This promises to be a wild year in the AL East. With the Yanks’ loss to Baltimore last night, 11-3, their lead is down to one in the division over the Rays. The Yanks have lost two in a row after a seven-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Baltimore, now three back and in fourth place, has won five in a row. The third place team? Toronto, two back, who has won nine in a row and is rumored to be after Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies. The last place team, Boston, is seven back and has a four game losing streak.
It appears as if this will be the case. Streaky teams, and no one can take control yet. Who will gain the consistency to win the division? Will a big mid-season trade make the difference? (I think back to 2000 and the Yanks picking up David Justice, for instance. Justice hit 20 HR, 60 RBI for the Yanks after the trade, was the ALCS MVP and helped the Yanks win their third straight WS. Without him, the Yanks may not have won.) Maybe a rookie, a mid-season call-up from the minors, may put a team over the top.
In the long run, the decision to skip Michael Pineda’s turn in the rotation may prove to be a good one. In the short term, Pineda was off his game and out of rhythm last night, pitching on 10 days rest.
After the Yanks had a bases-loaded, no out situation in the first but did not score, Pineda gave up a run in the first, and the Yanks tied it in the third on an RBI single by A-Rod, his 1999th RBI. He had two hits in the game to take him to 2994 in his career.
But Pineda gave up 4 in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the fourth, Mason “Classical Gas” Williams, making his MLB debut, hit a 2-run HR in his 2nd MLB at bat to cut the lead to 5-3, but Pineda gave up another run in the bottom of the inning, and things snowballed from there into an 11-3 loss.
Chase Headley made his 14th error of the season during the game and that’s too many. It hit him in the … well, you know. He had to be pulled from the game, but is ok. But any guy can relate. Williams took a bad route to one ball. Another fly ball dropped between Gardner and Beltran in the OF. Meanwhile, Mark Teixiera made his first error in 110 games. Jacob Lindgren, who never allowed a HR in the minors, gave up his third in his seventh MLB appearance. It was that kind of night.
After the game, the Yanks outrighted Esmiel Rogers. He can accept the assignment to AAA or become a free agent. He has already cleared waivers.
According to the LOHUD Yankees blog:
Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes tweeted earlier tonight that Sergio Santos is in the Baltimore area and could be a candidate for activation. The former White Sox closer, who also pitched well with the Blue Jays in 2013 recently signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. Although he was good in 2013, Santos really struggled in 2014, and he was pretty inconsistent earlier this season with the Dodgers.
Pineda (L, 7-3, 3.74) 4 1/3 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 walks and 2 K.
Lindgren (He’ll be ok, but I’m wondering if he needs more seasoning)
2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.14
Rogers 2 IP, 4 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 6.27
Capuano 1 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.29.
Hopefully CC gets them tonight. Game is the FOX Saturday night game. The Yanks are now 33-27 on the season.