Saturday, March 21, 2015

Recap: Yankees 3, Astros 2

Michael Pineda pitched 3 2/3 innings of two-run ball and the Yankees rallied for three big runs in the bottom of the ninth Saturday as they walked-off against the Astros, 3-2, in a pitching-dominated contest at Steinbrenner Field. 

Pineda Turns in Solid Start After Rough First Inning: Pineda gave up a two-run home run to Chris Carter in the top of the first, and appeared to be in for a long day after allowing four hits to the first eight Astros he faced. Following a one-out double in the second, however, Pineda retired seven straight -- ultimately finishing with no walks and six strikeouts. 

Wilson Works Out of Trouble: Justin Wilson relieved Pineda and kept the Astros off the board for another 1 1/3 innings -- stranding a pair of runners with a strikeout of Carter in the fifth. In all, Wilson walked one and punched out two during his four-out performance -- recording the last out of the fourth on just one pitch. 

Miller's Quick Outing: Andrew Miller came in for the sixth and sat down the Astros in order -- fanning two while inducing a routine groundout. With his two strikeouts, interestingly, Miller now has seven on the month -- the third highest total amongst Yankees lefties. 

Bailey Puts Up a Zero: Andrew Bailey struggled with his location in his spring debut Wednesday, but when on the mound in this one's seventh inning, seemed to have better control. He struck out two and got Robbie Grossman to fly out harmlessly to right -- only letting one batter reach base when Jake Marisnick was hit by a pitch.

Rally: With the exception of Mark Teixeira's two knocks off Houston's Dallas Keuchel, the Yankees' offense remained quiet for most of the afternoon -- finally coming to life in its half of the ninth. Indeed, the Yankees plated a trio in their last at-bat to emerge victorious -- tying the score on an Eddy Rodriguez double and an Andrew Aplin error before winning on a Jake Cave sac fly.

Next Up: The Yankees will look to continue their good play on the road Sunday when they visit the Mets in Port St. Lucie -- a matchup slated to begin at 1:05 p.m. ET. CC Sabathia is expected to start for the Yanks opposite Mets youngster Matt Harvey -- with both YES and SNY set to broadcast the action. 

What if Ellsbury Isn’t Ready for April 6

Jacoby Ellsbury was diagnosed by manager Joe Girardi as having a “mild, mild, mild” abdominal strain and would miss the last two games of the spring while the Yankees team doctor diagnosed the Yankees center fielder with an oblique injury. The initial diagnosis is for Ellsbury to only miss a week as a precautionary measure and he should be ready for Opening Day on April 6th against the Toronto Blue Jays. With just 17 days left until Opening Day including today the Yankees have to start asking the question, what if Ellsbury isn’t ready?

Luckily for the Yankees they have at least two players already on the 40 man roster that are presumably making the roster on Opening Day that can play center field in Brett Gardner and Chris Young. Also luckily for the Yankees they have established a ton of outfield depth over the last few seasons with Jose Pirela, Garrett Jones and Chase Headley while other prospects like Ramon Flores, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin also have experience in the outfield. While it seems unlikely that Flores or Judge would make it onto the roster and while it seems even more unlikely that New York will play Jones anywhere but right field or Headley anywhere in the outfield it does seem like a way to get Pirela onto the roster.

The only issue the Yankees face is the fact that if Ellsbury starts the season on the disabled list there is no retroactive DL. Ellsbury would have to miss the first two weeks of the season after missing the last two or three weeks of the spring. If Ellsbury isn’t ready but he’s close the team may simply play a player down until Ellsbury is ready and keep things as they are. If he’s not it finally opens the door for Pirela to make the Opening Day roster. Either way the Yankees plan to have insurance, back up plans and depth may finally be paying off and showing dividends unfortunately at the expense of an injured All Star caliber player. 

Spring Training Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 3/21

The New York Yankees continue their Grapefruit League schedule this afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field when the team plays host to the Houston Astros. With just about two weeks left of spring training we should start seeing more and more regulars for longer periods of time while the prospects get assigned one by one to minor league camps. Competitions are coming to an end and the games are so close to meaning something we can almost taste it.

This afternoon the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound to face off with Dallas Keuchel for the Astros. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and will not be nationally televised anywhere. The game may be on MLB TV though, enjoy your weekend Yankees family. 

Another Yankees Minor League Player Suspended for Steroids

Steroids, drugs and performance enhancing drugs for the most part seem to be cleared up, or hidden better, at the major league level but the epidemic seems to still be a huge problem in the minor leagues. The Yankees have already suspended two of their own this season for steroids and drugs and now can add a third name to that list in Moises Cedeno.

Cedeno is a 19 year old right handed pitcher who is currently as the Yankees Dominican Summer League team. Cedeno will miss 72 games during the 2015 season after testing positive for Clenbuterol marking the 41st suspension this season overall under the minor league program.

Without Cedeno the Yankees DSL team will miss his 4-4 record and 3.23 ERA in 13 starts last season and 8-7 record with a 4.24 ERA in 28 starts and one relief appearance in his three season minor league career. We have a problem here folks….

The Yankees New Way of Making Money

Not so long ago the New York Yankees used to make money by putting a quality product on the field year in and year out that won American League East titles and World Series championships. Nowadays the team has found a new way to even the playing field and make substantial profits, marketing and advertising. A few weeks back we informed you guys that the Yankees had an official energy dealer for whatever reason and today we learn that the Yankees and the Chicago Cubs have an official sunscreen…. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen.

The Yankees chose Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen to help with the ongoing fight with skin cancer. The Blue Lizard mascot has been traveling all over Chicago, New York and spring training camps handing out free sunscreen and informational packets on how to prevent the most common of all cancers. It’s a great cause don’t get me wrong but I don’t understand how or why the Yankees need an official energy company and an official sunscreen. It’s doing good for the sake of the reward and not for the sake of it, although admittedly the Yankees are a company and business first so I do understand it a tad.

 Here’s the direct quote from the Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Company:

"We are very excited to enter a relationship with Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen. We look forward to working together to increase protective awareness in our fans, both at Yankee Stadium and in the tri-state area, fighting skin cancer," said Michael J. Tusiani, New York Yankees Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Sponsorships.

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Lose to Houston

It seems like the Yankees have clobbered the teams they should have trouble with this spring and lost to the teams they should run all over so keeping up with that pattern I expect the New York Yankees to lose their next Grapefruit League game against the Houston Astros.

Vote in our prediction poll on

All 30 MLB Teams to Play Game 162 on Same Day

Here is a cool little tidbit that I found very interesting to get your weekend and Saturday morning started right. All 30 Major League Baseball teams will play their 162nd and final regular season game on the same day this season. Instead of teams scoreboard watching from home they will all have to scoreboard watch in the ballpark this season during the game. Not only will all the games be played on the same day they will also be played at the same time.

All games will be scheduled for 3:05 pm ET on that day and will mimic what soccer’s Premier League calls “Survival Sunday” where all teams vying for a playoff spot will play at the same time. This is going to be very interesting to watch if the Wild Card and playoff chases go down to the final game like they have the past few seasons, good call MLB.

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/21: Robin Roberts #36

On this day in 1962 in a ceremony prior to a spring training game the Phillies honored the newest Yankee, and former Philadelphia player, Robin Roberts by retiring his number 36 uniform number. Roberts wore the number for 14 seasons while with the Phillies and started the game against his former team giving up four runs in three innings. Roberts, the future Hall of Fame right hander would get the win in a 13-10 Yankees victory.