The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Jeter’s new commercial09.19.14

Derek Jeter

I really liked Derek Jeter’s cap-tipping “RE2PECT” commercial. How could you not?

I still like it better than his new Gatorade commercial. Yet this new one is rather appealing and well done as well.

It doesn’t sound like Jeter just made it to stuff more money in his pockets, that there was a sincere meaning behind the concept of walking down River Avenue to Yankee Stadium and mingling with the fans along the way (to the soundtrack of “My Way” after the fact).

“It was an opportunity, I felt, to thank people, which I’ve been pretty consistent with every time I’ve spoken, how much the fans have meant to me and my entire career,” Jeter said.

Here’s more on the Jeter commercial from my Yankees notebook, which also includes items on Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka.

Also, here’s my story on the beginning of Jeter’s final homestand, which included a solo homer by him in the 3-2 win over the Blue Jays Thursday night.

And here’s my feature story on Chase Headley, including his thoughts on coming back here in 2015 and on the aftermath of getting hit with that 96 mph fastball on his chin last week.

Chad will join you later. Thursday night was my last scheduled game for the season. You’re welcome to join me at Twitter @bheyman99 or check out Lohud.com or The Journal News, if you live in the area. As always, thanks for reading, appreciate it.

Photo by The Associated Press

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Yankees postgame: Jeter delivers in start to final homestand09.18.14

Derek Jeter

The final regular-season homestand of Derek Jeter’s career began well for the Yankees thanks in part to The Captain, in part to Shane Greene and in part to Adam Lind doing his Bill Buckner impression at first.

Jeter went 2 for 4 in the 3-2 win over the Blue Jays after arriving at 1 for 30. He hit a solo homer to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the sixth, his first home homer since July of last year, snapping a 298 at-bat streak without one here and a 158 at-bat streak without one overall this season, dating to Aug. 1. So he’s up to .250 with four homers and 41 RBI.

“Obviously this year, up until this point, hasn’t turned out how I would like it to,” Jeter said. “But you’ve got to keep fighting. You’ve got to keep battling.”

The Yankees are five games back of Oakland for the second wild card with 10 to play. A rather longshot at this point. So Jeter keeps getting reminded that it’s his last homestand everywhere he turns.

“I’m trying not to think about it being the last homestand,” Jeter said. “We still have a week left. We’re trying to win games. I’m going to go out there and play hard like I’ve always done my entire career until we’re out of games.”

Greene should be back to pitch more games next season. The 25-year-old rookie has allowed three runs or less in 12 of his 14 starts, including no runs and three hits in 6 2/3 in this latest outing. Greene has a 1.06 ERA to show for his last three starts.

“This young man has four pitches he can go to and he has confidence in them, and he has the ability to throw strikes,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s been impressive to me.”

The Yankees won when Chase Headley’s grounder got by Lind for a walk-off error.

“It was a tough play for Adam,” Jeter said, playing defense for him.

Stephen Drew had an RBI double, snapping a career-worst-tying 16 straight games without driving in a run. He went 2 for 3 to lift his average to .163. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be the heir to Jeter’s throne.

Here’s my Lohud.com/Journal News story on Jeter and this first game of the homestand. And here’s my feature story on Headley after speaking to him before the game about possibly returning and about the aftermath of getting hit in the chin last week.

The photo of Jeter’s home-run swing is from The Associated Press.

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Game 152: Yankees (77-74) vs. Blue Jays (77-74)09.18.14

Yankees lineup

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF

2. Derek Jeter SS

3. Brian McCann DH

4. Mark Teixeira 1B

5. Chris Young RF

6. Brett Gardner LF

7. Chase Headley 3B

8. Stephen Drew 2B

9. Francisco Cervelli C

Shane Greene RHP

 

Blue Jays lineup

1. Jose Reyes SS

2. Jose Bautista RF

3. Edwin Encarnacion DH

4. Adam Lind 1B

5. Danny Valencia 3B

6. Munenori Kawasaki 2B

7. Josh Thole C

8. Kevin Pillar LF

9. Anthony Gose CF

R.A. Dickey RHP

 

Umpires: Jeff Nelson HP, Laz Diaz 1B, Scott Barry 2B, Mark Carlson 3B

Weather: clear, comfortable, 73 degrees

TV/Radio: YES/WFAN 660, 101.9

 

Ellsbury on the run: Jacoby Ellsbury has stolen 15 bases in a row, giving him 39 for the season. He’s second in the AL and fifth in the majors. He’s also in a 7-for-43 slump.

Jeter watch: The Captain went 1 for 17 on the road trip and is 1 for his last 30, dropping him to .249.

 

Update, 7:18: Headley starts 5-4-3 double play to end the top of the first. Have a feature story coming out on him, spoke to him before the game about a possible return and the aftermath of his beaning.

Update, 7:22: Jeter beats out infield hit, now 2 for 3 after 0 for 28.

Update, 7:25: McCann strikes out and Jeter is thrown out stealing too easily on the play. Not sure what he was thinking there.

Update, 7:36: Greene puts the Jays down in order with two Ks in the second. He’s something good that has come out of this season, no matter what happens tonight.

Update, 7:42: Great diving catch by Pillar to rob Gardner and end the second.

Update, 7:51: Great diving stop by Teixeira, throws to Greene at first, and Thole is stranded in scoring position.

Update, 7:57: Cervelli singles off Dickey, now 5 for 6 against him lifetime.

Update, 7:58: Ellsbury pops to Reyes for the third out, 0-0 after three.

Update, 8:05: 1-2-3 fourth for Greene. I believe he’s at 64 pitches.

Update, 8:09: Jeter ripped a liner to left-center, but Pillar made another great diving catch.

Update, 8:11: The Yankees go down in order, no runs, two hits through four.

Update, 8:19: Shane Greene has allowed one single through his first five innings, retired the last nine.

Update, 8:26: Drew RBI double, Yankees up 1-0 after five.

Update, 8:35: Greene has his streak of 11 straight outs snapped by a Reyes single, but Bautista fouls out for the last out in the sixth.

Update, 8:41: Jeter snaps 154 at-bat homerless streak, 2-0.

Update, 8:55: Greene is done after 6 2/3, no runs, three hits, runners at first and second. Betances comes on to try to protect a 2-0 lead.

Update, 8:59: Navarro flies out to end the inning. Dickey is done. Brett Cecil is on.

Update, 9:11: Correction announced by the Yankees: Jeter’s homer snapped a 158 at-bat homerless streak. Accuracy counts.

Update, 9:12: Ellsbury strikes out to strand two. Kelley comes on to pitch.

Update, 9:21: Kelley throws 0-2, two-out pitch to Bautista that winds up in the left-field seats, 2-2.

Update, 9:30: The Yankees go quietly in the eighth. David Robertson takes the ball.

Update, 9:38: 1-2-3 ninth for Robertson.

Update, 9:51: Yankees win 3-2 on a walk-off error by Adam Lind.

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Yankees pregame: Jeter comes home one last time09.18.14

Yankees Rays Baseball

Since six games back with 11 to go seems like a rather long shot for the Yankees, this homestand figures to be the last time we will ever see Derek Jeter play at Yankee Stadium outside of on Old-Timers’ Day.

“I just want to try to enjoy it,” Jeter said.

It’s a chance for the fans to say goodbye, with the home finale set for next Thursday night. Joe Girardi doesn’t expect an easy homestand for Jeter despite the love.

“I think it’s going to mean a lot, but I also think it’s going to be difficult, just because of what baseball has meant to his life and what the Yankees have meant to him and what he’s meant to this city,” Girardi said.

“I think it will be difficult for him emotionally. He’s probably not going to show a lot, but it’s hard to take this uniform off.”

It may be even harder on him come February.

“I think he’ll miss it in spring training,” Girardi said. “It becomes a reality that you’re not playing anymore, in a sense. I can’t speak for him and how he’s going to feel, but that was when it really hit me because I was used to doing something around February 15 and all of a sudden I didn’t have anything to do.”

Girardi said Carlos Beltran will be available despite the sad news that came Wednesday that he and wife Jessica had lost their unborn son, reportedly due to a miscarriage.

“My heart goes out to him, and obviously to his family,” Girardi said. “When guys go through this, I think sometimes people think we’re immune to problems because we’re professional athletes. We deal with things on an everyday basis and we go through issues, too. That’s the most difficult part. I just want to get a temperature of where he’s at when he comes in today and then we’ll go from there.”

Masahiro Tanaka threw 32 pitches in the bullpen in preparation for his return Sunday. We’re were told he had no pain.

“So far, so good,” Girardi said.

Photo by The Associated Press.

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Jeter and the Yankees not giving up on the playoffs09.09.14

Derek Jeter

These are desperate times. The Yankees have only 21 games left to try to rally and prevent another dark October.

They’re about to start the final series of this heretofore so-so homestand that needed to be more than so-so. The Yankees are 3-3 and have been shut out in two of the past three games as they head into tonight’s series opener against Tampa Bay. Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Archer are the scheduled starters.

The Yankees had their final scheduled day off Monday, knowing they were 4 1/2 games back for the second wild card, knowing that three teams were in front of them, Seattle, Detroit and Cleveland. After the Mariners beat Houston in a late game, the deficit became five games. The Tigers are just a half game back of Seattle and the Indians are 4 1/2 back. And Toronto is in a virtual tie with the Yankees.

Do you think the Yankees have it in them to pull this off?

Derek Jeter certainly isn’t giving up in his final season.

“We’re still in a position where if we win our games, then we’ll be all right,” The Captain said.

Here’s my Lohud.com/Journal News story about Jeter and the Yankees’ feelings about the situation they’re in right now.

Photo by The Associated Press.

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Yankees postgame: Jeter has his day; lineup has a bad one09.07.14

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter admitted that he was on guard over getting emotional during his pregame speech, although he did say his hand was shaking a bit. He wanted to say his thank yous. Most of all, he wanted to thank you.

“In my opinion, I’ve had the greatest job in the world,” Jeter told the crowd. “I got a chance to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees, and there’s only one of those. And I always felt as though that my job was to try to provide joy and entertainment for you guys, but it can’t compare to what you brought me. So, for that, thank you very much.

“I’ve loved what I’ve done. I love what I do. More importantly, I’ve loved doing it for you. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much.”

In his postgame press conference, Jeter said: “The fans are the ones that made this fun. It’s been an extremely fun 20 seasons. When you’re out there playing, you’re out there trying to do your best. You’re playing as hard as you can, and you’re doing it for the fans, because the fans, Yankees fans in particular, they pay attention. It means something to them. They push you. They push me. They’re hard. They’re tough. But I think they’ve helped shape who I am.

“So I wanted to have the opportunity to thank them. I don’t know if I can truly thank them enough.”

Chase Headley did a nice thing, coming up with the idea to let Jeter run out alone before the anthem.

“I was unaware of the fact that no one was behind me,” Jeter said.

“He deserved the moment to be out there by himself on his day,” Headley said.

Derek Jeter Day will stay with Derek Jeter.

“The Yankees know how to throw big ceremonies,” Jeter said. “To be a part of it, having all those people come out there and honor you and show their support and the fans, they way they’ve treated me, this is a day I’ll remember forever.”

Here’s my Lohud.com/Journal News story with much more detail on Jeter’s big day.

The game was forgettable for the Yankees, four hits in a 2-0 loss to Kansas City, their second shutout loss in the series. They have been shut out five times dating to Aug. 9.

“I’ll never give up on them,” Joe Girardi said about his inconsistent hitters. “It’s not my personality. We’ve just got to continue to grind it out and try to get better every day.”

They’re running out of days.

The Yankees remained 4 1/2 back of Seattle for the second wild card with 21 to play.

Here’s my story on the game and the happenings with Brett Gardner and David Phelps.

Photo by The Associated Press.

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Yankees pregame: Derek Jeter Day09.07.14

Derek Jeter

There are No. 2 flags waving in the breeze around the top of Yankee Stadium. There’s a No. 2 logo painted on the grass in front of each dugout. The Yankees were all greeted with a commemorative bottle of wine sitting upright on the chairs in front of their locker with the No. 2 over pinstripes on the label.

It’s Derek Jeter Day.

“I’m sure it’ll be extra special,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s probably a day in a sense that a player doesn’t want to have.”

That’s because it signifies the end is near.

“I hope he does take it in,” Girardi said of the ceremony.

He hopes the rest of the Yankees will take it in as well.

“I think it’s important they understand what he’s meant to the organization, what he’s meant to our fan base, the importance of playing the game right,” Girardi said.

Next year will be very different without Jeter. This is really the end of an era.

“The thing you get used to in this game is people come and go,” Girardi said. “… He’s going to be missed. There’s no doubt about it. But the game will go on. No individual is bigger than the game.”

Girardi didn’t have a lineup yet when he met with us. The hurting Brett Gardner was the issue. Girardi didn’t think he would be available to start. Gardner said it might be a lower abdominal strain, but he wasn’t sure. Gardner, who also had this problem earlier in the season and missed a game, sat out Saturday.

Asked about if it could possibly get worse if he played, Gardner said, “Just the way it feels like, it could.”

David Phelps threw a 31-pitch simulated game and said he felt good. He will return from his upper elbow inflammation as a reliever. But there was no word yet on when he will be activated.

“I feel like I made some good pitches,” Phelps said. “I was just nice to be out there with some adrenaline flowing. … It feels good enough to get guys out right now.”

Photo by The Associated Press.

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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 Lohud.com/Journal 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.

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Yankees postgame: No O08.10.14

Jacoby Ellsbury

When Jacoby Ellsbury homered with two outs in the ninth, the Yankees snapped their season-high streak of 19 straight innings without a run.

Somehow that streak didn’t seem shocking even though they scored five in the sixth Friday night when they won 10-6. There have been too many dead stretches by this team. The new guys may have improved the defense, but the consistency offensively hasn’t been there, meaning they have fit right in.

The Indians took the series with the 4-1 win that followed Saturday’s 3-0 victory. (Here’s my Lohud.com story on what happened Sunday.)

Joe Girardi credited the pitching that the Yankees faced the last two days and for much of the last week, considering the Tigers’ staff. He also said these punchless stretches of games this season have puzzled him at times. But he said this is part of baseball now.

“I think we got caught up with teams scoring 900 runs in the past,” Girardi said. “That’s not happening anymore.”

Mark Teixeira, while also crediting the Cleveland pitching, gave a realistic assessment of this offense.

“We haven’t really been great all year,” Teixeira said. “We just need to try to do our best and scratch runs when we can and pick it up a little bit.”

Teixeira went 1 for 4 in his return after three games off. He said he was happy with how his pinkie felt.

Hiroki Kuroda felt his pitching was rather subpar. He allowed three runs, five hits and four walks, plus hit a batter and threw a wild pitch in 4 2/3. He also gave a realistic assessment, saying his command was off.

The 39-year-old righty indicated that he was less than 100 percent as well.

“Everybody look around,” Kuroda said through an interpreter. “It’s hard to find players 100 percent physically. So you’ve got to be able to respond with whatever you’ve got.”

Bryan Mitchell responded well in his major-league debut. The 23-year-old righty gave up just one walk and struck out two while working the final two innings. He said he was nervous.

“Knowing that I’ve done this before, I’ve been here, I’ve pitched here, I think it’ll be not easy obviously, but it will be a lot easier next time,” Mitchell said.

Ellsbury batted .417 (10 for 24) in the 4-3 homestand. The Yankees headed to Baltimore for a three-game series. They are 61-56 and trail the Orioles by six games. And the Yankees are 2 1/2 back of the Royals for the second wild card.

Photo by The Associated Press.

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Game 117: Yankees (61-55) vs. Cleveland Indians (58-59)08.10.14

Yankees lineup

1. Brett Gardner LF

2. Derek Jeter SS

3. Jacoby Ellsbury CF

4. Mark Teixeira 1B

5. Carlos Beltran DH

6. Stephen Drew 2B

7. Martin Prado 3B

8. Ichiro Suzuki RF

9. Francisco Cervelli C

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

 

Indians lineup

1. Jason Kipnis 2B

2. Jose Ramirez SS

3. Michael Brantley DH

4. Carlos Santana 1B

5. Yan Gomes C

6. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B

7. Zach Walters LF

8. Chris Dickerson CF

9. Ryan Raburn RF

Carlos Carrasco RHP

 

Umpires: Brian O’Nora HP, D.J. Reyburn 1B, Dan Bellino 2B, Jeff Kellogg 3B

Weather: partly cloudy, 83 degrees

TV/Radio: YES/WFAN 660, 101.9

 

Milestone: David Robertson needs one strikeout to become the fastest to reach 500 in franchise history. He has 499 in 373 2/3 innings. David Cone had 500 in his first 486 1/3 innings with the Yankees.

No. 4: The Yankees have been the fourth-most successful team in the majors since the All-Star break, going 14-8, a .636 winning percentage. The Rays (13-6, .684), the Orioles (15-7, .682) and the Royals (14-7, .667) are ahead of them.

 

Update, 1:16: The Indians go up 1-0 in a hurry, single, infield out, wild pitch, single by Brantley, his 75th RBI.

Update, 1:35: Teixeira lines out to Kipnis in shallow right, strands Ellsbury at second to end the first.

Update, 1:43: Kuroda gets a double-play ball to end the second. The Indians, by the way, put both Nick Swisher (sore knee) and David Murphy (abdominal strain) on the DL today. It’s been a dreadful season for Swisher, .208, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 9 errors.

Update, 1:52: Drew lines a one-out single and then Prado and Ichiro strike out, 1-0 after two.

Update, 2:03: Brantley drives in another, sac fly to right, 2-0.

Update, 2:16: The Yankees have two hits in three innings. Carrasco is just rejoining the rotation after going 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA in four April starts. He was doing well in the bullpen, but had a 6.27 career ERA in five appearances/three starts vs. the Yankees.

Update, 2:24: Kuroda has had at least one runner on in all four innings, just finished a one-walk, four-batter fourth.

Update, 2:32: The Yankees go a quiet 1-2-3. Seems like I’ve written that after a lot of innings this season.

Update, 2:45: The Indians have the bases loaded, two outs in the fifth. Huff is warming. The scoreboard has Kuroda at 92 pitches.

Update, 2:49: Kuroda is done after 4 2/3, walks Gomes to force in a run, 3-0 Indians.

Update, 2:53: Huff gets out of the inning.

Update, 3:00: The Yankees go a quiet 1-2-3. By the way, more on Carrasco, who has allowed two hits in five innings and retired the last 11. He was 0-12 with an 8.09 ERA in his last 17 starts dating to July of 2011.

Update, 3:09: Strong inning for Huff, been a valuable pickup. Carrasco is done. Righty C.C. Lee comes on.

Update, 3:18: Lee does his Carrasco impression, retires the side in order. Heading for the seventh, 3-0.

Update, 3:25: Kelley comes on with runners at the corners and one out.

Update, 3:33: Strikeout, then RBI single for Gomes, 4-0. Bryan Mitchell is warming with two outs.

Update, 3:35: Chisenhall strikes out to end the inning. Scott Atchison on to pitch the last of the seventh.

Update, 3:42: Teixeira singles with one out and Beltran erases him with a double-play ball. Mitchell will now make his big-league debut.

Update, 3:55: Mitchell gets Kipnis swinging at a 96 mph fastball, stranding a runner at second. Bottom eight now. Bryan Shaw is on to pitch. The Yankees haven’t scored for 18 straight innings.

Update, 4:03: Nineteen straight innings. Ichiro doubles with two outs and Cervelli goes down swinging. The Yankees are up to four hits.

Update, 4:09: Mitchell has a nice debut, two hitless innings, only allowed a walk. Cody Allen will try to close it out like yesterday.

Update, 4:18: Ellsbury solo homer, but then Teixeira grounds out to end it. The Yankees lose the rubber game of the series 4-1.

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