Game 104. Yanks lose in 9th, 5-4.

Dellin Betances and David Robertson have been a formidable 1-2 punch this year but both made errors (physical and mental) to cost the Yanks on Sunday. Toronto beat the Yanks 5-4 to drop the Yanks into 3rd place in the AL East, four back of Baltimore. The Yanks (54-50) are a game behind Toronto for the final wild card spot.

Shane Greene went 5 1/3, giving up 3 R, 8 H, 2 walks and 2 K. 3.28. He gave up a run in the first and then a solo HR in the fifth.

The Yanks tied it in the fifth on back-to-back HRs by Headley and Cervelli. Both teams scored in the sixth, the Yanks getting their run on a McCann Rbi single.

Then, mistakes. In the eighth, Betances walked the leadoff batter, then tried to pick him off. His throw was wild and the runner raced all the way to third and scored on a SF.

Carlos Beltran tied the game in the bottom of the 8th with an RBI single but in the top of the 9th, David Robertson lost the game. With one out, Melky Cabrera singled. Chase Headley made a great play to get a force on Cabrera, but then it seemed like Robertson fell asleep. Jose Bautista stole second, uncontested. He got such a great jump on Robertson it was like D-Rob, after Headley’s great play, just forgot to hold him on. Letting the potential winning run steal second so easily was a mistake that cost the Yanks the ballgame when Dioner Navarro singled in Bautista.

After Greene exited, David Huff went 2/3, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Overall ERA 4.04.

Betances 1 2/3, 1 R (unearned because of his error), 0 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 1.43.

Warren 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.75.

Robertson (L, 1-3) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K, 2.50.

Derek Jeter got one hit to go to 3417 for his career, two behind Carl Yastrzemski for 7th on the all-time list.

The minors.

AAA: SWB lost 8-5. 2h, 2 rbi for DH Adonis Garcia and the same for C John Ryan Murphy.

AA: Trenton lost 10-7. RF Jake Cave 4 hits, a double, two triples. LF Ben Gamel 2 h, 2 rbi. C Gary Sanchez 3 h, rbi. 2 hits, HR, rbi for 1B Peter O’Brien. That makes 31 HR for him this year between Tampa and Trenton. DH Tyler Austin 4 for 4 with 2 rbi. Those were, in order the first five hitters for Trenton last night.

High A: Tampa lost 8-6 in 11. DH Dante Bichette, Jr. and 3B Eric Jagiello (2 hits) 2 rbi each. 2 hits each for RF Aaron Judge and C Wes Wilson.

Low A: Charleston won 8-7 in 13. PH John Murphy (not John Ryan Murphy) with the GW hit. 2 h, 2 rbi for CF Mark Payton. 2-run HR 3B Miguel Andujar. LF Mike O’Neill with 3 hits. 2B Gosuke Katoh 2 doubles.

Game 103. Yanks lose to Jays, 6-4.

As the song and album states, All Things Must Pass.

After 17 consecutive home wins against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees finally lost at home to them on Saturday, 6-4.

The loss knocks the Yanks back into a virtual second-place tie at 54-49 with Toronto, three games behind the Orioles. Both teams are in a virtual tie for the final wild-card spot, 1/2 a game ahead of Seattle and a game ahead of KC. It looks like a wild (pardon the pun) ride for the last two months.

The Yanks jumped off to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on Brian McCann’s 11th HR of the season.

Toronto tied it in the fifth.

Chris Capuano, in his Yankees debut, started and pitched well. 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 4 walks and 4 K. His overall ERA (Bos/NYY) goes to 4.30.

Shawn Kelley took the loss for the Yanks, giving up a run in the seventh. He wasn’t helped by the defense, or for that matter, the front office. The Yanks have been playing all year without a legitimate first base backup to Mark Teixeira, and we’ve seen the results when someone other than Teix is at first base, be it Kelly Johnson or yesterday, Brian McCann. McCann helped to botch two plays in the seventh. If he makes the plays, maybe Toronto doesn’t score that inning. We’ve seen Johnson botch a few plays this year, too. Why the team doesn’t get a legitimate backup 1B to the fragile Teix, I don’t know. But the failure to do so could cost a game or two and maybe a playoff spot.

Kelley 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 3.69. (L, 1-3).

Thornton 1 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.70.

The game got away from the Yanks in the 9th, when Jeff Francis relieved Chase Whitley with two men on and promptly gave up a 3-run HR to put Toronto up 6-2. Carlos Beltran hit his 12th HR, a two-run shot, to make the final score 6-4. For Beltran, it was career HR #370, tying Gil Hodges on the all-time list.

Whitley 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 4.87.

Francis 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. Overall ERA 5.85.

Derek Jeter got two hits and is at 3416, three behind Yaz for seventh all-time.

Chris LeRoux was DFA’d when the Yanks got Capuano. The DFA’d Bruce Billings accepted assignment to SWB.

The Hall-of-Fame has reduced the number of years a player could stay on the ballot from 15 to 10. Some recent Hall-of-Famers who got in on tries 11 to 15 include Duke Snider, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Bob Lemon and Ralph Kiner. I really think this is going to hurt some guys who have been on a few years but who, even though nothing was proven, have steroid accusations against them.

Game 103. The lineup.

I haven’t been able to post a lineup pre-game for a while, so here goes.

Today’s game is on MLB.

The Yanks are 54-48, 2nd in AL East, 3 behind Baltimore. At present, they have a one-game lead for the second and final wild card spot.

OPS+ 94, ERA+ 104 (100 is average, higher the better).

They are six games better than their Pythagorean record (expected record based on runs scored vs. runs allowed).

BA/HR/RBI SB/total attempts OPS+ Comments
Bold is team leader.

Gardner LF .276-10-43 17/21 118
Believe it or not, Gardner is the position player with the highest OPS on the team. His 10 HR are a career high.

Jeter SS .270-2-27 7/8 82
The Captain has just two months left in his career, barring any postseason appearances. His 3414 hits are just five behind Carl Yastrzemski for 7th on the all-time list, and he is just 16 behind Honus Wagner for sixth.

Ellsbury CF .286-8-47 28/33 113

Beltran DH .222-11-32 2/2 90
Yanks need to get him and McCann going. 369 career HR.

McCann 1B .243-10-42 0/0 86
Came into July hitting .221, has hit .324 this month.

Headley 3B (overall stats) .239-7-34 4/6 92
6 for 14 as a Yankee.

Suzuki RF .279-1-14 6/8 86
Last night’s HR a surprise, because of his 63 hits, only 8 are XBH. 2805 MLB hits.

Roberts 2B .241-5-21 7/11 87

Cervelli C .311-0-5 0/0 122
19 for 61

Capuano P Was 1-1, 4.55 for Boston, ERA+ 87. All 28 games were in relief.
This is his first ever game as a Yankee.

Friday’s minors.

AAA: SWB (51-55) got hammered, 10-2. Not much to report about on this one.

AA: Trenton (50-57) lost 6-1. 2 hits for DH Gary Sanchez.

High A: Tampa (52-52 overall; they play split seasons in A ball) won 4-3. Up 1-0, Tampa gave up a run in the top of the 8th and two in the top of the 9th, but scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to win it. 1B Greg “Everybody’s heard about the” Bird got a 2-run game-winning single. 3 hits for CF Danny Oh.

Low A: Charleston (overall 51-53) won 6-1. Chaz Hebert 5 2/3 scoreless IP. 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI for 3B Miguel Andujar. CF Mark Payton with 3 h, rbi.

Game 102. Surprise power source carries red-hot Yanks to 6-4 win.

Ichiro Suzuki’s first HR of the season, a 3-run shot, lifted the red-hot Yankees to a 6-4 win on Friday night.

The Yanks have won 7 of 8 since the All-Star Break. The win puts them at 54-48, in sole possession of second place in the AL East, and they currently have sole possession (by one game) of the second wild card spot as of now.

Hiroki Kuroda struggled early, thanks to Jose Bautista, but did provide 5 2/3 innings and got the win. Kuroda gave up all four runs to Toronto on two homers by Bautista, a 3-run shot in the first and a solo shot in the third. When Bautista hit his second HR off Kuroda, he was at that time 4 for 4 off him, with all 4 hits being HRs.

Down 3-0, the Yanks got two back in the second. McCann and the red-hot Headley singled, and Ichiro walked. An infield single by Roberts brought in one run, and a SF by Gardner plated another.

After Bautista’s second HR put Toronto up 4-2, the Yanks came back with four in the bottom of the third and there was no further scoring for the rest of the ballgame.

Carlos Beltran homered to make it 4-3. It was Beltran’s 11th HR of the season and 369th of his career, tying him with Ralph Kiner and Todd Helton on the all-time HR list, one behind Gil Hodges.

After Beltran’s HR, McCann and Headley singled, and Ichiro’s 3-run homer put the Yanks up 6-4 and that is how the game wound up.

It was Ichiro’s first HR of the season. Not only that, out of Ichiro’s 63 hits this season, only 8 have been for extra bases, making the HR that much more of a pleasant surprise for Yankees’ fans.

If you didn’t see Jeter’s reaction when Ichiro came back to the dugout after Ichiro’s HR, you should check it out. Jeter gave Ichiro a teasing “are you kidding me” look before breaking into a big smile and laugh. Priceless.

Kuroda (W, 7-6, 3.99) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 3 K.
Huff 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. Overall ERA (SF/NYY) 4.10.
Kelley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.45.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 w, 1 K. 1.47.
Robertson his 26th save. 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 w, 2 K. 2.33.

Robertson is 26 of 28 in saves this year. He has alleviated any doubts of replacing Mo.

Jeter got hit #3414 in the victory. He is now five behind Carl Yastrzemski for seventh on the all-time hits list and 16 behind Honus Wagner for sixth. Jeter won’t catch the top five, since he is 101 hits behind fifth-place Tris Speaker.

McCann had two hits and raised his average to .243. This is one thing the Yanks need. For much of the season, McCann has been in the .220s.

Chase Headley had three hits and is 6 for 14 since becoming a Yankee.

Francisco Cervelli had two hits and is at a surprising, but welcome, .311.

It was the 17th straight time the Yankees beat Toronto at Yankee Stadium. Not only that, the Yanks continued their success against Mark Buehrle, who continues to struggle vs. the Yanks (1-12 career).

I see that Bill Renna, a backup OF for the 1953 Yanks, passed away recently.

The minors on 7-25-14.

AAA: SWB won the completion of the suspended game, 12-4, and then went on to win the regularly scheduled game as well.

In the suspended game, 2b Rob Refsnyder had 2 hits, which were a double and a solo HR. RF Zoilo Almonte had 4 hits, 3 of them HR, and drove in 7 runs. SS Carmen Angelini 3 h, 2 rbi. C Austin Romine 3 hits. SWB had 18 hits for the game.

The regularly scheduled game only went 7 innings, then. SWB won that one 3-1. LF Taylor Dugas 2 rbi. C John Ryan Murphy 2 h, rbi.

AA: 6-5 win for Trenton. Luis Severino went four innings, 2 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 7 K. C Gary Sanchez 2 h, 3 rbi. DH Ben Gamel 2 rbi.

Yankees fans may remember a 3B that the Yanks had in the early 1970s named Celerino Sanchez. It’s just funny that for a while, Trenton’s battery in the game last night was Severino and Sanchez.

High A: 6-1 win for Tampa. 2 h, HR, 2 rbi 1B Greg Bird. RF Anderson Feliz 2 h, 2 rbi. LF Jose Rosario 3 h, rbi. Caleb Smith, 6 IP, 1 R, 2 h. He was recently promoted from low A Charleston. He’ll be 23 soon and the lefty is 7-7, 2.79 in 20 starts overall this season. 91 K in 90 1/3 IP.

Low A: Charleston won 10-3. 3B Miguel Andujar 2 h, 3 rbi. DH Tyler Wade 4 h, 2 rbi.