Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thornton Ruins Phelps' Great Start in Finale Loss to Indians

During the course of a season, a team suffers many tough losses.

Usually, those defeats consist of close games that couldn't quite be finished, but sometimes a whole different kind of story emerges.

That is, when a starter's gem is ruined by a bad bullpen.

Unfortunately, that exact scenario played out for the Yankees tonight, with Matt Thornton and Jim Miller combining to give up seven earned runs in just two innings of work as the Yanks dropped a heartbreaker to the Indians, 9-3.

For the first 2/3 of the contest, things didn't look like they could get much better for the Bombers, who knocked Cleveland's T.J. House out after just 4.2 frames thanks to a 2-run homer from Zealous Wheeler and an RBI Single from Yangervis Solarte.

During that time, the Pinstripes also got 6 shutout innings from David Phelps, setting up what looked like an easy W heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Too bad that didn't happen.

To start off the turning-point at-bat, Phelps surrendered a pair of hits to Chris Dickerson and Roberto Perez, causing him to be removed. 

At that point, the desperate and worn out Yanks had nobody too reliable to put in, forcing them to go with the aforementioned Thornton, a veteran who not only misplayed what should've been a routine double play on the first guy he faced to load the bases but also gave up a game-tying triple to Asdrubel Cabrera, followed immediately by a Michael Brantley sac fly to cost the Bombers their lead.

And if things weren't already bad enough, Miller took the liberty of allowing another five members of the Tribe to circle the bases in the next frame, pretty much ending the contest, as the once full of promise Pinstripes now trailed by six.

To put it simply, the Yankees, now 46-45, should've won this one easily, but instead ran out of gas, something we should expect to happen throughout the year as long as their starters struggle to get past the sixth.

Masahiro Tanaka Has Partially Torn UCL Ligament

Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The Yankees will attempt to rehab the injury and surgery has not been recommended for Tanaka just yet. Damn, this hurts. Tanaka will be out for at least six weeks.

Tommy John surgery is still on the table if treatment does not work.

Open Thread Game Thread: Yankees vs. Indians 7/10

Welcome to tonight's open thread and game thread for the finale between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound to face off with TJ House for the Indians. 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.

Get your Yankees tickets for tonight's game or get a pair for when the Yankees return home to Yankee Stadium after the All Star break. Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes or find us on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes to interact with the entire writing staff. It's an open thread and a game thread so let's light that comment section up during the game, get to work.

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

Jesus Chris Hates Cleveland and the Indians

For tonight's meme it was either Jesus hating Cleveland or a shirt that said "Cleveland sports teams are like a fine wine, they can both be find in the cellar" and obviously we went with good 'ole JC. If Jesus hates Cleveland who am I to argue with that, you know?

New York Yankees Game Preview vs. Cleveland Indians 7/10

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians will finish off their four game set tonight at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound to face off with the Indians TJ House. 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.

Phelps pitched well last time out on Saturday against the Minnesota Twins in an eventual 2-1 Yankees loss at Target Field. Phelps allowed one run and three hits over seven innings in the game while striking out three Twinkies in a no decision.

House is coming off a start in which he got his first major league victory giving up three runs in 6.2 innings against the Kansas City Royals. House has three quality starts in seven starts this season and has showed excellent control and walk numbers.

Get your Yankees tickets for the final regular season game in Cleveland this season right HERE on the blog using our partners at Ticket Monster. Add the ticket stub to your Derek Jeter scrapbook, buy now!

Go Yankees!!

Carlos Beltran To 7 Day DL, Solarte Called Up

Carlos Beltran has been added to the 7 day concussion DL and Yangervis Solarte has been called up to replace him. Solarte was playing MLB The Show 14 when he received the call that he was called up in real life. Beltran will not be back before the All Star break. 

Emptying The Farm For Troy Tulowitzki

If you’re going to empty the farm system then there aren’t many better players you do it for than Troy Tulowitzki. A young right handed power hitting shortstop that drew up admiring and emulating Derek Jeter would be the perfect man to replace the retiring captain of the Yankees. Troy told reporters recently that he would accept a trade to New York so Brian Cashman I ask, what are you waiting for?

I think Tulo would have no issue with playing some second base and/or third base for the rest of this season knowing the shortstop position was his in 2015 and beyond so that is not the issue. The salary is not the issue either, although as the kids are saying these days “that man is getting paid,” but the Yankees can easily absorb his prorated salary for 2014 and use Derek Jeter’s vacant $17 million plus others to pay his 2015 salary and beyond. Screw the Hal Cap and get another ring.

I honestly have no idea what the Rockies would want or need to restock and retool, I assume pitching looking at this year’s stats but I know they have been hit hard by the injury bug and have reinforcements very close to major league ready. I don’t want to just compile a list of our better prospects and say “that looks good enough” but if they want Sanchez, he’s theirs. If they want Severino, he’s theirs. If they want Clarkin, he’s theirs. Aaron Judge, Robert Refsnyder, Rafael DePaula, whoever they want let’s work something out. I’m not saying I would hand them a blank sheet already signed and say fill in the blanks and get back to us, but it’s pretty close.

Tulo is a once in a lifetime player, much like Giancarlo Stanton, and if we can get him and have the resources to do it you do it 100 times out of 100. 

It's Time For A Nick Swisher In Pinstripes Reunion

The Yankees are down an outfielder with Alfonso Soriano and still lack a true backup first base option, unless you count Kelly Johnson or Brian McCann playing out of position, and New York could solve both of those problems with one phone call. Nick Swisher, it's time to come back to New York and back to Yankee Stadium.

The Indians are under the .500 mark this season and with the losses of injured players Michael Bourn and Justin Masterson that mark looks to worsen over the next couple of weeks. The Indians have their highest payroll in 2014 that they have had since 2001 and Swisher is their highest paid player. Swisher is set to make $15 million this season, roughly $7 million prorated for the remainder of the year, $15 million in each of 2015 and 2016, and a vesting option for 2017 worth $14 million. All Swisher has to do is reach 500 plate appearances in 2016 and pass a physical at the end of the 2016 and the option vests.

The problem with the deal is that Cleveland is a win now team and needs a win now type player(s) in return for Swisher. Swisher's first base replacement could possibly already be on the team with Carlos Santana. If Santana isn't an option the Yankees could always send Kyle Roller and others to Cleveland to make the deal work.

He's batting .198 with six home runs and 20 RBI's but I truly believe would be revitalized if he would return to New York. I truly believe, and admittedly I have been wrong before, that this season is the exception and not the rule for Swisher and his production. Swish is a switch hitter and offers us more versatility than Soriano did or could and we could get him for an absolute salary dump. Take a chance, right a wrong, and bring back Swisher.

Yankee Blogging and Yankee Fandom Don't Always Mix

With every season that passes and every game that I watch the harder it gets to be both a fan of the New York Yankees and a blogger who covers the team. In an interview with our friend Mike Ashmore, formerly of the Trenton Thunder and current Somerset Patriots blogger who does a fantastic job at everything he does, he spoke of your “fandom” going out the window when you do the job long enough, a statement that I initially scoffed at but it’s true. I am in no way any less of a fan now than I was when I started this, in fact I am more of fan because I monitor and scrutinize everything and pay so close of attention to everything that it may be ruining it for me a little.

For example, I have been the most vocal and animated about the “struggles” of a guy that has 12 wins and a 2.52 ERA in his rookie season than anyone on the planet. Instead of remembering, and I have to remind myself quite often, that he is a rookie and in the United States for his first time and adjusting to four days of rest, a new catcher, new mound, new ball, and a plethora of other factors, I find myself constantly looking for patterns. I am constantly looking for things to write about, things to improve upon, and areas that I find concerning. I am more vocal about Masahiro Tanaka than I was about Vidal Nuno, Chase Whitley, Michael Pineda, etc.

When the Yankees win I’m ecstatic and I want to get on Twitter and joke and cut up and rag on the opposing team a little, any fan does, and when the Yankees lose I want to scream and break things and curse, again any fan does, but I don’t. I try to keep the Twitter as rated PG as I can and safe for work so it’s more enjoyable for everyone. Maybe I should start using my personal @DanielBurch account when we’re losing.

I am in no way complaining here, I’m not contemplating retirement from blogging or being a New York Yankees fan either, I just had to get this off my chest. It’s something I felt I needed to say so here it is. I hope everyone understands and appreciates all the work that myself and the rest of the Greedy Pinstripes family puts into this. We love doing it and we love this team, that’s why we do it, even if the payment (monetary or not) is not always there. I love blogging and I love the Yankees more than anything besides my children, wife, and family in that order but damn it’s hard to be both sometimes. 

Quick Hit: If Tanaka Is Out For Long It's Time To Sell

If Masahiro Tanaka is out for an extended period of time, Tommy John surgery there I said it, then I truly believe it's time for the Yankees to pack it in and sell. The Yankees don't have the pieces and the players aren't available to make up for all the Yankees short comings AND to replace Tanaka, it's not gonna happen whether it's Derek Jeter's last stand or not.

Players like Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki, Matt Thornton, David Robertson, Brendan Ryan, Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, Francisco Cervelli, or really anything that's not young or boarded down should be made available. Please don't take my words as me thinking we could actually unload a Kelly Johnson, it's doubtful anyone would want him, but it doesn't hurt to move what you can and play for 2015.

It probably won't happen but with Tanaka it should. Brian Cashman is on his way out anyway so what does he have to lose?

Cole Hamels Cannot Block A Trade To New York

Yesterday I wrote out a well thought out and planned out article that ultimately had the New York Yankees ending up with both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies. While, as expected, the idea was received about as well as a devil mask at a church gathering but news did break yesterday that Hamels is not able to block a trade to the Yankees with his limited no trade clause. If this news is breaking on the internet I must not be the only one thinking the Yankees can shock the world one more time and acquire Hamels.

If Hamels were to be made available I could see the Dodgers being interested but they may be too stacked by then to make a legitimate run. The Angels would be stiff competition but with a bad farm a deal would be difficult. St. Louis has the pieces, the need, and the balls to pull off a trade like this but they usually don't. Boston, Texas, and San Diego would probably be unlikely to make a trade for Hamels this season leaving just the Nationals, Yankees, and Braves as potential suitors.

The Daily Dozen - July 9, 2014

(Twelve Takeaways from Tonight's Game - July 9th, 2014 Edition)

1a. I had this mostly written during the long stretch of non-scoring between both teams.  

UPDATE: Ellsbury wins with a HR in the 14th! Boy was that last out scary!  I am getting too old for 14 inning games that last until Midnight.

1b. Nick Swisher continues to kill the Yankees. His 2-run single in the 1st virtually knocked McCarthy out of the game.  But for once the Yankees were able to score past the 3rd inning.  How about that strikeout in the 10th with the bases loaded though?  Weren't we all expecting him to at least get a sacrifice fly to win the game?
"Come on! You know you love me!"
2. How many times have Yankees opponents scored with 2 outs?  No seriously I want to know this...I tweeted during the game to the crack staff at the YES Network but as of yet haven't heard back.

3. The Yankees are really just losing to lesser teams to keep more teams in the playoff race.  They are all about making things competitive and ensuring that EVERY game counts! Heavy Sarcasm...

4. Welcome Back to the American League Brandon McCarthy!  After a rough 1st inning against (once again) a very good Indians offense, he was able to settle down only giving up only 1 more run the rest of his outing.  With the news of Tanaka heading to the DL, the Yankees can use every decent start they can get.  Of course Nuno pitched lights out for Arizona last night in his debut...
"Really glad to be on a playoff contender...wait, what? Tanaka is on the DL?..."
5. If Ichiro bats the ball to 3rd's over.  Don't even attempt to throw the ball to first.  Seriously..don't.

6. Tanaka joins an ever-increasing list of Yankees on the DL.  Literally the entire starting rotation sans Kuroda is on the DL.  This is starting to look like 2013 all over again.  Gardner is hurt, Beltran is ailing, who's next? (Please no one...)

7. Having 2 players with first names starting with 'Z' is not as intimidating as it sounds.  Could the offense besides Teixeira have any less pop?  #BronxBombless
He needs to go back to Staten Island...
8. I am convinced that the Indians got Chris Dickerson to mess with the Yankees.  I'm predicting he will be leaving town when the Yankees do.  He is the new #YankeeKiller.  Furthermore, I fully expected Jason Giambi to come out and pinch hit a walk-off home run.  Former Yankees are killing them this season.

9. I think it's time for a new direction.  It has been stated on here before, but Kevin Long needs to go.  The situational hitting stinks on this team and they have no POP.  Maybe a guy like TINO MARTINEZ could do something about it.  I am still convinced that the Yankees, even with the 09 World Series title made a mistake by not hiring Don Mattingly by the way...Just Saying...
Bring Back Tino AND Mattingly!
10. Is Teixeira's home run output worth his lofty contract.  After tonight I would instantly react with YES...he now has 17 home runs, on pace for another 30 HR season...probably closer to 35 HR as he starts out badly every year.  The thing that used to make his contract worth it, however, is his defense.  His defense isn't what it used to be...could be old age, could be all the nagging wrist injuries...

11. The name Asdrubal is the spanish version of the name Hasdrubal, which according to means God Helps...maybe the Yankees should really go after him in the offseason to replace Jeter...

12. Tomorrow night may be the last time that I get to see Derek Jeter play live.  VERY SAD.
Unless they make the playoffs...

Teixeira Homers Twice In 14-Inning Win Over Indians

While the Yankees' offense has struggled to hit home runs so far this season, you can't deny that they still have potential. 

The veteran lineup, which includes names such as Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira, has gone deep just 76 times so far in 2014, tied for ninth in the American League. 

Despite that, the somewhat-inappropriately named Bombers were crushing balls pretty often tonight in Cleveland, clearing the wall three times in a 14-inning, 5-4 win over the Indians.

To start off the unusual night of power, Teixeira knocked an offering from Tribe Starter Josh Tomlin (7 IP, 4 ER) into the right field stands in the top of the fourth, followed later by a sac fly from McCann and another, two-run shot from Teix in the fifth, his team-leading 17th of the year. 

That second drive from the Yanks' first basemen also completed a 3-0 comeback for the Pinstripes, a deficit created in the first when an error by #25 led to a trio of unearned runs, originally appearing to put Brandon McCarthy in an escapable hole.

Fortunetaly, that wouldn't be the case for the newest Yankee, who ended up lasting 6 2/3 frames while allowing just one earned trip around the bases, a scoring that came in the bottom of the aforementioned fifth. 

Strangely, that single crossing of home ended up being crucial in how the contest played out, with neither team breaking the tie from innings 6-13.

Sure, in the tenth, both sides did get men to third, but thanks to heroics from Cody Allen and Shawn Kelley nobody was able to collect the final 90 feet, keeping things even in until the top of the 14th.

In that frame, with two outs and an 0-2 count, New York's Jacoby Ellsbury homered off Vinnie Pestano, finally giving his club an advantage and eventually rewarding Chase Whitley, who retired six of the seven men he faced in the twelfth and thirteenth, with a win, thanks largely in part to David Robertson shutting out the Indians in their last chance.

In other words, this one started badly, got better, and finished perfectly, helping the Yanks pick up games on both the Mariners and Orioles in the Wild Card and divisional standings. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/10: 9.2 No Hit Relief Innings

The New York Yankees, like most teams in baseball back in 1917, had pitchers that were known for throwing the spitball. No Yankee was more known for the now illegal pitch than Ray Caldwell and he had the spitter working on this day in 1917. Caldwell pitched 9.2 innings of relief and did not allow a single hit as the Yankees beat the St. Louis Browns 7-5 in 17 innings.

Caldwell would throw a no hitter against his former team, the Indians, in 1919 against Tris Speaker and the Tribe. Caldwell was also one of 17 pitchers that was allowed to continue throwing the spitball after the pitch was outlawed in 1920.

On this day in 2001 Derek Jeter became the first Yankee to hit a home run in an All Star Game in 42 years when he hit a sixth inning lead off home run off Jon Lieber at Safeco Field in Seattle. Yogi Berra was the last member of the Yankees to hit an All Star Game homer when he hit one off Don Drysdale in 1959.