Yankees Notebook for Sept. 11

Last game: Yankees 8, Rays 5. This had to be the unlikeliest win of the year, as the Yankees trailed by four runs before their first turn at-bat. Chris Capuano managed to get just one out – a first inning extended by Mark Teixeira’s misplay of a pop-up, but the Yankees rallied for their biggest comeback win of the season, erasing a deficit of four or more runs for the first time all year. Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs, Chris Young also went deep as part of a three-hit performance and Teixeira legged out a go-ahead ‘triple.’ The bullpen was splendid, holding the Rays to a run over 8 2/3 innings. It was basically a micro version of the comeback the Yankees would need to pull off over the next three weeks.

Postseason picture: With 19 games remaining on the schedule, the Yankees (74-69) open play tonight 4 1/2 games behind the Tigers (80-66) for the second Wild Card. They’d have to go 15-4 to get to 89 wins. Baseball Prospectus gives the Yankees a 1.3% chance of winning the Wild Card.

Headlines

If you’ve got tickets for this weekend’s games against the Blue Jays in the Bronx, there’s a good chance Masahiro Tanaka might be on the mound. Tanaka will pitch in an Instructional League game on Monday in Tampa, Fla., and if that goes well, the Yankees are ready to let him try his stuff against a big league lineup.

It has been inevitable that Carlos Beltran will need surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, and after Beltran was scratched from last night’s lineup with discomfort, it looks like his season may be over. They’ll give it a day or two to see if the elbow calms down on its own, but Beltran has already had three cortisone shots – a fourth is not an option. If this is the end of the year for Beltran, a strong April turned into a disappointing first season in pinstripes – .236 batting average, 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 106 games.

They said it

“I’m certainly not going to forget it. I’m upset about it. But the team did a great job to come back and actually win that game. You do, as a player, you do have to put those behind you and get ready for your next one.” – Chris Capuano

“We know we can’t waste any innings and tonight I felt like we put together great at bats from the first inning on to the eighth.” – Brian McCann

“Down 4-0, sometimes four runs is all they need to win, but we’ve had that plenty of times. There’s no panic and we slowly got the job done as the game went on.” – Mark Teixeira

“It was amazing. We have a resilient group of guys out there and I think the main thing is for the pitching staff to be able to come up and throw seven zeroes on the board for us, just to give us the opportunity to get ourselves back in the game. It was huge for us. We battled our way, one run here, one run there, and next thing you know we’re back in the game.” – Chris Young

Up next

The Rays and Yankees play the final game of their three game series tonight. Michael Pineda (3-4, 1.80) goes for the Yankees; Alex Cobb (9-7, 2.83) for the Rays. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Here’s the game preview.

Beat the Streak

I’m going with Mark Teixeira, who is 4-for-9 lifetime vs. Cobb. Current streak is at four after McCann homered last night.

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