Game 76: The Quest for a Positive Run Differential

The Yankees sit three games above .500, despite a -35 run differential – “good” for 25th in Major League Baseball. Their Pythagorean record (an estimate of a team’s “should be” record based on run differential) is 34-41. Starting today, that begins to change – for the better, I hope and pray. Old friend Mark Buehrle and his career 5.84 ERA in 17 career starts against the Yankees seems like as good a match-up as any to kick things off … and I’m sure David Phelps is ecstatic that Jose Bautista is not in the starting lineup for the Blue Jays, to boot.

New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Gardner, LF Jose Reyes, SS
Derek Jeter, SS Melky Cabrera, LF
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Adam Lind, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Alfonso Soriano, RF Colby Rasmus, CF
Carlos Beltran, DH Dioner Navarro, C
Brian McCann, C Juan Francisco, 3B
Brian Roberts, 2B Kevin Pillar, RF
Yangervis Solarte, 3B Munenori Kawasaki, 2B
David Phelps, SP Mark Buehrle, SP
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Quick hits: CC back at the end of July? Beltran won’t be in the outfield and more!

According to Sweeny Murti of WFAN, Joe Girardi told reporters that CC Sabathia will begin his official rehab assignment this weekend. That will start a 30-day clock which, barring any cataclysmic setbacks, should put his return at the end of July.

While, it’s not ideal that the Yankees have to wait so long for his return, getting Sabathia back at the end of next month will be similar to making a trade deadline deal, especially if he comes back and does well.

I don’t even want to think about him not doing well. Positive thoughts, everyone!

And a Carlos Beltran update from Daniel Barbarisi: his return to outfield has been shut down indefinitely after throwing the ball this weekend caused a forearm problem. So he’ll be the DH for the time being. Beltran told reporters he thinks the forearm issue was caused by him compensating for his elbow injury but he doesn’t feel it when swinging.

Anything else, guys?…

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Quick Hit: Futures Game Update

Good for Severino and O’Brien.

And in case you didn’t hear the news, Slade Heathcott is out for the year. He’s having season-ending knee surgery.

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What to Watch For: June 24 vs Blue Jays

20111118-blue-jays-logoThe Yankees and Blue Jays play the middle game of their three-game series tonight at the Rogers Centre. Here’s a few things to watch for as you pray for the Yankees offense to score some runs.

Buerhle’s Kryptonite
The Yankees have dominated many pitchers over the years but perhaps none more than Mark Buerhle, who owns a 1-11 record and 5.84 ERA in 17 career starts against the franchise.

His .083 winning percentage ranks as the second-worst of any pitcher that has made at least 15 starts against the Yankees, behind only Hall-of-Famer and Yankee great Red Ruffing. Ruffing, who started his career with the Red Sox before being traded to New York in 1930, went 1-16 (.059) against the Yankees.

Buehrle’s only win against the Yankees came in 2004, when he beat them at the Stadium as a member of the White Sox. He is 0-5 with a 6.98 ERA in seven starts at home against the Bombers.…

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About Last Night: Chase Whitley

Chase Whitley didn’t have a good outing against the Toronto Blue Jays last night.

Here’s his hit chart for the game:
hit-chart (37)

Whitley actually started off the game nicely by striking out Jose Reyes swinging, but it all went downhill from there. The Blue Jays scored a run in the first, thanks to Melky Cabrera and Adam Lind.

Cabrera hit a first pitch double to center on a 91 m.p.h. fastball over the plate:
atbat-summary (47)

Lind hit another 91 m.p.h. offering for an RBI single:
atbat-summary (48)

The second inning was even worse for Whitley. He gave up three straight singles to Juan Francisco, Munenori Kawasaki and Anthony Gose.

atbat-summary (49)

atbat-summary (50)

atbat-summary (51)

Francisco hit a slider and Kawasaki and Gose hit fastballs. Francisco and Kawasaki hit line drive singles while Gose’s was on the ground.

Whitley got three guys to hit the ball in the air during his outing. The highest dot in the image is Lind’s three-run home run in the second inning, the one below that is a fly out by Rasmus in the fourth and the one that looks like it’s going to hit the ground was a popup by Cabrera in the third.…

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Contemplating Adam Warren In The Rotation

Warren vs SEA II

Courtesy of Getty Images

A popular topic of conversation right now in Yankeeland is Vidal Nuno‘s spot in the rotation and whether or not he deserves to keep it.  He did little to help his cause last Saturday when he gave up 3 home runs in a loss to Baltimore, his 11th, 12th, and 13th in 12 starts, and I think Joe would like to remove him if he could.  Unfortunately for him, the organizational starting depth being stretched thin by injuries has left the Yankees without a suitable replacement sitting front and center.

One name that’s been talked about a lot as a possibility is Adam Warren.  The former starting pitching prospect has settled nicely into a middle relief and occasional setup role this season after being given a token spot in the Spring Training 5th starter competition.  Warren made the transition from starter to reliever almost full-time last year when he earned himself a bullpen spot out of spring camp, and while he hasn’t worked as a starter since 2012 it’s reasonable to think he could be at least a slight improvement over Nuno.  …

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Ask and you shall receive: Blue Jays 8, Yankees 3

Well, I asked the Yankees to score three runs in the game thread and they did. Of course, it would have been better if they hadn’t allowed the Blue Jays to score eight of their own. Oops.

Oh well!

Chase Whitley had an awful outing. His final line was 3.1 IP, 11 H, 8R, 8ER, 3BB, 2K and he gave up a home run to Adam Lind that quickly made it 6-0 in the second inning. Toronto went up 7-0 in that same inning thanks to a Dioner Navarro double that scored Edwin Encarnacion.

Mark Teixeira was responsible for the only Yankee run in the first eight innings – he hit a solo shot in the top of the fourth.

Navarro stuck again in the bottom of the fourth, hitting an RBI single to put Toronto up 8-1. Whitley was taken out with one out in the fourth.

The Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Yangervis Solarte broke out of an 0-28 slump with an RBI single and Kelly Johnson hit career double #200 which scored Carlos Beltran to make the score 8-3.…

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Game 75: Can I get a run? Two? Maybe three if we’re ambitious?

Welcome to tonight’s game thread!

The Yankees are north of the border facing the Blue Jays again. The next few series combined with the last two are an AL East-apalooza. After facing the Jays, the Yankees are playing against the Red Sox and the Rays.

Here are your lineups:

Gardner LF
Beltran DH
Ellsbury CF
Teixeira 1B
McCann C
Johnson 3B
Roberts 2B
Ichiro RF
Ryan SS

Reyes SS
Cabrera LF
Lind DH
Encarnacion 1B
Rasmus CF
Navarro C
Francisco 3B
Kawasaki 2B
Gose RF

The pitching matchup is Whitley vs. Stroman.


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