In Derek Jeter’s final game, he was able to hit a single in a Yankees win


Jeter at Fenway Park.

Jeter at Fenway Park.

The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 9-5 in Boston in Derek Jeter‘s final game in a Yankees uniform. He hit an infield RBI single in the third inning before he took himself out of the game and was replaced at first base by Brian McCann. He said that he wanted to go out after getting a hit and that’s exactly what he did.

It was fitting that his last hit of his career was a single because he had hit 2,594 singles before that in his career. He hit a ball that bounced high off of the plate and had to hustle to get to first. He drove in Ichiro Suzuki for the team’s third run of the game. He hustled to get to first so many times in his career, which makes it make sense that the last time he got on base was as a result of him giving all out effort.

“I told Ichiro to hit a triple, so he hit a triple,” Jeter said. In Jeter’s first at-bat, he hit a hard line drive that Jemile Weeks had to leap to catch and then he was able to drive in his 1,311th run in the third inning. Jeter finished his career with the sixth most RBIs in the storied history of the New York Yankees. Jeter was also able to accumulate 11 seasons with 190 or more hits.

Jeter realizes that some think less of him because of new sabermetric stats, which has led to criticism, but Jeter is happy to be remembered for the team he played for, his hustle, championships and consistency.

You want to be known as someone who had respect for the game, respect for your teammates, respect for the fans, respect for the media,” Jeter said in his final press conference. “I played the game hard. But for me, I’m happy being known as a Yankee. That is the only think I ever wanted to be – was a shortstop of the New York Yankees. Being remembered as a Yankee is good enough for me.”

The Yankees were also fittingly able to win Jeter final game. It was his 1,629 win as a Yankee. They won since the offense was able to score four runs off of Clay Bucholz and five runs off of reliever Craig Breslow.

Ichiro, in what might have been his last RBIs as a Yankee, tripled to deep center in the third to drive in Jose Pirela and Francisco Cervelli. For the fourth run of the inning, Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in McCann.

In the seventh inning, Breslow allowed five earned runs without recording an out. After Cervelli and Chris Young both singled, Pirela doubled to center to send them both home. Eury Perez singled to left and then John Ryan Murphy singled to center to score Pirela for the seventh run.

Drake Britton came into before Austin Romine hit, but of the runs that he allowed were charged to Breslow. Romine doubled to deep left center to drive in Perez and advance Murphy to third, and then Chase Headley singled to right to score Murphy for the ninth run. In the later innings Joe Girardi had Murphy, Perez, Romine, Antoan Richardson and Brendan Ryan all come into the game.

Michael Pineda gave the Yankees one final dominating start before likely being the number two starter behind Masahiro Tanaka next season. Pineda pitched 6.1 very effective innings, only allowed three hits and one run. He recorded 10 strikeouts, and he retired the side in order in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings. Pineda lowered his ERA to an outstanding 1.89, and he was able to allow two runs or less for his 12th time out of 13 starts.

Pineda’s single to Allen Craig in the seventh would be his only earned run because he would score with Esmil Rogers pitching. Rogers allowed four runs on one hit after the game had basically already been decided.

The Yankees will be losing their captain and that leadership will likely have to come from CC Sabathia, McCann, Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Yankees unfortunately did not make the playoffs in Jeter’s final season, but he did win five championships and made the playoffs in all but two of his full seasons, and he was able to finish the season with one or more hits in nine of his last 10 games. He finishes his career as the best shortstop of the live-ball era.

The Yankees followed Jeter’s heroic Yankee Stadium finale with a win at Fenway Park


Jeter jumping for joy after Thursday's walk-off.

Jeter jumping for joy after Thursday’s walk-off.

After Derek Jeter hit the game-winning walk-off hit to beat the Baltimore Orioles in his final home game on Thursday, the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Friday. Jeter’s walk-off was an inside out single to right that he has hit countless times in his career. David Robertson had the best blown save of his career in the top of the ninth to set up yet another clutch hit from Jeter.

After Brett Gardner sacrificed the fast Antoan Richardson to second, Jeter’s “Jeterian” single to right scored Richardson to win the game. Jeter leaped towards the sky after the run scored, walked back out to his position at shortstop to get one more view and then Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada fittingly came onto the field to greet their longtime teammate. It was a storybook ending to end Jeter’s career playing in front of the home fans in the Bronx.

Jeter even surprised himself with how the game ended. “I wouldn’t have believed it myself,” Jeter said. “I can honestly say I don’t think anyone played harder.” Jeter said that he is aware that other players have more talent, but his effort each and every day helped take him to the top. For the first time in his career, he asked to have Friday’s game off because he was so exhausted from Thursday and everything that happened after it.

I don’t know if I could play tonight if I wanted to play tonight,” he said. “Last night was as special as it gets.” He said that if he wasn’t going to play his last game at Yankee Stadium, the next best place is Fenway Park because of the rivalry. He will be the DH on Saturday and Sunday out of respect for the Red Sox.

“He had such a special night last night,” Chris Capuano said. “I think everyone can understand him just wanting to take a day.”

Jeter also hit a double to left in the first for his first RBI of the game. Hiroki Kuroda allowed only two runs in eight innings in what might have been his last start as a Yankee. He had a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts and didn’t fall apart like he did the last two seasons.

On Friday, Jeter received a “Derek Jeter” chant from the crowd even though he was only in the dugout. The Red Sox fans also proved that they recognize greatness since they booed when Jeter didn’t pinch hit in the ninth. The Yankees were able to get the win even though five rookies started the game. No one in the lineup had played more than 47 games for the Yankees this season.

Chris Capuano, who pitched in the beginning of the season in the bullpen for the Red Sox, did not allow an earned run in 6.2 innings pitched. He is a pitcher who the Yankees will likely consider for a spot in their bullpen next season. Allen Craig’s run in the second was unearned because Chris Young made an error on Craig’s single earlier in the inning. Capuano, who is 36, threw 91 pitches, struck out five and didn’t allow a walk.

Shawn Kelley, who allowed Rusney Castillo’s homer in the seventh, really faltered in the second half of the season. He has a 4.53 ERA, and his ERA in August was 7.59 and in September it was 4.70. Capuano might be a better option than Kelley next season. David Robertson, who was able to convert his 39th save of the season in the ninth, is in the last year of his contract and the Yankees could choose to let the cheaper Dellin Betances be the closer next season.

The Yankees had seven hits off of three Red Sox pitchers. Steven Wright, a relief pitcher who was making only his second start, allowed two unearned runs in five innings. Eury Perez struck out in the second but advanced to first as a result of a passed ball by Dan Butler. Francisco Cervelli’s single scored Perez and then Cervelli scored later in the inning on a throwing error by second baseman Mookie Betts, who is normally a center fielder.

In the seventh inning, Zelous Wheeler hit a sacrifice fly to score John Ryan Murphy to give the Yankees their third run. The Yankees need to win their last two games to match their 85 wins from last season.

Jeter during the game on 9/21.

Jeter during the game on 9/21.

Michael Pineda’s dominating start led the Yankees to their second win in a row


Michael-Pineda-1

The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Monday in the first game of their four-game series against the Orioles. Michael Pineda’s 7.1 dominating innings helped the Yankees win their fifth game in their last six games. They are now four games out of the second wild card spot with six games to play.

It is an extreme long shot that the Yankees will pass the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, but Derek Jeter has helped the Yankees improve their play and keep the team alive right until the end.

Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka both dominated in back-to-back games, which is a great sign for the Yankees for next season. They will be a very formidable one and two in the rotation in 2015. In Pineda’s 7.1 innings, he retired 22 of the 24 batters that he faced, recorded an impressive eight strikeouts and the only hit that he allowed came in the fifth inning to J.J. Hardy. He retired the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings and had all of his pitches working for him.

Tonight, my slider was working pretty good, and my changeup too, everything is working good,” Pineda said. “When my release point is finished in the front, the slider has good movement, it is really good. The changeup is a really good pitch, and before I didn’t use it a lot in the games, and now I am using it more. It is really good.”

Pineda is becoming even more dangerous as a pitcher because he is developing a very good changeup to go along with his fastball and slider. He now has a 1.94 ERA in his 12 starts, which means that he has the lowest ERA in baseball out of all starters who have made 10 or more starts.

Offensively, Derek Jeter continued to hit well and drive in runs during his last home stand before he retires after Sunday’s game in Boston. Jeter was 1-3 with three RBIs and walk against Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen and Evan Meek. Since ending his 0-28 hitless streak the game before this home stand began on 9/17, Jeter has gone 10/24 (.416) with four runs scored, three doubles, one homer and six RBIs. He has raised his average from .249 to .256.

In the third inning, Jeter hit an RBI groundout to score rookie Jose Pirela to make the score 2-0. Then, in the fifth inning, he slugged a double to the wall in left to score Pirela and Brett Gardner. “This is a game of adjustments, and I am going to continue to make those adjustments until I am out of games,” Jeter said. “I don’t want to jinx anything. I feel pretty good. It is fun, I mean the fans have been energetic, that makes it fun for us to play.”

For the first run of the game, Pirela tripled to deep left center to score Ichiro Suzuki in his first career at-bat. Pirela, who had been in the minors for eight years, singled in his second at-bat and was very grateful to be playing in his first major league game. “To see my dream coming true is unbelievable for me,” Pirela said. Chase Headley hit his fifth homer with the Yankees and 12th of his season in the eighth inning.

The Yankees will look to win their third game in a row on Tuesday. Brandon McCarthy, who has a 2.54 ERA in 13 starts with the Yankees, will get the start for the home team. He has allowed four runs combined in his last three starts. Ubaldo Jimenez, who has a high 4.90 ERA, will start for the Orioles. Baltimore has already clinched the division, which means that these games don’t mean much to them.

Masahiro Tanaka’s strong 5.1 innings in his return from the disabled list led the Yankees to a win over Toronto


Derek Jeter before his third at-bat.

Derek Jeter before his third at-bat.

The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon. Derek Jeter, who only has four more games at Yankee Stadium, became the first Yankee to get four straight multi-hit games at age 40 or older. His two hits, RBI and a run scored helped the Yankees get their fourth win in their last five games and raised his average to .255.

Jeter, who received a standing ovation before and during every at-bat, is now 9-19 since snapping his 0-28 hitless skid. He has stepped up in front of the home fans the past few games like he has so many times during his remarkable career.

The Captain thought that the key to winning the game and the series was the clutch offensive hitting and pitching. “I thought we came up with some timely hits, but it all starts with pitching,” Jeter said. Out pitching staff was good, our starters were, out bullpen was good and we came up with some big his. We are playing pretty good right now.”

Masahiro Tanaka, who made his first start since July 8 as a result of his partial tear of his UCL in his elbow, pitched just like he did in most of his starts before his injury. He had an excellent 2.51 ERA before going on the disabled list, and was able to lower it to 2.47 after Sunday’s start. He was on a pitch limit of 70-75 pitches, and he threw 70 pitches in 5.1 innings while only giving up five hits and not allowing a walk. If he can pitch like this again on Friday against Boston then it is likely that he will not need surgery and will be able to have a normal offseason pitching program.

Overall, I’m pretty excited with how I pitched today,” Tanaka said. The injection of platelet-rich plasma into his elbow and not throwing for three weeks obviously helped the elbow recover. “It’s pain free,” Tanaka said. This is great news for the Yankees.

The only run that Tanaka allowed came off of an Edwin Encarnacion double play that scored Jose Reyes from third in the first inning. Tanaka did not allow a hit in the third, fourth or fifth innings. His splitter was working and his curve ball was effective, which is a good sign, but it will be key how he recovers the next few days.

The Yankees scored their first run of the game off of a Brain McCann solo homer to right against Drew Hutchison, which brought an ovation from the crowd. In the fifth inning, Brett Gardner hit a homer to right to make the score 2-1 and give the Yankees the lead for good. This homer was the 15,000 home run in Yankees’ history and that milestone was posted on the Jumbotron shortly after.

“I knew a few days ago that we were a couple away, maybe within four or five, but I wasn’t sure if it was the one I had hit or the one McCann had hit,” Gardner said. “It is definitely something I will never forget. I have it (the ball) right now, somebody might try to get it from me. It came in a good game and it was a good win for us.”

In the seventh inning, the Yankees scored two more runs to make the score 5-1. Derek Jeter hit a double down the line in right to score Gardner, who had doubled to lead off the inning. That was the last time that many fans at the stadium will see Jeter get a hit. He then saw an opening and easily stole third and scored on McCann’s second homer of the game. This was McCann’s 22nd homer of the season. “Brian has been swinging the bat extremely well the last month or so, it seems like he has found his stroke,” Jeter said. “It seems like he is pretty comfortable now.”

McCann’s contract goes for four more seasons and it is key that he has really taken advantage of the short porch in right. He now has 18 homers at Yankee Stadium this season and four during road games.

ESPN gives the Yankees a 0.1 chance of making the playoffs since they are currently 4.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals for the second wild card spot with seven games to play. The Yankees will begin a four-game series at home against the first place Baltimore Orioles on Monday and Michael Pineda (3-5, 2.15 ERA) will pitch against Wei-Yin Chen (16-4, 3.58 ERA).

Jeter on the Jumbotron during his third at-bat.

Jeter on the Jumbotron during his third at-bat.

Derek Jeter’s homer helped the Yankees win their second consecutive game 3-2


Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter.

The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday for their second consecutive 3-2 win. One game after Derek Jeter ended his 0-28 hitless streak, Jeter hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium of the season. The Yankees won because Chase Headley was the hero once again in the ninth.

The first Yankees run came in the fifth inning after Stephen Drew hit a deep double to right to drive in Headley and then Jeter slugged a homer to left off of an 82 MPH R.A. Dickey fastball. Jeter was able to take advantage of the fastball instead of having to figure out Dickey’s usual knuckleball.

I always look for a fastball,” Jeter said. “I have faced him (Dickey) quite a bit. He mixes them in every once in a while so I wasn’t surprised by it. It was a big hit for us at the time. I am happy we were able to hang on there. Obviously this year up until this point hasn’t turned out how I would like it to, but you got to keep fighting and battling. I am going to play hard until we are out of games.”

Shane Greene had yet another dominating performance for the Yankees. Greene didn’t allow a run and had six strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Greene retired the side in order in the second, fourth and fifth innings while only allowing three hits. He has an impressive 3.24 ERA in 13 starts this season, and Greene has proven that he deserves a spot in next year’s rotation.

Greene was not able to get the win because Shawn Kelley threw a high fastball that Jose Bautista easily hit out of the park for a two-run homer. Kelley has been much less reliable recently, but the Yankees were able to get magic in the ninth.

In the ninth inning, right fielder Chris Young hit a single to center, Antoan Richardson pinch ran and easily stole second and got to third on Brett Gardner’s bunt and then Headley hit a grounder that went through Adam Lind’s legs at first for an error to send Richardson home to win the game. It was Headley’s third walk-off with the Yankees.

Derek Jeter helped the Yankees win the first game of his final homestand at Yankee Stadium. Jeter and Greene both said that the Yankees are trying to win every one of their remaining 10 games since they are not mathematically eliminated from getting the second wild card (five games behind the Oakland Athletics). Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run in his last outing, will start Friday’s game for the Yankees.

Earlier this season, Jordan Brand released a tribute commercial for Jeter that had celebrities such as Spike Lee, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Billy Crystal and Carmelo Anthony tip their cap to Jeter. Yesterday, Gatorade put out a commercial that had a much more local feel. Jeter asked to be let out of his car early and then greeted fans of all ages while walking to Yankee Stadium. He was serenaded by Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” while going into Stan’s Sports Bar for the first time and seeing the mural of himself outside that establishment.

Here is the outstanding Jeter Gatorade commercial that has over two million views in 24 hours:

Derek Jeter helped the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays by ending his long hitless streak


Brandon McCarthy pitching for the Yankees.

Brandon McCarthy pitching for the Yankees.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Wednesday night during the last game of their three-game series at Tropicana Field. The Yankees got back in the win column after losing their last three games and five of their previous six. The three runs that the Yankees scored were as many as they had scored in their previous three games combined.

Derek Jeter was 0-28 coming into the game but his hit in the sixth inning snapped his second longest hitless streak of his career. He scored what ended up being the game-winning run on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly to right.

The Yankees scored their first two runs off of Rays starter Alex Cobb in the fifth inning. After being hit during Tuesday’s game, Chase Headley hit a double to deep center that scored Chris Young. Then, Brendan Ryan who usually doesn’t hit for much power, hit a ground rule double that landed near the foul pole in right to score Headley.

Brandon McCarthy had yet another dominating start for the Yankees. He pitched seven impressive innings, only allowed two runs and picked up four strikeouts. Evan Longoria was the only Ray that did damage off of McCarthy. He hit a solo homer in the first and had a RBI ground out in the sixth.

In the seventh inning, McCarthy wrapped up his start with an “immaculate inning” that included recording three strikeouts on only nine pitches. This feat is very rarely seen in baseball and was a great way to conclude his dominating performance. He has proven that the Yankees should make every effort to bring him back next season. Joe Girardi has been impressed with how McCarthy has been pitching.

I think his sinker has been really good and I think his curve ball has been really effective,” Girardi said. “I think that he gets some strikes with it, he puts some guys away with it and it has been really effective. But I think the command of his sinker has been the most important thing.”

McCarthy, who had struggled before being traded to the Yankees but had excelled in 2011 and 2012, has now allowed two runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. He needed only 91 pitches to get through seven innings and had 12 ground ball outs and eight fly ball outs.

The other pitching highlight from this game was that Dellin Betances, the flame throwing set-up man who was born in Washington Heights, recorded his 131st strikeout of his season. In his first full major league season, he set the record for most strikeouts in a season by a Yankee reliever. Future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera previously set the record with his 130 strikeouts in 1996. His knee buckling slurve and 99 MPH fastball has led him to a dominating 1.33 ERA.

I got a bunch of text messages (about the record),” Betances said. “I am happy we came out on the winning side. It is pretty incredible to think about the whole year and how everything has gone. I definitely feel honored, especially to be a part of this group and part of this organization. Just to be mentioned around his name (Mariano Rivera), you are talking about the best closer & reliever in the game, just to be around the same breath as him, I take thrill in that.”

“You think about the people that he (Betances) has passed in the last few weeks, Goose Gossage and Mariano Rivera, one Hall of Famer and one who has just got to wait his turn basically, it is pretty impressive what he has done,” Girardi said. “What he went through, some of the struggles that he went through, those struggles help you. When you struggle and are able to get back up and fight through it, it helps you down the road because it is not always going to be easy in this game.”

The Yankees won Derek Jeter’s final game at Tropicana Field after David Robertson got Nick Franklin to strike out swinging to end the game. Robertson picked up his 37th save of the season, which is the third best save total in the American League.

Young, who scored the Yankees first run, should be brought back as a fourth outfielder if he is willing to take a discount. His average on the season is .219, but since his first game with the Yankees on September 2, he has hit .324 in 34 at-bats with three homers and eight RBIs.

The Yankees and Blue Jays will begin a four-game series at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Rookie Shane Greene (5-3, 3.56 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees and the veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will get the start for Toronto.

The Rays beat the Yankees 6-1 on Wednesday at Tropicana Field


Derek Jeter warming up at Tropicana Field

Derek Jeter warming up at Tropicana Field

The Yankees lost to the Rays on 6-1 on Tuesday for their fifth loss in their last six games. The Yankees have now only scored seven runs in their previous six games, which has been a major reason for all of the losses.

Tuesday’s game stands out because it was the fifth time that a Yankee had been hit in the last four games by the Rays. Joe Girardi was so frustrated that after Derek Jeter was hit on the wrist in the eighth he was thrown out of the game. “Five times in four games we have been hit,” Girardi said. “Twice in the elbow, once in the chin, a ball at Gardy’s head last night, another ball at Chase’s ribs last night. I am all for pitching inside, but you got to know how to pitch inside, because it is extremely dangerous. Chase Headley is lucky that he is OK. I don’t know what they expect.”

Jeter and Headley have both been hit twice since Sept. 9 and Brian McCann has been hit once. “No one likes to get hit,” Jeter said. Obviously when it happens it’s unfortunate; when it happens a lot, then yeah, people get frustrated.”

After Jeter was hit in the eighth both benches were warned, which led to umpire Rob Drake ejecting Girardi, Tony Pena and David Phelps from the game. Phelps was ejected when he sent a fastball near Kevin Kiermaier’s chin to the backstop in the eighth. Drake ruled this intentional even though Phelps was only making his second appearance since August 3. This also caused Pena to be ejected since he was the acting manager with Girardi out of the game.

The game was close through the sixth inning as the Rays only had a 2-1 lead at that point. Michael Pineda rebounded well from his last start since he only allowed one run in 5.1 innings. He was not able to give the team much length since he had 100 pitches when he was taken out. Pineda has now allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his 10 starts this season giving him an impressive 2.15 ERA.

The only run that the Yankees scored in the game came off of a single by Ichrio Suzuki that scored Chris Young in the second inning off of Jake Odorizzi. The Yankees had seven hits and two walks but were only 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Brett Gardner and Brian McCann, the three and four hitters counted on to drive in runs, were both 0-4 and McCann grounded into a double play with Jeter on first in the eighth. In the seventh inning, after Antoan Richardson stole second, Brendan Ryan and Jacoby Ellsbury both lined out to the outfield in consecutive at-bats.

The Yankees relief pitchers fell apart in the seventh inning as three pitchers combined to allow four runs on four hits. Three of those runs were charged to Esmil Rogers and the fourth was charged to Rich Hill. The Rays scored their first run of the seventh when the dangerous Evan Longoria hit a single that sent Ben Zobrist home and David DeJesus to second. DeJesus’s single to right advanced Zobrist to second. Hill gave up two consecutive singles to James Loney and Nick Franklin, which led to DeJesus scoring the second run of the inning.

A play that is barely ever seen happened with Wil Myers hitting and Phelps pitching. Myers hit a sac fly to center and Longoria scored from third and Loney scored from second. Part of the reason they both scored was that Ellsbury had to dive to make the catch. Girardi likely protested the game after this play.

In an almost fitting ending to the drama-filled game, Brendan Ryan struck out swinging with runners on first and second.

The only memorable part of the game besides Pineda’s performance was that Jeter was honored before the game with a ceremony. Jeter does not have a hit in his last 26 at-bats, but will likely remember and enjoy the kayak in Yankee colors with the No. 2 on it and a framed Rays jersey of Tampa Bay senior advisor Don Zimmer, who died last year. Jeter developed a clos relationship with Zimmer while he was the bench coach with the Yankees and would touch him for good luck.

In Jeter’s final game at Tropicana Field, on Wednesday, Alex Cobb will start for the Rays and Brandon McCarthy will pitch for the Yankees. McCarthy has allowed two runs or less in six of his last eight starts, and he allowed zero runs in three of those eight starts.

The Yankees have been officially eliminated from winning the American League East


Shawn Kelley throwing a pitch for the Yankees.

Shawn Kelley throwing a pitch for the Yankees.

The Yankees lost 1-0 in their game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. Their offense has been anemic recently since it was their fourth time being shutout in their last 11 games. With yesterday’s loss, the Yankees officially can’t win the American League East.

For the Yankees, the theme this year has been an inability to score runs, and the Yankees have only scored six runs combined in their previous five games. This includes Monday’s shutout, a shutout against the Orioles last Friday and a game where they only scored one run in the first game of their doubleheader on Friday. They had an outside chance at getting the second wild card before going 1-4 in their last five games, but it will now be virtually impossible to make up six games with 13 games to play.

“For whatever reason, we’re not hitting,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s frustrating. Eventually I think it’s got to turn, but it better turn pretty quickly here.”

Tampa Bay starter Alex Colome and Yankees starter Chris Capuano both did not allow a run. Colome allowed six hits and a walk in 6.2 innings, but Ichiro Suzuki’s double in the seventh was the only extra base hit that Colome allowed. Brian McCann flied out to center with runners on first and second to end the seventh.

The Yankees had Mark Teixeira on third and Carlos Beltran on second with one out in the second inning but Ichiro popped out to the shortstop and John Ryan Murphy flied out to right. That was their best opportunity to score while Colome was pitching, but the season-long struggle with runners in scoring position continued.

Brett Gardner, who was 0-4, said that the Yankees continued the trend of struggling to score. “Same story, we have been pitching really well, but it has just been hard for us to score runs,” Gardner said. “We have had flashes of being pretty good, but for the most part, we have just struggled to get guys across the plate, and it is frustrating because with all the injuries that we have had to our rotation the guys that have come up and come in from other places have really stepped up.”

Capuano had his second start with the Yankees where he allowed zero earned runs. He pitched six innings, walked four batters and only allowed two hits. Girardi took him out of the game after throwing 101 pitches. Capuano easily should have had his second win as a Yankee, but the Yankees were held scoreless by a Rays starter who was making only his second start of the season. Four Rays relief pitchers held the Yankees hitless over the final 2.1 innings, and Joel Paralta got the win as a result of Ben Zobrist‘s walk-off.

It was a questionable decision by Girardi to pitch Shawn Kelley in the ninth instead of Dellin Betances, and that decision did end up backfiring. Matt Joyce’s walk after James Loney and Logan Forsythe hit singles earlier in the inning loaded the bases with two outs. Zobrist, who is in his ninth season playing with the Rays, hit his walk-off passed Ichiro in right for the game-winning hit.

It is almost a fitting “ending” to the Yankees season that Martin Prado, who was a key trade deadline acquisition and really helped the offense before his injury, will miss the rest of the season because he had an appendectomy and had surgery on Tuesday. He had a .316 average with seven homers and 16 RBIs since being acquired via trade from Arizona on July 31. He has two years left on his contract and will likely be the team’s second baseman for the next two seasons.

The starters for the middle game of the three-game set will be Michael Pineda for the Yankees and Jake Odorizzi for the Rays. Pineda will look to rebound from his worst start of his season where he allowed four runs and 10 hits in 7.1 innings against the Rays on September 11. Besides that start, Pineda has allowed two runs or less in his nine other starts this season.

The Yankees bullpen pitched 8.2 dominating innings in their win over the Tampa Bay Rays


Chris Young

Chris Young

The Yankees snapped their two-game losing streak with a come from behind 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. This win was their 35th win of the come from behind variety this season. 

Chris Capuano allowed four runs in the first inning and was taken out of the game by Joe Girardi after only getting one out. Six out of the seven hitters he faced had either a hit or a walk, which included Logan Forsythe’s single that scored Wil Myers. Ryan Hanigan’s sacrifice fly that scored James Loney came with Chase Whitely pitching, but that run was charged to Capuano. He did not have his stuff on Wednesday, but the bullpen did because five pitchers combined to allow allow one run in 8.2 innings. 

Dellin Betances pitched the last out of the seventh and the eighth inning and allowed one hit and struck out his 126th batter of the season. “We take a lot of pride,” Betances said. “We try to feed off of each other. It helps us out that we have a lot of guys out there.”

The offense did their part in this game as well. The Yankees were an improved 3-9 with runners in scoring position and two of their nine hits were home runs. Wednesday’s game was the second time that they had scored more than three runs in their last five games.

Brian McCann hit his 18th homer of the season in the bottom of the first to put the Yankees on the scoreboard. McCann drove in the team’s second and third runs in the third inning with his single that scored Chris Young and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees tied the game at four in the fourth with Young’s first homer with the Yankees. Young had only one three-hit game in 88 games with the Mets this season. He had his first 3-hit game in his fifth game tonight with the Yankees. 

In the past two games, Young is 4-7 (.571), with four RBIs, a homer and two runs scored. He was signed to a minor league contract on August 27, and after struggling with the Mets this season, his bat has come alive with the Yankees. “I’m just trying to hold my own,” Young said. “I am just trying to do my part.” 

Mark Teixeira‘s unlikely triple in the fifth inning scored McCann to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Chase Headley, who was 2-3, hit a single off of relief pitcher Jeff Beliveau to drive in Teixeira. That run was the sixth charged to Rays started Jake Odorizzi. 

The Yankees tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning with a run scoring double by Ichiro Suzuki and then a double to left by Young that scored Ichiro.

Evan Longoria smashed a homer off of Esmil Rogers in the ninth to make the score 8-5. Rogers would rebound to get Myers to pop out to Stephen Drew at second to end the game. The last time that the Yankees scored eight runs in a game was on August 27 when they beat the Detroit Tigers 8-4. 

The Yankees have 19 games left in the regular season and are currently 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot, as a result of losses by both the Mariners and Tigers. The Yankees will likely have to win 15 or more games the rest of the season to have a chance.  

Ryan Hanigan’s block at the plate in the fifth led to the Rays beating the Yankees


Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew

The Yankees lost a frustrating game to the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are now 3-4 during the first seven games of their nine-game homestand. That is not how Joe Girardi wanted to begin a crucial stretch of home games in September. 

Hiroki Kuroda allowed four earned runs and nine hits in only 3.1 innings against the Rays. He had previously allowed two runs or less in his last four starts. He struck out the side in the first inning, but James Loney led off the second with a homer to right, and then Kuroda’s four singles allowed in the third inning led to two more Tampa Bay runs. Evan Longoria and Loney hit RBI singles to center in consecutive at-bats. Kuroda allowed three consecutive singles in the fourth with one out before being taken out of the game with the Yankees losing 4-0.

Seven Yankee relief pitchers actually combined to pitch 5.2 innings and only allow two hits and zero runs. Girardi has so many relief pitchers at his disposal since the roster expanded on September 1. David Huff allowed two hits in his 1.2 innings and David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 5.1 innings.

However, instead of Kuroda, the loss can be blamed on a Yankees offense that scored three runs or less for the third time in their last four games (they didn’t score a run in two of those games). Out of the seven hits that the Yankees had, only Jacoby Ellsbury’s home run in the fourth inning was not a single. One controversial play with Stephen Drew stands out in the fifth inning.

In the fifth inning, the first three batters that came to the plate got on base, as Chase Headley was hit by a pitch and Ichiro Suzuki and Drew both singled. Chris Young then hit his first hit in his first start with the Yankees. His single scored Headley and Ichiro. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a single with Drew on second but Drew was ruled out at home. Drew should have scored according to the rules or been held at third.

Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan was clearly blocking the plate and the only way that Drew could have scored is if he ran Hanigan over. According to the new rules this season, if the catcher is blocking the plate the runner is supposed to be ruled safe. “You almost have to encourage the runner to run the catcher over,” Girardi said. “The only thing he could do is run him over, that is it.”

The Yankees could have had their fourth run right there, but third base coach Rob Thomson said that he should have held Drew at third to have runners at second and third with no outs. “Just a bad send,” Thomson said. “An error on my judgement. I take full responsibility for it.” To end the fifth inning, Derek Jeter hit into a double play where Young was doubled off of second.

Another play that hurt the Yankees chances was in the seventh inning when Ichiro had third stolen with one out, but Drew swung at the pitch and hit a line drive to right field causing a double play. If Drew would have been more aware and not have swung, he could have driven in Ichiro with a sacrifice fly.

The deflating loss to Chris Archer, who has dominated the Yankees in his career, makes the team’s hope of getting the second Wild Card far fetched at this point. They are now 5.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals with only 20 games to play.   

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