The Yankees ended their five-game losing streak with their 8-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night at Progressive Field. They scored more than four runs in a game for the first time since their 13-3 win over the Red Sox on August 4.
The Yankees offense slugged two homers, a 3-run homer by Brian McCann in the first inning and a solo blast by Stephen Drew (.195) in the second inning. The Yankees are 32-11 when hitting two or more homers this season.
Drew’s homer was his 15th round tripper of the season, which is more than any second baseman in the majors besides Brian Dozier. Nathan Eovaldi, who won his 12th game of the season, allowed two runs in the third inning to make the score 4-2.
The offense continued to find success off of Trevor Bauer as Drew hit a double to left to score Didi Gregorius in the fourth and Brett Gardner doubled to left to score Drew to send Bauer out of the game with the score 6-2 after 3.1 innings.
Eovaldi allowed two more earned runs in the sixth inning including a Lonnie Chisenhall single that scored former Yankee minor leaguer Abraham Almonte. He did not have his usual command of his pitches as he threw 5.1 innings and allowed seven hits, three walks and four earned runs.
“He just missed his spots tonight,” Joe Girardi said. “No real rhyme or reason to it sometimes.”
Eovaldi had previously allowed three runs or less in each of his previous nine starts and two runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. This improved results is partly due to his consistency of his splitter, which he has started to throw a lot more this season.
However, he was not able to throw his splitter where he wanted it to go against the Indians. “My split I felt was inconsistent,” Eovaldi said. “I didn’t feel like my slider was there tonight either. Luckily we got the win.”
The 7.60 runs per game that the Yankees have score during Eovaldi’s starts this season are the second most in the American League. The Yankees needed this offensive outburst against the Indians because they couldn’t go into their important weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays with a sweep to the last place Indians.
To give the Yankees their seventh run and the lead for good, Gardner hit a single to center to score Drew to give the Yankees 7-2 advantage. Eovaldi left the game with a 7-4 lead, which allowed him to win his third game in his last four starts.
Justin Wilson allowed one run on two hits while recording the first two outs of the seventh inning. Dellin Betances threw a wild pitch that allowed Francisco Lindor to score and that run was charged to Wilson. In his previous nine games, Wilson had only allowed one run while striking out 10 and walking two.
Gardner drove in his third run of the game with his single in the eighth that sent Drew home. Andrew Miller bounced back after blowing his first save of the season in his previous appearance to record his 25th save, but the Indians did score a run on two hits off of him.
Miller has converted 25 out of 26 save chances this season and still has a very good 2.25 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in his first season as a closer. The bullpen has been a strength for the Yankees all season, and the team will need dominance from them the rest of the season to hold off the Blue Jays.
A major factor in the Yankees winning this game was that Ellsbury (2-4) and Gardner (3-4), who are the No. 1 and No. 2 hitters in the lineup, combined to go 5-8 with two runs scored and three RBIs. The Yankees need those two to hit well at the top of the order. Before this game, Ellsbury was 2-27 (.074) in his last six games, and Gardner was 4-20 (.200) with eight strikeouts in his last six games.
The Yankees are now 62-51 and half a game behind the first place Blue Jays. Toronto is the hottest team in baseball as they have won 11 games in a row going back to July 29. They are currently undefeated with Troy Tulowitzki on the team.
The Yankees and Blue Jays will play three games at the Rogers Centre starting tonight at 7:07. The Yankees will look to win games in a hostile environment as the Blue Jays fans will be into it since these are the biggest games at the Rogers Centre since they last made the playoffs in 1993. The two teams are top two in the American League in runs scored and RBIs.
The Yankees (61-51) lost to the Cleveland Indians, 2-1, in the second game of the series as the offense only had four hits in the game. The Yankees have now scored only nine runs in their last seven games and that low run output has led to them losing six of those games.
As a result of the Toronto Blue Jays 10-game winning streak the Yankees are half a game out of first and are now in second place for the first time since July 1. “Obviously you want to be in first place,” Girardi said. “The end date is the most important date to be there. It is going to come down to what we do the next 50 games or whatever we’ve got left.”
Brian McCann’s homer in the second inning was the only run that the Yankees scored in the game. McCann’s 19 homers this season leads all MLB catchers. “We just have to show up tomorrow and get a win,” McCann said.
Danny Salazar, who only allowed one run in 7.1 innings and had 8 strikeouts, retired the side in order in the third and fourth innings and the Yankees had trouble hitting his overpowering fastball. Salazar has now allowed a combined two earned runs in his last three starts and besides McCann’s homer the Yankees only got a runner to second or third twice against him.
The Yankees were 0-3 with runners in scoring position, were 1-11 with runners on base and Alex Rodriguez hit into two double plays. The top of the lineup continued to struggle as the 1-4 hitters went a combined 2-13 with five strikeouts. The top of the lineup needs to contribute offensively if the Yankees are going to win consistently again.
“I thought we swung the bats better,” Girardi said. “They made some good plays. We hit some balls deep. Unfortunately we were not able to do much.”
One positive was that the pitching continued to do its job for the team. CC Sabathia allowed 11 base runners in his six innings pitched, but he was able to limit the Indians to only two runs in six innings while recording two strikeouts and pitching very effectively with runners on base. He got Chris Johnson to hit into a double play to end the third and got Johnson to hit into another double play to end the fifth after the Indians scored their first run.
Sabathia, who lowered his ERA from 5.34 to 5.23, has now pitched well in his last two starts as he allowed one earned run, eight strikeouts and only three hits in six innings in his start last week against the Red Sox. He is improving since he has allowed three runs combined in his last two starts after allowing 10 runs in his previous two starts.
“I think my stuff was better last time,” Sabathia said. “My main focus is always to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win. I think I accomplished that tonight.” Limiting the opposition to two runs while allowing 11 base runners is very impressive and he pitched well enough to earn his 213th win of his career.
“He is working the ball in and out,” McCann said. “He is getting the cutter in. He made some huge pitches tonight.” McCann got to first in the ninth after Roberto Perez’s throw after his dropped third strike hit him, and John Ryan Murphy ran for him, but he was stranded at first after Carlos Beltran lined out and Didi Gregorius struck swinging to end the game.
The Yankees were coming off of a 16-inning marathon of a game so they needed some distance from Sabathia. He was able to throw 110 pitches, which is tied for the most he has thrown this season.
“I knew I had to lean on him tonight, but he was still throwing the ball well,” Girardi said about Sabathia. “I stuck with him.”
Hal Steinbrenner, who is the managing general partner of the Yankees, still has confidence in the team and its chance of winning the division. “I said in the offseason several times that if we stayed healthy, which is something we haven’t been able to do the last couple years, and if the middle of the lineup produced, which they didn’t do last year, then we were going to be contenders, and we are,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday from baseball’s owners meetings in Chicago. “It’s still ours to lose.”
The Yankees offense is trending the wrong way at the wrong time, with their power hitters, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, struggling, but there is still time for them to find their swing and hit like they did earlier in the season. The Blue Jays will also not continue to win games at the pace that they have been.
The Yankees will play the series finale on Thursday night and the offense will look to bounce back and prevent a sweep to the last place Indians. Nathan Eovaldi will be pitching for the Yankees and the erratic Trevor Bauer will get the start for Cleveland.
The Yankees only made one trade before today’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. On Thursday, the Yankees acquired Seattle Mariners infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley for prospects Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez. Joe Girardi likes the extreme versatility that Ackley brings to the team.
“The guy can play five spots and that’s pretty good,’’ the manager said. He has played first base, second base and all three outfield positions in his five seasons in the majors. He was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft and could perform much better in Yankee Stadium than he did in Safeco Park. From 2012-2014, Ackely had a .316 average in 38 at-bats with two homers and six RBIs.
He is having the worst year of his his five-year career this season, but he has more upside than the players the Yankees traded. He has a .215 average in 207 at-bats with six homers, eight doubles, 19 RBIs, two steals and a .366 slugging percentage. Garrett Jones, who Ackley has better stats than, was dropped from the roster when Ackely was added to the team today.
It was announced today that Luis Severino‘s next start will be with the Yankees. This is the right time to call him because Micael Pineda is now on the disabled list with a right flexor forearm muscle strain and he doesn’t have anything else to prove with Triple-A Scranton. In 11 starts this season with the RailRiders, Severino has a 7-0 record with an outstanding 1.91 ERA, 50 strikeouts and a very good 0.92 WHIP.
The Yankees (57-44) currently have a 6-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. The Yankees begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago in what will be the end of their 10-game road trip. The White Sox have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games to move back into contention for a wild card spot.
The White Sox (49-51) have former Yankees Melky Cabrera and David Robertson on their roster. Nathan Eovaldi, who will be starting tonight, is 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA in his last seven starts. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (10-2, 4.27)
LHP Carlos Rodon (4-3, 4.09)
8:10 p.m., YES Network
LHP John Danks (5-8, 4.97)
7:10 p.m., WPIX
RHP Ivan Nova (3-3, 3.38)
RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-5, 3.94)
2:10 p.m., YES Network and TBS
The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-2, on Sunday afternoon at Target Field in what Nathan Eovaldi said was his best start this season. He pitched eight innings (including a leadoff double to Miguel Sano in the ninth) and allowed only two runs while striking out five on 100 pitches. It was the first time that he had pitched more than 7.1 innings this season.
Eovaldi has now allowed two runs or less in six of his last seven starts, which has lowered his ERA from 5.12 to a much more respectable 4.27. During this start, he was able to strike out four of the first six batters that he faced and didn’t allow an extra base hit until Sano’s double in the ninth.
“I thought his split was outstanding and I thought he used his curve ball effectively,” Joe Girardi said. “He is very strong and doesn’t lose velocity as the game goes along. He is getting strikeouts on his split, which is always important for a pitcher when you can get strikeouts when you need them. I think he has improved all year.”
The first run that the Twins scored off of Eovaldi was a an RBI groundout by Torii Hunter that scored Aaron Hicks in the third inning. Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single that scored Sano in the ninth was also charged to Eovaldi. He has really improved his splitter in his last seven starts, which has helped him record a 5-0 record, 2.83 ERA and a .245 batting average against in that span.
“I had the fastball working both sides of the plate and I got swings and misses with my split,” Eovaldi said. “I was getting early chases in the count and got big double play balls when I needed to.”
Carlos Beltran, who doubled to right center, was on third with one out in the second, but the fact that he was stranded at third by Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius did not end up hurting the Yankees. Headley, who was 2-4 and is hitting .344 with 11 RBIs in July, hit a homer to the concourse in right off of Twins starter Kyle Gibson in the fifth inning to tie the score at one. The Yankees scored six runs in the sixth inning to help give them the win.
Garrett Jones hit an RBI single to give the Yankees a 2-1 advantage, Headley singled to right to score Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann, Didi Gregorius hit a safety squeeze bunt for an RBI that drove in Garrett Jones and then Stephen Drew hit a two-run homer to give the Yankees their seventh run. Drew (.188 average) now has 13 homers, which is second most among all second basemen in the American League.
Eovaldi now has so much confidence in his split-fingered fastball that he shook off the slider in the first and threw the splitter to strike out Hunter.
“Eovaldi has been great for us,” Headley said. “It is fun to watch him when he gets the ball.”
Dellin Betances, who got all three outs in the ninth inning, got Kurt Suzuki to hit into a double play to end the game as Eddie Rosario was doubled off of first after a catch and throw by Headley.
“Great win for us,” Headley said. “I think you stay the course. Keep working hard and know the results will come.” That was what Headley said in reference to his recent offensive improvement.
This was the team’s sixth consecutive series win. The Yankees have a 7-2 record with 4.6 runs runs per game and a solid 3.71 ERA since the All-Star break. Their 14-5 record in July is also the best in all of baseball.
The Yankees (55-42) now have a 6.5 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays (50-50) and a 7 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. They will play the first of four games against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park tonight at 8:05 p.m. EST.
Brendan Ryan hit an RBI double in the sixth inning that ended up giving the Yankees a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the series opener. That was Ryan’s fifth hit of the season (5-17) and it was a clutch hit after standing four in his first two at-bats. Ryan hit a double to right down the third base line to drive in Didi Gregorius.
“I just tried to get my foot down and get my barrel to the ball,” Ryan said. “I had a few opportunities today and couldn’t come through, but I was glad I was able to come through to put us up by one.”
The Toronto Blue Jays won last night, so the Yankees now have a 4.5 game lead over Toronto for first place and the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays are five games back. Nathan Eovaldi got the start for the Yankees and he allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in 5.2 innings pitched. He had four strikeouts and has now allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts.
“The split was good early on in the game,” Eovaldi said. “Even as the season has progressed it (the split) has been really good for me. I switched my grip on the split a little earlier on the season so it was like a true split. I want to go deep into ballgames, but our bullpen has been great the whole year. The split has been my pitch, I have been able to throw it in any count.”
A key out for Eovaldi came in the fifth inning when he got Chris Parmelee to ground out to second with runners on first and third with two outs. After not allowing any hits in the first three innings, Eovaldi wasn’t as effective in the fifth and sixth. In the sixth inning, Matt Weiters singled to right off of Eovaldi to score Jimmy Paredes and advance Adam Jones to second. Justin Wilson would then allow an RBI single to JJ Hardy that scored Jones, which was Eovaldi second earned run.
However, Eovaldi did mix his pitches well in addition to throwing 100mph fastballs. Eovaldi helped his own cause in the first inning by picking off Manny Machado at first with an outstanding throw. He has really improved his secondary pitches since allowing eight earned runs to the Marlins on June 16.
The Yankees scored their first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez to left that sent Brett Gardner home. That was A-Rod’s 53rd RBI of the season, and he is on target to have his highest RBI total since the 2010 season. In the second inning, Chase Headley hit a double to the wall in left off of Wei-Yin Chen to score Brian McCann to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Mark Teixeira, Chris Young and Headley all had two hits for the Yankees. Young had two hits off of the lefty starter, and now has a .371 average in 89 at-bats with six homers against southpaws. Headley is now on a six-game hitting streak with three doubles and three RBIs in that span. Teixeira now has three consecutive multi-hit games, which has improved his average from .239 to .252.
The Yankees were only 1-10 with runners in scoring position but they got timely hits and excellent pitching from the bullpen once again.
The Yankees are so much better with a healthy Teixeira this year. “You really appreciate it because you see it on a daily basis,” Joe Girardi said. “It was tough missing him last year but it is great having him back.”
Mark Teixeira made a great scoop on an in between hop on a throw by Gregorius to get the second out of the ninth inning. Jonathan Schoop then struck out swinging on an 84mph slider from Andrew Miller to end the game. Miller now has 21 saves in 21 save opportunities in his first season as a closer.
Including Tuesday’s 3.1 scoreless innings, the bullpen has now not allowed a run in their last 11.1 innings. Dellin Betances recorded the last out of the seventh and pitched the eighth and was able to record two strikeouts. He now has 81 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched, which proves how his pitches have been nearly un-hittable.
“He is able to give you multiple outs and he is very durable,” Girardi said. “He just means a ton to our team. I think he understands that when we get to the seventh that we might use him for multiple outs.
The Yankees have won 19 of their last 26 home games.
After their win on Tuesday, Ivan Nova will get the start for the Yankees in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday. He allowed four runs in 6.2 innings in his previous start.
The Yankees, who have a four-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East, start a three-game series against the Orioles tonight at Yankee Stadium. This is an important series because with a sweep they could have a seven-game lead over Baltimore, who is likely the most talented overall team besides the Yankees in the division.
Coming into this series, the Yankees have won six of their last eight games and they are coming off of winning two of three games against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees pitched well overall in that series as the Mariners scored seven runs combined and didn’t score more than three runs in any game.
The bullpen has been a strength for the Yankees this season and that was the case against the Mariners as well. The bullpen combined to throw eight scoreless innings and strikeout nine batters during the three-game series. That is one area of the team that definitely does not need to be improved before the trade deadline.
Offense is a strength for both the Yankees and Orioles. Baltimore is fourth out of 15 teams in the American League with 113 homers, they are fourth in the AL with a .257 average and fourth with a .423 slugging percentage. The Yankees, on the other hand, are second in the league with 418 runs scored, tied for second in the AL with 120 homers and are also second in the league with 398 RBIs.
The Orioles have a better rotation than the Yankees, but New York has a better record because of their better overall lineup and bullpen. Chris Young, who was signed to a one-year contract in November, will start tonight and has been a key addition because he plays a solid right field and has an outstanding .360 average in 86 at-bats against lefties with six homers, 14 RBIs and a 1.101 OPS.
Overall, Young has a .251 average in 215 at-bats with 11 homers, 27 RBIs, 33 runs scored and a .773 OPS. “I would think against every lefty we face he will be in there,” Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees will be facing a lefty tonight in Wei-Yin Chen. He has the best ERA (2.78) of any Orioles starter and during his three July starts he has an impressive 2.35 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP. Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for the Yankees and his 4.50 ERA is second lowest out of the five starters in the rotation, but Eovaldi has a 2.87 ERA in three July starts and has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts.
According to STATS, Chen has a 1.95 ERA during his five consecutive quality starts, while Eovaldi is 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his last five starts. Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann have been run producers in the middle of the lineup so far this season and the Yankees will need that to continue during this series. The Yankees will look to win their fifth straight series before they go on a 10-game road trip.
Here are the pitching matchups for this series against the Orioles:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-2, 4.50)
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-5, 2.78)
7:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network
RHP Ivan Nova (1-3, 3.42)
RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.00)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (6-3, 3.65)
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 3.29)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
The Yankees, who have a 3.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East at the end of the All-Star break, have a realistic chance of make the playoffs for the first time since the 2012 season. They have a dominant bullpen, are second in the league in runs scored (409), have the second most RBIs in the league (389) have the third best team OPS in the AL (.748) and have hit a league leading 116 homers.
The worst two pitchers in the rotation have been Nathan Eovaldi (4.50 ERA in 98 innings) and CC Sabathia (5.47 ERA in 100.1 innings). However, Sabathia allowed two earned runs in his last start before the break and Eovaldi has impressively allowed two runs or less in four of his last five starts.
It is not likely that Sabathia will be taken out of the rotation based on how much he has accomplished in his career and how much he is being paid, which means that he needs to consistently lower his ERA the rest of the season. Eovaldi has been throwing his off-speed pitches in better counts and with better command, which his helped him not have to rely on his overpowering fastball as much.
The team’s biggest weakness has been the rotation, which can improve with more consistency from Micael Pineda (3.64 ERA in 106.1 innings) and Masahiro Tanaka (3.63 ERA in 67 innings), who are the top two starters in the rotation.
Mark Teixeira, who was an All-Star this season after reaching the All-Star break fourth in the league in homers (22) and first in RBIs (62), and Alex Rodriguez, who is tied for 12th in homers (18) and tied for 16th in RBIs (51) have both had great bounce back seasons, have been key run producers in the middle of the lineup and the Yankees would not have a 48-40 record without their improved play this season. The Yankees will need both Teixeira and Rodriguez to stay healthy and productive the rest of the season in order to win the division.
The Yankees have a 25-16 record at home so far this season and a not as good 23-24 record on the road. They will have a favorable schedule after the All-Star break since they will not have any more games in the Pacific Time Zone and will play 40 games at Yankee Stadium and only 34 games on the road.
The Mariners, who have Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano on their roster, are in fourth place in the AL West with a 41-48 record. The Mariners went 4-4 in their last eight games before the All-Star break.
Here are the pitching matchups for this weekend series against the Seattle Mariners.
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (5-3, 3.63)
LHP Mike Montgomery (4-3, 2.29)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
RHP Michael Pineda (9-5, 3.64)
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 5.52)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
LHP CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.47)
RHP Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.84)
1:05 p.m., WPIX