The Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon meaning that they were swept in the three-game series by the Blue Jays. The Yankees have now gone 26 innings without scoring a run, which is not a a recipe for success.
“We definitely took a punch this weekend, and good teams punch back,” Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez said. “For us, it’s all about how we respond that matters.”
They now only have a 1.5 game lead over Toronto in the AL East after the Blue Jays scored nine runs in the series and the Yankees only scored one. Since Troy Tulowitzki was acquired by Toronto on July 28, the Blue Jays have won 11 of their last 12 games, and based on adding Tulowitzki and David Price are a much greater challenge in the division than they were before.
Toronto’s starting pitching, which has been better recently, really kept the Yankees previously powerful offense in check during the series. Knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey allowed one run in seven innings on Friday, Price threw a shutout in seven innings on Saturday and Marco Estrada did not allow a Yankee to score in his 6.1 innings pitched in the series finale.
The last time that the Yankees were shutout in back-to-back games was 16 years ago. The last time this happened was May 12 and 13 of 1999, which is a Major League record of 2,665 games. Mo Vaughn, who played from 1991 until 2003, hit a home run in the second game off of Hideki Irabu.
The Yankees were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and the only hits that the Yankees had in the game were singles by Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius off of Estrada. The offense, which scored 90 runs in 10 games from July 25 to August 4 (and has scored 4 runs while losing four of the last five games), has been hurt recently by facing two knuckleball pitchers in the last five games and by the struggles of the top two hitters in the team’s lineup.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who went 0-4 on Sunday, does not have a hit in his last 12 at-bats and is only hitting .129 in 31 at-bats in August. Brett Gardner, who was 0-3 in the series finale, is only hitting .182 in 22 August at-bats with two RBIs. Gardner had a .297 average on July 28 and after his recent struggles at the plate his average is now .285.
They have hurt the offense because after being effective earlier on the season (especially Gardner) not getting on base has limited Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez’s opportunities to drive in runs. Teixeira, whose 77 RBIs are fifth in the American League, is in MVP consideration, and Rodriguez will likely win Comeback Player of the Year since he has 24 homers and 63 RBIs. However, Rodriguez and Teixeira have combined for two RBIs in the last five games.
“This isn’t going to be comfortable the rest of the way,” Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “We have to fight for every win and that’s what we expect every single game going forward.” The Blue Jays, who have won eight straight games, have a 1.5 game deficit after trailing the Yankees by six games on August 2.
Masahiro Tanaka, who had allowed three runs or more in eight of his previous nine games, limited Toronto to two runs on Sunday. MVP candidate Josh Donaldson hit a solo homer in the first and then Jose Bautista hit a blast to left on a pitch that got too much of the middle of the plate. Tanaka, who pitched well enough to get the win, has been hurt by the homer recently since he has allowed at least one long ball in four of his previous five games.
The Yankees need to bounce back offensively when they play the Indians in Cleveland starting on Tuesday. The Yankees play Toronto again next weekend and it appears that the race for the division title will be close until the end of the season. After only allowing one earned run in five innings in his first start, rookie Luis Severino will make his second start on Tuesday.
After going 6-4 on their 10-game road trip and having an off day on Monday, the Yankees have a six-game homestand, which includes three games against the Boston Red Sox and then three games against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays added David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins before the trade deadline, which makes it very likely that they will be able to secure a wild card spot.
Luis Severino will make his major league debut on Wednesday against the Yankees rivals. The rivalry doesn’t have as much meaning this season since the Red Sox are in last place and not playing for anything, but he will still be pitching his first game in a pressurized situation. He has obviously proved that he is ready since the 21-year-old phenom had a 1.91 ERA in 61.1 innings for Triple-A Scranton this season with a 7-0 record, 50 strikeouts, 17 walks and zero homers allowed.
The Yankees need production from him with Michael Pineda on the 15-day disabled list. The Red Sox have somewhat underachieved offensively as they are eighth out of 15 teams in the AL in runs scored, ninth out of 15 teams in homers and eighth in the league in RBIs.
The Yankees 18-8 record and 5.7 runs per game since July 1 are both best in Major League Baseball. There is a good chance that they can continue to put a high amount of runs on the scoreboard against the Red Sox since their 4.52 team ERA is second worst in the American League. Their pitching staff also has the fourth worst batting average against (.266) in the league.
The Red Sox currently have a -65 run differential and their 47-59 record puts them 13 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Red Sox in the Bronx.
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-4, 3.80)
LHP Henry Owens (MLB debut)
7:05 p.m. YES Network and MLB Network
RHP Luis Severino (MLB debut)
RHP Steven Wright (4-4, 4.53)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN
LHP CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.54)
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (6-3, 4.34)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
The Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers, 8-4, on Wednesday as a result of an eight-run outburst in the third inning against former Cy Young winner David Price. With the win in the second game of the series the Yankees are now 2.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card and six games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East.
In 13 starts against the Yankees from 2011 to 2013 while pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays David Price, who won the Cy Young in 2012, had a 3.81 ERA. The Yankees have hit well against him in his career, but their performance against Price on Wednesday is hardly ever seen against any pitcher in Major League Baseball. After getting three hits in the first two innings, the Yankees went onto record nine consecutive hits off of Price in the third to force him out of the game.
Price did not record an out and all eight runs were charged to him. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a single, Derek Jeter’s 539th double of his career that drove in Jacoby Ellsbury tied him for 35th on the all-time doubles list, Martin Prado singled to left, Mark Teixeira drove Jeter in on his double to right, Prado scored on Beltran’s single to right, Teixeira scored on Brian McCann’s single to center, Chase Headley singled to left for, Brett Gardner’s infield single scored Beltran and then Franciso Cervelli’s single to left sent McCann home for the team’s ninth hit in a row.
Against reliever Blaine Hardy, Ellsbury and Jeter hit a sacrifice fly in consecutive at-bats to make the score 8-0. Here is video of the nine consecutive hits. David Price, who has had many more dominating starts than not in his career, made a point of saying that he is human and would try to move past this performance. “That is probably the worst game I have had in my life,” Price said.
Ellsbury has been in the leadoff spot the last three games instead of his usual three spot in the lineup and has raised his average from .277 to .285. In the last three games he has gone 8-13 (.615), scored five runs, driven in five runs, stolen two bases and hit three homers. The Yankees need Ellsbury to give this kind of production and hitting first in the lineup might be a reason for it. He is hitting leadoff again on Thursday.
“It is tough to get that many hits even if guys hit the balls on the screws,” Ellsbury said. “Fortunately, some balls fell for us. (Price) has tremendous stuff, I have a lot of respect for him. Obviously this was a big game for us. We didn’t score the rest of the game, but I thought we continued to put quality at-bats together.”
Jeter was 1-3 with two RBIs and on August 28 in 2011 he passed Mickey Mantle for 1st on the all-tim Yankees games played list.
Shane Greene is only a rookie but he was the one who pitched like the former Cy Young. He pitched seven strong innings while striking out eight and only allowing two runs. He allowed an RBI double to left by Miguel Cabrera and a solo homer to Victor Martinez. His slider was his best pitch on Wednesday and he knew early on that it was effective. Greene struck out the last better he faced, Torii Hunter, on a high fastball.
“I hope it (slider) is good for me every time, but Cervelli will let me know if it’s not or if it is, just stay with him, but probably about the second I could tell I had a good slider,” Greene said. “I got to give the credit to Cervelli. I am following his lead for the most part. Like I said before, he knows these guys way better than me.” Greene has now pitched six innings or more while allowing two runs or less in three of his last four starts.
Dellin Betances pitched the ninth inning and allowed a run on two hits. He had not allowed a run in eight of his previous nine appearances.
The Yankees will play a matinee game on Thursday at 1:08 p.m. at Comerica Park as they try to win the series. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch for the Yankees and rookie Kyle Lobstein will get the start in place of Justin Verlander. Lobstein is making his first Major League start. The Tigers are also the only Major League team that Kuroda has not defeated.
The Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in 12 innings on Tuesday night snapping their three-game winning streak. David Price, who was making his first start against the Yankees since his trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, pitched 8.2 innings, allowed three runs and picked up 10 strikeouts.
However, former Yankee Joba Chamberlain was key for the Tigers because he got the final out of the ninth inning and pitched a perfect 10th. The Yankees had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth with Martin Prado hitting, but Prado struck out with Ichiro Suzuki on second to send the game to extra innings.
David Price is the second of the three past Cy Young winners that the Yankees are facing in the first three games of the series. “It’s a tough loss, but we will bounce back,” Joe Girardi said. “We had a lot of opportunities to win the game. It is tough.”
Prado did have his best game overall as a Yankee as hit his first homer as a Yankee in the fifth inning and then hit a double in the seventh since he hustled to second after hitting a ball hard that deflected off of Nick Castellanos’s glove at third into the outfield. In the third inning, Jacoby Ellsbury, who is now 4-8 in his last two games, hit a double to left that scored Brendan Ryan. In the second inning, Brian McCann slugged his 12th homer of the season and first since July 26.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched well in his seven innings, only allowing three runs and striking out five. His streak of retiring 14 batters in a row ended with Andrew Romine‘s homer to lead off the sixth inning. He stuff tends to get worse after the throws 80 pitches, but he was still able to leave the team in position to win the game. Kuroda now has thrown a quality start in nine of his last 12 starts. The bullpen threw four scoreless innings until Matt Daley allowed a homer to Alex Avila with an out in the 12th inning. Chase Headley nearly tied the game in the 12 but his fly ball was caught at the warning track.
“It was supposed to be a fastball in,” Daley said. “It didn’t get in and he got barrel on it.” Daley has been sent back and forth between the AAA-Scranton and the Yankees this year, and he might not have had to pitch if David Robertson was available. Robertson had gotten the save in the previous three games, which made him unavailable for Tuesday’s game.
Esmil Rogers pitched in his second game as a Yankee and his ERA is still 0.00. He got Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera out in the 11th and left the game after giving up a single to Victor Martinez. Rich Hill relieved Rogers and in his Yankees debut he hit Ezequiel Carrera with a pitch in the only batter he faced. In the 10th inning, Headley who won the Gold Glove while play for the San Diego Padres in 2012, made a Gold Glove caliber play on a grounder hit by Romine in which he had to make a throw from near the foul line.
Derek Jeter’s single in the fifth inning puts him only two hits away from tying Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time hits list. He currently has 3,428 and Tris Speaker is in fifth place with 3.515 career hits.
The Yankees were only 1-6 with runners in scoring position, and even though Prado had his best game as a Yankee, his strikeout to end the ninth was most costly. This is the seventh game this season that the Yankees have lost when leading after six innings.
In Wednesday’s game, Justin Verlander will start for the Tigers and Chris Capuano, who allowed four runs in his last start, will get the start for the Yankees. Verlander won the Cy Young in 2011, but this season his stats are not anything close to Cy Young worthy. His 4.66 ERA is the 40th worst the the American League, and as a result of Verlander’s 52 walks and 162 hits allowed, his WHIP is a very high 1.42.
The Yankees are still a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild-Card, which makes winning Wednesday night’s game important.
The Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers and last year’s Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, 2-1 on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. They have now won two games in a row and are only a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild-Card.
Brandon McCarthy allowed zero earned runs (one unearned) with eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. The Yankees have won all of his five starts since coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he has picked up the win in four of those starts. He also has a 2.08 ERA in his last five starts, and Brian Cashman gets a lot of credit for significantly upgrading the Yankees rotation. Going from a team that is 11 games out of the playoffs in the Diamondbacks to the Yankees, who have so much prestige and a realistic chance of making the postseason, has gotten McCarthy to pitch like it is 2012.
The reason he had zero earned runs was that Marin Prado’s throwing error at third on Eugenio Suarez’s grounder led to Andrew Romine scoring on Ian Kinsler’s single. McCarthy threw 34 of his 116 pitches in the second inning, but the Yankees would not have won the game if he did not step up with runners on base. The bases were loaded with one out but McCarthy impressively got Alex Avila and Suarez to strikeout.
Joe Girardi has been impressed by how effectively McCarthy has used his curve ball. “Brandon McCarthy has used his curve ball really well,” Girardi said. “He has used it more than I thought he would.”
The Yankees scored both of their runs in the third inning. They would have scored more runs, but Ezequiel Carrera’s leaping catch near the warning track with the bases loaded and no outs might have been the catch of the year. Ichiro Suzuki ended up scoring on that catch because he tagged up from third. After Carlos Beltran lined out to second, Brian McCann’s single to right scored Brett Gardner.
Chase Headley had not played first at all in his career, but he got the start because Mark Teixeira missed the game as a result of light- headedness that began about an hour before the game started. “I have kind of given Headley a heads up that he might go over there,” Girardi said. “I told Chase this week that if I give Tex a day off you will probably play first base. I didn’t know it would be at 6:15 today.”
Gardner made an uncharacteristic mistake in the fourth as he was caught in a run down to end the inning. Prado was on third, but this base running error did not end up being costly because the bullpen was dominant once again. Matt Thornton, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley and David Robertson combined to throw 3.1 one-hit innings while Kelley had one strikeout and Robertson had two.
David Robertson picked up his third save in as many days. “When I came in I told Joe I was good. Fortunately we got a lead and I was able to hold it down. It was a great game and I feel great that we got the win.” With his 30th save in 32 chances he is tied for second in the American League in saves. The Yankees should resign Robertson soon, as Mark Feinsand wrote, so that they can keep their dominant bullpen in tact for at least a a few more years.
Jacoby Ellsbury had his first multi-hit game since July 22nd. He was impressed by how McCarthy has pitched. “He has been tremendous ever since he came over here,” Ellsbury said. “His pitching has been great.” Gardner also had two hits and with Headley’s single he now has one or more hits in eight of his past 10 games. The Yankees, who are facing the last three Cy Young winners in the first three games against the Tigers, will be opposed by David Price on Tuesday. Price won the Cy Young in 2012.
Joe Girardi won his 700th game as an MLB manager. With Derek Jeter’s single in the third inning, he is now only three more hits away from tying Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time hits list. He will likely either tie and pass Wagner, who played from 1897 to 1917, this series against the Tigers or the following series at home against the Cleveland Indians.