Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Yankees kicked off the second half of the season with a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium last night. And thanks to Oakland's walk-off win over the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees are just four games back of the AL East leading O's with 67 games left to play, meaning there is still life for this battered Yankees squad.

Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury didn't really live up to their contracts in the first half, but the Yankees' three biggest offseason signings got the job done last night, driving in all four Yankee runs, including a two-run shot from Ellsbury in the 5th that put the Bombers ahead, then hung on for the win.

The Yankees will have a tough time competing for a playoff spot with their rotation suffering the way it is, but it'll be almost impossible without the help from the offense, including those three signings. Maybe this second half will be the turnaround we've all be waiting for.

Today's lineup vs Cincinnati:

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

Pitching matchup preview:

Brandon McCarthy will be making his Yankee Stadium debut today, in what will also be just his second start since joining the Yankees a week before the All-Stare break.

McCarthy made his Yankee debut against the Cleveland Indians, where he allowed four runs (one earned) on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings; he ended up getting a no-decision. McCarthy said after the outing that he wasn't feeling as sharp with his pitches early on, which caused some issues. Hopefully that's not the case today.

Alfredo Simon will be getting the ball for the Reds today. An All-Star during the first half, Simon is tied with Masahiro Tanaka for the Major League lead in wins with 12. Saturday will be the fourth start against the Yankees in his career -- first since September 8, 2011, as a member of the Orioles.

In six career appearances (three starts), Simon is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA against the Yanks in his career.


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