Game 18 Recap: Yankees 3 Rangers 1

[caption id="attachment_81113" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Eovaldi vs TEX 16 The nastiest of Nates. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

It’s always nice to win a low-scoring game for a change.  The short-handed offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders as usual, but it didn’t matter because the pitching was fantastic last night.  Nathan Eovaldi tossed 7 scoreless innings to hold the Rangers at bay and handed a lead over to the Yankees’ dominant late-inning pair.  That’s always a recipe for success and the it was again last night as the Yankees picked up a much needed win to open the 3-gamer in Texas.

Eovaldi came out of the gate hot last night, facing the minimum number of batters through 3 innings.  A runner did reach on an error to lead off the bottom of the 2nd, but error culprit Didi Gregorius made up for it by starting a 6-4-3 double play to erase the baserunner on the very next pitch.  Eovaldi actually didn’t allow a hit until the 7th inning, mixing pitches well, moving his fastball around, and throwing a ton of offspeed pitches for strikes.  This was arguably the best Eovaldi has looked as an all-around pitcher in his career.

The lineup sans A-Rod and Big Mac didn’t give Eovaldi a lot of support but even a couple runs were plenty with the way he was pitching.  Those couple of runs came in the top of the 3rd on a Jacoby Ellsbury solo home run and a Mark Teixeira RBI double, and they were critical at the time because the Yanks had just gone scoreless in a bases loaded, 1 out situation in the 2nd inning.  They didn’t generate much in the way of meaningful opportunities after those 2 innings, but a Starlin Castro solo shot to lead off the 6th provided an important insurance run.

Joe let Eovaldi come out to start the 8th inning, which I believe gave him the new deepest start of the year for the Yankee rotation.  He walked the leadoff batter and that was all for him.  Dellin Betances came on and got another double play grounder to erase the walk, but then hung a curveball to somebody named Brett Nicholas and watched it go for Nicholas’ first career MLB home run.  That ruined Dellin’s hope for a scoreless season, but he didn’t allow any further damage and Andrew Miller made quick work of the heart of the Ranger order in the 9th.  Ballgame over, Yankees win. Continue reading Game 18 Recap: Yankees 3 Rangers 1

Game 18: Eovaldi vs. Ramos

The Yankees are at least a bit shorthanded tonight, as both Aaron Hicks and Alex Rodriguez are battling injuries. As of this writing, neither seems capable of playing tonight, but both remain on the active roster. That leaves tonight’s usable bench as Brian McCann and Ronald “Career .400/.429/.600 Hitter” Torreyes.

New York Yankees Texas Rangers
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Rougned Odor, 2B
Brett Gardner, LF Nomar Mazara, RF
Carlos Beltran, DH Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B Prince Fielder, 1B
Starlin Castro, 2B Ian Desmond, LF
Chase Headley, 3B Mitch Moreland, DH
Dustin Ackley, RF Elvis Andrus, SS
Didi Gregorius, SS Brett Nicholas, C
Austin Romine, C Delino DeShields, CF
Nathan Eovaldi, SP Cesar Ramos, SP

Continue reading Game 18: Eovaldi vs. Ramos

Game 17 Recap: Rays 8 Yankees 1

[caption id="attachment_81106" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Pineda vs TB 16 Whomp, whomp. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

Things were looking a little brighter in Yankeeland heading into yeterday’s series finale against the Rays.  They had taken the first 2 games of the series, the second in dramatic walk-off fashion on Saturday, and were in a position to complete the sweep before heading back out on the road.  That brightness lasted all of 5 pitches, as Michael Pineda imploded in the top of the 1st inning and put the no-show offense in a hole way too big to climb out of.

But boy, those first 5 pitches were something.  Pineda struck out leadoff hitter Logan Forsythe on 3 pitches and induced a quick ground ball out from Logan Morrison.  He had an 0-2 count on Evan Longoria to get out of the inning quickly, but Longoria fought back to even the count and then doubled to deep center on a 2-2 meatball fastball.  From there it unraveled quickly.  Corey Dickerson hit a 2-run homer on the next pitch to get Tampa on the board, then Steve Pearce singled, Brad Miller doubled, and Steven Souza hit another 2-run dinger to make it 5-0.  It took only 9 pitches for all that damage to be done and the boo birds were justifiably out at the Stadium.

The offense didn’t muster up much of a fight against Drew Smyly.  The only run they scored came in the bottom of the 4th after Brett Gardner took a pitch off the batting helmet to get on base and came around to score on Alex Rodriguez‘s 2-out double into the left field corner.  He missed hitting a home run by about half a foot.  The Yanks had 2 on and no outs in the 5th and didn’t plate a run, and they wasted 2 on and 1 out in the 6th.  That was all she wrote for the offense.

The Rays kept playing long ball to make sure there wouldn’t be even a hint of a threat of a comeback.  Pearce went solo in the 3rd to make it 6-0, Souza went deep again in the 5th to make it 7-1 and give Pineda 4 HR allowed for the day.  And just for good measure, Forsythe hit one off Nick Goody in the 8th.

You want to keep looking at the positives and point to the series victory, but yesterday was a disappointing way to end that series and a bad note on which to hit the road.  Bats need to wake up in Texas. Continue reading Game 17 Recap: Rays 8 Yankees 1

Game 17: Smyly vs. Pineda

Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees
Logan Forsythe, DH Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Logan Morrison, 1B Brett Gardner, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B Carlos Beltran, RF
Corey Dickerson, LF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Steve Pearce, 2B Alex Rodriguez, DH
Brad Miller, SS Brian McCann, C
Steven Souza Jr., RF Chase Headley, 3B
Kevin Kiermaier, CF Starlin Castro, 2B
Curt Casali, C Didi Gregorius, SS
Drew Smyly, SP Michael Pineda, SP

Continue reading Game 17: Smyly vs. Pineda

Game 16: Snell vs. Tanaka

Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees
Logan Forsythe, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Logan Morrison, 1B Brett Gardner, LF
Evan Longoria, DH Carlos Beltran, RF
Corey Dickerson, RF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Desmond Jennings, LF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Brad Miller, SS Brian McCann, C
Steve Pearce, 3B Starlin Castro, 2B
Kevin Kiermaier, CF Chase Headley, 3B
Hank Conger, C Didi Gregorius, SS
Blake Snell, SP Masahiro Tanaka, SP

Continue reading Game 16: Snell vs. Tanaka

Quick Hit: Pinder Diagnosed With UCL Tear

Brendan Kuty with the scoop on the latest injury to afflict the Yankee bullpen.  Branden Pinder, who was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday with an elbow strain, has been diagnosed with a UCL tear in his pitching elbow.  Surgery is still up in the air, so this tear might not be as serious as the injury that ended Nick Rumbelow’s season, but it’s going to keep him out of action for some time.

Pinder was replaced on the active roster by Nick Goody yesterday, and now with he and Rumbelow on the shelf with Bryan Mitchell, relief depth is starting to become an area of concern for the Yankees.  Luis Cessa has been sent back down to Triple-A to work as a starter, Aroldis Chapman is still weeks away from returning, and Johnny Barbato recently experienced his first rough outing.  The SWB Shuttle is short a few bodies and possibly looking for new passengers.

It doesn’t sound promising for Pinder, but hopefully this is a minor tear and something he can return from with the Tanaka rest-and-rehab method.

Continue reading Quick Hit: Pinder Diagnosed With UCL Tear

Game 15 Quick Recap: NYY 6 TB 3

Hey, a win! I didn’t see a single pitch of this one and I’m taking safety training classes in the office on a Saturday morning.  We’re doing bullet points:

CC Sabathia walked the tightrope in every one of his 4.2 innings, and somehow he managed to escape it with only 3 runs against him.  When he’s not on his game, you have no choice but to take that from him.

– Very nice job backing CC up by Ivan Nova, who tossed 2.1 perfect innings to bridge the gap to the back end of the bullpen and gave the offense a chance to come back.

– That comeback was sparked by a Jacoby Ellsbury steal of home in the bottom of the 5th to tie the game at 3.  It was an incredibly ballsy play on his part, stealing home in a full count with 2 outs, and he pulled it off.  This after the diving catch the other night and he went 2-3 with a double and 2 RBI in relief of Aaron Hicks.  More, please.

– Hicks left the game after injuring his shoulder diving to make a catch.  Doesn’t sound serious, but he might get a day or 2 off.

Brian McCann was the other big offensive star.  He went 2-3 with a 2-run homer, 2 R scored, and 3 RBI.  Mark Teixeira also had 3 hits and scored 2 runs.

– 6 up, 6 down for Millances.  5 strikeouts. Continue reading Game 15 Quick Recap: NYY 6 TB 3

Game 15: Moore vs. Sabathia

Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees
Logan Forsythe, 2B Brett Gardner, LF
Brandon Guyer, CF Starlin Castro, 2B
Evan Longoria, 3B Carlos Beltran, RF
Corey Dickerson, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
Desmond Jennings, LF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Steve Pearce, 1B Brian McCann, C
Steven Souza Jr., RF Chase Headley, 3B
Tim Beckham, SS Aaron Hicks, CF
Curt Casali, C Didi Gregorius, SS
Matt Moore, SP CC Sabathia, SP

Continue reading Game 15: Moore vs. Sabathia

Kneejerk Foment

[caption id="attachment_81089" align="aligncenter" width="525"]A-Rod K vs OAK When you strike out with the bases loaded during a brutal RISP slump. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

I fully realize that I am falling in Wallchand territory here but I can feel the angst and brine rising within me. You have been watching these games along with me, right? This version of the New York Yankees has been such a drag to watch. I know Stacey wasn’t as impressed as I was, but Michael Kay’s “Groundhog Day” line the other night just felt so right. Each game has bled into the next with the same ineptitude and similar losses. It is like going off Broadway and watching the same bad production for fourteen straight days.

My rational mind is shouting to my emotional Italian side chiding the latter with reminders of sample size and season length. In the immortal words of Frank Sinatra, my heart ain’t gonna buy it. My inner Yankee is foaming at the mouth.

This is what my mind has watched thus far this season. I qualify this statement knowing full well that observations are faulty and I will look at some stats a little later:

  • It seems that every fat mistake pitch thrown by a Yankee pitcher gets hammered while the Yankees take such pitches for strikes when they are batting.
  • You can squeeze more appeal from our front-running presidential candidates easier than the Yankees can squeeze runs out of a potential rally.
  • I wish Aaron Hicks could hit so he could play the field every day.
  • How long do we wait out Alex Rodriguez before doing the Soriano-Jones?
  • The Yankees’ offense is the easiest team to defense in the history of baseball.
  • Why does Mark Teixeira have to stink every April?
  • How many of you are like me and start to get afraid every time a Yankee starting pitcher starts a game with two or three scoreless innings?
  • I would take four errors a week from Rob Refsnyder over watching Chase Headley every night
  • Austin Romine is no John Ryan Murphy. But he is like a J.R. Murphy. Maybe he should insist on being called, “Austin Allen Romine.”

Okay, somehow, I need to pull this rant out of the gutter of my mind and put some data in here to at least make it sound respectable. I know full well that this is a lost cause because any stats I cull will be cherry picking and a rant is what this is and there seems to be no turning back. But here goes a few cherry picks to at least make it look like I’m trying. Continue reading Kneejerk Foment