Does Colorado want Dexter Fowler back? Astros 3, Yankees 1

Dexter single-handedly beat the New York Yankees on Wednesday night. He hit a lead off home run in the first inning, then, the speedy center fielder scored again in the third after hitting a triple. It may have seemed the Yankees starting pitcher was in trouble again, but Fowler was the only player to do any damage against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda.

The Yankees had a chance in the eighth when Carlos Beltran led off with a double. However, Houston reliever Matt Albers sent down the next three batters by striking them out. After 10 team strikeouts and leaving eight runners on base, Yankees didn’t seem to have the offensive energy to win this one.

The Good Stuff

– The Brians had nice nights: McCann went 2-for-4 and Roberts 3-for-4 (edited for correction).

– Kuroda had a solid first outing. He gave just three hits (two from Fowler) and two runs through six innings.

Jacoby Ellsbury got on base with a walk and showed off his speed with a steal of second base.…

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A Tale Of Two Adjusting Pitchers

CC Sabathia, Jeff Kobernus

It was another tandem activity day for CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka yesterday, in what may or may not be a strategic move by Joe.  Flip-flopping the plan from last Thursday, when Sabathia threw a sim game and Tanaka got the Grapefruit start, it was Tanaka who threw the sim in the morning and Sabathia who took the hill against real competition in the afternoon.  Their results and the manner in which they achieved them could not have been more different and provide a perfect view of 2 divergent pitching career paths.

The final line on Tanaka’s sim outing was impressive: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER (on a Jake Cave solo HR) and 9 K.  He threw 63 pitches, 49 for strikes (77.78 Str %), and according to reports threw 16 consecutive strikes at one point.  He looked good, he said he felt good, and he continued to stretch himself out towards a full workload with 3 weeks remaining until his regular season debut.  …

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Tie Game! Rays and Yankees Finish 3-3 As Phelps Goes 5 Innings

The Yankees have been lucky enough to see some great pitching this spring. Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia have given up just 1 run total, while Ivan Nova has had a couple of brilliant appearances. Michael Pineda came out to pitch two clean innings on Friday, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren have equally impressed, but today was David Phelps‘ time to shine. After giving up a double to Matt Joyce with 1 out in the 1st inning, Phelps proceed to take care of the next 9 batters quickly. He pitched so efficiently that he went 5.0 innings today, giving up just 3 hits and earning a strike out against a handful of Rays regulars.

Phelps’ performance might not necessarily earn him a spot in the Yankees’ rotation, not with Pineda showing that he’s healthy, but it could help him beat out other starters if an injury happens. Likewise, Phelps could be playing for a rotation spot with another team, as we learned last week that at least the Mariners have been scouting the right-handed pitcher.…

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Banuelos Returns In 9-6 Win Over Astros

One day after Michael Pineda returned to the mound from shoulder surgery, Manny Banuelos made his return from Tommy John surgery. The results were mixed on the scoreboard, but the performance on the mound was encouraging to both the pitcher and some scouts.

The game started off with Ivan Nova getting hit hard by the Astros’ Dexter Fowler(line drive single), Jose Altuve(line drive single), Jason Castro(fly ball double), Chris Carter(lineout), and Marc Krauss(line drive single). Thanks to a strikeout and caught stealing, Nova ended the disastrous 1st inning, but the second inning wasn’t much better. Nova again gave up singles to L.J. Hoes and Cesar Izturis before getting into a rhythm. The right-handed pitcher lacked command, but redeemed himself with a handful of strikeouts and ground balls in his final two innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Yankees offense took advantage of fielding mistakes and errors all game long. Mason Williams had a nice game, reaching base on a walk, earning an RBI on a sacrifice fly, and hitting an RBI double in the 2nd inning, missing a home run by just a couple of feet.…

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A Rainy Day Of Firsts Yesterday

Tanaka vs PHI ST

For a while, it didn’t look like yesterday’s game was going to happen.  It was raining hard, the scheduled start had been pushed back, and the forecast wasn’t all that promising.  It was supposed to be Masahiro Tanaka‘s second ST appearance and first official start in a Yankee uniform, cause for as much excitement as any ST game should cause, and both Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano were also slated to make their first ST appearances.  As luck would have it, the weather cooperated long enough to get the game in and not deprive us of another chance to dissect Tanaka’s outing or the string of related “firsts” that happened yesterday.

The outing by Tanaka was another good one.  He worked 3 innings on 41 pitches, allowed only 2 hits with no walks and 1 strikeout.  One of the hits was a solo HR, giving Tanaka his first career run and homer allowed in MLB, but given the circumstances and the way he responded I don’t think that should be the major takeaway.  …

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Yankees 5, Astros 1 (F/14): Goodbye, 2013

It’s finally over.

It took 14 innings for it happen but the Yankees ended the 2013 season on a high note with a 5-1, extra inning win over of the Houston Astros.

The game was tied going into the 14th inning when the Yankees scored four runs to bust the game open. Mark Reynolds got things started with a solo shot to left field to put the Yankees ahead 2-1 and the Yankees offense piled on after that.

Starter David Huff allowed one run through five innings but had to settle for the no decision because it took so long for the offense to get going. The Yankees ended up using six relievers in this game and they all pitched scoreless innings with five out of the six recording at least one strikeout. The Yankee pitchers combined for 19 strikeouts today: Huff finished with seven, Brett Marshall went two innings and had three, Dellin Betances went 2.1 innings and had four strikeouts, Preston Claiborne pitched 2/3 of an inning and had one, David Phelps pitched one inning and had two strikeouts and Matt Daley went two innings and also had two strikeouts.…

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About last night: Andy Pettitte completes his career

David Phillip/AP

David Phillip/AP

If you were a Hollywood scriptwriter, the outcome of last night’s Yankees/Astros game is pretty close to how you choose to have your gritty veteran pitcher character’s career come to an end. Though, if it were a true Hollywood ending, the complete game victory would have come in the seventh game of a World Series, and in front of Yankee fans in Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, the Yankees’ 2013 season will be ending in the regular season so that scenario wasn’t an option this time. In any case, last night was close to perfect and it was the ending Yankee fans wanted to see for Andy Pettitte.

The scene was set earlier this week when the Yankees were officially eliminated from postseason contention so instead of gearing up from one last playoff run, Pettitte’s last start would be in front of his hometown crowd in Houston, taking place in the only other Stadium he called home in his career.…

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Swift recap: Rays 8, Yankees 3

If you missed the game, here’s what you need to know:

  • Phil Hughes couldn’t make it out of the third inning.
  • Eduardo Nunez was one of the hitting “heroes” along with Robinson Cano.
  • Evan Longoria is annoying and hit two more home runs tonight.
  • The Yankees have been eliminated from the playoffs thanks to a win by the Cleveland Indians.

We’ll have more to talk about tomorrow. This game was awful, depressing and was the cherry on the top of the sh** sundae better known as the 2013 season.

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