Game 137: Ranaudo v. Kuroda

Anthony Ranaudo has a 6.57 FIP in three career starts. He has allowed four home runs in 18 IP, and he has walked more batters (9) than he has struck out (8). Only 31.1% of batted balls against Ranaudo are on the ground. Hitters are swinging and missing on 3.9% of his pitches, well below the league-average of 9.4%.

Put that all together, and you have the pitcher that will be shutting out the Yankees tonight.

(/reverse jinx)

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Brock Holt, 3B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mookie Betts, CF Derek Jeter, SS
David Ortiz, DH Brett Gardner, LF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Carlos Beltran, DH
Daniel Nava, RF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Allen Craig, 1B Brian McCann, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS Chase Headley, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C Stephen Drew, 2B
Jemile Weeks, 2B Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Anthony Ranaudo, SP Hiroki Kuroda, SP
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Wednesday Afternoon Food For Thought: This Is Lame

MLB_JETER_PATCH_1280_090314_2_kpjt2z1d_t453ox43

Courtesy of Yankees.com

Via ESPN:

“The New York Yankees announced Tuesday that the team will wear a patch of Derek Jeter’s final-season logo on all player hats and uniforms from Sunday, the day that the shortstop will be honored at Yankee Stadium, through the end of the season.”

I’m sorry to all you readers who are still diehard Jeter slurpers and think this is cool.  It’s not.  It’s lame.  Super lame.  Derek Jeter isn’t dead.  He’s retiring.  He’s not even retired yet.  Why does anybody need to wear a patch honoring him before he’s even retired?

And it’s not just patches.  Click that link and read the whole article if you haven’t already.  It’s hats, shirts, autographed jerseys, special edition magazines.  The Yankees aren’t going to make the playoffs and reap the rewards of that extra revenue for a second straight year, so they’re going to milk every last monetary drop out of the Derek Jeter teat while they still can.  …

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Injury Updates: Ellsbury, Tanaka, Prado, Phelps

Here’s the latest on the handful of Yankee injuries, new and old.

Jacoby Ellsbury was back in the lineup last night, and Joe told reporters after the game that Ellsbury was feeling better yesterday and said he could play.  No word on how his ankle felt before or after the game or if he’ll need a day off here or there, but him being back last night was definitely a plus.

– All tests on Masahiro Tanaka‘s sore arm came back clean and the team doctors cleared him to continue throwing and working towards returning this season.  According to Joe, Tanaka has been working out at The Stadium for the last few days and played catch yesterday.  He’ls tentatively scheduled for a bullpen sesh later this week.

Martin Prado became the newest injured guy when he left last night’s game in the 9th inning.  He felt something in his left hamstring the last time he ran the bases and the initial diagnosis was “tightness”.  …

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Joe Going Back To The Motivational Well

The latest small sample winning streak is long in the rearview.  Horse mask fever has come and gone.  The Yankees have lost 5 of their last 7 games and Joe knows it’s getting close to zero hour for his club’s playoff chances, so he’s going back to the old motivational quote tactic to try to inspire his players.

First there was this one before last night’s game:

“I consider us kind of to be in playoff mode right now, for us, because we obviously need to win games.”

Powerful stuff right there.  How could anybody not be fired up and ready to go out and win a ballgame with that kind of rallying cry?  There was also this doozy after the game:

“Did I think at this point in the season we would have score more runs? Absolutely.  In this ballpark? Absolutely. But it hasn’t happened for various reasons. We need that to change.”

Brings a tear to your eye and a swell of pride to your heart, doesn’t it?  …

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Tough Night For Greene Comes At The Worst Time

Greene Pitch Plot 9-2-14

Courtesy of Texas Leaguers

That’s Shane Greene‘s pitch plot from last night.  It’s not a pretty one and it perfectly reflects the ugliness of his start.  6 hits, 2 home runs, 3 walks, and 6 earned runs allowed in less than 3 innings.  Fastball command has been what’s made Greene so tough since coming up in early July, but it was his undoing last night.  Lots of sinkers either dropping into the middle of the strike zone or completely out of it.  No movement on his 4-seamer.  That’s a hard way to get by against a Major League lineup and Greene found that out the hard way.

Here’s how bad he was last night in a nutshell.  He threw 67 pitches in his 2.2 innings, 30 of them were sinkers.  He didn’t get a swing and miss on any of them.  Didn’t get a swing and miss on any of his 6 4-seamers either.  Of the 8 outs he did manage to record, not a single one of them came on a groundball.  …

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Game 136 Quick Recap: BOS 9 NYY 4

Greene vs BOS

The face of frustration. And also one that kinda looks like Mcconaughey. Courtesy of Getty Images

Shane Greene has been arguably the shiniest of all the starting pitching diamonds the Yankees have pulled out of the rough as this season has progressed.  Not tonight though.  He was overdue for a stinker and that stinker happened to happen tonight.  Greene was absolutely atrocious and his poor outing all but ended tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox before it really got going.

It was all about fastball command for Greene.  One of the reasons he’s been so good since joining the rotation is his ability to mix his sinker and 4-seamer well and throw both for good pitcher’s strikes on a regular basis.  He couldn’t do that tonight and the Boston hitters teed off on him.  Yoenis Cespedes doubled in a run as the 4th batter of the game in the top of the 1st and Mike Napoli drove home a second with a sacrifice fly.  …

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Game 136: Never Tell Me the Odds

Per FanGraphs, the Yankees enter tonight’s game with a 6.8% chance of making the playoffs. ESPN is a bit more bearish, giving Derek Jeter a 4.4% chance of tasting postseason baseball one more time. Facing off against the cellar-dwelling Red Sox should help, at least in theory, as should the fact that the Yankees will play 17 of their remaining 27 games in the Bronx.

Here’s hoping they can kick-off the home stretch in style.

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Brock Holt, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mookie Betts, CF Derek Jeter, SS
David Ortiz, DH Brett Gardner, LF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Mike Napoli, 1B Carlos Beltran, RF
Daniel Nava, RF Brian McCann, DH
Will Middlebrooks, DH Martin Prado, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS Chase Headley, 3B
David Ross, C Francisco Cervelli, C
Joe Kelly, SP Shane Greene, SP
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September Roster Expansion Roundup

Rosters officially expanded yesterday, but with a scheduled off-day the Yankees didn’t get in on the action.  They announced their moves today and there’s a fair amount of them.

First, the call ups.  Right-handed pitchers Chaz Roe (recently acquired), Chase Whitley, Preston Claiborne, and Bryan Mitchell all got the call.  Lefty Rich Hill was brought back up to make sure the Yanks have as many lefty relievers incapable of getting left-handed batters out as possible available to Joe.  Outfielders Chris Young and Antoan Richardson were added, presumably as depth insurance for Ellsbury and his ankle, and John Ryan Murphy was added as the 3rd catcher.

Now the corresponding roster moves.  Masahiro Tanaka and Slade Heathcott were moved to the 60-day DL, which makes sense given their injuries.  Matt Daley was given his outright release, which makes sense because he sucks.  The one surprising move was Zoilo Almonte getting DFA’d for his 40-man spot.  I figured the Yanks would have called him up before Richardson considering their need for added depth right now, but I guess they decided they’ve seen enough from him.  …

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