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 bullpen for the Yankees will look much different in 2014 than it did in 2013. They will be without Mariano Rivera, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain and David Huff. David “Houdini” Robertson will also be in a different role as he will be the closer this season after pitching in the eighth inning in 2013 as Rivera’s set-up man.
Mariano Rivera, who has 652 saves, has retired as the best closer in Major League history. He will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Boone Logan, who was a reliable lefty pitcher for the Yankees for four seasons, signed a three-year contract with the Colorado Rockies. Joba Chamberlain signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers after seven seasons as a starting and relief pitcher with mixed results. He was very successful as a relief pitcher (Joba Rules) early in his career helping the team get to the playoffs, then mostly struggled as a starter and then his return to the bullpen included a dispute with Rivera. David Huff, who did not add much as a reliever last season, was traded to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations in January.
The Yankees will be counting on David Robertson, Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne, and Dellin Betances even more this season. David Phelps and Adam Warren could return to the bullpen as well. They have brought in Matt Thornton to essentially replace Logan as the primary lefty in the bullpen. Left-hander Cesar Cabral could replace Warren or Phelps.
Robertson is ready to handle the pressure of being the closer as he has pitched well as the primary eighth inning pitcher for the last three seasons. He had a 1.08 ERA in 2011, 2.67 ERA in 2012 and a 2.04 ERA last season. He has repeatedly proven that he can get a big strikeout or grounder to strand runners that are in scoring position. Robertson has a very effective curveball that he uses when he needs to get an out. All of the advice that Robertson has received from Rivera should help him adjust to the pressure of the ninth inning.
The eighth inning is currently up for grabs. Kelley appears to have the inside track based on how he pitched last season in the seventh. He had a 4.39 ERA last season, but that is a result of not pitching well in September. This was likely because he pitched in 57 games, while his previous high was 47 games with the Seattle Mariners. His ERA was consistently in the mid 3’s in July and August. His ability to record strikeouts is an asset as he had 71 in only 53.1 innings.
Thornton, who signed a two-year contract for $7 million after pitching last season with the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, had a 3.74 ERA in 2013. The lefty pitched a lot better against lefties (.235 batting average against) than righties (.333 batting average against) last season. His first two seasons were for the Mariners in 2004 and 2005, but he truly established himself as a solid relief pitcher in his seven full season with the White Sox. His ERA was below 3.00 from 2008-2010, and he even picked up eight saves in 2010. For the Yankees, he could close in an emergency, come in to get a lefty out in a key situation and even come in to pitch the whole inning.
Another pitcher that has the potential to be a key member of the bullpen based upon his performance last season is Claiborne, who is entering his second season. He finished his rookie campaign with a 4.11 ERA, 42 strikeouts in 50.1 innings and four holds. The righty from Dallas who was called up on May 5 did not allow any runs in his first seven appearances, and had an outstanding 1.46 ERA after his 20th game. He was on track for finishing with an ERA below 3, but struggled in September like Kelley did.
Betances, who is a towering 6’8″ righty who grew up in the Lower East Side and went to Grand Street Campus High in Brooklyn, pitched very well last season in AAA in relief. He had been a one of the team’s best prospects as a starter along with Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman a few years ago, but the decision was made in the middle of the summer that he would have more value in the bullpen as a result of his struggles with control. In 10 games before being called up to the Yankees at the end of August Betances pitched a total of 19.1 innings and only allowed one run (0.47 ERA).
He is able to use his intimidating presence to his advantage out of the bullpen. So far in spring training he has converted 6 and 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. His started using a slurve, which is a mixture between a slider and curveball, in 2012 after mechanical issues with his curve and has been able to use it very effectively during the spring. He has been able to control his 95 MPH fastball so far, and he needs to continue doing that.
Betances is a dark-horse, but if he continues pitching the way he has been, he could prove to be a valuable relief pitcher in the seventh or eighth inning. He is great stuff and has been commanding his pitches, so it seems like he could start the season in the seventh for the Yankees, even though a he can still be sent to AAA without being released.
Betances grew up a Yankees fan and attended David Wells’s perfect game in the bleachers, so it would be fitting if he is able to be a key pitcher out of the bullpen for the Bronx Bombers. He is unproven pitching in the seventh or eighth inning, but based on his numbers so far as a reliever and the effectiveness of his pitches, he has the possibility of being a better option than Kelley in May or June.
On Thursday night at the Rogers Centre, the Yankees (80-73) lost a game to the Blue Jays that they absolutely needed to win. They lost 6-2 and Joe Girardi, Joba Chamberlain and the offense are to blame. It was their second loss in three games in Toronto.
The Yankees are now 3.5 games out of the wild-card with nine to play, but before this series and the one against the Red Sox from September 13-15, they were only one game out of the second wild-card. They have gone 1-5 in their last six games, including the sweep in Boston, and this past week has effectively ended their chance of making the playoffs. During the past six games, they have not pitched or hit well as they have allowed five or more runs four times and scored three or fewer runs four times.
The Yankees should have been able to rebound from the series in Fenway by sweeping the Blue Jays, but they obviously did not have it in them to win three straight against a last place team not playing for anything. On Tuesday, in the game that they lost 2-0, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey threw seven shutout innings against the Yankees offense. However, the truly inexcusable game was the one earlier tonight.
Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed three runs, including a bumpy third where he gave up three hits, two walks and two runs, can’t be blamed because he kept the team in the game by recording seven strikeouts. However, the offense should have been able to score more than two runs off of a decent rookie starter in Todd Redmond and the Blue Jays bullpen.
They only runs that they scored were a homer in the sixth inning that went above the bullpen by Curtis Granderson (his seventh of the season) and a ground out to second by Vernon Wells with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. It appeared that they would score a few runs in the ninth to make it interesting but Wells grounded out and Lyle Overbay weakly grounded out to first.
Robinson Cano gave the team a scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth after hitting a ground rule double with one out. However, he was stranded at second since Alfonso Soriano and Wells struck out and popped out, respectively. Soriano would have been safe at second with a double in the second inning if he would have been running hard the whole time. On Tuesday, Soriano was the one who said that the Yankees needed to have more energy.
The move that truly made no sense was bringing in Joba Chamberlain in the bottom of the seventh. The Yankees were only losing 3-1 at the time, and Chamberlain should not be brought into any games that are within four runs. He has been that unreliable this season. Giaradi could have left Kuroda in or brought in Shawn Kelly, David Phelps or Casar Cabral, but decided to bring in Chamberlain even though he had allowed runs in three of his previous five outings.
True to form, Chamberlain only faced three hitters and allowed a walk, a single and then a three-run homer to the dangerous Adam Lind for his 22nd of the season. It doesn’t make any sense that Girardi has continued to have confidence in Joba.
The Yankees have been essentially eliminated from the postseason while still having a mathematical chance of making it. They will have to win the rest of their nine games and then receive help from other teams.
They start their six-game home stand with three games against the San Francisco Giants, who are nine games below .500, but are 7-3 in their last 10 games. After the series against the Giants, they play three at home against Tampa and then conclude the season in Houston.
These are the starters that the Yankees and Athletics (16-13) will send out during the three-game weekend series. These will be the final three games of the 10-game home stand that the Yankee have had. They have so far gone 6-1.
Tonight at 7:05 p.m.
Ace of the staff CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.35 ERA) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (2-2, 4.65 ERA)
Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
The resurgent Phil Hughes (0-2, 4.67 ERA) vs. the ageless former Yankee, Bartolo Colon (3-0, 3.38 ERA)
Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Andy Pettitte (3-2, 3.86 ERA), who is coming off his first sub-par start of the season will be opposed by Dan Straily (1-0, 6.35 ERA)
In more disabled list news, Joba Chamberlain was put on the 15-day DL as a result of a strained oblique. Relief pitcher Preston Claiborne was called up from AAA Scranton to replace him on the roster. He can add more depth in the bullpen.
However, he will not be able to be relied upon like Joba Chamberlain was. Claiborne deserved to be called up because he had 10 strikeouts and only one walk in 10.1 innings pitched for the RailRiders. With Robertson sidelined for this series it seems like Shawn Kelley and Boone Logan will setup Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees (17-10) have also recently called up Vidal Nuno from their AAA affiliate. With the recent injuries to Kevin Youkilis, Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova and Chamberlain the Bronx Bombers now have a grand total of 10 players on the disabled list. They have shown the ability to overcome adversity so far this season since all of the major replacements have performed admirably. One player the Yankees can’t afford to have injured is Robinson Cano, who leads the team in average, homers, RBI and runs.
In CC Sabathia’s last start he allowed three runs in eight innings in a win against Toronto. He is the pitcher that the Yankees want pitching tonight because he should be able to limit the innings pitched from the bullpen. Griffin has struggled this season for the A’s, but in 2012 he had a 3.06 ERA, which means the Yankees could have to play small ball. For the A’s, Coco Crisp has eight steals for far, so Austin Romine and Chris Stewart will have to contain him on the base paths.
The Yankees appear to have the edge tonight and on Sunday, but Saturday’s game could go either way because their lineup has a lot of experience hitting against Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes might not be able to continue his streak of allowing two runs his past three outings.
After the Yankees (2.5 ahead of the Red Sox in AL East) lost last night to the Angels 2-1, behind a dominating eight innings by Jared Weaver, who gave up three hits including Jesus Montero’s third home run and sixth RBI in six games, CC Sebathia will pitch looking to get the Yankees back on track.
Weaver is one of the top five starters in the American League, sporting a 2.44 ERA and 187 strike outs, so his dominance of the Yankee lineup is not that surprising even though he was coming off two shaky starts. The Yankees will possibly face Weaver twice in the playoffs so if this happens they will need to figure him out before the postseason starts.
There were two major positives to take out of this game.
One was the aforementioned Montero continued to jolt the offense by supplying power and average out of the Designated Hitter spot. It seems like he will positively affect the Yankees down the home-stretch of the season in a similar way that Joba Chamberlain did out of the bullpen in 2007.
The second is that Bartolo Colon (3.55 ERA) bounced back from a month of August where he was not nearly as dominating as in previous months. He had three rocky stars in August, where he allowed four runs or more three times, but he bounced back with a vengeance limiting the Angels offense to zero earned runs in seven innings.
This start by Colon should cement his name as the winner of the Comeback Player of the Year after missing the entire 2010 campaign because of a rotator cuff injury. After this game against the Halos he was probably thinking back to 2005, which was the last time he picked up hardware being named the Angels second CY Young recipient.
The Yankees were in position play their third consecutive extra inning contest, after losing two in a row to the Orioles, but the Angels scored in the bottom of the ninth off of a Maicier Izturis sacrifice fly that drove in Jeremy Moore, who pinch ran for Alberto Callaspo. The run was charged to Aaaron Laffey as he gave up Callaspo’s single but Luis Ayala gave up the sac fly.
Sabathia is the pitcher the Yankees want to stop this three-game losing streak as he is also in the top five in CY Young consideration this season. He is coming off four straight quality starts, has 19 wins and a 2.97 ERA but will be pitching behind a lineup with some notable absences.
The somewhat fragile Alex Rodriguez in not playing and is being replaced by Eric Chavez. Nick Swisher whose elbow is hurting will be replaced by the infielder, Eduardo Nunez, in right-field. Also, the Yankees received some troubling news as Francisco Cervelli was originally in the lineup but now is not because of concussion symptoms and is being sent for an impact test.
Nobody has any idea how Nunez will handle playing right-field especially after making so many errors at second/short but he is able to be productive at the plate.
The Yankees need another vintage Sebathia start to help them end their losing streak and hopefully their offense will pick up where it left off against Angels starter Dan Haren.
Haren is having a solid season for the Angels with a 3.20 ERA but in his start in the Bronx earlier this season he allowed four runs in 6.2 innings.
An advantage that the Yankees should be able to capitalize on is that the Angels offense is weaker than in years past, as nobody is hitting higher than .290 (Howie Kendrick), or has more than 80 RBI (rookie Mike Trumbo). However, the Angels have been playing potent baseball recently as they are only 2.5 games behing the Texas Rangers and 7-3 in their last 10 contests.