A must-win in July? Yeah, sounds that way
You don’t often hear managers talk about must-win games in the middle of July, but to hear the urgency in Joe Girardi’s voice, it appears that the Yankees are about to take the field for one.
Coming out of the All-Star break, the Yankees dropped the first two games to the Red Sox and will try to salvage the finale tonight behind Masahiro Tanaka, who takes on David Price in a nationally-televised matchup.
“It’s got to turn around [tonight],” Girardi said. “This is probably as important a game as we’ve had in July in a long time.”
The Yankees are 44-46 and sit nine games back of the division-leading Orioles.
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 17, 2016
The Yankees are waiting on the results of a CT scan on Mark Teixeira, who fouled a ball off his left foot in last night’s 5-2 loss. Girardi said that X-rays were negative, which encourages him that it might just be a bruise, but we all remember what happened last year when Teixeira fouled a ball off himself.
Rob Refsnyder is playing first base tonight, and if they need someone to replace him, Girardi suggested that he’d use Brian McCann or Austin Romine. They said Alex Rodriguez looked more comfortable taking grounders, but apparently he’s still not game-ready. Besides, A-Rod is DHing tonight.
“It’s difficult, because you need that big bat in the middle,” Girardi said. “Carlos (Beltran) has provided one of them, but last year we had four of them. Mac has hit his home runs, but the other two guys have struggled. When we lost him last year for the last two months, Greg Bird came in and did a tremendous job. … We’ve (gone) through some first basemen, so we don’t really have that in the wings.”
THEY SAID IT
“The biggest thing is getting game reps. I’m sure there are a bunch of plays I haven’t even experienced yet, so just playing as many games as possible. This is going to sound crazy, but when you make mistakes, that’s when you learn the most. You try not to do that, just like when you’re hitting. But that all comes with time and experience. I’m just trying to get as much work in before the games, as many game reps as I can.” – Rob Refsnyder, on playing first base.
The Yankees are 13-5 (.722) when Tanaka starts this season. They are just 31-41 (.431) with all other starters in 2016.
ON THIS DATE
This is the 75th anniversary of the end of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, and with the Red Sox here, we asked players around the league which would be more difficult to replicate – Joe D’s 56 or Ted Williams’ .406 batting average. The responses might surprise you.