Random thoughts between a series sweep and a four gamer in Detroit

Happy Monday morning! (Okay I really started writing this at 10:18 p.m. Sunday night because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up early to write. Just play along.) It’s actually a much better morning now that the Yankees are heading into Detroit for a four-game series 6-6 instead of 3-9.

So this weekend was fun for a change. I usually dread series down in Tampa but this weekend’s was a pleasant surprise. We had A-Rod putting on an offense show on Friday night, #TANAK putting on a pitching clinic on Saturday and yesterday, the offense had the leading man on base seven out of nine innings. Good stuff.

Let’s hope they keep this up or else the series in Detroit will turn into a hellish ordeal. One good thing, and I cannot believe I’m saying this, is that they’re not facing former teammate Shane Greene. Greene has been really good so far this season, pitching to the tune of a 0.39 ERA in three games (23 innings).…

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Game 12 Recap: Yankees 5 Rays 3

Pineda vs TB

Not the best Big Mike we’ve ever seen, but good enough to win. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees locked up their first series win of 2015 with the shutout-blowout (showout?) victory over the Rays on Saturday night.  They had a chance to lock up their first sweep of the young season and get themselves back up to .500 this afternoon.  Michael Pineda got the ball for the occasion, hoping to follow the path Masahiro Tanaka set last night with his dominant outing.

It didn’t get off the kind of start Pineda or Yankee fans were hoping for.  He walked the first batter of the 1st inning and gave up a 2-run home run to the next one, Steven Souza, to put the Yanks in a quick hole.  But he worked out of the inning without further damage, thanks in part to another gunned down base stealer by John Ryn Murphy, and settled down through the 4th.  He gave up some hits here and there, but mostly kept the Tampa lineup at bay.  …

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Game 12: Pineda vs. Andriese

Here are today’s lineups:

New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF David DeJesus, DH
Brett Gardner, LF Steven Souza, RF
Alex Rodriguez, DH Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B Evan Longoria, 3B
Chase Headley, 3B Desmond Jennings, CF
Stephen Drew, 2B Allan Dykstra, 1B
Garrett Jones, RF Brandon Guyer, LF
John Ryan Murphy, C Tim Beckham, 2B
Didi Gregorius, SS Rene Rivera, C
Michael Pineda, SP Matt Andriese, SP

Enjoy the game!

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About Last Night: Masahiro Tanaka

As Brad said in his recap of last night’s game, Masahiro Tanaka‘s first two starts were not great. Tanaka needed to have a good performance against the Rays in Tampa, 1) to quiet the whispers abut his elbow, and 2) to keep the Yankees on a bit of a roll.

Thankfully, he succeeded. He looked like the Tanaka of the first half of 2014, seemingly having no issues with the Rays’ lineup whatsoever. He lasted seven innings, gave up only two hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight. He also lowered his season ERA from 7.00 to 3.94 with last night’s outing.

According to Brooks Baseball PITCH f/x, Tanaka favorited his four seam fastball – throwing 28 of them. He also reached nearly 94 m.p.h. (93.9) with that pitch while averaging 91.7.

Here’s what his velocity overall looked like last night:

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

As you can see, the last pitch of his outing was one of the fastest he threw on the night.…

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Game 11 Quick Recap: NYY 9 TB 0

Young GS vs TB

Hold that, Tampa Bay. Courtesy of the AP

Jake Odorizzi looked really good in his first 2 starts of the season.  Masahiro Tanaka not so much.  Based on recent history, you could guess how this game was going to go last night, but as the old saying goes, that’s why they play the game.

Tanaka was masterful last night.  Absolutely spectacular.  He gave up a base hit to Tampa leadoff hitter David DeJesus to start the bottom of the 1st, then proceeded to sit down the next 15 batters he faced.  He didn’t walk a batter, he struck out 6 in that stretch, and when he did give up his second and final hit of the night (a double to lead off the bottom of the 6th), he erased it with 2 more strikeouts.  He was working his fastball more, throwing it a bit harder than he did in his first 2 starts, and he looked much more like the Tanaka that we saw in the first half of last season.…

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Game 11: Tanaka vs Odorizzi

Happy #TANAK day!

Here are your lineups:

YANKEES
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Chris Young (R) RF
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) SS
9. Gregorio Petit (R) 2B

RAYS
1. David DeJesus (L) DH
2. Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF
3. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. Desmond Jennings (R) CF
6. Allan Dykstra (L) 1B
7. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
8. Brandon Guyer (R) LF
9. Rene Rivera (R) C

Enjoy!

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Open thread: Looking back at April 18, 2005

The 2005 Yankees - Courtesy of the NYT

The 2005 Yankees – Courtesy of the NYT

As some of you know, I like to look for games from previous years to write about. Sometimes they’re significant like playoff games and sometimes they’re just your average, run of the mill, regular season games. But when I looked up April 18 and went back to 2005, I was actually giddy at what I saw because the Yankees completed a feat so amazing in that particular game that when it was happening live, I kept saying to myself, “Is this actually happening?” And even more amazing is that they would actually repeat that same exact feat just over two months later against the same team.

Okay, enough with the suspense.

Going into the game on the evening of April 18, 2005, the New York Yankees found themselves in fourth place with a 5-8 record. Right behind them were their opponents for the night, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who were 4-9.…

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About Last Night: The Alex Rodriguez Show

We’re 10 games into the 2015 season and Alex Rodriguez is batting .344/.432/.781 /1.214 with four home runs, 11 RBI, a .514 wOBA and a 238 wRC+. Hmmm, not bad for the guy most people were writing off before the season even started.

  • “His bat speed is gone.”
  • “He’s too old.”
  • “He’s been gone from the game too long.”

Obviously, these numbers are not sustainable, but for now, it is very fun to watch Rodriguez silence the loudmouths who were waiting to dance on his grave and make the people who were marching with torches and pitchforks have to give him some credit for his performance so far. Oh hi, there Mike Lupica!

So what did Rodriguez do last night? Not much, he just won the game for the Yankees by being responsible for four of their five runs and driving in the game-winning run.

His first home run came off Rays’ starter Nathan Karns in the second inning. Karns threw a 92 m.p.h.…

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Game 10 Quick Recap: NYY 5 TB 4

A-Rod HR vs TB

Luscious. Courtesy of the AP

All A-Rod, all the time.  He was the alpha and the omega for the Yankees in their series-opening win against the Rays last night.  We’re going just bullet points to recap it for the suckers like me who missed all the action.

– Final line for A-Rod: 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.  He had 60% of the Yankee hits and 80% of their RBI.

– The first homer came in the top of the 2nd off Tampa starter Nathan Karns.  Karns threw a meatball and A-Rod absolutely obliterated it into the left-center field seats.  It measured at 477 feet. Yowza.

– The second came in the 6th, when Ernesto Frieri tried to put A-Rod away with a 94 MPH heater.  He didn’t and A-Rod lined it into deep left, just inside the foul pole.

– He even came up with the game-winning hit, driving in Brett Gardner with a go-ahead RBI single in the 8th.  …

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