After trading away Carlos Beltran, who was the team’s best offensive player in the first four months of the season, and Ivan Nova, who had been a pitcher with the Yankees since 2010 and was signed when he was 16, on Monday, the Yankees beat the Mets 6-5 in 10 innings.
The Yankees made the right decision in trading away their most valuable assets before the trade deadline because they had to improve the minor league system. They now have likely the best collection of prospects in baseball and those prospects will either be part of the next championship team or can be traded for players who can help the team win.
The Yankees had a middle of the pack farm system before trading Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Beltran but their minor league system has now vaulted to the top. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner hit the reset at the right time because the team did not have a realistic chance at making the playoffs and in making these trades they are closer to winning their next World Series. If they didn’t make these trades the team would have been in contention for the second wild card spot for the next few seasons, which is not the goal that the Yankees have.
In return for Beltran, who should make it to the Hall of Fame when he retires, and two of the top five relievers in baseball in Miller and Chapman, the Yankees received a total of 10 prospects and Adam Warren. For Beltran, they received two lower profile prospects and Dillon Tate, from the Rangers, who is a pitcher that was the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft. For Miller, they got back highly rated outfield prospect Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Ferereisen.
Frazier’s “bat speed and raw power are among the best in the Minor Leagues and suggest the ceiling of an All-Star” according to his MLB Pipeline scouting report. Frazier will be in Triple-A Railriders lineup on Tuesday, and Heller, a relief pitcher, has also been assigned to Triple-A.
Chapman is the only pitcher in baseball who can throw 105 mph. When the Yankees traded him the Cubs, who needed a closer, last week, the Yankees got back Warren, the Cubs top shortstop prospect in Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford.
In addition to those trades, Cashman also traded Nova just before the 4 p.m. trade deadline for two players to be named later. This made sense because Nova had struggled this season (4.90 ERA) and they likely would not have signed him in the offseason anyway. They also reacquired Tyler Clippard from the Arizona Diamonbacks for Vicante Campos. Clippard and Warren are not as talented as Miller and Chapman, but those two pitchers will be able to be valuable in the 7th and 8th innings and were important to get back since they lost so much production in the bullpen.
Cashman was able to get back a lot of top prospects for Miller and two players who might be rentals for the Cubs and Rangers. The Yankees had help from players who will be part of their present and future when they beat the Mets on Monday.
Didi Gregorius hit a two-run single in the 8th inning to tie the score at five. He has an impressive .291 average and is only 12 RBI away from setting a career-high. Starlin Castro was 0-3 but his sacrifice fly to right in the 10th that scored Jacoby Ellsbury ended up winning the game for the Yankees.
Dellin Betances, who is now the closer, recorded his first save of the season after James Loney, who owns the Yankees, doubled to leadoff the 10th. Betances was able to execute his pitches after that as he struck out Curtis Granderson to end the game after throwing two batters out at first.
The Yankees attempted to run more on the bases than before all of these trades. Austin Romine had his first steal of the season, Castro had his third steal of the season and Brett Gardner was thrown out at home attempting an inside the park home run.
Jacoby Ellsbury scored the first run of the game for the Yankees on a wild pitch and then the Yankees scored their second and third runs in the 5th. Brett Gardner had an RBI double and Ellsbury’s single drove in Gardner.
Warren and Clippard were big contributors out of the bullpen as they combined to pitch three innings, only allow one hit, not allow a run and strikeout four. This was Warren third appearance out of the bullpen since the trade and after struggling with the Cubs he has pitched like he did the previous few seasons with the Yankees, as he has only allowed one hit and no runs in four innings pitched.
The Yankees are now a game over .500 and can now play like they have nothing to lose since there is not much pressure after all of the trades thad were made. The Yankees recalled Ben Gamel and Nick Goody on Monday and will could bringing up catching prospect Gary Sanchez on Wednesday. Outfielder Aaron Judge, who is about to be reinstated from the disabled list and has performed well this season, and Tyler Austin, will both likely be called up in the next few weeks to continue the youth movement.
Since Sanchez will be coming up to the Yankees will have to decide what they will do with Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has not hit at all recently (one hit in his last 16 at-bats) so they could cut him, but they might decide to have him DH until he hits his 700th homer (he is at 696). However, the Yankees don’t really want him taking at-bats away from a younger player.
The Yankees edged the San Francisco Giants, 2-1, on Friday night. They have now won seven of their last 10 games and are 4.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card spot.
Chapman threw a few 104 mph fastballs in the ninth and then threw a 93 mph slider Brandon Belt and then struck out Belt on a a 103 mph fastball to end the game. He recorded his 20th save of the season. Gregor Blanco doubled to left to leadoff the inning but Chapman was able to come through in the clutch by getting three outs in a row.
Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller struggled more than normal but the Yankees still escaped with a win over the Giants, who are in first place in the NL West. The impressive 31-inning scoreless streak by the bullpen ended when Betances allowed a run in the seventh on a wild pitch. Andrew Miller, who picked up his sixth win, allowed three hits and one run in the 8th to tie the score at two.
The Yankees scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th as Austin Romine grounded into a fielder’s choice and Chase Headley scored on a throwing error by Brandon Crawford. That was the normally very reliable shortstop’s third error of the game.
Carlos Beltran drove in the team’s second run of the game as his double in the second scored Ronald Torreyes. That was his team-leading 61st RBI of the season and he could definitely be traded before the trade deadline because the 39-year-old will be able to get back quality prospect and the Yankees likely would not resign him after the season.
Masahiro Tanaka pitched very well on regular rest after struggling in some of his starts that were not on extra rest earlier in the season. He gave up one run in his previous start so he was able to continue his momentum and he has been by far the team’s best starting pitcher since 3.00 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Against the Giants, he didn’t allow a run, recorded four strikeouts and only gave up four hits.
Beltran made a perfect throw in the third to get Blanco out at home to prevent a run from scoring and complete a double play. Blanco missed home and Romine was able to tag him out. In the sixth inning, Beltran, who has lost much of his speed, was also able to make a running catch near the warning track to prevent a double from happening.
“It helped me a lot,” Tanaka said in reference to Beltran’s throw home. “That double play made it really easy for me.”
Didi Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann were all not in the lineup to start the game because Madison Bumgarner was pitching but the offense was still able to do enough off of them. The Yankees will have a good chance at winning the next two games because Saturday and Sunday’s starters for the Giants are not nearly as good as Bumgarner, who is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball.
The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 5-3, at Yankee Stadium on Friday night to get back to .500 (36-36). They have gone 2-2 in their last four games but the previous time that they were .500 before they were 34-34 the Yankees went on to lose four out of five games.
The Yankees will look to win the next two games against the Twins to extend the winning streak to four games and give them momentum heading into the series against the Texas Rangers. Minnesota has the worst record in all of baseball so it is important that the Bronx Bombers take advantage of playing an opponent that they are better than.
Joe Girardi’s ideal scenario happened in this game as Masahiro Tanaka pitched six innings and kept the Yankees in the game, which led to the Big Three of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman closing out the game while not allowing a hit.
Minnesota committed three errors, which helped Tanaka leave the game with a 4-3 lead. Carlos Beltran hit a double to left to score Brett Gardner and then Alex Rodriguez singled to left to score Beltran to tie the score at two. The Yankees scored two more runs in the fourth off of a sacrifice fly by Austin Romine and a RBI single to left by Rob Refsnyder.
Refsnyder, who will likely not be playing first as much with Mark Teixeira coming off the disabled list on Saturday, is hitting 6 for 17 (.353 with four runs scored, two doubles and two RBIs in his last five games. His average is an impressive .286 in 56 at-bats this season, which proves that he really knows how to produce offensively when given the opportunity.
Tanaka ended his start with his sixth quality start in his past seven. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. He also had a higher swing and miss percentage than most starting pitchers. Tanaka had allowed two runs or less in five of his previous six starts, but he was able to make pitches when he needed to in this one.
“Tanaka has the ability to pitch and get big outs when he needs them,” Joe Girardi said.
Aaron Hicks, who was playing against his former team, hit a solo home run with one out in the 8th to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. His homer landed in about the second row in left field. That was his first right-handed homer of the year and third homer overall. He now has a .310 average with two RBIs in his last 11 games.
“I am feeling good on both sides,” Hicks said. “I feel like as the season goes on my at-bats are getting better.” He was hitting .205 on June 12 and his average is now up to .217 and he has at least one hit in six of the last seven games he has started.
Tanaka got Kurt Suzuki to ground into a double play to end the sixth inning in what ended up being his last batter because Betances was ready to come into the came with the Yankees leading. Betances had a 10-pitch inning in the seventh, and he got Robbie Grossman to strike out on a nasty curve that bounced before getting to the plate.
Miller pitched the 8th inning and came into the game having struck out 50 percent of the batters he had faced. That is an outstanding ratio and only two relief pitchers have done that before. His fastball and slider combo worked to perfection in the eighth as he retired the side in order and struck out the dangerous Brian Dozier to lower his ERA to 1.14.
Aroldis Chapman struck out the first two batters on six pitches and all of the pitches were above 100 mph. He would strikeout out the side on a 90 mph off speed pitch. He threw a circle change that completely froze Suzuki to end the game.
In the ninth inning, Chapman threw 10 pitches that were 101 mph or faster and then his 11th pitch was 90 mph. There is basically not another relief pitcher in baseball who could have 11 consecutive pitches like the ones that Chapman had.
“They are going to have their lumps but I feel pretty good about them,” Girardi said about the Big Three.
In 10 games Betances, Miller and Chapman have appeared in together before this game they had a combined 1.48 ERA and 52 strikeouts. Those numbers are even more impressive after Friday’s game.
The Yankees play their next 16 games until the All-Star break against teams outside of the AL East, which is a positive for the Yankees since they are 10-17 against AL East opponents this season. Saturday’s game will be at 1:05 p.m., and Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees. He will look to rebound from allowing three runs on one homer and six hits in 5.1 innings in his last start.
After losing their two games in Denver at Coors Field against the Rockies, the Yankees started their series at Target Field against the Twins (20-46) with a win. CC Sabathia got his fifth win of the season after only allowing one run in six innings. He gave up six hits, three walks and struck out seven Twins.
Sabathia is not the power pitcher that he used to be, and has figured out how to reinvent himself at 35 after a subpar 2015 season (4.73 ERA), but he has been just as effective this season as he was in the prime of his career. He deserves to be an All-Star since in his 11 starts this season he has an outstanding 2.20 ERA, 56 strikeouts and has only allowed two homers. In 2014, when he only made eight starts due to injury, he had a 5.28 ERA and allowed 10 homers.
Proving how dominant Sabathia has been since the beginning of May is that in his past seven starts he has a 4-2 record, a remarkable 0.82 ERA (four runs combined), 41 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP. His 0.82 ERA since the beginning of May is the lowest in all of baseball.
In his last three starts, Sabathia has allowed a total of only one run while not allowing a homer and striking out 16 batters. Sabathia has allowed three runs or less in all of his starts this season and he was not able to get a win in three starts this season when he allowed two runs or less because the Yankees didn’t score enough runs.
However, he got the win on Thursday, his 219th of his career, since Didi Gregorius smashed a 3-run homer to right in the top of the seventh that drove in Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann. Gregorius’s homer off of Fernando Abad, who had just come into the game, broke a 1-1 tie. The Yankees would not have won the game without Gregorius because he scored the team’s first run of the game on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single to center.
Gregorius, who struggled against lefties in 2015 hitting only .247 against them last season, is hitting .368 in 57 at-bats against lefties this season. He was able to make an adjustment in the offseason that has really improved his production.
Gregorius, who is more known for his offense, has improved overall offensively compared to last season and is on track to improve his numbers in many categories. He finished last season with a .265 average, 24 doubles, nine homers, 56 RBIs and five steals. As of Thursday night’s game, he has a .280 average, 10 doubles, six homers, 28 RBIs and two steals.
The backend of the bullpen trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman dominated like usual to closeout the game. They combined to pitch three innings, allow only one hit and strike out four.
Sabathia is doing all he can do get the Yankees into the postseason race but they might not have enough on their roster to do so. The Yankees, who are currently 32-34 and 4.5 games out of a playoff spot, have their next eight games against the Twins and Rockies, who are both under .500.
These next eight games will go a long way towards determining if they will get back into the playoff race. Even if they do as a result of these games, the Yankees haven’t shown the ability to win on the road or beat teams above .500. It will likely be best if they trade Chapman before the trade deadline to get a few players who will be able to help the team next season.
The win that the Yankees had on Saturday afternoon was one that Brian Cashman envisioned when he traded for Aroldis Chapman in the offseason. Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox was the first time that the flame-throwing trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman all pitched in a game and they lived up to their potential.
Chapman’s first game active this season was May 9 after being suspended for 30 games due to domestic violence, and Saturday was the first game when Joe Girardi thought it made sense to use all three given the score and that each of the three were rested. Betances came into the game in the sixth after Ivan Nova walked Todd Frazier with two outs and then pitched 1.1 innings while striking out every batter he faced, Miller only allowed a single in the eighth inning and Chapman struck out two of the three batters he faced while getting his second save as a Yankee.
“We knew these would be the type of games that we would use all three of them, and that if we could line them up, it’d be pretty good,” Girardi said.
In total, Betances, Miller and Chapman pitched 3.1 innings while allowing only one hit, no walks and they combined to strikeout eight of the 11 batters that they faced. The most fearsome trio in baseball could not have been any better and all three will likely be available for Sunday’s game, when the Yankees will try for the third consecutive series win.
Dellin Betances has three more strikeouts (32, 2.20 ERA) than any other reliever in the American League, Miller has a near flawless 0.61 ERA and has only six fewer strikeouts than Betances and Chapman’s 116 strikeouts were tied for the 45th most in the National League last season and were 25 more than any other relief pitcher in the NL. Chapman also threw 77 of the 77 fastest pitches in Major League Baseball last season, which proves how much faster he throws than every other pitcher.
Nathan Eovaldi threw a 101.6 mph fastball last season and Chapman was able to actually throw 77 fastballs that were faster. He overpowers hitters with his fastball and catches them off guard with his slider that can be 13 or 14 mph slower than his fastball.
Nova had his second consecutive dominant start since replacing CC Sabathia in the rotation, who went on the disabled list due to a strained left groin on May 6. In Saturday afternoon’s game, Nova pitched 5.2 innings, gave up only four hits and only allowed Todd Frazier’s solo homer to left in the fourth inning. He is still getting stretched out after pitching in the bullpen before May 9, but was able to throw 48 of his 74 pitches for strikes. Nova’s sinker was really working on Saturday since 12 of the 17 outs that he recorded were via the groundout.
Nova only allowed one run in 4.2 innings in his start on May 9 and should be able to stay in the rotation for at least a few more starts. Luis Severino went on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps strain after his start on Friday. He will likely need more than the required 15 days and he hasn’t been anything like the pitcher he was during the last two months of last season anyway.
Severino, who is 22 and made his big league debut last August, made 11 starts from the beginning of August through the end of September last season and had an impressive 2.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 2.0 Wins Above Replacement. However, possibly partly due to his triceps strain, this season he has a 7.46 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, eight homers allowed and a -0.7 Wins Above Replacement in seven starts. It might make sense for him to throw a few starts at Triple-A before coming off of the DL.
The Yankees did all of their scoring in the second inning. Aaron Hicks continued his improvement on offense as he was 1-3 and had an RBI double in the second. In the last seven days, Hicks has a .333 average (8-24) with one homer, two doubles, four RBIs and five runs scored. He has raised his average from .122 to .210 in the last seven days and is playing like the player that the Yankees thought they were getting when they traded for him in the offseason.
Didi Gregorius’s RBI single in the second that scored Hicks ended up being the winning run for the Yankees. Gregorius was 3-3 during the afternoon and the bottom third of the order had all five of the team’s hits. Gregorius has six RBIs in his last four games, which are as many as he had in his previous 17 games combined.
It is a positive sign that the Yankees have been getting more production from the bottom of the lineup recently. The Yankees will have a dangerous offense when the top, middle and bottom of the order are locked in at the same time.
Jose Quintana has been one of the best pitchers in the American League as he only has a 1.54 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in eight starts this season, but the Yankees were able to do just enough to even the series.
Masahiro Tanaka will get the start in the series finale and will look to get the team a series win against the first place team in the AL Central. Chase Headley will get the day off at third and will be replaced by Ronald Torreyes and Dustin Ackley will get the start in right with Hicks getting rest.
The Yankees defeated the Chicago White Sox in a nail-bitter, 2-1, as Alex Rodriguez’s RBI double in the sixth inning that scored Chase Headley ended up being the game-winning run for the home team.
Adam Warren only allowed one run on three hits and three walks in his six innings pitched while helping the Yankees get one win closer to clinching a playoff berth. He only needed 88 pitches to get through his six innings, got an inning ending double play in the first and retired the side in order in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings.
The only run that Warren allowed was a single to right field by Jose Abreu that scored Adam Eaton in the first inning. The White Sox were 0-2 in their other at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees are currently four games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East with eight games left in the season, which means that the Yankees are virtually assured of playing in the one-game wild card playoff. The Yankees are 4.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros for the first wild card spot, which means that there is basically a 99 percent chance that they will host the one-game playoff.
It is not known who they will play for the right to advance to the ALDS because the Astros only have a half a game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the second wild card spot. The Minnesota Twins still have a slim chance as they are 1.5 games behind the Astros. Minnesota would be the best matchup for the Yankees, but that is not very likely at this point.
The Yankees bullpen could not have been any better as Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller combined to pitch three innings and not allow any hits. They each pitched one inning and Wilson struck out two while recording his 28th hold, Betances got through the eighth while only having to throw eight pitches and lowering his ERA to an outstanding 1.36 and Miller struck out two to help him pick up his 36th save of the season in his first year as a closer.
“If I go out there and have a clean seventh, Dellin wants to do something better than I did, and the same for Andrew. We feed off each other, and it’s kind of like a brotherhood,” Wilson said. “With Dellin behind me and Andrew behind him, of course it breeds confidence.”
As a result of Wilson’s two strikeouts and Miller’s two strikeouts, the Yankees bullpen has now struck out an AL-record 573 batters, which is two more than the record that the Yankees relievers set last year.
The other run that the Yankees scored also came in the sixth inning when Chase Headley hit a ground rule double to left center to score Jacoby Ellsbury. Earlier in Headley’s at-bat, Ellsbury stole second to allow him to score on that ground rule double.
Luis Severino, who only allowed two runs and three hits in six innings in his previous outing, will get the start during today’s 1:05 p.m. game against the White Sox. He has a very good 3.10 ERA in his nine starts and has only allowed more than two earned runs twice.
Dustin Ackley will get the start at second base after rookie Rob Refsnyder had played the previous three games at second. In those three games, Refsnyder has four hits in eight at-bats with one double. He now has a .273 average in his 22 at-bats this season.
“We’ve liked the way he’s swung the bat and defensively he’s done a good job, so I’ll continue to give him more opportunities,” Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees beat the New York Mets, 5-0, on Saturday afternoon and their deficit in the American League East is now 3.5 games since the Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees had a 5-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but Joe Girardi still ended up using six relief pitchers. It worked out in the end because the Mets did not score a run, but Girardi could have brought in one fewer pitcher out of the bullpen.
Michael Pineda pitched 5.1 innings on Saturday against the Mets, allowing four hits, one walk and striking out four. He is a very effective pitcher when he throws his slider where he wants it to go and he did exactly that against the Mets. Big Mike was taken out of the game after throwing only 86 pitches and allowing two singles and then striking out Yoenis Cespedes in the sixth.
Joe Girardi said that he was taken out of the game because of how he had previously pitched against Daniel Murphy, who was the next batter. Girardi’s strategy ended up working in the sixth inning as Justin Wilson walked Murphy to load the bases and then struck out David Wright and Juan Uribe swinging to end the frame.
Noah Syndergaard, who is one of the best young pitchers in the National League and came into the game with a 3.20 ERA in 21 starts, was not effective in the first inning. His least effective innings this season have been in the first and sixth innings, and Synergaard allowed multiple runs in both of those innings.
Carlos Beltran hit a homer to right field to drive in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner in the first inning. That was Beltran’s 16th blast of the season, which is tied for fifth most on the team. He also has the best average on the team (.279) and nobody would have expected that at this point of the season after he had a .162 average at the end of April.
“The first month I wasn’t really basically using my lower body,” Beltran said. “Looking at a lot of videos, looking at a lot of clips from previous years, I was able to make the adjustment.”
Another positive about the first inning is that Ellsbury and Gardner both singled and it will be important that they continue to get on base at the top of the lineup in the remaining 15 games for the middle of the order to have RBI opportunities.
Brian McCann hit a 433-foot homer to right center in the sixth inning to score Beltran to give the Yankees two insurance runs. That was McCann’s 26th homer of the season and his team leading 89th RBI. McCann, who is a seven-time All-Star, is on his way to finishing with 30 homers and 95 RBIs for the first time in his career.
Wilson struck out four in his 1.1 innings of relief but after that Girardi truly mixed and matched his relievers for the rest of the game. Wilson came out of the game with two outs in the sixth inning and from the point on Caleb Cotham, Dellin Betances, James Pazos, Chris Martin and Andrew Miller all pitched for the Yankees.
Betances pitched a perfect eighth inning striking out two batters and then Girardi went to the rookie Pazos. He had only allowed one hit in six appearances (3.0 innings) coming into this game, and he got the only batter he faced (Murphy) to ground out to Didi Gregorius. Girardi could have opted to leave in Pazos, but luckily Miller only had to throw three pitches to get the final out of the game, which means that he will be able to pitch again on Sunday.
Girardi doesn’t like to throw Betances or Miller three days in a row, but that rule could be thrown out of the window now and Sunday would only be his second day in a row pitching anyway.
“I think his rules usually [don’t] include September,” Miller said. “That’s how I understood them. I know they’re not hard and fast. I don’t know how many games we have left but I’m going to try to pitch in every one of them.”
The Yankees will look to win the series and keep their chances of catching the Blue Jays in the AL East alive with a win over the Mets on Sunday Night Baseball. Matt Harvey will be limited in this game due to coming back from Tommy John surgery and it was reported that he will throw about 70 pitches in tonight’s start.
CC Sabathia will get the start tonight for the Yankees and he has pitched better since getting a new brace on his knee. Sabathia, who has a 4.93 ERA this season, allowed zero runs in a start for the first time this season in his previous start.
“CC threw the ball as well as he’s thrown it all year,” Alex Rodriguez said. “Four pitches for strikes, and it’s not just about speed, it’s throwing the ball with conviction. Tremendous performance by CC. Very encouraging.”