The Yankees (13-9) lost for the first time in six meetings with the Rays this afternoon, as James Loney’s 13th-inning RBI single off Chasen Shreve drove home the go-ahead run.
Stephen Drew tracked down Loney’s ground ball in shallow right field and his initial instinct was to look to first base, then he threw home too late to get Steven Souza Jr. sliding in — the first scoring in the contest since Chris Young’s game-tying homer in the sixth inning.
“It was just the way it came off the bat,” Drew said. “With where we’re playing him, it’s definitely a tough situation right there, the ball’s hooking. I did the best I could to get to it, and unfortunately just no shot to get to him.”
Michael Pineda started for New York on short notice after Masahiro Tanaka’s injury, holding the Rays to two runs over 5 2/3 innings. Chase Headley and Young homered off left-hander Drew Smyly, but the Yanks were strikeout machines in this one, fanning 16 times in all.
Yankees relievers allowed one earned run over 7 1/3 innings, permitting just Loney’s hit and four walks while striking out eight.
“The amount of innings they’ve had to pitch is incredible,” Joe Girardi said. “You give up the one run today and it beats you. It’s unfortunate. We got a lot of innings out of them today and they did a great job.”
Alex Rodriguez remained stuck on 659 career homers, going 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and hitting into a game-ending double play.
“Definitely, we had plenty of opportunities,” Rodriguez said. “You tip your cap to them, they threw the ball very well. You have to have a short memory, just delete, and enjoy the day off tomorrow and be ready to go Friday.”
This and that
- Dellin Betances appeared to limp off the field after the eighth inning, but the Yankees said that Betances just has a blister on his left big toe and it’s not expected to be an issue going forward.
- Since April 22, the Yankees bullpen has an 0.88 ERA (30.2 IP, 3 ER) and 38 strikeouts.
- Betances has struck out at least two batters without allowing a hit in each of his last six appearances, the longest streak by a Yankees reliever since at least 1914, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Betances has held batters hitless over a career-best 25 at-bat streak.
- The Yanks’ bullpen retired 14 straight after Pineda’s exit.
- Eight of Headley’s nine homers as a Yankee have come at Yankee Stadium.
Up next: Following an off-day on Thursday, the Yankees will begin their second road trip of the season on Friday as they travel to Fenway Park in Boston to open a three-game series against the Red Sox. CC Sabathia (0-4, 5.96 ERA) is expected to draw the start for New York, seeking his first victory in more than a calendar year.
There was disappointment in Masahiro Tanaka‘s eyes on Wednesday morning, according to manager Joe Girardi, one day after the right-hander learned that he will miss at least a month with a strained right forearm and tendinitis in his right wrist.
For the moment, the Yankees believe that Tanaka’s current injury does not represent a precursor to Tommy John surgery, but they recognize that possibility. Tanaka will refrain from throwing for seven to 10 days and is not expected to travel with the team.
“Any time you have to shut a pitcher down, there’s concern,” Girardi said. “With what happened last year, I can’t tell you if they’re related or not, but you’re going to think about it. You’re going to think about a lot of different scenarios. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not much, but we’ll deal with it either way.”
The Yankees plan to keep right-hander Chase Whitley in rotation, coming off a season debut in which he held the Rays to a run over five innings and picked up the win in a 4-2 victory. To replace Tanaka on the active roster, infielder Gregorio Petit was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s going to be tough,” Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia said. “It’s going to be up to us to pick up the slack. Hopefully he comes back healthy and ready to pitch.”
There could be additional help on the horizon. New York also has left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander Ivan Nova rehabbing and aiming to rejoin the club in late May and early June, respectively. By that time, Tanaka could be back on the big league mound, but perhaps not.
“The one thing I’ve tried to stress to our starters is, don’t try to make up for someone else’s absence,” Girardi said. “Just do what you can do.”
Tanaka’s injury has prompted commentary that the Yankees should have dispatched the hurler to have Tommy John surgery after sustaining a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament last July 8 in Cleveland.
Following that injury, Tanaka was examined by Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad, Los Angeles Dodgers team doctor Neal elAttrache and Mets team physician David Altchek. His results were also sent to noted specialist James Andrews for consultation, and all four doctors recommended the Yankees should rehabilitate Tanaka’s injury using platelet-rich plasma injections rather than rush into surgery.
“I am a manager. I am not a doctor, so I don’t understand the mechanics of all that,” Girardi said. “As I said yesterday, there’s going to be speculation. Are they related? I can’t tell you that. I don’t know; could be, it may not be. It could just be something came up from his bullpen. Who knows? The thing is, we’ve got to deal with it, and we will.”
Petit walked back into the Yankees’ clubhouse Wednesday morning, his equipment bag slung over his shoulder, and said that he never quite made it to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Petit said he spent most of Tuesday on his couch and would have packed up to meet the RailRiders on Wednesday before Tanaka’s injury put him back on the roster.
Brett Gardner and Brian McCann got the day off Wednesday against left-hander Drew Smyly. Girardi said the only pitcher in his bullpen that he’d probably stay away from is Esmil Rogers, who pitched 2 2/3 innings last night.
Girardi said that he wouldn’t mind if Alex Rodriguez hit homer No. 660 this afternoon rather than bringing some extra drama to the weekend series at Fenway Park.
“It just might crowd our clubhouse a little bit more if he doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter either way,” Girardi said. “I’d prefer that he does it with two or three guys on today and gets it over with.”
FINAL SCORE: Yankees 4, Rays 2.
Paced by Brian McCann’s two doubles and three RBIs, the Yankees (13-8) won for the 10th time in 12 games as they remained in sole possession of first place in the American League East for a second straight day. The evening was overshadowed by news that Masahiro Tanaka will miss approximately a month with a strained right forearm and wrist tendinitis.
“Anytime you lose a guy like Tanaka, it’s not good, but at the same time, we’ve got guys that can step up and fill his role,” McCann said. “We hope to get him back soon.”
Chase Whitley was promoted from Triple-A for the spot start and will stick in the rotation after picking up the victory with five innings of one-run, six-hit ball. The bullpen was once again stellar, with Chasen Shreve, Esmil Rogers and Chris Martin combining for four innings of one-run work. Rogers pitched 2 2/3 innings and Martin worked the ninth around a single for his first career save.
“It’s a good experience for me,” Martin said. “I’m used to going in the fifth, sixth, seventh when obviously sometimes the game’s on the line, sometimes it’s not. Obviously in the ninth, to get the final three outs is tough, so it’s a good experience.”
“Last year, I was part of the guys that went down. We lost 4/5 of our rotation. We can step up and hopefully fill the void.”- @CC_Sabathia
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 29, 2015
This and that:
- McCann is in ownership territory of Jake Odorizzi, improving to 10-for-16 (.625) lifetime against the right-hander Tuesday. He has three doubles, a triple and two homers against Odorizzi.
- Yankees pitchers recorded 12 strikeouts, the third straight game in which they have recorded double digits. Their 11 games of 10 or more strikeouts are the most in the Majors.
- Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-4 and leads the Yankees with eight multi-hit games this season. Since April 22, Ellsbury is batting .429 (9-for-21) with six runs, a double, a homer, three RBIs and four stolen bases in six games.
- Jose Pirela went 0-for-3 tonight at Double-A Trenton. Before the game, Joe Girardi indicated that Pirela is close to re-joining the Yankees, but he is hitless in 11 at-bats over three rehab games.
- The Yankees have won their first five games against Tampa Bay this season, the first time they have done so since 2002.
Up next: Michael Pineda (3-0, 3.86) will slide in to start Wednesday as the Yankees go for a sweep. The original scheduled starter had been Tanaka, who is heading to the DL. Pineda has won his past three starts, including 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Mets on Sunday. Drew Smyly (0-0, 3.86) starts for the Rays.
NEW YORK — Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 1 strain of his right forearm and tendinitis in his right wrist, general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday.
Cashman said that Tanaka had an MRI on Tuesday afternoon that revealed the slight strain. The examination showed no significant changes to Tanaka’s right elbow, but Cashman said that it is likely to take a month for Tanaka to return to the big league rotation.
“Let’s conservatively just throw a month out there until we get him back in the rotation,” Cashman said. “It could be sooner, but he’s a starter. You’ve got to build him back up; you shut him down. At the very least, seven to 10 days of no throwing, and that’s the least, so it could be more. When he feels better, we’ll get him going.”
Tanaka said that he first experienced tenderness in his wrist earlier this week, one day after throwing a bullpen session on Sunday. Tanaka reported the discomfort to the Yankees’ training staff when he reported to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.
“Nothing really big came out from the MRI or anything, so I feel that I can come back strong,” Tanaka said through an interpreter.
Tanaka is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in four starts this season. Last July, Tanaka sustained a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament which he rehabbed on the advice of four specialists.
He returned to make two starts in September and then went through the offseason and Spring Training as a healthy player in the Yankees’ estimation. Tanaka said that he does not believe his current injury represents a precursor to Tommy John surgery.
“It has nothing to do with my elbow, so that’s something that’s out of the question for me,” Tanaka said.
Cashman said that the Yankees have “absolutely no regret” about their handling of Tanaka following last summer’s ligament tear because they followed medical directives in rehabbing Tanaka instead of opting for surgery.
“I can’t remember any time we’ve ever gone against doctors’ orders. Why would we?” Cashman said. “They’re the experts. We follow what they prescribe.”
Cashman said that Michael Pineda will likely start on Wednesday against Tampa Bay. Chase Whitley started Tuesday and is expected to remain in the rotation, and the Yankees plan to recall infielder Gregorio Petit, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday to create room for Whitley.
The Yankees recalled right-hander Chase Whitley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make Tuesday’s start against the Rays at Yankee Stadium, optioning infielder Gregorio Petit to Triple-A in a corresponding roster move.
Whitley, 25, was 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts at Triple-A. He had compiled a 1.17 ERA in seven spring appearances (two starts), but was sent to the Minor Leagues so the Yankees could have a sixth starting pitcher available as they endure a stretch of 30 games in 31 days.
“It was difficult to send him down because he meant a lot to us last year and pitched well in Spring Training,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He understood why we did what we did. That doesn’t necessarily mean that as a player you want it to happen or you like it, but he went down there with the right attitude.”
Petit, 30, batted .208 (5-for-24) with five RBIs in 13 games for New York. His demotion indicates that infielder Jose Pirela is close to rejoining the big league club, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. Pirela is currently on a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton.
Long before he put on his first big league uniform, Mark Teixeira was just one of the kids in the box seats at Camden Yards, munching on a hot dog and sneaking peeks into the Orioles dugout. The Maryland native said on Tuesday that he has been keeping a close eye on this week’s civil unrest in Baltimore.
“There’s some tough parts of Baltimore,” Teixeira said. “We don’t really see it that much going to the stadium and where we stay, but I’ve seen the tough parts of Baltimore. You never expect stuff like this, but you can see how it could happen.”
Baltimore has been at the center of national attention as protests over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray have grown violent in pockets of the city. The Orioles and White Sox cancelled two games and will play Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards without fans in the building.
“Did you ever go to a Rangers-Rays game between 2003 and 2005?” Teixeira said. “I’ve played in games where there’s been a couple of thousand; two, three thousand fans. It’s a little weird, but literally nobody in the stands. I’ve never had that. That’s got to be difficult, but like I said, once the game starts, I don’t think it will be a big deal.”
Teixeira said that he has an uncle who is a Catholic priest in the city, and his church is currently being watched by the National Guard.
“I talked to my dad last night. He’s doing fine,” Teixeira said. “[If] people start attacking churches, it’s a good thing the National Guard’s there, because that’s the bottom of the bottom.”
(Andrew) Miller Time with a few friends; what could be better? Over the last 11 games going into Tuesday’s action, the Yankees’ bullpen has posted an 0.57 ERA in their last 11 games (31.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 BB, 43 K).
“I think it’s a big part of our success here, what our bullpen has done,” Girardi said. “It was kind of what we envisioned when we left Spring Training. I think the biggest thing for me was seeing exactly how the parts fit together. Going through some games and some situations, I think we have a better understanding now.”
Designated hitter and newly-minted assistant infield coach Alex Rodriguez was held out of the lineup this evening because he played third base yesterday and the Yanks have a day game tomorrow, Girardi said. If he’s needed off the bench, he is available.
Here’s A-Rod’s take on the season thus far:
“I think we got off to a rough start, a slow start, and then I thought this road trip was very important for us because it was long and good for us both on and off the field. On the field it gave us an opportunity to kind of jell together and play a little better, and I think we did that. Off the field, it gave us an opportunity to bond and start building the brotherhood that we need to reach our goals.”
Since Petit isn’t on the roster, where would the Yankees go if they need a backup second baseman tonight? Better way of phrasing the question: who would be this year’s Vernon Wells or Jorge Posada, randomly playing secod base out of position?
“I feel like I can put Head (Chase Headley) at second base if I needed to,” Girardi said. “Realistically, I could put Al there, I’m sure. I think he would say, ‘Yeah, I’ll go out there and try it.’ We’ve been there before the last couple years, so there’s not a situation that I’m too worried about. If it happens, we’ll handle it.”