Game 145 Recap: Yankees 3 Rays 1

Bird HR vs TB

Is it me or is every home run he hits important? Courtesy of the AP

Chris Archer ain’t nothing.  Yankees have faced him twice in the last 10 days and beaten him both times.  If only they could have won a few more games against other pitchers in that timespan.  Archer got outdueled by Luis Severino last night as the Yankees rode their blue chipper’s right arm, Greg Bird’s bat, and the bullpen A-Team to a much needed series victory.

Severino struggled to his spots and keep his fastball out of the middle part of the strike zone his last time out against the Blue Jays.  He didn’t have those same struggles last night and the aggressive Tampa lineup just plain couldn’t keep up with his stuff.  He was working 96-97 with his fastball and low 90s with his slider, and he seemed to make his best pitches when he was on the verge of getting into trouble.  He stranded 2 after a leadoff double and a walk in the bottom of the 2nd, struck out 2 to strand a runner in the 4th, and worked out of a 1-out, runners on second and third jam in the 5th by inducing a weak groundout and a pop out to the catcher.…

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Game 144 Recap: Rays 6 Yankees 3

Franklin HR vs NYY

Giving up homers to guys hitting under .140, guh. Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees went from almost getting no-hit by Erasmo Ramirez on Monday night to just not getting enough hits last night.  That’s progress, depending on how you want to look at the situation, but when that low hits count only lead to 3 runs and you’re working with the C-level pitching squad, you probably aren’t going to win the game.  The Yankees didn’t.

The sad thing was that 2 of the 3 hits the Yanks got off Tampa starter Jake Odorizzi were home runs and both of them gave the team a lead.  Alex Rodriguez embarrassed Odorizzi by crushing a 1-0 fastball the other way for a solo homer in the top of the 1st to make it 1-0 Yanks, and Greg Bird bested Odorizzi in a tough battle to drive in A-Rod with a 2-run bomb to dead center in the 4th to make it 3-2 Yanks.  …

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Game 143 Recap: Yankees 4 Rays 1

Heathcott HR vs TB

So many good faces in this picture. Courtesy of Getty Images

Best win of the season last night?  If not, top 3 at the absolute worst.  Things weren’t looking good for the Yankees heading into the late innings, but then Slade Heathcott bopped a 3-run home run in the top of the 9th to rip the game away from the Rays and hopefully breathe new life into the Yankees’ final 20-game stretch run.

The Yankees had faced Tampa starter Erasmo Ramirez twice before last night’s game and both times he held them at bay, allowing only 1 run in 11 innings pitched.  He bested that and the some last night, twirling 7.2 scoreless, 1-hit innings and holding the Yankee lineup without a hit until that final 8th inning.  He did walk 2 batters, but only 1 of them reached second base and was then double off to end the inning.  Ramirez retired 21 of the first 23 batters he faced going into the 8th and gave up his first hit of the game to Carlos Beltran to lead off that inning.  …

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Game 142 Quick Recap: NYY 5 TOR 0

You might have noticed that I didn’t bother writing a recap for either of yesterday’s games.  That’s mostly because I thought Stacey’s visual recap spoke louder than any of my written words could, and a little bit because I just didn’t feel like it.  I’ll write one today because they won though, and I don’t feel the slightest bit bad about it.

The story of this afternoon’s game was Masahiro Tanaka.  He was top notch in his last start against earlier in the week and he repeated that level of excellence today against the Jays.  Tanaka worked around hits in each of the first 3 innings, then sat the Toronto lineup in order from the 4th through the 6th.  Toronto finally got another hit on a Chris Colabello double in the 7th, but Tanaka snuffed that out before it could become anything.  He got a lot of ground ball outs, he struck out 7 and he didn’t walk anybody.  It was another ace-caliber performance from the no-doubt ace of the staff.…

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Game 139 Quick Recap: TOR 11 NYY 5

Luis Severino wasn’t going to pitch lights out forever.  Every pitcher has a bad start every now and then and Severino had a bad one last night.  Unfortunately for him, and the Yankees, that bad game came against the best offense in baseball and the Yanks got pounded by the Jays in the first game of their 4-game series.

For all intents and purposes, the game was over after the top of the 1st.  Severino couldn’t command his fastball and Toronto went double, homer, strikeout, double, single, homer in the first 6 batters to grab a 5-0 lead.  A pair of walks and a ribbie single by Russell Martin in the top of the 3rd ended Severino’s day and put the game on the arms of the bottom of the Yankee bullpen.

Toronto kept right on scoring against those guys.  They got 2 runs in 1.2 innings against Chris Martin, another run in 2 innings against Andrew Bailey.  Joe changed it up with Chasen Shreve after the offense pulled them back within 4 in the 7th and Toronto bashed him around for their final 2 runs.  …

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Game 138 Recap: Orioles 5 Yankees 3

Sabathia vs BAL

The look of a man whose teammates let him down. Courtesy of Getty Images

I wrote about how the starting rotation has been a constant cycle of turnover and drama the other day, and that cycle kept turning last night as CC Sabathia made his return from the DL.  But quality of starting pitching doesn’t really matter if you don’t hit and don’t play defense and the Yankees didn’t do either of those things last night.  That’s why they lost another easily winnable game against the Orioles and why they took a series loss against those lowly Orioles instead of a sweep.

I thought Sabathia looked pretty good last night.  He was throwing his fastball in the low 90s, his offspeed stuff had good movement, and he was generally locating pitches where he wanted to.  He got charged with an earned run in the top of the 1st when Stephen Drew flubbed a potential double play ball and only got 1 out, Didi Gregorius failed to check and go after the lead runner from second thus allowing him to move to third, and Carlos Beltran let a weak bloop fly ball land in front of him for a single.  …

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Game 137 Recap: Orioles 2 Yankees 1


The offense. Courtesy of the AP

With Nathan Eovaldi out, possibly for the rest of the year, there’s added pressure on Masahiro Tanaka to pitch well down the stretch.  If last night’s start was any indication, I think he’ll be just fine with that.  Tanaka turned in a gem, arguably his best start of the season last night, but he ended up doing it in a losing cause as the offense no-showed and Baltimore struck late with a go-ahead home run.

It didn’t take Tanaka long to settle in.  He had his game going from the first pitch and he retired the Orioles in order through the first 4 innings with 5 strikeouts from the 2nd-4th.  He did walk the leadoff hitter in the 5th and a questionable official scorer’s call a few batters later broke up the no-hitter, but Tanaka struck out 2 more and got out of the inning easily.  His fastballs had good movement, he could throw multiple pitches for strike 1, and his offspeed stuff was really sharp.  …

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Game 136 Recap: Yankees 8 Orioles 6

Bird HR vs BAL

Greg Bird, lefty killer. Courtesy of Getty Images

I don’t know what to say to people who aren’t on board with this team yet.  if you don’t enjoy watching and don’t have full confidence in this team at all times, you must live a very sad life.  The Yankees opened up a home set with the Orioles this afternoon and they pulled the comeback card again today, slowly battling back from a rough start for Big Mike before icing the game late with a big blow from the Birdman.

It was a quick start for Michael Pineda, as he retired the side in order in the top of the 1st on fewer than 10 pitches.  But his fastball command was not present in the slightest today, and that lack of command got him in big trouble in the 2nd inning.  He walked Chris Davis to start the inning, gave up a single to Jimmy Paredes, and threw a horrible 0-2 fastball down the pipe Jonathan Schoop that Schoop yanked out to left field for a 3-run home run.  …

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Game 135 Recap: Yankees 6 Rays 4

A-Rod HR vs TB II

“Thanks, bat. I’ll just toss you over here and be right back.” Courtesy of Getty Images

There was reason for pessimism heading into this afternoon’s rubber match against the Rays.  Ivan Nova had been battling his command lately and Tampa was rolling out staff ace Chris Archer, who has owned the Yankees in his short career.  The Yanks got to him in 1 big inning to pull themselves ahead, then tacked on enough runs for their bullpen to take the W home.

It was another up and down day for Ivan.  He got hit around a bit in the early innings, gave up a 2-run homer to Kevin Kiermaier in the 2nd, and another run on a walk and a pair of singles in the 3rd to put his team in a 3-0 hole.  But he also managed to gather things up after the 3rd and work 3 more innings scoreless, turning in a 6-inning, 3-run performance when his day was done.  …

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