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.
In the first game of their four-game series in Houston against the Astros, the Yankees were shutout 4-0 after a gem by Dallas Keuchel. The Astros ace pitched his third complete game of the season and recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts.
Keuchel lowered his ERA to 2.17, which is third best in the American League, and he lowered his WHIP to 0.96, which is the second best WHIP in the AL. His command of all four of his pitches, in addition to changing speeds, kept the Yankees off balance during the whole game. He only allowed six hits and one walk & retired the side in order in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings.
The ninth inning was the only inning that the Yankees were able to get a runner into scoring position against Keuchel. After Keuchel retired Chris Young and Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez singled, Mark Teixeira walked & then Carlos Beltran hit a single past third baseman Luis Valbuena’s glove to load the bases. However, with the bases loaded and a chance to drive in two or more runs, Jose Pirela grounded out to third to end the game.
“He (Keuchel) stays done in the zone, attacks all night, he just pitched well,” Joe Girardi said. “The guys were looking for a pitch and if they got a pitch early they were trying to hit it, and that didn’t work too well. I thought he might make a change but he is their ace so they let him go.”
Adam Warren pitched well overall in what was likely his last start before being moved to the bullpen. Warren allowed two earned runs (three overall) in 5.2 innings before Chris Capuano came on in relief. However, it did not help that Stephen Drew and John Ryan Murphy both had an error while Warren was pitching. Warren had a throwing error that allowed Evan Gattis to advance to third before being taken out of the game, but Capuano got Preston Tucker out to end the sixth.
“He (Warren) pitched really well again tonight,” Girardi said. “He has been consistent and it’s too bad we didn’t score him some runs tonight.”
For the Astros, Jose Altuve was 3-3 with three runs scored, Gattis was 2-4 with two RBIs, Colby Rasmus was 1-2 with an RBI and Tucker’s opposite field double to the wall off of Warren in the second drove in the Astros first run. The only run that the Astros scored off of Capuano was Gattis’s double that sent Altuve home in the eighth.
The Yankees hit zero extra-base hits for the fifth time this season. Brett Gardner (.292 with 55 runs scored), who was out of the lineup on Thursday after having gone 16-32 in his previous seven games, is back in center field tonight. Gardner has scored six runs over his last three games and will look to be the same spark at the top of the lineup that he has been the past few weeks.
Brian McCann is also back in the lineup after getting a routing game off like Gardner on Thursday. McCann has a .328 average with three homers and 12 RBIs in June and has had a much better start to the season than he did in his first season as a Yankee. McCann is also coming into the game with a five-game hitting streak with five RBIs in that span, so he will be one of the hitters that the Yankees will count on to drive in runs.
Nathan Eovaldi (4.95 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees tonight and Vincent Valasquez will take the mound for Houston. Valasquez (4.15 ERA), whose three starts in June were the first three of his career, didn’t pitch more than five innings in any of those starts. He allowed five earned runs in his second start but threw a shutout in five innings against the White Sox in his third start.
Eovaldi pitched very well in his previous start against the Detroit Tigers as he limited them to two earned runs on three hits in 6 innings. He had success because he commanded and located his secondary pitches.
Beltran will be the DH tonight since Rodriguez will be getting the night off. Rodriguez, who could come into the game as a pinch hitter, is on a nine-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that span.
His average was .267 before the hitting streak started and it is now a solid .289. A-Rod has performed better than anyone could have expected to this point and the Yankees would not be 1.5 games out of first in the AL East without him. He is tied for 13th in the AL with his 44 RBIs, is tied for eighth in the AL with his 15 homers and is tied for 12 in the league with 42 runs scored.
Tonight’s game will begin at 8:10 EST and can be seen on the YES Network.
After winning the final game of their series at home against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Yankees (39-33) will play the first game of their four-game series in Houston against the Astros tonight at 8:10 p.m. EST. The Astros, whose 42-32 record is better than anyone could have predicted, lead the American League in homers (107) and are third in slugging percentage and total bases.
Adam Warren will start the first game of the series against the Astros. This could be his last start before going back to the bullpen because Joe Girardi said that he didn’t think the six-man rotation will go past the series against the Angels. Warren, who has a solid 5-4 record with a 3.62 ERA in 13 starts this season, has allowed three runs or less in his previous eight starts.
In Warren’s last start, he had his best performance of the season as he pitched a season-high eight innings while allowing two earned runs and striking out a season-high seven batters. However, he was not as effective in his start on June 14 since he only threw 4.2 innings while allowing three walks, six hits and three earned runs on 92 pitches. He has been an asset to the rotation to this point of the season, and can definitely give the Yankees another quality start against the Astros, but with Ivan Nova’s return he will be more valuable as an impact reliever in the bullpen.
Dallas Keuchel, who is the Astros ace and will get the start tonight, is a lefty who has an 8-3 record with an outstanding 2.35 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. His 2.35 ERA is third in the American League, his pitching WAR is tied for third in the AL and his 0.98 WHIP is tied for second in the AL.
His home ERA (1.62) is much better than his road ERA (3.14), but he has struggled in his previous two starts as he has allowed five and three earned runs, respectively. In his last start, Keuchel gave up a season-high three homers and three walks in his start in Seattle against the Mariners.
Brett Gardner is 16-32 (.500) in his last seven games with 12 runs scored, four homers, 10 RBIs. He is having the best month of his season as those outstanding numbers in the last week have given him a .326 average in June with a .607 slugging percentage, six doubles, 24 runs scored and 17 RBIs. His 55 runs scored are third in the American League and his 15 steals are tied for second in the AL.
Gardner has the game off tonight even though he has hit so well over the last seven games. Joe Girardi has given him the night off because Keuchel is lefty and Gardner has a .239 average against southpaws this season. Gardner has also started every game since May 16 and not had the game off since May 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees activated Stephen Drew from the paternity list today and recalled middle infielder Gregorio Petit from Triple-A Scranton. These moves complete their 25-man roster and will mean that the Yankees will have a back-up middle infielder and that Garrett Jones will be the only true back-up outfielder. Jacoby Ellsbury is close to returning from the disabled list, which means that Chris Young will return to his back-up role.
The Yankees lineup will be less powerful than normal because Girardi has also decided to give Brian McCann the night off against the lefty starter. McCann is hitting .421 with two homers and five RBIs in the last seven days and has a .328 (20-61) average with 12 RBIs in June. Jose Pirela, whose best position is second base, will replace Gardner in the outfield.
Here is the lineup for tonight’s game:
Chris Young CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Jose Pirela LF
John Ryan Murphy C
Stephen Drew SS
Gregorio Petit 2B
The Yankees avoided being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies by beating them 10-2 on Wednesday afternoon in Ivan Nova‘s first start in 14 months due to having Tommy John surgery last April. The Rays lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in 12 innings, which means that the Yankees are now only a game behind them for first place in the American League East.
Nova, who threw one extra minor-league start to try and improve his curveball, pitched 6.2 innings while allowing three hits, no runs and throwing an excellent sinker. He threw 92 pitches and was impressively able to throw a 92mph fastball on his final pitch. His curveball was back to how it was in the 2013 season, which helped him retire the side in order in the first, fourth and sixth innings.
Joe Girardi said that he will not decide who to remove from the six-man rotation until next week when everyone will have pitched again. However, since it appears that Nova is back to how he pitched in 2013 when he had a 3.10 ERA, he will be an asset to the rotation with his ability to pitch deep into games and have quick innings. His productive start was also significant because it meant that the Yankees were able to end their streak of three consecutive sub-par performances by their starters.
“I thought his sinker was really good,” Joe Girardi said. “I thought his curveball was really good. I liked his pace. We missed him the last 14 months and it was really nice to get him back today. He has to be really excited to be back with his teammates.”
The Yankees had 15 hits today, which means that it was the 12th game this year that they had 14 or more hits. Their offense to this point has been much better than it was the previous two seasons. Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Chris Young, Didi Gregorius and Jose Pirela all had multi-hit games for the Yankees.
In the second inning, Pirela grounded into a fielder’s choice and Young and John Ryan Murphy scored on an error by third baseman Andres Blanco. In the fourth, the Yankees scored their runs on an RBI single by Brett Gardner, an RBI double by Headley and an RBI single by Teixeira.
Young hit a single to right to drive in Headley in the sixth for his 20th RBI of the season. This made the score 6-0. The Yankees tacked on four more insurance runs in the seventh inning. Pirela doubled to the wall in center to score Gregorius and then Rodriguez hit a single to shallow left with the bases loaded to Pirela and Gardner. Teixeira, who drove in two runs, leads the team with 51 RBIs and that total is tied for second in the AL.
The only negative for the Yankees was that Girardi was ejected in the top of the third inning for arguing a checked swing. He said that what got him ejected was that: “I told the umpire that I would knock it off if you got the call right.”
The Yankees have scored a combined 24 runs over their previous three games, which means that their offense is doing its part right now. Those runs also helped make the last two losses to the Phillies more respectable.
Gregorius has a hit in 10 of last 12 games and has raised his average from .229 to .236 in that span. His defense has improved since the beginning of the season since he has stopped trying to do too much. He has steadily improved every month since he had a .206 average at the end of April, a .232 average in May and has a .254 average so far in June.
On Thursday, The Yankees will play the first of four games in Houston against the Astros, who are surprisingly 42-31 and in first place in the American League West. After that series, they will end their road trip with a three-game series in Anaheim against the Angels. The Astros have hit the most homers in the American League, which means that the Yankees starters will need to be more like Nova and less like CC Sabathia, who allowed two homers in Tuesday’s start.
The Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 p.m. in the final game of their three game series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have allowed an alarmingly high 22 runs in the first two games. Their starters, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, have combined to allow 14 runs in the previous two games, which is not a recipe for success.
Ivan Nova will make his first start of the season after missing the first two months of this campaign and the last five months of last season due to Tommy John surgery. He had a 4.02 ERA in three minor-league rehab starts but is feeling healthy and ready to rejoin the rotation. In 2013, Nova pitched much better than he did during his four starts in April of last season as he pitched in 23 games, including 20 starts, and had 3.10 ERA with 116 strikeouts and 44 walks in 139.1 innings.
Nova has been really looking forward to his return to the big league rotation. “This is like another dream,” the 28-year-old Nova said, comparing Wednesday’s start to his major league debut in 2010. “I can’t describe what is going through my mind.” His curveball (80mph) is has one of the best in the American League and his 93mph sinker is also effective.
Mark Teixeira, who missed the previous two games due to a sore neck, is back in the lineup today batting cleanup. He adds another power hitter that the Yankees missed the previous two games. Teixeira’s 18 homers are tied for fourth in the American League and his 49 RBIs are also fourth in the AL.
Jose Pirela is playing second base once again because Stephen Drew is on the paternity list. Brendan Ryan, who had only played in six games this season, was put on the 15-day DL with a right thoracic strain to make room on the roster for Nova.
The Yankees need to win this game to avoid being swept by the Phillies, who have the worst record in all of baseball. Nova and the relief pitchers will have to contain Maikel Franco because he has driven in 10 runs in the last two games and has a .519 average in the last seven days. This is the lineup for today’s game:
Brett Gardner CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chris Young LF
John Ryan Murphy C
Didi Gregorius SS
Jose Pirela 2B
The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday afternoon, 6-2, at a mostly full Yankee Stadium. It was their third win in a row against the Angels and their sixth consecutive win overall. Going back to the series in Oakland, the Yankees have won seven of their previous eight games to give them a 32-25 record.
CC Sabathia rebounded from allowing homers to Albert Pujols and Mike Trout in the first inning to pitch six innings and only allow two runs. He allowed five hits, one walk and his seven strikeouts were the most he had in a game since May 11.
One of the strikeouts that he had was his 2,500th of his career. He is the 31st Major League pitcher to reach 2,500 strikeouts. When he caught Angels second baseman Giavotella looking with a changeup in the fifth inning Sabathia became just the ninth left-hander to accomplish the milestone. He is also the Major Leagues’ active strikeout leader.
This was Sabathia’s second straight start that he allowed two earned runs, and he got Kole Calhoun to ground into a double play to end the sixth inning, but Sabathia got thrown out of the game after the top of the sixth ended.
He started shouting at the home plate umpire after the double play was completed. The shouting caused Sabathia to be ejected, which lead Sabathia to get in Dan Bellino’s face, which also led to Joe Girardi being ejected.
Sabathia disagreed with a called a ball that was called during Kalhoun’s at-bat. “I just asked him where the pitch was,” Sabathia said after the game. “He said it was down. I said, ‘It’s not down, you just called it on [Chase] Headley.’ That’s when he threw me out.”
The crowd at the stadium got loud for each of the three homers that the Yankees hit off of Angels veteran starter C.J. Wilson. Chris Young, who only had one hit in his previous 13 at-bats coming into the game, hit a homer over the State Farm scoreboard in left field in the fifth to tie the score at two.
Later in the fifth inning, Brett Gardner hit a line drive homer to the back of the first level in right field to drive in John Ryan Murphy and Didi Gregorius. When the ball came off Gardner’s bat it appeared that his line drive would stay in the field. Gardner now has 26 RBIs after driving in 58 all of last season.
In the seventh inning, Jose Pirela his his first homer of the season (and his career) and the team’s third of the afternoon. Pirela’s homer to left center was 418 feet, and it was further than the homers that Young or Gardner hit, as their homers were both less than 400 feet.
Chase Headley, who hit a single in the first inning, is now on an eight-game hitting streak. Didi Gregorius, who drove in the first run of the game for the Yankees in the first inning with a ground out to second, was involved in turning two double plays and has one or more hits in four of his last five games.
Betances pitched a perfect eighth inning while recording two more strikeouts to give him 53 in 31.1 innings pitched. Betances got out of the eighth inning on an emphatic called third strike on a 3-2 count to Trout. Andrew Miller closed out the game with three straight strikeouts in the ninth leading to a drama free afternoon by the bullpen.
Miller lowered his ERA to 1.04 and Betances lowered his to 0.29. They are likely the best eighth and ninth inning combo in baseball.
The game which was played during a picture perfect afternoon with no humidity and without a cloud in the sky was finished in a very manageable 2:10. The Yankees will have an off day on Monday before starting a brief two-game series against the Washington Nationals at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.
The Yankees will play the Mariners in Seattle tonight at 10:10 EST. Felix Hernandez, who is 8-1 and has an outstanding 1.91 ERA this season, will get the start for the Mariners. He has remarkably allowed two runs or less in eight of the 10 starts that he has made this season. In six starts against the Yankees from 2012 until 2014, Hernandez had a 2.09 ERA in 43 innings.
Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees and will make this matchup a marquee one. He will be facing the Mariners for the first time since they traded him for Jesus Montero after the 2011 season. Pineda has a very good 3.36 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, a 6-2 record and 67 strikeouts (6th in AL). His ERA would be much better if not for his starts on May 15 and May 22 where he allowed five and four runs respectively.
Part of what makes him the ace of the staff is that he has 67 strikeouts and only five walks. Pineda struggled in those two starts because he was not locating his slider, but when Pineda’s slider is on target he is one of the best starters in the American League.
He only allowed one run in 6.2 innings in his last start, and the Yankees need him to have a similar performance tonight because it is always a challenge to score runs off of King Felix. Pineda will have to contain Nelson Cruz, who leads the American League with his 18 homers. Cruz has been one of the best offseason signings in all of baseball.
It was announced earlier today that when Masahiro Tanaka comes off of the disabled list on Wednesday that Adam Warren will deservedly stay in the rotation and Chris Capuano will be moved to the bullpen.
Stephen Drew will return to the lineup tonight as Jose Pirela got the start at second the previous two games. Joe Girardi is making a point not to give up on Drew.
“It’s tough, but we signed him to be our second baseman,” Girardi said. “He’s worked really hard the last couple days to see if he could work on a couple little things here or there. I want to get him back out there.”
This is the rest of the lineup for tonight’s game:
Brett Gardner CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Ramon Flores LF