The Yankees had their last off day of the season last night and the Seattle Mariners won their game, which means that the Yankees are now five games behind Seattle for the second wild card with 21 games left to play. The Cleveland Indians are half a game ahead of the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers are 4.5 games ahead.
The Yankees are trying to remain optimistic at this point even though they will likely have to go at least 15-6 to have a chance, which will mean that the offense will have to score more runs than they have been recently.
Derek Jeter, who saw Michael Jordan, Dave Winfield and Cal Ripken Jr. come to Yankee Stadium as surprise guests for Derek Jeter Day, is one player who is not giving up on the season, as his career winds down. “We’re still in a position where if we win our games, then we’ll be all right,” Jeter said.
Chase Headley, who has never played in the playoffs before, is also remaining optimistic and knows that all the team can do is win as many games as possible. “Well, it’s obviously not the easiest path that we have built for ourselves, but we’re going to keep fighting,” Headley said. “We’ve got to take care of our own business. We’ve got to go out and win games and win series. That’s all we can really focus on.”
The Yankees play the rest of their games against American League East division opponents. Eight of their games will be against the first-place Baltimore Orioles, who have won five of their past seven games, and they will end their current nine-game homestand, in which they are 3-3 so far, with a three-game series against the fourth-place Tampa Bay Rays.
In their previous series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees offense didn’t score any runs in two out of the three games. Shane Greene and especially Michael Pineda both pitched very well in the two losses but couldn’t get the win because of the inept offense. The Yankees only had three hits in Friday’s loss, and in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat, the offense only had four hits. They can’t repeat that offensive performance if they are going to sweep the Rays.
Tampa Bay, who has lost seven of their past 12 games, is 23rd in all of baseball in runs scored and 20th in all of baseball with their .248 batting average. When the Yankees played the Rays from August 15-17, at Tropicana Field, the Yankees won two out of the three games. David Robertson, who has been a bright spot for the Yankees this season with his 35 saves, saved both games that the Yankees won.
Chris Archer, who will pitch against the Yankees during Tuesday’s game, has had a lot of success against the Bronx Bombers in his career. He has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season and had a 1.23 ERA in three starts against the Yankees last season. However, Archer has allowed 13 runs combined in his last two starts and the Yankees will need to take advantage of his recent struggles by scoring a few runs off of him.
For the Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda has allowed two runs or fewer in all of his last four starts.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium:
Tuesday 7:05 p.m. on YES
Hiroki Kuroda (10-8, 3.78 ERA)
Chris Archer (8-8, 3.60 ERA)
Wednesday 7:05 p.m. on YES
Chris Capuano (2-3, 4.46 ERA)
Jake Odorizzi (10-11, 3.84 ERA)
Thursday 7:05 p.m. on YES
Michael Pineda (3-4, 1:80 ERA in nine starts)
Alex Cobb (9-7, 2.83 ERA)
The Yankees lost 4-3 in 12 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. The Rays (36-49) currently have the worst record in the American League.
The Yankees have lost seven of their last nine games, but they have managed to only lose one game in the standings over those nine games based on how much the other teams in the American League East have also been struggling. The Rays continued their recent winning ways as they won their third consecutive game and have won seven of their past 10 games.
Joe Girardi thinks that the first half of the season could have been better, but he will take only being 2.5 games out at the midway point considering all of the injuries. “It’s been up and down,” Girardi said. “We have had out issues like a lot of teams in the division. You wouldn’t think we would be right in it at 41-40, but we are.”
David Phelps only allowed two runs in his 5.2 innings pitched, which was much better than his last start when the Toronto Blue Jays scored six runs off of him in five innings pitched. Phelps give up four hits and three walks while striking out four. However, the Yankees lost because the offense did not come through for the team once again.
The offense had nine hits in 11 innings, but they were 0-7 with runners in scoring position, including Brian McCann who was 0-2, and the team left eight runners on base. When asked how he would describe the first half of his season McCann said it was, “horrible.”
Tampa Bay scored their first two runs off of homers. Matt Joyce hit a solo homer to right center in the first, and Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run to right center in the third.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees answered back with two runs of their own. Brett Gardner hit a triple to right that scored Ichiro Suzuki for the first run. Derek Jeter’s ground out to second scored Gardner from third to tie the score. After Jacoby Ellsbury stole second, Tampa starter Chris Archer got both Mark Teixeira and McCann out to prevent another run from scoring. Gardner already has 31 RBIs, which is only 21 less than his career-high of 52.
Archer limited the Yankees to only those two runs in his seven innings pitched. He struck out four, and the 25-year-old righty now has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season.
Dellin Betances came in to pitch in the eighth inning and he proceeded to allow a run for his first time in his last seven appearances. Ryan Hanigan’s single to left that scored Brandon Guyer off of David Robertson was charged to Betances since Betances left the game with Guyer on second and Logan Forsythe on first.
Brian Roberts, the struggling veteran second baseman who could be replaced at some point by Rob Refsnyder, hit a homer in the ninth that forced extra innings. That was Roberts’s fourth homer of the season while his average is only .236. Shawn Kelley pitched the 10th and 11th innings without allowing a run and struck out Ben Zobrist and Joyce with the bases loaded in the 11th to keep the score tied.
Jose Ramirez lost the game for the Yankees as Guyer scored after a shallow single to center by Forsythe. The Yankees were retired in order by Brad Boxberger in the bottom of the 12th to end the game.
The middle game of the series will start at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. Hiroki Kuroda will get the start for the Yankees to try and end their losing streak. He is coming off of two quality starts in a row. David Price, who could be traded before the trade deadline, will get the start for Tampa Bay.
The Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 16-1 at Tropicana Field as nothing went well for the team. In Friday and Saturday’s game the pitching staff combined to allow an unacceptable 27 runs to a Rays offense that was previously struggling.
Dean Anna, who is a natural shortstop, and had previously played in seven games at shortstop and three at second, ended up pitching in this game as a last resort to not have to use a normal member of the bullpen in a blowout. He was instructed by manager Joe Girardi to just play catch, and not throw hard, so that he would not hurt his arm.
Anna ended up allowing two runs in the eighth inning. Anna knew that since he was in the game it was not memorable day for the Yankees. “When you see me in there, it’s not a good day for us.”
Ivan Nova’s curveball was not working as he allowed eight runs in four innings and had to leave after he gave up a single and a double to start the fifth because of right elbow soreness. In Nova’s four innings, he allowed four homers, including two to the light hitting Ryan Hanigan (who hit two all of last season), eight hits, four strikeouts and only threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of the 21 batters he faced.
It is not known if he will be able to make his next scheduled start because he had an MRI on his right elbow after the game. The Yankees need him to return to the way he pitched the second-half of last season because he has the ability to greatly help the pitching staff.
However, so far this season he is pitching like he might need to return to AAA Scranton to find his dominating form. In his first start, where he managed to allow only two runs, he gave up six hits and five walks and was lucky to come away with the win. In the game against Tampa on Saturday and his second start of the season he combined to allow 15 runs, 18 hits and only pitch 7.2 innings.
The Yankees need Nova to find his form that allowed him to be the best starter on the staff in the second half of last season because they don’t have a pitcher in AAA waiting to take his spot. Vidal Nuno, who is getting a spot start on Sunday, would likely be the one to take his spot in the rotation if he goes on the disabled list.
Matt Daley, who was just called up before the game to replace the ineffective Cesar Cabral, looked like he didn’t belong as he allowed six runs (four earned runs), five hits and one homer. After Daley intentionally walked James Loney, he allowed Wil Myers’s second homer of the game to make the score 10-1. Daley was taken out of the game after he allowed four consecutive batters to reach base in the sixth.
Dellin Betances, who was pitching in his first game since Thursday, allowed Delay’s inherited runners to score and then retired the side in order in the eighth inning. He was the only bright spot for the Yankees and he even could have been better since he walked two batters in the seventh, but his ERA still sits at a perfect 0.00.
The four Yankees pitchers allowed six Rays hitters to record two or more hits. Longoria, whose 164th home run put him one beyond Carlos Pena for most in the history of the franchise, continued to own Yankees pitching. He was 2-3, scored two runs and drove in four. He is hitting 7-10 in the first three games of the series and in his past three seasons against the Yankees he is hitting .320 with 16 homers. That is his highest batting average against any team.
Kelly Johnson was the only Yankee who made any impact offensively as his double to deep left center in the fifth scored Alfonso Soriano. Chris Archer, who is in his second season, has been outstanding against the Yankees. Including Saturday’ start, he has a 1.26 ERA against New York and is the first Tampa pitcher to win four straight starts against the Yankees.
Nuno, who is in his second season with the Yankees, will try to get the Yankees to split the series against the Rays. He had an excellent 2.25 ERA last season, which included three starts and two relief appearances. In his start at Tropicana Field last season he limited Tampa Bay to only two runs in six innings.
The Yankees hope that he can have similar production in the series finale and that the offense will be able to come to life against Cesar Ramos, who has a 7.50 ERA pitching in the bullpen this season. Mark Teixeira should help the offense as he is scheduled to return from the DL and play in Sunday’s afternoon game. He is 2 for 6 with a double in his career against Ramos.
UPDATE: Ivan Nova has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a right ulnar collateral ligament injury, Scott Sizemore has been optioned to AAA Scranton and Daley has been designated for assignment. Delay is the second player who has been designated for assignment in the span of two days. Mark Teixeira has been reinstated from the disabled list, Preston Claiborne has been recalled from AAA Scranton and Brian Mitchell has been brought up from AA Trenton. Mitchell will likely only be with the team for a few days.
The Yankees go into their series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field with a five-game winning. They swept the four-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto, who is in last place in the AL East, did not pose much of a challenge for the surging Yankees. The Bronx Bombers scored four runs or more in three of the games and their improved offense has helped them win 10 of their past 12 games.
Tampa, who is one-game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and at the top of the Wild-Card standings, has won four of their past six games after losing six in a row earlier this month. The Rays are a team that is led by their strong pitching staff. Matt Moore is on the disabled list right now, but besides him, their top three healthy starters all have an ERA below 3.30.
It is important for the Yankees to win at least two out of the three games because they obviously can’t afford to be losing a series at this point. The Yankees are only 3.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild-Card, which means that each win during this series would help increase their odds of catching the Athletics. Oakland is playing a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend (the Orioles are 3 games behind Oakland), which makes it even more important that the Yankees win the series because teams ahead of them will be playing each other.
Chris Archer, who will be pitching against the Yankees, is a 24-year-old rookie who threw a complete game shutout against the Yankees in his previous start against New York. He will likely be in consideration for Rookie of the Year in the American League as he won AL Rookie of the Month for July. However, the Yankees offense is much better than it was when he faced them on July 27.
Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are now in the lineup which means that one-third of the lineup has been upgraded. Mark Reynolds, who is playing on a part-time with Lyle Overbay at first base, is another new addition, who is playing tonight because Overbay has the flu.
Tampa’s rotation for this series is influx right now because it is not known if Matt Moore will return during the series. Here are the tentative pitching match-ups:
Hiroki Kuroda (11-8, 2.81 ERA) vs Chris Archer (6-5, 2.95 ERA)
Saturday at 7:10 p.m.
CC Sabathia (11-10, 4.83 ERA), who struggled in his last start but got the win, will pitch for the Yankees. It is not known who will start for the Rays.
Sunday at 1:40 p.m.
Ivan Nova (7-4, 3.17 ERA), who has been the team’s second best pitcher this season, will pitch in the series finale.