The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Postgame notes: “It builds confidence, you know”08.28.14

Jacoby Ellsbury

The Yankees made David Price throw 28 pitches in the first inning. In the second inning, their first two hitters singled. Price pitched out of each jam, but already the Yankees offense was showing some signs of life, and that was before the nine-hit third inning.

“It’s fun, but you don’t see that very often,” Derek Jeter said. “We had some good at-bats. We were lucky we found some holes. That’s why you play the games. Price is as good as anyone in baseball, so we were fortunate. But we needed it.”

David Price, Brad AusmusThey did need it, and that’s the real significant of what happened that inning. It’s not only that the Yankees batted around — nine straight hits, straight through the order — against one of the best pitchers in baseball, it’s that they did it one night after seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end.

This team has repeatedly crumbled just when it’s seemed things are finally going their way, so to regain momentum right away felt significant.

Their past three wins came in games started by Chris Sale, James Shields and Price.

“It’s important,” Joe Girardi said. “We’re talking about winning series, but the other thing is who we’re playing. This is one of the teams in front of us. It’s the last time we see them and the only chance to make up ground that we can rely on ourselves, so we need to win.”

Players said they didn’t realize what exactly had happened after Francisco Cervelli got that RBI single that chased Price from the game. The Yankees obviously realized they were having a good inning, but Jacoby Ellsbury said he didn’t realize everyone had gotten a hit until Kevin Long told him.

“I realized there was no outs when I was on second base,” Brett Gardner said. “But I didn’t realize we had already hit around the order a full time.”

It just kind of happened. There were a few hard-hit balls. A few grounders that found a hole. One infield single when the shortstop simply had no play.

“It’s tough to get that many hits, even if the guys hit the balls on the screws,” Ellsbury said. “… It builds confidence, you know? You want to be the next guy up, just keep the line moving. Even though we only scored that inning, I thought we still hit some balls hard and still had great ABs the rest of the game.”

Said Gardner: “It’s surprising to get three or four hits against him over the first couple of innings, to be honest, as good as he is. We just had some things go our way. Some balls fall. Some guys swinging the bats well. It was a big inning for us.”

Shane Greene• For obvious reasons, Shane Greene was pretty thoroughly overshadowed by the lineup’s one big inning, but the Yankees rookie starter delivered yet another gem of a pitching performance. Two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts through seven innings. The Yankes have won each of Greene’s past five starts, and they’re 5-0 when he starts on the road. “I got to give the credit to Cervy,” Greene said. “I’ve been following his lead for the most part. He knows these guys a lot better than me, so I just listen. Every once in a while I’ll shake him off, maybe two or three times in a game, but other than that, it’s all him.”

• This was Greene’s second strong start against this dangerous Detroit lineup. The big difference this time: Miguel Cabrera was in the lineup (he had the day off last time Greene faced the Tigers). Cabrera had one double against Greene, but Greene got him the other two times they squared off. “I live for that,” Greene said. “I live for those moments.”

• Greene’s key pitch is almost always his sinker, but tonight his slider was tremendous. “I hope it’s good for me every time,” Greene said. “But Cervy will let me know if it’s not or if it is. Just stay with him, you know. Probably by the second I could tell I had a good slider.”

• Why go to Dellin Betances in the ninth inning? “He’s had about three days off,” Girardi said. “And I was well aware of who was the tying run and the winning run, too. I didn’t want to get a couple guys on and then have to get Robby in, so I just felt I would go to Dellin. He was up and hot, so I thought I’d go to him.” — Had the Tigers put together a ninth inning like the Yankees third inning, the tying run was Miguel Cabrera and the go-ahead run was Victor Martinez.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Eugenio Suarez• Because Seattle lost, the Yankees pulled within 2.5 games of the second wild card. They also gained a game in the division. “I didn’t look at (the out-of-town scoreboard),” Ellsbury said. “I know if we play well and we do what we’re supposed to do, it’s going to take care of itself. Obviously I’ll check tonight.”

• What’s Greene thinking as the Yankees offense has that big third inning? “Sometimes you think, hurry up, I want to get back out there,” Greene said. “But it’s nice when a team can go out there and put up runs like that. … When you put up that amount of runs it’s more of just, I need a quick inning, don’t give them any chances, don’t back down. Something like that.”

• Gardner said his ankle felt pretty good. “I was happy with the way it felt,” he said. “Obviously there’s still a little discomfort, but I felt pretty close to full-speed so I was happy with it.”

• Ellsbury leads the Majors with 28 games with two-or-more hits and two-or-more stolen bases since 2008. He had two of both tonight.

Derek Jeter• The Yankees are 8-0 this season when Jeter has two or more RBI.

• A few third-inning facts: The Yankees were two shy of the Major League record for consecutive hits in an inning. … The last American League team to have nine straight hits in an inning was Detroit in 1996 (the Cardinals did it last year). … Nine hits was a single-season high for the Yankees. So was right runs. … This was the second-shortest outing of Price’s career and eight earned runs matched his career high.

• Rock solid pregame ceremony by the Tigers, who included Jeter’s family — his nephew stole the show by tipping his cap — his high school coach, former teammates Phil Coke and Joba Chamberlain, Tigers greats Al Kaline and Willie Horton, and various kids from Jeter’s foundation in Kalamazoo. “I thought it was very nice that they involved my family and our leadership program from Kalamazoo,” Jeter said. “We appreciate it a lot. It was a class act by a class organization to include them. Our foundation means a lot to us, and for them to include them, it meant a lot to us.”

• Final word to Jeter on how badly the Yankees needed to keep last night’s loss from becoming a losing streak: “We don’t think like that,” Jeter said. “We think we have to win a game. We had to win today, now regardless of what happened today, we need to win tomorrow. That’s the approach you have to have. You can’t think about winning streaks and losing streaks; we just have to play well.”

Associated Press photos

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Game 131: Yankees at Tigers08.27.14

Derek Jeter, Miguel CabreraYANKEES (68-61)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Martin Prado 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann DH
Chase Headley 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 3.17)
Greene vs. Tigers

TIGERS (70-59)
Ian Kinsler 2B
Torii Hunter RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez LF
Nick Castellanos 3B
Alex Avila C
Eugenio Suarez SS
Rajai Davis CF

LHP David Price (12-9, 3.00)
Price vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:08 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

WEATHER: Hoping the rain holds off the rest of the night.

HP Bob Davidson, 1B John Tumpane, 2B Bill Welke, 3B James Hoye

BIG DIFFERENCE: This will be Shane Greene’s second start against the Tigers, and his first was awfully good — eight shutout innings for a 1-0 win. Of course, there’s a pretty big difference between the lineup Greene faced on August 7 and the one he’ll face today. This one has Miguel Cabrera in it.

YOUNG GUNS: The Yankees have started a rookie pitcher 52 times, the highest total in MLB and tied for the third-highest in franchise history since rookie rules were made in 1958 (1991-54x, 1986-54x, 2007-52x). That’s all according to Elias. The Yankees are 33-19 in games started by rookies this year, including 21-7 on the road.

OFF AND RUNNING: Last night Jacoby Ellsbury showed his power, but he has also been successful in each of his last 11 stolen base attempts since July 18. In his last eight games Ellsbury is batting .484 (15-for-31) with six runs, one double, three homers, seven RBI and four stolen bases.

UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: Scoreless first for each team, but the Yankees really made David Price work for it. He threw 28 pitches in the top of the inning. Now he’s back out there for the second.

UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Ellsbury stays ridiculously hot — steals a bag on a pickoff, that’s how hot he is — and Jeter capitalizes with an RBI double for a 1-0 Yankees lead in the third. The Yankees have actually had Price on the ropes most of the night. He’s already up to 49 pitches.

UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: Four straight Yankees hits to open the third inning. Teixeira just delivered an RBI double. It’s now 2-0 Yankees with no outs, two runners in scoring position, and Beltran at the plate.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Make that five straight hits. Beltran with an RBI single off the wall.

UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: Six straight hits. Yankees up 4-0. Action in the Tigers bullpen.

UPDATE, 8:14 p.m.: Seven straight hits. Bases loaded for Gardner.

UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Infield single. Eight straight hits. 5-0 lead.

UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Nine straight hits. Yankees up 6-0. Price coming out of the game. That’s incredible. The Yankees literally just batted around without making an out to chase one of the best pitchers in baseball.

UPDATE, 8:28 p.m.: Well, that was pretty incredible. The Yankees added a couple of sac flies before finally ending the inning with a ground ball to third. They went 8-for-9 with RISP in that inning! It’s an 8-0 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 9:07 p.m.: Here’s Shane Greene to start the bottom of the fifth with an 8-1 lead. The kid looks awfully good again. Didn’t allow a hit until the fourth.

UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Cervelli takes an unfortunate foul tip, but Greene’s through another scoreless inning.

UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: Victor Martinez’s 26th home run of the season. That’s a career high for him. It’s also now an 8-2 Yankees lead.

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Pitching matchups in Detroit08.26.14

Carlos Beltran, Brandon McCarthy

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 1.90)
RHP Rick Porcello (14-8, 3.10)
7:08 p.m., MY9

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 3.17)
LHP David Price (12-9, 3.00)
7:08 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (9-8, 3.97)
RHP Justin Verlander (11-11, 4.82)
1:08 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Associated Press photo

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Game 126: Yankees vs. White Sox08.22.14

Shane GreeneYANKEES (64-61)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Brian McCann DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Zelous Wheeler RF

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91)
Greene has never faced the White Sox

WHITE SOX (59-68)
Alejandro De Aza LF
Carlos Sanchez 2B
Jose Abreu 1B
Adam Dunn DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Alexei Ramirez SS
Jordan Danks CF
Tyler Flowers C

LHP John Danks (9-8, 4.94)
Danks vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m, My9

WEATHER: Temperatures in the 70s. Kind of looks like it might rain, but the forecast says it won’t.

UMPIRES: HP Mike Muchlinski, 1B Tom Woodring, 2B Mike Winters, 3B Andy Fletcher

NO FREE PASSES: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, last night’s game was the first nine-inning Major League game in which both starters pitched a complete game and neither walked a batter since July 17, 2010, when Minnesota’s Carl Pavano beat Chicago’s Mark Buehrle, 3-2, at Target Field.

With last night’s shutout Brandon McCarthy has recorded a shutout while pitching for four different teams (Texas, Oakland, Arizona and the Yankees). He?is one of three active pitchers to have recorded shutouts for at least four different MLB teams, joining Kyle Lohse (Twins, Reds, Cardinals and Brewers) and Bartolo Colon (Indians, Expos, Angels, Yankees and Athletics).

TRADING PLACES: Earlier today, closer Dave Robertson rang the NYSE opening bell.

UPDATE, 7:14 p.m.: Couple of pretty weak singles to start this game for the White Sox. Now Greene facing Abreu with two on and no outs. Not ideal.

UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: Three-run homer for Abreu. This seems like a good time to remind everyone that it’s been two weeks since the Yankees scored more than four runs.

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Pitching matchups vs. White Sox08.22.14

Shane Greene

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91)
LHP John Danks (9-8, 4.94)
7:05 p.m, My9

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (8-8, 3.97)
RHP Scott Carroll (5-7, 4.99)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

LHP Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.35)
LHP Chris Sale (10-3, 2.12)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

Associated Press photo

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A few thoughts heading into the weekend08.22.14

The big picture is pretty obvious heading into this weekend. The Yankees are four games out of the second wild card and about to play three games against a pretty bad White Sox team (granted, with Chris Sale pitching one of those games). They’re not in a great spot, but they are remarkably not buried just yet. They have to hit better, they have to get on a roll, and they have to take advantage of situations like this weekend if they want to make any sort of playoff run. All of that goes without saying at this point. So here are a few random thoughts heading into the weekend.

Brandon McCarthy• Easy to say this after yesterday’s strong start, but of all the guys the Yankees traded for his season, Brandon McCarthy stands out as the best option for a new contract. Martin Prado is going to stick around anyway, and while there’s an argument to be made for both Chase Headley (who I think might be more expensive than expected) and Stephen Drew (who doesn’t strike me as the best shortstop on the market this winter), McCarthy seems like a great fit. He gets groundballs in a stadium where fly balls are dangerous, he throws strikes, and he has a personality that fits this market and this clubhouse. Kind of walks that line between being goofy and still having a leadership quality. And this year has proven beyond a doubt that there really is no such thing as too much starting pitching.

• Speaking of McCarthy, there are some similarities between him and tonight’s Yankees starter, Shane Greene. And yesterday, McCarthy had some awfully nice things to say about Greene. “I like watching Shane pitch. I don’t care if I’m not here anymore (next year), he’s a really fun kid for me to watch pitch because he lies and calls it a cutter even though it’s s disgusting, unhittable slider. His fastball is just explosive. He’s a guy I’d never heard of before a came here, and 10 years ago that’s a kid that’s on the cover of Baseball America, and he’s the next big thing. It’s crazy where pitching has gone, but I think it shows how good he is that, nobody really knows who he is, probably, and I guarantee you when hitters go back to the dugout they’re (saying), ‘I don’t know what I just saw.’”

• On Wednesday night, Joe Girardi said that Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Derek Jeter — the top three hitters in the lineup — have been probably the team’s most consistent hitters. While I think most people are on board with Gardner and Ellsbury being two of the bright spots this season, I wanted to look up Jeter’s numbers. He hit .272 in April, .275 in May, .272 in June, and .289 in July. His on-base percentage — except for a down much of June — and slugging percentage have also been fairly steady from month to month (though all of his numbers are down in August). Jeter has not been a great hitter this season, but I really believe that if the offense were more productive around him, we’d all be talking about what a nice, steady, still-productive final seasons he’s having. Instead, with the offense struggling so much, Jeter occasionally becomes a go-to argument as if he’s the source of the problem.

Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran• Carlos Beltran seems confident that playing catch and playing the outfield have nothing to do with his recent elbow setback. But that’s been a risky situation ever since the bone spur was discovered, and I can’t help wondering if throwing a baseball a little bit might have played some small role in expediting a setback that was probably inevitable anyway. He’ll have surgery regardless, but now he’s had three cortisone shots in a year. That just seems like a lot. If doctors cleared it, I’m sure it’s fine, but he’s really doing what he can to stay on the field.

• On the flip side of the Beltran-in-the-field argument: I was never sure it was a good idea, and I’m still not sure it was a good idea, but I became significantly more on board when Girardi made it clear he was willing to give Derek Jeter significant time at designated hitter so that either Drew or Brendan Ryan could spend more time at shortstop. Freeing up the DH spot not only let the Yankees rest veterans more easily, but it helped their infield defense on those days Girardi was willing to play his best defensive shortstops. That seemed like a real plus. It might have been an obvious move, but I wasn’t sure Girardi would be willing to do it.

• I assume yesterday’s Zelous Wheeler call-up makes him a shoo-in for a September call-up (meaning he’ll stick around once rosters expand). Nothing against Wheeler, who’s done a nice job establishing himself as a kind of utility option in the big leagues, but I really wondered if his roster spot might be up for grabs next month. There’s little sense keeping both he and Jose Pirela on the roster — they’re fairly similar — and I thought the Yankees might prefer to check out the younger guy. I guess it still might happen. With Wheeler and Yangervis Solarte, the Yankees did a nice job over the winter of finding some useful pieces among the six-year minor league free agents. Need to do that kind of thing when the upper levels of the minor league system are fairly thin.

Brett Gardner• Take away any requirement for number of at-bats, and the only Yankees who have hit better than .300 with runners in scoring position this year are Scott Sizemore (2-for-4), Zoilo Almonte (1-for-3) and John Ryan Murphy (4-for-13). The other Yankees hitting better than .250 with runners in scoring position are Brett Gardner (.295), Stephen Drew (.294), Jacoby Ellsbury (.292), Yangervis Solarte (.284), Kelly Johnson (.280) and Derek Jeter (.275).

• Not the usual sort of item for a post like this, but it sounds interesting: Yesterday, MLB announced that Robinson Cano, Adam Jones, Yasiel Puig and Albert Pujols will be among a group of Major Leaguers who will travel to Japan this November to play a five-game series against “Samurai Japan” (Japan’s National Team) in “All-Star Series 2014.” Ron Washington will manage the team. No word on a full roster just yet. I think it would be cool to see Brett Gardner, Dave Robertson or Dellin Betances make the trip. Maybe even a guy like Shane Greene or David Phelps if MLB is going to flesh out the roster with younger guys like that. Certainly not the biggest names on the Yankees roster, but absolutely among the most deserving of something like this.

• One reason the Yankees are still in the race is because of the general parity in baseball. I really wonder if we’ll see another run where a team makes the playoffs as consistently as the Yankees did the previous two decades. “I think that with the way that baseball has (gone) with the revenue sharing and the TV contracts and everything that’s going on, I think you’re seeing more parity in the game,” Girardi said. “It doesn’t appear that there’s going to be a team that wins 100 games this year. I don’t know how many teams are going to win 90 games this year. You’re seeing, I think, a group of 30 teams that from top to bottom, I think there’s more competition and it becomes really difficult. We can look at Boston last year, they won the World Series. They made a few changes, but they didn’t make a ton of changes, and this year for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out for them. And I don’t think they expected that. It’s not easy to win a championship.”

Associated Press photos

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Postgame notes: “I always like to be in those situations”08.16.14

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter actually has the second-highest batting average among Yankees regulars. When the team needs only a single with a left-handed pitcher on the mound, Jeter’s about as likely as anyone to come through with the big hit.

But neither he nor Joe Girardi had any thought of swinging away when Jeter walked to the plate in the ninth inning. Jeter said he didn’t even need to look for a sign, he knew he was bunting. His job, he said, was to get the runner to third base with less than two outs; make the RBI opportunity that much easier for the next guy.

Derek Jeter“(Jacoby) Ellsbury has had a lot of success off (Jake) McGee as well,” Girardi said. “You’ve got speed, so there are a lot of different things (that can score the run. A chopper, Gardy is going to score. There are just so many ways Gardy can score (from third).”

But things don’t always go according to plan, and when Jeter fell into a two-strike count, he was swinging away. Hit a ground ball just past the second baseman for a game-winning single. It wasn’t much, but for a team starved for offense, it was just enough.

“I always like to be in those situations,” Jeter said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to succeed — I’ve failed quite a bit as well — but I like those situations. I’m lucky it found a hole there.”

It felt lucky. The Yankees got that two-run home run from Martin Prado in the second inning, and then their offense went as silent as ever until catching a break on that throwing error in the ninth. They nearly wasted a great start from Shane Greene, and we might have been talking a lot about Brendan Ryan failing to cover second base in the seventh inning. Instead, this game came down to Jeter swinging away at a 2-2 pitch and getting the tiny little hit the Yankees needed to snap a losing streak.

“Every at-bat, every pitch, you have to try to find a way to do your job,” Jeter said. “No one is thinking about how many games we’ve lost in a row when we’re taking the field; at least, I’m not. It’s just basically let’s try to win this game. That’s the approach you have to have. This game is a game of up and downs. It’s a game of failure. It’s not easy. When you’re scuffling a little bit, that’s when you find out a lot about teams. You find out a lot about players. You’ve just got to try to stay optimistic.”

Martin Prado, Francisco Cervelli• Shane Greene might very well be pitching his way into a rotation job next season. In games like this, he looks like something far more than a fifth starter who can simply give the Yankees a chance. He throws hard, he throws strikes, and he gets a bunch of ground balls and strikeouts. “He had everything today,” Girardi said. “His sinker was really good, his cutter was good, his slider was good and his changeup was good. He used them really effectively, he and Cervy did an outstanding job in reading swings and doing what they had to do to get hitters out.”

• Greene rarely says much, but he seemed early on to know he had especially good stuff tonight. He gave a fist pump when he got out of the first inning, and he really pitched like a guy who fully expected to plow through hitters. “I felt really good when I was long tossing, and then in the bullpen, and in the game as well,” Greene said. “I think it led me to overthrow a little bit some pitches, but I felt really good.”

• Ten strikeouts was a career-high for Greene, and he got all of those strikeouts in his first 20 hitters. That’s his most at any level since he had 12 strikeouts with High-A Tampa on May 8 of last season.

• Greene became the 11th pitcher in Yankees history to have a double-digit strikeout game within his first eight career games. Masahiro Tanaka did it three times to start this season. Prior to Tanaka, the last Yankees pitcher to do it was Mariano Rivera when he had 11 strikeouts in his fifth career appearance.

• When Desmond Jennings led off the first inning with a double, it was only the second time this season that Greene allowed an extra-base hit to a right-handed hitter.

• Martin Prado had one hit in his previous 19 at-bats before hitting that two-run homer in the second inning. He seemed especially excited after crossing home plate. “You get excited in every game,” Prado said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go the way you actually want it to. But when you contribute for the team, you’re always excited, you know, and even better when we win the game, because we know that it’s a team effort.”

• Here’s Prado breaking down that home run at-bat, in which he fell behind 0-2 before going deep: “He threw a fastball middle-in, and I took it for a strike. Then I saw Chase taking off (stealing second). He threw me a pretty good breaking ball. I laid off. I didn’t know it was a strike. I was down in the count, so I was just hoping that he could make a mistake. He actually threw a fastball and he left it up. I put the best swing I could probably put.”

• Prado’s two home runs with the Yankees have come off Drew Smyly and David Price, two guys who were traded for one another at the deadline. So that’s something.

Dave Robertson• Jeter’s game-winner was his 12th career go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later, and his first since October 2, 2010 at Boston against Jonathan Papelbon. Jeter has 20 career game-winning RBI against the Rays, second-most all-time behind David Ortiz, who has 26.

• Dave Robertson has converted his past 20 save opportunities, the longest active streak in the majors. Robertson hadn’t pitched since August 7. “I felt really comfortable throwing my fastball,” Robertson said. “My breaking ball felt a little short. That’s something I’ll have to work on, that way I can get a little more distance on it and get it to Cervelli so he’s not having to block every 50-foot curveball I throw.”

• That last fly ball out seemed crushed off the bat. “I sure did (think it was trouble),” Robertson said. “It was really loud off the bat. I know he hit it hard, but he just barreled it straight up and thank goodness it didn’t go in the seats. That’s a pitch I wanted back, but it turned out to be an out.”

• What happened on that chopper in the seventh when no one covered second base? “I think at first, for a second, (Brendan Ryan) reacted to the ball the way it was hit,” Girardi said. “His responsibility is at second base. He has to get back to second base. Chase thought he had a play at second, but once he didn’t see Ryan there, Kiermaier is too fast and he was safe.” Actually looked to me as if Ryan went to second initially, then thought Prado was going to cover and so changed direction to cover third for some reason. Just a bad play that helped setup the tying run.

• Why not go straight to Dellin Betances with one out and runners at second and third in the seventh? “I was going to stick with Shawn (Kelley),” Girardi said. “He’s a strikeout guy, too.” Kelley ultimately allowed only weak contact, but it was enough to drive in that tying run.

• Brian McCann said he felt much better going through drills today. He’s hoping to be in the lineup tomorrow.

• Final word goes to Jeter: “We need all of them. I mean, we’re getting down to crunch time. What do we have, 40-something games left? So every game we play is important. This was a big one for us, but we have to come back tomorrow and play well tomorrow.”

Associated Press photos

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Game 121: Yankees at Rays08.16.14

Yankees Rays BaseballYANKEES (61-59)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Martin Prado 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89)
Greene has never faced the Rays

RAYS (61-61)
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Vince Belnome DH
Curt Casali C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

LHP Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73)
Smyly vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 4:10 p.m., YES Network and FS1

WEATHER: Not great outside. Again, thankful for the dome.

UMPIRES: HP Kerwin Danley, 1B Mark Ripperger, 2B Lance Barksdale, 3B Gary Cederstrom

ONE AT A TIME: The Yankees were shut out last night, but they have have not been shut out in consecutive games since May 12-13, 1999 against Anaheim. They have played 2,515 games since then, marking the longest streak of not being shut out in consecutive games in MLB history according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

NICE ROUND NUMBER: With today’s game, the Yankees have started a rookie pitcher 50 times this season, marking the highest such total in MLB and the fourth-highest total in franchise history since “rookie” rules were made in 1958. That’s according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Yankees are 31-19 in games started by rookie pitchers this year, including 20-7 on the road.

ON THIS DATE: It was on August 16, 1948 that Babe Ruth died at the age of 53. His death came just over two months after his final visit to Yankee Stadium on June 13 when his number was retired. Ruth’s body was laid in state at the entrance to Yankee Stadium for the next two days.

UPDATE, 4:26 p.m.: Look at that! A little show of emotion from Greene after striking out Longoria to get out of the first inning. Allowed a leadoff double, but then got a couple of strikeouts and a foul popup.

UPDATE, 4:34 p.m.: Chase Headley works a two-out walk, then Martin Prado clobbers a two-run homer on an 0-2 pitch. That’s his second homer with the Yankees, and it’s now a 2-0 game.

UPDATE, 5:03 p.m.: Ryan might have made that play had Headley not crossed in front of him. As it is, it’s a one-out infield single for the Rays here in the third inning. Greene’s had some runners on base, but he’s looked pretty sharp so far.

UPDATE, 5:14 p.m.: Two more strikeouts for Greene. The kid looks good today. He’s struck out Longoria twice, each time to end an inning with a runner on base.

UPDATE, 5:34 p.m.: Ryan singles and is promptly picked off at first base. Not great. But here’s more Greene, who seems to have things pretty much under control so far.

UPDATE, 6:13 p.m.: Well that’s just awful. Neither Ryan nor Prado covered second base, and when Headley looked to get the lead runner, there was no one to take his throw. He then went to first, but there was no longer enough time to get the out there. Just a bad situation. Now there are two on with no outs and Kelley is in to face the top of the order.

UPDATE, 6:46 p.m.: Game tied here in the ninth, the Yankees wanted Derek Jeter to sacrifice Brett Gardner to third base. With two strikes, though, the bunt was called off and Jeter singled through the right side for a go-ahead RBI. Robertson, obviously, getting loose in the bullpen. Yankees up 3-2.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

Pitching matchups at Tampa Bay08.15.14

Shane Greene

RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 2.21)
RHP Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.41)
7:10 p.m., YES Network

RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89)
LHP Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73)
4:10 p.m., YES Network and FS1

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (7-8, 4.03)
RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 2.61)
1:40 p.m., YES Network

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

Three nights in Baltimore08.11.14

Nick Markakis

This is a big series coming for the Yankees, three in Baltimore against the first-place Orioles.

The Yankees still have dreams of winning the AL East, even with their sporatic offense. But they will show up tonight trailing by six games.

“We can’t afford to lose any more ground,” Mark Teixeira said. “It’s getting late for that.”

The Yankees still have 10 games left against Baltimore, including seven in September. They are at 61-56 after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Cleveland that capped a 4-3 homestand. They scored just one run in their final 20 innings in the series. (Here’s my News story on the Yankees’ lack of offense the past two days and Hiroki Kuroda’s struggle Sunday.)

The Orioles lost to St. Louis 8-3 on Sunday, but they are still 17 over .500, at 67-50.  The Yankees are 14-9 since the All-Star break, including 6-4 in August. Baltimore is 15-8, including 7-3 in August. The Orioles won 12-2 and 10-3 in the first two games against the Cardinals.

“This is the team we’re chasing,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s very important that we win a series at the least. We have to play extremely well because they’re playing well. … They’ve been hot lately and they’ve been scoring runs, so we’re going to have to hold them down.”

Chris Capuano, Shane Greene and Esmil Rogers or Michael Pineda will start for the Yankees, who are also 2 1/2 behind the Royals for the second wild card.

So do you think the Yankees can catch Baltimore?

Nick Markakis photo by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

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