Tagged: Stephen Drew

The Yankees hit five homers in their 13-8 win over the Red Sox in the series finale

Didi Gregorius.

Didi Gregorius.

The Yankees beat the Red Sox, 13-8, in the rubber game of their series at Fenway Park. Their pitching was not effective after taking a 12-1 lead in the fifth inning, but their five homers led them to a much-needed series win over their rival, and to Joe Girardi’s 800th win as a manager.

David Ortiz hit a ground rule double to right to score Mookie Betts in the first inning, but the Yankees would go onto score 12 unanswered runs. Greg Bird and John Ryan Murphy hit back-to-back homers in the second inning. Bird’s homer was a two-run blast and he now has three homers and 12 RBIs in his 18 games played and Murphy’s homer was solo blast and his average is now .276, which is very good for a back-up catcher.

After the back-to-back homers, Chris Young singled to left to score Didi Gregorius and advance Stephen Drew to third, Alex Rodriguez singled to left to score Drew and Young and then Carlos Beltran hit a homer over the Green Monster to drive in Rodriguez to give the team their eighth run of the second inning.

In the third inning, Drew homered to right to score Bird and Gregorius to make the score 11-1, and then in the fifth inning, Gregorius hit a solo blast to right center to give the team their 12th run of the game. The Yankees would tack on an insurance run in the eighth inning after the Red Sox made a comeback as Jose Pirela hit an infield single to score Brett Gardner. The speedy Rico Noel was going to make his first major league at bat, since he was in the on-deck circle, but Joe Girardi sent Pirela in to hit at the last minute.

The six, seven, eight and nine hitters for the Yankees combined to go 8/17 (.470) with eight runs scored, seven RBIs and four homers. That is much better production than you will normally see from the bottom of the lineup.

“When you get guys down there producing the way they are, a lot of times you can put up big numbers,” Girardi said. “And we did.”

In his last seven games, Gregorius has 16 hits in 28 at-bats (.571) with eight runs scored, three homers and 12 RBIs. His average is now a season-high .272 and he has raised his average from .252 to .272 in his last 10 games. Drew, who had not finished a game with his average above .200 this season until it was .201 on August 30, has his average up to .211 since he has nine hits in his last 13 at-bats, to go along with six runs scored, two homers and nine RBIs.

“Didi’s swinging the bat well, obviously, and myself, so it was a good day overall for everybody,” Drew said after the game.

Masahiro Tanaka picked up his 11th win of the season, but he allowed three runs after the Yankees had their 12-1 lead. To make the score 12-4, Pablo Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly to score Blake Swihart. Andrew Bailey, who was making his first appearance since the middle of the 2013 season because of serious injuries, didn’t have his control as he allowed two walks, a hit and an earned run to make the score 12-5.

The Yankees unfortunately were forced to bring in Dellin Betances and Andrew MIller into a game that they were winning 12-1. Betances was able to record the final two outs of the eighth inning after Bryan Mitchell allowed two runs and then Andrew Miller recorded all three outs in the ninth inning for his eighth consecutive scoreless appearance.

The Yankees did what they had to do as they went 5-1 on their road trip to Atlanta and Boston. They are still 1.5 games behind the Blue Jays since Toronto has also won their last two games. The Blue Jays will have to cool down soon since they have gone 19-5 win their last 25 games.

The Yankees have the day off on Thursday before closing the season with 30 games in the next 31 days. They will start a 10-game homestand with a three-game set against the 66-67 Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. Luis Severino, who has an outstanding 2.17 ERA in his five game this season and could be the team’s third best starter, will get the start for the Yankees.

Stephen Drew ended Sunday’s win with his average above .200 for the first time all season

Stephen Drew.

Stephen Drew.

The Yankees (72-57) wrapped up a 3-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with their 20-6 win on Sunday afternoon. In the three game series at Turner Field against the Braves, who have scored the fewest runs in all of baseball, the Yankees scored 38 runs and Atlanta scored only 11 runs. Even though the Yankees were facing one of the worst teams in the league, this was a much needed offensive outburst for the Bronx Bombers because they had only scored 16 runs in their previous six games.

In Sunday’s win, three 2-out homers gave the Yankees their first seven runs of the game. Jacoby Ellsbury’s three-run homer in the second inning scored Stephen Drew and Nathan Eovaldi, Chase Headley homered to center to score Greg Bird in the third and then Drew hit a homer that scored Didi Gregorius later in the inning.

Eovaldi had his worst start in his last 10 as he allowed five runs in five innings pitched but did record seven strikeouts and won his 14th game of the season. There had been only one game in his previous nine starts that he had given up more than three earned runs, so he was due for a start that was not up to par. Part of the reason that he has 14 runs and only two losses is that Drew Hutchison is the only pitcher in the American League who has had more run support than him this season, but Eovaldi has had much better command of his pitches, in particular his splitter, since allowing eight runs in less than an inning to the Marlins on June 16.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 38-11 margin that the Yankees outscored the Braves during this series is the largest margin in any series this season. Bird scored on a bases loaded walk in the fifth and then the Yankees sealed the win in the seventh inning as they scored nine runs. In the seventh, the Yankees batted around as Headley scored twice in the inning. The Yankees had eight hits in the inning, six different players drove in one or more runs and it took the Braves three different pitchers to get out of the inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Bird, Headley, Gregorius and Drew all had multi-hit games for the Yankees. Drew, who was 4-4 with three runs scored, four RBIs and a homer, finished the game with his average above .200 (.201) for the first time all season. The Yankees did what they needed to do in sweeping the rebuilding Braves, but they were unfortunately not able to gain any ground in the AL East because the Toronto Blue Jays also swept their weekend series. The Yankees trail the Blue Jays by 1.5 games heading into their series opener on Monday at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.

“It’s been a while since we swung the bats like this, so hopefully we can set the tone for September,” Alex Rodriguez said.

The Yankees will still not have Mark Teixeira‘s bat in the lineup during this series because he has been sent back to New York for further testing on his injured right leg. Teixeira, who leads the Yankees with his 31 homers, has not played in 10 of the team’s last 12 games after fouling a ball of his leg on August 17. Bird is the team’s first baseman with Teixeira out of the lineup and he has a .255 average, a .339 on-base percentage, two homers and 10 RBIs in his 16 games played.

CC Sabathia, who went on the 15-day disabled list on August 24 with a sore arthritic right knee, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday. Yankees GM Brian Cashman said today in Boston that he sees Sabathia as a starter when he returns.

Ivan Nova will start tonight’s game against the last place Red Sox. Boston is 10 games below .500 and 14 games behind the Blue Jays in the AL East. However, the Red Sox have won three of their last four games.

Nova allowed seven runs in four innings in his previous start, which means that he will need to have better command of his pitches tonight than he did against the Astros. Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka will start the second and third games of the series.

The Yankees need more production from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez going forward

Alex Rodriguez.

Alex Rodriguez.

After Thursday’s off day and losing two out of three games at home to the Houston Astros and previously losing three out of four games to the Cleveland Indians, who are six games below .500 and were in last place in the AL Central when they faced off, the Yankees will now play an important three-game inter-league series in Atlanta against the Braves.

The Yankees, who went 5-5 on their home-stand against the Minnesota Twins, Indians and Astros, are now 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. Toronto has gone 7-3 in their last 10 games and their +170 run differential is 40 runs better than the St. Louis Cardinals, who have the second best run differential in Major League Baseball. The Yankees play seven more games left with the Blue Jays before the end of the season, which could go a long way in deciding who wins the AL East, but their upcoming six-game road trip against the Braves and Boston Red Sox will be very important.

Atlanta and the Red Sox are a combined 30 games under .500, which means that the Yankees need to take advantage of them since they are obviously not going to the playoffs this season. Atlanta has a 54-73 record, has only one win in their last 10 games, is 17 games out of first place in the National League East and has scored the fewest runs out of any team in either the American or National League. Boston has a 58-69 record, is 13 games back in the AL East and their -41 run differential is fourth worst in the AL

Atlanta’s season long ineptitude in the run scoring department could help the Yankees during this series because they have been struggling to score recently. The Yankees have only scored 38 runs in their last 10 games, which equals an average of only 3.8 runs per game. In comparison, in the 10 games from July 25-August 4, the Yankees scored 90 runs, which is an average of a very impressive nine runs per game.

The Yankees offense has had many of their regulars not produce like normal during the month of August. Alex Rodriguez, who has 26 homers and a .255 average, has a very low .138 average in 80 August at-bats with only eight RBIs. Mark Teixeira, who has not played in seven of the previous nine games because of a bone bruise, has a .175 average in 57 at-bats with three homers and only six RBIs.

A-Rod and Teixeira are the two main players that the Yankees need to improve their average and drive in more runs if they are going to get back in first place and win the AL East. Teixeira and A-Rod are first and third on the team in RBIs, with 79 and 69, respectively, and are first and second in homers with 31 and 26, but they have combined to only drive in 14 runs in August and their averages are both below .200.

Also, Brett Gardner has a .193 average with only one double in August, Stephen Drew has a .217 average in 60 August at-bats and Brian McCann has a .219 average in 73 at-bats in August, but McCann has been productive power wise as he has hit six homers and has 15 RBIs during the month. Part of the struggles could be due to age and not being able to continue the same level of production the whole season. The offense needs to bounce back after the off day and with the inferior teams on the schedule.

One player who could help offensively is Rob Refsnyder. It was announced by Brian Cashman that Refsnyder will be one of the September call-ups. In 504 plate appearances with Triple-A Scranton, Refsnyder has hit .269/.360/.396 with nine homers, 11 steals, 24 doubles and 53 RBIs. That is better production than Drew, who only has a .196 average and a .266 on-base percentage and 36 runs scored to the 64 that Refsnyder has. However, Drew does have 15 homers to Refsnyder’s nine and Drew does play better defense at second.

It will be a positive to have Refsnyder’s bat on the bench and to start some games instead of Drew. The Yankees will also be able to call-up a few pitchers who already have experience out of the bullpen this season, which will make it easier to go to a six-man rotation to give the pitching staff more rest.

The Yankees are 6-8 so far this season in inter-league play, so they will look to at least be 8-9 in games against the National League at the end of this series against the Braves in Atlanta. The Braves have rookies pitching in the first two games and then Julio Tehran, who has 15 wins, will get the start in the series finale on Thursday.

The Yankees snapped their five-game losing streak with their 8-6 win over the Indians

Gardner in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Aug 25, 2013. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gardner in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Aug 25, 2013. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Nathan Eovaldi and six runs in the 6th inning led the Yankees to a win over the Twins

Chase Headley

Chase Headley

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.

Rob Refsnyder should be the everyday second baseman for the Yankees

Rob Refsnyder hitting with the Trenton Thunder.

Rob Refsnyder hitting with the Trenton Thunder.

Based on how Rob Refsnyder has improved defensively since the beginning of the season at Triple-A Scranton and how he has produced offensively with the RailRiders and in his two games with the Yankees, he should be the starting second baseman and Stephen Drew should be the back-up for the rest of the season.

In 81 games (310 at-bats) with the Scranton RailRiders this season, Refsnyder had a .290 average with seven homers, 10 steals, 17 doubles, 37 RBIs and 45 runs scored. He had a very good strikeout to walk ratio as he had 44 strikeouts and 44 walks. Before being called up after his game with Scranton on July 9, Refsynder was on a seven-game hitting streak and had one or more hits in 16 of his previous 17 games.

Refsnyder had proven that he had mastered Triple-A pitching, but he just had to show that his defense had improved. His defense at second base was his main question mark coming into the season, and was what was holding him back from being called up, and it did improve from April until July.

He made 11 errors in the first month and a half of the season, but made only two since May 23. This proves that he has drastically cut down on his defensive miscues, and in the past 10 games he was hitting .412 with two homers, 10 walks and three strikeouts. It is rare that a player as young as Refsnyder (24) has three times as many walks as strikeouts.

Refsnyder, who will remain with the Yankees after the All-Star break according to the NY Daily News, went hitless in his first five at-bats and then singled and homered in his final two at-bats on Sunday. He played against the Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday and his two-run homer over the Green Monster on Sunday ended up being the game-winner.

In addition to his first homer, he also had his first major league error in Sunday’s win, which proves that he is more ready offensively. He was not able to handle Andrew Miller’s throw to second on what should have been a game-ending double play. The positive that can be taken out of this play was that it was not an error fielding a grounder or throwing to first.

On the other hand, Stephen Drew, who has been the starter at second base this season, only has a .182 average in 247 at-bats. His on-base percentage is also a very low .257. Drew’s batting average is second lowest among all players in the American League who have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title and his on-base percentage is fourth worst in the league. The only bright spot for him offensively is that his 12 homers are second most in all of baseball among second basemen.

The second reason besides his power that he should stay on as a back-up (and not get released) is that he has been reliable defensively. He only started playing second after coming to the Yankees in the middle of last season, but he has made only three errors at second this season and he has shown the ability to turn the double play as he has 32 of those. His .988 fielding percentage this season is even better than his last full season at shortstop, which proves how well he has made the adjustment.

However, the Yankees need to a higher average and on-base percentage from their second baseman, which is why Refsnyder should be the starter until he proves that he can’t handle it. Drew will be able to come on as a defensive replacement late in games and serve as a mentor for Refsnyder. There is not much doubt that Refsnyder will be able to handle major league pitching and he will give the Yankees a player at the bottom of the lineup who should be better than most eight or nine hitters.

Refsnyder, who is playing second base in his third season after playing outfield at the University of Arizona and in his first season as a pro, should only get better defensively from here. He also showed improvement in the 2014 season as he made nine errors in 58 games with Double-A Trenton, but he only made three errors in 53 games with Triple-A Scranton.

The Yankees should go ahead and designate Gregorio Petit for assignment because he only has a .167 average and five RBIs in 42 at-bats. He also has one error in 13 games. Brendan Ryan, who began a rehab assignment on July 9, will be able to back-up Didi Gregorious at shortstop and Chase Headley at third.

Refsnyder reflected on his first MLB hit and home run in the below video.

Lineup for the Yankees for today’s matinee game against the Phillies

Ivan Nova

Ivan Nova

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