The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Game 133: Yankees at Blue Jays

Chris CapuanoYANKEES (69-63)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Martin Prado 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran DH
Brett Gardner LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Stephen Drew SS

LHP Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.37)
Capuano vs. Blue Jays

BLUE JAYS (67-66)
Jose Reyes SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Dioner Navarro C
Danny Valencia 3B
Steve Tolleson 2B
Colby Rasmus DH
Kevin Pillar CF

LHP Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.41)
Buehrle vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:07 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Dome sweet dome

HUGE WEEKEND? Carlos Beltran has 988 hits in the American League to go along with his 1,329 career hits in the National League. That means he needs 12 hits — which would be quite the weekend — to become the eighth player all time with at least 1,000 hits in each league. The others are Frank Robinson, Dave Winfield, Vladimir Guerrero, Fred McGriff, Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano. You might remember that Soriano reached the mark on May 14 against the Mets.

TWO OF A KIND: Should Beltran reach 1,000 hits in the American League, he would also join Soriano as the only players in MLB history to record 1,000 hits, 500 runs, 500 RBI, 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases in each league.

ONE MORE TIME: Chris Capuano is facing the Blue Jays for the fifth time this season. He made relief appearances against Toronto three times as a member of the Red Sox, then he earned a no-decision against Toronto on July 26 in his first start as a Yankee (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K).


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Tanaka heading back to New York with arm soreness

Larry Rothschild, Masahiro Tanaka

Not saying this was inevitable, but it’s certainly hard to be stunned by the news coming out of Toronto today.

After yesterday’s 49-pitch simulated game, Masahiro Tanaka is experiencing some “general soreness” in his right arm and will fly back to New York. The Yankees said there is no doctor’s appointment scheduled, and Tanaka said he’s going back to New York to do some strengthening exercises in hopes of still returning this season. He said there’s no real pain, mostly just soreness in the forearm and, really, throughout the arm. 

So what to make of all this? Here are a few things:

1. We might know the full truth already. Tanaka took three weeks off, he’s been trying to build arm strength all over again, and it would make perfect sense that his arm might feel a bit tired and sore because of the throwing program. Yesterday was the most strenuous step so far, so it’s not shocking he might be a little more sore than usual.

2. That said, it’s still kind of weird that he’s going back to New York. I’m sure the facilities at Yankee Stadium are better than the facilities at Rogers Centre, but it’s still a pretty significant red flag. If he’s sore — and if he’s not going to see a doctor — why not stay with the Yankees training staff in Toronto? Could be that Tanaka really does feel more comfortable in New York, it just seems unusual to have a player leave the team when there are supposedly no tests planned.

3. To the Yankees credit, they’ve always acknowledged that this is an uncertain road for Tanaka. At the advice of multiple orthopedic specialists, he’s trying to rehab a mild tear of his elbow ligament. We all know — and the Yankees have admitted — that this is not a foolproof plan. It’s either going to work and Tanaka will avoid surgery (for now), or it’s not going to work and Tanaka will have cost himself a few months on the back end. Again, today’s setback might have nothing to do with the elbow ligament, but it raises some suspicions because everyone — including the Yankees — is already a little uncertain about whether this protocol is actually going to work.

4. If this really is “general soreness” without any specific problem within the elbow, then it shouldn’t significantly change the rehab protocol, correct? General soreness should be an expected and accepted part of the process when a player is re-building arm strength. I would think that general soreness only delays the return, it doesn’t stop it completely. What would stop the return completely would surely be an issue within the elbow itself. Just because the Yankees are saying Tanaka doesn’t have an elbow issue today, doesn’t mean he won’t have one tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day.

5. The late-season and potential playoff implications go without saying. One significant upside to the Yankees sneaking into the playoffs was the idea that they would have a legitimate ace to headline their rotation — and possibly to start a wild card game — should they qualify. With Tanaka’s return more uncertain than ever, those best-case scenarios aren’t so shiny.

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 6:03 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Prado stays in the No. 3 spot in the order

PradoAgainst another lefty, Martin Prado remains in the No. 3 spot and Brett Gardner remains in the bottom third of the order. Seems unusual that Stephen Drew is playing ahead of three right-handed infielders — well, two and one switch hitter — but Drew is a career .429/.467/.714 hitter against Mark Buehrle. Brian McCann and Ichiro Suzuki also have very good career numbers against Buehrle.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Martin Prado 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran DH
Brett Gardner LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Stephen Drew 2B

LHP Chris Capuano



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 3:56 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Outman activated; Hill designated

OutmanAs expected, the Yankees have added new left-handed reliever Josh Outman to the active roster. I have to assume he’ll immediately step in as the go-to left-on-left specialist, essentially replacing Matt Thornton after several weeks of not having a true lefty specialist.

To make room on the roster, lefty Rich Hill — who vaguely filled the role for a while — was designated for assignment.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 3:34 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pitching matchups in Toronto

Chris Capuano

LHP Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.37)
LHP Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.41)
7:07 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

RHP Michael Pineda (3-2, 1.95)
RHP Drew Hutchison (8-11, 4.68)
1:07 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 2.47 with New York)
LHP J.A. Happ (8-8, 4.40)
1:07 p.m., YES Network

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 12:21 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game by game, Jeter still eyes the division


Even though the second wild card is the Yankees most obvious and attainable path to the playoffs, it surely comes as little surprise that Derek Jeter is not ready to give up on the division just yet.

“It’s always the goal, you know what I mean?” Jeter said after yesterday’s loss. “Until something else happens and you have to alter your goals, that’s the goal. But once again, we play (within) our division, so if we win our games, we’ll be fine. I don’t ever think you set your sights on something unless than you can accomplish it, so our goal is to win games. We need to win tomorrow.”

Derek JeterJeter always seems to have his eye on the bigger picture while focusing on the smaller tasks at hand. Win the division. And do it by winning tonight’s game. And then tomorrow’s game. And the game after that.

“Like I always tell you, when you play the teams that are ahead of you, you don’t have to look at the scoreboard,” Jeter said. “We play our division, so we need to have the approach that we have to win every day. What do we have, 30 games left? You can’t sit around and look at the scoreboard. It’s in our own hands, so we need to win.”

That’s largely true. But the fact is, the Yankees aren’t going to play winning baseball every game the rest of the way. They’re likely going to need some help along the way, whether that’s in the form of another playoff contender stumbling down the stretch, or a few teams making mistakes that hand the Yankees an undeserved win or two.

Just last night, the Yankees hit the ball hard, but had few hits to show for it. They nearly got a huge home run in the ninth, but it was blown foul. Shawn Kelley pitched himself to the verge of a great escape, then made his final mistake. Did the Yankees earn a win yesterday? Obviously not. But if a few small things had bounced a different way, they might have gotten a win just the same.

“You saw what happened (Wednesday),” Brett Gardner said. “We had nine straight hits off (David) Price. Something’s got to go your way for that to happen. That’s why we play 162 games instead of 100. I feel like it all works itself out in the end. Hopefully in the end we’re still standing.”

That’s the big picture hope. The smaller task at hand is tonight’s game in Toronto, just another in a string of “must win” games for a team with very little margin for error.

“We’ve got to turn the page and go and put up a win (tonight),” Joe Girardi said. “You’ve got to take it day by day. It’s definitely not what we wanted (in Detroit), but our guys played hard, played extremely hard this series, and we’ve got to go continue on to Toronto.”

Associated Press photo



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 9:00 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees acquire LHP Josh Outman

There’s a new lefty for the bullpen. Here’s the announcement from the Yankees:

OutmanThe Yankees tonight acquired LHP Josh Outman from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

In 31 appearances out of the bullpen for the Indians this season, was 4-0 with a 3.28 ERA (24.2IP, 22H, 9ER, 16BB, 24K). With Triple-A Columbus, was 3-1 with a 4.43 ERA in 23 appearances/one start (22.1IP, 21H, 11ER, 8BB, 20K).

In parts of six Major League seasons with Oakland, Colorado and Cleveland is 16-11 with a 4.49 ERA in 152 games/32 starts.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 9:59 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Video: Masahiro Tanaka’s morning simulated game

Didn’t have time to get this uploaded in the morning, but in case you’re curious, here’s some video of Masahiro Tanaka’s simulated game against Brendan Ryan. This certainly isn’t every pitch, but it might give some idea of the way his stuff looked. Tanaka said once again that he feels healthy, but it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t feel that his stuff is quite ready for a big league game at this point. Command seems to be the biggest issue, which isn’t surprising considering the time off. And sorry about the lighting. The sun wasn’t very helpful this morning.

Taboola Home/Section Front Player


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 9:01 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “As bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound”

Shawn Kelley

When a team is winning, a $20 horsehead mask bought on Amazon feels like good luck.

When a team has lost two of three in a tight wild card race, a one-run loss feels like rock bottom.

“That’s about as bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound in my career,” Shawn Kelley said.

Surely a misplaced slider on August 28 isn’t the low point of Kelley’s career, but I have no doubt it’s going to feel that way on the flight to Toronto. Three days ago, the Yankees had won five straight and Kelley’s goofy horsehead had become an unlikely team mascot. Now the team has lost two of three and fallen to three games behind both the Tigers and Mariners for the second wild card.

“We need to win every single game,” Derek Jeter said. “I don’t know how else to say it. That’s the approach we need to have. We’re in this position because of how we’ve played up to this point. So we are where we are, and now we need to win.”

As you might expect, there was a definite sense of lost opportunity in the Yankees clubhouse postgame. There were line drive outs. Brian McCann’s near home run was blown just foul. Kelley was one out away from escaping the ninth-inning jam.

When things are going well — when masks are good luck charms, and the team is winning, and 90s hip-hop is blasting in the clubhouse — there’s a real sense that games like this will eventually turn in the Yankees favor. But today, there was no laughing and no music blasting. And that horse mask was nowhere to be found.

“I didn’t watch (the game-winning hit),” Kelley said. “I just put my head down and walked off the field. It would’ve been a nice surprise if he would’ve (caught it), but I assumed it was a homer.”

Brian McCann• To be clear, off the bat I felt certain Alex Avila’s game-winner was a home run. I never thought Ichiro Suzuki had a shot at it until he closed the gap and came fairly close to a full-sprint catch at the wall. Ichiro was close, but I have a hard time suggesting he misplayed it. I’m mostly stunned he got that close. “It’s a do-or-die play,” Ichiro said. “I just went to where I thought the ball was going to be.”

• Girardi on whether Ichiro had a shot to make the catch: “It’s really hard for me to see once it gets out there. I heard him hit the wall, and I think I heard the ball hit the wall. I can’t tell you what exactly happened, but the bottom line is that it ended up being a base hit.”

• Kelley struck out both Nick Castellanos and Torii Hunter on fastballs, and he gave up both the Victor Martinez and Avila base hits on sliders. Surprised he went slider in that two-out situation against Avila? “No, that’s his bread-and-butter pitch,” Girardi said. “He also made some pretty good pitches with some sliders during some of the at-bats too.”

• Kelley on the first-pitch slider to Avila: “I got the outs I wanted to get, and then just overthrew a slider and left it up. Avila can hit that pitch. Most guys can.”

• Everyone involved seem to think McCann had a two-out, three-run home run in the top of the ninth. It seemed fair initially, but it eventually wound its way just foul. “I did (think it would stay fair),” McCann said. “It just kept going. I don’t know if the wind took it or what. It would have been nice if it stayed fair, but it didn’t.”

• Girardi said it “wasn’t a consideration” to use Dellin Betances for two innings tonight, and he indicated that it had nothing to do with using Betances last night. “You feel good about (Kelley) on the mound, especially the way he’s been throwing the baseball,” Girardi said. Kelley’s past five games leading into this one: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.

Hiroki Kuroda• Another pretty good start by Hiroki Kuroda, who has a 3.28 ERA in his past nine games. “I think I was pretty consistent with my splits,” Kuroda said. “I was able to be effective against the right-handers with my split.”

• We’re not into September yet, but Kuroda seems fairly confident that he can finish this season stronger than he did last year. “Yes, I had a bad second half last year and I am conscious of that,” he said. “I try to be different this year.” Kuroda has done things like limit the pitches he throws between starts in an effort to stay strong down the stretch.

• What made rookie Kyle Lobstein so effective? Girardi actually said the Yankees hit the ball better today than they did against David Price. “From the game that I saw, we swung the bats better than we did yesterday,” he said. “We just hit balls at people. That’s unfortunate. One inning we lined out three times. That’s part of the game, and we’re able to put a number of hits together and that’s why we didn’t score, but I actually thought we swung the bats well.”

• Jacoby Ellsbury had one hit, an RBI single. he’s hitting .462 in his past 10 games. Carlos Beltran is also fairly hot lately. He had two hits including a double and is batting .375 on the current road trip. This was his 27th multi-hit game of the season.

• This was the 42nd time the Yankees were limited to two runs or less this season. Little surprise they’re 7-35 in those games.

• Final word to Brett Gardner: “If we make up one game per week we’ll be in good shape at the end. I feel like we’re playing better baseball. Our pitching has been pretty consistent and they give us a chance to win ballgames. We’re headed in the right direction. It’s disappointing today, but we have another game tomorrow so we can’t get too down. We’ll keep grinding away.”

Associated Press photos



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 6:00 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees drop series on walk-off singles in the ninth

Hiroki Kuroda

The Yankees offense disappeared again, and an opportunity was wasted. Alex Avila’s two-out RBI single in the ninth inning gave the Tigers a 3-2 walk-off win this afternoon in Detroit. The Yankees missed an opportunity to win this series and gain ground in the wild card, falling to three games behind both the Tigers and the Mariners.  Brian McCann just missed a go-ahead, three-run home run in the top of the ninth — he hooked a Phil Coke pitch foul by a few feet — and ultimately struck out to strand the go-ahead run at third base. Shawn Kelley came in to pitch the bottom of the inning and allowed a leadoff double to Victor Martinez, then he walked J.D. Martinez before getting two big strikeouts to setup the Avila at-bat. Ichiro Suzuki seemed to have an outside chance at a catch, but Avila’s game-winner hit off the wall. Before that, there wasn’t much offense from either team. A pair of singles and a sacrifice fly gave the Tigers a run in the second inning. Then the Yankees tied it on a pair of singles and an error in the third. A single, double and RBI groundout put the Yankees in front in the fourth. Then the Tigers tied it on a walk, wild pitch and an RBI single in the fifth. Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yankees another strong start allowing two runs through seven innings. He has a 3.45 ERA in the month of August, but he’s still never gotten a win against the Tigers. He’s beaten every other team at least once in his career.

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 4:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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