Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yankees' Offense Still Missing After 4-3 Loss to Rays

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo home run and Chris Young connected on a two-run single in his team debut, but since Hiroki Kuroda gave up 4 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings and Stephen Drew was controversially called out at the plate around the contest's midpoint the Yankees continued their late-season free fall tonight with a 4-3 loss to the Rays.

In this one's early going, strangely, Kuroda just couldn't get anyone out, surrendering a solo homer to James Loney and three more RBI knocks in his short performance to seemingly-end things in frame #4.

Now ultimately, as you can clearly see by that final count, that wouldn't happen, with Yanks' offense rallying in the fourth and fifth to cut their deficit to one.

Nonetheless, since the aforementioned Drew was thrown out at the plate on a play reviewed for a possible block of home (it appeared to be since Tampa Bay's Ryan Hanigan was standing on the baseline before catching the ball) and Derek Jeter lined into a double-play in that bottom of the fifth New York did eventually fall, a misfortune that gave Rays' Starter Chris Archer (6 1/3 IP, 3 ER) a W despite the fact he didn't throw that well.  

9/9 Yankees Open Thread vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Welcome to tonight’s open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. New York continues to scrap and claw towards the playoffs while the Rays look to be the spoilers tonight in New York. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the Rays Chris Archer, a notorious Yankee killer. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the MY9, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Remember to grab your tickets for the Yankees games this week right here on the blog, you won’t find them cheaper anywhere else. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and check out our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It’s an open thread so let’s use lots of made up words in the comments section like conversate. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!

Yankees To Add Third Rookie Ball Affiliate

The New York Yankees have made an agreement with Pulaski County and the Appalachian League to field a third rookie ball affiliate in 2015. The Yankees will replace the Seattle Mariners affiliate in the league after the M's backed out of their agreement.

The Pulaski Yankees would be a more advanced league than your run of the mill rookie ball affiliates. In the GCL teams don't play in their own stadiums and fields like they will in this new league. Think of this league as a halfway point from the GCL to the short season Staten Island Yankees.

The Pulaski Yankees will play their home games in Virginia at Calfee Park in Pulaski. The stadium is a historic monument in Virginia and was built way back in 1935. The stadium is actually built in the middle of a residential neighborhood believe it or not. The Yankees are reportedly going to pump $3 million - $3.5 million into the stadium in renovations before the team moves in next season.

Here's the quote from Roanake.com about the renovations:

Calfee Park will get a $2 million facelift that will include adding new seating, upgrading parking and concession areas, and replacing clubhouses and the press box. The old shelter above the third-baseline seating, which dates to the park's 1935 construction and is designated as the family section, is to remain. The overall feel of the park should remain small-town and downhome, Hagan said last week.
Another $1 million to $1.5 million is to be spent building an extended stay facility so ballplayers can live in downtown Pulaski during the season. In recent years, Mariners players stayed in a motel in Wytheville.

Jeter Trying to Keep Yankees' Playoff Hopes Alive

At this point of the season, it's clear to us all that the Yankees' chances of making the playoffs are pretty slim. 

Going into tonight's opener against the Rays, dissapointingly, they trail the Mariners by five games in the AL Wild Card standings, a number that seems to spell doom unless they go on an unlikely run.

Nonetheless, according to team Shortstop Derek Jeter the possibility of that unlikely run is all they need to remain calm, a rather strange opinion he recently shared with The Journal News' Brian Heyman. 

"We're still in a position where if we win our games, then we'll be all alright," Jeter said earlier today. 

Despite saying that, the Captain did later admit that he'd prefer to be in a better position right now, but can't do anything about it.

"I'd look to be in a position where we control some things. I mean, yeah, obviously we're chasing a few teams, but all we can control is winning games. So that's all I'm concerned with now."

Good thing that's the case. No, it's not an ideal situation the Yankees currrently find themselves in, but still, that doesn't mean they shouldn't continue to hold out hope, something they definitely can't do if they scoreboard-watch.

9/9 Yankees Game Preview vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees are fresh off an off day and a disappointing on the field performance on Derek Jeter Day and are ready to finish up their home stand with a three game series this week in the Bronx against the Tampa Bay Rays. If the Yankees have any shot at making the playoffs as a wild card they need to sweep the Rays in Yankee Stadium this week before heading back out on the road. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound looking to take the first step in the campaign and get a victory but he will be faced off with a tough opponent in Yankee killer Chris Archer for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the MY9, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Kuroda revealed that he has stopped throwing as much in between starts this season and it has definitely helped him get stronger as the season went on. For two consecutive seasons Kuroda has faded when the calendar turned to August and September but this year has seemingly gotten better as the year went on. Kuroda earned his 10th victory of the season last time out with eight strikeouts against the Boston Red Sox.

Archer has struggled in each of his last two starts allowing six runs in six innings in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays. Archer is a notorious Yankee killer though and has only allowed three runs in 13.2 innings pitched this season against New York.

Go Yankees!!

When a Marathon Becomes a Sprint

We have all had it drilled into our heads as young and aggressive baseball fans that the season is a marathon, not a sprint, and to not get too worked up over one game. The best part of the season for the impatient fan is September because it finally becomes a sprint and not a race anymore. The New York Yankees have 20 games left including tonight and if the season ended today would be on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

Looking at the Yankees schedule New York has three games with the Tampa Bay Rays (starting tonight) at home before heading out on the road for three games on the road against the Rays again and four games, including a double header, against the Baltimore Orioles. New York then returns home for their final home stand of the season as they host the Toronto Blue Jays for four games and Baltimore for four more games. The Yankees will finish their season with three games in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.

With the Yankees recent struggles against teams like the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays the playoffs look less and less likely every single day. New York almost has to sweep every game they have left with Tampa, Toronto, and Boston while playing the Orioles extremely tough. Even with that New York may still need a little help to reach the playoffs.

The biggest thing New York has playing against them right now is the fact that it seems like all the teams they are chasing are playing each other as well. If one team sweeps the other you’re not making up any ground in the long run and if they play .500 against each other you have to sweep to make up any ground. The marathon has become a sprint or a race but I don’t believe it’s going to be a pennant or playoff race for the Yankees unfortunately. 

AL East vs. NL East in Interleague Play in 2015

As many of you probably know I was born in the Bronx, New York and have since moved to metro Atlanta, Georgia. I miss my New York Yankees terribly and I must go and see them every time they come down to Atlanta, which unfortunately is not often. Early 2015 schedules have been officially released this week and it looks like I will get to see my Derek Jeter-less Yankees next year in Turner Field.

Every year a certain division basically plays another certain division in interleague play, although not exclusively. For instance this season the Yankees had two series home and away with the Chicago Cubs, one series at home with the Cincinnati Reds, a road series with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pittsburgh Pirates came to Yankee Stadium, and the St. Louis Cardinals hosted a series in Busch Stadium this season. I say not exclusively because the Yankees always play the four game Subway Series home and away with the New York Mets.

In 2015 the Yankees are scheduled to play the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Mets in Interleague play. The Yankees will travel to Atlanta during the hottest month in the ATL, August, to take on the Braves August 28-30th. Expect me to be there.

Petition to Hold Ceremonies AFTER the Game

Hi, my name is Daniel Burch and I am taking up signatures for my petition if you’re interested in signing. My petition states that I would like the New York Yankees to hold their ceremonies honoring players past and present AFTER the game, not before the game. I have written more than once on the blog that I believe the Yankees suck when it matters and I stand behind that notion even more so this season. New York has honored Paul O’Neill, Joe Torre, Goose Gossage, Tino Martinez, and now Derek Jeter this season and have gone an incredible 1-4 in those games, the only win being on Joe Torre Day.

I really don’t have an explanation for why the Yankees are so terrible in these games. Do they try too hard? Do they spend all their energy and emotion in the ceremony before the game? Do the Baseball God’s just not have it in the cards for that particular day? I don’t know, I wish I did so I could fix it, but I do know the current situation is not working and I am more than willing to throw crap at the wall to see if it sticks.

How much more appropriate can you get when you see Jeter with a dirty jersey after a Yankees victory thanking the fans for making him feel like a kid for the past 20 seasons? And before anyone complains about how the fans wouldn’t stick around after the game you’re silly. Fans piled into Yankee Stadium hours in advance for Derek Jeter Day and were in their seats for a 1:35 game by 12:00 pm in the afternoon. If they will come an hour and a half before the game they will sleep in an hour and a half and stay after the game.

It won’t ever happen but something needs to change because these games, playoff chase or not, are not games the Yankees should be losing. The most storied franchise in Major League Baseball history and most winningest team in Major League Baseball history needs to honor their legends with victories. Now get it done. 

Will you sign my petition?

Carlos Beltran Needs To Consider Surgery Now, Not Later

Carlos Beltran needs to consider having his elbow clean up surgery to help alleviate the pain with his bone spurs now rather than waiting until the offseason. The Yankees are not going anywhere this season, especially with a struggling Beltran as an automatic out in the middle of the lineup, and it only makes sense to get the surgery now. Beltran is struggling mightily and cannot get a fourth cortisone shot in the elbow legally this season. Beltran is hurting the team and needs to sit down and take himself out of the lineup because manager Joe Girardi is not going to do it for him.

Beltran has a season triple slash of .238/.307/.413 and only hit .242/.330/.396 in August with three home runs and ten RBI. That kind of production is hard to swallow from your number nine hitter in the order or at a position not known for its offense, second base for example, but it is especially hard to swallow from Beltran. Beltran is always hitting in the heart of the order, a lot of the times until recently in the all-important number three hole, and plays a production heavy position in right field and designated hitter.

Beltran is soon to be 38 years old and 38 year old players don’t heal the way a 28 year old does. The more time for Beltran to rest, rehab, and heal the better from an elbow surgery, even one as minor as the removal of a bone spur. With two more years and $30 million left on the contract for New York they need to do everything they can to get the most out of Beltran for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Everyone needs to sit down, evaluate that this team is not making the playoffs or a deep run in the playoffs if by some miracle they get there, and Beltran is hurting the team now and later if he waits until the offseason to have the surgery.

It won’t happen, but it should. 

Quick Hit: Brett Gardner Expected Back Tonight

Brett Gardner is expected to be back tonight when the New York Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. The offense struggled to score over the weekend against the Kansas City Royals getting shut out twice while Gardner missed two games with a strained muscle in his stomach. Last time this flared up Gardner only missed one game with the injury but this time he has had at least three days of rest, maybe that will be enough to knock it out for the rest of the season.

The Yankees sorely, no pun intended, need Gardner back in the middle of that lineup and on the base paths as the team continues to struggle at the plate. The Yankees playoff hopes dwindled to almost nothing this weekend after losing two of three to the Royals so if they have any inkling or miracle brewing it will have to include Brett Gardner for it to be a reality.

Welcome back Brett, this team really needs you. 

Hitting The High Notes of the 2015 Schedule

It seems like the Yankees start the season later than usual with an April 6th Opening Day game against the Toronto Blue Jays. New York faces the entire AL East division to start the season with three games each against the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox.

The AL East plays the NL East in Interleague play next season and the New York Mets and the Yankees will play two series of three games each instead of the four game home and home series we've grown accustomed to the last two season. The first Mets and Yankees game is on April 24th at Yankee Stadium.

The Detroit Tigers (four games) and the Mets (three games) are the only non AL East teams the Yankees play until they travel to Kansas City to take on the Royals on May 15. That's 29 division games and seven games outside the division to start the season.

The last time the Yankees will be on the West Coast will be July 1 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The All Star Game is in Cincinnati on July 14. New York finishes Interleague play with a September series with the Mets on September 20.

New York finishes the season on the road against the Baltimore Orioles on October 4.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/9: Jeter Passes Ruth On Yankees All-Time Hits List

As we all know Derek Jeter currently sits at the top of many Yankees records including the all-time hits list for New York but Jeter moved into second place on that very list on this day in 2008. Jeter passed the Yankees legend Babe Ruth on the list with his 2,874th hit of his career, a first inning single in a Yankees 7-1 victory on the road. At the time the only player ahead of Jeter on the Yankees all-time hit list was Lou Gehrig with his 2,721 hits.

Also on this day in 1998 surprisingly the New York Yankees clinched the AL East division crown when they increased their lead over the second place Boston Red Sox to 20.5 games.  The Yankees would set an American League record in 1998 with a 114-48 record but I think clinching the division on September 9th may be more impressive. 

Finally on this day in 1961 the M&M boys Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle passed another set of Yankees teammates in the MLB record books. On this day Maris hit his 56th home run of the season and when you combine that with Mantle's 52 the Yankees teammates held the record for the most single season home runs by a pair of teammates with 108. The M&M boys passed the 1927 Yankees teammates and legends Babe Ruth (60) and Lou Gehrig(47) for the MLB record.