The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pitching matchups in Boston

Ivan Nova

Tonight
RHP Ivan Nova (5-6, 4.50)
vs.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7-5, 4.39)
7:10 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

Tuesday
RHP Michael Pineda (9-8, 4.19)
vs.
RHP Rick Porcello (6-11, 5.470
7:10 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Wednesday
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-6, 3.62)
vs.
LHP Henry Owens (2-1, 4.03)
4:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 12:11 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Stephen Drew and the pursuit of a .200 batting average

Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius

For the first time in more than a year, Stephen Drew will wake up this morning as a better-than-.200 hitter in the Majors. He got there with a four-hit game yesterday, but the truth is, he’s been hitting well over .200 for quite a while now. Here’s Drew’s month-by-month slash line:

June: .230/.310/.514
July: .245/.315/.408
August: .236/.313/.417

Those certainly aren’t overwhelming numbers, but they’re better than most teams have gotten out of their No. 9 hitter this season (no team in baseball has come even close to a .700 OPS out the No. 9 spot this year).

Granted, Drew’s solid three months came after a bad April and an even worse May. And those bad months came after a brutal 2014. There’s a good reason why many Yankees fans have pushed for a change at second base this season, but the calls for change seemed to escalate at the All-Star break and beyond. The Yankees got a glimpse of top second base prospect Rob Refsnyder, but decided to stick with Drew after that break. It was, in many corners, not a popular decision. I was among those who wasn’t sure it was the right choice.

RefsnyderDrewSince the All-Star break, though:

Drew: .248/.315/.416 in New York
Refsndyer: .222/.292/.363 in AAA

No one can say for certain how Refsnyder would have hit had he stayed in New York and gotten a chance to play every day, but the numbers since the break don’t necessarily back the popular opinion that Refsnyder is clearly a better immediate option at second base. Long term is a different issue — clearly there’s youth and potential in Refsnyder’s favor — but Drew has not been the overwhelming drain on the Yankees’ lineup that he’s often made out to be.

Does waking up this morning as a .201 hitter make him feel any better about his season? Probably not much, but it’s been a long road for Drew to get back to that modest benchmark. Through his first eight big league seasons, Drew was a career .264 hitter. He hit .291 in 2008, dropped to .223 in 2012, and bounced back to .253 in 2013. In the offseason before 2014, Drew held out for a contract he liked and wound up not joining the Red Sox until early June. Since then, it’s been a struggle reaching the Mendoza Line.

Here’s Drew’s past 15 months, the path that took him from a late start in 2014 to finally finishing a day as a .200 hitter again:

Jose Bautista; Mike NapolJune 2 – June 18, 2014
Through his first eight games last season, Drew hit .222 with two walks and one RBI.

June 19, 2014
After an 0-for-3 in Oakland, Drew’s season batting average dropped to .200. It would be more than a year before it would be that high again.

June 18 – June 28, 2014
Falling to .200 was actually part of an extended slump in which Drew went 1-for-32 in a span of nine games. His average at the end of play on June 28 was .125. That was the low point.

June 29 – July 22, 2014
A modest surge! In a span of 16 games, Drew hit .235/.350/.529 and raised his season batting average to .178. Nine days later, the Yankees traded for him.

July 31, 2014
Traded to the Yankees with a season slash line of .176/.255/.328 in Boston. The Yankees said they’d seen positive signs in his recent at-bats.

Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, Stephen DrewAugust 3, 2014
Third game with the Yankees, Drew went 2-for-4 and raised his season batting average to .183. It was the highest his average had been since that .200 day in mid-June.

August 26 – September 7, 2014
A 10-game stretch during which Drew went 1-for-23 to drop his season batting average to .159, the lowest it had been since mid-July.

September 28, 2014
In his final game of last season, Drew went 0-for-4 to finish the season with a .162 batting average. He’d hit .176 with the Red Sox and .150 with the Yankees.

January 6, 2015
Drew re-signed with the Yankees on a one-year deal worth $5 million. Having acquired Didi Gregorius a month earlier, it was clear the Yankees planned to use Drew at second base.

Stephen Drew, Didi GregoriusMarch 3 – April 4, 2015
Getting his first full, healthy spring training since 2011, Drew hit .259/.310/.481 in the Grapefruit League. Of the projected big league regulars, only Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez had a higher spring slugging percentage for the Yankees.

April 13, 2015
Pinch hit grand slam in Baltimore. It was the second game in a row in which Drew had homered. His season batting average was .190.

April 27, 2015
Second two-hit game of the year raised Drew’s season average to .193. That would be his high-water mark until early August.

April 28 – May 30, 2015
In a span of 28 games, Drew went 13-for-96 with one home run. He hit .135 during that span, and at the end of it, his season batting average was down to .157.

Stephen DrewJune 1 – June 21, 2015
Immediately after his worst extended slump of the year — after the Yankees benched him for two games — Drew hit .267/.328/.617 in a stretch of 18 games during which he homered six times and had more walks than strikeouts.

August 2, 2015
A three-hit game in Chicago nearly got Drew over the hump. He finished the day hitting .199 for the year, the highest his batting average had been at the end of a day all season. It hasn’t been below .190 since.

August 19 – August 24, 2015
While much of the Yankees’ lineup went cold, Drew hit .353/.476/.353 through a six-game span that again brought his sason average up to .199.

August 30, 2015
Yesterday in Atlanta, Drew had his first four-hit game of the year. It included his 16th homer and let him with a .201/.274/.385 slash line for the season.

Associated Press photos

 
 
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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 8:58 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A-Rod: “It’s been a while since we swung the bats like this”

Jacoby Ellsbury

Here’s Charles Odum of The Associated Press:

ATLANTA (AP) — Joe Girardi says baseball “has a way of evening out.”

Following a sluggish end to a homestand that cost the Yankees the AL East lead, things evened out for their bats in a big way against the Braves.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew each added a two-run shot and New York routed the Atlanta Braves 20-6 on Sunday to finish a three-game sweep.

Jacoby EllsburyThe Yankees almost matched their season high for runs set in a 21-5 win at Texas on July 28. They scored 38 runs in the series after scoring a combined seven runs while losing three of the last four games of a 5-4 homestand.

“When you struggle offensively, you’re due to get some guys hot and that was kind of what happened here,” Girardi said.

All three homers, which helped build an 8-2 lead, came with two outs. Headley and Drew, who had four hits, both drove in four runs.

“Guys in here understand there are going to be swings,” Headley said. “This is a confident group.”

The U.S. flag at Turner Field flew at half-staff and a moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of Gregory K. Murrey.

Murrey, a Braves season-ticket holder, died after falling from the upper deck to the lower-level seats on Saturday night. He was 60.

The Braves displayed a photo of Murrey on the video board during the moment of silence.

After the Braves cut the lead to 8-5, pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez drove in two with a bases-loaded single in the Yankees’ nine-run seventh inning.

“It’s been a while since we swung the bats like this, so hopefully we can set the tone for September,” Rodriguez said.

Despite the sweep, the Yankees gained no ground on AL East-leading Toronto, which beat Detroit 9-2. The Blue Jays still lead New York by 1 1/2 games.

The Braves have lost five straight and 12 of 13. They have dropped nine consecutive interleague games since a win over Boston on June 17.

Nathan Eovaldi“They just kicked our butts,” said first baseman Freddie Freeman, who had two hits and drove in a run. “The whole series. … That’s what that lineup is capable of doing.”

Nathan Eovaldi (14-2) allowed five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He left the game after giving up three straight hits in the Braves’ three-run sixth.

Atlanta rookie Adonis Garcia led off the seventh with a homer against Branden Pinder.

Ellsbury hit his seventh homer with two outs in the second. Headley’s homer came after Julio Teheran (9-7) walked Greg Bird in the third inning. Teheran then walked Didi Gregorius before Drew’s homer to right.

Andrelton Simmons’ two-run single in the sixth — the third straight hit in the inning — knocked Eovaldi out of the game.

Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes’ bloop single to right field off Adam Warren drove in Simmons, cutting New York’s lead to 8-5.

Brian McCann had a two-run single and Headley a two-run double in the big eighth inning.

DIGGING THE NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pinder, New York’s fourth pitcher, hit a run-scoring double off Jake Brigham in the eighth for his first career hit. It was the first hit by a Yankees pitcher this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Girardi said after the game 1B Mark Teixeira (bruised right shin) is feeling “a little better” but won’t play Monday night at Boston.

UP NEXT

RHP Ivan Nova (5-6) faces the Red Sox. Nova is 3-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 10 career games, including nine starts, against Boston.

Associated Press photos

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 7:43 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 129: Yankees at Braves

Nathan EovaldiYANKEES (71-57)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Greg Bird 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Nathan Eovaldi P

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (13-2, 4.00)
Eovaldi vs. Braves

BRAVES (54-75)
Nick Markakis RF
Nick Swisher LF
Freddie Freeman 1B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Adonis Garcia 3B
Jace Peterson 2B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Michael Bourn CF
Matt Wisler P

RHP Julio Teheran (9-6, 4.29)
Teheran vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:35 p.m., YES Network

WEATHER: It’s been rainy in Atlanta today.

UMPIRES: HP Ed Hickox, 1B Paul Nauert, 2B Dana DeMuth, 3B Mike Estabrook

NEW LOOK BRAVES: Despite spending most of his career in the National League East, Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi really hasn’t seen these Braves very often. Atlanta’s had such roster turnover that the only active Braves who have faced Eovaldi more than five times are Freedie Freeman (.219/.306/.344 in 32 at-bats), Andrelton Simmons (.304/.333/.478 in 23 at-bats) and Michael Bourn (.154/.154/.154 in 13 at-bats).

HOTLANTA: Didi Gregorius has five hits, seven RBI, a double and a home run during these first two games in Atlanta. Today should be a good opportunity to build on those strong stats. He’s a career .429/.500/.857 hitter in seven career against against Julio Teheran.

PEACHY KEEN: The Yankees’ .846 (11-2) all-time regular season winning percentage at Turner Field is their highest at any ballpark in team history (minimum two games). The Yankees?have a current seven-game winning streak at Atlanta dating back to 2009, the second-longest winning streak by a visitor in Turner Field history. The Yankees?have won all five road series against the Braves, including the current series (2-0 this season, 3-0 in 2012, 2-1 in ‘09, 2-1 in ‘00, 2-0 in 1998). Including postseason play, the Yankees are 16-2 all-time in Atlanta (5-0 in World Series play).

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 1:30 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: Rodriguez could play first base this week in Boston

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

A few quick notes before today’s game gets started:

• With Mark Teixeira still hurting and the Red Sox planning to start a pair of lefties in the next three days, Joe Girardi said he will consider using Alex Rodriguez at first base for at least one of the upcoming games in Boston. Rodriguez hasn’t played the field since May 23 when he was a late-inning replacement at first base. He hasn’t started a game in the field since April.

• Not only would playing Rodriguez at first base let the Yankees avoid a left-on-left matchup for Greg Bird, it would also presumably let them start Carlos Beltran at designated hitter to keep all of the regular outfielders plus Chris Young in the lineup.

• At 13-2, Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi is tied for first in the Majors (minimum 12 decisions) with a .867 winning percentage (Drew Hutchison is also 13-2). Eovaldi is one of two pitchers who has made at least 12 starts this season and taken two losses or fewer. Among Yankees pitchers with at least 12 decisions in a season in the expansion era (since 1969), Eovaldi’s .867 winning percentage is the fourth-highest: Ron Guidry-1978 (25-3, .893); Ron Davis-1979 (14-2, .875); Roger Clemens-2001 (20-3, .870).

• Eovaldi has a career-best eight-game winning streak and 12-start unbeaten streak, going 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA (73.2IP, 24ER) in his past 12 starts since June 20. That’s the longest winning streak by a Yankee this season and the longest single-season winning streak by a Yankee since Ivan Nova won 12 straight decisions in 2011. Opponents are hitting .235 during Eovaldi’s 12-start unbeaten streak (they hit .329 in his first 13 starts).

• Dustin Ackley is making his fourth minor league rehab appearance today. Interestingly, he’s starting at second base, a position he’s hardly played this year (the Yankees have said they see him primarily as an outfielder for the time being). Last night, Ackley went 1-for-2 with a home run (his first minor league homer since June 6, 2013). On his rehab assignment, Ackley has gone 4-for-10, with a double, a home run, three runs and a stolen base.

• The fan who fell to his death during last night’s game has been identified. His family says Gregory Murrey had been sitting in the upper deck for Braves games for 23 years.

• Sounds like there’s a solid chance today’s game will start on time despite rain all around Atlanta.

Associated Press photo

 

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 12:20 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees stick with same lineup for Atlanta finale

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Greg Bird 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Nathan Eovaldi P

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 10:41 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Fan dies after fall from upper deck during Yankees’ win in Atlanta

Luis Severino

Making only his fifth start since his big league debut, Luis Severino struck out five and walked three through six scoreless innings in the Yankees’ 3-1 win against the Braves tonight. Severino has allowed no more than three runs while pitching five or six innings in each start. Andrew Miller pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save. Didi Gregorius and Brian McCann each drove in a run. Gregorius, McCann, Chase Headley, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brendan Ryan each had a double for the Yankees.

But everything about this game was overshadowed by the unthinkable death of a fan who fell from the upper deck in the middle of the game. Horrible, horrible news. Here’s Charles Odum of The Associated Press with the details. Overwhelmingly sad.

Yankees Braves BaseballATLANTA (AP) — A fan died after falling from the upper deck into the lower-level stands at Turner Field on Saturday night during a game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees.

Lt. Charles Hampton of the Atlanta Police Department homicide unit confirmed death hours after the fall in the seventh inning.

Hampton said the man was in his early 60s and was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital. There was no immediate word on his identity pending notification of his next of kin.

Hampton said police don’t suspect foul play at this point. He said no fans were hurt in the lower level seats where the man fell.

The man fell from section 401 and landed close to a 200-level area where players’ wives and families sit. There was blood on the concrete surface around the seats.

Stadium medical personnel treated the man for about 10 minutes, applying CPR. As they worked in a circle around the man, security officers cleared the area. The fan was taken from the seating area on a backboard, and transported to the hospital.

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius was standing on second base, following his double, when he saw the man fell.

“I was thinking about it the whole time,” Gregorius said. “All I can say is my condolences to the family. It was right in front of the camera in the press box. He hit the wires.”

The fall immediately followed the introduction of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.

Major League Baseball said it had been in contract with the Braves and was monitoring the situation.

Turner Field Fan FallsMLB has said this season that it is studying the issue of fan safety in the wake of several people being hurt by foul balls and flying bats. Some players have called for more protective netting around the field.

A fan died at Turner Field on Aug. 12, 2013, after falling 85 feet from a walkway on the fourth level of the stadium. Investigators from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office later ruled that the death of Ronald Lee Homer Jr., 30, was a suicide.

Two fans died at major league games in 2011.

In Texas, a man fell about 20 feet to the ground beyond the outfield fence trying to catch a baseball tossed his way by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. Shannon Stone, 39 and a firefighter in Brownwood, Texas, was attending the Rangers game with his young son.

Earlier that year, a 27-year-old man died after falling about 20 feet and striking his head on concrete during a Colorado Rockies home game. Witnesses told police the man was trying to slide down a staircase railing at Coors Field and lost his balance.

At Turner Field, a woman went to the Braves dugout and told catcher A.J. Pierzynski about what had occurred.

Some family members were escorted to a room near the Braves clubhouse. Many, including Atlanta outfielder Cameron Maybin’s son, were crying.

“None of our family guys got hurt other than there were some young children there that got to see stuff that’s not real nice,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

A security guard at the holding room for family members said witnesses saw the man trying to hang onto a wire that runs from the protective net behind the plate to under the press box. The man then fell the rest of the way into the seats.

The force of the man’s weight caused the wires and the mesh netting to shake for several seconds.

“That’s terrible,” Braves pitcher Matt Wisler said. “You never want to hear something like that. We’re all in the dugout paying more attention to that than we were the game when it first happened.”

Police blocked off about 10 rows of seats in section 201. There was security tape around the area following the game.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 12:27 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 128: Yankees at Braves

Didi GregoriusYANKEES (70-57)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Greg Bird 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Luis Severino P

RHP Luis Severino (1-2, 2.74)
Severino has never faced the Braves

BRAVES (54-74)
Nick Markakis RF
Cameron Maybin CF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Nick Swisher LF
Adonis Garcia 3B
Jace Peterson 2B
Christian Bethancourt c
Andrelton Simmons SS
Matt Wisler P

RHP Matt Wisler (5-4, 5.43)
Wisler has never faced the Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., FS1

WEATHER: Pretty decent chance of thunderstorms tonight.

UMPIRES: HP Mike Estabrook, 1B Ed Hickox, 2B Paul Nauert, 3B Dana DeMuth

TEN AGAIN: Masahiro Tanaka on Friday became the eighth pitcher in Yankees history (and just the third since World War II) to win at least 10 games in both his first and second seasons in the Majors, joining Orlando Hernandez (1998-99), Andy Pettitte (1995-96), Monk Dubiel (1944-45), Hank Borowy (1942-43), Johnny Broaca (1934-35), Johnny Allen (1932-33) and Rip Collins (1920-21).

NOTORIOUS D.I.D.: Didi Gregorius had a career-high six RBI last night. He?recorded the first game with four hits and six RBI by a Yankees batter since Robinson Cano on October 3, 2012 against Boston. It was the first such game by a Yankees shortstop since at least 1914 and the first by a Major League shortstop since Washington’s Danny Espinosa in 2010 against the Mets.

DOUBLE DOWN: The Yankees’ 15-run night on Friday was their 11th game with double-digit runs this season (tied for third-most in the Majors) but their first since a 13-3 win on August 4 against Boston. In 21 games between 10-run outputs, the Yankees batted .209 as a team and averaged 3.05 runs per game.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: The Yankees are 15-6 in games started by opposing rookie pitchers this season and will face a rookie starter for the 22nd time tonight. In those previous 21 starts, rookie pitchers have posted a 5-9 record and 5.02 ERA.

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: After brutal April, Beltran now leading Yanks in batting average

• Seems pretty quiet pregame. Obviously Mark Teixeira’s still not in the lineup, but also not on the disabled list. Jacoby Ellsbury is playing again. Luis Severino is about to make his fifth start. Without big news coming out of Atlanta, up top is a Yankees On Demand video with bench coach Rob Thomson giving his take on the Yankees heading into September. Nothing groundbreaking, but it’s good. Thomson’s a thoughtful interview subject, just not in a role that lets people hear from him very often.

Beltran• I believe it was Jack Curry who pointed this out on Twitter last night: Amazingly enough, after his brutal month of April, Carlos Beltran now has the highest batting average on the team. He’s been terrific since May 1 and is now hitting .279. Next highest among Yankees with at least 150 at-bats: Jacoby Ellsbury (.278), Brett Gardner (.274), Chase Headley (.273) and Didi Gregorius (.260). In mid May, would anyone have predicted Beltran, Headley and Gregorius being top five at this point?

• After playing left field last night, Dustin Ackley is playing right field in tonight’s rehab appearance with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Through his first two rehab games, Ackley is 3-for-8 (.375) with a double, a stolen base and two strikeouts.

• For the second night in a row, the Yankees are facing a rookie starter in Matt Wisler. This will be his 13th start of the season, and lefties have hit .357/.434/.667 against him. The only right-handed hitter in the Yankees’ lineup is Luis Severino.

• Chris Capuano is scheduled to start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tomorrow.

 
 

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Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at 6:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Still no Teixeira in Yankees’ lineup

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Greg Bird 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Luis Severino P

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at 3:49 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


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