Sunday, September 6, 2015

Recap: Yankees 6, Rays 4

Brian McCann hit a game-tying three-run shot in the sixth and Alex Rodriguez followed it up with a solo blast of his own as the Yankees edged the Rays, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Just What They Needed: McCann drilled a Chris Archer fastball high into the right-field stands, evening the score at three after a dominant early-going by the Rays' righty. Rodriguez then clubbed the go-ahead homer on the very next pitch, lifting a hanging slider into the fourth row in right-center for his 28th long ball of the year.

Super Solid: Ivan Nova surrendered three earned runs in the first three innings, but bounced back from there for a second straight quality start. Nova's final line included six frames and three strikeouts, a Kevin Kiermaier two-run home run and a Logan Forsythe RBI single accounting for the visitors' offense.

The Insurance Agent: Didi Gregorius used some heads-up base-running to score on a throwing error in the seventh, adding further insurance with a bases-loaded single in the eighth. The Rays had been trying to turn a double play when Forsythe's seventh-inning heave to first went wide, allowing Gregorius to sprint home from third with the Yanks' fifth run (unearned) off Archer.

An Unusual Occurence: The normally-perfect Dellin Betances served up a solo bomb to Asdrubal Cabrera in the eighth, a no-doubter to the upper-deck in right to cut the Yankees' lead to one. It was just the fourth time this season Betances has been taken deep, all of which have interestingly come in the Bronx.

Holding On: Andrew Miller yielded a pair of singles with two out in the ninth, putting men on the corners for pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer. Guyer, however, was hopeless in his attempts to hit Miller -- striking out awkwardly on just four pitches as the closer sealed the victory.

Next Up: The Yankees continue this homestand with a visit from the Orioles on Monday, sending Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.07 ERA) to the mound versus lefty Wei-Yin Chen (8-7, 3.36 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET, airing live on YES and ESPN.

Sunday Night Yankees Open Thread

The Yankees game is in the books and so is the weekend for some people, tomorrow is Labor Day for the rest of us and I think we all deserve the day off paid. Isn't that the point of Labor Day? You shouldn't have to serve me food in a restaurant or ring up my groceries in a Wal Mart, you should be at home with your family enjoying the day but I digress. The Yankees game is done and so am I for the evening.

I leave you with this music recommendation to end the weekend, the name of the song is Here to Mars and the artist is Coheed and Cambria. Enjoy and enjoy your evening.

CC Sabathia Sets Up the Rotation

The New York Yankees announced last night that the team could get CC Sabathia back as soon as this Wednesday when the team faces the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. CC has been pitching with a brace on his knee that will reportedly give him more movement and stability while throwing without holding him back on the mound. This is encouraging news for the Yankees if the brace can help CC garner some good starts and dominant innings for the remainder of the season. The first question that was asked to manager Joe Girardi was whether the team would remove someone from the starting rotation or whether the team would go to the six-man rotation. The Yankees don't plan on removing anyone from the starting rotation so the six-man rotation may finally become a reality setting up this starting rotation (presumably) for the remainder of the 2015 season.

9/9 - CC Sabathia (BAL)
9/10 - Luis Severino (TOR)
9/11 - Nathan Eovaldi (TOR)
9/12 - Ivan Nova (TOR)
9/13 - Masahiro Tanaka (TOR)
9/14 - Michael Pineda (TBR)
9/15 - CC Sabathia (TBR)
9/16 - Luis Severino (TBR)
9/17 - OFF
9/18 - Nathan Eovaldi (NYM)
9/19 - Ivan Nova (NYM)
9/20 - Masahiro Tanaka (NYM)
9/21 - Michael Pineda (TOR)
9/22 - CC Sabathia (TOR) - I see this changing
9/23 - Luis Severino (TOR)
9/24 - Nathan Eovaldi (CHW)
9/25 - Ivan Nova (CHW)
9/26 - Masahiro Tanaka (CHW)
9/27 - Michael Pineda (CHW)
9/28 - CC Sabathia (BOS)
9/29 - Luis Severino (BOS)
9/30 - Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)
10/1 - Ivan Nova (BOS)
10/2 - Masahiro Tanaka (BAL)
10/3 - Michael Pineda (BAL)
10/4 - CC Sabathia (BAL)

This lineup leaves rookie phenom Severino set up perfectly for a potential AL Wild Card start while Eovaldi, Tanaka and Pineda could start a potential ALDS series. That also could change if the final game of the season is meaningful, especially if Sabathia is inconsistent off the disabled list when he returns.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 9/6

"Keep calm Yankees fans, I got this."

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays are on the field and ready to finish off this three game set. This is an important game for both ball clubs as the Tampa Bay Rays continue to fight for one of the two Wild Card spots in the American League while the Yankees are still within striking distance of an American League East Division title. Both teams need a win so this should be another closely contested contest with Ivan Nova taking the mound for the Yankees and Chris Archer, the Yankees Killer, taking the mound for the Rays. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and TBS.

The Yankees are right back at it again inside Yankee Stadium tomorrow and through the week as the team's last big home stand of the season comes to a close. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to get your tickets in hand to see the team live before they head back out onto the road. Also be sure to head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us during each and every Yankees game this season and to root for the home team from afar.

Nova is ready to take the mound and Jacoby Ellsbury is ready to return from his upset stomach and flu like symptoms so it's time to get another series win. Go Yankees!

Yankees Could Break a 103-Year Old Record in 2015

The 2015 season can easily be described as the Year of the Prospect as many top prospects have made their way to the Major Leagues this season. The Cubs seemingly have a new stud rookie starting at every position this season, the Twins called up MLB's top prospect Byron Buxton and the Dodgers called up new MLB top prospect Corey Seager this season and the Yankees even called up their top prospect in Luis Severino. In fact the Yankees have called up a lot of prospects this season and let a slew of them make their Major League debut's with the team, 16 of them to be exact. If the Yankees allow one more rookie to make their Major League debut this season the team will tie one of their own records that they have held for 103 seasons.

Back in 1912 the New York Highlanders watched as a whopping 17 rookies made their Major League debut's including George Batten, Curt Coleman, Iron Davis, John Dowd, Benny Kauff, Ray Keating, Jack Little, Pat Maloney, Jack Martin, Bill Otis, Del Paddock, Al Schulz, George Shears, Klondike Smith, Dutch Sterrett, Homer Thompson and Tommy Thompson. New York is one rookie away from tying that and have called up left-handed pitcher James Pazos to the Major Leagues as a September call up leaving the team one blowout away from tying the record.

New York could also call up another player to the Major Leagues in an emergency much like they did last season with (Gary Sanchez anyone?) Jose Pirela to potentially break the record assuming Pazos gets into a game before the end of the season. Pazos and a new hypothetical rookie would join Matt Tracy, Branden Pinder, Slade Heathcott, Jacob Lindgren, Ramon Flores, Mason Williams, Danny Burawa, Jose De Paula, Diego Moreno, Nick Rumbelow, Robert Refsnyder, Caleb Cotham, Nick Goody, Luis Severino, Greg Bird and Rico Noel as Yankees rookies who made their Major League debuts in 2015.

Any time a team gets this close to breaking a record I sort of hope for it to happen, I can't lie. I am a sucker for history. The main difference between the 1912 New York Highlanders and the 2015 New York Yankees is that the Highlanders only won 50 games while the Yankees may finish 50 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. The latter may be a slight exaggeration but it goes to show you just how far the Yankees farm system, as underrated as it is, has come in recent seasons.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 9/6

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will finish off their three game set this afternoon inside Yankee Stadium with the pitching match-up that the Yankees should have seen coming. It seems like if the Yankees play a one-game series against their American League East rivals it feels like today's starter Chris Archer would start that game. New York ALWAYS faces Archer, always, and I can't explain it. Anyway the Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound looking to oppose Archer in the finale of the three game set. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and TBS.

  • Nova heads into this start this afternoon looking to end a three game personal losing streak. Nova gave up three runs in six innings in his last start against the Boston Red Sox and missed a no-decision by about five feet on the Didi Gregorius deep fly ball in the 9th inning. Nova has faced the Rays once already this season on July 5th and gave up for runs in five innings in a loss for the Yankees. 

  • Archer heads into this start after notching his 18th quality start of the season last time out against the Baltimore Orioles. Archer shut out Baltimore for six innings while allowing just four hits and three walks with six K's in his 12th victory of the season. Archer is 3-0 in his career with a 1.54 ERA in five career starts inside Yankee Stadium.

It's Labor Day Eve and it's a day game in the Bronx so the ball may fly in the Bronx like it has a tendency of doing during the day. The Yankees have to be able to hit the ball first and that is no easy task against Archer, especially when the Rays right-handed is arguably having his best season of his young career. Must be the hair. Go Yankees!

Last Minute Pickups to Win Your Fantasy League

Many fantasy baseball leagues around the web are finishing up soon and the playoffs will be here before we know it. Whether you’re comfortable winning your league, in the playoffs or just on the cusp it can never hurt to add another piece or two late in the season. That’s where I come in hopefully with some solid advice on who to pick up for the stretch run and who to avoid. Enjoy and I hope it helps.

Austin Jackson did not well in a huge park in Seattle and he struggled with a huge park in Detroit but Chicago’s Wrigley Field is a whole new ballpark in a whole new league. You can buy extremely low on Jackson right and likely get a huge return on him, especially in an NL-only league. Abraham Almonte has quietly turned his season around after being traded to the Cleveland Indians while Stephen Drew, believe it or not, may be the hottest second baseman in the league right now.

In the category of good players on bad teams you have Hector Olivera who will presumably play every day at third base for the Atlanta Braves while the Boston Red Sox will find a place for Blake Swihart’s red hot bat whether it be behind the dish or at the DH position for the remainder of this season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers called up the top prospect in Major League Baseball Corey Seager putting him into a deep and heavy lineup making him attractive for the shortstop position if you need RBI help. Steven Matz will also be inserted into the New York Mets six-man rotation to help limit the innings of Matt Harvey while Ryan Goins looks to be locked into the second base job in Toronto for the foreseeable future.

In the final category we look at long shots that could turn the tide in your league this season but shouldn’t be relied upon alone to do so, if that makes any sense. Players like Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays who was originally slated to be out for the entire 2015 season with a knee injury before shocking the world and his doctors with his recovery and comeback. Stroman is one more minor league appearance away from re-joining the Blue Jays but could be one awkward move away from being back on the shelf. The same can be said for Tanner Roark who has struggled for much of the season in the bullpen but is being placed back in the rotation due to innings limits for his teammates. Roark once won 15 games for the Nationals in their rotation so the talent is there, but is the execution?

The final piece is Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers. He’s a huge bat that destroyed the minor and major leagues in his first two weeks before falling victim to the strikeout bug. Gallo continued to strike out in the minor leagues but if he can get hot he’d be a huge pickup at third base. 

Weekly Check In: The Pulaski Yankees

The Pulaski Yankees is the newest minor league affiliate for the New York Yankees and had an amazing inaugural season down on the farm. The Pulaski Yankees finished the season with a 45-23 and finished an impressive eight games in front of Princeton (Tampa Bay Rays rookie affiliate) in the Appalachian League. Pulaski is now in the playoffs facing off with that same Princeton team and are being led by a very impressive list of prospects including our friends Kendall Coleman and Gosuke Katoh. I absolutely could not decide on just one of these young men to check in on today so I decided that since it's my blog so I'll check in on them both.

Katoh is 20 years old and was drafted in the second round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft. Katoh spent the 2013 season inside the Yankees Gulf Coast League and absolutely killed the ball before taking a little step back in 2014 with the Charleston Riverdogs. Katoh was technically demoted to Pulaski but it may have been the best thing that ever happened to him. Katoh has exploded once again and has put himself right back on the Yankees prospects map. The batting average is low but the home run, RBI and defensive stats are great and that's what is most important at this point in his career.

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Coleman is a great guy, can I start the post about him by saying that? He's been gracious to us ever since Day One with the club and has always shown us the utmost respect and friendship and for that I thank him personally. Kendall was drafted in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft and spent each of the last two seasons in the Gulf Coast League with the Yankees. 2015 marked the first full season for Kendall and he has responded well showing a great batter's eye, on-base percentage and has shown double, triples and home run power. Coleman is as exciting of a prospect as any on Pulaski and we are extremely proud of him for everything he's done in his career.

2015 Pulaski 58 235 36 48 2 5 24 2 29 62 .236 .336 .389 .725

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/6: George Fires Gene Michael & Releases The Alou Brothers

George Steinbrenner bought the struggling New York Yankees franchise in 1973 for a meager $10 million and eventually turned the team into a perennial winner. Along the way George went through a lot of players, a ton of personnel, and more than his fair share of managers. On this day in 1981 The Boss made the "most agonizing" decision he ever made during his tenure as the Yankees owner when he fired manager Gene Michael and replaced him with Bob Lemon.

Michael announced in a press conference that he could no longer tolerate Steinbrenner's constant threats of dismissal which angered Steinbrenner. George demanded an apology and when Michael refused he was let go as the manager of the New York Yankees.

Also on this day in 1973 both of the Alou Brothers were released from the Yankees squad. Felipe Alou was sold to the Montreal Expos while Matty Alou was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals.