Friday, July 3, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 7/3

What better way to spend a Friday night in the Bronx, New York than to spend it at Yankee Stadium watching the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays face off head-to-head. Tonight the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound looking to regain his ace form while the Tampa Bay Rays send their ace and Yankee killer Chris Archer to the mound to oppose him. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees have a July 4th afternoon game tomorrow and another inside Yankee Stadium on Sunday against this same Rays team to look forward to going forward. These should be well played games and should be entertaining to watch either live or on TV so click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to grab a pair of tickets without paying all those fees and shipping costs. If you’d rather watch it on TV then jump on Twitter as well (@GreedyStripes) or the comments section of the blog to interact with us during each and every Yankees game.

Happy Tanaka Day ladies and gents, let’s do it. Go Yankees!

Has Nathan Eovaldi Finally Figured It Out?

The Yankees have played a total of 79 games this season as we all saw in the “Yankees Leaders” post from earlier this morning and I don’t believe one player has been criticized more than Nathan Eovaldi. Esmil Rogers has been ragged on by the fans, CC Sabathia’s effectiveness as a starter is a constant question and concern while Stephen Drew just sucks but I think much of the animosity this season, whether deserved or not, has been thrown at Eovaldi after the Yankees traded David Phelps and Martin Prado this winter for Eovaldi and Garrett Jones. Many fans expected an ace rather than the unfinished work in progress we were promised by the Yankees brass and revolted when he continued to lead the league in hits allowed but if you’ve been watching his last three starts you may have noticed that Eovaldi may have finally figured it out.

Ever since Eovaldi failed to make it out of the first inning against his former team the Miami Marlins Eovaldi has been sharp, effective and has pitched much better than his 4th starter title would suggest. In his first start Eovaldi made a start on short rest against the Detroit Tigers and looked good pitching 6.0 IP allowing just two runs and a walk with four K’s notching his 6th victory of the season. His next start came against the Houston Astros and it was once again Mr. Eovaldi and less of Dr. Jekyll as Eovaldi pitched another 6.0 IP allowing two earned runs while striking out six for his 7th victory of the season. On Wednesday night Eovaldi logged his team-high 8th victory of the season against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitching 5.1 IP of scoreless baseball. Eovaldi wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t always dominant but he pitched to certain spots and walked certain batters when he had to and ultimately won those three games in a row in convincing fashion giving Yankees fans everywhere a bit of hope.

Eovaldi was presented to the Yankees fan base as a work in progress and that’s exactly what he is, a work in progress. Eovaldi will have his ups and his downs and after this post he may go and lay an egg in his next start, it’s called growing pains. He has the things you cannot teach though and that’s velocity and, knock on wood, durability. The rest can be taught including the baseball IQ to walk an Albert Pujols setting up an inning ending double play as well as the addition of a new pitch or two to keep batters from simply sitting on his straight fastball. Eovaldi may not win 15 games this season or ever become an ace but he’s getting better with every start and that’s all you can really ask for from a 25 year old flamethrower in his first season in the Bronx. For the Yankees sake let’s hope Eovaldi is figuring this thing out. 

Yankees Leaders through 79 Games


Games Played:

Chase Headley - 77

At Bats:

Chase Headley - 298

Runs Scored:

Brett Gardner - 58


Brett Gardner - 86


Brett Gardner - 21

Home Runs:

Mark Teixeira - 19


Mark Teixeira - 54


 Brett Gardner - .304 (among qualifies players)



Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia - 16


 Justin Wilson - 36


Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda - 8


CC Sabathia - 8


Bullpen: Andrew Miller - 1.03

Rotation: Ivan Nova - 1.50


Rotation: Michael Pineda - 95

Bullpen: Dellin Betances - 64

Independence Day Eve & Potential A-Rod Compromises

EDIT: The New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez have agreed to donate $3.5 million to various charities to end the dispute. Bravo to both sides, bravo.

While many were preparing for their Independence Day cookouts and trips to see the fireworks Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was reporting that the New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez were discussing a solution to the $6 million bonus the team may or may not owe Rodriguez.  While this may seem like an original idea to solve a problem and avoid a grievance it's not, I had this idea back in April. Now while I admit was probably not the first to come up with this idea I haven't seen it put on paper before I had it and I think that counts for something.

On April 28th I asked the question whether Alex's milestones were marketable or not, SEEN HERE, and again brought up the idea of donating the money to a charity on June 17th almost three weeks later.

Representatives from the Yankees, Rodriguez and the MLB Players Union have stated that while a deal is not considered close the group has made "quiet progress" in coming to an agreement that could redirect the money "owed" to Alex. The early details of the decision would have the $6 million, and only this $6 million not the next milestone for trying Babe Ruth at 714 home runs, divided and spread across charities hand-chosen by both Hal Steinbrenner and Rodriguez.

This deal could come together rather quickly or it could completely fall apart, that is the bad thing about this deal and how sensitive any agreement would be. I guess you'll have to stay tuned but I will say this either way: I'm glad that Alex did the right thing and continued his PR makeover and I'm also appreciative that the Yankees are willing to avoid more distractions and turmoil with one of their players that is so valuable to the team in 2015.

Zack Hample Will Give Alex Rodriguez 3000th Hit Ball Today

Zack Hample, the man who caught the home run ball for Alex Rodriguez's 3000th hit, will give the ball back to Alex today at Yankee Stadium. More to come, stay tuned.

EDIT: Yankees paid $150,000 for the baseball and apparently 100% of it will head to Mr. Hample's charity of choice, Pitch In For Baseball that supplies under-privileged children with baseball and softball equipment and gear.

The entire list of what Hample will receive is not public record yet but you have to think that if Hample had offers as high as $500,000 for the ball he has to have quite a few perks coming his way from the Yankees and Hal Steinbrenner.

And just as a reminder he alluded to as much in THIS interview he did exclusively for the blog.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 7/3

The New York Yankees begin a huge three game series this weekend in the Bronx and Yankee Stadium against the team they are chasing in the American League East Division the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees did some maneuvering with their rotation presumably for this series and will send some of their best pitching options to the mound against Tampa including Masahiro Tanaka tonight. Facing off with Tanaka is Chris Archer, the Yankees killer, for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Tanaka is fresh off a start where he was handed an early lead that he handed right back to the Houston Astros inside Minute Maid Park. Tanaka had an early six run lead including a grand slam by Brian McCann but gave it all back resulting in a no-decision for Tanaka. The Yankees did win the game behind an offensive explosion by Chris Young but Tanaka did nothing to silence the questions and the doubters about the health of his elbow.

  • Archer is coming off a tough start against the Boston Red Sox last time out where he allowed a career-high three home runs. Archer took his fifth loss of the season but comes into the start with a perfect 5-0 record and a 2.02 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees.

The Yankees really need to come out of the Bronx this weekend with a series win, obviously a sweep would be better, if the team wants to make a serious run at the playoffs this season. It’s hard to say this is a must-win for the club or a series that they absolutely have to have this early in July because so much can go down between then and now but it helps to win the games now rather than having to rely on late season wins when everyone is at the top of their games. The Yankees know this, you all reading this know this and I know this so let’s just hope the Yankees can get it done. Go Yankees!

Fans Want Samardzija But Hate on Eovaldi?

When the calendar turned over to July the heat got turned up on every hot stove around Major League Baseball and especially around the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are in a dog-fight with the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles for supremacy in an overall weak American League East Division that as it stands right now is wide open for the taking if anyone wants it. A lot can change between now and August first though as the non-waiver trading deadline will come and go on July 31st where the contenders and the pretenders distance themselves just a little bit more. A plethora of starting pitching names have been linked to the Yankees including Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels but one player that the team has shown interest in is making me scratch my head, Jeff Samardzija.

This more or less makes me wonder because of the fan’s interpretation of Nathan Eovaldi, more on that later on the blog by the way, and the general opinion of the big right hander. Eovaldi had made three straight quality starts for the Yankees and is now tied with Michael Pineda for the team’s lead in victories by a pitcher with eight despite allowing the second most hits in the American League. The only man who has allowed more hits this season than Mr. Eovaldi is Jeff Samardzija who has allowed 123 hits in his first 16 starts this season with the Chicago White Sox. This has easily been one of the worst statistical seasons “Shark” has had in his short MLB career and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

The upside for the Yankees if they do make a trade for Samardzija is that if he doesn’t work out and continues on this trend he is a free agent after the 2015 season and can be allowed to walk. If he pitches well and turns things around like Brandon McCarthy did in 2014 with the Yankees after a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks the team could always bring back Samardzija in free agency for 2016 or sign him to a contract extension before the season ends. That’s not the issue here, Samardzija has a great arm and has the velocity, the stuff and the makeup that absolutely cannot be taught and I could see him easily turning things around in pinstripes, the issue is that the Yankees fans in general are all for it.

My point here is this, if it’s good for one then it’s good for the other. Samardzija has a live arm, so does Eovaldi. Samardzija throws hard and while he’s not really an ace yet or a finished product he can give the team innings and keep them in most starts he makes, but so can Eovaldi and especially lately. Samardzija gives up a lot of hits and doesn’t leave the opposing hitters guessing much and you guessed it, neither does Eovaldi. I’m not trying to compare the two but it’s a little unfair to salivate at the idea of trading for the guy that leads the league in hits while constantly bashing the guy who is currently in second place in hits allowed in the league. 

TGP Daily Poll: Tanaka Returns to Form

Masahiro Tanaka looked great in his first couple starts off the disabled list before looking extremely human in his last three starts. Tanaka returns to that dominant form with at least 6 IP and 2 ER or less on Friday against the Rays.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

The day of reckoning for Robert Refsnyder is coming. While you won’t see this on the major news sources like ESPN and MLB Network and you won’t read about this on the major blogs like River Avenue Blues and the others that are YES Network affiliated you will here because I’m not afraid to say it. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that judgement day is coming for Refsnyder before the end of this month. By the end of the July 31st trade deadline I believe that he will either be wearing a new uniform, and will likely be in the major leagues shortly after, or he will be on the major league roster either as the starting second baseman or in some sort of bench capacity.

Refsnyder’s defense is light years ahead of what it was at this point last season and it has come a considerably long way since Opening Day of 2015. His errors are being cut down tremendously by making the throws he is supposed to make and by eating the plays he was trying to do too much on earlier in the season. While he isn’t hitting at the enormous clip he was last season I truly think that has more to do with him being “over-groomed” and bored and less about his skill set. Refsnyder’s discouraged and he doesn’t feel like he has anything left to prove in the minor leagues and frankly, I agree.

Here is the stat line that Refsnyder will either help the Yankees with in a trade or on the major league roster:


This Day in New York Yankees History 7/3: ESPN Sued By The Sleeping Man

On this day in 2014 the New York Yankees were playing as a part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball and one fan was caught sleeping live on national television. Andrew Rector filed a $10 million defamation suit in the Bronx Supreme Court against the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball, ESPN and ESPN's play-by-play men Dan Shulman and John Kruk. Rector, the 26 year old used car salesman, was caught napping in the game and felt like the commentary pained him in a bad light and damaged his reputation. Okay.

Also on this day in 1932 the Boston Red Sox played the New York Yankees on what was a Sunday in Fenway Park. What made this significant is the fact that Boston law outlawed games played within 1000 feet of a church. The Red Sox would lose 13-2 on this day.

Finally on this Independence Day eve you have to wonder what the world would have been like had they had Twitter back then. While the official news that the United States of America had gained its independence on this day would have dropped on July 4th in the 1770’s the news would have likely been breaking today, July 3rd, in modern times you would have to think. Just some senseless thinking on my part that doesn’t really mean much to start your Friday.

Have a great day Yankees fans!