The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Tempers flare as Yankees take fifth loss of road trip

Rob Drake, Rob Thomson, Joe Girardi

Perhaps we saw some lingering frustration come to a boil tonight. The Yankees were well on their way to yet another disappointment when the benches cleared in the eighth inning of tonight’s 6-1 loss to the Rays. The Yankees have scored seven runs in six games this road trip. That’s might be why Joe Girardi became irate and was ejected in the eighth inning after Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch that didn’t seem intentional. David Phelps nearly hit the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the inning and the benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Phelps and Tony Pena were ejected, Antoan Richardson and Francisco Cervelli looked ready to fight, and Rays utility man Sean Rodriguez was physically restrained. It was a moment of excitement for a Yankees team that’s now lost five of six. Michael Pineda allowed two runs — one earned — through 5.1 innings before things got out of hand in a four-run seventh that included a two-run sacrifice fly on a diving catch by Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees only run came on a two-out RBI single by Ichiro Suzuki.

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 10:54 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 150: Yankees at Rays

Derek Jeter

YANKEES (76-73)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Brian McCann 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Chris Young DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan 2B

RHP Michael Pineda (3-4, 2.20)
Pineda vs. Rays

RAYS (73-78)
Ben Zobrist LF
David DeJesus DH
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Nick Franklin 2B
Matt Joyce RF
Yunel Escobar SS
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Ryan Hanigan C

RHP Jake Odorizzi (10-12, 4.08)
Odorizzi vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., MY9

WEATHER: Another nice night under the dome.

UMPIRES: HP Rob Drake, 1B Joe West, 2B Alan Porter, 3B Marty Foster

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: A three hours and 28 minutes, last night’s walk-off loss was the longest nine-inning 1-0 game in Major League history.

ROLL CALL: The Yankees have used 56 players this season, matching their single-season franchise record set last year. And now they have a chance to set a new record. Utility man Jose Pirela has been added to the Major League roster and he’s with the team tonight. Seems nearly inevitable that he’ll eventually make his debut and give the Yankees a record 57 players used this season. Pirela would be the ninth Yankee to make his big league debut this season.

ON THIS DATE: It was on September 16, 2008 that Derek Jeter singled off Gavin Floyd, giving Jeter 1,270 career hits at Yankee Stadium, passing Lou Gehrig for the most all-time hits at the ballpark.

UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: Another double for Chris Young, and Ichiro cashes in with two-out RBI single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Pineda looks good through three innings. A lot of weak ground balls so far.

UPDATE, 8:47 p.m.: Yankees put a couple of guys on in the fifth, but they have nothing to show for it. Pineda back out there, still with a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE, 9:01 p.m.: Nothing about that play was well executed, but Pineda points to himself to signal that it was primarily his fault. McCann charged a chopper and had to make an awkward flip to Pineda covering first. The ball got there but Pineda dropped it, which let a runner score from second to tie the game. Tough blow on a ball that didn’t leave the infield.

UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: Another weird run for the Rays in the sixth inning. Cervelli nearly threw a guy out at third base, but review showed Headley didn’t get the tag down in time. That setup a bunt that Cervelli tried to field quickly before scrambling to cover the plate, but he couldn’t get there in time and another Rays run scored. That’s how Tampa Bay got a 2-1 lead, on a bobble flip at first base and a ball that barely went more than 10 feet in front of home plate.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Richardson did his part with a stolen base — pinch running after Cervelli’s second hit of the night — but Ryan and Ellsbury have left him stranded. Here’s Esmil Rogers to start the bottom of the seventh.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “It’ll give me some good confidence”

Masahiro Tanaka

After yesterday’s five innings against low-level minor leaguers, Masahiro Tanaka complained of no unusual pain or discomfort today and will step back into the Yankees rotation on Sunday. It’s entirely possible the game will be completely meaningless in the standings, but it will be Tanaka’s most significant test of an elbow ligament that was found to be slightly torn in early July.

“More than anything, I want to see if my body is able to go fully on a major-league mound; pitch on the mound,” Tanaka said. “That’s by far, (more than) anything, most important to me. Also, the fact that, to be able to contribute in the team’s win would be something important to me too.”

Joe Girardi made it clear that Tanaka will pitch Sunday even if the Yankees are mathematically eliminated at that point.

“Obviously he’s got to throw his bullpen again, which I don’t suspect will be a problem, but he’s got to do that,” Girardi said. “… He’s pitching if he’s OK.”

Roughly 70-75 pitches, Girardi said. It seems likely Tanaka would make one more start as long as Sunday goes as hoped.

“Even if it’s short, if I’m able to go out there and have a strong outing, it’ll give me some good confidence (that the elbow has healed),” Tanaka said.

Mark Teixera• No surprise that Martin Prado is out of the lineup, but it was a mild surprise that Mark Teixeira’s not in there. It’s hit right wrist again. Girardi said it was bothering him the final game of last week’s home stand, but now it’s significant enough to keep him out of the lineup. “I told him, come see me when you’re ready to go again,” Girardi said.

• Girardi gave absolutely no indication that Teixeira will miss the rest of the season, but it seems worth wondering if that’s possible. “You’re hoping when you have the surgery (last year) that you’re healthy and you can play every day,” Girardi said. “But for whatever reason, it’s lingered with him. Maybe the offseason will help and he’ll get through it and we won’t have that problem. That’s my hope for next year.”

• As for Prado, he had the appendectomy this morning. “He had a stomach ache all day yesterday and played through it,” Girardi said. “He went right from here to (the hospital) to have the tests and they determined that he needed to have surgery.”

• To add similar defensive flexibility, the Yankees have called up Jose Pirela, but he hasn’t played since the end of the Triple-A season two weeks ago. “We’ll try to get him in there,” Girardi said. “He hasn’t done much for two weeks. We’ll work him out a couple of days, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t just throw him in there one day.”

• Girardi said Francisco Cervelli got full medical clearance last night, but Girardi waited until today to get Cervelli back on the field. This is Cervelli’s first game action since those migraines earlier this month.

• This is another Michael Pineda start. He’s faced 102 consecutive batters without allowing a walk or a hit-by-pitch. He hasn’t walked anyone since August 20.

Associated Press photos



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 6:18 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Cervelli returns; Teixeira out with wrist pain

Joe Girardi announced that Masahiro Tanaka is expected to start Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Also, Mark Teixeira is out of the lineup because of pain in his wrist.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Brian McCann 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Chris Young DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan 2B


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 5:09 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Prado undergoes appendectomy; Pirela called up

PirelaThe Yankees offense took another hit today when Martin Prado was placed on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing an appendectomy this morning. Prado had been one of the few offensive high points down the stretch, but he won’t play again until next season.

Prado was sent to the 60-day so that the Yankees could open a roster spot for utility man Jose Pirela, who was called up and added to the active roster. He’s expected to be with the team tonight at Tropicana Field. Pirela was arguably Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s most valuable player this season hitting .305/.351/.441 while playing all over the field (he basically capable of playing the same spots Prado can play).

It seems entirely possible, if not likely, that giving Pirela a late September call-up sets the stage for him staying on the 40-man through the winter and trying to win a big league bench spot next season. He’s versatile and has a recent history of hitting in the upper levels and in winter ball.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:32 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Beltran: “Once this is over, it’s going to be fixed”

Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran was back in the Yankees lineup last night, and I suppose that was a small personal victory for a guy who’s been battling an elbow issue since the second month of the season.

Beltran knows he needs surgery, he knows he’s not 100 percent, but the Yankees lineup isn’t overflowing with productive alternatives and so he’s going to try to play. It’s good of him, really. Who would blame him to not wanting to risk the pain and deciding to sit out the rest of slow trudge to the finish line?

“It’s been tough, man, honestly speaking,” Beltran said. “The whole situation where I haven’t been able to feel good, and I’m dealing with pain sometimes — it’s hard on your mind every day when you wake up, and you feel it, and you’re like, man, I’ve got to try to find a way. The good thing is, once this is over, it’s going to be fixed, and I don’t have to worry about it again.”

That’s the plan. At some point this winter, Beltran will have surgery to remove the bone spur that’s believed to be the root cause of the issues he’s had since mid-May. Question is, has the bone spur simply caused the pain or has it also caused his disappointing season?

At 37 years old, it’s hard to simply cite the injury and assume typical production next year after he’s had the procedure.

The Yankees have Beltran under contract for two more years. Ideally, he’ll be able to plug the right field hole at least part-time until someone like Tyler Austin or Aaron Judge is ready to claim it as his own. But those two aren’t ready yet, there’s no guarantee they’ll ever be ready, and the Yankees need better offensive production right away. They expected Beltran to be a valuable No. 3 hitter this season. They might have to ask him to be the same next season.

“Carlos has given us everything he’s got,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s gotten beat up this year. You can go back to the first series here (against Tampa Bay) when he ran over (the short wall in foul territory). I think he had three MRIs the next day. Guys are giving me everything they’ve got. I’m pleased. There’s been no quit in them.”

Might not be any quit, but there hasn’t been enough production either, and Beltran’s .236/.303/.406 slash line is a big part of that. He did slug .516 in April, before the initial elbow diagnosis, so maybe that’s a good sign that he can get the problem resolved and become a productive hitter again. For now, he certainly hasn’t been as productive as the Yankees expected, and there’s little they can do but hope that changes with the surgery.

Associated Press photo



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 12:18 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Jeter: “I can get more these next couple weeks”

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter’s always been able to look ahead. There’s always been another game, another series, another season. When he’s struggled, the Yankees captain has found a silver lining in the road ahead.

But he’s struggling right now. And he’s running out of road.

“Sometimes you break your bat and get a hit,” Jeter said. “Other times you hit the ball hard and you don’t. I wish I had more (hits). I don’t. But I can get more these next couple weeks.”

Two more weeks. A little less, actually. That’s all Jeter has left.

Right now he’s hitless in his past 24 at-bats, and he hasn’t had a hit since September 7. That’s a six-game hitless steak, the second-longest of his career. His batting average — which was still in the high .270s in early August — has dipped to .250, and he has 13 games to bring it up.

“I always want to play well,” Jeter said. “I’m not thinking about myself. I’ve been 0-for-more than I am right now in the past. You think about it, you’re constantly answering questions about it, constantly talking about it. I’m just trying to help us win. I really haven’t thought about it. I want to go out and play well. I want to get a hit every single time up, (but) that’s not always the case. It’s not easy to do.

“Sometimes you play well and you’re just not lucky. Sometimes you play poorly and you’re very lucky like I’ve been for a large portion of my career. I want the results to be there. We have (13) games left, so I’m going to try to do as well as I can for these (13) games. I’m really not concerned with anything that’s happened before this.”

It might not be long, but there’s still a road ahead.

“I’ve always looked forward to the next one,” Jeter said. “I always felt that the best way for me to deal with things was to not sit around and dwell on it too much — good or bad. I try to look forward. I’m 0-for what now; 0-for-24? In my mind, I try to forget about that. That’s how I try to deal with it. That goes for good things as well. I try to look forward.

“So it’s been very difficult for me to enjoy (moments along the way). This season I’ve tried, but it’s still an awkward thing to be going through your last season and trying to enjoy it when you’re still trying to win games. I guess my mind just works different than most people, but I’ve always just tried to move on.”

Associated Press photo


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 9:00 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “Slipping away for a few weeks”

Brett Gardner

As he sat in front of his locker postgame, I really doubt Brett Gardner expected to stand up and give essentially an end-of-the-season address, but that’s exactly what happened. A crowd of reporters gathered around, asked just a handful of questions, and Gardner put words to all that’s left the Yankees six games out of the second wild card with 13 to play.

“I feel like things have been slipping away for a few weeks,” Gardner said. “To be honest, I haven’t looked at the standings the last couple of days because at this point they don’t really matter. We’ve got to win every day. Until we’re five, six, seven games out with five, six, seven games to go and eliminated, I’m still going to hold out hope, and I still believe in the group of guys we have here. I still come to work every day and play hard, but like I said, we’re not in a good spot right now, and it’s a shame because our pitchers have really stepped up the last couple of months and done a good job. As an offense, we haven’t.”

It’s true. Even speaking to Shawn Kelley, who had a rough ninth inning and allowed the walk-off single, it was basically impossible to hang this loss on his shoulders. The bullpen’s had a bit of a rough time lately, but who could blame them? They’ve been trying to preserve tiny leads for nearly six months now.

“As well as we’ve pitched, we didn’t need to be great (offensively),” Gardner said. “We just needed to be good. And we haven’t been.”

The Yankees were shutout for the 10th time this season. But it’s more telling that they were shutout for the fourth time in the past 11 games and for the fifth time in the past 16 games.

“You feel like you’re due at some point,” Gardner said. “I don’t feel like it’s been a couple of games. I feel like it’s been pretty much all season. We’ve had flashes of being pretty good, but for the most part, we’ve just struggled to get guys across the plate. It’s frustrating because, with all the injuries we had to our rotation, the guys that have come up and come in from other places have really stepped up and done a great job, pitched really well and kept us in the ballgame. Just like tonight, all we needed to get was just one or two runs and we couldn’t even get that. It’s just really frustrating. Guys are working really hard. Guys are trying. Guys are putting in the effort. For one reason or another, we’re just not getting it done.”

Last year, the team’s offensive problems were easy to dismiss as a product of overwhelming injury problems. Not this year. There have been injuries, sure, but the truly devastating blows haven’t hurt the lineup.

“The bulk of our injuries have been to our rotation,” Gardner said. “And down the stretch here, our pitching and our rotation has been our strength. As a position player, as a hitter, it makes it a lot tougher to feel like you … you feel like you’re not picking them up. You’re not getting the job done.”

Marty Foster, Chase Headley• As if anyone needed official confirmation: The Yankees were eliminated from the American League East tonight.

• Most explosive thing any Yankees hitter did today was Chase Headley getting ejected one pitch into his seventh-inning at-bat. Headley had a problem with a low strike called by home-place umpire Marty Foster, and his disagreement turned into a rather lengthy back-and-forth between player and umpire. At one point Foster took off his mask to snap back at Headley, and as Headley was getting back in the box to continue his at-bat, Foster threw him out of the game. “There was a conversation before it happened which I thought was fairly mild tempered,” Headley said. “I thought that he was an aggressor towards me. I told him to calm down and he kept yelling at me. I said I didn’t appreciate that.”

• More Headley: “I didn’t think what I said to him warranted the response that I got, and it just kept going. I think more than the balls and strikes was just the reaction that I got from him was not in any way comparable to how I was speaking to him. So that’s basically what happened. I’m not going to get into too much more specific about that. Yeah there was disagreements about the pitches but that’s not where it ended up.”

• It seems Headley’s problems with Foster started from his very first at-bat. “The borderline ones you can live with,” Headley said. “But the first pitch of the game, I come in, got hit with 97 in the mouth (last week), and the first pitch I see is 95 at my ribs. Then he calls a changeup a foot off the plate and it’s like, c’mon. It kind of started me off on the wrong foot. The borderline ones you live with but when there’s a pitch that should not be missed, ever, I think that’s when as a player you get a little bit more upset.”

• Girardi on the Headley ejection: “It’s one thing if you’re arguing, you’re going back and forth and showing him up, but these games mean something. It’s a shame. He questioned some strikes. Hitters should be allowed to do that. We should be allowed to do that. At some point, it would be nice if umpires said, ‘If you say another thing, you’re gone.’ You can do that. If he barks and you bark back; it wasn’t like a whole lot of people knew what was going on. It’s frustrating to me.”

• The Yankees have lost four of their past five games. Of those four losses, one was credited to Dave Robertson, one to Adam Warren, and tonight’s to Shawn Kelley. That’s a rough stretch for a bullpen that’s been terrific nearly all year. “Every time we pitch the game’s on the line,” Kelley said. “But I’ve got to go out there and put up a zero whether it’s nothing-nothing or it’s 10-nothing. … You pitch a lot of games out of the bullpen, and that’s just part of the game. We’re all in great shape, we’ve all prepared for this, and I don’t think it’s fatigue. ”

Chris Capuano• Girardi is usually pretty strict with his rules about managing reliever workload, but playing so many low-scoring games this season has essentially forced him to use his go-to guys a lot. “There’s not a lot of wiggle room,” Girardi said. “You look at the games we’ve lost 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 or whatever, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room. They’re not going to be perfect. They’ve been really, really good, but they’re not going to be perfect.”

• I honestly felt bad, but not a single reporter interviewed Chris Capuano postgame. He just wasn’t the story. Really nice bounce-back start for him — coming off that one-out performance last week, he went six scoreless tonight — but a strong pitching performance just isn’t anything new and doesn’t carry much weight at this point. The Yankees are all about their failing offense. Great start for Capuano, just didn’t feel the need to hear what he had to say about it.

• Last Yankees starter to throw at least six scoreless innings on two hits or less and not earn a win was Freddy Garcia back in 2011. Capuano has only five decisions in his past 18 career starts dating back to last season.

• Didn’t mean much in the end, but Gardner said he and Jacoby Ellsbury called for that dropped fly ball at the exact same time. “We just kind of ran into one another a little bit, and I wasn’t able to hold onto it,” Gardner said. “But Cap made a couple of good pitches after that and was able to pick me up. Didn’t end up hurting us today, we just, same story. Been pitching really well, but it’s just been hard for us to score runs.”

• This was the fifth time a Yankees player was ejected this season. Gardner, Kelley, Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral were previously thrown out of games.

• Final word to Girardi: “We’re just not hitting. For whatever reason, we’re not hitting. I think we’ve scored six runs on this road trip, lost three games in the last inning, in the bottom of the inning. It’s frustrating. Eventually I think it’s got to turn, but it better turn pretty quickly here.”

Associated Press photos


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 12:11 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees drop another one

Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner

What’s another shutout at this point? It was just another night in Yankee-land here at Tropicana Field where the pitching staff finally ran out of zeroes. Shawn Kelley allowed three hits and a walk in the bottom of the ninth. The last hit was a bases-loaded, walk-off single by Ben Zobrist for a 1-0 loss to the Rays. It was the Yankees fourth loss in their past five games. The Yankees put the leadoff man on base three times, but only one of those made it as far and third base, and even that was on a wild pitch. A leadoff walk in the ninth went nowhere. That’s why it hardly mattered that Chris Capuano pitched well again. Five days ago, Capuano faced these same Rays and got just one out. It was the shortest start of his career, a four-run debacle that forced a heavy burden on the bullpen and set the stage for a strong comeback by the offense. This time, Capuano was much better. The veteran lefty went six scoreless innings with four walks but only two hits. The two times he got into a moderate jam, he ended the inning by retiring cleanup hitter Wil Myers. Adam Warren came out of the bullpen and six in a row. Kelley had two outs before allowing the game-winner.


Associated Press photo



Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 10:40 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 149: Yankees at Rays

Chris CapuanoYANKEES (76-72)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Martin Prado 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
John Ryan Murphy C
Brendan Ryan SS

LHP Chris Capuano (2-3, 4.90)
Capuano vs. Rays

RAYS (72-78)
Ben Zobrist CF
Brandon Guyer LF
Evan Longoria DH
Wil Myers RF
Yunel Escobar SS
Logan Forsythe 2B
James Loney 1B
Sean Rodriguez 3B
Curt Casali C

RHP Alex Colome (1-0, 2.79)
Colome vs. Yankees

7:10 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: It’s nice outside. The game is inside, though.

UMPIRES: HP Marty Foster, 1B Rob Drake, 2B Joe West, 3B Alan Porter

QUAL SANDMAN: With two strikeouts Sunday, Dellin Betances has 130 Ks this season (in 86.2 innings), tying Mariano Rivera (130 K in 107.2 innings in 1996) for the most single-season strikeouts by a Yankees reliever. Betances is also tied for the eighth-highest single-season total in relief in American League history and 16th-highest such total in MLB history.

MORE DELLIN: Betances has allowed just 42 hits in 86.2 innings for an average of 4.36 hits per nine innings. That is the best such ratio among pitchers with at least 75 single-season innings in the history of the American League and the third-best such single-season ratio in Major League history  behind Eric Gagne’s 82.1IP with 37H in 2003 (4.04 ratio) and Carlos Marmol’s 87.1IP and 40H in 2008 (4.12 ratio).

CEREMONY TOMORROW: The Rays are planning to honor Derek Jeter with a pregame ceremony tomorrow.

UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: Scoreless after two innings. The game is certainly dragging, but Capuano’s already having a much better start than last time out.

UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: This has certainly not been the most exciting game of the year! All quiet until two outs here in the bottom of the forth when Gardner and Ellsbury ran into one another for dropped fly ball that has a runner in scoring position for Sean Rodriguez. Scoreless game so far.

UPDATE, 9:16 p.m.: Capuano is through five scoreless in this sleepy game at the Trop. Fans are kinda into it, but there just hasn’t been much action so far.

UPDATE, 9:27 p.m.: Six scoreless for Capuano. Of course, six scoreless for the Yankees lineup, too.

UPDATE, 9:37 p.m.: Well now it’s getting interesting. Headley was just ejected one pitch into an at-bat, and the crowd booed when Stephen Drew — and not Derek Jeter — came in to pinch hit.


Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 7:05 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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