Game 76. Yanks lose to Houston, 3-1.

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Before the game, the Yanks brought back Esmiel Rogers and sent Gregorio Petit down to AAA.

The move was to get a fresh arm. The Yanks had Shreve, Wilson and Betances unavailable due to recent workload.

The bullpen wasn’t needed. The good Michael Pineda showed up and pitched eight strong innings, but he got no help from his offense or defense as the Yanks lost 3-1 Sunday in Houston.

The Yanks managed only two hits in the game, the only run coming in the third on a walk, WP and Brett Gardner single.

Garrett Jones and Brett Gardner messed up a fly ball in the fourth. It was Gardner’s ball, as the CF should take everything he can get. Jones got too close to Gardner, the ball fell in for a double, then was kicked around and the batter came all the way around to score. Ugly.

Pineda gave up runs in the seventh and eighth. Meanwhile the only other Yankees hit was by A-Rod, #3010 of his career, tying Wade Boggs on the all-time list.

Pineda 8 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 walks and 8 K. (L, 8-5, 4.08).

With the loss, the Yanks stayed 1/2 game out of first, but dropped to 3rd place in the division.

Baltimore 41-34  —
Tampa Bay 42-35  —-
YANKEES 41-35  -1/2
Toronto 41-36   – 1
Boston 34-43  -8

It doesn’t get much tighter than that. The Yanks have a 1/2 game lead for the last wild card slot.

Long way to go. Who will get separation?

Kind of feel sorry for Ryne Sandberg, who resigned as Phils’ manager a few days ago. As my grandpa used to sometimes say, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.

Update: Ellsbury could start rehab games tonight (Monday) and rejoin the Yanks this weekend. Miller continues to throw, but no rehab games yet.

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Lots of rain in the Northeast.

AAA: SWB PPD.

AA: Trenton PPD.

High A: Tampa lost 3-1. Mike Ford had two of their three hits.

A: Charleston lost 4-3. 3B Isaias Tejeda 3 hits. LF Alexander Palma 2 hits, RBI.

Game 75. Yanks top Astros, 9-6.

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Such is the nature of Masahiro Tanaka and his injury that every time he has a bad outing, you wonder about that elbow that has a partially torn ligament. If he has two bad outings in a row, you really wonder.

On Saturday, the Yanks gave Tanaka an early 6-0 cushion, watched him cough it up, then rallied late for a 9-6 win over Houston.

I just hope Tanaka is ok. But with that injury, you will always wonder, until it blows and he needs TJ surgery. But it’s not like Tanaka to give up 3 HR in a game in consecutive games. Hopefully it isn’t acting up or he’s hiding anything.

Brian McCann hit a grand slam (HR #12) in the first and the red-hot Chris Young homered (10) in the second to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead.

But Tanaka gave up two in the second and one in the fourth. Heading into the fifth, I had a bad feeling. I was thinking, “Get him out of there, Joe.” You know when a pitcher is struggling, and you see that the manager is trying to squeeze five out of him for the win, and no matter how hard he squeezes, the pitcher can’t do it? That is what happened yesterday. Tanaka gave up three in the fifth. 6-0 became 6-6. Sometimes the pitcher just can’t get that extra out or three.

The Yanks’ bullpen was brilliant in keeping it where it was. Chasen Shreve, in particular, has been a great pickup for the Yanks this year, and rookie Bryan Mitchell is starting to hit his stride. Maybe Mitchell will stay in the bullpen for now and help to stabilize and improve it. He can be switched back to a starting role later.

Mark Teixeira’s 2-run double in the 8th was the game-winner (he leads the AL with 53 RBI) , and Chase Headley added insurance in the 9th with a HR, his eighth.

Brett Gardner has been red-hot. Just a couple of weeks ago, his average had fallen to .262. His three-hit game put him at .300.

A-Rod is still one hit behind Wade Boggs on the all-time list with 3009.

The win keeps the Yanks 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay, at 41-34. They lead the WC race.

With the rough outing by Tanaka, guess which Yankees starter has the lowest ERA? Yup, the one who may be pegged to the bullpen, now that Nova has arrived. Adam Warren.

Tanaka 5 IP, 6 R,  7 H, 2 walks, 5 K. 3 HR. 3.88
Mitchell 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 1.59
Shreve (W, 5-1, 1.72) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K.
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.96
Betances (6th save) 1 Ip, 0 R, 1H, 0 walks, 1 K. 1.17.

 

 

The Minors. Severino continues to roll.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB lost 2-0. Another great outing for top pitching prospect Luis Severino, 7 scoreless IP, 3 H, 2 walks and 6 K. Brandon Pinder gave up two in the eighth to lose the game. Severino, 21, RHP, is 5-2, 2.54 between AA/AAA this year, 14 starts. Ramon Flores had 2 of SWB’s four hits.

AA: Trenton won 4-0. Caleb Smith six innings. Five players with 2 hits each.

High A: Tampa lost 6-1. Andrew Bailey, trying to make a comeback, 2 IP, 2 unearned runs (Tampa made four errors in the game).

A: Charleston was losing 2-0 when the game was suspended.

Game 74. Young Love. Yanks edge Houston, 3-2.

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Apologies to Sonny James and/or Tab Hunter for the headline. You are getting old like me if you remember the song!

Chris Young’s 3-run HR in the seventh (9) lifted the Yanks to a 3-2 win over Houston on Friday night. With the win, the Yanks are 40-34.

How tight is the AL East? Look at this!

Tampa Bay 41-34  —
YANKEES 40-34   – 1/2  (wild card leader)
Baltimore 39-34   -1
Toronto 40-35    -1
Boston 33-42  -8

Minnesota, Baltimore and Toronto are basically all tied for the second wild-card spot.

Nathan Eovaldi gave up runs in the third and the sixth, but it took Young’s HR to win the game. The Yanks were scoreless for their first 15 innings in Houston for this four-game series.

With his seventh win of the season, Eovaldi set a new season-high for himself.

Eovaldi (W, 7-2, 4.81) 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 6 K.
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.76 (Looking like a great pickup)
Wilson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.08
Betances (5th save) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 H, 2 K. 1.21.

From Lohud:

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out since May 19 with a sprained right knee, was traveling to Houston on Friday. Girardi said he’ll work out on Saturday and the team would decide whether he’s ready to go on a rehabilitation assignment. Girardi said the Yankees need to see him run at 100 percent before he can be sent out

Also, Andrew Miller is beginning to throw.

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

OF Aaron Judge and C Gary Sanchez will represent the Yankees at the Futures game next month.

AAA:  SWB got hammered, 15-2. Judge hit a 2-run HR, his first in AAA after a recent callup. 1B Rob Segedin had 2 hits, SS Ali Castillo 3.

AA: Trenton won 4-0. The game was called early (5 1/2 innings) because of rain. 3B Dan Fiorito 2 hits, rbi, 2 SB.

High A: Tampa PPD.

A: Charleston was shut out 4-0. SS Jorge Mateo picked up his 51st SB of the season.

Game 73. Yanks blanked, 4-0.

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Adam Warren, who may be dropped back into the bullpen now that Ivan Nova is back, pitched well, but the Yanks couldn’t muster any runs in losing to Houston 4-0 on Thursday night.

The loss puts the Yanks at 39-34, and 1 1/2 games behind the Rays in the AL East. Four teams are within two games. The Yanks are in second place.

Warren, who has never pitched more than 78 2/3 innings in a major league season before, is at 77 now, and the Yanks are worried about his workload. The problem is, when you look at ERAs, he is the Yanks’ second best starter right now.

The Yanks managed just six hits in the game (all singles) and struck out twelve times.  Tip your cap to Dallas Keuchel, he just owned them. The Yanks made three errors.

Before the game, the Yanks recalled Gregorio Petit.

Warren 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 walk and 4 K. (L, 5-5, 3.59)
Capuano 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 walks and 2 K. 5.19.