Yankees begin final homestand of the regular season
The Yankees have arrived home to begin their final homestand of the season, welcoming the Chicago White Sox to town for a four-game series. Right-hander Michael Pineda (11-8, 4.10) draws the start for the Yankees, who have stacked their lineup with right-handed hitters against left-hander Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47).
There will be a pregame ceremony to honor Yogi Berra tonight at 6:50 p.m. ET. The Yankees will wear the No. 8 on their left uniform sleeve for the remainder of the season.
“It’s been a tough couple of days for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Yogi meant so much to the organization, to the city, to all of us. For me, personally, I miss him. I had a chance to talk to him on Saturday before the game, and you never think that’s going to be the last time you’re going to talk to someone.
“I miss him. I miss having him around here. The laughs that we had. The knowledge that he gave me. How he always made you feel comfortable. It’s just not going to be the same.”
Playoff picture: Losing two of three in Toronto didn’t help the Yankees’ fading division chances much. The Yankees (83-68) now trail the Blue Jays (87-65) by 3 1/2 games in the American League East, but still lead the Astros (80-73) by four games for the first Wild Card spot.
Baseball Prospectus has the Yankees with a 99.8 percent chance of making the postseason, and a 7.8 percent chance of winning the division. FULL STANDINGS
Tonight’s starters in New York: pic.twitter.com/LjzUZVsqnd
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 24, 2015
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 24, 2015
— What’s up with this lineup? We’ll let Joe Girardi explain:
“Well, just the physical grind and the lefty that we’re facing today. Trying to get as many right-handed hitters in there as possible. Think about, we got back from Tampa at 4 in the morning. Get back, to, Toronto at 4 in the morning, get here at 3, 3:30 in the morning and it’s a physical grind and we still have 11 games to go and a long ways to go. Need to make sure these guys are healthy and being productive.”
— It would likely be in the Yankees’ best interest to line up Masahiro Tanaka to pitch the Oct. 6 one-game Wild Card playoff, but Girardi said that no decisions have been made on that front yet. All indications are that Tanaka’s hamstring is healing well, and he should be able to pitch early next week.
— The Yankees magic number to clinch a postseason spot is seven games.
MLB Network’s three to watch
Michael Pineda pitched 5.1 scoreless innings in a win vs the Mets his last time out. Pineda is 2-1 with a 4.67 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list (forearm). He is yet to throw over six innings or 100 pitches in any of those five starts.
Chris Sale gave up seven runs (one earned) over seven innings in a loss to the Indians in his last start. Sale is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA over his last four starts. He has given up 33 hits over 23.1 innings during that stretch.
Ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera, who hit his 100th career homer on Wednesday, is batting .400 (18-45 AB) with three homers and 13 RBI over his last eleven games.
The Yankees are 21-13 against the three teams that remain on their schedule (2-1 vs the White Sox, 10-5 vs the Red Sox and 9-7 vs the Orioles.
Alex Rodriguez needs one run scored to become the eighth player in Major League history with at least 2,000 runs scored.
On this date
1929: Yankees pitcher Tom Zachary improves to 12-0 with a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox. His mark remains the Major League record for most wins in a single season without a loss.
Quote to note
“I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to come here every day and spend a lot of time learning from guys like Mac (Brian McCann), Alex (Rodriguez) and CC (Sabathia), sit on the bench with them and get some knowledge from them. They’re great at what they do and they’ve been around. It’s been a privilege, honestly, to be here and learn from them.” — Refsnyder.