In the first game of their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees (76-67) lost 8-2 and were losing 6-1 after the third inning. The Bronx Bombers have now lost two games in a row and are five games behind the Boston Red Sox for first in the AL East and still only two games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild card spot.
The Yankees have scored two runs in each of their last two losses. Also, leading to their two straight losses, has been that their starting pitching has not been as good as it was during their seven-game winning streak. In Sunday’s loss to the Rays, Luis Cessa allowed four runs in 5.2 innings for his first loss, and in Monday’s loss to the Dodgers, Bryan Mitchell, who didn’t allow a run in five innings in his first game of the year last week, allowed six runs (two earned) in 2.1 innings pitched.
Mitchell only allowed two earned runs, which makes it seem like he pitched a lot better than the box score shows, but the Dodgers also had eight hits against him in only 2.1 innings. It took him 47 pitches to get four outs, which proves how ineffective he was. The three runs that the Dodgers scored in the second inning were unearned because with runners on first and third Aaron Judge made an error on a ball hit by Chase Utley causing him to advance to third and Howie Kendrick and Andrew Toles to score. Corey Seager was the next batter and he singled to right to score Utley.
In the third inning, the Dodgers scored on earned run and on unearned run off of Mitchell. He was taken out of the game after allowing a single, a double and then an infield single that scored Yasmani Grandal. Josh Reddick scored later in the inning but that run was unearned because of Gary Sanchez’s throwing error.
The Dodgers (81-62) scored two more runs at the end of the game on solo homers by Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner. Puig hit a pinch-hit homer and that was his third homer in his last 10 at-bats.
Dodgers rookie Jose De Leon limited the Yankees to two runs in five innings and four LA relievers held the Yankees scoreless over the final four innings while only allowing two hits. The only runs the Bronx Bomber scored came off of solo homers by Starlin Castro and Judge.
CC Sabathia will get the start for the Yankees in Game 2 of the series and Dodgers rookie Julio Urias will make his 14th career start. The Yankees will look to even the series and have the fans at Yankee Stadium make more noise than the Dodgers fans as Game One felt like a Dodgers home game.
The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays in a nail bitter of a game, 2-0, and were remarkably able to sweep the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays, who were in first place when the series started, are now a game behind the Red Sox in the AL East. The Yankees are now 4.5 games out of first place in the AL East and 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot.
The Bronx Bombers got just enough on offense to finish off the sweep of their rivals to the north. Toronto has the deeper lineup, but the Yankees were able to out hit them nine to five. The nine hits would have led to more runs if they were better than one for six with runners in scoring position.
Starlin Castro hit a homer over the State Farm scoreboard in left field in the third inning against Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Castro now has 20 homers and he is only the fourth Yankee second baseman in franchise history with 20 or more homers in a season. The others were Robinson Cano (from 2009-2013), Alfonso Soriano (2002-2003) and Joe Gordon (1938-1941).
Later in the third, Brian McCann singled to right to score Didi Gregorius. McCann, who has become the regular DH with the emergence of Gary Sanchez, has three hits in his last 12 at-bats (.250) with a homer and two RBI. Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury both had two hits.
Bryan Mitchell was stellar in his first start this season for the Yankees. He missed the first five months of the campaign after suffering a fractured sesamoid bone and Grade 3 turf toe during a spring training game against the Braves on March 30. He would need surgery the next week. He would have been an important part of the pitching staff if not for the freak injury and he appears ready to be fulfill that potential down the stretch.
Mitchell pitched five innings while not allowing a run, giving up only four hits, two walks and striking out two. He threw 49 of his 80 pitches for strikes and was able to get Edwin Encarnacion to hit into a double play in the first and got Devon Travis to hit into a double play in the third inning.
“After the whole season, what I went through, tonight’s very rewarding,” Mitchell said. “It’s been my goal all year to get back here.”
Luis Severino, who has been virtually un-hittable as a reliever this season, pitched the sixth through eighth innings while allowing a hit, a walk and striking out three. Severino has faced 50 batters as a relief pitcher and has only allowed two hits. Also, in 14.1 innings pitching out of the bullpen this season, he has not allowed an earned run and has 16 strikeouts and six walks. They likely would not have gotten the win without his three dominant innings as Dellin Betances and Adam Warren were both not available.
To close out the game, Tyler Clippard picked up his first save of the season while not allowing a hit and striking out two. The former Yankee was a starter for the team in his rookie season in 2007 and was reacquired from the Diamondbacks before the trade deadline. He has a 0.56 ERA as the run the Mets scored off of him on August 3 was the only earned run he has allowed in his 16 innings with the Yankees. He has been a valuable trade deadline acquisition after the trades of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman.
The Yankees are 65-51 since May 1, which is the fifth best record in the American League. The only teams with better records since then are the Blue Jays (66-48), Astros (67-48), Indians (70-47) and Rangers (69-46). They are also 21-13 since the trade deadline.
“We’ll get there (the postseason) if we continue playing the way we’re playing. If we continue to win series…we’ll be all right,” Castro said.
The Yankees begin a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. It’s important that the Yankees sweep the 59-79 Rays to have a chance at a playoff spot because their schedule will be more challenging after Sunday’s game.
The Yankees beat the Red Sox, 13-8, in the rubber game of their series at Fenway Park. Their pitching was not effective after taking a 12-1 lead in the fifth inning, but their five homers led them to a much-needed series win over their rival, and to Joe Girardi’s 800th win as a manager.
David Ortiz hit a ground rule double to right to score Mookie Betts in the first inning, but the Yankees would go onto score 12 unanswered runs. Greg Bird and John Ryan Murphy hit back-to-back homers in the second inning. Bird’s homer was a two-run blast and he now has three homers and 12 RBIs in his 18 games played and Murphy’s homer was solo blast and his average is now .276, which is very good for a back-up catcher.
After the back-to-back homers, Chris Young singled to left to score Didi Gregorius and advance Stephen Drew to third, Alex Rodriguez singled to left to score Drew and Young and then Carlos Beltran hit a homer over the Green Monster to drive in Rodriguez to give the team their eighth run of the second inning.
In the third inning, Drew homered to right to score Bird and Gregorius to make the score 11-1, and then in the fifth inning, Gregorius hit a solo blast to right center to give the team their 12th run of the game. The Yankees would tack on an insurance run in the eighth inning after the Red Sox made a comeback as Jose Pirela hit an infield single to score Brett Gardner. The speedy Rico Noel was going to make his first major league at bat, since he was in the on-deck circle, but Joe Girardi sent Pirela in to hit at the last minute.
The six, seven, eight and nine hitters for the Yankees combined to go 8/17 (.470) with eight runs scored, seven RBIs and four homers. That is much better production than you will normally see from the bottom of the lineup.
“When you get guys down there producing the way they are, a lot of times you can put up big numbers,” Girardi said. “And we did.”
In his last seven games, Gregorius has 16 hits in 28 at-bats (.571) with eight runs scored, three homers and 12 RBIs. His average is now a season-high .272 and he has raised his average from .252 to .272 in his last 10 games. Drew, who had not finished a game with his average above .200 this season until it was .201 on August 30, has his average up to .211 since he has nine hits in his last 13 at-bats, to go along with six runs scored, two homers and nine RBIs.
“Didi’s swinging the bat well, obviously, and myself, so it was a good day overall for everybody,” Drew said after the game.
Masahiro Tanaka picked up his 11th win of the season, but he allowed three runs after the Yankees had their 12-1 lead. To make the score 12-4, Pablo Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly to score Blake Swihart. Andrew Bailey, who was making his first appearance since the middle of the 2013 season because of serious injuries, didn’t have his control as he allowed two walks, a hit and an earned run to make the score 12-5.
The Yankees unfortunately were forced to bring in Dellin Betances and Andrew MIller into a game that they were winning 12-1. Betances was able to record the final two outs of the eighth inning after Bryan Mitchell allowed two runs and then Andrew Miller recorded all three outs in the ninth inning for his eighth consecutive scoreless appearance.
The Yankees did what they had to do as they went 5-1 on their road trip to Atlanta and Boston. They are still 1.5 games behind the Blue Jays since Toronto has also won their last two games. The Blue Jays will have to cool down soon since they have gone 19-5 win their last 25 games.
The Yankees have the day off on Thursday before closing the season with 30 games in the next 31 days. They will start a 10-game homestand with a three-game set against the 66-67 Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. Luis Severino, who has an outstanding 2.17 ERA in his five game this season and could be the team’s third best starter, will get the start for the Yankees.
After winning the first two games of the series on walk-off hits, the Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Sunday. afternoon. Ivan Nova didn’t not pitch well, the team made three errors and the offense only had three hits.
Nova had his worst start of his three outings since coming off of the disabled list, as he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks in five innings pitched. In his previous two starts, he allowed two and zero earned runs respectively.
“I thought he did a pretty good job for not having anything,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He just had a hard time throwing strikes.”
He had trouble locating his pitches and missed a lot with his first pitch curveballs. James Loney, who has a .303 average this season against the Yankees and between 2012 and 2014 he had a .358 average (58-162), hit a single in the first inning to right to score David DeJesus and Evan Longoria to give the Rays all the runs they would need.
In the second inning, back-up catcher Curt Casali hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Kevin Kiermaier to give the Rays a 3-0 lead. In the first two innings, the Rays had four hits including Kiermaier’s triple and one walk.
The run that the Rays scored in the fifth inning was unearned due to Nova’s error. Casali doubled to leadoff the inning and then Asdrubal Cabrera sacrificed between third and the mound, but instead of taking the easy out at first, Nova made a wild throw to third causing Casali to score easily. Nova should have thrown to first because it would have taken a perfect throw to get Casali out at third.
To end the fifth inning, Nova got Loney out on a shallow pop up and then got Logan Forsythe to line out right to Stephen Drew.
Erasmo Ramirez, who has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last seven appearances, only allowed one run on three hits in his six innings pitched. Ramirez is an outstanding 5-1 with a 1.18 ERA in his last seven starts, which proves he has dominated any team that he has faced. He threw 99 pitched and had six ground ball outs and eight fly ball outs.
The only run that the Yankees scored during the game was an Alex Rodriguez solo homer to left center in the sixth inning. Chase Headley and Garrett Jones were the only other two Yankees who had a hit. Jones had a chance at putting some runs on the board in the first inning but he got out with the bases loaded in the first inning.
“They have a bunch of big left-handed hitters, lot of power, and I think his changeup really plays well for him against these hitters,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s able to separate a lot with the fastball and the changeup combination.”
Bryan Mitchell, who had been a starter during his five seasons in the minors and had a 2.79 at Triple-A Scranton this season, allowed two earned runs (four overall) in his two innings pitched in relief of Nova. Jose Pirela made two errors on one play in the eighth as he made a fielding error on Loney’s hit to him and then made a throwing error that caused Loney to advance to second and Longoria to third.
Forsythe singled to score Loney and Longoria and then the other two runs came with Chris Capuano pitching. This combined with the effectiveness of the Rays relievers put the game out of reach. The Yankees were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base, which makes it hard to win a game especially when getting a sub-par start from your starter.
The Yankees had their three-game winning streak end, but they are still a game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles and two games ahead of the Rays and Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. The Yankees have an off day on Monday before playing a three-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Oakland Athletics.
Willie Randolph and Mel Stottlemyre, who both received plaques in Monument Park on Saturday, both wore No. 30 as a Yankee, which makes it fitting that Nathan Eovaldi (No. 30) got the start against the Tigers since he is No. 30 as well. He made them proud as he only allowed one earned run in six innings in the Yankees 14-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, which was a complete turnaround from his previous start.
Randolph was overjoyed that he got a plaque in Monument Park after growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn. “It is all about my legacy,” Randolph said. “They embraced me. I grew up in this town. Thurman Munson taught me how to be a winner. I grew up learning the Yankee way. We felt like we were part of the legacy and wanted to teach the young kids how to lead.”
Randolph was a 5-time All-Star as a Yankee (six overall), won two World Series as a player with the Bronx Bombers, four as a coach and had a .276 career average (.373 on-base percentage) with 1,239 runs scored, 2,210 hits & 271 steals. He played 13 of his 18 major-league seasons with the Yankees.
He was surprisingly fired as manager of the Mets in 2008 and pointed out in his speech that when he walks the streets, “Cabbies yell at me, “Willie, you got a raw deal with the Mets! They gave you a raw deal!”
Randolph said that he almost quit when he was in Double-A and told his mom that he wanted to come home to Brooklyn. His mom told him that she would pick him up at the train station but that she didn’t raise a quitter. This made Randolph reconsider quitting and led to him getting to the major leagues.
At the end of spring training in 1996, some in the Yankees front office were not convinced Derek Jeter could be the everyday shortstop, so they were close to trading Mariano Rivera to the Seattle Mariners for a shortstop prospect named Felix Fermin, but Randolph convinced Steinbrenner not to make this trade with the Mariners because he thought Jeter deserved a chance. Randolph obviously made the right call because the Yankees would not have had their dynasty without Rivera and Jeter.
The Yankees lived up to their Bronx Bombers nickname as they scored one or more runs in all but two innings. They slugged five home runs and tied a season-high with 14 runs. They have averaged eight runs a game during their current four-game winning streak after previously losing five of six games when they scored four runs or less in every loss.
Alex Rodriguez was 2-3 with a homer and five of the 14 RBIs and Carlos Beltran had his first multi-homer game since 6/15/2013 when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals.
In reference to A-Rod’s five RBIs, Brett Gardner said, “Our job at the top of the order is to get on base for A-Rod and he makes it seem easy.”
To leadoff the scoring, Rodriguez, grounded into a fielder’s choice in the first to score Gardner. Didi Gregorius hit a homer to the first row in right field to lead off the second inning. That was his fourth homer of the season.
Brian McCann grounded out to first with the bases loaded to end the second after Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly scored Stephen Drew. Defensively, to lead off the sixth inning, Gregorius made an outstanding barehanded play to just barely get Jose Iglesias out at first.
Beltran hit a two-run homer into the bleachers above the DKNY sign in right center field to start the third inning. That was his sixth homer of the season and his fourth hit in his last 11 at-bats (.364). Chase Headley had an RBI single through the infield to right to drive in Chris Young in the third. Alex Rodriguez hit a deep three-run homer with two outs in the third for his 3,001st hit. That was the team’s ninth hit in the first three innings.
Beltran smashed his second homer of the game in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 9-0 lead. The first time he hit one batting left handed and he hit this one above the US Trust sign in right while batting from the right side of the plate.
“We just need to approach it the same way we have been doing, putting good at-bats together,” Beltran said. “We are going to have streaks when we play good baseball and when we don’t, but over last four days we have been hitting and pitching well.” Beltran has hit .296 with seven homers in May in June after having a .162 average at the end of April. This proves that he has a lot left in the tank.
By the time the third inning ended, Brett Gardner, who is fourth in the AL in runs scored (49) and second in steals (15), was a homer away from cycle as he already had a single, double and a triple. He also made a great leaping catch against the wall in left center to get Yoenis Cespedes out to leadoff the fifth.
“Gardner has been really good,” Joe Girardi said. “A lot of times we score a lot of runs and he creates a lot of havoc on the bases. I wanted to pull him out of the game but because he had the opportunity (to hit for the cycle) we left him in there.”
The Yankees scored seven earned runs in 2.2 innings against Alfredo Simon as his slow pace did not work to his advantage.
Detroit, who was losing 13-3 in the eighth inning, had shortstop Josh Wilson pitch, and Young blasted a homer to right for his second RBI of the game and eighth homer of the season.
Nathan Eovaldi rebounded very well as in his previous start he became the only pitcher in Yankee history to allow nine hits and not pitch an inning. Eovaldi’s fastball, curveball and splitter were all much better than in his previous start in Miami. Eovaldi had four strikeouts, allowed a season-low three hits and retired the side in order in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Brian Mitchell, who was called up from Triple-A on Friday, recorded the final nine outs and struck out Andrew Romine to end the game.
The Yankees will have the pitching advantage on Sunday afternoon as Mashiro Tanaka has a 2.49 ERA in his seven starts and Anibal Sanchez has a 4.65 ERA in his 14 starts.
As a result of Chris Capuano straining his right quadriceps a few days ago covering first base there is now an open competition for the No. 5 starter in the rotation. The candidates for the final spot in the rotation include Adam Warren, Esmil Rogers, Chase Whitley and Bryan Mitchell.
Mitchell and Whitley will likely come in third and fourth because they have less experience than the other two. Mitchell allowed four runs on six hits in one inning in his start on March 11. He has a 9.00 in four innings so far in spring training.
He is thought of highly in the organization, but he needs more time to develop at Triple A. The 23-year-old made eight starts and nine appearances last season at Triple-A and had 3.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 16 walks. The hard-thrower needs to improve his strikeout to walk ratio, as his walks are far too high. That is a solid ERA and an improvement from the 4.84 ERA he had in 61.1 innings at Double-A last season, but he has not proved himself long enough with the RailRiders yet.
Whitley is a 25-year-old who was drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round in 2010 who made 12 starts and 24 total appearances for the Yankees last season. He pitched well in his first few starts, but he had trouble pitching deep into games and being effective the more appearances he made. He had a 5.23 ERA in 75.2 innings with a very high 1.480 WHIP. He makes more sense in Triple-A or in the bullpen.
Whitley has pitched seven innings (one start and three relief appearances) so far in spring training and has not allowed a run. However, that does not prove very much for him as a starter because he was only primarily facing major leaguers in one of those appearances. What that does prove is that he might be better suited for a role as a relief pitcher since he was also successful in the bullpen in the minors as he had a 3.06 ERA in 67.2 innings at Triple-A in 2013 while making 24 of his 29 appearances in the bullpen.
Either Rogers or Warren could be effective in the two months until Ivan Nova returns but Rogers could get the edge because Warren proved last year that he has the ability to pitch very well in the bullpen. In 2014, Warren had a very good 2.97 ERA in 69 games (78.2 innings) coming in from the bullpen. His 76 strikeouts and 24 walks were both higher and lower than in 2013 and he has said that he has embraced his new role as a reliever (even though he wants to be a starter).
According to Brooks Baseball, in 2014, Warren primarily threw a four-seam fastball (95mph) and slider (87mph), while also mixing in a circle change (86mph) and a knuckle curve (82mph). He fits better as a reliever since he has two primary pitches with the ability to mix in others. He would give the bullpen five potentially very reliable options with him and Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, David Carpenter and Justin Wilson.
Rogers, who is entering his seventh MLB season, has made 43 MLB starts, which is many more than any other possible No. 5 starter. He has a 5.54 career ERA, but that is inflated due to his 3.5 seasons pitching for the Colorado Rockies where he had an ERA above 6.13 in two of those seasons. He knows how to get outs and according to Bryan Hoch, “he has been particularly impressive to manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild this spring, as they believe his stuff seems crisper and seems to be more consistent.”
The 29-year-old Rogers has six strikeouts in six innings pitched and hasn’t allowed a run during spring training. He has pitched in four games and two of those have been starts. Rothschld has taught Rogers to be more steady with his glove, and Rogers thinks that his adjustment has helped him. He now holds his glove in front like Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees should go with the pitcher with the most experience especially since Rogers seems to be improving.