The Yankees will play their first game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers tonight at Yankee Stadium. The game will start at approximately 7:05 p.m.
The Yankees will be starting the same lineup that they did on Wednesday except that Slade Heathcott, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton when Jacoby Ellsbury went on the disabled list, will get the start instead of Chris Young.
This will be Heathcott’s first career big-league start and he will be getting his first career at-bat. Slade, whose first name is Zachary, hit .285 with one homer, 17 RBIs and five steals in 37 games at Triple-A.
“It’s surreal,” said Heathcott, who will bat ninth and play center field Friday night. “It’s a childhood dream to play in the big leagues and to start, and here I am getting to do it in pinstripes — it doesn’t get any better.”
Joe Girardi said that he wants Heathcott to take quality at-bats and play solid defense during his time with the Yankees. He will be able to play much better defense in right field than Carlos Beltran, which will probably lead to Beltran getting the day off on Saturday or Sunday.
Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees on Friday night. He will need to bounce back from his previous start when he had his worst outing of his great season. In his start on May 15 against the Royals he allowed five runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings while only striking out one. His slider was off against the Royals, which prevented him from striking out batters like he did against the Baltimore Orioles when he had 16.
He is the ace of the pitching staff right now and the Yankees need him to pitch like he has for most of the season. Nick Martinez, who played second base and pitched at Fordham, will get a start in this series and will be back playing in the Bronx for the second time. He threw 5.1 shutout innings during his previous start at Yankee Stadium.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series at Yankee Stadium:
RHP Michael Pineda (5-1, 3.31)
RHP Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.06)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
LHP CC Sabathia (2-5, 4.67)
RHP Nick Martinez (3-0, 1.88)
1:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network
LHP Chris Capuano (0-1, 12.00)
RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-6, 4.26)
8:05 p.m., ESPN
The Yankees had an off day on Thursday, but the organization did see one rehabbing player and one top prospect perform very well in the minor leagues. Masahiro Tanaka had an encouraging first rehab start with the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders and top prospect Luis Severino could not have pitched any better for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in his return from the disabled list.
Tanaka, who has been on the disabled list with a mild forearm strain and wrist tendinitis since April 29, had a 3.22 ERA and an outstanding 0.94 ERA in his four starts before going on the DL as a result of a bullpen session that he had. During his start on Thursday for the RailRiders against the Durham Bulls at PNC Park in Moosic, PA, he pitched three shutout innings while throwing 41 pitches. He was taken out of the game after three innings because his pitch limit for his first rehab start was 45 pitches.
He allowed only a single and a double, struck out two and did not issue a walk. During his three innings, 25 of his 41 pitches were strikes. His fastball was consistently between 91 and 92 mph, which is similar to how fast it was before he went on the DL. He will likely need at least one more rehab start, but it has not been revealed yet when or where his second one will be.
“I was looking to obviously pitch all my pitches with force and I think I was able to do that tonight,” Tanaka said afterward through an interpreter, the New York Daily News reports.
“I feel pretty confident about all the pitches,” Tanaka said.
Adam Warren, who has pitched well in his last two starts as he has allowed five earned runs combined in 13.1 innings, will probably make two more starts and then be replaced by Tanaka in the rotation. Warren will then be able to give the bullpen more depth while helping the overworked relievers, and Tanaka will be able to combine with Michael Pineda to form the best number one and two starter combo in the AL East.
In the Double-A Trenton Thunder’s game against the Bowie Baysox, Severino threw five no-hit innings in his first start since coming off of the DL. Severino, who is the team’s No. 1 prospect, struck out five and didn’t allow a walk. The only batter who got to first did so on catcher interference by Gary Sanchez with two outs in the fifth inning.
“It was a great outing for him, it was great to bounce back after those 10 days out,” Trenton pitching coach Jose Rosado said. Severino, who is only 21, now has a very good 3.27 ERA and 39 strikeouts in his seven starts with the Thunder this season. He could be able to help the Yankees as a September call-up if he continues pitching how he has been so far this season.
The organization’s No. 2 prospect, Aaron Judge, hit the game winning sacrifice fly in the 13th inning to drive in Cito Culver.
The Yankees lost 3-2 to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday and that loss led to the Nationals sweeping the two-game series in Washington D.C. After their loss on Wednesday, the Yankees have now lost seven of their past eight games to drop their record to 22-19 and put them into a tie for first place in the American League East with the Tampa Bay Rays.
During their previous eight games, the Yankees have been outscored by a grand total of 43-19. The Yankees are off on Thursday and will need their offense to score more runs starting with the three-game series that they have at Yankee Stadium against the Texas Rangers from Friday to Sunday.
The Yankees will begin a six-game homestand at the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium after previously playing 15 of their last 19 games on the road. They went 9-10 during those 19 games, which is much worse than the pace they were on previously. Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira hit for much more power at Yankee Stadium than they do in away games, so that could help the offense improve over the next six games.
Adam Warren had his second consecutive impressive start as he allowed only two earned runs in 6.1 innings on Wednesday against the Nationals. He had four strikeouts and the only earned runs he allowed were solo homers. Warren also pitched well in his previous start against the Rays when he allowed three runs in seven innings, but he will be more valuable in the bullpen because the relief pitchers have been over worked this season and he had a lot of success in the bullpen last season.
The Yankees are getting some good news with Masahiro Tanaka because he is making a rehab start with the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders on Thursday night. The game started at 6:30 p.m. and can be seen on the YES Network. Tanaka is only scheduled to throw 45 pitches, but if all goes well he will likely only need one more minor league start before returning to the rotation.
Tanaka had a 3.22 ERA and an impressive 0.94 WHIP in four starts before going on the disabled list with wrist and forearm issues.
Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list after Tuesday’s game with a sprained right knee after he was injured in the fourth inning. Slade Heathcott, who has a .285 average with one homer and 17 RBIs this season with the RailRiders, has been called up from Triple-A to replace Ellsbury. Heathcott is a former top prospect who is just starting to get back on track.
Joe Girardi said that Ellsbury hurt himself while he was swinging in the fourth inning. Ellsbury has a fairly extensive injury history dating back to his days with the Boston Red Sox. In 2010 he was only able to play in 18 games and in 2012 he was only able to play in 74 games. The Yankees need Ellsbury to be back soon since he has been an important contributor to their offense. Ideally, he will be out no more than 15 days.
So far this season Ellsbury is hitting .324 with 29 runs scored, six RBIs, 14 steals and a .412 on-base percentage. He has played very well along with Brett Gardner at the top of the lineup. The Yankees manager is not sure how long the leadoff hitter will be out of the lineup.
Chris Young, who has a .264 average with six homers and 13 RBIs, will likely play center field in place of Ellsbury. Heathcott will now be the back-up outfielder
The Yankees (22-17) lost the final game of their series to the Kansas City Royals, 6-0, and have now lost five of their past six games. They now have only a one game lead in the American League East over the Tampa Bay Rays.
In those five losses, the Yankees combined to score only six runs. The offensive ineptitude has caused the Yankees to go from having a four game lead in the division on May 11, when they had a 21-12 record, to the one game lead that they have before Tuesday night’s game.
A reason for the low run scoring output in recent games is that the team has not been hitting enough extra-base hits. In the last three losses they combined for only six extra base hits and in their previous two losses they didn’t have any extra-base hits. Even if you do have solid pitching, it is very difficult to win games if you are not hitting doubles and homers consistently.
The Yankees have also been making errors more often recently. This is similar to the first nine games of the season when they started 3-6 and repeatedly did not make the routine play. They have combined to make four errors in their last three losses, which doesn’t give the pitcher much margin for error.
Except for the 12-1 loss on May 15 when Michael Pineda allowed five earned runs and had his first subpar performance of his outstanding season and the loss on May 14 when Chase Whitley had to leave the game early because of his elbow injury, the starters have generally given the team a chance to win each game. Nathan Eovaldi allowed four earned runs after pitching into the eighth inning for the first time as a Yankee and Adam Warren allowed three runs and had seven strikeouts in seven innings.
Eovaldi allowing four runs is more than what the Yankees want, but he did not allow a run in the first six innings and showed signs of improvement. He kept the team in the game and that’s all you can ask for.
Chris Capuano allowed four earned runs in three innings during Sunday’s game, but that was his first game this season after spending the first 36 games on the disabled list and he was effective in the first three innings. He came out of the game in the fourth after allowing two walks and two singles and seemed confident that he would be more effective in his next start.
The Yankees have received some good news as it was announced that Masahiro Tanaka, who is on the DL with wrist and forearm issues, will make a start with Triple-A Scranton on Thursday. This could put him on track to replace Warren in the rotation next week or the week after. Tanaka threw a 29-pitch bullpen session without any issues, which is a positive sign going forward.
After Monday’s off day, the Yankees will now play a two-game series in Washington D.C. against the Washington Nationals. The Yankees will have an another off day on Thursday, and it is possible that these two off days will help revitalize the Yankees because they had only had one off day in the past 31 days before Monday’s off day.
These are the pitching matchups against the Nationals (22-17), who are in second place in the National League East:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.14)
LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.25)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
RHP Adam Warren (2-2, 4.50)
RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 3.66)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
The Yankees are now on a four-game losing streak after their 12-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night. They didn’t perform well on offense or defense in the series opener against the Royals.
Michael Pineda struggled mightily for the first time this season as he allowed five earned runs on 10 hits after allowing four earned runs in his previous four starts combined. His slider was not working like it did in his last start, which led to him only striking out one compared to the 16 strikeouts he had in his previous start.
He was charged with three earned runs in the sixth inning. He allowed a double to Alex Gordon, an RBI triple to Omar Infante and an RBI single to 29-year-old rookie Paulo Orlando. Pineda’s final earned run came later in the inning when Orlando scored.
It is tough to have success when one of your main pitches isn’t working, and Pineda realized that these types of performances will happen during the course of the season.“It’s not my day,” Pineda said. “These games happen sometimes.”
The Royals were led by Lorenzo Cain, who was 3-4 with five RBIs against the Yankees. He now has 19 RBIs after having 53 all of last season. Kendrys Morales was the other offensive star for the Royals as he was 2-5 with three RBIs. Morales’s double to deep center off of Jose Ramirez in the seventh scored Cain and Eric Hosmer and gave the Royals a 12-1 lead.
Chris Young, who is 6-10 and 35 years old, lowered his ERA to an outstanding 0.94. He only allowed one run and four hits in 5.2 innings pitched. Brett Gardner tripled to right center in the first, but Young was able to bounce back and get Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to fly out to end the inning. The Yankees would end the game going 1-5 with runners in scoring position and leave six runners on base.
The only run that the Yankees scored came in the fourth inning when they had an opportunity to put a few runs on the scoreboard. Rodriguez doubled to leadoff the inning and then Teixeira hit an infield single but the side was retired in order after that. Brian McCann hit a sac fly to score A-Rod, but the next two batters flied out and struck out.
Offensive ineptitude has led to the Yankees losing the last three games of the series to Tampa Bay and this game to the Royals. They have only scored six runs in their last four games, which makes it hard to win games. They have not been able to hit with runners in scoring position and they haven’t hit homers like they did before the losing streak.
They will need to do better offensively to even their series with the Royals. Didi Gregorius has tonight’s game off, which could help the offense as he is hitting only .167 in his last seven days. Jose Pirela, who is back in the lineup playing second, has hit well since coming off of the disabled list (.278). However, the Yankees need Stephen Drew, the normal second baseman, to improve soon as he is hitting .143 with zero homers or RBIs in his last seven days and his average is now all the way down to .171.
CC Sabathia will get the start on Saturday night. He will look to pitch seven innings like he did in his last start. He allowed three runs on six hits (and two walks) while recording a season-high nine strikeouts against the Rays. He got his first win in his last start and even though he has a 5.20 ERA he has pitched better than his won loss record (1-5) or ERA indicates. His stuff and velocity are both better than they were the past two seasons.
Saturday’s game at Kauffman Stadium begins at 7:05 p.m. EST.
The Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Thursday night at Tropicana Field, and after winning the first game of the series, they lost the next three. A major reason that they lost the last three games of the series is that they combined to score only five runs in those three losses. The Yankees didn’t do anything well offensively or defensively in the loss on Thursday.
Chase Whitley was only able to pitch 1.2 innings before being taken out of the game due to elbow issues. He was likely more wild than normal because of the issue with his elbow. He threw a changeup that was nowhere near Brian McCann and went all the way to the backstop. He allowed two hits, two walks and three earned runs because the two runners that were on base when he left the game were charged to him.
It seems likely that Whitley will need Tommy John surgery based on the situation. He would have been been replaced when Masahiro Tanaka returned to the rotation anyway, but this injury to Whitley will hurt the team’s depth at starter, especially since he had showed signs of improvement from last season. “It’s in that area that you don’t want to talk about,” Joe Girardi said.
Esmil Rogers, who came into the game after Whitley was taken out after being looked at by the trainer, allowed a three-run homer to Rene Rivera on the first pitch that Rivera saw. Rivera came into the game with a .126 average and only five RBIs, but he was able to go 2-4 with four RBIs against the Yankees in this game.
Rivera, who was hitting ninth in the lineup and is known more for his defense, was not someone the Yankees expected to hurt them coming into the game. He had gone 0-6 in the two other games he played in this series, but that slump didn’t prevent him from hitting his second homer of his season. “The kid may have been looking for the pitch,” Girardi said. “He swung hard and hit it.”
Rivera’s second hit of the night was a single up the middle to center that scored David DeJesus to make the score 5-0. Evan Longoria, who has owned the Yankees the last few years, hit a single to left to drive in Steven Souza Jr. in the seventh inning off of Chasen Shreve. Shreve has pitched well overall in his first season with the Yankees as his ERA is now only 2.70, but he was one of many Yankees who did not perform well on Thursday.
The only run that the Yankees scored came off of a homer to right by Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning. They were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and didn’t hit any extra-base hits besides that home run.
The hits only came from the top of the lineup, which makes it difficult to score runs. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez combined to go 5-11, but the rest of the lineup did not have a single hit in 19 at-bats.
As a result of their three-game losing streak to the Rays, the Yankees now only have a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Yankees will look to hit better and get back in the win column in Kansas City on Friday with Michael Pineda pitching.
Pineda, who has a 2.72 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, is the ace of the rotation right now and recorded 16 strikeouts in his previous start, which is the second most in a single game by a righty in Yankees history. His 54 strikeouts are third in the American League and his five wins are also tied for second in the league.
Yogi Berra’s 90th birthday was yesterday, May 12. He is a a Yankee legend and an American icon. A fitting honor for his 90th birthday would be for him to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You can sign a petition for Barack Obama to give Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra the Presidential Medal of Freedom here.
“Yogi Berra should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A man of unimpeachable integrity and respect, he befriended the first black and Latino baseball players in Major League Baseball. He is currently an ambassador for Athlete Ally, which promotes LGBT rights in sports. Berra enlisted in the U. S. Navy during World War Il and served during the D-Day invasion. He continues to be an avid supporter of our armed forces. Berra greatly values education. While with the Yankees, he created a scholarship at Columbia University that is still active 50 years later. His namesake Museum & Learning Center serves 20,000 students annually with character education programs and teaches the values of respect, sportsmanship and inclusion that Berra has demonstrated throughout his life and career.”
He was a 15-time All-Star, three-time MVP winner and 10-time World Series champion as a player. He also caught the only perfect game in World Series history. His offensive numbers were off the charts as he had a career .285 average with 321 doubles, 2,150 hits, 358 homers and 1,430 RBIs. According to the Encyclopedia of Baseball, he is fourth among all catchers in homers, first among all catchers in RBIs and sixth in OPS. He has won the most World Series championships out of anyone in baseball history.
He has his famous “Yogisms” that have made him known in popular culture. They make more sense when you think about them more. Some of them are: 1. It’s deja vu all over again. 2. 90% of this game is half mental. 3. We made too many wrong mistakes. 4. When you come to a fork in the road … take it. 5. Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.
His legacy also extends to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. “The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center preserves and promotes the values of social justice, respect, sportsmanship and educational excellence through inclusive, culturally diverse sports-based educational programs and exhibits. The Museum is committed to educating and inspiring all people to fulfill the values reflected in Yogi Berra’s life and accomplishments.” They provide an environment to teach social and cultural values through baseball.
Here is a detailed story in USA Today about new Yogi Berra stories that includes one about him saying that he was not sprinkling his lawn because it comes on automatically. Here is a story by Kevin Kernan in the NY Post that describes why he is the most beloved baseball player alive.
All of this information about Yogi Berra makes him deserve to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Berra’s World Series rings were stolen from the museum last October (he was recently give replicas by MLB), which makes him deserve this honor even more.
Starting in 1999 and throughout the 2000s, Berra would come to spring training every year and give advice while acting as mentor to many on the team. Derek Jeter as well as others became close to Berra. Nobody has anything negative to say about Yogi Berra.
Starting in 1999, Ron “Gator” Guidry, who pitched for the Yankees for 14 seasons and was an All-Star four times, would pick Berra up at his home and drive him to spring training and sometimes cook for him every year until Berra was physically unable to attend regularly a few years ago. They are different personalities but still developed a close bond.
“Gator is always there for Yogi,” Joe Girardi said. “Yogi is one place, there is Gator, making sure that he is alright if he needs anything. Yogi doesn’t necessarily always want it like that, but Gator is there for him.”
The Yankees (21-12) beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 11-5, on Monday night, and they were helped by the offense hitting five homers at Tropicana Field. After not hitting many homers last season, the Yankees are currently in second place in the American League with 43 home runs. Their 152 RBIs are also second most in the American League to Toronto’s 167.
The Yankees have 12 wins in away games this season, which is tied with the Houston Astros for the most in all of baseball. Their improved defense, starting pitching and power on offense has helped the team get off to a better start than anyone expected. This could be sustainable because they have played the toughest schedule in baseball and Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia can get better the rest of the season and Masahiro Tanaka will be returning soon.
Alex Rodriguez, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira’s homers helped CC Sabathia record his first win since April 24 of 2014. The Yankees had only scored nine runs for Sabathia during his previous six starts before Monday’s, but in last night’s start the Yankees scored nine runs. Sabathia had a 5.45 ERA coming into the game but deserved to have two or three wins.
“The team wanted to get runs for CC,” Joe Girardi said. He thought it was great that Sabathia got his first win of the season after pitching well enough in two of his previous games.
In the first inning, after Logan Forsythe doubled to deep left center, Didi Gregorius made a perfect relay throw to home to get Steven Souza Jr. out and only allow one run to score on the play. Sabathia had a rocky first inning, but he was able to really rebound after that as he retired the side in order in the second, third and fourth innings.
He was able to get Tim Beckham to ground into an inning ending double play in the fifth that was started by Gregorius. In the sixth inning, Sabathia struck out Evan Longoria, who has hit very well against the Yankees the past few years, on an inside fastball to end the inning.
He allowed three earned runs in the seventh inning, but his stuff was much better than it was in his last start and it is an encouraging sign for him that he pitched well against a team that he has struggled against in the past (5.45 ERA between 2012 and 2014).
“During the middle of (the game) I just let it go,” Sabathia said. “I came in to righties. I felt good tonight. It’s good to get a win in a game that I started.” Sabathia allowed three earned runs, six hits, two walks and a season-high nine strikeouts. Teixeira, who hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, thought that it was great to see Sabathia go deep into the game and record a lot of strikeouts.
Headley, whose three-run homer in the fourth was his fourth of the season, was also impressed with how Sabathia pitched. “I thought CC did a great job,” Headley said. “I think he was mad at himself for giving up three runs in the seventh.”
The Yankees were able to hit all of their homers with two outs, which proves that they are not getting worse with two outs like some teams do.
Beltran’s solo homer to right center in the fifth was his second homer in as many games and after his 2-5 performance is now hitting .333 in his last 10 games. His average has increased from .181 on May 1 to .219 on May 12.
He is now in sole possession of fourth place on the all-time RBI list among switch hitters. It is key that Beltran has turned around his season offensively because he adds another power hitting switch hitter in the middle of the lineup. He is likely somewhere in between the .333 average that he has in his last 10 games and his .219 season average.
Below is an interview that Jorge Posada did with Dan Patrick on Monday. Posada is an all-time great Yankee catcher who played on the team for 17 years, was an a All-Star five times, won the World Series four times and won five Silver Slugger Awards. He was promoting his new book and shared stories about Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Torre and life as a Yankee.
The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Sunday afternoon in the series finale as Micael Pineda only allowed one run in seven innings. The Yankees won three out of four games against Baltimore and have won seven of their past 10 games to put them in first place by three games in the AL East with a 20-12 record.
Pineda, whose previous career-high in strikeouts was 10, recorded 16 strikeouts against the Orioles. Pineda is the first pitcher with 16 strikeouts and zero walks in a game since Johan Santana did so on Aug. 19, 2007. Pineda is also the first pitcher in the last 100 years to have 16 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings pitched.
His fastball, changeup and slider were all working to perfection against the Orioles, which helped him to repeatedly keep Baltimore’s hitter guessing at the plate. Between the fourth and sixth innings Pineda was able to strikeout five consecutive hitters.
During his starts this season and last season with the Yankees he has proven to be a No. 1 caliber pitcher. Pineda was named the American League Player of the Week after going 2-0, pitching 15 innings, allowing only one run and one walk, and striking out 22 batters. This was Pineda’s 16th and final strikeout before being taken out of the game.
“A couple of (pitches), they were great pitches, right on the corner, right at the knees,” Brian McCann said. “They were perfect pitches. It’s not fun facing him. … He’s a dominant pitcher. He really is. He’s a guy that not many people want to face.”
Pineda had 14 strikeouts in his final minor league start. He was very happy after this start and happy to have dominated on Mother’s Day.
“A really good game in the minor leagues and I’m happy with that,” he said. “But today is the best game. I had more strike ‘em outs than any game I’m pitching. I say thank you God, thank you to the team for giving me this opportunity, and I’m very happy.” He also said that he loves his mom and loves all mothers.
Pineda tied David Cone for most strikeouts by a Yankee right hander in one game. If Pineda continues pitching the way he has been he will be an All-Star for a second time.
The four runs that the Yankees scored against Bud Norris were all they would need to beat the Orioles. Carlos Beltran hit his first homer of the season and ended the game going 2-2 with two walks. He is turning around his season as he has a .313 average with nine RBIs in his last nine games to improve his average to .210.
Beltran is now tied for fourth most RBIs among switch hitters. It is a positive sign that Beltran is breaking out of his slump because he adds another power bat in the middle of the lineup.
Didi Gregorius had what was likely his best offensive game as a Yankee as he was 2-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs. He drove in his first run in the fourth and his second in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury’s double to deep left scored Stephen Drew and Gregorius and Brian McCann’s homer in the fifth was his fourth of the season. McCann said that Pineda is a very difficult pitcher to hit with the pitches that he has.
LHP CC Sabathia (0-5, 5.45)
RHP Alex Colome (2-0, 1.80)
7:10 p.m., YES Network
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-0, 3.97)
RHP Chris Archer (3-4, 2.59)
7:10 p.m., YES Network
RHP Adam Warren (2-1, 4.65)
RHP Nathan Karns (2-1, 3.79)
7:10 p.m., YES Network
RHP Chase Whitley (1-1, 3.06)
7:10 p.m., YES Network