Angels hire Eppler as GM

The Los Angeles Angels hired New York Yankees Assistant GM Billy Eppler as their general manager, the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin reports (Oct. 4).

Eppler, who has worked in the Yankees’ front office since 2005, was considered a front-runner for the position last month (Sept. 4). He had also interviewed with the Mariners for their GM vacancy (Sept. 16).

Eppler served as the Yankees’ director of professional scouting until he was promoted to assistant GM in 2012.

Sep 30, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees will host Astros in wild card game on Tuesday

Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees will host Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros in Tuesday’s American League wild card game at 8 p.m.

The Yankees have lost six of their last seven games, including Sunday’s 9-4 loss to the Orioles, heading into the playoffs. The Astros lost on Paul Goldschmidt’s go-ahead two-run home run Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

Tanaka allowed four runs in five innings in his last start against the Red Sox and is 7-4 with a 3.71 ERA at Yankee Stadium this season.

Keuchel, who finished the season 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA, is 5-8 with a 3.77 ERA on the road this season. At home, he went 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA.

Houston clinched a playoff berth after the Rangers beat the Angels on Sunday. The winner of the wild card game will play the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS.

It’s not exactly how any team wants to head into the playoffs, but the Yankees hope the adage that the playoffs represent a new season applies to them. The club performed miserably over the last week and finished 29-31 since the All-Star break.

Tanaka needs to have one of his better performances of the season Tuesday, facing Keuchel who dominated the Yankees in two starts this season.

The Yankees have a few advantages heading into the winner-take-all game. Playing in Yankee Stadium before a home crowd will provide a certain boost versus what they would encounter on the road. Next, the Yanks enter the game with more experience in playoff situations over the upstart Astros. Finally, Tanaka will be well-rested, while Keuchel, who was just 5-8 on the road this season, will be working on three days’ rest for the first time in his career.

Surely, anything can happen in a singular game, but the Yankees hope they benefit from a fresh start and that things go far better Tuesday than they experienced this past.’s Christopher Carelli is the founder of Yankees Unscripted, a site devoted to narrative-free commentary about the New York Yankees. Follow Christopher on Twitter, @Chris_Carelli, for up to the minute coverage of the team.


Yankees lose, back into home field for AL Wild Card game

The Yankees lost for the sixth time in seven games Sunday, falling 9-4 in Baltimore to close out the regular season. But the Yanks got a hand from Arizona as the Diamondbacks beat the Astros 5-3 to give the Yanks the home field in Tuesday’s AL Wild Card playoff game against Houston.

It was a dismal afternoon for the Yankees, who trailed 7-1 after five innings.

Yankees starter Michael Pineda gave up four runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. He was followed by seven pitchers, five of whom only went a third of an inning.

Chris Davis (3-for-4, four RBI) hit two homers for Baltimore to give him 47 for the season. Davis is a free agent and not expected to return to Baltimore.

The Yankees’ Dustin Ackley had two RBI, both on groundouts. Carlos Beltran was 3-for-3.

The Yankees return to the Bronx to host the Astros in the one-game wild card playoff Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Astros’ Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48) wil face Masahiro Tanaka (12-7, 3.51).


It’s official: Yankees vs. Houston in wild card, site to be determined

Houston was confirmed as the Yankees opponent in Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game after Texas defeated the Los Angeles Angels 9-2 Sunday to clinch the AL West.

The Rangers’ win eliminated the Angels from playoff consideration.

Both the Yankees and Houston were losing late in their games. If Houston loses or the Yankees win, the wild-card game will be at Yankee Stadium. If the Astros win and the Yankees lose, the game will be in Houston.

Follow the Yankees game against the Orioles and the Astros’ at Arizona on


Game 162: Yankees at Orioles, 3:05 p.m.

The stumbling Yankees try once again to nail down home field in Tuesday’s AL wild card playoff game against Baltimore (3:05 p.m.) Michael Pineda (12-9, 4.24) faces Chris Tillman (10-11, 5.05).

A Yankees loss could open the door to a trip to Houston or Texas Tuesday should the teams tie for the AL West title. They would play a one-game playoff Monday.

Yankees Orioles
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF 1. Nolan Reimold (R) CF
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF 2. Gerardo Parra (L) RF
3. Alex Rodriguez (S) DH 3. Manny Machado (R) 3B
4. Carlos Beltran (2) RF 4. Chris Davis (L) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C 5. Matt Wieters (S) C
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B 6. Steve Pearce (R) LF
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B 7. Steven Clevenger (L) DH
8. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B 8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS 9. Ryan Flaherty (L) 2B

Pineda Notes: Has a career-high 12 wins…is 16-0 in 19 starts for the Yankees when pitching with a lead of at least 2. . .leads the AL (min. 150 IP) with a 7.19 K/BB ratio (151K, 21BB)

Tillman Notes:  Is second-worst in MLB in 10 day outings, going  2-4 with a 7.80 ERA. He’s 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his last four starts.

Orioles Notes: Baltimore has won four straight and needs a win to avoid its first losing season since 2011. Chris Davis, who has 45 homers, will try to hold off Seattle’s Nelson Cruz for the major league lead in that category.

Yankees Notes: Alex Rodriguez is 6-for-12 vs. Tillman with four homers. But he’s hitting .218 since the All-Star break.  Brian McCann is hitting .199 since the break, Brett Gardner .210.


Houston wins; AL wild card home field still up for grabs

The surging Houston Astros won 6-2 in Arizona Saturday night to keep their AL wild-card hopes alive along with preventing the Yankees from clinching home field for Tuesday’s wild card game .

The Yankees, who were swept in a day/night doubleheader in Baltimore Saturday, need to beat the Orioles Sunday to lock down home field. A loss would put another crazy spin on what will be a wild final day in the AL West.

Texas carries a one-game lead over Houston for the division lead, and Houston is one game ahead of Los Angeles for the second wild-card berth.

If Houston wins and Texas loses Sunday, they will play a Game 163 Monday to determine the AL West champion. Add a Yankees loss to that scenario, and that means New York would be traveling to the Texas-Houston loser for Tuesday’s wild card game.


Orioles finish sweep of reeling Yankees

The Yankees continued to stumble into the postseason, losing 4-3 Saturday night in Baltimore as the Orioles swept the day/night doubleheader. Houston won at Arizona to prevent the Yanks from clinching home field in Tuesday’s one-game AL wild card playoff.

The Yankees, who have lost six of seven, can still clinch a playoff game in the Bronx with a victory Sunday in Baltimore.

Houston’s win in Arizona kept the Astros alive in the postseason picture. If the Yankees lose Sunday and Texas falls to Los Angeles, and Houston sweeps the Diamondbacks, the Yankees would go on the road to play the loser of a one-game playoff between Texas and Houston for the AL West title.

Yankees reliever Dellin Betances gave up the winning run in the eighth. He threw two wild pitches after the Orioles Paul Janish led off the inning with a single.

Yankees starer Luis Severino allowed three runs on five hits in six innings, including homers to Manny Machado and Nolan Reimold. Severino struck out six.

The Oriole bullpen backed a strong start by Ubaldo Jimenez, who also allowed three runs in five innings. Oriole reliever T.J. McFarland pitched two hitless innnings, and Zack Britton allowed one hit in the ninth for his 35th save.

The Yankees try to clinch home field in the AL wild card Sunday in Baltimore (3:05 p.m.). Michael Pineda (12-9, 4.24) faces Chris Tillman (10-11, 5.05).