Sunday, June 22, 2014

Game 74 Wrap-Up: BAL 8 NYY 0

(Yep.  That's Matsui pitching.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

It was Old Timers' day at The Stadium this afternoon, always one of the best days of the year.  Fresh from the Saturday ceremony honoring Tino in Monument Park and the quick, dirty beatdown at the hands of Bud Norris and the Baltimore Oriole bats, the Yankees came back today looking to draw some inspiration from all the past Yanks who were on hand, including recent teammates like Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon and all-time greats like Goose Gossage, who joined Tino in his Monument Park induction.  Another series victory halfway through this stretch of interdivisional games would have been the perfect way to end a strong week and Masahiro Tanaka was the perfect man for the job on the mound.  He was pretty good again, not as great as we've seen him, but once again it was the complete and utter lack of offense that did them in.

Game Notes:

- Tanaka never seems happy with his command, but today he did have a few real problems.  He gave up a pair of singles to start the game in the 1st, walked a batter with 2 outs in the 5th, and left a 2-strike slider up to Jonathan Schoop in the 2nd that Schoop hit for a solo home run.

- The lineup couldn't put anything together against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.  A challenge overturned a potential Brett Gardner leadoff double in the 1st, a Derek Jeter GIDP killed a rally in the 3rd, and Jacoby Ellsbury was left stranded in the 4th after leading off with a double to right.

- Joe sent Tanaka back out for the 7th at 93 pitches, and that might have been the decision that decided the game.  J.J. Hardy singled, Manny Machado doubled, and both scored on outs to make it 3-0 and mar Tanaka's line.  Give the O's credit.  They worked him hard and finally broke through late.

- If Adam Warren was looking to show he shouldn't be moved back into the rotation, he did a good job.  He gave up 4 runs in the 8th inning, the big blow a bases-clearing double after an intentional walk, to put the game out of reach.

- No shortage of controversy in that inning when the umpires decided that Steve Pearce did not interfere with Kelly Johnson on a ball he threw into the stands for what was ruled an error before the intentional walk.  My opinion is jaded as a Yankee fan, but I thought the interference was blatantly obvious and agreed with Joe's assessment that it was a dangerous and malicious play.

BREAKING: Teix Leaves Game With Left Foot Injury (UPDATED)

The AB4AR Jinx strikes again.  Mark Teixeira just left today's game in bottom of the 8th after being hit by a pitch on his left foot.  According to Dan Barbarisi, he fell to the ground after taking a slider from T.J. McFarland, tried to get up and walk it off, then stopped, threw his helmet and shin guard off angrily, and immediately left the field.  He was replaced by Brendan Ryan.

It sounds like Teix's reaction indicated that he knew something was wrong.  I have to imagine he's going for X-rays as this post goes up.  Losing Teix for any amount of time beyond a few days would be devastating.  More on this story as it develops.

** UPDATE 4:28 PM- Via Barbarisi again, X-rays on Teix's left foot came back negative.  Joe told reporters after the game that Teix was "OK".  Whew. **

Teix Staying Steady And Solid In The Middle Of The Order

Did you know that Mark Teixeira has a 10-game hitting streak?  I had no idea.  I thought he had been pretty consistent since coming back from his wrist stiffness, but I didn't think it had been 10-game hitting streak consistent.  After being the only offensive presence in yesterday's loss with a solo HR, his 12th of the year, Teix is now 11-37 in his last 10 with at least 1 hit in every game.  The power has been there (2 2B, 2 HR), the patience has been there (5 BB), and the production has been there (6 R, 8 RBI).

For the season, Teix is hitting .250/.365/.473 with a 13.7% BB rate, good for a team-leading .368 wOBA.  For all the games he's missed with a variety of ailments, and for all the uncertainty that comes with his health day-to-day and week-to-week, there's no denying that Teix has been rock solid and unexpectedly consistent in the games he has played.  While new guys like Beltran and McCann go days without a hit and then have 1 big game to carry the team, Teix has been the constant, the steadying force in the middle of the lineup.  Getting on base, driving in runs, providing the consistent power presence this team needs.  It's been the most underrated and undercovered story of the 2014 Yankee campaign.

Pineda Has A "Trace" Of Inflammation In His Shoulder; Rehab Pushed Back Again

Michael Pineda was supposed to play catch yesterday for the first time since suffering a setback with his right shoulder/upper back last month.  The team scheduled him for what they called a precautionary MRI on Friday to make sure there was nothing wrong in the injured area and turns out there was.  Joe told the media before yesterday's game that the MRI revealed a "trace" of inflammation in Pineda's shoulder, so the decision was made to scrap yesterday's planned catch sesh and bump it back a week to next Saturday.

I fully understand and appreciate the need to be careful with Pineda because of the previous injury and close proximity of this back muscle to his shoulder.  But at this point, I think we have to start talking seriously about whether Pineda is going to pitch another meaningful inning this season.  He's been out with this injury since late April, he may or may not start playing catch again by late June, and the team has already said they're going to put him through a full ST to build him back up.  If the back and shoulder haven't healed up right after 2 months of rest, I highly doubt they're going to hold up once he actually starts pitching again.