Tuesday, September 23, 2014

McCarthy's Struggles Doom Yankees in 5-4 Loss to Orioles

Brandon McCarthy surrendered five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and three different opponents hit home runs tonight as the Yankees' last spark of playoff hope died with a 5-4 loss to the Orioles.

Going into this one's top of the second, after Ubaldo Jimenez (5+ IP, 2 ER) recorded a walk and an HBP in New York's first at-bat of the evening, things were looking alright for McCarthy and the Yanks, who came into the day with a bit of momentum following yesterday's blowout.

Nonetheless, once ex-Pinstripe Kelly Johnson homered to begin that frame and Nick Markakis contributed a two-out RBI Single it was clear McCarthy wasn't in for his best performance. Indeed, from then on things only got worse for the veteran right-hander, who would also got taken deep for a two-run shot by Markakis in the fourth and by Nelson Cruz for a solo one in the fifth.

Fortunetaly, a Chris Young groundout, a Stephen Drew sac fly, and a Brian McCann two-run homer with Derek Jeter on between innings 4-8 would still keep the hosts from getting shut out on the night, but since the Royals simultaneously blew out the Indians over in Cleveland and Zach Britton was able to pitch a scoreless ninth their doing so didn't really prove relevant. Granted, the Yankees aren't yet mathematically eliminated, but considering it'd take a perfect last five days for them along with a nightmarish last five ones for Kansas City it's definitely likely that their season will end Sunday, an unfortunate fact that also means this is probably Jeter's last home series.

9/23 Open Game Thread vs. Baltimore Orioles

Welcome to tonight’s open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. This will be the second game of their four game set and the first of three games remaining in Derek Jeter's Bronx career. The Yankees will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound to face off with the Orioles Ubaldo Jimenez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the MY9, ESPN, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Get your Derek Jeter and Yankees tickets now as we are running out of time in the 2014 season and in Jeter’s career to see an icon and a legend. Also be sure to follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes and like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It’s an open thread Yankees family so go crazy. Enjoy the game, Go Yankees!

Derek Jeter recieves Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award

Here is the press release from MLB.com:

BRONX, NEW YORK – This afternoon, Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig presented New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. The presentation was made at Yankee Stadium, prior to the Club’s home game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Jeter is the 15th recipient of the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, which was created in 1998 to recognize accomplishments and contributions of historical significance. The most recent recipient was Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who was recognized on September 5th of this year. Jeter’s longtime teammate Mariano Rivera received the honor during the 2013 World Series.
Jeter will retire as Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in Postseason hits (200), runs scored (111), doubles (32), extra-base hits (57) and total bases (302). His five World Series Championships are the most among all of his active peers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter’s personal winning percentage of .593 (1,626-1,114-2) is the highest among all active players with at least 1,000 career games. The 14-time All-Star’s play in the Postseason includes many of the most iconic moments of his era, including his walk-off “Mr. November” home run in Game Four of the 2001 World Series; the “Flip Play” at home plate in Game Three of the 2001 American League Division Series; and his MVP-winning performance in the 2000 Subway World Series. Among players with at least 100 at-bats in the Fall Classic, Jeter’s .321 career batting average trails only Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig (.361), Eddie Collins (.328) and Babe Ruth (.326). The shortstop ranks sixth in career hits (3,460).
Commissioner Selig said: “Derek Jeter has been a champion in every way throughout his 20-year Major League career, always representing the best of our National Pastime. As one of the most accomplished shortstops of all-time, Derek’s ability to rise to the occasion on our grandest stages will be remembered forever. Generations of fans have emulated the Yankee captain proudly, and I know of no one in sports today who has met that responsibility with more grace than Derek has for the last two decades.”
The Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award is a trophy standing 12 inches tall, including a sterling silver base with a baseball mounted at the top. The words “Commissioner’s Historic Achievement” are engraved around the base of the trophy with the Major League Baseball silhouetted batter logo above the type.

JJ Hardy Would Listen If Yankees Called This Winter

According to Dan Martin of the New York Post current Baltimore Orioles shortstop JJ Hardy would listen if the Yankees called this winter about a free agent contract. Hardy is a free agent after this season and will be in his age 32 season in 2015. With the impending retirement of Derek Jeter a call to Hardy may make sense for both sides. The Yankees would likely pay the most because they have the biggest need at the shortstop position. It is also worth mentioning that the Yankees don't exactly have the shortstop of the future beating down the doors either which will play into Hardy's hands.

Pirela's Big Debut Enjoyable for Himself, Jeter

Jose Pirela's big debut in yesterday's win over the Orioles was understandably enjoyable for both him and Derek Jeter.

Pirela, who hit ninth and DH'd in the contest, went 2-for-3 on the night against a pair of Baltimore pitchers. Of those two knocks, which each came off Lefty Wei-Yin Chen, one bounced off the left-center field wall for an RBI triple in the third, while the other looped into right for a solid two-out single in the fifth. 

"When I see the outfielder go to get the ball, I see that's a hit," Pirela told MLB.com. "I say, 'I want to hit a homer.' I thought the ball is gone, but I hit a triple and I enjoy that."

Jeter, whose last game at Yankee Stadium is in two days, also liked what we saw.

"That was fun," Jeter said. "It's exciting to watch. You see how excited he was to get his first hit, then his second hit. It never gets old. We're all happy for him. He got an opportunity to play and I'm pretty sure he didn't think he was going to get called up this year. For him to come up and get his first hit, that's a fun thing to watch."

Two batters after both of his hits, interestingly, Pirela was actually driven in by nice contact by Jeter. However, the first time that happened in the aforementioned third was likely more because of the former, who broke for home on a hard grounder to shortstop as soon as the ball left the bat.

9/23 Game Preview vs. Baltimore Orioles

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles continue their four game set this week at Yankee Stadium in the last three games of the season in the Bronx. Derek Jeter has three more games including tonight to wear his pinstripes. The Yankees will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound looking to send the Yankees and Jeter out in style with the Orioles will counter with TBA. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the MY9. ESPN, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

McCarthy is coming off a start in which he allowed just two runs in a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. McCarthy has gone seven innings in back to back starts lowering his ERA to under 4.00 this season. McCarthy may be making his final start in pinstripes tonight depending on what the Yankees decide to do with Masahiro Tanaka next week.

TBA (not available at the time of this writing)

Go Yankees!!

There is Only One Way to Speed the Game Up

Major League Baseball announced yesterday that a new committee was formed to look at way to speed up the game starting in 2015 and beyond. First and foremost I think the days of four or five hour Yankees and Red Sox games are over and the need is just not there anymore, not at this large of a capacity anyway. I don’t have the stats in front of me but if I had to guess I would say that games are much shorter on average these days than they were in the early to late 2000’s. Anyway, I digress, there is only one way to speed up the game and that is to hit the players and the umpires in the wallet.

There are already rules in place for the batters and the pitcher to speed the game up, the problem is that none of them are enforced. There is something around a 15 second time limit for your walk up music and to be in the batters box ready to go after the last recorded out that is never enforced. There is a time limit between pitches for both the batter and the pitcher that is never enforced.

If you’re going to have rules then you must enforce them. Instead of setting up a committee to make new rules that aren’t going to be enforced or followed either why not just stick with what you have? This sounds like it’s going to be a debacle much like the home plate collision rule that has somehow become objective and inconsistent in its enforcement.

Don’t fix what isn’t broken and don’t throw crap against the wall hoping it will stick. 

Looking Back: My Predictions For Rookie of the Year For 2014

Back in March of this season, like I do every season, I predicted all the major award winners for the upcoming season. Usually I do a terrible job at these predictions, or any predictions really, but I didn't do terrible on this one. Originally I had Masahiro Tanaka for the New York Yankees winning the award and the Cincinnati Reds' Billy Hamilton taking it home for the NL. Hamilton has a legitimate shot at winning the award for the NL, although I personally voted for David Peralta, and Tanaka would have likely won the award had he not missed the better part of three months with a partial tear of his UCL. Jose Dariel Abreu is likely to win the award for the AL now and he deserves it. See below for the original post we made back in March:

Call me a homer, call it not fair, call it whatever but the rules are the rules and Masahiro Tanaka is eligible for the Rookie of the Year and he will win it. It will be the first time in a long time a member of the New York Yankees won the award but it will be well deserved, his time in Japan or not. Go Tanaka!

This may be the easy pick here but the Cincinnati Reds Billy Hamilton has everyone in the league talking, and for good reason. His speed, his bat, his defense, and his chance to play every day with Shin Soo Choo gone will be enough to net him the award.

Adam Wainwright Shows New York May Survive Tanaka’s Elbow Injury

The New York Yankees will be the first to tell you that they are dealing with uncharted waters here with the elbow injury to Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka had a 10% or less tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, which in laymen’s terms is a micro-tear, and four different doctors including Tommy John surgery specialist Dr. James Andrews prescribed rest and rehabilitation for Tanaka. I don’t have any numbers or list of players that have went this direction and succeeded but honestly I’m sure the list is not all that significant but one name stuck out at me, Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright is the ace of the St. Louis Cardinals and his name was brought up many times when talking about Tanaka and the route the Yankees and their doctors decided to go. Wainwright pitched for close to 10 years with a minor tear in his UCL and with elbow pain and did quite well with it. Wainwright stated that he first started feeling elbow pain in middle school and did not require Tommy John surgery until the 2011 season with the Cardinals.

For a guy who pitched needing Tommy John surgery and with a small tear in his UCL Wainwright did quite well for quite some time. Wainwright was drafted in the year 2000 and passed all physicals, MRI’s and other tests associated with being drafted. Wainwright actually had no problems out of the elbow until the 2005 season when he was shut down with an elbow strain after just 12 games for Triple-A Memphis. Wainwright even won a 2006 World Series championship and threw a no hitter in August of 2009 with the partially torn UCL. Wainwright did not tear the UCL bad enough to require surgery until spring training of the 2011 season when he experienced some discomfort in his right elbow while throwing batting practice in late February.

Wainwright struggled a bit, as expected, in 2012 going 14-13 but led the National League in victories in 2013 with 19 wins and is well on his way to another phenomenal season in 2014. The Yankees only have Tanaka signed for six more seasons, assuming he does not exercise his opt out clause after year five. If the Yankees can get two starts out of Tanaka this season, including the start on Sunday, and rest him all offseason I truly think the team can be in good condition. Tanaka is unlikely to throw in any winter leagues or equivalents this year so he will get three or four months of true rest on the elbow. I’m sure he will undergo a flurry of tests and scans after the season as well to take a closer look at the elbow just in case.

Wainwright may be the exception and not the rule but he also can give Yankees fans hope that they caught this injury early enough that there can be two exceptions to every rule. Let’s hope. 

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Would Be Better Off w/ Ron Washington than Joe Girardi

The New York Yankees have had quite a few losses this season where the pitcher got the loss but the “L” really needed to go to the coaching staff. Rob Thomson has blown a few with his coaching at third base but Joe Girardi has blown quite a few with his need to rest players too much and his bullpen management. Would the Yankees be better off this season with a new manager, specifically Ron Washington?

Vote in our poll!

Quick Hit: Tanaka Likely To Start In Boston Saturday

The New York Yankees took a risk worth taking on Sunday when they allowed Masahiro Tanaka to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays. This was the first time Tanaka had thrown since his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament on July 8 of this year. In the game Tanaka looked rusty yet effective in his 5.1 innings pitched but did more than enough to get his 13th victory of the season.

Tanaka is now likely to get one more start this season for one more test on his ailing elbow and that start will come in Fenway Park in the final series of the game. If Tanaka threw on regular rest he would start on Friday in the opener but I have a feeling New York will want to give him an extra day of rest of two. This puts Tanaka likely in a Saturday or Sunday start in Fenway before the season ends.

No matter where the Yankees start Tanaka it is great news that he is able to come through these starts with no pain, soreness, or abnormal fatigue. With the offseason ahead maybe just maybe the Yankees and Tanaka beat this thing, for now anyway. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/23: End of a Streak

The year 2008 was a year of change for the New York Yankees. Joe Torre was no longer the manager after spending the last 12 seasons as the skipper and was replaced by Joe Girardi. This was the final season at the old Yankee Stadium as a new stadium was being built across the street. This also marked the first year in 13 seasons that the Yankees would not make the playoffs. The Red Sox beat the Indians 5-4 at Fenway Park clinching at least a Wild Card berth and officially eliminated the Yankees.

Also on this day in 2007 Mike Mussina became the 45th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win 250 games in his career. On this day the Yankees would beat the Blue Jays 7-5 and in the game Joba Chamberlain picked up his first career save. Mussina insisted that the game ball go to Joba rather than himself.

Also on this day in 2001 Mariano Rivera set a single season record for the Yankees when he recorded his 47th save of the season. Dave Righetti held the old record at 46 when he set the record in 1986.

Also on this day in 1999 the Yankees set the New York City record for attendance in a single season when their crowd of 27,549 fans set the season total at 3,072,009. The New York Mets held the previous record for New York with 3,047,724 fans attended a game in one season.

Finally on this day in 1998 the greatest team of all time the 1998 Yankees tied the 1927 Yankees team for the most wins in franchise history with 110 wins. This win put the Yankees just one win behind the American League record of 111 wins by the 1954 Cleveland Indians.