Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kuroda's Dominance Not Enough for Ailing Yankees in Another Loss to Tampa Bay

So far this season, the Yankees have rarely gotten long outings from their starters.

Their ace, Masahiro Tanaka, has gone 8+ innings five times, but up until tonight he has been the only one to do so.

Fortunately, that painful trend finally
ended this evening, as the Yanks got a big, 8 frame performance from Hiroki Kuroda, a fun-to-watch effort ruined by offensive problems in a 2-1 loss to the Rays.

During his time on the mound, Kuroda did make a few mistakes (most notably a go-ahead solo homer to Tampa Bay First Basemen James Loney in the top of the sixth), but overall, he was still pretty dominant, giving up just two earned runs while striking out seven.

Usually, that kind of line is good enough to at least get a no-decision, but due to David Price tossing 7 innings of nearly-scoreless ball the Bombers obviously emerged as the losers, the fourth consecutive day that's been the case. 

Yes, Price did pitch pretty well, but considering that the Pinstripes went just 1-for-9 with RISP and left eight men on base you can't help but wonder how good he actually was.

For one, the Yankees never scored legitimately this evening, even though their one trip around the bases was technically earned. 

They put men on the corners with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but if not for a pickoff-ruining throwing error by Ben Zobrist they wouldn't have crossed home in that at-bat.

To put it simply, this contest was nothing but another long uphill battle for the slumping Bombers, who are now 3 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays for the division lead and 4 behind the Mariners for the second and final wild card spot, a position no trade acquisition can be expected to fix.

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Rays 7/1

Welcome to July baseball and tonight's game thread and open thread, let's start off the month right. The Yankees will host the Tampa Bay Rays in the middle game of their three game set this week. The Yankees had Chris Archer last night and tonight New York and Hiroki Kuroda draws the Rays David Price in maybe his last start in a Rays uniform. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

See David Price's possible final start as an opponent live by grabbing your Yankees tickets for tonight's game HERE. If you can't make it to the Bronx join us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes or find us on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes to interact with us. You can also leave us a comment in the comments section below and get the conversation started.

Enjoy the game Yankees family, if you can, and enjoy the rest of your night.

Sabathia Will Start In Trenton Tomorrow, Not Thursday

Is it panic time in the Bronx? CC Sabathia was expected to make his second rehab start on Thursday for the Trenton Thunder on normal rest but the Yankees pushed that start up tomorrow and on three days rest. At the time of this writing there was not a reason, bull or not, for moving up the start so stay tuned.

Sabathia is still expected to throw around 50 pitches.

Jim Miller Called Up, Jose Ramirez Sent Down

The New York Yankees have called up relief pitcher Jim Miller from Scranton and will send down Jose Ramirez to make room for Miller in the Yankees pen. Ramirez had struggled this season for the Yankees and threw a ton of pitches yesterday and the Yankees needed a fresh arm for tonight after losing in extra innings last night. CC Sabathia was transferred to the 60 day DL to make room for Miller on the 40 man roster. Sabathia's 60 day DL trip is obviously retroactive and will be long up before he is eligible to come back to the big league club.

Miller has actually pitched well this season to the tune of a 2.85 ERA in 41 innings for Scranton and the call up is well deserved, even if he is 32 years old.

Pirela Named Player of Month, Lindgren Joins Charleston

Jose Pirela has been named the International Leagues Player of the Month for the month of June. Pirela is a member of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and has been leading off for the team and playing left and right field almost exclusively these days after coming through the system as a second baseman. Pirela had 40 hits in the month of June and had a .336/.385/.504 triple slash with 10 extra base hits, five stolen bases, 18 RBI's and 21 runs scored. Pirela is making it tougher and tougher to continue to run Alfonso Soriano, Brian Roberts, and Kelly Johnson out there with numbers like these. 

The New York Yankees have also announced that left-handed pitcher Jacob Lindgren will join the Charleston RiverDogs. Lindgren, New York’s first selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, comes to Charleston from the Gulf Coast League Yankees 1. Lindgren was the 55th overall pick in the Draft, taken by the Yankees in the second round out of Mississippi State. In 2013, Lindgren was a sophomore starter for the Bulldogs, which were the College World Series runner-up to UCLA.

During his junior season in 2014, he moved to the bullpen and posted stellar figures with a 6-1 record, a 0.81 ERA, three saves, and 100 strikeouts compared to 25 walks. Lindgren pitched a scoreless inning of relief on June 28 in a win over the GCL Yankees 2 in his professional debut.

David Price May Audition For Your Hearts Tonight

Make sure you take a bow tonight David, you may be calling this place home in less than a month....

7/1 Yankees Game Preview vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees will face off with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight in the second game of their three game set this week at Yankee Stadium. This is going to be a tough one for the Yankees as they send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with David Price for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Kuroda snapped a four game losing streak for the Yankees last time out and looks to stop the bleeding once again in the Bronx. Kuroda allowed three runs in 6.1 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last time out to earn his fifth victory.

Price was dominant in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates allowing just one run and five hits while striking out 11 batters in 8.1 innings. Price earned his sixth win of the season and brings his career 5-2 record and 3.93 career ERA at Yankee Stadium to the Bronx tonight.

Get your Yankees tickets for tonight's game right here on the blog, it's cap night at Yankee Stadium for the first 18,000 fans. So all in all by clicking HERE you get a free Yankees hat, cheap tickets, free shipping, and no fees. Sounds like the best Tuesday night you could have. Get yours now!

Go Yankees!!

McCann Not Happy With First Half Performance

Since being signed to a 5-year, $85 million contract this offseason, Brian McCann has been a huge dissapointment to many Yankees fans.

The 30-year-old catcher, who hit a dismal .198 in June, has seen his offensive numbers plummet in 2014, causing some to see him as the year's biggest free agent bust.

Now usually when that happens, a player will attempt to defend themselves, although McCann surprisingly didn't do that, pretty much agreeing with his critics that he's been bad in the first 81 games of the season.

"Horrible," the veteran told The Newark Star Ledger last night when asked how he thinks he's been so far. "Hitting–you know, I feel good behind the plate. But swinging the bat, I need to get better. We’ve just got to keep grinding. I’ve got faith in myself and I think we’ll swing the bats better."

Going into this evening's contest against David Price and the Rays, McCann's hitting just .221 with 9 home runs and 36 RBIs, stats that obviously aren't what the Bombers expected when they originally signed him.

Still, we do have to remember that anything could happen with him from this point on, a fact also true with fellow strugglers Carlos Beltran and Kelly Johnson, two more starters only batting in the .220 range.

Derek Jeter Continues To Lead SS All Star Game Voting

Yankees "Regularly" Scouting Chase Headley

It seems like it's been years that Yankees fans have been wanting the team to acquire Chase Headley. And why not? The guy hit  .287/.376/.460 between 2011 and 2012, and even though last year wasn't "great" Headley still had an OPS+ of 115. 

But Chase hasn't been as good in his age 30 season, as his triple-slash is a paltry .201/.289/.322 through 62 games in 2014. So the Yankees would certainly be buying low on the guy, hoping a change of scenery gets him going again. 

Well, I would like to see the Yankees make a move on Headley. For three reasons...

1. Thanks to being a free agent after this season, and hitting so poorly, I don't think it would cost much too trade for Headley. Not only would he be fairly cheap due to how he's hit this season, but the Padres seem to be in rebuilding mode, so probably wouldn't mind shedding nearly $5 million. 

2. Even if Headley continues to struggle this season, it's not as though players like Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, and Yangervis Solarte would do much better.

3. I know some people hate BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), but you can't deny the fact that Headley's BABIP is really low. Throughoutt his 8 year career, Chase's BABIP has been .329, but this season it's dropped all the way down to .243. Furthermore, his Line Drive percentage of 27% is higher than it's ever been. So you can make a strong case that Headley's run into a bit of bad luck this season.

4. What better way to see if he can handle things in NY, and possibly help shore things up in the infield in the future, than this audition? 

So while the Yankees could spend less than top talent to trade for Headley, they can make that big splash for a starter. Like I said, it's not like he'd do any worse than what we've already got. So as long as Headley only costs money and a low prospect, then why not?

Can We Be More Like Boston? No, I'm Serious!

The Red Sox called up top prospect Mookie Betts for the outfield while Alfonso Soriano continues to be trotted out there to strike out four times a game.

Boston called up Christian Vazquez when veteran AJ Pierzynski was struggling while we sent down John Ryan Murphy and continue to "ride out" the struggles of Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, etc.

Boston called up Rubby De La Rosa, although he was sent back down to Triple-A for Betts, and shifted Felix Doubront to the bullpen to help with a struggling rotation. Boston also designated Chris Capuano for assignment to make the deal work. The Yankees continue to throw Vidal Nuno out there every fifth day and when Shane Greene and Bryan Mitchell were up they were here to spit seeds and waste space.

When's the last time the Yankees made moves like this to improve the team? It's been a long, long time. I don't want a 25 man roster of all home grown talent but at the same time it's worth mentioning that the 2009 Yankees had the highest percentage of homegrown talent of any team in the majors that season. Granted that included Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada among others but still.

Yankees Leaders Through June

We're halfway through the season, in months and basically in games as well, so now is a great time to look at the Yankees offensive and pitching leaders to date:

Games Played:

Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury have each played in 79 games this season, speed kills.

At Bats:

302 at bats for Jacoby Ellsbury

Runs Scored:

Brett Gardner has 49 runs scored to lead the team as the table setter. 


Jacoby Ellsbury has 87 hits 


Jacoby Ellsbury has 17 doubles

Home Runs:

Mark Teixeira has sent 15 Teix Messages to Yankees fans this season


Mark Teixeira leads the team with 41 RBI's. 


Ichiro Suzuki leads the team with a .297 batting average, which is encouraging, but the Yankee regular leading the way in average is Jacoby Ellsbury with a .288 average. 


Masahiro Tanaka leads the world and the Yankees pitching staff with 11 wins. 


Hiroki Kuroda has five losses for the Yankees.


Dellin Betances has an anemic 1.50 ERA out of the pen and the lowest ERA for a starter is Masahiro Tanaka's 2.10 ERA. 


Masahrio Tanaka has a staggering 127 K's in 115 IP. 

Quick Hit: It's Not Early Anymore, No More Excuses

It's not early anymore Yankees family, welcome to July baseball for New York. Gone are the excuses that the offense is going to get it going. Gone are the excuses that Brian McCann is struggling to adjust to learning a new staff and struggling to transition to New York. Gone are the optimists that say we are playing below our standards or the pessimists that say we are playing above our heads. It's July and we're halfway through the season.

I grow ever so tired of hearing how Carlos Beltran will improve, Alfonso Soriano will improve, Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, etc. will improve. Yangervis Solarte well victim to the large sample size and these guys have too. This is why a bat is much more important than a pitcher right now.

No more excuses from the fans and no more excuses from the management. It's win now, add players now (by trade or from within), and deal with it for better or worse. It's not early anymore Yankees family.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/1

As the clock strikes midnight and the calendars change to July the New York Yankees keep on making history...

On this day in 1914 the Yankees 22 year old first basemen Harry Kingman becomes the first person born in China to play in a Major League game. Kingman, son of New York Congregationalist missionary and chaplain at Pomona College and Tientsini born, goes 0-3 with a walk to start his career.

Also on this day in 1941 Joe DiMaggio tied Wee Willie Keeler's 1897 major league record for consecutive games hit streak with 44 with a little help. In the game the Red Sox third baseman Jim Tabor made a poor throw but the New York World Telegram's and official scorer Dan Daniel gives the Yankee Clipper a hit to keep the streak alive.

On this day in 1950 Eddye Ford made his major league and Yankee debut giving up five runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings of relief against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. While it was not the most ideal start to a career Ford would end his career as the winningest pitcher in Yankees history while earning the nickname Whitey.

On this day in 1990 the Yankees Andy Hawkins throws a no hitter against the Chicago White Sox but lost the game 4-0. Comiskey Park was celebrating it's 80th birthday and a technicality kept the home team from being no hit since they technically did not have to bat in the 9th inning.