Tag: Kyle Higashioka

Game 112: Make It Two

After snapping a five-game losing streak last night against the White Sox, CC Sabathia looks to keep the momentum going in the right direction.

Sabathia gets the ball after needing 77 pitches to get just nine outs August 2 in Boston. He allowed just two runs, but the Yankees wound up getting clobbered. He walked four and gave up three hits. The Yankees went 3-1 in his starts in July, though he managed to put up an unwieldy 5.48 ERA in those 21⅓ innings.

Reynaldo López gets the ball for the South-Siders. Signed in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic, López came to the White Sox with Dane Dunning and Lucas Giolito in the deal that sent Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals. In 22 starts this season, he has a 4-9 record and a 4.47 ERA. His 5.16 FIP indicates he’s been hit hard, and a 4.0 walks-per-9 shows the command isn’t there yet for the 24-year-old.

Brett Gardner gets the night off, having started 12 of the last 13 games. Shane Robinson spells him in left field. Miguel Andújar once again serves as the designated hitter with Neil Walker suiting up at the hot corner. Kyle Higashioka gets another start behind the dish.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Yankees caught a break in their trade of Brandon Drury, whom the Blue Jays placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hand fracture today. It turns out the injury was sustained July 24 against the Rays, which ended up being his final game as a Yankee before being dealt with Billy McKinney for J.A. Happ.
  • Speaking of Happ: the team hasn’t decided whether Chance Adams will start Thursday or if Happ will return to pitch then. Adams will stick around with the big league club until that decision is made because of the 10-day rule.
  • There is nothing wrong with Austin Romine. Just sitting again because he caught five days in a row.
  • Aaron Judge has yet to start swinging a bat.
  • Clint Frazier and Michael Kay appear to have figured out their weird squabble over Kay’s comments regarding Frazier’s concussion. Boone said the two talked on the phone and it was now “water under the bridge”.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Tim Anderson – SS
  2. Avisail García – RF
  3. José Abreu – 1B
  4. Matt Davidson – DH
  5. Yoan Moncada – 2B
  6. Ryan LaMarre – LF
  7. Yolmer Sánchez – 3B
  8. Adam Engel – CF
  9. Omar Narváez – C

Yankees 7, White Sox 0: Oh, Winning Is Fun

Back in the win column.

CHICAGO – The Yankees desperately needed to beat up on a bad team after suffering four brutal losses in Boston this past weekend. They got their wish Monday night against the White Sox in Chicago.

Lance Lynn put together another excellent pitching performance, throwing 7⅓ innings and allowing just two hits and one walk. He racked up nine strikeouts and seven ground outs. Lynn’s performance is especially exciting to the Yankees since he’s taking the rotation spot of Sonny Gray. A.J. Cole mopped up the last five outs, allowing one hit and one walk.

The Yankees offense finally broke out to the tune of 10 hits and seven runs behind their stellar pitching. White Sox starter Dylan Covey retired the Yankees in order in his first time through, but would not be so lucky the second time around. In the fourth inning, Giancarlo Stanton worked a one-out walk, which was followed by a Didi Gregorius double. Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres did their jobs next, each knocking RBI singles into center field for the Yankees first two runs of the evening.

Greg Bird should have knocked a three-run home run over the centerfield wall, but it ended up being a 405-foot fly out after the center fielder Adam Engel robbed him on a fantastic play.

In the fifth, Kyle Higashioka and Brett Gardner singled with one out. With Higashioka on third and Stanton at the plate, Covey threw a pitch catcher Kevan Smith could not handle which allowed the Yankee backstop to score. It was ruled a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Gregorius lined an RBI single into left field to score Gardner.

The eighth inning saw a power display from Yankee infielders. Gleyber Torres turned around a 95 mph fastball for his 18th home run of the season with one out, then Neil Walker crushed a 429-foot shot on the first pitch after a two-out walk to Miguel Andújar.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria got creative with his pitching in the top of the ninth inning, turning to corner infielder Matt Davidson. It was his third appearance on the mound, and he had yet to allow a hit or a run. He managed to strike out Stanton on a 71 mph curveball, but he did allow his first hit of the season to Hicks. The Yankees did not score off Davidson.

Game 111: Lynnsanity

With a disastrous four-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox behind them, the Yankees take on a different kind of Sox as they open a three-game set at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Lance Lynn gets the ball in his first start as a Yankee after impressing with 4⅓ scoreless innings of relief of Sonny Gray on August 1. The Yankees announced after that game that Gray would become the new mop-up reliever and Lynn would return to his usual spot in the rotation. Lynn’s stats are a bit odd because he did not sign with Minnesota until March 21, and therefore only threw seven innings in Spring Training. As a result, he had a 8.37 ERA in his first five starts. Since then, in 16 appearances, Lynn has settled down into a 3.90 ERA in 83 innings.

Dylan Covey gets the ball for the White Sox. It’s been another bad year for the White Sox righty, who owns a 4-7 record and 5.57 ERA. He gave up seven runs (four earned) to Kansas City in his last outing August 1. He only lasted 4⅓ innings and 83 pitches, though his own error and that of Yoan Moncada did not help him out. He got shelled last season facing the Yanks on April 19, when he allowed eight earned runs on 10 hits (three of which left the ballpark – Starlin Castro, Chase Headley and Aaron Judge did the honors).

Giancarlo Stanton‘s tight left hamstring seems to have subsided a bit, as he returns to right field tonight. Miguel Andújar is the designated hitter tonight, while Neil Walker sneaks back into the lineup at third base. Kyle Higashioka gets his first start in just under a week after Austin Romine started all four games in Boston.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Aaron Judge was seen taking fly balls in the outfield at Guaranteed Rate Field pre-game. He did not commit to the exact three-week timetable previously laid out for him, but seems to be doing well in his rehab from a small fracture in his right wrist.
  • Gary Sánchez is running with about 85-90% of his bodyweight on a zero gravity treadmill, and could be back to baseball activites sooner rather than later.
  • J.A. Happ is “out of the woods” with regards to his hand, foot and mouth disease exposure, and is set to come off the disabled list to pitch Thursday against Texas.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Yoan Moncada – 2B
  2. Yolmer Sanchez – 3B
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. Daniel Palka – DH
  5. Avisail Garcia – RF
  6. Nicky Delmonico – LF
  7. Tim Anderson – SS
  8. Kevan Smith – C
  9. Adam Engel – CF

Game 110: Just Win One

Masahiro Tanaka has a 5–2 record with a 2.09 ERA in seven career starts when the Yankees are facing a series sweep, including wins in his two such starts against the Red Sox,” tweeted ESPN’s Buster Olney on Sunday afternoon as the Yankees look ahead to salvaging one game of their four-game set in Boston.

Masahiro Tanaka has looked like a dominant pitcher of late. His last five starts (since June 8) have seen him go 3-2 (bad run support) with a 1.76 ERA and 35 strikeouts to seven walks. He has lowered his season ERA from 4.58 to 3.84 in that time, which is fantastic. He looks to be the much-needed Yankees stopper tonight, carrying an 8-4 record and 4.18 career ERA in 16 career starts against Boston into tonight.

David Price faces off against Tanaka, and the Yankees are hoping for a repeat of July 1. That night, the Yankees knocked the lefty around for eight earned runs on nine hits (including five home runs) in just 4⅓ innings. Since then (four starts), the Red Sox have yet to lose a Price start and he has a 2.81 ERA.

I’m really unsure what’s going on with tonight’s lineup. Giancarlo Stanton started 937 games in right field in his career prior to joining the Yankees, yet he’s somehow incapable of playing out there two nights in a row. He’s DHing again, which means Shane Robinson has to play right field. That takes at-bats away from Neil Walker, who had been swinging the bat well. Brett Gardner bats seventh for the first time all season, and he’s a career .316/.415/.421 hitter in that spot. Greg Bird sits in favor of Luke Voit against the lefty Price. Austin Romine is behind the plate again, meaning Kyle Higashioka has not started since July 31.


Red Sox Lineup:

  1. Mookie Betts – CF
  2. Andrew Benintendi – LF
  3. Steve Pearce – DH
  4. J.D. Martinez – RF
  5. Xander Bogaerts – SS
  6. Mitch Moreland – 1B
  7. Eduardo Núñez – 3B
  8. Brock Holt – 2B
  9. Sandy León – C

Orioles 3, Yankees 6: Andújar’s Lucky 13th Homer Backs Tanaka’s Outing

THE BRONX – Masahiro Tanaka was not as sharp as his complete game shutout in his previous start, but his six shutout innings certainly did the job Tuesday night against Baltimore.

Miguel Andújar homered in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach after the Yankees loaded the bases. Giancarlo Stanton was drilled, Didi Gregorius singled and Aaron Hicks walked. After Gleyber Torres popped out to second base, Greg Bird lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. The next batter was Andújar, who drilled a 2-1 fastball 410 feet out to left field.

The Yankees got their scoring started in the first off Yefry Ramírez. Brett Gardner and Gregorius walked, then Torres adjusted well on a 3-2 slider to ground it up the middle for an RBI single. In the third, Gardner singled, Stanton reached on a fielding error by Tim Beckham after Gardner stole second. On a 1-1 fastball, Gregorius dumped a bloop single into left that scored Gardner.

After a hairy first inning where he drilled Jace Peterson and walked Adam Jones, Tanaka pitched quite well. He scattered a few hits and one more walk while collecting eight strikeouts. A great start against a bad team, but a win is a win so you know the Yankees will take it. Especially on a night where the Phillies beat the Red Sox.

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A.J. Cole had a bit of a hiccup, allowing three runs (two earned) in 1⅓ innings. He made a 6-0 game into a 6-3 game, which isn’t great if you’re trying to rest the high-leverage guys. Austin Wynns singled, Beckham walked and then Peterson doubled to score both. Dellin Betances entered next, and a fastball of his clanked off the glove of Kyle Higashioka for a passed ball. Things got worse as Higgy’s throw got away and allowed Peterson to score. It was originally ruled a throwing error by the catcher but a check of the box score today shows it to be a missed catch error by Andújar.

Things calmed down in the ninth inning, as Aroldis Chapman struck out the side on 13 pitches.

What’s Next

Sonny Gray (8-7, 5.08 ERA) looks to put together a third consecutive strong start against counterpart Alex Cobb (2-14, 6.08 ERA), who is clearly not living up to his 4-year, $57 million offseason deal so far.

Game 105: Tanaka Tuesday Post-Deadline

The dust has finally settled from another wild non-waiver trade deadline. The Yankees acquired four players and a bunch of international signing bonus pool money, while also clearing excess players well in advance of the 40-man roster deadline.

Masahiro Tanaka will be on the bump this evening. His last start was his best all season, pitching a complete game shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays on July 24. He allowed just three hits and one walk, while striking out nine batters. He gets the benefit of facing a much weaker Baltimore Orioles lineup then he faced July 10, where he allowed three runs on six hits through 4⅓ innings (although he was on a pitch count).

Yefry Ramírez, A former Yankee farmhand, starts for Baltimore. In five starts, he has a 4.24 ERA and has 27 strikeouts to just 10 walks. The Yankees really knocked him around when they faced him July 9, where he allowed four earned runs on nine hits with two walks. He did, however, pick up a win July 24 against Boston with five innings of three-run ball.

The Yankees had no more trading to do in the final 24 hours of non-waiver deals. They did select the contract of journeyman lefty Ryan Bollinger to be active for tonight’s game out of the bullpen. He was supposed to start for Double-A Trenton, but is in the Bronx tonight to take Adam Warren‘s spot until Lance Lynn arrives. Boone goes with the usual non-Judge lineup, except Kyle Higashioka is behind the dish (I have some concerns about that in the next section).


Pre-Game Notes:

  • J.A. Happ was sent home by the team Tuesday after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease. Yes, the same ailment for children that also forced Noah Syndergaard to the disabled list. Happ started Sunday for the Yankees and pitched six innings of one-run ball. I’m a bit concerned because his catcher for that start, Austin Romine, is out of the lineup tonight. Hopefully, he hasn’t been infected. The Yankees have not ruled Happ out for his next start in Boston, which was supposed to come Saturday.
  • The Yankees acquired $3.75 million in international signing bonus pool money in trades, per Brian Cashman. They used some of it to sign RHP Osiel Rodríguez, who was ranked as the No. 1 pitching prospect available by Baseball America. They gave the 16-year-old Cuban a $600,000 bonus.

Orioles Lineup:

  1. Tim Beckham – SS
  2. Jonathan Schoop – 2B Jace Peterson – 2B (Schoop traded to Milwaukee)
  3. Adam Jones – CF
  4. Mark Trumbo – DH
  5. Chris Davis – 1B
  6. Trey Mancini – LF
  7. Joey Rickard – RF
  8. Renato Núñez – 3B
  9. Austin Wynns – C

Game 100: Cessa in the Century Game

It’s Game No. 100 on the season, and Luis Cessa is looking to turn in another fantastic performance for the Yankees.

Across his last three starts (one in MLB, two in IL), Luis Cessa has looked like a different pitcher. He has allowed just one run on nine hits with 18 strikeouts to just four walks. He mentioned to a reporter that he began to throw his slider with less velocity, and that has led to more strikeouts. I believe it, and I hope he can sustain it at the major league level.

Starting for the Rays is old friend Nathan Eovaldi. Oh, never mind. Eovaldi was just traded to the Red Sox for their No. 15 prospect LHP Jalen Beeks. Ryne Stanek, another opener, will get the ball instead. He has made 13 starts on the season, with a 1.37 ERA (obscured by sample size, he’s given up three runs in 19⅔ innings). He has four appearances (two starts) against the Yankees and has yet to allow a run (four hits though) in 4⅔ innings.

Gleyber Torres is back! The Yankees activated him off of the disabled list today, and he’ll bat fifth at second base. Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A. Neil Walker (who managed a .886 OPS in Torres’ absence) serves as the designated hitter today. Aaron Hicks gets another day off after he banged up his left shoulder Monday night. He is available off the bench, and so is Brandon Drury who was hit on his hand with a pitch last night. Kyle Higashioka will get the start behind the plate in the day game after a night game.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Zach Britton was not listed as available out of the Yankees bullpen today, and that’s completely understandable. The trade was announced at 11:45 PM and the Yankees were scheduled to play in about 12 hours from that time. Multiple Yankees reporters have indicated he will join the team tomorrow in the Bronx. It wouldn’t make sense for him to travel from Baltimore to St. Petersburg, only to then go back to the Bronx a few hours later.
  • None of the minor-league pitchers the Yankees dealt to Baltimore will immediately join their major-league roster. All three will remain at their respective levels (Carroll & Rogers at AAA, Tate at AA). Tate became the O’s No. 4 prospect, and Carroll their No. 15 prospect. Rogers remains unranked.
  • Gary Sánchez may not return from his latest groin strain until late August. Brian Cashman expressed his confidence in Austin Romine and Higashioka in the meantime, and said they’d explore a trade at the position basically if one falls into their laps.

Rays Lineup

  1. CF – Kevin Kiermaier (L)
  2. 3B – Matt Duffy (R)
  3. 1B – Jake Bauers (L)
  4. DH – C.J. Cron (R)
  5. LF – Joey Wendle (L)
  6. 2B – Daniel Robertson (R)
  7. RF – Carlos Gómez (R)
  8. SS – Willy Adames (R)
  9. C – Adam Moore (R)