MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - INSIDE PITCH
Does three straight blown saves mean it's time for the Yankees to start worrying about Mariano Rivera? Not according to Joe Girardi or his teammates. Or Rivera himself.
Still, it's worth noting that on Sunday, the Yankees witnessed something they had never seen in Rivera's 19 years -- he hadn't blown three consecutive save chances until he allowed solo home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the ninth inning. The Yankees won, 5-4, on Brett Gardner's walk-off homer.
Girardi, asked if he was concerned about the 43-year-old closer, held his thumb and forefinger together. Zero, in other words.
"My buddy Paul O'Neill would ask me, 'Can a man forget how to hit in a week?' and I'd say no," Girardi said. "And you can't forget how to pitch in a week. He just had a bad week."
Rivera is not fretting, either, perhaps because he knows that every rocky stretch in his career has resulted in some ultimately false predictions of his demise.
"No, I don't worry about it," he said. "We always have this kind of conversation -- early, late, middle of the season. But it happens. We have to continue to work."
Still, the Yankees bullpen has been a team strength much of the season and it failed Sunday. David Robertson allowed a homer to Brayan Pena in the eighth inning to allow the Tigers within two runs, setting up Rivera's ninth. Rivera has now allowed five runs and seven hits -- three of those homers -- in his last four innings, an 11.25 ERA.
Both homer balls to Cabrera and Martinez were mistakes, Rivera said. "Yeah, I left the ball up. Martinez, that ball was just laying flat and also with Miguel," he said. "You're facing professional hitters and you don't put it where you need to, you're going to get hit."
The Yankees hope this is just temporary. If Rivera's track record is any indication, it is.
"He spoils us all," said Andy Pettitte. "Any time you see him blow one, much less three, it's shocking. I don't think it's going to faze him or faze anyone in this locker room. He'll go out there and when we have the lead we'll feel extremely confident."
MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
PAST 10 GAMES: 4-6
NEXT: Yankees (Hiroki Kuroda, 10-7, 2.45) vs. Angels (Garret Richards, 3-4, 4.20)
--3B Alex Rodriguez described his current state as a work in progress and said it would take 40-to-50 at-bats before he gets in the full swing of things. Rodriguez hit his 647th career home run Sunday and first since Sept. 14. He also added an RBI single and is 5-for-19 since returning from the DL Monday.
--RHP Mariano Rivera blew a save for the third straight game, marking the first time that ever happened. He also allowed two home runs in a game for the fifth time in his career and first time ever in a save opportunity.
--LHP Andy Pettitte allowed one run and eight hits but threw 101 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed the run in the first inning, marking his eighth straight start of doing so.
--LF Alfonso Soriano batted sixth for the first time and also reached 2,000 hits with a fourth-inning home run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is one of four players whose major league debuts were with the Yankees to reach 2,000 hits. The others are Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Don Mattingly.
--3B Kevin Youkilis made an appearance in the Yankee clubhouse but really had little to report about his back that underwent surgery in June. He said he has spent the last four weeks rehabbing in New York after spending the first three recovering in California.
--RHP Dellin Betances was promoted from Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes Barre to give the Yankees an extra arm, especially one that can pitch multiple innings. Betances did that in seven of his last 10 appearances and that is part of a 30-inning scoreless streak he had in his last 17 appearances in the minors. When Betances pitches, he will be the 49th player to appear for the Yankees. He was with the team in May but did not get into a game.
--3B David Adams was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre again. Adams was hitting .194 with the Yankees this season.
--RHP Hiroki Kuroda is undefeated in day games but 5-7 in night games. Kuroda's earned run average after dark is 2.78 but in those starts, the Yankees have scored three runs or less 15 times. The most recent instance was Tuesday in Chicago when Kuroda allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 3-2 loss. Kuroda is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts against the Angels. Both of his starts as a Yankee against the Angels have been at home. He pitched eight scoreless innings in New York's 2012 home opener on April 13, 2012 and then allowed five runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings without getting a decision in a 6-5 win on July 14, 2012.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's the first time I've ever hit a walk-off home run. It might be the last. I've had a couple of seeing eye singles up the middle and through the left side but never a home run like that." -- OF Brett Gardner, after his fifth career walk-off hit and second of the series gave the Yankees a 5-4 win over Detroit Sunday.
MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - ROSTER REPORT
--SS Derek Jeter (strained right quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He missed the first half of the season due to a broken left ankle, got hurt in his first game back, and now is on the DL for the third time this year. He likely will head to the team's complex in Tampa after their current homestand ends Aug. 15 to continue his rehab.
--3B Kevin Youkilis (lumbar back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 14, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 7. It's his second trip to the DL this season because of the same injury. Youkilis, who missed 30 games in April and May, experienced numbness in his foot and calf when he woke up June 14, likely the result of a nerve issue. He had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back on June 20, and he will be out of action until late August or early September. He said Aug. 11 he is approximately at week seven of his recovery and his surgeon told him the fastest anyone has returned from the same operation is 12 weeks.
--RHP David Phelps (strained right forearm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He made rehab starts July 23 and July 30 for Double-A Trenton, but he was scratched from his Aug. 4 start with soreness in the forearm. A new minor strain was revealed, prompting the Yankees to shut him down for 14 more days.
--RHP Michael Pineda (shoulder surgery) will be shut down for 7-10 days after feeling stiffness in his shoulder after his start Aug. 2. An MRI revealed no damage.
--C Francisco Cervelli (fractured right hand, stress reaction in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list April 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 1. He was diagnosed with the elbow injury July 3. He was moved to the restricted list Aug. 5 when he received a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis probe. Cervelli visited Dr. James Andrews on Aug. 5 and was told he will not require surgery.
--DH Travis Hafner (strained right rotator cuff) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 27.
--3B Luis Cruz (sprained right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 23.
--OF Zoilo Almonte (left ankle sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 20. He was sent to the Yankees' complex in Tampa.
--1B Mark Teixeira (right wrist inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 16, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 6. He had season-ending surgery July 2 since the torn tendon sheath suffered in March never healed. He is wearing a wrist cast. He said he hopes to start his rehab at the end of August. Teixeira said he will take it slow since he won't play this year.
LHP CC Sabathia
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
RHP Phil Hughes
LHP Andy Pettitte
RHP Ivan Nova
RHP Mariano Rivera (closer)
RHP David Robertson
RHP Joba Chamberlain
LHP Boone Logan
RHP Preston Claiborne
RHP Shawn Kelley
RHP Adam Warren
RHP Dellin Betances
1B Lyle Overbay
2B Robinson Cano
SS Eduardo Nunez
3B Alex Rodriguez
INF Jayson Nix
LF Vernon Wells
CF Curtis Granderson
RF Ichiro Suzuki
DH Alfonso Soriano
OF Brett Gardner