Game 120: Toe-Night Show Returns

Big Toe returns for Game 2.

Ronald Torreyes has returned to the starting lineup for the first time since June 14 as the Yankees face off with the Rays in the second game of a three-game set.

Luis Cessa will get the start in the place of CC Sabathia, who was placed on the disabled list and will miss one start. Cessa has been, well, Cessa. He has a 4.50 ERA in eight games (three starts) on the 2018 season. In his starts, the Yankees are 1-2 though the righty has a 3.14 ERA in 14⅓ rotation innings.

Jake Faria gets the ball for the Rays. His 10 starts are good for third best on a Rays team that has 15 pitchers credited with starts, though many have since been traded elsewhere. The 25-year-old has not started since May 22, though he has a 1.35 ERA in 6⅔ relief innings in the month of August. He has a 6.43 ERA in seven innings and two starts against the Yankees in his career.

Like I mentioned before, Torreyes is playing second and batting ninth to give Gleyber Torres a break. He’s “pressing,” per Aaron Boone, so he’s getting a breather. The rest of the lineup is fairly standard, that is, if you’re used to Neil Walker as a right fielder.

Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Yankees designated George Kontos for assignment to clear an active roster spot for Luis Cessa tonight.
  • Gary Sánchez could begin a rehab assignment as soon as “August 23-24,” per Brian Cashman on WFAN. He has been in the Bronx working with the Yankees.
  • Aaron Judge had an MRI and cortisone shot in his right wrist. Still no timeline on him picking up a bat, though he was seen working in the outfield today.
  • Something to watch: Ryan McBroom, who is hitting .385/.442/.564 with two homers and 10 RBI in his last 10 games, was a (presumably) healthy, but late, scratch from Game One of Triple-A Scranton’s doubleheader. Could be resting him for Game Two but something else could be afoot.

Rays Lineup:

  1. Mallex Smith – RF
  2. Matt Duffy – 3B
  3. Jake Bauers – 1B
  4. Joey Wendle – 2B
  5. Ji-Man Choi – DH
  6. Kevin Kiermaier – CF
  7. Willy Adames – SS
  8. Brandon Lowe – LF
  9. Michael Pérez – C

Rays 1, Yankees 4: Happ Dominates in Third Pinstriped Win

Happ delivers another gem.

THE BRONX – J.A. Happ pitched like an ace Tuesday night, allowing just one hit (but four walks) over seven stellar innings to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Those four walks came in the first four innings of work for Happ, who did not allow a hit until C.J. Cron singled in the fourth. Happ struckout four Rays hitters, and got that many both of groundouts and flyouts. He has a 1.89 ERA since joining the Yankees.

In the first inning, the Yanks were able to post a run on opener Hunter Wood. Giancarlo Stanton flipped a double into the right-field gap, then moved to third when shortstop Willy Adames could not handle a pickoff throw from Jesús Sucre. Sucre tried to catch Stanton napping but only caught Adames in that state. After the E6, Aaron Hicks blooped a single between Adames, Joey Wendle and Carlos Gómez for an RBI single.

The Yankees were then flummoxed by Jalen Beeks, whom the Rays acquired from the Red Sox for Nathan Eovaldi, until the fifth inning. Neil Walker led off with a walk, then Austin Romine ambushed a first-pitch fastball for a two-run home run that just stayed fair inside the right-field line. It was the eighth homer of the year for Romine, whose 111 wRC+ makes him a top-5 catcher in the American League (minimum 150 plate appearances).

The Rays got their one run on the first pitch by a Yankee reliever, as Happ exited in favor of Dellin Betances to begin the eighth inning. Adames atoned for his error by ambushing a first-pitch fastball for the first homered allowed by Betances since May 10.

That run was won back by the Yanks in their next set of at-bats. Miguel Andújar doubled with two outs, and Greg Bird doubled next to score pinch-runner Shane Robinson. Aroldis Chapman pitched a nine-pitch ninth for his 31st save, working around a two-out single by Wendle for a simple save.

Rangers 3, Yankees 5: Andújar Saves the Day

THE BRONX – Miguel Andújar‘s clutch two-run home run in the seventh inning off Chris Martin proved to be an important differencemaker Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

The 23-year-old cracked his 17th homer on the first pitch he saw from Martin, sending a 94-mph fastball into the right field seats. That proved to be the difference as the Yankees claimed a 5-to-3 victory. Giancarlo Stanton singled ahead of Andújar before the rookie connected.

Stanton got the scoring going for the Yankees in the first inning, driving a 3-0 fastball from Drew Hutchison into the left field seats for his 29th homer of the year. Andújar singled one batter later, and Greg Bird lined a double that scored him from first base.

Lance Lynn allowed his first (and only) run as a Yankee in the third inning. Shin-Soo Choo led off with a double to center field, then moved to third on a Rougned Odor ground out to the over-shifted shortstop Didi Gregorius. Elvis Andrus then lined a single to right field that allowed Choo to score.

That lead held until the seventh, when Zach Britton entered. With two outs, Choo and Odor singled, then Andrus walked. Next batter Adrián Beltré worked a walk with the bases loaded, and another run came into score when new reliever Dellin Betances balked in the tying run.

That set the stage for Andújar’s homer, and the rookie came into the game batting .293/.348/.483 in high-leverage situations (per Baseball-Reference). David Robertson and Betances each did not allow a run, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless (yet eventful) top of the ninth.

What’s Next:

The series finishes off with a battle of lefties. CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.49 ERA) will look to reprise his 12-strikeout performance from August 7 against the White Sox. Martin Pérez (2-4, 6.15 ERA) is coming off a no-decision where he allowed three runs in seven innings August 6 against Seattle.

Game 116: Not Another Double-Header Please

No full preview because of personal travel.

Rangers Lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – RF
  2. Rougned Odor – 2B
  3. Elvis Andrus – SS
  4. Adrián Beltré – DH
  5. Jurickson Profar – 3B
  6. Joey Gallo – LF
  7. Robinson Chirinos – C
  8. Ronaldo Guzmán – 1B
  9. Carlos Tocci – CF

Game 114: Back in the Bronx

The Yankees are back in the Bronx and will stay for an 11-game homestand that begins with three games against the Texas Rangers.

J.A. Happ, whose bout his hand, foot and mouth disease has run its course, returns from the disabled list after missing just one turn in the rotation. Chance Adams took his spot last Saturday in Boston, and was optioned to Triple-A after last night’s game. Happ allowed just one earned run in six innings in his first (and only) start in pinstripes. He threw a bullpen in the Bronx while quarantined from the team, and should be at full strength tonight.

Ariel Jurado gets the ball in what will be his fourth major-league start. His last turn was August 3 against Baltimore, where he allowed two earned runs over five innings. He got the win that night, as well as July 28 against Houston. He made a spot start May 19 but lost that outing.

You’ll never guess who’s in the lineup again! Shane Robinson! He bats ninth in right field. Giancarlo Stanton is the designated hitter once again. Gleyber Torres gets the night off, having playing every game since returning from his hip strain. Neil Walker gets another start at the keystone (Torres played shortstop last night) tonight.

Pre-Game Notes:

  • Aaron Judge ran the bases pre-game but still has yet to pick up a bat. He’s dealing with soreness and limited range of motion in that right wrist. Bryan Hoch says Judge will see team doctor Christopher Ahmad tonight.
  • Gary Sánchez was scheduled to run on the field as part of his rehab work in Tampa. He has been doing hitting work off a tee and by soft toss. He also has been throwing. Hoch indicated Sánchez would be in New York over the weekend to be evaluated by the team’s medical staff. With that in mind, he’d likely join
  • Ken Singleton has moved his retirement back! The YES Network analyst will return to the booth to call “about 24 [games] in 2019,” per NJ Advance Media’s Randy Miller. Andrew Marchand, former Yankees beat writer for ESPN and now sports media columnist for the New York Post, had reported earlier in the season that YES was working hard to have him reconsider retiring after 2018.