Tag: Zach Britton

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.

Yankees 4, White Sox 3: Miguel Andújar, Sonny Gray Star in Wild Extra-Innings Win

CHICAGO – If someone told me pre-game that Sonny Gray would be a key piece to tonight’s win, I wouldn’t believe you.

The right-hander who watched Lance Lynn throw 7⅓ shutout innings in his rotation spot last night took on his new role in a tough situation. After Zach Britton blew a save by allowing a two-run home run to José Abreu in the bottom of the 10th inning, Gray entered in the 11th and got nine outs while allowing just one hit and one walk.

The Yankees got the lead for good in the 13th inning. Didi Gregorius worked a one-out walk, and moved into scoring position on Luke Voit‘s first Yankees single. Two pitches later, Miguel Andújar golfed a changeup from Luis Avilán into left field to score Didi.

Unfortunately, the Yankees thought they had won the game three innings prior. Brett Gardner worked a walk in the 10th after pinch-hitting for Shane Robinson in the seventh, and Giancarlo Stanton powered a two-run shot off Tyler Danish to give the Yanks a 3-1 advantage.

That did not stand, however, as Britton could not hold the lead. Omar Narváez was drilled as the first batter and then Abreu powered a 1-1 sinker deep to center to tie the game.

The first seven innings of the game proved to be a pitchers’ duel. CC Sabathia struck out 12 White Sox hitters in his 5⅔ innings of work. Reynaldo López did not allow a hit until the sixth inning against the Yankees. Abreu hit a sacrifice fly in the third, and Andújar homered in the seventh for the only runs in regulation.


What’s Next:

Luis Severino faces off against Lucas Giolito looking for a Yankees sweep.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 5: Chapman’s Meltdown & More Sloppy Defense Lead to Benintendi Walkoff

BOSTON – Well, let’s hope this is rock bottom.

After Aroldis Chapman walked three batters in a ninth-inning that also featured a low throw from Miguel Andújar that Greg Bird could not handle, Jonathan Holder allowed a game-winning RBI single through the shift to Andrew Benintendi that officially sunk the Yankees in Beantown on Sunday.

The hard-throwing lefty issued free passes in the ninth to Sandy León, Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce after the Yankees gained a 4-to-1 advantage over their rivals in the seventh inning. J.D. Martinez singled to make it 4-to-3, and then Andújar did not step into his throw on a Xander Bogaerts grounder down the line. Bird could not dig it out, and pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the tying run.

Holder was assigned the 10th inning. After recording the first two outs, León poked a pitch about five inches off the outside corner into left for an opposite-field single. The first pitch to Betts, the next batter, got past Austin Romine (ruled a wild pitch, and he had a passed ball earlier in the game) to get León into scoring position. Betts was intentionally walked and León replaced with pinch-runner Tony Renda. Four pitches later, Benintendi’s grounder beat the shift and Fenway Park erupted into pandamonium.

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It seemed like things would finally break the Yankees way as they scored four runs in the seventh inning. Brett Gardner led off with a single and then Romine worked a walk. That drove David Price from the game, who had an uncharacteristically strong start against the Yankees. Heath Hembree came on, and proceeded to throw three pitches around the head of Shane Robinson, provoking a stare from the Yankees reserve outfielder and some shouts from the Yankee bench. Robinson was looking to move up the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but ended up walking on a 3-2 slider that missed high.

Five pitches later, Aaron Hicks hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that ate up shortstop Xander Bogaerts and wound up in center field. Both Gardner and Romine came around to score. Next, Giancarlo Stanton gave the Yanks a 3-1 lead with a single to score Robinson. After a Didi Gregorius strikeout, Gleyber Torres lined a sacrifice fly to center field for their fourth and final run.

Before Chapman imploded and Holder gave up the game-winning hit, Yankees pitching largely did their job Sunday night. Masahiro Tanaka had to grind through 4⅔ innings, leaving with 97 pitches on his ledger and his lone mistake being a solo home run allowed to Betts. Sans-high-socks David Robertson pitched a scoreless 1⅓ innings, while Zach Britton and Dellin Betances each battled command issues to throw scoreless frames of their own.

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Alex Rodriguez said on the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast that a three-run lead at Fenway Park is like a one-run lead at any other ballpark. That rang painfully true for a Yankees team that desperately needed to win before getting on a plane to Chicago. They now sit 9.5 games back of Boston in the American League East race, and just 2.5 games ahead of the surging Oakland Athletics for the first Wild Card spot.


What’s Next:

The Yankees turn to Lance Lynn to make his first start (but second appearance) in the place of Sonny Gray, whose consistently subpar performance saw him demoted to the bullpen. Lynn threw 4⅓ scoreless innings of mop-up relief August 1 against Baltimore after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo.

The Yanks will face righty Dylan Covey in Chi-Town, who will be making his 15th start. So far, he has a 4-7 record and 5.57 ERA. He has faced the Yankees once, and gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits through five innings of work last season.

Royals 2, Yankees 7: Injury Concerns Cloud Series-Opening Win

THE BRONX – On a day where the Yankees consummated a trade for a high-profile starting pitcher and scored seven runs to win a game, the focus sits on injury concerns with Aaron Judge and Sonny Gray.

Judge started as the designated hitter today, but was drilled in the vicinity of his right wrist on a 2-2 pitch from Jakob Junis. He stayed in the game to run the bases, and also recorded an infield single in his second at-bat. However, Miguel Andújar came in to pinch-hit for him once the No. 2 spot in the order came up again.

In the fifth inning, Alex Gordon hit a hard ground ball up the middle that Gray slowed down with his pitching hand. The trainers came out to check on him, and after a few warm-up pitches, he stayed in the game to finish the fifth inning. His velocity was down a few ticks at this point, but he managed to get out of the inning with no runs allowed. Undoubtedly, Gray would have continued to pitch since he was removed with only 75 pitches but the Yankees figured it was not worth the risk since they were up by seven runs at that point.

The Yankees scored early and often, pushing across two in the first inning on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly and later a fielding error hit into by Gleyber Torres. The Yankees got four in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double by Austin Romine and a three-run (all unearned) home run by Didi Gregorius. Didi only got to hit because Andújar reached on a brutal error by Royals’ shortstop Adalberto Mondesí. Greg Bird hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for the Yankees’ seventh and final run.

The Royals scored their two runs once Gray was lifted for Adam Warren. Mike Moustakas hit his first pitch for a ground-rule double, and then two pitches later, Salvador Pérez took him deep to center for a two-run shot.

Things got hairy for Chasen Shreve in the ninth. He came on in relief of Zach Britton, who threw a 1-2-3 inning in his Yankees debut. Jorge Bonifacio singled, and then was replaced by Alex Gordon on a forceout. After striking out Brian Goodwin, Mondesí recorded a single that got Aroldis Chapman loose in the Yankees bullpen. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to center, but Gordon barreled through Mike Jirschele‘s stop sign at third base. Aaron Hicks fired to Romine at the plate and Gordon was out to end the game.

Game 101: Reinforcements Arriving

Zach Britton is active for the first time as a member of the New York Yankees, and newly-acquired J.A. Happ is set to join the team tomorrow.

Sonny Gray is coming off two straight wins, and hopes to keep that rolling tonight for the Yankees. In those starts (11⅓ innings pitched), he has allowed just two earned runs on six hits. He has 14 strikeouts to just four walks in that timeframe as well. Gray had one of his best starts on the season in Kansas City against the Royals on May 20, pitching eight innings and allowing one run on four hits.

Jakob Junis makes his second start against the Yankees in 2018. He got the win May 18 behind 5⅓ innings of two-run ball. Since then, he has a 2-7 record and 6.75 ERA. He only last four innings his last time out, giving up one run on four hits before exiting after just 77 pitches. The shortened outing came because he missed a few weeks with lower back inflammation.

Brandon Drury‘s bench spot will be taken by Shane Robinson, who was selected to the 25-man roster once the Happ trade was official. Luis Cessa was optioned to create a roster spot for Britton. The Yankees 40-man roster is now at 40 players.


Royals Lineup:

  1. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  2. Rosell Herrera – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – C
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Jorge Bonifacio – DH
  7. Alex Gordon – LF
  8. Brian Goodwin – CF
  9. Adalberto Mondesí – SS

Yankees Acquire J.A. Happ From Toronto for Drury, McKinney

Less than 48 hours after acquiring dominant lefty Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees and Brian Cashman immediately pivoted to another American League East southpaw. The Yankees have acquired J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney.

The trade immediately gives the Yankees some stability in the back end of the rotation. Happ has not started in fewer than 25 games since prior to the 2014 season. So far in 2018, he has a 10-6 record and 4.18 ERA. That ERA has been bloated by a rough month of July, where he has a 7.41 mark in four starts. In his career against Boston, Happ is 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He’s 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA in nine Fenway Park games. He has a career 3.94 ERA at Yankee Stadium, although now he’ll be wearing the pinstripes.

Happ is expected to report to the Yankees tomorrow.


Both pieces heading from the Yankees to the Blue Jays did not have an immediate role with the 2018 Yankees. Drury was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season, and began the season as the starting third baseman. After just eight games, Drury revealed that he suffered from migraines and blurred vision, frequently while playing, but never told anyone. He then missed 71 games before doctors determined that it was a tendon in his neck that was causing the problems. He hit .176/.263/.275 in 18 games with the Yankees prior to the trade. He was named an International League All-Star after hitting .294/.403/.447 for the RailRiders.

McKinney came to the Yankees as part of the haul netted by Cashman in the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016. He played all three outfield positions and some first base in 54 games for the Yankees AAA team. He hit .230/.294/.502 with 13 home runs in the International League. He was a member of the Yankees 40-man roster and was the team’s 20th ranked prospect.


The trade winds began to swirl earlier this afternoon when RailRiders beat writers first reported Domingo Germán would be moved up to start a day earlier than scheduled, replacing Erik Swanson. At the same time, I noticed McKinney was left out of the lineup against a right-handed starter. Drury has long been rumored to be a trade chip for the Yankees.

Swanson ended up being moved to tomorrow’s start, while Germán made it through 1+ inning before being removed after consultation with the trainers. That’s obviously not great.

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)