Ellsbury pinch-hits but still getting an MRI

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
6:23
PM ET
TORONTO -- Jacoby Ellsbury got into Sunday's game in the top of the ninth inning and almost made something happen for the Yankees by dropping a bloop into short right field and legging it to second before he was removed for pinch runner Ichiro Suzuki to protect his sprained left ankle.

But while he seemed to come out of it OK, Ellsbury's next move will be to an MRI tube. The Yankees' center fielder somewhat inadvertently revealed after the game that he would undergo the test Sunday night after the team's flight arrives from Toronto.

“It’s still sore, but over the last couple days, they’re real happy with the progress that I’ve made," Ellsbury said. "We’ve got the off-day, but I’ll get the MRI tonight [and] have our doctors look at it. Hopefully it’s a good MRI."

That raised some eyebrows in the clubhouse, since manager Joe Girardi never mentioned anything about an MRI either before or after the game, though it was understood Ellsbury would be examined by Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad sometime between now and Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox.

"Did I say something wrong?" a somewhat sheepish Ellsbury asked.

It's up to the Yankees to determine whether Ellsbury is in violation of team protocol -- remember GM Brian Cashman's violent reaction when Alex Rodriguez claimed he had been "cleared to play" -- but the reality is, he looked much better this morning than he had Saturday night, he swung well during batting practice, and he seemed to be running full-speed in the ninth inning.

"My adrenaline was pumping," Ellsbury admitted. "I typically don’t pinch hit. I stepped out of the box a few times [and] took a couple deep breaths to get my heart rate down. Once I saw that ball go in the air, I knew it was going to take a high hop. There was only one thing I could do. I was going as hard as I could run."

"We’re still concerned about some things -- the starting, the stopping, maybe sliding and jamming it again," Girardi said. "We’ll see how he is on Tuesday."

After the, um, MRI.

Rogers, over and out: Sunday's loss made it five straight series the Yankees have lost here at the Rogers Centre, including all three this season. They still lead the season series against the Blue Jays 8-7, with three games left to play at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 18, 19 and 20.

Coming back to earth: Brandon McCarthy, who took the loss Sunday, has now lost four of his past five decisions after starting 4-0 as a Yankee. More disturbing are the three home runs he allowed, a number he had not allowed since April 5 in his second start of the season for the Diamondbacks. In fact, the long ball had been McCarthy's undoing in Arizona -- he had allowed 15 homers in 18 starts -- but he seemed to have kicked the habit as a Yankee with a more effective cutter, a pitch the Diamondbacks had discouraged him from throwing. Edwin Encarnacion's game-tying home run in the seventh came on a cutter McCarthy called "a terrible pitch." The two others he allowed, to Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista, came on sixth-inning fastballs, the second a sinker that strayed up in the strike zone. In his past six starts, McCarthy's Yankees ERA has risen from 1.45 to 2.80.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146