According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees have acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Vidal Nuno. Buster Olney said that McCarthy is owed about 4.8 million for the rest of the season, plus a $1 million assignment bonus. The Diamondbacks will pay more than $1 million of that. Arizona will be able to save money because Nuno makes much less than McCarthy.
McCarthy and Nuno have both struggled this season, as they have a 5.01 ERA and 5.42 ERA, respectively, but McCarthy should definitely be an upgrade over Nuno. McCarthy has pitched better recently after allowing two runs in 5.2 innings in his previous start and one run in 7.0 innings in his start on June 27.
One of the advantages of having McCarthy over Nuno will be that McCarthy will be able to give the team length in games that Nuno was not able to do. McCarthy has pitched 6 innings or more in 12 of his 18 starts, but Nuno his pitched 6 innings or more in only five of his 14 starts this season. Nuno, the rookie who was pitching in the Independent Frontier League before the Yankees signed him, allowed 12 runs combined between his starts on June 15 and June 21.
McCarthy, who is in his ninth season, has previously pitched for the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and the Diamondbacks. He had by far his best two seasons from 2011-2012 while pitching for the Athletics. In 2011, he had a 3.32 ERA and a career-high 123 strikeouts. In 2012, his 3.24 ERA was the lowest of his career.
The veteran righty from Glendale, California, who has a 4.21 ERA for his career should be a major improvement over Nuno. He will be able to help the Yankees in their quest to make the postseason after not qualifying in 2013 better than Nuno would have. The Yankees are currently 3 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East and 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card.
The Yankees needed to add a pitcher to improve their rotation, and they were able to do that without giving up one of their better prospects. They could still look to bring back former Yankees Bartolo Colon or Ian Kennedy, who would both be improvements over Chase Whitley.
In other player news, the Yankees have designated Alfonso Soriano for assignment. He gave the team a lot of power after being acquired from the Cubs last July (17 homers in 58 games), but Soriano has only hit .221 in 2014. He also repeatedly did not come through with runners in scoring position. Soriano will likely have a team gamble on him finding his swing, but the Yankees could not wait any longer for him, especially since they have been struggling to score.
The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-0 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night for their second win in a row. This is the second time in their last 20 seasons that the Yankees have won six of their first eight games against the Red Sox. The first time was in 2012.
In the past three games, the offense had an impressive .284 average and six homers. Kelly Johnson had a .333 average and one homer in the past three games. The Yankees were led offensively in Friday’s game by Johnson’s two RBIs and Brian McCann’s two RBIs.
Vidal Nuno had his best start of his up and down campaign. He only allowed two hits and struck out five in his 5.2 innings pitched after allowing four and eight runs in his last two starts. He picked up his first win at Yankee Stadium in his 16th start of his career.
Nuno lowered his ERA from 5.88 to 5.42 as a result of getting his pitches to go exactly where he wanted them to and having his fastball average at least 90 MPH for the first time in his short career.
“He located the ball extremely well tonight,” Girardi said. “He bounced back. That is what you need guys to do. He fights. He goes out and competes. You know that he is not going go be intimidated by the situation and he gives you all he had.” Nuno said that he tried to get quick outs and help the team win.
Derek Jeter, who turned 40 on Thursday, had two hits and a run scored by the end of the third inning. He hit his 3,390th hit of his Hall of Fame career in the third inning and scored his 1,903rd run in the first inning after Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly.
It appeared that the Yankees would score at least a run in the third inning, but Red Sox starter Brandon Workman got Teixeira and Carlos Beltran out with the bases loaded. Luckily, the missed opportunity did not end up hurting the Yankees in this game.
In the fourth inning, Kelly Johnson hit his two-run homer to deep right center to drive in McCann to make the score 3-0. Brett Gardner made it back-to-back homers as he hit a homer to right for his seventh of the season. Gardner hit eight homers all of last season. The last time that the Yankees hit back-to-back homers was back on May 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
McCann, who was brought in to drive in runs and hit homers while taking advantage of the short porch in right, is starting to show more of his power. He gave the Yankees two insurance runs in the eighth inning as he hit a long two-run homer into the upper deck in right. Teixeira, who was one of three Yankees to have two hits, scored on McCann’s homer.
Dellin Betances came in after Nuno was taken out of the game, and he threw 1.1 innings while striking out two, allowing one hit and one walk. He is on track to be the first set up man All-Star on the Yankees since David Robertson in 2011. Betances now has a 1.39 ERA and 74 strikeouts in only 45.1 innings. He has remarkably struck out 43.5 percent of the batters he has faced.
Adam Warren pitched a perfect eighth inning. He was able to strikeout the dangerous David Ortiz with a 95 MPH to end the inning.
The Yankees hit three homers in one game for the first time since May 17. Hitting three homers in a game doesn’t happen all the time, but this could be a sign that the Yankees will start hitting with more power.
Johnson has hit all five of his homers at Yankees Stadium, and he has hit better recently as he has had more playing time with Yangervis Solarte’s struggling. Johnson’s playing more could be beneficial because he definitely has power as a result of slugging 16 homers in each of his past two seasons and a career-high of 26 homers in 2010.
The Yankees are two games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays. In Saturday’s game at 7:15 p.m., Masahiro Tanaka (11-2, 2.11 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Jon Lester (8-7, 3.14 ERA) will get the start for Boston. Tanaka, who is coming off his second loss of his career, will look to get his second win against Boston.
After winning four consecutive games, and having a chance to win the series against the Oakland Athletics, the Yankees lost on Saturday and Sunday to drop their record to 35-33. Hiroki Kuroda allowed four earned runs in 4.2 innings on Saturday, and the Athletics scored eight runs in three innings against Vidal Nuno in Sunday’s 10-5 loss to the Athletics.
According to Katie Sharp of ESPN, Nuno is the first Yankee lefty to allow 8+ earned runs in 3 innings pitched or fewer since Andy Pettitte on Sept. 5, 2003 against the Red Sox. Nuno, who only allowed one run in his last start, allowed three-run homers to Derek Norris and Coco Crisp among his eight hits during his regrettable start. His 5.90 ERA could get him sent back to the minors in the next few weeks.
The best starter that the Yankees have at Triple-A Scranton is Joel De La Cruz who has a 4.06 ERA in in 44.1 innings, which means that they should look outside of the organization to improve the rotation. Manny Banuelos, a former top prospect, is currently pitching in Double-A, but he likely wouldn’t be ready until August or September as a result of slow recovery from missing the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. They should look to acquire Jason Hammel or Jeff Samardzija via trade from the Chicago Cubs.
Nuno blamed his ineffectiveness on not being able to properly correct his mistakes against the Athletics offense. “It was pretty much just not making adjustments,” Nuno said. “They got some little hits here and there and then it was just one pitch – bang. Those two innings it was frustrating just getting not ahead in the count. They took advantage of it.”
Nuno only threw a first-pitch strike to 10 out of the 18 hitters that he faced, so his assessment that not getting ahead in the count hurt him is correct. Nuno allowed two more runs besides the six runs that scored off of homers in the first two innings, and then Jose Ramirez was charged with Oakland’s ninth and 10th runs in the 4th inning.
The Yankees rallied late in the game, but it is hard to have a chance to win a game when the starting pitcher is charged with eight runs in three innings. Mark Teixeira’s RBI double in the fifth, Carlos Beltran’s solo homer and Ichiro Suzuki’s sac fly in the seventh and Brett Gardner‘s homer to right that scored Yangervis Solarte gave the Yankees five runs to make the score somewhat respectable.
After the game was already decided, Brendan Ryan uncharacteristically made an error in the eighth to allow Craig Gentry to reach first. Ryan is known for being an excellent defensive shortstop, but that was already his third error of this season after only playing in 18 games.
The Yankees didn’t end the road trip through Seattle and Oakland the way they would have wanted to, but 4-2 is a successful six-game west coast road trip. The Yankees’ 6-4 record over their last 10 games is the best in the American League East, which has helped them improve in to a tie with the Baltimore Orioles for second place.
After an off day on Monday, as the Yankees will be flying back to New York City from Oakland, the Yankees will start a series against the first-place Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Masahiro Tanaka, who will start Tuesday’s series opener, has been by far the team’s best starter and will give them their best chance of getting back in the win column against their division rival.
After winning the first game of the doubleheader 4-3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Yankees lost their second of two games on Sunday by the score of 5-3. The Yankees are now 0-17 when trailing after seven innings.
The Yankees benched a few of their starters in the second game. “We were a little bit limited there because of what some guys were going through,” Joe Girardi said. “Of course you get greedy when you win the first two games, but we will move on and go to Chicago.”
Vidal Nuno, who replaced Ivan Nova in the rotation, allowed two earned runs (three overall) and struck out five in his six innings pitched. His off-speed pitches kept the Pirates guessing as he only allowed three hits through five innings, but Nuno ran out of gas in the sixth. Andrew McCutchen hit a single and was driven home on Starling Marte’s homer, and then Jody Mercer hit a single to left center. The Yankees wouldn’t take the lead for the rest of the game.
Gerrit Cole, who was drafted by the Yankees out of high school but decided to go to UCLA, allowed three runs and struck out eight in six innings. However, the bullpen for the Pirates was much better than that of the Yankees since Alfredo Aceves and Matt Thornton combined to allow two runs.
It hurt the Yankees’ chances that they were 1-4 with runners in scoring position, committed two errors and left seven runners on base. Brett Gardner was also picked off of third base by Pirates’ back-up catcher Chris Stewart.
The player of the game was Pirates third baseman/right fielder Josh Harrison as a result of his defense and his power on offense.
In the sixth inning, to tie the score at three, Yangervis Solarte hit a deep homer to the right field bleachers for his fifth homer of the season.
In the seventh, after Harrison hit a solo homer to left for the Pirates to make the score 4-3, Brian Roberts hit a double to deep right to drive Gardner to third. Robby Thompson, the third base coach, decided to leave him at third to be safe. Mark Teixeira was not able to come through in the clutch with two outs as he popped up to the second baseman.
In the bottom of the eighth, Derek Jeter pinch-hit for Kelly Johnson and lead off the inning with a single to center. Harrison made an outstanding diving catch to rob Solarte of at least a double and then Alfonso Soriano (who was pinch hitting) and Ichiro Suzuki both struck out.
Girardi sent in two of his regulars to hit in the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, but neither of them were able to get on base. For the Pirates, Stewart had previously only driven in one run this season, but had two RBIs in this game. He played for the Yankees briefly in 2008 and then again from 2012-2013.
Girardi could not give a definitive answer when he was asked about the return of starter CC Sabathia. “When we get him back, I don’t think any of us really knows,” Sabathia said after the game when asked about CC Sabathia. This is because the procedure that he had to replace the cartilage in his knee is extremely rare. “There are degenerative conditions in his knee,” Brian Cashman said.
The Yankees are in first place by a half-game in the AL East after having won four of their past five games. They will now have a road trip that very rarely happens as they will play their next six games in the city of Chicago. The first two will be at Wrigley Field against the Cubs and the last four will be at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox.