'Pen Implodes, Blows it for New Staff Ace Phelps

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GAME 91: A rough day and night in Yankeeland. First we learn Carlos Beltran goes on the 7-Day DL (concussion). Then we learn Masahiro Tanaka will be out for at least 6 weeks. Then we watch a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, as the Yankees waste yet another fine start by David Phelps.
The Yanks had a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th inning, then the wheels came off. Phelps hit 100 pitches, and after allowing the first two Cleveland batters to reach base, was lifted for Matt Thornton. Thornton allowed a bases-clearing triple that tied the game at 3, then Jim Miller followed with a outing he’d like to forget, serving up 5 earned runs on 6 hits, including two home runs in 1.2 innings.
Earlier in the game with the Yankees leaving the bases loaded twice, and runners in scoring positions on three other occasions, you could feel this one coming. The offense came from Zelous Wheeler‘s second major league home run, a 2-run shot in the 4th inning, and an RBI single from Yangervis Solarte, who was called up today to replace Beltran on the roster.
Here’s the box score and recap from Bryan Hoch of mlb.com.

Tanaka At Least Out ‘Till September

Tanaka has a small tear in his right elbow ligament, and doctors recommended that surgery was not necessary at this point, preferring rehab. But if that fails, it’s Tommy John — and we won’t see the ace until at least a year from now. GM Brian Cashman was quoted saying:

“It doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Tommy John in a failed attempt, but all three doctors agree on the diagnosis and the rehab protocol. We are going to follow their recommendation. None of them recommend surgery at this time, and they’re all hopeful that in roughly, maybe a six-week period, that we will have a pitcher back if he responds positively.”

Phelps Now The Ace?

In an unbelievable turn of events since Spring Training, when Phelps and Michael Pineda were battling it out for the number 5 spot in the rotation, Phelps is now arguably the most dependable starter. With now 80% of the Opening Day rotation out of commission, you can bet something is going to happen before the July 31st trading deadline. Something big is anyone’s guess. It all depends on which teams will be buyers, and which ones will be sellers.
MEMORY LANE:  On today’s date in 1980, the first-place Yankees (53-27) scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning in Arlington, Texas, en route to a 13-5 win over the Rangers. Former Yank Sparky Lyle relieved Texas starter Fergie Jenkins after Jenkins got only 1 out while facing the first nine Yankees hitters. Home runs were hit by Graig Nettles, Reggie Jackson, and Jim Spencer. Ron Guidry earned his 10th win of the season.
On July 10th, 1997 Hideki Irabu wins his much-anticipated major league debut, striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings as the Yankees defeat Detroit 10-3. The Japanese-born pitcher receives a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 51,901 at Yankee Stadium. (Source: Today in Baseball History)

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