Yanks still seeking direction on make-or-break homestand
Just by stringing together a few wins in a row, the Yankees are creating quite the dilemma for their front office, which has been looking to use this 10-game homestand to determine whether they are buyers or sellers in advance of the Aug. 1 non-waivers Trade Deadline.
They open the evening 47-46, looking to go two games over the .500 mark for the first time since April 12, when they’d won four of their first six games. Michael Pineda and Yovani Gallardo comprise the pitching matchup on a beautiful evening in The Bronx, and the Yankees have won three straight against the Red Sox and Orioles.
But — and please, bear with us for a moment — is all this winning … a good thing? There is a vocal contingent on social media, radio call-in shows and the like that would actually like to see the Yankees start losing a few more games so the decision to start selling off pieces like Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran to retool for 2017 and beyond would become more clean-cut.
(For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the majority of the fan base feels that way, but that’s an argument we could spend hours on.)
The idea of Yankees fans rooting against the Yankees was raised to Mark Teixeira this afternoon, and the switch-hitting first baseman found it worthy of a chuckle.
“If that’s the case, they’d start booing us when we do well,” Teixeira said. “Then you know we’re really in trouble. I don’t mind getting booed when I play poorly because I want to play well. You’re in real trouble if you hit a home run and start getting booed. I hope that doesn’t happen.”
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 20, 2016
Chase Headley was in the Yankees’ original lineup this afternoon but he was scratched about 90 minutes before game time. The Yankees said that Headley has an excused absence for personal reasons and that he will not be at Yankee Stadium tonight. Ronald Torreyes is playing third base instead.
On the other side of the infield, Mark Teixeira is back in the lineup after missing three games with a bruised left foot. Teixeira is hitting .186 with seven homers and 20 RBIs, and he’s very aware of how this season has gone, one year after he slugged 31 homers.
“This has been brutal. I’ve been terrible,” Teixeira said. “The only thing I can do the last two months is try to get healthy and be hot. I live off my hot streaks and I haven’t had one yet this year. Hopefully I can stay on the field, that’s the first thing, and help this team win some games.”
THEY SAID IT
“MLB Trade Rumors has changed the game a little bit. It’s a great site. I think it’s a cool site. I don’t go searching the Internet for 100 different articles. You get it all in one place. It makes it easier to follow what’s going on.” – Teixeira.
The Yankees are looking to allow one run or fewer in four consecutive games for the first time since 2003.
ON THIS DATE
July 20, 1965: Pitcher Mel Stottlemyre hit an inside-the-park grand slam at Yankee Stadium in a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox. He is one of four Yankees pitchers to hit a grand slam, and the most recent. The others are Don Larsen (1956), Spud Chandler (1940) and Red Ruffing (1933).