Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’

Masahiro Tanaka has Grade 1 hamstring strain, will not pitch vs. Blue Jays

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, takes batting practice before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

With the Yankees preparing for a head-to-head battle with the Blue Jays that could decide the division crown, a sacrifice bunt may have changed the course of their season. Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain and will not be available to pitch on Wednesday.

Ivan Nova will make that start instead at Rogers Centre, with Adam Warren and Luis Severino taking the mound in the first two contests. Manager Joe Girardi hopes that Tanaka will just miss one turn through the rotation due to the injury, which occurred during the Yanks’ 5-1 loss on Friday. An MRI revealed the strain.

“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “You get concerned whenever your pitchers have to hit and you try to do everything you can to keep them from getting hurt. You prepare them, and something you can’t prepare is that sudden burst that they have to make.”

Tanaka, 26, said that he felt his hamstring grab while leaving the batters box following a second-inning sacrifice bunt. Though he did continue to feel the tightness on the mound, he was able to throw 82 pitches over six innings and had no issues fielding his position.

“I felt strong enough to be able to keep myself on the mound and pitch effectively,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “If I felt that it was something that I could not have handled, then I would not be in that game.”

Because of that, Tanaka said he agrees with the optimistic timetable of returning to the rotation after missing just one turn. He said that a hamstring injury cost him about a month five years ago in Japan, but that injury was more severe.

“I’m not looking at it as something very serious,” Tanaka said. “The reason I say that is because I hurt it early in the game and felt strong enough to continue.”

Tanaka, who is 12-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 23 starts, said that he lobbied the Yankees to let him pitch on Wednesday despite the injury. Girardi said that Tanaka would be better served to receive treatment for the three days while the Yankees are in Toronto, and so Tanaka will not travel with the team.

“I did tell them that I wanted to pitch on Wednesday,” Tanaka said. “At the same time, I understand their decision. The season is not over. We don’t know when, but I’ll probably be able to pitch again after the Toronto series.”

The Yankees have had past issues with pitchers hitting in Interleague play. In 2008, Chien-Ming Wang injured his right foot while running the bases in a game at Houston, altering the course of his career. Both Girardi and Tanaka said that they have no issue with the idea of pitchers hitting in Interleague games.

“We tell our guys to take it easy in situations, but I’ve often said that one of the reasons they are successful is their competitive nature inside of them,” Girardi said. “They understand the importance of runs, and it’s just hard.”

Nova had been removed from the rotation earlier in the week for performance-based reasons. The right-hander is 6-8 with a 5.14 ERA in 14 starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, and had not been called upon out of the bullpen.

“I think it’s all in the mind,” Nova said. “It’s my mindset. I’ve got to be ready to go; command my pitches and execute every pitch.”

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 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:

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

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, 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:

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

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:

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

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

Kuroda: It’s “pretty frustrating” right now

Hiroki Kuroda, of Japan,, Larry Rothschild, Chris StewartIN TWO PARAGRAPHS: Uh-oh. The Yankees shouldn’t be losing two of three games to the Blue Jays if they’re serious about making a real run at a playoff spot, but let’s focus tonight on Hiroki Kuroda, who suddenly is starting to look like he’s cooked as the innings pile up. This is three rough ones in a row, as Kuroda was pounded for seven runs (five earned) and nine hits in five innings. He has allowed 15 earned runs in his last 16 2/3 innings (8.10 ERA).

No, Chris Stewart’s two-run throwing error didn’t help, but obviously that wasn’t the only problem tonight. Edwin Encarnacion’s homer to left field was a bomb, and Kuroda left a pitch up that Brett Lawrie pounded for a two-run double. The final was 7-2, and it never really felt that close — I mean, Joba Chamberlain was warming up in the third inning with the Yanks down by seven. That’s about all you need to know.

MANAGER’S TAKE: “He’s struggling a little bit right now, but I mean, I looked up and [Felix] Hernandez in Seattle gave up I think nine runs today. These guys can’t be perfect. We need him to turn it around and I believe he will the next start.” – Joe Girardi


“As a starter, I think you take all of your 30-something starts as important as any starts. Especially after July, where you feel like you want to be better at your pitches. At the same time, I feel like you take it one game at a time. Every start is important, but to not have my stuff at this stage of the season is pretty frustrating.” – Kuroda

“It’s a big blow, especially the way Hiro’s been throwing. He hasn’t been really catching the breaks, and for me to do something like that and add on to the misery, it sucks. Hopefully it’s the last one of the year. Hopefully I can keep my head on straight, we can keep things rolling, brush off some wins, and get back to where we need to be.” -Stewart

“We’ve got to win games, that’s the bottom line. We’re playing the teams that we’re chasing for the most part. There are a couple teams, but we need to play well. We don’t have much room for error. Every game we play is important.” – Derek Jeter


This was the Blue Jays’ first series win vs. the Yankees. … New York is now 19-19 since the All-Star break. … Kuroda has allowed at least nine hits and five runs in three straight starts. … Eduardo Nunez (right knee) said that he’ll have an MRI on Thursday in New York. He’s concerned about the chances of having to go back on the disabled list. … Jeter had his first double of the year. It was career hit No. 3,311, placing him two behind Eddie Collins (3,313) for ninth place on the all-time list.


The Yankees have an off-day Thursday, and then it’s back to Yankee Stadium for a big Wild Card race showdown with the Baltimore Orioles. CC Sabathia (11-11, 4.81) gets the ball for the opener of a three-game series as the Birds will throw right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 3.77). First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET on YES and MLB Network.


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