Game 101 Recap: Yankees 4 Rangers 2

Beltran-Headley vs TEX

Haven’t had time to come up with a complicated handshake yet. Courtesy of the AP

This was a strange series, wasn’t it?  Low-scoring, sloppily-played, included arguably the Yankees’ worst team game of the season in the opener, and somehow they walk out of it winning 3 out of 4 and improving their post-ASB record to 6-1.

It was another patchwork lineup today, this one featuring Jacoby Ellsbury hitting 1st, Brett Gardner 2nd, Chase Headley 5th, Brian Roberts 6th, and Francisco Cervelli 8th.  Texas starter Colby Lewis held them at bay through the first 3 innings and did so without giving up a hit.  Then the lineup turned over and the Yankee hitters started getting hip to his game.  Either that or he remembered that he’s Colby Lewis and he’s terrible.  Gardner doubled to lead off the 4th and scored on Headley’s 2-out single to get the Yanks on the board.  In the 5th, a pair of walks (by Ichiro and Ellsbury) were cashed in by a Cervelli double and a Gardner sac fly to make it 3-1 New York.…

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Belated Game 101 Game Thread: Yanks-Rangers

Sorry, folks.  We missed the sign earlier today and didn’t get a thread up in time.  Yanks and Rangers are tied 1-1 in the 5th.  McCann’s at first base again today, Jeter and Teix are out of the lineup.

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Cash Deserves His Props For Recent Moves

Ninja Cash

Ninja GM mode engaged

Brian Cashman has been around long enough to know what kind of pressure there is to win in New York and how high the standards are for the Yankees.  However realistic or unrealistic it may be for those standards to be met, ownership always toes the company line of “our goal is to win a championship” and a lot of fans and media storylines fall in line with that statement.  That’s what happens when you’ve won 27 of them and been the biggest and most successful franchise in Major League Baseball for a hundred years.

Measured against those standards, the 4+ seasons since the last title have been increasingly disappointing.  The Yankees have fallen further from the top of the American League in each season since 2009, culminating in a missed postseason last year and a battle to stay above .500 this year despite spending almost half a billion dollars in free agent reinforcements this past offseason.  …

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Thursday Mid-Morning News And Notes

There’s a handful of happenings that have gone untouched over the last few days.  Such as…

- Carlos Beltran played catch before Tuesday night’s game as the Yanks continue to try to get him back to a point where he can physically play right field.  It would be great if it could happen, both to create some roster flexibility and get Ichiro back to the bench where he belongs.  But given how quickly the bone spur flared up the first time he tried throwing again, I’m not saying I’m optimistic.

- Michael Pineda is also working his way back.  Again.  He threw live BP at the Tampa complex over the weekend, and via Chad Jennings, he’s slated to throw a simulated game today.  The limit is set at 2 IP or 30 pitches, whichever comes first.  Again, not optimistic that Pineda will make it back to help this season, but it would be nice if he did.

- Fellow injured starter CC Sabathia had his knee surgery as scheduled yesterday.  …

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Cut to the Chase: What to Know About Headley

Through two games, we’ve learned a decent amount about new Yankees 3B Chase Headley. Here are some highlights, mixed in with some things he carried with him to New York.

Epidurals are good. Headley battled back issues earlier this year in San Diego, to the point he says he was “pretty banged up.” That said, he’s said twice that the epidural he had on his back has worked like a charm, and his back “continue[s] to feel much better than prior.” He’s called back surgery a “last-case scenario,” and noted it’s an unpleasant thing to think about. He said that he’s added a few core workouts, and that he warms up his back quite a bit before games. It seems like he has a firm hold on his back for now.

Newspapers are no good. Chase Headley won’t read the NY papers, not even after a walk-off hit. “I’ve been warned to stay out of those,” he said. “My parents, first of all when I started playing baseball, they told me that.…

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Game 100: A Real Third Baseman at the Century Mark

Welcome to New York, Chase.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Texas Rangers New York Yankees
Shin-Soo Choo, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Alex Rios, RF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Adrian Beltre, 3B Carlos Beltran, DH
Jim Adduci, 1B Brian McCann, 1B
J.P. Arencibia, DH Chase Headley, 3B
Leonys Martin, CF Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chris Gimenez, C Francisco Cervelli, C
Rougned Odor, 2B Brendan Ryan, 2B
Yu Darvish, SP David Phelps, SP
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What To Watch For: Darvish vs Yankees

The Yankees will try to make Yu Darvish look bad tonight. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees will try to make Yu Darvish look bad tonight. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees face the Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish tonight in the third game of this four-game series. Here are a few things to look for when watching and praying for some runs against one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Which Yu is it?
There is no doubt that Darvish is having an excellent season, with a 2.88 ERA over 18 starts and a league-leading strikeout rate of 11.4 per nine innings.

However, after starting the season strong with a 2.08 ERA and nine quality starts in his first 10 outings, he has been very inconsistent over his last eight turns.

His ERA is a shade under 4.00 since June 6 and he has given up at least four runs in five of his last eight games. He is coming off a 12-strikeout, one-run effort against the Blue Jays on Friday, but that followed a six-run, 10-hit disaster against the Astros in his final start prior to the break.…

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Quick Hit: Kelly Johnson To The 15-Day DL

Guess the groin injury that forced him to leave last night’s game was more severe than some simple tightness.  Via the Yankees’ PR team, Kelly Johnson has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin.  Chris Leroux has been called up from SWB to take his spot on the active roster, and Bruce Billings was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man spot for Leroux.

I have to imagine the Leroux move is a temporary one to add a fresh arm to the ‘pen after last night’s marathon game.  He should be sent down when the number of rested, available relievers normalizes and a position player will be called up to replace him.  In the meantime, the Yanks will go with B-Rob at second, Headley at third, and… somebody at first.

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A Final Word On The Solarte Era

Solarte vs PIT

Courtesy of Getty Images

When the Yankees announced that they had signed Yangervis Solarte to a MiL deal and extended him an invitation to spring camp, I’m sure a lot of us had the same reaction.  “Who??”  We quickly found out who when Solarte impressed in ST and earned himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, then watched in various levels of amazement as he proceeded to be the team’s best hitter through the first 2 months.  At one point in mid-May he was leading the AL in batting average and he finished the month with a .299/.369/.466 slash line.

Whether it was opposing pitchers figuring him out and adjusting to him, him changing his approach in a way that negatively impacted his effectiveness, a natural regression back to his true talent level, or a combination of all 3, Solarte’s production fell off big time in June.  He was slowly being phased out of the everyday lineup before being included as part of the trade package for Chase Headley yesterday.  …

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