Saturday, June 11, 2016

Live Game Updates: Tigers at Yankees - 6/11

7:33 p.m., Mid 1st: Tanaka strands men on the corners in the first. Let's see what the Yankees can do against Justin Verlander.

7:43 p.m., End 1st: Yankees go scoreless in the opening frame. Gardner gets another single, but it is quickly erased on a Beltran double play.

7:57 p.m., Mid 2nd: Nick Castellanos puts the Tigers on top with a solo home run in the second. The Yankees' opponents have now scored first in four of the six games on this homestand.

8:07 p.m., Mid 3rd: Tanaka retires the Tigers in order in the third. He has sat down six consecutive, but the Yankees still trail 1-0.

8:29 p.m., End 3rd: Yankees tie the game in the third after an unusual series of circumstances. Headley, on a 3-2 offering from Verlander, skies a high fly ball to left -- seemingly off the bottom of the foul pole. The umpires evidently see otherwise, though, and following a lengthy review, rule that the ball stayed in play. Refsnyder then evens the score with a single to center, and that's where we stand heading into the fourth.

8:37 p.m., Mid 4th: Tanaka escapes trouble in the fourth with some help from his defense. Gardner starts a rare 7-6-3 double play after a nice running grab in left-center, as the Yankees catch J.D. Martinez off first to end the frame.

9:00 p.m., Mid 5th: Tigers break it open in the fifth. Ian Kinsler sends a three-run shot to left and the Tigers have a 4-1 lead just like that.

9:50 p.m., Mid 7th: After Tanaka is removed with a man on and one out in the seventh, Kinsler adds on with a two-run double off Kirby Yates. It's now 6-1 Tigers at stretch time.

10:37 p.m., End 9th: That's your ballgame. Tigers win 6-1.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers 6/11

Another Saturday is in the books for some, or just getting started for others, and now it’s time to sit back in front of the AC and watch as the New York Yankees play host to the Detroit Tigers inside majestic Yankee Stadium. In the pitching matchup the Yankees send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to square off with Mr. Kate Upton, Justin Verlander. The game will be played at 7:15 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on FOX.

One more game tomorrow afternoon before the Yankees kiss the Bronx goodbye and head out back on the road to Colorado. Interleague play where the pitchers who have no business handling a bat have to handle a bat. Joy. Give us a follow on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and find us Facebook if “like” us, pun intended, and we can interact (or pray for no more injuries) together all season long.

MLB Players in 2020 Olympics At Least a Possibility

Major League Baseball could be returning to the Olympics and it could be returning to the Olympics as soon as the 2020 games in Tokyo. In years past college players have represented the United States in the games but Commissioner Rob Manfred is at least leaving the door open for Major League players representing the country if and when the games return to the biggest stage in the world.

Commissioner Manfred obviously couldn’t give a definitive “yes” or “no” answer to the question but he did give us at least his thoughts on the possibility. Baseball has not yet been reinstated into the games so committing players into that now would be a bit premature, especially when we don’t know when the tournament will start or how long the tournament will go on for, etc., but the fact that it has been discussed and may already be in the works in encouraging. 

Meet a Prospect: Nick Solak

The 2016 MLB Draft is all but finished and the Yankees have restocked their farm system once again with a plethora of talent. Obviously this is all dependent on their top picks signing with the team and one of those top picks was a college bat and a second baseman named Nick Solack. Solack was the second baseman for the Louisville Cardinal this season Information on these guys is hard to find but here is what I have been able to find thus far on potentially the latest member of the Yankees organization. This is Meet a Prospect: Nick Solak.

Solak is a line-drive hitting second baseman with speed and a good batters eye. Solak put up a .380/.474/.576 triple slash with the Cardinal this season that included five home runs, nine stolen bases, 27 walks and just 19 strikeouts all season long. Solak is a contact hitter but he doesn’t figure to have much power in his professional career. Solak is considered to be a gritty player much like Brett Gardner and suspect defense may land him in the outfield, notably center field, like Gardner eventually.

Solak has quick hands and sure hands to go with above-average range but his mechanics and footwork are still leaving much to be desired despite the polish of being a college defender. For this reason alone Baseball America had Solak ranked 86th in the draft while had him ranked 147th. Keith Law did not have Solak in his Top 100 draft prospects list whatsoever.

Solak is 21-years old and may be a pick that the Yankees use to save some money on their slots to sign first round pick Blake Rutherford. Solak is slotted to earn $1.04 million after being the 62nd overall pick in the draft but history would tell you that college seniors generally sign for less than players who have other options if they choose not to sign. Rutherford definitely has options, he’s already committed to UCLA to continue his amateur career, so saving a nickel and dime here and there to sign Rutherford may be important and an organizational game changer.

Welcome to the organization Nick and welcome to the family (again, unofficially). 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers 6/11

Here we are again Yankees fans, Saturday night baseball in the Bronx as the New York Yankees stay home to play host to the Detroit Tigers in the middle game of their three-game weekend set. Tonight the Yankees send their ace and their stopper to the mound looking to lead the team to victory while the Tigers counter with a wily veteran looking to stay on top. New York will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Justin Verlander (hopefully Kate Upton will be there as well).

Tanaka has easily been the Yankees best starter this season and will look to continue to be just that tonight in the Bronx when he faces off against the Tigers. Tanaka has thrown four consecutive quality starts entering this contest with a 1.33 ERA in that span. Tanaka has lasted at least seven innings in three of those four starts and will need to be equally as sharp tonight if he wants a fifth consecutive quality start and a victory against this tough offense.

Verlander has not pitched well historically against the Yankees during the regular season, which with Kate Upton on his mind who could concentrate on the task at hand, posting a 0-4 record and 4.84 ERA in seven regular season starts at Yankee Stadium. Verlander last pitched in the Bronx in June of 2015 allowing six runs in 6.2 innings including Alex Rodriguez’s home run that passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list.

The game will be played at 7:15 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the FOX and possibly MLB TV, these blackouts still confuse me even after all these years.  I know I may be in the minority here but I absolutely love Saturday night Yankees baseball on FOX. It seems almost traditional at this point. I can remember waiting for the Saturday Game of the Week as a kid just hoping it was the Yankees so tonight and every Saturday night is like a little piece of my childhood coming back. I got pretty used to winning as a child so let’s not forget that part. Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Blake Rutherford

With the 18th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft the New York Yankees selected Blake Rutherford, an outfielder from Chaminade College Preparatory School in Chatsworth, California. Boy Damon Oppenheimer loves his Southern California players doesn’t he? The Yankees may have gotten one of the best bats in the draft with this pick and one of the very best prospects in the entire draft class so it’s all the more important to get Rutherford to sign. Let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Blake Rutherford Edition.

Rutherford is a left-handed hitting power hitting outfield who can do just about anything in the field and at the plate. Rutherford is projected to have above-average contact and above-average power when he reaches his full potential and his speed will allow him to wreak havoc on the basepaths while keeping him in center field as a professional. Rutherford may outgrow the center field position and some question whether he may be a right fielder when he reaches the Major Leagues but with his bat you let him play any outfield position he wants, his offense is potentially a game-changer.

Rutherford, a potential game-changer at just 19-years old. Rutherford is committed to UCLA and will likely have to sign an over-slot deal to forego that commitment and begin his professional career. The slot recommendation for Rutherford is $2.44 million but the Yankees have a knack for signing cheaper college seniors in rounds two through ten, see Nick Solak as an example of this, to save cap money. Expect to see that happen this season as well as it may take $3 million or more to lure Rutherford away from SoCal.

Rutherford was considered by many to be the best pure hitter in the 2016 Draft and some even thought he would go first overall before the Philadelphia Phillies took Mickey Moniak. Keith Law had Rutherford listed as his 6th best prospect overall while had him 8th and Baseball America had him 9th.  Welcome to the organization, unofficially, and welcome to the family Blake! I know a ton of people that are excited to potentially have you. 

Weekly Check In: Tyler Austin

The New York Yankees once again find themselves short on first baseman and once again I feel obligated to bring up the name of Tyler Austin. Austin has been in the Yankees system for what feels like forever now, and unfortunately not for good reasons either, but since Chris Parmelee was called up to the Major Leagues prompting Austin’s call up to Triple-A Scranton the young Yankees prospect has gone off with the RailRiders.

Austin can play first base, third base and the outfield and has been seen hitting and hitting for power in recent weeks. Whether he had a bit of prospect fatigue and the call up to Triple-A reinvigorated him or whether he is just on a hot streak remains to be seen but the Yankees may have a tough decision to make on Austin in the near future.

With Nick Swisher’s opt-out date looming next week and Gary Sanchez back to baseball activities and taking ground balls at first base it may be now or never for Mr. Austin. At one point I can remember ranking Austin as the organization’s top prospect and my personal favorite prospect so I have a lot of love for the guy and his family, especially his dear mother Kim, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bias in my rooting for him.

Come on down Tyler? I sure hope so. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 6/11: Andy Pettitte Wins #200

On this day in 2010 Andy Pettitte joined Yankees Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing as the only Yankees pitchers to win 200 games while in pinstripes. Andy was 37 years old and also reached the 3,000 career innings pitched mark in the first inning of the game. The Yankees would beat the Houston Astros, his former team, 4-3 in Yankee Stadium.

Also on this day in 2003 the Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees for the first time since 1958. In 1958 the Orioles knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm beat the Yankees 1-0 in Baltimore. On this day a record setting six pitchers combine to no-hit the Yankees and end the streak of 6,980 games with at least one hit for the Bronx Bombers. The six pitchers who made history on that day were Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, and Billy Wagner.

Also on this day in 1988 the Yankees were short on right handed hitters against the Orioles left hander Jeff Ballard and former manager Billy Martin decided to use starting pitcher Rick Rhoden at the DH spot. Rhoden became the first ever pitcher to ever start at the designated hitter position in the short history of the position. Rhoden got just one at bat and hit a sacrifice fly before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. The Yankees would beat the Orioles 8-6 on this day.

Finally on this day in 1915 the Yankees pitcher Ray Caldwell becomes the first major leaguer to hit a home run in consecutive pinch hitting appearances. The Yankees would beat the Chicago White Sox on this day and the 19 game winner Caldwell would hit his second home run against the Chi Sox. Caldwell also hit a home run as a pinch hitter yesterday as well against Chicago.