The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Yankees postgame: In praise of Tanaka06.17.14

Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka struck out 10 and gave up one run and five hits in six innings, and the only run came on the first pitch of the game.

 

Yet Tanaka wasn’t pleased with what he brought to the mound. So it was a tribute to him that he did what he did against the heavy-hitting Blue Jays in this 3-1 victory.

“Overall I think my stuff wasn’t really there tonight,” Tanaka said. “All I was trying to do was trying to hang in there and try to keep the ball down as much as possible.”

He’s 11-1, now the major-league leader in wins. His ERA is an AL-best 1.99. The Yankees are 12-2 in his 14 starts, and all have been quality starts. It’s the longest active streak in the majors. He’s one of two pitchers in major-league history to have a streak like this to begin his career. Tanaka is also 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his last five starts.

“What he’s done has been remarkable,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s been a big part of our success.”

The Yankees cut Toronto’s lead to 3 1/2 games with the victory, Girardi’s 600th as Yankees manager. He’s just the sixth in franchise history to reach the milestone.

“It means I’ve been fortunate,” Girardi said. “I’ve been blessed. I’ve had a great opportunity with some really good teams.”

Brett Gardner, who hit a two-run homer, is batting .333 with four homers and 12 RBI in his last 15 games at Yankee Stadium

Derek Jeter, who went 2 for 4, is batting .444 over his last seven games.

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 72 Comments →

Game 69: Yankees (35-33) vs. Blue Jays (41-30)06.17.14

Yankees lineup

1. Brett Gardner LF

2. Derek Jeter SS

3. Jacoby Ellsbury CF

4. Mark Teixeira 1B

5. Brian McCann C

6. Carlos Beltran DH

7. Ichiro Suzuki RF

8. Brian Roberts 2B

9. Kelly Johnson 3B

Masahiro Tanaka RHP

 

Blue Jays lineup

1. Jose Reyes SS

2. Melky Cabrera LF

3. Jose Bautista RF

4. Edwin Encarnacion 1B

5. Brett Lawrie 3B

6. Dioner Navarro C

7. Juan Francisco DH

8. Munenori Kawasaki 2B

9. Anthony Gose CF

Marcus Stroman RHP

 

Umpires: Jordan Baker HP, Gabe Morales 1B, Jerry Meals 2B, Chris Conroy 3B

Weather: Clear, 85 degrees

TV/Radio in NY area: MY 9/WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM

 

Tanaka time: Masahiro Tanaka is tied for the major-league lead in wins with 10 and leads in ERA and is third in the majors at 2.02. All 13 of his starts have been quality starts, the longest streak right now in the majors.

Milestone waiting: The next win by the Yankees will be Joe Girardi’s 600th as their manager.

Who says I’m old? Nine days from his 40th birthday, Derek Jeter is batting .435 (10 for 23) and has a .462 on-base percentage over his last six games. He enters at .271 overall.

 

Update, 7:13: Reyes homers to right on Tanaka’s first pitch. Jays lead the majors in homers, now 93. Reyes’ 20th career leadoff homer.

Update, 7:33: Yankees go down 1-2-3 against Stroman in the first.

Update, 7:43: Tanaka has four Ks after his first two innings.

Update, 7:49: Yankees no hits in the first two innings, just a Beltran walk in the second.

Update, 8:03: Tanaka hasn’t been exceptionally sharp, six baserunners in three innings. But he has allowed just the one run. Got out of a first-and-second, one-out problem in the third. He has five strikeouts.

Update, 8:13: Gardner two-run HR, 2-1 Yankees in the third. No. 6 for Gardner. Career high was 8 last year.

Update, 8:33: Seven baserunners and seven Ks through four for Jays vs. Tanaka. He is impressive in general and especially with men on base.

Update, 8:40: Lefty Aaron Loup warming for the Jays after a leadoff walk to Beltran in the fourth.

Update, 8:47: First and second for the Yankees with two outs, and John Gibbons pulls Stroman for lefty Aaron Loup with Gardner due up. Still 2-1 Yankees.

Update, 8:51: Gardner grounds out.

Update, 9:01: Tanaka 10 Ks and he has only pitched five innings. Struck out the side in the fifth. Fifth double-digit strikeout game in 14 starts. High of 11 Ks (so far).

Update, 9:12: Teixeira RBI single, 3-1.

Update, 9:17: On to the sixth. Today is the anniversary of Ron Guidry’s club-record 18-strikeout game against the Angels.

Update, 9:26: Blue Jays don’t strike out in the sixth, first no-K inning for Tanaka. He’s at 104 pitches. Todd Redmond on to pitch for the Jays. Betances warming up.

Update, 9:37: Tanaka out, Betances on for the seventh. Tanaka allowed one run, five hits and two walks and he hit one. Plus he fanned 10. If the Yankees hang on, he will become the sole MLB wins leader with 11.

Update, 9:40: Betances has a 1-2-3 seventh.

Update, 9:57: Two hitless innings for Betances with three Ks. So the Blue Jays have struck out 13 times so far. Sergio Santos on to pitch the eighth for them.

Update, 10:19: Yankees win 3-1.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 309 Comments →

Yankees postgame: CC struggles again05.04.14

CC SabathiaThe Yankees need CC Sabathia to pitch well, but he hasn’t been overly trustworthy this season, just like last season when he owned that career-worst 4.78 ERA.

His ERA through seven starts stands at 5.75, which goes with a 3-4 record.

“I think last year I got down on myself and made myself miserable,” Sabathia said. “This year, I’m going to stay positive. … I know I can get these guys out.”

He had trouble with that in the 5-1 loss to the Rays Sunday, giving up the five runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3. He heard the boos coming off.

“I would’ve booed myself today, too,” Sabathia said. “I wouldn’t want to come to the ballpark and watch that.”

It was his shortest outing since 2009.

“I still think he’s evolving into a different type of pitcher,” Joe Girardi said, “but today he didn’t have his normal type of stuff.”

Hiroki Kuroda is 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA in six starts. Then there are the injuries to Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda.

“Is it a concern? Sure,” Larry Rothschild said. “But I think Kuroda and CC have a chance to get things going here.”

Alfredo Aceves pitched well in long relief, allowing no runs and three hits over the final 5 1/3.

“He did a heck of a job today,” Girardi said. “He saved our bullpen.”

Aceves had a problem in the fifth in the right thigh area.

“The doctor checked it out and said it was OK,” Aceves said.

Alfonso Soriano had a double and now needs just three hits to become the seventh with 1,000 hits in the AL and the NL.

Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in the game and 4 for 30 on the homestand. His average fell to .240. But he said he feels good.

“When you’re an older player, any time you go through a slump, the age thing is going to be brought up,” Girardi said. “… We have to get him back on track.”

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 171 Comments →

Jeter not dwelling on injuries09.03.13

Rob Thomson, Conor Gillaspie, Derek JeterDerek Jeter has injured himself three times this year, fracturing his left ankle again and straining his right quad and calf. But he has been back for seven games since his third DL stay and he says he isn’t thinking about hurting those 39-year-old legs again.

“I don’t really have a choice,” Jeter said after the Yankees’ 9-1 win over the White Sox Monday at Yankee Stadium. “We only have 20-something games left. Our job is to try and go out there and win as many games as possible. It’s kind of hard to play the game when you’re thinking about not being injured.”

Joe Girardi was encouraged to see how Jeter ran in this game. In the first inning, he had an RBI single, moved to second on an error and tagged up and sped to third on a fly to right.

“That made me feel pretty good,” Girardi said.

Jeter said he feels fine. The Captain hadn’t been fine at the plate, coming in with no hits in his previous 14 at-bats. But he went 2 for 4. This was just his 12th major-league game in a season he called “kind of unique.”

Here’s a link to my Yankees notebook on Jeter and the debuts of J.R. Murphy and Cesar Cabral. And here’s a link to my story on Phil Hughes and David Huff and the happenings in Monday’s game.

Associated Press photo.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 274 Comments →

Yankees pregame: Huff up, Betances down08.15.13

Taboola Home/Section Front Player

 

 

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Lefty David Huff is back and righty Dellin Betances trades places with him, heading back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Huff said he felt bad for Betances, who was charged with four runs, five hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday night’s 14-7 win over the Angels, his lone outing.

“I was really looking forward to being in the bullpen with him,” Huff said. “We’ve been together for as long as I’ve been here. So it kind of sucks. But he’ll be back up here. I know he will. He’s got good stuff. But as far as me, everything I’ve been working on, we’ll see if it works. We’ll see if it pays off.”

The Yankees will need a starter for next Tuesday’s day/night doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Huff, a 28-year-old former Indian, was 1-6 with a 3.84 ERA over 13 outings with the RailRiders, 12 of them starts.

“He’s a guy who can give us more distance, another lefty in the bullpen,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s a guy that’s been starting down there. Moving forward, we have a split doubleheader coming up. so there’s a lot of things (he can do). You’ve got a couple of lefties coming up, it’s a chance to use him, too.”

To make room on the 40-man roster, David Phelps (another forearm strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL.

“He’s not going to pick up a ball for a while again like he did before,” Phelps said. “I think the last day he pitched was July 4. September 4 is not probably realistic anyway for him to come back, so it was a pretty easy move. I think he can pitch in September.”

Phil Hughes is overdue for a decent start. He brings a 4-11 record and a 4.99 ERA into today’s series finale.

“Location,” Girardi said about the key. “It’s simple. Location. That’s what pitching is about, location and changing speeds.”

Derek Jeter worked out with the team today and is next bound for Tampa. He’s eligible to be activated from the DL Sunday in Boston. Will he?

“I wouldn’t think so,” Girardi said. “We’ll go day by day and see where he’s at. I’m not sure (about the following series). He really hasn’t run, running the bases. It’s just day by day and hopefully sooner than later.”

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 187 Comments →

Jeter returning today07.11.13

Yankees Jeter BaseballThis morning brings word that Derek Jeter will return today and not tomorrow night.

The Captain went 1 for 9 with four walks in four rehab games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Last night, he went 0 for 3 and made a throwing error against Rochester.

So a Yankees-Royals series finale will have a little more buzz than usual.

Here’s a link to my story on the Yankees’ power show and pitching show in last night’s 8-1 win as Jeter prepped for his return. Also, here’s a link to my Yankees notebook with items on David Phelps’ arm feeling better, A-Rod’s rehab game results and Brett Gardner’s injury. And here’s a link to my feature story on Travis Hafner’s struggles and his freak injury in this latest game.

The photo is by The Associated Press.

UPDATE, 8:24 a.m.: Hey everyone, Chad here. Not that you needed my confirmation, but I’ve also heard this morning that Jeter is coming back this afternoon. Amazing that just a few weeks ago it seemed that Jeter was behind Alex Rodriguez in terms of recovery and has now beaten him to the big leagues. I’ll have more from Yankee Stadium.

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 173 Comments →

Yankees postgame: Nova super again07.11.13

Ivan NovaIvan Nova was brilliant in this 8-1 win over the Royals, one run and five hits allowed over eight, his third straight strong spot start.

“I don’t remember the last time I feel the way I feel,” Nova said. “I’m throwing strikes with all my pitches.”

David Phelps feels good again after his slight forearm strain and should be ready to come off the DL after the All-Star break. Michael Pineda is waiting in Triple-A for his shot. The Yankees are reportedly shopping Phil Hughes. Something will have to give soon.

“Having extra starters is a good problem to have,” Joe Girardi said.

Nova made an impression on Ned Yost.

“Nova was excellent,” the Kansas City manager said. “He had an outstanding fastball that he kept down and his curveball was probably the best we’ve seen all year.”

Girardi said the start “should build his confidence. Getting him back on track was really important to us.”

Girardi wouldn’t confirm Derek Jeter will be back playing for the Yankees Friday night barring any setback as YES’ Jack Curry reported.

“We’ll see where he’s at,” Girardi said.

Jeter may be a little rusty. The word from Moosic was that he looked shaky in the field Wednesday night. He was charged with a throwing error, leaving him at 1 for 9 with four walks over his four rehab games.

The Yankees who were actually in the Bronx were happy to score so many runs after those three straight home losses, all with only one run scored.

“I’ve said all along that we have to win a lot of close games,” Girardi said. “We’ve been pretty good at it. But it’s nice to win a game 8-1.”

The scheduled starters for Thursday afternoon’s series finale are Andy Pettitte and Ervin Santana.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 29 Comments →

Yankees pregame: Phelps feeling better; Hughes/Joba on the trade block?07.10.13

David PhelpsDavid Phelps was a little concerned heading into his MRI. After winning his last start in Minnesota July 4, he went up to trainer Steve Donohue to ask for anti-inflammatory medication because he had been feeling a little stiffness in his right forearm near the elbow. Donohue told him a doctor visit was in order.

“There’s a lot less concern now after the MRI than there was,” Phelps said about the diagnosis of a slight straight. “Any time it’s your arm, there’s some concern. When (the doctor) came and said the ligament looked great, that was obviously reassuring. It’s just something minor. We can take care of that and go from there.”

The arm had been bothering him for a few days, but he said he didn’t feel it throwing.

“It was like weird times, like if I was laying in bed and I’d roll over,” Phelps said. “It would feel stiff.”

After ice and rest, he feels good to go again.

“My arm feels great now,” Phelps said. “It’s back to the way it felt before. I don’t expect it to bother me at all.”

Phelps spent some time with his family the last few days. He won’t be off during the All-Star break. He said he’s probably going to go to Tampa. He plans to throw on Monday. So barring any setbacks, he should be ready when he’s eligible to return from the DL next Saturday.

Alex Rodriguez had a single and an RBI in three at-bats today as a DH in Tampa’s 5-2 loss to Dunedin. So he’s 2 for 15 after six rehab games. There has been no lobbying campaign for a quick return like Derek Jeter has staged.

“I think Alex feels that he’s not to that level, that he’s not ready to go,” Joe Girardi said.

Jeter is scheduled to play tonight in Moosic for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Rochester. The Yankees have left open the possibility he will return for the weekend series here against the Twins. Girardi said he didn’t think it wasn’t an issue to bring back Jeter for that series if he’s ready even though there would be four off days afterward with the All-Star break.

Girardi also said he’d like to see Jeter go seven or eight innings at short in the minors first.

“We have to make sure he’s ready,” Girardi said.

The Yankees scored one run Tuesday night for the third straight game, but the lineup is the same. Any thought to doing some juggling?

“What would you suggest?” Girardi asked.

I’d suggest a trade for more help beyond just Jeter. Actually, there are reports circulating today that the Yankees are shopping free agents-to-be Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain in their search for hitting help.  Anyone in favor?

Photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 213 Comments →

In search of offense; A-Rod suspension reportedly coming07.10.13

Yankees Jeter BaseballThe Yankees’ games seem to go fast, so much faster than they used to than in previous years when this team could hit. There were just six hits, all singles, Tuesday night in the 3-1 loss to Kansas City, the Yankees’ third straight setback, all at home. They had just one hit after the second inning. The game lasted just two hours, 29 minutes.

“We’re going to have to score more runs,” Joe Girardi said. “I believe they can do it.”

He praised the effort of his hitters and refused to make a plea for outside help as the nonwaiver deal deadline gets closer.

“As I’m asked that question on a yearly basis, what you’re asking me to do is kind of put down the guys in that room and I’ll never do that,” Girardi said.

He will have to hope the injured guys can get up and running in a hurry when they return, although outside help would sure be helpful, too. He will settle first for Derek Jeter’s help very soon.

“I think his presence is going to help us,” Girardi said. “He’s used to so many things that happen in New York and understands the landscape here. I think his attitude will help us.”

How much Alex Rodriguez will help in the second half is questionable. Besides the issue of performance after the second hip operation in four years, the latest ESPN report has a suspension by MLB over the Biogenensis scandal expected at some point after the All-Star Game, which will have a large cloud over it with about 20 players in this boat. You would think A-Rod would be able to play during the appeal process. Here’s a link to my Yankees notebook with items on A-Rod, Jeter and Travis Hafner.

Plus, here’s my article on the team’s latest offensive struggle and the waste of CC Sabathia’s complete game. And I have a look back at the Pine Tar Game with the 30th anniversary coming later this month and George Brett in town with the Royals.

Hey everyone, Chad here, just jumping in on Brian’s post to say I’m going to host a quick chat today at noon. The offense hasn’t been much to talk about, so why don’t we talk about that?

Photo by The Associated Press

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 251 Comments →

Yankees postgame: Starved for runs07.09.13

CC SabathiaIt looks like that 29-run eruption in Minnesota was just a mirage, accomplished against bad pitching. The Yankees have just 11 runs to show for their last five games and only three in their three straight home losses. They became the final AL team to drop three in a row at home after this 3-1 loss to the Royals.

“We have not scored a ton of runs all year long,” Joe Girardi said. “As I said when we left spring training, we were going to have to win a lot of close games … That’s what we’re going through.”

The Yankees wasted a complete game from CC Sabathia, who allowed three runs and seven hits. The Yankees managed just six hits. Sabathia is looking forward to the injured hitters coming back. Derek Jeter is the closest right now.

“The guys in here that have been called up to step up have done a good job, but it’s hard to replace those guys,” Sabathia said.

Travis Hafner struck out three times and walked in his four plate appearances. He’s 13 for his last 58 and down to .217 overall.

“Getting some of the guys who have been hurt back will be a big help, but I think the guys that are here can swing the bat better — obviously myself,” Hafner said.

Sabathia obviously would’ve had to pitch a shutout to win. He rued the inside fastballs that David Lough and Billy Butler hit for solo homers.

“Two big mistakes,” Sabathia said.

There is practically no margin for error with this offense in the state it’s in right now.

Ivan Nova gets the ball Wednesday night. Wade Davis, who’s 4-7 with a 5.42 ERA, will start for Kansas City.

Photo by The Associated Press.

 

 

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 156 Comments →

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