrow, the Yankees are expected to finally activate Teixeira and make their first of three upcoming roster decisions as players begin to come off the disabled list. Here are the decisions that lie ahead.

Mark TeixeiraSUNDAY
Mark Teixeira activated from the disabled list
The question: Do the Yankees prefer a right-handed third baseman or a left-handed shortstop?

It has to be either Dean Anna or Scott Sizemore who’s cut loose, correct? It won’t be Derek Jeter or Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts is healthy again, and Yangervis Solarte has been too good. So which is more valuable to the Yankees right now? Do they prefer Anna, a left-handed shortstop who’s been a nice fit as an occasional spot starter when Derek Jeter rests against a right-handed starter? Or do they prefer Sizemore, who gives the Yankees some right-handed balance and could fit as a platoon second baseman or third baseman against lefties?

The right-handed bat would be welcome on this left-leaning roster, but Sizemore would also give the Yankees yet another 2B/3B, positions that are already covered by Johnson, Roberts and Solarte vying for regular playing time (plus Anna if necessary). Anna is yet another left-handed hitter, but the Yankees seem to believe he’s a better shortstop than Solarte (who actually played only 30 games at short during his eight-year minor league career). Joe Girardi said yesterday that he would be OK using Solarte at shortstop “in a pinch,” which didn’t sound like a ringing endorsement of Solarte as the go-to backup to Jeter.

David Robertson TUESDAY
Dave Robertson activated from the disabled list
The question: How long before Vidal Nuno is ready again?

Opening a bullpen spot for Robertson might be a matter of availability above all else. With Vidal Nuno likely to start tomorrow’s series finale at Tropicana Field, the Yankees will likely be without Nuno for a few days no matter what. Even if he could be available again after three days of rest, is it worth being a man down for the first two games of next week’s series at Fenway, or does Nuno need to be optioned simply to give the Yankees a full set of arms?

If not Nuno, then who? The other obvious move was Cesar Cabral who, even on his best days, was still pretty limited to strictly left-on-left opportunities. If the Yankees don’t want to move Nuno, would they demote Matt Daley after just a two-game call-up? Hard to imagine the Yankees getting rid of any of their other right-handed relievers if only because Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, David Phelps and Dellin Betances each seem to be pretty clearly ahead of Daley on the bullpen pecking order.

Brendan RyanTWO WEEKS OR SO
Brendan Ryan activated from the disabled list
The question: Will anyone go down between now and then?

After simulated at-bats yesterday, Ryan is supposed to join Teixeira and Robertson — who’s pitching an inning — in today’s extended spring training game. It will be Ryan’s first real game experience since hurting his back in spring training, and the Yankees have said they’d like Ryan to get 40 to 50 at-bats before being activated. That sounds like a lot, but he can pretty easily get four or five at-bats a day, maybe more, with the loose rules of extended spring training. Ryan said yesterday that he hopes to be activated in 10 days to two weeks.

Who goes when Ryan comes back could be a matter of who’s active. If everyone stays healthy, it seems logical that Ryan will take the place of either Sizemore or Anna (whichever survives Sunday’s move to activate Teixeira). Ryan will almost surely takeover as the backup shortstop, and he could become a late-inning defensive upgrade at basically any infield position except first base. It would seem to take a pretty unexpected and dramatic slide for Solarte’s spot to become insecure, and Roberts also seems relatively safe as long as he stays healthy.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am. InMisc with156 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: Cabral DFA; Daley promoted

Cesar Cabral

After their first true bullpen meltdown of the year, the Yankees have wasted little time making a change.

Cesar Cabral was designated for assignment following tonight’s game, and Matt Daley will be added from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Daley pitched well after a late-season call-up last season. He had a strong spring, and he had 13 strikeouts with one walk through five innings in Triple-A this year. He should be here tomorrow. Yankees probably could have used him tonight.

For the first time this season, the Yankees blew a save tonight. The worst of it hung on Adam Warren’s shoulders after he consistently go ahead of hitters, but couldn’t put them away. When he didn’t bury a 1-2 slider, Desmond Jennings hit an RBI single to pull the Rays within in a run. When Evan Longoria worked the count back full, Warren issued a walk that loaded the bases. When Warren didn’t get a 1-2 fastball inside enough, James Loney delivered the go-ahead, two-run single.

“The whole time you’re thinking, you’re just one pitch away from getting out of it,” Warren said. “I was getting ahead of guys. Felt good about how I was throwing. Just one pitch away. Couldn’t quite make that pitch.”

Warren had pitched well this season. In fact, the entire bullpen had not allowed a run in seven straight games before coughing up eight runs tonight. David Phelps stranded two runners for Hiroki Kuroda in the sixth, then Phelps, Matt Thornton, Warren and Cabral were each charged with at least one run in the next inning and a third.

“We all know what we’re capable of,” Phelps said. “It stinks there are times you’re going to have a night like that. Nobody’s perfect, but we try as hard as we can to be. Things didn’t go our way tonight. You saw some of the swings those guys put on some of those two-strike pitches. It seemed like they were trying to fight balls off and they were just finding ways to drop in. I’m sure we’ll be out there tomorrow and start a new streak. I have faith in our guys and we have faith in ourselves. It’s just a matter of going out and making pitches. That’s what we’ve been saying the whole time.”

Jacoby Ellsbury· Joe Girardi was not pleased with home plate umpire Joe West, who ejected Cabral in the eighth inning after Cabral’s third hit batter of the inning. Cabral clearly had no command tonight, but he also didn’t seem to be trying to hit anyone. By ejecting Cabral, West forced the Yankees to use Shawn Kelley for the final out. Kelley threw just five pitches. “It’s unfortunate that we had to do it,” Girardi said. “But fortunately he came in and got a quick out and didn’t have to throw many pitches.”

· Cabral’s had a strange time on the Yankees roster. He was taken in the Rule 5 in 2011, missed all of 2012 because of elbow surgery, was outrighted last year, added back to the roster, sent to Triple-A to start this season, then he got a call-up when Dave Robertson was hurt. I believe that because this would be his second outright assignment, that Cabral would be able to refuse the assignment and become a free agent if he clears waivers, but I’m not entire sure that’s correct. For now, he’s off the roster and floating in DFA limbo.

· Daley should be with the Yankees in time for tomorrow’s game.

· Cabral on hitting three batters: “Today’s not a good day. I don’t try to hit anybody. I want to throw strikes, and that happens sometimes. … They know I don’t want to hit anybody. I was surprised (by the ejection) because they don’t tell me nothing.”

· Phelps said he’s fine after being hit by a comebacker “straight in the fat” just above his hip. “It’s not bad,” he said. “There’s one spot that’s a little tender to the touch. If I was going to get hit, either there or in the backside is probably the most ideal spot.”

· Yangervis Solarte also said he’s fine after fouling a ball off his shin. Solarte had his shin wrapped in ice after the game, but there’s no indication that he won’t be able to play tomorrow.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Yangervis Solarte· Hiroki Kuroda seemed to be rolling a long early in tonight’s game, then his night became a real grind in the fourth inning. “All of my breaking balls were not working so I had to depend on my fastball,” he said.

· Kuroda wanted to stay in for the final out of the sixth inning, but Girardi went to Phelps to get out of that jam. Kuroda said he felt that not being able to finish that inning himself hurt the bullpen and put them in a worse spot, but that seems a little hard to buy. Maybe letting Phelps come out of the pen for a clean seventh would have made a difference, but it’s hard to say that. The bullpen just wasn’t very good.

· The Yankees had allowed 12 runs in their previous six games. They allowed 11 runs tonight. This was their first blown lead of at least four runs since September 6, 2013.

· Since inning records are available beginning in 1984, the Yankees had only hit three batters in an inning once, which was on September 23, 2010 against the Rays at Yankee Stadium when five different pitchers combined to allow eight runs on nine hits, one walk and three hit batters in 2.1 innings.

· Scott Sizemore had a three-run double in the second inning, making this his eighth career big league game with three RBI and his first since September 27, 2011. His career high is four RBI.

· Final word goes to Girardi: “We had two strikes a number of times and we couldn’t put them away. If you look at Escobar’s first hit, they had about three or four more two-strike hits after that. We just weren’t able to put them away. They put on tough at-bats and it happens and you move on.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 12:29 am. InMisc with78 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees bullpen crumbles in late-inning letdown

Larry Rothschild, Brian McCann, Hiroki Kuroda

In this first year of Mariano Rivera’s retirement, the Yankees bullpen had actually been pretty good this year. But bullpens always falter at some point, and the Yankees pen finally blew one tonight. Three different relievers had a hand in the letdown — and a fourth let it get completely out of hand — but it was Adam Warren who ultimately gave up the big hit, blew the two-run lead and took the loss in a 11-5 disappointment against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Warren was one strike away from retiring all four batters he faced in the seventh inning, but Desmond Jennings lined a pinch-hit single that pulled the Rays within a run, Evan Longoria worked a walk that loaded the bases, and James Loney had the big two-run single that put the Rays in front. Warren went on to allow a cushion-building two-run homer as part of an ugly five-run eighth. Leading into tonight, the Yankees bullpen had not allowed a run in seven straight games. Tonight’s Yankees starter, Hiroki Kuroda, cruised through the game’s early innings before his night became a grind around the fourth inning. He failed to pitch through the sixth for the first time this year and left with a 4-3 lead that the Yankees expanded to 5-3 on Alfonso Soriano’s RBI single in the seventh. Scott Sizemore delivered the big early blow with a three-run double in the second inning.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 11:05 pm. InMisc with76 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 17: Yankees at Rays

Hiroki KurodaYANKEES (10-6)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Scott Sizemore 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86)
Kudorda vs. Rays

RAYS (7-9)
David DeJesus CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Wil Myers RF
Logan Forsythe DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Ryan Hanigan C

LHP Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00)
Bedard vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Been raining a lot today. Thankful for the roof.

UMPIRES: HP Joe West, 1B Marty Foster, 2B Clint Fagan, 3B Rob Drake

DO IT AGAIN: On this date in 2005, the Yankees scored 13 innings in the second inning of a 19-8 win against the Devil Rays. At that point, it was only the third time in franchise history that they’d scored 13 in an inning and the first time they’d done it at home.

ALSO ON THIS DATE: A more iconic moment from this date in history came on April 18, 1929 when the Yankees wore numbered uniforms for the first time. Two days later, the Indians permanently adopted them as well. Numbers became standard for all teams in 1932.

AND ALSO THIS: One more thing from April 18 in Yankees history… It was on this date in 1923 that the Yankees hosted the inaugural game at the original Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees beat Boston 4-1. Starter Bob Shawkey got the win and Babe Ruth hit the stadium’s first home run, a three-run shot in the third inning.

UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: Couple of singles to start the inning, then a bad throw by Loney trying to get the lead runner after a nice play at first, and now the Yankees have the bases loaded with no outs in the second. Here’s Sizemore.

UPDATE, 7:37 p.m.: There’s a three-run double by Sizemore. With no outs, Thomson was looking to hold Johnson at third, but Johnson sprinted through the sign to score on a bad throw to the plate.

UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: Overturned call at first base. Ichiro is on with a bunt single. That was a 47-second replay delay. Runners at the corners, still no outs, top of the order up.

UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Rays turn to the bullpen with two on and two out herein the fourth. Jeter coming to the plate. Still a 4-0 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Jeter down swinging.

UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: Really nice play by Ellsbury for the second out here in the fourth inning, but back-to-back singles and a two-run double by James Loney have put the Rays on the board and cut the Yankees lead in half, 4-2.

UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: Kuroda was cruising early in this game, but it turned into a real grind after that leaping catch by Ellsbury back in the fourth inning. He’s now out with the lead cut to 4-3 and the go-ahead run on base. Phelps is in to face Forsythe with two on and two outs in the sixth.

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Solarte is going to stay in, but he fouled a ball pretty hard off his shin.

UPDATE, 10:14 p.m.: Warren was ahead in the count, 1-2, against all three hitters he’s faced this inning. Jennings singled in a run, Longoria worked a walk to load the bases, and Loney just singled to put the Rays in front 6-5.

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with498 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “All of a sudden, I was all over the place”

Carlos Beltran

Here’s the way Carlos Beltran remembers the chain of events.

Off the bat, he thought he had a chance to catch that foul fly ball last night. Because of the roof, he didn’t want to take his eye off the ball long enough to check for the short wall in foul territory, but he also had to run all out.

“Then, all of a sudden, I was all over the place,” Beltran said.

His left knee hit the wall first. Then he flipped over. Then his right hand hit the ground. Then his left shoulder. Beltran’s sore today, but he also said he feels lucky. MRIs on his shoulder and wrist revealed no damage, he’s just a little banged up.

“I saw (the video) yesterday,” Beltran said. “I was pretty over the top. I’m lucky. Honestly, I am lucky, yeah. I laughed after, but I was like man, you know what, this could have been pretty bad. Thank God, I was able to walk and play the game.”

Beltran’s not taking batting practice today, and Joe Giradri said he likely wouldn’t even use Beltran as a pinch hitter. It was a nasty spill by a guy the Yankees are really counting on as a productive middle-of-the-order bat. They’re not going to take many chances with him.

“We were pretty concerned when we saw him hit the wall,” Girardi said. “He didn’t slow up, he didn’t have a chance to brace himself. The wall got to him quicker than he thought. The news we got today, we’re pretty lucky.”

Yankees Rays Baseball· Five at-bats and five innings in the field for Mark Teixiera in today’s extended spring training game. “Another good day,” Teixeira told The AP. “Couldn’t be happier with how it’s progressing.” Giradri said Teixeira will play seven innings tomorrow. He’s still on schedule to be activated on Sunday.

· No problem for Brian Roberts, just getting a day off after running around a lot yesterday. Girardi said he wants to be pretty cautious with Roberts in these first few days back from the back injury. Easy to do that now while the team has so many options at second base.

· Sounds like Vidal Nuno is the likely starter for Sunday’s game, but that’s assuming the Yankees don’t need him today or tomorrow. Girardi said Nuno could go 75 pitches.

· By the way, I wonder if Nuno pitching multiple innings on Sunday could leave him as the odd man out when Dave Robertson comes off the disabled list on Tuesday. Might want to keep Cesar Cabral to help out against the Red Sox in Boston, and Nuno probably wouldn’t be available until Thursday at the earliest.

· Speaking of the Red Sox series, Masahiro Tanaka is on schedule to start Tuesday’s series opener followed by Michael Pineda on Wednesday and CC Sabathia on Thursday. Monday is a scheduled off day.

· Dave Robertson went through PFP today with no problems. He’s still on track to pitch an extended spring training inning tomorrow.

· Dellin Betances is not expected to be available tonight. Girardi said he’d check with him, but it seems like a long shot that he would actually pitch.

· Brendan Ryan played in a simulated game today. He told the AP that he hopes to be activated in 10 days to two weeks. “It’s nice to be almost a player again,” Ryan said. “It’s coming along great.”

· The starting pitchers have started taking batting practice in anticipation of the upcoming series in Milwaukee. “I heard Michael Pineda was quite impressive,” Girardi said. “I heard Tanaka was pretty good too. I don’t need to encourage these things.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 6:11 pm. InMisc with20 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Beltran out of lineup after tumble

No surprise, Carlos Beltran is out of tonight’s lineup following last night’s flip over the wall in foul territory.

BeltranBrett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Scott Sizemore 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 3:40 pm. InMisc with87 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Solarte: “I don’t want to wake up”

Yankees Rays Baseball

Three weeks ago, Yangervis Solarte still had no idea whether he’d done enough. He knew he’d put up numbers in spring training, but he also knew Eduardo Nunez was the known commodity. Solarte was the new guy, the unfamiliar face, the guy with good exhibition numbers and absolutely no big league time.

He’s since made his first Opening Day roster, become essentially an everyday player, hit his first big league home run, and started his first ever triple play.

“He’s done a lot in two weeks, hasn’t he?” Joe Girardi said. “I’m sure he’s probably hoping he doesn’t wake up, in a sense. The kid has been a big boost for us. Someone that found out he was making the team fairly late; not even early enough to take the plane to Houston. He has given us a big boost.”

After Solarte’s second hit last night, one of the other writers turned to me and asked, “How good is he going to be, really.” My short, simple and perfectly honest answer was this: I have no idea. Right now, a 26-year-old who never cracked the big leagues or put up particularly impressive numbers in the Pacific Coast League is hitting .373 with the most doubles on the Yankees roster.

Can he really be this good? Surely not. Can he be a legitimate big league player? You know, he just might.

“If you looked at him in spring training it’s not that surprising,” CC Sabathia said. “But for him to come up and still be swinging the bat the way it is is awesome, and filling in at third for us while Tex has been out, he’s been great for us.”

That much is undeniable. Solarte has been outstanding, and he just keeps doing it. Between spring training and the start of this season, the sample size is up to 93 at-bats, which is still far short of a half season — and those spring at-bats obviously count as something far less than regular-season at-bats — but it’s not a tiny amount of data. At some point, he surely has to regress, but it’s becoming harder and harder to completely dismiss him as a fluke of timing and good luck.

“I don’t think about it,” Solarte said. “All I do is work hard. Work hard, and everything is going to happen. I thank God for that. … This is incredible for me. I don’t want to wake up. I want to keep working hard and doing what I’m doing right now.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 9:00 am. InMisc with457 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “Apparently CC does it all the time”

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia threw the two-seamer that he wanted. Yangervis Solarte had in mind that anything close to the bag, he was going to step on third and throw to second. Brian Roberts went to cover second, recognizing immediately the sequence of events that had been set in motion. Scott Sizemore set up for the scoop at first having realized from the very beginning that he was about to be a part of a potential triple play.

Everyone involved was prepared for the moment and handled it as if they’d been there, but only one Yankees player involved in tonight’s triple play had actually been a part of one in the past.

“Apparently CC does it all the time,” Roberts said.

It was the first for Solarte. The first for Roberts. The first for Sizemore (on just the second play he’d ever been apart of at first base). But for Sabathia, it was his third triple play in the past five years. He said he’s pretty sure — but not certain — that he was part of one in Cleveland earlier in his career as well.

“Lucky, man,” Sabathia said. “Unbelievable. Just trying to make a pitch and get a double play. Solarte made a great play, and Sizemore made an even better play on the pick at first.”

It was a play memorable for its unusual quirkiness, but it was important because it was exactly the play Sabathia needed to get the inning and the game under control. The Yankees were already leading 4-0 at the time, but in each of his first three starts this season, Sabathia had allowed one inning of at least three runs. That four-run lead wasn’t safe if Sabathia was going to have another of his one-inning meltdowns. And that second inning, with its double and walk to start, was well on its way to being his undoing.

“It’s so early in the game, so I’m still trying to get established and make pitches,” Sabathia said. “We’ve seen the way I’ve blown leads in the past. Just trying to stay focused and make sure I make my pitches.”

Sabathia’s not going to get a triple play every time he needs one. The key was simply getting the ground ball. A double play would have been huge, just like it was huge in keeping that one-run fourth inning form getting out of control. A triple play might be a quirky sideshow, but it was a sign of Sabathia making the pitch he needed and getting the result he wanted. That’s what made this start his best of the year.

“I’ve never been a part of any of (triple plays),” Joe Girardi said. “Until I’ve been around CC.”

Rob Thomson, Brian McCann· The Yankees legitimately thought Carlos Beltran had hurt himself when he went tumbling over that low wall in right field tonight. Beltran was chasing a foul ball, and he said he didn’t want to take his eye off the ball because of the white ceiling here at Tropicana Field. He had no idea that wall was coming. “I thought, ‘What’s he doing?’” Roberts said. “Obviously the effort’s great, but we need him for the long run. Obviously he didn’t mean to, but it was scary, for sure. To see him get up, and come back over (was a relief). I wasn’t sure if he was going to get up or not.”

· Girardi and Steve Donohue immediately went running into right field to check on Beltran. Beltran came out later in the game, but Girardi and Beltran each said it was not related to the tumble, just getting a veteran player off his feet in a game that was well under control. “I thought he was hurt bad,” Girardi said. “That’s what I was thinking. We asked him, ‘Did you know the wall was there?’ and he said no. I’m thinking, ‘Every place has a wall.’ It was a scary moment. I didn’t take him out because of that, but hopefully he’s not too sore tomorrow.”

· Beltran expect to play tomorrow? “I gotta see how I’m going to wake up tomorrow,” he said. “Hopefully I’m fine.” He said it was his shoulder and his wrist that took the bulk of the impact.

· My guess is Solarte would have run right through the wall and made the catch, but not everyone can be Solarte. The rookie standout had another huge game tonight going 3-for-4 with his first big league home run. “I’m very happy and everything is working out for me,” he said. “The most important thing is that the team is winning right now. That’s what I care about.”

· It was occasionally an adventure at first base, but Sizemore ultimately had another big hit and made most of the plays without trouble. Roberts said he was impressed with Sizemore from the moment he saw him in batting practice. “I think my footwork around the base was a little awkward at times, but I think I did all right,” Sizemore said. “It’s just something I got to keep working on.”

Alfonso Soriano· Sizemore’s big play was the scoop on the triple play. “I guess it’s never easy when it’s in the dirt, but that wasn’t a tougher one,” Sizemore said. “Usually a short hop you can kind of see it and go get it. But maybe on a 1-10 scale, maybe a four (for difficulty).”

· Sizemore said he gave the triple play ball to Sabathia. Seems like a waste. Sabathia’s got plenty of those.

· Roberts had one hit in his past 25 at-bats before doing 3-for-4 with a double and a triple tonight. “I guess results-wise it was the best night I’ve had, so far,” Roberts said. “It’s not the first time I’ve ever started a little slow. You just try to be patient, realize that if you do your work, it’ll turn around eventually.”

· This was only Sabathia’s second win at Tropicana Field since coming to the Yankees. This pitching matchup in particular never seems to go his way. This is only Sabathia’s second win in 10 career head-to-head matchups against Price. “I’ve struggled here, especially against Price,” Sabathia said. “For these guys to come out and swing the way they did, I wanted to put some shutdown innings together. I was able to do that and get the win.”

· Alfonso Soriano hit his first road home run since September 10, 2013. His past five homer, including all three this year, had come at Yankee Stadium. This was his first home run at Tropicana Field since 2005. … Brian McCann’s home run was his first road homer with the Yankees and his first ever at Tropicana Field.

· The Yankees have allowed four runs in this past four games, their fewest over a four-game stretch since September 18-21, 2003. The unearned run in the fourth inning snapped a streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings.

· Final word to Roberts: “David (Price) is not an easy guy to beat. I don’t think the Yankees are the only team that’s ever struggled against him. To get off to a good start, swing the bats the way we did, and watch CC throw the ball the way he did, everything’s good.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 12:18 am. InMisc with134 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees turn three to beat Price and the Rays

Yankees Rays Baseball

CC Sabathia needed avoid a big inning, and he found a tried-and-true way to do that. Turn a triple play before things get out of hand. It’s a method that hasn’t worked for any other Yankees pitcher in the past 46 years, but Sabathia’s gotten pretty good at it. His third triple play in the past five years got the Yankees out of trouble in the second inning, and the team cruised from there to an 10-2 win against David Price and the Rays. The Yankees have turned just three triple plays since 1968, and all three have come with Sabathia on the mound. Tonight, such a play hardly seemed necessarily by the end of the game. The offense pounced on Price for six runs in five innings (they scored just seven runs against him in three games last year). Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann hit back-to-back home runs. Brian Roberts went 3-for-4. Yangervis Solarte had three hits, including a homer. Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits, two runs and two RBI. Derek Jeter also had a two-hit game. It was the Yankees first 10-run game of the year. For Sabathia, though, the key was avoiding the big, ugly innings that had ruined each of his first three starts this season. The second inning — when the lead was still relatively small at 4-0 — started with a double and a walk before Solarte, Roberts and Scott Sizemore turned a 5-4-3 triple play that left Sabathia standing with both arms raised high above his head. Sabathia went on to allow two runs, one earned, through seven innings, easily his most effective start of the year.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 10:25 pm. InMisc with150 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 16: Yankees at Rays

CC SabathiaYANKEES (9-6)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Scott Sizemore 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

LHP CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63)
Sabathia vs. Rays

RAYS (7-8)
Ben Zobrist 2B
Desmond Jennings DH
Logan Forsythe LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Wil Myers RF
Sean Rodriguez 1B
Brandon Guyer CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Molina C

LHP David Price (2-0, 2.91)
Price vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, YES Network

WEATHER: Back to a place with warm weather, but of course we’re inside.

UMPIRES: HP Rob Drake, 1B Joe West, 2B Marty Foster, 3B Clint Fagan

NO HOME IN THE DOME: CC Sabathia has struggled here at Tropicana Field. He is 1-7 with a 4.75 ERA in 11 starts here since joining the Yankees, and he’s winless in his past eight starts at the venue (0-5). He has not earned a win at Tropicana Field since April 10, 2010 when the Yankees beat the Rays 10-0.

ONE AWAY: If Sabathia does manage to get a win today it will his 207th career win, which would move him into a tie with Hal Newhouser for the 25th-most wins in Major League history among left-handed pitchers.

FOUR THE HARD WAY: Not an ideal spot to spend the next four games for the Yankees, because Sabathia’s not the only one who’s struggled here. The Yankees have lost their past four season series at The Trop, going 13-23 over the stretch from 2010 to 2013. The Yankees went 4-5 in this building last year.

UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: Two-out RBI single by Brian McCann gave the Yankees a 1-0 first inning lead, and Sabathia answered with a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to keep the early lead intact.

UPDATE, 7:41 p.m.: Brian Roberts is that rare player who needs to get hurt every once in a while just to feel normal again. Comes back from a back injury and got just his second hit in 26 at-bats. It’s an RBI triple, of all things. It’s now a 2-0 Yankees lead in the second.

UPDATE, 7:45 p.m.: It’s legitimately fun to watch Jacoby Ellsbury run.

UPDATE, 7:46 p.m.: RBI single for Jeter against the drawn-in infield and the Yankees lead is up to 4-0 still with just one out in the second inning.

UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: I’ve covered three triple plays, and I’m pretty sure CC was the pitcher for all three. Huge one here to get out of trouble in the second inning.

UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Beltran is apparently OK after a pretty nasty tumble over the short wall in foul territory. He was laughing with teammates after the play, but as it happened both Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter looked as if they thought something might have gone wrong. Looked pretty ugly.

UPDATE, 8:29 p.m.: Couldn’t tell if Forsythe would have been out had Sizemore held onto the ball. Doesn’t matter much as Sizemore couldn’t make the play after Jeter went to his left and almost made a decent play.

UPDATE, 8:31 p.m.: Apparently the infield’s going to have to make those throws really perfect for Sizemore at first base.

UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: Well, that was a weird half inning. Dropped throw at first. Slightly off throw pulls the first baseman off the bag. Nice play to turn two. Then a passed ball and a botched attempt to get the runner at the plate leads to a run. Weird. It’s now a 4-1 game.

UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: Soriano and McCann have hit back-to-back homers in the fifth. Last time the Yankees hit back to back home runs this season it was McCann and Soriano, in reverse order.

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with582 Comments → Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


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