Game 122 – Another pop at the Trop

One more day looking at the muted tones of that ballpark in St. Pete means another game between the Rays and Yankees. I would call it the rubber game of the series, but I hate cliches. Today features a match-up between Hiroki Kuroda and Jeremy Hellickson.

Kuroda has not been reliable the past month and in his last four starts he is sporting a 4.81 ERA and a 1.397 WHIP. Hellickson, in his first five starts since coming off of the disabled list has a pretty 2.05 ERA, but in typical Hellickson fashion, sports a much higher FIP at 3.88.

There is good news for the Yankees as Brian McCann is back from his seven-day concussion DL stint. Well…I think that is good news. The Yankees activated McCann and sent Austin Romine (we hardly knew ya) back down to the minors.

Carlos Beltran is back in right field, Prado is at second. Stephen Drew is at short and Derek Jeter is again at the designated hitter position.…

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Game 121: How about some runs today boys!

Hey guys, it’s going to drizzle during this afternoon’s game so… oh wait, they’re playing in a dome. Don’t mind me, I just get a kick out of seeing a weather report for a game that’s being played indoors.

So we maybe Shane Greene can keep the Rays from scoring more than zero runs and maybe the Yankees can score one or two against Drew Smyly? And maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning 20 years younger and 30 lb. lighter…

Here are your lineups:

YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Martin Prado 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS

RAYS
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Vince Belnome DH
Curt Casali C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

You’ll notice that there isn’t a DH next to Beltran’s name today which means he’ll be playing right field in Tropicana Field and if you recall he had a bit of an incident the last time he played there.…

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Game 120: McCarthy vs. Cobb

Oh goody, a series in Tropicana Field.

Here are your lineups:
YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Martin Prado RF
Francisco Cervelli C

RAYS
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist LF
Matt Joyce DH
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Logan Forsythe 2B
Yunel Escobar SS
Curt Casali C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

Pitching matchup: Brandon McCarthy vs. Alex Cobb

If the Yankees want to even try and sniff the playoffs, they need to take at least two out of three this weekend.

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Game 119: The Return of Big Mike

Michael Pineda returns to the Yankees’ starting rotation tonight. Let’s hope all goes well and that if he’s using pine tar, he’s hiding it well. Although, Buck Showalter spoke with reporters earlier today and said he wouldn’t care if Pineda used pine tar, in fact, he seems to be encouraging other pitchers to do the same.

I don’t trust him. I think it’s a trap.

Anyway, here are your lineups:

YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Martin Prado RF
Francisco Cervelli C

ORIOLES
Nick Markakis RF
Chris Davis 3B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Delmon Young LF
Steve Pearce 1B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Nick Hundley C

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Game 117 – Indians haven’t a Kluber today

Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and play another day. Corey Kluber was too much for the Yankees yesterday and there is no shame in that as Kluber has had a real breakout season. But today is that other day and the Yankees face a pitcher not nearly as talented in Carlos Carrasco. But I probably shouldn’t sell Carrasco short. He has some good peripherals this season.

You have to like the Yankees’ chances, however, with Hiroki Kuroda pitching a day game at YS3. That is usually a pretty good formula. Plus, the Indians will be missing Nick Swisher and David Murphy due to injuries. The way Swisher’s season has been going, that might not be much of a miss.

The Yankees will see Zach Walters who called up today. Walters is a power-hitting, high strikeout, low walk kind of guy that the Indians got back as part of the Asdrubal Cabrera trade with the Nationals. Walters is a switch-hitter and not a guy you want to groove a fastball against.…

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Game 116: McCarthy Goes For 5-0

Last night’s series-opening victory made for the Yankees’ 4th separate winning streak of 3 games or more since the All-Star Break.  They’re an impressive 14-7 since the break, a season best 7 games over .500, and back within half a game of the second Wild Card spot.  They’re sending out their recent best starter in Brandon McCarthy this afternoon against Cleveland’s best starter, Corey Kluber, and they’ll be without Teix and Big Mac in the middle of the batting order.  Here is today’s starting lineup:

1) Brett Gardner- LF
2) Derek Jeter- SS
3) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
4) Carlos Beltran- DH
5) Chase Headley- 1B
6) Stephen Drew- 2B
7) Martin Prado- 3B
8) Ichiro Suzuki- RF
9) Francisco Cervelli -C

McCarthy is 4-0 in his 5 Yankee starts and the team is 5-0.  Let’s keep that streak rolling today on Paul O’Neill Day, huh?

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Game 115: Mr. Rogers’ House

Esmil Rogers is today’s starter for the Yankees after David Phelps was placed on the DL earlier this week. Joe Girardi said the reason it took so long for the team to announce the decision was because Rogers was on the train when Joe made the decision and he had no reception. Girardi wanted Rogers to hear from him first that he was starting.

Rogers becomes the eleventh pitcher to start this year for the Yankees, according to the game notes, which is the most the team has used since 2008 (13). During the time in between, they never used more than nine starters in a season. Only the Rockies (14), Rangers (13), and Marlins (12) have used more starters this season.

Anyhoo, Mark Teixeira is out again today with a sore pinky that he cut in Wednesday night’s win. He said gripping the bat was painful for him, but he hit today off a tee and took some soft toss.…

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Game 114: Porcello v. Greene

You can scratch Cliff Lee off of the list of potential waiver deadline pick-ups – the Phillies southpaw will miss the rest of the season with a Grade 2 flexor pronator strain (luckily, surgery will not be required). Cole Hamels was claimed on waivers by an as of yet unidentified team (though, there is some speculation that it was the Cubs), and it is safe to assume that that team is not the Yankees … meaning that, if help is coming before August 31, it will not be of the ace variety. This may toe the line of “news for the sake of news,” but it was a pipe dream worth hanging onto for a bit.

Detroit Tigers New York Yankees
Rajai Davis, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Ezequiel Carrera, CF Martin Prado, 3B
Ian Kinsler, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Victor Martinez, DH Carlos Beltran, DH
J.D. Martinez, RF Chase Headley, 3B
Don Kelly, 1B Stephen Drew, SS
Nick Castellanos, 3B Francisco Cervelli, C
Alex Avila, C Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Andrew Romine, SS Brendan Ryan, 2B
Rick Porcello, SP Shane Greene, SP
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Game 113: Zombie Verlander v. Capuano

While you’re waiting for the game to begin, check out Katie’s intriguing piece on the declining Justin Verlander, and remember that she is to blame if/when he rediscovers his Cy Young form of 2011 tonight.

Detroit Tigers New York Yankees
Rajai Davis, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Ian Kinsler, 2B Derek Jeter, SS
Miguel Cabrera, 1B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Victor Martinez, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
J.D. Martinez, RF Carlos Beltran, DH
Nick Castellanos, 3B Brian McCann, C
Bryan Holaday, C Chase Headley, 3B
Andrew Romine, SS Stephen Drew, 2B
Ezequiel Carrera, CF Martin Prado, RF
Justin Verlander, SP Chris Capuano, SP
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