Monday, June 30, 2014

With Rob Refsnyder breathing down his neck, Brian Roberts, for the moment, saved the Yankees' night with a solo homerun in the 9th inning with the Bombers down by a run, tying up the score. The Yankees and Rays would go to extra innings, where Tampa Bay beat New York, 4-3, in 12 innings on Monday night.

David Phelps, who came into the game 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in eight career appearances (four starts) against the Rays, gave up a pair of solo homeruns early in the game that put Tampa up 2-0. The first off the bat of Matt Joyce, who hit one to right field with two outs in the 1st, and then two innings later, in the 3rd, when Kevin Kiermaier lead off the inning with a solo blast of his own to right field.

The two homeruns were the worst parts of Phelps' night, as he wasn't that bad overall on the mound. Tampa only got to him with four hits, two of them dingers, in 5 2/3 innings. He also walked three and struck out four on 101 pitches.

Luckily enough, Phelps didn't have to take the loss because the Yankees' lineup wold come back to tie the game in the bottom half of the 3rd inning.

Ichiro Suzuki was hit by Chris Archer pitch to open the frame, then Brett Gardner hit an RBI triple into the right field corner -- his 5th of the year -- to put the Bombers on the board. The next batter, Derek Jeter, grounded out to the second baseman, Logan Forsythe, to even up the score.

Offensively, both teams were pretty quite throughout the night. If you're a fan of offense, this game was definitely not for you.

Archer, who started on the mound for Tampa Bay, was very impressive, as is usually the case when he starts against the Yankees. Outside of the third inning, they had trouble putting things together against him. He only gave up the two runs on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts peppered in across seven innings. Because the Yankees tied the game in the 9th, it took away Archer's chance at becoming the first pitcher since Walter Johnson to win his first five career starts against the Yankees.

After working out of a two on, two out situation in the 6th inning when he took over for Phelps, Adam Warren pitched out of another big jam in the 7th, this one with the bases loaded and two outs -- Kiermaier singled, then Warren issued walks to Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist. Warren was lucky enough to get out of this one, too, inducing a groundout to first base by Matt Joyce to end the inning.

Dellin Betances, who has been used often recently, started on the mound in the 8th. After getting the first two outs of the inning, he walked Brandon Guyer and Forsythe. Joe Girardi clearly didn't trust him to go any further, taking him out of the game in favor of David Robertson. When I say that Betances has been used a lot lately I mean it -- 109 pitches in 4 outings over 7 days. Girardi is usually good with his bullpen, but his overuse of Betances is something to look at.

The Rays made Betances and the Yankees pay for those two outs walks, as Robertson was greeted by Ryan Hanigan, who promptly singled into center field to score Guyer, putting the Rays up 3-2. Robertson retired Kiermaier, then tossed a scoreless 9th inning.

The Yankees tried putting something together against Rays left-hander Jake McGee in the bottom half of the 8th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury singled with one out, then two batters later, Brian McCann dumped a two-out single into left field, putting runners on the corners. However, Carlos Beltran ended the rally with a pop-out to the catcher behind the plate.

Roberts tied up the game with a solo homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning, sending the game in extra innings, where the Yankees would have a very good chance tow in the game in the 10th inning after Jeter singled to open the inning. He stole second base on a Mark Teixeira struck out, and then McCann struck out to end the inning.

Shawn Kelley tossed two scoreless innings, working out of a big bases loaded jam in the 11th inning by striking out back-to-back hitters to end the frame.

Forsythe drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 12th inning, singling to center field to score Guyer, who walked then stole second base against Jose Ramirez, who was on the bump to pitch the inning, putting the Rays up 4-3. The Yankees, as you would imagine, went down quietly in the bottom of the 12th.

At the midway point of the season, the Yankees are 41-40. Looking to stay above .500, Hiroki Kuroda will face off with David Price on Tuesday night at 7:05 pm.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Coming off of a tough outing against the Toronto Blue Jays last week, Chase Whitley followed up with another disappointing start against Boston on Sunday night, giving up five runs in four-plus innings, as the Yankees fell to Red Sox, 8-5, in a Sunday Night Baseball matchup on ESPN.

The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning on an RBI single by the struggling Stephen Drew, scoring Mike Napoli, who doubled off of Whitley to open the inning. Boston grew it's lead to 4-0 and inning later when Brock Holt walked and Dustin Pedroia singled to put a pair of runners on base ahead of David Ortiz, who belted a three-run homerun -- No. 450 of his career -- far into the right field seats to open up the game.

Ortiz's homerun gave Red Sox starter John Lackey some room to work with, which he would give back, for the most part.

With the offense struggling of late, the Yankees would not be shutout in this game. Ichiro Suzuki reached safely on a one-out error, stole second and moved to third on a Brett Gardner, then Derek Jeter, who picked up two hits tonight, singled into right field to score Ichiro, putting the Yankees on the board.

Mark Teixeira hardly sliced a solo homerun inside the right field foul pole in the bottom 4th inning, cutting Boston's lead in half to make it a 4-2 game. That was Teixeira's 15th dinger of the season -- he's been nothing short of what the Yankees needed from him this season. Two batters later, Carlos Beltran belted his 8th long ball of the year, pulling the Yanks within a run. Beltran had a good game, going 3-for-4, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

After the Yankees were able to close the gap, Boston wasted no time opening it back up in the top half of the 5th inning.

Whitley walked Jackie Bradley Jr to open the frame, and that was the last of his night. Bradley would eventually come around to score, being the fifth and final of the five earned runs charged to Whitley on eight hits, two walks and a strikeout. Whitley was great during his first few weeks, but has taken a few steps back lately. It would be nice if he can readjust, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Joe Girardi brought Shawn Kelley, the usual 7th or 8th inning man, into the game and he walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases with nobody out ahead of Pedroia, who singled home two runs to put the Sox put up by three.

Thus ended the night of Kelley. On came long-man David Huff, who didn't last very long. He retired Ortiz for the first out of the 5th, then the Red Sox executed some heads up baseball to produce their seventh run of the night. Pedroia caught himself in a rundown between first and second, and by the time they got him out, Daniel Nava took off from third base to score, pushing their lead to 7-3.

After finally getting out of that half of the inning, the Yankees put two more runs on the board in an attempt to close to gap once more.

Ichiro tripled to deep right field when the ball rolled back to the warming track past a diving Mookie Betts, Gardner followed with a run-scoring double, then two batters, after Gardner moved to third base on a Jeter groundout, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out bring in Gardner, cutting the lead down to 7-5.

Lackey wasn't great. He made it through five innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Huff returned to the mound to begin the 6th inning -- this game was running at a very slow pace -- and put on the first three batters with a walk and two singles to load the bases. He was done, and Dellin Betances entered. He struck out Nava, got Pedroia to fly out -- still scoring a run -- then got Ortiz to ground out to end the inning with just a run in.

Betances finished with a three up, three down 7th inning, only needing 20 pitches to complete to frames, and the Yankees' offense was never heard of again. Matt Thornton and Jose Ramirez tossed scoreless 8th and 9th inning, each striking out a pair. And after Lackey left, the Sox used four pitchers to get through the final four innings, finishing off the win and claiming victory in the series finale after dropping the opening game on Friday night.

Up next for the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays will come to town for a three-game set that starts on Monday night. David Phelps will be on the mound for the Bombers to faceoff with Chris Archer.

Masahiro Tanaka threw a 1-2 fastball with two outs in the 9th, Mike Napoli hit it just long enough to escape the ballpark, proceeded to call Tanaka an "idiot," and the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 2-1, on Saturday night, even this three-game series at a game a piece heading into Sunday night's series finale.

The Yankees managed to only collected five hits in nine innings, eight of those innings pitched by Jon Lester, who continued his hot run of pitching with another solid outing, tossing eight innings of one-run ball.

Jacoby Ellsbury picked up two of the five hits, and only three other players added one of their own. The offense is struggling, and even when it can look good, there are still problems hiding within. Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are both having poor seasons during their first in pinstripes, and Robinson Cano's replacement, Brian Roberts, has been nothing short of terrible, too.

Simply put: the starting rotation isn't the only thing needing an upgrade at the trade deadline. The Yankees have a lot of problems to fix if they hope to make a playoff run, and the lineup is one of them.

Tonight's lineup against Boston:

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Carlos Beltran, DH
Kelly Johnson, 3B
Brian Roberts, 2B

Ichiro Suzuki, RF

Pitching matchup preview

Well, one Yankees rookie, Tanaka, couldn't get the job done last night, despite the complete-game effort, so it'll be up to another Yankees rookie tonight, right-hander Chase Whitley, who has surprised many with his quality pitching so far this season since being called up back on May.

Whitley is looking to rebound from the worst outing of his big league career, when the Toronto Blue Jays tagged his for eight runs on 11 hits, knocking him out of the game after just 3.2 innings.

On the mound for Boston is right-hander John Lackey, who has been a much better pitcher for the Red Sox over the past two season coming off of Tommy John surgery.

Lackey has been one of the team's most consistent starters this season, but he, too, is coming off of a bad outing, when the Mariners hit him around for seven run on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

He into tonight's game with a record of 8-5 with a 3.45 ERA this season, but in four career starts at Yankee Stadium, he is 1-2 with an 8.10 ERA.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka and Jon Lester were matching each other pitch for pitch, until Tanaka made a mistake to Mike Napoli with two outs in the of the 9th, and Napoli capitalized, sending that mistake just inches over the right field wall in Yankee Stadium, as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Yankees, 2-1, on Saturday night in the Bronx.

The Red Sox scored both of their runs on homeruns. The first coming in the 3rd inning when David Ross hit 1-0 pitch from Tanaka into the left field seats, putting Boston on the board.

Up until the 9th inning, that was the only real blemish on Tanaka's pitching line throughout the night, as pitched all nine innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts on 116 pitches. The second mistake was easily the biggest of the night. Up 1-2 in the count to Napoli, Tanaka decided against breaking out the splitter, opting for the fastball, which the threw up in the zone, but not up enough for Napoli's bat to miss it, putting the Sox up 2-1.

If there is anything that has hurt Tanaka the most this season, it's been giving up homeruns, which he does all too often, especially in Yankee Stadium, where his last three starts have been.

The worst part of the night was the fact that the Yankees' offense did very little to backup Tanaka, who was doing everything he could to get the win. The Yankees' only run of the night against Lester, who tossed eight innings of one-run ball on five hits, two walks and six strikeouts, was in the bottom half of the 3rd inning thanks to some small ball.

Brian Roberts reached base on an error by Stephen Drew. Yangervis Solarte was hit to put runners in first and second with nobody out. Brett Gardner laid down a bunt to move the runners over, then Derek Jeter hit groundball to Drew at short that scored Roberts, while Jeter was out at first base.

Other than that, nothing. Jacoby Ellsbury collected a pair of hits. Jeter picked up another hit after getting two on Friday night. Gardner singled, walked and was caught stealing for the third time this season. And Roberts had the other of the Yankees' five hits. Yes, Lester was good, but this was just another poor showing by the Yankees' very weak lineup.

After splitting the first two games of this series -- which have both played out just under three hours, by the way -- the Yanks and Sox will look to take the rubber match of this three-game set on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball at 8 pm. Chase Whitley and John Lackey will be on the mound for their respective teams.

Vidal Nuno answered the call last night, with media and fans pressuring Joe Girardi to removed him from the rotation after a few lackluster starters recently. Nuno tossed 5 2/3 inning of shutout ball against a pretty weak Boston Red Sox lineup, as the Yankees pounded a trio of homerun to take the opener of this three-game set, 6-0.

Kelly Johnson hit his 5th homerun of the season last night, and now has more than Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, who only has four since moving out west. The homerun was Johnson's first homer since May 3, a span of 84 at-bats.

He hasn't seen a ton of playing time this season due to the fact that Yangervis Solarte got off to such a hot start with at the plate, eating up most of the playing time at third base. But with Solarte struggling badly right now, Johnson has been seeing more time in the lineup, and has collected eight hits in his last 11 games. I'm not saying the Yankees still don't need to find a new third baseman before the deadline, but, you know, at least he's been playing better lately.

Tonight's lineup against Boston:

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Carlos Beltran
RF Alfonso Soriano
C Brian McCann
2B Brian Roberts
3B Yangervis Solarte

*No Johnson in the lineup a night after going deep. With the Yankees facing a left-hander tonight, Solarte with get the start at third base with his switch-hitting bat.

Pitching matchup preview:

While Girardi has been answering a lot of questions lately about Nuno's struggles, nobody has needed to ask a negative question about tonight's starter, Masahiro Tanaka, who has been nothing short of the Yankees' ace this season, entering tonight's start against Boston with a league-leading 11 wins and 2.11 ERA.

For the second time this season, Tanaka will be matching up against Jon Lester and the Red Sox, who he beat for his third Major League win back in April, when he tossed 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball.

Tanaka will try to extend the Yankees' winning streak to three games tonight. He's coming off of just his second loss of the season, firing seven innings of three-run ball on six hits, one walk and six strikeouts in a game that the Yankees would lose, 8-0.

Opposing him with be Boston's ace, the left-hander Jon Lester, who earned a no-decision in his last start after throwing 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball in Oakland on Sunday. Lester has only given up four earned runs in his last three starts.

Triple-A Scranton: 6-0 win vs Syracuse Chiefs

LF Jose Pirela: 0-for-5, K -- hitting .314 this season
C John Ryan Murphy: 1-for-5, RBI
RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-for-5, 2 K
1B Kyle Roller: 2-for-3, 2 R, 3B, RBI, BB, K -- hitting .292 in Triple-A
DH Scott Sizemore: 1-for-4, R, 2B, K
3B Rob Refsnyder: 2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB -- second Triple-A homerun, and he's hitting .351
SS Dean Anna: 1-for-2, RBI, BB
CF Taylor Douglas: 2-for-4, RBI, K

Shane Greene: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K -- 64 of 95 pitches for strikes
Robert Coello: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Double-A Trenton: 5-2 loss vs Erie Seawolves

CF Mason Williams: 0-for-3, BB --hitting just .219
LF Ben Gamel: 0-for-3, BB
C Gary Sanchez: 0-for-3, BB, K
3B Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, K

Bryan Mitchell: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 5 K , 1 HR -- 47 strikes on 92 pitches
Tyler Webb: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

High-A Tampa: 2-1 walkoff win vs Dunedin Blue Jays

CF Jake Cave: 0-for-4, BB, K -- hitting .309 this season
SS Cito Culver: 0-for-3, 2 BB, K
1B Greg Bird: 2-for-5, RBI, K -- hit the walk-off single in the 9th
3B Dante Bichette Jr: 1-for-4, 2 K
DH Aaron Judge: 1-for-3, R, BB, K -- batting .226 in High-A

Miguel Sulbaran: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Nick Runbelow: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Low-A Charleston: 6-5 loss vs Kannapolis Intimidators

RF Michael O'Neill: 1-for-5
SS Tyler Wade: 1-for-4, 2B -- throwing error, his 10th of the season
1B Reymond Nunez: 1-for-4, R
DH Mike Ford: 2-for-4, R -- hitting .297 this season
2B John Murphy: 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, K

Brady Lail: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Cale Coshow: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Short Season Staten Island: 2-0 loss vs Brooklyn Cyclones

CF Devyn Bolasky: 1-for-4, K
DH Chris Breen: 0-for-4, 2 K -- hitting .304
3B Ty McFarland: 1-for-4, 2 K -- hitting .302
C Luis Torrens: 0-for-4 -- moved up from GCL after rehabbing a shoulder injury down there
RF Nathan Mikolas: 0-for-4, 3 K
SS Thairo Estrada: 2-for-3, 2B, BB -- 12-for-40 during an eight-game hitting streak

Dillon McNamara: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Chad Taylor: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Who was the Baby Bomber of the day, you guys? Comment below.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Facing a Red Sox lineup that has under-performed this season, Vidal Nuno pitched probably his best outing of the year, tossing 5.2 shutout innings with just two hits -- retiring 10 straight before walking David Ortiz with two outs in the 6th -- in the Yankees' 6-0 win over the Red Sox on Friday night in the Bronx.

Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was forced to answer more questions about not skipping over Nuno tonight after the off-day on Thursday, and he wasn't very pleased to answer them. Having pitcher poorly of late, Nuno was much better tonight, picking up just his second win of the season.

The Yankees' offense gave Nuno an early lead with a run in the 1st inning. Derek Jeter, a day after turning 40 years old, picked up the first of his two hits on the night with a single to right field, the Jeter way. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a double against his former team, then Mark Teixeira hit a sac-fly into left field that scored Jeter for Teixeira's 40th RBI of the season.

In the 3rd, the Yankees tried playing for a run but came away with none. After Kelly Johnson walked, Brett Gardner bunted him over. Jeter singled and Ellsbury walked to load the bases ahead of Teixeira, who struck out, and Carlos Beltran, who grounded out to end the inning.

An inning later, Johnson and Gardner took Red Sox starter Brandon Workman deep on back-to-back blasts, pushing the Yankees' lead to 4-0.

Brian McCann opened up of the bottom of the 4th with an opposite-field single, then after a couple of outs by Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki, Johnson smacked a two-run homerun, his fifth of the season -- he now has more then Robinson Cano (4), in case you were wondering. A couple pitches later, Gardner hit his 7th of the year.

The lead was more than enough for Nuno, who was curving his way through Boston's lineup with much ease. The only hits he gave up to Jonny Gomes, who singled to open the 2nd, and Brock Holt, who doubled in the 3rd. As you could have guess, neither hit lead to anything for the Sox. For a guy that has been awful at homerun this season, Nuno pitched really well, and quieted down some of the haters for at least another start.

As for Workman, he had a decent night on the mound for Boston, and it was made better by the fact that he was able to complete seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, with two walks and five strikeouts on 108 pitches.

Dellin Betances took over for Nuno with two outs in the 6th, walked Mike Napoli to begin his night, then set down the next Red Sox hitter to get out of the two on, two out jam. Betances then worked around a two-out double by Stephen Drew in the 7th, to finish off his night with 1.1 innings of scoreless ball.

After Adam Warren worked his usual scoreless 8th inning, needing just 10 pitches to set down the side in order, McCann delivered a 3-1 pitch from Craig Breslow deep into the right field seats for a two-run homerun, bringing in Teixeira, who singled, to make it a 6-0 game.

With the Yankees up six, there was no need to send David Robertson, so Matt Thornton took the ball and tossed a quick three up, three down to finish off the game, which took under three hours to complete -- a very rare occurrence for a Yankees-Red Sox game.

The series continues on Saturday with Tanaka Day, as Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound for the Bombers, going up against Jon Lester at 7:05 pm.

Triple-A Scranton: 7-4 win (F/7) vs Syracuse Chiefs (Makeup of April 4th rain out)

LF Jose Pirela: 2-for-4
C John Ryan Murphy: 0-for-4, R, K
RF Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4, 2 R
3B Zelous Wheeler: 1-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K -- hitting .324 in his last ten games
DH Kyle Roller: 2-for-3, R, BB
2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
SS Dean Anna: 0-for-2, R, BB, 2 K
CF Taylor Dugas: 1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, K

Alfredo Aceves: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, one hit batter
Danny Burawa: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Matt Daley: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Game 2: 4-3 loss vs Syracuse

LF Jose Pirela: 0-for-3, BB
2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-for-3, BB - batting .333 in Triple-A
RF Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4
1B Kyle Roller: 1-for-4, 2 K
C Austin Romine: 2-for-4, double, 3 RBI, E2 - throwing error, fourth of the season

Nik Turley: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Diego Moreno: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 ER, 1 BB, K

Double-A Trenton: 10-5 win vs Erie Seawolves

CF Mason Williams: 1-for-2 -- left the game early
LF-CF Ben Gamel: 1-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI
DH Gary Sanchez: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, K
1B Peter O'Brien: 2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI, K
3B Rob Segedin: 3-for-4, R, RBI

Jario Heredia: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Taylor Garrison: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Fred Lewis: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

High-A Tampa: 4-3 loss vs Clearwater Threshers

CF Jake Cave: 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI
SS Cito Culver: 1-for-3, K
1B Greg Bird: 0-for-4, 2 K
3B Dante Bichette Jr.: 2-for-4, 2 RBI
RF Aaron Judge: 0-for-4, K

Conner Kendrick: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R,  3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Alex Smith: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, K

Low-A Charleston: 9-0 win vs Savannah Sand Gnats

RF Michael O'Neill: 2-for-5, 2 K
SS Tyler Wade: 1-for-5, SB
1B Mike Ford: 2-for-4, BB
C Eduardo de Oleo: 2-for-4, double, RBI
3B Miguel Andujar: 2-for-3, HR, 6 RBI, BB -- sixth homer of the season
2B Gosuke Katoh: 1-for-3, RBI, BB

Ian Clarkin: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K - 6 GO/0 AO
Eric Ruth: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, K

Short Season-A Staten Island: 4-3 loss vs Hudson Valley Renegades

CF Daniel Lopez: 1-for-3, BB
LF Chris Breen: 2-for-4, K
2B Ty McFarland: 0-for-2
RF Austin Aune: 1-for-2, K
SS Thairo Estrada: 1-for-4
3B Renzo Martini: 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI

Matt Borens: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Jordan Cote: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, K
Ethan Carnes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hiroki Kuroda fell behind early, giving up a run in the 1st inning, but the Yankees rallied back, took the lead this time after kept it after losing on Tuesday night, as the Bombers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night at the Rogers Centre.

Mark Teixeira told reporters after the game that is was a big win for the Yankees, who gained a game on the Jays heading into their off-day on Thursday before opening up against the Red Sox in New York on Friday, and he contributed in a big way, driving in three runs, two on his 14th homerun of the season.

Jose Reyes lead off the bottom of the 1st inning with a solo homerun off of Kuroda that put the Blue Jays up 1-0 before Kuroda could even settle in, which he did for the next four innings before Melky Cabrera knocked in a pair of runs in the 5th inning on a two-run single.

Kuroda worked well for the Yankees throughout the night, exiting with one out in the 7th inning. He tossed 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, with two walks and four strikeouts on 102 pitches.

Kuroda left with the Yankees up 5-3, so let me tell you how the Yankees scored their five runs.

The Yankees' offense, which came to life for a couple of innings on Tuesday, hit Jays starter Drew Hutchinson for around the park for four runs that put the Bombers up 4-1.

Kelly Johnson walked to open the inning, then Francisco Cervelli doubled to score him, putting New York on the board. A couple of outs later, Jacoby Ellsbury singled home Cervelli, then Teixeira blasted a two-run homerun off of Hutchinson that made it a 4-1 game.

Hutchinson lasted six innings for the Jays, giving up four runs on seven hits, with two walks and six strikeouts.

After Toronto closed the gap to 4-3 on Cabrera's two-run single in the 5th, Teixeira tacked on another insurance run for the Yankees with a sac-fly in the 7th against Sergio Santos, scoring Brett Gardner, who walked, moved to second on a Derek Jeter hit-by-pitch, then advanced to third base on a wild pitch.

Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton and Adam Warren all recorded one out each following after Kuroda, then David Robertson entered with one out in the 8th, recording his first five-out save of the season -- 17th overall on the year -- to seal the victory for the Yankees.

Following the Thursday off-day, Vidal Nuno will be on the mound for the Yankees when they open up a three-game series at Yankee Stadium, with Brandon Workman opposing him for the Red Sox at 7:05 pm ET.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Coming off of a fourth straight loss on Tuesday night, the Yankees are looking to rebound tonight in the finale of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, who took the second game of this series with a walk-off win on Tuesday, claiming a 7-6 win after Yangervis Solarte's wide throw to first base on a Melky Cabrera bunt scored Jose Reyes from second base to win the game.

The Yankees have now lost four straight going back to Saturday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, and currently stand 3.5 games behind Toronto in the AL East.

The Yankees, who somehow rallied back from a six run deficit last night thanks to a couple of homeruns by Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts, would like to escape the Rogers Centre with a win tonight ahead of tomorrow's off-day, and Friday night's series opener against the Boston Red Sox, in which Vidal Nuno will be on the mound for the Bombers (yikes).

Tonight's lineup against Toronto:

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Carlos Beltran
RF Ichiro Suzuki
2B Brian Roberts
3B Kelly Johnson
C Francisco Cervelli

* Beltran felt some tightness in his right arm over the weekend, so the Yankees will shut down his throwing program, and he'll stick to being a full-time DH for the time being. The Yankees signed Beltran to a three-year, $45 million contract over the winter, and so far, I'd say it's not off to a great start.

* CC Sabathia will make his first rehab start on Saturday with High-A Tampa Yankees, according to manager Joe Girardi. Sabathia will throw about 40-45 pitches down in Tampa after throwing two innings on Tuesday with "no issues."

"It's good, he'll start again on Saturday," said Girardi. "Forty to 45 pitches. ... Everything came out well. Obviously, you're curious to see how he feels tomorrow, but he felt it was successful."

Pitching matchup preview:

Hiroki Kuroda will be the named tasked with trying to stop the Yankees' losing skid tonight. Kuroda's was pitching very well in his last start, against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, when he took a no-hitter in the the 6th inning before losing both that and the shutout in a span of four batters.

Kuroda is facing Toronto for the first time this season. He is 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA (44.2 IP, 14 ER) in his last seven starts against the Blue Jays, and is 4-3 with a 3.81 ERA in his last eight starts overall.

On the mound for the Blue Jays tonight is the right-hander Drew Hutchinson, who is looking to rebound after his last start against the Yankees after allowed four runs on six hits and was removed from the game in the fifth inning last week in the Bronx.

Triple-A Scranton: 7-5 loss vs Rochester Red Wings

LF Jose Pirela: 1-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K
2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-for-3, R, 2 BB, K -- batting .292 at Triple-A
C John Ryan Murphy: 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
3B Scott Sizemore: 1-for-4, K
DH Kyle Roller: 0-for-4, 3 K
SS Dean Anna: 1-for-4 -- first game since coming off of the DL on Tuesday

Bruce Billings: 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Preston Claiborne: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Double-A Trenton: 6-3 loss vs Bowie Bay Sox

CF Mason Williams: 0-for-5, K -- hitting just .219 this season
C Gary Sanchez: 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI, K
DH Peter O'Brien: 0-for-4, 3 K
RF Tyler Austin: 1-for-3, R, 2B, BB, K
1B Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, R, 2B
2B Ali Castillo: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, BB

Dan Camarena: 4.2 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Tyler Webb: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Fred Lewis: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

High-A Tampa: 4-3 win vs Clearwater Threshers

CF Jake Cave: 1-for-5, R, 2 K -- hitting .297 this season
SS Cito Culver: 0-for-5
1B Greg Bird: 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 K
3B Dante Bichette Jr: 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, K
DH Matt Snyder: 1-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K -- three-run bomb, his third of the year
RF Aaron Judge: 1-for-4, 2 K

Jaron Long: 5.2, IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Cesar Vargas: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Low-A Charleston: (Game 1) 6-1 win vs Savannah Sand Gnats

RF Michael O'Neill: 1-for-2, BB
SS Tyler Wade: 2-for-3, RBI, BB
CF Dustin Fowler: 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI -- fifth homer of the season

DH Mike Ford: 0-for-3, BB
3B Miguel Andujar: 2-for-2, BB -- fielding error, 18th this season
2B Gosuke Katoh: 2-for-3, double, RBI
LF Brandon Thomas: 1-for-3, K

Caleb Smith: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Omar Luis: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Brett Gerritse: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

(Game 2) 2-0 loss vs Savannah

RF Michael O'Neill: 0-for-3
SS Tyler Wade: 1-for-3, K -- batting .270 this season
CF Dustin Fowler: 0-for-3, 2 K

Rookie Davis: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Angel Rincon: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, K

Short Season Staten Island Yankees: 4-0 win vs Aberdeen IronBirds

CF Devyn Bolasky: 2-for-3, RBI, BB - batting .300
DH Brady Steiger: 1-for-4, K
1B Chris Breen: 1-for-4
2B Ty McFarland: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI - batting .324
RF Austin Aune: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K
LF Nathan Mikolas: 0-for-3, BB, K
SS Thairo Estrada: 1-for-4, 2 K, SB

David Palladino: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Andury Acevedo: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Rony Bautista: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Who was the Baby Bomber performer of the day, you guys? Comment below.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Yankees fell behind by six runs, somehow came back to tie the game, denying Mark Buehrle his second career victory against the Yanks, but the Toronto Blue Jays were able to walk it off in the bottom of the 9th, defeating the Yankees, 7-6, on Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre, adding another game to their lead over the Bombers in the AL East.

The Blue Jays struck first against Phelps in the 4th inning on a big blast by Dioner Navarro. Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion reached on singles to begin the innings, then two batters later, Navarro took Phelps deep to right field for his fourth homerun of the season, putting Toronto up 3-0 -- a deficit that seemed pretty hard for the Yankees' offense to overcome.

Toronto doubled their lead an inning later in the 5th, mostly due to a mental mistake made by Derek Jeter with two outs in the inning. After Munenori Kawasaki and Jose Reyes singled to open the frame, Phelps set down the next two Jays, but with two down, Encarnacion hit a groundball to Jeter, who must have forgotten how many outs there were, as he looked to third, and then to second before firing a later throw to first, loading the bases.

With Toronto now in a better position to do some damage, Colby Rasmus hit a long single off of the top of the right field wall, clearing the bases to make it a 6-0 game.

Phelps finished off of the inning, but that was all he would see. Pitching pretty well before he entered the 4th inning, Phelps was charged with all six runs in eight hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts for the second start in a row.

Jeter began the Yankees' comeback in the 6th inning by making up for his defensive mistake, hitting a solo homerun off of Buehrle, his second long ball of the season, putting the Yankees on the board to make it a 6-1 game. Defense aside, Jeter has been swinging the bat well lately, and is starting to actually help the Yankees there.

In the 7th, Brian McCann hit a one-out double, his second base hit of the night, then a batter later, Brian Roberts hit a homerun, a two-run shot that would have tied the game if not for Jeter in the 5th, pulling the Yankees to within 6-3 -- it was Roberts' 3rd of the season, first since May 25.

Buehrle rebounded by retiring Yangervis Solarte, who collected a base hit in his first at-bat, but hit night ended a batter later when Brett Gardner doubled off of him with two outs.

Dustin McGowan took over for Buehrle, who was no longer in line for his first win over the Yankees in 10 years after giving up four runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings, and he walked Jeter to begin his night, then served up an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury, scoring Gardner, then Mark Teixeira hit s ground ball to Reyes, who's throw bounced, which lead to Teixeira running into Encarnacion at first base, and as the ball got by, two runs score to tie the game at 6-6.

After Matt Thornton's scoreless 6th inning, Dellin Betances took over in the 6th, set down the Jays in order without recording a strikeouts (odd, indeed), then ran into some trouble in the 7th, where he worked his way out of a bases loaded jam with one away, getting a force out at home, and a strikeout to end the inning.

Then on to the 9th, the Yankees failed to score when Gardner opened the inning with a single, but the Blue Jays didn't fail to do so in the bottom half of the inning. Reyes lead off with a double against Adam Warren, then Melky Cabrera dropped down a bunt, to which Solarte's throw to first was off target, going down the right field line, scoring Reyes to win the game for the Blue Jays.

The Yankees have now dropped three straight as they head into the series final with Toronto on Wednesday night. Hiroki Kuroda will be on the mound for the Yankees, facing off against Drew Hutchinson at 7:07 pm ET.