Greetings from Arizona
By Bryan Hoch
Hello from Chase Field, where the Yankees will open a seven-game road trip tonight with three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-backs have struggled mightily at home this year, posting a 5–16 record here, and that’s something the Yanks will try to take advantage of as they send rookie right-hander Chad Green to the mound for his Major League debut.
It’s not easy being Green? So they say. Acquired in the Justin Wilson trade, Green pitched his way onto the radar by posting a 1.95 ERA at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while holding opponents to a .559 OPS.
“You hope the experience in spring training helped him,” manager Joe Girardi said. “The biggest thing is for him to relax, get him through the first inning and usually guys can settle in a little bit. He’s thrown the ball very well in Triple-A this year. We’ve been pleased with what he’s been doing, and because we didn’t use him the last couple days, we were able to start him today.”
Left-hander Robbie Ray starts tonight for Arizona. He is 0–2 with 7.94 ERA over his last four starts, and control has been an issue all season, as he has walked 19 in 35 1/3 innings.
Things don’t get any easier the rest of the series, as the D-backs will trot out Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller against Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi, respectively.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of our coverage from yesterday’s 7–5 Yankees victory:
Beltran slugs 400th home run of his career
Pinch-hit from Headley gets Yanks series win
Headley keeps up surge with late heroics
CC throws sim game, targets Friday return
Green to start Monday for Yanks in debut
Play Ball in the Bronx a thrill for kids
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
Green had a 1.22 ERA and a team-high 36 strikeouts in seven starts for the RailRiders, and part of the appeal in starting him tonight is that it will give Pineda and Eovaldi an extra day of rest. The Yanks think that can help Pineda in particular, as he comes into tomorrow with a 6.28 ERA and has fallen well short of what they expected as their №2 starter.
“We’re hoping for Pineda and all the guys that it helps them a little bit,” Girardi said. “We’re going to get into another long stretch. That’s why we did this today. He really had to grind through a couple starts; he went five innings and threw 114 pitches. Hopefully it helps him.”
The Yankees may not have their power trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman available tonight, having worked them often in the series against the White Sox.
“It’s not really how you draw it up, but there are the days you have to do that. Guys get a chance to step up and hopefully they can do it,” Girardi said.
Alex Rodriguez jogged on the field and took batting practice. All systems are go for him to return to the lineup as the designated hitter on Thursday at Oakland.
HONORING JOE G.
The Diamondbacks will pay tribute to the late Joe Garagiola on Monday via a special pregame ceremony that includes the unveiling of a “Joe” emblem in left field and a video tribute. Yogi Berra’s granddaughter Lindsay is participating in the ceremonial first pitch, along with Garagiola’s children.
Chase Headley is batting .333 (9-for-27) with three extra-base hits over his last nine games.
ON THIS DATE
2006: The Yankees tie a franchise record by overcoming a nine-run deficit vs. Texas to win, 14–3, in nine innings. Jorge Posada hits a two-run, walk-off home run off Akinori Otsuka.