Stretching out Adam Warren

Adam Warren may be moving back to the rotation soon. With Nathan Eovaldi out until at least the end of the regular season, the Yankees began to stretch him out in last night’s loss to the Orioles.

Sabathia pitched 4.2 innings (throwing 85 pitches), giving a run (three earned), striking out five and walking three. Eighty five was Sabathia’s limit, so in came Warren. The reliever went 2.2 innings and threw 47 pitches, his longest outing since August 5.

While the Yankees have five guys already in the rotation, it makes sense to give them a bit of rest through the end of the year, of which there are only 23 games left. It preserves them ever so slightly for the playoffs, but stretching out Warren also gives the Yankees insurance for Sabathia. With Sabathia dealing with right knee inflammation, and having to wear a brace while he pitches, there is no guarantee as to how that knee is going to hold up the rest of the way.… Click here to read the rest

Quick hit: The Most Important Series of the Season (Until the Next One)

With twenty-four games left in the season, the Yankees sit a slim 1.5 games behind the first-place Blue Jays. This four-game set represents a chance not only for the Yankees to turn the tide, but also an opportunity for our neighbors to the North to build a far more comfortable lead. The stakes are incredibly high, to say the least.

Since the last time the teams met (with the Yankees taking two of three), the Blue Jays have gone 14-6 with a plus-52 run differential (138 runs scored against 86 allowed). They enter tonight having dropped two of three to the last place Red Sox, in a series in which they were outscored 22 to 9. However, the two starters that were drubbed in that series (the struggling Merssrs Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle) will not be taking the mound for the Blue Jays this time around.

The Blue Jays offense has remained dominant, with usual suspects Edwin Encarnacion (.342/.420/.795), Josh Donaldson (.397/.446/.782), and Jose Bautista (.282/.422/.563) tearing the cover off of the ball since these teams last met.… Click here to read the rest

About Last Night: Breaking down Sabathia vs Machado

So that was one hell of a face-off between CC Sabathia and Manny Machado in the fifth inning last night.

And I know, I know, Sabathia hit the next batter, had to be taken out, and the bullpen and defense blew the game, but that at bat against Machado was one of CC’s best of the season and I thought it was worth taking a second look.

Shall we get started?

Let’s set the scene. The Yankees are up 3-1, the Orioles have runners on second and third with only one out, and Sabathia is trying to avoid one of his “one bad innings” that he’s been infamous for this season.

CC started the at bat throwing a 79 mph slider that Machado laid off for a ball outside. He then followed that up with a 90 mph sinker that was also off the plate for ball two.

2-0 on Machado was not a good start.

Pitch #3 of the at bat was a 91.6 mph four seam fastball on the outer corner for called strike one.… Click here to read the rest

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.  … Click here to read the rest

Game 138: Sabathia vs. Jimenez

Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Baltimore Orioles New York Yankees
Nolan Reimold, LF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Gerardo Parra, CF Chase Headley, 3B
Manny Machado, 3B Carlos Beltran, RF
Chris Davis, DH Brian McCann, C
Jonathan Schoop, 2B Alex Rodriguez, DH
Caleb Joseph, C Greg Bird, 1B
Steve Pearce, 1B Dustin Ackley, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS Didi Gregorius, SS
Dariel Alvarez, RF Stephen Drew, 2B
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP CC Sabathia, SP

Enjoy the game!… Click here to read the rest

Taking a look at A-Rod’s 30 (so far) home run season

Guess what? The guy who was going to be cut during Spring Training, because nearly every baseball writer on the planet had him buried before he even showed up in Tampa, and proclaimed that he couldn’t possibly play baseball at a high level after a 162-game steroid suspension, hit his 30th home run of the season last night.

I know, can you believe it?

Here are all 30 of his home runs in spray chart form:

export (70)

Here’s his home run heat map:
arods30HRs

And now let’s take a look at some video of his “important” home runs.

Here’s his first home run of the season, which was hit on April 9 against the Blue Jays:

Here’s his 3000th hit which was on June 19 and off a 95 mph fastball from Justin Verlander:

Here’s #30 which tied last night’s game. It was off Kevin Gausman:
Click here to read the rest

Tanaka Is Still An Ace

Tanaka vs BAL III

Courtesy of Getty Images

Before watching the sadness of what was a lousy offensive performance by the Yankees last night, I watched a little bit of Baseball Tonight on The MLB Network. Pedro Martinez and Dan Plesac were discussing the Matt Harvey situation. Plesac talked about every team having a “pecking order” with its starters and relief pitchers. The point made was that Harvey was #1 on the Mets’ pecking order and they needed him. Masahiro Tanaka is still at the top of the Yankees’ pecking order.

During this season, two other pitchers have been handed that spot by the fans and the media. Earlier in the season, Michael Pineda was dominant and he was the ace of the staff. In the second half of the season, that title went to Nathan Eovaldi (sigh). But all along–except for the seven starts he missed–Tanaka has been right there giving the Yankees a chance to win.

I will admit up front that I am going to “cherry pick” some numbers.… Click here to read the rest

Game 137 Recap: Orioles 2 Yankees 1

A-Rod HR vs BAL III

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.  … Click here to read the rest

Game 137: Tanaka vs. Gausman

Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Baltimore Orioles New York Yankees
Nolan Reimold, LF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Gerardo Parra, CF Carlos Beltran, RF
Manny Machado, 3B Brian McCann, C
Chris Davis, RF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Jimmy Paredes, DH Greg Bird, 1B
Jonathan Schoop, 2B Chris Young, LF
Matt Wieters, C Didi Gregorius, SS
J.J. Hardy, SS Stephen Drew, 2B
Ryan Flaherty, 1B Brendan Ryan, 3B
Kevin Gausman, SP Masahiro Tanaka, SP

Enjoy the game!… Click here to read the rest