Category: Greg Bird

Greg Bird’s two RBIs helped the Yankees get a 3-1 win over the Rays

Luis Severino.

Luis Severino.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, 3-1, in the final game of their series at Tropicana Field. It was a big win for the Yankees because they were able to stay three games behind Toronto in the AL East since the Blue Jays routed the last place Atlanta Braves 9-1. After last night’s win, the Yankees are now only seven wins away from 10,000 in franchise history.

Luis Severino only allowed one run in 5.2 innings pitched while striking out seven in what was his most important start as a Yankee. The Yankees still have a chance in the AL East partly because they have won four of the last five games that he has started. The team could not have asked for anything more from their highly regarded rookie as he has a 3.12 ERA and 45 strikeouts in his eight starts and has allowed two runs or less in six of those starts.

“It’s great to help the team win,” Severino said after the game.

He has only allowed more than two runs twice, and both of those starts came against the Blue Jays. He allowed three runs in six innings in his first start against Toronto, which means that nine of the 15 runs that he has allowed have come against Toronto. That is not surprising because the Blue Jays have scored 102 runs more than the the Yankees, who have scored the second most runs in baseball.

In his previous start, on September 11 against the Blue Jays, Severino gave up six runs on six hits and three walks in only 2.1 innings, which means that he was able to rebound very well after that sub-par performance. Severino had not allowed a run until the sixth inning when Steven Souza Jr. doubled to center with one out to score James Loney. He struck out Nick Franklin swinging with two outs and then Justin Wilson came on in relief as Severino had thrown 94 pitches.

“He bounced back extremely well, which is good to see,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Some rookies will struggle after performing like Severino did against Toronto, but he was impressively able to pitch like he previously had.

Chase Headley had what ended up being the game-winning RBI in the top of the sixth inning with his single to shallow left that sent Brian McCann home to make the score 2-0. That was Headley’s only hit of the game and that hit snapped his 10 at-bat hitless streak.

Greg Bird, who was 2-4, drove in the first and third runs that the Yankees scored. He was once again a critical part in a Yankees win. In the second inning, to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, Bird hit a double to right center to score Carlos Beltran. In the ninth inning, to give the team an insurance run, Bird hit his seventh homer in his 29 game played of the season. Seven homers and 21 RBIs are very productive power numbers for a rookie who has not even played in 30 games.

The bullpen pitched 3.1 combined innings and only allowed one hit. Wilson only need 12 pitches to strike out two in his inning, Dellin Betances threw 1.1 innings and had to get out of trouble as he walked the bases loaded in the seventh and Souza Jr. hit a single off of him in the eighth, but he was able to get a key double play and strike out. Andrew Miller (1.80 ERA) struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to record his impressive 34th save of the season in his first year as a closer.

Chris Archer, who pitched well against the Yankees once again, allowed the first two runs that the Yankees scored. He pitched six innings and allowed four hits and four walks. He broke the Rays’ single season strikeout record with his third inning strikeout of Brett Gardner. That was his 240th strikeouts, which broke Scott Kazmir’s record.

The other positive offensively was that Jacoby Ellsbury, who had not had a hit in his previous 22 at-bats, went 2-5 in what was his first multi-hit game since September 6. The Yankees need this to be a sign of him hitting with more consistency.

The Yankees have their last off day of the season today before playing 17 games in 17 days to end the season. The Yankees play three games against the Mets at Citi Field starting on Friday and after that series will play an important three-game series at the Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays. Those six games will go a long way towards deciding if the Yankees win the division or get one of two wild card spots.

Greg Bird drove in all four Yankees runs as they beat the Twins 4-3 in the series finale

Greg Bird.

Greg Bird.

Greg Bird was the hero as the Yankees won Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Twins, 4-3, to record the sweep. It was their third win in three games against the Twins at Yankee Stadium and it was their sixth win in their last seven games overall. They have turned the corner from losing six of seven games from August 5-12.

Bird, who was playing in his fifth game, drove in all four runs that the Yankees scored against the Twins. In the fourth inning, Bird homered to right above the Fox Business sign in the second deck. In the sixth inning, in what was the game-winning homer, Bird hit a round tripper off of Twins starter Ervin Santana into the Yankees bullpen. Each of Bird’s homers came with two outs and Carlos Beltran on first.

Bird has a .333 average in 18 at-bats with four runs scored and five RBIs since being called up from Triple-A Scranton. When asked what his favorite part about his two homer afternoon was he said that what stood out most was that the team got the win. He credits his teammates with helping him quickly have success.

“My teammates, they are the best in the league,” the 22-year-old Bird said. “They have been very welcoming. They have made it an easy transition.” Bird’s production has made it so that the Yankees have not lost anything with Mark Teixeira out of the lineup due to his deep bone bruise.

Chase Headley (two hits) also had a multi-hit game, Stephen Drew had a hit after going 0-9 coming into the game and Jacoby Ellsbury‘s single to leadoff the game him a seven-game hitting streak. He is hitting 13-32 (.406) in his last seven games with three runs scored, three RBIs and one steal.

Nathan Eovaldi was the other standout performer in this afternoon’s game. He threw seven innings when the Yankees needed length out of him, allowed three runs on only four hits, and recorded eight strikeouts, which was his highest total since his second start of the season on April 15.

He threw a season-high 120 pitches, and Girardi likely let his pitch count escalate because the bullpen had pitched a lot recently and Eovaldi was on an extra day of rest. He allowed all three of his runs in the sixth inning. Joe Mauer hit a two-run single and Brian Dozier scored on Trevor Plouffe’s infield single.

Eovaldi had a perfect game through 5.1 innings. “The biggest thing that has helped Eovaldi has been his split,” Joe Girardi said. Locating his fastball and throwing his cutter, slider and curve is key for Eovaldi and his secondary pitches have been greatly improved in the last two months.

“I was able to locate the fastball,” Eovaldi said. “It is a great feeling. You compete and try to do your best for the team. In between starts I was concentrating on getting the split back on track.” He felt it worked well during the game.

Eovaldi threw 100 mph in four out of five pitches in one stretch. He was able to give the bullpen a break as only Chasen Shreve and Dellin Betances pitched after he came out of the game after the seventh inning.

“He was awesome,” Betances said in reference to Eovaldi. “Electric from the first inning on. He came back on for the seventh, which was huge.” He was impressed that Eovaldi was able to throw 100 mph deep into the game. Betances, who pitched a scoreless ninth while striking out two and recording his eighth save of the season, is now the first Yankees reliever to ever record 100 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons.

The bullpen has a 2.90 ERA in 16 games and a .248 average against this month. The relief pitchers have been a key part of the team’s success this season and all of the key pitchers are throwing well right now.

The Yankees, who have the day off on Thursday, currently have 2 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. Toronto lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, who have the worst record in all of baseball.

The lineup for the second game of the series against the Minnesota Twins

Greg Bird.

Greg Bird.

The Yankees will look to win their second consecutive game in the series against the Minnesota Twins. CC Sabathia, who was originally scheduled to start on Monday, will get the start tonight because it was decided that everyone in the rotation would get an extra day of rest.

The Yankees won Monday’s game 8-7 in 10 innings as Chase Headley’s ground out to the shortstop scored Brendan Ryan for the game-winning run. Carlos Beltran’s homer to left that scored Greg Bird in the sixth inning tied the game at seven. That was Beltran’s third homer in his last four games and Bird’s pinch-hit double was his first hit at Yankee Stadium.

Bryan Mitchell was unfortunately hit in the face by a line drive by Eduardo Nunez in the second inning, which forced the bullpen to pitch the final 8.1 innings. Mitchell walked off the field with the assistance of athletic trainer Steve Donahue, and Mitchell ended up coming away with a nasal fracture, which is better than it could have been given the circumstance. The bullpen will be shorthanded tonight since Chasen Shreve, Justin WIlson, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller all pitched during Monday’s game.

The Yankees, who are now a game ahead of the Blue Jays since Toronto didn’t play last night, will send out a different lineup than normal tonight. Chase Headley will get the night off and Ryan will play third base.

“I just felt Head could use a day,” Girardi said. “I gave him that day (in Cleveland) to try to give him two days because his legs were beat up, and I think he played eight innings that day. I just feel that he can use a day.” In 119 plate appearances with runners in scoring position this season, Headley has a line of .324/.370/.543 with 43 RBIs.

Mark Teixeira, who fouled a ball off his right leg just below his knee during last night’s game, had X-rays last night that were negative. However, his further tests did reveal that he had a deep bone bruise. It could take a few days until he is back in the lineup.

Bird, who has a .200 average in 10 at-bats, has been impressive at the plate so far even though he only has two hits. He has found the holes recently since both of his hits have come in his previous two at-bats. He will get the start tonight for Teixeira and is ready to play the next few games in case Teixeira is not able to.

“At least he’s gotten his feet wet, which is helpful,” Girardi said. “It’s not like we had him called up today and said you’re in the lineup. He’s done a good job over there. He may be called into duty for a few days.”

Here is the lineup for tonight’s game against the Twins:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Greg Bird 1B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Brendan Ryan 3B

Greg Bird will start at first base in the series finale against the Cleveland Indians

Greg Bird.

Greg Bird.

Greg Bird, who was ranked the #4 prospect by Baseball America in the Yankees organization after the 2014 season, was called up from Triple-A this afternoon. Relief pitcher Nick Goody has been sent back down to the RailRiders.

Since Garrett Jones was recently designated for assignment for the second time, Bird will be a back-up to Mark Teixeira at first base and be able to give Alex Rodriguez days off at DH. Teixeira has a .175 average in 12 August games and Rodriguez has a .162 average with two RBIs in his 12 games in August. This proves that they need more days off until they can figure out their swing.

Bird was the Yankees 5th round selection back in 2011 out of Grandview High School in Colorado. Bird is definitely capable of being productive offensively based on his stats in the minors.

He hit .277/.356/.469 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs in 83 games combined with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this season. He had a .258 average with Trenton but was called up to Scranton after improving his average. In 34 games at the more challenging Triple-A Scranton level, his .301 average with six homers and 23 RBIs proved that he was ready to try to help the struggling major league offense.

The Yankees, who are 61-51 and a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East, have lost six of their last seven games and have only scored nine runs in those seven games, which proves that it was time to call up their top Triple-A first baseman. This is the lineup for tonight’s series finale against the last place Indians.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Greg Bird 1B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B