Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Daily Dozen - July 8, 2014

(Twelve Takeaways from Tonight's Game - July 8th, 2014 Edition)

1. The young Indians...excuse me Native American hitters just didn't realize how good Tanaka is tonight.  Kipnis, Brantley, and Santana were constantly laying off the splitter and waiting for pitches up in the zone or for a flat slider.  One advantage of being young is you just don't know any better.

2. #TanakaTime is real but Masahiro Tanaka has proven to be human.  After a blistering start in his Major League career, Tanaka has come back to earth in the last couple of starts, which was bound to happen.  The only thing I am really worried about is the cultural clash between the styles in Japan and here in the States.  When is he going to learn to trust McCann's call and stay away from the dead-red fastball on an 0-2 count.  Swisher ate him up tonight as did Brantley.  The Indians hitters amassed 10 hits and 5 runs all in 6-2/3 innings, which was the best offensive performance to date against Tanaka.
#TanakaTime This!
3. Jacoby Ellsbury was 4 for 23 coming into this game tonight but has been absolutely drilling the ball..unfortunately he has been absolutely drilling the ball to players that keep stealing hits (i.e. Santana twice last night).  He finally got a hit in his first at-bat and later scored.  The strange thing is that the Indians had 3 errors tonight and each one involved Ellsbury.  Is it the threat of his speed?  However, all for naught as the turning point in this game was when Jacoby decided to steal 3rd base with the hot bat of McCann at the plate...didn't make any sense...and the rest is history.

"Yeah, sorry about blowing that one guys..."
4. Michael Brantley took all of 1 inning to prove why he's an All-Star.  He will be an All-Star for years to come and should be the player the Indians build around.  In the 1st inning alone he drilled a double off of Tanaka and stole a double away from El Capitan.  He would later add another double and a security home run late in the game to chase Tanaka.  This guy is for real people.  Get Greedy...Get Brantley...we could only wish!
"Here's a Gift Basket for ya Jete!"
5. Dickerson and Swisher came up big last night to get the first 2 hits off of Greene, but tonight they contributed to the Yankees scoring early with two vital mistakes that should have sealed the game for Tanaka.  Swisher would later have his #BucknerMoment, but that wouldn't matter as he made up for it with a 2-run blast to put the Indians ahead.  There will be an attempt to persuade Cashman to bring Swish back to the Bronx here on TGP, so keep your eyes and ears open...
Who wouldn't want this guy in the clubhouse? Wait...is Damon still available?
6. Where would the Yankees be without Japanese players?  While Tanaka showed cracks tonight, the mainstays keeping the Yanks afloat in the past month or so have been Tanaka, Kuroda, and Suzuki.  The last 2 are aged veterans on their last legs, the former is hopefully the ace for years to come.

7. The hit-and-run is a lost art.  What with the shift being employed on 75% of the hitters in the league, the hit-and-run seemingly is no longer a viable option.  I really don't get it.  Stay out of double plays, become better situational hitters and for Christ's Sake--bunt every once in awhile Teixeira!  I'm guessing Girardi doesn't have any stats available about the H-A-R since the Yankees have been the "BronxBombers" for so long now.

8. The commercials during the Indians' broadcasts are freaking boring.  I'm probably DVR'ing tomorrow night's game.  Just Saying.

9. Baseball announcers know how to beat a dead horse.  How many innings do you need to talk about the fact that Masahiro Tanaka is from Japan and went 24-0 and he needs to adjust to major league hitting and he's used to 6 days rest instead of 5 and that Masaniro Murakami was the first Japanese-born player to make it to the big leagues for San Francisco in 1964.  Actually that last part was pretty interesting, but you get my point.  Don't they realize that Yankees fans that watch nearly every game get the same prep and fill stuff from each out of town broadcaster?  Would they make such a big deal over all of the Canadien-born baseball players...seems a bit racist to me...just a thought.
Masanori Murakami was the first Japanese player in the Majors for the SF Giants in 1964...
Congratulations you learned something today in the Daily Dozen!
10. Why did the Yankees let Swisher go again? Two nights...two home runs...the Yankees could have used a late one tonight.

11. Do people really think that yelling at a MLB outfielder while waiting on a fly ball to come down will make them drop it?  I mean come on...you're just annoying.

12. The Yankees cannot score past the 3rd inning.  They better score 6 or 7 tomorrow in the first 3 innings or they are toast. #BronxBombless

Tanaka Struggles Again in 5-3 Loss to Indians

In his last couple of games, it's been obvious to us all that Yankees' Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka hasn't been himself. 

The 25-year-old rookie, coming off his first non-quality outing last Thursday in Minnesota, had lost two of his last three starts coming into tonight, the first time that's happened in his MLB career.

Still, the fact that he was facing an overall weak opponent in Trevor Bauer this evening gave Yanks fans reason to feel confident, a thought that now seems pretty misguided, as Tanaka put up his worst performance of 2014 in a 5-3 loss to the Indians.

In his first two innings of work, Tanaka frustratingly surrendered five hits and one run, something outshined by the fact the Bombers' offense was again playing well, tagging Bauer for three early crossings of home thanks to a bloop RBI Single from Mark Teixeira, a throwing error on a stolen base attempt by Yan Gomes, and a groundout from Brett Gardner.

Unfortunately, after the top of the second concluded the Pinstripes' bats died, and with them most of Tanaka's confidence.

Following Michael Brantley's second RBI Double in Cleveland's half of the fifth, the Yankees' $155 million man was taken deep with a man on first by Nick Swisher, giving the Indians their first lead in the sixth. 

At that point, the argument could still be made that the Yanks had a chance, although that hopefulness pretty much dissolved in the Tribe's next turn, when Brantley also knocked one over the wall for his third RBI of the contest.

Shortly after that, Tanaka was finally taken out, with his line reading 6 2/3 innings of five-run, ten-hit ball, dropping his record to 12-4 and raising his ERA to 2.51.

As for Bauer, his stats were a lot more pleasant, with him eventually finishing 7 frames, being charged with just two earned trips around the bases due to the aforementioned misplay by Gomes.

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Indians 7/8

Welcome to tonight's open thread and game thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians. The crowd should be happy with the pitching matchup for tonight as the Yankees will send one of their three All Stars in Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Trevor Bauer for the home town Indians. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET and can be see on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Get your Yankees tickets for tonight's game in Cleveland to see Tanaka pitch or get your tickets for when the Yankees return home next week after the All Star break. If you can't see the Yankees live then join us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes or on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes to interact with us during the games. It's an open thread and a game thread so light up the comments section of the site.

Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening.

2014 Home Run Derby Participants Announced

Jose Bautista - American League

Brian Dozier - Minnesota Twins
Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles
Yoenis Cespedes - Oakland Athletics

Troy Tulowitzki - National League

Yasiel Puig - Los Angeles Dodgers
Todd Frazier - Cincinnati Reds
Giancarlo Stanton - Miami Marlins

The final spot will be announced on Thursday just for drama purposes. Giancarlo Stanton has to win this, no? Cespedes gets a chance to defend his title which should be fun. Just as a reminder Bautista and Tulo will also participate in the derby.

Tanaka Not Happy He Is Ineligible For All Star Game

"You've got to be kidding me bro. Just because I pitch on Sunday means I can't pitch again on Tuesday?"

Day off--a look inside the noggin of Neil.

I enjoyed a nice day off listening to the Storm Front album at the pool; I've been thinking about what the All-Star lineups could be. Here's a sample.

National League:

Puig RF
Tulowitzki SS
McCutchen LF
Stanton DH
Ramirez 3B
Molina C
Goldschmidt 1B
Gomez CF
Utley 2B

American League:

Trout LF
Jeter SS
Cano 2B
Cabrera 1B
Bautista RF
Cruz DH
Donaldson 3B
Jones CF
Perez C (The absolute odd man out, but thanks to Wieters, he'll have his moment in the sun.)

Basically I have Puig and Trout leading off not only because they both bat in the top of their orders regularly, but John Farrell and Mike Matheny can choose a bat with power to lead off; maybe have a Bo Jackson moment.

I know the AL is absolutely loaded when I'm figuring Nelson Cruz is batting 6th.

Yankees taking advantage of some bad teams on the road; Carrasco was filthy last night with three scoreless innings for the Tribe.

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

New York Yankees Game Preview vs. Cleveland Indians 7/8

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians will play their second game of their four game set this week in Cleveland tonight in a stellar pitching matchup. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Trevor Bauer for the Indians. The game will be played at 7:10 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.

Tanaka picked up his 12th win of the season last time out when he beat the Minnesota Twins but did not qualify for a quality start for the first time in his career. Tanaka also gave up a career high nine hits in the contest and struggled with command and control all night long. Tanaka will look to keep the ball down more tonight in Cleveland.

Bauer has been great for the Indians lately allowing only three or four runs in six consecutive outings for the Tribe. Bauer has struck out 25 batters in that span but has also walked 13 in 36.1 innings as he continues to be up and down with his command this season.

Go see Tanaka live as the Yankees travel to Progressive Field tonight in Cleveland by getting a pair of Yankees tickets right here on the blog. We offer tickets through our friends at Ticket Monster that don't have those annoying and hefty fees and shipping costs associated with the transaction. Get yours today!

Go Yankees!!

Yankees & Cubs Still Need To Make A Trade

The New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs could not work out a deal for either Jeff Samardzija or Jason Hammel but that doesn't mean these two teams can't still match up in a trade. The Cubs have a plethora of young shortstop depth and the Yankees have a guy named Derek Jeter retiring at the end of the season, let's make a deal?

The Cubs have Starlin Castro at shortstop already and recently acquired the Oakland A's top prospect, a shortstop, Addison Russell. On top of that the Cubs have Javier Baez, one of their top prospects who is also a shortstop, and Arismendy Alcantara at short.

Baseball America ranked Baez as their 5th best prospect, MLB.com had Baez ranked 7th, and Baseball Prospectus had Baez ranked 4th in their preseason rankings. Alcantara was ranked 100th by BA, 89th by MLB.com, and #83 by BP before the 2014 season.

Starlin Castro is blocking them all with a contract that goes through the 2019 season with an option for the 2020 season. Castro is being paid $59 million after this season including the option so he seems like the least likely of the bunch to be traded. Will the Cubs move Baez to another position, second or third base, or will he be the man that we traded Luis Severino for and the man that replaced the great Derek Jeter?

Stay tuned...

Meet A Prospect: Brandon McCarthy

We haven’t done one of these in a while and since the Yankees just acquired Brandon McCarthy I figured why the heck not. Let me introduce you to the newest member of the New York Yankees, Mr. McCarthy. McCarthy will make his debut for the Bronx Bombers tonight against the Cleveland Indians as he looks to fill the big shoes of Vidal Nuno for New York.

Brandon Patrick McCarthy was born on July 7, 1983. McCarthy spent his high school years at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado and graduated in 2002 before being drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB First Year Players Draft. McCarthy signed and started his professional career in 2003 where he pitched 101 innings and struck out 125 batters while only walking 15. McCarthy’s command and control was on display again in 2004 when he led all minor league pitchers with 202 strikes outs opening the eyes of the big league club White Sox. The White Sox called up McCarthy for the 2005 season and he made his major league debut on May 22, 2005 in a spot start against the Chicago Cubs. McCarthy would see 12 games, 10 of them as a starter, that year going 3-2 and getting a World Series ring. McCarthy spent the entire 2006 season with the White Sox as a relief pitcher and spot starter before being traded with David Paisano to the Texas Rangers for John Danks, Nick Masset, and Jake Rasner.

McCarthy had an injury plagued first season with the Rangers, his first full season as a starting pitcher, in 2007 including suffering a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade that kept him out of action for right at two months. McCarthy’s first season as a Ranger did not go as planned as he finished with a 5-10 record in 22 starts. His stat line and luck did not get any better in 2008 when he got inflammation in his right elbow during spring training and was out for a huge chunk of the season between his rehab and the eventual surgery he endured. McCarthy missed all of the 2010 season as well after a right shoulder surgery before becoming a free agent and maybe finding his niche, finally.

McCarthy would sign with the Oakland Athletics as a free agent before the 2011 season and pitched 25 games adding a two-seam fastball and a cutter that turned him into the ground ball machine that we all know him as today. McCarthy finished 2011 with the lowest FIP among American League starting pitchers, a stat that earned him the spot as the A’s Opening Day starter in 2012. 2012 was pretty uneventful for McCarthy until that September 5 night where he took a line drive to the head off the Angels Erick Aybar’s bat that resulted in two hours of surgery to relieve cranial pressure. McCarthy suffered a epidural hemorrhage, a brain contusion (deep bruise), and a skull fracture ending his 2012 season. McCarthy finished the 2012 season, and his Athletics career, with an 8-6 record in 2012 in 18 starts.

McCarthy would spend the 2013 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks after signing a free agent contract with the club in December of 2012. McCarthy signed a two year deal worth $15.5 million and almost immediately went on the disabled list for continued shoulder problems. McCarthy finished 2013 with a 5-11 record in 22 starts and had a less than stellar season in 2014 to date before the Yankees acquired him for Vidal Nuno over the weekend.

All this means nothing in the grand scheme of things, the injuries,  the line drive to the head, the seizure that was linked to his head injury, etc. It’s all in the past. Tonight McCarthy turns the page and starts a new chapter in a new book of his life and his career as he begins his career as a New York Yankees. Go get ‘em Brandon! Good luck!!

Pineda Playing Catch at 90 Feet; Could Now Return in Mid-August

While David Phelps has undoubtedly been good for the Yankees over the last few weeks, you still can't deny that Michael Pineda would be an improvement.

The 25 year-old sophomore, pitching in the majors this year for the first time since 2011, went 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA in four starts for the Yanks back in April, stats that haven't been able to change due to the youngster's severe shoulder injury.

Fortunetaly, Pineda took one step closer to finally returning from that wound today, playing catch at 90 feet.

According to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, that kind of progress should only continue for #36 in the near future, as he is also scheduled to throw off a mound later this week and, if all goes well, possibly return to the Bombers in Mid-August. 

Pineda, who began the season as the Yankees' number five starter, hasn't pitched since April 23, when he was ejected after pine tar was discovered on his neck in a contest against the Red Sox.

Shortly after that disaster, Pineda sustained the injury while throwing a simulated game, causing him to go into the limbo he's in now, where nobody knows exactly when he'll come back. 

All Star Game Snubs: New York Yankees Edition

Every single season we have All Star Game snubs and we have fans that think their guy should be on the squad over this guy or that guy. I'm here to tell you that this is probably going to be another one of those posts but not without merit and stats to back me up. Brett Gardner should be on the American League All Star squad if the likes of Alex Gordon are. Yoenis Cespedes is not having a great season either, although he is helped by the "sexy numbers" of home runs, RBI's, etc.

Gardner has a higher batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, stolen base total, hit total, runs scored total, less errors, and a better fielding percentage than Gordon. On top of that Gardner has comparable WAR, home run, and RBI totals to Gordon.

Greg Holland is already on the club representing Kansas City so it's not like they had to choose Gordon and they both bat left handed so that is not the issue either. The Yankees only sent three to the game and Masahiro Tanaka will be ineligible due to pitching on the last day before the All Star Break anyway so the team is not flooded with Yankees like it is with six Oakland Athletics.

Red Sox manager John Farrell really dropped the ball on this one. It's a good thing this game doesn't count for anything, oh wait...

TGP Meme of the Day - July 8, 2014

Get ready for some corny punchlines people! #TanakaTime

Quick Hit: Mariano Rivera To Join Thunder In August

MVP Foundation To Honor Mariano Rivera at Annual Fundraising Event at Thunder
Trenton Thunder official chiropractor, Dr. Thomas "Doc" Haveron, announced today that the special guest for the Fourth Annual MVP Foundation Event on Thursday, August 7 at ARM & HAMMER Park will be New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera. 

The MVP Foundation will present a check to Rivera and his family on behalf of his church, Refugio de Esperanza (Refuge of Hope), in a ceremony on the field before the Thunder vs. Altoona Curve game slated for 7:05pm. Rivera will also throw the ceremonial first pitch.

"Mariano and his family have done so much for the community through the Mariano Rivera Foundation and through the restoration of Refugio de Esperanza," said Dr. Thomas "Doc" Haveron, founder of the MVP Foundation. "He was a legendary player, an amazing humanitarian, and a friend of the MVP Foundation and we're so happy he and his family will be part of this year's event."

Fans may support the Mariano Rivera Foundation by purchasing their tickets online with Special Offer Code "MVP".  With the code, $3 per ticket will be donated. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS NOW 

This is the third year that the MVP Foundation has held their annual event at ARM & HAMMER Park. Past special guests include Robinson Cano and David Robertson. 

In 2011, Dr. Thomas "Doc" Haveron (Harrison, NJ) founded the MVP Foundation (Medicine Via Philanthropy) which raises money for children with serious illnesses, provides scholarships for students to attend medical school and helps other non-profit foundations fulfill their missions. Learn more at http://www.mvpfoundation.net.

The game on August 7 against the Altoona Curve will also include a post-game fireworks show presented by CareOne.

Mrs. Brandon McCarthy Added To Wives & Girlfriends

Welcome to New York Amanda McCarthy, oh and you too Brandon. The latest New York Yankee isn't official until they are added to the Wives and Girlfriends section of the site so here we go, let's start your Yankee career right.

Check out Mrs. Amanda McCarthy and the rest of the Yankees WAG's by clicking HERE on the blog.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/8: A Rookie Wins The All Star Game & Lefty Gomez Owns One

Too many times in today's game we have seen Major League Baseball change their rules to negatively affect or even hurt the New York Yankees. You can look at things like the luxury tax, international spending caps, draft slot recommendations and penalties, the fact that the Kansas City Athletics couldn't trade any players to the Yankees for 18 months after trading one player to New York, and the limitation on innings pitched in an All Star Game as many cases.

The latter came as a result of the Yankees Lefty Gomez throwing six outstanding innings in the 1935 All Star Game leading the American League to their third consecutive victory over the NL by the score of 4-1. After the game the rule that no pitcher can throw more than three innings unless the game goes to extra innings will be implemented.

On this day in 1947 the Yankees rookie right hander Spec Shea becomes the first rookie to win an All Star Game. The 26 year old throws three innings in the American League's 2-1 victory in Chicago's Wrigley Field. Shea would deal with sore and dead arm issues after the game that would severely hamper his season and career with the Yankees.

On this day in 2000 the Yankees swept the New York Mets in the first double ballpark doubleheader since 1903 with a pair of 4-2 victories. The first game was won by the Yankees 4-2 in Shea Stadium and the night cap was won in Yankee Stadium by that same 4-2 score. You can also remember this day as the day Mike Piazza was hospitalized after being hit by a pitch by the Yankees Roger Clemens. Dwight "Doc" Gooden also got his first win at Shea since 1994 in the first contest.