Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Recap: Blue Jays 5, Yankees 1

CC Sabathia took yet another uncompetitive loss, surrendering four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings as the Yankees dropped the rubber game to the Blue Jays, 5-1, on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

Sabathia Stumbles: The big lefty blew an early 1-0 lead in the second when Ezequiel Carrera connected on a two-run single to right, and wasn't much better from then on. He served up a solo home run to Russell Martin in the sixth, ultimately finishing with nine hits and two walks under his belt. 

No Offense: The Yankees' bats struggled mightily against the Blue Jays' pitching staff on the evening, recording just six hits in five innings off the floundering Mark Buehrle. They plated a quick run in the first on a Mark Teixeira groundout and stranded the bases loaded in the fifth, but failed to seriously threaten once the bullpen entered.

Not Exactly Helpful: Down 2-1 with Martin on in the fifth, Sabathia committed a costly balk to advance him to scoring position -- setting up the red-hot Chris Colabello for an RBI single moments later. It was Sabathia's first illegal motion since April of 2013, as well the sixteenth of his career.

Make That Nine Now: Thanks to a blooper that found grass in the aforementioned top of the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury was able to extend his current hitting streak to nine games -- the longest such streak presently on the Yankees. The single was Ellsbury's only knock in four at-bats in the contest, though he is still 24 for his last 53 overall. 

A Solid Debut: Added to the roster earlier in the day for the first time this season, utility man Jose Pirela went 2-for-4 for the Yankees -- hustling for a double in the third following a sharp line drive to left. Pirela hit ninth and played second base in the Yanks' starting lineup, having no problems defensively in replacement of Didi Gregorius.

Next Up: The Yankees head back to New York on Thursday when they host the Orioles in the first of four at Yankee Stadium -- beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET and airing live on MLB Network. Nathan Eovaldi (2-0, 3.81 ERA) will get the nod for the Yankees looking to build off a strong outing in Boston, facing slumping O's right-hander Chris Tillman (2-3, 6.23 ERA).

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 5/6

The finale between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays plays out tonight inside the Rogers Centre as these two teams continue to fight for American League East supremacy. We have watched two very well played, well-pitched and efficient games thus far and expect nothing less tonight between Mark Buehrle and CC Sabathia for their respected teams. The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Get your Yankees tickets now just in time for the Yankees to return home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium tomorrow when the team plays host to the Baltimore Orioles for four quick games. If you use our Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog you can get your tickets, not a cheap print off, in hand without having to pay shipping or any fees whatsoever with our partnership through Ticket Monster. If you can’t afford those Steinbrenner prices them jump on the comments section or Twitter (@GreedyStripes) and interact with us during this game and every single game all season long.

Without further ado I present to you Mr. Buehrle who is taking the mound for the Blue Jays and is ready to get this game underway. Beat Buehrle (again) and go Yankees!

Jose Pirela In, Gregorio Petit Out

As expected Jose Pirela has been activated off the concussion DL in time for tonight's game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Gregorio Petit has been placed on the 15 day DL with a hand contusion and will give up his roster spot for Pirela tonight. Whether Petit really needed a DL stint after being hit by a pitch on the hand last night or not remains to be seen but the injury definitely made the decision easy for Joe Girardi and company.

What is it like to be a Yankees Fan from Afar?

As many of you already know I like to put the word social back into social media. I never understood these writers, bloggers etc. that have “made it” and simply refuse to respond to or interact with their readers and fans. You “made it” because of them, not in spite of them, but anyway that could be a whole other post for a whole other day. I was on Twitter one morning and between my lack of coffee and my lack of sleep I tweeted that I thought the Yankees would win that night. The Yankees were off that night and didn’t play until the next night, Friday, whoops on my part. One of our followers, Scott Lee, pointed out that it was almost Friday in Australia and that maybe my mind was in Sydney.

I favorited the tweet and went on with my normal 9-to-5 that day but the same thing kept going through my mind, what would it be like to live all the way across the planet in Australia and be a fan of the New York Yankees? I myself have lived in Atlanta, GA for a while now so I get the fan from afar thing pretty well but at least New York comes down here every once in a while and I can watch the games at a normal hour on MLB TV, ESPN, etc. I don’t think I could do that if I were in Australia though but I didn’t know for sure so I approached Mr. Lee about a potential interview about the topic and he was ever so gracious to accept. This interview took a little longer than I expected but it has finally come to fruition and for that I thank Mr. Lee for taking the time out of his day to do this for us.

Without further delay and babble from me here is the interview with our fan from down undah, Mr. Scott Lee.

Greedy Pinstripes:
How does one all the way in Australia become a fan of baseball and/or the New York Yankees?

Scott Lee:
I did play baseball when I was in High School and have always been a fan of the sport. As for becoming a Yankees fan, when I was younger (Approx. 13 years old) I managed to get my hands on a Yankees t-shirt and have been a massive fan ever since.

The more and more I learned about the team, and got to understand more about the history of the Yankees, the more my passion grew.

How long have you been a fan of the New York Yankees?

It would be around 20+ years now. I never got to see or hear much about them years ago as games were never broadcasted or shown over here. With the joys of Fox Sports Now I watch as much as I can.

Was there ever a chance of being a fan of another MLB team, say the New York Mets for example?

No, no chance at all. I have never been interested in any other team at all. I even have my father and my best mate, who know nothing about baseball, say that they are Red Sox fans just to get to me as they know how much I hate them, haha!

Have you ever been to the United States and/or to Yankee Stadium?

I was in the States in 2002 (September/October) and as a part of my trip we finished off in New York City. I was excited as it was playoff time so I was hoping to go to Yankee Stadium and see a game but unfortunately we were knocked out by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim so I never got to a game or the stadium. This is one my biggest regrets especially now since the old stadium is gone.

Describe a normal night if you watch a Yankees game. I assume these have to come on at odd times for you in Australia.

Haha, yes that is true. The majority of games I do get to watch are normally at around 10:00 -11:00 AM but if the Yankees are playing a day game that’s normally about 5:00 – 6:00 AM. I set the alarm for those games. My mood changes dramatically during Yankees games from the highs of a great out or a great home run to absolute frustration on an error or bad at bat. I yell at the TV, I cheer loudly and it’s always a mix of emotions during a game.

Who was your favorite Yankee through the years and who is your favorite player on this current crop of Bronx Bombers?

My all-time favorite Yankee is Derek Jeter (shocker) and I even named my puppy Jeter after him. My favorite player of the current crop of players would be Alex Rodriguez. I know he had had his issues but I still like him as a ballplayer.

In my time around social media I have noticed there are two types of Yankees fans, the “Prospect Humpers” (trademark pending) and the fans who want to trade those prospects (and their humpers) for the “sure thing” and veteran presence. Which category do you think that you fall into?

I would describe myself as a “Prospect Humper.” It is all well and good to get the 37 year old star but you only have him for one or two years, maybe, but with the prospects you can hold onto a few of them and get more years out of them. Maybe you unravel a star that could potentially end up better than the 37 year old anyways.

We’ll end it here, if you could be the Yankees GM for a day what would you do? You don’t necessarily have to be realistic here either.

I would organize at least once a year that the Yankees traveled to Australia for a game as well as have one proven Yankees fan from Australia have a meet and greet with all the players and staff of the Yankees while watching the game from the dugout.

That ladies and gentleman is what you call true dedication and true love for the team. There are no bandwagon fans in Australia, I can assure you of that. I once again appreciate Mr. Lee for doing this interview for us and I hope that everyone reading enjoyed getting a little insight into what it’s like to watch a game so many hours away from the team you love. Don’t take it for granted if you’re in the Bronx, New York or the tri-state area because there is always someone out there wishing that they were you and rooting from afar.

Go Yankees!

Time to Drop A Rod Back Down in Lineup?

When the 2015 season started nobody knew what to expect from this Yankees offense and especially from Alex Rodriguez. We know the stories about missing the entire 2014 due to a steroid suspension and most of the 2013 season with a hip injury and various lower body injuries but Alex came out of the gates on fire despite all the negative attention around him. At one point Rodriguez was flirting with .300 and was in full attack mode on Willie Mays and the all-time home run list in Major League Baseball. That was then, this is now and it may be time to drop Rodriguez back down in the lineup.

This is not going to be a “pile on A Rod” type post because nobody expected or expects Rodriguez to hit anywhere near .300 this season in a large sample size and they would be foolish to think so. It may be time to drop Rodriguez in the lineup because it may be the best thing for the team. With Chris Young hitting well this season and Carlos Beltran finally starting to come around the need for Rodriguez’s home run power is no longer a must have in the third and fourth spots in the Yankees lineup. Also with the black hole that is Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius, Gregorio Petit and others at the bottom of the lineup they may get a push having Rodriguez’s power at the bottom of the lineup splitting up all the lefties.

I could sit here and bore you with a plethora of stats showing his batting average in this spot of the lineup against the average in that spot of the lineup and I could also show you how that directly correlates with the Yankees record, but why? The team has played 27 games this season and for all we know Rodriguez could go 0-for-the rest of the season, so why bother? It doesn’t take a binder to tell you that his average is going to be low, his strikeouts are going to be high and as long as there is another, and a better, alternative in the middle of the lineup then Alex shouldn’t be there.

What do I know, I’m not a binder.

Is This A New Jacoby Ellsbury?

I don't have to tell you that Jacoby Ellsbury has hit pretty well lately.

"I wonder who is going to drive me home this time."

Over the past 8 games Ellsbury has had 5 multi-hit games, leading to a batting average of .514, and an on-base percentage of .564. That on top of the fact that he's stolen 7 bases, while being caught only once, during that same stretch has no doubt been key to the Yankees winning 6 of those 8 games.

While nobody believes he's going to keep hitting like this, I wondered how far Ellsbury's offense will fall. In doing so I found something interesting about his slash line over the past 8 games... a slugging percentage of .543. Not that that's small, but it's actually lower than his OBP, which is rare. Out of his 18 hits during this streak only one of them has been for multiple bases (a double).

So what's up?

Perhaps some of you could shed light on this, but it seems to me that Jacoby has abandoned the "power" part of his game, and resigned himself to be somebody that "sets the table" for guys like Brian McCann and Brett Gardner (7 and 8 RBI, respectively, over those 8 games).

That leaves me to wonder... has Ellsbury changed his approach at the plate, making him a guy that's not going to hit 20 or so home runs a season? Is Jacoby now more of a "place" setter instead of a "pace" setter?

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 5/6

The New York Yankees have one more game out on the road inside the Rogers Centre before returning home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium, that game is tonight. Tonight the Yankees face off with the Toronto Blue Jays one more time with a familiar face on the mound in Mark Buehrle. Buehrle has nightmares about pitching against the Yankees, and for good reason, and the starter for New York, CC Sabathia, hopes to make this more like a recurring nightmare tonight in Toronto. The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia is still winless this season despite pitching well enough to win in more than one of his starts including his last against the Boston Red Sox. Sabathia pitched six innings giving up two runs and seven hits in Fenway Park but walked away with a no decision in a game that the Yankees eventually won 3-2.

  • Buehrle has had two straight bad starts this season not making it out of the sixth inning in either of them. Buehrle has a 3-2 record with a 6.75 ERA and has the demons in the back of his head that he named New York lining things up for a great night for the Yankees offense.

As long as Buehrle is on the mound the Yankees have a chance to win no matter what the score so you really have to feel good about getting a victory tonight. Buehrle is due to beat the Yankees, don’t get me wrong, but I just can’t see him collecting tonight after the season he has had to date. It seems like Toronto placed Buehrle in the 4th spot of their rotation simply to miss the Yankees in the first series of the season but he could not miss the Bronx Bombers this time around, make him pay. Go Yankees!

Comparing the 2009 Yankees to the 2015 Version

The 2009 edition of the New York Yankees may have been the best Yankees team that we have seen since the 1998 Yankees team that set an American League record for most wins in a season. In 2009 the Yankees spent heavily on free agents including starting pitchers AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia while adding to the offense with Mark Teixeira and the trade for Nick Swisher and it automatically paid off with 103 victories and a World Series championship. While the 2015 version of the Yankees may lack the absolute star power of the best infield in the game and the best starting rotation that money could buy this year's team is showing more similarities to that 2009 team than you may think.

In 2009 the Yankees had a 162 positive run differential scoring 915 runs with a 33.8 Team WAR offensively and a 22.9 WAR on the pitching side of things. The 2009 Yankees showed an incredible heart and mixed it with a never say die attitude accounting for 15 walk off victories to just four walk off losses. New York was as much as 6.5 games out of first place at their worst this season and started the season 0-2 and eventually 15-17 before firing on all cylinders and turning things on inside the American League East.

In 2015 the Yankees saw their first team that could embrace the "Bronx Bombers" moniker without garnering a snicker or two as the team is second in home runs through the first 25 games of the season. The team this season currently sports a 31 positive run differential scoring 124 runs. If you multiple this, and all these stats, by 6.5 you get a rough estimate of what the team is going to do across a 162 game schedule so the team is on base to score 806 runs with a 201.5 positive run differential. The pitching is much better this season thus far as the team has already accumulated a 4.9 WAR, across 162 games you have 31.85, while the batting has done enough with a 4.1 WAR, 26.65 across 162 games. New York hasn't has a walk off win or a walk off loss this season but the team did endure a 19 inning marathon with the Boston Red Sox and that has to count for something.

The most important comparison though is going to be the victories and the team started out 16-9 in their first 25 games. This team unlike the 2009 version has a ton of prospects to bring in the top talent or the right piece to actually improve the team in June and July where the 2009 version relied on Eric Hinske and Jerry Hairston Jr. While those two did well in that season and into the postseason this 2015 version has the chance to really be something special. They are less one dimensional than the 2009 version, the pitching is better and the offense is more than adequate. I have a really good feeling about this team as long as it stays healthy and I must say that I really love this team. Don't let me down!

TGP Daily Poll: Garrett Jones Doesn’t Make the Season

Garrett Jones is honestly being unfairly crapped on right now after less than 40 at bats but if he can’t hit off the bench and adds nothing defensively, and let’s be real he was never supposed to defensively, then he won’t be on the Yankees roster long. He won’t last the entire 2015 season w/ New York.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Greg Bird

Greg Bird has surprisingly struggled in the batting average department this season but, in the sabermetrics department at least, with that being an obsolete state these days I don’t worry about that as much as most. As long as Bird keeps hitting bombs and his back remains healthy he can still be a suitable replacement for either Mark Teixeira in a few seasons or Garrett Jones in 2016. Again, ignore the batting average state here (that I expect to come back to Earth in a larger sample size) and check out his peripherals and power numbers, the kid is still going to be something special with numbers like these: 


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/6: “I’ll Be Seeing You Guys Real Soon”

On this day in 2007 Roger Clemens announced that he would be coming back for another season and that it would be with the New York Yankees. Clemens agreed to a one year deal worth $28 million, which prorated down to a little more than half that. This would be the richest deal in the history of the game for a pitcher. Clemens made the announcement in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium in owner George Steinbrenner's press box.