Joe Girardi picked up his 800th career win as the Yankees manager in their 5-0 win over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon. The Yankees won two out of three against the Mariners, who had 12 of 16 games coming into the series. The Yankees have also won five of their past six series.
Yankees starters have allowed one earned run or less in eight of the last 10 games. In their last nine games the Yankees starters collectively have an ERA of a very low 2.25. In this start, Tanaka throw seven scoreless innings and this came after throwing six scoreless innings in his previous start.
Tanaka, who now has a very good 3.11 ERA after his outstanding previous two starts, threw 69 of his 106 pitches for strikes and recorded six hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
He was able to pitch well when he had runners in scoring position as he got two ground outs in row with runners on second and third in the second inning and in the third inning, with runners on first and second, Tanaka got former Yankee great Robinson Cano to hit into a double play. Tanaka has been the best Yankees starting pitcher this season and he showed that again on Wednesday.
“His stuff really got good in the 4th inning, and then it just seemed like he found everything,” Joe Girardi said. “He went to work and gave us seven strong innings.”
Tyler Clippard recored two outs in the eighth in addition to allowing two hits, and he has now not allowed an earned run in 10 of the 11 games that he has appeared in since rejoining the Yankees before the trade deadline.
Dellin Betances picked up the final four outs of the game and recorded his sixth save since taking over for Andrew Miller. Betances added three more strikeouts to increase his season total to an impressive 108 and hasn’t allowed a run in nine of his last 10 appearances.
Gary Sanchez is the 5th player all time with nine homers through 21 career games. He is also the first Yankee ever to hit nine homers in his first 21 games with the team. “It has been phenomenal,” Dellin Betances said. “I don’t think I have ever seen a start like that to a young guy’s career.”
“You feel like he is going to hit the ball hard,” Girardi said about Sanchez. “It is fun to watch.”
Sanchez, who is a rookie, has an outstanding .389 average in 19 games this season to go with six doubles, nine homers, 16 RBI, eight walks, an .847 slugging percentage and even one steal.
Sanchez hit a home run in the first inning to kick off the scoring for the Yankees. He has always been known for his hitting in the minors but the rate that he is hitting homers to begin his career has rarely been seen in the history of baseball. Also, Sanchez has greatly improved behind the plate and he has been calling games with confidence and has even thrown out five of the eight runners that have attempted to steal on him.
Four other Yankees drove in runs during Wednesday’s game. In the second inning, Tyler Austin, who had been struggling the last few games, drove in fellow rookie Aaron Judge. Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to score Aaron Hicks, Mark Teixeira singled to left center to score Gardner in the 7th and then Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly to score Gardner in the ninth. Teixeira, who is only hitting .197, drove in his first run since August 7.
Teams that are playing well drive in runners on third with less than two outs and that was how the Yankees were able to score two of their five runs.
Gary Sanchez was intentionally walked in the ninth to load the bases after also being intentionally walked earlier in the game. Sanchez was deservedly walked after Didi Gregorius hit a ground rule double that landed in the stands in shallow left.
“You don’t see it,” Girardi said in reference to a rookie like Sanchez being intentionally walked. “It says a lot about his abilities. He has developed, he is comfortable and he knows what he needs to do. I don’t think you would expect this out of anyone. I’ve never seen a young player come up and do what he has done.”
After Sanchez walked, Teixeira struck out looking for the first out and then Castro hit a sacrifice fly to left field that easily scored Gardner to make the score 5-0. Judge then struck out looking on a 1-2 pitch for his third strikeout of the game.
According to Katie Sharp, Sanchez is the first Yankees to be intentionally walked twice in his first 21 career games (he played in two games last year) since Joe Gordon in 1938.
The Yankees, after having won 11 of their last 18 games, will start a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. The Orioles currently have the second wild card spot and the Yankees are five games back, which makes the series important for gaining ground. Six of the next nine games that the Yankees play will be against the Orioles and the other three will be against the Kansas City Royals, who are also five games back and have won nine of their last 10 games.
The Yankees lost their spring training game on Sunday in Clearwater against the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-5, but Masahiro Tanaka pitched well in his first game action of the exhibition season.
Tanaka was not perfect but was effective against the Phillies. In his two innings pitched, Tanaka did not allow a run, recorded two strikeouts while allowing two hits and a walk. He was still finding his control based on his two walks, but he was able to use his movement and his array of plus pitches to not allow any of the three runners to score.
A scout who was in the stands during Sunday’s game said that Tanaka’s fastball was 87-88 in the first inning, got up to 90-91 in the second inning and his slider and splitter were both effective. It is a positive that he was able to increase his velocity in the second inning and that his slider and splitter showed good movement.
“His feel for pitching, command and control were excellent,” the scout said.
In the second inning, with runners on first and third, Rob Refsnyder, who is learning how to play third so that he can back-up the position, made an outstanding play to start a double play. With runners on first and third and two outs, Tanaka was able to throw a slider to strikeout David Lough. The righty was pleased with his performance.
“Pretty satisfied (with) how I pitched out there,” Tanaka said. “… For me also, just to see how I feel the next day (is) important. Other than that, mechanics is one of things I’m aware of. Also, just being able to hit my spots.”
In 2015, according to Brooks Baseball, he relied primarily on his (elite) splitter (88mph) and slider (84mph), while also mixing in his four-seam fastball (93mph), cutter (90mph) and curve (77mph). His splitter is his most effective pitch. His splitter generates more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ splitters. His slider has a 12-6 movement, which leads to more fly balls than other pitchers’ sliders and his cutter results in more flyballs than that of other cutters and has slight above average velocity, according to Brooks Baseball.
It was an important sign that he was able to hold the Phillies scoreless because two weeks after after he pitched for the Yankees during their loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card Game, Tanaka underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow. This was his first major step towards proving that he is recovered from the surgery. Going into Sunday’s game, manager Joe Girardi wanted to see how Tanaka would command the strike zone.
After finishing last season, which was his second season with the Yankees after coming over from Japan, having pitched 154 innings (24 starts) with a 3.51 ERA, an outstanding 0.99 WHIP, 139 strikeouts, only 27 walks, 12 wins and a .221 opponents batting average, his goal is to be able to significantly increase his workload this season.
“The goal is to go 200 innings, and I think that the important part is to be healthy enough to pitch throughout the season,” Tanaka said.
In his rookie season, in 2014, Tanaka was the first Yankees rookie to win 12 games by the All-Star break, which helped lead to him being selected to the All-Star Game as a reserve. Tanaka and Dellin Betances were the first Yankee rookie pitchers to be selected to the All-Star Game since Spec Shea in 1947. He made 20 starts in 2014 (136.1 innings) and finished the season with an excellent 2.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 3.3 WAR, 141 strikeouts, 21 walks, 13 wins, three complete games and one shutout.
The 27-year-old, like other members of the Yankees rotation, needs to prove that he can stay healthy the whole season. In his rookie season, he experienced discomfort in his right arm after his loss to the Cleveland Indians on July 8. This led to him being placed on the disabled list the next day due to elbow inflammation. An MRI revealed that he had a partially torn UCL, and doctors recommended that he get a PRP shot and rest for six weeks instead of having Tommy John surgery.
After Tanaka’s six weeks of rest and rehab, he would only make two more starts that season. He returned on September 21 winning his 13th game of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays, and in his final start of the season he allowed seven runs in 1.2 innings against the Boston Red Sox. On April 28 of last season, Tanaka was placed on the disabled list due to forearm and wrist soreness, and would make his next start on June 3 against the Seattle Mariners. He pitched seven innings and recorded nine strikeouts while leading the team to a 3-1 win.
The Yankees need him to be a workhorse at the top of the rotation this season. When he is using his splitter with confidence to go along with the rest of his pitches he is one of the best pitchers in the American League. Tanaka pitched well to end last season as he allowed three runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts and allowed two runs or less in three of his last five starts.
Girardi will likely be very gradual in increasing his pitches per outing during spring training to try to keep him healthy and durable. There is no need for him to be overworked during exhibition games, and he just needs to be able to have command of all of his pitches so that he can dominate the opposition during the regular season. If he does indeed throw 200 innings then that will increase the team’s chances of making it back to the postseason and it will put less pressure on the rest of the rotation.
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
In a matchup of former Cy Young winners, CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez both allowed one run in six innings pitched in the Yankees 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. This gave the Yankees a 2-1 series win and they have now won six of their previous eight games.
Mark Teixeira, who hit a homer to right in the eighth inning off of Fernando Rodney with the score tied at one, was previously 0-9 against Rodney before his game-winning homer that went into the bleachers. Before Sunday’s game, Teixeira’s last go ahead homer in the eighth inning or later was in 2009. He has already hit more homers (23) and driven in more runs (63) than he did in all of last year.
Sabathia’s four seamer and slider worked very well, which helped him record seven strikeouts including all three batters he faced in the fourth. It was his first start of six innings, one earned run and seven strikeouts in two seasons.
“I feel great,” Sabathia said. “I had a week off. At this point in my career I think I am better when I have time off. I am friends with all these guys so it is not hard to try and help them the second half. I was able to work both sides of the plate and get swings and misses.”
Sabathia threw 33 four-seam fastballs and 19 sliders. He got three strikeouts on his slider. He allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings in his previous start, which means he has gotten a little better than in his last start before the All-Star break.
“It looked like he was strong today and threw the ball well,” Joe Girardi said. “I thought he used his cutter extremely well today, something that he has been working on, and he mixed his other pitches in well. He threw a really good game and got some big outs when he needed to.”
The only run that Sabathia allowed was an RBI single to center by former Yankee Austin Jackson in the 5th inning. Sabathia retired the side in order in the first and fourth innings, and he got a double play to end the sixth.
The Mariners have a weak offense, but if he can continue using his cutter/changeup well and throwing to all parts of the plate effectively then he can be an asset to the rotation for the rest of the season. His ERA is currently a high 5.25 (an improvement from 5.65 on June 23), but it is more important what he is able to do the rest of the season as the Yankees look to win the division.
Sabathia does have an impressive 91 strikeouts and only 21 walks (4.33 K/BB), which is the 10th best strikeout to walk ratio in the AL.
“I’ve said all along that the ability is there, it is just the consistency of the pitcher,” Girardi said. “He was really good today. The one thing we know CC has is a lot of heart. We believe in him.”
Carlos Beltran, who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, drove in the Yankees’ only run off of Hernandez. In the sixth inning, Beltran hit a single to left center that scored Brett Gardner to tie the score at one. (In a somewhat controversial move, the Yankees opted to send second base prospect Rob Refsnyder down to Triple-A after playing only four games instead of cutting Brendan Ryan.)
Beltran, who was 1-2, is now hitting a solid .307 in his last 43 games, which has brought his average up to a respectable .262. That is impressive since he had a .162 average at the end of April. “I got a good pitch, a curveball in the middle of the plate. and got a hit to left center,” Beltran said.
Dellin Betances pitched the eighth inning and picked up his sixth win of the campaign. He walked two Mariners but was able to get out of trouble since he got Mark Trumbo to pop out to second to end the inning. He lowered his ERA to 1.47 and hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances.
Andrew Miller struck out Dustin Ackley for the second out of the ninth on an inside 85mph slider. Miller than got catcher Mike Zunino to fly out to Brett Gardner to end the game. The Yankees had the Mariners where they wanted them because Betances pitched with the scored tied and Miller picked up his 20th save in 20 chances.
After the game, Girardi said that Refsnyder was sent down to improve all around and because he wanted to stick with what got them to first place.
“We just thought there were some little things he could work on,” Girardi said. “Just continue to improve and make little adjustments. We believe he is going to be here for a long time and for right now we are going to stay with the guys we have.”
After winning their 23rd come from behind game of the season, the Yankees will have Monday off before beginning a three-game series against the second place Baltimore Orioles at home. The Yankees have a 4-game lead over the Orioles for first place.
The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 4-3, at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon after getting the win in the first game of the series on Friday. Former Yankee Robinson Cano drove in all four of Seattle’s runs.
Cano hit a homer above the Stanley sign in right center to drive in Kyle Seager in the first inning and then hit another two-run homer over the Fox Business sign in the sixth off of Michael Pineda to give the Mariners a lead they would not lose. Both of Cano’s homers came off of fastballs up in the zone, and that was a pitch that Cano was always able to do damage on as a Yankee.
One hitter hurt us really bad today,” Joe Girardi said. “Today it was Robbie. We know he is a really good player.”
That was Cano’s first multi-homer game since joining the Mariners. Pineda pitched six innings and he would want those two pitches to Cano back. Besides Cano’s homers, Pineda allowed four hits and two walks to the Mariners. He struggled once again on extra rest, which is something that he will have to get better at because the Yankees will have to limit his innings the rest of the season.
“I feel OK today,” Pineda said. “I tried to do my best on the mound. My fastball was not as sharp as it usual is. This is the game. Cano is a pretty good hitter and he had a good day today.” Cano hit his homers early in the at-bats, and Pineda had to be fastball reliant because he didn’t have command of his slider.
Brian McCann tied the game at two on a deep homer to right-center in the fourth inning that scored Mark Teixeira. That was his 15th homer of the season, and McCann is just the 3rd catcher in MLB history with 15+ HR in 10 of his 1st 11 seasons.
In the sixth inning, the Yankees didn’t score any runs after having Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury on second with no outs. Gardner extended his hitting streak to eight games but Alex Rodriguez was not able to drive him home.
Didi Gregorius hit a double down the right field line with two outs in the seventh for his first and only hit of the game. However, Rob Refsnyder, who was 0-3 and only has two hits in 12 at-bats since being called up, grounded out to first to strand Gregorius at second. The Yankees did not make the most of their scoring chances as they were 0-8 with runners in scoring position.
Mark Teixeira leadoff the bottom of the ninth with a double to the wall in right-center for his second hit of the game. With one out in the inning, Chase Headley advanced to first on a missed third strike that went all the way back to the backstop. Teixeira advanced to third on the wild pitch. With the score 4-3 after Garrett Jones’s RBI groundout, Gregorius grounded out to Cano at second to end the game.
Marines starter Hisashi Iwakuma picked up five strikeouts in his 5.2 innings and kept the Yankees off balance with his hesitation in his delivery. “He changes speeds really well,” Girardi said. “He has got four different pitches that he can use and that’s what he did.”
As a result of Tampa’s win over Toronto this afternoon, the Yankees now have a 3.5 game lead of the Rays for first place in the AL East. Felix Hernandez will pitch for the Mariners and CC Sabathia will pitch for the Yankees in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. EST on Sunday.
The Yankees finished off their series against the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon with a 3-1 win, and that victory finished off a three-game sweep by the Yankees in Seattle. It was their first three-game winning streak on the road since beating the Red Sox from May 1 to May 3.
Joe Girardi’s team has rebounded from their slump in the middle of May to win seven of their last 10 games. They have received dominating starts from Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi, CC Sabathia and two each Michael Pineda and Adam Warren. This hot streak comes after the Yankees lost 10 of their previous 11 games.
During Wednesday’s win, Tanaka made his first start since April 23 as a result of being on the disabled list due to wrist and forearm issues. His line of seven innings, one earned run, nine strikeouts and only three hits was better than anyone could have expected.
He was on a pitch limit of 80, and he was remarkably able to get through seven innings with 78 pitches. He allowed three hits and zero walks, which led to an outstanding 0.43 WHIP for the game.
All three hits that Tanaka allowed came in the third inning, but after those three hits, he retired the final 13 batters that he faced. Tanaka was able to throw in the mid-90s many times in his first start back (with a high of 96), which proves that he has recovered from what put him on the disabled list. He had also not thrown in the mid-90s earlier this season.
Tanaka’s explanation for finally reaching the mid 90s: “I think maybe (because) we’re a little bit deeper in the season. Warming up a little, maybe that has to do with it.”
“I’m not so sure I expected (that velocity) the first time out,” Girardi said. “Velocity has been a huge topic for him. We talked about his average velocity has been there. In April, a lot of times you don’t see guys’ (full) velocity. You just don’t. Part of it has to do with that stinky weather that we play in, but I was a little surprised.”
Tanaka had a solid 3.22 ERA in four starts before going on the disabled list, but his start on Wednesday brought his ERA down to an impressive 2.76 and his WHIP is now all the way down to 0.82. If he can continue throwing in the mid-90s it will make the rest of his pitches even more effective than they were when he was throwing in the low-90s.
Two different homers gave the Yankees enough runs to get Tanaka his third win of the season. Mark Teixeira hit his 16th homer of the season in the second inning and then Garrett Jones hit a homer in the fourth inning that drove in Alex Rodriguez to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. It was Jones’s third homer of the season and second in as many days.
Jones will get the start in right field again tonight as Carlos Beltran will miss another game with a sore foot. He has really found his swing recently since in the last nine games he has appeared in, he has 10 hits in his last 22 at-bats (.455) with three homers, eight RBIs and five runs scored. His average was .150 on May 20 and it is now a very respectable .258.
Teixeira is second in the American League in homers and first in the AL with his 41 RBIs. He should be able to easily surpass last season’s numbers as he finished with 22 homers and 62 RBIs in 123 games.
After their off day on Thursday after flying cross country from Seattle, the Yankees will now start a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. Pineda has had his previously scheduled for Saturday skipped because his innings are piling up. His next start will be on June 12 against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees have a half game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays after their sweep of the Mariners. The Rays have also won three games in a row. Here are the pitching matchups for this series against the Angels (28-26), who are in second place in the AL West:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-1, 4.40)
RHP Jered Weaver (4-4, 4.08)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
RHP Adam Warren (3-4, 3.75)
RHP Garrett Richards (5-3, 3.26)
7:15 p.m., FOX
RHP Michael Pineda (7-2, 3.33)
LHP C.J. Wilson (3-4, 3.55)
1:05 p.m., YES Network
The Yankees (28-25) beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 in 11 innings for their second consecutive win in Seattle after losing three out of four games in Oakland against the Athletics. Garrett Jones, who came in as a pinch hitter for Chris Young in the eighth inning, won the game for the Yankees since he smashed a homer to right center that drove in Stephen Drew and Brett Gardner.
Jones, who went 2-3 with those three RBIs after coming into the game, now has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats after previously only having one hit in 22 at-bats. His average is now a respectable .254 and on May 20 it was a very low .150. The Yankees need him to continue to drive in runs and hit homers, and he is capable of doing that because he hit 15 or more homers in every season from 2009-2014 and drove in 86 runs in 2010 and 2012.
Jones has been a backup this season because he has Mark Teixeira ahead of him at first, Carlos Beltran ahead of him in right and Alex Rodriguez ahead of him at DH.
“Just know what my purpose and spot on the team is going to be and just try to do the best I can at it,” he said of what he’s changed over the past few weeks. “Right now I think I feel comfortable with the routine and mentally feel in a better place in the spot I’m in.”
Jones hit what ended up being the game-winning homer off of reliever Joe Beimel. Joe Girardi has been impressed with the way Jones has performed the last two weeks and knows that he is able to hit the ball out of the ballpark.
“The last two weeks, he’s swung the bat really well,” said manager Joe Girardi. “We’ve got him going, and he has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. … He knows Beimel. He’s seen Beimel. He had an idea of his pitches.”
Mark Teixeira extended his hitting streak to four games in the third inning as his double to left scored Brett Gardner for the first run of the game. It was his fifth RBI in his last two games and he is now up to 40 on the season, which is first in the American League and fourth in all of baseball. His 15 homers are tied with Josh Donaldson for second in the AL, and the Yankees would not have a one-game lead for first place in the AL East without him.
The Mariners scored a run in the third and a run in the fifth after an Austin Jackson double, but Stephen Drew’s double to deep right that scored Chase Headley tied the score in the ninth inning. The offensive stars for the Yankees during this game were two players who have struggled this season and who the Yankees have not gotten much from offensively.
Justin Wilson, who got the win after not allowing any runs in the 10th inning, made a great diving catch on a Rickie Weeks bunt attempt for a double play.
CC Sabathia pitched much better than he did in his previous start (five earned runs in six innings) as he only allowed two runs in 5.2 innings. Sabathia gave up nine hits and allowed two walks, but he was able to record six key strikeouts, pitch well with men on base in addition to getting Wellington Castillo to ground into a double play to end the fourth inning.
After allowing two homers in his previous start, Sabathia was able to rebound to prevent a round tripper in this outing. The Mariners have the fourth most homers in the America League, led by Nelson Cruz’s league leading 18, so it is a positive sign that the was able to prevent them from hitting one. Sabathia has a high 5.45 ERA, but this was his fourth start allowing two runs or less in addition to his start where he pitched seven innings and allowed three runs.
Andrew Miller allowed two hits in the 11th including an RBI single to former Yankee great Robinson Cano to make the score 5-3, but he was able to get his 16th save (3rd most in AL) of the season. This was only the second game that he has allowed a runner to score this season (he allowed two runs on May 19) and his two strikeouts gave him 37 in 23.1 innings.
Carlos Beltran will not play in Wednesday’s day game (3:40 EST) because he fouled a ball off his right instep during Tuesday’s game. Masahiro Tanaka will make his anticipated return from the disabled list and make his first major-league start since allowing one run on April 23. Tanaka will be limited to about 80 pitches after making 62 pitches in his start on May 27 for Triple-A Scranton.
The Yankees will look to win three games in a row since they did so on May 1-3 against the Boston Red Sox.
The seven runs that the Yankees scored against Felix Hernandez on Monday night led to a 7-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the first game of the series. This was unexpected as the Yankees only scored seven runs combined in the final three games of the series against the Athletics in Oakland. Part of the reason the Yankees scored so many runs off of King Felix was that he allowed a season-high five walks.
It was a positive turn of events for the Yankees against King Felix since from the 2012 through the 2014 season he had a 2.09 ERA in 43 innings (six starts). Hernandez, whose ERA is now 2.63, came into the game with an outstanding 1.91 ERA and had also come into the game having allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his previous eight starts.
The Yankees were able to break their offensive slump against the Mariners’ longtime ace as a result of scoring two runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. Mark Teixeira, who could be on his way to his ninth 30 homer and 100 RBI season, drove in four of the team’s seven runs.
Brett Gardner scored the team’s first run of the fourth inning after Felix Hernandez made a wild pitch. Brian McCann would come to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs and a chance to drive in a few runs, but he hit into a double play that scored Chase Headley.
However, the offense made up for the lack of runs the next inning. A sac fly by Chase Headley scored Stephen Drew to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam that scored Ramon Flores, Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez later in the inning that gave the Yankees valuable insurance runs.
That was Teixeira 15th homer and 39th RBI, his sixth homer off of Hernandez and his ninth career grand slam. Teixeira is having a much better season than anyone predicted and is a valuable bat in the middle of the lineup. Teixeira has proven to be much healthier than he was last season.
“I’m just very thankful,” Teixeira said. “I’m very thankful for the health and I just hope that continues. The first two months have been so far, so good. I want to continue it.” If he can end the season with the .566 slugging percentage that he has now it would be the second highest of his career. That would be impressive since he is 35 and in his 13 season.
Michael Pineda (7-2, 3.33 ERA, 76 strikeouts) had his second consecutive excellent start and pitched like the ace of the staff that he is. His slider, changeup and fastball were working, which led to him striking out nine and only allowing two runs in six innings. This was the seventh time this season that he has allowed two runs or fewer during a start.
Alex Rodriguez was 1-3 and he is now even closer to having 3,000 hits. His is now on an 11-game hitting streak and only needs 13 more hits to tie Roberto Clemente for 3,000 hits. He will likely get hit No. 3,000 in the series against the Philadelphia Phillies from June 22-24 or in the series in Houston against the Astros from June 25-28.
In the second game of the series against the Mariners, CC Sabathia (2-7, 5.67 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Mike Montgomery will get the start for Seattle. Montgomery will be making his major-league debut tonight.
Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio all got elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon after being four of the best players of the last 25 years. They were all on the ballot for the first time. In order to get inducted into the Hall of Fame one needs 75 percent of the vote and Biggio got 82.7 percent (454 votes), Smoltz got 82.9 percent (455 votes), Martinez got 91.1 percent (500 votes) and Johnson got 97.3 percent (534 votes).
Biggio, a Long Island native, had 3,060 hits, 291 homers and 414 steals in 20 seasons. He was an All-Star seven times, had a solid .281 career average, hit more than 15 homers and had 15 or more steals 12 times and is the only player in baseball history with at least 200 career games as a catcher, middle infielder and outfielder.
Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz combined to win nine Cy Young awards. Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz also became the first trio of pitchers honored by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) in the same election. Those three were on the ballot for the first time and the trio along with Biggio will be inducted July 26 as part of the Hall’s Induction Weekend from July 24-7 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Smoltz, who is from Detroit, joins longtime teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux in the Hall of Fame as they were inducted on their first year’s of eligibility last year. That Braves rotation during the 90s that included those three pitchers is likely the only one that went on to have three pitchers go to Cooperstown.
Smoltz had remarkable longevity as he pitched for the Braves for 19 seasons and pitched his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. His ERA in those 20 seasons was 3.33, and four of those seasons were spent as a dominating relief pitcher/closer with the Braves. He was an All-Star six times as a starter and two times as a closer. “Smoltzie” is the only pitcher with 200 wins (213) and 100 saves (154) in MLB history.
Martinez, who is from the Dominican Republic, pitched in 18 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. He is most remembered for his seven seasons with the Red Sox, which included a World Series championship in 2004.
He was an All-Star eight times, won the Cy Young three times and his upper 90s fastball, knee buckling curveball and changeup were almost un-hittable while being possibly the three best pitches during his era. His seven seasons from 1997-03 might be the seven best seasons by one pitcher of all-time as he had a 2.20 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 11.3 strikeouts/9 and only 2.0 walks/9. He owned the Yankees during his time with the Red Sox. He had an outstanding 2.93 ERA even with three seasons of 3.90 or worse, was 219-100 for his career (an unheard of 119 games over .500), and had 3,154 strikeouts while only walking 760 batters.
Johnson, or the Big Unit because he was intimidating at 6-10, is from Walnut Creek, California and went to USC. He was an All-Star in 10 out of his 22 seasons after rebounding from his second season where he had an ERA of 4.82 with the Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners.
He really came into his own in 1993, his sixth season, since his ERA was 3.24 that season and it would only be higher than that in one full season between then and 2003 when he was 39. His career ERA was 3.29, he had a remarkable 303 and 166 record, pitched 4,135.1 innings, struck out more than 300 batters five times leading to a dominating 4,875 for his career. His 4,875 strikeout total is only behind Nolan Ryan’s 5,714 in MLB history. He won the Cy Young five times, which is second only to Roger Clemens’s seven.
The Big Unit is best known for his years with the Mariners as he was named an All-Star five times in his nine seasons with Seattle, but he also pitched for the Expos, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks twice, Yankees and finished his career with the San Francisco Giants. He also had remarkable longevity since he was an All-Star during his age 40 season with the Diamondbacks and won 73 games while making 159 starts from when he was 40 until 45.
He will not be most remembered for his two years as a Yankee from 2005-06 when he was 41 and 42, but the Big Unit did win a significant amount of games during that time period. In his first season (2004), he had a solid 3.79 ERA, 17 wins, threw 225.2 innings, and had 211 strikeouts (2nd in the AL) and only 47 walks. His 5.00 ERA in 33 starts the next season was much worse but he still managed to win 17 games. (It was revealed that he was pitching that season with a herniated disc.)
The Yankees lost in the opening round of the playoffs in both of Johnson’s seasons with the team and he didn’t come close to pitching up to his Hall of Fame standards. He came to the team in January of 2005 as the Diamondbacks traded him to the Bronx for Javier Vazquez, Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and cash.
Along with finishing second in the AL in strikeouts for the Yankees when he was 41, Johnson’s two-year stint with the team might be most remembered for getting into an altercation with a Daily News photographer. On his way to his physical that would make the trade official, he got physical during a heated argument with a TV cameraman and also the NY Daily News photographer. These two incidents happened on Madison Ave. between 58th and 60th Sts. He didn’t like the increased media presence that he saw in NYC and wanted the press to get away from him.
In 2001 the Big Unit had possibly his best season as he led the National League with a 2.49 ERA, 372 strikeouts and a 1.009 WHIP. However, his blazing fastball hit a bird while approaching home plate during a spring training game that season against the San Francisco Giants. This is a moment that he will always be remembered for and will always be shown on blooper videos. Here is the video of the pitch hitting a bird and smashing it to pieces:
The Yankees snapped their two-game losing streak with a come from behind 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. This win was their 35th win of the come from behind variety this season.
Chris Capuano allowed four runs in the first inning and was taken out of the game by Joe Girardi after only getting one out. Six out of the seven hitters he faced had either a hit or a walk, which included Logan Forsythe’s single that scored Wil Myers. Ryan Hanigan’s sacrifice fly that scored James Loney came with Chase Whitely pitching, but that run was charged to Capuano. He did not have his stuff on Wednesday, but the bullpen did because five pitchers combined to allow allow one run in 8.2 innings.
Dellin Betances pitched the last out of the seventh and the eighth inning and allowed one hit and struck out his 126th batter of the season. “We take a lot of pride,” Betances said. “We try to feed off of each other. It helps us out that we have a lot of guys out there.”
The offense did their part in this game as well. The Yankees were an improved 3-9 with runners in scoring position and two of their nine hits were home runs. Wednesday’s game was the second time that they had scored more than three runs in their last five games.
Brian McCann hit his 18th homer of the season in the bottom of the first to put the Yankees on the scoreboard. McCann drove in the team’s second and third runs in the third inning with his single that scored Chris Young and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees tied the game at four in the fourth with Young’s first homer with the Yankees. Young had only one three-hit game in 88 games with the Mets this season. He had his first 3-hit game in his fifth game tonight with the Yankees.
In the past two games, Young is 4-7 (.571), with four RBIs, a homer and two runs scored. He was signed to a minor league contract on August 27, and after struggling with the Mets this season, his bat has come alive with the Yankees. “I’m just trying to hold my own,” Young said. “I am just trying to do my part.”
Mark Teixeira‘s unlikely triple in the fifth inning scored McCann to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Chase Headley, who was 2-3, hit a single off of relief pitcher Jeff Beliveau to drive in Teixeira. That run was the sixth charged to Rays started Jake Odorizzi.
The Yankees tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning with a run scoring double by Ichiro Suzuki and then a double to left by Young that scored Ichiro.
Evan Longoria smashed a homer off of Esmil Rogers in the ninth to make the score 8-5. Rogers would rebound to get Myers to pop out to Stephen Drew at second to end the game. The last time that the Yankees scored eight runs in a game was on August 27 when they beat the Detroit Tigers 8-4.
The Yankees have 19 games left in the regular season and are currently 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot, as a result of losses by both the Mariners and Tigers. The Yankees will likely have to win 15 or more games the rest of the season to have a chance.