Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Early Runs, Offensive Struggles Doom Yankees in Tough Rubber Game Loss to Rangers

Hiroki Kuroda tossed 7 innings of three-run ball and Brett Gardner again started the first with a solo home run, but due to another terrible offensive performance the Yankees found a way to drop tonight's rubber game to the Rangers, 3-2.

For pretty much all of his quality outing this evening, Kuroda was everything New York couldn't wanted, only allowing nine hits and a walk while striking out four. 

Still, after a three-run, five-knock performance by Texas' bats in the bottom of the first he ended up getting the loss, a dissapointment that wouldn't have happened had Mark Teixeira turned a slow groundball down the first base line into an out.

No, this defeat doesn't fall completely on Teixeira, but since he did let a Leonys Martin squibber roll foul instead of just picking it up and tagging the runner with two on and two out the Rangers did pick up a third run in the aforementioned frame, with Martin later singling in Adrian Beltre to make it 3-1.

Now really, the contest shouldn't have ended there, especially considering the Yanks came back from a larger deficit yesterday.

Nonetheless, following Jacoby Ellsbury's lining of another solo shot off Colby Lewis (7 IP, 2 ER) in the third and Carlos Beltran's routine hit two batters later the Yanks' offense never again reached base, something you can't help but be amazed by.

Open Game Thread 7/30 Yankees vs. Rangers

Welcome to tonight's open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers. This is the finale of a three game set and boy am I glad. I don't know about you guys but even the hour later start kills me, especially the next morning. Thankfully the Yankees go back East after this game and head to Boston after taking a July 31st trading deadline day off. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound tonight to face off with Colby Lewis for the Rangers. The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Remember to get your Yankees tickets while New York is in Boston or for when they return home later in the month of August. Michael Pineda is back and we may even throw in some pine tar for buying, check us out. Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and like us on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes to keep the conversation going.

It's an open thread so join us in the comments section and get to chatting. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!

Colby Lewis Is Not A Smart Individual... Meme

Well Colby Lewis did not actually say this but this meme was just too good to pass up. This was obviously taken while Lewis was playing over in Japan before breaking out for the Texas Rangers in the last four seasons. Enjoy the game Yankees family.

Trade Deadline 2014: Yankees Hot Stove Rumors 7/30

Just a quick catch me up for you guys:

The Phillies asked the Yankees for their top three prospects for Cole Hamels. I'm not sure I could swallow Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Judge for Hamels but Hamels does bring a lot himself. I'm torn.

The Yankees are interested in the Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson. This is interesting because the Rockies are interested in Francisco Cervelli. Match made in Coors Field?

The Yankees are talking to the Padres about Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit but nothing is serious at this point.

Starting pitching just got majorly expensive as Justin Masterson and a 5.51 ERA for a rental on the disabled list just fetched the Cardinals top outfield prospect.

7/30 Yankees Game Preview vs. Texas Rangers

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers will play tonight in the final game of three game set at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the Rangers Colby Lewis. The game will be played at 8:05 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 is coming off a less than impressive start in which he allowed four runs in 5.2 innings against the high powered offense of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees gave Kuroda enough run support to get him his seventh victory of the season.

Lewis has not beat the Yankees in his last four starts fresh off a loss in his last start against New York. Lewis is 0-3 against the Yankees in his career, a trend that New York hopes to continue tonight. Lewis pitched 6.1 innings and allowed only four hits and three earned runs to raise his career ERA against the Yankees to 6.14.

Get your Yankees tickets now as the Yankees make their push towards October. Get your tickets right here on the blog for all games home or away. We don't charge shipping costs or associate any sort of fees with our tickets, what you see is what you get, so buy a pair now. 

Go Yankees!!

Brian McCann Is Everything We Signed Him To Be

Brian McCann had a rough start to his Yankee tenure and 2014 season but has turned it on recently, a sight for sore eyes in New York. Even with his turnaround fans continue to bash and question McCann and his abilities to hit in the Bronx. I disagree and I am personally not worried whatsoever about McCann because he is exactly what we thought we were getting when we acquired him.

I am basing this whole post on the learning curve of New York and a bit of a bounce back season in 2015, specifically in the power department. Not everyone is made for New York and not everyone can jump onto the big stage and shine. Jason Giambi couldn't do it right away and he had the help of steroids so we shouldn't expect McCann to do it either. Looking at the stats supports my claims that McCann has been as advertised this season to a certain extent.

Looking at McCann's 2013 season he hit .256 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI for the Atlanta Braves. McCann had an on base percentage of .336 and a slugging percentage of .461 to go with it. McCann has been praised for his defensive abilities and made four errors while putting up a 24% caught stealing percentage.

In 2014 McCann has only hit .240, although he was recently as high as .244, with 11 home runs and 45 RBI. While McCann's slugging and on base percentages are down McCann has hit .300/.328/.383 since July 8th and looks to finally be comfortable at the plate and in New York. McCann also only has one error this season and has seen his caught stealing percentage rise to a very respectable 44%.

McCann will be fine we as Yankee fans just need to remember what McCann was when we acquired him this winter and what the Yankees lineup around him has done. If the Yankees have runners on in front of him then the shift is not used nearly as much. If the Yankees have hitters hitting well behind him then he gets more pitches to hit. McCann is not a .300 guy anymore and not a 30 home run guy anymore but he is still stellar behind the plate both in controlling the staff and the running game and can be a great Yankee if we just give him the chance to be.

Girardi Not Worried About Bullpen's Usage

With the way they've been used this year, it'd be understandable for the Yankees' bullpen to get a little worn out.

The seven-man group, headed mainly by the big four of Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, and David Robertson, seems to be put in high-pressure situations every day by Manager Joe Girardi, creating concerns that by the end of the year they'll be hurt.

Be that as it may, Girardi isn't buying into the criticism, saying after the relievers gave up seven runs in yesterday's win over the Rangers that he's not worried about their workload.

"I don't worry about our bullpen," the Yanks Skipper told The Star Ledger's Brendan Kuty following the stressful victory. "Our bullpen is going to be good down the stretch. They just had a night. Everyone is entitled to a night. We were just tired of giving you 4-2 games."

Let's hope that's the case, as the usually-dominant New York pen's been awful over the last three days.

For example, in the last two games of this weekend's series against the Blue Jays they allowed six trips around the bases, a cause for agitation that only increased last night with the surrendering of the aforementioned seven spot. 

Trading Deadline Fact or Fiction: Yankees Edition

Will the Yankees acquire Troy Tulowitzki or any other big name?

I believe this is fiction. The Yankees haven’t traded away any top talent in three years now and the Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda trade made too much sense not to make. Montero was left without a true position and was battling character issues and questions before the trade. Win, lose, or draw that was a good trade at the time for the Yankees. I cannot see the Yankees parting with Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Ian Clarkin, Eric Jagielo, Robert Refsnyder, etc.

Will the Yankees stand pat? Are they done?

Fiction: No I don’t think so. I can see another marginal upgrade in the outfield or on the bench. I don’t believe New York is sold on Zoilo Almonte and honestly they probably shouldn’t be. I can see a Justin Ruggiano or a Alex Rios type player come in and platoon with Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees may get someone who has experience at first base just in case but that even seems unlikely at this point. I think the Yankees are done on the pitching side unfortunately and will hope and pray that Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda come back strong and healthy.

Is Brian Cashman in danger of losing his job?

Fiction: Honestly, no. After catching lightning in a bottle with Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano, and Chase Headley specifically I think in the very least he bought himself some time. While I am not entirely sold on the fact that he will be the Yankees general manager in 2015 I don’t believe he will be fired. He may decide to not even come back after losing the control he fought so long to get from the Steinbrenner family.

Can this Yankee team win the World Series?

Fiction: As it’s currently constructed, no. There are too many holes in the lineup and too many “automatic outs” in Brian Roberts, Ichiro Suzuki, at times Brian McCann, etc. The defense is atrocious, especially in the infield, and the pitching is average at best. Who matches up Game One in a postseason series? Right now it’s the guy who has burned out and fizzled due to fatigue in August and September the last two plus seasons in Hiroki Kuroda. Then who, Brandon McCarthy? Shane Greene? We may get to the post season in a mediocre league but I couldn’t see New York going far. I’m not entirely banking on the return of Pineda and Tanaka personally which may be shading my judgment a tad.

Will we do another post like this?

Fact: I liked this, this was fun. Send in your questions to us by shooting us an email at thegreedypinstripes at gmail or tweet us @GreedyStripes. Maybe your tweet or email can end up on the blog. 

Is Chase Whitley The Next To Go?

I think it is pretty clear what Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s plan and motives are this season, trade away young talent for veteran pieces and make a run at a postseason spot. Cashman has already traded away a struggling Vidal Nuno to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brandon McCarthy and Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula for Chase Headley. Is Chase Whitley next?

The one thing that Solarte, DePaula, and Nuno have in common, besides their ages and amount of cheap team control, is their falls from grace. Solarte was easily the Yankees best offensive player for about two months before sample size and the rest of the league caught up with him. I think Solarte could have turned it around but he seems like his own worst enemy, he was obviously in his own head when he went through his lengthy slump that ultimately got him sent down to the minor leagues. Nuno was well thought of last season and for much of Spring Training before heading into the rotation out of necessity early in the season. Nuno is a soft tossing lefty that got figured out and didn’t have the stuff to adjust, simple as that. DePaula represented the Yankees in the 2013 Futures Game and struggled after a move to High A with the Tampa Yankees. DePaula continued to struggle as a starter this season and talks of moving him to the bullpen had already begun before the trade.

Enter Whitley who came out of the gates in the Yankees rotation, again out of necessity, blazing pitching extremely well for his first seven or eight starts before hitting a wall. Whitley struggled for multiple starts consecutively and has been since moved to the bullpen and replaced with Chris Capuano in the rotation. If history is any indicator of the future it seems like with less than two days before the trading deadline Whitley will be moved for another marginal upgrade and rental veteran player.

I truly think the Yankees have something in Whitley and if they can baby him through this season and stretch him out even more over the winter I think he could be an asset. I am under no illusions that he could be a top of the rotation starter but I will say that he has been a starter less than a full calendar year after being converted from a relief pitcher last season in Triple-A. The slate is pretty clear and the sky is the limit for Whitley and I would hate to lose him for a John Danks this week. Hopefully Cashman is reading and won’t make another mistake to win now and screw later. 

Quick Hit: Counting Down To The Trade Deadline

Tomorrow is the day that the 2014 season is made or broken for the New York Yankees. Sure you can make trades in August with players clearing waivers and you can even acquire players in September (while having to leave them off your postseason roster) but tomorrow is the day. At 4:00 pm ET the trading deadline officially comes to an end and it’s time for every team to put up or shut up.

Will Brian Cashman acquire the big piece in Troy Tulowitzki or shock the world and pull off another big trade? Or will he marginally upgrade the team and hope the likes of Chris Capuano, Brandon McCarthy, and Chase Headley are enough to bring New York to the Promised Land?

Will the Yankees bank on the return and health of Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda or will the team acquire another piece? Will the Yankees continue to trot out Ichiro Suzuki and Brian Roberts on a daily basis even though they are so obviously over-matched right now?

So many questions, the good news is in 33 short hours most of them will be answered. Stay tuned.

Asdrubal Cabrera Has Been Made Available

Yesterday we learned that the Cleveland Indians were willing to move both Justin Masterson and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, should the Yankees be interested? Cabrera is enjoying a relatively productive season but will be a free agent at the end of this season. Cabrera is slashing .249/.309/.392 with a 99 OPS+ and 98 wRC+. Cabrera is also a switch hitter which adds a redeeming factor for his arsenal, the problem has been his defense.

The thing with Cabrera is his defense is below average at short stop, not at second base. The Yankees could get an upgrade both offensively and defensively by acquiring Cabrera and seemingly shouldn't cost much in prospects. Cabrera is owed roughly $3.44 million for the rest of this season and again will be a free agent at the end of this season.

If the price is right you pull the trigger.

Gardner-Led Yankees Out-Slug Rangers in Middle Game

Brett Gardner led off the first with a solo home run and the Yankees scored 7 runs in the top of the sixth, but in the end, it took a late two-run shot from Mark Teixeira and an Adrian Beltre flyout with the bases loaded to help the Yankees beat the Rangers 12-11 tonight at Globe Life Park. 

Going into that sixth inning, surprisingly, the Yanks trailed 4-1, appearing done after Brandon McCarthy (6 IP, 4 ER) surrendered three in the third and J.P. Arencibia drove one over the wall in the fifth.

Instead, though, New York put up a touchdown to take the advantage, rallying off Nick Martinez (5 2/3 IP, 6 ER) and Shawn Tolleson when Carlos Beltran singled in a pair, Brian McCann tied things with a sac fly, Zoilo Almonte hit home the go-ahead run, and Brendan Ryan connected on a two-run double before scoring on a missed catch error by Alex Rios.

Yes, Arencibia would later collect a grand slam after the stretch and the Chase Whitley/David Robertson duo would allow another three in Texas' last two at-bats, but since Almonte and Chase Headley still knocked in two more in the seventh and Teixeira one-handed that aforementioned homer in the eighth the Yanks did hang on for the W, their first since Friday.

The Daily Dozen - July 29, 2014

The Daily Dozen - July 29th, 2014 Edition
(Twelve Takeaways from Tonight's Game)

1.  Brett Gardner is a man possessed.  Not only does he hit 2 home runs vs. The great one You Darvish last night, he comes back tonight with yet another leadoff HR and 2 doubles to boot.  He sported a 1.800 slugging % tonight.  Gardy is my hero!
This never gets old.

2.  Jeter now has 3,422 hits.  There is no more to say than that...he's 40 batting .280 and just keeps on accumulating hits.  He has 106 hits on the season with 56 games to go.  I see him ending with around 170 for the year, which would put him at 3,486 hits just shy of Tris Speaker at 3,514 for 5th all-time.

3. J.P. Arencibia is absolutely killing the Yankees.  And it was like Deja vu all over again (thanks Yogi).
(Credit: Jack Curry on Twitter)

4. Brandon McCarthy finally found himself in trouble in a Yankees uniform.  Trouble came early as McCarthy threw 59 pitches in the 3rd inning, which allowed the Rangers to score 3 pivotal runs early.

5. Mark Teixeira is BACK! For now... He blasted the crucial 2-run home run late in the game that ended up being the decisive runs and had 3 walks.  Thanks for playing tonight Teix!

6. Gardner's words...
(Photo Credit: Fox Sports Twitter)

7. The Yankees did damage to Nick Martinez in the 6th inning scoring 7 runs.  This was the high mark in runs in an inning on the year.  The name Nick Martinez sounds perfect for someone in a boy I'm glad he got pummeled.

8. there a Tolleson on every team?  First the Yankees play Steve Tolleson on the Blue Jays and now they see Shawn Tolleson on the Rangers?  I'm all Tollesoned out.

9. Only 12 guys on the current 25-man roster were on the team in 2013.  On top of that 28 guys have pitched for the Yankees...including Dean Anna! Yowza.

10. What a football score tonight.  I made a comment during the game when it was 7-4 and the bases were loaded that things might get a little out of hand.  It just had that feeling to it.  And of course, it ends up 12-11.
I hate being right sometimes.

11. The bullpen is giving up waaaaaaaaay too many runs let alone baserunners.  This past weekend I went to Sam's and bought the industrial size generic know the ones that come in a hug bottle of 250 but are wrapped with 2 of those huge bottles.  I think I'm halfway through the first bottle...and it's not because of my beautiful wife's cooking.

12. The Yankees have had 5 straight games with 2+ home runs.  Thanks to Jeff Quagliata of the YES Network for that great stat...he does some great research for those guys that I am glad I can quote here tonight.
(Credit: Jeff Quagliata Twitter)

Time to go take some more generic Tums....

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/30: George Steinbrenner Goes On Permanent Ineligible List

It's July 30th, trading deadline eve, so this post should be littered with tons of trades that happened on this day in Yankees history. We begin by looking back to this day in 2006 when the Yankees sent a package of four minor league players to the Philadelphia Phillies for Bobby Abreu. The package included shortstop CJ Henry, lefty relief pitcher Matt Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez, and right handed pitcher Carlos Monasterios. The Yankees also received Cory Lidle back in the deal while New York would be on the hook for all of Abreu's remaining salary. Abreu made $13.5 million in 2006, $15.5 million in 2007, and had a $16 million option for 2008 with a $2 million buyout.

The Yankees later ended up getting CJ Henry back on a minor league deal in one of the better trades in the Brian Cashman era.

Also on this day in 2008 the Yankees acquired Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers for relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees were in need of a catcher after Jorge Posada's season ending surgery earlier in the month. Rodriguez had to waive his no trade clause to make the deal happen.

Also on this day in 1990 George Steinbrenner announced that he would agree to go on the permanent ineligible list which would give the Yankees owner a lifetime ban from day to day operations of his team. The Boss was later reinstated in 1993 but subsequently agreed to the ban to avoid jeopardizing his relationship with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Outside of Yankee Stadium on that day in 1990 24,037 fans in attendance started chanting "NO More George! NO More George." The Boss reportedly did not hear about the chant at the stadium until he watched the 11 o'clock news later that night.