The Yankees play the Baltimore Orioles at 7:15 p.m. EST on Saturday at Camden Yards in the second game of the series. The Yankees lost the first game of the series and will look to avoid losing their first series since they lost three out of four to the Oakland Athletics from May 28-31.
Chase Headley is back in the lineup after having to leave yesterday’s game in the fifth inning since he was hit by a grounder in his upper thigh. Mason Williams will make his second consecutive start in center field after hitting a homer for his first major-league hit last night. Jacob Lindgren (5.14 ERA in seven innings over seven games) was sent down to Triple-A Scranton this afternoon to work on his weaknesses and Jose Ramirez, who has a 2.25 ERA in 28 innings pitched with the RailRiders, was called up from Triple-A to be another pitcher who can give Joe Girardi some length.
Alex Rodriguez, who has 1,999 career RBIs going into the game, will look to become the third player with 2,000 RBIs. Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron are the only ones who have driven in more than 2,000 runs.
Here is the lineup for tonight’s game:
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Mason Williams CF
The seven-game winning streak that the Yankees were on is over as they had a 4-2 lead entering the top of the eighth inning but ended up losing to the Washington Nationals 5-4 in 11 innings. Denard Span hit an RBI infield single in the 11th off of Chris Capuano to score Tyler Moore in what was the winning run.
“Dellin Betances was down today and Andrew Miller is going to end up on the DL with a strain in his flexor muscle (forearm),” Joe Girardi said. “He will not throw the ball for 10 days to two weeks and then we will go from there.” Girardi didn’t use Betances because he had been used a lot recently.
The bullpen ruined a solid start by Nathan Eovaldi as he threw seven innings while allowing three runs on eight hits. He had four strikeouts and was able to give the team much more length than he did in his previous two starts. Span drove in the first run of the game in the third inning as his double down the left field line scored Danny Espinosa.
If Betances did not need a day off he likely would have been pitching in the eighth inning when the Nationals tied the game. With rookie Jacob Lindgren pitching, pinch-hitter Michael Taylor hit a two-run homer to right to drive in Ian Desmond to make the score 4-4. However, if Stephen Drew didn’t have trouble getting the ball out of his glove and converted the double play in the eighth then Taylor would not have come to the plate in the eighth.
The Yankees scored four runs in the seventh inning, but they ended up needing one more run to get the win. Brandan Ryan, who was appearing in his first game of the season, hit better than expected as his triple to center scored Chris Young (and was his second hit of the day). Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez both hit run scoring doubles and then Brian McCann had an RBI single after his grounder up the middle hit second base and prevented Desmond from catching it.
Rodriguez now needs only eight more hits to be the 29th baseball player with 3,000 hits. The seventh inning was the only positive from the offensive standpoint as the Yankees left eight runners on base and were 0-6 with runners in scoring position outside of the seventh inning.
Miller told Girardi after the game on Tuesday that he had pain in his flexor muscle. During his nine pitches thrown during Tuesday’s game his body language was different than normal, which was an indication of his injury. Girardi said that everyone will be pushed back an inning and that Betances will be the closer while Miller is on the DL.
“It was hard to get loose sometimes and it became too much of a distraction,” Miller said. His control has not been as efficient as it was earlier in the season since he has thrown much more pitches recently. This hurts the Yankees since they will not have a shutdown reliable eighth inning pitcher like they have had with Betances.
The loss of Miller for what will probably be more than three weeks will hurt since he was having an All-Star season to this point. He has pitched 26.1 innings (26 games) and has a 1.03 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 17 saves in 17 chances, 43 strikeouts and only 10 walks.
Girardi will now likely use a mixture of Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson in the eighth inning with Miller out. It will be important for Betances to continue pitching in the ninth the same way he did in the eighth, but he is more of a sure thing than the eighth inning options are.
Pinch-hitter Garrett Jones struck out swinging to end the game. Before today’s game, Jones had raised his average from .186 to .262 from May 23 to June 5.
The Yankees, who are 33-26 and have a two-game lead in the AL East, have another off day on Thursday and will start a series against the fourth place Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
The Yankees designated reliever David Carpenter for assignment on Wednesday afternoon before their game against the Seattle Mariners. They had to remove someone from the 25-man roster because Masahiro Tanaka was coming off of the disabled list to start today’s game.
The Yankees received Carpenter and Chasen Shreve from the Atlanta Braves when they traded Manny Banuelos. Carpenter has really struggled this season as he had a 4.82 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched this season. He pitched very well in 2013 with the Braves finishing the season with a 1.78 ERA and 0.990 WHIP in 65.2 innings, but he has been progressively worse since then.
Carpenter had 11 strikeouts and seven walks this season, which is not a strikeout to walk ratio that leads to success. He gave up the go-ahead run in the sixth inning last night, which could have been what sealed the deal for him. It is possible that he is one of those players that was just not able to handle the pressure of playing for the Yankees.
The Yankees opted to keep Jacob Lindgren on the roster instead. He made his debut on May 25 and has a 4.15 ERA in four appearances. Besides his appearances on May 29 when he allowed two runs on three hits, he has pitched 3.1 innings while not allowing a hit and striking out four.
Lindy, as Girardi calls him, had a dominating 1.23 ERA this season at Triple-A Scranton, and the lefty has the ability to improve the bullpen. Lindgren is known for his fastball and his slider is his strikeout pitch.
Jacob Lindgren, the relief pitcher that the Yankees drafted with their second round draft pick in 2014 out of Mississippi State University, was called up to the Yankees from Triple-A Scranton before the game on Sunday. Branden Pinder, who had a 2.16 ERA in his 8.1 innings pitched, was sent back down to the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders. (Pinder had thrown 48 pitches in the blowout loss on Saturday.)
Lindgren was the rare draft pick who excelled so much in his first season that he was able to play in the rookie league, Single-A Charleston, Single-A (Advanced) Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Across those four levels in 2014, the lefty pitched in 24.2 innings, had a 2.19 ERA, a 1.014 WHIP, allowed 12 hits, and had 48 strikeouts and only 13 walks. He went from being the team’s top draft pick to the majors in only 353 days.
This season at Triple-A Scranton, Lindgren has pitched 22 innings (15 games) and had a 1.23 ERA (1.92 FIP), 1.182 WHIP, 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, 29 strikeouts and only 10 walks. Lindgren’s numbers in his 48 games as a pro are unbelievable: 39.3 K% and 75.6 GB% in 46.2 innings across five different levels. He didn’t have anything else to prove in the minors.
His fastball is in the low-to-mid-90s, which is a plus pitch for a lefty. His fastball also has a lot of movement, which will help him when he faces big-league hitters. Lindgren’s strikeout pitch is a hard, diving slider, which could help him have success if he can continue to locate it.
It makes sense that the Yankees called him up when they did because the bullpen outside of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller has struggled recently. According to Ryan Hatch, since the 10 of 11 losses started on May 12, the Yankees’ bullpen owns the worst ERA in the major leagues (6.23 ERA).
Two relief pitchers that have struggled recently are Justin Wilson and David Carpenter. Wilson, who has a high 5.79 ERA this season, has allowed six earned runs in his last 4.1 innings (7 games). Carpenter, who also a has a high 5.19 ERA this season, has allowed three earned runs including a homer in his 3.2 innings (4 games). Lindgren will be able to pitch in some of the spots that Joe Girardi was putting Wilson or Carpenter into the game.
The Yankees, who lost 5-2 last night to the Texas Rangers on Sunday Night Baseball to move 1.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays after having a four-game lead in the division over the Rays on May 11, need more to turn around besides the bullpen but Lindgren’s addition should help. While losing 10 of their last 11 games the Yankees have averaged only 3.1 runs a game, the starters have a very high 6.42 ERA and the team has made 10 errors.
The MLB Network profiled Lindgren after he was drafted by the Yankees:
On Saturday afternoon, the Yankees beat the Astros, 3-2, at George M. Steinbrenner Field in a Grapefruit League game. They now have a 12-7 record in spring training.
Michael Pineda got his third spring training start and even though he allowed his first two runs of the exhibition season his strikeout to walk ratio was outstanding. This was his final line against the Astros: 3.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB and 6 Ks. He threw 42 out of his 56 pitches for strikes.
Chris Carter hit a two-run homer in the first inning after George Springer tripled in what would turn out to be the only runs that Houston scored. After allowing those two hits in the first inning, six of Pineda’s next 11 outs came via the strikeout. He now has 12 strikeouts and only one walk in his 8.2 innings pitched in spring training.
Spring training is for getting players ready for the regular season and Pineda has proven that he definitely appears ready to continue where he left off last year. In 2014, Pineda made 13 starts and had a 1.89 ERA, 0.825 WHIP, 59 strikeouts, 0.8 walks walks per 9 innings and only seven walks in 76.1 innings. He will form what will be the best No. 1 and No. 2 starter combo in the AL East with Masahiro Tanaka.
Five other Yankees pitchers combined to allow only one hit to the Astros. Justin Wilson, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey and Nick Rumbelow combined to pitch 4.1 innings while holding the opposition hitless and recording seven strikeouts. The emerging relief pitcher Jacob Lindgren pitched the ninth inning, allowed one hit and a strikeout, and got the win as a result of the walk-off by Jake Cave.
Cave hit a sac fly in the ninth inning to score Slade Heathcott as he dove into home plate for the winning won. Nick Noonan and Aaron Judge scored the other two runs in the ninth. Reggie Jackson has compared Judge to Dave Winfield, and Cave, who will likely play at Double-A and Triple-A this season, is hitting .417 with five RBIs after hitting .294 in High-A and Double-A last season.
Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Didi Gregorius were the only players who will make the 25-man roster who had a hit. Teixeira had two, Beltran had one and Gregorius also had one.
The Yankees will play the Mets in Port St. Lucie on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. The game, which will be on YES and SNY, will be watched by many in the Tri-State area. CC Sabathia will make his second exhibition start for the Yankees after having an injury-filled 2014, and Matt Harvey will make his third start of spring training after missing last year due to Tommy John surgery.