Archive for the ‘ Game Threads ’ Category

Game 5: Yankees vs. Red Sox

Pirates Yankees BaseballDerek Jeter’s go-to coffee order, whether he was on his way to Yankee Stadium or wandering around Manhattan, was always a venti ‘Red Eye’ from Starbucks. I bring this up not to shill for free java — though, I mean, if you absolutely insist? — but because the coffee consumption here at the ballpark has skyrocketed following last night’s 19-inning epic with the Red Sox.

That one went into the books as the longest home game in Yankees history at six hours and 49 minutes (not including a 16-minute ‘light delay’ in the 12th inning), and the second-longest game in Yankees history. The only one longer was a seven-hour contest on June 24, 1962 against the Tigers in Detroit, which the Yankees won 9-7 in 22 innings — but, of course, they didn’t have a light delay.

“The one thing about the game is, you get used to being tired, because of the schedule that we keep,” Joe Girardi said. “You get in from cities at 4 o’clock in the morning and play the next day. It’s just part of the game. As much as you don’t want to get used to it, you get used to it.”

Adam Warren will make his first start of the year this afternoon after winning the Yanks’ fifth starter competition in Spring Training. Joe Kelly has been activated from the disabled list and will start for Boston. Alex Rodriguez is making his first career appearance at first base. Here’s what else you need to know from the Yankees’ clubhouse, where I spotted quite a few cans of Red Bull being passed around:

  • Thanks for the 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, Chasen Shreve, but he loses the numbers game and is rewarded with an option to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “It stinks,” was how Girardi put it, but that’s baseball. The Yankees have signed left-hander Matt Tracy to a big league contract and added him to the active roster.
  • The Yankees weren’t planning to take on-field batting practice anyway today, so the official report time for players was set at 11:30 a.m. Most of the guys got here with time to spare, but there were quite a few bleary eyes in the clubhouse.
  • Alex RodriguezGirardi’s original plan was to give A-Rod today off, but 19 innings of ball changed that. Rodriguez played 11 of those innings, going 2-for-5 as the designated hitter before exiting for a pinch-runner, but he was on his feet a lot less than guys like Mark Teixeira.
  • Warren was sent home in the sixth or seventh inning last night to get his rest. The Yanks also started sending their relievers home after they were out of the game. As it is, Girardi said he doesn’t expect to be able to use Esmil Rogers today and will have to check with David Carpenter.
  • I spoke to Garrett Jones, who would’ve been the Yanks’ next pitcher if the game had gone any further. He said that he hasn’t pitched since 1999, when he was a high school senior, but he was gearing up to face David Ortiz in the 19th inning. Asked for his pitching scouting report, Jones laughed and said, “Straight fastball and a dirty changeup. I might have mixed in a curve to Big Papi.”
  • Brian McCann’s right knee is a little sore after getting clipped with a foul tip last night, but Girardi doesn’t anticipate it being a problem. Catchers are tough, man.

The caffeine is kicking in. Let’s do this. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (3-1)
Brock Holt cf
Dustin Pedroia 2b
David Ortiz dh
Mike Napoli 1b
Pablo Sandoval 3b
Allen Craig rf
Daniel Nava lf
Xander Bogaerts ss
Ryan Hanigan c

Joe Kelly rhp

YANKEES (1-3)
Brett Gardner lf
Chris Young cf
Carlos Beltran dh
Alex Rodriguez 1b
Chase Headley 3b
Garrett Jones rf
John Ryan Murphy c
Didi Gregorius ss
Gregorio Petit 2b

Adam Warren rhp

Game 4: Yankees vs. Red Sox

Nathan Eovaldi

Hello from Yankee Stadium, where the weather is much more pleasant than it was the last two evenings. We’ll have spring conditions at last, with the Yankees and the Red Sox renewing their rivalry under the lights tonight. Nathan Eovaldi and Wade Miley are on the mound, making their respective debuts for their new clubs.

“They’ve been swinging well. They’ve got good hitters,” Eovaldi said. “It’s just executing your pitches. I mean, you can get any batter out. You got to just execute and not get too predictable. Don’t fall behind in counts and have to rely on your fastball.”

Here are the quick hits of what you need to know from Joe Girardi’s pregame briefing with the media:

  • Alex Rodriguez is batting third tonight because Carlos Beltran is on the bench, and Girardi said again that he has liked the quality of A-Rod’s at-bats. Rodriguez hit career homer No. 655 last night against the Blue Jays is 2-for-9 (.222) through the Yanks’ first three games.
  • A-Rod could get the day off tomorrow. He has DHed in four straight games to open the season. There’s still no set date for him to play the field.
  • Stephen Drew is at shortstop tonight. Girardi said that will continue to be the plan for days that Didi Gregorius doesn’t play until Brendan Ryan returns from the disabled list. Ryan is expected to be out until at least May.
  • One pitch to watch tonight is Eovaldi’s splitter. It’s something he worked on a lot this spring with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, and Eovaldi is likely to show it off. He also talked about wanting to bend a few first-pitch curveballs in, so don’t be surprised by that.
  • The Yanks are 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position through their first three games. “That’s got to change,” Girardi said. “You have to have faith. The big thing is you keep getting the opportunities.”
  • Tonight marks Girardi’s 1,300th game as a big league manager.

Here are the starting lineups:

RED SOX (2-1)
Mookie Betts cf
Dustin Pedroia 2b
David Ortiz dh
Hanley Ramirez lf
Pablo Sandoval 3b
Mike Napoli 1b
Daniel Nava rf
Xander Bogaerts ss
Sandy Leon c

Wade Miley lhp

YANKEES (1-2)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Alex Rodriguez dh
Mark Teixeira 1b
Brian McCann c
Chase Headley 3b
Chris Young rf
Stephen Drew ss
Gregorio Petit 2b

Nathan Eovaldi rhp

Game 3: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

Larry Rothschild, CC SabathiaHello from Yankee Stadium, where coats and hats are a must to see the Yankees wrap up this three-game series with the Blue Jays. The Yankees won last night, 4-3, thanks to a fluky eighth-inning rally that started with Chris Young’s pinch-hit, wind-blown double and featured two hit-by-pitches and a Chase Headley grounder that ricocheted off a Toronto glove to push home the go-ahead run.

Tonight will be meaningful for CC Sabathia, who will make his first start since May 10. Sabathia is opposed by left-hander Daniel Norris – he of the ‘I live in a van down by the river‘ fame. With Brett Gardner getting the night off against the southpaw, Alex Rodriguez has been promoted to the No. 2 spot in the Yanks’ batting order.

Someone told Rodriguez of the move as he was making his way to the batting cage, and Rodriguez’s reaction appeared to be one of legitimate surprise: “You’re kidding me!” he exclaimed, rushing to the lineup posted on a clubhouse door to check it out.

“I’ve never been one to care, whether that was Seattle, Texas or even my early days here with Skip (Joe) Torre,” Rodriguez said. “I want to be in the lineup, want to be able to help the team win. I remember Lou (Piniella) led me off one day at the Kingdome and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the first time I think I ever led off.’ I just love to play baseball. As long as I’m in the lineup, that’s cool.”

Before we get to the quick hits of what you need to know, we launched my public Facebook page this morning at http://www.facebook.com/bryanhochmlb. Check it out!

  • Stephen Drew got the day off as Gregorio Petit drew the start at second base. Didi Gregorius is expected to rest tomorrow vs. Boston, with the Red Sox starting Wade Miley. Brian McCann got tonight off but is expected to play tomorrow.
  • Girardi mentioned that the Yankees have liked what right-hander Chris Martin has been able to do, particularly with the improvement of his slider.
  • The throw down to first base that McCann made in the eighth inning of last night’s game was a “good play,” according to Girardi. It just wasn’t a good throw. The ball scooted into right field and allowed Jose Bautista to trot home with the third Toronto run. “You expect him to throw it 90 feet and hit the guy somewhere in the chest or the knees. I’ve been there. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way,” Girardi said.
  • As of now, there are no plans to link John Ryan Murphy as Sabathia’s personal catcher.

Here are the lineups:

BLUE JAYS (1-1)
Jose Reyes ss
Russell Martin c
Jose Bautista rf
Edwin Encarnacion dh
Josh Donaldson 3b
Danny Valencia 1b
Kevin Pillar cf
Steve Tolleson lf
Devon Travis 2b

Daniel Norris lhp

YANKEES (1-1)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Alex Rodriguez dh
Carlos Beltran rf
Mark Teixeira 1b
Chase Headley 3b
Chris Young lf
John Ryan Murphy c
Gregorio Petit 2b
Didi Gregorius ss

CC Sabathia lhp

Game 2: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

It’s chilly here in the Bronx, where the Yankees and Blue Jays will play the second game of their three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET. Michael Pineda draws the start against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Here are the quick hits you need to know…

  • Michael PinedaWe all remember what happened the last couple of times that Pineda pitched in April. I asked Joe Girardi if anyone has felt the need to mention the words, ‘pine tar,’ to Pineda as he prepares to work in these 40-degree conditions. “I’m sure we’ll have a lot of eyes on him tonight. I think he understands — I hope,” Girardi replied.
  • Didi Gregorius (right elbow) said that he was fine and returned to the lineup after being hit by a pitch on Monday.
  • The Yankees are using the same lineup as they did on Opening Day. Alex Rodriguez is 8-for-22 (.364) with a homer lifetime vs. Dickey, but Girardi said he was not tempted to move the batting order around. After shaking up the lineup so often last season, using the same one two games in a row is practically a luxury.
  • Masahiro Tanaka spoke with the Yankees on Wednesday regarding what the organization believes was a miscommunication in an interview last week, when he said his velocity is expected to dip because he is throwing more two-seamers. We’ll have a full story on yankees.com, but to summarize everything in one sentence, the Yanks still believe Tanaka is healthy.
  • Who’s got the ninth inning? TBA. Girardi said he’ll base that decision on matchups.
  • Outfielder Chris Young and infielder Gregorio Petit could see some action tomorrow, when the Yanks face left-hander Daniel Norris. The Yanks still plan on platooning Gregorius against left-handers.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS (1-0)
Jose Reyes ss
Russell Martin c
Jose Bautista rf
Edwin Encarnacion dh
Josh Donaldson 3b
Dalton Pompey cf
Kevin Pillar lf
Justin Smoak 1b
Devon Travis 2b

R.A. Dickey rhp

YANKEES (0-1)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Carlos Beltran rf
Mark Teixeira 1b
Brian McCann c
Chase Headley 3b
Alex Rodriguez dh
Stephen Drew 2b
Didi Gregorius ss

Michael Pineda rhp

Opening Day: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

Hello from Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, where you could not ask for more perfect conditions with a season opener on tap — gorgeous sunshine, a little spring chill in the air, and the Yankees ready to slip the pinstripes on and take the field against the Toronto Blue Jays.

After seven weeks of watching games that did not count in the standings, it’s great to be able to say that this one will. Masahiro Tanaka makes his first career Opening Day start against Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison. The Yanks will take the field at 1:08 p.m., and Joe Torre is here to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Here are the lineups for today’s game, the beginning of the 113th season in Yankees franchise history, as well as this journey which will bounce us around the country for 162 games over the next six months:

BLUE JAYS (0-0)
Jose Reyes SS
Russell Martin C
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Josh Donaldson 3B
Dioner Navarro DH
Dalton Pompey CF
Kevin Pillar LF
Devon Travis 2B

Drew Hutchison RHP

YANKEES (0-0)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

Masahiro Tanaka RHP

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